Positive Pause – 24th October, 2016 – Live, don’t just exist

Live, don't just exist
“To live is the rarest thing, most people exist, that is all”
Oscar Wilde 

This week for me has been a mix of low lights and high lights as life often is. However, I believe that seeing the positive in the low lights is what keeps us from just existing and brings us into the realms of thriving. Live, don’t just exist

On Monday, returning from the school pick up,  I experienced what I saw at that  moment as a major ‘low light’ of the week. Luca, my 8 year old son fell off his bike directly into oncoming traffic! It was quite an experience as I was cycling in front of him and saw it happen out of the corner of my eye. A mother’s instinct is strong and at times like this, the survival instinct kicks in – the only thing on my mind was to save my son. I moved so fast that it felt surreal; I threw my own bike on the ground (although I have no memory of doing so),  let go of the lead of our beloved dog Rosie and ran into the traffic and roared “STOP!” Thankfully the oncoming car did and amazingly nobody was hurt – even Rosie who had followed me out onto the road came out of it all with her tail wagging.

The ‘highlight’ of the week saw me return to Paris for an important family celebration; the launch of a beautiful book my dad has written of poems. Ironically, the title of the book is “Dancing with Luck.” Paris is a city that is filled with memories and connections for me; I lived there at age 19 for a few months as well as getting engaged and married there.

The apartment my family rented happened to be very close to where I had lived in as a jeune fille au pair 21 years ago. Then, I had my own petit studio and on this trip I went back to see it. Incredibly my subconscious mind seemed to  know the way there after all this time. Memories of my younger self came flooding back and the one that struck me was, how even at that age, I believed in how important health was. Pardon the cliche – if we have our health, we have our wealth. The dance with death earlier in the week is a reminder to us all to be grateful for every day that we wake healthy and strong.

If you have any issues, big or small, this week please remember to take a big step back and remember the words of Oscar Wilde (above).  The metro in Paris currently has many quotes from this literary hero. His connection to Paris was also very strong and he is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Life is fragile and precious. Your ability to appreciate it will elevate you into the realms of living and not merely existing.

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.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing with you again next week, same time, same place!

Fiona Brennan

Positive Pause – 22nd August, 2016 – At Least

Eggs ResizedI believe in the phrase “ at least ”.

We were in the car on our way to stay in a remote holiday home in the Catalonian countryside when we realised that we had been so busy living “in the moment” we had forgotten to bring adequate provisions for dinner; we had ‘some’ food but not really enough. My optimistically programmed husband said, “at least we have some eggs.” How true! “At least” is a phrase that we could all probably do with using more often.  It is in an indirect way of being grateful for what we do have rather than being concerned with what we don’t.

This week, if you find yourself complaining about some less than satisfactory aspect of your life, or if you have made a small mistake, or if you have forgotten something, please try using the phrase “at least”   You will quickly realise that you have ‘more’ than you may realise and there is nothing “at least” about it.  By focussing on the positive aspect of any situation you send a message to your subconscious that will enable you to gain greater joy, happiness and peace.

Please read the 5 star reviews that my online program, The Positive Habit is receiving from those who have completed the course.

Positive Pause – 15th August, 2016 – Draw Away Your Fear

draw away your fearRecently I created the opportunity for myself to attend a sketching class. I haven’t done anything like this since I was at school and, to be honest, I was like many others in the class who thought that they couldn’t actually draw! I must admit that I am one of many who suffer with limited belief in my talent  when it comes to creating visual art. Usually memories of doing art at school come flooding back and the teachers who did their best to inspire. Draw away your fear
The art teacher who took the sketching class recently however must have been trained in positive psychology because she started off by saying, “forget your fear or limited beliefs, leave them at the door, you can do this, it’s lines on a piece of paper.” The way she spoke resonated with me and I decided to go with her advice.
She allowed only pens to be used so that we couldn’t try to start again; this was a wonderful way of encouraging spontaneous drawing and letting go of ideas of perfection.  She then pointed out something I do already know – that perfection does not exist.
We were asked to draw  flowers in a plant pot and I along with the rest of the class entered the state known as ‘flow’ where all my attention was absorbed on what I was doing.  This is a very creative and therapeutic  state where time becomes totally unimportant and everything is focussed on the task at hand.
This week, if you have the chance, take this teacher’s advice and  leave any fear or self-doubt at the door where it belongs. Believe in your talent to achieve success in whatever endeavour you are engaged in. My sketch may not be a masterpiece  but it’s better than I thought  it would be and all because I opened my mind and let go off negative thought patterns.  In the words of  Thomas Edison, “if we did all we are capable of we would literally astound ourselves.”  A few more art classes and who knows what’s possible…!
Please read the 5 star reviews that my online program, The Positive Habit is receiving from those who have completed the course.

The Positive Pause – 13th June, 2016 – The Fog Always Clears

fog always clearsWhen you feel down please be kind to yourself. fog always clears

We all have days when it feels like we are struggling under a fog and can’t see clearly.  Often this can be because we are working too hard or simply trying to juggle too many different responsibilities.

This week Dublin was covered in a thick fog coming in from the sea. The famous Poolbeg chimneys in Dublin bay were completely masked by the mist. A visitor who had never seen the city before would not realise that the chimneys were there at all and yet behind all the fog the chimneys were as strong and prominent as always.

This week and every week, if you feel any heavy emotions that seem to cloud your thinking and drain your energy, please remember that underneath it all, you are still there, strong and prominent. The negative feelings will pass and you will soon be restored to your true self.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to be kind to yourself in those moments, hours or even days when you feel the weight of the fog. The human instinct is often to try and hide from any emotional pain, to push it down, to avoid it, to block it out in whatever coping mechanism we have learnt; this can often be to eat or drink to escape which, of course, does not work and the fog thickens and lingers longer. Often we will do anything but simply accept it. Show it compassion, accept it for what it is and then let it slowly pass.

The origin of the word emotion comes from the Latin word, ēmovēre which means to move. The fog always clears and emotions always move or pass on.

If and when you feel down or are worried about something, be kind to yourself, accept that the emotion is there for a reason and that it needs your attention and care.  Show yourself compassion and let the emotion move and pass through you. Clarity will soon be restored and you will feel much better.

fog always clears