10 Toxic Habits that Drain your Energy

As you all know, I am at a stage of transition and flux and need to re-invent parts of my life.

I have just had a 3 month gap period doing quite a lot of travelling. It was fantastic and unsettling, but now my new life needs to begin.

It is a wonderful opportunity for growth – I have the opportunity to begin practicing new habits, work differently, take up new hobbies, and interact with different people. For the first time in a very long time I am able to put myself first – and that is very liberating! I know that there are going to be difficult and challenging times ahead, but I also know that with the great support system I have, that those times will pass.

Tim Maurer says: ‘The nature of life’s major transitions – specifically the changes and surprises that come with them – are a breeding ground for failure. Some are inconsequential while others come with great risks, but most come as a result of our limitations. We err, and in order to move forward we must extend grace to ourselves and to the others on our journey’ 

Mark Chernoff writes about 10 toxic habits that drain your energy. These are great to apply to your everyday life –  but I believe even more important when you are in a stage of transition.

 

To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind in Life

There are times in our life when certain segments of our life just get neglected. That is happening to me at the moment – I have a huge to do list that is just not being done. If I was my own coaching client I would have fired myself by now – but I need to take account that the timing of some of my tasks is not right and I need to surrender to it.

What I have done though, is a lot of sitting with friends that I love, having conversations about the state of our hearts and our souls. There is a lot of heartache going around at the moment so they have not been conversations filled with fun and laughter, but they have been really important – much more important than my to do list.

In her article To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind in Life Jamie Varon writes that “we need to show up as we are in this moment and let that be enough, we change when we want to change, and we put our ideas into action in the timing that is best.”

20 New Ways to Measure Success

One of the most inspirational woman I have ever known is Mercy May, a 58 year old lady who has been working part time for my family for the past 20 years. Mercy has had a limited education, she lost her parents when she was quite young, she adopted her alcoholic sister’s son and brought him up as her own, she forgave and took back her unemployed and cheating husband who died a few years later, she is often supporting random members of the family who stay with her, she lost a grandchild in a shack fire, and she has just agreed to raise a 3 year old family member whose mother died recently. Through all of this she has managed to smile and keep a positive attitude to life and a trust that God will give her strength to get through what she needs to. She is one of the most trustworthy, strong, kind, and open hearted people I have ever met – she has very little but is so generous with the little she has.

The two of us have laughed together, cried together and celebrated together – I think the best way to describe our relationship is that in our very different ways we are mothers to each other. My children love and respect her and she somehow manages to get them to do things that I am unable to.

If we had to measure Mercy on the 20 new ways to measure success that Joshua Becker recommends, I believe she would be doing a lot better than most of us.

Some very un-helpful sociable introvert solo travel strategies

At my young and tender age I am about to embark on my first ever solo (in that I am not going with anyone I know) travel adventure. As a sociable introvert this fills me with trepidation as I have calculated that I have 384 hours of possible communication time. I love interacting with people but my limit is about 5 hours with good friends and 2 hours with strangers and then my battery needs to be recharged.

So I pondered, and in today’s world of positive thinking I decided to think positively and embrace the words of Abraham Lincoln “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” So I looked for the roses and realised I could reduce the 384 hours:

I can watch movies on the plane and ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

I have a potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the beginning of the journey. Together with jet lag this will make talking to people very difficult (especially if I am vomiting).

I plan to do a plunge into guaranteed sub-freezing waters of -2.8 degrees Celsius. This may give me teeth chattering mild hypothermia which has the following symptoms:

  • Shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Faster breathing
  • Trouble speaking
  • Slight confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate

I am not sure how long the hypothermia will last (the vodka that will be administered to me will probably not help my communication skills either). Let’s assume 3 hours in total.

Excluding my sea sickness I will be sleeping for about 85 hours.

There will be presentations that may use up 10 to 20 talking hours.

I then have another potential 48 hours of sea sickness at the end of the trip.

I can watch the same movies on the plane back home and still ignore my fellow passengers – approximately 10 hours.

This leaves me with 170 hours to talk to fellow adventurers. That is a lot of hours and at this stage I lost sight of the roses and began to see the thorns.

So I asked my friends and family for advice – which was not at all useful:

  1. Put ear phones in your ears and pretend you are listening to music
  2. Pretend you can’t speak English
  3. Glare at anyone walking towards you
  4. Suck it up

As my last resort I then turned to good old google which was not helpful either. I was told not to drink coffee before a social event and rather drink chamomile tea – I really don’t like chamomile tea.

So – is there anyone out there who can help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Moral Bucket List

In the article The Moral Bucket List David Brooks writes about résumé virtues and eulogy virtues  “…….it occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character…..”

David came to the conclusion that wonderful people are made, not born — that the people he admired had achieved an unfakeable inner virtue, built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.

This is a long article – but well worth the read!

A Mind Shift to Transform your Self Care

Some of the questions that I explore with my clients who are on a path of greater self understanding are:

“If you were an animal which one do you think you would be?”
“Which one do you like and admire?”
“And why?”
This helps in the unpacking of values, strengths and qualities.

Recently, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this post on her Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt:

“Sometimes, when I catch myself feeling unloveable or self-abusing, I try to imagine that I am an animal, adopted from the humane society, who has been placed into my own care. Maybe an animal that some bad things have happened to. Maybe an animal that is anxious and confused. Maybe an animal that has been wounded. Maybe an animal that is lost.

What does that animal need and deserve? Healthy food, a warm place to sleep, a safe place of shelter, tender affections, plenty of walks in the sunshine. Kindness. Tenderness. Patience.

Simple care.

Can you try to see yourself as an animal in need of rescue? And can you offer yourself that rescue? Can you try to see that you, too, are a simple mammal, born innocent, deserving of tenderness, needful of love, fearful of pain? Can you reach out to yourself with gentleness — as if you were that cat or dog who had been caged for far too long?”

 

I think this is a wonderful way to think differently so that we can be gentle on ourselves and extend the self love that we all need.

 

How Trauma Changes The Brain – join me on my next 6 week TRE course

In the following article Michele Rosenthal writes about how trauma affects the brain and how activating the parasympathetic nervous system shifts the body into restorative mode.

The Science Behind PTSD Symptoms: How Trauma Changes The Brain

TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) is one of the most wonderful modalities I have come across and it enables the body to shift into a restorative mode. Please come and join me on my next 6 week course and learn how to use it by yourself at home.

6 WEEK TRE GROUP COURSE STARTING ON TUESDAY 19 JANUARY IN CLAREMONT

We are all affected by stress and trauma – it is part of life.

Designed by David Berceli, TRE is a simple technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or ongoing stressful situations, and traumatic life events. A set of simple exercises invokes a mild tremor which helps bring the nervous system back to a state of calm and balance. Once learned TRE is a gentle and effective self-healing tool.

Some of the reported benefits of TRE include:

  • Greater sense of calm and inner peace
  • Less anxiety and worry
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Increased emotional resilience
  • Healing of old injuries
  • Relief from chronic medical conditions
  • Release of muscular tension from exercise and sport
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Increased spiritual connection

Date:  19 Jan – 23 Feb (every Tuesday for 6 weeks)

Cost:  R95o (paid upfront)

Time:  6.30pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Claremont

 

Stop Setting Hard Deadlines and Enjoy Your Way To Your Goals

Happy New Year!

For those of you who missed my previous blog on pushing less and trusting more, here is a very similar article on reaching your goals. Enjoy the read and may 2016 treat you well.

Stop Setting Hard Deadlines and Enjoy Your Way To Your Goals  

Push Less and Trust More: The Stress-Free Path to Your Goals

As we wind down from 2015 and enter into 2016 we may be beginning to formulate our New Year’s resolutions and set our goals for the year ahead.

I believe that making resolutions and goal setting can sometimes be counterproductive as it asks us to hold ourselves accountable to forces outside our control. If we do not achieve our goals or keep to our resolutions we may consider ourselves a failure.

We cannot predict whether our actions towards a goal will produce a desired outcome – there can be ‘unintended consequences’. So sometimes we just need to take small exploratory steps that will produce a change of some sort – either towards our preferred future or not. We may find that something new, something unexpected and every now and then something fantastic may happen.

Unlike a goal, a small step is not something to achieve or fail to achieve – it is just something that one takes or not.

In the article below Ash Blankenship writes about letting go of our desires and changing our attitude to allow us to become more receptive to life’s greatness.

Push Less and Trust More: The Stress-Free Path to Your Goals

5 Things to Remember When You’re Stuck and Desperate for a Change

I am at a huge transition point in my life at the moment – it is scary but deep down inside I know I will be fine. Apart from trying to lose attachment to any form of outcome, what has helped me immensely is regular practise of TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises).  TRE has given me a greater sense of calm and inner peace, increased emotional resilience, less anxiety and worry, I feel more grounded and have a stronger spiritual connection.

For anyone who feels stuck and does not have a real sense of how to take the next step forward, Marc Chernoff gives some reminders to help you along on your journey of change – 5 Things to Remember When You’re Stuck and Desperate for a Change.