The Magic of Beginnings

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change - butterflies“And suddenly you know…. it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”

Today I realised something about myself that I hadn’t realised before.  I’ve been acting in a certain way that bothers me if others do it.  A remarkable woman I know revealed this to me and with an uncomfortable giggle I admitted she was right.

I’m grateful she showed me where I’m going wrong because it’s not how I want to be.  I could continue in my old ways of course (which is the easier option) and enable others to do the same or I could leap into the unknown which is a bit scary but has exciting possibilities and that’s the route I’d rather take.

I’m trusting the magic of beginnings, I’m trusting that the path I’m taking will lead me closer to where I want to be as a person.  It most likely won’t be all clear sailing because when I change myself there are adjustments to be made by everyone involved and people – generally speaking – don’t like change.

It’s hard to look at ourselves sometimes but if we take the challenge there’s so much to look forward to.

I’m excited about this!

With love
Eve

A smidgen of truth?

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I’ve said before that criticism is a matter of opinion and I stand by that.

There is also another side of criticism which is what today’s piece is about.  It’s something that isn’t easy to hear and it’s this:  There may be some truth in the criticism.

criticism - rumi with diamondBefore you dismiss what someone is saying, listen.  Take it in and stir it around.  Is there a smidgen of truth in what they say?

If you can see it you are at an advantage because right in front of you is an opportunity to grow.  Everyone we meet can teach us something.

Rather than getting tense, angry or ignoring what they say, take a moment to hear it.

The criticism doesn’t define you.  Know who you are and then the comment won’t diminish you.  Learn from it and at the same time let it roll off you (like water off a duck’s back).  Then move on.

Underneath it all, you are wonderful and worthy.

criticism - aristotleLet’s free ourselves from what’s holding us back in our own lives.

With love
Eve

12 Ways to cope when you’re not coping

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lemons 2Do you have those days when you feel like you are not coping with your life?  Your shoulders and neck feel tense?  You find yourself getting more tummy aches than usual?

When it feels like you are not coping maybe it’s because you are focusing on the stress.  Your body goes into fight or flight (keep thinking you need a holiday right now! Or sit there procrastinating?)

When you are in the thick of things you may forget that there are ways to bring joy into your life.  Here are 12 suggestions to help you do just that:

Have a cup of tea
But make its special. Use a teapot or your favourite mug.  Remind yourself that you also deserve some peace and quiet and that you are important too.

Commune with nature
Sit on the grass.  Walk barefoot.  Lie under or hug a tree (you have no idea how comforting that can be if you’ve never tried it).  Feed the birds.  Work in the garden.

Look up
Spend time looking at the clouds, the shapes, shades, contrast of colours. Watch a sunset or a sunrise for some peace and pleasure.

Do some exercise
Get those endorphins going.  Often we don’t do anything when we are feeling low but that is the time to work it because you will feel so much better.  What I do is jump on my mini trampoline while watching reruns of my favourite comedies. And talking about that…..

Do funny
Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.  Laughter changes the chemicals in your body so make it happen.  Children laugh 200 to 300 x a day and adults laugh about 15 x a day.  That’s just sad.  Don’t be a statistic.  Even forcing a smile onto your face changes what happens in your brain.

Throw a tantrum
Not in front of everybody else, just by yourself.  You didn’t want things to be happening this way did you?  So say so and stomp it out.  Try not to scare anybody while doing it though, it doesn’t have to be loud.  And then accept that this is part of life and you actually can cope if push comes to shove.

lemons 1That’s what Friends are for
Contact a friend. You’ll be amazed at how many people are going through or have gone through something similar.  If there’s no-one you can think of then contact a coach, a psychologist, a social worker or go and have your hair done and chat to your hairdresser.

Meditate or Pray
I find that when I meditate before I pray I’m much more focused and connected.  These two activities alone have volumes of positives written about them – just ask google.   Slow conscious breathing also works to calm a person down especially when you feel as though you are panicking.

Find a hug
Often a few moments of loving touch will do wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Dance or sing it out
Listen to your favourite music, it will get those dance moves happening.  Even if you don’t feel like it just dance anyway for one song.  Or Sing.  Sing out loud.  Who cares what you sound like?  If your voice is really bad then close the door.

Pets
I can’t stress the value of a pet.  I don’t know what I would do without my dog and cat.  They are an endless source of healing.

Be grateful
Be grateful for what’s right in your life.  Not every single thing is going wrong.

Turn your life around.

With love
Eve

But on all the other days…

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perception - charlie brown and snoopy

People spend a lot of time worrying about things that they can’t control.  They also perceive things in a way that often makes their lives harder (as in the above cartoon).  Both Charlie Brown and Snoopy are telling the truth but which one of them lives a happier life?

I’m not saying that stress doesn’t exist (far from it) or that if we deny our difficulties our lives will be better….. no, what I’m suggesting is that we acknowledge our problems, feel the feelings, if necessary cry, journal, punch a pillow (or whatever safely works best) and then either find some sort of solution or look for the positive or blessings in the situation and focus on those.

There are always positives in a situation even though it may not seem like it at the time.  If you can’t find any, ask a friend, family member or coach that you trust to point them out to you.

What you think about is where you are.  Choose where you want to be and be there.  It requires you to change your thinking though which may take time.  Be gentle on yourself.

You’ve got this

Eve

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p.s. I also send this blog out weekly by email which includes a quick health tip and some good news (as opposed to bad news).  If you would like to subscribe please email info@evemarks.co.za

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Rummaging through the Jumble

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clutter minimalismDo you ever feel like you have nothing to wear yet you have plenty of clothes?  It’s probably because you have too many clothes and a lot of them you don’t really like or don’t wear for various reasons.  Why keep these things?

Have you noticed that when your home is cluttered, your world feels a bit overwhelming too?  I think it’s because our home, cupboards, car, handbags etc. often mirror part of our lives.

It’s no surprise then that when we declutter we feel lighter.

Have you heard yourself saying “I will need it someday” – but do you ever get to use it?  I’ve found that when I need that “thing” I’ve been saving for all these years, I can’t find where I put it anyway and then land up buying a new one.

How does clutter make you feel?  When I look at my clutter I feel uncomfortable and restless.

When you introduce new items into your life, you immediately associate value with these items, making it harder for you to give them up in the future. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.*

When you see various parts of your home that are cluttered, ask yourself why you are keeping these things.  What are you holding on to?  It can be very difficult to let go of our possessions.  There’s apparently a place in our brain that lights up when we experience the pain of letting go of the things we own.*

Give the clutter a name.  When you look at the pile of stuff or the wardrobe that is too congested, give a name to it.  e.g. Chaotic, busy, overloaded, stuck, ugly, messy etc.  Do those words conjure up parallels in your own life?

What am I getting to here?  Perhaps just to be aware that our clutter is more than just a pile of stuff, it has emotional connections too.  You may even be holding on to old emotional baggage.  An idea would be to look at what you can let go of and see if you feel lighter and more free when you do.

With love
Eve

*Mikael Cho, How clutter affects your brain and what you can do about it.

 

 

Getting more Snoozles

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behaviour - path to the seaWhat is it you want?  Choose one thing to work with for now e.g. getting fit, improving a relationship, making money, being on time, washing your car regularly… You name your own.

I’ll choose getting up early as an example to demonstrate.

I want to get up early.  I set my alarm but I keep pressing the snooze button.  So what do I really want?  I want to sleep late of course!

Our behaviour is our real purpose lived out.

What am I doing to prevent myself from getting up early?  Well one thing is getting to bed too late so I’m not acquiring the amount of sleep that my body needs.  I then make up for it in the morning.

If I really want to get up early and it’s important to me then I will make the effort to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to get the snoozles I need.

behaviour is real purpose lived outNothing happens unless we make it happen. 

Agree?  Disagree?  I would love to hear from you.

May you have a week where you make one small change in the direction want to move into.

With love

Eve
(Insights from the Power of Purpose Course.  Don’t miss it next time!  It is Powerful)

One Small One

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habits-pebblesI decided I was going to work on my self discipline.  Where should I start? – I asked myself.  There are many areas in my life where I want to be more disciplined.

So in October last year I decided to do one thing every day.  I stopped using my phone while getting ready in the morning.  I put it far out of my sight and didn’t get involved in checking my emails, facebook, instagram or watzapp while getting ready.

Doing this one thing every day since October (and I’m still doing it) has helped me to get ready faster in the mornings, be on time for appointments, get more work done and even have a chance to eat breakfast before starting my day.  The amazing thing is that this one aspect of self discipline has spread into other areas of my life for example saying no to the chocolate bar next to the till (just because it’s there doesn’t mean I have to have it).
change-daily-routine
It’s all about creating habits to move forward.

What one small thing can you do every day that will help you in your quest for self enrichment?

I wish you much success.