What are Your Biggest Fears and Insecurities?

“Rather than sweating to manage your image, manage your fear and insecurity thoughts that tell you that you have to get people to like you.”   Alan Cohen

I have a string of women clients who in some shape or form are being driven by the conditioned thoughts that were set up when they were little people. I know there are men out there who feel the same but they tend not to seek advice as much or certainly not from a female coach. But I’m sure their image is there, but it is different. It is important to them that they have a performance image, that they have a good job, that they are providing for their families and that they have the latest toys. For women it is more about how well they are able to hold down a job and manage the children and their activities at the same time. How well they appear to have it all together, to keep up with the men if they want to be promoted, still have the meals sorted and look well-groomed and the ‘smarts’ to go with it.

It is like a treadmill, at the very least maintaining the status quo for both sexes, but not stopping to understand why they allow themselves to be pulled into this stream that is like the vortex of the plug hole. If we can look back to the fears and insecurities we had as children, it will go some way to explaining why we are doing what we are doing. It doesn’t have to be like that, we don’t have to continue to try and please others who have now taken the place of the parents or adults who had these expectations of us as children. We can choose today, to let go of the fears and insecurities we are holding on to. It is not our job to try and make people like us. It is our job to connect to our feelings and if we don’t like what we are feeling, connect with the times we have felt good and allow ourselves to feel that and as we can, to amp that up. Turn up the dial and remind yourself, what they think is not about me!

Enjoy feeling the bliss and allowing others to have their opinions without it bothering you!

What Mind Food are You Eating?

“To keep the body in good health is a duty – otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong & clear.”  Buddha

Having worked as an acupuncturist for 25 years I have been aware of the connection of the physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic bodies that we are. The more research being done, the more we are seeing the connections. How beliefs affect thoughts & emotions, which in turn affect our actions and therefore results. So if we pursue a spiritual life without attending to the temple that is our bodies, the body will start to be affected by disease. If we concentrate on the diet and physical health but don’t attend to the purpose and source of who we are, we’re not balanced and the spirit craves attention from us. Some cultures believe that anxiety and depression are diseases of the lack of connection between the inner and outer being.

I love how Buddha says that it is our DUTY to have good health. If you feel that you have been doing lots of personal development work on helping your mind to let go of its poor thinking, but you haven’t paid a lot of attention to your diet, then maybe it is time to start making considered changes to what you eat. Not because you are hell-bent on losing weight but purely to nourish your body and mind. This of course includes the water we are putting into our gut. If your tap water is full of chlorine and you are feeding yourself good bacteria to improve the biome, then don’t expect them to stay alive. Some have said that psychics are able to do better work when they are eating a healthy, natural diet and enjoying vibrant health. If that is the case, I think it’s safe to assume that everyone is better able to hear the voice of their inner guidance when they are taking good care of their bodies. 

Enjoy eating well for a clear mind!

The Ramblings of an Older Woman

No quote today ladies and gentlemen, just some ramblings about how I see lives around me evolving. I was asked to do a presentation at our local ‘Women in Business’ group last week and I chose to give them an over view of the winding path I have been on since deciding that I want to help people in a different way than I had, when working as a physiotherapist. We can all choose our path, but some of us feel for many different reasons that we have to stay as a lawyer or school caretaker or whatever. Often this is at the expense of saying ‘no’ to what’s trying to get our attention from deep inside. For whatever reason we ignore the messages our body is giving us until we get sick, have a major accident, or listen to a friend and make the change of pathway. Whatever we say yes to, means we are probably saying no, to something else. For some, these yes’ are conditioned in us. We don’t necessarily want to go to the job we’re tied to but we can’t see any options, so we ‘suffer in silence.’” I’m grateful I have a job when others around me don’t, I feel their stress.”

It was my husbands’s death that gave me the impetus to do ‘something else.’ Initially I pushed on through, ‘being strong’ as is my way, until my body said, “No, you’re not listening to the lessons we have been trying to give you.” It was because of the help that I had for my anxiety, fear and depression that I decided to move in a different direction. I learnt to follow my heart/gut and do what felt right or good at the time. These messages have taken me on a tortuous road to where I am today. They have given me a range of tools that have all contributed to my own wellbeing so I know they can help others. They have brought me to some interesting personalities and relationships – all lessons I would not have had, if I hadn’t sought help. In New Zealand, we tend to have that attitude, “She’ll be right mate,” or a DIY mentality. For most things these attitudes work fine, but when it comes to our mental, emotional and spiritual health we often need help to course correct. Not because we’re broken or because there is something wrong with us, but purely because our soul is crying out to move in a different direction. It may feel scary to reach out but it is easier with help than without, believe me.

Enjoy listening to your inner wisdom and reach out if you’ve had enough of struggling on your own!

How Happy Do You Feel Regularly?

“You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.”  Bette Davis

We are told over & over that happiness is an inside job but a good percentage of us look for outside feed-back or inspiration to ‘up’ the vibration or energy of who we are. Recently I read an article written about a year ago which states, “True happiness isn’t about being happy all the time.” Lowri Dowthwaite wrote, “Martin Seligman is considered the founding father of positive psychology. He describes happiness as experiencing frequent positive emotions such as joy, excitement and contentment, combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose. Studies have shown that the way we respond to the circumstances of our lives, has more influence on our happiness than the events themselves.

Apparently there are 2 pathways to happiness. The Hedonistic view that in order to live a happy life we must maximise pleasure and avoid pain. If we see happiness from this point of view, then we have to continue to seek out new experiences and pleasures in order to continue to ‘up’ our happiness. The other path says we should live authentically and for the greater good. We should pursue meaning and potential through kindness, justice, honesty and courage. This may involve unpleasant experiences and emotions at times, but often leads to deeper levels of joy and contentment. So leading a happy life is not about avoiding hard times; it is about being able to respond to adversity in a way that allows you to grow from the experience. Tolerating distress can make us more resilient and leads us to take action in our lives, such as changing jobs or overcoming hardship.

Unlike feeling happy, which is a transient state, leading a happier life is about individual growth through finding meaning. It is about accepting our humanity with all its ups and downs, enjoying the positive emotions, and harnessing painful feelings in order to reach our full potential.

Enjoy finding happiness in your adverse experiences by changing your expectations!

Are You a Hard Boiled Egg?

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold; but so does a hard-boiled egg.” Author unknown

This quote sounded quite clever when I first read it and it’s true we do have to follow through on our intentions but those actions may not be thought through or may be conditioned behaviours that we have done all our lives if our intentions are not ‘pure.’ By this I mean we have planned or designed our intentions so that we have our desires accomplished without trampling over the feelings and desires of others. Have you had those times when you have had a thought of doing something that will be a nice gesture to someone else, but life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen? Or maybe you voice your intentions, you get talked out of it, and then later when it is too late you have regrets? My mother used to have a saying, “The way to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

I understand this Hell, in this case, is the regrets, the negative feelings and comments that you may make to yourself as your inner critic has a field day. So be careful when you have intentions that you are able to take action. These are the times when we do have to listen to that heart of gold, but just be careful that you don’t allow yourself to get swallowed up by the boundaries of other people who take that soft spot (I like even my hard boiled eggs with a softer yolk) for granted. You may have been brought up to believe that service is the only way, but just take care that you don’t lose your sense of self in the process.

Enjoy following through on your intentions!

Are You Too Sensitive About Comments That Are Being Made?

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you, that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.”   Warren Buffett

When I did my original coaching training, we were taught that one of the problems that people face is the meaning they give to what is being said and done. If my background or conditioning has lead me to believe certain things about myself or life around me, it may set off incorrect assumptions. I then suffer because I believe the words that other person has just uttered mean something that wasn’t intended. We could ask questions to get clarification, but a lot of us feel uncomfortable having that sort of conversation. We would rather have a different sort of conversation in our heads.

What if, next time someone said something that made you feel put down or stressed, you plucked up the courage to ask for clarification? We were also taught that nobody ‘made’ me or you for that matter, feel something. We choose to feel that and we can choose to feel something else instead. If we find it too hard to ask what we see is a difficult question, then as Warren Buffett says, we need to sit back and observe what has just happened with logic. Think about whether this is going to be important in 1, 5, or 10 years time. If not, breathe into the area of discomfort in your body and allow that feeling to dissipate, allow it to pass and move on.

Enjoy restraining yourself from getting too caught up in your emotional reactions.

Do You Have Good or Great Conversations?

“A wise man fills his brain before emptying his mouth.”   African Proverb

I think this is a delightful way to say what sounds to me like, think before you speak or it’s more important to listen than it is to do all the talking. Either way we can co-create a much more connected conversation. But of course conversations are not just about the words we use, they are about our body language, and the energy we put out before we even open our mouths. We pick up electrical signals from the other person when we are within 300 cm. Once they do start to speak we can tell by the tone of their voice, whether we feel comfortable or whether we feel we can trust them. We can tell if the words they are using are excluding us or if they’re angry at us, whether we feel like we’re taking risks, going to be judged or rejected. If this happens we immediately activate the stress area of our brains. The area of the brain responsible for good connective conversations, the area that is good at making decisions and can trust other people, gets shut down.

What can happen is that we also assume certain things because of our past experiences, not just about this person but about experiences that are similar. We assume that everyone else thinks and feels exactly like us even though we know that to be untrue. We can find it difficult sometimes to walk in their shoes and feel what is going on for them and we don’t actually realise that our feelings can change our reality. Lastly all my experiences build up a picture as you are speaking but unless I ask some clarifying questions I may have the ‘wrong end of the stick,’ as they say. Paying more attention to our conversations can be very valuable if we want to improve our relationships at work and at home.

Enjoy feeling good as you connect in your conversations!

Have You Ever Wondered What Your Purpose is in Life?

“Knowing your purpose can dramatically enhance your experience in life. Purpose-driven people experience more fulfillment, more success, and often greater rewards than other people. Paradoxically, people who set out to live their purpose often make more money than people who set out to make money.”   Timothy Kelly

This does sound a bit grandiose but at the end of the day it is something that most of us want to be doing. We want to be doing something that fulfils us, that we feel is worthwhile. I’ve been pretty lucky in my life in that I have mostly been working in a career that I love doing. There have been times when I’m in a bit of a hiatus, in ‘the gap.’ But if I keep working on things that give me life then it feels as though I am on purpose. I have had doubts when working towards something that seems a bit elusive and I wonder if I am still doing what I have been put on earth to do. But if I keep finding things that create the experiences that give me joy I usually get a sense of purpose.

How have you been living purposefully? Do you get a sense of that energy and passion that Tim Kelly is talking about when you are following your heart rather than your head? Your best self will show up when you are operating from a place of purpose. It may be that your purpose is just to be on this earth as a nice person who others like to be around. Your best self will show up when you are operating from a place of purpose. Set your intention to make every activity you do today be packed with great pupose. I have been through Tim Kelly’s course about living on purpose so if you think you want to step up for 2019 and you need help to sort out your purpose, contact me. Remember nothing happens until you decide to take action!

Enjoy living and breathing your purpose!

Have You Got the Courage to Ask for What You Want?

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Oprah Winfrey

Merry Christmas to all of you reading this rejuvenating letter!

I thought this quote could be taken in more than one way – as a lot of them could be depending on our perspective and how we are feeling on the day. With Christmas coming up I thought of the number of children who are writing lists to Santa and excitedly pointing out what they want in the local toy store. But this is also true of us as adults. Do we expect our loved ones to be mind-readers, or do we expect them to remember the hint we put out at the middle of the year. We could be opening up the whole situation to disappointment. Luckily my partner makes it easy at birthday time and Xmas by asking me what I want. I know it takes the excitement and surprise out of it but it also takes out the disappointment.

Another way of looking at this at this time of the year with 2019 fast approaching, is asking the Universe for what you would like to manifest in the New Year. It is up to us to set a clear intention of what it is we truly want and as I’ve said before, feel it, remind yourself about it often, and believe that you can manifest it with the help of the universe. This belief part is the tricky part for some of us. We may have beliefs from childhood that are telling us the opposite, so it’s hard to get clear. And like an order at the restaurant, what sort of meal would you get from the kitchen if you kept giving them different instructions every five minutes. Make your decision and stick to it until you either achieve it or you really want to give up on it, after giving it a good chance. Being clear about what you want, believing it is yours and not being afraid to ask for it, is key!

Enjoy using some of your holiday for reflection on what you really want in 2019!

Know the Saying, “Hold Your Tongue?”

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is.”

There is an organisation called the Institute of Heart Math that you may have heard of. They operate like a non-profit and have a lot of free stuff on their website if you are interested in having a browse. One of the key markers they use is what happens to the heart rhythm when we show an emotion. If we get angry or irritated the heart rhythm is irregular. However if we feel love and compassion the rhythm becomes even and what they call coherent. When our heart is in a coherent state we are able to think better, we connect with people better and we find it easier to respond to life’s challenges better.

At the start it takes some mindfulness. Mark Waldman, a neuroscientist, says “Acting on anger, or expressing it, is very disruptive to healthy brain function. But if you observe it and suppress the impulse to act out, you’ll develop greater calmness and emotional control.” He added, “If I were to put you in a brain scan machine and flash the word ‘NO’ for less than half a second, a dozen stress hormones will be released throughout your brain. And if you chronically worry or ruminate on negative thoughts, you’ll begin to damage your memory circuits. Anger is particularly dangerous because it interrupts the frontal lobes where logic and clarity take place.”

Enjoy being mindful when with family over Xmas!