Today, as we celebrate the joy of love, how can you move beyond the fairy-tale idea of romance and decide to Be Your Own Valentine?
Being your own valentine means loving yourself more than needing someone to love you. It means attending to the most important person in your world- You! When we are filled with Self-Love we feel whole and complete- no one can love us more than we love ourselves.
So here are 6 ways to love you this Valentine’s Day:
1. Treat yourself
What can you gift yourself with to symbolize your self-love? Treat yourself to something that celebrates the gratitude you feel for being you. No need to wait for flowers, or turquoise boxes with white ribbons- fill up your own love tank.
2. Acknowledge yourself
Acknowledge what you have achieved in yourself, whatever that may be. Perhaps you reached or weight-loss goal or ended a difficult relationship. Or perhaps you simply fought the urge to buy that doughnut the last time you filled up your car. What are you most proud of in yourself? Validate that instead of beating yourself up or resorting to self-pity.
Actually use these words: “Today I am proud of you (myself) because (fill the blank).”
3. Honour Yourself Read More
“When words fail, music speaks.”
These legendary words by Shakespeare articulate the powerful influence music has on emotions. Researchers globally are proving how music not only influences the way we perceive our world, it can also help heal the brain and reshape the nervous system. Dr. Nina Kraus is a professor who studies neuroplasticity in musicians. Her discoveries explain how brainwaves respond to sound waves and in turn make changes to the nervous system. This means that what we are listening to can affect our mood and mindset.
Each of us will have a unique perceptual experience to music. A song which uplifts one person may irritate another; a song which may sound depressing to some may help others connect with their feelings and heal.
Ever since I watched the movie, The Greatest Showman, the theme song, This is Me, has become my morning power song. Now despite this being major mum-mockery-leverage for my children, I know our Car Karaoke trips brighten up their day. Even though they are squirming with embarrassment, the laughter it brings is totally worth it. And it usually follows with my son playing his favourite Eminem power song, followed by a united sing-song to Queens Bohemian Rhapsody.
Some may call it crazy- I call it family therapy and I know that instead of sitting in silence, with each person ruminating on their own thoughts, we can share a magical (musical) moment together.
A great tool to shift your mood and mindset and switch on your “power” is to create your own playlist of specific tunes designed to elicit your ideal emotional state. Listen to your playlist as you drive, workout, walk, cook or get ready in the morning or anytime you need uplifting.
Here is a list of the most common power songs I hear from clients: Read More
New Years is a great time of year to stop, pause and reflect on what we have achieved, where we want to go and how we are going to get there.
No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you are experiencing there is always a road leading you forwards- a road leading you to greater growth, new experiences and new connections.
Here is my favourite New Year’s Ritual to help you maximize this time, and ensure 2018 starts off with the right focus and intention. Read More
One of the most challenging elements of emotional regulation is the ability to manage thoughts, especially those negative or stressful thoughts we seem to ruminate over. As if we are replaying a scene from a movie over and over, when we ruminate we get stuck in the same narration and the same episode of our life replays itself over and over again. Not only does rumination become exhausting, we, in turn, continue to feel stuck in depression or anxiety, lack clarity, and energy and feel disempowered.
So how do you have a conversation with your thoughts?
How do you coach yourself happy?
How do you move from rumination to revelation?
The first essential step is to become aware of your thoughts, which may sound strange, as you may be fully aware of the incessant dialogue which replays itself over and over in your head. Yet many of us are unaware of the thousands of thoughts we have a day. Thought travels faster than the speed of light, so in order to manage our thoughts, we have to catch our thoughts.
If you wanted to see a shooting star, you would find somewhere quiet, on a clear night to lie down outside. You would lie in silence observing the sky in hope to be still enough to catch the magic. Let’s apply this same idea to our thoughts.
I was a vulnerable 11-year-old, already scarred from my parent’s divorce. Mother Nature had blessed me with early puberty and an overnight D cup. I looked more like a young adult than a girl latching onto innocence. I was spending the night with a family friend and was swimming in their pool when the Dad, entered the water.
“Let me lift you up and throw you, like when you were kids,” he said reaching out his hand and drawing me closer. The twist in my belly told me it was wrong, but conditioning taught me to do as I was told, and I let him throw me. As he lifted me up, he reached into my swimsuit and touched me inappropriately. In shock, I quickly swam away, got out of the pool and went inside.
The first time I spoke of this event was a few years ago, shortly after my 40th birthday- 3 decades later. The confusion I felt within, never allowed the words to come out of my mouth. The shield of shame I wore, blocked the connection I had with my own femininity and sensuality. I felt dirty, violated and hated the sexual looks men gave me. In self-preservation, I shut down a vital
part of my self and instead of accepting myself fully and feeling open, I put my guard up, especially around men.
The hedonistic hangover echoes remorse from the inside of the toilet bowl.
Whyyyyyy did I eeeeeeeat thaaaaaat?
Whyyyyyy did I driiiiiink so muuuuuch?
Why do we over indulge?
Why do we go against ourselves?
Why do we sabotage our inner knowing for a moment of so called bliss, fun, adventure, joy, or the need to silence the nag of an inner craving?
What are we feeding? What are we trying to satisfy? Are we trying to fill ourselves up or numb ourselves?
And if we are searching for comfortable numbness, then why? Numb ourselves from what?
This week’s blog has been inspired by a book I read last week- When Hungry, Eat. This brilliant masterpiece by Joanne Fedler is a book about her personal weight loss and quest into the depth of her hunger. Joanne put words onto feelings I have tried to articulate for over twenty-five years. Let me explain…
For the past twenty-five years I have been in Australia, not only have a been on a rollercoaster ride of joy-pain-joy, I have also been on a rollercoaster of binge-starve-binge with my weight going up and down like yo-yo flung from my hand. Have I been distracting myself from a pain so great, the only way to silence it was to numb it? Have I just been numbing the pain of homesickness?
So it got me thinking…What do we do to numb ourselves from pain? Read More
Do you find yourself running on full cylinders all day? Come afternoon and you begin to fatigue and eventually crash and burn?
Would you like to have more energy to sustain your day without the burnout?
Well here is a technique to help you manage your energy throughout the day with fuel in your tank.
Imagine a pot of water cooking on a stove with a full flame under it. See that water bubbling boldly.
Over time, what happens to that water?
It eventually evaporates, right? And all you are left with is a burnt pot.
Now imagine turning that flame to a gentle simmer and every time the water level drops add a bit more water to it.
Now what does that give you?
Besides a clean pot, it also gives you a constant full pot of water.
This metaphor is a perfect example to demonstrate what happens to our energy throughout the day. We have a body (the pot), masculine energy (the flame- our doing “busy” mode)) and feminine energy (the water- our rest and restore mode). If our masculine energy is on too high over a long period of time, and we are not stopping to refuel or top up, we burn out. To sustain a healthy balance of feminine and masculine energy (Yin and Yang) we have to find a way to simmer through our day with a few more rest stops.
So here is a restorative and fast way to implement this throughout your day:
As a self-empowerment coach, I am always looking for ways to help you save your energy so you can stay empowered with vitality and enthusiasm for life. Part of this process is locating the energy drainers in your life which are zapping you of your vital life force.
Imagine having a stack of APPS on your phone which you do not use, draining the life of your battery. Deleting these useless APPS allows your phone to work with greater speed and functionality.
Now imagine doing the same process of deletion with certain wearisome behaviors.
One such behavior I have been focusing on eliminating is defensiveness.
How much energy is exhausted in defending yourself? How much energy is wasted on trying to be right or proving your point? Justifying, apologizing, explaining, blaming, defending, proving and persuading are all massive ways to drain your energy. These all form rigid ways of thinking and prevent you from being malleable, resilient and in the now.
Learning how to give these up allows you to cultivate, conserve and control your energy in empowering ways. When you focus on DEFENSELESSNESS you relinquish the need to defend yourself and instantly begin to conserve valuable fuel. Not only will you uplift your energy, you will also strengthen the quality of your relationships.
Since my early teen years I have battled the black dog of depression and anxiety. There were times when I was completely depleted by the heavy on set of emotion. I was stuck in mind-sand for many years sinking deeper into dis-empowerment and self pity. In a desperate search to uplift myself I searched for helping hands to pull me out of the goo. I began to learn ways I could navigate myself back to empowerment.
The most life changing discovery for me along my journey was the realization that my depression was linked to my inner energy. I learned that all emotion is energy. Emotion equals energy-in-motion. What this meant for my depression was an understanding that the heaviness I felt was actually depleted and negative energy, not necessarily an emotion from within me.
This had such a massive impact on my healing as instead of my focusing on why I was feeling depressed (which was always the same disempowering self-pity sob story) my focus shifted to understand what energy I had taken on and how I can lift it.
Being a highly sensitive person and an empath by nature, I realized that I was like a sponge to my world, absorbing emotions all around me. Without awareness of this process, negative emotions were being depressed into my system causing a depression of negativity. By redefining my depression in this way, I discovered powerful tools to clear my energy and avoid the burnout of empathy fatigue.
In every challenging moment you are faced with a choice… Do you react with negative emotion or do you react with calm?
Your reactions to these challenging moments will determine whether you feel defeated by the challenge or empowered by it.
Will emotions take over and cause a volcanic eruption? Or will you be calm, cool and collected?
In the explosion of emotion, we tend to take things personally, get angry, withdraw or freeze in confusion. We lose our power, we become childlike and we are definitely not the finest version of who we can be.
So how can you learn to regulate your emotions? How can you learn to press pause and create a space between that which is triggering you and your response? How can you learn to be your full potential and the best version of yourself in those moments of challenge?
Here is one tool which continues to help me stay aligned with my true self.
In the moment of being triggered, I pause, I breathe into my emotions to soothe the wild beast within and I ask myself this simple, yet powerful question: