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8 Hot Tips How To Journal

8 Hot Tips How To Journal

8 Tips on How to Express Yourself in a Journal

Bridgette Jones thought she did it when she wrote in her Dear Diary, but all she was really doing was invalidating herself with a list of her daily failures. Whilst those movies were hilariously funny, it always pained me with sadness as I watched her wallow in her stuff. 

There is so much positive power to be gained from the art of journaling. It literally gifts you the opportunity to speak your inner truth.

When we utilise our journal properly, we are purging the crap literally out of our subconscious and onto paper. This purging allows us to connect to the emotions of the challenge we are currently facing. Journaling allows the connection to be conscious and defines what we are feeling.

Once the crud emotions are out in the open, we can then examine them and the patterns we run associated with them. This exploration can be a revelation into your subsequent reactive behaviours and provide you with clues to make changes and heal from previous painful experiences.

The hidden benefit of journaling is this, it is like going to an appointment with your talking therapist. You get to bring up all the stuff at your pace. You get to tell the story on those pages without judgement. Best of all you aren’t burdening any of your friends and family with your crap. You are in control.

Therefore journaling is like being your own coach. Journalling can be a fabulous tool to unpack and explore what your dream life might look like. You can use journalling to create the future you want.

Let me begin with a caveat with journalling — if after writing about the issue (person, event or issue) that you don’t feel lighter, this is the time to take quick action. Reach out for help to decipher where you are stuck in your feelings. Seek a different viewpoint on the mountain you probably feel you are climbing.

This reaching out might be with a mate, a workplace counsellor, your trusted GP, a counsellor, a psychologist, or someone like myself who is a kinesiology practitioner. Everyone has their preferred ‘go-to’ person, and that would be the time to reach out after you’ve had the first crack at solving the problem.

Remember this, if you are seeking a practitioner's support, there are only two rules:

 

  1. You must connect with the other person with implicit trust
  2. You should feel some relief or process at the completion of a session.
Journalling is self-expression. It gives you permission to express what you can’t voice out aloud. The art of journaling enables you to explore the deeper levels associated with various perspectives of your life.

For me personally, it’s like walking into a dark room (ie the challenge I am experiencing), and granting myself permission to turn on the switch which floods the space with light, illuminating the hidden treasure.

“The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” ~Shakti Gawain
Journaling can be a raw, beautiful in its process, and there are no rules for it to work. It’s all on your terms. Some people find they require rules to abide by to get started. So let me gift you eight ideas of how best to get started, or expand on your creative expression.
Tip #1 Gratitude Journaling

Sometimes when we’ve had our Negative Nancy pants on for a while, it’s very challenging to shine a light on any positive. Sometimes the experiences in our life are just so traumatic or overwhelming that it’s not quite safe enough for us to explore that yet.

Gratitude journaling is a safe place to challenge you to cultivate a new attitude of positivity in your life. You get to document things you appreciate. For some who feel stuck, this can be very challenging so I always suggest start simple.

“I am grateful for waking up today. I am grateful for there being food in my fridge, for the car to transport my family safely from A to B. I’m grateful for the job that I have which enables me to pay my bills. I’m grateful that my current job teaches me lessons of where I’m valued (or not) and inspires me to make changes”.

One of my mentors, Caitlin Grace, keeps her gratitude journal separately to that of her regular journal. This is her sacred space to record and give thanks for all the abundance in her life. For me personally, I like to start with gratitude entries and then explore what has been challenging me.

Tip #2 Affirmation Cards

Your journal may incorporate utilising motivational or inspirational cards. This is where you pull a card from your preferred deck of cards (and there is no limit to what floats your boat here), and write the uplifting quote and what that means to you. You get to explore how you could change a thought or behavioural process to adopt that intention in your life.

I utilise a myriad of card decks by Kyle Gray, Gabriella Bernstein, Angels and Masters etc. I allow my intuition to guide me on where I require insight or wisdom or a prompt from the universe.

The other joyous gift of keeping a separate gratitude journal is that any time you are feeling down and need a boost of positive, you get to read through your happiness entries and lift yourself up.

Tip #3 Self Enquiry & Reflective Journaling

The style of self-enquiry and reflection journaling enables you to explore facets of daily life and its issues. When we are in the thick of the moment, you may not be able to explore all of your feelings at once. You may not reflect on your behaviour at first glance because you’ve been busy reacting.

Journaling about your living situation, your work, and your relationships is a lovely safe place to explore topical emotions and feelings. Are you right where you want to be to live your dream life? Do you have all the right feels?

Tip #4 Grant Permission to Your Inner Child to Express

So what is our inner child? Popular psychology defines our inner child as an individual’s childlike aspect. This includes what we have learned when we were a child, before puberty. We can perceive the inner child as a semi-independent sub-personality subordinate to the waking conscious mind.

And so now you’re probably wondering how to connect with your inner child? I learnt the following techniques in a Louise Hay “Heal Your Life” workshop:

  1. Write in your dominant hand, expressing out all the feels or asking a question. Then swap to non-dominant hand to allow the inner child a voice to respond. Often there are no words, but scribble or demonstration of the emotion(s).

 

 2. Write a letter to him or her. The more connected you are with your inner child, the stronger your intuition becomes. Sometimes it’s simply not safe to be able to confront someone who’s done wrong by you. Write them a ‘fuck you’ letter.

 

3. Say nurturing things(I love you, I hear you, thank you, I’m sorry). Document how easy or difficult it is to speak positively to yourself as a child. Explore whether you feel deserving and worthy.

 

4. Look at photos of yourself as a child. Document the emotions associated with those memories.

 

5. Think and write about what you loved doing when you were young. Alternatively, capture what wasn’t great about your childhood and how you have now made changes as an adult.

 

6. Engage in meditation and creative visualization. I often guide clients into their heart space to have connective conversations with their inner child to gain clarity and insight into the source of current day patterns. This type of connection is powerful and quickly enhances self-confidence and intuition if you maintain regular dedication.

 

Beginning a dialogue with your inner child by writing in your subdominant hand, and answering with your dominant hand is a powerful tool which enables you to capture any issues that emerge.

Tip #5 Be Compassionate to Yourself

We are all deserving of more self-compassion. Modern society has definitely instilled comparisonitis within our fast-paced lives. This type of journaling enables you to shine compassion on your past.

When reflecting on a specific memory, incident, trigger, or person, can you ask yourself for forgiveness? Did you do the very best you could? Have you been able to make changes, so it doesn’t happen again or are you stuck? Does shedding light on that previous situation now provide you with more clarity of where you have matured or need growth in your life?

Remind yourself it’s all ok. You are doing the very best you can with the circumstances you had previously. Acknowledge that the only thing you can change is right now. Your past is the gift of experience(s) and where you’ve potentially learnt lessons.

Tip #7 Embrace Nature

I find this is a useful style of journaling to get people out of their heads and connect with nature. There are times our internal defence mechanisms shut down our thoughts and feelings because we’re stuck in flight or fight and have simply become numb.

A walk outside, or simply lying the grass and looking at the clouds and then writing about the experience can be a gentle method to bring you back connection with your senses.

Tip #8 Capture Your Successes

This is a fantastic tool for those who beat themselves with the victim stick and feel stuck in their stuff. This tool is great if you’ve focused too heavily on poor me or nothing ever works out for me. We have all experienced this at one stage or another.

To kick start this style of journaling, begin by writing anything that could be construed as a win. For some, this may begin with simply getting out of bed and showering. For others, it could include consume less sugar in a day, smoking or drinking less.

The more you focus on your success, the more you will seek the positive aspects of your life. As you pay attention, your list will grow and inspire you.

Want to read more like this?

Why Asking ‘What’ Will Give You The Answers You Seek – Click here

How To Stop Making Excuses & Start Living Your Best Life – Click here

Healing Emotions Hurt More Than The Physical Wounds – Click Here

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, and self-confessed laughaholic. She is an avid Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

12 Ways To Create Kick Arse NYE Resolutions

12 Ways To Create Kick Arse NYE Resolutions

Forecast your new year with these simple coaching self-help ideas! Learn how to create the best resolution ever!

We’ve all heard of the 12 days of Christmas–right?

There’s a song detailing each day of December they brought a recipient a new gift. This jingle got changed (read bastardised) in the 1980s to the poor recipient receiving all the gifts requiring Prozac and a psychiatric hospital stay. Hilarious, but the actual Yuletide meaning got lost in translation.

There’s a lot of northern hemisphere history about Yuletide but you might not have realized that the pagan celebration of Yule is twelve days long. It traditionally begins with the winter solstice (northern hemisphere) on December 21 and ends on January 1.

Nearly every post-Christmas celebration has origins invoking the rebirth of the sun or the sun god. They also referred this to as ‘Mother’s Night‘, honouring the Mother Goddess (& the coming of spring) along with the protective female ancestors who watch over us. It’s fitting given that the northern hemisphere is in their peak of winter.

Below the equator in present times, we can still take away from all this history and continue to evoke the worship of the Mother Gaia in our own unique way with a spiritual flavour.

Modern society places ridiculous magical phenomena on the period of New Year’s Eve. Our societal traditions trick us into believing to achieve the perfect life, we can make a simple resolution to do things differently, or worse do it better.

SHAZAM, wave the wand, cue fireworks, say a RESOLUTION and you change your life – WRONG!

It just doesn’t work that way!

The challenge with most resolutions is that there is little forethought why you want to change, and a large focus on avoiding or quickly shifting the negative. There is often a desire to take a magic pill and like the wand-waving, we get disappointed when our expectations for instant fixes aren’t realised. Failure of resolutions occurs because there is a lack of consideration in the following areas:

  • no acknowledgement of your present MINDSET or your current status (that you’re wanting to change)

 

  • there is often very little or no reflection on present life why you’ve ended up in this position in the first place, and now wish for a new life!

 

  • there is little to no planning for success on achieving new goals – for example, what you want to be feeling once you’ve reached the goal

 

  • no gratitude for where you are presently at on your journey path – if you can’t be thankful for who you are already, how can you manifest and create change?

What about if you set your intention to choose to change in the New Year so that you allow yourself the entire year to evolve? An interesting concept isn’t it – permission! Allowing yourself permission to refine yourself buys you time to:

  • set realistic and achievable goals

 

  • identify strengths and weaknesses

 

  • allow small implementable actions to be introduced slowly, allowing for positive habits to be created

 

  • reflect on the success of implementation and progressive change, which builds upon motivation and confidence!

 

Have you had the experience of creating an NYE resolution, only to fail within the first month, or worst the first couple of days? Is it time to change your approach?

What if I were to tell you that completing simple rituals and taking the time to become observant during the twelve days after Christmas could provide you with a wealth of information to succeed in the year to come.

Life has a tendancy these days to get fast and complicated at times, and we can easily lose focus of SELF and our JOURNEY PATH.

What I’ve learnt is that the energy and activities that occur in the twelve days after Christmas provide insight, much like looking inside a crystal ball of how the future year coming could pan out.

Each of these twelve days represents a future month of the new calendar year.

Here are my tips for forecasting your new year and creating the best resolutions ever!

I find it extremely useful in the twelve days which follow Christmas to have rituals so that the habit of tuning into self doesn’t have to be hard-won. I enjoy it when it flows naturally and easily.

Get grounded – connection to the earth allows you to discharge any build-up of positive ions in the body. Grounding energy allows you to better access your intuition.

Set your intention – I have been using the intention of ‘surrendering to ordinary thinking’ which instantly allows me to think creatively outside the box. It allows me to slow down and hear the whispers from spirit as to where to guide my attention and observe something.

Journal – during yuletide I pay attention to my energy, creativity and motivation levels. I purposefully pay attention to my mood and anyone who triggers me. I dig deep about patterns which cause me to experience negativity and make notes for future exploration. I write about it all.

Reflections of these notes during the future month they relate to, come in very handy and have previously been of significant benefit when planning large scale or important events. It’s like creating your own hitchhikers guide to your own galaxy.

There is an abundance of information everywhere throughout your day which can infuse you with joy or push all your buttons. Pay attention!

For those of you living in the southern hemisphere, here are some specific monthly based journal prompts which you can document now, which may benefit you later as a guide to how that month will pan out.

create kickarse resolutions

Day One (December 26th) – January

This is my birthday month and our summer school holidays. This month is all about having fun in the sun.

In hour journal, ask yourself this “how do I allow myself to shine my light?

Be sure to capture the answer in the context of “How do I utilise this month to create abundance which flows through the entire year?”

Day Two (27th December) – February

This is generally a very hot weather month with unpredictable rains. It’s a return to the school year and this month is generally where we settle into our normal routines. Pay attention to this day as to where or what can cause your energy and attention to peak / flow / dwindle.

 In your journal ask yourself where do I support myself to achieve my goals?

Understanding how you use your energy in a single day can provide fabulous context to enable you to create strategies which last the year ahead.

create your own kick arse resolutions

Day Three (December 28th) – March

This month marks the halfway point between the solstices, and it’s called the equinox. It’s the day of equal light and darkness. Look for signs of duality and balance on this day. Additionally, the equinox marks the changing of the season. Pay attention during this day to where your balance may be disturbed.

In your journal give yourself permission to dig deep and ask yourself “what pattern you may be running that you need to let go of in order to evolve?” Just like a tree sheds it’s leaves, we go through a cycle of change as well.

Autumn is a large energetic change month demonstrated by the evolution of leaves changing colours.

Day Four (December 29th) – April

This month the energies are generally high as Christians around the globe mourn the death of Christ and celebrate his resurrection. Regardless of your cultural upbringing, rebirthing energy is huge and triggers everyone.

 In your journal ask yourself “what aspect of me is no longer serving my higher purpose? What do I need to release with ease and grace (or allow to die) in order to move forward?

 

Create your own kick arse resolutions

Day Five (December 30th) – May

The days begin to darken, the temperate has changed and the cold winds have often arrived. The barrenness of winter is approaching and the trees are shedding their leaves, becoming naked.

 We often take on the energy of feeling vulnerable and exposed in this month. So jump into your journal and ask yourself “what am I afraid of? What could I do to boost my courage to face my fears?

Day Six (December 31st) – June

June can be a very liberating month with the right mindset and preparation. It’s the making of the beginning of winter and there’s a solstice (the shortest day light of the year). There are many shadows and the energy of light and dark can easily cause you to fall apart.

I often find myself reminding my clients that this is a fabulous month to reconnect to your soul star, your seed if you will. This is the time to go within and find your hidden treasure amongst the shadows.

In your journal ask yourself “If I was a caterpillar, what would I like to transform this winter whilst in my cocoon?

Create your own kick arse NYE resolutions
Create your own kick arse NYE resolutions

Day Seven (January 1st) – July

Often the blustering wet wind prevails during this month and we don’t venture outside often. This is a day to explore things to do around the home. This is also a fabulous month to revisit goals established at the beginning of the year and assess whether you’re on target.

Be gentle with yourself if you’ve strayed off the desired course and start mapping out small achievable actions in the calendar to get yourself back on track.

 In your journal ask yourself “is my home a comfortable castle or prison? What do I need to do inside to shift this feeling?

Day Eight (January 2nd) – August

It takes a lot of energy for a seedling to emerge from the ground in the cold spring soil. We are no different. We need to be able to rely on ourselves to continue along our journey path even when things get uncomfortable.

In your journal ask yourself “what self reliance traits do I have?” and also “What have I learnt about myself to grow even stronger?

create your own kick arse NYE resolution
create your own kick arse resolutions

Day Nine (January 3rd) – September

It’s the month of the second equinox (this one’s called the vernal equinox) and marks the change of the season. It’s another day of balance between light and dark.

In my personal experience, I find spring energy much more powerful than the gentle autumn. There’s a lot of power required to generate new green flowery growth in everything around us.

In your journal ask yourself “what do I need to do to sustain my abundance and growth?

Day Ten (January 4th) – October

This is often an odd month. If your start to spring was shaky or involved a lot of change, things can still be stabilising. I find this can be a very high octane month of getting stuff done and so I plan well in advance to prepare and ensure my energy levels can be consistent.

In your journal, if you are full steam ahead, ask yourself “what do I need to do to remain consistent?

If you are the legs are shaky ask yourself “how do I maintain my connection to my goals and build upon my perseverance to succeed what I set out to achieve?

Create your own kick arse NYE resolutions
Create your own kick arse NYE resolutions

Day Eleven (January 5th) – November

This is a month whereby we’re on the home stretch for the year. It’s the last full month of work before another round of festive season begins. This is a month to remain disciplined and stick to your plan.

In your journal ask yourself “how committed am I to myself and my goals?

Day Twelve (January 6th) – December

It’s a high vibe energy month due to the summer solstice, the longest day of sunlight in the year. It’s the peak of abundance energy and everything you’ve been working towards for the entire year. It’s a time of celebrating life, your connections, friends, family and love.

In your journal ask yourself “what can I be grateful for?

create kick arse resolutions

Final Words

Hope you’ve enjoyed a new way of looking and responding the Yuletide and can easily incorporate some of the above rituals and journal tips to shape the forecast of your year ahead.

For further reading about how to create clear NYE intentions and resolutions check out my earlier blog

About Karen

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, self-confessed laughaholic, and now Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

How To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Private Retreat

How To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Private Retreat

 

 

5 Reasons To Transform Your Bedroom Today

5 Tips To Transform Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Today
5 Tips To Transform Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Today
5 Tips To Transform Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Today
5 Tips To Transform Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Today
5 Tips To Transform Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Today

Summary

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, self-confessed laughaholic, and now Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Create The Future You Want

Create The Future You Want

How to step back from ‘we’ and into ‘ME’!

We’ve had plenty of time to reflect on life before the virus. Some things we have missed from the old life and other aspects you may just be ready to kick to the kerb.

I don’t know about you but I have appreciated dropping the hustle and I won’t be returning to that. I have come to appreciate that I shouldn’t wait to take annual leave to feel relaxed — that’s what the weekend is for! There will be no more working seven days a week.

 I have officially dropped the hustle!

Whilst I see lots of social messaging about being positive, there are few who teach just how an individual can change their neural pattern and old patterns to truly embrace new mindsets.

Here are some tips I regularly share with my coaching clients.

 

To create the future you want, you must choose your words carefully.

 

Our dialogue is mighty powerful. The old saying that your thoughts become your actions is so true and I would add to this that your words become an action driver.

You are therefore what you think about. Hence I strongly recommend you need to be careful of every thought. 

Don’t bully or belittle yourself when you consciously catch the words in the air. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you commence this process.

Cancel Out Negative

Letting go of negativity from your mindset can feel a little intimidating when you first commence becoming consciously aware of wanting to make changes in your life.

Keep it simple and start the process of pulling yourself up on the negativity by stating “cancel that“. Then immediately reframe that negative comment into something positive. Don’t dally, don’t avoid, don’t procrastinate. Simply reframe to the exact opposite of the negative thing thought or spoken.

The more time you allow between the expression (thought or word), the more energy it collects to activate fulfilment. So get cracking!

By changing the word you change the intended action which follows. Do this often enough you change your behavioural pattern over time to a deeply positive connected self.

 

Be cautious about your conscious word within every conversation you have in relation to what is missing in your life. 

 

It’s one thing to have your inner dialogue be positive. But speaking negatively literally lowers your vibrational energy — your vibe goes low. That’s neither attractive to a friend, lover, child or employer. 

No one likes negative nancy.

Additionally what you focus your energy on is like being in a restaurant run by the universe. When you say something negative its like placing an order for a shit sandwich when you really want garlic prawns.

If you want to attract something grand and positive into your life, but you are talking and thinking about what is missing then you will continue to expand what is missing and attract more of it.

The universe I am sure has a wicked sense of humour. Our wishes thought, or spoken, are taken literally. So even stating “oh I hope this doesn’t happen”, is immediately translated into divine order and you add topping to the shit sandwich order!

Never talk about what is missing in your life.

 

Focus On Your Dream Life

 

Only ever focus on your dream life. Live with love as if you are already living the dream. The clearer you are on your dream, with minute details brought into focus, the more you are describing your order to the universe of exactly what you want.

For example, imagine that you enter your favourite restaurant. Your preferred chef is working and you know that each time they stick their head up from the kitchen window, and give a little wave of appreciation and gratitude with your smile. Why do you smile? Because you know, that chef knows, you only come to this restaurant for their prawns. It’s your absolute favourite and you moan like that movie “when Harry met Sally” every time you eat them.

Think now of how happy you are when you eat a gorgeous meal someone has prepared for you. And you have thirds, because seconds was even better than the first!

Do you see where I’m going with this? 

You imagine the colour of the fresh prawns. Imagine the aroma emanating from the steaming dish as it is brought to your table. Imagine the texture as you bite into the first mouthful and you begin to melt. God almighty I am hungry for prawns right now!

This is how you should think about your dream life. 

The miracle of the law of attraction is this — abundance flows when you allow gratitude to expand your heart space.

 

Only put your attention on what you intend and wish to create. 

 

Think again about the prawn dish. Just how different is it to your real life?

Never ask the Universe for money. Full Stop. Period. Nada.

Why? Because they will give you debt and bills first, then the money to pay for it. Your life won’t change in this circumstance or request.

But when you ask for something tangible, like the prawn dish, that’s when the miracles happen.

I find when it comes to attracting abundance into my life, I return to my dream of how and what I want my life to be. I then plan and do one new thing from all of the actions required to be living the dream, until it becomes second nature. Then I repeat that process, and continue repeating until one day I pinch myself because I am living the dream!

Ask and it is given — learn to manifest your desires through the practice of positive thinking. Again don’t ask for a car or your existing car will break down and you’ll be forced to get a new one. The universe can be cheeky bastards like that.

My last vehicle purchase I was very specific with details. I wanted to be able to open the door and slide into the seat, not step down or up into the vehicle. I wanted seat warmers, cup holders, storage, sunroof etc. I had a purpose and reason for every single feature of the vehicle.

Practice the idea of not putting your thoughts onto what is missing but focus on the positive as if it were already on its way.

Needless to say, I found my dream car for sale at the perfect price in less than a week!

 

Reflect on what you have enjoyed during COVID

 

There have been a number of advantages during COVID in terms of lifestyle and slowing down. Some have spring cleaned their homes. For me personally, I’ve spring cleaned my attitude and what I want out of life. 

Dropping the hustle has allowed me to embrace the simple things in life. That means I’m getting good at saying “yes” to me first and “I’ll get back to you” to everyone else. That’s a new habit that is here to stay.

 

Whatever you want to manifest in your life, focus on the positive. 

 

As you learn to harmonise in this way you elevate your thoughts as well as your vibrational energy to attract that which you want.

I live by the mantra that you can choose to change and bloom from within. Every experience in life is always another opportunity to learn and expand yourself.

As we re-enter COVID restrictions, consider the above ways to drop your hustle and get re-acquainted with yourself.

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, self-confessed laughaholic, and now Breast Cancer Advocate residing in Gippsland Victoria Australia. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

I Gift You Permission To Hit The Pause Button In COVID

I Gift You Permission To Hit The Pause Button In COVID

It takes a Conscious Choice to Nurture Self during the Lockdown

 

It’s a huge thing to stay at home during this pandemic COVID period. Governments around the word have locked down communities in an effort to pause the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. has been the key message from the government, but it is so different from what we know to be normal.

The first and third instructed tasks can be ticked. But after a month of social isolation, the reference to staying safe at home may just be wearing a little thin for some.

Some would call this pandemic a global crisis. There’s nothing I can do about that in my personal world. That said, I am choosing to reframe this period of time as an opportunity to detach from the external world and focus on myself. That’s a little easier for me in some ways since I’ve been socially distancing since December due to treatment for cancer.

I truly believe this unique period is a rare gift of time that we have been granted. One can only hope that we will never see this in our lifetime ever again, and it hasn’t been seen since the great depression.

Some in our community are taking social distancing in their stride and simply modifying their daily routines to be able to juggle working from home, homeschooling their kids, as well as leaving the family home for limited and socially distance based exercise.

Others are feeling incredibly confined and restricted and it’s obvious from their social media posts, that life is very uncomfortable right now. For these people, it is perhaps a little scary for what life will be like after COVID.

You can tell who feels confined because they are complaining about it. And not every now and then. They are ranting as loudly as possible. Endlessly in fact, to whoever will listen. Their behaviour is their expression of feeling lockdown is unreasonable and irrational. They have become inflexible and feel hard done by.

For some who are isolated at home, they are confronted with all the things their busy life allowed them to avoid, and now the walls are feeling restrictive. These are the people who share pictures and stories of wine being consumed whilst schooling their children.

There are others bragging about three days in their pyjamas! What this picture is really saying is they are not coping and can’t find strategies to even choose to shower every day.

Let’s take the basic act of getting out of bed and showering. You wouldn’t have thought twice about not doing this when leaving the house — would you? Now during social isolation, there is an apparent acceptable lack of self-care for some.

Mindfully choosing to care enough for yourself to bathe and getting dressed should smell true to you (and to those you live with). Failing to undertake these small self-respecting tasks is a lack of intention towards self if you aren’t prioritising enough time in your day for a four-minute shower and fresh clothes.

Ask yourself what message are you sending yourself? It’s one thing to make a conscious decision to not bathe, perhaps because you haven’t exercised this day. It’s even ok to bum around for a day in your pj’s.

But if you simply can’t be bothered, is it time to ask yourself is everything ok?

 

Another example and yet subtle version of lack of self-care is binge-watching Netflix and at the same time scrolling through your phone. The perpetual scrolling means you’re not present in anything and simply avoiding the life occurring around you.

It’s perhaps time to ask yourself what do you really need right now?

And when you ask yourself this question, you had better be prepared to fulfil the answer rather than letting the mind be lazy!

When we feel antsy (which is really just a form of anxiety) ask yourself what would make me feel comfortable and safe right now?

Know this. Each of us is fully equipped to deal with what is present in our life. It is a matter of what you choose to do and how you choose to perceive your situation in life which dictates how well you cope.

So what are you choosing in terms of your experiences?

Might life be different if I gave you permission to reframe everything negative inside your head? Consider that done!

 

Here are some tips for easily implementable actions to get you through this lockdown phase.

1. Get dressed. Every day.

Physically changing out of your sleep clothes creates a subconscious neurological response that it’s time to get going. Take action. Remaining in your pyjamas all day is permissible on rainy weekend days or those dates whereby you’ve gifted yourself a mental health break. It’s still a choice to dress.

2 Have a shower.

Regular showering removes bacteria from the skin, which supports the body from infection. There’s also an argument for reduction of body odour, especially for those you are sharing confinement with!

3 Be mindful with your eating.

During the lockdown, it’s really easy to overindulge in everything — because it’s at our fingertips. By all means, have a piece of chocolate. But if you find yourself sneaking back to the fridge a second or third time ask yourself what you perceive you actually need right now?

Is it just because you’re skin hungry and in need of a treat? Or are you stuffing the sugar inside to avoid addressing an actual hidden emotional issue?

4 Exercise. Every day.

This suggestion isn’t rocket science. A simple 20 minute walk outside gifts your body so much. You get exposure to direct sunlight, which enables your body to make vitamin D.

Your body makes dopamine (the feel-good hormone) when you exercise. Regular exercise several times a week is great for your heart health.

Not to brag but this week I have walked a marathon and feel amazing. The exercise high has been so rewarding that I’ve decided to enter an event later in the year.

5 Step out of the house. Get a Nature Fix.

Every time you go outside, you gift yourself an automatic change in scenery to stimulate your senses. Take a different route each time to keep things interesting. Japanese medical practitioners even prescribe forest therapy for those who are stressed out and anxious!

Consider timing yourself on a specific route so that you can see your physical endurance building each time you go out. It’s great for encouraging a positive mindset. So hug a tree!

6 Reframe any negative self-talk.

Be mindful of your internal dialogue. Rather than punish yourself for thinking something negative, I grant you permission to ‘reframe’. The minute you choose to reframe a negative into a positive, you literally switch neurology pathways out of stress patterns and into solution-seeking neural responses.

You have nothing choosing to reframe and invite more positive into your life.

7 Recipe for relaxation.

Figure out what supports relaxation for you. Is it taking a bath? Perhaps some yoga or meditation? Is it self massage? Reading a book. making cubby houses with the kids. Playing board games. Online chats with friends. It could be as simple as not watching the news as often.

The list is endless but are you open to opportunities?

Let me be crystal clear, when I talk about relaxation, I’m talking about physical relaxation, emotional detachment and achieving mental clarity (ie no monkey chatter going on inside your head).

During the lockdown, you need to ensure that you are detaching from the confinement and allowing yourself to take advantage of the naturally slower pace of social distancing.

Take one small action each and every day to nurture yourself on all levels.

8 Break out with pets.

I have two young lab puppies from the same litter, so they do everything together — including being naughty! But I have to say that I can never be mad around these gorgeous creatures. They gift me an enormous amount unconditional love just by placing their heads in my lap.

And whilst I’ve been undergoing treatment for breast cancer, they have been a divine nurturing gift for my daughter. She’s teaching them to sit and stay and they are teaching her to laugh when they lick her. They are gifting her lessons in responsibility and respectful authority.

Pets gift us an instant dopamine fix. Working from home provides us with the perfect opportunity to have our fury therapy bags with us all the time!

9 Use technology to maintain the connection with friends.

Utilise the video technology available to you and video chat with friends and family. I am absolutely loving chatting with friends and seeing their faces at the same time. Book a ‘mate date’ with your friends and family in order to maintain your connections.

Summary

Regardless of your COVID experience, we are all feeling pinch points with respect to the perception of not being able to certain things in our life. I’m gifting you permission to step out of the expected normal and create the life you want.

How To Build Up Credit In Your Happiness Account

How To Build Up Credit In Your Happiness Account

Take The Test What Makes Your Heart sing whilst in lockdown

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received during COVID has been this, lockdown is a gift from the universe to work on yourself! Sounds a little strange I know but what if these strange and almost apocalyptic times could be perceived as an opportunity for personal growth?

Sure we might be home-schooling our kids, all whilst working remotely. But guess what?

All things are difficult until we try them, modify and make it easy.

You’ve currently got time right now because you aren’t absorbed into your normal routine. You aren’t doing all the normal crazy stuff of running here and there, fitting in all the sport and socialisation. You’ve essentially been gifted a time out from the universe to reboot, reset, rejuvenate and regenerate.

And before you give me every excuse under the sun, I can see how much time you’ve got based on the amount you’ve been posting on social media. I’m an ex-detective, I pay attention to shit like that. In fact, you’ve probably been Netflix binging as well. But what if I were to suggest spending half an hour exercising, working on your side hustle or passion? It would require effort and for you to apply yourself. And for some reason, this sounds difficult or like hard work.

So make it count! Now is the exact time to ask yourself “what might you have to do in order to change?”

None of us wants to settle for an average life which is discoloured by our inability to make our deepest wishes come true. But prior to COVID-19, is that what you were doing? Were you a mouse on the wheel simply going through the motions? Tony Robbins advocates the first step is goal setting and creating the invisible to visible.

But do you know how to follow through from goal setting to implementation instead of giving up early and not achieving? Goals when planted deep within our subconscious, should prompt our motivation into stimulated action. Goals should get you out of bed early in the morning and hungry to achieve the small steps to move forward.

But where do we get the drive to get and remain motivated? Dopamine is a brain neurotransmitter and is often considered a pleasure molecule. It is so much more. Dopamine makes us desire things and drives us out of the lounge chair, away from the TV and to our projects which give us rewards. Scientific research on rates, whereby pleasure centres of the brain were stimulated, demonstrated that dopamine drives brain developmental neural pathways, hence repeating patterns to achieve pleasure or reward.

Cool right?

Here’s the trick with goal implementation. Do a task associated with a pleasurable reward. Your brain will release dopamine because it is anticipating you will feel good. This is why drugs are so addictive.

What if your daily pursuit of happiness triggered similar effects to taking drugs? You’d do it, right? Well in actual fact when you’re scrolling through social media news feed, playing video games etc you are flooding your brain with dopamine and giving yourself a false hit, feeling let down when the high doesn’t arrive — so you do it more often and for longer to achieve success.

Just with this example alone, can you see how COVID could actually be a gift to disconnect from this fast lifestyle and reset how you seek happiness in your life?

Other than the obvious, ie social distancing, what do you need to detach from
or connect with in order to 
realise happiness in life? Do you actually know
what makes you feel happy without involving a handheld 
device? And yes,
we could be talking masturbation with toys here as well.

I’m asking you right here, right now. What makes you happy?

“The main difference (other than genetics) between happy and unhappy people are habits. Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits. It’s as simple as that.” — Develop Good Habits.

See how many of the following habits you can tick off the list!

 

1. Experience Flow Often —being fully immersed and involved in the present moment.

 

2. Exercise Regularly for both physical and mentally beneficial outcomes.

 

3. Stop And Smell The Roses — do you savour the moment and appreciate the positive experience?

 

4. Practice Mindfulness – the art of being fully present and aware of what we are experiencing.

 

5. Meditate — rewires the brain for happiness through complete relaxation.

 

6. Spend Time Outside — because you can but more importantly because it’s a mood accelerator.

 

7. Pursue Meaningful Goals – because it gives you a reason to get out of bed and be motivated every single day.

 

8. Spend Time With Friends And Family — investing in compassion and nurture within your social circle improves your listening, empathy and communication skills, which you can later apply to yourself.

 

9. Celebrate Other’s Success – respond with and share their enthusiasm from the other person, sharing the experience and their happiness as they bask in their success.

 

10. Engage In Deep Conversation – sharing the stuff that matters deepens our connections and allows us to be vulnerable, raw and speak our truth of what really matters. The happiness here comes from the sharing of dialogue.

 

11. Let Go Of Materialism — Instead of focussing on stuff, place your happiness meter against your experiences, friendships, passions, and hobbies, in order to determine what brings joy to your life

 

A mountain of research has shown that materialism depletes happiness, threatens satisfaction with our relationships, harms the environment, renders us less friendly, likable, and empathetic, and makes us less likely to help others and contribute to our communities.” — Sonja Lyubomirsky.

12. Give Freely — “True happiness consists of making others happy,” says an ancient Hindu proverb. Helping others through being kind, generous and willing to lend a hand is a pillar stone to happiness.

13. Practice Gratitude — According to Develop Good Habits, the emotion of gratitude has consistently been one of the strongest happiness boosters known in scientific literature.

You hear me say this again and again, your thoughts become your actions. So it makes sense that the more you are actively practising gratitude, the more you will have to be grateful for and will be provided with more things to be grateful for. It becomes a never-ending abundance cycle.

14. Practice Forgiveness — probably my favourite quote of all time is that of Buddha who once said:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the
one getting burned.

Forgiveness is never for the other party but a gift to ourselves to lighten the emotional burden of our response. Our inability to forgive harms ourselves more than anybody else, including our wrong-doers.

15. Have Hope And Optimism For The Future — This is pretty challenging right now with COVID and the unknown date for the lifting of lockdown. Here’s the thing, when we have an intention to be hopeful and are open for future opportunities, we feel excited, enthusiastic, motivated, and happy. We feel light. However when we overthink, go external to ourself and worry about the scenarios, we can feel anxious, depressed, and devoid of meaning.

16. Comfort Yourself In Hard Times — how do you treat yourself in tough times. Are you self critical, blaming, or put yourself down? Or are you reflective, positive and seeking opportunities for self-improvement?

17. Use Character Strengths Often — are you courageous, confident, compassionate, loyal, optimistic towards yourself on a daily basis?

18. See Your Job As A Calling — you gain more satisfaction from the worker for the greater good which contributes to something larger than yourself? Or is your work just a job where you make money?

19. Have Things To Look Forward To — Happy people tend to live active and somewhat busy lives, and the activities in the calendar provide anticipation of the happiness to come.

20. Spend Money On Experiences — I’ve long been a fan of experiences over gifts. It’s what life is all about, not the stuff we can buy. A wise mentor once reminded me that when you’re on your deathbed, you remember all the good old times with your friends and family, not the good old times with your hot red car or your stuff you’ve bought over the years.

21. Limit Your News Consumption — external media is paid to create sensationalism, to involve an emotional reaction. Guess what, you’ll react more intensely and for longer if the news is bad, rather than good. Additionally, only one viewpoint is ever broadcast on the news and it’s generally what the government of the day approves.

22. Aim For Good Enough — did you know that research indicates when we have a myriad of opportunities or possibilities to choose from we get stuck in making choice based on regret, social comparison, inability to adapt and concern about status. If you’re a maximiser, you’re always striving for the best of everything. However, if you’re a satisficer, you’re happy when something is good enough. You can change to become a satisficer when you move the perception from perfection to realisation.

23. Don’t Overthink Shit — you bottom out your happiness account with overthinking. Because each lap a negative thought does inside your head adds luggage to the cargo. You start to second guess yourself. You begin to doubt yourself. You create fears inside your head that didn’t previously exist – what if I’m not good enough? If you find yourself stuck wallowing, mindfulness is going to be an exceptionally useful tool for you to unwind the pattern.

24. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others — the minute you take your attention off yourself and place it on another you’ve lost control and cease investing in implementing your goals. Stick with remaining mindful or grateful for all that you have achieved. Measure your success off you.

25. Pursue Intrinsic Goals — the extrinsic goal is all about making it. The intrinsic goal is all about enjoying the process and links with our values and deeply held beliefs whereby our human needs are fulfilled.

26. Spend Time With Furry Friends — I’ve recently added two lab pups to my household. There’s something about having a wet nose greets you when you’re feeling challenged, and petting the soft hair. There are no narky discussions, just acceptance as love is exchanged. Animals are a happiness magnet and seem to soak up all your Negative nancy with a single pat!

 


Happiness isn’t something you purchase, it’s something you achieve internally through repeated action which becomes habits. The habit naturally drives us to strive to continually fill the happiness bucket!

Do what makes you happy

Be with you makes you smile

Laugh as mich as you breathe

Love as long as you live