Acceptance, Essential Self, Gratitude, Grounding, Healing, Self-love

Practicing Self Love at a time of giving

Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love. Rumi (13th Century Persian Mystic)

As we hit the time of the holidays, we start to think about all the people around us who we love and care about. We want to reach out to them, show them we love them and buy them special presents to reflect our appreciation. In what is already a busy life, we are also building up to the biggest celebrations of the year. This can be exhausting, and so many of us collapse at the table either on Thanksgiving or Christmas day unable to fully be present and enjoy the very thing we are thankful for; life.Love quote in tree

By practicing a little self-love, we can avoid being fully spent on the day of celebration, by being mindful of who we are and what is important to us amid all the noise and activity. Self-love can sound like a very indulgent concept. Aren’t I being selfish if I only think of myself? Shouldn’t I be thinking of others at this time of year? Isn’t love about giving not receiving?

I can understand these concerns, but let’s demystify the nature of love. Love is energy; it is as simple and as complex as that. It is the life force of energy that is all around us and resides in its most concentrated form in our heart. If we remember this, we can then start to think of the analogy of a mobile phone – bear with me on this!

We all have one of these devices these days and they are great. We can talk to people, we can shop, we can pay our bills, we can play games on them, the list is endless. Yet the phone’s energy is not. So, what do you do to ensure that your phone continues to provide the same fantastic activities each day? You plug it in and renew its battery. If you don’t it dies and then there is no more fun to be had.

We are like our mobile phones, in as much as we need our energy boosting every day so that we can continue to be the loving, generous and compassionate person we want to be in the world. Recharging our batteries is the supreme act of self-love. It allows us to have a loving flow of energy constantly coming to us which we can share with everyone in our lives. In the book ‘A Course in Miracles’, it says that I give what I receive. In truth, we can only give what is present within us. I am not talking here of physical items (although the principle holds here too), but energetically. We can only give, what we have in ourselves to give.

Here are some of the ways you can practice self-love so that you can be your most vibrant, thankful and loving self during the holidays.

  • Get a good night’s sleep. This is something that we so often compromise in our busy modern lives. The body needs time to renew itself, given the highly complex biological processes it runs for us each day. Aim for at least 7 hours sleep at night.
  • Centre yourself before you start the day. Start a morning ritual that allows you to start the day in a positive way. After you have dealt with all the essential morning things, sit quiet for a few minutes (5 minutes is enough if you are always short of time). Read an inspirational quote for the day (there are lots of books out there or online resources. Look up Rumi Quotes for an example or have develop a personal affirmation (I’ll be launching an affirmation deck soon, so you can pick a fresh card every day). Use the words in your quote or affirmation to guide you into a brief meditation. Focus on your breath and repeat the words to yourself silently, until you feel calm and centred.
  • Be Grateful. We hear about the power of gratitude increasingly and that is because it is the most powerful tool in our manifestation toolkit. It’s easy to be grateful when everything is flowing our way, but far harder when we are having difficulties. Yet it is precisely at this point that it is as it is most powerful. Next time you are finding yourself angry, annoyed or upset with someone in your life, take a moment to connect with your breath and ask yourself ‘what from this situation can I learn about myself? How can this situation teach me the value of happiness?’ If you stay focused on your questions, you will see the dynamic start to shift and allow you to come up with a better response.

 

I send you the very best of wishes over the holiday season. Remember that to love yourself is to love all others. Self-love is the supreme act of bringing love into the world. There is no better gift than that.

On December 7th, I’ll be jointly running an evening of Yoga and Mindfulness with Emma Heald, near Hull. We will explore the theme of self-love. If you are local and want to join us the details are HERE.

 

Acceptance, Coming Home to You, Energy, Essential Self, Gratitude, Oneness, Personal Transformation

A recent talk on One-ness

It’s been quiet around here lately and that’s been because I took a few months off to go globe trotting.  I wanted to refresh my energy, be awed by the beauty of this amazing planet and take time out to create some great content that would help you to continue your transformation journey.

One of the amazing places I was lucky enough to visit was Hawaii, where I was invited to share the ideas from my book ‘Coming Home to You’ and how these could be applied to our transformation.

In this brief video I talk about One-ness, Acceptance and the real purpose for us as human’s on this wonderful planet.

I hope you enjoy.

 

 

Acceptance, Gratitude, Habits, Happiness, Life Enhancing, Personal Power, Personal Transformation

Starting a happiness habit

 

When you hear the word habit, I bet your mind automatically starts to think about all of the bad habits that you have developed and how difficult they are to break.  Well let me bring you some good news.  You don’t need to dwell on your old habits.  If you want to make changes in your life, you can focus on creating new and more life-enhancing habits instead.

Many of the habits we form are to make our life easier and to stop us having to think about endless choices.  They tend to be actions with little conscious energy attached to them and therefore are the easy option.  But if we do not review our habits regularly and question whether they are serving our best interests, they can become our prisoners, stopping us from being able to move on and find new ways of expressing ourselves.  We can consider a habit as bad for us, when we know it leads to feelings of unhappiness, worthlessness or dissatisfaction.  Whatever the reason for the compulsion to follow an unhealthy habit, we need to find the will to create new ones to take their place.

What new habits could you start today?

The good news is that habits can be very easy to create.  We need to focus less on the effort of breaking bad or unhealthy habits and more on creating new ones, which will no longer be compatible with the old ones.  This is a much gentler and supportive way to bring about change without using a negative or judgemental inner voice, which is often applied to ‘break’ bad habits.

Ask yourself what one thing can you start to do for yourself today, which will make a big difference to you and your life?  If it is achievable and you can see a definite reward in doing this habit, set your intention to start it straight away.

Whatever area of your life is asking for your attention, commit to a new habit to support it for three weeks. If it hasn’t worked, don’t get disheartened or give up; simply try a different habit! Keep going until you find one, which works for you and when it does work, stick to it. Over time you will see that crowding out the old habits with the new habits is the best form of change you can make.

Here are some simple habits that will help you

  • Write down your goals. This simple act of writing something down gives it a solidity, that we cannot achieve by merely thinking it.  In the same way as we might write down goals for work, we need to write them down for life.  Target 2 – 3 goals that you would like to achieve over the next three months.
  • Start a gratitude Journal. Being grateful for the little things in life, opens us up to receive much bigger benefits.  We don’t know exactly how it works, but the theory runs something like this: if we give out the frequency of gratitude to the universe, it responds by giving us more and more things to be grateful for. Now what greater incentive for a new habit do you need?  This one is a win/ win.
  • Start your day as you mean to go on. One of the most influential times to set our thoughts, emotions and habits in train for the day is when we first wake up. Just as we transition from dream state to our waking state, our ego mind wakes up and starts babbling lots of thoughts about what we should, could or will do for the day. Instead of allowing your mind to go on to auto-pilot in this way, stop, breathe and set your intention for the day.  Intend a positive day by repeating a phrase such as:  ‘Today is going to be a great day’ or ‘I will take every opportunity to make this a happy and positive day’.

 

If you’d like a little more help in developing some new life-enhancing habits, download the worksheet below that will help you on your way.

Acceptance, Change, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Resilience

Irish Times Women’s Podcast – Book Interview

Quote of connecting to our subconscious from meI was recently interviewed by Jennifer Ryan of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast.  In the interview we cover a range of topics including the nature of resilience, the power of writing down our thoughts, why perfectionism get’s in the way of us learning and how to develop a daily mindfulness habit.

To find out more listen here:

Change, Emotions, Featured, Gratitude, Happiness, Meaningful Work, Personal Transformation

Finding happiness at work

happiness

Our jobs are such a big part of our life and when we are not happy at work, it can colour every aspect of our lives. Work defines a large part of our life, precisely because we spend so much of our time there. Yet, when we look around, we find many people are very dissatisfied with their work; feeling trapped and unable to see beyond their current circumstances.
Happiness and Work are rarely used in the same sentence. In fact, our level of dissatisfaction with work is widespread. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) over 25% of us are unhappy at work. One in four of the working population really wish they were somewhere else.
We can however turn what appears to be a negative into a positive. We can learn to enjoy work, leave the pressure of it at the office and then come home ready to fully engage in family life.
To do this, we need to embrace the habit of happiness. Far from being an emotion that is dependent on our external circumstances, happiness is a choice, a state of mind and an inner practice. True happiness always comes from ourselves, rather than from our environment. We have the power and the ability to bring happiness into our life not only every day, but in every moment, through the simple practice of welcoming it in.
My own journey to happiness was a long and arduous one. I grew up in a very unhappy household, became a rebellious teenager, leaving school without any qualifications and started to drink heavily. In my younger days, I associated happiness with external circumstances, such as being out with my friends, having money to buy things I thought I wanted or being praised by others for my actions or abilities. The difficulty with this kind of conditional happiness is that it is completely out of our control; we have no real say in when or how it happens. When we observe the animal or natural world in its natural surroundings, we do not see the same need for approval from its own kind. A tree strives to be the best version of itself it can be; it does not look at the other trees and make comparisons that turn into a negative self-image. The same is also true in the animal kingdom.

 

Making a choice about happiness
For happiness to be part of our lives, we must first make a choice about it. Do we for example, want to be happy? How would we recognise our own happiness? What in ourselves helps to maintain this happiness? By looking more deeply within for the source and opportunities for happiness we start to reverse perhaps a lifelong trend of looking outwards for its source.
Once we have gained some insights into our inner source of happiness we can then look to how we can change our habits and behaviours to make room for happiness in our life. If we know that we enjoy sports, getting creative or have a passion for writing, we can start to set some time aside to follow these passions.

Finding Happiness at Work
One of the traps many people fall into about their work and their satisfaction with it, is to assign conditions which, when met will bring them happiness. They say; “If only: my boss/colleagues would leave; I’d get promoted; I could have a pay rise…” In the long run however, these conditions fail to satisfy. They are transitory victories, which are swept aside as soon as a new cause for unhappiness settles in. Happiness, real happiness, has little to do with external factors. It is an inner space and place, which has a constant smile and self-assuredness. Once we arrive at this place, which requires no external conditions, we can find happiness in the most unlikely workplaces.
Our life purpose will be found somewhere in the simple act of giving and contributing. What we give will depend on our talents and gifts, but all of us have something to offer. Work is one of the places outside of the family where we can share our gift. If we arrive at our work happy, kind, considerate and compassionate, we make our day and everyone else’s enjoyable; we contribute. We don’t look around and feel resentful if someone else has a more favourable relationship with the boss, or compare our salaries, or workloads. We simply smile and look at how we can do the best job possible or how we can help our colleagues with their work.
Look at ways you can bring your talents into your work life. If your talent is numbers, offer to support the accounts department, or perhaps build up meaningful reports on performance and data, which will help your team to work better. If it’s music, but your day job is in elsewhere, perhaps start a community choir, which can raise money for good causes and give other colleagues an outlet for their creative talents.

Start your happiness habit today

Some simple practices that will welcome happiness into your life include:

  • Smile. This one simple act has an immediate effect on our own sense of well-being and a positive impact on our relationships. Practice your smile today and make it a regular habit throughout your day.
  • Start a gratitude Journal. On a daily basis, write down all the things that you are grateful for in your life. Your health, your family, your work, having money to pay bills, your food. The list is endless. Taking time to acknowledge all the things that make your life better is a great shortcut to happiness.
  • Get close to nature. Our natural world is one of the best antidotes for depression or unhappiness. Use your lunchtimes to walk in a park, or at weekends take a walk in a forest, near a lake or by the sea if its close by. When we spend time with nature, we can put our life and our worries into perspective when we look at the greater majesty of life which abounds all around us.

Mary McGuire holds an MBA and MSc in Human Resources. Her early career as a social worker, led on to becoming a Chief Executive of a charity for people with Autism. For the last 20 years she has worked as an international business consultant, working with companies and leaders all over the world. More recently she has trained in Energy and Shamanic healing at Omega Institute in New York, and offers Healing clinics in Donegal, as well as international coaching and speaking engagements. Her first book ‘Coming Home to You’ is available on www.findyourjoyfullife.com and on Amazon. Email Mary@findyourjoyfullife.com