Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Self Respect Infusion (3)

So how do you create self love and self respect if you are currently live without it? You may be surprised to discover that the more you do for yourself the more self respect you will begin to feel, and the healthier and happier choices you will make for you. Creating respect for yourself and greater happiness in your life can just be a matter of making some practical changes to how you live. When you begin to live with you as a priority, you start to feel it, and believe it – then you are on the slippery slope to self love and respect.

Here is a Self Respect Infusion you can try for a week, and see how life improves for you.
Step 1. Avoid anyone who is generally negative, or puts you down for the whole week. If you have friends or work mates like that, avoid them or be too busy to see them for the week. If you live with someone like that, spend as little time in their company as you can. Just make excuses, its only a week. When you have spent some time without having to ward of negativity, or protect yourself from another's put downs, you will feel refreshed. A break from these type of people will help you to get some space, and recognise how much nicer and easier life can be. ( If you like this feeling, you can down grade some friendships and pick up some new ones that are more pleasant and positive. Or you can initiate some changes in a relationship that is bringing you down.)

Step 2. What do you really enjoy doing? Put a note in your diary to do this pleasant thing everyday for the week. Make sure you do it – make it a priority. Get up early to do it, if you have to, or leave the vacuuming. Spending more time on something you really enjoy will inevitably make life more pleasant. When you spend some time making your happiness a priority it will start to have a positive effect on you, and you will begin to feel you have a right to a little something nice for you. (If you like how this feels, begin a new habit of making the time to do something that makes you happy everyday. See an earlier post for tips on success building new habits.)

Step 3. What are the most important things in your life? List the top two. Now put a note in your diary to work on them each day for the next week. If it is family for you, set time aside to be together, or do something together. If a group, a pet, or keeping fit, church, put something in your diary to spend time building on that priority. Spending the week focusing on the people, relationships, or areas that are most important to you will bring the benefit of strengthening your connection, and commitment to these things. It helps to give you direction, and focus on the things you identify yourself with. (If you like how this feels, as above, make a new habit to regularly engage and strengthen the bond with those important things in your life. Also, the Open Eyed Meditation directs some attention to this area of your life, which helps you to keep those important things in mind through your day, positively effecting the choices you make.)
If you feel that you don't have time to do these things for yourself, here's a list of ideas that can buy you some time: (and when you choose to make that time, you reinforce your commitment to yourself, helping to build self respect.)
Get up early.
Don't clean the house for the week.
Don't go to the gym.
Don't switch on the TV (at all, or until later)
Check you email just once a day, and
Limit phone calls, and the time spent talking.
It is just one week after all, and the Self Respect Infusion just might be a turning point for you and how you see yourself. Who knows where it could lead.
Make a comment, and let me know how it feels after giving yourself a one week Self Respect Infusion.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life with Self Respect (2)

In my last post I identified some life patterns that are not in our best interests, and that are signs of a lack of self respect and self value. Now I want to look at what behaviors a person with respect for themselves looks like, so we can have an idea of where we want to go, which will give us a guide for change. Becoming aware is the first step in creating change. So - What does a life look like when a person respect themselves and value themselves?
People who do respect themselves will:
1.have positive, supportive people around them
2.spend a lot of time doing things they enjoy and brings them happiness.

3.do few things they 'ought', 'should', 'have' to do
4.accept the things life throws at them, and make the most of it, somehow always landing on their feet
5.find positive solutions when dealing with lifes challenges
6.will not have priorities in their lives and rarely spend time on the important aspects of their lives, letting them fall apart
7.find ways to grow and develop
8.always know their priorities and put them first
If this sounds like other people and not you, do not be disheartened. The above is just a matter of choice, and you can choose it from this moment forward. By simply living as though you have self respect, you will learn to have it in reality. In a later post I want to suggest some practical ways to gain self respect.
Meditation is a great place to start change the way you feel about yourself. Open Eyed Meditation is a really easy way to learn meditation and helps to inspire inner strength.
If you are a single mother, you may want to look at The Spiritual Journey for Single Mothers. A great package filled with ways to drop negativity from life and become positive and happy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life without Self Respect (1)

Sometimes we have life patterns that are not in our best interests, and I thought it might be useful to identify some of those types of patterns. In recognising some in our own behavior, we can make a plan for change, and build happier more stable lives. Becoming aware is the first step in creating change. So - What does a life look like when a person does not respect themselves or value themselves? People who do not respect themselves will:
1.have people arount them who are negative or bring them down, and make them feel bad about themselves
2.spend more time doing things they don't like, than they do
3.be driven by things they 'ought', 'should', 'have' to do
4.resist the things life throws at them, feeling how unfair life is
5.worry, stress and feel like victems when dealing with lifes challenges
6.will not have priorities in their lives and rarely spend time on the important aspects of their lives, letting them fall apart
7.continually put themselves in situations that hurt them
8.go over and over bad things that have happened to them in their minds
If you are able to see yourself in some of these points, you may want to make some changes so you can become happier, more centred, and calmer. In later posts I want to suggest some practical ways to address these behaviors. However, in my next post I want to discuss what the alternative looks like.
Meditation is a great place to start change the way you feel about yourself. Open Eyed Meditation is a really easy way to learn meditation and helps to inspire inner strength.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinner Challenge

I knew there would be a drama tonight – I had cooked something new! My 7 year old raged, hated and spat. Because I had an idea this was coming, and because I had had a lovely, quiet day to myself, and had decided to have a glass of wine, I was not disturbed by the school child tantrum. As he raged and rolled and cried, I was cool and uneffected. And afterwards, when it was eaten and hunger was sated, there was smiles and laughter from the angry young man. “Yes, I want to go for a ride, too.”.And I thought as we all peddled to our favorite face painted tree, and over the bumps in the ground my daughter enjoys challenging her bike with, how much better when I did not engage in the children's temper. How quickly it was over. How much less anger in our world
Although I do it regularly – meet the kids anger and rage with my own anger - I know it is ridiculous. Children have less control of their emotions, and I am supposed to be the adult, who is expected to deal with her emotions – and teach her children to deal with theirs! Tonight I got it right, but mostly I fail, which feeds my guilt.
I will never believe that there is a greater challenge in life than being a parent. And nothing more rewarding than when I get it right. (Which happily happens too).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Looking In

It's another woman, alone again after another disappointing relationship outcome. Her children and she will be on there own again until the cycle starts over. In an age of self help books and radio and television shows, it is surprising how many are still in trouble. The answers are there for the searcher. Yet if we are not caring enough about ourselves and giving ourselves value, what is there to motivates us to seek these answers? The value can't come from others or things. It is such a cliche, but the only place to gain value is from within us - the rest is shaky ground, inconstant. But what is the motivation to begin to give yourself credit, and value? Well, I guess some never find that motivation. I found it in my children, but now the happiness and steadiness of my life is the reward and incentive for valuing myself.

Meditation is one way to make a start on honouring yourself, and to raise self esteem. Check out Open Eyed Meditation for an easy way to start meditation.
And if you are a single mother, you could have a look at the Spiritual Journey for Single Mothers. Packed with ways to eliminate negativity, and find happiness on your journey.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Step into the Chaos.

On the way to dancing, when we go the back way, we encounter a set of old sandstone steps. They are of the old style - large, weathered blocks, and worn where so many have tread before. At the bottom there is no path, just a blanket slope of dirt, and messy berries, twigs and leaves fallen from the tree to the left. Its great grey trunk is gnarly and pockmarked, but friendly in the sense that it is so climbable. It always feels mysterious and exciting to come the back way, and to walk through this isolated pocket of space that clearly no one is bothering with, or claiming. For the moment, it has escaped the tidying, leveling, modernising that surrounds it.
An analogy suggests itself, that these steps and the undefined space that lies at their base is a little like life. Mostly there is order, predictability, even continuance in life, yet we will always encounter areas of disorder, uncertainty and,
surprise. How do you feel when you step off the sandstone steps? Are you annoyed irritated, worried about your shoes – do you think something should be done to tidy this area up? Or do you find it stimulating, interesting and exciting when the path becomes less defined?
Step down of the step – let your resistance and need for control go, and open yourself up to what is being offered.
For further on resistance click here. And this.

The Garage Speaks.

It's a two car garage, but has only one small green car in the centre. That's not to say it is empty – it is not. All around the edges of the room is our stuff, and although it is dark I can see the orderly piles. Nothing is moving in here but me, and an ant that scurries around in manic circles at my feet.
There is a dense physical silence, and yet in every direction I turn my gaze, things speak to me. The camping gear, in piles of kharki, call out to remember the mellet for the weekend camping trip. The large, sagging blow up water toy begs to be let down and stowed away. Any number of sad pieces of furniture bleat their need for a new home, and a dusty black hunk of machinery wonders if I will ever get fit again.
I find the keys, get in the car and happily select reverse. I press a button and the door slides down and cuts the garage off – mid sentence!
If you have jobs that are hounding you, either sell it, give it away, throw it away, clean it, stow it, pack it. The negative energy that is triggered for you everytime you think of that chore is toxic. See an earlier post for taking the chore out of chores.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Days Colour

Driving by, my attention was caught by a tall, neat woman waiting at the bus stop. She stood just to the left of the bus shelter, a discreet distance from another waiting passenger. Dressed for work in sensible office attire, I was about to see her nonchalant expression collapse, as a black cat approached her. And, in that way that cats have of rubbing up against your ankle, using even their tails to curl around your leg, the cat touched her.
The working woman threw her hands up to her face, not before I glimpsed the circular change to her mouth. Although I couldn't hear it from the car, she must have let out a cry, for immediately she was speaking to the other passenger, gesturing to the cat and clutching her heart. Smiling and laughing.
I wondered if the colour of her day would change as a result of the unexpected exchange. I hoped so as I drove on.
You can change the colour of your day by meditating when you first wake up, or think positively on the things you have to look forward to in the day. Bridging the distance between yourself and others can give you a little lift, so don't be afraid to smile at a fellow passenger in your day, or make a pleasant comment so you can have a chat, or offer to help them with their load. It is surprising how the smallest interaction can colour your day.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Take the chore out of chores.

Find motivation for all those little jobs you hate to do. Time yourself when next you do the job and note the time in the back of your diary. Often as we avoid those chores that no one enjoys, the mind will exaggerate the length of time and energy it will take to complete. When we know exactly how long the job takes, this tactic no longer works, and resistance is reduced.
Now you have a better idea of just how little time your job takes to do, you will no longer need to put off doing it. If you find yourself avoiding that job again – check your diary. It only takes 5 minutes to knock that one off!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Flow Baby.

Does anyone else love that strange TV show Eli Stone? I think it just came about at the perfect time for me (the cricket season was on, and the ratings weren't) and gave me a lift each time I watched.

This weeks episode had a boy explain how much he enjoys swimming – that it is the only time he is not thinking, he is just there, of the moment. I think what he is expressing is what Daniel Goleman, in his book Emotional Intelligence – why it can matter more than IQ, calls 'flow'. This is a time when we are completely involved and engaged with an activety. To reach flow, we need to be doing something we enjoy and are good at, but at a level that takes our entire concentration. It may be knitting, but when you are working on a new pattern.
Perhaps, too, flow may be the same place expressed by Erckart Tolle in his book The Power of Now. The absense of thought of past or future, and a conscious absorbtion in the present moment.
I believe a great gateway to flow is through Art. I do mosaics, but am always trying something new with each project – new design, style, or tile.
Happiness could just be a case of recognising what creates flow for you, and actively choosing to give more time to its pursuit.
What creates flow for you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guaranteed Success in Creating Habits.

The habits we use daily can make a difference in our lives. They can either be unconscious repeated bad patterns of behavior (creating annoyance, irritation, unhappiness in ourselves and others) or they can be unconscious repeated great patterns of behavior (creating satisfaction, organisation and happiness in ourselves and others).
Perhaps there are some habits you would like to change, upgrade a bad habit to a good one. These are the tips Leo Babauta gives, as published by Timothy Ferriss:
1.Change only one habit at a time.
2.Write down your new habit, and when you will do it - time of day, or the trigger to do it. For instance, if you wish to always put your keys in the same place, your trigger may be when you get home.
3. Tell everyone you know, family and friends, even blog. Possible public humiliation is a key to maintaining motivation!
4. Keep those friends, family and blog updated on your progress. This to maintain the public humiliation component.
And I will add this one.
5. Never allow an exception to pass. If you miss your new habits' time, or trigger, go back as soon as you realise and set it to right.
So - what small behavior can you work on first. Remember to sit back and enjoy the satisfaction, in setting, committing and achieving your new habit, and the positive impact of an unconscious repeated great pattern of behavior on your life.