My 6 steps to living a connected, conscious and happy life that you will love

One of the benefits of living abroad is that despite of spending long periods of time away from the people and places we love the most, when we finally get to see them it is possible to see the growth and changes that have taken place in them and ourselves much easier than if we saw them day to day.  Distance gives us the benefit of objective perspective.

This autumn I appreciated the benefit of such perspective when I  visited a place and some of the people I love most in the world after a long break. Not only was it great to catch up, I repeatedly heard “wow you are so strong and grounded now” (something we all though I wouldn’t be when I lived in this community over 11 years ago). I felt my own strength through their observations. I felt grounded. I felt powerful. I realised that I am living a conscious, connected and happy life. I mean that’s what I have been aiming at right, and when I was with these darling people I knew that all my efforts are truly working and that I am blossoming into my own potential. It felt great.

And it got me thinking about how was it I started this change, this evolution inside me? In essence what was it that I shifted in order to allow myself to grow? Big questions which have, as it turns out, fairly simple answers. If you are at the stage right now where you are thinking I want that kind of shift in me, I want to change my life and live a life of power here are some of the initial things I did to begin on this journey of the conscious and connected lifestyle that I love today.

Taking responsibility

The biggest shift I had to make, anyone has to make, to live consciously and powerfully is to take responsibility for themselves. You simply cannot live consciously and powerfully when you live in a victim mindset. Through the eyes of the “poor little me” mindset everything happens to you, nothing is your fault and you are powerless to change your circumstances. Understanding truly that we are responsible for our lives, what happens in them and the way we respond to the events around us is to be empowered. When we understand that we create our experience in life we get the freedom of choice, the choice to create the experience we want.

It took me many years to understand this until the final aha moment where the penny dropped and I got it. So do get put off if takes you too long to get it. Jim Carey gave a great speech on youtube explore this idea further, our intention creating our experience, check it out for inspiration

The past is in the past

We all have a past. Be it good, or bad, or both. However it is simply the past. Unchangeable and over. When moved to a new country I had the horrible experience of discovering that when you leave everything you know your emotional baggage is still there. Sometimes shouting louder than ever before as there is little to distract it and a lot of new uncertainties to stimulate old wounds. It was all down to the way I told my personal narrative. The stories we tell define us, become us if we lt them. If we keep mentioning the past then that makes it part of our present. Reliving past hurts makes them current in your present. Consider the stories you tell about yourself when you meet a stranger, who do you tell yourself, and them, that you are?  

You have to accept your past. And accept that you cannot change it. Logically there is nothing you can do about what has happened only what does happen. When we accept that our past is over and put it in its rightful place behind us, we can begin to live in our now.

Asking questions

Analysing what is happening in your life. Allowing the understanding that everything has a teaching for us if we look for it makes every part of life more conscious. When life hurls something at you ask questions such as “why did I create this?” or “what is the teaching here?” will empower you to respond rather than react. Looking for teachings helps you understand yourself so much better. We have a saying at home with us “if you understand it you can do something about it”. Understanding and learning are both essential parts of maintaining a connected conscious lifestyle.

Daring to fail

Daring to fail, is daring to do. Nothing is more powerful than taking the first step and then the next. If you don’t dare to fail at something you don’t give yourself the opportunity to grow. And the great thing is if you do fail it is not the end of the world, it is another opportunity to grow. Mistakes after all, are teaching gifts. Use those gifts, learn and then dare again.

Knowing,  loving and being true to yourself

This is a HUGE part of the process. In order to live a conscious and connected lifestyle you have to know yourself, know what is truly important to yourself. There is no point in throwing yourself out into a yoga retreat just because it is supposed to be good for you when you inner you prefers to play ice hockey and gets a healthy buzz and connection doing just that.  Walk your own talk, noone elses. Holding your integrity and living your truth is a major part of having a satisfying life where you respect yourself.

And love yourself as you are. (I know massively huge journey for many of us however the principle holds true). If you can’t love a part of yourself see if you can find out why and what you need to do in order to love that part of you. Then do it. Theoretical thinking, soul searching  is all well and good, however without the support of practical action you won’t get much further in your process. Take the time to connect with yourself as often as you can. I know there are kids, career and other things clamoring for your attention however if you can’t take care of yourself and take the time to love yourself, you cannot do your best in all the areas of life.

Loving the journey

There is no end goal in life. Well unless you count the one where you are in a box. Your life is right here, right now. Life is a journey so make sure you enjoy it. Obviously creating your perfect life will help you do that but in the meantime it is equally important to love your life now too. Enjoy the small things. They are the infrastructure of a strong and powerful life. Practise gratitude. Celebrate successes no matter if they are big or small. And make memories as often as you can. After all when we make it into that box who wants to think I didn’t make time to appreciate and enjoy my journey. Cat Stevens summed it up perfectly “We are only dancing on this earth for a short time” so dance and enjoy. Happiness is a choice we get to make and who wouldn’t rather have a happy life.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Now all of these mindsets and actions don’t come overnight, or even in the short time it has taken you to read this article. They need to be practised over and over again to become natural to us. I still struggle to maintain them. A burnt ruiner lasagna I made for a party was my most recent challenge. However being aware of these choices in our mindset and our actions creates an experience of life that is connected and conscious and mostly rewarding. I love my life, all its ups and downs, small moments and teachings.  Most of all I love the opportunities I have created to continuously blossom and evolve being the strongest Emma I can be. I know that you have the power within you to do just the same.

Have a wonderful week <3

Happiness isa concious choice

 

 

Personal development and lifelong learning is an act of self love (4 min read)

Personal growth is easy when we are young, I mean biology is on our side, so is society, As a child we are literally bombarded with opportunities to learn from kindergarden, school, after school clubs, libraries, museums even summer camps. Our physical and cognitive development is constantly challenged to evolve and how fortunate we are in that. But once we reach adulthood learning, growing and developing becomes our own responsibility and that is often where our development stops. Ironic really when you think science with all of it’s ologists (psychologists etc) has proven that lifelong learning and personal development is a necessary part of mental and physical health. Our cognitive skills can keep developing even as we mature. The brain after all is a muscle and we all know the more we use a muscle the stronger it becomes. Personal development and lifelong learning improves our mental well being. It is in fact (although rarely thought of as such) an act of self love

No one I have ever met knew this better than my Grannie. She died at the grand age of 103 with all of her mental capacities in full function many years after her physical body failed her. While she could she travelled, she read, maintained a voluminous correspondence, she went to lectures (and I mean geology and archeology), gardened and loved her documentaries. She improved her brain constantly and consciously. I remember her saying it was important to keep the brain growing, to keep learning in life to maintain a good quality of life. And she really did. I am certain that if she had been my generation personal development would have been something she would have wholeheartedly embraced and participated in. The point being is that my Grannie born in 1912 was onto something important. If we don’t make the time to cultivate ourselves and grow then we and our quality of life will only wither and deteriorate.

I have met people, and been one of those people, who both doesn’t have time to invest in self love and self growth and boy is the deterioration obvious. Personally my brain felt foggy, I felt stupid and I kept making the same mistakes in my life over and over again. Until I invested in myself. Making me important enough to care for by motivating myself to grow and learn. I can feel the benefits. I am turning 40 soon (the point of cognitive decline apparently) yet I know through the self love I give myself of learning and growing as a person I will continue to evolve mentally and reap the benefits of that growth. And the great part is that in today’s world the opportunities for us as adults to learn and grow are both plenty and easily accessible. We just have to make ourselves important enough to grasp those opportunities.

Over the last few years I have really dedicated the time to this journey of self love, lifelong learning and self development. Am I perfect- hell no! Am I learning – everyday. If you want to focus on giving yourself this self love and care opportunity, even with a hectic schedule here are some of the things I do that might help you on your way.

Ted Talks

Oh how I love these. Short enough for those us with limited time, topics for every taste and always a positive experience. I aim to watch one everyday during breakfast or when I have to commute. A great and easy way to learn something new, provoke a new habit or action.

Personal development gurus

There are literally hundreds out there. However again university youtube gives you access to all of them. As do audio books, ebooks and the traditional paperback ( my favourite). Thousands of hours of other people’s lives and learning out there for you to access and grow from. I  read one personal development book for at least 10 minutes everyday. This way  I can read at least 6 personal development books a year. It doesn’t take a huge chunk of my life and yet it gives me so much.

Brain gym

Do you remember the fad for brain training products a few years back? Ok well at least 10 years ago. These guys (although got into law suites for bad advertising campaigns) had a good idea. Now whether or not the health benefits they promised are true, my own opinion is that brain workouts such as sudoku, crosswords puzzles, rubik cube or even mindfulness colouring books all increase the brain’s cognitive activity which will exercise that big old muscle. Again easy to do whilst commuting, in lunch breaks and after the kids are asleep. I like to do colouring when I am watching some netflixs on evenings where I just need to wind down and get re-energised.

Journal

Whenever you can in moments of stress, happiness, or just for 5 mins everyday, write. On a computer or in a notebook. Allow your thoughts to stream out and clear your minds. A clear mind has space for new information so write, write, write.

Get a new or improve an existing skill

Not rocket science to figure out how this works. Applying for cpd training at work (continuous personal development) solves a time issue for studying. Or if you want to go all out there are evening schools, online courses and universities. You don’t even have to go down the education route. Documentaries are a really good way of learning new stuff in a short space of time. I love the Crash Course series on youtube and of course the networks are bursting with options. Wether it’s career orientated, or pleasure oriented there is so much info out there which you can access in a way that fits your life.

And of course you can always learn something new, hobbies are a great way of challenging yourself to grow. These days youtube, google and pin interest not to mention thousands of online forums, make it so much easier to try a new hobby. I have in the last 7 years both learnt a new language and been back to school for a year to do an education in that language, as well as re started my belly dancing. This year I am already signed up for two new courses one career related and one to support my own personal development.

It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, my Grannie is proof of that.  Write a list of the things you always wanted to learn whether it’s waterskiing or patchwork and then choose something that fits your time and your budget and go for it.

Get physical, get outside

Not only does your brain need input and challenges, it also needs oxygen and blood pumping to it. I am the world’s worst at doing exercise or training  (at the moment) however I found gardening helps me to move and get outside. Also going for walks. Or scouring the local area for places to visit. New things, new sights are wonderful for mind body and soul. And if you can’t afford a holiday every year finding fun adventures where ever you live makes life more fun and more active.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

There are many, many ways to give yourself the self love of personal development and lifelong learning. They don’t have to be big major habit changing things, sometimes just a decision to prioritize yourself and one simple action can be the nudge you needed in the right direction to improve your mental health and make your life a better experience.

Remember a good day is a day where you learn something new ……..

Have a great week <3

Never stop learningBecause life never stops teaching.jpg

 

 

Nature as a mirror for our growth – the teachings of autumn

In you live in the world where it is autumn you cannot help but notice the beauty as nature shows us its full glory before the year darkens and hibernates. John Howard Bryant called autumn “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” For me it is a time when the world burst with it’s final boost of energy creating a masterpiece whilst gracefully surrendering to the winter. Autumn reminds me of a grandmother and child walking together through the piles of golden leaves. On the one side is the wisdom of a long life and on the other the playfull bursting energy of youth. Love it or hate it you cannot deny that the autumn is a striking time of year and one I find that has much to teach when we take time to listen.

This weekend I have been hosting two workshops about rerooting with and learning from nature and the wheel of the year (my heart project).Whenever I run these workshops I always learn and grow myself, which of course is a huge part of why I love to hold them. In the last two days I have had the opportunity to observe, reflect and connect with this beautiful time of year and as always in this time of reroot mother earth has given me some insights into my own and other’s life situations.  I would like to share these reflections with you.

The teachings of Autumn

In the last stages of life we are at our strongest and most beautiful. Autumn really shows us that the last stage of life, the last stage of growth is the most beautiful. The winds of change surround the trees but in that turbulence they stand strong and beautiful gracefully surrendering each leaf and the last seeds to the earth. The leaves are brittle as are we in old age however in their frailty they have a core strength which holds them on the trees until the moment when it is right to depart. In a way this can relate not only to the later stages of life but to our own struggles within life. During times of turbulence when we draw on our resources we can even when at our most fragile be strong and beautiful. When we surrender and let go we will fall to the forest floor however this fall is only the beginning of a new journey where the old feeds the new growth in the coming spring.

Letting go and Acceptance with dignity

It is in this process of shedding of leaves and turning to winter autumn is one of the most peaceful times of the year. Take a walk in a forest, park or even a graveyard and you will see that as our human world rushes by when we are with nature this time of year in particular has a special feeling of dignified peace. Autumn teaches us that change is inevitable and that it need not come with drama and struggle, that in fact natural change evolution happens in peace and dignity every year. For me it particularly reminds me that even within our time of dark (or the winter) that even in our shadow we are beautiful, graceful and dignified when we accept without judgement the process we are in.

Letting go does not mean we are weak and not effective

For some autumn represents a time of death and yes I agree with this as obviously all around us the non evergreen plants are dying. Yet I do not completely agree. If you take the time to look you will notice that there is still growth in autumn, it is slowed down, however in this time of peace it is there, the land is still fertile. I had the amazing opportunity to hear the inside of a tree gurgling (just like when you listen to a stomach). I had always thought that the sap within a tree retreats in the winter however what I learnt after (thanks google-fu) is that the sap within a tree slows down in the winter. It is still there hidden within nurturing the tree. Autumn shows that when we let go and slow down we can still be effective. We can still nurture and grow and achieve however it is at a slower pace. Slowing down can be just as beneficial and pushing towards a goal and by surrendering to the process as autumn does we are simply allowing ourselves to be efficient and productive in a different way.

————————————————————————————————————————

I believe that each season has a teaching for us if we take the time to look for it. One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to use nature as a mirror and learn how to observe what is happening to nature and compare it to where we are in our life at the moment.  Find some time to go out into the world this November and watch as the world turns from autumn to winter, give yourself the opportunity to reconnect and learn as well as simply enjoying this beautiful time of the year

Enjoy your journey <3

If you would like to find out more about working with nature as a mirror for your personalet growth then the Walking the Wheel of the Year personal development program could be for you – find out here

Autumn.jpg

Which me is reacting to you? (A guide to understanding tour reactions)

When Shrek told donkey that ogres were like onions he wasn’t wrong. We are all like onions we all have layers. No matter who you are on the surface today, there is layer beneath layer of your past and personality bubbling just under that surface. And sometimes these layers, these different versions of you, react to situations in your daily life without you even knowing it. Infact it’s often hard to know which you is responding to a situation.

This week I was fortunate to have a chance to peel back the layers in my life and wow did I get a shock. As I peeled back through different stories of my past I began to find parts of myself I thought long gone, were actually still there, large as life, and often influencing my reactions to people and situations in my now. It was an incredibly powerful experience and gave me a deeper understanding of myself and the way I interact with people. The biggest shock was although my grown up nearly 40 self thought I was in control it turns out that underneath the surface there is a frustrated teenager and a scared little girl who alternately react to the people in my life without me realising it. Once I recognised them it became so clear as to why I immediately begin to rage the minute a parental figure tries to interfere in my future plans and why it was that a person who represented consequences for me sparked off my insecurities. Completely unbeknown to me this little girl and teenager had been running a huge part of my adult life and my default reaction patterns came from me then not me now. Wow.

Now as you may know I am a big advocate of responding as opposed to reacting to things in life, consciously choosing rather than running on autopilot. So you can imagine my surprise at this new discovery. However it’s a great teaching, suddenly I am so much more aware of which me is trying to react to a situation, I can understand on a deeper level why things are affecting me emotionally and I feel so much more in control. It’s empowering.

Many of us have a struggle with reacting rather than responding. It’s partly due to our dna response fight or flight. However if we learn to peel back the layers and get to know the roles and dramas that lie inside of us, then we can learn to consciously take control of our emotional responses. With that knowledge we can begin to naturally respond to life’s curveballs. Obviously this is a HUGE journey of self discovery and cannot be covered by a quick how to guide. However if you would like to begin peeling back the layers of yourself then here are a few steps you can take to begin this journey.

Identify milestone versions of you

You need to look into your past and identify the main versions of you that are close to the surface. Look at how do you remember yourself as a child, a teenager, in your 20s, 30s, etc

Were there any significant events in your life that you remember effecting you. For me I had a specific photo as a little girl who embodies my memory of me as a child and an old beanie hat that reminds me of my very confused teenage self. Find these versions of you and give them a name.

Identify emotional characteristics of these versions of you

Now in a journal start to define these versions of you.Take each one and try to write some key words down emotions you associate with them. So for example my little girl was scared and desperately wanted to be good enough. My teenager was frustrated and angry, ready to defend herself at the drop of a hat. Write as many keys words or insights as you can for each of the versions of you that you have identified.

Investigate the triggers and reactions

Look at each version one at a time. Try to remember through free writing what triggers would be the catalyst for the emotional characteristics, and what  response this version of you had to specific situations. So for example with my teenager I could identify that when she felt disapproval of her she would react defensively, angrily trying to justify her actions, usually resulting in arguments with loved ones. My little girl would get scared by arguments because she thought they were her fault and so she tried to be good enough. If you have identified a lonely little boy you might discover that he would tease his sister at home when he felt lonely at school. Try and find the triggers and reactions for these versions of you. Don’t worry if you can’t get them all at once, baby steps is definitely the way here.

Compare the triggers then and the triggers now

Ok this is a little harder but incredibly powerful. Take one version of you. Look at the triggers you identified and now try and find a similar situation or a similar emotional response on your life now. I found that when me Mr T asked me why I did something a particular way it actually kicked off the “I am not good enough” feelings of my little girl. It is amazing the more you look into these triggers and responses the more you will see patterns emerging.

What next?

So now you have all this information what to do with it? This is now a guideline for you. You can look at your emotional characteristics and response patterns of the past versions of you, if you have unhealthy patterns then start to work out strategies that are healthy. I am now working on discussing my frustrations with parental interference with them instead of exploding behind closed doors. You may have discovered some unhealed wounds that are too big for you to deal with alone, if that is the case then please do seek support.  You may find that simply by having identified which you is responding to a situation that this makes you more conscious in your interactions with others. Each of us is different so what we do with this journey of self discovery is up to us.

——————————————————————————————————————–

As I said before this is a huge journey and much bigger than I can cover in one article. However I hope that this gives you some inspiration to begin to understand the layers you have within you. For me this journey has been a wonderful exploration of myself. It has raised my consciousness of self to another level and is bringing a sense of peace to my life in areas I didn’t know needed it. And that in itself is a powerful healing. I hope that you enjoy this discovery process as much as I did

Enjoy your journey<3

Do not allowyour

#lifelessons101: Finding your integrity

This week I was supposed to be hosting an important event – the first meeting of a new women’s circle in my local library. I was so excited to be taking on the challenge of creating a new sacred space for women in a traditional male dominated community. However due to miscommunications it has now been postponed for one month. And honestly I am feeling glad. Why? you might ask. Well it was all to do with this month’s theme. Integrity.

It might seem strange. Integrity is a positive thing. Living a life of integrity, or coming from a place of integrity is powerful. Yet have you ever stopped to think what integrity means to you? How do you live your life from a place of integrity? Honestly these questions stopped me flat. For two weeks I have been mulling this theme around and around in my mind and I have to admit it’s made me feel uncomfortable.

As I thought about it I realised that actually although on the surface I do live a life of integrity when I began to look deeper I realised that that’s not always the case. Integrity to some people means doing the right thing, and yes that is part of it. However for me integrity is much more than that. It is a sense of wholeness. Being in the flow of living from one’s truth and walking your talk. It’s hard to explain but if you remember that uncomfortable feeling you had as a child when not telling the truth, that is the opposite of living in integrity.

So through some google-fu, university youtube and a lot of soul searching here is my guide to finding your integrity. If I am to be completely truthful this article has been researched and written for my own benefit, if it helps and inspires you then that is an added bonus!

Define your core values

In 3 words define your core values. Sounds simple, I promise you this is the most challenging part of the journey. In order to live your truth you need to know what your truth is. Cutting it down to three words keeps you focused and keeps it simple.

Make an agreement with yourself that you are choosing to live your life in harmony with these core values.

Who are you?

Are you the kind of person you say you are? We all have personal narratives, stories we tell about ourselves. Have a look at that. What is it you put out into the world? What is it you tell the world about you? Are you actually living your life as the person you say you are? And most importantly is that person living in harmony with your core values?

Identify your untruths

Somewhere you will be living little lies that are not inline with your core values Find them. Identify them. You will probably find that here are areas of your life that you don’t like and that actually have created a lack of trust in yourself. Find out your weak areas so you can tidy them up.

Vision and action inspiration

It is not enough just to think we also have to do. Walking your talk is a BIG part of living a life of integrity. Create a personal vision statement that gives you clarity about your beliefs and will lead you to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Then brainstorm certain actions you can take which will align your daily life with your core values and vision of yourself. If you like you can brainstorm for certain areas of your life such as family, work, myself etc etc.
Put it all into practise

Living with integrity means living consciously, making decisions that are in line with our core values and doing what we believe is right. So now you know your core and have ideas for your actions go out and do them. Don’t worry if you make mistakes just bring yourself back on track and if you need to tidy up your mistakes. Keep your agreements. Speak and live your truths and take responsibility for yourself and your life.

——————————————————————————————————————-

You have inside of you a little voice (or jiminey cricket if you prefer a visual representation) that will tell you when you are not living in tune with your integrity so learn to listen to it. The more you try to hear it the easier it will become. Reclaim your integrity this weekend and go back to work rested and ready to show the world you respect yourself enough to live your truth and I am certain the world will begin to respect you a hundred times more than it did on friday!

HAppy Weekend  – Enjoy your journey <3

To live life with INTEGRITY means never forgettingwho you are

Do you want to be effective in your life? Then simplify !

Ever felt like a headless chicken running around in circles getting nowhere?  My life used to just like that. Every minute was filled up,  from the moment I awoke until the minute I went to bed. I did so many things that it used to stress Mr T out just watching me. And det with all the running around, never ending to do lists and the constantly on the go life style I didn’t feel like I really got anywhere. Sure I got things done, a lot actually, however time to relax, to have fun to enjoy life that simply wasn’t there. And if I did get time to relax I didn’t know what to do and felt guilty if I did. It was a vicious circle, an exhausting vicious circle. Do you know the feeling? It’s horrid. For me it actually lowered my self esteem because I never felt like I really got anywhere because there was always more to do.

That however was until I learned to simplify. Now don’t get me wrong I still do my to do lists and my goal setting, it’s just I simply do them with a different attitude.  Through Google- fu and some gentle coaching  I discovered that the way to simplify was made up of the three ‘r’s’ Rest, Repetition and  Rhythm. Honestly these three things have completely simplified my life, given me (and Mr T) peace as well makes my working hours and r and r so much more effective.  I still work hard, just intensively some of the time, not crazily busy all the time.

Now just to clarify when I talk about simplifying my life I am not talking about a form of minimalism. I mean simplification of my everyday life and rituals, my planning combined with the forming of new habits and installing a routine and rhythm to my everyday. And yes I can hear you brain clicking out of ‘I am interested’ to ‘Argh I hate routine’ mode, just wait. I know it all too well, I too have been a routine hater ever since the day they gave me insulin and told me all my meals had to be at the same time everyday. However the routine is more like a fixed rhythm. Just like music some parts of the music repeat and regular intervals and other parts are more fluid. And honestly it is both exhilarating and releasing.

So if you want to be more effective and free up more time simultaneously! Then I highly recommend you read these steps to a simple and effective life and then more importantly go out and try them. After all planning is only half of goal completion, action is the most important part.

Rest

NOw this whole simplification came about in my life thanks to one of my personal coaches. She asked me “when do you take a break during the day?” I was like break??? -hah! I just keep on going, I keep on running until the engine is empty, and then I relax. (Even as I said it I could hear how unhealthy it sounded.) So together with my coach we brainstormed ways I like to relax and discussed how long I  could seriously dedicated to resting each day. We ended upon agreeing that I would read or draw for at least 15 minutes a day (doodling on my phone and computer was not relaxing enough). Then my coach pushed my boundaries and said she wanted this break to be in between my working day and my evening at home. UGH! However after some persuasion I agreed. Now everyday at 5pm my work day ends and I dedicate 30 mins to reading. (Yes 30 mins, at the start I didn’t believe I could do 15 but now I have found 30 mins after work and before making dinner is the optimal time for me to wind down and recharge).

To start your simplification of your life find a time you will rest everyday, workout how you can switch off and dedicate AT LEAST 15 mins to  it. Keep to the same time everyday. (I do this also on weekends as well as work days).  Some people may say okay well I am on public transport at this time or I have the kids so I can’t make me time. Sorry my friend but that is your victim talking. Make time. A bus journey can be made relaxing with a book, or music or even and audio book, making a wind down time everyday for the whole family to get a recharge is a gift to all of you not just yourself.  Be creative and figure out a solution for you. It is after all the minimum of 15 minutes you can give yourself that.

Repetition

Everyday we make thousands of unconscious and conscious decisions.  What to wear, what to eat, who to call, when do we shop. It can get so tiring. The whole time you are making these decisions you are using mental energy which lowers your battery. If you think of it as though your mental energy per day is like your phone battery, each decision lowers the bar. So what if you could save some of that energy instead wasting it on millions of decisions. You can!

I got this idea from Steve Jobs, who wore the same outfit everyday to eliminate the ‘what do I wear ?’ choice from his morning routine. I don’t wear the same outfit everyday, however I have made a repetitive system around the preparing of meals and shopping of food in our house. It started with taking the decision to shop only once a week which eliminated all of those minutes of waiting in line on the way home. Then I decided to make one big batch of food every sunday freeze it down and fill our freezer with ready made home cooked dinners. It worked well, however I noticed that part of my day was often filled with wondering what we were going to eat that evening. So I now make a weekly food plan. I do this before I go shopping. Every day we have the same breakfast and lunches (although in the plan I switch it up a little, sundays were made for brunch right!) and then I plan which evening dinners I will use in that week. It has made thinking about dinner so much easier. I just follow the plan. Now I use only 10 mins a week tops on the ‘what to eat’ question. So much easier and gives me so much more time. The added bonus of this is that when I go food shopping I now save money and time because I know exactly what I need and don’t get distracted. Also that plan is a guideline if we fancy pizza one night then we do get pizza but now it’s fun not stressful.

At home we do this not just with food but with laundry and house cleaning too. A great way to start is to make a list of the decisions you make in your everyday. Try it for a few days, then look at your lists and see where you can simplify? Where can you minimise your decision making? Where can you save your energy? And remember don’t try this a few times and then say oh well that didn’t work. Remember it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. Stick at it and you will feel the benefit of extra mental energy.

Rhythm

Once you have started to get some rest and repetition into your life the last step in the simplification process is to define your rhythm. If you like me love lists then you will love this. There are 3 steps to building your rhythm.

Step 1: I start every month by making a month list of the things I need to do. This list is under four headings

Life – doctors appointments, mechanic visits etc

Work – er.. that should be self explanatory

Me – the things I want to do for me

Social – social engagements etc

(You can also include a family section).

Step 2: I make my weeks schema from this list. On my skema are areas that are fixed, like the food shopping, laundry (we also have date night).  Then there are areas that are blank when I pencil in tasks from my list. This has been so effective that I now actually have 7 evenings off (not entirely easy when you are self employed). I know what is coming in a week and I don’t have the constant must remember to do x, y and z running around in my brain. All that mental energy freed. Remember yours is particular to you. You create your rhythm with fixed parts and the free movement.

Step 3: Every morning I make a todo list from that days plan on my week schema. Sometimes unexpected things come up and the plan altars a little but it doesn’t matter. using this system I KNOW I have more than enough time to do everything I need and want to do.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

It really is that simple! I have so much more mental energy. Infact I often find myself wondering how did my workload get so light. It didn’t I just simply started to be really effective with my time and efficient with my energy. Have a play with this over the next few weeks and see if you can simplify your life and find a rhythm. I’d love to hear any tips and discoveries you make on your journey here so please write in the comments how this worked for you or visit the Re:Root Facebook page.

Simplify your LIFEandget EFFECTIVE!.jpg

 

 

 

Have a lovely simple and effective week – enjoy your journey <3

How to communicate your self worth in your relationships

Recently a friend who is in a new relationship was having trouble communicating with her new partner. Her problem was something we have all been through. She wanted him to do something differently but was afraid to speak her mind in case it put the relationship in danger. (We have all been there at some point or other.) I gave her some advice and it seemed to work, however this situation got me musing. When not speaking up doesn’t serve us, why is it we are so afraid to communicate ask for what we want in our relationships? Of course there is the obvious answer of the fear of rejection or hurting someone you love, however I felt there might be something deeper at the root of this fear. And there is. It all boils down to self worth.

The paradox is this that in order to communicate openly what we want we actually have to truly believe we deserve whatever it is we want. If we believe wholeheartedly that we deserve something then we are much more likely to stand up for ourselves and ask for what we want. If you have low self worth (or by another name low self esteem) you will have trouble speaking up for yourself. The irony is that in order to improve your self worth you actually have to speak up for yourself. Another paradox – yey! (Sarcasm intended.)

So it’s a double paradox and a situation that usually results in people doing the proverbial impression of an ostrich and burying their heads in the sand, or in you and me terms closing down, not saying anything, until it boils up into a huge problem and a future topic of one hell of a row with your partner. You can get stuck in that pattern forever…

However you don’t have too. You’ll be glad to know there is a way out of this conundrum. It took me awhile to learn it yet it is possible if you are willing to keep on going.  With a little effort you can break down this pattern. Below are my ……. steps to communicating your self worth  in relationships I know if you follow them and stick at it you will find that the bonus is not only will you have happier, healthier relationships you will also have a higher sense of self worth!

I am worth it

L’Oreal’s classic phrase “I am worth it” needs to be your mantra. You are worth it. You are just as important as the other person in your relationship. A healthy relationship is balanced. You need to both treat yourselves, each other and your emotional experiences with equal high worth and importance. Look at yourself every morning in the mirror and say I am worth it!

Bravery

Ok, this can be tough and it is important. Be brave. One of my life’s favorite quotes and motivation is the saying “Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is having a fear and doing it anyway”. If you don’t ask you won’t get. If you don’t try and change a pattern it will never change. If you don’t explain to your partner what you need they can’t automatically fulfill that need. You have to be brave enough to try and brave enough to fail. Because honestly communicating your worth doesn’t always get the result you like or wanted. In that case that person was not right for you. If your partner can’t value you and your needs then they are not MR or Mrs *the one* and you can do better. In which case you have to be brave enough to try again. I cannot stress the importance of the bravery to dare.  In everything it is an essential tool in your life.

Get clear

Get clear around what you want. How many of us have tried to have an important conversation with our partner without defining what we want, identifying our desired outcome or planning the conversation and the whole thing has been a fiasco? I know I have. If you want communication to be clear then you need to get clear. I  use John Gray’s “Love letter technique” ALOT!. I cannot recommend it highly enough as a brilliant blueprint for effective communication with a loved one (and that is with family members or friends as well). But if that doesn’t work for you there are many other strategies around online. A few of them will be on the Re:root Facebook site this week to inspire you.

Boundaries and compromise

Know your boundaries and know where you will compromise. This is both a key element of empowering your self worth and empowering your relationships. There are things we will do and won’t. Things we will accept and things we won’t.  Know what is acceptable for you and know where you will be flexible and your relationship with flourish.

Giving respect

You are not the only person to have a hard time saying what you want. It could be that your partner has it just the same way. When you talk to them give them the chance to tell you about their needs too. Don’t make them feel like you are nagging but you are looking for solutions that work for both of you. Make the opportunity to fulfill their needs as well as yours. Compromise can be absolutely key here. And don’t forget to be grateful for the changes they make for you and appreciate what they do so that they can see you are grateful, gratitude goes a long way.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Remember if you treat yourself and your partner as though you have a high sense of self worth that is what will resonate back to you. Honestly it doesn’t matter who the relationship is with these steps work equally s well with your boss, your mother as they do with your partner. Only you can vocalize and show the world how much you are worth it. So use your voice to show them how you shine and believe me people will start to treat you with respect and value.

Tell the world you value yourselfand it will value you.jpg

For more life inspiration check out Re:Root on Facebook. If you are interested in  improving your self worth Re:Root offers life coaching over skype.