Archive for May, 2017

How to step back when others trigger us

Are someone else’s actions affecting you this week? It might be with your partner, your sibling, a colleague at work, or one of your kids? Are you taking it personally and blaming yourself? Or do feel you’ve done something wrong and are giving yourself a hard time about it? Are you quick to react without giving yourself the time to step back and see what else might be going on?
If you stop for a moment to look at the situation, can you see the bigger picture? When we stop, we give ourselves an opportunity to see a different perspective, and then hopefully take a different course of action to what we usually do.
How do you usually respond to someone? Do you respond in anger? Do you give people the silent treatment? Do you feel guilty? Do you get anxious or stressed? Do you blame yourself? Do you want to fix it? Or do you bury your head and hope it’ll all go away?
So, how can we move beyond this and accept someone’s actions and see that it’s not entirely our own responsibility and that the other person also has to take some of the responsibility for the situation.

  • Firstly, it’s important to be able to take a step back and ask yourself, “What is really going on in this situation? What’s going on for me and what’s going on for the other person?”  
  • Secondly, recognise how we respond is entirely our own choice. Always. 
  • Thirdly, be sure to understand what it is you need in the moment. We can then ask the other person what they may need. 
  • Fourthly, know that you’ve done your best and that you will be ok, even if the other person can’t meet you half way. 

When we jump into a situation out of fear, hurt or rejection, we often do this to satisfy our own needs. Not the needs of the other person involved. You may do it to make yourself feel better.  You might even recognise that you’ve always responded in the same way. You might be trying to justify why you’ve done something. You might be apologising profusely for something you weren’t even aware that you did, or perhaps responding with your own silence.

With practice of the first step, we get better at making different choices for ourselves and thereby changing the outcome of the things we seem to experience over and over again.

I know I’ve got better at noticing when I keep finding myself in similar situations! It’s annoying and really frustrating!! But I’m quicker at recognising which part is my own responsibility and which part is someone else. This empowers me and helps me to make better and better choices in my life.
Remember: start small, and build from there. 
Perhaps note down in a notebook the experiences that you have where you feel things could have gone differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – what might you have done differently? How might you do that next time?

Perhaps change one different thing each day this week. The list above are just some ideas; has something else just popped into your head that you could change? Do that!


Small Steps Can Lead to Big Changes

Is your life in flow at the moment, or do you feel like something needs to change? Is something standing in your way and stopping you from moving forward?

I have often got to a stage where I begin to feel stuck. I just don’t know which direction to turn, and things are not quite flowing anymore. There are other times when things seem to be going smoothly and everything is moving in the right direction. But there are other times when things feel a bit bumpy and it’s a bit of a rough ride! It feels less than comfortable. I feel frustrated and don’t know quite how to change the situation I’m in.

When life flows, that’s when we feel the most alive, connected and motivated. 

Do you feel like life has stood still a little and you’re not sure what direction to take next? Do you feel you need to shake things up a little in order to get life moving again? But you have no idea where to start?

It doesn’t always have to be difficult. Taking a small step towards doing something differently can significantly change things. Perhaps we realise that the things we’ve been doing repetitively until now are not doing us any good. Or the person that brings us down is no longer someone we want to spend so much time with.  Or the job we do day in, day out, gives us no joy what so ever.

Well the good news is that we don’t have to move to a different country, ditch our friends, or walk away from the job that gives us stability! Though we can do all of these things, we can also take smaller steps towards creating a more positive change in our lives, leaving us feeling more content, connected and heading in a different direction.

I’m sure you are asking what these things are! Well, here are a few tips but they are by no means exhaustive. We are all unique, and what works well for one person will not work very well for another. So the trick here is to try a couple and see what works, or what elements of it work for us.

Here are a few things to try out each day this week.
Pick one and see which one feels good.
– Change your morning route to work
– Do a different form of exercise
– Book a day off work
– Change the position of something at home, a coffee table or an ornament
– Wear something you haven’t worn in ages
– Cook something you’ve never cooked before
– Spend time with someone who you know will make you feel good
– Watch an uplifting or inspiring programme
– Change something about your weekend routine, perhaps try something new
– Go to a different cafe to buy your coffee or lunch
– Do something that challenges you just a little
– Learn something new today

What else might you change about your daily routine?

Over time we create our own unique set of tools that help us when life throws a curve ball. With practice we get better at catching them and putting them down gently rather than allowing them to knock us off our feet.

I know I’ve got better at noticing when I’m feeling a bit stuck. I have a few great tools which I know work really well for me, and each time I can create that change just a little bit quicker!

Remember: start small, and build from there.
Perhaps change one different thing each day this week. The list above are just some ideas.  Has something else just popped into your head that you could change? Do that!


How to Become Friends with our Emotions

What if we could forge a deeper understanding with our emotions? How might we navigate through life with our emotions, rather than trying to be rid of them or avoid them?

I was recently chatting to a dear friend about her yoga practice. She finally realised that her hip problem just wasn’t going away, and it was time to give it some well deserved attention. She came to the conclusion that during her yoga practice she needed to stop striving for that ‘perfect’ yoga position, start listening to what her body needed and in the process leave her ego at the door.

This left me with a very clear, and amusing, image of our dear friend, Mr Ego, being firmly told: ‘Sorry mate, you’ll just have to sit this one out until I’ve finished my class!’  He was definitely a bit sulky, arms crossed with a brooding face.

It took some courage to leave him there, but I also saw how his mood wasn’t permanent, and that he’d get over it! Slowly he’ll get used to being left there. Especially when he realises he’s always collected on the way out.

How powerful then would it be if we really listened to what our emotions have to say, and could reassure them that they’ve been heard?

How about sadness, for example: What if instead of shutting her out, we invited her in for a cuppa when she comes knocking. We could have a good old chat and reach a conclusion that satisfies us both. After all she appears in order to show us something. She has something to say and she wants to be listened to and heard. Who are we to deny her?

Isn’t that what we do when we upset a friend? We don’t (usually) slam the door in their face. We invite them in, we chat, we discuss, we conclude and we move on. If we don’t resolve an argument we could end up festering on it. It might ruin our day and possibly our week, if we refuse to let go of the pain or anger of that experience.

It’s my experience, when I ignore my emotions they get a bit frustrated and tend to just bang louder. They might disappear for a while but when they come back, they bring their mates. Fear, anger, stress……

Perhaps writing allows you connect to that emotion better?
Ask it some questions… 
What does it want?
What does it have to say to you?
What could you do to quieten it?

Remember: start small, and build from there.
Perhaps just notice which emotion knocks the loudest for you… Is it anxiety, frustration, fear or something else?