Posts tagged #emotional balance

An open letter to Singles on Valentine's Day

How do you make it through the day when the whole world is in Love EXCEPT for you?

First of all, you and I both know that not everyone is in love—there are at least two of us sitting here right now and there may be dozens more out there. Regardless of the facts, it IS what Hallmark Cards, Lindt Chocolate and De Beers Diamonds wants you to feel like. Which is why we have to stick together like that saying goes: misery loves company.

Here are my two cents on what it's like to be single on Valentine's Day: it sucks. And any Single who says they don't care is a liar.

1. My promise to you in this letter

  • I will NOT tell you that all you need to do is love yourself.
  • I will NOT tell you to look for the hidden blocks to love that keep you from meeting “The One.”
  • And I certainly WILL NOT tell you how awesome it is to be single.

2. Pick up a Valentine's Day Survival pack

  • 1 box of tissues (let's not even try to deny that this won't be needed at some point).

  • Netflix account or access to your 1990s DVD collection of Romantic Movies. For example, Pretty Woman or Sleepless in Seattle (don't go halfway on this; you want to use up all of the tissues).

  • Your favorite blanket and slippers, preferably unwashed so that you can feel especially sorry for yourself.

  • Carbs (not the complex kind, the shitty kind).

  • Chocolate (make sure you purchase these before Valentine's Day—you don't want to endure the pity stares of the well-meaning clerk at 7-Eleven when you unload a basketful of chocolate hearts, while obviously wearing your PJs under your coat).

  • Your furry friend or alternatively, someone who won't try to talk you out of crying, wailing or otherwise making a fool out of yourself. Today you have every right to make a damn fool out of yourself.

  • A large bottle of alcohol or a large bottle of sugary liquid or both.
     

    3. Suggested Itinerary to make the intolerable, tolerable

  • Call in sick with the stomach flu (as in you won't be able to stomach the Valentine's Day cheer at the office)

  • If you must go to work, arrive in black with a veil over your face and tell everyone you had a death in the family (anyone with a brain in their head will give you a wide berth).

  • Bring your children to a relative or trusted friend's house so that you can let it all hang out at home.

  • Buy takeout for dinner—preferably Chinese food as this will be the only place where the staff is used to awkward and antisocial people arriving to pick up their food wearing their PJs under their coat.

  • Watch the first movie (see above).

  • Cry.

  • Get angry and yell at the wall.

  • Cry some more.

  • Laugh.

  • Cry again because now you feel like a crazy person.

  • Watch the second movie.

  • Pass out on the couch and wake up with pillow indents and a heavy sigh of relief. It's February 15th! You made it!

Remember that no matter what you decide to do today, just love yourself. Kidding! You should've seen your face! That was a good one.

But seriously, you will want to sign up for my FREE guided meditation Align with Your True Self because there is nothing better than being connected to yourself no matter what is going on in your life: 

Words of Encouragement to Help You Feel Good Again

Sometimes when life gives us lemons, we say “screw the lemonade--this sucks!” We may feel like crap and that’s just the way it is. Maybe our business is not doing well or we’re fighting with our spouse or we just feel like a shadow is blocking our sun. In essence, we’re feeling unmotivated and broody or we lack the energy to enjoy things that we normally would. Nobody wants to feel like this for long, so what can we do?

I’ve put together my favorite words of encouragement as well as a couple of wildly insightful life observations to help you feel like yourself again. I use these words for myself and in fact I just put them to the test this morning. The first quote I read made me cry like a baby—check. Operation Eleanor Encouragement in full effect!

1.       Never give up—this quote by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has encouraged me throughout my life. The words are deeply profound in their simplicity—isn’t that always the way? This is the quote that got the tears flowing and opened my heart a little wider. Use this if it resonates with you as a way back home when the small and large circumstances in your life veer you off course.

Never give up
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country is spent
Developing the mind instead of the heart.
Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
Work for peace and I say again
Never give up.
No matter what is happening, No matter what is going on around you,
Never give up.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
More beautiful inspiration below:



2.       Do what you can with what you have and where you are-Teddy Roosevelt. I love this one. Each piece of the quote is a beautiful invitation to self-acceptance.

  • Do what you can—you can only literally do what you can. There is no other way. Again, this truth is profoundly simple and simply profound.
  • With what you have—whatever set of circumstances, capacities, talents and abilities that you have, that is what you have to work with. Nothing more, nothing less. There is great relief in this truth. You don’t have to try to be something you are not. You simply work with what you have to take you where you need to go. Dream big but don’t set yourself up for what is not in the cards for you.
  • Where you are—this refers to the stage of life you’re in, the experiences you’re having and your mental/emotional state. It doesn’t mean you can’t go elsewhere, but it does mean that you need to accept this moment first. It all starts with acceptance and awareness—where are you right now?

3.      Circling the drain—when I feel as if I’m going around in circles, sometimes I can mistakenly think that I’m going down the drain. In other words, I feel like I’m spiraling downwards into oblivion. This is when I remind myself that the world operates in a vortex of energy; this energy is constantly spiraling. The spirals move upwards and downwards. That’s the truth. So, instead of thinking that I’m spiraling down the drain, I think of it as up-leveling. I’m going around in circles yes, but I’m spiraling with the motion of life itself. Whether I’m moving up or down, nothing is static and there is no judgement in that. I can be spiraling down to a certain point, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not evolving and growing. Whether up or down I’m always up-leveling in terms of growth and expansion. Change your outlook and you’ll feel an immense lightening of the soul-try it!

My final words of encouragement would be this: don’t go AWOL on yourself. Stay with the experience, accept yourself in all ways and trust in the fact that this too shall pass. Lots of blessings to you!
What encourages you when you feel down? Comment below!

Feeling disconnected and like something is missing in your life? Sign-up to receive my free mini-class here and discover how to connect with yourself again: 

The Power of Self-Celebration: Look How Far I've Come!

Do you even notice when you’ve reached a goal? How often do you contemplate how far you’ve come? If you don’t, isn’t it about time we change that? There are plenty of reasons to give yourself a pat on the back; the main reason is the most obvious—make yourself feel good! Acknowledging yourself for a job well done creates more happiness, pride and joy.

When I say, “look how far I’ve come” I’m talking about personal growth. We can look at accomplishment from many different angles; accomplishment is also about ourselves. Who are we today as opposed to six months ago? Or even yesterday? When you stop to notice your growth, it quiets that obsessive part of us that wants to be better. “I want to be more patient with my kids” or “I want to be more easy-going”. If we start on this hamster wheel we can get to the point where every little thing is up for improvement. That’s where self-celebration comes in. Celebrate the little personal growth successes and that nit-picky part of us finally takes a breather.

Here is a process you can use to take stock of how you’ve come:

We might have subconscious ideas of how we want to change or maybe we write down our goals and keep track of them. The main point is to sit down and focus on how you might’ve changed without even realizing it!

1.       Break your “goals” into categories:

Personal-this can include anything to do with yourself and how you relate to the world and those around you. Your emotional well-being or emotional climate. For instance, I relate to certain family members much more calmly than I used to. I don’t get as impatient about the pace of my life. What is your main emotional state these days? Contentment? Satisfaction?

Career-do you have an objective with your career? Do you want to increase your annual income? Do you want a position with more responsibility and challenge? Would you like to work for yourself? Switch careers?

Spiritual-do you meditate every day? Once per week? Have you been meaning to join a local spiritual community? Get involved with some modalities like Reiki or other energy work? Are you focused on cultivating more inner peace?

2.       Do a comparison:

How did I deal with these situations six months ago? How do I deal with these situations now?

In each category how did you deal with or approach these situations? What did you do differently? Think about each category and compare how you interact with these aspects of your life now compared to six months ago. This is how you find the small shifts, growth and expansion. Focus on the comparison. This is not to give you a reason to beat yourself up. This is a way to see that you’ve come a long way! You really did shift. You really have grown—in a way that you may not have noticed.

3.       Celebrate:

Now it’s time to party! Do something wonderful for yourself. Here are some of my suggestions but the sky is the limit! Treat yourself like a VIP.

Get a massage

Go on a retreat

Get your hair done

Go to the beach

Design a plaque saying congratulations and hang it on the wall--“Look how far you’ve come!” Congratulations to me!

Remember that when we don’t stop and contemplate where we are in life, in a metaphorical sense, we lose sight of what’s important. Self-celebration is a way to say to ourselves: you really are wonderful. Look how far you’ve come!

 

How to Stop Being Offended By the Badly Behaved: It's not You, it's Them

The badly behaved. They are everywhere. They appear suddenly and refuse to leave until they've demolished all the emotional goodwill in the room. But are their poignant insults really about you? Or is it all about them?

I’d like to start with some questions for the brain to chew on—so that we can go a bit deeper and not have our mind interrupt us. Take a deep breath and ask yourself the following questions.

Awareness raising questions

  •         What does it mean about me when someone acts rude, ignores or dismisses me?
  •         Can I be ok with myself no matter what someone says to me?
  •         Is my reaction about me or is it about them?

Now back to our close encounters of the third kind. The rude kind is more like it. I’m talking about the person who pushes in front of us in line and gives us an earful if we say anything. Or the person who talks over you in conversation and proceeds to tell you that you’re misinformed—on everything. Or the person who promptly decides that they want to unleash their ten year sabbatical on emotions directly onto your face.

What the badly behaved all have in common is that they have no comprehension of the effect they have on people. They are just walking around vomiting inappropriate comments, emotions and behaviors; the result is a mess but they don’t happen to get any of it on them. This is where we can change things!

I’m going to give you some tips that will help you through these ordeals in the same way that carrying around a barf proof umbrella would help.

1.       Get logical about it: Does this person know you? If they don’t know anything about you, how can their insults be true? This analysis can be done after the fact—to get us over the hump if the irritation is sticking or what they said is stinging.

2.      Cool your jets: We might want to yell at the person and tell them where to go but I have another suggestion. When you feel your blood starting to boil, find your anchor. For me I visualize a daisy. The daisy is my special symbol from the Universe that brings me peace. Find something you really connect with. Maybe it’s a flower, a crystal, a color or an animal. Visualize this symbol in your mind and “hold” onto it. This becomes your anchor to stay grounded and separate from the chaos that the other person is trying to create. This technique will allow you to respond in the moment with a greater calmness and centred perspective. You may find what they are saying is also bouncing off you.

3.      Call their bluff: From my many years in customer service I employed this technique; I repeat what the person said to me word for word in a completely calm voice. “What you’re saying is, I’m a complete idiot and you think I should go jump off the nearest bridge? Did I get that right?” You’ll find that the person is dumbfounded by hearing their own words coming back to them. Also they have nowhere to go after that. The trick is to say it without the sarcasm and just as if you’re stating the facts. Essentially you are standing up to someone who thinks that their words will destroy you somehow. By repeating after them, you are telling them that it is just a sentence and you’re going to let them hear it. The results are usually quite surprising.

I’d like to end with a profound story that all took place unexpectedly at a clothing store. I was browsing through the skirts; the saleslady was making her rounds around the store, smiling pleasantly at people and chatting to them. I thought she seemed very nice. As the saleslady walked past the door a customer walked in. The customer said hi to the saleslady as she had already started to turn her back and walk away. The customer thought this was unacceptably rude; she stomped over to the saleslady yelling at her back, “Oh, what, you don’t say hi to people as they come in the door? Is that it?!” She continued to yell until the saleslady turned around and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t hear you. I’m hard of hearing.”

You could hear a pin drop at this point. All the customers in the room stared at the woman. She said, “You have absolutely no reason to apologize.” And she left the store.

The beautiful thing about this story is that the saleslady was so calm and comfortable within herself to tell the customer that she was hard of hearing. She was not ashamed—she was merely stating a fact. The customer left there as a visibly different woman—it was as if something had dropped off her. Think about this story the next time you feel the urge to tell someone off or get offended. The imagined slight might have nothing to do with you.

 

Three Ways to Soothe Intense Frustration

Frustration is the annoying neighbor—he sees you before you can duck behind the badly placed front window curtain and now he’s in your living room not using a coaster. Like the unwanted neighbor, the intensity of a frustration meltdown usually comes out of nowhere and never wants to leave. So, what do you do when you feel like an emotional battlefield is taking place in your chest, head and gut? Read on!

Awareness raising questions-ask yourself these questions to open up the mind and prepare it for our step by step instructions to deal with frustration:

  • What happens when I stop pushing?
  • What is the fear if I don’t make it happen?
  • Would it be ok if I didn’t push and instead let things be?

Now that our brain is on board with this mission, let’s dive into some practical tools for self-soothing.

  1. Take a Step Back…way back
    Sometimes we need to pull back from the bonfire—otherwise our face will melt off. The same goes with intense situations. If we feel a raging fire emitting from a certain situation it would make sense to take a step away from it. You want to give yourself the perspective so that you don’t get burned. Taking a step back can mean giving yourself some time alone, having a relaxing bath, going to yoga, talking to a friend or hanging out with your kids and/or pets. In other words, go do something else for a while. You need this time to process, decompress and reorient yourself. 
     
  2. What are the triggers underneath this?
    When we have an intense emotional reaction to something it may mean that it is a deep wound from childhood. Maybe our needs weren’t met or the recent situation reminds us of how we didn’t get the love and attention we wanted in a similar situation. For example, you showed our painting to a parent and they were busy so they ignored you or they were angry about something else and took it out on you.

    These memories can leave a deep scar and when we do something in our present life that reminds us of that, we feel the same feelings in a more intense fashion. We show our creative project to our colleagues and they react negatively or they ignore it—there is the trigger. It’s like a hook that is stuck inside you and when the person says something they are essentially pulling on the emotional hook. Hence the emotional frustration. What we need to remember is that these triggers can be soothed. Sit in a quiet place and go within. Ask to talk to your inner child or the deeply vulnerable part of yourself. Then tell it what it needs to hear. You’ll instinctively know what to say. Once you’ve soothed that part of you, it won’t need to get your attention. The hook will be removed. Sometimes this is a process that takes a few “soothing” sessions, but it will get better each time.
     
  3.  How can you fill yourself up?
    Just as there are emotional triggers and hooks from childhood there are also triggers that relate to today. Maybe you aren’t living a balanced life and giving yourself what you need right now. When we look at the holes in our lives, we may see that we are getting frustrated at work but it’s really about the fact that we don’t have any fun. Or we don’t give ourselves enough sleep. Or alone time. Or social time. So, we may have an intensely frustrated reaction to a family member but when we take a bigger look at our life, it’s really about the fact that we aren’t expressing ourselves enough.

These triggers are very helpful. They let you know how you’re doing and what you need. Sit down again and get quiet. Listen to the inner part of yourself for messages about what you are ignoring or what you’ve focused on too much. Take note and try to adjust your life so that it’s more fluid and all encompassing.

Try these three ways to soothe yourself and you will notice that the next time you get into that state, the warning signs will be there for you. In other words, you’ll feel it right before the frustration gets really big. Or you’ll be more ready for it when it happens. Or better yet—you may dupe the frustration all together! Ah to live in a world with strategically placed curtains.

 

Emotional Factory Settings

My life is upside down. If upside down means right side up that is.

In other words, my life is traveling speedily down a road I like to call “awesome”! Just flying down the open road with my hair blowing in the breeze…metaphorically for now, but I’m ready for actual windblown hair at any time! All is right with the world. Now let’s go back a couple of weeks.

My life was upside down. Upside down with no opposite talk, just upside down. I was not driving along the road called awesome, I was careening down the highway to hell (yes, I can hear AC/DC too).

The difference between an upside down life and an upside down life that’s really right side up is this: emotional factory settings.

These are your knee-jerk, spastic, unconscious responses to life that we’ve hopefully managed to meditate, downward dog, transmute and clear away—for the most part. Until we find ourselves under extreme pressure. The pressure could be happy experiences like moving to a seaside hut in Costa Rica with your devoted and sensitive poetry—writing warrior/lover or it could mean finding out your new boss is the person who relentlessly bullied you in high school. Pressure is pressure; both bring out our emotional factory settings.

Our body has slipped into such as state of stress that it must operate on factory settings. There is no extra energy or awareness available to act in a conscious way in every moment. You must know me well enough by now…I would never agree with that!

Of course you can turn things around! So, how do you reset back to your calm, conscious, customized Self?
 

Try these tips:

  1. Prevent emotional explosions. 
    I built up such a powder keg of nervous energy that when someone poked the bear...I was exploding all over the place. And all over the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. The key is to let out the nervous energy. If you feel tense go for a walk, go to the gym, yell into a pillow, hurl rocks into the water, run to a friend’s house or jump up and down. The real point is to release that nervous, pent up energy.
     
  2. Communicate your feelings. 
    This is a tough one for me so I’m not saying this lightly. If you feel an icky feeling in your gut—someone hurt your feelings or you felt cast aside-acknowledge those feelings. Try to name them and write them down or say it out loud. Then if you want to tell the person directly, do that. Maybe it’s just a matter of relaying the event to a friend. Remember to frame it in a way that the person you’re telling is a sounding board, not a gossiping partner. The key here is to release the emotion once it’s acknowledged.
     
  3. Relax yourself.
    Take a bath. Put lavender under your nostrils. Take rescue remedy. Go for a massage. Take a nap. Read a lighthearted book. Pet your animal. Gaze at a body of water or fire. Breathe deep cleansing breaths.
     
  4. Eat regularly. 
    Keep your energy steady in the body so that your blood sugar isn’t all over the place. Going long periods of time without eating only serves to throw your emotions, hormones and general calmness out of whack! Don’t go more than three hours without eating—even if it’s a snack. A handful of nuts, some crackers and humous or a piece of fruit with almond butter will do the trick.

Try these techniques to unplug the emotional factory settings doing you no good whatsoever, so that you can return to your evolved and customized settings—the real YOU!
 

Stuck at the Kids Table

Do you remember sitting at a rickety fold-out table, with the other outcasts, also known as children, at holiday meal time? I’m talking about the kids table. I always felt that being forced to sit with other ostracized children was not my idea of holiday like behaviour. But who has a say when you’re eight?

Which brings me to my point: always sitting at the kids table. This is of course, a metaphorical, not literal situation and addresses my past feelings of being a child in adult form.

From the age of eighteen, I felt very uncomfortable and unprepared to live my life as an adult. I felt like a fraud. I’d somehow grown up physically, but I was completely unequipped and unprepared psychologically. Maybe you can relate…

As you know when you feel insecure inside, you somehow want to prove that you don’t. So, I set out to prove that I wasn’t a helpless little girl. My inner warrior went full tilt and I kicked things into turbo gear. Oh yeah, I’ll show you! I’m not some incapable female… I’ll just go to Africa all by myself. That did not end well by the way. It was a “learning experience” (the phrase used for complete disasters).

The first problem with rebellion is that it’s painfully unsustainable. The second problem with rebellion is that you waste a lot of time rebelling against an idea of yourself. In other words, you are trying to prove yourself, to yourself.

There I was recreating situations in which I would be taken care of, while simultaneously rebelling against being taken care of. I was gallivanting off to different corners of the earth to disprove my self-imposed identity and secretly wishing I didn’t have to. Can you see the turmoil and conflict this situation creates?
 

When your Identity Doesn’t Fit Anymore

After years of playing identity tennis, I was wrung out. From pure exhaustion I dropped my rebellious cape and began to emerge as my True Self. I started to embrace the positive side of being young at heart. I acknowledged all the good things that go along with being young minded, young spirited and young looking (I’ll milk this one until my friends and family start to get embarrassed for me). I decided that being a little girl was fun but didn’t suit me anymore in its limitations. I couldn’t expand and live my dreams while playing the little girl; I was tired of dress-up time.

The good news is that your True Self is not limited: it has many facets. We can tap into our inner child, our feminine self, our masculine self, our teacher and our parent, just to name a few. I wanted to embrace them all and give them full access to come forward.

So I experimented. I became a Reiki teacher. I got a toolbox. I bought a little black dress. I mentored youth. If I felt that creepy sensation of being a little girl in grown-up clothes, I became still and asked what my inner child was trying to tell me. Most times I was just frightened because of a new experience or I felt vulnerable. So I would nurture my inner child by colouring one of the princesses or I would put heart stickers all over my computer. Afterwards, I felt more like an adult than ever—go figure! Try these steps and exercises-they did me a world of good as a woman-child.
 

Action Steps

Acknowledge your inner child. Colour, draw, splash around in puddles, climb trees (no one has to see you!), build a fort, hang out with your kids or other people’s kids.

Acknowledge your self-sufficient side. When you accomplish something celebrate it! For instance, if you went outside your comfort zone and drove a far distance alone or if you showed up at a new club without a companion…congratulate yourself! Anytime you do something that normally feels like a bit of a challenge, acknowledge it. Each time will get easier and you’ll feel more comfortable doing it. Then you’ll have the CHOICE as to whether you accept another’s help or not.

Honour your rebellious side—let your inner warrior come out and play. Instead of traipsing off to a war torn country for some good old fashioned danger, try some smaller challenges. Join a bootcamp. Try mountain climbing. Take up karate. Do “risky” things in small doses more frequently and you won’t end up like a shaken up bottle of pop.
 

Exercise: Little Girl Persona

  1. Write down all the nicknames people have called you and pick out the most little girlish ones. Circle them.
    How did you feel when someone called you those nicknames? Did you rise to the occasion and act more like a little girl? Or did you become resentful and rebellious?

     
  2. Make up three empowered nicknames for your True Self.
    What would your true nature love to be called? Once you have your favourite one, call yourself by the nickname (in your head) at any point when you feel that a pattern has taken hold of you. Repeat it in your mind as many times as you want throughout the day—“I AM_____ (insert nickname). I allow my true self to direct my thoughts and actions.” Mine is: Truly Me (you’re welcome to use that one)!

     

Adapted from Chapter Two of my soon to be launched book:

“What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After”

 

Five Quick Ways to Rebalance Yourself, Anytime, Anywhere

Sometimes as I go about my day, I suddenly realize, the sidewalk is lifting up to meet my face. In other words, I’m woozy, fuzzy and completely off balance. How does this happen?

A number of ways—maybe I didn’t eat enough breakfast, get enough sleep or stand in the shower long enough…those all need to be looked into. Body care comes first.

If you’re still seeing double and couldn’t care less what anyone says to you, just get me off this whirling merry-go-round, then you’re probably energetically off balance. I don’t mean dizzy. There is a difference. Feeling energetically off balance is like watching yourself in a movie—you’re removed, you’re unclear, you’re unconnected.
 

You may experience any of the following:

  • Bone-weary tired like you’d be happy to sleep for a week as a nap before you sleep for another week
  • People really irritate you
  • You feel overwhelmed with your daily tasks
  • You just want to hide under the covers—go back to number one here
  • Emotional—you want to rip your neighbours head off for waving at you or cry like a baby because someone opened the door for you (yes men go through this too!)

Being energetically off balance is nothing to be scared of—you just need some ways to right yourself-anytime, anywhere. Like straightening a picture. Obviously if you are committed to some deep healing work, you would go to a qualified practitioner to help you through the stages of healing. I’m talking about giving yourself a hand throughout the day so that you can function.

All these can be done without anyone knowing what you’re doing or why. It’s none of their business anyway. If you feel shy—that’s the great thing! All of this is completely private and internal.

  1. Breathe.
    Go into a public washroom somewhere and take 5 huge deep breaths and let them out slowly. Control the breathing-this is not Lamaz class or Rocky pre-training pump up. In slowly and controlled-out slowly and controlled. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile (you can leave that out if there is no mirror or if people are around or if you want someone to cock an eyebrow, go ahead!)
     
  2. This is great at work or in a meeting.
    Put your thumb and pinky finger together on the same hand for both hands, so they are touching. This grounds your energy quickly and brings you back to present. It’s amazingly simple!
     
  3. Drink a large glass of water.
    Energetically this is very helpful. Anytime you’re trying to replenish or clear your energy, you need water. This makes sense as the human body is made up mostly of water. You can even bless your water before you drink. The First Nations people did this all the time-ask the energy of the water to heal and balance you before you drink it. Give thanks. Again this is all internal-no one has to know. To everyone else at the office or at home, you’re standing there drinking a glass of water.
     
  4. Protect yourself energetically.
    This can be done in any denomination—this is not a religious act. If you feel comfortable using the word God or Angels or Spirit or the Universe—whatever you call it ask for protection from other people’s energy fields. There are people who even unbeknownst to them, are sucking all the energy out of you. If you feel completely tired and drained after talking to someone and they bounce away feeling great-guess what, you’ve found yourself an energy sucker. Just visualize a light around you holding you in the highest good for all those involved…you will still give positive love and energy to everyone throughout the day, but any negative energies will go elsewhere. This will keep your energy field up and you’ll feel great no matter whose around you.
     
  5. Sometimes in a tense situation, I start repeating an affirmation or positive thought in my mind over and over with amazing results.
    Either the situation resolves itself or the person walks away or something shifts the energy. Thoughts are energy so if you put a loving thought out into the world, things shift around you. Believe me you’ll be amazed!! Some of my usuals are: “All is well” or “I’m complete and whole as I was created” or “I can’t wait to see the good that comes of this”. You don’t have to feel embarrassed that they sound hokey because only you can hear them! Once they start working for you, you will only have positive feelings about them. They have to be repeated though—usually once is not enough. All the affirmations I’ve used come either from Dr Wayne Dyer or Louise L Hay.

There you have it! Easy and quick ways to privately shift the energy around you to reposition yourself standing tall and walking confidently through your day.
 

Add Yourself to the To-Do List

Do you find yourself so caught up in others or helping people that you forget to care for yourself? Do you lose sleep? Forget to eat? Skip meals and go without breaks?

I’ve talked to clients about this and it really is a common spiral that leads you into the realm of breakdown, burn out. I’ve been there. I’ve gone into the obsessive dark side of helping others so much that it was really to my own detriment. I learned this the very hard way.

So, what do you do when you focus too much on others? First, of all I’m not saying that we can’t help people and friends/families-of course being helpful and supportive is what makes the world a wonderful place. Another point—being a parent of course involves doing a lot for your children and making sacrifices. This is needed to raise healthy, happy children, but there needs to be a balance—parent time and/or relationship time. So, overall, there is a limit and we need to see the line in the sand.
 

Take this little quiz to see where you are on the scale:

  1. How many times per week do you skip lunch and/or dinner to run around for people, either at their request, or worse, of your own volition?
  2. How many times per week do you feel resentful of others for not appreciating what you do for them?
  3. How many times per week do you feel exhausted from a chaotic day filled with errands, tasks and jobs that have to do with others and are not in any way supportive of the things you like to do?
  4. How many people do you care for, not including children and spouses/partners?
  5. How often do you find yourself thinking about other people’s problems and dilemmas? Do you lose sleep over them?

If you spend 4-5 days per week on numbers 1-3, then you have definitely left yourself out of the equation.
If you answered the same to number 5 then your time is spent focusing on others to your own detriment.
Number 4 is just to give you an idea of the extent of your responsibilities…that may turn into a burden.
 

What can you do to turn things around?

Here are some things that I do to remind myself that I’m very important and special and without my health, vitality and wellness, there is nothing. I can’t do anything for others unless I have a solid foundation.

  1. Put time into your agenda
    to do some of your favourite silly things that have nothing at all to do with responsibility or obligation (Mine is either: reading an Archie comic, going for a walk in the park beside my house, listening to Hayhouse radio, baking cookies, going to bootcamp)
     
  2. Focus on pampering.
    (Mine are: bath with epsom salt or lavender essential oil, give myself a pedicure & paint my toenails)
     
  3. Take a nap.
    (I love to nap on my days off or in the evening when I get home after a long, stressful day—you can set the alarm if you’re worried about sleeping too long)
     
  4. Stop and assess how you feel.
    (Pick a time in the day-for example at 2pm in the afternoon in the middle of the work day. Go into the bathroom or somewhere private and breathe for a minute and then ask yourself silently, How do I feel? How is my day going? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Pay attention and do what your body or emotional self is asking for. Maybe it means go outside and sit in the sun for 10 minutes or head to the cafe for a latte/tea)
     
  5. Be easy on yourself.
    (Write down at the end of the day—What did I do really well today? What am I proud of that I’ve done for myself today? Give an example of what you did to make your life easier that day…for example, Did I take the scenic route home? Did I voice my opinion in the board meeting?)
     

Try these suggestions for 2 weeks and see how you feel! Focus on the idea that without you, there is nothing. You are the centre of your own universe. You are the most important person to look after and when you do, others will benefit the most.

If this sounds simplistic, it is. Life is not meant to be a struggle. Let’s all keep this in mind as we go about our day, being helpful and supportive (as a balanced, whole person).

 

Photo credit: Brooklyn Morgan

A Walk in the Park with My Thoughts

Put up your hand if it seems like your thoughts run a 24 hour nightclub in your brain. Join the club…no pun intended. Ok, so here’s what I do: A few blocks from my apartment is a beautiful park called Cedarvale. The trails run along the bottom of a ravine lined with large and small trees alike, winding its way through shrubbery and a field of water reeds taller than the average giant. I find myself in there almost every day losing my way in the trails, buffered from the nearby congested traffic.

During my walks I like to look around and take in my surroundings, but mostly my feet pound out the rhythm of my thoughts. I allow them to play around my ankles and weave in and out of the trees. They become almost like a fluid reminder of my life patterns. Only this time they are leaving for good—I watch them go with a pang—because don’t we all love our stories? Yet, what I love even more lately is to unburden myself and leave space for new supportive thoughts and patterns.
 

What do you find yourself thinking about?

My thoughts go something like this: I need to write my article today. What should I write about? Hmmm…oh I wonder why he always walks with so many dogs? How much does he get paid for that anyway? Wow I can’t really imagine doing that…I have no luck with training dogs, they don’t listen to me…I could write about stress. Boring! Ugh Everybody writes about stress…I never have anything new to say. I don’t know why I bother writing anything anyway…no! Lots of people like my articles. Think positively. Don’t people get sore ankles jogging like that? I don’t know how she does it…I should go back to the gym. I really need to find my yoga class. When I get home I’m going to look up a yoga studio. Don’t forget!!…You get the picture. Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy…where it goes nobody knows.

The point is sometimes you need to let your thoughts wander. Pay attention but don’t judge or control them, just allow and listen with your inner ear. If you judge your thoughts, that’s just adding more thoughts and the mess looks like a pile of hopelessly entangled Christmas lights. When I’m able to calmly allow my thoughts (more and more I can say I can) I’m rewarded with a beautiful, soft gem of a thought whispering among the clamour, but bravely asserting itself. These are the inspirations, the wow-what-a-great-idea thoughts. They only come when you allow things to flow and being in nature is one of the easiest ways to open yourself up to these universal taps on the heart. And the best part is…these whispers soon become louder! The next time you go for a walk—notice your surroundings, both inner and outer. You might be surprised at what comes through. Happy walking!