The last few days have been strange. I went on a date that ended horribly. A man from my hometown was assaulted and later died. I visited a woman I know in hospital who was badly injured in an accident. And a client of mine passed away. She was a really lovely 36-year-old woman who is leaving behind a loving family, including three small girls.
What I’ve realised over these past few days is how much I’ve changed, how different my reactions are, and how grateful I am.
On Saturday night, I thought enough of myself to leave the date. I didn’t take it personally. And on the dark, wet drive home, I comforted myself with my favourite songs. It was good to find out what this man was like after only two dates and I was glad to get home safe.
Last night, after meditating, I stretched pleasurably and felt grateful to be able to move, unlike my friend in hospital.
And this evening, after attending my client’s funeral, I participate in a Mega Mix fitness class. The music is loud and fast and the instructor is fit in every sense of the word. We jump and squat and plank and it’s all a bit manic.
I have a sudden urge to burst out laughing. I feel so happy to be alive and healthy and able-bodied.
I feel lucky to have great friends and family, a business that I love, and a car that can whisk me towards dates and adventures and crazy fitness classes.
And most of all, I’m grateful for how far I’ve come. For how deeply I can appreciate this moment. For how present I am. For how much I love myself. For how centred I feel.
And for how I trust that everything is unfolding perfectly and for my highest good. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
So I hop and skip and sweat and eye up the fit fitness instructor. And I breathe.
Posted in Health, Personal development, Positive Thinking
Tagged acupuncture, adventure, appreciation, assault, body, breath, business, calm, cancer, change, dating, death, exercise, family, fitness, friendship, funeral, god, gratitude, grief, growth, hardship, health, higher power, hospital, injuries, laughter, life, life coaching, living, love, meditation, mega mix, mind, mindfulness, music, pain, personal development, presence, reactions, reiki, relationships, romance, sadness, self-development, self-esteem, self-love, shock, soul, spirit, storm, support, trust, universe, violence
It’s after midnight so it is now the first of September. My self-determined challenges for this month are to stop biting my lip and fingers (something I’ve been doing since I was a child) and to be present (and whenever I discover that I’m not being present, I’ll gently bring myself back).
Tonight, I lie in bed, wide awake. I cry for my friend Michelle, who died suddenly. Since receiving the shocking and upsetting news, my emotions have become heightened.
I went for a long walk today and photographed the sun in the trees. I gazed delightedly at the yellow crescent moon perched low in the dusky sky. Music pulses through my body like blood.
I feel for Michelle and her parents. I remember the times we had together. I wonder how I’ll be at her funeral.
My mind flits from Michelle to a guy I’m interested in to an upcoming holiday to work and back to Michelle. I bite my lip.
I glance at the time. It’s twenty-five minutes past midnight. It’s September, I realise with a jolt and snatch my hand away from my mouth. I’m supposed to be present now.
I groan as I recognise that sometimes I actually enjoy being entertained by the drama of my mind. I quite like fantasising and reminiscing and anticipating. Mindfulness can be boring, right? Twenty-five minutes in and I’m already resisting the challenge.
The clock creeps past one am. I know that my mind is keeping me awake, like an enthusiastic relative back from their travels, telling me stories and bombarding me with pictures.
It’s late and I’m still wired. Not so entertaining now, is it? Maybe being present would be a good idea, I decide.
My breath deepens. I sink into my body and snuggle into the bed. My mind escapes again. And again. I patiently allow it to shuffle back. My shoulders drop. I stop holding on so tight. And I fall asleep.
Perhaps living in the past and potential future is just another bad habit like biting my lip and fingers. Apparently it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Thirty days hath September. So let’s see if this month bestows me with boredom or liberation and peace…
How will you challenge yourself this month?
Safe journey, Michelle. Rest in peace xxx
Image: Author’s Own.
Posted in Personal development, Spirituality
Tagged 21 days, acceptance, allowing, anticipation, bereavement, body, boredom, breath, breathing, challenges, crush, death, ego, emotions, enjoyment, entertainment, excitement, family, fantasy, feelings, freedom, friendship, future, grief, habits, holiday, insomnia, journey, liberation, memories, mind, mindfulness, music, nature, nervousness, now, past, patience, peace, photography, present, relationships, relaxation, resistance, sadness, september, shock, sleep, soul, work
I’ve been pretty tired lately as I’ve been really busy and noisy neighbours have been robbing me of my precious sleep. I noticed that I’ve started feeling anxious, rushed, under pressure and annoyed.
Little things that wouldn’t usually bother me were playing on my mind. My thoughts were ceaseless and I found it difficult to wind down.
I longed for a holiday far away from it all, where I could enjoy a complete lack of work, deadlines, meetings and boisterous children next door. I would sleep and walk in nature and breathe…
However, right now, I can’t just take off. Well, I could if I really wanted to as I always have a choice. So right now, I’m saying yes to the assignments and visits, dates and appointments.
But I still need to take a moment in between. I need to create space for myself amongst all the busyness so that I can hear what’s going on for me.
But wasn’t that the last thing I wanted to do? I was fed up of hearing myself think. I slouched off into the dark bedroom and flung myself on the bed. I was full to the brim with my own thoughts.
Last night, I gave my Positive Living group the homework of recording their self-talk for one day. The purpose of this is to monitor how many negatives and positives you’re telling yourself and to see what negative issues are most common.
I decided to take on this task today and what a day it was to complete such an exercise. My self-talk was predominantly negative, full of doubt and criticism, perfectionism and irritation. And when I realised how negative I’d been, I felt even more negative. I really was sick of the sound of my inner critic.
So instead of trying to analyse or reason with myself, I wondered: What would a friend say if they overheard my self-talk?
Instantly, my inner voice became encouraging and supportive, gentle and complimentary. My inner-friend was understanding and compassionate and even offered some useful advice.
She told me to always listen to what I needed, to prioritise and to take enough time to rest and have fun. She insisted that my health and happiness were of utmost importance and whatever I needed to do to conserve both of those things was absolutely worth doing.
And you know what, she was right. I must listen to her more often.
What’s your inner friend telling you?
Posted in Health, Personal development, Positive Thinking
Tagged advice, anger, anxiety, assignments, breath, breathing, busyness, children, choice, dates, dating, deadlines, encouragement, exhaustion, freedom, friends, fun, gentleness, happiness, health, holiday, homework, inner critic, irritation, listening, love, meditation, mental-health, nature, negative thinking, negativity, noise, perfectionism, positive living classes, positive living group, positive thinking, positivity, pressure, priorities, relationships, rest, self-love, self-talk, self-worth, sleep, society, space, support, thinking, thoughts, time, understanding, walking, work