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Coping with the Pandemic

Coping with the Pandemic – MEDITATION & CREATIVITY

Since my last blog (a week ago) we, in England are now in lock down, not fully but mostly! A lot has changed very quickly in the last two weeks. We have had to literally take life day by day, not knowing what tomorrow will bring.  

It has been great to see all the online resources, activities and support that has popped up this last week to enable people to continue engaging in hobbies, classes, games and all sorts, especially feeling connected with each other.

Children are now being home schooled. Most of us are working from home.  

I must say I have enjoyed having time at home. Appreciating how time has ‘slowed’ down. We often complain that we don’t have enough hours in the day but now we have been given plenty of hours in each day.  

How are you filling your time? Last week I wrote about 1) Getting those odd jobs done 2) Appreciating what we have and being grateful 3) Connecting with others virtually.  

It is so important to look after your mind, body and soul. Everything needs to be in balance for overall harmony and well being. Here are a few things that you can do: 

Meditate

Take 10 minutes out of each day.  A simple meditation suitable for beginners is just sitting or lying in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, and becoming aware of how you feel in your body and focusing on your natural breath. Do this for a few moments.  

Then take a deep breath in through your nose (count to four) and a long breath out from your mouth (count to six). Repeat this five times. With each breath just relax deeper and deeper into your body.  

This is a great refresher, especially if you are a parent who is homeschooling you might need the breather! You can also get your children involved. 

Creativity

Try something creative that you have not done for a while. Bring that inner child out. Draw, paint or do some crafts. I asked my friends to ask their children to draw their magical worlds and send them to me. It is so important for children (and adults) to believe in magic right now, with what is happening in the world.  

Getting children to create their magical worlds is so powerful as they can let their imagination run wild and create whatever feels right to them giving a sense that anything is possible.

Parents, if you join in too, that is a wonderful activity to do together.  Here is a collection of what my friend’s children made: 

Keep fit 

If you are finding that you are not exercising, at least create some time for some daily stretches and light movement and drink plenty of water. 

Go within

Now is a perfect time to re-evaluate your life. Use the time to reflect. How were you living your life before COVID 19? What are you realising during this semi lock down? What do you want to be different in your life post COVID 19? Use this time to reflect and an opportunity to touch base with yourself.  

Keep faith  

We have all been ‘forced’ into isolation by the universe, mother nature or God (however you may look at it). Although this is a really turbulent time in many ways, have faith that what is happening is for the greatest good of all.

It may not make any sense now, or it even might make sense to you depending where you are in your life and on your beliefs.

Have faith that there is a bigger picture and higher purpose at play.  

Use the isolation to help you to become more connected with yourself so that when you come out the other end you can start to live an even more meaningful and grateful life than before. 

Warm wishes

Sukhi

Categories
Coping with the Pandemic

Coping with the pandemic – GRATITUDE & CONNECTION

It has been a while since I have blogged, I have been working on a new website, which will be ready within the next month or so!  

COVID 19; its effects and consequences are rippling across the world very quickly and triggering panic, fear and uncertainty. We have seen massive changes in a short space of time. 

Earlier this week most people in the UK started to work from home, self isolate (or at least began social distancing).  As of last night, restaurants, pubs, gyms, leisure centres have been closed.  School are now only open to the children of parents who are classed as ‘key workers’ as in, delivering front line services to help with the pandemic. The majority of children will be home from next week! We await to be informed about lock down.  

Coping with the pandemic 

We all deal with stress and anxiety in different ways. Although some won’t be too affected with having to be in self isolation, many will be affected hugely. There may be nothing worse for some than the thought of lockdown. Keep in mind, this is temporary! It won’t last forever.  

I want to offer regular blogs to help you to get through this difficult time, giving you different tips and ideas that I hope will support your mental health an overall wellbeing during self isolation. 

How can you cope with self isolation? What can you do in this time? How can you look after yourself?  These are the kind of things I will be focusing on in these blogs. When my new website is ready you will also be able to sign up to a newsletter.   

Here are some tips to get you going.  

Get around to those odd jobs! 

Make a to do list of all the jobs that you have always wanted to get done, but never got round to, such as clearing and tidying cupboards, decluttering, sorting photo albums, organising paperwork etc.  

This is a great opportunity to get on with these odd jobs and it can help to reduce anxiety with the end result being a sense of accomplishment. This is something that you can control at a time that may feel out of your control.  

If you have children, you can also get them involved in helping you with some of these tasks, or get them to make their own to do list! This will give them something to work on and feel a sense of responsibility towards.  

Set yourself a limit to the amount of time you dedicate to a task because if you start working on too much stuff all in one go it can start to feel overwhelming, and pacing yourself will help.  

Appreciate what you have 

Gratitude is a very powerful tool.  

This is a really important time in history to practice gratitude. It is easy to get caught up in the fear, uncertainty and the blame culture but the more you focus on those type of thoughts the worse you will feel. It will impact on your mental health which will affect those around you! 

Everyday think of three things that you are grateful for. Make sure that these are different each day. These can be simple basic things that you usually may have took for granted.  

Everyone is being tested at the moment in big ways. One of which is their attachment to physical and material things.  

Your gratitude list may include being grateful for a roof over your head, water, a telephone call that you received from a friend, an offer of support or the sun beaming through your window. It can be anything, get thinking – what normally passes you by because you’re so busy you don’t notice it? 

You may appreciate how life is allowing you to slow down right now. This will give you time to rest. There are so many things to be grateful for.  

Get your children and families involved. Ask them what they are grateful for. Write it on a white board or share it on line! Watch your gratitude list grow.  

Connect with others 

Aren’t we also grateful for technology right now? This allows us to connect with people in so many different ways.  

Reduce your sense of isolation by phoning a friend and actually talk on the phone, rather than texting. I am looking forward to connecting with loved ones more, as work is usually so busy that seldom do I actually talk to people on the phone. In fact I already have a phone call scheduled with a friend tomorrow morning. It will be nice to grab a cuppa and have a chat on the phone with her Sunday morning even if it is for 20 minutes. 

Video call family members especially those who are isolating on their own. Human connection is so powerful.  

Use this opportunity to make the effort to connect with others.  

I hope you found this useful and keep a look out for future blogs. I hope to be writing one at least once a week if not more! 

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Self Love Blogs

SELF LOVE – Sacred Space

Bliss!

Right now (as I begin this blog), I am sat in a local cafe at a meditation centre. I’ve not been here before, though I have been trying to get here for the last few months, since it was recommended to me  – and today, I made it. So there is no better place to begin this Self Love and Sacred Space blog, than here!

I arrived at midday, enjoyed a nice cup of coffee, took part in the lunch time meditation, I’ve have had some lunch and just about to order a Mocha to accompany me with this blog.

Sacred Space

What does this mean? In my podcast discussion with ‘Talking Wellbeing’ a few months ago on the topic of Self Love (which unfortunately is no longer available on you tube), we organically started a conversation on ‘creating a sacred space’ and for those of you who heard the podcast might remember that James referred to the purification process that people all over the world, amongst various spiritual, cultural and religious backgrounds go through before entering a sacred space – he asked me what I thought about this in relation to Self Love.

Curious

Since the podcast I was intrigued to find out what YOU thought about a ‘sacred space’, I posted a few poll questions on instgram, to ask people if they have a sacred space, what it is like, how they would describe it, do they associate the word sacred with religion, or nature and how does this sacred space help them?

Your feedback

I had various responses!(Thank you to everyone who responded)

The general consensus was that the purpose of all the sacred spaces, were to engage in ‘quiet’ time, which was ‘private’, in order to find and connect with a sense of ‘peace’. Someone wrote,

“It helps me shake off the days nonsense, breathe and just be me”  I love this! I think it is fair to say we all lead lives that can be demanding and challenging in many respects, and Like Buddha said suffering is inevitable (we cannot change that!). The only thing we can change is how we choose to deal with all the stuff that bothers us and weighs us down – and one of these ways is by creating and entering a sacred space.

Start in your home

The person who wrote that comment, shared that her sacred space is in her bedroom, on her bed where she keeps her diary, she lights candles and writes about her day (when she feels down, or even happy for that matter), accompanied with a coffee. The candles and soft coloured bed sheets help her to relax her mind. That is a perfect example of how simple it is to create a sacred space for you!

Get centred

Someone else said that having a sacred space helps them to realign. Yep, I get that! Entering a sacred space gets you to focus on you which helps to create a better balance -‘realigning’ suggests one is in some way ‘out of balance’. Maybe overtired, burning out, or giving too much to others etc. A sacred space enables you to give to YOU! Recharge and get aligned!

Mother earth

I discovered from my poll answers that there are a lot of nature lovers out there, and it is in nature they connect with their sacred space. Someone shared their sacred space is a 200 year old tree, which is local to her and omits fantastic energy. She often goes and spends time by and with the tree. There are many special sacred sites in nature worth exploring – if you don’t get out much, then why not give it a try and see what you discover.

Are you a tree hugger?

I must say I do love trees and there are some I just can’t walk past without giving them a hug! There is so much going on underneath the surface with trees, how they support each other through their roots, which if you are interested in finding more about then read ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’. I have not read it myself (yet), but colleagues at work who have been so touched by it have recommended it (It’s on my audio list!). 

Religion?

I wondered if people associated the word ‘sacred’ to ‘religious’, I somehow assumed that most would (even though I don’t), however to my surprise,  71% said no. Of course for some ‘sacred’ might be associated to religion and rituals but not for all.

Change of scenery

Today, I made a decision to physically retreat from my usual environment, come to a sacred site and participate in a meditation. This allowed not only my surroundings to feel ‘sacred’ but for me to also enter my own internal sacred space. What I mean by ‘feel’ sacred is to be in a place which feels comfortable, peaceful, away from noise and distractions. Now by no means do you need to retreat to a place like this to feel this, as you can create this space wherever you want, starting off with at home, with the example above!

So how would I describe a sacred space?

This is a specific designated space that one creates or associates with, when entering into usually on their own (or it may be with others) to connect with themselves, ‘just to be’, taking time out away from the world, day to day stuff and distractions. This quote by Joseph Campbell sums it up for me;

‘Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.’

Powerful right? What any physical sacred space gives you is the opportunity to connect with the sacred space within you, tune into yourself, notice and feel what is going on inside you. Meditation, reflection, walking in nature, sitting in the garden can all give you this – but the key is to feel comfortable with going within (a lot of people struggle with this, if they are avoiding their true feelings). Self love is being honest with yourself. Entering your sacred space allows you to be honest and feel with your heart.

Atmosphere 

In a corner in my bedroom, I have a tiny alter, with a few crystals, incense burner and candles, occasionally I add flowers, and at the moment I am looking for a statue of Kuan Yin – Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, as I am immensely drawn to her. This sacred space also acts as a visual reminder.  When I sit by it, I automatically enter my internal sacred space, as it is what I associate it with and for – just being in that space for only a few minutes strips away daily stresses. It’s like an internal hug!

The ‘Self’ 

Your  sacred space may be a reading corner, or a favourite undisturbed part of your home, away from others. One lady said that she uses her outhouse in the garden, as her sacred space, though she set it up for work purposes (therapist), she in the end decided to designate the space purely for her relaxation! This is an act of self love and self value. Your sacred space could even be your bath tub and by adding candles, crystals, essential oils, bath salts etc your add more self care!

Just lighting a candle can make all the difference. ‘By lighting a candle, you affirm that you are opening a sacred space.’ (Robert Moss)

Body and mind

Have you ever thought of your body as a sacred space? You live in your body right? How much do you take care of it? Do you put toxic things in there or do you purify it? The same goes for the mind; we spend a lot of time in here! Again, how do you ensure that you keep your mind sacred? What do you fill your mind with?

It is so important to be aware of and consciously work on improving what goes on inside your body and mind – and the more you enter your sacred space, the more you will naturally pay attention to the ‘inside’ – its like shining a torch within.

Sowing the seed

In the podcast Marlon asked if I talk to clients about creating a sacred space and whether I recommend it. I answered by saying that different things resonate with people, what might click with one, does not with another. I talk to people about their holistic health, mind, body, soul and to me having a sacred space is enhancing ones spiritual health. This depends on how ready and open people are to developing this aspect, of course this interlinks with  improving mental health which actually impacts on better physical health too. What I do is sow the seed. Offer the idea to people, and leave it with them.

Growth

The seeds we plant begin and continue to grow and at some point when we are ready to focus on what is growing, we will start to water it more and support it’s growth. It’s the same with self care and self love. Creating a sacred space is good place to begin, after all only you can make the real changes in your life.

Half way

We are six months into the year. If you feel it is important to create and enter a sacred space, then why not start now. Compare the benefits of doing so in December when we approach the end of the year.

-Find or create a space in your home which is clutter free, quiet, undisturbed (at least when you use it)

-Add a candle or something else significant that holds symbolic meaning to you. It could even be a photo or a favourite quote

-Use music. I have not really touched on music in this blog, but different types of music, instruments, sounds etc help to create a sacred space. Find something that ‘connects’ with you.

-Start by setting 10 minutes a day to be in your sacred space

-Remember your sacred space can be in nature or you can access it ‘on the go’ – you can incorporate this into your commute if you travel by public transport, simply by plugging ear phones in and listening to some relaxing music, or meditation and just breathing

Bye for now

I hope you find this blog inspiring and that if you don’t enter your sacred space often, you will now and if you don’t have a sacred space, you may begin to ponder on creating one.

Thank you 🙂

 

Categories
Self Love Blogs

Let’s Talk About SELF LOVE!

So one month ago, I had the honour to sit and speak with James and Marlon from Talking Wellbeing about Self Love. The podcast unfortunately is no longer available on you tube due to a change of management at Talking Wellbeing, however this was my first podcast discussion and I admittedly was quite nervous! There was something about the discussion being recorded, that gave me a bit of ‘stage fright’… (and it was not even live!). All this knowledge, wisdom, experience that I know I have within me and is part of my daily life, (both personally and professionally)… just disappeared and I went BLANK!! I was like ‘I can’t do this!’ – It took three attempts to start the podcast, because as soon the record button was pressed, I froze and didn’t know what to say!

Take a deep breath, focus on the task!

So, I refocused and James said ‘It’s not live Sukhi’ – this put me at ease and something shifted.  I somehow got over it!  I was able to engage in a natural conversation with these two lovely inspirational guys! I think this is a really important point to mention. We all at times feel fear, get nervous and feel anxious – it is normal. What matters is how we cope with and manage such feelings. Do we let them get in the way or do we carry on? This can be applied to any situation or dilemma you may be faced with. Do you face it, despite the nerves, anxieties, doubts or do you dodge it, run and bury your head in the sand?

In this Podcast James, Marlon and I explored Self Love from different angles (as the topic is so huge!), including the things that stop us from loving ourselves! Similarly, Self Love can be embraced or it can dodged! 

As above so below 

Self love flows and deepens – you just need to get started! The infinity symbol, which is my chosen logo for Enlight, is similar to the number 8. Both hold similar meanings;  limitlessness and being in an endless, constant flow. The 8 in numerology is about re-evaluation, which is about  experiencing, learning and growing … to which there is no end point!

So whatever you experience when you are ‘down’ – in the midst of life’s struggles, in the pit, in the darkness – serves as  an opportunity to learn life lessons. This then gives you (if you allow it!) an opportunity to grow by embracing the newness and applying the greater understanding that you have acquired to your life. So, as you pick yourself back up, from the pit and as you continue on your journey, you take your lessons with you and if you decide to apply them to your life (as it is a choice), then you welcome change, you begin to break non-serving cycles, you open yourself up to more… … anything and everything – limitless remember?

Self Love is the journey within 

Getting to know yourself,  your ‘true self’ is an enlightening process. It’s like meeting yourself, and learning about yourself… about the REAL YOU and building a relationship with yourself!

This can feel hard for some, maybe even many, because the truth is, so many people have become disconnected from their true selves and all this talk about ‘self love’ can trigger fear, uncertainty and even make you cringe; self love can be seen as a bit ‘airy fairy’ and many dismiss it!

Marlon summed self love up, really well – he said;

“Self Love is difficult to accomplish, if you have been through a lot, but it is very do-able. You have to start within to find self love. You can’t have self love from any external sources”

Absolutely spot on.

Why do we need Self Love?

So, James asked me why is Self Love Important? How do I explain this in a nutshell? It is SO important in many ways! Hmm …. OK, first of all what is Self Love? What does it mean? We need to understand this first. The concept has somewhat become fashionable and is widely used in the media. So if you’re reading this Ask yourself… What does Self Love mean to me?

It can mean different things to different people. Why? Because we are unique, with unique life experiences, we have different upbringings, backgrounds and life experiences. However the basic components of Self Love, in my opinion, are the same for everyone. “Self Love is the ability to love yourself, understand yourself and it is being comfortable with who you truly are”. These are the words that rolled of my tongue and can you see that this applies to anyone and everyone?

Different, but the same?

We may have different experiences, but we all feel the same emotions (or very similar). We all have, experienced sadness, doubt, anger, grief, disappointment, confusion, jealousy….. right? So how does Self Love fit in here? There is a misconception of Self Love being a state of feeling wonderful and blissful all the time. Nope, that’s not true. Self Love actually is accepting yourself, just where you are, and this very much so includes those parts, you’d rather deny, not face and want to run from. Self Love is embracing not just the good, but the dark and ugly too! Whoa, that feels like hard work! It can be. Self love can be hard, but it is worth it! It has so many benefits.

You don’t know what you don’t know

Self awareness is key! James asked for practical tips of how to go ‘within’. Good question. This can feel really alien to people as ‘going within’ could just be so out the norm for some people.

Before you know what you need to be ‘working on’, you need to know that it’s currently not working. The only way to know that is, is to be aware of it. Sounds obvious, but it’s not really. We don’t know what is going on in our subconscious mind, until we stop to explore it!

Quiet time 

Self awareness can be increased by using many techniques. In the discussion, we mainly talked about reflection. Ask yourself… do I reflect? Do I want to reflect more? How do I reflect? 

Spending time on your own, being in nature, writing and journalling, meditating are all ways in which you can find and create time to reflect. This will enable you to discover what is going on inside you, how you are truly feeling, is there any conflict?

Once you become aware, then you can make a conscious decision about what you want to work on, which issue? which problem? which conflict?

Self love is prioritising time for yourself, pre-schedule it in your diary, don’t just squeeze it in here and there, make it a commitment. 

We discussed Self Love from so many different angles and it really was an interesting, thought provoking conversation. Hope you enjoyed this read. Please share with anyone who could do with hearing the message around Self Love.

Thank you

Best Wishes

Sukhi 🙂

 

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Uncategorized

The Power of Words – Blog

Hey everyone, it seems like it has been a while since I wrote a blog, even though I had been meaning to, other things just got in the way and I never got round to it. I intended to write something around ‘Partnership’ during February; Valentines month, but I will have to revisit this another time now!

So what do I want to write about today? Hmm

I do like to ‘free associate’, just see what emerges from the pen (or key board in this case!)… have you tried that? Just to write, with no real intention of a ‘topic’ and see what transpires?

It is a great way to express yourself and also to experiment, be creative and tap into parts of your imagination that you usually may not access.

I have engaged in all sorts of writing over the years (ok, so it seems like this blog is heading in the direction of ‘writing’!). As a child, from an early age I remember writing as a form of expression. When I was upset about something, whether it was an issue at school or home, I used to write, scribble, draw and get all my feelings out. Thinking about this now, I wonder where I got the idea to write from? Did someone suggest it to me, or did I just stumble across this myself?  In those days there was not a great deal of understanding around emotional well-being in schools either, so as I write this I do wonder how and when did I decide to write?!

Writing is helpful in so many ways. I recommend that everyone gives it a try! You don’t need to worry about spelling, grammar or anything like that – remove all those barriers and just write for yourself, with the purpose to express yourself, learn about yourself, let go off ‘stuff’, reflect on changes, to make plans, set goals and review them!

Once you start to write, you may surprise yourself! You may discover a hidden talent, or come across a creative flare – maybe there is a poet in you. Everyone has a story to tell. We are all full of experiences. Inside all of us, is joy, sorrow, happiness, grief. Amongst all of us we have dreams, regrets and desires. There is so much richness in everyone’s experiences right?

Somewhere along the line, my style of writing changed.  I have not continuously written throughout my life by the way; there have been gaps of months and years at times! This blog is making me remember that around 2012, when I found myself in an environment and situation where I was not able to express myself to the people around me at the time, I reverted to writing. At that time it was the only way to find an outlet. That kind of writing was full of sadness, entrapment, sorrow and pain!

There is a big shift in my writing, and for those who follow me on Instagram, will know that what I express through writing now is full of empowerment, freedom, courage and love! Never did I think I would be writing and sharing with others in such a way. Shifting from writing in secret to writing for the public – what happened? 

I looked back at my early twenties – how did I cope with the challenges of life then? What got me through the tough times? The answer is self help and self development books! Going back now 15 -20 years (before the internet became so widespread), somehow I came across Susan Jeffers – have you heard of her? She wrote ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, ‘Embracing uncertainty’, ‘How to end the struggle and dance with life’ to name a few of her life changing books. In those days access to such self development books was limited and required a trip to your local library to loan and return in a period of time! Now, we are surrounded with self development books!!! 

So many of us, have been touched by the writing of others – which has assisted us in our journeys, helped us to grow, to grieve, to cry, to empower, to recover and to share and recommend to others! Maybe you shared a quote or lent someone a book….whatever the case words are powerful and the most beautiful thing is that you never know who you are helping unknowingly. 

I had no intention to write a blog on ‘writing’ today, this was literally free flow – I had no idea I was going to touch upon writing as a child. It is interesting that when we have no set agenda what emerges, although floating in the back of my mind when I decided to write a blog was a tiny idea to explore the connection between physical and emotional well being in terms of self love……but I ended up writing about writing instead  (so that idea will have to wait its turn now). 

…………………………………………………………………..

I just took a few minutes out  (as I became curious about some of my previous writing so decided to have a quick look), and subsequently will like to share this extract from one of my poems (seven years ago);

‘Although I have wings I can not fly, although I am, I can not be’ 

Such a powerful statement and so true to how I felt at that time. I know that by sharing this today, that sentence will resonate with many people who read this blog – either right now in this moment of their life, or at some other point in their life. 

We all at some point feel trapped, if not by others then from within. If not through situations that find us, then through situations we seek. If not through relationships with others, then the relationship with ourselves!

The truth is, we all have wings! We can all fly!

Why don’t you have a quick scan of your life, and wonder about what aspects of you or your life feel tied down, trapped, stagnated, heavy? Then have a wonder of why this is? Is this due to others? Or are you holding yourself back? What do you need to do to set yourself free?

Now this is leading me to a quote about taking that chance, taking that leap of faith….. that risk… it is; 

And you ask “what if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

Have you heard this quote by Erin Hanson (Poet) before? 

I found a way (many ways), to slowly set my wings free and so can you. 

Reflecting on this quote, one can only fall if one’s wings are tied, surely! What do you think? Having wings that are tied can become pretty tiresome and is so dis-empowering! If you try to fly with trapped wings….. you won’t get far!

I am going to leave you with some stuff to think about and please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below! 

Imagine…….what would it feel like, if you let go of the barriers that stop you from flying? What would happen if you took that step to cut the things that tie your wings?

Someone in my Self Love and Empowerment Workshop yesterday said…. ‘Self Love is about just making that start’… she is right! You have to make that start……. take that first step and then……take another…….followed by another!

Self Love is not something to Squeeze in here and there, it is a life long commitment….. lots of baby steps. One foot in front of the other, so are you ready to take that step? I would like to think the answer is a big fat YES!!! If it isn’t then my next question is WHY?

As you develop your love for yourself, watch your wings naturally begin to open up!

Thank you so much for taking time out to read this blog and for your ongoing love and support!

Bye for now! 

Sukhi

 

 

 

Categories
Self Love Blogs

11:11 Self Love Challenge

Each Self Love Challenge I offer brings great insight in many ways. I am grateful for all those who participate and share their own experience and responses to the challenge with me. It is so inspiring to hear such a range of answers from those who have engaged in it. I therefore decided to capture some of the emerging themes from the November 11:11 Self Love Challenge in this blog to share with the collective! The challenges (which I do too!), bring great shifts in people’s life, whether they are small or  life changing. I grow each time I do the challenges too.

Self what?

If you are new to the word ‘Self Love’ it can seem a bit strange – I recently had a stall at the Tree of Life Event in Birmingham and asked people as part of a competition, what does the word ‘Self Love’ mean to them? It stumbled a few people – we are not ‘taught’ to love ourselves are we? It is not part of the national curriculum in schools. We are not given a handbook of how to love ourselves – we learn this through life and our experiences. Sometimes we learn the hard way.

The journey of NOT loving ourselves (which is common!) comes to a point where we are faced with a brick wall  – a dead end and the only way to ‘break through’ that wall is to figure out why it is there! It is through slowly learning to re-connect with yourself. Learning to love yourself. Pulling one brick out of the wall and taking a good look at it; examining it. Why is it there? How did it come to be?  What purpose has it been serving? What is it blocking you from? Then after you figure this out  you remove it. Move on to the next brick and so forth.

Removing obstacles

The self love challenges help you to stop for a moment and reflect on YOU. To look at the bricks within yourself and in your life. This isn’t easy. It can be scary. You might find something you were not expecting to. Each and every one of us goes through ‘stuff’ that creates more bricks! That is life – whether it be work, family, close relationships or our inner demons. We can become so consumed in all this ‘stuff’, that we neglect ourselves and therefore the wall gets higher.

Self Love is removing the bricks that stop you from truly loving yourself.

So, Day One of the November 11:11 Challenge asked you to identify three changes you made in 2018 in order to improve your overall well-being.  If you are unsure how to practice Self Love, then this list (derived from some of your answers) should inspire you and get you thinking of how you too can develop your self love!

‘Taking time out for my hobbies’

‘Being honest with myself by acknowledging my true feelings’ 

‘Taking naps when I needed to rather than pushing myself to keep going’

‘Standing up to bulls**t’

‘Writing in my journal’ 

‘Being more positive and not bothering with things that I cannot change’

‘Stopping old patterns that got me nowhere’  

‘Not to dwell on the past’ 

‘To be more kind to myself’

‘Let things pass by and not clinging to ego, attachment and fear’ 

This list has touched on many aspects of Self Love such as taking time out for you whether it be to do a hobby or to rest. It shows a level of acceptance and honesty regarding your true feelings and circumstances. I absolutely agree that self love is having the courage to be honest with yourself, not to live in denial of your true feelings and desires. Self Love is easier when you give yourself the permission to be truthful…if not to anyone else, but at least to yourself. This is a start.

The list also shows prioritising yourself by being assertive, saying ‘no’ and setting boundaries in your relationships. This is an act of Self Love. Through this process you set your ‘standard’ of  ‘self worth’. The more you value yourself the less you will allow others to devalue you.

These changes made by you are to be celebrated. They take great courage and dedication!

I am sure that each and everyone of you reading this can identify with NOT doing some of the above, whether it is now or previously.

You are not alone!

Seeing other’s responses can open up a new way of thinking, sow seeds that you would never have thought of planting yourself.

How did you get on with Day Two which was about responding with love, rather than ‘reacting’? This can be really challenging right? It might feel really hard to respond to someone with love, if you feel they have ‘done you wrong’ and upset you in some way! The ego might be tempted to ‘react’ which actually is not self love, as ‘reacting’ can make us say and do things in an uncontrollable way, and that in reality dis-empowers you – are you with me?    Someone responded to this day of the challenge by writing;

‘I didn’t respond with love, more of understanding that it is that persons right to react in that way. I did not react and just accepted that is who they are’.

So you might not be in a place to respond with ‘love’, but by responding with ‘acceptance’, you are indirectly on some level responding with ‘unconditional love’;  accepting someone for who and how they are, including their flaws and behaviours. You don’t have to agree with these. You just accept them, then make a choice regarding how connected you wish to remain to that relationship. You can’t control others, but you can control how you respond to others. This is an act of Self Love – staying in your ‘power’. 

I can bet that everyone of us (that includes me) can relate to ‘reacting’ to people and situations at some point in our lives right?

The bricks of fear!

Moving forward to Day Seven lets have a quick look at fear, as quite frankly most likely there is not just one brick of fear is there? Most probably fear bricks exist in every single row of that wall, whether or not you are consciously aware of this or not. Day seven asked you to look at what stops you from being your true self and following your hearts true desire? What fears might be holding you back? 

Some of your answers;

‘Not being good enough’

‘Rejection’

‘The fear of success’

‘Not believing in myself’ 

‘Maybe believing that ‘it’ really is not possible?’

‘Putting myself in the limelight’

‘No one will support me or see my vision’

‘Scared of making the wrong choice’ 

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway!’ – Susan Jeffers

I grew up being inspired by Susan Jeffers books in my twenties and this one quote has always stayed with me. The thing is, fear is a natural emotion. It will always reside in us. Sometimes it  may be dormant and at other times screaming for your attention and causing chaos. As cliche as it may sound the only way to reduce or combat fear is by coming face to face with it. Take off that fear brick and look at it close up. What is it actually scared of? Failing, succeeding, loving, getting hurt, judgement?

I can assure you that most likely whatever it is scared of is actually not as bad as you anticipate it to be! Fear has the ability to magnify emotions in our mind; making them way worse than they actually are! It’s kind of delusional! It’s the ego just having a field day. Don’t entertain it!

So whatever you identify as your fear bricks – have a think, how likely is the worst case scenario? If in the slimmest chance that did happen, you will be able to deal with it won’t you? You will survive – you will find a way. Don’t allow the fear bricks to stop you from being you and loving you. Stop this today, right now. 

One of the big lessons in my personal Self Love journey over the last few years has been from a place of fear finding a place of love. This of course has not been easy, but it has been life changing and liberating and I know you too can find a way to choose love and self love over fear.

How to love yourself more in 2019

With all this in mind, how are you going to ensure you start to love yourself more next year? Here is what others who engaged in this challenge said;

‘Check in with myself’ on a regular basis’ 

‘Set date nights’ (With myself!)

‘Plan time for me, in advance’

‘Treat myself from time to time’

‘Say no, when I mean no, rather than saying yes’

‘Value myself and if something does not feel right, let it go’

‘Be more creative and do things I enjoy’

‘Self praise-15 minutes a day’

‘Accept compliments’

‘One day a month book a holistic treatment for pampering’

‘Start to take at least ten minutes out a day to meditate, or be ‘still’. 

‘Connect with like-minded friends’

‘Spend more time alone, get to know me again’

‘Recreate me – find me again’ 

‘Talk to someone, rather than allowing feelings to build up inside’ 

‘Write down what I am grateful for at the end of each day’

Now, pick three of the above that you will like to introduce or add to your life next year. How can you incorporate those into the new year? Make a plan.

Scratching the surface 

There are so many concepts that came out of this November 11:11 Self Love Challenge – I have only touched upon some of these briefly in this blog and aim to cover more in forthcoming blogs.  I have had feedback that this particular challenge felt very powerful in many ways for people. When we start to learn how to love ourselves, we open doors, we strip layers, we unravel our true selves as we embark on the journey ‘within’, and it is from within that we grow in order to then glow! Self Love reflects inside out! It creates limitless opportunities.

To sum up, I’d like to leave you with this quote by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

‘People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.’

Love yourself, connect to the light within you. Allow it to shine through you.

You are limitless, remember that.

Love, Sukhi 🙂

Categories
Self Help Blogs

When the Past Resurfaces!

So, I woke up this morning feeling that I need to write and share a message… So here goes, I’m ready with my coffee at 08:20am on Saturday morning before I begin my day!

What lead me to write today?

Oh my! The energy shifts! My own recent experience of what I would define as ’emotional turmoil’ – the ‘head versus heart’ conflict. Another layer of the past resurfacing as it needs ‘looking at’. People reaching out to me who have been feeling the same! Something in the ‘collective air?’

The Resurfacing Past

We have a choice  don’t we when the past comes knocking on our door? We can ignore it and pretend it is not there or we can open the door ‘wide open’  and let the past enter our present world and uncontrollably cause havoc or we can slowly open the door, pop our head through and ask ‘What do you want this time?’

What’s normally your approach? Can you resonate with this?

Many Shapes and Forms

The past can reappear in many ways! It can be subtle or it can come with a bang and knock you off your feet! It might be an actual person who comes back or someone who reminds you of them. It may be a similar situation presenting itself now which triggers memories of an unpleasant time. It could be the temptation to step into another unhealthy self sabotaging cycle, that you worked so hard to free yourself from – This is a test! 

It could be a song, a smell or something someone says and before you know it you hear the knock on the door again!

Unrelated and Irrational

What if you’re just getting on with life as you normally do, you’re quite content and happy – you do a lot of self care and are usually really good at looking after yourself- but somethings happened causing you to feel off balance. You’re faced with a gush of emotions that seem totally unrelated to your present circumstances but no matter how much self care you put in place the feelings just aren’t shifting!!! 

This week I’ve had many people reach out to me who could relate to the above – including myself.

Allow  the Residue

When we are ready to face another layer or  aspect of healing, the past can often re-appear and although this can feel really really shitty and it’s tempting to stick that padlock on the door and throw away the key, letting your past revisit and seeing what it wants is the only way forward!

There might be a little bit of residue that needs to be released and by ‘allowing’ this to work it’s way through you, you will free yourself from it, otherwise it will just stand on the other side of the door, knocking… knocking… and knocking.

This is not like me!

The past might make you feel as if you are someone else. Remember your past does not define you! You may feel out of character. Remember this ‘was’ an aspect of you, IT IS NOT YOU NOW.

Your past wants you to let go of it now, it does not want to be locked on the other side of the door. It  does not want to be a prisoner, it wants to be free. It does not want you do be scared of it, it wants you to learn why it happened. It does not want you to avoid it, it wants you to embrace it and integrate it’s lessons into your ‘present’.

Trust your Past

When your past reappears trust it is with a very good reason – A lesson, a reminder of how much you have actually grown, a test to see how much you will love yourself NOW not to repeat something unhealthy, an opportunity to do it differently this time and many many more reasons!

Your past may want you to let go of all the pain you have been holding on to. Emotions that did not feel safe at the time to release, but now you are READY and you are SAFE and you CAN DO IT!

Trust in the timing of your past showing up again!

Up your Self Care

At a time like this, up your self care. Put yourself first. Be kind to yourself. Make yourself the priority. Cry, scream, go for a walk, talk to someone, have an early night, meditate, say no to others, write, draw, do whatever it is your heart and soul are guiding you to do!

I spent more time on my own, and querying why the past was coming up for me now? What do I need to let go off? Why do I feel closed off, is it fear, doubt or is it intuition? But if you have to ask if it is intuition, then it clearly isn’t. When it is intuition – YOU JUST KNOW – you don’t need to ask. 

So I knew it was the ‘mind’, controlling the ‘heart’ and I needed to find a way to hear the mind without it controlling me and learn to tame it.  I needed to find my heart again which due to the domination of the mind had ran into hiding! Yes sometimes our heart abandons us, but take this as a BIG CLUE that it needs you to do some healing work!

You Already Know The Answers

The truth is, all the answers we need are already inside of us. They are not ‘out there’, although reaching out to people and talking can help tremendously and we often need to do this, however only you in your heart know what is really going on inside.

Others can guide us, but only we can make the changes in our lives.

Only YOU can put into ACTION what you truly want from life. Only YOU can face those ‘demons’ from the past right? The key is ‘tuning in’.

HOW TO TUNE IN – Something to try!

Get three pieces of paper and write on each of those one of these headings.

What is my mind saying to me?

What is my heart feeling? What does my heart want?

What is my soul guiding me to do? What is my soul trying to say to me?

Then write….

Don’t think…

Just write…

Even if it doesn’t make sense … Carry on!

Keep writing…

Allow the emotions that may want to accompany you during this process…allow them to come and go! Keep writing.

You will know when you have written enough for each section. You don’t have to do it all in one go. Spread it out over a few days if you want. Whatever feels right.

Gain Insight

Once you have completed this, you have a choice to (you don’t have to) look back at what you have written. If you don’t feel the need to do this, then that’s OK – You may have already gained insight through the writing process, something may have already shifted for you – it did for me!

If you do choose to read what you’ve written then what do you see? Reflect – is there a pattern? Did you have an ‘aha’ moment? Were there surprises?  What insight have you gained? What new information did you learn about yourself? What are you going to do differently now?

Detangle 

Doing such exercises can help you to distinguish between your thoughts and feelings and between your fears and your true desires. It can help you to highlight and resolve conflict between the head and the heart.

Remember, in the end it’s all good!

Sometimes you have to ‘break-down’ in order to ‘break-through!

Sometimes all the shit needs to come to the surface in order for you to create space for fresh new goodness.

Sometimes you need to face your shadows in order to find the light within you. The more shadows you face, the more light you will find. The more light you find, the better you will feel.

Sometimes you need to face your past (again!), in order to unlock something in the present moment that will then open doors to a brighter future!

You are Limitless

I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it helped in some way. You have the strength and ability to deal with anything. You are limitless, remember that!

Take Care

Sukhi 🙂

 

 

 

Categories
Self Love Blogs

Reflections on Self Love

You have now completed your first 7  Days of the Self Love Challenge – 14 more days to go! 

Spread the LOVE

The last 7 days has involved a wonderful flow and exchange of energy amongst everyone who has taken part in the challenge and  who have also shared this challenge with their friends and family. In doing so you have put SELF LOVE on their agenda, bringing it to the forefront of their minds, bringing them back to themselves which is so so important – Thank you for spreading the love. 

Time to PONDER

I wanted to just share some thoughts and reflections about SELF LOVE, before we head into the second week of the challenge. 

I am offering these to you just to ponder and reflect one, perhaps discuss with others if you like, comment below or just take away for yourself. 

No Time Like The Present

Self Love may come easily to you or actually it may be a real struggle. This depends on where you are at in your personal journey at this time of your life. Wherever that might be NOW is the perfect opportunity for you to STOP and REFLECT about where you want to be. 

Facing the BLOCKS

There were moments and periods of  my life where I would have rated myself fairly low on the Self Love Scale (Day 2 of the challenge). During some of these periods of my life facing low self esteem and low confidence would not have allowed much space for self love. The self doubt was a huge block acting as a brick wall at times. When we live for others and get caught up in what is expected from us whether it be friends, family, spouses, media or society we begin to disconnect from our True Self. When we look for reassurance and validation from others, we demonstrate a lack of self love. 

Become ‘THE ONE’ for YOU

Developing your Self Love, means validating yourself, believing in yourself, approving of yourself, accepting yourself – Become your own best friend.  

Don’t Allow Others to DEFINE YOU

It also means letting go of the worry of what others might think of you and your decisions – after all it is YOU who is living YOUR life and YOU have every right to live YOUR life how YOU want to! 

Allow your Self Love to GROW

Never would have I had imagined (in some past moments) that now in THIS MOMENT I would rate myself quite high on the Self Love Scale, and there is no shame in saying so either. Quite often we are lead to believe it is not ok to own our abilities,  own our power, our beauty, potential, talents and anything else positive. People tend to talk about their flaws much easier than the good stuff about them!  

Create solid FOUNDATIONS

In prioritising yourself does not mean you are neglecting others, it does not mean you are selfish… or ‘bragging’,  nor does it mean you only care about yourself! SELF LOVE LAYS SOLID FOUNDATIONS FOR EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DO.  It is the platform on which you base your life, your relationships, your job and so forth.

The more you love yourself, the more you will allow love into your life and the more you will be able to love others.  

Viscous Cycles – Going ROUND and ROUND 

If you don’t love and value yourselves, you will accept others who don’t really love and value you either. You may put up with crap, that you know is not right, but as you don’t value yourself on some level you will allow this behaviour to continue.

This is also true when it comes to your relationship with yourself. You may continue going round and round in unhealthy self sabotaging cycles until you raise your self love. We can get caught up in such cycles to fill something within us, which reminds me of this Blog I wrote last year.

Pour Self Love in you

When you start to prioritise Self Love you begin to move away from self doubt, self criticism, self punishment and all these lower vibrating feelings. 

Raise your vibration by developing your SELF LOVE – have you noticed already as you have been a part of the Self Love Challenge that you have experienced a shift, even if it has been a tiny one? It may be in how you feel from within, or how you see others?

Comment below if you would like to share any of your thoughts, revelations or Self Love tips!

Love and Light to you all as we embark onto the next 14 days of the Self Love Challenge

Continue to sprinkle self love,  kindness, joy, compassion on yourself and notice how this spreads around you. 

Sukhi 🙂 

 

 

Categories
Self Love Blogs

Your Self Love Challenge Responses!

Day 1 – How do you define SELF LOVE? 

SOME OF YOUR ANSWERS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA:

Knowing who you are and your values

The ability to accept the different aspects of yourself

Knowing and loving your talents

Accepting your flaws

Not being dependant on social affirmations

Accepting both sides of me, dark sides and good sides

Listening to the inner voice

Working on your higher self and not your lower self 

 

What a great start to the challenge, with some really insightful answers – Want to share how you define self love – leave a comment below!

Day 5 – Show yourself some kindness today. 

SOME OF YOUR ANSWERS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

‘I had a coffee in complete silence today, sat quietly – enjoying my time before work’

A bubble bath!

Starting the day with meditation 

A new hair do

A pampering evening 

Curling up on the sofa, with a film and a lovely hot tea

 

 

Categories
Self Love Blogs

Almost Half Way There!

2018 – Mid Way Point Check In!

Wow! TIME, such a variable concept!  Sometimes it flies, sometimes it drags, sometimes you want it to stop in the moment you are in and at other times you want to rewind it back.

Maybe you want to escape your present moment and fast forward to the future. Sometimes you look back at a far gone memory as if it was only yesterday, so it feels like no time has actually passed!

We are now approaching the half way point of 2018What’s it been like for you so far?

How many New Year Resolutions have you kept? – Were you full of motivation at the beginning of the year and has this  faded away now? Or have you exceeded your expectations? 

Did you take part in the 21 Day Self Love Challenge in January? Have you been able to maintain this throughout the year?  What is your level of Self Love now, compared to January? 

NOW is a good chance to Check In with yourself and review where you are at. What has gone well? What changes have you made for your best interest? Have you come across other things you were not expecting to? Maybe new opportunities have crossed your path? Did you embrace these or turn them away? What was behind your decisions?  How is your health? Have you been taking care of yourself holistically; Mind, Body and Soul? 

Moving Forward, what do you feel you need to change, maintain or let go off? What do you want more of in your life? What steps do you need to take in order to achieve this? Do you need to make an action plan? This previous blog post might help to inspire you; Simple Ways to Create More Happiness. 

Celebrate what has gone well – This is important, as quite often we reflect on what we have NOT done opposed to what we HAVE done. Think about all the stuff that has gone well and all the situations you have dealt with in a positive way – those moments that gave you joy and the times you allowed yourself to feel free and go with the flow of life rather than worrying about things not in your control. 

Transition – I always say change is one constant factor in our lives. We always face change, whether it is planned or unexpected, whether you resist it or not CHANGE HAPPENS . Having gone through so many changes this past year myself (and still in transition), what has ‘anchored’ me during this time is to tune into myself, connect with my inner spirit and use my intuition to guide me to make decisions best for me. 

Your Inner Spirit – How to connect with it?  There are many ways to do this. I like to journal, meditate and reflect. I love to spend some time in solitude (which admittedly I have done less of the last 2 months due to changes  – but I have been craving it and WILL create more time for it now!)

Other ways to connect to your inner spirit, might be to go out in nature, do yoga, just ‘sitting with yourself’, taking time out for relaxing activities, being creative and doing things because you enjoy them, not because you have to do them!

Take time out for you!

‘Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves’ (Leon Brown)

 

The more you connect with your inner spirit, the more in line you will become with your true self and your intuition will be enhanced. The key is to learn to TRUST it. 

So are you ready? Ready to take a bit of time out to do a 2018 Mid Way Point Check in!

Don’t get lost in everyday worries – take this time out to imagine and create the second half of your year. 

Love and Light

Sukhi