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STILL GIVING YOURSELF A HARD TIME?

I’ve been enjoying  the privilege of teaching self-care to a group of hard working conscientious, caring people this week and it’s put me in mind of one of my favourite sayings.  ‘We teach others how to treat us’ it’s true isn’t it.

At a subtle energetic level we constantly absorb and convey information to and from people around us. Unconsciously we tell people a lot about ourselves from the way we dress,  to our non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions and tonality.

How do you want to be treated?

How do you treat yourself?

What is it that you would like others to give you or do for you? 

Do you ever give that to yourself? 

Years ago I  read a popular magazine that suggested …‘run yourself a bubble bath, pour yourself a glass of champagne and relax’ and I thought ” Yeah, right, who does that”! Well eventually I did. I loved it! It was a treat and I still remember the first time I did that for me. I also remember when I lived alone training myself to cook a nice dinner for me, I had to teach myself to lay the table just for me. Do you know what? It felt really nice to be looking after myself in such a simple yet respectful way. What simple thing could you do for yourself that would make you feel valued, worthy and special?

Better self-care develops better self-confidence, try asking yourself this question several hundred times a week… ‘Is this kind and loving to myself’? Step back and watch what your mind at play, observe how you treat yourself, you might just be surprised.

One of the first precepts in yoga is Ahimsa which means non-violence. Ahimsa offers us a guideline on how to live life, the aim being not to hurt others and not to hurt ourselves. This means  physically, emotionally and mentally. How often do you say unkind, spiteful, discouraging things to yourself?  STOP IT NOW!  You wouldn’t say or do that to a child would you?

If you fancy changing your programming try this little exercise.  For the next two days, every time you hear yourself say something unpleasant and unsupportive, say 2 nice things to yourself to counter that.  Smother your inner bully with love! Ha ha! Have fun with it and let me know how you get on.

I know you’re busy so thanks for taking the time to read and please pass it on to anyone who you think it might help.

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6 Survival Tips For A Stress Free Christmas

How to cope with Christmas

I love that quote …“Think you’re enlightened? Spend a week with your family!”

For many family is the messiest part of life. People just won’t do what we want them to do will theyHow to cope with Christmas!

Christmas holidays often mean spending prolonged periods of time with people who can push your emotional buttons, so what’s your plan to survive Christmas and the strong opinions or personalities that can arise at this time?  Check out my tips below.

1. Meditation

The Christmas holidays are a perfect time to develop a regular mediation habit. Start with  5 minutes, building to 7 and then 10 minutes a day by week two.  Along with enormous health benefits, at this time of year meditation can offer you the perfect excuse to get away and give yourself some much needed time and space. Check out my other blogs or click here for simple meditation techniques.

2. Breathe  To Alleviate Boredom

I remember someone telling me of their dread of the office party and the boring conversations they had to endure each year. If you get stuck with the office bore try practising a simple breathing technique whilst they’re talking to you. Keep looking at the person and subtly bring your awareness to your nostrils, silently count One on your next inbreath, two before you breathe out, three as you exhale and four before you breathe in again. When you’ve counted 5 ‘whole’ breaths in this way make your excuses ” well, it’s been great catching up and I want to talk to …. now, enjoy the rest of the party” and run!

3. Develop compassion.

If step 2 seems a bit harsh, maybe you can develop the art of active listening? You’re with the office bore again (except you no longer refer to them in such a way) imagine you can drop down into a very peaceful space within and begin listening with an open heart, i.e. with absolutely no expectations, no desire to escape and without a need to fix them, question them or judge anything they say. Good luck with that!

4. Boundaries. Where are yours?

What is your tolerance level for a particular person? So for example you don’t get along with your sister can you sit open-heartedly listening to her for 5 minutes or 10? What and where is your limit? It’s important to know yourself in this respect. Think about these interactions ahead of time.  Once you’ve reached your tolerance level with that particular person have  an “I need to get up and get some water” statement handy, so that you can change your position and your state. Plan ahead, is it possible to arrange to sit next to someone you do enjoy talking to?

5. Booze. Is it time to monitor your intake?

At what point might you say something you could regret? If two drinks leave you merry and sweet but four make you a bit mouthy…  perhaps you need a plan. Think ahead. How do you want to feel when you wake up after you’ve been out partying? When you look back over the previous evening’s events do you want to be happy with your ruminations or will you be cringing because of something you said or did?  Will that extra drink make the difference?  Plan ahead and decide when enough is enough. Before you go out think about an alternative to alcohol get a really clear picture of it in your mind, for example imagine a nice glass of sparkling tonic water with a shot of lime cordial and a twist of lemon, or a pot of freshly brewed coffee.

6. Kindness

Christmas is an especially good time to be thoughtful, kind and generous to others but I hear so often of people (usually women) who have run themselves ragged trying to make the perfect Christmas for others only to end up ‘coming down with something’. So be kind to yourself first, it’s then easier to give authentically to others.  Make time for you and as you give yourself a bit of space  ask yourself “what do I want, what do I need.” When your cup is full there’s a tendency to only want for the good of others and if you’re okay,  you’re in a better position to take care of others.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs, visit the site and purchase products I really value your feedback.

Wishing my family, friends, clients, yoga students and readers a great Christmas and all you would wish for yourself throughout 2017.

Remember if you know of anyone who might benefit, my shop is stocked full of programs designed to help with confidence, stress, anxiety, sleep problems and other issues. Psst! Pass it on please…

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What Keeps You Awake?

Do you struggle to get off to sleep? the-art-of-zzzz-epub-cover-size-1-300x300

Is your sleep constantly disturbed?

Do you wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept at all?

If so you’re not alone! Millions of people across the globe struggle with sleep and interestingly it seems that more women than men have problems sleeping properly.   According to a Huffington Post blog written earlier this year a staggering 46% of women compared to 36% of men reported having trouble sleeping.

Why is that? Do women always strive to do more? Are we still really bad at putting ourselves and our basic needs first?

What You Can Do To Help Yourself

There are many factors that contribute to poor sleep patterns. To address your sleep issue you’ll need to look in a number of areas, from what you eat and drink,  your exercise habits, your more general routines, the immediate environment, technology and of course your mindset.

Continue reading What Keeps You Awake?

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5 Quirky Ways To Beat Performance Anxiety

When I decided to pursue a childhood dream of singing and went along to my first performers evening, I was mortified when I got up to sing. As I opened my mouth I heard a weird strangled sound more reminiscent of an injured animal! My diaphragm locked up like a tight fist and my lips wriggled around independently like a pair of worms! The rest of my performance that evening is thankfully a fuzzy haze!
I had the classic Fight, Flight or Freeze symptoms one might experience in the face of eminent disaster such as being attacked or having a near miss in a car.

Performance Anxiety
Performance Anxiety

Singing was something I wanted to do, so I decided I was not going to be beaten by this poor experience. Using my training and experience as psychotherapist and hypnotherapist I applied to myself, all the techniques and practices I might offer a client experiencing performance anxiety.

I liken public performance to standing naked in front of a group of people! You really are exposing your most vulnerable self. This means your self-esteem is very much linked to your performance. Trouble is, if your good sense of self is totally dependent on others having to like you or think well of you, then you’re even more vulnerable because that’s is something you have no control over.

Continue reading 5 Quirky Ways To Beat Performance Anxiety

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1 Surprisingly Simple Mind Hack

Subconscious mind

According to quantum physics the brain processes 400 billion bits of information per second. Apparently we are only consciously aware of 2,000 of these, which are processed and filtered at a conscious level.

When someone recently said to me “I don’t know how you can sit and  listen to people’s problems day in and day out” I was ferocious in defence that my work isn’t like that at all! To the contrary, I explained it’s positively joyous!  I help people to establish what they want to change, get rid of, or improve in their lives I then facilitate that change. As a result it is the most privileged,  rewarding work, that I liken to watching a flower grow.

So when a friend asked me to help her I jumped at the opportunity. She was bored with her job as a civil servant. To counter the boredom over the years, she had retrained in a number of different skills and was extremely well qualified to make a shift and change her career. There was one problem, she was scared! She lacked the confidence and belief in herself  to take the leap of faith required.

We did a small piece of work and the next thing my friend had handed in her notice and moved on.  A year down the line she feels fulfilled in her new career, has met lots of people and made many new friendships. I didn’t really do anything. She did it all, by allowing her subconscious mind to create a perfect solution, in a way that only she could know and understand, a solution that resonated elegantly with every part of her on every level. Continue reading 1 Surprisingly Simple Mind Hack