Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 212

29th April. A date that will be etched in my memory forever. The day my life turned upside down and I landed in planet ‘WTF’. This time 12 months ago I was laying on my sisters couch in a haze valium, hobbling to the toilet without crutches, and it hurting even to breathe. 12 months ago I hit a tree head on and managed to hobble away with a bunged up knee, neck and mentally shaken up. 

Today is the 29th April 2015. A date, seemingly. Yet our minds hold on to what happens on particular dates, and our worlds are shaped by dates…the date of our birthday, the date we got married (anniversary), Christmas, Easter…All the things we hold positive emotions to. Yet when I spoke with a few people about the 29th April being the ‘anniversary’ of my car accident – or a year on from planet ‘WTF’, I was told that we hold too much meaning to dates. So it is ok to celebrate a date for something positive. Yet for the negative, or difficult we should not focus on the date. Interesting. Yet in society we do! Look at ANZAC day, September 11, Black Friday etc.

For me, I love celebrating the good things. But as much as I tried not to focus on today being a year on, I recognize that in our life, time and recognition of significance – negative or positive – is so important. Today was never going to be an easy day. My subconscious especially…with nightmares for the past 2 weeks, sleepless nights, flashbacks, unexplained anxiety whilst driving. But I did get through it. Even though I wanted to curl up in a ball and ignore the world for the day.

I got through today - 12 months ago and I got through today, today. I am alive!! I have learnt so many things in the past 12 months - more than I have if my accident had not of happened. It has opened the door to many new and wonderful things, and has helped me to face some dark and challenging things as well. I would like to write more on the journey I have been on and how I have felt along the way, so will do so tomorrow. 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day 211

It is so hard to have gone on a journey, made a difference in how you look at the world, and not pass it on to everyone you meet - particularly those closest to you. So how can you continue to be excited and grow without becoming preachy? You know without always offering advice, your opinion or guidance?

I think the big thing that I have trouble grasping, is that even if YOU have made changes, does not mean everyone around you sees the world the way you do. So I have been working on continuing my deep breathing, meditation and ukulele to keep my sanity. I have found a balance between offering advice or opinions and just simply listening to someone. The other huge thing I have learnt and sometimes fall short of…is not to buy into the negativity, the catty talks in workplaces.

The key to this, is not listening and taking on board what people are saying (if they are negative). You can hear it, you can offer a solution - or a way to look at a situation positively, but not to hear and take everything on board and stress yourself. The other thing is, to wait 24hours to digest something, before 'debriefing' or talking about a situation. As often we respond immediately with emotion, rather than logic. 

Hmm..I'm glad this blog still has a while to go..this is definitely a life-long journey! 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day 210

I'm sitting here tonight, after doing two appointments with things I love (Dog training and Nutrimetics), with my partner next to me, a cup of tea, the 2 cats and watching a movie (temporarily on pause). The only thing missing is Buddy! 

Sometimes it amazes me how hard it still is to sit and be and just soak it all in. Not to have to do something ALL of the time! I am still a doer…but I respect the fact the grounding and being time is so important. And funnily enough I notice this all the time in the disability field - carers focus so long and so much effort on getting their clients to DO something, that the essence and importance of switching off and not doing anything is lost. 

What do you allow yourself to do so you 'be'. Do you meditate? Play an instrument? Sit and make shapes out of clouds? Play with a pet? Write? Or something else? Or do you expect yourself to be fully energised 100% of the time and not 'be'? (watching TV doesn't count!!)

It amazes me how energised you can be from 'doing busy' but also from just sitting still and being. I remember that this was the hardest lesson I learnt after my accident. That not all important things happen by doing 100% of the time. 

Allow yourself to rest and sit and let your mind wander - it doesn't always need to be in 'control'. 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 209

I have been a bit lax on writing my blog lately – the main reason is I am a bit torn in two directions, so haven’t had a chance to iron out my thoughts. But tonight I thought to myself, not everything you have to do has to be perfect. I have fallen back into my old habits – where I won’t do something unless I’m perfect at it…because of course, perfection is easily attainable.

Scattered thoughts are what we all deal with on a daily basis – if we don’t continue to check in with ourselves we will fall into a scattered, frantic state where our thoughts are driving our actions. I said to myself, I need to continue to write my blog as an ACTION, regardless of what my THOUGHTS are doing. And it worked, as soon as I sat at my computer to write tonight, an instant calmness came over me.

I have some amazing opportunities coming up at the moment, ones that will push me out of my comfort zone, help me learn new skills and thrive doing so.

In the same token, my year anniversary since my car accident is creeping up. Which is mixed emotions and is a challenging and fragile time.

So between the two, I think you can start to understand where my brain is going into over-drive! But what I needed to remind myself regarding this, was that action and results speak louder than thoughts and promises.

…Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Day 208

You get so caught up in making a living that you forget to make a life. How often do we hear this? But do we really listen and pay attention to these words? Do we actually make the changes that we need to? Do we understand what this really means?

We get caught up in the day-to-day, working to get a paycheck to pay the bills, always focusing on that ‘next thing’. The next new car, the next holiday, the kitchen renovation, the new job, new partner…etc list goes on. That we forget to stop and think about what is most important to us. To every person this will be slightly different. 

The past week, I have thought about this a lot, as I haven’t managed to write my blog. I was reflecting a lot on what is important. You can say that something is important, but it is your actions that really speak volumes. I realized I am caught up working so hard to pay off some debts, that I forgot to enjoy life, to live in the moment. And as such things were lacking…Buddy, quality time with family, my friends etc.

So I made a conscious decision to change a few things. One being that I miss performing. So I have taken up singing and ukulele lessons again. Family – so I had a lovely dinner tonight and have the next one ‘booked in’. Friends – I have catch ups arranged and phone calls scheduled in.

It sounds a little like I am rostering out every minute of my life, but at the moment I am working so much, and can get caught up in working even more, that I need to schedule things in so they don’t get missed – until they become a habit. Once a habit, I won’t need to consciously do it.

What’s important to you? Do your actions match the level of importance?

…Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 207

How do you support the ones you love with empathy, rather than sympathy? What is the difference? I've been working a lot on this lately. Doing reading and watching some seminars. It's so interesting! And I have to say most people - including me - mistake or confuse the two. 

Empathy Vs Sympathy

Empathy builds connection and trust in a relationship by putting yourself in someone else's shoes and showing non-judgemental support. Often it's just active listening (listening without waiting to respond) and saying 'Thank you for sharing, I don't know what to say'. 

Sympathy is to buy into the 'poor me' and offer a silver lining to the situation. For example after surviving a car accident (quite close to my heart!) 'oh you poor thing, at least you are still alive'. 

After the learning I have done this week in regards to both empathy and sympathy I have realised that it is harder to be empathetic in your interaction with someone - but overall is less draining and tiring than being sympathetic. Often someone will approach you to talk about a situation in their life, they actually don't want any advice, or examples of your similar experiences, but more want some understanding and someone to listen. I am working on not offering 'free' advice - but rather to listen and wait until someone asks 'what is your take' or 'do you have any suggestions' before offering possible solutions. 

Next time you are in this situation, take note - are you being empathetic (building respect and connection) or sympathetic (offering a silver lining)?

…Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day 206

With every down, there is an up. It's inevitable. We all feel down, or low, or have our creepy little gremlin talking negatively to ourselves. It is how long you stay there and how you get out of it that is the thing that differs between people. When you are low, the thoughts that come are 'poor me', 'everything is going so wrong', 'why does these things always happen to me?' We all know these ones!

These thoughts creep in everyday. Like when you want to try something new 'oh I won't be any good at it', 'everyone will look at me', 'everyone will laugh', 'I will fail'. It's whether or not you believe these thoughts that shape how you feel about the situation - not whether you have these thoughts. The important thing to remember and even reflect upon, is that they are only thoughts. They have not come true and are definitely NOT fact. 

The only way you can get out of these down days, or the negative thoughts, is by YOU choosing to change the way you look at your thoughts. Your thoughts do not define your life, or actions. But if you think about them too much you WILL become them. The saying if you think it you can do it. It depends on whether you are focussing on the negative or the positive. 

Are you the type of person that when presented with a situation will look for all of the things that are not right with it? Or do you look at what has gone right for you? Are you listening to the gremlin talking on your shoulder, or are you clear headed and looking for a solution? 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 205

When life doesn't go to plan. When a situation or person doesn't meet your expectations. When you find one of life's hurdles just too big. What do you do? 

Sometimes I stop and just look at the hurdle - a bit like if you have ever completed a obstacle course and you reach a berlin wall that is 3m tall when you stand just shy of half of that. You stop and look at the wall, assess how is best to tackle it, and have a go - if it doesn't work, you stop reassess and try again. There is some point after trying 1, 2, 4, 10 times (depending on the person) where you decide it is in your best interests to just 'go around' the obstacle and continue forward. 

Notice I didn't say 'give up' - it was 'go around'. The reason I wanted to draw your attention to this, is that there is never one way to tackle a hurdle. There are a multitude of ways - although most of the time we look for the quickest, most beneficial to ourselves way. If that doesn't work, we look for the next quickest. In real life, when we reach a hurdle, most of us will just jump straight into finding a solution, without stopping and examining it first. Is the quickest way always the best? 

I have read a lot of amazing books lately and in one of them, it talked about finding a solution that is 'outside the box'. Which is the example I used above. Of course a lot of people would say that 'it's cheating' or 'that's not fair' or 'how lazy'. But if we apply this analogy to real life - does it matter what anyone else thinks - as long as the people involved are agreeable with the solution? 

Often when we look at a hurdle - particularly when it involves another person, there seems to be only 2 ways of doing something - theirs or ours. This is not the case. There is always a solution that can be beneficial for both people and a way that is less stressful and perhaps 'outside the box'. 

I have been faced with quite a lot of these hurdles lately - it is a chance to continually practice what I talk about. Is it easy? No! Is it challenging? Yes. Will the other person always be willing to find a 'outside the box' solution? No. Do you feel better about yourself for offering something or even trying something different? YES! 

So, why not try it. Recognise in yourself when you are in the mentality of 'my way or the highway' and do something different. 

…Until Tomorrow xox