Categories
High Energy Happiness

Guilt Free Life-Work Balance

Guilt Free Life-Work Balance http---ltnew.dev.webencore.net-guilt-free-life-work-balance- I’m here in Bali and it’s just faaaabulous darling! It’s been a five day fiesta of yoga, meditation and detoxing and I have to say I am feeling amazing. (I am vaguely thinking if I organised a Life Coaching + Yoga retreat to Bali next year for you guys – it could be a beautiful thing? If that sounds like fun to you flick me a note on Facebook and let me know).

Okay so Bali, Ubud specifically. It’s like the home of all things alternative. It’s a veritable Mecca of Wellbeing! Every other shop is selling yoga gear or raw vegan food or incense. It’s the setting and inspiration for Eat. Pray. Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s outstanding runaway bestselling novel and when you are here you can totally feel why. Spirit is in the air!

So today I take as my inspiration a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat. Pray. Love:

 “Balance, my darling, is not letting anybody love you more than you love yourself.” 

A quote which I really dig. I get asked about life-work balance so often, it’s a perennial wellbeing struggle for most people.  The real issue with it is that really it’s a question of maths. It’s actually quite logical and simple. It’s about Work-Life Volume rather than Balance. You have x amount of hours, that’s not going to change, so choose how to prioritise which things you want to put in and leave out, to bring you balance. It really is just maths. Simple, yes! On paper yes, in reality, no. It’s something that almost everyone struggles with.

The reason why it’s hard though? It’s because this maths equation for balance gets wrapped up in a web of complicated emotion. Specifically guilt and feeling selfish. And what that means is that even if we choose something we think will give us balance, i.e. say No to Thing A, or Yes to Thing B, or prioritise time for Thing C. We can end up feeling guilty  even though we have consciously chosen the thing that will bring us balance.

So – sometimes we get Balance with a side serving of guilt for being selfish. Which completely defeats the purpose.

What we are after is Balance, consciously chosen, minus the guilt. The emotion we want to attach is peacefulness, or contentedness, or joy.

That’s where I think Elizabeth’s quote is a great reminder:

“Balance, my darling, is not letting anybody love you more than you love yourself.”

If we choose Balance, which is usually in the form of Self Care of some sort or another, what we are doing is actively choosing to love ourselves first in the moment. And that’s not selfish. But it can feel selfish if we are thinking “I shouldn’t be doing this, I should be doing …. instead.” The “should” kills it, the “should” is the sneaky mechanism by which guilt gets subtly attached to the Balancing activity we have chosen.

We’ve gotta drop the should, or if that’s too hard, we need to change the should to a should that is helpful: “I should take care of myself! If I don’t look after myself I can’t look after the people I love/do the job I love/etc.”

To give to others we have to fill our own cup first on occasion. If you are one of life’s givers this can be a hard thing to do consistently but it is necessary. It’s the classic analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask first in the plane. You cannot help others if you are struggling yourself. The stronger, fitter, more balanced, more well in mind, body and spirit you are, the better you serve everyone around you.

Balance in life comes from a balance in the mind. If you can balance the thoughts of taking care of others with some thoughts of the huge value of taking care of yourself, that is self love in action. To focus on thoughts of love for yourself as foundational for thoughts to love others. Balance is about embracing thoughts of self love before it manifests as an action of booking a yoga class or saying no to that function you don’t really want to go to. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have balance on the outside – in your life – if you do not have a balance of thoughts on the inside – inside your head, balancing the importance of taking care of yourself as much as others.

It feels like an incredible indulgence being here in this extraordinary place, and to be away from my clients and work and loved ones for a number of weeks, which instantly makes me feel guilty and selfish. But then on the other hand, when I consciously balance my thinking I quickly realise it’s my JOB to be here! To be in this mecca of Wellbeing. That is an important part of my work. It’s how I recharge myself in order to be able to bring great energy and great love to the things that I do. Which are all giving OUT of energy and love, my Happiness Hacking private life coaching, speaking, writing. In order to pour out all that energy into others so intensely each day I need to take the time to recharge those specific batteries, and bring the energy IN. I need to balance the out with the in. That is taking care of me, but also the people that I care so much about.

Balance is only really Balance if it’s guilt free. And that all starts with what is going on inside our heads. Balance your thoughts about self care first and then the perpetual struggle on the outside will recede.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

 

 

Categories
Love the Skin You're In

How Facebook Could Help You Be Naturally Fit and Healthy

Tweet: How Facebook could help you be naturally fit and healthy http://ctt.ec/59pJL+ #shinebright @FlexHappyAre you on Facebook, darling? Of course you are. I have an acquaintance who hates it and calls it “me-book” because it’s all so “me me me”. I can see her point, but I have to say I love the way it keeps me effortlessly in touch with all my friends and family overseas, and of course hanging out with you guys sharing inspiration and mood lifters on a daily basis. I love the stream of positivity that runs through my life on a daily basis.

So here’s a thing I have been thinking about: the status updates that we push out to the world about what’s happening in our life. You know the  “Here’s me doing a thing” “Here’s a selfie of me doing another thing”  “I love my fella/kid, he is so awesome here is a pic of me + him/them looking cute together doing a cute thing”. Status updates are usually sparky, and positive  – they are the face we want to show to the world.

So – as you know I work a lot with smart, busy woman around life /work balance, intuitive natural weight-loss and self esteem – some of my favourite work BTW! The thought that suddenly occurred to me is this:

What if our Body got to share status updates of how we were looking after it? What would THAT look like? If it was Bodybook, not Facebook? What status updates would Your Body post if it could?

“She’s over fed me AGAIN. I am stuffed. Really uncomfortable. Why does she keep doing that to me?! Anyone?”

“She’s just fed me a load of chocolate, whilst only an hour ago she was telling me off for not being able to fit into her favourite jeans. What does she expect me to do? I am living with a crazy lady!”

“Missed the promised walk again today. I was so looking forward to it. Why is my walk always the thing that gets dropped when the diary gets busy? Why is there always something more important than me?”

“She is working us to the bone AGAIN. I am exhausted. Would really, REALLY, like a REST. Is that too much to ask, lol?”

Or would Your Body be posting status updates like this?

“I love my owner! Even though she was busy she still made time to make sure I got to move today – it was only 15 minutes but that makes all the difference to me. I love her!”

“I love my girl. Turned down dessert because I told her I was full and she so totally listened. We are SUCH a great team”.

“Look at what we are doing right now? Cooking something super nutritious that’s what. Oh yeah, I know I am important because she makes this stuff happen for me ALL THE TIME”.

“Yes, we are at yoga. I love that she makes time for this every week. Makes me feel SO GOOD! Bliss. OM y’all!”

Facebook works so well because of course we can be so selective about what we post. Only the pretty selfies make it. Only the pix or talk of the peak experiences make it to status update. We have a great deal of control over the face we present to the word. That’s all cool – I think we would all find it pretty boring and depressing if there was a stream of all the minutia as well as the lowlights. The point is we have full control. We can create an image that we actually want to live up to.

But what if it was not us posting? Just for a week or two? What if Your Body was in charge of your Facebook updates for a fortnight, and it decided to post twice a day, every day. What if THAT was being put out there into the world? Would you be proud of what Your Body was saying about you? Would you feel like you were a team? What would it have to say if it had a voice and a forum? Does that make you feel uncomfortable or does that feel like fun?

If Your Body had a voice what would it say?

This has really helped me to think more deeply about my self-care and prioritisation of exercise in my life. It’s helped me to take action and to make sure each day contains a good level of self-care and respect for my body. If my Body was posting each day I’d like to give it good things to say!

It’s a subtle change in focus that can create a big change in action. What about you? Hit the comments below and give me a status update from Your Body, or an update you would like Your Body to post about you.

If Your Body had a voice, a Facebook profile, what would it say?

 

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration

What To Do When It’s Hard To be The Bigger Person

Forgiveness is one of those ideals that I think many of us aspire to. We want to be the person who is “big enough” to let it go. To forgive. To move on. And with the little stuff that life throws at us, we can generally do that. Be the Bigger Person. Suck it up. Not make it a big deal. Get past it. Forgive. Move on.

But BIG things? The really big, black, bad things that someone has done to us? Well that’s a whole heap harder to get past. If someone has been an absolute sh*t to us then forgiving becomes very tough indeed. We can carry that weight of unforgiveness around in our hearts for a VERY long time. Why? Because if we forgive, it somehow makes their behaviour or choices okay. We might in some way be endorsing what occurred, and we sure as hell don’t want to do that! We don’t want the wrong to become a right. Wrong is wrong. So, we don’t forgive. We resist and resist. And we carry that weight of resistance around with us.

That weight in our hearts can get heavy and tiring. And it can block us from good stuff coming in. It can make us too scared to speak up or love again or make that bold choice. It becomes an anchor dragging behind us even though the sh*tty experience that created it is long gone.

And yet, we know somewhere, deep down, that if we could forgive and release the experience it would be better for us. Lighter. Freer.

But how do we forgive, or even consider it, when they are so wrong, wrong, wrong? How do we forgive when we are IN THE RIGHT, godammit?!

Here’s the thing.

There’s continuing to fight The Corner Of Rightness v’s forgiving and releasing the experience.

Look at continuing to fight the Corner Of Rightness. What benefit does it get us? Well, it keeps us feeling right. And on the moral high ground. It’s nice up there. It feels kinda good. However. It keeps us STUCK. It keeps us stuck in the sh*tty experience of The Thing that we can’t forgive. Which doesn’t serve us at all.

What does forgiving do? Forgiving drops us from fighting The Corner Of Rightness so hard all the time. Why is that important? Because fighting The Corner Of Rightness ultimately becomes a pointless activity that doesn’t change the other person’s behaviour – it just entrenches us in justifiable miserableness. So it just makes us stuck. Yes, you have every right to be upset/furious/betrayed/utterly miserable by that experience – but at the end of the day – you are still miserable.

So what’s the alternative? I forgive? I drop trying to force rightness. I just drop that completely. And you know what…that doesn’t make him/her any less wrong. He still has to carry that burden of wrongness. The wrongness doesn’t just evaporate. It’s still out there.

It’s about knowing I don’t need to be constantly banging the drum of rightness to make someone else wrong. If they are wrong, they are wrong. If they are a liar, they are a liar. If they are a thief, they are a thief. I don’t have to keep asserting they are. If that dog is black, I don’t have to keep pointing out the blackness of the dog, or indeed the dog at all. The dog is just out there, being black. It’s nothing to do with me, that blackness belongs to the dog, not me.

So – I stop. I stop banging The Drum Of Rightness. I don’t need to be banging it the whole time to make someone else wrong. If they are wrong, they are wrong. That’s enough: I can withdraw my energy from that situation.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person’s wrongness. It is not something you give to them to make their wrong okay or right. It is something you give to yourself. It’s the removal of banging the Drum Of Rightness of justifiable misery so you no longer have to be miserable about it. It doesn’t make them right. It just means you can change your focus to banging the drum of rightness in your own life – focus on what you have, and want to have, that feels right and good, and energising fun, clean and fresh. Forgiving is about focusing on what’s going right with you, independent of someone else’s wrongness. It’s letting the wrongness just fade out there into the atmosphere, and bringing your attention to creating the life of a Bigger Person with a Bigger Life.

Is there something in your life you need to forgive and be that bigger person?

 

Louise Thompson signature

 

 

 

 

 

Louise working on her laptop with coffee in hand

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. 

 

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration

The Secret No-one Tells You To “Letting Go”

Letting GoIt’s healthy to “Let Go”, we are told.

It’s healthy to let go of past hurt. Resentment. A Broken Heart. Pain. Anger. Grief. Being Used. Being Abused. Lied to. Abandoned. Betrayed. Whatever your particular flavour of hurt.

“Just Let Go – you will feel better” they say.

And we know that is true.

That if we could let go of that tight ball of pain that lies so heavy in our heart, that would be just awesome. Thanks so much for the advice.

So, we want to Let Go. We do. We know it will be The Way Forward.

So we want to. Oh boy, do we want to.

But. How do we do it? How do we Let Go? And, what if we can’t? What if we just can’t find a way to Let Go. What then?

The reality is “Letting Go” sounds very appealing, and is very easy to say, but it can be oh so hard to actually do in practice.

Here’s the thing.

Sometimes…you just might not be ready to Let Go. It’s too hard because you are just Not Ready Yet.

And that’s okay.

So – what’s the answer when Letting Go is too hard? Or it’s too soon?

I think it is this:

Instead of asking yourself what you want to Let Go Of, park that for now. Instead ask yourself this:

“What do I want to Let In right now?

What would make life sweeter? More relaxed? More fun?

What do I want to Let In that would help me feel more connected? More valued? More loved?

What could I Let In that would make life easier? More effortless? More delicious?

What do I want to Let In that would lift my spirits? What do I want to Let In that would make my heart lift, even a little?

Do I want to Let In more joy? More clients? More money? More time to move my body? More boy’s poker nights? More clutter free surfaces in my home? More clothes than make me feel amazing? More friendships that feel truly connected? More laughter? More lightness? Honesty? Trust? Integrity? Love?

What do I want to Let In to my life?

Park up for a while on what you want to Let Go of. It’s okay to put it in the Too Hard Basket for a bit. Turn your focus over entirely to what you want to Let In instead.

Define it.

Sit with it.

Make a list of it.

Talk about it.

Move towards it.

Start figuring out ways to Let That Stuff In.

Express gratitude as it shows up.

Notice and praise the little stuff that gets Let In.

Whoop and holler a hell yeah for the big and fabulous stuff you Let In.

The new friendship. The laughter over a wine. The amazing new boots. The painting your kid drew. The fresh air on a crisp winters day. The hard but honest conversation that built trust and understanding.

Let that stuff IN.

Decide what it is and Let It In.

Let It In, and smile and keep your focus on it. The stuff you wanted to arrive.

And Let It In some more.

And Let It In some more.

And then?

And then, cast your mind back to That Thing, that Big Ugly Painful Thing you were wrestling to Let Go of a while back. You will find while you have loosened your grip on it (by putting your energy into what you want to Let In instead) – well that thing, whilst you haven’t been looking…it has gently and inperceptably started to Let Go of you. It’s releasing you more every single time you let more of the good stuff in.

Freedom beckons.

Let It In.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

Categories
Positive Thought Strategy

What To When Your Problems Seem Unsolvabley Big

Tweet: What To When Your Problems Seem Unsolvabley Big http://ctt.ec/16X46+  @FlexHappyI have a riddle for you today. When is a problem no longer a problem?

When does a big, hairy mutha#%@#$ problem in our life cease to be a problem?

When it’s solved?

Yes. Obviously. When you solve it, it’s solved.

But also – what about when you just CAN’T. You can’t solve it. Then what?

Sometimes a problem can’t be “solved”. Sometimes we live with ever-present problems that drain our energy and sabotage our pretty much all our attempts at happiness because there are worries and situations we can’t fix or solve. Despite our best intentions, big heart and all our cunning.

You know the sort of problems I am talking about. The “old chestnuts”. The ones that lurk in the background all the time. The ones that wake you up at 4 in the morning. The ones that pop into your head and throw you off track at the worst times.

Some problems seem so big and insurmountable that we just sit with them day after day. We can’t solve it so we decide to live with the problem. What choice is there?

Well.

There’s one thing.

A problem is a problem only when we define it as one.

A thing or an event only has as much meaning as we subscribe to it.

To the degree to which we personally attach to it.

So – example. Say there is a concert in town for…let’s say…Ed Sheeran. Say I offer to send you there, will give you tickets, for free. The degree of excited or grateful you are would depend on how much you like Ed Sheeran. Right? So if you are into him and his chameleon-like, wordsmithy, ginger ways you would be super excited, and totally anticipating a good night and super stoked about the tickets I have magiced up for you. If you are saying “Ed Who?” then your response would be lukewarm at best, and probably you wouldn’t even want the tickets anyway. You have far better ways to spend your time. Can you see – the key isn’t how good or bad a singer Ed is. It’s not about the energy he may or may not bring to a live show, his reputation as an entertainer or his latest Top 40 hit (ie, how BIG Ed is). All that really matters is YOUR relationship to Ed. ie. The MEANING you attach to Ed. Whether you personally rate him, or not.

Does that make sense?

Okay. So – how do we apply this to our own problem stuff?

Let’s go back to my original question:

When is a problem no longer a problem?

I’ll tell you when.

When the meaning you attach to it no longer makes you suffer.

I’ll say that again.

The problem ceases to be a problem when the meaning you attach to it no longer makes you suffer.

So. If we go back to Ed. Ed sings for a living. That’s a fact. Can’t argue with that. BUT – if I change the MEANING I give to Ed I can change my problem that I don’t have tickets (because I’ve given them to you gorgeous) (you’re welcome).

If I attach the following see how it works in a handy attachment equation I just invented for you:

Ed + is awesome + I absolutely MUST go to his show or I will be missing out + can’t get a ticket = suffering + problem.

Or

Ed + is cool but there are so many other great performers coming I’m excited about + I’m so happy I gave my tix to those lovely people + can’t get another ticket = no suffering + no problem.

Problems and suffering all come from the MEANING we attach to people and things.

This, of course, isn’t a new concept – The Buddha was riffing on suffering being the root of all attachment millennia ago, obviously a million times more eloquently that I am here. I’m not trying to out-Buddha the Buddha. That would be idiotic. I’m just aware that many people hear “The root of all suffering is attachment”. Which is true. And powerful. And wise. But it’s HARD to know what to actually DO with that piece of incredible wisdom to have it impact your own life in a positive way.

So – this is your modern day take. Complete with Ed Sheeran analogy and equation symbols to break it down and make it workable.

So.

If I a client has the following attachment equation for a problem in their life see how it plays out:

Breakup + I cannot be happy without that particular individual + life is not worth living when single + being single  = much suffering + big problem.

Compared to:

Breakup + that chapter I loved is over which is sad  + I know there is something else magical out there for me + being single is a transitional period and I accept that  = reduced suffering + no problem.

So.

A problem ceases to be a problem when it no longer elicits suffering.

The amount of suffering a problem gives us is directly linked to the meaning we attach to it.

To reduce the amount of suffering in a problem we need to change the meaning.

We have that choice.

We can ascribe different meaning to our problems.

We might not be able to change it from “Problem” to “Total Victory!” Frankly that’s unlikely or it would never have fallen into the problem category in the first place. But that’s not a reason to try and at least take your problemo from “Ongoing Nightmare Category #1 Problem” to “Less Than Ideal Circumstance In My life I Am Accepting Of + Dealing With Right Now”.

Have a look. Like right now. Pull out a pen and paper. List a couple of your problems that make you suffer. Write down the meaning equation you have hooked up. It’s going to look something like this:

Problem I have + meaning #1 that makes me hurt + meaning #2 that makes me hurt even more+ meaning #3 that makes me hurt like hell to the max = heap of suffering + big problem.

Then see if you can attach some slightly different, new and improved, meanings.

Problem I have + meaning #1 that makes me hurt a bit less+ meaning #2 that is pragmatic and makes me hurt a little less + meaning #3 that is looking on the sunnier side even though that’s hard to do = reduced suffering + smaller problem.

Attachment Equations = simple tool to reduce the hurtyness in your problems. Does it stop life hurting? No. Does it mean it doesn’t have to hurt so much? Definitely.

You have the power.

Louise Thompson, wellbeing coach

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