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
I gave my Positive Living group the homework of doing one thing per day in complete mindfulness. This means being present with every sensation and emotion that you experience as you participate in an activity.
It involves being aware of the taste, smell, colour and texture of each ingredient you eat. It includes really listening to the sounds and silences of the music that’s playing. It’s about the feel of the ground beneath your feet with every step you take. It is the subtle sense of your breath as it leaves your nostrils and touches your skin.
We had a week off class because of the mid-term break. So one week later, when I started preparing this week’s class, I remembered the homework. I hadn’t done it once. I was anything from an exemplary teacher. I resolved to start. I still had a week.
This evening, as I sat down to dinner, I remembered the task. I had totally forgotten about it again. This was the perfect opportunity to practice. I could eat mindfully right now. But it’ll take too long, my inner resistance whined.
The logical part of me suggested that it wouldn’t take much longer to eat mindfully than it would to just eat. The only difference would be that I’d have to set aside my mind chatter for a few moments. You know what happened? I lost my appetite.
To be perfectly honest, I still haven’t done my homework. Some stubborn part of me is refusing to let go of the busyness, to quiet the din, to slow down, to simply be.
I’m sure the reason for this will become apparent but I’ll probably have to do all of the things I just mentioned first.
Could you do one thing per day in complete mindfulness for a week? If so, please let me know how you get on. I’d love to learn from you.
Posted in Positive Thinking, Random, Spirituality
Tagged breathing, eating, hallowe'en, homework, inner dialogue, learning, listening, meditation, mind, mindfulness, music, nature, now, positive living class, positive living group, present, resistance, senses, silence, stubborn, teacher, walking