How long since you have thought about it?

The older I get I’ve decided it’s a privilege to age – and I really want to say/hope that I’ve become more wise with age too (it was my birthday this month, I was 35, not sad about it, but just cannot believe it!).  One point I have certainly noted though, is the true value of having a village.

 

This is also resonated in my professional learnings – connection is so crucial to us as humans doing well in life, or as we like to refer to it as ‘Choosing a Marvellous Life’

 

Today’s blog is really just a series of statements on why villages are required to Choose a Marvellous Life.  I’d love to hear your comments on the topic too!

 

We come across so many people in our lives but truly the village are usually the people who seriously, just keep turning up, the ones who make you a priority with no agenda.

I want to include here that villages aren’t always determined by physical location. I’ll give you an example – when someone moves away, yes the type of support they get they from their village might change a little but they are able still absorb the love and warmth of relationship from afar.  No, they might not be able to pop in and look after children or cook a dinner but the emotional support they provide via phone/video call is still valid and appreciated.

 

It also necessary to point out that our needs change and as a result, villages do accordingly too.  I mean, to be honest, if we aren’t changing then we aren’t growing….I’ll leave that one with you….  A real life example of this is when you hear people say they’ve ‘grown out of’ someone – has this ever happened to you?

 

Relationships are at the core of, literally everything we do! An example of this is teachers – they can know curriculum backwards but it’s pointless if they, first, don’t have a relationship with their students to share it with them.  Think about this example for yourself – at school, did you have a favourite teacher and/or subject? Why were they your your favourite? If I was a betting woman I’d, say your favourite subject wasn’t taught by a teacher you didn’t like, just a guess….Am I right?

 

Can you hear my enthusiasm about this topic?  I hope so, it’s pretty important in the big scheme of things!

 

My closing points about villages are really just some quick questions to ask yourself. It’s about the need to truly evaluate who is part of your village. Why do they have such an important place in your village? Is it that they are your family and only want the best for you? Or in your mind are they friends who have been in your life so long that they feel like family? What is it that you get from them? and why is what they bring to your life so important?  If it’s not important, are they truly part of your village?

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Do you have ‘tricky people’ in your life?

We’ve all come across tricky people in our travels.  They are lurking everywhere actually – at your work, in your family, at parties and even in romantic relationships!  The tricky person in your life could even be you?  What if it is??

I invite you to read on!

I’ve owned this book for some time and the more I reference it, the more I know it to be true.  The book I’m referring to is “Tricky People”, authored by Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist.  I’ve actually had the privilege of hearing this guy speak in person – I honestly could have listened to him for the entire day (that didn’t get to happen, by the way!).

The book, Tricky People – How to deal with horrible types before they ruin your life, had lots of ‘aha’ moments for me.  I love how Andrew writes, it’s real and honest and has come from a wealth of experience.

The book is laid out really well – chapter one is the overview and the remaining chapters talk about the different types of tricky people.

The first chapter actually looks at our own strengths and vulnerabilities – and profiles whether we are ruled by the north, south, east or west.  Note: as self aware as you think you are, depending on the day and your frame of mind, this can slightly change your strengths and vulnerabilities. Interesting, huh?!

I really enjoyed that it is a book that doesn’t have to be read all at once and can be referred back to easily when you encounter said tricky people.

I know you’re wondering – in the ‘spotter’s guide section, Andrew classifies the groups of tricky people as:

Back-stabbers and White Anters

The Blamers and Whingers

The Bullies and Tyrants

The Controllers

The High and Mighties

The Avoiders

The Competitors

The Poor Communicators

Again with brutal honesty, the book even tackles if the tricky person is YOU!

I think you will find it to be such a great read – entertaining as well as helpful AND it is full of actual applicable skills to approach tricky people.

Go forth, recognise the tricky people in your life, and then get your hands on the book!!  And please do share your highlights, we love feedback!

What’s your default?

Let me ask you a question – truly, when was the last time you really thought about all the good things you admire about yourself?  Was it this week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or at worst, never, maybe you have never taken the time to notice the positive things about yourself??

Well today, if you do nothing else, I want you to sit down and be truly kind to yourself. And maybe it has to wait until everyone else is in bed for you to have five minutes alone, that’s ok, it won’t take long!

You are going to practice writing a list of (or at least start with one thing) that you wholeheartedly admire about yourself.  You will be kind to yourself in a way you would be to a valued friend, this is the practice of self-compassion.

Let me get things started – I love how determined I am once I set my mind to something. When I was a child, I imagine this was quite punishing for my family, but it has absolutely set me in good stead as an adult.  What’s the first thing on your list?  Maybe you can write five, or more? Do that now.

Ok, good, tell me you have something written, or at least is in your mind – the task for the coming week is to pick one of the things you admire and say this to yourself each day.  Repeat as often as you like.

So, to be fair, it might take more than a week, but there are a couple of good reasons to practice this:

  • we need to regularly practice being kind to ourselves (so when there a threats to our self-esteem, self-compassion, not self-criticism, is our default),
  • Even our minds need reminding how awesome we are sometimes AND
  • when we hear something enough, it changes the way we think about ourselves – and that itself, is really powerful!

Image result for self-compassion

Featured Image Source:  https://www.google.com.au/search?q=self-compassion&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_tarvkq7UAhUHW5QKHfnmChcQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=self+compassion&imgrc=0_pS2RnnksMLBM:

How do you perceive physical activity?

As i write this, I’m literally days away, 2, in fact, from my first marathon – I’m not telling you that so you can send messages of congratulations – I’m telling you that to show you that the way we view physical activity is most definately about perspective.

This is a little about my running story, hope I don’t bore you, but really the morale of the story is about perspective and mindset.

5 years ago , actually, even 12 months ago, I’d say the thought of running marathon could have made me physically sick, or at least twitch a little! Of course, I wasn’t sick, but I viewed it as torturous!  It was SO far out of reach, not to mention, my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve slowly increased my running, and along the way just decided I needed to do one marathon in my life.  That was pretty much all – I made a conscious decision, rallied my beautiful girlfriends to be support crew, booked flights, accommodation and registered for the event.  To be honest, I’m still feel amazed at what the body is capable of when we set our minds to it!

I’m not implying everyone needs to do a marathon or similar, for you, it might just be starting to committing to using the stairs every time there is an option, instead of the lift!

Today, I’m, yes, a little anxious but strangely excited – excited for lots of reasons.  Here are some random thoughts for race week and a few things I’ve noted and learnt in the last 6 or 8 months:

I’d be a liar, liar pants on fire if I said it’s all been super easy! Did I want to get out of bed and run every time the alarm went off? No! But I did (except for maybe a few times, when I couldn’t logistically sort my children to be safely looked after!)

Training for a marathon is a rollercoaster of emotions – on the days I didn’t run, especially if a few in a row, I’d start to talk myself out of it! Questioning my decision and perspective! In comparison, after I’d run,, I knew I could do it!

A runner I know was telling me how he cried at end of one of his marathons!  At the time, I felt sorry for him and was thinking, he’s soft, who’d do that?!?!? I so get it now, after all the training and commitment, the support (and well meaning questioning) from loved ones, the ups and downs, I might just get a bit terry too!

I’m going to be towards the end of the finishers, and that’s cool, but I absolutely cannot wait to know I am capable of a marathon! I feel like, my view of the world will change even more – I’ll let you know!

My marathon perspective took on a whole new level of meaning when I also decided that the Jake Garrett Foundation would be my beneficiary for my fundraising efforts.  Again about perspective.  The Jake Garrett Foundation provides emotional and financial support for parents whose precious children have passed away.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated. When you see a friend and her family having to face this, marathon training isn’t even on the radar of degrees of difficulty.  The marathon is half a day and families have to be without their little person forever.

Please, let my gradual shift in perspective be proof that once we change the way we view things, what we’re capable of changes!  For physical activity – just get moving!

I have a gorgeous friend who has been sending memes in the lead up to race week – all supportive, some hilarious – so I have a few quotes to share:

You will never grow if you stay in your comfort zone – cliche but true – how we view a challenge matters!

We always over estimate what we can do in the short term but under estimate what we can do in the long term – just start!  Go for a walk around the block to reward yourself. Make it a priority instead of making excuses why you can’t, just make it happen, and see how it feels!

That’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday!

Know what makes you tick.

Topic – Mental Fitness

Best way to look after your mental fitness – know your real self and know what you need.

It makes sense really, doesn’t it?  Knowledge is power – so if we know what our preferences are – we can work towards using that knowledge to choose a marvellous life?

No one else will benefit from this.  Just you, which is 100% the goal here!

Here’s a few questions to start you thinking about your level of self-awareness:

When was the last time you engaged in an activity you walked away from taking you could take on the world?

When did you get so irritated by something that it made you ‘explode’ or ‘implode’ as the case may be?

Do you prefer your own time or to be surrounded by people and/or sounds?

What do you do to ‘recharge’?

How do you prefer to approach conflict?

How do you show people you appreciate them being in your life?

Once we are consciously aware of the way we prefer things to be, life is more likely to be marvellous!  Decisions just get easier.

It is also important to remember – we should never stop learning about ourselves!!

While our basic values don’t tend to change much, our experiences do!  And we know experiences can have profound effects on how we view the world.  That’s why we need to keep checking in with ourselves to make sure the action we are taking, does indeed, line up with the person we are at that time.

These are a few great resources I can recommend to ‘check in’ with yourself

  • Via Character – http://www.viacharacter.org – a free strength profiling website – you do a quick survey and in exchange for your email address, it gives you your results.
  • Personality Plus – there are lots of great personality sorters out there – this is one I have used and recommend – such an interesting exercise! There is also a ‘for Parents’ version of this one – personally, it answered lots of questions for me as a mother!
  • The Five Love Languages – a book, or I think there is an online version too, that profiles the way individuals prefer to give and receive ‘love’ – a must for anyone in a relationship!

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list – but these are ones I’ve used and encourage you to check out to move along on the ‘knowing yourself’ path. **  I receive no endorsements – I just genuinely liked them and feel they could help other people too.

In terms of knowing what you need – knowing yourself usually informs this – if I’m someone who avoids crowds – a music festival isn’t going to be relaxing for me, or if I like to be alone and i live in a shared house, these don’t match up, do they?!  You get the idea!

Please, be kind to yourself – be really conscious of knowing what makes you tick and take note of the positive effect on your mental fitness (and the moving closer to your marvellous life)!

 

Image Source – http://www.quotemaster.org

 

Motivation is rubbish?

So, let me explain why I’ve boldly claimed that motivation is rubbish….

I’m going to use your car to further explain:

Relying on motivation is equivalent to having to connect the battery leads on your car each day, instead of just turning the key in the ignition to start the engine.  Turning the key to start your car is an act you undertake when you want to start your car each day, isn’t it?  It’s logical and automated, and you do it without much thought.   (Psst, this is how habits ‘are’ in a sustainably healthy life)

To be honest, I wouldn’t be sure HOW to connect the battery each day and to be more honest, I couldn’t be bothered? Could you?

Ok, I know some people would choose to do it for awhile, but could you keep doing it every day, knowing you needed to do it everyday to get anywhere??

Motivation usually comes in short bursts too – because change is desired.  Habits, on the other hand are a commitment to who you are growing to be.

You get in your car because you know why and where you are going.  Similarly, if your habits support your values, goals and your ‘why’, you will do them with ease.  What you do everyday matters!

Do you really think you would or could connect the leads before you leave home each day, forever?  As if it isn’t enough of a struggle to get to work on time, without having to think about which leads go on which battery terminal???

Does that make sense?  If we can make sustainably healthy habits something we do automatically without a thought, we have more time to focus on nurturing and choosing our marvellous life!

A little deep I know – but I thought it was an excellent comparison to highlight that what we do everyday matters!

Good health information can guide habits that change lives.

I ask you to try it!

Try starting a new positive habit – do it for a week to start with, if you love it, try committing to it for a month.  Review it after a month and see what’s different? Or if you would go back to not having it in your life.

Plan, do, review and change according to findings – know sustainable good health is a process!  Make the process a habit, and it will go a long way to helping you choose a marvellous life!

Have a great week!

 

Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/546f88″>Visual Hunt</a>

More on habits.

Since the live session on rituals and habits – I’ve been doing some research in my circle, aka discussing with friends, that the importance of rituals is, indeed true, in their lives too. If you missed it, you can see the live session at https://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist/

Our habits have such a huge effect on the way we perceive things.  From the field, here is another example:

Meet Sharon* – Sharon chooses to go to bed and leave the dishes there from the day – instead of just sucking it up and getting it done…Sharon leaves them until the next day, doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Sharon walks past them until lunchtime, or later when she feels annoyed enough by them, that she finally does them.  If Sharon had done them the previous night, there would have been no energy spent being annoyed by them and no impact on her next day. You see?

Ok, no more examples, just action!  Yes, action is crucial to choosing a marvellous life!!

Also, I cannot believe I did the whole live session about Rituals and Habits and didn’t mention ‘The Slight Edge’.  This is a marvellous book by Jeff Olson, that I think really highlighted to me that making good choices has such cumulative positive effects.  Similarly, consistently making not so wise choices can have the reverse effect.  I did know this, but the book puts it so simply!  I challenge you to read it this month if you can get your hands on a copy!

And obviously, if we are to choose a marvellous life, our next action is to take a look at our own habits and work out if they are helpful or not.  It IS more complex than this, but this will help you make a start!

Ask yourself:

Is this of value to me?

If it is – great, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, look for an alternative positive habit to take its place, and take the necessary actions to replace it!

Be sure to start small, be kind to yourself, celebrate wins and keep going!!

The good news is that it is never to late to change a habit, you just have to make the change and then stick to it…consistently…I feel like ‘consistent’ is going to be the word of this month!

Again, just like the goals, you need to be connected to your new habits – make them yours and make them count!

Image Source:  www.slightedge.org

*name changed so this person was’t identified