Positive Pause – 26th September, 2016 – Imagine

ImagineIt can be hard to recall what it is like to be a child, a teenager, a younger more vulnerable version of yourself or even what it is like to be old or to be very  ill when you feel healthy.  However, this week I came to the conclusion that it is definitely worth the effort in order to maintain positive relationships with the people I love. Imagine

I love my son unconditionally. However, truth be known he takes conscious eating to a new level and he can literally take a full two hours to finish his breakfast! Now this is all very well when there are no work and school deadlines looming.  I  promote stopping and smelling the roses and the need we all have to slow down, but I found this week my mindful moments were being pushed to their peaceful limit.

After a lot of deep breaths and exhortations like “come on, you are going to be late,” I found that I had to take a step back from the building frustration I felt inside that that was leaking out of me.

The morning is an important time for setting the tone for the rest of the day (hence my daily morning walks and mediation).  On one of these walks, the words of John Lennon’s song came to me –  ‘Imagine all the people, where do they all come from,” which encapsulates the concept of what it is like to imagine the world through someone else’s eyes.  I then thought how this might help me to step inside Luca’s shoes and see the world through his eyes. Most kids are much better at living in the moment and we have a lot to learn from their outlook; they are genuinely in, what positive psychology refers to as, a ‘state of flow.’ Their minds’ are totally absorbed with their actions and they are unaware of the passing of time (hence the long breakfasts). It’s an incredibly healthy place to be for us all to be but can be tricky to accommodate on a weekday morning!

This week, if you run into any relationship challenges whether it is with your children, your husband, your wife, your parents, your siblings, your friends or your colleagues it can be helpful to imagine how they see things from their stage in life, their conditioning and circumstances. We owe it to ourselves to work on nurturing positive relationships with those we love and those we meet on a daily basis. Feeling close to others is a strong signal that we feel close to ourselves.

Safe to say, I need to encourage Luca to eat faster on school mornings but also to allow him to keep his natural mindful state.  There is a balance and I’m hoping to find it …Wish me luck!

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Positive Pause – 19th September, 2016 – Open up to Someone You Love

Open up to Someone You LoveI regularly do yoga and if I have a spare ten minutes I’ll stick on a YouTube video (one of my favourites is Tara Stiles). The feeling I get after I have stretched my body into all sorts of bizarre shapes is one of openness and connection that benefits me greatly. It’s my way of connecting to myself. Open up to Someone You Love

This week I was asked do a radio interview with the very open-minded and charming Nicky Byrne in RTE 2FM. I was excited to have the opportunity to speak about my work in a supportive and interested environment. Any chance that I get to reach and help people I always grab with both hands. The interview went really well and I got the message across to the best of my ability.

However, after the initial high of the interview I felt an unfamiliar low. I had this uncomfortable feeling of tightness in my chest so I did my yoga, practiced my mediation, listened to my self-hypnosis and while all of these things helped, it became clear to me that I needed to talk to someone to help me figure out why the feeling persisted. On Wednesday evening when the sun was just setting I went for a walk with my very supportive and caring husband and I opened up to him about this unwelcome low I was experiencing after the initial exhilaration of doing the interview. This really helped and gave me an incredible feeling of release similar to when I do yoga.  Also the tension in my chest literally dissipated. The outcome of our chat was that I realised I had put myself under a bit too much pressure to get my message across; I hadn’t found out until late Monday that I was to go on live radio the next morning and so I had very little time to prepare.

This week and of course at any time in the future, if you feel  tension building in you, please use your own self-help techniques to alleviate the tension.  If this is still not enough then, if you can, open up to someone you love, someone who will listen without judging or interrupting! I realise that most of us don’t wish to burden others with our troubles and while this undoubtedly stems from altruism, by not talking about what is on out minds we indirectly, negatively affect those we love; often we can become irritable or withdrawn and our tension affects others. By contrast, talking about issues and sharing your concerns is like opening a window in stuffy room – everything feels fresher and lighter again.  Talking honestly also brings you closer to the person you have confided in.

If you wish to listen to the podcast of my interview on 2FM please click here.  I hope that my passion and message is clear: you are the master of your mind.

I now have a big, mental, sticky note that says: ” Be kind to yourself, you are doing great,” and next time something comes up at short notice I will make sure to refer to this note.  I recommend you do the same for anything that challenges you beyond the normal.

Many thanks for subscribing to the Positive Pause. If you enjoy these posts please encourage your friends and family to subscribe by sharing using the links below.
Please also check out my online, self-help programme, The Positive Habit which is receiving five star reviews from subscribers who have completed the course.

Positive Pause – 12th September, 2016 – Becoming Friends with Your Past!

becoming friends with your pastI have a small wooden chair that I’ve had ever since I was very young. In fact, I think my parents bought it for my sister before I was  born. They got it in France and somehow it has moved around with me all of my adult life.

During the week, between clients, I caught sight of the small chair lying in the middle of the rug.  The chair is a relic of the past but also very much part of my life today as I still use this chair all the time, in fact, I’m sitting on it now. It’s perfect for meditating, drying my hair and writing! However, something about the empty chair struck a chord with me about how certain items we have had for many years carry an abundance of mixed memories.

A lot of the work  I do with my clients is about helping people to become friends with themselves, to be kinder to themselves and to care for and nurture the best that is in them; often it is past hurtful experiences that stop them from doing just that. Most of the time these experiences are not in our conscious awareness but they are present in the decisions and behaviours we exhibit.

Like many people, though not all thankfully, I have had certain experiences in my past that I am not proud of; relationships that have gone wrong, things I wish I hadn’t done or said, silly mistakes made in the tumultuous teenage years. Thankfully, I  have come to terms with these things and have no regrets realising that both the negative and the abundance of positive experiences have shaped who I am today.

It struck me while looking at the little chair, that becoming friends with your past is fundamental to becoming friends with your present and truly being able to let the best of you shine through in the now.  You are only defined by your past if you choose to be. becoming friends with yourself

This week, consider how your past impacts on you today and consciously let go of anything that could be holding you back. Having buckets of compassion for yourself and anyone who may have hurt you will help you on this journey to nurturing the most important relationship in your life- the one you have with yourself.

A Lust for Life – Caring for Yourself – September, 2016

The Positive Habit on A Lust for Life“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self –indulgent.  Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

Audre Lorde, American writer, radical feminist, womanist, lesbian, and civil rights activist.

The importance of establishing a self-care routine that meets your mental, physical, emotional and psychological needs is paramount to your own well-being and those that you love. Your body and mind respond well to having their needs met and soon recognise the rewards of a healthy self-care habit. After a period the body craves what the body gets.  For example, if your body is regularly exercised it will begin to automatically expect this and feels deprived if it doesn’t get it.  It is the same with the mind, if you start a regular meditation practice and then abandon it, your mind will miss the windows of peace that the practice brings to your life. Read more

Positive Pause – 5th September 2016 – Find your Pocket of Peace

pocket of peaceSeptember is often a busy month and an ideal time to shed unwanted habits in the same way as the leaves fall from the trees. Back to school and work after the holidays provides a opportunity to form new positive habits. pocket of peace

While on holiday in France I  got into the habit of taking a walk as soon as I woke up, before breakfast, before anything. This walk provided me with an amazing amount of peace and allowed me to ease into the day. I would focus on making it a mindful experience by choosing one of my senses or my breath to anchor me in the present.  I would then keep this moment-to-moment awareness and an awareness of the sense that I had chosen as I went through the rest of the day.

In the busyness of being back to a routine with my son going to school and my first client at 8.30.am I was concerned about how I could  maintain this mindful walk. However, I was determined to keep up this morning ritual and each morning this week I set the clock 15 mins early. I  am fortunate enough to have my walk along the beach and witness the sun just after it has risen. This time before work and the busy day is a pocket of peace that sets me up with the resources that I need.
This week, if you can (and I appreciate just how busy most of you are), please consider finding your own pocket of peace before the day begins. Setting your clock that little bit earlier can make all the difference. Take the time to either go for a walk, do some yoga, meditation, write a journal, anything that provides you with the opportunity to create a space just for you. This time allows you to connect in with yourself and ease yourself into the day before it gets busy.  This is especially true if you allow it to be a mindful experience.
Taking time for yourself is not a luxury but a fundamental need that benefits not only you but all those around you.
Many thanks for subscribing to the positive pause. If you enjoy these posts please encourage your friends and family to subscribe by sharing using the links below.
Please also check out my online self-help programme, The Positive Habit which is receiving five star review from users who have completed the course.