Category: motivation

Mar 3, 2018

Emotions gone wild

emotionsDo your emotions ever run wild?

Surge through your body like a freight train out of control.

Perhaps you are angry, your jaw and fists tense, you either yell or keep quiet.

Or without warning fear envelops your body, clutching hold of your belly, speeding your heartbeat, incapacitating your speech.

Guilt and shame mosey their way in trapping themselves in your shoulders and neck.

We have all been there.

Moods that swing like monkeys.

Times when we are down in the dumps.

So anxious we would rather choose death over living (hint: public speaking).

Bored, desperately seeking an escape.

Who would have thought emotions had such power and pain?

Our bodies absorb and bury emotions like a sponge.

Organs, muscles, bones and cells fall victim to dis-ease.

These emotions get trapped and toxic because most likely you a deal with them by either:

Repressing: Let me push it away for now.

Denying: I am not feeling that.

Express: Yell or share with someone your feeling; this gives the emotion more power.

Wait!!!

Before throwing in the towel of utter despair.

There is something you can do instead!

Learn more about mastering your emotions with my Mindfulness Course staring April 16th – only 8 places

Recipe: Letting Go Exercise

Acknowledge:” I am feeling anxious or _______.”

Sit with it: “I am feeling anxious in my belly and chest”, “it is ok”, “take a deep breath”, once the feeling begins to lose its grip and power.

Let Go: Take a deep breath in say “Let” and breath out, say “Go”.

Seems too easy or good to be true?

Trust me it works!

Do this with all those distressing emotions.

Freeing up space for joy, love and peace.

Join me for my next Mindfulness Course starting April 16th

Reserve you place 

Feb 24, 2018

Annoying people?

Annoying peopleDo you have annoying people in your life? They irritate you, frustrate you, their actions get to you, driving you crazy?

Annoyances are everywhere.

Shifting moods in a matter of seconds.

Making you frustrated, angry, or pull your hair out.

Those who are rude and inconsiderate.

Annoying you with their loud, obnoxious voices.

Know it all’s and some who seem to have it all together, boy are they annoying.

The ones who like to strut like roosters showing off their looks and coiffed hair?

They get me all the time.

How about the ones who don’t listen and those who are always late?

The world is filled with annoyances, beginning with the alarm clock.

Moving onto to the bus, which is always chock full annoying people.

Those with runny noses, coughs, screaming kids, smelly armpits, greasy hair.

Racing to the office, slow people in front of you, security at the door, long queues, once in you are faced with a team of annoying people and customers.

All day annoyances, going home, repeat.

Annoyances are everywhere, there is no way of avoiding them.

All we can do is turn towards ourselves.

Let’s look at ourselves, we too can be annoying, ask your friends, family and colleagues.

When annoyed, it is about us, not others.

If our inner world was relaxed and calm, no one could annoy you.

Inner calmness equals outer calmness, nothing can touch you.

No, nothing can touch you, the ranting customer on the other end of the phone cannot touch you.

Neither can your friend who cancelled for the hundredth time.

You are invincible because inside you are calm.

Annoyances are our opportunities to cultivate calm and patience.

If there were no annoyances?

If everything was peaches and cream, there would be no need to develop the art of being calm and patient?

Annoyances and particularly annoying people are your teachers, they rub and irritate you until the choice is yours to blow up or breathe deeply and remain calm.

Recipe: 3 Calming Steps

This exercise is practised when faced with an annoyance.

  1. Take a deep breath, remain quiet, do not react.
  2. Notice the angry feelings bubble up, breathe deeply again.
  3. Repeat silently, “I am relaxed or calm”.

Be proud of yourself you have now broken the automatic pattern of reacting.

Good on you!

To learn more about mindful techniques join my April start mindfulness course details here

 

Feb 17, 2018

Touch and go

Touch & GoInstinctually we are in a constant state of survival. Touch and go can help.

Trying to stay alive, not a battlefield kind of staying alive, but the jockeying for positions in our jobs, homes and social lives.

Making money, finding that perfect mate, going out on Friday night.

All in the name of survival.

A Friday night alone for some can feel desperate and lonely.

Not having enough money can make you feel you are on the brink of losing it all.

Living alone without finding that ideal partner may leave you wondering about your worth and lovability.

All in the name of our wiring, deep within our Reptilian brain, signalling threats and warnings for survival’s sake.

Stop for a moment and take a deep breath, notice how for that second, you are no longer uptight or nervous, all you are experiencing is that breath.

You feel alive.

Or perhaps sitting down for the first time after a long day, placing that warm drink to your mouth, you feel alive.

Then your mind rabbits on again about what you need to do or what you should have done.

Touch & Go is a technique of keeping you in the moment, simply by touching the thought or feeling as you would your Oyster or bank card, and letting it go takes you out of that survival, hamster wheel way of living.

Using Touch & Go removes the upset and the obsession with your feelings and thoughts

Instead of a lonely, agonizing Friday night, of rehashing in your mind how miserable and unloved you are, you will simply Touch the feelings and thoughts, give it a second of your attention and let it Go.

That  ‘woe is me’ moment when your mind takes you on a slippery slope into how happy their lives are just perfect, now Touch the thoughts and jealousy and let it Go.

How alive do you feel now, no longer just surviving?

You are indeed alive.

 

Recipe: Touch & Go Exercise

Any emotion or thought that occurs, whether it is one you wish to keep or not, Touch and Let it go.

This is going with the flow.

When you are happy, Touch it and let it go.

Good feelings are the most challenging since we want to keep these feelings alive as long as we can, though by grasping the initial good feeling it will change no matter how what and will often transform into anxiety or sadness.

The Touch is your awareness of your feeling or thought and the Going is remaining open for the next experience.

Try this exercise and see how quickly your mood can lift when down and content you will be just going with the flow.

Improve your understanding of Mindfulness techniques like this through my next Mindfulness Course starting April 16th – details here

Feb 11, 2018

Lazy

lazyLaziness is a common thread in everyone, rather than fighting it, use lazy moments to understand yourself better, grow and get on with life.

Is this you?

I am Lazy!

I should be doing something rather than sitting on the couch.

Dreaming about the next time I can rest again and chill out.

Maybe I will do that one thing I need to do, vacuum, answer that email, write some music, go for a run, buy groceries, eat healthy, stretch…

No, I am lazy!

I cannot even get up off the couch, off my phone.

What is wrong with me!

Why is it so hard, such an effort just to do one simple thing?

It’s cold out, I am tired, I am lazy… excuses run awry.

What is my problem?

Maybe I will take I nap.

My laziness makes me tired.

Lying there, consumed with guilt, my mind is having a field day, it now has full reign over me.

Disgusted with myself because I could have gotten up, the mat to stretch is literally a few feet away, it is sitting there waiting for me to get my lazy a*s off the couch.

God, I am lazy

My computer is approximately the same distance waiting for my inspiration to spew from my fingers.

Why is it so much of an effort?

I am now up, in the kitchen looking for food, I open the cupboards and see cans of tomato sauce, next to them are the bag of crisps.

Should I make a Bolognese sauce?

No, I am lazy!

Crisps are my dinner and throw in a banana for good measure.

Back on the couch, munching away eating as if I had not eaten in days, unaware of the taste, forgetting to chew, eating to fill my boredom and all-encompassing guilt.

Let me flip on the TV.

Boy, am I lazy!

Recipe: Get yourself off the couch exercise

Laziness is a behaviour experienced by all animals, but it is considered a negative trait in humans.

In contrast, it is ok for a dog or a cat to be slothful, devoting all day to sleeping, resting, and doing nothing all day.

Human brains have laziness wired into their brains as doing something wrong.

Lazy periods don’t always feel good unless you have worked hard then it is has been earned, your reward. If it goes on too long or comes out of an unproductive day then lying around stimulates unhappy feelings.

Whenever laziness is mentioned either to you or to someone, it triggers feelings of guilt, disgust, and frustration.

What I find interesting is that telling yourself you are lazy only compounds your sluggishness; it creates more fatigue and less motivation.

If it that it the case try repeating the words from  “I am lazy” to “I am relaxed”, “I am creating” “I am enough”, “ I am motivated” or create your own phrase.

Simply reframing to a positive statement, even if you don’t yet believe it, will motivate you; giving you the energy/inspiration to do what you want to do.

Feb 4, 2018

Cultivating Joy

cultivating joyCultivating joy requires the balancing of the highs and lows.
Have you ever experienced great joy after completing a task?
The joy emanating from the effort, wiping the sweat from the brow kind of effort.
When you were determined at all costs to make that something happen.
With the knowledge that it would take time, backslides, frustration, yet still persevere despite the effort.
In sharp contrast when something is given to you on a silver plate when a minimal effort is required.
Even if it is given to you with good intentions but left you feeling unfulfilled and joyless.
The experience of joy is well worth it despite the knocks and setbacks, the knocks and blows are what create the joy.

But joy comes at a price; the price is that you won’t get anything, easily or swiftly.

Things that are handed to you without your own effort eventually fizzle and fade into emptiness.
Whereas joy beams a bright light, energising and stimulating your creative juices, not sputtering to a stop.
If your wish is to experience more joy and less emptiness, then an effort is necessary, as would be patience, perseverance and an assortment of uncomfortable feelings.
Joy requires stress and resistance, swings of frustration, despondency and exhilaration all joys energy source.
Emptiness gets off easy, though let’s be honest which would you choose?
Joy or Emptiness

Wellbeing Recipe: Cultivating Joy Exercise
List some of your most memorable accomplishments.
Next, make notes next to each one with how they made you feel during and after and did they require effort.
Take a moment to explore the feelings that are being triggered by this exercise.
Now, let’s look at the present moment, what goal/task are you engaged in currently, reflect on how you feel.
If your feelings are negative; frustrated, scared, overwhelmed or tired, possibly leaning towards the positive spectrum; excited, pumped or exhilarated.
Neither one is the right or wrong emotion; chances are you will vacillate between both when an effort is involved.
Don’t give up when negativity creeps in, understand that this is part and parcel of achieving joy, joy requires an amalgamation of negative and positive emotions.
How then can you stick with it and remain focused on the end result?
Breathe Deeply
Remain present
Stay aware of the emotional swings
Pat yourself on your own back; be kind to yourself
Remind yourself, it will all be worth because in the end, you will feel joy
Joy is our lifeblood, the essence of being alive and is the nectar for a fulfilling life.

Jan 27, 2018

Without guilt

without guiltTo live without guilt

What would that feel like?

What makes it so hard to stop the guilt?

Not all mammals experience guilt, humans do because they are driven by instincts and consciousness simultaneously.

Instincts to lash out at someone, conscious not to do so as it has negative repercussions.

A cat lives instinctually wakes ups, eats, jumps around, catches a mouse, and slumbers back to the couch for a rest.

Do you think a cat feels guilty for sleeping all day or maiming the mouse?

How about guilt for not participating in the upkeep of the house?

Not a chance.

Cats don’t because they do what feels right.

A cat does not ponder their existence, purpose, or meaning of life.

Now let’s switch the cat with a human, the human who sleeps all day has to be very sick or she/he is lazy.

Catching a mouse would not be appropriate, if not downright sociopathic.

There is a rare person who could exist like a cat and not feel guilt, boredom and eventual depression.

A human differs from a cat, solely based on the size of the cortex (the outer layer of the brain); the part of the brain that thinks and observes.

Humans get to feel guilty, how lucky are we? Not and most guilt is unnecessary and a waste of time and energy.

Our feelings of guilt are based on 3 Shoulds:

  1. We should do something, but don’t know what.
  2. We know what we should be doing, but don’t want too.
  3. We did something we should not have done.

To live without guilt we need to stop and challenge the shoulding.

Who is the hell is it who told me ‘I SHOULD DO THAT OR SHOULDN’T DO THAT’.

Ask yourself, is it my should or other’s shoulds. All shoulds came from somewhere else.

To live without guilt, begin with removing the word should from your vocabulary.

You see, guilt loves the word should, it thrives on it, like a parasite.

Stop shoulding and guilt loses its life source.

Recipe: Without Guilt Meditation

When feeling guilty.

Close your eyes.

Take 3 deep cleansing breaths

Ask yourself “What am I feeling?”

“Guilt”

Ask, “ Where in my body am I feeling this guilt?”

Feel the guilt, hold onto it, embrace it and cradle it.

Take it and place it in front of you.

Ask it to leave, “You are no longer needed”.

Once it leaves, take deep cleansing breaths.

Feel how your body now has lost its tension simply by letting the guilt go

See also the previous article on feeling guilty and how to break bad habits

Jan 20, 2018

Feel guilty?

feel guiltGuilt, shame and anxiety are the three most excruciating emotions.

Emotions, which appear to come out of nowhere

You might be at work, innocuously speaking on the phone… Wham!

Guilt rushes straight to the pit of your belly, within seconds  you are now feeling bad and nauseous.

A friend sends a message chatting about what you had said the night before… Wham!

Shame, bypassing the tummy going straight for the neck and face, blood painting the face red.

Wondering how in the hell could I have made such a fool of myself?

Lying on the couch relaxing, Wham!

Anxiety flops on top of your chest, belly and legs turn to jelly, you are now flailing for a direction, unable to move.

Wham!?!?

Guilt, shame and anxiety the most despised sensations in the selection of emotions.

If asked which emotions you dislike the most, these would at the top.

All three make you feel like shit at the moment and hours to days later.

Coming out of nowhere, rippling through your ordinary day like a nuclear bomb.

Once these emotions emerge there is no easy way of shaking them off

They like to stick around; despite the rationalizations, these emotions run deep.

So deep that they can be found in your DNA

Look around you everyone you see has experienced these.

Our species survived thousands of years because of these 3 shitty emotions.

Science refers to them as ‘Inhibitory Emotions’, emotions that stop you from killing those closest to you.

Those who experienced these emotions lived to pass these emotions on.

Guilt, shame and anxiety force you to recoil and not harm others.

Great you might scream, but do I need these now?!

No, all three emotions are referred to as “Negative Legacy Emotions” meaning they are no longer useful.

They are not only no longer useful and unpleasant to say the least but induce low self-esteem, submissiveness and depression.

No, you do not need these anymore unless you are a violent person.

For most of us, we can let go of them.

But how?

Stay tuned, next time on how to get rid of guilt, shame and anxiety.

 

Recipe: Guilt, Shame and Anxiety Self-Examination Exercise 1

For the next time, keep a list of when have felt any or all of these emotions.

Sometimes they are experienced two at a time

Write down the emotion.

What was the event that triggered it/them?

What were the physical sensations?

How long did it last?

What thoughts did you have around the same event?

This exercise is simply to examine those 3 emotions

Next time: How to let go of guilt, shame and anxiety

Jan 14, 2018

Habits be gone

Habits be goneHabits whether good or bad, are just patterns.

Nothing more nothing less despite the heartache or pain they may cause.

Almost half of our behaviours are habits. Breaking bad habits is tough!

Habits are an unconscious action, reaction or thought repeated again and again.

Not in our awareness most of the time

Most of our habits were formed when we were young before the age of seven serving as comfort and a strategy to cope.

We cried to be fed, screamed to be seen, sucked on pacifiers and fingers to be soothed.

Shut down to feel safer and learned fear from our parents.

Your anxieties over money, relationships, or taking risks are frequently a product of your parents’ experiences.

Our culture taught us how to avoid boredom by seeking out distractions to occupy your mind.

Yesterday it was climbing trees, playing football, today it is grabbing for tablets or iPhones.

Our brains created habits to feel good and avoid feeling bad.

Now with age, we drink too much wine, are mesmerized by social media, eat to engorgement or hold in our feelings.

All these behaviours started out innocently, as a means to feel happy, then carried into an adulthood becoming our nemesis.

Clinging like shit to a shovel, making us feel bad, knowing we no longer want or need these habits, yet not having a clue of how to get rid of them.

Habits are merely routines shaped by our brains to create safety and conserve mental energy.

Begin with speaking of your habits with love and compassion; keep self-criticism out of it.

You were young when they wiggled their way into your brains circuitry, if you could choose your habits now, you would probably not choose most of your habits.

Be kind and see them for what they are.

Only then can habits begone.

Recipe: Changing your habits exercise

  1. Observe your habits then list the ones that are good for you (good) and those that aren’t (bad). For example, Like: wake up early and exercise daily, eating at the table. Don’t like: Drinks 5 cups of coffee a day, goes to bed late, eats fast food 3x a week.
  2. Once identified ask what it is you would like to add to your habit repertoire which is ‘good’ for you (drink 2 cups of coffee a day, go to bed an hour earlier, eat fast food 1x a month, or not at all)
  3. Pick one ‘good’ for your new habit.
  4. Implement daily for 45 days, it may take less or more days to take hold.
  5. You will know when they take hold, is when there is little to no resistance, you are doing it without thinking.
  6. All new habits require willpower at the beginning then with time willpower lessens; make sure the habit is small, not too big of a goal. For example, I want to lose 10 lbs. instead, I will eat on a smaller plate and add one vegetable/fruit to all my meals.
  7. Then once the habit is established add a new habit.
Jan 7, 2018

Motivation – Mind the drop

mind the drop

Motivation begins as a seed, a twinge that something has to change.

Sometimes we know for sure what that is and at times we just know something is not right.

Life is a complicated, messy, confusion of for sure’s or not for sure’s

Only guesses.

Once we have an idea what needs to change, our energy intensifies, because now we are convinced we know for sure.

Interestingly, the for sure’s of yesterday feels different from the for sure’s of today.

This is when it gets crazy, if I knew eating smaller meals was the right thing yesterday and worked like a mad hatter to achieve it why do I feel different today?

Today is a whole different beast of what was I thinking’s, I don’t feel like it’s, I want to eat the whole house, who care’s I am fat anyway.

Motivation ebbs and flows, drops and peaks, flat lines like a boxer in a ring.

A boxer begins their first round surging with energy, until the second round he slows down, falls, gets ups, punches, staggers, until adrenaline sets in coursing through his body, one final punch he has won.

Motivation oscillates it rarely remains steady.

Don’t let drops throw you off your goal, allow the drops to be just drops, the not sure’s to be just not being sure.

Eating the house or avoiding the gym, are your drops.

Guilt, shame and self-loathing are your drops.

Not sure if you care, does not mean you won’t care tomorrow.

Stick with the thing you want to change, despite the shifts in feelings

Fluctuation of feelings and motivation is the only sure thing.

Recipe: Staying Motivated Meditation

Find quiet place close your eyes

Begin by taking some deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhale through the nose.

Once you begin to feel at ease and your mind is calm

Imagine the problem situation, the situation you want to change

As if you are watching it on a movie screen in black and white, observe it objectively

If it creates pain in your life, observe the pain it is causing

Then shift to seeing yourself in colour on the same screen succeeding at making the change, what does it look like, how does it feel?

Take a few deep breathes and step into the movie screen, you are now a participant in the change.

Allow yourself to fully experience the change, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

An example, your change is to become fitter, observe yourself unfit, lacking energy, having difficulty catching your breath, being heavy, your clothes are tight.

Then shift to observing yourself fit, trim, energetic, moving with ease, smiling.

Complete the meditation with a motivational mantra/affirmation: I am fit, I am healthy, I am energetic, I can move with ease….

Last chance to join the Mindfulness course starting this week – see here

 

Dec 31, 2017

New beginnings

New beginningsNew beginnings  

New year, new week, a fresh start, new job. 

All represent beginnings. 

The rhythm of our breath teaches us about beginnings.

Conscious breathing is a mindfulness tool, which keeps us in the present moment. 

Each inhalation marks a new beginning. 

How very cool that every time we breathe in, we get a fresh start. 

Offering new opportunities to try again, to re-think, re-configure and change the course you are on. 

By simply breathing in, you halt the urgency to move onto something else, to give up or refrain from sabotaging the very thing deep down inside you want to change.  

We all want a new beginning whether it is to be slimmer, healthier, learn something new, find romance, to stop smoking… 

I want to meditate more, lose a few pounds and write another book. 

It seems easy, I find myself getting excited about the prospect of accomplishing all three.  

Yet, being a realist and knowing myself I know I can only do one thing at a time or I will achieve nothing. 

The thought of a slimmer body, a healthier lifestyle, and new skills make us feel good…  

Until we start the diet, sit and meditate or write the book. 

Then most of us give up, resulting in feelings of guilt and frustration. 

Now we feel bad! 

Feeling bad destroys new beginnings. 

To feel good again all it takes is one step 

One step towards, one goal, one step at a time or in other words, a mindful presence.

Choose one new beginning (new habit), focus on it and perfect it, and then move on to the next. 

Mindfulness it the golden key to transforming new beginnings into reality. 

Join me in learning more about transforming your new beginnings into lasting habits click here for information on my January Mindfulness Course.  

Recipe: New Beginnings Exercise 

Choose one habit you wish to add 

Commit to 45 consecutive days practising the habit 

If you choose to eat healthier, choose to drink one glass of lemon water upon waking up, every day for 45 days or eating breakfast for 45 days. 

If improving sleep is your new habit, start with box breathing daily for 45 days. 

Learning a new skill may be your new habit, if it is cooking, cook one thing a day for 45 days, no matter how simple.  

Start with simple things first, because they build on the more difficult habits.  

Happy New Beginnings to you.  

 

RJMindbody

RJMindbody