One of the fundamental steps to living your dream life is enjoying where you’re at right now, it’s being grateful for all that you are and have. And I’m not talking about all the stuff you have. I am talking about how much love is in your heart. I’m talking about how easy it is to express that love to self and others.
When in Clinic, I’m liaising with clients who are so busy helping everyone else but themselves and I liken the need to nurture self as a vital step in moving forward on their journey path – and by that I mean the essential journey, back to self.
Think of yourself as a bucket of energy. When you give your time and focus to another, you give a little bit of the contents of your bucket contents away. You don’t easily get this back. If you fill your bucket and allow it to overflow, you can then direct the overflow to others, saving the bucket contents just for you. This means that you are always energised and raring to go. This means that your focus remains on YOU, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there!
This is important in this day and age in these busy lives that we live. The other thing to consider is that when we keep our energy to ourselves we increase our ability to remain focused on self – your health, your vitality, and your dreams. Not the drama of another.
Tony Robbins was once quoted as saying “if you cant find 10 minutes each day for yourself, you don’t have a life”! This resonated strongly for me, making me think about how important I am in my life – and that’s me!
So when I am looking after myself properly I feel absolutely effervescent! I am high on life.
Here’s some of my top tips for nurturing self.
1. Remain hydrated at all times – our body and brain need lubrication to bring oxygenated and nutrient rich blood and lymphatic fluids for maintaining ideal function. Reduced hydration means our organs work harder to dispose of wastes. We can feel sluggish and don’t function at our best.
2. Eat plenty of veggies – vegetables are colon cleansers packed with nutrients to fuel our bodies and brain. If we want to remain focused on self we need our brains functioning at optimum power.
3. Send loving messages to self – this may be the use of daily journalling or simply reading positive affirmations! I start every new year and in fact, every single project I embark on, with a love letter to myself. I write a letter to future myself, expressing gratitude for the creativity and time I invested in my success and achievements. In other words, I write my future self a letter expressing gratitude for the life I am intending to happen – my dream life.
4. Set boundaries – it’s vital to set boundaries for things that you will and will not do for self and others around you. It’s especially vital to set boundaries for others who act like energy vampires! We’ve all encountered someone from time to time, who after a single conversation can leave you feeling drained, depressed or even exhausted! Learn to say no, or limit time spent with these people. Say yes to you!
5. Be grateful – The more grateful you are, the more present you become, the more joy you bring into your life. The more joy you experience, the better you feel. The more you feel good, the more motivated you will be to continue feeling like this.
It’s ok to have off days, but maintaining a practice of gratitude each day, like this jar (whereby every time you feel good about something you write it in the jar and nominate a future time to open the jar and read all of your good experiences).
I have one of these in Clinic and will often randomly message a client with a reminder from a lovely moment we shared.
6. Get a massage – it sounds obvious, but touch from another person stimulates feelings of belonging, nurture and relaxation. As a professional massage therapist, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a client hobble into my Clinic space with a grumpy attitude and leave with their shoulders back and a smile on their face.
7. Be your own advocate – once you’ve gone within and explored strengths and weaknesses, you can then step into your light and shine your light to the world. You can advocate for self in terms of what you’re good at.
You can also show vulnerability and your human imperfection side, allowing self and others to observe your weakness. This in itself is an incredible strength of resilience to have and share with the world. Recognising your weaknesses is also empowering because you can either delegate and seek assistance or train to acquire the skill.
8. Believe in self – it’s vital to understand and acknowledge your strengths – so that you can use what you’ve to move forward on your journey.
Understanding of both strengths and weaknesses, allows you to draw upon your life experiences, knowing intuitively what will work or won’t.
9. Good sleep hygiene – after suffering debilitating insomnia for several years, I discovered the importance of essential sleep hygiene patterns. Create a routine whereby you can easily wake refreshed every single night just by cleaning up your sleep routine.
Try eliminating blue light exposure at least two hours prior to going to bed. If you can’t go without technology, then install red light filters onto your mobile phone and tablets. Avoid TV right before bed. Sugar is definitely out after dinner and try not to snack before bed.
10. Take a walk along the beach – every chance I get I will splash in the water. I’ve been seen in my gorgeous red gumboots in the middle of winter, jumping in rock pools whilst collecting shells.
I love frolicking and connecting with the kinetic energy of the waves. It’s extremely cleansing, and in the summertime, the salt water and sand is a fantastic exfoliant for the feet!
Often I will take a bag of my crystals and wash them in an outgoing tide to refresh them!
11. Watch the sunrise – It’s invigorating and magical, getting up in the dark and watching the last star fade away as the sun chases the moon! You get to start an entire new day!
It’s nearly always chilly in the early hours of the morning, and extremely invigorating when out walking. Literally everything you see changes in front of your eyes, reinventing itself as the light begins to shine!
12. Sit in the warm sun and read a book – have you got a favourite comfy chair? Ever blobbed in your favourite chair with the dog at your feet, a hot chocolate and a good book? What a delicious way to relax and gift self a couple of hours!
13. Watch a movie that makes you belly laugh – our family are big movie buffs. Whilst technology and sci-fi rate highly, the funnier the movie the better. Often there are verbal replays of great one-liners for weeks to come after a good movie – so the entertainment continues.
14. Make a bucket list – there’s a movie about it, but have you got one? Mine is constantly being revised, as I tick off things that I’ve done and accomplished! I love exploring new places and immersing myself into new cultures. I also like challenging myself and removing fears out of my system.
15. Play a board game – my family has developed somewhat of a routine with special friends and family members, often who come on a Friday night for dinner. Everyone takes it turns cooking, and we play board games that make us think. Traditional and perhaps a little old-fashioned – well maybe, yes. Boring? Hell no! There’s raucous laughter and debate of accused cheating and reaching for the rule book, and presently the girls are beating the boys! There’s nothing wrong with ditching technology and the idiot box and having actual conversations with people. It’s inexpensive and can be as simple as playing different games with a deck of cards.
16. Spring clean your space – as I write this I’ve literally gutted each of the bedrooms in the house whilst on my annual Christmas break. We’ve gone through wardrobes and toy boxes. We’ve repurposed everything we no longer use, sharing with those less fortunate. We’ve also adopted the new philosophy from friends traveling around the country in a caravan – you can only purchase new stuff if you’re getting rid of something old. That way we won’t recluttter the house!
17. Have a manicure or pedicure – did you know that reflexology maps out all of the body areas on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Therefore, whenever you have someone stimulate your hands or feet, you’re treating your entire body!
18. Go to your favourite restaurant – this might only happen every now then due to budget or child minding constraints. But when you do get to go, savour every mouthful. Enjoy the textures, the flavours, the scents and the visual creations plated up for you to have a food-gasm!
19. Re-create your favourite dish – my daughter is now sufficiently old enough to learn to cook. For advanced activities I support, but for the most part, she is learning to chop and dice, stir and shake. It’s a bit sneaky, but she thinks she is training to be the next Masterchef. I’m just making sure she’s got enough skills to survive when she’s old enough to move out, and won’t be tempted to live off take away!
Exploration of food is vital in today’s society, where convenience food (food in a packet) can be readily purchased. But with global health declining, one must ask oneself, is what is inside the package actually food. That’s entirely another blog!
20. Visit a playground – how long has it been since you swung on a swing? Or climbed a tree? Or rode a bike? When did you last play, like a child? Role-playing enables children to connect with their innocence, to act out certain feelings, to express themselves, and to practice societal roles (ie being a parent or teacher). Allowing yourself to play like a child, connects you with a simplistic view of life, disconnecting from the busyness, even if only or a moment or two.
21. Moisturise your body after a shower / bath – it’s like giving yourself a massage. I massage topical magnesium oil every day with a homemade body cream (containing aromatherapy oils). My legs and arms never get tired, and I feel revitalised after some quick lymphatic drainage moves! All upward movement from your ankles or wrists is a lovely way to flush the limbs. Note if you have any medical condition, please check with your medical practitioner that this is suitable.
22. Watch the sunset – sometimes we have those days where we want to go back to bed and hide. There’s nothing more delicious than watching the sunset and saying goodbye to the day we’ve had, and hello to the sparkles in the sky.
23. Play your favourite dance music – often when it’s time for my family to arise on a school day, I’ll crank up the dance music as I’m cooking breakfast. I’m jigging around the kitchen, laughing as small person (ie tweenie who likes to sleep) emerges from her room questioning why I’m so chirpy. It’s a great motivator for movement! Think of the Rocky films and that theme song where you want to jump out of your chair and punch the air!! Right??
24. Find your favourite cafe – I have date day with my daughter at one of our local cafes most Saturday mornings. We’ve been going so long now that all of the staff know our usualorder. It’s where we go to debrief on the week we’ve had and celebrate our relationship. We both savor the sights and smells and often change the cake we share.
I’m glad I started this tradition now, so that hopefully as my daughter gets older, she still wants to talk to me!
25. Explore your backyard – I absolutely love exploring new places and sights. There’s something wonderous about seeing how places are put together, how they were built. I love imagining how those places were first settled and have gratitude moments for the generations before me who created these places for me to visit now.
There’s always a story of how someone’s life turned out. How they created their lives, survived and overcame challenges. They made it, so I could enjoy it.
26. Meditation – I do lots of things to clear my thought patterns, wipe the slate clean so to speak. It’s challenging, and yes there are days where the grey matter goes a million miles an hour. This is why I journal. To get it out of my head and onto paper so I can let go. Sometimes I use guided meditaiton cds or apps, other times I sit quietly with a candle. Then there are times I walk very early with my crazy dog. I shake up my routine because my busy mind likes different stimulus to address different types of stress.
27. Go bushwalking – connecting with nature is essential for us all. The sights and scents of untouched bush and forest is incredible, and generally not somthing I easily capture on film. That’s not to say I don’t take photos, I do. Hundreds of them! In fact I took this one with my tripod at Noojee Bridge, which has been converted from an old rail trail.
28. Do colouring – grab yourself a pocket colouring book to throw into your handbag or backpack, for the next time you’ve got a spare ten minutes. Doodling literally drains away the overthinking thoughts and helps break up the mental pattern associations!
29. Walk barefoot outside – it’s very grounding and connects you immediately to mother earth!
30. Have potted indoor plants – I’ve got plants everywhere inside my house. Firstly they take carbon dioxide and replace with oxygen, which combats the amount of technology. But having green inside my living space supports my connection with nature and life itself. It’s very calming to have plant life, evolving just like me, in my space.
31. Subscribe to daily positive quotes – seeing something whilst having breakfast or that first cup of coffee, which makes you laugh or is inspiring, supports you to set your intention for the day – hopefully positive.
32. Go window shopping – for the simple joy of observing the creativity of the window dressers. There’s a florist shop in a nearby town, that each festive season, engages a professional window dresser from the city. Fair dinkum, this particular shop window is worth stopping for, each and every time I go past – for it generates wonder! My attention is captured and they literally tell a story through the window.
33. Take happy snaps of fun times, especially with friends and family – instead of a wedding photo album, I’ve got the equivalent number of photos in huge A1 framed posters on my wall. I remember the joy of our wedding day, every single time I walk past.
I can remember when my mum died, and the family was preparing for the funeral. I had literally hundreds of photos to choose from. Recalling stories from these pictures made it very easy to formulate my eulogy speech, but also, rather than grieving, I celebrated a life lived.
34. Get moving – even if you’re only walking or doing something lovely like yoga, moving the body is vital to holding onto your youth and vitality.
35. Enjoy your circle – be sure to touch base with your circle of friends and family regularly and with integrity. I have a wonderful group of girlfriends, I’m so blessed. We catchup for lunch at least once a month. We each bring a plate to share, to each other’s houses. Often we leave with sore ribs from laughter and my soul literally feels lighter from having shared a space with them for a couple of hours.
So you see, there’s really no limit to being able to nurture yourself and fill your bucket of self love. Figure out what you need to feel good about YOU in your life and schedule it into your diary. After all, you can choose to change and bloom from within xxx