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Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

4 Tricks for Keeping Up the Healthy Lifestyle Momentum

Starting “getting healthy” is easy. The rush at the beginning of a detox or cleanse: exciting! The signing of the gym or yoga membership: exciting! Buying the new workout gear or kit: exciting! When we start out on a Get Healthy endeavour the beginning is the easy bit. The vision of the slimmer, fitter, more toned, bikini-ready version of ourselves dangling before us. It’s easy to take action. And it feels good.

The thing is, as many of us know, after a few weeks that initial rush of enthusiasm has waned and the Get Healthy practice we were initially so inspired by has become a chore, a grind, and a pain in the ass. Gradually the “yoga every day” commitment becomes every other day, then twice a week until the mat just sits gathering dust in the back of the car. The juicer whispering the promise of kick-starting each day with green juice made from kale and carrots becomes a white elephant taking up space on the kitchen worktop, a continual reminder we have not kept our promise to ourselves.

So: how to we beat this common phenomenon? How do we make Getting Healthy a happy habit we actually keep?

1. Replace a bad habit with a good habit, one at a time.

It’s easier to stick at a new healthy habit if you replace a bad habit with a good one, rather than just trying to stop a bad one. By substituting a more positive habit rather than just depriving yourself of something you like, you are far more likely to keep the habit up. So, stop having that glass of wine when you come in from work by driving home a different way and have a walk on the beach on the way. Make the post-work walk the new habit. Or give up the traditional Thursday Takeout Binge-fest by instituting a Healthy Night once a week where you and your partner take it in turns to cook a new healthy recipe. Or break the habit of reaching straight for the cheese and crackers by making that the time you Facetime people you never have time to catch up with. Creating positive, healthy rituals that crowd out bad habits is much more successful than just trying to stop doing something you secretly actually get a lot of pleasure from.

2. Make it a happy habit not an effort of willpower

Willpower is a finite resource. Sooner or later it will run out. Fact! So if you are relying only on willpower to get you to the gym or to drag out the juicer, then eventually you are bound to fall off the wagon. Far better to focus on what naturally pulls you forward rather than what you have to force yourself to do. That means choosing exercise that you genuinely LOVE. Food that you actually ENJOY. The less effort required the better, and the key to that is choosing what really feels sincerely delicious and fun for you.

3. Find an accountability system that works for you

Accountability is great. Different strokes for different folks however, and one person’s inspiration is another individual’s nightmare. So do what works for you. Maybe it’s committing to compete in a sports event. Maybe it’s joining a team challenge at the gym where your results are aggregated so you don’t want to let anyone else down. Maybe it’s getting three colleagues to commit to a walk around the block at lunchtime three days a week. You are smart: figure out a structure that keeps you accountable and motivated when the days are dark and summer seems a long way off.

4. Reconnect regularly with your WHY

Your “Why” is your Spiritual Fuel that powers you towards your goal. Reconnecting with why you chose to commit to this Get Healthy journey at the beginning when it was all shiny and exciting will help you to stay on track when the going gets tough and the shine has faded. Was it to feel good in your jeans? Or to have the energy to run around with your kids. Or to do a sub-4-hour marathon? Or to have toned arms? Or to be peaceful and calm and sleep well? Reconnect with why you started in the first place. And ask yourself, what habit do I wish I had started a year ago? Drinking more water? Running? A weekly yoga class? A daily green juice? Ask yourself what will you wish you had stuck at a year from now? Reconnect with your WHY and stay the course.

Making Getting Healthy a happy habit that sticks is totally possible; starting small, being consistent, and working with what pulls you forward with love not force is the key.

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Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

4 ways we sabotage ourselves from reaching our goals

How are those New Years’ Resolutions going? Achieved? Big fat tick? On the way to being achieved? Nice progress being made? Or totally forgotten about and covered in dust, never to be spoken of again?

We can start off the year with such good intentions, but all too often this burst of enthusiasm to lose 10kgs, or spend more quality time with the family, falls by the wayside as life gets busy and work ramps up. We seem to self sabotage the very thing we have decided we wanted so much back in January. Why do we do that?! Here are a few of the most common stumbling blocks:

 

  1. Wanting other people’s approval

When we most want other people’s approval for our goals, we can set ourselves up for failure. It means we are waiting for external approval to fuel our fire. This may or may not come. And it if doesn’t we will quickly lose momentum. When we are looking to make lasting change it is much better to search for a primarily internal motivation to drive us forward. So get connected to what this goal really means for you – how will YOU feel when you achieve it. Not what will everyone say. Get connected to your own inner fire.

 

  1. Expecting it to be hard

When we expect a change in behaviour or circumstance to be reeeeeeally hard to accomplish, then guess what: it will be hard! We get what we expect pretty much most of the time. So expecting something to be hard means that we have set up resistance to accomplishing our goal before we even start! If this is what’s derailed you, turn this one around by either breaking your goal down into smaller chunks, then halve them again, and again, until they seem ridiculously EASY (e.g. could you fit in an 8-minute walk each day? Sure you could. Good. Do that then.).  And then just START. Give yourself permission to start slow, but for the love of God, start! Build up as you go rather than putting yourself off by expecting too much too soon.

 

  1. Not building in milestones and rewards

We can self sabotage by turning positive change into a drudge or a chore. When it’s a big goal (run a marathon, drop 15kgs, learn how to windsurf well) it is much easier to keep motivated towards our goals by building in intermittent rewards for reaching key milestones along the way. When we build in these smaller checkpoints we can keep ourselves on track with the bigger goal and we are far more likely to accomplish it. For example, a weekend away after losing the first 4kg, or running 10kms the first time. Bribes don’t just work on small children! Build yourself in some rewards to keep your motivation high.

 

  1. Not choosing in favour of our goal in the moment

The biggest self sabotage of them all is when we don’t choose in favour of our big goal in the moment.  We choose in favour of what we fancy right then (chill on the couch, eating dessert) rather than what we have consciously chosen as our long term goal. Regularly reconnecting with the big goal is super important to make choices that support that in the moment rather than choices that self sabotage. Regularly recommit to your goal and remind yourself of the benefit of achieving it and how you will feel when you have made it happen.

 

So, if you have wandered off track and sabotaged yourself – time to get reconnected to your big goal, and make it happen! There is still an awful lot of 2016 to go so you can absolutely make what you wanted to happen, happen!

 

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Self Care and Self Love

How To Stop Negative People From Bursting Your Bubble – Part 2

Burst Bubble - Part 2

This week is part 2 of my “How to stop negative people from bursting your bubble” blog. Read the first part of this blog here.

5. Get qualified expert opinion that you can use with discernment.

This is expert opinion that you are probably paying for or is at a professional level at least. Maybe it’s your Bank Manager, or it’s an architect, or it’s the coordinator of the teacher training course. Ask lots of questions – resolve your doubts in qualified opinion and facts. Get as much data as you need, refine it, ask questions, and then use it with discernment.

6. When people pour cold water on your shiny new plan, it often says waaaaaaaaaay more about where they are at in life than it does about your plan.

Basically – it’s their stuff they are projecting. So, maybe they are really risk adverse and so the idea of selling up and moving to the country or changing careers radically is terrifying for THEM. That’s fine, for THEM – but it doesn’t mean those moves are inherently risky or terrifying in any way for YOU. Also – it can bring up a load of insecurities – say you do sign up to do that marathon or whatever, then that can make them feel like they should get their ass off the couch too, and they don’t want to be your fat friend. It might be completely subconscious and unintentional, but your shiny new plan is knocking up against their own insecurities, and they don’t want to take action themselves. It would be altogether much easier if you just put your trainers away and didn’t do the marathon after all, thanks very much. To calm their own insecurities the easiest thing for them is if you shelve your plan.

7. There are some reeeeeeeealy change resistant people out there. Like really into retaining their grip on the status quo.

If you start changing stuff it can mess with other people’s world view. It has a flow on impact on them, which they don’t like. Again, this can be completely subconscious and unintentional, and come from good-hearted people who really think they are helping you out highlighting a heap of pitfalls you haven’t even realised. Actually it’s much more about their own resistance to change. Which is fine – but again – that belongs to THEM. What belongs to you here? Ah…that’s right – you brand new shiny plan! Well – best you keep your focus on that then, and leave the change resistance to them.

8. Trust your Gut.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – your body is a really wise guide. It will be whispering to you if this plan of yours is a good idea or not. You will KNOW, deep down, if it’s the right call for you. Listen to your gut instinct. It is a far truer and wiser guide than any external person’s well-meaning opinion. Listen to your gut, it knows. Trust it. Your body will never let you down.

So – of course the ideal is that when we are about to make change or go with an exciting new plan or way of life, that all the people around us heartily agree and are on board 100%. That there is a Mexican wave of approval echoing around us. The likelihood of course is that there won’t be. Some people will be on board, and some people will not. And you know what, that’s totally okay. Trust yourself, trust your own capability to do really sound due diligence (and actually do it) (seriously, be smart, do the numbers, take the tests, work the budget, whatever it is), then in the end trust in your gut instinct. Because I will tell you this for sure:

Some of the best decisions in life look the craziest to other people, but end up being the most rewarding choices of our life.

Be Bold. Be Brave. Trust Yourself. You know what is best for you. Trust in your own wisdom.

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Categories
Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Guilt – The Hidden “should”

GuiltIf there is one emotion that sums up modern living, it’s guilt. We are an increasingly guilt ridden society. For some people guilt is lurking behind almost every choice they make. Working full time and therefore not spending as much time with the kids: guilt! Spending time with the kids so not bringing money in and contributing to household finances: guilt! Going to the friend’s party that doesn’t really appeal rather than going to that yoga class your body craves: guilt! Ditching that good friend’s party in order to grab a bit of downtime: guilt! On and on, and on it goes. A seemingly endless and un-winnable cycle of guilt drains energy and joy out of our day.

Here are some important things to know about guilt:

Guilt has a purpose. It’s a handy prompt to examine your choices. Could you have made a different or better choice? What can you learn for next time? Okay – good information – adjust your future choices accordingly. Happy with the choice when you actually reflect on it? Again – good to know. No need to feel guilty if it’s still the best choice you could have made at the time. So drop the guilt – it is serving no purpose.

We are actually LUCKY to feel guilt. Guilt means we have choices! We could have chosen what was behind Door X and we chose Door Y instead. Guilt means we had a choice and we chose. That’s good news! We have almost infinite choice over how we live and what we choose to put in our lives. There are societies in the world where women cannot work or be educated. They don’t have a choice to be a working mother, and therefore experience the guilt that choice inevitably seems to entail. Guilt is actually a spotlight illuminating how lucky we are to have so much choice! Guilt means we had a choice and we made it.

Guilt is a revealer of a hidden “should”. Shoulds are bad news. Including a whole heap of “shoulds” in our internal dialogue is a sure fire way to emotionally beat ourselves up. Shoulds are a way of punishing ourselves for making a choice we have consciously made. That’s bad. Feeling guilt is a cue to examine the hidden “should” behind it and see if it’s valid. “I should have gone to the party” – Really? “I shouldn’t have said no to that” Really? Take a look – is that should really true? Is it helping you or holding you back? If it’s not true – drop it and drop the guilt.

Guilt is a prompt to take responsibility. When people don’t take responsibility guilt develops into deep shame which they will do almost anything to avoid feeling. Guilt says something about your choices; shame says something about who you are. Guilt says “I wish I hadn’t lied about that, I am going to apologise and fix this”. Shame says “I’m a liar. I need to distance myself completely from this situation in order to not feel bad about myself. I will avoid responsibility completely in order to not feel shame”. There is a whole heap of juicy stuff to discuss on the difference between guilt and shame which I will save for another day. For now just get clear that guilt is there as a helpful prompt for you to examine your responsibilities. If you haven’t avoided your responsibilities – no need to feel guilty. Again, drop the guilt.

We need to collectively get better at dropping guilt once it’s served its purpose. If guilt rears its head – use it and then let it go. Use it to see if there is anything you can learn from the choice you have made. Use it to examine the “should” that is implicitly attached to it. Make changes where needed, then drop it. Make the choice you are making – to work or not work, or to bake from scratch or order takeout, or to work late or to run, whatever it is – make that choice consciously and own it. Fully own it. Drop the should. Drop the guilt. Fully own and embrace wholeheartedly doing the thing you have chosen, and feel grateful to have so much choice in your life.

Dragging guilt around after every choice we make is pointless and debilitating. It robs the enjoyment out of whatever we have chosen because we feel guilty that we “should” be doing something different! That’s crazy making! Learn. Adjust if appropriate. Choose it. Own it. Enjoy it. Let it go.

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Love the Skin You're In Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Why all the “Year Of Your Best Body!!” stuff drives me crazy

Best BodyWhy all the “Year Of Your Best Body!!” stuff drives me crazy…and how to truly make effortless body changes.

You know the drill.

It’s everywhere right now.

“Your Best Body” is just on the other side of that detox.

“Your Best Body” is just round the corner from that 6am boot camp registration.

“Your Best Body” awaits you once you have eaten these exact things in these exact quantities in 7 days! Guaranteed!

You know what?

This thick media soup of info on our “Best Body” can be a difficult sea to swim in. The implication in all those headlines is that something is wrong with or lacking in the body we have now. And that doesn’t feel good at all.

You know what I feel about having the year of your best body?

I think it’s in inside job.

I think the answers to that are to be found in your mind, your heart and your soul. Not in a glossy magazine in 800 words.

I think that you will have the Best Year Of Your Body the minute you start to love your body unconditionally, and stop trying to flog it to get a particular result like a recalcitrant teenager.

I think our Best Body is the one we have.

Because that’s the only one we are ever going to get.

And looking at it with consistent love rather than overwhelming dismay is the most powerful foundation of all.

What we love, we honour.

Our loved ones.
Our sweet pets.
Our homes.
Our treasured activities or careers.
We honour them by spending time with and on them.
By investing in them.
By speaking about them kindly and with enthusiasm.
By lavishing time, attention, energy and money on them.

We honour what we love.

When we love, and I mean really LOVE, and feel truly grateful for having been blessed to end up the body we got, we will make choices from that place.

We will honour our body with good food that nourishes it.
We will move our body regularly in a way we love without force or will.
We will clothe it in a way we can look at it with love.
We will nourish it with treats and lather it in goodness.
We will rest it and listen to its voice.

And you know what – when you do your best for your body – IT DOES IT’S BEST FOR YOU.

It settles to its natural weight
It’s skin clears
Energy is restored
It’s an all-together much more pleasant and fun place to live.

There is no force required in this relationship because it comes from a place of love and acceptance.

Loving your body will always get you further than hating/disliking/being disappointed by/punishing it. Honourable choices will always flow most easily from love.

The Year Of Your Best Body?

It’s The Year You Love Your Body Unreservedly and Unconditionally above all else.

It’s the year you look in the mirror and say “I love you. We are a team. What do you need? How can I help you today?”

We honour what we love.

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Self Care and Self Love

What To Do When Something “Just Doesn’t Add Up”

We’ve all had occasions where something happens or is said that “just doesn’t add up”. It’s a weird sinking sensation, an air of puzzlement that seeps through your whole body as your brain tries (and tries, and tries!) to figure it out. Tries to make sense of something but failing, unable to shake the vague notion that some of the jigsaw pieces are missing. That somehow there is more to this than meets the eye.

It’s all very…. vague, though isn’t it? Just having a “feeling” that something doesn’t add up? And sometimes the situations it’s applying to are VERY big and VERY real. The consequences of trusting this sensation can be huge. So – should we? When do we know how to trust that creeping prickle of unrest? And how do we know when it’s way off base and we should just ignore it and carry on rather than jump to conclusions? When is it right? When is it wrong? How do we know if things are really not adding up, or is it just that we are imagining it?

We can ask questions of course, and that’s a good place to start. The rational brain wants to understand. To make sense of stuff. Find the missing piece that makes the picture come clear. So Ask Ask Ask. Research. Dig Dig Dig. Can you find the missing puzzle pieces? If you can of course the true picture comes into view – either we were mistaken, and everything does add up perfectly, we just didn’t have all the facts…or…however hard you look you just can’t find that missing piece. That nagging feeling that something that doesn’t add up remains. What then?

Well the solution is to take a decision away from the logical place of the mind. The mind needs all the information and data to make a complete picture. And – for whatever reason, whether you are being lied to or something is being withheld, hidden or omitted, that bit of data isn’t available. Your mind is unable to do its job, it doesn’t have all the data. So – take the problem to the part of you that does not rely on logic to get a complete picture – but get’s a complete picture nonetheless. Take the issue to the wisdom of your body.

Our conscious mind operates with less than 10% of our processing power. Our subconscious with over 90%. It’s picking up on waaaay more data and information than you consciously realise, and it’s speaking to you through your body. Your body knows for sure what your mind is yet to figure out.

I am talking about your Intuition. Your intuition isn’t some sort of airy-fairy thing to be dismissed because it doesn’t register data on a fitbit or an app you can track. It’s actually a data collection mechanism that’s far more sophisticated than anything your mind can conceive of.

Break it down: Intuition – “IN Tuition”. Tuition – it’s learning. Teaching you something it’s important to know. “In” – it comes from the INSIDE of you. Your subconscious speaking through your body. Intuition is quite literally Inner Teaching. And you’d be remiss not to take the lesson it’s trying so hard to share.

In an external data driven world we give less and less credence to any information that cannot be triangulated and analysed to within 6 decimal points. To live that way is to disconnect ourselves from our inner GPS. To excommunicate our inner wisdom. It is to do ourselves a great disservice and ignore the warning signals of a subtle yet wholly beneficent guidance system that is always watching over us and communicating to us for our highest good.

So – when the mind can’t figure out why it doesn’t seem to add up –turn it over to the wisdom of your body. Your intuition speaks through your body. Back in corporate days, in a galaxy far, far away, I had this weird feeling that one of my colleagues was up to no good. It wasn’t something I could put my finger on, his paperwork was immaculate, he was a nice bloke, he sold lots of ads… it was just…just something didn’t add up. He had many miraculous last minute sales…. but then…we all had last minute miraculous sales, that was part of the media buzz. I had them. Everyone else had them. What was it about his that felt somehow “off”? Why did my spidey senses get tingling whenever he would real out his sales results in the weekly meeting? Why would my skin prickle and my shoulders rise? I just couldn’t shake that feeling that something didn’t add up.

One night I stayed late, and in the filling cabinet next to his desk I found dozens and dozens of hidden credit requests from clients saying they had never bought the ad. Dozens! Going back months. Fistfuls of them. Meanwhile – he had been collecting commission on all those “sales”. Turned out over half his sales were fraudulent. And I knew that way before I found the stash of credit notes. My body told me, even though logically it made no sense my body knew way ahead of time. Another time, a personal situation, I felt I was being lied to, I didn’t want to believe it, but despite continual reassurances that it was “all in my head” my body went into overdrive. Spontaneous vomiting and retching whenever I had extended time around that person. Complete inability to sleep. Real extreme body reactions. Extreme. I felt I was going mad. They helpfully told me I was going mad. Finally the truth came out, as it always does, and they had indeed been lying their absolute face off. I had chosen to believe them and their lies rather than my sweet and honest body who intuitively knew things in no way added up, and was warning me the best way it knew how with every weapon at it’s disposal. The body already knows what the mind doesn’t know or want to know. Our intuition is gathering information at such a speed and depth it has a far more complete picture than our logical mind can ever complete.

This, of course, is particularly hard when things don’t add up but the truth might be something that we neither want to believe, accept or face. We actually don’t want things to add up if the equation is massively life altering. We can work hard at burying this intuition with our conscious mind, keeping distracted, busy, in denial, escaping with booze, or overeating or gossiping about trivia or whatever our usual MO. But the knowledge is still there, that data collection of internal knowing is still happening, the body still knows what it knows. It’s wiser than the conscious part of us, and is always looking out for our highest good. It’s an early warning system designed for our survival, it’s trying to warn us of danger. It’s doing its job when it alerts us that something doesn’t add up. In prehistoric times this could have been the difference between death and survival – the feeling that we were being subtly ousted by the tribe – those subtle non-verbal cues that we needed to pick up on in order to survive. Mother Nature is so clever, She built in this incredible guidance system that could serve us to well if only we listened more closely and trusted what it had to say.

Your mind can manufacture ridiculous stories that believing can lead to dire consequences as you find that there was not a grain of truth, or the motivations you assumed were sinister were no such thing. The mind, in short, can play helluva load of tricks. We need to accept the stories of the mind with caution, and fact check fact check fact check.

The body however? Well the faithful old body does no such thing. It always, but always, tells you the truth. It’s the faith trusty old guide dog, who pads along silently at our side, always looking out for our good, and who is able to clearly see the way even when we are surrounded by fog and darkness. It’s a world away from the trickster monkey mind who will say anything just to get a reaction, true or no.

Your body is a wise guide that will give you the truth – always. That phrase “I just knew it in my bones”. Well it turns out that – you do. So, if you have the subtle sensation that something doesn’t add up, consider that what’s often being subtracted is the truth.

 

 

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m Louise Thompson: life coach, author and newspaper columnist – and I hope my words have lifted your day or given you something to ponder.

 

I’d love to send you Wellbeing Wednesday – my weekly newsletter with a fresh new blog stuffed with non-preachy wellbeing to get you inspired each week. My readers tell me I have a spooky knack of knowing just what’s going on for them and it’s like I read their mind! You can join my 20 000 readers and sign up right here and I will see you on Wednesday!

 

If you are ready to have me in your life as your coach, well I’d love that too. You can jump into my daily coaching Academy right here and we can get started – it’s my proudest life’s work and it changes lives, minds and hearts daily. If you are looking for more ease in your mind and your soul: I’ve got you. Have a sneak peek of what’s in store for you here.

 

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Live Happy Inspiration Relationships Self Care and Self Love

Open Letter To All The Beautiful Women Out There Who Are Doing Their Best

Open Letter To All The Beautiful Women Out There Who Are Doing Their BestDear beautiful laydeez – and by that I mean all of you! We are all beautiful in our own unique way. Yes darling, even, and especially, YOU.

I want to say this: let’s end the madness! The Great Female Judgment Madness MerryGoRound. This is what I see in my seminars, events, and coaching room. I see:

  • Working Mothers feeling like they are falling short because they are not spending enough time doing the mothering thing.
  • Stay At Home Mothers feeling like they are inadequate on some level because they are not doing the working thing and financially contributing.
  • No Kids (yet, or ever) Women feeling like they are failing somehow for working and not having (or being able to have) kids and be part of the traditional thing.

God. It’s EXHAUSTING.

Enough already.

All this crazy JUDGING of our perceived failings and inadequacies needs to stop!

There is another way. We need to stop doing this to ourselves and to each other. The two are directly correlated. The harder we are on each other, the harder we are on ourselves.  And I see that women seem to do it a lot more than men. There is much more of a culture of judgment in the sisterhood than outside it. When did we get so hard on ourselves and each other? Men do not seem to judge each other or themselves anywhere near as often or as harshly. When was the last time you heard a male executive interviewed and asked how he manages to “balance family responsibilities with the job?” Exactly.

Here is the thing about endlessly passing judgment and coming up wanting on our choices:

It makes us forget that the only thing we “have” to do is breathe. Everything after that is a choice. EVERYTHING. Hard choices sometimes, I am not denying that, but a choice nonetheless. A choice to work or not work. A choice to have an income of one level or another. To have kids or not. More kids or not. We need to just choose it. Whatever makes the most sense for our personal situation and then be all there with it. Choose it then STOP JUDGING IT! Just be all there with it. Own that choice fully and unapologetically.

Whilst we are at it let’s stop with the judging of each other’s choices shall we? We are all busy with multiple responsibilities. Every other woman out there is facing a host of choices we know nothing about. She’s made the best choice for her – who are we, really, to be judging that?

In stopping judging each other’s choices so harshly perhaps we can stop judging our own with such weight. If we can extend compassion to the next woman with her life choices perhaps we can extend that compassion to ourselves and stop giving ourselves such a bloody hard time! If we can cut our sister some slack then we can do the same for yours truly.

WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN!

It’s that simple.

Let’s be OKAY with that. Lets stop the crazy self and other women judgment that finds us all so wanting and guilty as charged. Don’t even get me started on the how long to breastfeed v’s formula thing. Or the body shape thing. Or the natural birth v’s c-section competitive rivalry I hear about. For chrissakes. Enough already!

We are all just doing the best we can with what we have. The awareness we have at that point. The things we have personally learned up to that point. We are always doing what we think is the best choice given the circumstances as we perceive them. That’s all we need to know. We do what we know until we know better. The late great Maya Angelou said it perfectly:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

So, until you know better, choose your best option then stop apologising for it and judging yourself for it. Just be all there with it. If you already know better, awesome, choose a new thing. Don’t apologise or judge yourself for it. Own it. Be all there with it. Til you know better. Rinse and Repeat. Life is one long string of lessons in a never ending sequence. It’s never done. There is never a perfect choice. It’s always evolving. We are always evolving. We are always doing our best with what we have at the time.

Judging – by it’s very nature – is a process that will find someone guilty. Lets stop with that shizzle all together. Incessant judging finds us guilty of imaginary crimes. It finds others guilty too. It creates a cycle of guilt and creates an illusion of feeling stuck and trapped in our situations when the truth is we are not.

What can we do INSTEAD of compulsive judging? Good question. Radical answer. We could be compassionate. We could be kind. We could evaluate each situation we meet with compassion rather than judgment. The Dalai Lama says “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”. 

Being kind to ourselves. Being kind to our sisters. Meeting ourselves with compassion. Let our internal dialogue be one of kindness. Lets try it. Just for one day. Let go of our own guilt and inadequacy and let everyone else let go of theirs. Stop with the incessant judgment.

We are all doing the best we can. And that’s more than good enough! Be kind to your precious self. Be happy.

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

Categories
Self Care and Self Love

How To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of Your Decisions

beautiful female friends in summer cafeI can’t begin to tell you how much stress we cause ourselves by worrying what “everybody” will think if we quit the shiny looking job that sucks our soul/leave the boyfriend who ticks all the boxes but just isn’t quite right/bring store bought cakes to the school fair/order takeout for the dinner party/don’t catch up with that friend we have known since school.

Here’s the thing.

Life is full of millions of tiny decisions.

Worrying about what other people think of those decisions is a waste of mental and emotional energy.

Firstly, most of the time people don’t even NOTICE what we have chosen.

Many of the wonderful women at my Food For Thought seminars were eating when they were not hungry because they were worried about the hostess feeling offended that they hadn’t cleared their plate/taken advantage of their award winning pav.

I got them to try and experiment. To leave food on their plate once they were satisfied. But to say “thanks so much, that was delicious”.  To be big and brave and be ready to face the wrath of the hostess.

Guess what. No wrath. Not once. Not one person. “No-one noticed! No-one said ANYTHING!!!” they all said in unison, shocked the next week. No-one thought they were rude. No-one even noticed.

Basically, because our actions are the centre of our own sunshiney universe we assume they are getting the same level of attention from everyone else. NOT SO. 99% of the time people are not just not CARING about the decisions you make, they are not even NOTICING them.

This is especially important to know with small decisions. Truly. NO-ONE REALLY CARES WHAT YOU ARE CHOOSING! THEY DON’T NOTICE AND THEY DON’T CARE! Choose away. Decide at liberty. The scrutiny you are imagining is exactly that. Imaginary.

Here’s the other thing. And the main thing. The thing for big important decisions.

THE MORE YOU LOVE YOUR DECISION THE LESS YOU NEED ANYONE ELSE TO APPROVE OF IT.

And that’s the truth. If you feel completely passionately in your heart that this course of action is absolutely right for you. That you can feel it in your bones. You know it. You want it. It’s what you are doing. Then the less you need anyone else to agree or approve.

Putting our own mental and emotional energy into getting clarity on our own approval is far more rewarding than pouring it into seeking others.

If you love what you have chosen. If it feels completely right to you, the less you need anyone else to concur. Of course it’s lovely if they do. And of course that’s the ideal. And of course some support along the way would be most welcome. But don’t not do the thing that you know is the right choice for you because “everyone” isn’t in agreement.

The more you love your choice the less you need other people to.

What will make you love your choice more? Put your energy there. Whether it’s doing more research. Or hanging with people who have chosen that course of action before you.  Or doing your yoga practice to feel centred and calm in your decision. Put your energy into your own surety.

We generally want to convince other people when we are actually unsure ourselves. By convincing them we also want to convince ourselves.

That’s’ a risky policy depending on your audience!

Put the energy towards your own clarity, not others’ conviction.

The more you love your choice the less you need other people to.

And, the irony is, of course, that once you are committed and sure, the people you care about will more than likely support you anyway. The powerful energy of your passion and surety will shine through and draw them with you.

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

 

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

How to Declutter The Most Important Space Of All

How to Declutter The Most Important Space Of All Loving hearing all the fabulous feedback on our Decluttering Series. It just shows you don’t have to be lazy and wait for New Year to make change. You can shift how you feel RIGHT NOW! These are the things you have been telling me as you chuck stuff away:

  • I feel LIGHTER!
  • It feels FREEING!
  • It feels GOOD!
  • My MIND feels so much CLEARER!

Letting go of stuff that is holding us back (that we often don’t even realise is holding us back!) is an amazing process. There will be an internal mirroring of the process you are undertaking outside. You will be simultaneously getting rid of:

  • Old negative thought patterns
  • Unhelpful outdated beliefs
  • Painful memories that make you angry or sad or scared

Some of these internal blockages will start to subtly change and release their grip on you because of your external decluttering process. It’s a personal growth by stealth.  As you throw things out of your physical space you are also creating mental and emotional space in your head and your heart. So if you are “feeling stuck” in any area of your life you should absolutely be following this process, it will help in ways you can’t anticipate!

So…what’s the next step?

So far we have covered:

#1 – Declutter your Living Space

#2  – Declutter your Digital Space

#3  – Declutter your Wardrobe/Closet – your Identity Space

and now…very important…last but certainly not least…

#4 – Declutter your Internal Space – your BODY

So: Decluttering your internal space. Your body. The Moving Temple of your Soul. How do we do THAT?!

Giving our body a spring clean is really important. We can get stuck in habits that do not serve our body, sometimes for years. If our body is not functioning at optimum then it’s hard to make life function at optimum either. As you know I suffered a huge health crisis with Adrenal Fatigue some years back that led to me being bedridden for many months. I can assure you from first hand experience NOTHING matters more than your body when you find you have lost your health. All the things I thought were important to get done, or see, or do, or be…it turned out that they were way less important than looking after my health when it came down to it. I had got into a lot of bad habits that undermined my body. I so wish I had taken a pause. A chance, like this one, to stop, and spring clean. To look at what was working for me and what was not serving my health. To make change BEFORE a health crisis hit rather than after.

Now I regularly spring clean my body. Here are three things I do every day:

  • I drink a green juice daily
  • I move my body daily
  • I eat within my body’s natural hunger and safety signals daily

None of these things take up a huge amount of time. But they are a clean slate I renew daily in my commitment to my health and vitality levels.

Before you say you “don’t have enough time” (do I know you or what?!), just have a closer look at these examples:

  • I drink a green juice daily – time taken – NO extra time from having a glass of water that I would have had anyway. I use PHD juices that are already pre-prepared. Lazy? Yes! Does it mean I actually do it? Also yes. Time investment – zero.
  • I move my body daily. Okay, so some days that might be an organized class – yoga, Crossfit, or a run. That might take an hour. Or I might do twenty minutes yoga on my own. That still counts. Or I might walk up to the sushi shop rather than taking the car. That still counts. It might be dancing madly whilst I clean the house. That counts. It doesn’t have to look like “exercise”, it’s moving my body in whatever way my schedule allows that day. Time investment  – 20 minutes on a busy day. More on a quieter day. That’s a tiny time investment for huge benefits.
  • I eat within my body’s natural hunger and safety signals daily. I don’t overeat. So I don’t get fat. I pay attention to my body. Those of you who came to the ahhhhhmazing profoundly life changing Food For Thought seminars know what I am talking about! It actually takes LESS time to honour my body’s natural hunger rhythms than to overeat. It takes less time because I stop eating SOONER! It’s a time SAVING! Plus I don’t spend hours hating myself afterwards. Again, time saved.

So don’t get caught up in “I don’t have time” to declutter bad habits from the way you treat my body. It’s really not true, and it keeps you trapped in old clutter of treating your body with less respect than you know it deserves.

So: keep it simple. 3 of each maximum to get started on your Body Spring Clean. You can always do another round of spring cleaning later when you have these habits bedded in. For now start with just one, or choose up to three.

Complete below:

I want to spring clean my body, by STOPPING the following habits. I want to LET GO of dishonouring my body in this way. eg. Overeating. Staying up too late.

1.

2.

3.

 

I want to continue this Body Spring Clean by embracing the following daily/weekly habits to honour my body and have it function at its best:

1.

2.

3.

 

The time to start it is NOW sugarplum! Don’t wait for New Year. Start right now. Today. Hit January in better shape feeling clear and full of energy. Clear the decks: and start 2015 with body that is clean and clear. Take that wonderful decluttering energy you have liberated from your spick and span house, inbox and closet and pour it into cleaning up the thing that matters most. Your gorgeous bod.

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

Categories
Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Imaginary Friends Imaginary Enemies

I’ve been looking after a friend’s little girl, Amelia, she’s a very cute 4 and a quarter. And she has an imaginary friend, also aged 4 and a quarter, called Dotty. Dotty is a bit of a loose cannon if truth be told. She spills yogurt. On my sofa. Also she is very slow to tidy up her toys. She appears to need a whole seat in the back of the car to herself no matter how much shopping there is. It’s fair to say Dotty is a little high maintenance.

Studies have shown that over half of children between the ages of 3 and 7 have an imaginary friend, and that it’s no cause for alarm whatsoever. It’s a way for the child to develop their imagination, an involved form of pretend play. Imaginary friends can help children to cope with fears, explore ideas, or gain a sense of competence through taking care of the imaginary friend. At a more day to day level, children with imaginary friends sometimes blame them for misbehavior in an attempt to avoid parental displeasure. Clever! “It’s wasn’t me: it was Dotty!” That would explain the yogurt in the hair then.

It was cute watching Amelia have her tea party with Dotty. So much chatter. Her imaginary friend, always there to hang out with an offer comfort and companionship. It’s a happy relationship.

It got me to thinking. We don’t do this as adults of course. We don’t have imaginary friends, do we? Jeez, it’s hard enough keeping up with all our real friends, right?! But, whilst we don’t have imaginary friends, I do think that many adults secretly have ongoing relationships with imaginary enemies.

I think we adults do a reeeealy good line in imaginary enemies.

That feeling that you are not quite good enough.

Imaginary enemy.

Or that you don’t quite measure up.

Imaginary enemy.

Or that you will be found out in some way.

Imaginary enemy.

Or that everyone else has it all figured out and you don’t.

Imaginary enemy.

And that everyone else SO has their shit together but you don’t.

Imaginary enemy.

That you are not quite smart/pretty/thin/successful enough?

Imaginary enemy.

Our imaginary enemy whispers disempowering messages that if we listen, suck a little bit of joy out of each day, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE COMPLETELY IMAGINARY.

That’s imaginary as in NOT. REAL.

Those voices, not real. Those whispers of not good enough. Not doing enough. Not being enough. Not having enough.

Not. Real. Just your imaginary enemy.

You do enough. You have enough. You are enough.

Just as you are.

A child has an imaginary friend for comfort and company. Believing in it is a positive force for good. However we can SO CLEARLY see that the imaginary friend is exactly that, not real, imaginary.

Interestingly when we have an imaginary enemy it creates confusion and doubt, not comfort and company. We also have trouble seeing it as not real. We think that whisper of doubt and negativity is real. That it comes from us. That it might be truth.

It is no more real than Dotty’s place at the tea party. If Amelia treats Dotty as real she gains the pleasure and joy inherent in that interaction. Even though Dotty is imaginary.

If we treat that insidious imaginary enemy voice as real, we gain the inherent fears and doubts from that interaction. Even though they are imaginary.

Always check for evidence.

Is there any real evidence for you not being good enough?

Any real evidence that you are not enough?

Any real evidence that people don’t really love or rate you?

The vast majority of the time when we dig a little deeper we find NO evidence at all. Just the whispers of the Imaginary Enemy. We have a choice whether we treat this voice as real or not. Whether we encourage that negative chatter or not. Whether we choose to put our focus on the things that are real that we actually have evidence for instead. We should always question rather than accept our imaginary enemy.

We can choose to put our focus on real. We can choose to stop believing in the imaginary enemy, keep it real and positive, and become our own best friend instead.

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