Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 233

Wow!! What a weekend! I can now tick of one of the things on my 2015 things to do! Sing and play ukulele on stage! Whoop! I was shaking afterward, but gosh it felt SO good to do something purely because I wanted to! 

It's an amazing feeling to push yourself out of your comfort zone! The adrenaline and the rush is beyond words. (and I sounded ok, if I can say so!!) We get so caught up in day-to-day living that we forget to push ourselves outside of that comfort zone - outside of the square. Why?? Is it because we might fail or be terrible at something? Why does that matter? What is going to happen if you do 'fail' (which is just a conceptual word anyway...It means something different for everyone)? 

Failure or what I like to term 'lessons' really only teach us something. For if we don't try something - how will we know whether or not it is something that we want to do? Or what if we don't fail, but succeed???!! WOWZA! Friday night when I got offstage, I was shaking. I was so nervous, yet to look at me on stage, you would of thought it was the most natural thing - I didn't look as petrified as I felt!!

What are you stopping yourself from doing? Are you giving into the FEAR rather than taking the plunge? What can you do this week to push yourself outside this comfort zone?

...Until Tomorrow xox

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 232

What do you do when life goes to plan and there's nothing to whinge about??!! This week I have paid off my debts from my accident! I feel exhilarated. Yet at the same time, nervous and lost! Weird! Not sure why - perhaps because I have had the debt for so long it felt part of me??!! So what did I do? I went and bought a bike! Something to do as an outlet instead of running - I don't know when I'll be able to run again :( 

It's amazing how most of the time in life if we achieve what we were aiming for, instead of relishing in the feeling of completion, we move straight on to the next thing. This is important, but so is reflection and allowing yourself to feel happy and proud. I'm not sure what it is, but we seem to think to be proud of yourself is to be 'stuck up' or arrogant. When we delve deeper into this...the definition of arrogance is to have exaggerated feelings or thoughts about ones self. Most of us err on UNexaggerated!

And when trying to sum yourself up to someone else, we say "I'm great at being empathetic, but I'm terrible at computers..." I'm great...but... Sometimes in life, to simply say I'm great with no buts (and truly believe it) not only takes courage but also strength and power. 

Try looking in the mirror and saying 'I'm great' or 'I'm so proud of you' (like you would towards a friend) and keep saying it until it sounds convincing and REAL! It's amazing what we tell ourselves, it we were kinder to ourselves we would lead a happier life..

...Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 231

Sometimes through your hardest struggles you get the greatest rewards. Sounds silly doesn't it? When you are going through something really terrible, all you can think about is how horrible it is, not what gem of knowledge you'll get out of it! Yet often if we take the time when you can after the distressing event to reflect, you actually find out something amazing. Whether that be about yourself, about others, about your life or lifestyle, about how you conduct yourself or anything! 

Yesterday was one of those horrible days. Started out fantastically, beautiful weather, so I put my two birds lorikeet 'Loki' and cockatiel 'Tinkerbell' out in the sun on a bench. I went out the front with Buddy and sat in the sun with a cup of tea. I can back inside and got a load of washing to put out on the line. As I walked outside, I realised that Loki's cage had fallen on the ground, and Loki was no where in sight. A mini-breakdown, lots of tears, hugs from mum and dad and 2 hours searching...still no Loki. My boyfriend came to look for himself (as even though Loki lived with me, he was technically his!) and gave me a quick cuddle, and I then had to rush to go to work. 

I learnt a lot about myself yesterday. That animals mean more to me than 'just pets' and that even when we grizzle about them, they still hold a place in our hearts. The other thing I learnt was the power of a cuddle. Sometimes in your lowest moments a cuddle from someone you love helps you see a bit more clearly. So it is so important to surround yourself at all times with people you love. I have realised I've become more and more work-orientated and a recluse, leaving catch-ups with my friends as a whirlwind hello. 

My boyfriend said to me that he realised more the impact of his job on his pets and on me (living 3hours away too!). That it took something terrible to happen for him to realise that he needs to look for another job. 

Terrible things are unavoidable, but at least if we do see the changes we can make to live a better life they are a bit more manageable. Why wait? What would you/could you change NOW??

...Until Tomorrow xox

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 230

Something I have noticed this week, is that in today's society it is much easier to be critical, negative and to shoot something someone says or does, rather than to say something that is positive. I have fallen into that terrible habit this week. 

I have had a challenging week, going back a few steps with my rehab, increased pain, more flashbacks etc. Instead of just writing my grateful's - or even my blog, I was grumpy, judgmental (mainly of myself) and a real horror to be around. The saying 'fake it till you make it' has been something I have been chanting to myself this week. It doesn't mean I don't feel grateful or happy this week - just that it was harder to. So I pasted on a smile (when I wasn't grumpy) and have been working on positive thoughts. 

Meditation sure does help! As does talking and/or crying! I see this guy in the gym all the time and on Tuesday (a particularly painful, frustrating workout later) he quite innocently said 'how was your workout??' I said '..grumble...I guess it went ok, but my injuries are playing up'. Then he proceeded to ask what, how etc. So I told him - briefly my story and he asked how long ago. I replied '14months' to which he said 'well done! Give me a high 5! You are doing so well, given everything you have been through'. Part of that did penetrate. Part of that made me sit up and listen. And take on board the compliment for what it is. He then shared his horrible life story and what brought him to the gym, which shed some light on the fact that others also use exercise as an outlet. 

Everyone you meet is fighting their own battle. Make it easier for them by being less judgmental and more supportive. Connect before Correct.

What are you grateful for today? What can you do today to make someone smile, or feel better about themselves? 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 229

Yay! Today I set aside time to work on my a result I made my first informational you tube video for dog training!! Yay! I had great help from 2 amazing people, and for the first time since getting an iPad am appreciating the different things you can do with it! 

It certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone..talking CONCISELY and looking directly at the camera was quite tricky - especially for someone who loves to talk! :) Please have a look at it:

2.5hours of hard work. Now to do this consistently I would like to produce one a week - or one every 2 weeks! :) 

Sometimes the things we dream of doing are the last on our list. Maybe because fear is holding us back - maybe because we prioritise the wrong things in our day. But these are the things we should make time for, as they are the things that make us smile, laugh and feel good. I love sharing my knowledge and I enjoyed today so much - it made me realise that I am putting the wrong things first!

...Until Tomorrow xox


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 228

"Tomorrow is a new day" How often do we hear this term? What does it mean? How many of us can truly let go of the day before to start the following day a-fresh? Not many, I bet, particularly after talking to so many different people over the last few days who have told me that 'work has kept me up at night' or 'I can't stop thinking about...'. 

Oh I am totally guilty of this. Worrying about if what I had said or did to someone in haste was taken the wrong way..etc. This week has been tough for me. Tough on so many levels personally and professionally. It's hard for me to describe to people what I am going through, so instead it comes out as whinging, complaining or this week - being angry. Anger is not an emotion I am comfortable with nor is it one that I feel or express often, so that too is added to the learning and difficulty of the week. 

This week I have been plagued with chronic pain, nightmares, anxiety, flashbacks, lack of sleep, work pressure and stressful circumstances at work. I say this to paint a picture of my day-to-day's this week. Often if I start to discuss my pain or nightmares I am faced with initial sympathy...then 'tomorrow is a new day' or 'let's hope tonight is different'. I also say these responses - as when someone is going through something tough, what do you say?? And I appreciate it. When I start to tease it out though, sometimes no matter how positive I am, I understand that the next day may be just the same as the day before. The only difference will be is how I look at it, or how I approach it. (In regards to the pain, etc).

Tonight I went to a new GP, I needed to discuss my pain management and why I was experiencing so much more at the moment. I waited for over an hour to see him, then was pleasantly surprised as he spent over 45minutes discussing options and also linking many things that have been happening at the moment. The nightmares were due to my medication, my pain increase just happens sometimes in trauma so he gave me new medication, my angriness and ability to cope were perhaps both a result of lack of sleep and increased anxiety. He was someone who listened and explained things in a way I needed to today. 

So, yes, tomorrow is a new day. What does that mean? That means we, or I, have the power to view things differently. I have the choice to make tomorrow a better day than today. One that, whilst I may still be experiencing all of the above, I may see joy, happiness and fun in. 

Only you can decide how life events affect YOU, noone else can make you feel anything. 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 227

Do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you have been on a rollercoaster with your emotions? And you climb into bed and almost say 'thank goodness that day has finished?!'

I had one of those today, I awoke and was snuggly with Buddy and then went to the gym. My mind was scattered and I didn't allow enough time to meditate before having to walk through the work doors. The morning was crazy with lots of driving and non stop action. Then I was vague, tired (I have been having a lot of nightmares lately) and had a very low tolerance - if I could of excused myself from work for 10mins I would of (and needed to) meditated. My mind was racing, I was anxious and I just was not thinking clearly nor in the moment. 

I arrived back from my morning program a bit late - now this does impact the clients and the lunch duties, however this is the first time it has ever happened (normally I'm early!!). And at least four other staff jumped on me about being late. Suddenly I had this internal battle with myself - I did not want to react angrily, however I was angry and I tried with all my might to not bite, or say anything, as I knew I was feeling a bit off and it was my 'fault' for being late but I couldn't help it. And I let of a few swear words and vented. I went on with the next hour sort of looking at myself thinking 'that's not like me' but also holding on to the anger. Then at my lunch break I meditated - finally! Makes all the difference, stilled my mind and allowed me to have a breather. 

During the rest of the afternoon I had a chat with someone whose daughter is in and out of hospital, found out one of my friends friend died in a car accident over the weekend and one of my other friends step mothers had passed away. All of this shook me out of it and I realised that no matter how caught up in our daily frustrations we are, there are always other people experiencing their own horrific battles. 

I came home and had a different outlook, Buddy had never looked happier, I have a roof over my head, family and friends that love me and options for the future. 

Never forget to end the day being grateful for what you have. I think I will also start doing this before I get out of bed in the morning too! 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 226

Tonight I started to do a jigsaw puzzle again – not just because I love them, but also because I realized that it is a form of meditation – a form of stilling my mind. And I have been spending wa-ay too much time on the computer/iphone/ipad/technology. There is something to be said about calmly doing a jigsaw puzzle with the clock ticking and your best mate (Buddy) to keep you company.

I also think a lot whilst I am doing my puzzle. In a  good way. Sometimes I will be calm and relaxed and let my mind wander, other times I will have an epiphany! Like tonight! I love puzzles, because for me I can relate everyday life to them so well. Tonight for instance was a struggle. I was starting the puzzle for the first time, opening up the box and seeing mismatched pieces – some even upside down! Heaven forbid, as that is disorder!!

So I started to find all the edge pieces, as that is the place I like to start, whilst doing this I turn all of the other pieces picture side up – notice I didn’t say ‘right’ side up?!  As I was turning the others up, I started to jump to the next thing and wondered if I should start  to collect other images? Then I stopped and had a scoff – this is what I do often in everyday life – and as a result suffer more anxiety than most, as I am not focused at the job at hand, more often skipping to the next thing before I have fully completed my initial task.

I sat there tonight, even though I wanted to jump up and write this whilst I had the thought (jumping to the next thing, before I had finished the first thing) and I sorted all of the edge pieces out. Even though it was tough at first, I stuck with it, and then by the end was having fun and didn’t want to move on!

Everyday we encounter times where we can ‘jump’ to the next thing without finishing the first thing – but sometimes all ‘multitasking’ gives us is many un-finished or poorly finished tasks and a racing mind!

Next time you are jumping from task to task, stop and if you have to, force, yourself to stick with doing only one and finishing it before you move on. Not as easy as it sounds in today’s day!! Here’s to calming your mind!

…Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, June 8, 2015

Day 225

Who wakes up in the morning and says "I am happy today?!" Do we set ourselves up for a win? Set ourselves up to have a happy, fulfilling and smiley day? How many of us roll over, groan and press snooze, then grumble when we do get up? 'I didn't sleep well' or 'damn I'm running late' or 'I'm sooo tired!'

Today I said to myself that every morning I will set myself up to having a good day. I will reflect on how I am feeling, then not let it dictate how my day goes. Every time I am feeling tired or grumpy from the previous night, I'll check in and see if I can do something different the next night. So I allowed myself 10minutes to do a meditation / reflection / energising thing this morning. I still had a tired lethargic day, but I was able to do it with a smile! 

Little changes daily can add up to big results. Catch yourself when you think of something negative or when you are about to say something horrible, and reflect before you say it. Can you change it into a positive? Or something to learn from? How do you carry yourself? Do you attract what you put out? Do you attract happy, friendly, positive and caring people? Or do you attract those that bring you down? 

Maybe it's time to take some time and write down your philosophy...a time well spent I think!

...Until Tomorrow xox

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Day 224


It is such a wasted emotion - does it serve a purpose? Does it get you anywhere? I wonder where worry stemmed from? Anger, Sadness, Calmness, Thoughtfulness...all serve a purpose and you can see how they fit in - with the innate behaviours of us, like fight/fight/freeze - something we have no or limited control over. But worry sneaks up on us and takes hold, but for what reason - or is there one? 

Anyone who has done any meditation or mindfulness knows that thoughts are just that - thoughts. And when we get fixated on them, is when we start to see problems such as anxiety (on-going) or depression. I was talking about worry tonight with my boyfriend. What about worry is helpful? If it's not being helpful, then what can you do to stop? 

Meditate, reflect, write...but for my logical brain, 'solving' the problem I'm worried about is the best solution. For example if I am worried about something that is out of my control due to timing...I put a time limit on it. 'if ___ is not better by 9am tomorrow, I will ___' So I don't feel like I am doing nothing, instead I have made a plan and know I am doing as much as I can for the situation. Funnily since my accident and learning to meditate and calm my thoughts, I have rarely experienced the gut-wrenching nauseating 'worry' about life. 

This is not to say that I don't care or am desensitised to concern or empathy, but I am now just grasping the ability to realise that worry only makes you feel worse and solves nothing in the end. 

Be proactive and identify what you CAN control and what you cannot. Make a plan if that helps - or talk to someone who can! 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Day 223

Sometimes it is hard to keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves. It is so hard to see someone you love battling with something that you think or feel you could help them with...if only they would listen to what you have to say...

One thing I have learnt from being on the other end of such advice - particularly with day-to-day issues - is that often this advice is not wanted nor asked for and often a listening ear and empathy is all that is needed. Sometimes doing something for ourselves, regardless of what it costs, or where it takes us, or who it involves, is a journey that we need at that time in our lives. Remember that life will take us to where we need to go, and there is a something to be learnt from every situation. 

Often the person will come to the conclusion they need to in their own time - without your unwanted advice (different if they have asked you). Isn't is funny how we are so quick to jump in with advice, we forget to actually listen to what the other person is saying?? Where does that come from? The need to show we are intelligent  or know more than the other person, or do we just want to help so badly that we cannot help but to give advice. 

What is advice anyway? A completely subjective view on a topic? According to the dictionary Advice is guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent action. I find that definition funny. Advice can be a fantastic tool, when asking a professional for instance i.e. advice about your dog from a dog trainer... ;) Except majority of advice is offered on a whim, without knowing the full story, and without asking if it is wanted. i.e. "I think you should get a better job" or "You are doing too much and need to stop"... 

We all do it. Can you stop yourself next time you go to offer advice when it wasn't asked for?  How is your active listening?

...Until Tomorrow xox

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 222

We have the power to change our day. We can make it whatever we want. Just because one bad thing happens in the morning does not mean it is going to be 'one of those days'. Of course it will be one of those days if you keep repeating the things that have gone wrong, and saying 'oh no, it's one of those days'...!! 

It's ok to have an off day, or say - yep I'm going to have a quiet day because i'm tired, or I really need a mental health day...But what we so often do is label the whole day - 24 hour period, as a bad day, for perhaps a 5 minute block of bad things happening. When you spell it out - it sort of sounds a bit preposterous! 5 minutes out of 24 hours! I have noticed something about myself in regards to 'one of those days'. 

Firstly, if a few things untoward happen in the first 30mins of getting up, my ability to have a good mood diminishes. So I now start the day with a brief meditation - one that invites happy energy in. If something bad happens (like this morning where my 2 shakes spilt all over bench, cupboard, floors, me AND buddy!), I have enough in my energy tank to step back and look at it - rather than react and get annoyed. The other thing that I do is look at myself - I knew today had the potential to be 'one of those days' if I let myself continue to think about it. Especially as I noticed myself being more clumsy. So I looked to laugh at myself each time something happened, instead of adding it into the negative pool. 

It works, not only do you turn the negative day into a better one, you feel better as your energy is not being dragged down and zapped by negativity. 

Try laughing next time something clumsy happens...

...Until Tomorrow xox

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 221

I have just realised the last few months I have been a bit of a negative nancy - yes I've been all happy and 'positive' on the outside - but my self talk and how I talk about myself to others or was negative. I was focussing on what I can't do, or what I've lost since my accident i.e. my strength, my fitness, my ability to run, my ability to do things with ease etc. So I'd beat myself up. Oh of course I would say things like 'I've come a long way' or 'At least I can walk without a limp' etc. But on the inside was a different story. 

I would be stuck in a negative self feeding loop. I would complain about my inability to do exercise, the fact I've lost my 'tone' and have some extra 'fat' but then I'd make myself feel horrible and sad, so I would go to the gym and then eat chocolate covered liquorice! But whilst at the gym the whole time in my head I would be saying 'that's not as good as you use to be able to do' or 'those love handles never use to be there'.

Today instead of acting all positive, it actually all hit home about what I can do. So today when those little gremlins snuck in to take a stab, I put them straight back in their box with something I can do. A bit of 'anything you can do I can do better'. And for the first time since my accident I have been more self-aware, what is my body doing? Do I want something to eat? Or am I just trying to comfort myself. 

I may not be able to run, but I can swim and ride a bike. I may not be able to do long-standing hand stands or chin ups, but I can work on my core. The next thing on my to-do list is to go bike shopping. For I am going to do a triathlon next summer. This time next year, I WILL do a marathon. 

Sometimes when we think we are being positive, we actually are not, and need to reflect or meditate more to be aware of where we are mentally.

...Until Tomorrow xox

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Day 220

Sometimes in life we forget to look outside of ourselves and look for a different alternative or solution to a situation than to react emotionally. I found this today when I had a meeting about how best to deal with staff that I am responsible for in my new role. I was getting frustrated at easy-to-follow instructions that were not being followed. I was made aware that I need to understand how each person individually approaches the situation learns and adjust the training accordingly. 

It has made me much more reflective on everything, and how what comes naturally to me, may not for others. And also that if it is important to a situation, providing knowledge and understanding is important. I have some interesting ideas for our next staff meeting. Including some exercises that I utilise in dog training! 

Sometimes asking why someone is feeling the way they do, by picking up on their behaviour and sometimes subtle body language can be a way to help them and also diffuse a potentially sad situation. Listening to what they say without judgement and without thinking about your response (active listening) is a skill that is a difficult one to learn. Being empathetic and compassionate with your response is important, but not always easy!

So next time you react with emotion, stop and have a breath and reflect on how you may better deal with the people involved. To distance yourself from the negativity some people will bring to a situation is so important too! Remain clear headed and calm.

...Until Tomorrow xox