Not doing enough.
Not trying hard enough.
Not pushing myself enough.
Not good enough.
Get out of your comfort zone. You have so much potential. If I were you, I’d… You should… Why don’t you?
Not as good as.
Not unique enough.
Not normal enough.
Not young enough.
Not skinny enough.
Not pretty enough.
Not smart enough.
Not rich enough.
Not successful enough.
When will I have done enough to relax, to enjoy, to accept and to love?
To let myself be?
When is enough enough?
Art by Ivan Toninato
Posted in Love, Modern Society, Personal development
Tagged acceptance, control, critic, enjoyment, family, inner critic, letting go, life, living, love, perfectionism, relaxation, self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-love
Only for the “Lockdown” I may never have:
- Experienced gratitude for being allowed to go for walks.
- Followed the flight of a swan as far as my eye could see.
- Witnessed a heron spearing a fish with its beak and thought it was amazing (I’m vegetarian).
- Had so much quality time with my boyfriend.
- Got my boyfriend into Irish radio.
- Convinced my boyfriend to enter the daily radio competition so we’d double our chances.
- Dragged my boyfriend for his first proper canal walk.
- Felt surprised when he wanted to walk further than me.
- Wrote a poem about COVID-19 because all my cousins were doing it.
- Attended online classes via Zoom.
- Participated in a Women’s Circle (via Zoom).
- Attended a Life Coach (via Zoom).
- Started giving Life Coaching sessions over Zoom.
- Had video chats with friends, who live within a 30 km radius, using Zoom.
- Paid for a Zoom subscription.
- Watched a movie with homemade mini-pizzas, a nice bottle of red and a basin of popcorn on a WEDNESDAY.
- Listened to a podcast while lying on my bed. Listening to podcasts had only ever been a multi-tasking activity (alongside walking or cooking).
- Gazed out the bedroom window at a lone star.
- Listened to the wind in the trees.
- Had a day-time nap.
- Enjoyed bringing the bins out and hanging out the washing.
- Walked all the way to the “Big Tesco” instead of driving and didn’t mind queuing because “Sure, what else would I be doing?”
- Rejoiced when I spotted eggs in the supermarket.
- Let my hair go this grey.
- Reevaluated where I am in my life and what I want.
- Had all the time in the world to figure it out.
- Opted to write this list instead.
What have you been doing that you may never have done only for the “Lockdown”?
Posted in Modern Society, Random
Tagged affection, appreciation, blog, boyfriend, breath work, confusion, corona virus, covid-19, current affairs, drinking, exercise, friendship boredom, irish radio, life, life coach, life coaching, living, lockdown, love, nature, online, online classes, outdoors, pizza, podcast, podcasts, poem, poetry, popcorn, radio, relaxation, sleep, time, walking, wine, writing, yoga, zoom
I decide to open up to a fellow holistic therapist about how I’m feeling. I tell her that nothing necessarily bad is happening to cause this feeling but that I sense its heaviness.
I’m choosing to carry it around and I’m not letting it go. I admit that I’m afraid, which makes me want to close down and not care in order to protect myself.
My friend instructs me to close my eyes and really get into the feeling of being scared. She tells me to allow it to grow and expand and fill my body.
I feel an energy in my chest and my stomach. It feels like fear then anger and then I relax. I open my eyes and relay this to her.
She asks if there’s any bad feeling left. I tell her there is. Sadness and grief. So I’m told to repeat the process of feeling and allowing the sadness.
I see the little girl inside of me. I feel what she’s feeling. But there’s a resistance within me. I don’t particularly want to go there now. Been there, done that.
Despite my current resistance, this year I’ve been loving myself more. When I feel bad, I remember not to reject myself. Because of this major personal breakthrough, I know that I’ll be okay.
My friend tells me that I’m repeating an old pattern. There really is nothing to be afraid of. I need to face my fear so that I can see that it’s just an illusion.
I already feel much better. This makes so much sense. I usually resist these bad feelings, fearing that they will control my life and affect how I behave, react and relate to others.
My friend reminds me that this is where my resistance lies. I don’t want these feelings. I’m trying to avoid certain behaviours. And I’m fearing the worst possible outcome.
“Stop resisting,” my friend insists.
“Allow the feeling to take you over. That will create a shift. A letting go. Which will open you up in wonderful ways.
Open your heart. Allow yourself to be hurt. And the funny thing is, you won’t be hurt. Because the real you can never be destroyed.”
She predicts that letting go of resistance and allowing the feelings to take me over will change everything. I won’t have to worry about what might happen, how I may react or the many ways I could self-destruct.
She also warns that just because I’ve now stopped pushing against the swing of resistance doesn’t mean that it will immediately cease moving.
“Once you stop pushing the swing, it will continue to move back and forth for a while. But it will be less forceful and it will gradually swing less and less,” she smiles.
I leave my friend’s house with an unfamiliar feeling in my chest. Is it pain? Discomfort?
I allow the feeling to grow and expand until I realise what it is. My heart is open. And that’s okay.
Posted in Love, Personal development, Spirituality
Tagged abandonment, acceptance, anger, behaviour, body, chakras, change, control, discomfort, emotion, expansion, fear, feelings, force, grief, growth, healing, health, heartbreak, holistic therapist, hurt, illusion, inner child, letting go, life, living, love, mind, mindfulness, open heart, openness, pain, past, patterns, personal development, personal growth, power, presence, present, reaction, rejection, relationships, relaxation, relief, resistance, romance, sadness, self-destruction, self-love, sharing, shift, soul, spirit, thoughts, worry
I’m currently rereading Anodea Judith’s excellent book Eastern Body, Western Mind. This morning, I completed an exercise on the Inner Family that I’m going to share with you.
Anodea Judith suggests making a list of the various parts of yourself. You might include the inner child, the clown, the achiever, the lover, the critic, and so on. In my case, I listed the lost child, the inner child, the lover, the romantic, the fearful one, and the warrior.
Next to each name on the list, write a few words describing how you perceive this part of yourself.
For example, I could describe the inner child as playful, curious or innocent. The lost child might be scared and alone. The lover is open, present and sensual. The romantic believes in love. The fearful one anticipates that bad things will happen. And the warrior is stunning, strong and skilled.
Now, write down what you think each part wants. My inner child wants to experience. The lost child wants to be loved. The lover wants to make love. The romantic wants to connect. The fearful one wants peace. And the warrior wants to live.
Ask yourself how often these parts succeed in getting what they want. How realistic are their desires? And what can be done to bring them into wholeness?
In order to bring the various parts of myself into wholeness, I can connect with people, including myself. I can be open to relationship and to love. I can meditate, rest and be still. I can be in nature, surround myself with beauty, and go on adventures. Using all of my senses, I can make love with life every single day. I can be present, really live, relax, allow and enjoy.
The final part of this exercise is to look at who relates to whom. For instance, does the critic inhibit the artist? Or does the clown entertain the sad inner child?
I realise that the parts of myself that I listed seem to go in pairs. The loving, playful inner child is the lost child’s reassuring companion. The confident lover and the dreamy romantic are in perfect partnership. And the warrior protects the fearful one and makes her feel safe.
This is an interesting exercise. Try it and let me know how you get on.
Posted in Personal development, Random
Tagged achiever, adventure, anodea judith, anticipation, artist, badness, beauty, beliefs, body, books, bravery, centre, chakras, clown, companionship, confidence, connection, courage, critic, curiosity, desires, dreams, eastern body western mind, enjoyment, experience, fear, giving, good, heart, hope, human, inner child, inner family, innocence, life, live, loneliness, lost child, love, lover, meditate, mind, nature, needs, now, openness, people, perception, play, pleasure, presence, protection, reading, receiving, relationship, relaxation, rest, romance, romantic, sadness, safety, security, self-acceptance, self-discovery, self-help, sensuality, sex, sexuality, skill, soul, spirit, stillness, strength, success, touch, wants, warrior, wholeness
Tonight at an Amber Run gig, I watch as the band becomes immersed in playing. There’s something riveting about witnessing other people express their creativity and passion. It’s exciting to be invited to share the experience.
The vibration of the music pulses through my body. The beat of the drums pulls me in and spurs me on. My hips begin to sway. I raise my arms and close my eyes.
The music moves in me and expresses itself through me. I’m not thinking about how I should dance. And I’m not looking at what other people around me are doing. I’m perfectly happy with myself in the enjoyment of this moment.
Suddenly, I realise that the same concept holds true for life. When we’re present to the now, we’re in the flow. We don’t have to worry about how a thing will unfold. Because when we let go and allow, unfold it will. Beautifully so.
We are the instruments through which life happens. We are the consciousness that sees life happening. And we are life.
A bombshell of awareness and connection implodes and explodes and ripples into infinity. I stand for a while in blissful understanding. Then I smile and rejoin the dance.
Posted in Random, Spirituality
Tagged acceptance, aha moment, allowing, amber run, awareness, band, beauty, bliss, body, concert, connection, consciousness, contentment, creativity, dance, dublin, energy, excitement, experience, expression, flow, gig, happiness, infinity, life, music, musicians, now, passion, presence, realisation, relaxation, resistance, self-consciousness, sensuality, sharing, stress, talent, the academy, understanding, universe, vibration, witness, worry
Three things I’m taking away from my Life Coaching session this morning:
1. I’m going to work with the “negative” voice that regularly pipes up with annoying statements like: “You’re not good enough.”
I’m going to coach this voice. I’ll listen to it and be there with it and ask it how it feels to believe such a statement.
I understand that it’s there for a reason. It’s actually there for my good as it’s showing me what I need to look at in order to heal. And so I give it, I give myself, compassion.
2. I’m not going to make assumptions or take things personally (And even if I do, I’ll be aware that I’m doing it).
I can’t know why anyone does or doesn’t do something. I don’t know what’s going on in their heads or what issues they have in their lives.
3. I’m going to stop focussing on all the things I can’t do and all the things I’m not.
Instead, I concentrate on my uniqueness and on the wonderful talents that I’m bringing to the world around me. We’re all different. There’s beauty in that.
And a fourth one that didn’t arise from the coaching session but that has made itself known to me in a more obvious manner than ever before:
It’s all unfolding perfectly.
I simply have to get out of my head and drop into my heart. Let go of control. Release fear. Relax.
I am present. I am open. I trust. And I realise that everything I need is provided for me. I allow, accept and give gratitude.
Sometimes, what comes isn’t how I would have imagined it. It may even hurt as I attempt to resist it.
But the learning and growth that emerges from what does come makes me realise that everything happens for a reason. And the incredible people and gifts that appear are better than anything I ever could have planned.
Posted in Personal development, Positive Thinking, Spirituality
Tagged acceptance, allowing, anger, assumptions, beauty, beliefs, coaching, compassion, control, don miguel ruiz, emotions, empathy, fear, feelings, focus, gifts, gratitude, grief, growth, head, heart, inner critic, inner voice, insights, judgement, law of attraction, learning, letting go, life, life coaching, listening, living, manifestation, negative thinking, negativity, openness, peace, people, perfection, personal development, positive thinking, presence, present, present moment, relaxation, sadness, self-acceptance, self-development, self-esteem, self-worth, talents, the four agreements, thinking, thoughts, trust, understanding, unique, universe, world