Today has been one of those days. I was so excited to have a day at home and work from my home office with the Wonder Dog at my feet and the radio on in the background. After a brisk walk around the block with the Wonder Dog the day started well with a list full of things to get done and a mind full of good intentions. After crossing some things off the list it all kind of went pear shaped. I couldn't concentrate. I kept getting distracted and I thought of several more things to add to my list (at least I wasn't just doing nothing right?). And I still had the remnants of conversations from last night echoing in the back of my mind. When a friend asked about biggest fears I confessed.....I have a book inside me (well, several really) that might never get written and if it does who would read it? It was that conversation running around my already hyperactive brain when I went to sleep. And this morning it was there again. I know what to do....block out time and just write. And still I haven't.
This week is also significant because my marriage, which ended five years ago, will be declared over in the family court on Friday. It's kind of a surreal time. New dreams are screaming to get out of me and old ones are being laid to rest. I also have an upcoming trip to the US in November, which I should be looking forward to but right now I'm kind of wondering if I have the time to go and yet I crave some new experiences, sights, smells and sounds to reinvigorate me. Maybe I'm just tired.
We all have these days from time to time. Days where the best laid plans go astray. And days when the things others say and their belief in your triggers your own inner demon who whispers in your ear about all the things on your list to do but haven't yet done, all the things you want to do in the future and what could go wrong and all the dreams you have and why should anyone else care about them. And the little voice that says maybe you don't deserve a holiday. You know what though? I do deserve a holiday. I do deserve joy. I do deserve to stand at the front of a room full of strangers and share the knowledge and experiences that have bought me here. Every single time I start a training I feel a little pang of that imposter.....maybe telling me that I'm not qualified, that people won't like me or that I'm fooling not only them but also myself by being there. And then my good twin steps up to remind me of all the great things that I have experienced. I'm reminded of all the amazing people I have had the honour to coach, teach and mentor. And then I go and look in my brag box which I keep in my office. It's full of letters, cards, messages and little gifts from those whose lives I have touched.
So....when your imposter rears her head (and her voice) tell her to get stuffed! You deserve this (whatever it is) and by golly you are going to relish it.
And now I'm off to take action on the rest of that list because I deserve the success that comes from crossing those things off. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your overwhelm is take a breath, write out all the stuff that is bothering you and get it out of your head.
While it can seem almost impossible to get rid of stress from your life, some simple steps can make you less susceptible to it. It is important to develop a lifestyle that is in line with your values, beliefs and attitudes. If you value family time, make the time to spend with the family. Likewise, if one of your values is good health, make the time to exercise.
Preventing stress need not be as hard as you think. Here are a few simple strategies that you may like to incorporate into your life. They may just help your life to be a little simpler and less stressful.
Dance – get your body moving. Whether you do a waltz, jive, salsa or contemporary dance, as long as you have comfortable shoes, dancing is a great way to both get fit and reduce stress. Exercise of any kind releases endorphins into the system and these are the feel good friends your body needs to maintain good mental health. So get moving and feel great.
Sing – sing along in the car. Singing like dancing releases built up tension in the body. Let it all out. Sometimes a good sing along is as good as yelling or screaming to release tension.
Learn to say no – only say yes to something after you have considered both options. If you do not consider both options then chances are that you are only saying yes out of fear of the consequences of saying no. next time you are asked something, think before you answer. If you need to get some practice in saying no, why not say ‘Let me think about that, I will get back to you’. This way you can think about it and if you feel like saying yes you can.
Get a life coach – this will help you to set goals and keep you on track to achieve them. A life coach is also a cheerleader, teacher and someone who will hold you accountable to your actions.
Cry if you want to – Tears can help the body to release toxins and tension. Sometimes all we need is a good cry to feel better.
Embrace Change – Look at changes as challenges, opportunities and new experiences. Reframing change into a positive light opens you up to the possibilities available within them.
Plan downtime – schedule time that is not allocated for any activity and use it to do whatever you want. Do not feel guilty if all you want is a sleep. Watch a movie, read a trashy magazine, chat on the phone with a friend. Whatever you want to do is fine.
Try adding just one of these strategies to your life every day and see how it transforms your life.
till next time, stay happy.
How good are you at 'going with the flow?' I can tell you it's the greatest place to be. I can also tell you it can be scary. It is often unpredictable, frightening and unsettling. Going with the flow is not a guarantee of peace and harmony that many people think it is. It is a place where change can be rapid and what seemed certain is suddenly not.
It is also a place where if you can maintain a curious mind and be open to the new experiences, your life will be far better than you imagined. The human condition is one that seeks security but gets bored with it too. We all at some stage have a craving for more excitement.
You can read more about this in our newsletter that went out to members here.
So be flexible, and look for the blessings and the lessons in everything. Even that which seems difficult is some of our greatest.
Recently i had the great pleasure to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon doing not much of anything. A friend and I headed east in the car, found a winery, had a cheeseboard for lunch and some great conversation. We then headed back towards home but didn't want the day to end, so ended up at a country hotel, laying in the sunshine, listening to the band. It's amazing how relaxed and recharged you feel after spending time with someone doing not much at all. And the great conversations that are had. I recently wrote about conversations in our newsletter. You can read it here.
Tony Robbins is probably the greatest coach in the world. I was listening to one of his videos recently and he was explaining the fundamentals of leadership. This is what they are.
So today, tomorrow, this week. create a better world for yourself by following theses three steps. And make a way to improve your life. A true leader will either make a way or find one to have a life they love and that serves others as well.
Happy action taking!
Til next time
The photo of the door in this blog was taken on a recent holiday in Bali. It was a large door at the front on a home.
I remember when I was much younger reading a book by W Clement Stone. He states that big doors swing on little hinges. And when i look at a door now I remember that quote. A door can be very large and heavy and yet the hinges can be small and seemingly insignificant.
I believe that we are all hinges. We can make things happens. And there are things that will never happen without us doing our bit. I would encourage you to always see yourself as a hinge. You can move things and overcome things that seem much larger than you. None of your attempts are in vain.
So this week, get out there are swing some doors.
Have a great week.
til next time
Imagine this, your partner comes home from work every day and tells you about all the idiots they have to work with, everything that went wrong and all the problems they are facing on a daily basis at their job. The whole time they are conveying this to you they are feeling all those feelings that go along with those negative conversations. After a period of time they only have to look at you and they feel those things.
Many relationships break down over time because the people in them do not know that what they are feeling while talking to and looking at someone is just as important as what they are saying and the tone that they use.
Now I have had people tell me that relationships are about sharing the good and the bad. That is true yes, however, if someone is stuck in a negative space and share that with their partner all the time, where are the good conversations? Where are the exciting conversations/ Where are the loving conversations?
So I would challenge you, if you are having a bad day at work (or wherever you spend your time) do not always come home and dump all that negativity on your partner. You will come to associate them with those negative conversations and they will come to dread you coming home because they know there will be no good news. Make the time to dream, set goals, discuss desires and share good things with one another and take the work frustrations out somewhere else. The gym is a good place to start. Get that negative stuff out of your system.
I would love to know what you think.
Some days i just cannot get my act together. Other days planning and organizing come much more easily. I have worked out that i can make things easier for myself if I do a few things. So here is my list of the top 5 things that help me get and stay focussed.
1. Eat well - I find if i eat food that is rubbish, I feel rubbish. I feel sluggish, tired and unable to focus. On the other hand, if I eat fresh, clean food, my brain thanks me by being clear and focussed.
2. Exercise - When I have done some excersize everything seems brighter, easier and more do-able than before. This year I made a commitment to myself to excersize more and those days I achieve more in every area.
3. Drink plenty of water - Sometimes our lack of focus is because we are dehydrated. The days when I don't drink enough water, I mentally drift off all over the place. I think the rule is 30mls of water for every kilo that you weigh. That means if you weigh 70kgs, you should be drinking a little over two litres per day.
4. Debate - If there is no-one else around and you are trying to plan and organise something, talk it out with yourself. Debate the pros and cons of decisions and changes that you want to make. You can do this verbally or on paper.
5. Know when to down tools - there may be days when the most productive thing you can do is to do nothing. This might be a bit harder if you work for someone else but keep in mind the leading cause of workplace absences is stress. If you are trying to push yourself and it just is not working, take yourself to a different environment or do something else. Your brain will still be working on the solution even while you are not focussing on it.
I would love to hear your tips for staying focused when you don't feel like it.
This is the time of year when thoughts turn to what goals we want to achieve in the coming months. While most people are off work, the festivities have ended and there is a space between all the 'busy-ness' that is life, we often reflect on what we want to improve on, what we want to leave behind and what new adventures we want to have. Looking back on my goals for last year i was suprised that the biggest one came true for me right near the end of the year. I wanted to travel overseas and did just that in late november. I did not even remember writing it at the beginning of the year. Just goes to show how life works on making things come true.
I also do a goodbye list at this time of year. It reminds me that not everything is forever and sometimes to create room for the new we must let go of the old. I write a goodbye letter to those things i am releasing, thanking them for the lessons and the time. It is for my eyes only (unless i feel like sharing).
What traditions do you have when it comes to writing out new year resolutions? Why not comment and let us know.
There will be times when we experience emotions that don't seem all that positive. When we can learn to accept our emotions we can also find better ways of expressing them in appropriate ways. Some emotions are positive and helpful. We can help ourselves and our children, families and friends how to handle emotions and feeling by learning how to handle our own. Here are a few tips that may help you.
Some that we may struggle with are -
Anger: Often seen as a negative but anger is actually appropriate sometimes. If someone is trying to drag you or someone you love away, then you are quite entitled to feel anger and use that energy to save yourself or your loved on.
In close relationships we can look for the hurt or fear that is underneath of anger. whether in ourselves or others, there is always underlying emotion. Learn to use anger as an instrument for change.
What's really going on?
'I need to communicate this to you in a way that we both feel heard.'
Resentment: is what we often feel when we blame others for how we feel or the circumstances we find ourselves in. Often what we feel as resentment is anger that we have not been able to express in appropriate ways. When we take full responsibility for our feelings we will see that resentment is a problem for us rather than the one we feel resentment for.
What's really going on?
"I need to take responsibility for how I really feel and to change this situation.”
Hurt: We feel hurt when our self-esteem has been wounded. This can only happen if our self-esteem is conditional on what others think of us. If we can learn to express our hurt without getting angry it can enhance our relationships with others.
What's really going on?
"I am feeling unloved or insignificant. I would like to feel close to you.''
Fear: When we feel afraid is can be a sign that we don't have all the information so we should proceed with caution.
What's really going on?
"I need to take care. I need help."
Guilt: We feel guilty when we have done or said something that is in direct conflict with our own rules. This is a way for us to know that there is a better way to respond. We can feel guilty if we think we could have acted in another way or spoken differently. When we learn to think before we speak or act we will feel less guilt.
What's really going on?
"I need to make amends or do things differently next time.''
Regret: We feel regret we often run thoughts of 'if only' or 'what if'. It is often accompanied by sorrow, pain and hurt. When we can let go and accept we can be released from the pain of regret.
What's really going on?
"I need to acknowledge my pain and accept it without denial.''
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.