Self sabotage or self support?

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“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul for Lifelong Beauty

Usually the voice we listen to the most is our inner voice. It is the one which urges us to go for it or to hold back and reflects how we are feeling. It should be positively working in our best interests but all too often we are actually sabotaging ourselves by allowing our inner voice to sound negative and disparaging towards us. It becomes not just our inner self talking to us, but all the negative people we may have had in our life who have held us down or belittled us and occasionally it might even begin to sound like them. Listening to that is never going to give us the confidence to achieve what we dream of and worse still we it may well impact negatively our behaviour and actions making feel insecure and doubtful and that in turn will in turn reflect outwards potentially causing others to doubt us too. We all need to regularly stop and listen to what we are saying to ourselves and if we find that we are always being harsh and unsupportive in our self-talk we must take the time and make the effort to change it. Every time we are faced with a choice, an opportunity or a request, in fact any time that we engage our inner voice to give us help, motivation and support, we need to stop and listen to what we are actually saying to ourselves. Is it supportive and encouraging or are we putting ourselves down and making ourselves feel insecure and even insignificant. If so we need to change it and simply start by thinking how we would want someone we love a lot to be spoken to and then use the same tone and the same words that we would like them to hear to motivate ourselves. Often we find that learning how to do this has a double benefit for us as if we can be kinder towards ourselves it makes it much easier to feel more kindly towards others and that in turn is how we enrich our life. Have a great day, Karen x

How a dog sees it.

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Like for most people the run up to Christmas in our house is a very busy time with lots of different things seemingly requiring immediate attention to make sure everything is organised in time for us all to relax and really enjoy the holidays. To add to our fun we also have two birthdays to arrange, as one of my daughters was born on Christmas day and another two days later. Both naturally like to have their birthdays kept separate from the festive arrangements to ensure that they are personal for them. Obviously this means that I have to work from many lists to ensure that I get everything done on time. I pride myself on being able to accomplish this and resolutely stick to my set programme.

We share our home with our family of dogs and a cat and to make sure they are not left out I also need to factor in to my schedule time for their daily play and exercise. One of our dogs had been very ill and had eventually to be put on steroids to control his condition. One of the side effects of these are that he has gained quite a lot of weigh. To ensure that this is kept under control and to give him some fun, especially as we are so grateful to still have him here with us, I make sure that included in my daily routine as well as normal exercise periods there are  several play times for him to chase his ball around the garden. Yesterday I was busy as usual and on checking my watch noticed it was time to take him out to play. As I stood in the garden mechanically flinging the ball for him I was mentally planning what I had to do next. Suddenly I became aware that he was not coming back up with his ball as normal and when I looked I saw that he was half hidden in the bushes. Well his head and shoulders were hidden but his rear end was still sticking out for me to clearly see. Teddy though was unaware that I could see him. In his world because he couldn’t see me I obviously couldn’t see him. For a moment I was puzzled and wondered what on earth he was doing. Then when I shouted his name, I noticed that his tail was wagging and the more I shouted and pretended not to see him the happier and more excited he became until it all eventually became too much for him and he bounced out and ran up to me. His tail was wagging furiously and his face beaming with such joy that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Then I could have cried as the realisation came to me that Teddy didn’t just want to play ball. That was not the main source of his fun. The “fun” was clearly he and I playing, engaging in having fun together and when he realised that I was not having any fun he had decided to create some for me and bring me back in to the game which was why he had hidden. It got my attention and brought us both back to sharing this time together and mutually benefiting for it. This made me feel a bit emotional because it made me realise that somehow along the way I had lost the meaning. It was not about arranging everything perfectly it was about participating in something together, sharing and really interacting not just going through the motions as a means to an end. Life I think can be a bit like that and sometimes we get so lost in existing that we forget to live and life can pass us bye at a tremendously fast rate. As John Lennon said “ Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” After playing for a while longer I went back in and sat with my lists. I prioritized by keeping the essentials such as food and gifts, I would feel a bit mean if I didn’t provide these, and ripped up the rest and wrote spend quality time with the family. Today we had a lovely trip out to see some beautiful decorations in a local garden center and my eldest daughter, who was sensibly born in August, and her partner treated us all to a lovely coffee and cake. We sat and watched the world go by, chatted and had fun and thanked our Teddy for his little lesson.

Anger and simple steps to get rid of it.

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Anger is a killing thing: It kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before-it takes something from him.

Louis L’Amour

I remember listening to a punk rock song years ago and the singer screamed out that anger is energy and I thought I understood and related to it. It is only now, years later, that I actually realise what a destructive energy it actually is and work hard not to succumb to its subtle temptation.

I find that people use anger to motivate themselves when they feel that someone has sapped their strength right out of them. When they have been so hurt or felt so betrayed by someone’s actions that the only way that they feel able to motivate themselves, or to take any sort of action, is to get mad. So they get mad, real mad and stay consumed by it, burning not just their desired target but everyone around them including those that they love and wish to protect as well as themselves. Or, their anger is directed inwards at themselves for being so stupid or hurtful and they set about to self-destruct in order to punish themselves for imagined or even real wrongs that they believe that they have done to others. Instead of learning from the experience and changing to be better or better able to cope they actually start behaving in a way that doesn’t just cause them pain but everyone one around them also. It is far, far better to seek help and direct your anger and frustration to make positive changes in your life.

The trouble is that anger gives an initial burst of energy, which acts as a sort of stimulant and like any stimulant it can be addictive in nature. It distorts reality and kids us on in to believing that we need it to keep going, that it is giving us a purpose to keep going but at what cost? It is possible to use anger constructively? Yes, I actually believe so especially if you use it to learn and motivate you to change for the positive and then once you have got the learnings, made the changes, let the anger go, then it can be very useful. The problems arise when we hold on to anger and can’t seem to let it go.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured”

Mark Twain

So how do we prevent this from happening? How do we let it go before it damages us? Well to me the answer to that depends upon recognizing the root cause of the anger and then taking action to deal with it. Who are you getting angry at or why?

What is it that you need to do or learn that will prevent you from feeling this way? Here are some simple methods that you can try to help you control anger.

Simple steps such as remembering to breathe! If I get angry I tend to forget about breathing steadily, so consciously thinking about deep calm breaths whilst combining this with visualizing somewhere nice in my head helps to calm me down and enables my brain to not just instantly react, but to think before I respond.

The next thing I do is to use my peripheral vision. Instead of focusing on the person or issue I look up slightly and practice noticing what is all around me. You can also do this when looking at a person. So, if you are arguing with your friend or boss, anyone, look at a spot just in the middle between their eyebrows. Notice without moving your eyes what is above you, to the side of you and below you. This is using your peripheral vision and instead of focusing on the problem allows you to calm down. Practice this and it will become second nature to you. It always helps calm me down when I feel anxious or stressed and you can practice it anytime to get maximum benefit.Just substitute the person for the top of a picture frame or mirror and follow the same process, without changing eye position notice what is above, below and at either side of you and relax.

Change your thought pattern simply by saying “not that” “this” and direct it to think of something more positive. I always think of something which makes me smile. Once you have regained control look at what triggered your anger. What can you learn positively to prevent it happening again? Take positive action and let the anger go.

It might be something that you can’t at present change, such as you may be going through a nasty break up and your ex is being unfair or manipulative. Becoming angry might seem best but it will only give away your control and make you look and feel bad. Keeping calm and not reacting is much better for you and much more frustrating for the person trying to get a reaction. Examine ways that will prevent you from being put in the same position. Learn positively and make any changes that you need to make to better protect yourself from this occurring again and move on.

Always remember the use of humor. “It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either. “Wayne Dyer

Whatever it is you choose to do always remember that it is your choice. You are in charge of your reactions and the choices you make so always choose positively and wisely. If someone has really hurt you the old saying is “don’t get mad, get even “.The best way to get even but at the same time not carry on the anger is to cut them out and move on successfully with your life. Do this by taking back personal control and by not allowing others to take control of you. Fill your heart up with love for the people around you that love and support you. Concentrate on them instead of negative forces and in doing so dilute its power and energy. Learn from life events and use the learning to build you and those around you up, never pull yourself down with anger and you will find your life to be an easier and happier one.