You Can Always Save Yourself

This post is a little different than my previous entries as it relates to a very recent experience I encountered, and I feel the need to share what I’ve learnt.

self-love

I was recently rejected by someone (with very good reason) who I liked a lot and whom I had gotten close to very quickly over a short period of time very unexpectedly. I suppose I had the haze of love hearts that bubbled out of me over this person, and there was serious chemistry and attraction.

This is the second time I couldn’t be with someone I liked and once again I found myself in a position of yearning but not having. But this is the jewel of the learning that I discovered the next day; only you alone can save yourself. You are totally responsible to how you react. If you decide to cry, then do that, but at the very least come away with some understanding and learning from it.

Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘What hurts, instructs.’

If this scenario highlighted anything for me it was the urgency to ensure that I had a stable and healthy relationship with myself, and it gave my wavering identity a full on, solid boost. Something snapped and when it did I realised that no matter what happens in this life, I am and always will be my own hero. I may not always be able to depend on others, but I can depend on me and there is some comfort in that. And it was an inspiring realisation, I was almost a little proud of myself for coming to that conclusion.
I don’t need anything from anyone to make me feel valid, I am as I am. If you have enough love within yourself, it’s all you really need. You are already whole.

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Patience for Others

Patience Blog

I’m on a course that focuses a lot on teamwork and I have to say I’ve learned quite a bit in the last few weeks on communicating and working with others effectively. It has highlighted a key issue that I’ve been struggling with: patience.

Why is there a real need for patience with other people? Because for a lot of us we don’t have it. It’s a lot easier to interrupt when others are speaking so that we can blow out the tension of thoughts that form in our mind like dark clouds to a storm. We seem to think that what we’re about to say is more valid than what they’re currently saying and therefore, we stop listening. Game over.

The reason it’s game over is because you’ve fallen into a trap that a lot of people fall for when communicating: impatience. Patience and listening requires self discipline and is attained only through practice, and the realisation that people are not what our judgement tells us they are, and may have a better point to make than what we may be pushing to say. What I’m saying is that they are complex creatures like ourselves, and when we realise this we can then begin to be empathetic. But I’m diverging.

Impatience can be applied to other situations but regarding people it normally boils down to frustration or disagreement with what they’re doing.

I’ve found that concentrating on inner calm regardless of the environment in which I’m operating (takes practice!) and giving space and real estate within myself for others to make their impressions and have their voices heard, has been an effective tool.

It’s also made me an attractive team member to work with and I’ve found myself in quite a lot of demand as a result!
Collaborating is tricky business, but an essential ingredient to the betterment of humankind. Think of when perhaps Martin Luther King had to be patient and flexible with others in his campaigning, or Ghandi’s non-violent protests which resulted in the liberation of a country. There is something to be said for allowing others to express themselves, whilst maintaining your own counsel and having enough sense of knowing when to exercise power. I believe that can only be achieved through our more intuitive side. It’s maturity manifested in full circle, and others do pick up on it.

The Illusion of Immortality

Death is an uncomfortable subject. It’s awkward. It’s unsettling. Rarely do we ever look beyond our present moment to our final one, and yet it exists for all of us. We are all stamped with an expiration date, none is getting out of here alive.

It’s important to recognise death, what we would perceive as our untimely ending not as a disaster mission, but as merely transition. However it’s easier to forget what looms on the horizon for each of our individual lives and to forget the traditional depiction of a skeleton with the scythe and hood. Pretend it doesn’t exist.

immortality-death-flower
Growth and decay happens to all life.

When people recount on stories of illness or some other tragedy that befalls them, I sometimes read or hear them say, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’. We hold a similar attitude towards death. We are only willing to deal with it when it’s here, as unwelcomed guest.

The Far East has a more interesting and open-minded approach to death. In some places, the dead are brought through the streets in open coffins for all to see, there is an element of acceptance that the person has ‘moved on’ instead of ‘died’.

The West is an entirely different story. In movies, survivors are depicted as the people who ‘made it’ or survived a disastrous situation, let’s say for example, the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (a spectacular example!). What the audience doesn’t see are the years they spend seeing a psychiatrist trying to put the traumatic memories behind them and prepare themselves for a life living with survivor’s guilt. I’m not dissing these action films however, what I find more and more is that people cling to life. Call it the survival instinct I suppose. It’s like they can’t bear or cope with the reality they will eventually have to face. They would prefer to loom an illusion of immortality around themselves, a twilight zone that they cannot remain in.

In one of the books that I have recommended on my website, the author refers to death as someone on your left shoulder who can provide you counsel, if you’re willing to listen. If you’re aware of your immortality it can make you very frank with life, and by that I mean real about it.

A lot of people fall into jobs they don’t like, marry people they don’t truly love and make choices that aren’t in line with their integrity, values or their heart. Y’know your heart? You do have one! I don’t know about you but I get the impression they’re almost sleeping through their lives. And then they die.

I tend to find death as a way of reminding me of the little time I have on this planet and whether there is an afterlife or not is of no relevance. For me, it’s about getting my ducks in a row and hitting on the target points that my heart has set out for me this time round, and not my head. For I think I followed it too much so far in my life.

Setting up this blog and website was my heart’s choice, my mind merely implemented the decision for me through knowledge, coordination and analysing. It’s good when these two work in unison. 😉

What are your thoughts around death? Or is there an ideal way of living? As I believe that ideal way differs from one person to another.

Calendar – Organising and Committing to Tasks

Calendar
noun
1. The bane of the disorganised people’s existence and yet the solution to a lot of their implementation problems. ‘Oh my god, I need a calendar’.

Do you like my definition? Not exactly Oxford’s standard but makes a lot of sense to me (someone who wishes the calendar fairy would come along and wave her magic wand and banish my procrastinating tendencies away!) Picture the fairy dust just waving it all away…Ahem.
Here we go.

calendar-post
Here’s a pic. Of a calendar. In case you didn’t know what it looked like…

I’ve struggled with not just creating an organised calendar but committing to each of the action items. Some tasks really only take a minute whilst others require more effort, brainpower etc.

What I’ve found it really boils down to is self discipline and accountability. You’re the only person responsible for implementing the tasks that you’ve appointed yourself to do, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. Since I’m looking at setting up my own business as well, I’ve found you need to be very committed to what you set out to do which can be different to when you’re employed, as you may have a boss that will cast the odd look over your shoulder. Just, y’know, giving you the nudge.

For those of you who are like me and struggle to engage in organising and committing to tasks, here are some tips:

  • Think about how you will feel after you’ve done the task – you’ll feel good right? Right.
  • Each task brings you a little closer to something or somewhere you want to be. Remember it’s the little things you do everyday that will eventually add up to something bigger. Baby steps guys.
  • Treat yourself everytime you get a difficult task done. It doesn’t have to be major – it could be that new episode on Netflix you’re dying to watch. (Ahem, Marco Polo).
  • If you find that you did skip over particular task, and it’s not time sensitive, push it to another time so you don’t lose sight of it. Try not to repeat too much!
  • I spoke to a business owner recently and he told me to pick a day to go over your weekly calendar. My day is Sunday and I usually revise tasks that need to be done for the upcoming week. It gives you an overview of your schedule and how you see your week going (make you feel organised, even it though doesn’t go as planned).

Has anyone else had the issue of sticking to certain action items on a calendar and getting them done? Or even maintaining a calendar week in/week out? As I know from experience that time management is not my forte! Any more tips are welcome :).

A Simple Guide to Meditation

‘Ommmmmmmm.’

Just joking. But really there’s a reason this practice has been around for so long. It’s very effective, at least it can be when you put in the effort. Let the Q&A session ensue!

mediation-blog
Meditate in nature when you can

You say: Meditation is haaaard.

I know. That is why you start small. Don’t begin with high expectations thinking you’ll be sitting there for an hour glimpsing into the secrets of the universe, they do exist, but that comes with perseverance, patience and time 😉 Commit 5 minutes each morning and eventually you’ll naturally fall into 10, 15 and then longer.

Is it worth it? 

Definitely, depending on what you put into it determines what you get out of it. Like life itself, it’s that simple. For me personally, I’ve found it gives me great perception over myself and my thought patterns and emotional tendencies which can be very empowering. It improves your focus and makes you a calmer person.

‘The thing about meditation is: you become more and more you.’ – David Lynch

My mind won’t shut up. 

Good. That’s natural. And it will be like that for a while. A key practise you could do to get yourself ahead is to instead of being engaged with your thoughts, simply watch them. Taking an outside stance like watching a circus performance. Don’t judge, don’t analyse, just watch. Another way of trying is projecting it onto a massive cinema screen in front of you and you watch it like a film. It gives you a stance of objectivity and a whole new view of yourself.

How do I start? 

Yes – you got to this part! Get a meditation cushion or chair. Sitting on the floor hurts the backside and we’ve all sat through Lord of the Rings. Nobody wants that. It will eventually act as an external stimulus that will trigger your brain to prepare your mind for meditating.

Hmm. Ok, maybe I’ll start.

Go for it! 🙂

Let me know what experiences any you guys have, especially when starting off. When I began a few years ago, I did so with a small book containing easy to-do exercises for 10-15 minutes before progressing for longer.

For additional tips you can try the Psychology Today website – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201303/5-meditation-tips-beginners.

Useful Tips for Journaling

Keeping a journal is like keeping a record of your life. But it can also be a lot more than that. You see, writing down your experiences is great and all but you only gain when you investigate what you have learnt from all these experiences.

journal-blog-image

These are the golden nuggets of your life, for if you journal you gain clarity over aspects of your life and over time you will begin to see a pattern take shape. You may begin to draw the dots on recurring issues you are not dealing with or a repetitive mood or reaction you have to a certain individual. You see more clearly where you’ve come from and added clarity means it can aid you in deciding where you’re going. Some key points:

  • Journal frequently. A few times a week. It’s especially good for those moments when you feel good about yourself but also when you feel bad.
  • Be honest. You’re not writing for a press conference, it’s a safe open space for you to be your true self. Write down things you cannot say to people. Go nuts!
  • From personal experience, I’m familiar with the lightness that I feel once I’ve written something down that is bothering me, whether it’s a situation or a person. Journalling I find is good for dissipating negative emotions and having a more peaceful mind.
  • The clarity you gain about yourself and your situations is everything. It’s empowering. But it only comes from sticking to it.
  • What you do with the knowledge you gain from this technique is entirely up to you. Personally, it helped me figure out a lot of things, namely what I want.
  • Over time, you can look back at how your life has been progressing so far. The highs and the lows. Which can offer you a fresh perspective on your past and how you got to where you are today, and where you’re going.
  • Helps identify your fears.

You don’t have to be a great writer to keep a journal, and you don’t need a fancy notebook that cost you €20 from Easons. Just persistence and having an awareness that it is a resourceful tool during those testing moments in life. What have been your experiences so far with journalling? It’s always good to get insight and input from others!

meditation, spirituality, journaling

All Life is in Transition…

We’re all learners. From a very early age we begin to grow and there is value in it. So why do we not heed certain new information as it arises? Example time. When I was younger I loved to write, but decided that I wouldn’t earn any money from it and needed to be more practical and career focused. Fast forward ten years later and I’ve now turned my back on working for other companies and I’m now doing my own thing. I’ve written my first book out of what will be a trilogy and currently looking to get it published. But I learned that it wasn’t meant for me and was more suited to a different lifestyle and took action. And it takes courage.

Life can be like that. It’s continuous tweaking and adjusting, but as we do that, are we doing it correctly? Through synchronous events, life throws us hints on where we should be or like to go, opportunities arise and we turn them away based mainly on fear. Fear of what could go wrong, what other people will think and of failure. That last one is hard isn’t it? Not only cause it hurts but it’s amplified when it’s social. We don’t want others to see us fall flat on our face.

However, the difference is when you get up.