Acceptance, Essential Self, Habits, Life Enhancing, Personal Power, Self-love

Three ways to connect to your inner life force

For many years my life was my battleground, until, I decided to stop allowing it to be one.  This was not some overnight transformation, but something I learned over time, through clear intent to do something different, to see life differently, to respond to life’s challenges in a more positive and mindful way. I believe that this is possible for everyone and that was one of the main motivations for writing about it in my first book.

I was born to Irish Catholic parents in Birmingham.  The youngest of 4 surviving children, with a neurotic mother, an alcoholic father and a sister with Autism; we lived in a chaotic and highly charged family home. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I started to see that there might be alternatives to the way I was living. I could make choices not only in how I lived, but also where I lived.  I made the decision to leave Birmingham and my childhood influences and took a live-in position at a country hotel in the Cotswolds.

It was there I was to meet the love of my life. Despite considerable resistance to our relationship and having to deal with the disapproval of my parents, the loss of my live in position and being shunned by friends, because my partner was also female, I never once doubted the choice I had made. It taught me some incredibly important life lessons about facing difficult decisions with courage, being open and authentic about who you are and learning to accept yourself with love and compassion.

Later, after having a very successful career as a consultant, I was suddenly struck down with a serious illness whilst in Africa. It was another moment in my life to take stock, observe and choose my response. After innumerable doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and tests after tests to define what was wrong with me I became exasperated that I would never feel well again.  Until one day I realised that nothing was wrong with me.  Not in the most essential level of my being.  With the help of a doctor who was also an energy healer, I started to realise that healing and harmony are as much about state of mind as they are about our lifestyle choices.  When I could accept that at my most fundamental level, at the centre of my being, all was well, the healing of my body could take care of itself. Through my own healing journey and the road back to health, I learned to connect with my inner life and connect with the energy which is the life force inside of me.  I saw the illness as a lesson in how to slow down and appreciate life more.

 

Three powerful practices to connect to your inner life force

Three very powerful practices have helped me in dealing with my life’s challenges. If you do nothing else but these, you could find that your life goes through an extraordinary transformation in a matter of weeks.

The first practice is meditation. This is incredibly powerful as it helps us to observe our thoughts, slow them down and even turn them into more positive inner dialogue.  When we are feeling that life is against us, we often create a victim voice in our mind.  We will say things like ‘this is always happening to me’ ‘why do I always feel so tired’ ‘life is so unfair’.  This kind of dialogue is life sapping and sends signals out to the universe to deliver more of the same.

Through the regular practice of sitting quietly and noticing your thoughts, you can become aware of the messages that you might be giving to yourself and sending out to the world.  Doing this on a daily basis, even 5 minutes per day can make a big difference.  Over time you will learn to quieten the constant chatter of this incessant and negative voice.  The art and the practice of putting distance between you the observer and you the internal saboteur is the first step towards raising your awareness and choosing your thoughts more wisely.  It was the late Louise Hay who said ‘Change your thoughts, change your life’, and science is finally catching up with her and proving this to be true.

The second practice is equally simple and brings enormous benefits if done on a regular basis.  Journaling involves writing down your inner thoughts and observations. It has some similarities to meditation and can be practiced alongside or as an alternative approach.  It too allows you to express your thoughts, emotions and ideas in a very concrete way.  Sometimes the very act of writing something with no set idea of what it might turn out to be, allows our sub conscious to communicate with us in a way that our talking voice never can.  We don’t know why this is the case, but it is another powerful way we can learn to notice our thoughts, connect with our dreams and passions and learn to release negative and blocked emotions.

The third practice is gratitude.  When we are grateful for the many good things in our life and are thankful when we see the little blessings that come our way, we open the door for more of the same to come our way.  If you are struggling financially, but learn to say thank you when a bill is less than you expected, or you get a great discount on something, you are sending out positive vibes about money.  This can help you change a difficult relationship (with money) into a positive one. You can do this with just about any area of your life: your health, your body, your relationships, your career.  All you need to do is start the day by declaring your gratitude for all the things that you have in your life and close your day by being thankful for all the things you experienced.  You shouldn’t have to look too hard for little blessings or gifts that made your day go well and the more you do it, the easier it is to live from a place of gratitude.  There is nothing more powerful than gratitude to turn your fortunes around.

No one is likely to go through life without the odd challenge.  Life’s knocks help us to become stronger, build our resilience and teach us valuable lessons along the way.  I learnt to appreciate every moment, live in the present and express love and compassion all around me.  When you connect with your inner self and that wonderful reservoir of happiness within, then I know you will too.

If you would like to attend one of my workshops, find out more about up and coming dates here

You can find many tips and exercises to hep you in my book Coming Home to You, Available at Amazon and other booksellers.

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.

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