Always have a purpose.

 

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Recently I have been very surprised to find the amount of energy you can suddenly find once you have found a purpose to do something. Having a purpose seems to provide us all with real motivation, drive and determination to tackle anything big or small. In our case despite being aware of this we had simply forgotten its phenomenal qualities and have been reminded of them quite by accident.

For many months now our large garage has been used as storage space for spare items. Items we no longer wanted but ones that we hadn’t  quite made up our minds about what to do with them.  We had simply moved them from the house out to the garage intending to deal with them when we had a spare moment but never quite finding that moment. Recently my Mum moved house and having no desire to take everything with her, selected what she wanted and then stored the rest in our garage for us to use or dispose of as we liked. Suddenly our garage was no longer just a bit untidy it was overflowing with stuff. We occasionally looked at it and discussed how we were going to tackle it but then would decide to leave it for another day. A day when we had more time or more energy or any other excuse we could think of. Days passed and these days turned in to weeks and then before we knew it we were a month later and still no attempt had been made to clear out the junk. It was always in the back of our minds that we had to make an effort to do it but we simply didn’t .I am sure that this probably would have continued for quite a while longer but for one thing happening. My husband bought a new car. Not a brand new car but a car that he had wanted to buy for quite some time. As he was excited he was now filled with the necessary energy, drive and enthusiasm to clear out the garage. The garage finally had a purpose and he now began to see it the way he wanted it to be, not the way it was. As he now had a purpose he found that he had motivation. Before long the garage was cleared. Stuff had been disposed of that really was of no further use and other better items had been given to charity to sell. We both felt better and it made us realise that despite pretending to ourselves that we were not bothered about the mess in the garage we actually had been. Knowing it was there and that we still had to deal with it had actually sapped our energy. Despite working very hard to achieve the new clean space, we found that instead of being exhausted as we had thought we would be, we had in fact more energy. The sense of achievement we both felt has spilled over in to other neglected areas. I am now tackling my wardrobe, which appears to be full of clothes I seldom or never wear. I can envisage a nice clear space where I can hang my things easily and actually see what I have available that I like. I am getting rid of stuff that has seen better days and have decided to sell the items that are good but that I simply never wear. Any money raised is going in to the Christmas fund. In my new energised state it is hard for me to understand why I have left it so long to tackle but truthfully I do not think I truly noticed it until now. I suspect that by clearing out the clutter in the garage my awareness of other areas of clutter has been raised. I think life is like that. If we find a reason to change something, tap in to a purpose that gives us direction, we can then see much more clearly all of the areas in our lives that need our attention.  Having a purpose provides us with the energy that we need as well as, the strength and desire to make any changes necessary to bring happiness and contentment in to our lives. Despite being glaringly simple really and very obvious it is all too often forgotten by us as we lead our busy lives. I was grateful to be reminded in such a pleasant way.

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Take a Chance

 

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It is really easy to give a million reasons why you have not achieved whatever it is that you had hoped for or why you haven’t pushed yourself for that new job, new relationship, new business the list could go on and often does. We get in to an easy habit of making excuses for not pushing ourselves forward and the sad fact is that often we come to believe them ourselves. We can even allow our excuses to cloud our judgment and become the reason we are feeling fed up and lethargic. Often we do this because we are too scared to try and fail. We become obsessed with the fear of failing and forget that not to try really is an automatic fail anyway. At least if we try something and fail we have learned something new. That in itself allows us to have energy to try again and move forward in a different, better direction.

I have written about this before and no doubt will do so again, it is too important to ignore .Life can be short or long but it is for living and not just treading water to survive. We all make an impact, no matter how small and everyone has a purpose.

Dale Carnegie once said “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare “.

If you are perfectly happy with your life exactly as it is then you are getting it right, making the right choices and decisions. If however you feel fed up or frustrated then simply it is time to decide to take a chance on trying something new .It doesn’t matter your age, that is just another excuse. If you check on the internet you will easily find the names of many successful people who did not become successful until late in life and equally the same with young extremely successful people. You can always find information to back up what you are looking for so make sure you look for the positive if you wish to be motivated to succeed. Your background and education do not matter; using either is just another excuse. All that matters is your inner desire to change and occasionally having a dream to follow. Although, to bring some energy and new direction in to your life even having a dream is not necessary, all you really need is a desire to try something new, that’s enough to start with.

Remember there is nothing wrong with behaving like Goldilocks and sampling things until you find the one that is just right for you. Without trying the others first you would never have known what your real preference was and how to achieve it. Every new experience will add to your life and help enrich it, even the ones that do not quite work out .At the very least it will give you something to tell your friends about and give a new energy to your life. At best it can totally transform you. So what are you waiting for?

Its not always personal

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Since others have to tolerate my weaknesses, it is only fair that I should tolerate theirs. William Allen White

I wish I had read this quote when I was assisting on a course in Glasgow a few years ago. The course was being held in a Glasgow hotel. Every day when I went in the hotel receptionists would say a cheery good morning and ask how I was and we would exchange small pleasantries. That was every receptionist except one. Each time she was on she would bury her head in her desk as I passed. No matter how cheery the “good morning” I shouted to her she would ignore me or worse just look like through me as if I wasn’t there. As each passed I grew more and more fixated about trying to get her to acknowledge me. I went out my way to be friendly and to smile and be nice. It didn’t seem to matter what I did she completely ignored it. Finally I thought okay she wins I will just ignore her too and for the remainder of the week I walked past without glancing her way or I acknowledged the receptionist beside her but not her until finally the week was over. As I said goodbyes to the other course participants one of them excused herself from the rest of the group and explained that she was going to over to speak to Mary, the receptionist that had ignored me all week. Fortunately I said nothing as she went on to tell us all that she knew Mary through her church and that Mary had been going through an awful week. Her mother who was suffering from dementia had been admitted to a home and her cat of twenty years had just died. She expressed amazement that Mary had managed to drag herself in to work but had done so not to let her colleagues down. She said that she could barely function and that everyone who knew her were very concerned for her wellbeing because of the stress she was under. I felt immediately ashamed of myself as I had not for one moment considered that she might be unhappy had just thought her rude.

Why had I made it personal? Perhaps my own insecurities were part of the problem or my ego; after all I was supposed to be a good communicator. Whatever the reason I have made sure never to judge another like that again. For me it was a lesson well learned. Time and time again though, as I watch others reacting to people the same way that I had and taking a strangers behaviour personally, I want to stop and tell them my tale. None of us know the burdens another person carries yet often we act as judge and jury. Many times we react perhaps because it is easier to take out our own frustrations and angst against a total stranger than deal with the issues that are making us feel so fragile. It could be that we are all a bit stressed with the multiple daily roles that we have to do and the slightest break of our rules can push us over the edge in to an overreaction. Whatever the reason or whatever the apparent justification I  now  believe it is better to “turn the other cheek” and walk away rather than add to the angst and misery another person may be suffering. Who knows perhaps one day it could be someone you love or you who forgets to say hello or inadvertently cuts someone off in their hurry to get home because of an emergency or problem. Wouldn’t you like to think that they would be “cut some slack”   rather than potentially be harassed or hurt by another person’s frustration and anger when they were already distressed?  It goes without saying that of course you would.

I now try and treat others, even those that are apparently rude with the same care I would want others to show my children or anyone that I care about. I feel better for it. Sometimes I need to take a deep breath and count to ten but always when I manage to walk away or drive away without an angry exchange I feel better. It really does take practice but for me it is worth it.

This quote by Phillips Brooks sums up my new found philosophy “Be patient and understanding. Life is too short to be vengeful or malicious”.

It takes a lot of energy to be angry or nasty, energy I would rather keep to use for something more constructive and positive. I feel stronger being able to walk away from negative situations with strangers I am unlikely to ever meet again and happier that by walking away I am not contributing to the negativity around them or their pain. If you have been finding it easy to react negatively to others behaviour why don’t you just take a deep breath and walk away?  See how much better you feel for doing it and move on without dragging someone else’s negative baggage with you.

Modern Day Vampires and how to control them.

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In days gone by people used to hang garlic around their doors and windows and even around their necks to ward of vampires and keep them safe from harm .The very thought of one being in the neighbourhood was enough to strike fear and terror into all the nearby inhabitants. They brought death and made the dead rise with their hypnotic power and thirst for blood. They were the subject of folklore and horror stories. No good ever came of being near one.
How times have changed. Today mention vampire and immediately young girls swoon and think of Twilight and True Blood .Sexy, strong, passionate and in many cases loving. They are no longer the Horror section but romance and action category. Young guys would like to be like them, young women would like to be with them. I am talking about the actors of course not the real thing. After all Vampires do not exist do they?

Well let’s go to Wikipedia the font all knowledge today! It has a definition of a vampire as: Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being.
Now that is much more like the Vampires I hear about from clients and no my name is not Van Helsing. I do not hear about sexy, misunderstood vampires, who just happen to suck blood. Well we all have our problems! I hear about the normal, yes normal, everyday, run of the mill ones who take from people some of their life essence or to use a better word energy.

Unlike the Vampires in Films, Television or books we have no discernible way to identify them and you will not know who they are until they first strike. They are ordinary people like you and I and have no immortal powers or strengths. They may or may not be gorgeous and sexy or they might be plain and uninteresting but they all behave in the same way. They steal your energy, they drain you and leave you feeling down, fed up or depressed. Some of them do it quite consciously and derive pleasure from it, for others it is quite unintentional, just a learned behaviour and a way of getting energy for themselves to get through the day. Whatever their reason the end result is always the same, they leave and you feel depleted. Fear not though as there is no need to rush out and buy a ton of garlic or surround yourself with silver and please no wooden stakes, unless you want to spend a very long time in jail.

There is a much simpler more effective method of ridding yourself of this pest and their effect. Just recognize what it is that they are attempting to do and laugh or walk away. If stuck in an office, lift or worse in a relationship with one, (although, hopefully not a relationship of your personal choice).Why would you choose that? You might be unable to avoid them, perhaps just by coincidence of birth, for we cannot always guarantee the behaviour of every member of our family, perhaps because they are a neighbour or a member of a group you are in!

If you find yourself in this situation and unable to just walk away, then a good trick is to imagine that you are surrounded by a large, flexible sphere of whatever colour you feel makes you secure and happy. Then you imagine that you can step inside that sphere and when you do only love and positivity can pass through. Anything negative bounces right off and will not affect you. Do not take personally anything that they say. It may sound very personal but it is just their attempt to get a reaction from you and by obtaining a reaction they also receive your energy. I know that this can be hard to do but it must be done. As soon as you respond to defend, deny or attack they have your energy and will keep coming back for more. It becomes a vicious, draining circle which is self defeating. Remember they are energy vampires they thrive on this. The more you react the more energy they receive.

Another effective method of dealing with this energy stealer is to respond positively. Strange but true, positive responses negate negative ones and funnily enough leave you feeling happier, energy intact. Let me give you a few examples of this. You may arrive at the office or be walking down the street, at a party anywhere really, feeling happy and wearing your favourite shirt/blouse/outfit. You are filled to the brim with happy thoughts and energy or” buzzing” as my young daughter says. In comes the energy vampire, they are on the prowl, feeling low and see you happy and full of energy so naturally they are instantly attracted to you and move in for the steal “Are you feeling okay today, you look a little tired” might be the energy stealing statement of choice, or it might be “I was going to buy that outfit but decided against it” or something like “ I heard so and so was not very happy with you” Whatever it is that they choose to say you now have a choice to make. Let them steal your energy and spend the rest of the day/evening worrying about how you are looking, whether you are in fact feeling tired, maybe even rush out and buy some vitamins. You can feel anxious about what so and so said even get angry and upset or you can smile and say to each one “No I feel absolutely fantastic today, had such a wonderful evening last night,”, “I am so glad you didn’t buy it, I suit this one and the outfit you have on suits you so we are both winners” or “Did they, well at least they know who I am” or any variation of these that doesn’t involve a negative or a fist fight. If you keep repeating positive statements you will find that in no time at all they have stopped trying to feed on you and moved on.
The plus in this method is also that there is a strong likelihood that you will soon find yourself surrounded by likeminded positive people who will reinforce your energy levels making you invincible to any sneak energy attack.

Whatever your decision it is always important to remember that the only way someone can steal your energy from you is if you let them. By changing how you react to such a situation you might also save a few souls on the way as they watch, learn and change their behaviour to match yours.

It is also worth noting that we can all be energy vampires, even the best intentioned of us can at our weakest moments resort to taking energy from others. If we are angry or upset it can be the first thing we do without thinking. Perhaps by learning to recognize when it is being done to us and taking control of it, we can better control ourselves and stop ourselves from doing it to others.