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The Importance of Gratitude in Your Life

Posted on March 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (10)

 

"Happiness comes from a grateful heart." The first time I heard this statement I could definitely see how this was true, however I did not even begin to think of the deep impact that this statement would have in my life until much later on.

A friend and I were discussing the other day, how much that little saying can really affect your life. When you get it and really get it at a super deep level and start practising it in every area of your life, blessings and miracles literally appear everywhere yin your life. It is so essential to your happiness, wellbeing and for reducing your stress levels. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I had not learnt this one simple little tip.

The importance that this statement has played in the amount of happiness I have in my life is profound. When you begin to start practising gratitude by seeing the things, in life you feel happy about. It is a wonderful thing, however I have found that with continual practise of this that I am able to now also be grateful for even the biggest challenges in my life, even for relationships that have not been the way I wanted them too, and also for all the little inconveniences or even rather big, so called catastrophes.

Everything has shown me a better path, a newer way and I have grown so much from every experience as a result. Some very powerful questions that you may be able to ask yourself, is “Where is the good in this?” Or “What can I learn from this?”, or “How can I choose to grow and become more as a result of this experience?” Life is so valuable and it is continually showing you the way, through how you are feeling. If you are not feeling very happy then you know that there are some things that you are thinking about which are impacting on that. It’s important to gain clarity around this as sometimes you may tend to blame the situation or circumstances to be the thing that is impacting on your happiness, however it really comes back to how you might be perceiving or thinking about your circumstances that creates the unhappy feeling…. There is always a choice.


Do you feel empty, lonely and unloveable

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (2)

The breath of fresh air softly blew the curls that dangled ever so softly around her face, into her eyes. Gently she raised her hand to brush them aside as she stood beside her bike and paused for a moment to take in the breathtaking sunset and scenery in front of her as she looked deep into the green valley and the brilliant orange sun full of scarlet speckles. She felt a sense of peace and calmness wash over her. Finally, she thought, I am back to my peaceful state again. For so long it had seemed that she had struggled with the demons of her own mind. She had begun her soul’s transformation as she had begun to ponder what life was really about and how she could feel happy again.

It seemed that a few years ago she felt that she had been struggling in so many areas of her life. Relationships with others seemed to leave her feeling empty and lonely, as she applied various means of trying to “fix” things with others. Behaviors such as people pleasing, doing what others wanted, trying to be who she thought they wanted her to be. It all made her feel hopeless and a sense of despair, because it didn’t seem to matter what she did, nothing really took away that deep longing that she felt inside. She believed that the emptiness she felt came from wanting to belong and to be truly loved by somebody.

She had come across so many others who felt the same, they shared their stories often and openly with her, and she listened with compassion and care. Each story was different but always seemed to end the same. Some stories were about the ways that other people had hurt them, others stories that she heard were about how they felt a deep sense of grief because somebody that they loved had died, and it had felt they had taken their love away from them. Others were bullied, and or mistreated, others felt unhappy with how they looked, or felt like a failure in some way and some people had been criticised by their parents and had never felt enough.

It didn’t seem to matter what the story was to begin with, the ending was always the same though. It always had a theme around why they weren’t enough, and because they weren’t enough in some way, they didn’t feel worthy of being loved. They all felt lost and empty and a deep sense of despair inside.

Unbeknown to each person that told their story, they were not aware that others felt the same. They really honestly felt that they were the only ones who felt the heat of their own self-critical talk. The only one who felt a fear of being rejected and the loneliness and emptiness of not feeling enough, and feeling like love and happiness was outside of them and was something that they had to find. To each person it had felt like they had looked and looked for happiness and love but just couldn’t seem to find it. Some were still looking and others were in a deep sense of despair as they had given up ever trying to find it. Some people really honestly believed that if they could just find that right person, that would love them exactly for who they were, then they would feel whole and loved and worthy and a sense of peace and happiness within themselves again.

Other people were angry and resentful at others, as they had felt that they had once had this magical relationship that they felt loved in and they had felt really good. Then for one reason or another, this relationship had ended and that person had taken their love away. This then seemed to make them feel even worse about themselves, than what they did in the very beginning.

To Sara, it seemed that the whole world felt lonely and disconnected. Most people believed that this was because other people did not love them in the way that they wished. But really it was because they felt lonely and disconnected within their self. This then lead them to believe that on a deep level they were unworthy of their own self-love. And at times she felt it too.

She was tired and exhausted of living this way and through sheer desperation she had begun what she called her soul’s journey. It was during this journey that she had really started to feel differently about herself. She was beginning to be able to laugh at some of the thoughts that her mind had come up with, to tell her how bad she was, or how she needed to be different so that somebody would love her.

Her mind loved to play games with her, and she had learnt that her mind loved to play the “Hero”

It loved to invent problems by the way that it looked at things, and then to pretend to save the day by coming up with solutions to feel better. For example somebody may not have kept their promise to Sara. The person may have promised to phone her at a certain time. Suddenly her mind would run away with an idea, which was generally to the detriment of Sara’s emotional wellbeing. Her mind would start saying something like “Well they obviously don’t care about you enough to call”. Or “See you are not worth it, people only pretend to like you, but they really can’t be bothered with you.” Or” You’re just not worth people’s time.”

All of these statements were untrue of course. It was only Sara’s mind’s perception of how she thought about it. In reality the person was just busy and hadn’t got a chance to call her. It wasn’t that they didn’t care about her, or only pretended to like her.

Now her mind was able to control her again through telling her these stories. Sometimes her mind would tell her how bad she was, how unworthy she was, that she didn’t have any friends, and that she is really not loved at all by anybody. It was during these times when Sara felt awful and really sad. So her mind would jump in again and want to be the “Hero” to solve Sara’s problem. So it would tell her that she would feel better if she just had some Ice-cream, or a drink, or a smoke.

These habits seemed to distract her and numb her and sometimes it would sort of fill some of the void and emptiness that she felt inside. This would only last an hour or so until later on, when she realised that she had let herself down again, by breaking her promises to herself. Now she not only felt bad about herself and unloved and unworthy, but she also felt guilty and angry at herself. How could she ever attract somebody when she couldn’t lose weight. Or how could she possibly even try and be who she thought that she needed to be whilst she was doing this. So Sara’s mind would jump in with even more dialogue, whilst she still felt the emptiness of constantly searching for this distant far off happiness that seemed like a lifetime away from her.

As each day progressed, she started to read more and more about how her mind liked to play tricks on her and that it wants to create and solve problems, and that it is layered with so many different filters and beliefs that it made it hard to be able to see the real truth of anything, much less her own worthiness. Her mind had bought into so many different ideas of who she needed to be, to be loved and her mind seemed to believe that she was unworthy of anything and was not loveable. It made her heart sink with despair, and it just seemed so hard to shift. Her mind constantly swirled with self-doubts and fears. She wondered how everybody else seemed to cope with life so well, when she felt like she was the only one that didn’t have confidence and self-esteem.

Her breakthroughs started when she was able to read and listen to things that really got her to realise that she was not just her mind. She came to learn that her mind is just a tool that can be used to analyse things and to help her in her day to day roles. She also learnt that her mind was really not very helpful, in realising happiness and self-love. She began to see that there was another part of her a deeper part of her, that was always available to her, when she was quiet enough to listen to it. Through meditation and a deep belief that there was something more to her, she began to reconnect with her spirit again. It was the part of her that deep down, knew everything would be ok no matter what. She knew without a doubt, that she was love, pure love, fully created in love, this feeling of freedom exhilarated her and she no longer felt that she was a prisoner to her mind.

As time went on her mind had less and less control over her. It occasionally won, but only in the short term, because now she had the anecdote. Now she knew all that she had to do was to reconnect with her spirit and to feel the instant love and connection for herself again. No longer did she have to try and search for it outside of herself, no longer did she have to do things to try and please others, which never seemed to work anyway, and only made her feel worse. No longer did she have to push herself to be “better” and “more” all of the time….

She could finally rest in the peace of knowing that all is well and there is nothing that needs to be done, to be loved in this moment. It became a deep knowing in her that she could experience time and time again. Every time her mind dragged her into another story and drama as to why she was not enough, and why she was not worthy of love, its power over her became less and less. She realised that the true purpose of life is Joy and Growth and that we are all inherently perfect just as we are. She believed that her purpose in life was to feel joy and gratitude for all that is, in each moment, whilst growing and becoming more. Just as a seedling is beautiful as it is and yet becomes even more beautiful and majestic as it grows into a wonderful large tree with beautiful flowers for all to enjoy.

She began to embrace all of who she really was, which was pure love and she allowed her light to shine brightly in the world, allowing herself to be a beacon for all that were seeking love, peace and contentment within themselves.

Do you get frustrated when trying to change your Diet and Lifestyle?

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (2)

 

I have found that the biggest challenges that we face, particularly when it comes to changing our diet and lifestyle are that old habits and the way that we view ourselves can keep us from sticking long term with our well intentioned plans.......

The following is a brief outline on things that you can do, to really embrace change long term and get the body, energy and life that you truly deserve!!

1. Get clear on what you want and why... Do you want to be healthier to feel good, look good, have lots of energy for your relationships and your family? To love yourself, to be around to see your grandchildren grow up? (these are just some ideas to get your own thoughts going....) What's your biggest reason and what will move you almost to tears when you think about why you want to do it?What do you want, is it really good health? A particular weight or body shape? Lots of energy? Be able to run/ perform/ or achieve a certain goal?You need to be clear and specific and to hold that image in your head and visualise it daily....By being clear on what you want and why you want it will keep you motivated and driven when things are feeling the most challenging to stick with your new eating plan.

2. Develop a new Identity..... Think of yourself as a healthy, fit person. We will do more as humans to stay within our current Identity of who we think we are.... By visualising and seeing yourself and thinking of yourself who is somebody that takes care of their body and themselves and who is fit and healthy, you will be pulled to make better choices with your food.Also getting others on board with this who really support you in your goals is absolutely critical.... If you spend a lot of time with people who eat unhealthy food, drink lots of alcohol or don't take care of their body, you may find it challenging to keep eating healthy when others aren't. They may also say things like, it doesn't matter, just this once won't hurt you.... which eats away at your own resolve to get your goal....3. Develop New Daily Consistent Habits which support your new goal and new vision for Yourself.....We all have habits, it just depends on which ones that you are consciously aware of each day that are determining the rest of your life. Examine all of your things that you do in a day, on a regular basis...... Which habits are supportive of you eating healthy, being healthy? Which ones are taking you in the opposite direction? If you have habits which don't currently support you, make some changes and substitute old habits for new things which will. It might be instead of watching a TV program, you might go for a 10/20 min walk instead..... Changing my daily habits has by far been the biggest way that I have changed my life and which shapes my life in the future more than anything.....It's about finding things that help you feel good and that set you up both mentally and emotionally for the day, below is what I do, only to give you an example, however, you can put in whatever works best for you :)

Rise at 5am

Drink lemon juice in water first thing

Meditate/ Do Breathing Exercises

Write in my gratitude journal of things that I feel grateful about

Visualise and write things in my journal of things that I would like to have in my life as if they have already happened

EFT Tapping - (Google this if you're interested - it's great at clearing lots of emotions if we feel down or sad.)

Exercise - normally for 45mins, if I'm short on time I will do a 20 min work out instead

Plan for the day - what I'd like to achieve, what's on my goal list of things I'm working towards

Review my goals - watch my goal movie I created through windows power point this includes lots of pics of things I'd like to have, be and do.

Read a positive, life inspiring book for 10 - 20 mins

Dedicate specific quality time for my daughters

Listen to Positive Audio during the day when I am driving, or are doing some housework

It seems a lot I know...... and some days I don't get it all done, and that's ok as well. However these are my foundations that keep me feeling great and solid emotionally and mentally, which allows me to cope with all the other stresses of everyday life. These habits help me be the best me that I can be in each moment, regardless of what is happening in my life.....Sometimes it can also be confusing knowing what to eat, and when to eat it and what is the best or healthiest thing.... There seems to be so much conflicting advice out there..... My biggest advice to you is to become really aware of how you feel after you eat what you are eating, this will be the biggest guide as to what works best for you in terms of diet etc..... Notice if you have more energy after eating your meal, or if you feel tired. Do you feel light and happy and healthy, or really blah, exhausted and over full ? Also be aware of if you are really hungry or just thirsty and or ask yourself if you are eating to help you feel better, because you are feeling bored, sad, tired, angry etc... etc.... I also found it super helpful to have a list of things I could do that helped me feel good, if I did find myself eating not because I was hungry, but because I was not wanting to feel what I was feeling emotionally..... I stuck that list up on the fridge and the pantry, and so any time I could look at it, before I started emotional eating and have a list of things that I could choose to do instead. Things like putting on happy music, dancing, deep breathing, tickling my children, going for a walk, watching something funny on you tube, ringing a friend....... The other thing that I found made the biggest difference for me in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by being prepared...... I rarely have rubbish or junk food in the house, normally only on special occasions, I have loads of fresh fruit and vegetables etc in my fridge. I have lots of things prepared and ready to eat at any moment - celery/carrot sticks cut up, raw vegies washed and cut up, boiled eggs.... lots of things, so that at any time I come home and I'm starving hungry, instead of going for that packet of biscuits or other things, I can grab some healthy food straight away.... If you are not sure on what positive books or audio to read or listen to I highly recommend any of Wayne Dyers books - particularly "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life." Louise Hay is also amazing and I love her "You can Heal you Life" book too.There are loads more, but those are the two that I would start with. Finding somebody that inspires you and that you resonate with their story is the best way.... There is so much great info available these days on the internet. If you look up this website, it has great info and books available, remember that you can always borrow from the library too, it doesn't have to cost you anything but your time. http://www.hayhouse.com.au/topiclist.php

Lastly, be kind and gentle with yourself, the more that you can do this and really love yourself, you will be able to forgive yourself when you slip up, and be able to pick yourself up again and get right back on track..... Success is rarely a straight line...... THE MOST important thing, is to do things that help you feel happy and that demonstrate SELF LOVE..... There is nothing more important than appreciating the positive things about you, and taking TOTAL responsibility for your own choices and your own happiness.....

Wishing you every success in gaining more love, health, happiness, joy, energy, and wealth in 2014 :) xo



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