Acceptance, Guided Meditation, Happiness, Life Enahancing, Mindfulness, Soul Purpose

Finding your life purpose – a guided meditation

In June I’ll be participating in an online summit which is focusing on how we find our life’s purpose.  If I asked you how closely you felt you were living your life’s purpose what would you say?

Does it feel like something that is deeply embedded into your life’s journey?  Or does it feel like a vague notion to you?  If you feel it is the latter, you are not alone.  Many people would describe themselves as being led by the circumstances of their life, rather than living the life they really choose.

I understand that it can be really hard for you to find the time to really connect with what is important for you.  Here is a short meditation to help you do just that.  When you have a quiet moment, listen to it and see what ideas and pictures emerge for you.  Follow up and take some steps towards the things that will make you happy and more fulfilled.

Life is all about us making positive choices towards our purpose. 

Is today the day for you to do just that?

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.

Grounding, Happiness, Nature, Self-love

Three immediate benefits when you spend time in nature

How good are you at getting out to nature and noticing the wonderful affect it can have on you?

In this v-log I share the three immediate benefits being out in nature  and being aware of the majestic beauty all around you.

 

Being in nature helps you to:

 

  • Release your stress
  • Become grounded
  • Appreciate how time is always on our side.

 

See more below

Acceptance, Change, Happiness, Personal Transformation, Resilience, Self-love

An intentional new year

For anyone who’s new year’s resolution has become a distant memory, perhaps the issue is more to do with where you started from than, rather than where you were aiming to get to.
We talk a lot about resolutions at this time of year, as if we have to fix something within ourselves; a judging voice inside us, telling us we are not good enough. Such a starting point is hardly motivational and its not surprising that we find that our resolutions dissolve before the new year has begun. A cycle of negative self-talk only compounds our sense of failure and gives us the impression that we cannot stick to anything and have no will power.
Resolutions come from a world of lack, they are borne from a view that we are unhappy with ourselves and that there is something implicit within us to be fixed. Our thinking, when we are resolving on an issue looks something like this:
I need to lose weight – I am fat and ugly (or worse unloveable)
I need to go to the Gym more – I am lazy and becoming a slob
I need to read more books – I am out of touch and becoming boring.
When we set resolutions like these, we start from a place where something is lacking in our essential make up and only by showing dissatisfaction with our current position can we move to a more satisfying one. The negative self-talk that drives these resolutions is hardly motivating, which is why we can run out of steam very quickly when we set them.
Setting intentions has a much higher chance of success. When we become intentional we focus on a motivating goal and put our energy into achieving it, without the negative self-talk that accompanies resolutions.
When we feel passionate and motivated to achieve something, we feel an endless flow of energy to support us, because passion is the very fuel of life. Intentions still drive us to make big changes, without the dragging and judging voice that is behind resolutions.
There is a general rule here that we can apply to any changes we wish to make in life: if we start any change by being more supportive and encouraging to ourselves, we can cope with setbacks and challenges we experience along the way in a constructive way and stay on course to achieve our goals.
So, if you are starting with a goal in your life that you want to achieve and you are struggling to do so, here are some things that might help you along a different path.

  • Start by thinking about what is really motivating you towards your goal. For example if it is about losing weight, what is the reason why your current weight and body shape needs to change.
  • Take some time to reflect and go inward and really listen to the reasons behind your need. As the thoughts start to take shape, notice if any of them are negative. If they are, just let them go and continue to allow a more constructive understanding of the need to emerge.
  • If you hear ‘I’m too fat.’ ‘Nobody will find me attractive looking like THIS’, notice the thoughts as they arise and rather than letting them take hold – just say inwardly notice it and then allow it to pass.
  • As you allow the negative thoughts to dissipate, stay in a quiet reflective mode until you hear more encouraging thoughts arise.
  • These might sound something like ‘My health is important and I want to support it.’ ‘I’ll be able to do more for myself/ my kids/ with my partner, if I am slimmer’. These are thoughts without judgement but with clarity and if you remain inwards you will notice a lighter feeling in your heart and perhaps a little buzz of excitement as a level of motivation comes behind the thoughts.
  • Go with it. This is the path to intention. And if you develop it in yourself and believe in it, you will succeed.
  • When you are clear about your intentions, write them down in a journal. When we write down our intent, it has a powerful multiplying affect in our mind, allowing us to feel the reality of a goal, through the process of articulating it and recording it. It will also be a line in the sand that you can use to review your progress.

So if you need to re-visit your fading new year resolutions, do it today, but in a more mindful and intentional way. Try out the approach above and do let me know how you get on by leaving some comments below or emailing me on mary@findyourjoyfullife.com.
If you want more ways to become intentional, you can find more details in ‘Coming Home to You’ A handbook for personal transformation, available on Amazon.com.

Take the free 7 day email course below to enjoy a daily guide to make positive changes in your life.

Acceptance, Coming Home to You, Emotions, Featured, Happiness, Healing, Personal Power, Self-love, Uncategorized

Make peace with your body

Humans are the only mammals on the planet that have a negative image of their body.  Nothing else quite demonstrates the madness of our human condition, quite as much as the way that we reject, abuse or ignore our bodily needs.

Think about it for a moment.  An orangutan does not sit and brood at her companions and clan and feel disgruntled that her body is not as lithe or shapely as that of others around her.  A leopard does not sit and mope that his spots are not quite as well spread out as other males in the group.  In fact the idea is quite laughable.  Yet, when we turn the lens our ourselves, we seem to find it perfectly acceptable to compare, contrast and condemn our own body, based on some external notion of what it should be.

If we become disconnected and start looking at our body in negative or fragmented ways, it leads to many difficulties. We start to see our body with a critical eye to its external appearance and how this compares unfavourably to other people. Women in particular are prone to this dissatisfaction with their body due to this external pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations.  Bombarded as we are, by images of thin and under-developed models. When we start to over-identify with these images we become unhappy with ourselves and start to put our body through harsh regimes to try to achieve standards it was never designed to meet.  The thoughts we send to our body are equally negative and punitive; ‘You’re fat’, ‘You’re thin’, You’re ugly’, ‘You’re too tall’, ‘You’re too short’ or perhaps the most defeating of all, ‘You’re not good enough.’  Since our thoughts create our reality, we are allowing ourselves in these moments to create a battlefield between us and our bodies.

blog body image
Photo credit: Archishadownlight.com

When we separate our thoughts from our body, we stop listening to its needs.  We start to develop body dysmorphia because we are literally unable to see our body the way it is.  When someone has become extreme in their eating habits, through too much eating, or starving themselves, they have stopped connecting to their body.  The mind and the body are working in two different spheres.

Making peace with our body starts with learning to connect and communicate with it.  Read more here

Guided Meditation, Happiness, Personal Power

Free Guided Meditation – Power up your powerhouse!

Solar Plexus

This brief guided meditation will help you to connect with your inner power house – your solar plexus. This energy centre can be found just above the belly button. If we are feeling weak and overwhelmed, this can often be due to a lack of energy or alignment in the solar plexus. Listen to this brief guided meditation, to help you to reconnect with your inner sun centre and feel reconnected and grounded again. Enjoy.

Book Writing, Change, Featured, Happiness, Personal Transformation, Resilience

Radio Interview with TippFM

TIPP FM logoToday I was invited onto the Fran Curry show at TippFM, a local radio station in Tipperary, Ireland.

Our conversation covers many things including the process of coming out to my parents thirty years ago, how to turn our troubles into tribulations and how to manage the nagging voice in our head.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

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