I am such a firm believer in trying something new. Even when there is fear there, and apprehension, I like to bite the bullet, take the bull by the horns, take a leap of faith, and see what happens. Cause really, what is the worst that can happen? Right?
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in our ego's. (me included, in fact I am getting pretty good at being able to tell when my ego is stamping it's authority, then I yell EGO ... in my mind of course, and try to think of another way to think about things or do things), that we forget about the infinite power we have inside of ourselves to do amazing things. Have you noticed that when you see something that is attractive, fun, or exciting, and you instantly think, "Hey that is too cool, I can do that, or this, or create that, or make this ..." and then your ego steps in and say "woah there mister!! But what if you fall flat on your face and everyone laughs at you, what if you stuff it up so much that you go bankrupt, what if no one takes you seriously?" The ego says all this stuff to you, and you tend to give in, cause it's always easier to give in and just say, "your right ego, I could never do that! Thanks for the reality check mate, cause you know ego, your my best mate, right?"
Well, no ego isn't your best mate, your family, or friend, your ego is what feeds your doubts and insecurities, it's what makes you cling to things, to people, because your ego becomes defined by them, and without them, well, your ego becomes nothing. So when you dream big, your ego steps in and takes you down a peg, but how can you stop this little devil from sitting on your shoulder telling you lies and derailing your goal journey?
Firstly, you have to recognise the moments your ego pops up and says, "way-hay there, what's this? You really think you sing/travel around the world/lose weight/ or do yoga? I don't think so buddy! Stay where it's safe, where I feel strongest, and we can live the rest of our lives not achieving our potential. How does that sound?" When this happens you need to step back and change that thought. This is where meditation, mantra, affirmations, and visualisations can come in and put a reality check on the ego! When you truly see reality you see that there is nothing stopping you from achieving your goals than your own mind. You have control over your thoughts, actions, and motivations, not the ego, so be aware, acknowledge, and shove the dirty little creature out into the light, your light.
Secondly, do some shadow work. I have been doing some reading on shadow work recently and to say it has been enlightening is an understatement. Trust me when I say, your ego is not going to like this one bit. In doing shadow work you start to really look at your own hurts and anger, you start to uncover why you feel this way and how it reflects in your patterns of behaviour. When you start to break down your self in this way, the ego will come stamping out, it will question why you are doing this, and will take you to places of denial. Here is the thing though, to get to your truth you have to face the bad, and we all have issues, every single one of us. Imagine what the world would be like if we all did shadow work, worked through out "stuff" and came out the other side embracing our truly magnificent, loving selves? Wow, the world would be amazing! So don't let your ego convince you that if no-one else is doing this work why should you? Confront yourself, be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself and others, and come out the other side free.
Thirdly, surround yourself with others who are doing spiritual and/or shadow work. Create that support network where you can be open and honest with everything that is inside you. In business we quite often have mastermind groups to help us with our work ... what if we had mastermind groups for spirituality? (I think I've just given myself an idea!).
Aim high everyone, and don't let your ego tell you you can't, do that hike, make that quilt, build that business, and get up on stage. Your true self knows no limits, so let's work on revealing our absolutely, awesome, and ace selves for all to see.
I often don't feel this way anymore, but today I'm having, what I call, an "out-of-control, speed demon day!" Ever have one, or many, of those? You know, the days where the clock seems to be ticking faster and faster and faster, and your to-do list doesn't seem to be lessening, and your body is feeling lazy and in procrastination mode, and your brain is just wishing you could run away to Spain for a holiday on the beach! The conditions are right for some mega-stress-head moments, and life just feels like it's completely out of your control.
Here's the thing about these kind of days though ... they are made up! These days are made up, in your head, purely based on your perception of things that day ... and when you start to realise this, you can start to see you are much more in control then you think. BUT how can you get back some of that control, how can you slow down, how can you get each moment back to a pace, a peacefulness that can actually rid you of stress and panic? How can you, quite simply, switch off?
In a British survey it was found that 80% of people think life is moving to fast, and over 50% don't know how to switch off and get the relaxation that they need - you can find the study here, Mindfulness. If life is moving to fast for us Humans, imagine what our manic, out of control lives is doing for mother earth! In losing mindfulness for ourselves, are we also losing mindfulness for our big, beautiful, blue ball of planet?
Did you know that today, 22nd April, is the United Nations International Mother Earth Day?
So if there is any day where you should take the opportunity to slow down, de-stress, get more mindful, and get out into Mother Nature herself, it is today. But what can you do every day to slow down time, de-stress, and be a bit more mindful for yourself and mother nature?
1. Turn of your computer at lunch time and go and sit outside, whether you sit on your porch, in your garden, or walk to a park (don't drive, walk!). This not only gets you outside soaking in some much needed vitamin D, but is also gets you off the electricity grid for a good while. Hence, you are taking pressure off yourself, AND mother nature!
2. A point that fits nicely with the one above, pick a day or two each week where you walk everywhere. You run out of milk? Don't drive to the shops, walk. You have a meeting in town? Either walk, or combine walking with taking public transport. Walking is so healthy for you and has been proven to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety, AND again, it takes the pressure off mother earth by eliminating the pollution using your car would cause.
3. Declutter your space! Decluttering, or getting rid of unnecessary stuff has been proven to help with maintaining a clear and focused mind. Decluttering also means that you are reducing the amount of waste that you have in your life, thus, after the initial decluttering, you are cutting down on landfill pits, and other environmental hazards ... if you don't believe me check out Zero Waste Home.
I hope these tips help you see that with just a few little adjustments you can start making a big impact on, not just your life, but the life of this beautiful planet we live on - Earth.
I've been feeling a lot lately. My intuition has been bubbling up for my gut, not like a full steam, "throw the pasta in the pot" kind of bubbling, but a gentle, light simmer, just there where I can sense it, but can't quite grasp the full meaning of it. Do you know what I mean?
For me it's manifesting in a slight discomfort with my stated Purpose. I am kind of feeling, that for me, I have to make some changes to my Purpose and how I envision living said Purpose, to make the simmering in my gut cease. Lately I have been cultivating a really strong meditation practice, (I have talked about it before, but I use Andy Puddicombe's Headspace, it's a fantastic app and I will never cease to shout my praises from the rooftops!) and in cultivating this practice I am seeing the peace, the success, and the contentment in living life more simply. Here is how I see it - My Purpose, in simple terms, is to help others achieve their goals/dreams/fantastic life, to do this I have been thinking I have to GO BIG!
Like MEGA BIG!!
Like MEGA MEGA BIG!!!
I have been thinking that I need to have programs coming out of my ears, thousands of ebook on various different topics, be speaking at event after event after event, be bigger, be better, be greater than those that have come before.
... I feel sick just thinking about it. What I have been telling myself, to achieve my Purpose, is I need to be like every other person out there, to do the same marketing stuff, the same business structure, the same lifestyle ... but what if I don't want to listen to others anymore? What if, what I really want, is to be me ... so ...
What my intuition has been telling me is this - SIMPLIFY.
SIMPLIFY my life, SIMPLIFY my goals, SIMPLIFY my business. Pare back to the absolute essentials, learn to work with just the essentials, because when I do that I will have time to breath, to go into nature, to sleep, to hang with friends, to travel, to live in a different country every year, to dream clearly, to listen intently, to be.
Unconsciously I have been doing this already, since returning to the UK in January I have been slowly, but surely, decluttering my stuff, eliminating possessions down to only the absolute necessary, i.e., do I really need ten dresses for work? Nope, just two or three to rotate - done! I am seeing, a lot clearer, that in life, as in business, as in life, the key is keeping it simple (who remembers KISS? - Keep It Simple Stupid). When things are simple your worries drop, stress levels lower, contentment rises, life is bliss.
So, I think that is where my intuitive approach to my Purpose is heading, to simplify my Purpose, simplify how I reach my Purpose, simplify how I live my Purpose.
Do you want to embrace the simple life?
Here are some action points for you to start with -
1. When meditating really try and tune into how you are feeling, physically and emotionally. Just be aware, don't judge, don't freak out, don't panic ... cause you may just find that what you are feeling is your answer to leading a more stress-free and Purposeful life.
2. Check out where your visual interests lay lately. Check out your Pinterest boards, Instagram, and Tumblr - if your anything like me you tend to unconsciously post a lot of visual images, i.e., you have pinned that picture because something about it you like. Really look at where your visual imagery is taking you . . . I've been posting a lot about traveling lately, other countries, yoga poses, and Buddhist quotes.
3. For the next week go with immediate decision making processes, only give yourself a second to make a decision and go with it, I call this the Yes/No method. Instant gut reaction, go with it, don't question it, live it. Do it for a week and see where you stand, is it becoming clearer how you really want your life to be? Have you moved a little further along your goal journey without really trying?
Let me know what you think about intuitively reaching your purpose, the evolution of Purpose, and if any of these actions have worked for you.
We all have ups and downs, round and rounds, and sometimes, in the chaos that can be our minds, we close our hearts off, which can just exacerbate the issues we are dealing with. Even when we have a good balance of work and life, even if you have a yoga practice, or meditate every day, we can still have moments where we get lost in our negative thoughts and feel it close us off to the beauty that is the lived experience. This can have such a detrimental impact on not just your wellbeing - which is a crucial part of the goal journey - but also on your work, your passion, your purpose. So what can you do to identify and work through the issues that you have to, to let go and start to flow on the journey?
1. Meditate - Yes, I know I said above that even with a meditation practice you can find yourself a slave to your thoughts, but if you are finding that your current meditation practice is not helping you, perhaps you need to look at how and why you are meditating. In having a review of your meditation practice you can see where you may have stagnated and where you can, perhaps, push yourself (gently and with compassion of course), to go deeper into your practice. I have been using Andy Puddicombe's Headspace app to do my meditation this week and I have found that having him guide me through the meditation on a daily basis is actually helping me focus a little more and hence relax and sit with my thoughts a little more gently. You can find out more about Headspace here - HEADSPACE!
Action point - Review your meditation practice, write down three ways that meditation has helped you, and then write down three things that you feel you have to work on in your meditation. Celebrate the successes you've had with meditation and then do some research into how you can work on the three things you need to work on, see if there is something you can gain from other meditative traditions.
2. Mindfulness - Are you being mindful enough in your day-to-day life? It is something I have been really conscious of this past week, when my thoughts run away with themselves, so I have selected a trigger word that brings me back to the reality and truth of the moment. This trigger word can bring you back to your breathing, to your task, to your movement; the word can be anything that is short, sharp, and to the point, it should reflect the prevailing issue that is at hand. For me, at the moment, it is reflection of the work I am doing on my shadow self, so my trigger word is - "control." When my mind wanders into negative space, I say the word and it reminds me of the lesson that I am currently learning ... (unfortunately the lesson is private to me, so I can't really talk about it, but I'm sure you get the picture).
Action point - Choose a trigger word. Meditate on or write in your journal about the thoughts that are distracting you, really be honest with yourself. Write down the predominate issue you are dealing with at the moment, it may be body image issues, your business partner going rogue, an argument with a friend; once you have done this reflect the issue back onto you. What is your angst with this thing, person, or event? What is it saying about you and how you react to things? Could it be anger, shame, embarrassment, fear, or like in my case, control? Take this word and use it as a trigger to remind yourself, these negative thoughts are simply a reflection of my shadow self, and if I can work in, through, and out of the shadow self, then my issues will dissolve into the ether (I'm not suggesting you'll be "issue" free, we are only human after all, but it is a rolling process of learning, so work with what you have!). (Another thing, shadow work can be very tough, and I am not a psychologist by any means, I feel that some issues can be bigger than others, and you may not be able to work through them on your own, so I highly suggest that if your issues/tough times are leading to depression, please, please, please seek medical care).
3. Take positive action - Sometimes the fear and angst we are dealing with can lead to paralyses, literally paralyses! The fear of something, anything, and everything, can make you cease to move forward, your goals, your dreams can be stalled because you are stuck in a moment, a thought, or a place. Whenever I feel this paralyses I take "positive action." By positive action I mean taking one step forward, either a BIG step or a teensy step, it doesn't matter, as long as it is a positive step forward. This one step can often lead to the next step and then the next step and then the next, unlocking the paralyses and moving you into the present moment.
Action point - Take out your to-do list (or start a to-do list!). Divide it into two lists, a list of little steps, i.e., email files to business partner, wash the dishes, call the plumber; and a list of big steps, i.e., write the first chapter of your book, video a youtube video, attend a networking event. You now have two lists that can help you when your issues cause paralyses. When you feel the angst overcome you, whip out your to-do lists and select one little step and one big step, that is all you have to focus on doing today. The thing is, once you start, you might find that you call the plumber and get your youtube video taped, and find you've unlocked your paralyses, if that's the case keep on going, select another little step and another big step and do them .... and repeat?!?
These are just a few of the steps that can help open your heart and make your goal journey start to flow, meditate, mindfulness, and positive action, all the while you are dealing with what is closing your heart off. Other steps to look into include finding out more about your heart chakra (my friend Anj speaks about the heart chakra here - Heart), working through stuff with movement, i.e., yoga, allowing yourself to be more vulnerable.