Do what makes you happy

How well do you know yourself?

How often do you take time out to reflect on your beliefs, values and ethics?

How often do you take the time to really understand what it means to be you?

If the answer is “not often” then you are not alone.

We are so busy with jobs, kids, partners, parents, dependents, friends, that we rarely, if ever, find time to get to know ourselves.

Well, there is now scientific evidence to suggest that it is time to take a time out.

A study conducted by the University of Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences has found that “Compared with external factors, such as a pay rise, getting married or finding employment, personality change is just as likely and contributes much more to improvements in personal well-being.”

The research also suggests that by “focusing on who we are and how we relate to the world around us [there is] potential to unlock vast improvements in our well-being. The findings have implications for well-being policy and how best to help individuals and nations improve their outlook on life.”

It is important to develop a good sense of who you are. Nurturing ourselves is one of the most selfless things we can do. When we are feeling stress-free, relaxed, spiritually full, not only do we feel balanced and loved but those around us benefit as well.

They key to this self-love is Permission.

We, and by we I mean Women, don’t give ourselves permission to take time out to really develop a relationship with ourselves.

We are constantly working on having it all, a good job, security, love, a family, an active social life, that we rarely stop and look within to see what we really want or need.

When we do, we are labeled selfish, needy, masculine, modern.

This is a load of bollocks! We can have ‘it all’ and take time out to nurture the Goddess within and it is perfectly OK to do so.

Ladies, it is time we give ourselves Permission. Permission to love ourselves for who we are, as we are. Permission to say “I am Worthy” and Permission to say “No”.

Once we do, we can open up to communicating honestly with ourselves and others about what makes us happy and how we want to achieve it.

When we give ourselves permission, we also set boundaries. When we have clear boundaries it establishes respect and commitment. Not just with ourselves but with those around us. We know what we will and won’t accept, and so does everyone else.

So, how do we begin to develop an understanding of ourselves?

The journey for everyone is different. I went on a reflective journey through meditation, journal writing and affirmations. For others it starts with a list, some write a letter.

I asked a client of mine, who was struggling with goal development, to write me a letter. The letter must be in present tense and will be written to me as if it was a year from now. Write to me and tell me where you are, what you are doing, how you got there and why it is making you happy.It took her 3 weeks to write, 2 drafts and a few glasses of wine.

Writing the journey down as if she had already made it, helped her plan the path forward. It can be a lot easier to write with hindsight that it can be looking forward.

Having written the letter, developed a plan and some small goals, she became a new woman. Her personality evolved because it was rick with an understanding of who she was and where she wanted to be.

Sometimes we have trouble getting in touch with our inner self because we are blocked by erroneous self image, thought patterns and negative self talk.

There is a simple little tool to break down these barriers and expel them from your life.

Affirmations.

With persistence and patients Affirmations can change how you relate to yourself and the world around you for the better.

Affirmations have been used for decades by Psychologists, although they went by a different name. Affirmations are positive statements, set in the present, that encapsulate your desired goal.

For example, I’m sure we are all familiar with these negative affirmations:”I will never find love”, “I’m ugly”, “I’ll never get that promotion. I’m not good enough”.

When we repeat these negative affirmations to ourselves we are programming our brains to accept these statements as truths. It is the same way we learnt to do things as a child. If we were naughty we were smacked until we didn’t do it any more. If we wanted to learn to ride a bike we had to practice. We repeat an action until it become automatic.

When we say negative things to ourselves often enough, eventually it become automatic. We stop believing we can do better, be better, find better.

If we use positive affirmations, we can re-program the brain to see our real potential, beauty and love.

To use affirmations you need to find some time to consider what you wish to achieve. Do you want to be successful in a particular job? Are you looking for love?Would you like better communication skills or to be heard by others? Do you want to change your eating habits or train for a particular event?

Once you know what your goal(s) are you can then develop a positive statement.

Here are some examples:

Improving communication – “I communicate with warmth and love” or “I communicate my needs with warmth and love”

To improve diet or improve your eating habits – “”My body is sacred. I nourish it with good foods, plenty of water and exercise”.

Or to develop your circle of friends or find love – “I attract kind, warm and loving people into my life”. Also “I am in a happy, healthy and loving relationship”.

The best thing about affirmations is that you can use them anywhere and anytime. You can develop them yourself and adapt them to your changing circumstances.

Other wonderful ways to nurture yourself could include:

Taking time to read a good book, having a bath, treating yourself to a cuppa with a friend or alone, curling up on the couch with some DVD’s, quality time talking to your partner or a friend about your hopes and dreams (You’ll be surprise at how energizing this is. Talking to someone about your inner most desires can really inspire you), go for a nice walk alone and reflect on all that is good in your life right now. Have a sleep in, write or meditation.

What ever you really enjoy doing, something that makes you smile.

Do what makes you happy. You deserve it.

If you’d like some more examples of affirmations or would like to try writing a letter,email me at calzorganics@gmail.com and I can send you through some affirmation or would be happy to receive your letters.

 

My Tree

My Tree

When I meditate I visualize this amazing tree in my mind. I often use this image when I am standing, working through my breathing warm up exercise pre-meditation. It helps me to feel grounded, calm and strong.
When meditating, it is important to feel connected to something outside of yourself as well as inside of yourself. My breathing links me with my internal self, while this amazing tree reminds me that I am also connected to the world around me.

Positively Powerful

Deep breathing is a simple, effective tool to enhance and aid a healthy life style.

In today’s society, chronic stress has become common place and is having a toxic effect on our overall health and wellbeing. Stress leads to quick, shallow breathing which becomes a habit. This means we are not using our lungs to their full potential, only makes use of the top part of the lungs. Stress also increases blood pressure, muscle tension, headaches and other health concerns. When we breathe too quickly and shallowly we don’t clear the build-up of toxins and stale air from the lungs. Focusing on breathing can bring you into the present moment creating feelings of calm, clarity and control. These are things we don’t feel when we are stressed, unwell or anxious.

Deep breathing causes the lungs to fill right to the bottom, expanding the diaphragm and muscles around the ribs and abdomen. This action also looks after our organs as the muscle movement massages the liver, intestines, heart and stomach detoxifying them and promoting better blood flow to those organs. The lymphatic system also benefits from deep breathing as it has no other mechanism to stimulate it other than muscular movements.

Deep breathing releases endorphins which act as natural pain relievers and help us to feel good. It also strengthens weak abdominal and intestinal muscles improving digestion and posture and allows us to take time out to relax and clear the mind.

Pam Grout, author of “jump start your metabolism: how to lose weight by changing the way you breathe” says shallow breathing impoverishes the cells of the body and slows metabolism affecting weight gain and poor digestion. By increasing oxygen to the cells through deep breathing we are stimulating metabolism and digestion. This can help with weight loss and/or weight management.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Give it a try now. Below is a simple way to practice deep breathing.

Sit or stand comfortably where you are and bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the rhythm of your breath, in and out, in and out. Notice the sensation of the air as it enters your nose, fills your lungs and flows out through your mouth. Place your hand on your abdomen, as you breathe in your diaphragm will expand and push your hand out. Pause for a moment before you breathe out and again when all the air has left your lungs. It is in the pause that relaxation and quieting of the mind can be found. This is one of the easier ways to calm and centre yourself and can be done anywhere, sitting at your desk, in line at the super market or when stuck in traffic.

Practice this every day for 10minutes and see how much better you feel.

To ease tension and give your energy a good boost, try this breathing exercise.

Begin by sitting or lying comfortably. Count to 4 as you breathe in, taking the breath all the way down into your belly. Imagine the air is filling your abdomen, hips and lower back. If it helps to draw your breath down, place your hands on your abdomen or pelvis. Breathe out to the count of 6 allowing the weight of your chest to push all the air out of your lungs and then pause for the count of 4. Continue for a few minutes and notice how much calmer and centred you feel. You may also notice how your mind is clear of negative and racing thoughts.

To make deep breathing a healthy, rewarding habit that improves your health through relaxation, simply practice the above exercises daily for 10 to 20 minutes and try to put other thoughts aside. You will begin to love the feel of instant relaxation and you will be better equipped to manage stress and other life challenges with greater ease and confidence.