When the "I should's" block your path.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Last week I watched a tv programme about a ballet company where all the dancers were a mixture of people you wouldn't usually find in the world of classical ballet; curvy women and big built men. It was spectacular! One of the company told a story about how she had always been told she was too tall to be a ballerina and when it was time to cast shows, she would always be cast as a boy.

BAM. That hit me hard.

I don't remember who told me I was too tall and maybe nobody ever verbalised it, but it was certainly implied and I was aware of  my height from about 6 years old. Like this woman, I was nearly always cast as a boy. I wanted to wear the gorgeous white tutus like the other girls, instead I got pantaloons made from a dodgy taffeta fabric, a billowy shirt and usually some sort of horrendous hat. There is a picture of me dressed in similar outfit to the one I just described when a friend and I danced the parts of Jack and Jill in a show. I am nearly a foot taller than the girl who played Jill...She was a year older than me. One of my other friends got to wear a beautiful purple tutu and I was extremely jealous.

The belief that could never be a ballerina followed me for years right past when I quit dancing at 19 and well into my twenties. I was good though and if I'd have wanted to I could have been a contemporary dancer, in fact any I could have chosen any type of dance. I just chose to hold this limiting belief which stopped me. I stopped me.

When we get a case of the "I should's" we are putting a huge block across our path that leads to us believing the thought and holding that limiting belief for years until we figure out that it was never true in the first place or that we have skewed it so much that it no longer resembles the truth.

 "I should have been a dancer. I could have had a brilliant career by now."

or my favourites that crop up most often for me...

"I should be making more money."

"I should have a good job by now."

"I should be enjoying my 20s instead of worrying about how I'll pay rent."

Talk about putting pressure on yourself and putting yourself down. But lean into the "I should's" and  you will find they easily turn into questions that you haven't yet dealt with.

"Why don't I make more money?"

"Why didn't I become a dancer?"

There are usually two answers. The first is the one that blames every one else but yourself. The second is the brutally honest truth.

Why don't I make more money?
1. Ugh the recession!
2. I haven't focused myself on what I want to do.

Why didn't I become a dancer?
1. They told me I was too tall!
2. I loved it but it wasn't my passion or my mission in life.

I've worked on these for several years so I find my truth quite easily and quickly now. To get to the truth of the thought I love using Byron Katie's The Work to explore these types of thoughts and limiting beliefs. You can find her resources and downloads here.

Now let's shut these thoughts down. Grab a pen and paper!

Write down your 'I should'.
Write that baby down on paper, say it out loud, even tell it to some one you trust.

Is it true?
Is your thought true? If your answer is no, ask yourself can you absolutely, positively, without any shadow of doubt, know that your thought is true?

How do you feel when you believe the thought?
Be honest with yourself. When I think about how I should have been a dancer I feel cheated, envious and like I have wasted my time and my talent.

Who would you be if you didn't have this thought?
Would you be carefree? Happy? I know that I'd focus on what I should be doing in life instead of dwelling on the past.

After you've asked the 4 questions Byron Katie asks us to find turnarounds to our thought.

Here's my thought again:
I should have been a dancer.

And here are my turnarounds...

I shouldn't have been a dancer.

I could have been a dancer. (But I chose not to be.)

I love using Katie's questions to dig deeper. It was an eye-opening experience the first few times I used the technique and it always sets me back on the path to having clarity.

What "I should's" have come up for you recently? Do you have any that recur?


To Do List : 9th - 16th February

Sunday, 9 February 2014

I'm having a week off from my work and it is much needed down time. Everyone asks me where I am going on holiday and my reply is...I'm staying at home! For me there is no better place to relax. I've purposely made my list of commitments this week super easy to complete, leaving me with a ton of down time in between! *high five*

What's top of your to do list this week?

Crystal Shelves

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Moon Phase Collection by StoneAndViolet
I need these shelves in my life. They are just so perfect to store crystals on and they make them into a feature rather than having them randomly placed.

Most of mine are strewn around the house. I have a rose quartz by the bed and a labradorite in the bathroom. The rest are in a drawer and not getting the attention they deserve. Time to get them out and on display?

Do you have crystals? How do you store them?

The Wobbles

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Oh, the Wobbles... You know what I'm talking about. We have all been there. You start off a project with the confidence of a warrior only to find your inner self trash talking you just a few days later. Man, that girl can bitch. If I went around telling other people the kinds of things I tell myself, I'd not only be considered a negative Nelly but a very unkind person too.

Here I am folks, doing my best to get back on the blogging wagon having attempted a couple of times since my very first blog back in 2009 and missy over there ain't playin' ball as usual. Yes, she's done this every single time. But let me tell you, I'm having none of it. You can check out my Wobble busters below...

//Stop comparing yourself to others. Someone else has done it really well and therefore you can't. Puh-lease.

//Write down 3 things you contributed of value today.

1. I helped another person feel better about themselves.
2. I recognised when I was being projected upon.
3. I decided to continue on and let it go.

//Take action. Don't just sit there waiting for you to be more experienced / more confident / better than you are right now, because unless you go for it you won't get any of those things. Do it.

//Focus on what's important. Getting overwhelmed by the small stuff sucks, so take some time, breathe, and make sure you put everything in to perspective.

//Set yourself a goal. And here is mine....

Create quality blog content while staying true to who I am.

(Even if it means blogging about being fearful of blogging!)

What's your advice on kicking the wobbles in to touch?

12 ways to improve your mood

Thursday, 6 February 2014

When you're feeling down it can be hard to kick negativity out of the door. On those days I find myself languishing in bed not wanting to do anything but snuggle up in the duvet and sleep the day away. But I've found that by doing little things I can shake my negativity. Take a look at my favourite 12 ways to get rid of a funky mood.

1. Get grateful. Think of 3 things you are grateful for. This can be for today or even your life in general. These can be anything big or small. Did someone post a funny youtube video that made you smile? Be grateful for that.

2. Lose yourself in Youtube. There are so many videos you could never exhaust them! Personally, I search for funny cat videos and end up lost in hilarity.

3. Get dressed. Or at least put some fresh pajamas on. Run a brush through your hair, pull it into a ponytail, and clean your teeth. You'll instantly feel a bit better even if it's the most you do all day.

4. Contact a friend. Text 'em. Call 'em. Send 'em a Snapchat.

5. Go for a walk. Get out for 10 minutes and go for a wander, preferably some where pretty. The fresh air will do you good.

6. Watch a movie. Don't pick anything too heavy. Comedies are perfect!

7. Snack on fruit. When you're feeling down usually the go to snack is chocolate, anything with sugar in, chocolate, more chocolate...etc. You get the point. I always find it just makes me even more sluggish. Take a quick trip to the supermarket, buy up some fresh fruits, like mango, apples, grapes, and bananas. I always feel fab after.

8. Try meditation. Download a guided meditation from itunes or Amazon and chill.

9. Look for the positive. Take some time to look for the positive in your situation, however small it might be.

10. Take a nap. Sometimes it really helps to take 15 minutes kip to give your mind a chance to rest.

11. Have a good cry. Sometimes what your body needs is to let out all the worry and negativity stored up inside. After crying I often find perspective.

12. Write out what's bothering you. Putting your feelings down on paper can be really helpful. Just get everything you want to say out of you and you'll find you feel less burdened.

What are your tips for improving your mood?

How to end your relationship with coffee.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I don't remember getting hooked on coffee. There wasn't a defining moment when I was struck by an overwhelming urge to drink it, it just sort of snuck up on me. It started with an occasional coffee at university while I wrote for my next writing class, became a morning habit to get me through the day when I worked as cleaner, and then was way too easy to access when I started my current job. I work in hospitality where caffiene is the secret ingredient to super perky team members and coping with early starts and late nights, but after a while I found myself drinking 6 or 7 cups of coffee in an 8 hour shift, plus what I was having at home. At first it was great: I had found the key to eternal energy! After a while though the crashes began and I started to find I had less and less energy no matter how much I slept and found  myself taking "naps" for hours at a time. I was exhausted and coffee was the culprit. Coffee hits your system, putting it into a state of stress, triggering a surge of adrenal hormones and my body had had enough! How did I kick the habit? Check out the 4 steps I took to become caffeine free.

1. Be certain and educate yourself
 The thing that set me up for success was knowing for sure I was done with coffee and that included spending some time wising up about how it was affecting me. I'd quit before and still found myself at the kettle the next morning so this time I had to have my own back.

2. Tell people what you are doing
 Tell your folk's, tell your friends, tell anyone and everyone you can, so you stay accountable. I even told all my twitter and instagram followers and found myself sharing when I succeeded and when I had a blip. People will be more than happy to cheer you on.

3. Replace the habit
Let me tell you now, your usual morning routine will break you if you go cold-turkey and don't replace the act of making coffee. Before you know it you'll be reaching for the coffee if you fore-go your usual hot drink. Set yourself up for success and make sure you have plenty of caffeine free teas available to you in the mornings so your routine is still the same...just caffeine free! Rooibos tea was my favourite replacement and it's still my go to morning drink.

4. Allow yourself to slip.
This might sound counter productive, but hang in there with me. I went cold-turkey and  I found myself tempted by the coffee you see above. It was a small gingerbread latte... I'd been caffeine free for a week and a friend took me to a coffee shop for lunch. I let myself have it and I didn't make myself feel bad about it. I enjoyed it and carried on with my life. Each time I've tried to quit before I've beaten myself up about a little slip like this and have told myself I'd failed and gone right back to drinking coffee every hour of the day again. But I hadn't failed. I'd gone from over 7 cups a day to none and stuck to it for a week and that's pretty good. I got over it and moved swiftly on.

Thinking about kicking coffee? I wish you luck and I hope my tips help.

How to love yourself

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Many people look for guidance and love outside of themselves, but finding peace in others is never the answer to issues that begin with you. I've spent the best part of ten years seeking something more; something better than what I have and it was only recently that I discovered that no matter how hard I sought out happiness and what I thought I wanted in life, it would be turning back to myself and taking a long hard look at who I am that truly helped. I'd say I'm a nice person, some would say too nice and I'll go out of my way to make others feel great about themselves. Turn it on the flip side and I can truthfully say I am not nice to myself. My inner voice can be down right cruel sometimes. A few weeks ago I began taking stock of the way I treat myself. I noticed I don't always feed my body the best food, I'll anticipate failure before I've even begun a project, which puts a big old stop sign in my path. I'm sure I must have realised in the past how I treated myself, but I probably didn't care enough to make a change. Here are some tips to loving yourself more that I found useful.

Talk kindly to me, baby.
Take notice of how you speak to yourself. Are you putting yourself down or being too harsh? Make an effort to be kind to yourself and others. Remember, the life you lead is a reflection of you. If you're being unkind to yourself you will begin to attract unkind things into your environment.

Love your body.
Many years ago I thought working out was a chore and I ate crap food because I thought it was what I wanted. Looking at it as an act of love for myself changed my outlook on it. Do something everyday to keep you healthy whether that's feeding your body good food that will build you up or getting in a workout to keep yourself in tip top condition. Both of those were hard for me. I was so used to believing exercise was a chore and not a nice thing to ut myself through and I used to eat crap foods as a "treat". The shift in how I think about the two is completely freeing.

Tell yourself one positive thing everyday and keep it in mind for the rest of the day. I know plenty of folks who leave post-it notes dotted around the house with a positive message written on them. I even have a book full of happy little anecdotes and stories that I pick up from time to time. I know something in there is bound to make me smile.

Do one nice thing for yourself everyday.
Now, that could be any of the above if you are pressed for time but while we're making the effort lets really be nice to ourselves! Paint your nails, allow yourself time to read your favourite magazine, or my personal go to...leave your conditioner in for an extra minute or two. I know I love me when I do that. (I also do the washing up in the morning so I don't have to do it when I get home from work... and I am always so grateful.)

Keep a journal.
Our brains are like one giant carry-all bag and it can get heavy. Offload into a notebook and get into the habit of writing in it regularly. Sometimes, I have so much to write I fill pages and pages, other times I write a few sentences and doodle for the rest of the page, but it keeps my mind clear and focused.

Are you kind to yourself? What are your best ways to look after you?
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