Gratitude Ramblings #15.0

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I started this post with the intention of saying….today was just a day. Then I took a pause and realised how reductionist that is! Of course today is not just a day! I got to wake up in a comfy bed, next to an amazing man, go to a job that provides a stable in come and come home to enjoy some glorious sunshine. So even though nothing necessarily gob smacking happened today, I am still grateful for being here and able to experience it!

Rocking the gratitude attitude hardcore today! 🙂

In the past I have placed a lot of focus on the things (and people) that I don’t have in my life, but all of sudden I have realised the people I have always wanted to know, and develop friendships with, have slowly been creeping up on me.

This was highlighted to be by Jen Sincero who talks amazingly about manifestation in her book You are a Badass  (that I am now on my second reading of in 6 days btw!). I have come to realise that it REALLY is all about what you send out into that big wide world! Whether you are into the spiritual, cosmic, devine…or whatever you want to call it….I think this book is one that everyone should read for a kick in the butt!

Since the start of my self lover journey a few months ago I have at least 3 people that have come into my life who I would without doubt call kindred spirits. We are all on the same self discovery path, are open to new experiences and ideas and just bloody well get along!

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To have met these people at such a pivotal time for me has been extremely rewarding, and faith instilling that I am on the right track and the universe is picking up what I’m putting down! 🙂

For me there is no greater value than having someone (or someones) who just get you and allow you to be yourself no matter what, with no expectations, judgement or pressure.

So today I am thankful for:

  • Receiving loving kindness from a new colleague in a moment of need
  • New friends
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Cause its 30 degrees so why not!)
  • Having more money left in my bank account than I expected at the end of the week (thank you universe!)
  • Learning a new skill for meditation from a new awesome yogi friend

I hope to meet many more kindred spirits throughout the rest of my journey, and wish the same for you!

Until next time xx

 

 

Gratitude Ramblings #14.0

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Golly, this weekend saw me lose my gratitude attitude big time! My aim when I started this blog was to post every day for a whole year….but only 1.5 weeks in I have missed two straight days! Naughty me! 😦

Saturday was a rougher day than expected which saw some nasty little habits and thoughts creeping back in and I just couldn’t make myself hop online and be thankful…which in hindsight I should have. (It’s a wonderful thing that Hindsight isn’t it!)

So yesterday I focused on spending time and energy with people who I truly love and sending out happiness and joy into the universe. Basically I was too busy spending time with my awesome hubby…so two days that were polar opposite really.

This experience has taught me something, it’s OK not to be perfect. Yes I had a goal and wanted to achieve it, but I’ve hit a bump in the road. So what now? Well I bloody well just get back up, dust myself off and keep going.

In the past I would have let myself get drawn into all sorts of negativity about being a failure and letting myself down. In all honestly I probably would have stopped at that and thought it was pointless to keep trying. Today though I am proud to say that I have let that go and will just start again! What I see here is an opportunity for growth and learning. Rather than getting all caught up in the negatives, I am happy that I can share this very personal lesson with you.

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What I am saying might seem completely ridiculous to you, especially is you have never battled anxious or self loathing thoughts before. But it’s like this….when you don’t achieve something you set out to you it’s like the universe is saying, “See you were right, your can’t do anything right”. What a drag!

Today I am thankful for the opportunities that enable me to learn and grow:

  • Missing a deadline 😦
  • Receiving a bigger bill than I thought (a great opportunity to show gratitude for being in a position to receive the thing in the first place!)
  • Forcing myself to leave work on time and place an importance on work life balance
  • Honoring my budget when in the past I would have spent frivolously
  • Teaching and guidance being provided to me by a partner at work

I saw the quote from Buddha the other day that “What you think, you become” and it really resonated with me! If you sit there thinking how angry/frustrated/sad you are the feelings magnify and start to take over. If you make the choice however to tell yourself that yes something happened to make you feel negativity but that moment has passed and you now can feel happy, it can change your experience completely. (This is not necessarily the case with medically diagnosed mental health concerns, and I am absolutely not saying it is easy or for everyone).

So next time you come across a situation or feeling that threatens to turn your day or mood dark, stop and take a deep breath and choose to take control and see it as an opportunity to be happy.

Until next time xx

Gratitude Ramblings #13.0

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I have a history of hating my body. Forcing it into shapes it doesn’t want to naturally be, starving it when it needs nourishment and thinking that if I look a certain way physically then I will be happy.

Over the past 5 years I have yo-yoed from a size 8 to a 12 and back again. Been extremely lean (and the fittest I have ever been) and subjected myself to bouts of very dangerous binge eating. All in the hope that at some point I will be comfortable in my own skin….and I admit that I have failed.

When I was slimmer and more toned I felt more confident with my body. I thought it was ok for me to wear shorts and tight dresses. I felt like it was finally ok for me to take pride in my appearance because I was meeting societies pre-conceptions of what I should look like.

But that came at a price….I missed sleep ins and other experiences with my husband whilst on holidays because I felt compelled to go to the gym. Not because I wanted to but because I had to to maintain something unnatural for my body. I started on a cycle of horrible binge eating….once I had something I defined as forbidden I figured the rest of the day was a write off, so I would make the most of it and stuff myself silly! I became obsessed with the number on the scale…no matter how low it got it wasn’t low enough. Weighing myself sometimes 5-6 times a day.

Although it has been a long and tough journey I have finally realised that that is not living! Depriving myself of things and activities I love just to force myself into a specific sized pair of jeans is ridiculous! So an important part of this journey for me is learning to treat myself with love and respect and develop a healthy relationship with food….and it would be an added bonus if as a result of that I start to feel comfortable in my own skin!

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So there will be no more “I shouldn’t” or “I must” when it comes to food and exercise. Only a focus on what feels good and nourishes me physically and emotionally.

Today unbelievably I actually wanted to get on the cross trainer for 40 minutes…AND THEN do 30 minutes of yoga….all of that when I got home from work. That’s amazing :)! I have so much energy at the moment that it feels good to listen to my body and be active when it wants to.

BUT I am also ok with coming home and vegging out on the couch when I want to….there is nothing to feel guilty about. No more pressure!

So today I am thankful for my body and all of the amazing things it does like:

  • Breathing…without me even having to think about it!
  • Carrying me on two legs day after day after day….
  • Healing itself when I twinge my neck in the shower lol!
  • Growing stronger by the day
  • Generates curiosity and learns new things in my little brain!

I encourage you to start honouring yourself every day….its awesome!

Until next time xx

Gratitude Ramblings #11.0

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Tonight is a late night for me! I am sitting here at 10.30 pm typing this post because I just had to…I know I am a bit of Nana. (Normally I am in bed by 8.45!)

I have just gotten home from an advanced screening of The Mountain Between Us. Having not read the book and only seen the trailer I really didn’t have a great deal of knowledge going in. I was expecting an action/thriller style of film, and what I got was something completely different.

Whilst there are certainly action moments (spoiler alert…the plane they are on crashes) and some astonishingly beautiful scenery, the under current of the film is most definitely love. It got me thinking….who would I want to be with if I was ever stuck in a situation like that. Without hesitation, I know hands down it would be my husband.

He is a man who is supportive when I need him the most, a realist when I need pulling back to earth and the man who I know would carry me down a mountain if he had to. For that I am unbelievably, eternally and inexplicably grateful.

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So, even though he doesn’t even know this blog exists, today I need to dedicate my post to him….un-apologetically…as I am feeling a little sentimental. (Isn’t it amazing how a film can do that!?) To keep it short I am sweet I am grateful for my husband because:

  1. He drys my tears, even when I am ugly crying
  2. He has shown me what true loyalty is
  3. He offers me unwavering support in all that I do
  4. He picks me up when I am down
  5. He makes me laugh

I hope you have someone in your life that you can be grateful for today.

Until next time xx

 

Gratitude Ramblings #10.0

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Living in the moment….I never really understood that concept. It is not something I have never been able, or particularly inclined to do. I seem to get some sort of twisted reward from living in a state of complete anxiety and worry! (Blah :(!)

There are times in my life that I have proven myself right and been able to say…”see you knew that would go wrong”. But here’s the thing, did it go wrong because that is how it was always going to be, or did it go wrong because I willed it to?! Did I want to reinforce to myself that things would not get better? Did I want to feel good about living in a state of constant panic? Did I want to constantly feel like I wasn’t worthy?

In hindsight, I would probably say yes to all of the above. But reading those words on the screen just makes me sad :(. To think that for majority of my life I have lived in a perpetual state of self doubt and loathing is disturbing to me on so many levels.

As I sit and write this post I have a sinking feeling in my stomach at how horrible it is that I could think about myself that way. Goodness knows I would NEVER think that of another person like that. If someone I know voiced these concerns or thoughts about themselves, I would tell them to stop being so f$%king ridiculous! Interesting that I can’t do that for myself…

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For me the key to stopping these thoughts in their tracks (because they fight back quite hard at times!) is to live smack bang in the middle of the moment I am in! I tell myself to let go of any thoughts about what has happened in the past, what will happen in the future and just do the best I can in the moment.

If I take a moment to breathe, pause and remind myself that I deserve to treat myself with as much love as I would others my inner critic is quietened significantly. Through focusing on being present in the current moment I have found a great deal of joy. I feel lighter and less anxious…and I can just be. It is truly liberating!

So today I am grateful for the things that are helping me live a lighter and more joyful life:

  • A full time secure job (even though getting up every day isn’t necessarily a joy..lol!)
  • My husband who is supportive of me no matter what, but will give me a reality check if I need one!
  • Exercise that makes me feel alive and healthy
  • Choccie biscuits….because….well for no other reason than I love them 🙂
  • Music

Although I am not a carefree, fly by the seat of my pants type just yet I feel as though this journey of self discovery is helping me to feel much more content in where I am right now. And for me that is enough….for now ;).

Until next time xx

 

Gratitude Ramblings #9.0

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A little while ago I started to think about mental blocks. I was running my own business from home and we could just never get ahead financially. I know the first year of any small business is hard, let alone when you started from absolute scratch with no lead up at all….but no matter how much money I made it just seemed to keep disappearing.

So I got to thinking about why….there must have been a reason that I never finished up in the black. Now apart from the obvious money management skills, I honestly felt like there was another underlying reason I couldn’t grow my bank balance.

Enter Miriam Castilla whom I encountered in a women’s business group on Facebook. Now whether you believe in the power of the mind and manifestation (which admittedly I didn’t at the time) I think it is certainly an avenue of thought that you should be open to. I completed Miriam’s 7 day money manifestival and it honestly had a profound impact on my circumstances and thought patterns.

Unfortunately not long after this I suffered a health set back which threw my thoughts right back into a downward spiral. Lately however I have been thinking about this period of my life frequently.

Specifically, I have been reflecting on one statement Miriam made that has really resonated with me. During the manifestival you are asked to give a voice and visual representation to what you most want out of life. At the top of my list was Freedom….which I am sure would be high up there for majority of us! (I blame Mel Gibson 😉 ).

However Miriam asked me to clarify…do I want freedom or is it that I no longer wanted to feel trapped? This was an “ah ha” moment for me. She was absolutely right, it wasn’t freedom I wanted, but  to no longer feel locked into a situation that I had no control over changing. I wanted to feel comfortable and able to reach for, and obtain, the things I wanted in my life without feelings of guilt.

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If I am being un-apologetically honest, I will say that I am fraught with guilt on a daily basis. I live in a constant haze of doubt and guilt over whether I am good enough, organised enough, worthy enough…the list goes on.

These feelings lead to an (at times) overwhelming feeling of being trapped. I have frequently thought that things will never get better because I am not worthy of that. I constantly tell myself that I am not good enough or I haven’t earned a life that isn’t full of anxiety and worry.

But enough’s enough! I am good enough, I am worthy and I deserve all of the good things life throws my way. Things will be awesome and I can live a life that is happy and anxiety free…..just by taking it one day at a time.

And so today I am grateful for all of the challenges that have got me to this point:

  1. My head in the sand attitude to finances
  2. My mortgage
  3. Repeated episodes of loss of consiousness
  4. The passing of my Dad
  5. Lack of career direction/aspiration

Although life has certainly been a roller coaster ride so far, without the tough times I wouldn’t be who I am today. All I can do is look forward and know that the knowledge I have gained will help me become the best and happiest version of myself I can.

Until next time xx

 

 

Gratitude Ramblings #8.0

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Self-acceptance…it has been defined as:

“an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual’s feeling about oneself, that they are of unique worth.”

I do believe that self-acceptance is good for mental health, in fact I feel that it is essential for it, but the above definition seems a little fluffy to me. For me personally self-acceptance is about learning to let go of my “people pleasing” tendencies. Learning to listen to what I want and what will make me happy, rather than thinking that if I make others happy and meet their expectations of who I should be that self-acceptance will come.

For too long I have placed my happiness and well-being in the hands of others. Driving myself to meet some preconceived idea of who I “should” be has made me lose sight of who I actually want to be.

That’s not to say that I want to completely disregard other’s thoughts and opinions! In fact the input of those around you are at times invaluable in making big life choices.  I have just had enough of defining myself by the standards of others, I want to start loving and accepting myself for who I am. After all I am pretty awesome ;).

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I know this will be a journey (I am not going to wake up tomorrow and love my cellulite!) and that it will be challenging in ways I can probably not even imagine….BUT….I am so excited at getting back in touch with me! This awesome 12 step list from psych central is a great starting point for my journey!

Starting with step 1…..Here is my new intention. I will shift my world to one of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust. I know that a life with self-acceptance is far better than a life of self-hatred.

So on that note today I wanted to take the time to be grateful for some things about myself that are awesome:

  1. I can play the flute
  2. My legs are strong!
  3. I am generous
  4. I’m a pretty good cook!
  5. I am not afraid of a challenge

I hope you can join me on my journey and start to learn to love yourself too…even if you just need a tune up!

Until next time xx

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Ramblings #7.0

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Recently I have gone through a break up of sorts. Not with my hubby (pretty sure he is in it for the long haul!) but with a close friend. It became evident to us both that our friendship was no longer serving either of us and we decided to go our separate ways.

This can be a bit of a bitter pill to swallow when you are an adult. As children we make new friends all the time…and easily! Friends tend to come and go when we are young, but as adults our relationships are much more complicated and involved. There is a general perception that as an adult the friends you have now will be the friends you will have forever, so regardless of how you (or they) feel you just have to stick it out.

Although the loss of my friend saddens me, it was very apparent that we both had different definitions of what a friendship is. As a result of these different opinions, the experiences we were each having of our friendship differed greatly. In the past it would have been my default setting to take full responsibility, apologise profusely, and smooth things over to make things okay for everyone else.

But here’s the thing, I am tired of being the one to take all the responsibility and make it ok. I am ready to let go of things (and relationships if need be) in my life that do not serve me and bring negativity. So I made a choice to put myself first and be ok with that.

Yes it may cause tension, feelings of sadness and hurt for a while but in the long run it is best for everyone if you make space in your life (and theirs) for people who value them and treat them the way they want to be treated.

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Today though it seems the universe rewarded me for my bravery in closing that door, by sending a new friend my way! A friend who shares my values, goals and is just all around amazing….truly a kindred spirit!

We met for a coffee and ending up chatting for 2 hours about love, business, life, travel and everything in between. Whilst discussing a potential business opportunity with me I was also provided with some lovely pampering products as a gift….thanks universe! 🙂

So there you have it, today has proved to me that when you are brave enough to put yourself first and honour your feelings you will be rewarded in ways you never thought possible!

I am so excited to see how this new friendship grows and fills my heart with joy! So today I am thankful for the special little treats that bring me happiness:

  1. Chai lattes
  2. Free skincare products (awesome!)
  3. Libraries
  4. The feeling of grass between my toes
  5. Outlander (my new Netflix guilty pleasure!)

I hope your heart feels as full as mine today!

Until next time xx

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Ramblings #6.0

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Today has been particularly uneventful in my little corner of the world….which in the past would have made me a little concerned if I am being totally honest. But today I am thankful for the peace and quiet, the calm and the opportunity to sparkle even in the quiet moments.

There are so many distressing things happening out there in the big wide world! Between horrific natural disasters and deliberate acts of terror it is evident now more than ever that you can never take anything for granted. You should appreciate everything and every minute that you have!

Whether it’s a slow, quiet day where everything just seems to flow or a manic day with things bouncing left and right it is important to take a moment to pause and be thankful for it. After all you are alive, safe and loved….so really what is there to be angry about?

If you have spent a little time getting to know me, you will know that I am a worry wort (understatement of the century ;))! In the past having a day like today would have made me anxious. I would constantly be thinking about why things are so calm, what nasty thing is lurking around the corner. My mind would be full of doubt, considering all of the things I must have done wrong that will come to bite me in the bum.

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But the development of a gratitude attitude has meant that I am starting to be able to let negative thoughts like that go. Not all day every day, but SO much more than I used to. I can now happily live in the moment with the understanding that worrying is my way of attempting to control things. The reality of the situation is whether I worry about it or not, I can’t change the outcome….so why waste my time and energy right?! RIGHT!

I know that might sound fairly common sense, but when you are re-training thought patterns that have been developed over a life time it can be a bit of a tough slog!

One thing that has really helped me build my gratitude muscles is having a gratitude sign/signal. I pick something that perhaps would usually frustrate or fluster me (take a red light for example) and every time I see that I make a mental note of something I am grateful for in that moment.

I am still not perfect at this, but a small shift in attitude and perception has really altered the way I interact with, and respond to the world around me. You should give it a go!

On days like today it can be a little harder for me to make my gratitude list, as it would seem that there isn’t a lot to be grateful for…after all today has been fairly mundane. These are the days that I think it is all the more important to keep up the practice though, as it teaches me to pay attention to the little things! So to top off my uneventful day, here are the things I am grateful for:

  1. Pumpkin (Seriously delicious in my salad today ;)!)
  2. Open fire (toasty and relaxing all in one)
  3. Learning crow pose (although I can’t hold it….yet)
  4. Chocolate coated digestive biscuits
  5. Email which lets me stay connected to close friends

I would love to hear your gratitude signs if you have  them?! Let’s share the gratitude attitude with the world!

Until next time xx

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