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2022 Communication Self Care Sunday

Seriously people, we have to stop saying this…

If there is one phrase I would like to remove from the English language, it is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Seriously people, we have to stop saying this to traumatised individuals.

I realise it’s coming from a place of good intent and trying to be helpful, but, IT IS NOT.

It utterly invalidates other people’s experience, pain and trauma…AND (as if that were not enough!) also implies they should somehow be GRATEFUL for their suffering as it’s creating some handy personal development ?

I can’t even!

I know when this has been said to me in the depths of personal hellscape, it made me feel…

a) ANGRY (you want me to to grateful for this hell?)

and

b) ALONE (you obviously have NO IDEA what I am really going through here or you would not have said something so insulting / idiotic)

 

So, please let’s stop using this phrase, I know it’s well intentioned but it is unhelpful verging on damaging.

If you are unsure of what to say to someone who is in a personal hellscape, try these instead..

“I’m so sorry you are experiencing this. I’m here for you in any way you need”

or

“I don’t know what to say but I do know I care about you deeply, and you can share anything you need with me, I’m here”

or

“This is all so shocking, it’s going to take you time to come to terms with it. I’m here for you”

Because, whether what doesn’t kill you may or may not make you stronger (and if it does that strength will be a long way up the road) IT’S JUST NOT HELPFUL in the moment. What doesn’t kill you can steal your sense of self and make you wish it did. That trauma needs to be seen, honoured and healed, not dismissed.

Has anyone said it to you? Did it help? I thought not!

Let’s collectively consign this outdated phrase to the bin where it belongs.

If you are going through hell right now, please reach out to your most thoughtful, empathetic people. You are not alone ?

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

Why worrying makes bad stuff happen!

Worrying is a pointless activity. Fact!

Worrying is focusing on a fear that is not currently present.

It’s worrying about a thing that may or may not happen later.

Most of the time it doesn’t even happen, but all that mental energy, emotional energy and headspace is gone, you can’t get that back.

And here’s another thing. Worrying actually makes the thing you are worrying about more likely to happen.

Yep, that’s right.

Worrying actually makes the thing you are worrying about more likely to happen.

How?

Well, firstly, worry makes you filter. Filtering is selective awareness of what’s going on around you. Our brains are built to filter because otherwise we couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of information around us.

Here’s an example of filtering. I got a new car a couple of years ago. I wasn’t that fussed about what I got as long as it was small enough so I could park it  (ie. v small) and that it wasn’t another unreliable money eating machine.  I settled on a blue Mazda 3 , never really seen one before but it ticked all the boxes and we got a good deal. Then, when driving about in the shiny new reliable blue Mazda 3 a funny thing happened. They are EVERYWHERE! Blue Mazda 3’s? Every third car is a blue Mazda 3. So many in fact that twice I tried to get into the wrong parked car (der…that’s why we now have a sticker on the back window to stop me doing that).  Blue Mazda 3’s are super common but I honestly had never noticed one before I bought one, then I see them everywhere. Why? Filtering. My brain is filtering for the thing I put my attention on so I see it everywhere.

It’s how the brain works. So, if you are worrying about a thing, you are actually far more likely to find evidence for it as you have primed your brain to search for it. That makes worries far more likely to become real.

Reason number 2 that worrying makes the thing you don’t want more likely to happen is the basic Law Of Attraction. The more thoughts you put out there by continually worrying about a scenario you don’t want, the more likely The Universe is to energetically bring that back to you. That might be too woo-woo for you but I can assure you that it’s the truth. The Universe is programmed to bring you what you want. And it assumes that what you want is what you think about all the time. Worrying is a repetitive thought pattern. Hence, that’s what you are far more likely to get.

So, whether you like the brain science filtering explanation or the more woo-woo Law Of Attraction one, you can see that worrying is bad. And pointless.

Worrying is meditating on the thing you don’t want to happen.

So, stop it!

Decide what you DO want to happen, however unlikely that may seem, and focus your thoughts and energy on that.

It will make a HUGE difference to how enjoyable your day is and the outcome of the thing.

Have a great worry-free day.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happy People Don't Do Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Your Bedtime Story

What goes on between our ears has the biggest determination over what goes on in our hearts and in our lives.

One of the biggest areas where we can trip up is when we get facts confused with stories, or “the truth” confused with fairytales.

Have a think about a time when you had yourself absolutely convinced something utterly catastrophic was about to happen.

Lying awake turning over the prospect of imminent doom played out in excruciating and panic-inducing detail.  We have all done it. And then…and then…well, nothing happening. NOTHING! The sky totally did not fall in. The fan did not get hit with anything. All that worry, stress, drama and excess cortisol production for nothing.

It can be weirdly tempting to play out a worst-case scenario story as a bizarre sort of double-think mental insurance to ward off against disappointment or rejection. If we have already considered the worst then maybe…maybe… it won’t happen.

However, it’s a far easier way to live to know that whatever comes up –  if it comes up –  you are smart and capable and you will react and handle it. And so, therefore, you choose to wait until such time that might be necessary and divert your attention to happier thoughts in the meantime.

The stories we tell ourselves in our heads have the very real capacity to destroy our peace of mind with far more regularity than any outside event.

Look at it this way. What bedtime story do you read your 7-year-old son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter/nephew/niece? Is it a) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory or b) Nightmare On Elm Street?  Right. You wouldn’t dream of divulging the tales of Freddie Kruger’s bloody mayhem whilst you tuck them up as you want that child to sleep soundly, yes? (preferably right through the night uninterrupted, of course). You want to create the best conditions to do that; you know the content you fill their heads with at that pivotal moment is key – so you choose with discernment.

It’s the same at the cinema.  We know the emotional impact of a good story and so there are standard content rating systems for movies. We know how powerful those stories in the screen are so we want to choose age-appropriately and with discernment for the audience. This is obvious in the movie cinema.

We want the right story playing for whoever is watching it.

And yet, and yet. We are nowhere near as careful stewards of our own bedtime story routine. Replaying the tricky conversation with the boss whilst we clean our teeth: bad bedtime story. Thinking about whether that client is going to be furious or not as we turn down the covers: bad bedtime story. Turning over the backhanded compliment our mother in law paid and worrying about how that may play out at the weekend family barbeque: bad bedtime story. Figuring out if that friend deliberately blanked us at the school gate as we have upset them for reasons we know not: bad bedtime story. No wonder we don’t sleep well, or our days are filled with worry.

Our peace of mind is determined by the tone and content of the stories we tell ourselves through our waking hours.

And as for the stories we believe and repeat in the dead of night? They are the most powerful of all.

Make sure you choose appropriate bedtime reading for yourself.

Sweet dreams.

 

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Mindful or MindFULL?

Time and again clients will say they don’t feel connected to the joy that should be in their lives but somehow, mysteriously, isn’t there.

They know they should feel it. That life looks like it should be joyful from the outside. Nice house / job / partner / and so on. Healthy. Enough money. And so on. All the essential building blocks are there for a joyful life, but somehow, as they whizz through each busy day: they just don’t feel it.

They might feel overwhelmed. Or stressed. Or tired. Or…(gasp!)…bored. But they don’t feel joyful. The happiness looks like it should be there. But it isn’t.

What’s that about? Maybe you feel it too sometimes? You have pretty much most of your ducks in a row, but…somehow…you are not feeling it.

What’s going on?

I’ll tell you a secret. It’s about presentness and mindfulness, which I realise is the cue for half of you to stop reading with a big, fat zzzzzzzz. Nothing, it seems, is inclined to switch people off quicker than talking about mindfulness. Which is tragic as despite its unsexy brand image, it’s actually the key to a happier, more joyful life; if only we would demystify it and give it a chance.

Because, here’s the thing:

It’s not that the joy isn’t there.

The joy IS there.

But YOU are not.

You are elsewhere.

Either you are in your future or in your past.

If you are recalling something sad or stressful, you are in the past. So, that’s what you will FEEL in the present. Sad or stressed. Not joyful: no matter what you are doing. What your mind is full of is what you will feel.

If you are imagining a situation tomorrow that is worrysome or overwhelming, then that is what you feel in the now. You won’t feel joy right now, you will feel worried because your mind is full of future worries.

How you feel is determined by what your mind is full of (mindful: geddit?) right now, no matter what your body is doing in the present.

Your body might be reading a bedtime story to your child, but if your mind is full of the board meeting that went badly three hours ago, you won’t feel the joy inherent in that moment because you are not in it. Your body is there. Your mind is not.

Your body might be having dinner with Beyonce but if your mind is full of your overwhelming “To Do List” and money worries, then the joy inherent in that bootylicious moment escapes like a wisp of smoke and you will feel overwhelmed not elated.

No matter what happy stuff or circumstance you might be surrounded by, the joy in it is only accessible if your mind is full of it, not just your body being present with it.

You will feel what your mind is full of.

You will feel what your mind is full of.

Where did the joy go?

It didn’t go anywhere.

IT was there.

You missed it.

YOU weren’t there.

Simplest step to having more happiness in your life?

Be mindful of where the joy is.

And, it’s always right NOW if you stop and look for it.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration

Stop Waiting

How about we stop waiting for summer. For the kids to be older. Til we drop the last 5 kgs. For Friday. For the weekend.Stop waiting for the big milestones of life and enjoy the moment right now ‘Til the exams are over. ‘Til the reno is done. ‘Til the mortgage is paid off. ‘Til the house is bought. ‘Til the deposit is saved. ‘Til she behaves herself. ‘Til he falls into line. ‘Til the flights are booked. The work is done. The boss says yes. The campaign is over. The treatment is complete. The project starts. The term finishes. ‘Til we have some space. ‘Til we have some time. ‘Til they sleep through the night. ‘Til she says yes. ‘Til it’s sold. ‘Til it’s bought. ‘Til we can afford it.

How about we stop with the waiting?

If we are not mindful, happiness can be deferred for so many good, and not so good, reasons. Daily life can become a mental ticker tape of things to get done, and days to be got through before the big ticket milestones fall into place. We can become so focused on the future that we forget to connect to the tiny moments of joy that are inherent in the now.

It is a great truth that as much as there will always be something to appreciate in the worst of times (if we dig really deep it will be there), there is conversely also always something to complain about in the best of times if that’s where our focus goes. It’s up to each of us to figure out which way we want to habitually look at the world.

Choosing to stop waiting to be happy can be one of the most powerful choices we can ever make. We can miss so many everyday moments of happiness accessible right now this minute when we are in wait mode for the significant jigsaw pieces of life to fall into place.

We can choose to be happy now when we breathe in the aroma of our fresh cuppa.

When a small hand slips into ours at pick up. That we have people to share a meal with at the end of the day. For the nourishing food on our plate. That we have incredible gadgets to clean our home that prior generations spent their whole day doing manually (my Granny had a mangle in the outhouse, for goodness sake!). That we just messaged a friend 12,000 miles away on the other side of the world in 3 seconds on our phone. That our sheets smell clean and fresh. That we breathe such clean, green air and don’t even think about it. That our bodies are walking, talking and seeing effortlessly. The sunshine on our skin. The breeze in our hair. The smile of a stranger. The unbridled glee of a child at something so small. The dog is so happy to see us home.

When we have our eye waiting for the big jigsaw pieces to fall into place and rushing to the next thing, we can chronically overlook the tiny moments of joy that are only accessible right now. It’s the little moments that light life up. Look up people, look up. Happiness is right now.

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