A tribute to the resident I never got the chance to know

 

Today I’m struck by how fleeting life can be – we are here today and gone tomorrow.

Yesterday (18.03.2017) around mid-day after returning from a business meeting, I was greeted by a resident of the complex to let me know one of the residents was found dead in her flat. At the complex where I live, we receive a call from the Security Desk at 9:00 every morning just to make sure we are okay. When the Security person called her room yesterday, there was no answer and upon investigation found her dead in her room.

Watching her body being taken away by the Funeral Undertakers yesterday was really sad – a stark reminder of how I watched my own mom’s body being taken away.

What was even more sad and thought provoking was watching her family come in this morning to clear out her place – removing all trace of her ever even being here. The family sent two male members with a kombi and one of the two drove her car away.

I was struck by how wise it was to send someone with a kombi to take everything away in one foul swoop rather than have four or six motor vehicles each carrying a load which I think would have been more traumatic for the family.

Is that what life is? You’re here today and gone tomorrow?

so easy to remove all trace that you’ve ever existed?

Sitting at my window there is a glaring empty space where her car used to park – a glaring reminder of someone who once was and who is no more.

I will miss the nameless resident who I never even got a chance to know (I’ve only been living here for almost two months now and don’t even know how long she has was here). I think she only moved in about a month before I did.

I will miss seeing her go out every day and come back home to where home was for the last period of her life.

 

Oh death where is your victory? Oh death where is your sting?

 

 

 You may also enjoy reading these posts:

 The winds of change

The Ultimate Gift

Grief, Mourning and Bereavement – what is the difference?

Woman heal thyself

The pain of watching a parent age

Stop the bus I want to get off

In memory of mom – Flowers for my mother

Who moved my cheese again?

Reflections on a year that’s passed

6 Things you should love about your life

The winds of change and 6 lessons to learn about embracing change

 

Is your life off course? Are you too busy for these 5 things?

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I’ve been so caught up with trying to keep up and embrace all the changes taking place in my life right now – also see here: that I’ve hardly had time to think about, let alone write another post to publish here.

In my struggle to find the time to gather my thoughts logically enough to string a few sentences together I came across this article which is so well written I could not have said it better myself so I would like to share it with you here.

Read the article here:

I have not written this article but it clearly says how I feel about life in general so it’s useful to be reminded of this on this journey called life and all it entails.

 

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Excellent points being made don’t you think?

Is this a reflection of your life too?

Let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

Embracing change

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Last week I wrote about the Winds of Change have spoken – you can read it here: Click here little did I know at the time that my security rug was going to be pulled out from under me again.

 

Towards the end of last week, I received the news that all the residents in our complex will need to relocate for approximately 8 weeks starting with the floor I’m on (ground floor). The complex management has discovered a problem with rising damp and feel that instead of waiting for the problem to get worse, they would rather deal with it now. Yes, the residents will be inconvenienced but will benefit us all in the long term.

 

I’ve just moved into this complex. I’ve only been here for two weeks. I’ve just nicely got my things in the place where I want them. Have my curtains hanging and my pictures on the walls. Now everything has to be cleared out and moved to another place only to be relocated again in about 8 weeks from now.

 

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Dealing with stress from unexpected change takes time:

Unexpected changes such as job loss or financial uncertainty, can turn life upside down and I’ve gone through both recently besides other stress relating to health (my own and my mom) and my mom’s death. Dealing with stress and a “new normal” can be slow and painful, but it is possible.

 

Stress affects our health and relationships. Even if we do not talk about it, those around us – our family, friends and co-workers – still pick up on our body language.

 

As much as I fear the unknown, the unfamiliar is not to be feared. It can be a chance to turn your life around. During the last few major changes I have learned a few things . . .

 

Don’t just do something: Sit there: When I’m facing major change in my life, my natural instinct is to go into “action” mode and DO something, but there is actually a lot of value to just sitting quietly instead. You need to allow yourself an unproductive period before you can blossom.

 

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Make yourself little: When you suddenly have to deviate from familiar routines, it can seem as if all your supports are gone. It is absolutely crucial, while absorbing the shock of the new, to make yourself feel well taken care of. Preparing nutritious meals for the week in advance is helpful. If you are able to spare the cash, have someone come in and clean the house. It is important for you to take care of yourself, but don’t let the pizza boxes pile up.

 

Ignore your inner reptile: There’s a part of the human mind that is referred to as the “Lizard Brain”, because it existed even in the earliest land animals. The Lizard Brain is concerned with survival, it likes the tried and true, so it is likely to  pop up right now, flooding you with warnings of “danger!” as you veer off course. It is like a misfiring car alarm: pointless and annoying.

 

Silence you inner know-it-all: It helps not to be too smart. Smart people don’t like having their minds changed. If you’re so smart that you can’t rethink your positions, all you IQ points won’t do you much good when your life is turned upside down.

 

 

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Look for new perspectives: Zen practitioners cultivate the “don’t know” mind: they work to assume they don’t know anything and in that way see the world afresh. This is a great way to approach change – because an opportunity to start afresh, to consider all possible. Ask naïve, wide-eyed questions of anyone who is doing anything you might be interested in trying. Listen seriously to arguments you might once have missed.

 

Try something new and slightly scary: Why? Because now is the time to explore what it is that you really like. Catch yourself off-guard, do something spontaneous that you have never done before and see what happens.

 

Be sceptical of common wisdom: It is dangerous to live in the aggregate, especially when you’re trying to figure out your next move. One year, everyone knows you need an M.B.A. to succeed at anything. The next year they will be telling you you’re wasting your time because there are no jobs anyway. Set your sights on what you want to achieve.

 

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Learn to live with uncertainty: The anxious feeling does not signal that you are doing something wrong, only that you are trying something new.

 

Say “really?” a lot: When you start to turn this sudden shift in your life to your advantage, you might shake up a lot of people, especially the ones who are not happy with the way you are living. To them, your efforts to move forward may feel like a glaring searchlight that needs to be switched off and fast. To their descriptions of the terrible fates that will surely befall you if you dive headlong into a new life, respond with “Really?”.  Alternatively, “oh yeah?”

 

Shed your old skin: Discard physical clutter, tired ideas,  old routines. Seeing things through another’s eyes can help. It is only when you have cast off what has been weighing you down that you can finally move on.

Source:

 

 

The winds of change have spoken . . .

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I can’t believe we are heading for the middle of February already. It feels like an eternity since the last time I posted anything here. So much has happened over the last few months that it will be virtually impossible to try to fill you in on the details.

The short version is that in September 2017 I decided to sell my house and move to a smaller living space. Between all the negotiations, the packing and the moving life was one big mixture of feelings and emotions, sometimes tears, sometimes sadness for the loss of the life I was leaving behind but nervousness and excitement for the new chapter in life I was starting.

As much as we are not in charge of our destiny we can change our circumstances to live a life that is more in line with what will bring us joy and happiness. Sometimes this means that we have to leave others (and things) behind in the process.

“When the way you think, speak and behave resonate with your own deepest nature, life feels very good — you feel whole, content, in your power. But when these don’t align with your deepest nature, then things feel… wrong. Life feels uneasy. You feel out of touch, discontented, restless, unhappy.” – Melli O’Brien

In spite of the sadness and tears over the last few months, I do not regret the decisions I have made. I was forced into a position of having to get rid of most of the physical clutter that was actually weighing me down without me realizing it. In the process of physically letting go of all the clutter of the material possessions, I freed my heart (or at least tried to) of holding on to too much emotional clutter that was weighing me down too.

I feel so much better now. I sleep so much better now. I am at peace knowing that the decisions I made were the right ones for me. I can let go and let others take the responsibility now. I am free to live the life I am meant to live purely because I’ve been forced to let go emotionally and physically.

I have learned that we go through bad experiences to teach us wisdom and to give us the strength we need to continue on this journey called life. I have learned that the more you put yourself into a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.

Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.
Focus on what you don’t have, and you’ll never have enough.

I have learned that being happy won’t always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy. It is almost impossible to sincerely appreciate a moment and frown at the same time. To be happy right now, does not mean you don’t desire more, it means you are grateful for what you have and you are patient for what is yet to come.

Gratitude enables true forgiveness, which is when you can sincerely say, “Thank you for that experience.” It makes absolutely no sense to condemn or regret an important life lesson. Gratitude makes sense of yesterday, brings peace to the present, and creates a positive vision for tomorrow.

We never need more than we have at any given moment. It has been said that the highest form of prayer is giving thanks. Instead of praying “for” things, give thanks for what you already have. When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive. There is always something to be grateful for. Good days give you happiness and bad days give you wisdom. Both are essential, because all things have contributed to your advancement, you must include all things in your gratitude. This is especially true of your relationships. We meet no ordinary people in our lives; if you give them a chance, everyone has something important to teach you.

 

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We need to be grateful for the present changes in our lives. We need to be grateful for all we have now, because we honestly never know what will happen next. What we have now will eventually be what we had. Life changes every single day, and our blessings will gradually change along with it.

A grateful mind never takes things for granted. What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude. The circumstance (or person) you take for granted today may turn out to be the only one you need tomorrow. As we express our gratitude, we must not forget that the highest appreciation is not to simply utter words, but to live by them daily. What matters most is not what we say, but how we live. Don’t just say it, show it. Don’t just promise it, prove it.

Gratitude includes giving back. In the hustle of everyday life we hardly realize how much more we receive than give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the aid of others.

The highest tribute to the people and circumstances you’ve lost is not grief but gratitude. Just because something didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the greatest gift imaginable. Be thankful that your paths crossed and that you got the chance to experience something wonderful.

To be truly grateful, you must be truly present. Count the blessings in your life, and start with the breath you are taking right now. We often forget that the greatest miracle is not to walk on water; the greatest miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment, appreciating it and feeling completely alive.

Letting go of control multiplies the potential for gratitude. Sometimes we put too much weight into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives that we completely miss the forest for the trees. We need to learn to let go, relax a little and ride the path that life takes us sometimes. We need to try something new, be fearless, but above all else, do our best and be OK with it. Clearing ourselves of needless expectations allows us to truly experience the unexpected and the greatest joys in life are often the unexpected surprises and opportunities we never expected.

“Life should be lived with a little more GRATITUDE

and a little less ATTITUDE.”

Let us consider how fortunate we are – let us consider it every day. The more we count our blessings, the more blessings there will be to count.

What are you grateful for today?

How has gratitude affected your life?

 

You may also enjoy the following posts written by me:

5 Ways to feel less stress when life gets busy . . .

 

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Stress is one of the primary causes of major health problems in our lives: it can cause heart disease, anxiety, sleep deprivation, auto-immune disorders, weight problems, unhappiness, and even deep depression, but we’re busy – we all have places to be, things to do and people to see. So how do we feel less stress and still get our work done right (without neglecting our loved ones and ourselves)?

 

When life gets crazy busy, you might not have time for week-long meditation and yoga retreats, weekend vacations, or even weekly life coaching sessions. So what can be done?

 

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There are five simple things you can do. A few mind set shifts and a couple of actions that take only a couple of minutes. These can’t solve the most severe stress related problems, but they can help most of us in a major way, every day.

 

  1. Be in the moment, completely, with just one task: Instead of being in a stressful task-switching state of mind, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task. Let yourself be immersed in this task by letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it – that you need to move on to the next task waiting for you. There will always be a next task, because that’s the nature of To Do lists – they’re never ending. So let those later tasks come later. Just be 100 percent in this one task, like it’s your entire world. Bottom line: Slow down. Breathe. Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one task at a time. Start now. Take a 5-minute break every hour. Repeat. Always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

 

  1. Let go of controlling what can’t be controlled: Fear is causing you to be stressed, not external factors like your job obligations or family issues. Those external factors are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won’t like you, fear you’re not good enough, fear abandonment, and so forth. This fear is based on some fantasy in your head about how things are supposed to be (and you fear that your life may not live up to that fantasy): you have an image in your head that you’re going to be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time, and succeed on all fronts. These fantasies are a way to feel in control of a world that you don’t actually control, but they’re hurting you by causing fear and stress. Instead, let go of control. Be ok with chaos and uncertainty and trust that things will work out. You’ll fear less and feel less stress.

 

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  1. Accept people jut the way they are and smile: We get upset with others because they don’t meet our fantasy of how they “should” act. Instead, try accepting them for who they are, and recognize that, like you, they’re imperfect and seeking happiness and struggling with finding it. They’re doing their best. Accept them just the way they are. In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try. Save yourself from the needless stress. Instead of trying to change others, give them your support today and lead by example.

 

  1. Take a brief walk outside: When things are getting really stressful, take 5 – 10 minutes to take a walk and clear you mind. A short walk does wonders. It gives you something new to look at and it gets your body moving. People who have recently experienced stressful life events like a serious illness, death of a loved one, marital separation or job loss, always see an immediate mood boost after a short outdoor walk. It’s literally the most effective way to instantly reduce the stressful pressure of a worried mind. Right about now, you should consider taking a break from work and go for a short, peaceful walk (in a park or green space if there’s one nearby). Again, this is not unproductive lollygagging, it’s likely to have a restorative effect on our mind and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.

 

  1. Perform short mindfulness practices: You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes to get the benefits of mindfulness. You can do a quick body scan (focus on your body and notice how each part of it feels right now) in 30 seconds. You can pay attention to your breath for 60 seconds (listen to it and feel it). You can watch your thoughts about concerns, fears, judgments, doubts and ideals for a minute (recognize that these thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them). You can walk mindfully, paying attention to your feet, your body, your breath and your surroundings, as you walk. You can do each of these short mindfulness practices in little bits whenever you need them throughout your day.

Source: From Marc and Angel Hack Life

9 Powerful ways to spend a day

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All the time given to you in life is valuable, you just have to know what to do with it.

Let’s make it count. Shall we?

Starting today, spend more time . . .

 

  1. Thinking for yourself: the uneducated belief in something false that someone tells you is the greatest enemy of your own truth. Do not let anyone interfere with the freedom of your mind. The best thing you can do for yourself is to think for yourself. With all of society’s influences and agendas incessantly trying to persuade you every single second, thinking for yourself is the most courageous act imaginable. You are a unique human being with independent thoughts and free will; carry on accordingly.

 

  1. Being a little bit uncomfortable: If you’re not a little bit uncomfortable on a daily basis it means you’re not growing. Every aspect of physical and emotional growth arrives from outside your comfort zone, so be fearless sometimes. Have the courage to take the risks that feel right. Go where there are no certainties. Stretch yourself and your routines even if it means feeling a bit uncomfortable. The road less travelled is sometimes laden with potholes, bumps and unexplored territory, but it is on this road where your strength grows and your dreams gradually reveal themselves. Read the book: The Road Less Travelled.

 

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  1. Taking baby steps in the right direction: Throughout this beautiful day you have hundreds of little opportunities to move your life in the direction you want it to go. When was the last time you woke up and realized that today could be the best day of your life? Participate in your dreams today. Do it! Take one small step forward, there are plenty of ways to do so. Remember, success is something you experience when you act accordingly. Success is not something you HAVE, it’s something you DO.

 

  1. Trying and failing and trying again: Stick to it and keep moving forward, even when the path gets rough. One of the most common causes of long-term failure is the habit of quitting after a temporary defeat. Many of your greatest achievements will be realized when you’re completely exhausted and discouraged but still working because when it’s all said and done, it really doesn’t matter if you try and try and try, and fail and fail and fail, until you eventually learn what you need to know to succeed. It does matter, however, if you try and fail once and fail to try ever again. Bottom line: you only have to succeed the very last time. Read the book: The Success Principles.

 

  1. Working through your fears: How you handle your fears will ultimately determine where you go and what you do with the majority of your life – to experience life fully or be incapacitated by the fear of it. Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other one thing in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. You are still in control. The key is to acknowledge your fear and directly address it. You must step right up and confront it face-to-face. This tactic robs fear of its power.

 

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  1. Seeking happiness from within: A choice, not circumstances, determines happiness. Your happiness isn’t out there somewhere waiting for you, it’s already within you. Each morning when you open your eyes, say to yourself: “I, not external people or events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. It’s up to me. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t come yet. I have just today and I’m going to be happy in it.”

 

  1. Practicing small acts of kindness: Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” If you have big plans that can make a real impact in the lives of the masses, by all means, execute your plans, but don’t let these big plans interfere with the small deeds you can do every day for the people around you. If you wait until you can do something big for everyone, instead of just something small for someone, you’ll end up doing nothing at all for anyone.

 

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  1. Tracking and measuring your progress: You are always moving toward something, but YOU have to decide what that something is. Don’t let someone else decide for you. From where you stand now you can go anywhere. There are paths leading in every imaginable direction. What matters the most right now is the next step you take. Decide what you truly want for yourself and those closest to you, and know that there is a way, right now, to begin the journey of getting there. When your intentions and actions have a specific, focused purpose, each step you take will carry you closer to the realization of that purpose. Read the book: The Power of Habit.

 

  1. Letting small annoyances go: Today, go through your day consciously. Make an effort to notice at least one insignificant little frustration that you would normally get frustrated about. Then do yourself a favour and simply let it go. Experience, in this little way, the grand freedom of being in control of the way you feel and realize that you can extend this same level of control to every situation you encounter in life.

 

At any given moment, the way you feel is the way you choose to feel, and the way you react is the way you choose to react.

 

 

Why unconditional acceptance is transformational

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Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

 

  1. How strong is my sense of self?

 

  1. Do I know my values?

 

  1. How do I acknowledge myself?

 

  1. What role does service play in my life?

 

  1. How do I cope with stresses within relationships?

 

  1. How much am I willing to share my vulnerabilities?

 

  1. How strong is my sense of purposefulness?

 

  1. To what extent do I trust?

 

  1. How important is my growth and development?

 

  1. How authentic am I?

 

Make time to reflect on each question and journal your responses

 

What do bloggers do when they are not writing?

Have you ever wondered what Bloggers do when they are not writing or taking photographs for their blogs? They either attend or organise a Meet Up in the town where they live or in the city nearest to them.

MeetUps are neighbours getting together to learn something, do something or share something. I attended one of these this past weekend and simply have to share this awesome experience with you.

The event was organised (as always) by our very efficient and generous host Cindy Alfino from 3Kids2Dogsand1Oldhouse. Read more about the event here: The venue for our event was Chinos Coffee House in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa – Find them here:

Our main speaker was a lady called Abigail from . . .

Specialist Women’s Portraiture

who shared some valuable information with us regarding the use of photographs and what the Copyright law says about using photographs taken by others and downloaded from the internet. The extra special bonus was the Online Blog Photography course available free to all those who attended this MeetUp. Thank you so much Abigail for your generous gift.

Our Goodie Bags were packed with all sorts of wonderful goodies as usual. Our hostess never ceases to amaze and impress us all with what she ends up putting in our Goodie Bags. Let me tell you about some of the stuff I found in my bag . . .

 

The Entertainer –  Find them here:

Entertainer App

This is an app available for all IOS and Android devices available through your App Playstore. This app for your mobile device gives you access to buy one get one free offers to the best restaurants, activities, attractions, spas and hotels across 40 destinations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

 

Rain Day Spa –  

Home

We received some lovely handmade soap, African Rain Hand Lotion and a gift voucher towards our next purchase at any of their stores.

 

Milly and Me –  Find them here:

MillyandMe

We received a discount voucher towards our next purchase via their online store.

Lavender in Lavender Hill –

Lavender Hill Products

Pack of tea bags: two Lavender and Rooibos teabags and two Lavender Honeybush tea bags. Find out more about the health benefits of Lavender here:  The benefits of lavender:

SelfieStickerZA –

Selfie Sticker

The new way of taking a selfie without having to carry a selfie stick around with you. Find out more about this revolutionary product here: Find out more here:

Canal Walk Gift Card – Thank you to Canal Walk for their generous gift. Find them here:

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics – 

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

A beautifully scented Shimmy Shimmy Soap Bar. Apparently if you rub the bar directly on any area of the body in slow gentle strokes allowing the bar to slowly melt on the skin it will leave that part of your body with a shimmer to the skin. You can find out more about them here: Find more information here

Revlon Cosmetics – 

Revlon Products

Another sponsor who never fails to impress and surprise us. I received in my bag an Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour (Pink – which has a Strawberry flavour) and an Ultimate All-in-One Mascara (Blackest Black) which has 5 benefits all in one: Volume, Length, Definition, Lift and Intense Colour. Find them here

Oh So Heavenly – 

Oh So Heavenly

Have you heard about their newly launched product range called Hair Scentsations? I’m looking forward to trying this sample of hair shampoo and conditioner I found in my Goodie Bag. Smells like mixed berries. Mmmmm . . . together with my lip colour from Revlon will make me smell good enough to eat. #LoveyourColour. http://www.ohsoheavenly.co.za

 

There was so much more in the Goodie Bag, I’ve decided to keep my post short by only focusing on these items here.

 

This event is definitely a must to attend. You cannot afford to miss the next one. I sure am looking forward to the next one myself.

To get on the mailing list for the next event, sign up to our mailer here: Sign up here:

Looking forward to seeing you all at the next #CTMeetUp

Redefining myself and my life – 5 key life changing results

View from our table

 

The more you break out of your shell in life, the more people will be threatened by seeing you reach your true potential. I have decided to fight back and choose my identity once and for all, without stressing about other people’s opinions.

 

Defining myself and the way I define myself:

  • People tend to define us very narrowly. They do this because they want to stereotype us, based on our personality, the way we’ve been in the past, based on our career and it’s a shame because we are complex creatures as human beings. We have many passions and many things we are drawn to in life. We can have many potential skill sets, we can have many different lifetimes in one lifetime if we don’t fall into that trap of putting ourselves in the box that everybody else tries to put us into. We have to rage against that.
  • Trying something new. Every time I try to start something new there’s always that one person who will try to put me back in my box. They will say things like “no, you’re not allowed to do that, you said you were going to do X, so that is what you’re going to have to do.” “So now you’re going to do this?” “That’s not what you do.” If I continually shield one side of myself from the other then I’m never painting a full picture of myself.

 

I’ve been too narrowly defined up to now and need to break free from that definition. I need to see what I am capable of. Hey, I’ve lived this long, I’m going to live this much longer, what do I want to be different for the next few years of my life?

  • How do I want to explore what I am capable of that I haven’t been able to explore yet?
  • In what ways do I want to change, to evolve, to grow?

 

Franschoek Mountains

 

I need to look at my life right now – how I live day to day and track how I sabotage myself.  There are a few things I could do to help me with this. For example:

 

Daily Diary:

  • How do I spend my day hour by hour?
  • Am I focussing on the right things in my life?

 

Being busy does not equal being productive. Keeping a daily diary is where I can get smart about “what” I spend my time doing. It’s also good to keep a food diary so you can see what is affecting your energy levels and your body in general.

 

Emotional Diary:

I need to look at the emotions I experience frequently and what triggers them. Thought processes and situations cause feelings, triggers for emotions. Once I have these I can really begin to understand the forces behind my emotions and will enable me to change them rapidly.

 

Notice Board:

Here is where I need to write down what I notice about my life, i.e. what I would like to change, the direction I am going in the long term, the people around me, the way my life is structured. This is essential in looking at what I want to change/progress I want to make in my life.

 

Life is too short, far too short to work without purpose; to coast in our relationships; to get stuck in a routine without ever asking myself the question of what I really want in life. Too many people are too busy, too few are fulfilled.

 

How often do you step away from your packed and stressful routine to look at the things you are doing and the direction you are taking?

Table Mountain, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Table Mountain, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I am the most incredible asset I will ever have.

My ability to take care of people will collapse if I don’t take care of “me” first.

 

We all have patterns of self-sabotage. We all have things internally that hold us back. We don’t have direction/drive/core confidence, we are always stressed, don’t have time, find ways to feel guilty etc. that stop us from moving forward.

 

All we need is to make tiny changes internally to make huge external changes in our lives and in our happiness. There are five stumbling blocks/five key issues we face.

 

  1. Direction: A person who lacks direction doesn’t know where they are going in life or know where they want to go but don’t know how to get there, so they feel lost.

 

  1. Environment: The person knows where they want to go but don’t have a strategy for getting there, they don’t have a roadmap. These are the people who are always talking about this “thing” they want in life but don’t know how they’re going to get it i.e. they don’t have a plan.

 

  1. Drive: This person knows their destination, they have a road map for getting but they don’t have any drive, or at least not sustainable drive – the kind of drive where they wake up every morning with the same level of empowerment that says “I’m ready for today.” You can’t go to bed late enough and can’t get up early enough because you are just so excited about life. The way you feel on the most productive day – the day when you feel like you can conquer the world. We have formulas for getting to a certain level of drive or any emotion – there’s a formula for feeling ambitious, happy, excited, energetic – there’s a formula for getting there but there’s also a formula for feeling the opposite i.e. unhappy, lazy, feeling like you don’t want to do anything, feeling depressed. These formulas happen on an unconscious level so we get there by mistake but we can even get there on purpose because we have programmed ourselves that way.

 

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  1. People/time/energy/skills (qualifications/talent): Some people have all of these but they don’t have the resources. Maybe it’s money right now? “I can’t do what I need to do because I don’t have the money.” Maybe it’s time? “I don’t have the time to do it, I’m just so busy, I’m so stressed all the time, I can barely find an hour at the end of the day to have a shower, let alone go pursue my dream.” Or maybe you think you don’t know the right people. You can learn how to access the right people. You can learn how to access the right people who can direct you to where you need to go or where you need to be.

 

  1. Self-worth and confidence (core confidence): You can have all of the above but without core confidence (feeling invincible from the inside), all the above will be rather useless to you. Having self-worth and core confidence is the part that says “you’re worth it/you deserve it/you’re good enough for this.

 

Unless point number 5 falls into place no aspect of our life will “click” in the way that you want it to because the key to life is believing on some level that I am worthy of everything the other person has, that there is no difference between me and this other person. I deserve the exact same thing any other person has.

 

When you believe that, that’s when everything real changes. Without that, you could have all the resources, all the time, all the money etc and none of it will make any difference.

 

These five key issues will give you life-changing results.

The girl (woman) in the mirror . . . who is she?

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She is someone whose level of confidence shifts depending on what’s going on around her. In certain conditions there is a feeling of confidence but in others there is discomfort and uncertainty – shyness, self-judgement, fear, unworthiness, or uselessness. Therapists classify this as External Confidence or Situational Confidence, i.e. it does or doesn’t exist depending on influences from the outside world – the general circumstances of our lives and circumstances in each individual moment.

 

In contrast, therapists say Core Confidence comes from within and is not reliant on outside sources. When we are confident from the core, we are not paralyzed in the face of new, uncomfortable, or unusual circumstances, and we don’t base our actions on our fears of what others will think. Regardless of the situation, we know that we have something to offer, that we are worthy, and that we have been and are able to be successful.

 

How does the girl in the mirror build her core confidence?

 

She needs to stop comparing herself to others:

We all come from different walks of life.  Each and every person is born unique and has had their own individual experiences throughout their journey thus far. No one shares the exact same story and we are not meant to. There’s no sense trying to compare apples to oranges. There is no better or lesser, only different.

If the girl in the mirror wants something to compare herself to, she should compare herself as she is now to the way she used to be and not compare herself to others in the world.

 

She needs to trust herself:

No matter what happened in her life up to this point, she has made it through each and every challenge that life has thrown at her, and she is still alive and standing here today, looking at ways in which she can improve herself. That, in its own right should give her a strong level of belief in her own strength. It does not matter how gracefully she did it, all that matters is that she did it. It might not be pretty, but it doesn’t have to be, and if she does not believe in herself (yet) and doesn’t trust herself (yet), she should give it a try. She needs to set one small goal and stick to it. Just do it . . .  one step at a time. She will gain a sense of pride and confidence in herself, and the more she does it, the easier it will become in tricky situations.

 

 

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She needs to live in the moment:

When we live in the moment we are only concerned with what is presented to us right then and there. When we are in action we are confident – we have made a choice and acting on it, that is what confidence is – the ability to take action. As soon as we slip into worry or judgement we’re no longer living in the moment. Judgement comes from a place of remembering what went wrong before and comparing now to then. Worry comes from a fear of what might happen not what is actually happening now.

 

When the girl in the mirror finds herself worrying or judging herself, she needs to shift gears. She needs to do HER best, in the moment with what she has – that’s all she can do. She needs to stay present and focus on what’s here now, and use what she has to offer.

 

She needs to learn from the past:

Shame and negative self-talk are the enemy of confidence. When we are demoralized, we cannot access confidence. We all do things we wish we’d done differently, but when we get caught in self-judgement and relive situations it amplifies negative thinking and creates negative and/or anxious feelings.

 

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Continuing to replay an incident means there is something she needs to accept in order to move on. The girl in the mirror needs to accept that she is fallible or maybe the lesson is that she needs to stand up for herself – connecting with confidence so that next time she can say or do the things that will make her feel good about herself. When she finds herself obsessing about a past incident she should:

  • STOP the instant replay
  • Pick one small lesson from that experience . . . just one thing she will do differently next time
  • Thank herself for the lesson and breathe in self-compassion, giving herself the courage to do that one thing differently next time

 

She should be open to possibility:

If the girl in the mirror has already decided who she is based on who she may have been in the past, then she has shut down her POSSIBILITIES, but if she lets that go and allows herself to be who she is in the moment – she has the possibility to be anything she wants to be. She should not judge herself based on her past and she should not hope for liberation in the future. Right now, be here. She should believe that she is capable of anything at any moment. She is capable of change, but only if she is not defined by her past or bound to the future.

 

 

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The girl in the mirror needs to practice, be disciplined and follow-through:

Core confidence cannot be achieved overnight, it takes work and practice for core confidence to become automatic. When she finds herself in a situation where she feels she lacks confidence, she should remember how she feels when she IS confident and know that confidence is possible for her.

She needs to set small goals and stick to them. It takes time and discipline, but the more she follows through on things the more pride she will feel in her abilities and the more confidence she will build.

When she reminds herself of her strengths in other situations it will be easier to carry that strength over into new situations and gradually into ALL situations.

 

She needs a higher purpose:

When setting a goal, the girl in the mirror needs to shift her focus to the journey. She needs to pay attention to WHY she is working towards her goal and HOW she is doing it. She needs to ask herself:

  • What do I really want from achieving the goal?
  • Why did I choose the goal?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What desired qualities do I hope to achieve which lie beneath and beyond the tangible goal?

 

 

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The girl in the mirror needs to keep her focus on her greater purpose – why does she have the goal she has? WHO does she want to be and how does she want to be?

 

Confidence exists in the here and now, and the core confidence she has when she connects with this purpose cannot ever be taken away from her.