Guts and Intuition

Having returned home from traveling, I am busy processing and trying to readjust to my old routine/lifestyle. I have started reading The Alchemist. This quote about the language of the world has been inspiring me to forge ahead ‘It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of the search for something believed in and desired’.

How often do we hold ourselves back with negative ‘what if’s’ without even exploring the positive ‘what if’s’? Western society at present is a high pressured world to exist in. We are in a torrent cycle of having to live our lives up to the standards our society says are acceptable. Career, earning power, relationship status, procreation, home status…the list goes on. The never-ending pressure to measure up to these standards.

Being out of my regular routine, gave me the opportunity to quite all of that noise. It didn’t exist. I had the space to truly stop and hear what my gut was telling me, actually understand what that message was. Trust in an instinct, out of the scope of what these ‘standards’ said I should be chasing. A pure feeling, and its scary, but exhilarating all in the one breath…its the ‘what if’ I do/can.

I pushed myself while I was traveling; to do things i was scared or nervous of, and go for it all the same. This is something i can apply and use now that I’m back in my routine. Feel the fear and do it anyway. All of us can try do this a little more. Of course it’s not as simple with life decisions when you have responsibilities, but it can be applied to trying something new, something you have always wanted to do, or somewhere you might want to go. I jumped off cliffs, into lakes, into caves, into the sea, i dove, i held a tarantula. I am scared of spiders, and i am not super confident in my swimming ability, and have fears of what lies beneath the water’s surface. Yet I felt so alive and proud every-time i pushed and overcame a fear, i realised; yes i can do this, and its ok, more than ok, it’s exhilarating, and wonderful to experience. I gained self-confidence with each of those experiences.

Our bodies and minds are incredibly resilient. How over time we are able to normalise pain, whether its physical or mental anguish, to the point we become numb, lost and continue to damage ourselves. Through practising yoga I have learned to listen to my body more, and from travel to listen to my instincts. Last year I worked hard at doing things that brought me joy and happiness, but I wasn’t really listening. It’s important we take time to listen and connect to ourselves, in a bid to honor who we are.

My new years resolution is to follow my gut, listen to my instincts, and begin to get closer to a way of life I’ve always thought was out of reach. To work on resting, having the quite and calm to keep listening. Trust myself, my abilities, appreciate what I have learnt, celebrate it, and see where this life can take me.

Whats one of your dreams/visions?Can you do something today to take a step closer toward it? Does thinking about it inspire joy and excitement? Butterflies? Why not invest some energy into ways of reaching it?

I’ll leave you with this last quote from The Alchemist ‘He suddenly felt tremendously happy. He could always go back to being a shepherd. He could always become a crystal salesman again. Maybe the world had other hidden treasures, but he had a dream, and he had met with a king’

Be your own king or queen. Tune in. Hear the beat of your drum. It’s all in your own hands.

751D55DA-42BD-4E0C-AC3E-5BC8D78E3AEA

 

The Hamster Wheel

The ol hamster wheel of disappointment, that keeps spinning and looping. Why do we stay on this wheel. A disappointment hits, and the broken record of all past disappointments start chiming in. They fill up our hearts and heads, spilling out, blurring the lines of why we were disappointed in the first place, soon we go bobbing on down the rivers of self-pity. Diving off the ‘cliffs of insanity’, plunging down into ‘the pit of despair’. (Ahem, cheeky Princess Bridge reference :D)

Can you relate? This month I had my driving test. Oh!, praise the lords of driving, the day was arriving thick and fast. I had put so much effort into practicing, forcing myself out into the car, sweating, shouting, flustering and enduring the general feeling of tenseness. I was ready for this day to arrive, so I could get to the next level. Disaster! I managed to overlook the physical car being ready. It was not. I wasn’t even allowed to sit the test. Que teenage style melt down, pan out to a shot of me in an open field, falling to my knees, arms thrown up to the heavens, shouting, WHY ME????!!!

What did my head automatically do? of course it just hop, skipped and jumped right onto that hamster wheel, and off I flew around in circles, reliving all previous failures, and not just driving failures! FFS! Eventually, I managed to slap myself into shape, and tell myself to build a bridge, and GET OVER IT! Ssssssseeeeeeesssh! That wheel is exhausting. It makes you feel bad right down to the core, it really is a self-inflicted pain, like picking a scab and reopening a wound. So silly! Albeit sometimes our lessons can be far bigger and harder to take, but we cannot keep reliving each one, on loop, this is for certain.

It was a major learning curve for me, it took some time to extract my positives, I was very angry! Now I can look back and just say; well that was ridiculous. I have improved my driving and my confidence in the car. I still have work to do, I must keep going with the practice and not drop the ball. Consistency is key, and not letting small blips in the road permanently stall momentum forward. The last time I took my test, I failed, I allowed that experience to stop me getting back into a car for over 2 years. Not this time!

We have the power to stop our heads going down this path. In my previous post Old Habits Die Hard I’ve talked about the recognition of a pattern of thought, and this is what enables us to pull ourselves out of a cycle. It’s not healthy to default to this feeling every time something doesn’t work out or doesn’t go according to plan.

What disappointments have you faced, in your past, that have held you back from moving forward, or continue to hold you back? We have got to learn to get off this wheel and put our feet back on terra forma, get busy picking our Ego’s back up and going for this life we have. If we can’t get off the wheel, soon our outlook on our lives, and who we are will get stuck and not change for the better. Each time we try to stop the wheel spinning, and work at pulling ourselves back, we get stronger and quicker at doing so, we become more resilient and ready to take on our lives from a more positive perspective.

Shine your bright light, dust off those disappointments, stop carrying them around with you. Big shoulder rolls and shrug that shit right off. Disappointments suck, but they don’t need to follow us around for the rest of our lives. Be open to learn from them, grow and take those lessons on the chin. Tomorrow is another new day ready for the taking. Dust yourself off, don a smile and sail into that new day. ‘It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feeling good’.

Hamster Wheel

When the cat’s out of the bag

Ever held a secret for so long, you’re not quite sure if it’s actually happened/going to happen? Once the cat it out of the bag, shit gets real. Change is afoot in real-time.  Dust is in the air, feelings of elation coupled with panic and fear keep you in a constant state of alertness, edge of your seat style. A huge sense of relief also comes over you like a calming blanket in the same breath. It’s confusing emotionally for sure!

I can finally say out loud that I have decided to take a short sabbatical from work. Boy does it feel good that my colleagues now know. Holding onto secrets are not good for your soul. It keeps you from growing and holds you back. Although I have known I am going away for the guts of nine months, and knew it was real, that act of it being out in the open at my workplace has made it all seem new again, and somewhat more real. I have been looking forward daily to this trip, yet now that it’s become common knowledge, I can’t help but look around, see and take stock of what I have right here and now. Funny that!

I’ve been so focused on working toward the goal, and even though I am grateful for where I currently am, I am starting to feel it more and more. I am grateful. I feel grateful. I think they might be slightly different? In any case, I feel it, washing over me daily. Change can do that. Flip your perspective on where you are, allow you to appreciate and be grateful, let go of any resentment or disappointment, see more of the good in your daily life you were missing, because, you know it’s all going to change and be different soon.

I have found it a little stressful in the office, but I am lucky to work with a lovely bunch of fun and diverse characters.  I am enjoying organizing and training with my colleagues, taking time to listen, learn and see the work they do. Its shown me some skills I might like to develop, which was completely unexpected. I’m seeing my colleagues in a different light, and have shone that light on myself too. They are the ones facilitating my leave, for that I am ever grateful. Taking the chance to change or do something about an area of your life you need to work on, can open your eyes up in ways you never imagined possible. I have days when I panic, but I don’t allow myself dwell too long in the fear of what might lie ahead or allow it to take away from my decision to do something.

It’s never too late to do something, there is always something we can do. My decision to go off for a short three months has bled into all areas of my life, making me see and appreciate the time spent with the people I love and care about, do more of what I enjoy , and not take the time we/I have for granted.  This trip has already taught me; to be present, connect and enjoy that time, and I’ve not even left yet. That is pretty powerful stuff.

What plans are you holding close to your chest. Why not let them out into the world, tell people, let it be real, enjoy the excitement of making it happen,the journey to it. Share and allow yourself be supported in the dreams and goals you want to reach. Hatch a plan! Our stories are not yet written, we can change the narrative whenever we want to. Don’t be scared, let the cat out of the bag and go for it, use that energy of letting it loose drive you closer to that dream. Imagine where it may lead.

Cat bag pic

 

Stop Waiting, Start Moving

How many of us sit and wait; wait for a break, wait for an opportunity, wait for your dream guy/gal, wait to start something you’ve always wanted to do, hesitate? What is it we are waiting for? There is never a ‘right time’, something always crops up. Now is the time. If you wait, you keep hesitating and get caught in a loop of inaction. Get busy asking for what you want from life, and go after it. No one else is going to magically appear and deliver your dream life to you on a golden platter. If you don’t ask, you will never know. Living a life of ‘what if’s’, ‘should of’, ‘could of’, ‘didn’t do’s’, is not a pleasant space, it’s an extremely frustrating place to dwell.

Putting yourself out there, allowing yourself to be exposed and vulnerable , can be a very scary thought. Going for something and not waiting for the ‘right time’, July has been that month for me. Are you having trouble pushing yourself to jump at an opportunity to learn, grow, or do something that scares you? I recently finished reading Mel Robbins ‘5 second rule’. This book is going to give you the tools, and put that fire in your belly to go for it. It’s written in a style very easy to digest, and has incredible results, if you try it. It’s as simple as 5-4-3-2-1 and GO!

The more you put yourself out there, bite the bullet, and just go for something, the easier it gets and the less of big a deal it becomes. Mindset quickly changes, and builds momentum. It goes; HEY! I want to do/try that, F it, I’m going to, and why not?! On previous posts ‘Dangle berrys long finger’ and ‘Old habits die hard’, I have broken down how you can split up a goal into smaller more manageable pieces, these two methods go hand in hand. #WINNING!

I, just this month competed in my first powerlifting competition. Earlier in the year I watched my pal compete in her first competition. I was more nervous watching her, than she was competing, I was a sweaty mess! One of my coaches asked me the week later, would I ever consider doing one. My answer was, HELL NO! Not my thing, I’m not strong enough, squatting is not my favourite, i don’t like the training…blah blah..waves of excuses rolling in. Then i competed in a Tactical Strength Challenge in April. I realised all these excuses were just FEAR of the challenge, and lack of belief in my ability to lift. I decided; well screw that!, I’m going to show myself I can do it!

How did Iget on? I came paddy last in my weight class. That wasn’t the point though, a big lesson that I’ve learned. Coming last is hard on the ego, but that’s only if you let it get to you. I fought off negative feelings on it for several days afterwards. On the day, how did i feel? I only felt excitement and absolute awe for the amazingly strong women in my weight class and flight. Did I feel embarrassed? No. I actually felt proud and happy. All my lifts felt strong and I felt in control, I only missed one lift out of 9. My numbers may have been low compared to the other ladies, but they were good for me and where I was. I worked really hard training to get them. I realised that; I can push myself, and that there is a lot more wiggle room there too. I am looking forward to getting back to training more dynamic movements, and doing the things I enjoy at the gym, it has given me motivation to push a little harder and believe in myself more. Being in a room with so many women, of all ages, shapes and sizes, the energy it created; of confidence, courage, self belief and positivity was incredible. It was inspiring, humbling and contagious. For this i am so grateful, and for taking the opportunity to push myself and experience that energy.

If you are worried about starting something and not being the best immediately, remember even the best started somewhere, they weren’t always the best. When people see you putting yourself out there and trying, they only have respect, they were there once too, and it’s because of  that very reason.  The only thing holding you back is how you feel about yourself.

Go out there, 5-4-3-2-1 it, and launch yourself at what you want. Ask. Ask yourself, ask for the opportunity, ask for help, ask that guy/girl out, make new connections, go for coffee with someone who inspires you, take that first yoga class, sign up for the course, go on that trip, join a gym…ASK! Be curious, don’t allow yourself to take away an opportunity to grow and learn about what makes you tick, just because you are scared. The more you ask, the more you see the opportunities out there, the closer you get to living a life you dreamed of. The outcome may not always be what you expected, but there is always joy in the doing, allow yourself to see it. Open your heart and put yourself out there, it’s amazing what happens when you do. Have the courage to take that first step, and go! Make the magic happen. Be the one you’ve been waiting for.

Stop Waiting pic

 

Old Habits Die Hard

Old habits die hard! I have been chewing on this A LOT in June. When working on shifting/changing/a long-term goal, man oh man does it sing true! This month is testing me big time. Why can’t they just die easy???!!! I shake my fists at these habits I have so tenderly cultivated. Things start to get tough, here I go slipping right back into that old comforting habit, my dear frenemy. Ah yes, warm blankety habit, swaddle me, help me remain where I am. NO! WAIT, WHAT???…this is not the direction I want to go, REVERSE!

Recognition of an old pattern is the first step. Recognition gives you a chance to stop, and create a new good/better habit. Once we are aware, we can address the situation. Can you identify when you are in an old pattern, be aware, accept it, stop, breath, change, step away, do whatever it is you need to do to move forward? It’s a chain reaction of action; move away from your habit, side step it, light on those toes!! DODGEBALL!

A couple of the goals I set my self this year are moving into their next phase. PHASE 2! ENGAGE! I have managed to move through Phase 1 (initiation action phase), I am now comfortable here. It’s time to move it up a gear, prep for change and step back out of my comfort zone again. Here’s when my negative self-talk swoops in, and tries to hold me back. Fear is holding me back. I am holding me back. I have sat at this point previously for so many years, especially with learning to drive. Letting my negative chatter dominate, the ego getting in the way of positive change. The ego doesn’t like change, telling me; I’m crap, that wasn’t good enough, I’m not good enough, you will never do this right, driving just isn’t your thing. ABSOLUTE BS. Driving this month I have had many meltdowns. I have had to work hard at taking a breath, calming my mind and moving forward. Some days I can do it in the car, others I have to do the work once I’m out of the car.

Time to take a cold hard look in the mirror and kick this habit of chat. It’s ruled for too long. I have worked hard at making positive changes in my attitude over the last year and a half, I will not fall down. I am not willing to give up this time round, whatever the outcome. Do you have something you are working towards, are stuck, not sure where to go next, putting it off? Is it your old habits sneaking up on you, holding you back from progressing? Try recognize the pattern, see if you can make a shift forward. One step at a time.

Three other areas in my life I am working on moving onto the next step are; Learing Spanish, budgeted savings, next fitness goal/focus. I broke down each area at the start of the year, mapping a brief outline of each step/phase. I needed to work it out logically, into smaller more digestible pieces so as not to overwhelm myself. Baby steps, pudgy ankles.

In summary, this is what I’m at. Spanish; Phase 1, Duolingo  every night for 10 mins. Phase 2, add online course/workbook style practice to Duolingo work. Phase 3, starting classes in July. Budgeted savings; Phase 1, save enough to buy flights.  Phase 2, fix budget for trip, stick to monthly savings goal. Fitness goal; Phase 1, pick a challenge in an area I enjoy and am comfortable in, compete. Phase 2, new challenge in an area I’m not so comfortable in, put myself in a more competitive environment, put the work in and compete, I signed up to my first powerlifting competition 🤗 All these smaller incremental decisions lessens that overwhelming freeze.

Try it. Think logically, gain clarity, take small steps forward. I gave myself more time in the comfort zone with my Spanish than with my fitness goals. It’s ok to be moving at different paces on things we want to reach in our lives. But always be ready to move forward once you have exhausted the first step, that’s where the progress lies. Recognizing your old bad habits, and addressing them throughout each stage makes it a little more manageable to break them.

Old habits die hard, but with consistency and perseverance you can overcome anything, truly move forward, and away from what once held you back. Communicate with the people in your spheres/communities about your struggles and wins. Get tips, tools, ideas, motivation, inspiration and energy from those around you. Ask questions, be honest, and most importantly believe in your ability to change.

BA56CC87-9315-4D88-9FB5-9C5E2CB4F6A0

 

 

Going Greener

My impact on this planet, and how I can live a little more in harmony with our world , has been on my mind of late.  Mother Nature provides us with most, if not all of our resources. I want to discover how I can give a little back and ease that burden in some way. At present, the rate at which Ireland consumes; we would need 3.2 planets to sustain us. Holy Christ!

It boils down to convenience. In today’s society the more convenient, the better. We want things instantly, and with ease, not ever thinking of the consequences of this convenience. An observation at my office; We got new bathrooms about a year ago, we have sensor taps now, a wave of the hand, boom!, water. On the ground floor the bathrooms were not upgraded. Regularly I go in, wave my hand at the tap… frowning, the penny drops… I’ve got to lift the handle, HOW INCONVENIENT!!😂🙈 Really though?, it’s not at all, how quickly the mindset changes once convenience comes into play. An attitude we do not need to cultivate in our society.

Going greener is not at the forefront of people’s minds. We have so much more to be worrying about, right? This is our home though, we should protect it. I love our planet, the beauty of our natural world is what makes us realize how lucky we are to be here. Let’s change our perspective on how we all live, make the effort in trying to save our planet in any small way that we can, she provides so much for us. Rome wasn’t built in a day, we don’t have to change everything all at once, but we can make a start, every little bit helps. I want to start the conversation, see what other people are doing, get tips, share information resources and ideas.

Epa is a great resource and foodwaste.ie. The ‘Live Green’ section on the EPA website breaks things down into digestible sections, so as not to overwhelm, you can dive in from there, they provide links to other greats information resources also.

Here’s what I’ve been up;

I live with my sister, this year we both have tight budgetary goals. She zoned in on our food shopping, completely overhauling how we approached our weekly shops. Nothing laborious, just simple tactics. Checking not only our fridge, but the freezer and pantry, meal ideas planned, and a list written before hitting the shops. Really obvious, practical, common sense tactics, which get overlooked too often. Our food bill has reduced, and, we have cut down on food wastage. Not only have we saved in our pockets, but, my sisters lost lbs, started taking lunches to work and implemented a consistent gym routine.  From getting in that zone, focusing on something else, the other things fell into place for her. PMA, positive Mental Attitude a go go!

We have started to compost. This is something that is going to reduce our general waste, lessen bin collections, hence a good money saving tact, not to mention being more environmentally friendly. Luckily our small complex has a composter, we have a pretty, well maintained garden, and outdoor area, which has lots of plants and flowers. I’ts a nice feeling that we are now contributing to that a little. If you have your own garden space, its something to look into, if you live in apartments and there are communal green areas, contact the management company and see if there is a way to implement a composting scheme?.

Consuming! As a woman, I have a penchant for lotions and potions, my bathroom is brimming. I am working on actually using them all up, only buying when I need something verses want. I’ll be making the effort to opt for more environmentally friendly products, when the time comes to replenish. Clothing….I have far too much, major decluttering is afoot. I will be availing of charities, and giving items away to someone in need or a friend who will love and wear them more.  Less decisions, more head space, hello mental health!

General considerations. Do you like coffee?, is it part of your routine to treat yourself with takeaway dreams? One million takeaway cups end up in landfill every minute. Get a keep-cup, there are lots of cool designs out there, down to environmentally friendly bamboo ones! Do away with buying plastic bottled water, buy a keep-bottle. Both these items can be taken with you on holiday. Like to travel? Pay that little bit extra and get a direct flight or as direct as you can, reduce that carbon foot print. Buy loose fruit and veg when you can, choose glass jars and bottles over plastic where you can. Walk/cycle or take public transport at least one day a week if possible. Eat veggie at least one day a week. See, there are lots of simple easy ways to make a difference and start the change!

Chat to your local store owner, enquire about local brands, sustainable brands, be curious, the more demand there is for produce that meets these standards the more available they will be. Ask you office what they do to run a greener business, let it bleed into other areas of your life, think outside the box.

You can see from the above, a good deal of these changes can tie directly back into our mental health, and outlook on life, we start to live more in harmony with the planet, we start to live better for ourselves. I would love to hear what anyone else is doing, have they heard of any interesting schemes/ideas? It would be great to share information on this topic and see what changes we can make in our own spheres. Let’s start the conversation in our everyday lives, influence others on how they view their impact. If we communicate, keep this conversation going,  in our communities and spheres, influence, lead, begin the change, a ripple effect can lead the bigger changes. Lets try!

Greener pic

 

 

Shooting for some stars

What happens when you meet a goal you set? Last week I finally completed the first challenge I had set myself since starting this blog. To many this goal I set may seem ridiculous, silly or pointless. To me?…well, it meant so much. The intention behind what we set out to do, the energy we put into achieving something is ours alone. It’s powerful stuff.

I chose something in an area of my life which I enjoy. What I was attempting to do was to get back to a root essence of who I once was. Sport being such a huge part of my growing up. It’s where I had learned confidence, where I didn’t care what anyone thought, I had focus and drive to push myself. I wanted to get back to that quality and remember; YES I can do this! This is who I am. Dusting off that part of myself to try apply it to areas in my life I find hard to have focus, drive and confidence in.

How did it feel, to step up to the plate and achieve that challenge? I was floating, I tell you, I sailed out of that gym on cloud 9! Lifted a PB, repped a PB on my KB Snatch and matched my max pull ups. Was I nervous? HELL YES! I was full of nerves, but excited nerves. It’s funny, the focus kicked it straight away. Once I stepped up to each piece of the challenge my mind got in the zone it used to know so well. Head was clear, I trusted I knew what to do, I followed technique ques, but most of all, I believed in my ability to get the job done. Never once did I say to myself, this is too heavy, that’s too hard, or did I let a number freeze my belief, or allow doubt creep in. The feeling of reaching that goal, unlocked something. I felt lighter, it was an ‘oh shit!’ moment, like; right, this is how I am meant to feel and view myself. Right on!! Let’s be having more of this in my life! To be honest, ridiculous as it sounds, I’m still riding around in my chariot of dreams doing the queens wave a week on from it 😂🙈

I also know too well what it feels like to not complete something you set out to do. Four/Five years ago my buddy asked me to sign up to the marathon with her. I needed something to get me back training, it was the perfect opportunity, with a stellar training partner to boot.  I got injured 6 weeks out. Never got to run it. My confidence was knocked more than I acknowledged at the time. I didn’t make the challenge. What it did do, was made me fall back in love with being active and that side of myself. It helped me remember and start appreciating who I was again. I realized running a marathon wasn’t ever a goal of mine.

Choose your goals wisely, with intention, you don’t need to jump on a band wagon, you can choose your own chariot. If you don’t hit a challenge, have perspective, be honest with yourself, take the positives with you, turn your negatives into positives. Don’t let it hold you back, it might send you on a path to something even bigger and better. A renewal and discovery. Perceive yourself in a positive manner whatever the outcome may be. You are only gathering information and knowledge about what makes you tick, and how strong you really are. If you invest time, effort and consistency into any challenge, the odds of succeeding are very much stacked in your favour. It’s simple, yet sometimes hard to do, it takes patience, but when you get there it’s worth every minute of that hard work. Be curious about what you can achieve and enjoy the challenge.

This challenge was such a useful tool for me, an unveiling of truth, an opening of the curtains. What can you challenge yourself with? Pull up those blinds once again, shine your light on full power, get back, strengthen your will, confidence and self-love. Pick something you enjoy doing to start. It could be a creative project, something in sports, something academic, exploring a new land. Remember what you are capable of. Use it.

353476B7-CA9C-48AD-9DB1-451A32C912AE