Building Your Dreams

January 17, 2016

 Manifesting What You Really Want

By Paula O’Sullivan

Castles in the air

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.

Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Quote)

Many of us have a vague idea of what we want. Sometimes we do get what we asked for, but it turns out to be, not what we really wanted after all. Sometimes we don’t even seem to be getting anywhere near to what we desire. It can be a frustrating venture.

I’d like to share some of the things that are helping me to manifest what I want. Ok I’m a work in progress here, and I’m no expert, which is a good thing, as I’m constantly open to trying new and different approaches, so I’ll keep sharing as I learn and get results.

I’d like you to begin thinking of yourself as an architect from now on. What does an architect do?  They take the time to formulate an idea of what they want to create. Once they know what they want, they put some ideas on paper. They believe it is possible, otherwise it won’t happen. They check out the environmental impact of their plan. Then they go into the details. What materials will they use? How much will it cost? Who will they need to help? Ok you get the idea, ready? Let’s go!

Everything in your world has been created from thoughts. Unbelievable huh? Look around you… the clothes you wear, the car, the computer, the pathways you walk on, the building you live or work in, the chair, the bed, all the gadgets etc. Yes! Even you were a thought in someone’s mind at one stage, in my case an unwanted thought, but hey that’s life!

But it doesn’t end there. What about your life right now? The relationships you have or don’t have. The way people treat you. The things you do or don’t do? How you feel about life and your experiences. Your health, your wealth or lack of them? Somewhere you had a thought that led you here. Our beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking over and over, and these can become our conscious or subconscious reactions to things. These can affect our behaviour and the actions we take or don’t take.

The good news is that if everything in our lives was created by our thoughts and beliefs, then we can change it. Thoughts can be changed, and with different thoughts about things, we will take different actions and form different behaviours, which will create something different. As Albert Einstein said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’.

So the first thing we must do is:

Decide what you want to create. Think about the architect, be specific. Why do you want it? What do you think gaining this will give you? The reason I ask is this, some people want more money, but approximately 70 – 95 % of lottery winners become broke within 5 years and are worse off. Some people who enter new relationships end up feeling they are further from experiencing what they wanted. Some people who change jobs find they have re-entered a similar or worse situation than before.

Sort yourself out first: If you can’t manage your finances now, then winning a large sum won’t change that. Learn how to do it now, so that if you do attract large sums of money, you won’t be a statistic of those who go broke again.

Work on yourself: If you have low self- esteem and no healthy boundaries now, don’t expect that a new relationship or work situation will change that. If you don’t love and respect yourself, don’t expect others to. If you don’t make the time to look after and nurture your wants and needs, then no one else will make sure that you get it. Well this has been my experience anyway. We only get treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated. You’ll only attract what you are, because we each carry an energetic vibration that varies from being lower to higher. In the universe like attracts like. Match your vibration with what you desire and it will suddenly appear. So become what you desire. Manage your finances better and you’ll feel wealthy. Obviously there is more to this, you’ll need to let go of a sense of poverty consciousness if you have that. Start watching what you say and think about money. If you say there is never enough, then there won’t be. Love yourself first and you’ll feel loved and respected, then you will be more discerning with who you engage with in relationships. Support yourself and you’ll feel supported and so on.

We have been brought up to believe that the solution to our problems or our happiness lies in the hands of others. We are constantly looking to the external to satisfy us. We really need to look within first. Our outer experiences are just mirroring our inner perceptions. As within, so without. Start watching for different results as you work on yourself. You will start attracting according to whatever perceptions you are holding inside of you. Also sometimes we start attracting what Florence Scovel Shinn describes in her writings as, ‘signs of land’. You want to attract a large sum of money and only receive a small discount or gift of money at first. Look at this as a positive move towards abundance. Or you want a date but the right person isn’t showing up, but you’ve been asked out by others, this is a sign that you are on the right path, keep going. Just keep being grateful for what shows up, and re define what you DO want. I always say ‘thank you, now I’m getting nearer to what I want’.

Write it down in detail. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then anything and everything will show up. Be very specific. An architect can’t afford to gloss over the details or their creation would collapse, and neither can you, not if you want to create what you really want.

Visualize it. Play it over and over in your imagination. Perfecting it as you go.

Bring up the emotions you want to feel when you have received what you want. E – motion is Energy in Motion. Put some energy into what you desire.

Believe it is possible. Drop the doubts, drop the fears.

Release your resistance to receiving it. Use this affirmation ‘I now release any resistance to: wealth, abundance, excellent health, loving or being loved, the right person, the right home, the right job etc.

Write out your environmental impact plan! No kidding, what affect will getting what you want affect you and everyone else in your life? When making conscious decisions we must take the view of the higher greater good of all concerned. How will others benefit from what you want?

Now take action. Build the foundations under those castles in the air. ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ Thomas Jefferson (Quote) If you want to move home, check out in detail where you want to move to. Get a snag list done up on the house you’d like. Find out the costs involved. Find out who you’ll need to help you with this. Go on a dating site, join a club, or take up a new hobby. Do a course, research, etc.

Gratitude: You must be grateful for where you already are with what you already have before you can appreciate anything new.

Share your ideas only with people you know will support you. It won’t help you to share with people who reinforce your fears or doubts. They will just help you to stay as you are in the realms of their comfort zone. I found that the people who had the most opinions about me and my life, have never really done anything with theirs, and they didn’t want me to do anything with mine. It kind of shows them up, and they don’t like that. Don’t allow anyone to squash your dreams, the anger and resentment you’ll carry is not worth it for your health and wellbeing.

Goals

Sometimes after doing this we may realize that we don’t want it after all, and that’s ok, just see this as a blessing and re focus on something else that you want. Remember that nothing will be 100% perfect forever. We are constantly changing our ideas of perfection. The only true perfection in life is death, it is final and complete. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”- Leo Tolstoy (Quote) A lot about creating what we want, is sometimes accepting something imperfect and improving on it where we can.

And finally, you gotta want what you want so much, that you have done all you can to help it to happen, that you just don’t care anymore! Yes you read that right. You reach a point in all of this, that you are content as you are, feeling very grateful for where you are now, knowing what you’d like to improve on it, and realizing that you’ve survived this long without it, and knowing that you can survive a little bit longer, that’s when it just all seems to fall into place, when you’re fully allowing it to! So do what you can and then let it go!

Happy Manifesting!

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 15

July 10, 2015

Living With Intention

‘Such a simple concept, yet so true, that which we manifest is before us, we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures, have been brought on by none other than ourselves’ –Garth Stein (Quote)

As a person who in the past liked to blame everything for the way my life wasn’t working out, the overwhelming sense of responsibility I felt, when I discovered that I was actually creating my reality, hit me like a whack to the side of the head!

I became aware of how we can sabotage our lives either consciously or unconsciously. I found that when we are aligned with the Divine Design, our Destiny, we know it in our hearts, and we feel really happy inside, there is no mental conflict.

By learning to live with intention, we can consciously create the kind of story of our lives that we do want to be telling. There are some basic universal principals that are little known, and these are very important if you want to begin to express the Divine idea in your life.

‘As Within, so Without’: as within in your mind and your subconscious mind, then so without in your reality. Look at your life right now, it is a mirror reflection of what is going on in your mind. You focus on lack and financial issues, bingo, here they come! You focus on illness and here it is! Quite distressing isn’t it? And I’m not going to be able to offer you a miracle quick fix, but if you are really eager to change this unhappy reality, quite simply change your focus of thoughts, change the words you are using, the story you are telling, and you will change the emotions you feel, and your reality will mirror back to you these different situations.

There is a sentence in the Bible that refers to ‘if any two of you shall agree, it shall be done’. The usual interpretation of this is, if you can get a likeminded person to be interested in your plans, then it shall manifest, which helps, but there is also another meaning, which is if you can get your subconscious and your conscious mind to agree, then it will manifest really quickly.

Your conscious mind is like the captain of a ship giving the orders, and the subconscious is like the engine of the ship, it just follows orders. You tell it that there isn’t enough, and it says ok, lets create lack! It is the genie in the bottle, it is not the reasoning mind, and it cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, and your imagination always wins!

How do we get the two minds to agree? We use affirmations continuously that fire us up and that feel right. Read ‘The works of Florence Scovel Shinn’ I highly recommend it. But for now I have found the following affirmation to be extremely effective. ‘Infinite Spirit, open the way for the Divine Design of my life to manifest, let the genius within me now be released, let me now express the Divine idea in my mind, body and affairs, let me see clearly the perfect plan’ (Florence Scovel Shinn affirmation)

Create consciously!

Part 16- Your Metaphysical Mind

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss (Part 2)

August 3, 2014

Positive Mind Movies

‘Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think’

Benjamin Disraeli (quote)

Visualization

 

In part 1, I shared how if we change our thoughts, we can change how we feel. Most people think it works the other way around. They feel depressed and they wait for the feeling to pass, and it may or may not. Being aware of types of thoughts though, at least offers you a choice in the matter. Oh I’m not saying this is going be a fast and easy thing for you. We all have good and bad days where we’re more or less able to deal with stuff.  Checking our thoughts can be tiring. But choose a day when you feel up to it, and then begin.

Also when we are depressed, we play disaster movies in our minds. We can’t picture ourselves coping, or of things working out for us. Here’s a little exercise for you to create positive mind movies instead. Write down how you do want to feel. What do you want your life to look like and how do you want to see yourself coping with whatever happens in your life. I would often call up an image of myself as a strong survivor, admittedly sometimes it was of me standing on one plank, barely afloat, with one arm waving a flag, but hey I was still standing, I was still here! We need to keep our sense of humour!

Close your eyes, imagine a private movie theatre with a freeze frame of you on the screen. You are safe here. Choose a scenario that you want to be better in. How do you want to see yourself acting? How do you want to feel? What do you want to look and sound like? Now press play and practice seeing, feeling and hearing the new you. Press pause, think of what you want to change. Then rewind fast, pause and play the new scene. Repeat the scene a few times and then press save. Anytime the disaster movie comes on in your mind, eject and play the new movie instead. Keep improving on what you want. If you can see it in your mind then you’re already halfway there. When you are comfortable with what’s in your mind, you can then start to practice it in your life.

You probably weren’t born depressed, so if that’s the case, then you acquired a certain way of thinking that has affected you. Each thought, forms and strengthens a neural pathway and reinforces that way of thinking, which affects your behaviour and beliefs. Well you can reverse that, it just takes some time.

Another thing I found useful were affirmations, short positive sentences, like ‘Each and every day, I get better, and better in every way’ I wrote them out on post it notes and stuck them everywhere. Every time I started to feel a bit low, one of them would catch my eye, and remind me that I wanted to feel better, and I would imagine feeling what I wanted to feel. I would repeat them a few times when I awoke, and again when I was drifting off to sleep. This is your body’s natural hypnotic state, your mind is in alpha theta brainwave, and is very susceptible to suggestion, so be kind to your mind at these times!

In Part 3 How Foods Affect Moods

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer, based in Blessington, Co Wicklow http://www.i-want-a-better-life.ie


Is it time to Get Focused on Losing Weight?

June 29, 2012

Do do do do, do do do do….. Picture yourself in the ‘Light Weight Zone’

Can you see your future slimmer self in your minds eye? What are you wearing? How do you feel? How do you walk? How do you talk? What do you look like? If you can begin this journey with a positive picture in your mind that makes you feel good when you think of it, you’re already half way there!

So let’s get this picture established in our minds. How do you want to be? How do you want to feel? What do you want to look like?

Have you got that in your mind? Good… now we’re on a roll. Can you believe that it is possible to achieve that? Feeling a bit unsure huh? Does it seem a bit unreachable? It can seem that way, especially if you’ve got more than a few pounds to lose? Ok how about we focus on the first 14lbs in weight to begin with, small steps. A marathon runner sets off towards the finish line, and helps to keep themselves motivated by focusing on the next lamppost, when they reach that, they go on to the next, and the next until they reach the finish line.

So now what? Well assuming you now know what you want, and believe that you can achieve it, and have set your first goal i.e. to lose the first 14lbs in weight, you’ll need to do something… take some action…. nothing happens without action.

A good place to begin is by being honest with yourself. Get a notebook and pen ready, a weighing scales would be handy too. Now get ready…. weigh in (preferably without clothes and before you have a shower, both add pounds to the scales, which you’ll have to calculate and subtract…, keep it simple!)….. write it down….now you’ve got your starting line……… write down your target weigh loss…… now you’ve got your finish line…… in your notebook for the first week…. If you eat or drink something write it down….. if you exercise…. write it down….. at the end of the week…..  You’ll see clearly what you are eating, how much you are exercising and how much you weigh. Ouch….. the truth hurts sometimes….. Now’s your opportunity to see that you have control over your mind and body, this is where you get to choose….This is the exciting bit. The second week…. Have a look at last weeks list and see where you can change something……if you ate 2 chocolate bars a day last week, you might try 1 a day this week…. If you had only one walk last week you might try to have two or three this week….. at the end of the second week…. Weigh in again…… and you will see that by making a few small changes in the week you have suddenly lost weight…… now you feel excited…… now you see that you are indeed in control…. And you can tailor this to lose more….. It’s all about balance really…. If we keep filling our car up with fuel and don’t drive it…. The fuel pours out…. Messy…. Our bodies are the same……if we keep eating and don’t exercise…. We gain weight…. By keeping a record of what you are doing…. This will help you to stay accountable to yourself…. And will show you where you can make healthy choices.

Now sometimes the initial excitement  may wear off and you may notice that it takes a little bit of work to keep going forward with this…. and you may start thinking the kind of thoughts like……. oh I’ll just have that extra slice of cake, sure I deserve it, haven’t I been very good…..and it may be easy for you to give yourself permission to do this, and then you may have another slice and so on until you’re back where you began, or worse……. The reason this can happen is that we have neural pathways in our brains…. And every time we think a thought…. It strengthens those pathways…. And these form beliefs and habits which affect our behavior….. and if you’re over weight due to unhealthy eating and exercise patterns…. these pathways are already strengthened…. And it would be very easy to slip back into the old habits….. these kind of permission giving thoughts…. bring us into a RUT…and a RUT… is only a record of unhelpful thoughts…. and the way out of a rut is to have helpful thoughts……. now helpful thoughts are the types of thoughts that remind us that we have a choice to say no, or we can  imagine that  every time we get tempted to go off our plan,  the voice in our minds that say, go on you deserve it, sounds like Elmer Fudd or  Bugs Bunny or someone that you would never take seriously…. Yes laugh at it…tell it to talk to the hand…. whatever works for you…

And this would be a good time to use some affirmations…. and form some new neural pathways….. affirmations are short sentences… for example ‘I am in the process of losing weight and I’m enjoying it’, ‘I lose weight, easily and effortlessly’,  ‘Every step I take brings me nearer my goal’, if you just rattle them off they won’t work, the way affirmations work is if you can evoke some kind of positive emotion and feeling with them, really get into it, get a clear picture into your mind of what you want to achieve, for the less visually orientated it helps to have a photo or a picture from a clothes catalogue nearby, to help reinforce your goal,  you’ve got your picture, you’ve got the words, now make it feel real, don’t think that it is difficult, we have already done this by telling ourselves this for far too long, that it’s impossible to lose weight, you’ve been hypnotising yourself all along and didn’t even know it… It’s time that you got your mind working for you for a change…. So play act in your mind…. This is what it’s like…

You have decided how much you want to lose…. You believe you can achieve it, if you break it down into small steps and stages….. you’ve set you’re goal for the first 14lbs within a reasonable amount of time…… you’ve taken that outfit that you want to wear out of hiding or perhaps you bought a new one, and it’s hanging in a prominent place in the wardrobe…. You have a clear picture in your mind of what you want to look and feel like…. You are constantly telling yourself that you are in the process of getting slimmer… and you’re choosing to believe it…you’re talking back to any thoughts that tell you otherwise…. And you haven’t ended up in a straight jacket….. life is good…..now your subconscious mind is working for you….. it’s helping your goal to become a reality….. you find it so easy to keep on track with this….

Doing all the things you need to do… keeping yourself accountable… regulating your own foods… cutting down but not necessarily cutting out and you’ll keep remembering that bigger snacks mean bigger slacks!

Life is fair…. Life is fun….. you enjoy the moments when you are eating so much more now…. becoming mindful of the tastes, savouring, enjoying…. Not allowing any distractions … being fully present with your meals….. and knowing how much more you will enjoy the next one…. Without ruining it by snacking in between…… and you can see yourself stepping on the scales weekly and even if you’ve only lost 1lb…. knowing that you are now 1lb nearer to your goal….. and it feels great … Choosing your own exercise……you are finding ways to get exercise into your weekly routine, and even if it only means parking a few car spaces away from where you want to go, you know that those steps will all add up at the end of the week and will make a difference on the scales…..

And now all you’ve got to do is GET FOCUSED and make it happen! Best of luck!


Stress Therapy

May 7, 2012

 

My son bought me a brilliant poster. It is called Stress Therapy and it has three circles on it. In the middle on the red section is written ‘Bang Head Here’ for Maximum stress and then on the white area for High Stress and on the blue area for Medium stress. I put it on the back of my door, and I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to use it, but so far so good! It makes me laugh when I see it!

Like most of you reading this, I’ve gone through many stressful occasions, I’ve been through marital separation, and lost my house through that, got it back,  been struggling to pay the mortgage, I’ve experienced unemployment, self employment, illness etc. etc .yes, .I’ve been there, done that, worn the t- shirt, yep !

And yes I too have had my dark days in the past when I just didn’t want to get out of bed and face all the hassles and dramas, and yes I too have had the odd suicidal thought, where the illusion that it would be just better to check out now, entered my head….And I just want to say to you reading this… it doesn’t have to be that way!

What I want to share with you is how I coped and how I am still coping, how you can keep the dark thoughts at bay, how you can become calm in the face of adversity, how you can perhaps even stop those low thoughts at the start before they spiral out of control and cause some form of depression. What I’m going to share with you is a tool box of techniques that I now use with my clients for Stress & Anxiety management and prevention.

So let’s begin, firstly let me explain .Stress is actually our reaction to events. When something happens that we don’t want to happen, we create resistance in our body and mind to it. Our body perceives it as a threat. This triggers a stress response in the body called  Fight or Flight. I like to think of it humorously as if there were a load of workmen and workwomen in our bodies having a tea break and then something happens and then it’s all systems go. Oxygen gets pumped from the brain; it goes into the heart and lungs, to help supply more blood to the muscles in our arms and legs so that we may flee if necessary. Then adrenalin and cortisol gets pumped in excessive quantities to help improve muscle function, so if we need to fight then we have the strength to do so. But most situations aren’t like that, we’re not in a fight or flight scenario, so what happens? We feel sick, our breathing becomes shallower; our heart rate speeds up, we can’t think straight, we may get weakness in the legs, nausea, stomach upsets, some people think they are going to die on the spot, they may even develop a panic attack and so on.

Now that’s a once off situation I’ve mentioned. If you are constantly stressed though, what happens? Well the cortisol and adrenalin are still being pumped into your body in excess, these are natural and necessary substances that the body produces but they become harmful over a period of time when we are stressed continuously. They lower our immune system. Now I’ve done a lot of research on causes of illness as I was developing a Wellness Programme for my clients, and I have cone to believe that the causes of all illness and cancers begin in our bodies when our immune system is weakened.

How do you boost your immune system? There are many things you can do, including improving diet, nutrition, exercise, releasing negative emotions and well…stop getting stressed out! ‘Oh yeah right’ I can hear you say, ‘How?’ Well as I mentioned earlier, stress is our response to things, it’s our reactions. Life is always going to keep happening to you, don’t think that you can reduce the stressful things coming at you, you won’t. You might mange to deal with one and then find another comes at ya, that’s life! What you can do is take on board a few of my suggestions, incorporate them into your daily routine and in a relatively short  time, you will find that you feel less stressed,  you will be better able to think more clearly, make better decisions, plan better and generally feel calmer and healthier over time. I even noticed that I started getting less and less colds etc. and that by tuning into what my body was trying to tell me, that even if the symptoms of a cold were starting, that by making time to rest and relax and nourish myself, that the colds wouldn’t happen. When we are stressed we feel that the world won’t go on without us, yet when we then become ill we find that is has to! Look after yourself! The world can wait!

Anxiety Breathing Technique

I use this everyday, whether the kids are killing each other, or I’m stuck in traffic, or the bank has overdrawn and I discover I’ve no money for food again, or I’m stuck in a long queue, or life is not giving me what I want etc…I use this technique religiously, I use it before I get up in the morning, before I go to sleep, throughout the day etc. and it works. I  had a car accident a few weeks back, a guy crashed into my car, I saw him coming, did my best to avoid the collision, but he hit me anyway. I got out of the car, calm, smiling and pleasant, could think very clearly etc. The witnesses I heard afterwards, all commented on how amazingly strong and calm I was.

Sit, stand, or lay down.  Initially close your eyes, but as you get good at this you will be able to do this with eyes open. Slowly breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in from the tips of your fingers all the way up your arms to your head and chest, approx two seconds at the start, as you practice you will be able to take longer breaths in. Then slowly exhale, imagine that you are pushing the breath out down through your legs, feet and out your toes, and that you are surrounding yourself with a feeling of calmness. About two seconds at the beginning and again as you practice, this can be longer until you actually feel calm. Do it a few times. Say to yourself, I am calm, I can handle anything. What this technique does, is to tell the workpeople in your body to take a tea break! It signals your brain to keep the oxygen where it is needed, helping you to think straight, to concentrate more, make better decisions etc, it stops the fight or flight reaction from triggering, and over time it improves your immune system and your health. You can use this technique for anyone having a panic attack also.

Affirmations / Self Hypnosis

I discovered the usefulness of affirmations a few years ago when I developed a stress related illness, through the use of them, and the other techniques I’m sharing, I got better. I discovered that they are a form of self hypnosis and I went on to train as a Hypnotherapist. I use these with my clients as they are very effective. Basically, we have a conscious mind, this is the one we worry and stress about things with, and this part of us can only focus on seven plus or minus two things at any time. Our Subconscious minds can focus on over 20,000 things at once and are responsible for our automatic breathing, digestion etc, but they are also responsible for creating our reality. So in relation to stress, if you begin by telling yourself that you are calm in the face of adversity, that you can handle anything as opposed to saying to yourself I can’t handle this, or I’m stressed out etc… then your mind will help it to become true for you. Of course if you’re in the height of it and trying to say you’re calm, that won’t work. Use the breathing technique and reinforce it with the words I am calm, then your Subconscious mind will be in alignment with your body and then you will see results. Our emotions play a huge part in all of this too, so practice feeling calm. Think about how you do want to be in future situations, and put mental pictures in your mind of yourself coping in the best way you can.

Attitude

Are you a victim or a victor? Are you better or bitter? Depending on the type of attitude you adopt to what is happening in your life you can be a sufferer or a survivor. I found that by adopting a strong survivor attitude that my mind suddenly started finding solutions for me. I started to think about what was the best way for me to cope, rather than feeling powerless and being picked on and having the attitude of a victim, poor me, life is happening to me and what can I do except complain, I changed all of this bit by bit, and saw that I could start happening to life instead, and although I couldn’t control everything, there were still a few things I could do to improve things, no matter how small, it all added up. Survivors cope, sufferers complain, one gets things done, one doesn’t, it’s your choice.

Mindfulness

I embraced the concept of Mindfulness and of being present in this moment now. Our conscious minds are always only focused on the past or the future. Both of these can create fear and uncertainty. We look at the past and fear it may happen again. We focus on the future and because we don’t know what will happen, we fear the worst. Because we don’t know what will happen, we don’t know what we will do to cope, so we have to make up the worst scenarios in our heads, this leads to worry and anxiety. Because if we actually knew what was going to happen, we could then decide on a plan of action, but we can’t  because we don’t know what will happen This would drive you nearly insane with the cycle of thoughts involved. Breaking the cycle takes a bit of time and practice. When you find yourself worrying, bring yourself back to this moment and become present in it. Are you alright now in this moment? Don’t think of the past or the future, are you alright now, just now.

As you are reading this you have a choice in this NOW moment to focus on what you actually do want to happen and you can claim back your mind from worries and fears by only focusing on the best possible outcomes from now on. Seeing that, no, you may not have the perfect life, but in this fraction of a moment you are ok. Mindfulness also means becoming aware of all you do have in your life, and practicing gratitude etc. It is powerfully life changing. I am constantly bringing myself back into the present moment, being present more often when eating, walking, breathing, talking with people etc. A few years ago, my mind used to be always racing onto the next thing to do, the next person to see etc, so that I was never really there, never really present for anyone or anything. I also found that my mind was constantly focused on worries or fears and this made me impatient and irritable if anyone tried to interrupt those thoughts, I was caught up in the cycle of it. I discovered that when you start focusing on best possible outcomes, your mind starts finding solutions for you. No more worries or fears! Stay present in the Now! As now is the only time we can ever change anything.

Perspective

‘We can’t solve problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’ –Einstein and ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’ –Henry Ford. These are two of my favourite quotes. Perspective is everything. What I believe is leading some people into depression and suicide is a limited perspective, and this is a very broad statement, please everyone don’t take offence, I don’t mean this personally there are many different situations out there.

But what can happen is that we lose our jobs, our homes, our partner etc. and we’ve associated this person or thing with who we are. I know I initially felt like a failure when I separated, lost my home and job, my status was affected. I didn’t feel good enough and I thought that I was viewed as a lesser being to people who knew me. In this crazy society where your worth is viewed as your possessions by many, I had identified with those things as if they were actually me. I was too concerned with  what I thought others thought of me, I have since learned that it is more important to know what I think about myself than to even contemplate what others might be thinking, that no longer concerns me now, and I don’t give it any thought.

It has taken me a long time to see that I am not my job, I am not my home etc, so if I lose them, I still have a sense of self, of who I am without them. I won’t tell you that it is easy to arrive at this inner peace, it’s going to take time and work on yourself, but if you can find a sense of self that isn’t your job, home, possessions etc, it will be work well done. Why do you think some of the greatest spiritual leaders freed themselves from attachment to worldly goods? Because there is no permanent joy in those things, they can be taken from you. Happiness is actually found within yourself. If you seek for others to make you happy, what will you do when they are gone? If you are only happy when you have a job, money, possessions etc, what will you do when they are gone? This is just something for you to think about.

Thoughts

I started observing my thoughts and becoming more aware of them. What kind of things was I saying to myself? Was I being kind or critical, supportive or unsupportive? Sometimes the things we say to ourselves we wouldn’t dream of saying to another. I’ll ask you this, if you’re not for yourself then how do you expect others to be? I started being on my side for a change, I started saying nice things to myself, encouraging things. I read a great book called ‘You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It helped me realize that I am not my thoughts, but that I can change the type of thoughts that I think at any time. So with my thoughts I could think the ones that made me feel good instead of thinking thoughts that made me feel bad, sad, depressed. With practice I was even able to change feelings I was having with my thoughts. If I was feeling low, I could check in with myself and see what I was feeling, and what kind of thoughts I was thinking at that time, and I would say to myself, ’Well Paula, are those thoughts making you feel good or bad ? And sometimes I would allow myself to have an hour of bad feelings and thoughts, and then I would say to myself, do you feel better now? And if I didn’t I’d say well that didn’t work, now try thinking better thoughts and feeling better feelings. And with practice this helped lift my moods.

Other things I did and am still doing are:

Daily Walk – Rain or shine I go for my walk, exercise gets the circulation going. Daytime walks are good as you get 90% of Vitamin D through sunlight on your skin, yes even if it’s cloudy.

Meditation – I do this often. Even when I am walking I am meditating, focusing on my breath, my feet touching the ground, or focusing on the birds, or the trees etc. it doesn’t always have to mean sitting on the floor sayingOM! I meditate briefly every evening, nothing fancy, about a quarter of an hour before I sleep I focus on my breath and think about all the things I am grateful for, I do the same before I get up in the morning. It sets me right for the day.

Smiling – Have you noticed how few people smile, and that if you do smile, everyone wants to know why? When I started smiling, I had a pain in my face, because I wasn’t used to it. Now it’s the other way around. Smiling actually releases serotonin and natural endorphins, these are feel good chemicals. Your mood actually lifts when you smile. It helps your blood pressure too. Try it!

Make time for yourself – no matter whether you’re working or not working, a busy mum or dad, a student or retired, you need to put aside some time for yourself, a bit of ‘ME’ time. A time when you won’t be disturbed, where you can read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, have a bath in peace etc. Life is just too short, so find some special moments for yourself regularly and you’ll find this lifts your spirits and helps you to recharge your batteries. We all need this.

Well I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful, if they aren’t you can paint three circles on your door, instructions at the beginning of this article! Smile!  comments and feedback are always welcomed.


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