Things I love Thursday

It can be tricky to focus on the things that you are grateful for and that you totally love, when you are feeling like a rotten little egg. That said, choosing to see the good, the light, and the immortal will help you to breathe, and pull you up into the world of the living again. Sometimes, though, you need to kick your own ass and choose to be happy not matter what is going on around you.

So having dutifully kicked my own bum a few times and dragged myself out of bed and reminded myself to see the butterflies…here are the things I have genuinely loved this week:

Mad mental health dashes to Office Works to smell the rows of stationery with my friends Diana and Rodrigo; finding some amazing purple boxes to hide treasures in; starting my Gala Darling Radical Self Love Bible; going a little overboard in the craft section at KMart and the $2 Shop but loving the heart stickers, glue, textas and sparkle awesomeness; sending love to my adorable niece for her birthday and plotting when I can see her next; cosplay photo shoots in the most amazing gardens up in Emerald with my stunning friend Neko (Leia) and our photo guru Neil Creek; finding out that our show has been accepted for a community television station season ~ yes we ran around the kitchen and jumped up and down!! Oh my flipping god! Indulging in Easter treats (of which there are way to many) until I have a chocolate belly ache; sinking into Cristian’s arms to sleep; morning coffee, hazelnut flavouring (amazing right?) and chats with the beautiful Nikolai; singing Titanium at the top of my lungs while I wait in a very long and slow queue to get into the carpark at Supanova; drinking wine and watching Saving Mr Banks; and holding hands with my love~bliss!

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5 Ways to start with your heart

heart-07

DAY 83

24th March, 2014

When Brene Brown talks about being worthy it gives me goose bumps. Like Danielle LaPorte, she doesn’t speak about worth as something you earn or deserve. Being worthy is unconditional. Brene simply states that we are each worthy, even though we are not perfect. Danielle adds that we are all important. Incredible. Loved. Even though we are not perfect. We still deserve to be loved. Our presence is needed here.

Think about it. It’s like looking at your life hanging upside down on the swing while all the blood rushes to your head.

To say that we are worthy even though we are not perfect goes against much of what we are taught as children and adults. How many of us think – if only I am good enough, then I will deserve a good life. If only I am perfect enough, then I will deserve a perfect kind of life. Or if I do this, then I will get that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself thinking “But I was so good!” “But I did the everything right!” while the bubbles disappeared down the drain and my world fell apart around me. I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.”

I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.” 

Of course our heads know that being good has nothing to do with some of the things that can happen to us or around us. Bad things can sometimes happen to good people. It’s just life.

What’s important though is how we respond to these very same things. Your car breaking down, or the house being burgled, your loved one dying or the relationship you hoped would work but didn’t, isn’t about what you deserve as a human being. And it’s not based on how good or perfect you are. You are a human being.

The nature of being a human being is that we are pretty flawed. Sometimes, no matter how good or lovely we are, we say horrible things or we do stupid things to people we love. Sometimes no matter how good or great we have been, other people can be mean or horrible to us. We know better, but sometimes we make mistakes. Often we fall over. But we are still worthy of being here.You are worthy of being here. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you are no longer worthy of good things happening to you.

Being worthy, also doesn’t mean that you are entitled to everything. There is a difference. We are talking about being worthy in a healthy way.

So, let’s start with your heart.

Here are some questions to think about first:

What is the story you hold deep inside of your heart that you tell yourself? I don’t deserve this because…

I don’t belong here because…

I can only belong here when or if I work really hard, or prove myself in this way…

If you think that you don’t deserve to be here or you are not worthy, then no matter what you do you will always feel empty. You will always be chasing your dream and pushing it further out of your reach at the same time. If you don’t think you deserve something in your life you will be the first one to sabotage yourself. You may just simply give up because it is too hard, or you will make it overwhelming, or perhaps you will stop making time and space for your dream to happen. “I just don’t have the time to attend that class, build that business, create that painting, direct that film…” Sound familiar?

Or perhaps you think the opposite way? I deserve everything no matter what…

I should be given everything because the world owes me….

I only do things for people when they do something for me…why should I go out of my way for someone if they don’t give back…

I only do things to look good, get some mileage….

Both Brene and Danielle would link this kind of story to fear. Shame. And a distinct place of lack. This is a place where you believe that only some people are entitled to the good stuff, and that there us not enough to go around. It’s not a good place to be. Mainly because if you are playing in this sandpit you are likely to be very conflicted and find yourself very lonely and wondering why.

So lets start with your heart. Lets start with loving yourself. Really love yourself – no strings attached!

One of  Garla Darling’s activities is to start with a Radical Self Love Journal! Yep. It’s pretty radical!

You can check out her other self love programs on her website, but I think that this is a great idea to start with, because it makes you create some space for yourself and focus on you; even if it’s just for half and hour.

Her first step for creating your radical journal?

1. Purchase yourself a beautiful notebook and while you are at it, find some good pens, pencils, stickers, magazines, glitter…whatever makes you feel like your five year old creative self. And don’t forget the glue and scissors! You don’t need to have heaps of money to do this either. You can find some beautiful and inspiring stationery supplies in K-Mart or your local $2 shop these days. I bought a gorgeous pack of purple notebooks from K-Mart with inspirational messages on them. I also picked up a great little journal with a red leather cover and completely blank pages in a small news agency. Or you can go all out and head to KiKi or Smiggle. But get something that you love and that you can carry around with you in your bag.Your journal is moving in with you for the next month!

2. Make a promise to yourself. Gala has a number of first steps here, but the one that spoke to me was from her first ever video tutorials from the Radical Self Love project. You can check her out on You tube, but essentially the first thing you are going to do is write a promise to yourself for the month. “I promise to love myself this month.” “I promise to commit myself to my own personal growth.” “I promise to see the good in people.” “I promise to look for the beauty around me.” It can be anything that means something to you.

3. Find a totem. Gala also suggests that here you might like to find yourself a totem. Something that will remind you every day of your promise to yourself for the month. It can be a necklace, or a gem stone in your pocket. Perhaps it’s a scarf or a hat or a special ring? Something that you can preferably wear every day so that when you see it or touch it you will be reminded of your commitment to yourself. I bought a heap of love heart and angel wing necklaces in all shapes and sizes. My sister in law found an awesome website where we could pick up gorgeous heart and wing jewellery for only a few dollars. I haven’t stopped wearing them since. Every day they remind me of my commitment to not only myself but to others. They remind me of what I have to give to this world.

4. Write down every compliment you receive for the next week. Every single one. And when you receive them, say thank you. That’s it. Thank you. Nothing else. “Your hair looks awesome!” ‘Thank you.” ” I love that jacket.” “Thank you.” “You are so funny, you should be a comedian.” Thank you.” And write it down. When I started doing this I realised that I wasn’t too good at graciously accepting compliments. I felt awkward and would generally say something along the lines of “Don’t be silly”, or “you don’t know what you are talking about” I had no idea how offensive I was actually being to the person who was taking the time to compliment me. But I also had no idea how, with every denial, I was sabotaging myself and strengthening my story of not being good enough.

5. Write down all of the things that are amazing about you. Of all of the activities that I love, this is one of the best. I have used this when I am coaching or working with young people and it is an eye opener. Often people start out struggling to come up with just one thing that they think is awesome about themselves. It can be a mix of really not thinking that there is much to like/love. It can also be about feeling like we are being conceited or stuck up if we consider what may be awesome about who we are. I’m not asking you to walk around thinking you are better than everyone else. I am asking you to think about your own uniqueness. Who are you? Because you are beautiful. Special. You are definitely incredible. Important and you deserve to be here. If you get truly stuck with this one, then ask your best friends. What do they think is amazing about you? Perhaps ask your parents? Or your favourite teacher or coach.

That’s just the beginning of the process. It’s a start to realising that you deserve to be loved. That you deserve to be here. Even though you are not perfect; you are worthy.

A daring adventure

gothic charm school

Day 29

29th January 2014

‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.’ Helen Keller.

Sometimes I feel broken. I ache to come home, crawl into bed and stay there for a few years. Just to get up in the morning seems like an insurmountable effort. As if I’m unexpectedly being asked to climb Mount Everest. It’s all too much. Kill me now.

When I’m in the ‘black slump of doom’, it’s hard to imagine a better life, let alone a fantastic, extraordinary life. I’m surrounded by the darkness and I am quick to give into the whispers of destruction and negativity.

Until a slither of light sneaks through.

Because really the doom and gloom stuff gets seriously boring, pretty quickly. You know the feeling you get on a hot summers night when you’re caught up in the bed sheets, and you just can’t get comfortable? That’s the doom and gloom wearing thin. It’s not long before I realise that I’m feeling way too sorry for myself, and that lying in bed under the doona, with my feet caught up in the sheets, really isn’t going to change anything. It won’t fix me. If anything it will probably just make it worse.

I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a time and a place to crash out and feel a bit blah, but staying in that bed for too long is just a waste of your precious time. You are way more worthy than that. And as they say – there is nothing to gain by playing small.

So let’s say you are feeling a little bit broken. How do you get yourself out of the bed of doom? How do you stop playing small and find your inner spirit again?

Here’s a few ideas:

1. Get up

Honestly, nothing can change with you lying on your back, alone, under the doona. Nothing. You will just get more of the same. Doona, darkness, gloom, tissues, fear, doona, darkness, gloom…well you get the picture. Get up and wash your face, or have a shower, brush your teeth and make a drink. Whatever you do, DON’T turn on the television! It’s just full of more doom and gloom, and you don’t need to add it to your little mound of darkness!

2. Sit in the sun

People who know me will be laughing in shock. I’m not really a sun girl and usually tend to avoid it like the plague. But even I know what’s good for me. A little bit of sunshine or a bit of fresh air is good for your soul as well as your vitamin D levels. If it’s good weather in your corner of the world, find a spot to sit in the sun and breathe. Perhaps you have a beautiful garden where you can take off your shoes and sink your feet into the soft wet grass? Or a park you can walk to, that is close by? Maybe you have a balcony or a small courtyard that gives you a view of the street? Close your eyes and listen to the world around you. This is the world that you are very much a part of.

If it’s the middle of winter, perhaps you have a spot you can sit near a window with a view? Try to sit somewhere, where you can see the sky, and remember that there is a whole universe outside of your home. Wrap yourself in a warm blanket or shawl and reconnect with the world.

3. Breathe

Grab a lovely chair or a stool and sit for 15 minutes in the fresh air or near a window, just breathing. Breath in. Then breathe out. Re-connect with your body. Remember our friend Thich Nhat Hanh? Breathe in – now I am breathing in. Breathe out – now I am breathing out. Hey! You’re breathing! Not bad!

4. Tell yourself you are worthy

You may be a little bit broken at the moment, but this time will pass. You may be tired, sad, cross, whatever is happening right now, this time will pass. Because even though you are broken  -you are still good. Even though you are broken – you are still worthy of a daring adventure. You are still worthy of an extraordinary life. You are a majestic, beautiful, broken human being, and you are worthy and still good.

5. Remind yourself about the good stuff in your life and write it down!

Spend a good 15-30 minutes writing down what is good in your life. What are you grateful for? If this is an unexpected challenge, then start small. Perhaps you love the tea cup you drink out of every morning? Or maybe you are grateful for your mum who is always calling you to see how you are? Perhaps snuggling with your cat is the best thing in your life, or sinking into your partner’s hugs…

6. Make a promise to yourself

Once you’ve reminded yourself to be grateful for the good stuff in your life, it’s time to make a promise to yourself. Today you are going to make one promise and stick to it. You could promise yourself that you will accept who you are/ find something good and beautiful about yourself every day/seek the good in people around you/learn to breathe/get out of bed everyday/stand up for yourself/ teach people around you how to love you/write down one thing you love about yourself every day for 100 days… Whatever your promise, dare yourself to take on the adventure!

7. Find a totem

I love this idea. Gala Darling introduced it when she developed The Radical Self Love Project. Basically you want to find a totem that will remind you every moment of every day about your promise to yourself, and what you are trying to achieve for yourself. It can be anything! A necklace, a ring, a photo, a drawing… I have 3 different types of totems depending on what I am doing. If I am focussed on caring and compassion, I wear one of my heart necklaces. Some days it’s about focussing on my promise to follow my dream, so I pull out my butterflies. I have butterflies in my diary, on my notice board at work and around my computers. Most of the time though I wear my angel wings. My wings remind me why I am here on this earth and my promise to myself to live a life that is worthy, a life of integrity, that makes a difference to everyone I meet.  You can make your totem anything that is meaningful to you. Elephants, scarves, skulls, or stars. It can be anything! But make sure your totem is something that you can wear, or put in your wallet, or see all the time, reminding you to behave like the free spirit your were born to be and stay focussed on living your daring adventure!

So I’ll leave you with this today: