Lazy

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.  

 

Dec 23, 2017

Time to rest

Time to restIt’s time to rest

A group of Puffins rest on a rock, taking a break.

Just sitting, standing, just pausing for moment.

How tranquil they appear, no need to rush through the rest or think what is next.

It is time to rest.

Is it now your time to rest?

I gather it is.

Why is it so hard to sit, stand, and just pause for a moment?

A Puffin can do it, despite the potential dangers and constant search for food.

Our dangers are almost nonexistent and our food is easily accessible.

Why do we find it so difficult to rest?

Resting maybe a waste of time or you might miss out on something.

Others might make it difficult for you to rest.

Resting feels lazy and sloth-like, or self-indulgent.

Though ask a Puffin, if a Puffin could speak, it would stare at you perplexed.

“Why can’t you not rest?”

A Puffin does not diarize his breaks; he takes it when his belly is full.

He will undoubtedly become hungry again or seek a mate; with rest he has the energy to proceed.

We too can pause after our bellies are full, our work is finished for the moment, and we feel safe.

Not the pause of shame or guilt, but one that is embraced fully, without strings attached.

Puffins just sit stare, looking around, eyes opened or closed, no thoughts at all.

No, we are not Puffins

Yes, we have thoughts.

But still we too need to rest.

It’s time to rest

Have you thought about starting the new year with my mindfulness course?

 

Recipe: It’s time to rest

So allow yourself time to rest

Just rest

It’s OK to rest

Dec 17, 2017

I am in charge

I am in chargeI am in charge

Repeat after me, “I am in charge.”

In charge of your choices, reactions and moods.

It is easy to blame society, your parents, great-grandma Martha or uncle Dave.

Our jobs, workplace, or area we live are the ultimate blame space.

Christmas sucks because it’s dull, mom always gets stressed, and Tom gets drunk.

New Years is doubly worse because we are always disappointed and get too drunk.

No matter what happens in life, as an adult we are in charge, despite crappy circumstances.

Blaming serves an immediate relief, you feel better, more powerful for a moment, and then you are back to you and your situation.

Don’t get me wrong I do it too.

I blame society for its busyness, the pressure to succeed and , not being able to buy a home in London…

Yes, I do it too.

But guess what?

Blaming only makes me angry, it might help me connect with fellow blamers, making me part of the crowd.

Once away from the crowd, I am back to where I was, incomplete, agitated and dissatisfied.

Until one day I realised I am the one in charge!

I am the only one who can change the course of my life, make the money I need, create calm in a busy world and enjoy Christmas despite the outward chaos.

I cannot change Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima, let alone calm the nerves of Mamma Bear.

It is up to me, I can only change me!

I can walk into work with a smile of my face, drop my shoulders down below my ears and take the breath I had been holding for the past hour.

When Christmas or New Years comes, I can do the same and repeat to myself “I am in charge.”

Click here to learn more about my January Mindfulness courses

Recipe: I Am In Charge Meditation

Take 3 deep breaths – inhale through the nose – exhale longer through the mouth.

Relax after each exhalation

On the 4th breath:

Inhale – silently say, “I am”

Exhale – “in charge”

Repeat at least 10 times

You can do this meditation anywhere, with your eyes open, closed, at work, at home, on the bus, in the car… anywhere.

Remember you are in charge!

Dec 10, 2017

Find or Seek?

Find or Seek?

As a child most of us have played the game of Hide and Seek, when a friend hides in an obscure space and we run around seeking their hiding space.

During the game the hider, hold their hands on their mouths to muffle the giggles, making themselves small until they are found.

What fun to be the hider.

The hider gets to choose where they hide; the seeker with little to go on wanders around, directionless, until the hider exposes their hiding place with a sound.

The seeker relieved and victorious, the hider the one who knew where he was all the time.

 

In life there are seekers and finders.

Many seekers stay seekers throughout their lives searching but not finding

While finders hold the key

A finder starts out as a seeker, with perseverance and imagination will usually  find what they are looking for.

Are you a seeker or a finder?

How would you know?

A seeker walks without a compass, spinning in circles; can be exhilarating and full of adventure no doubt.

If you are a seeker, you might not experience pressure since you are only looking, without committing.

Seekers window shop, dream of being rock stars, famous actors even without the talent nor the inclination.

Now finders, get real with themselves, they walk into the store touch the clothes, try a few on buy or walk out empty-handed.

They know they can’t sing,  face the fact they have never acted in their lives nor are they going to invest in endeavors which waste time.

Though, like the hider in Hide and Seek the finder knows where they are.

Finders live in the now, no matter what they are doing at that time, working, wiping a table, answering calls, selling, dealing with irate customers, they are present.

Seekers are in a contiuous state of looking forward, seeking  a happier moment, hating what they are doing, never satisfied.

Finders still dream, fantasize and pursue goals; they don’t accept their lot as you might assume.

What makes them stand out is they acknowledge for the time being where they are whether it be, flipping burgers, speaking to a customer, writing a report, teaching a class… no matter how mundane these tasks are they are  sacred moments.

Seekers seek

Finders find

You choose?

 

Recipe: Be Here Now Meditation

Take a moment, breathe in and out, notice where you are, what you are doing, how do you feel… ground your feet to the floor.

Breathe in say ‘Be Here’

Breathe out say ‘Now’

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat

Now you are a finder

RJMindbody

RJMindbody