Tag Archives: self care

It’s OK To Be Sad – Isn’t it?

It's OK to be Sad Living Life From The Inside Out

The fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend that everything is OK when it’s anything but


It’s okay to be sad!!

Sadness just as much as any other emotion is and indeed should be equally as valid as any other; happiness, anger, jealousy and joy and as such it’s OK to be sad as and when we feel the need

Isn’t It?

Yet the fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend otherwise because we don’t want to worry them. We don’t want them to think we’re weak or can’t cope for instance or worse that we’re an attention seeking drama queen!

But life isn’t a performance!

However pretending to be OK when you feel like you’re falling apart is. It isn’t your job to smile or hide your authentic truth purely to serve to make other people feel more comfortable

So if things become awkward let them

It’s not okay for others to undermine or gloss over your feelings, to try to silence your pain by telling you to get over it or cheer up because you’re no longer fun to be around. They like you need to understand that you are perfectly imperfect and as such are entitled to have times when you no longer wish or need to perform for anyone’s benefit except yours

There’s no need to push away your sadness

You should always honour your feelings and understand that you don’t need permission, approval or validation to feel what you feel and more importantly is very, very real

Self care is important and we should never neglect it for the sake of others. Especially those who may only want you around when it’s easy & comfortable. Their discomfort isn’t about you, it’s about them, their limitations and their own issues

No matter what they think or say, you should always to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel.

You’re allowed to show your feelings honestly.

You’re allowed to talk about your pain and reach out for support if you feel you need it.

You’re allowed to scream and wail and cry.

After all there’s a saying ‘it’s better out than in’ meaning in terms of our mental health that the sooner we acknowledge, accept and validate our emotions then the sooner we can work through them and let them go having learned what we need to from the experience

On a personal level recently as a family we had (and in some instances continue) to deal with some pretty traumatic circumstances each one which in their own right were enough to cope with on any given day but when combined, served on several occasions to almost completely derail our day to day lives and yet from my perspective they didn’t (though to be honest it came close at times) because I’m human and I now understand that as such we have the power of choice

Let me explain what I mean …

Just a few short years ago the stress of the chaos unfolding around us, let alone my highly charged emotional state caused by recent situations would’ve been enough to see me heading for a bottle or 4 of wine per day just to keep on an even keel in terms of ‘keeping it all together’. Anyway despite the emotions, chaos and drama which has continued to plague us these last few months and without burdening you with the finer detail, I’m happy to report that I’m still well and truly sober. YAAAAY!

Yet there have been several times where I’ve been so sad, so overwhelmed and so bloody frustrated I thought I would implode!

Why am I telling you this?

That’s easy because as I’ve pointed out previously life isn’t a performance and I know that now, but the old me?

The old me would’ve carried on stoically, pretending to the world and his father that everything, including me was fine. That I was despite everything happy. That I could cope and that they didn’t need to worry about me. All true – in the story in my head – and which was one of the reasons my life previously took the turn it did

However

The new me (I’m still very much a work in progress mind) knows better, so very much better and these days…

If I’m sad or overly emotional? I let it out. I sob, I cry and most importantly I’m getting better at doing it

If I’m angry?  I let it out. Even (and I have) if I have to go outside and scream at the moon and trust me on this when we release our anger healthily we instantly begin to feel better!

If I feel overwhelmed, hurt or confused? I let it out. I work through those feelings as best, as soon and as thoroughly as I can. Writing everything down is a good venting strategy as well as the more obvious one of talking it through with someone who’s not only supportive but objective (for my part thank you, you know who you are) and whilst ALL of the above and more constitute the menu which is sadness, they by the same token are all of them much easier to overcome, move through and grow from when we deal with them head on and don’t bury them, along with our heads in the sand.

But Do You Know What?

When we allow ourselves to feel, truly feel our emotions and at the same time allow those around us who matter; partners, family, friends etc, to see it then we very importantly take the first all important step in allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable.

It’s not easy. It’s scary and it hurts like hell and is why allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something that many of us (mental health issues aside) find difficult because in doing so we’re also allowing others to see that not only is everything not well in our world but moreover the picture we’ve painted for them of our being ‘superwoman/man’ is a myth

Guess What? – They Already Knew That!

No one is perfect but often the pictures we paint, the facades we build to protect ourselves from too close a scrutiny by others can be. This does both us and those we care for a disservice. Simply because in our determination to be seen to be constantly happy or always able to cope, we take away their choice in the matter and in doing so deem them either not able to cope with our weaknesses (for fear of upsetting them) or have unfairly decided that they wouldn’t care, have time or be interested if we did

The thing is, that’s not our call to make, it’s theirs!

Five years or more ago I made that same decision. The one to shield those I love and they me, from my pain and sadness. It’s one of the few things I regret today because in trying to shield them I certainly took away their choice.

The choice as to whether or not they would simply watch as I imploded or step up and help me to recover and live if they wanted or were able to

But that choice would have been theirs to make not mine

So is it OK to be sad, angry, upset and emotional especially without worrying about what others will think, say or feel about you?

YES because …

As Dr Seuss so succinctly put it ‘Those who matter don’t mind whereas those who mind don’t matter’!!

So…It is okay to be sad!! – AGREED?

Sue Curr is a Speaker, Empowerment Coach & Writer who in combining her professional background with her own significant journey along lifes loneliest of roads that of Mental Ill Health & Addiction today serves to enable others to see and understand that whoever and whatever we are?

It’s Enough!

 

Reboot Your Mindset

Is it time to take the chance to choose to change?

When it comes to the historic debate over which is the most powerful computing technology around you can forget Apple & it’s Mac or Microsoft & it’s Windows and look a lot closer to home.

What? Where?

Just take a look in the mirror because every single one of us comes  complete with the world’s most powerful, pre-loaded, fully operational software system there ever has and most probably ever will be…our brain!

In simple terms the brain itself that 3lb or so mass of grey/white tripe like matter in our head acts like a modem ensuring that our hearts beat on average 100,000 times per day thus keeping us alive and by definition functioning.

As amazing as this feat is in and of itself, it’s largely acknowledged that the active part of the brain, the part which processes & regulates the electrical energy which becomes information is…the mind.

Without becoming embroiled in science, the mind itself is subdivided into 3 parts; conscious (awareness of the present), subconscious (awareness of accessible information) & unconscious (memories & experiences which form belief & behaviour patterns)….it’s bombarded every single second that you are alive..and yes that includes while you’re sleeping…by millions of bits of information all of which are processed instantaneously & subconsciously.

BUT!  

Although on the one hand that’s amazingly good news when you think about it…we don’t have to remember to breath, remind our hearts to beat, blink the grit out of our eyes & so on…the time management savings on this fact alone are immeasurable.

On the other hand however given we’ve already established that we technically operate by remote control it’s where many of us come unstuck.

The unconscious element of our mind, the part where our memories & experiences have been safely stored away and added to time and again over the years has been quietly laying the rock solid foundations upon which our behaviours & beliefs have been formed.

Sue Curr Speaker Author

Those same beliefs & behaviours which impact all day, every day on the way we live our lives. The ones which determine our mindset…the way we act & react to life. The ones which predispose us to positive or negative behaviour. In short the ones which colour not only our view of the world but that of ourselves and our perception of what we can or cannot achieve!

For many of us this isn’t an issue, for others however it’s these unconsciously formed belief systems which can and do form the basis of all manner of psychological issues from lack of confidence & low self esteem upwards.

The trap that we sometimes fall into (often willingly because it’s the easiest option) is that just because it’s always been this way that’s just the way it is or worse still has to be.

Errr…Wrong. Wrong oh and err WRONG! 

Everything in life is temporary…the seasons, the situations we find ourselves in, our lifespan and very definitely our thoughts.

The thought process in itself is actually as temporary or permanent as we choose to allow it to be. Lets take the imaginary but plausible example that your mother taught you to cook a Sunday roast and in doing so instilled in you that the best way to cook your joint of beef was to let it cook through until it was uniformly the same shade and texture of dry, tasteless cardboard yet when you ask her why she cooks it like that because you’d seen Jamie Oliver do the same thing and his joint was tender, succulent pink she simply looks at you and says ‘because that’s way my mother, grandmother, great grandmother etc cooked it..it’s just the way it should always be done!’

Is that true? Of course not because times have changed, cooking appliances have evolved, new recipes and innovative chef’s like Mr Oliver have made sure that we can IF we choose cook beef differently.

Our thoughts and by association our mindset are absolutely no exception to this. Of course as children we are very much guided by our responsible adults but as we learn and grow there comes a natural point at which we become responsible for our own lives, our choices and the way in which we want them to play out.

If you really don’t like something your career, your relationships, your work/life balance or anything else for that matter but you are paralyzed by the inaction borne on the back of… I can’t do anything about this because…(you fill in the blanks) then I’m here to tell you that you most certainly can and whatever it is you wish to change although it may not be easy, in this day and age it is more than definitely possible.

If you want to live the reality of your dreams, write a book even become a brain surgeon when everyone in your family has historically been a shopkeeper (incidentally there is nothing wrong with shop keeping) or anything else in between then you and you alone have the capacity and the choices available to you to make it happen!

Sue Curr Speaker Author

When you realise this then you have to CONSCIOUSLY as opposed to unconsciously make the choice to choose to change the way things are and most certainly have to decide how you’re going to execute that.

Start small, having thought about what you REALLY want to change especially if it involves one of lifes’ important intangibles write it down and as you do so say the words out loud. When we see things laid bare as we write and at the same time enhance that by verbalising them we reinforce the signals we are sending to our unconscious mind…our beliefs and behaviour bank if you will…that things are about to change. Do this often, several times daily preferably it’s a massive step in the reprogramming of your thought process.

Obviously as important a start as this is, in and of itself it isn’t going to create the long and lasting change which you seek. You have to be willing to build on the foundation by becoming self aware. Aware of your negative self-talk When you catch yourself thinking or saying anything which has a negative or dis empowering effect on you stop and ask yourself how you can rephrase the thought to change it’s meaning to it’s positive opposite (it’s a simple law of physics that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction and the thought process is no different). The chances of successfully achieving the change you seek (regardless of the area) will be further improved by taking steps to remove yourself from negative or toxic situations and relationships and importantly by YOU being honest with yourself, brutally honest about not only what you want but what you will need to do to ensure it happens. Which by the way should always include surrounding yourself with like minded people.

You need to take your goals – plan them out and then take action.

As with every major decision you will ever make it all starts with you. It has to. The responsibility for living the life you want to live is yours and yours alone. YES take advice and guidance from people you trust and/or outside agencies but always remember knowledge doesn’t become learning until we make the leap from what we do know to what we don’t!

As the saying goes there’s no time like the present so make a start today and…

REBOOT YOUR MINDSET!

Be awesome in creating your new life by design instead of living it by default.

More insights and advice is available by booking a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call at suecurr.com

Fear Is Nothing More Than…

Linkedin Fear IsFear Is Nothing More Than The Link Between Our Current & Future Realities

Life is too short to waste the currency of time doing anything which serves only to make you miserable and yet far too many of us do just that. Day in. Day Out.

What is it that holds such sway over us that we are paralyzed by the inability to change the way we live & work? Why do we steadfastly remain in negative or toxic situations that undermine our confidence, our self-esteem and our aspirations?

The answer is simple & can be summed up in one word – FEAR!

The fear of what though, making mistakes, failure or change?

In reality it could be a combination of all three so lets put things into perspective shall we?

When we make mistakes and we all do from time to time, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on what you could have done better? Note I purposely didn’t say what went wrong! The key thing to remember about mistakes is – there aren’t any! There are only opportunities to learn what doesn’t work, which in and of themselves will by definition take you closer to where you wish to be. If something doesn’t work out, view it from a different angle and start again. There is always more than one way to achieve a goal or dream and when you adopt this viewpoint as a consistent habit then you will begin to see the results you desire.

The fear of failure often appears in synergy with the fear of making mistakes and yet the word itself – Failure – is so much more powerful than that of mistake. Why? Stigma. The fear of being defined by others as being a failure is largely what prevents us from even trying to achieve something in the first place, simply because we care what our loved ones, peers and colleagues think of us. What we lose sight of is that if it takes us longer and down more avenues than we expected to get there it doesn’t mean that we are failing in anyway. If anything it proves the opposite in that we are persistent and determined enough to get to achieve what we set out to do which is a very successful trait to have. It will take you to the golden egg which you are seeking as long as you believe in yourself. As for what everyone else thinks? Anything can have the power to prevent us from achieving our goals and dreams, the opinions of others being just one of them. By acknowledging that they have the right to their opinion but at the same time realising what anyone thinks of you is none of your business you reclaim the power for yourself and the perceived fear of failure in the eyes of another fades away as sure as melting snow.

I am the only one

We all of us have the inherent power of choice and we can choose to make the choice to change anything we want at anytime. We simply have to overcome the paralysis by utilizing the most powerful tool we own – our mind – and become aware of what it is telling us. Or to be more precise what we tell it! We tell ourselves all the time; it’s too late to do that, I’m too old, I couldn’t possibly and so on. Yet we forget the all important word in all this – choice – and the first choice to make in the face of our fears is that of choosing to take the chance to change. We can start the process by changing the way we think and subsequently talk to ourselves. The fear of change is real and largely what we use to give ourselves the permission we need to remain inside the bubble we’ve created for ourselves, wrapped in the safety net of our comfort zone. To be brutally honest far too many of us end up staying there by default because we are subconsciously willing to allow life to just happen to us instead of going out and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck! Until we realise that we are the only ones responsible for manifesting the change we wish to see in our lives then we will remain stuck in the limbo of misery we have succumbed so freely to this far.

The responsibility for

Remember that there isn’t anything you can’t do, say or become if you choose to make it happen, Not your age. Not your gender. Not your education. Nothing. Because there is always a way and it’s up to you to find it.

When you think you’ve gone as far as you can go – go on

When you think you know it all – learn something

When you think you’re done growing – grow some more

You are the one who has the key to and control over your mind. You alone have the power to create the life you desire and you should exercise that right with every waking second because this is your life. There are no refunds, no overdrafts and very definitely no second chances because this life of ours is very definitely not a rehearsal.

How you see your future is much more important than how you remember your past or what’s happening in your present. If you want it enough you will realise that fear really is nothing more than a link between our current & future realities so make 2016 the year in which you decide to;

FEAR less & LIVE more!!!

suecurr.com

Time. Blessing or Curse?

==Time Blessing POST

‘’The trouble is you think you have time’’ – Buddha

Time, we never have enough of it, right?

It’s a common problem. An everyday occurrence. People all over this world of ours can be heard daily, sometimes several times a day bemoaning the fact that the precious commodity that is time is all too short. But when you think about it, REALLY think about it our lives are governed not so much by the harbinger of time….the clock……..but rather what we choose to do at any given point of any given day. It is our choices to do or not do something which impacts negatively on our lives and when we couple THIS with the problems we cause ourselves as a result THEN the situation caused by our inability to do or say something within a promised or expected time frame is the end result and we fall prey to the all too willing ally of time STRESS !

How we as individuals view the concept of time (our mind set) must also be taken into account when considering our stress levels together with how we can utilise this intangible commodity which holds such formidable sway over us, in a positive and user friendly manner.

As with most things in life it can only hold the amount of power over us which we are willing to surrender.

Whilst it is true to say that the world as we know it would cease to exist if time were to be abolished I’m inclined to suggest that as a species mankind would be so much better placed to return to their natural state of  well rounded and balanced beings in touch with not only themselves and their individual needs and wants but those of their loved ones too.

Before the advent of time as a commodity man was governed by the rising and setting of the sun which by definition meant that work was done according to daylight hours, food was naturally grown seasonally and so on. Life was hard for sure BUT it was simple, uncomplicated and people knew the value of the things which mattered. Things began to get very complicated when:

Every moment of every day not only could but largely HAD to be accounted for on the back of the invention of time as we know it!

Time like money is a man-made illusion, a yardstick if you will designed to keep our lives ordered & manageable.

It is both a blessing & a curse.

The blessing being that it affords us the opportunity to plan & organise life in such a way that it becomes enjoyable, fulfilling , exciting even AND we can look forward with eager anticipation to things which we know will bring happiness & pleasure thus enriching our lives. The very fact that many, many people actively seek out ‘’quality time’’ to spend with loved ones, recharge their minds and bodies and actually choose to live rather than exist bears testament to the fact that in its purest form time can be a massive bonus and spent wisely a much needed relief from the rigors of life.

The flip side however is that it can also become a curse which brings with it the burden of limitation, we become limited by the largely self-imposed time scales we set to achieve our objectives, be they in the work place or in our ‘’real’’ lives and thus the joint realities of pressure and stress rear their heads.

There are instances when all around us seems chaotic or even to be falling apart, times when everything seems to be out of control….not our power of control…. just a random feeling of free fall where nothing makes sense and the outcome not only seems uncertain but so far out of reach that you cannot even begin to imagine it and then suddenly we become all too aware that we are being manipulated by time constraints which are carrying us along as we willingly buy into the trap that is;

Forever keeping one eye on the clock for fear of falling short in some way.

The key as with everything in life has got to be balance.

My Nan could often be heard to say ‘’a little of what you fancy does you good. Everything in moderation never harmed anybody’’ – she was quite correct.

So that said, surely it should follow that we become naturally mindful of the fact that there are only 24 of the man-made illusion that are hours in any one of the given 365 illusions that are days in an equally illusionary matrix of a year and so on. As such then the ‘’time available’’ to us becomes by definition both finite & constraining in nature. Sadly we humans are not perfect and our obsession with time and so its management instead of being our blessing becomes by default the thing which becomes the master to our self-imposed slavery and thus our curse!

For instance on the odd occasion when for once we may have time to sit, be still & perhaps relax in the company of special people or in a place of natural beauty & are thankful to be doing so, the illusion of time can even then be cause for anxiety as we perhaps begin to feel the burden of guilt bring force to bear as it prompts us to remember things left unfinished or even worse not yet started way after they should have been.

As a species man has in part lost either the habit or ability (possibly both) to disconnect from the treadmill of a life, that no matter how hard we try to tame it, is largely executed as a result of the dictates of an invisible time lord and ultimately the anxiety associated with the often impossible task of meeting deadlines or keeping promises rashly made increases by default causing angst and stress, even emotional turmoil along the way.

Time related anxiety may be brought about perhaps because we have little or no control over any external factors which may be threatening to derail our efforts to either resolve problems or finish a project for instance .Thus the curse of the illusion of time brings with it a pressure which is almost unbearable as you see the keeper of time…..the clock……slowly, relentlessly but or so very surely tick by as it moves ever closer to either the conclusion of a scenario or the start of new beginnings. The metaphoric sound of every single tick, each signalling the fact that we are one step closer to that which is unfolding and know we have no choice other than to relinquish control & trust that whatever happens is how it has to be whatever the outcome; positive, negative, happy or sad.

The element of curse remains in this instance to remind us that we should always make or have made use of every single one of the ‘’man made’’ seconds in our life leaving nothing undone nor unspoken for fear that the after effects of those uncompleted acts alone will become yet another self-imposed cause for regret – that the illusion of time has been wasted. In fact it is not time which has been wasted simply because if we take it as a given that it is indeed an illusion then by definition it does not exist!

This ‘’thing’’ then that has been wasted must only be that of opportunity.

The opportunity to have acted on feelings, the opportunity to have addressed any given situation which may have been the cause of anxiety or stress or fear of the unknown. The opportunity to validate ourselves & our loved ones each & everyday is surely the essence of which is why we are all here & why we should very definitely take the curse of this man-made  illusion and turn it very firmly but positively around and neutralise its negative aspects by using the time calmly, wisely and with purpose allowing us to be safe in the knowledge that nothing has been left unspoken or undone thus limiting the impact of regret which when coupled with this perceived thing called time can, if we allow it become a self-imposed prison from which it can be almost impossible to free ourselves……. !!

If we are diligent in our efforts to offset the unwanted attention of and undue pressure from our illusionary ‘’friend’’ by being mindful of its adverse effects, then every day will see us become increasingly aware of the need to adopt an attitude which will see us address each and every situation requiring our attention and as a result we will have overcome that thief of time: procrastination. In having done this we will by definition have more of it at our disposal and will be both willing and able to effect lasting positive changes in our lives overall.

In reality living fully in 21st Century mode means we will rarely if ever come close to living as nature intended; by the sun. BUT by practicing the choice of mindfulness and taking responsibility for our actions and reactions to the demands which time consistently and persistently make upon us we can come closer than we would perhaps think.

Think about it for a second;

More quality time to spend with loved ones, more time to practice the art of Self-Care, more time to do more of the things you love or would love to be able to do. In short more time to improve the overall quality not only of your life but that of those you love.

In having chosen to react positively as opposed to negatively and claim victory with regard to LIMITING the stifling constraints of time and its unwelcome side effects then we have without even realising it enabled ourselves not only to overcome hurdles be they real or otherwise but by association, diminish the all too real impact of both stress and pressure.

It is at this point that we have given ourselves the positive and confidence boosting opportunity to

Live & Learn & Love & Grow
Which is exactly how it should be

Choice, Life Is A Choice

Choice, Life Is POST

”It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”  J.K.Rowling

Life!

The singular thing we all have in common. However having said that there are only actually two things which for sure will happen to us all.

We will be born. We will die.

Stark but nevertheless completely true.

Equally true is the fact that many of us do actually treat the experience that is life as a final destination. We all too easily lose sight of the fact that it is actually a journey. Each day, for each of us is completely unique and thus our journey in turn becomes as individual as we are and in all honesty most of us never even consider that it is our choices along the way which make it so.

The amazing thing is that we all of us do have the power of choice.

It is after all the most basic of our rights as humans. We can all of us, if we so choose be compliant and ”allow” life to happen to us OR we can become proactive and choose to be the architect of our own journey and subsequently our destiny.

So my friends I would urge that you give some thought to the gift which is your life and the like of which you will not receive again. As you go through your day tomorrow pay attention…..be mindful if you will.… as to the number of choices you will actually get to make during it’s course. In addition to the those you would make automatically……what to eat, what to wear, where to go…….concentrate on each moment as it occurs and realise that everything in life is a choice;

Positivity. Negativity. Gratitude. Happiness…all of it

Those choices in turn have the power to alter your life for the better or worse. Any given point on your journey through life is in direct correlation to your words, actions & attitude and it is you alone who are responsible for it.

There are those amongst us who will say ”Oh no it’s not  my fault… ???… did this, said that and so on which would all be very true HOWEVER the key here is that the other person is the one who has to take responsibility for their actions whilst it is YOU alone who must take responsibility for your REACTION to the situation/ feeling they created. You have the power to allow or disallow how anything impacts upon you. You can CHOOSE and it is this choice alone which will dictate whether you are compliant in or an architect of your life, your FUTURE!

So having urged you to be mindful as you go about your day tomorrow you should consider the possibility that you have inadvertently become compliant in ”allowing” your life to just happen to you. If you should come to realise that you have in fact been ”happily” accepting your lot then it may come as somewhat of a surprise to find that you have always had the option of CHOICE.

It would be unrealistic to assume that choosing a positive option will either be simple or easy

Indeed at times it will be very far removed from these two particular emotions. The difficulty comes with the slow realisation that (in many instances) we have been accepting the unacceptable as being the only option open to us without ever having truly considered any alternative just because ..”that’s the way it’s always been”….! When you think about it would you buy meat from the same butcher every week regardless of the fact that it had ”gone off” just because your family had always shopped there? Of course you wouldn’t because you would be able to see, smell & taste the badness.

However when it comes to something as intangible as ”happiness” our recognition and/ or acceptance of it is based on the largely intangible, meaning that whilst we can witness someones happiness by seeing them smile, we cannot touch it, taste it or smell it. By default therefore we become more inclined to be accepting of something which cannot be physically evidenced as being otherwise and as such it enables us to trust that things are as they should be.

After all how often do we say things such as; ” it was just a gut feeling” about something?

So having decided (which in itself is a choice) then that everything in life is a choice, let’s take the a fore mentioned emotion of happiness. People have often said to me things like ”you’re either happy or unhappy, that’s all there is to it” I would for a long time have agreed with them UNTIL that is I had my own what I like to call ”light bulb moment” and realised that I like you can choose happiness.

It took me quite a while to get into the habit of choice and for me it became easier when I realised that the opinions and or actions of others for instance, could only hold sway over my emotions if I ALLOWED them to. The bottom line is that we all of us have responsibility for what we allow in our lives. For me I have actively chosen not to allow or embrace negativity from any source. If we try and remember that the negativity we encounter on a daily basis particularly from another person is THEIR negativity and as such has no place in or power over our lives we soon come to realise that it’s just a small step to choosing between a smile or a frown!

In CHOOSING HAPPINESS I now also understand that (to quote the song) –

”You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”  and it feels AWESOME!!!

Happiness you will come to understand is not only a choice but a way of life and it’s contagious so………..what are you waiting for???

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

Dont be so POST

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

Lucille Ball

I have long struggled to reconcile myself to the fact that practicing Self Care  as opposed to being Selfish is not only ACCEPTABLE, it’s NECESSARY! Whilst for me at least being selfish has never been an option on this journey through life, the alternative and far healthier choice of caring  positively and in a loving manner for oneself, I have for a very long time mistakenly believed to be the same thing. In fact NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Self Care;  Looking after ones self in a healthy manner be it physically, mentally or spiritually
Selfish;  lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

When you look at the definitions side by side the difference in meaning is CLEAR for all to see. Yet in my minds eye the fact that on occasion when I chose to utter the word NO in response to say a request to do something for another the guilt and anguish I experienced at my own PERCEIVED selfishness  simply because I had ”refused to help someone” in some way, knew absolutely no bounds. Unfounded guilt, coupled with  equally unfounded paranoia that they would deem my negative response to their request as me being SELFISH fueled a self perpetuating decline overtime into the unrealistic realm of me responding with a compliant YES to requests REGARDLESS of whether I needed to do something different at the time or not!

In real terms what that meant on the most basic of levels is that in the great scheme of things when asked to do……..(you fill in the blanks)….and regardless of circumstance, situation, time constraints, personal commitments I would more often than not be heard to proffer an enthusiastic YES (when actually feeling anything but!) and usually at great personal expense in terms of the impact on both my physical and mental well being. Simply put I had done an OUTSTANDING job of convincing myself that without doubt to proffer an equally firm but polite NO would mean that I was SELFISH personified!

In essence I had decided at an extremely young age that I would in no way become a SELFISH person,  A noble premise but one in which aiming to achieve, I had unwittingly applied a totally unrealistic set of principles for negotiating the minefield of life. Principles which would see me time and again put the needs of others over and above those of myself regardless of personal cost. In all honesty the cost incurred was probably an equal mix in terms physical, emotional and mental decline. The concept of SELF-CARE never having even been allowed the opportunity to be considered. In my ”quest” to become ”all things, to all people” a modern day mix of Mother Theresa & Nelson Mandela if you will, my default setting had turned me into a somewhat substandard version of Mary Poppins as I had very definitely become ”practically IMPERFECT in every way”.

The pressure I had put myself under by striving to reach the unattainable saw me buckle under my PERCEIVED FAILURE to be the person I THOUGHT others wanted me to be as opposed to the person that I ACTUALLY AM! Such was my physical and mental decline that I was the last  one to realise just exactly what my self imposed mindset had cost me.

Almost too late I realised that those who I loved and who loved me in return did so simply BECAUSE of who I AM and NOT because what I can do for them. All they wanted (had EVER wanted) was for me to be HAPPY, HEALTHY & WHOLE! Were I on occasion willing and ABLE to help them out in some way then that would be ENOUGH.

I WOULD BE ENOUGH!

So late in the day I came to understand the concept of SELF-CARE! Together with it’s implications and benefits. The outcome for me (and hopefully those of you who may also lack self awareness) is such that as a matter of priority I  now strive everyday to seek BALANCE in life: a healthy, balanced diet, quality sleep and enough of it, to spend quality time with loved ones and above all else to make time to relax and just ”be” – whether sitting, reading, meditating, essentially doing something where I show MYSELF the love I now know I DESERVE and which without forethought I make so readily available to others.

When you truly come to understand AND practice the art of SELF-CARE, see it in action for yourself AND THEN realise that life as you knew it has not only NOT ceased to exist BUT in fact IMPROVED BEYOND MEASURE then you will know without a shadow of a doubt that to;

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

……..probably number amongst some of the truer words ever spoken! Never lose sight of the fact that when it comes to being loved then you are right up there at the top of the list so remember going forward

”Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!”