Positive Negatives

One of the hardest things about making a change in your life can be coming up against negative remarks/opinions voiced by people close to you and/or your family. Occurring at the start or at any point along the path in your journey to change.  Learning how to deal with them is tricky, difficult and emotional to say the least! I have learned this month how to turn those negatives around into a strong positive, and I hope to take this new perspective and attitude with me across into all areas of my life.

Here’s the thing…. sometimes we are unable to ask ourselves the difficult questions, we get caught up in our routine of change, going at it hell for leather.  It’s hard to see what this looks like from the outside. We have our eyes on the prize, but we might be missing the point or lose sight of our ‘why’. By ‘why’, I mean our root reasons for making a change. These can get lost along the way, and I feel it’s one of the reasons we don’t/can’t follow through.

This month I received, what I perceived as negative feed back to a part of my life I love, invest time in, and get so much benefit from. My initial response being very defensive, upset and angry. Where was my fucking support?, ringing through my head. I began to shut down, questioning my why, being mad I had to justify myself to them. Then I stopped. It’s so tiring being in that state. Instead I slowed it down, and had a frank honest conversation. I communicated rather than snap react/shut down.

What came from that conversation was endlessly positive. People often attack what they don’t understand, they don’t have the true full story. Three things happened from that conversation;

1. For the first time in a long time I heard my ‘why’ out loud, never really being a solid thing in my head. To be honest some of my why had changed and switched up, what came up and out of my mouth only bolstered and affirmed the changes I have been making are good, and that my feet are on the right track. I was actually shocked, surprised and delighted all in one breath.

2. I examined my reactions to this persons life, in areas I didn’t understand. I decided to listen more, investigate and be curious about their why. A feeling of great support and understanding arose between the two of us. With family especially it can be so hard not to jump to a conclusion, hold onto a negative feeling and turn that into a story in our heads. We can forget how our reaction/response can affect others along with ourselves. All this brought on an openness, willingness to listen more, be kinder and more respectful each others journeys.

3. There was some truth to the observation, and I have taken that on board. I am moving forward with an adjusted attitude and better strategy for myself. It was something I probably would have swept under the carpet, for as long as I could, until it blew up in my face. For that I was grateful.

There you have it, I managed to turn what I could have held onto as a negative, wallowing about in a story of non support, into this sparkly awesome positive, which has helped me get closer to my vision of changes.

Next time you come up against something  similar in your life,  try taking a step back from the emotion and flip it into a super charged positive! Always remember we are capable of changing our initial reactions/responses. If you don’t understand something, go connect, interact and have a conversation; you never know what magic might come from it! Here’s to discovering new ways, learning skills and building up our positive view on who we are and where we want to go and be right now.

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On your marks …

2017, See Ya!!! 👋🌪 What a year it’s been… for everyone…sheesh! I bid farewell to my year with one of my main resolutions/goals I had set for myself. TRAVEL! It was the perfect note to end my pitchy year out on.

What made it all the more special, was the fact I got to do that with 4 super ladies.  All excited for the opportunities of 2018 laying ahead of us. We reminised on the year gone by, and as we listened to each other hatch plans, ideas, goals and dreams for the year ahead, this energy we collectively had for each other’s and our own future was truly  uplifting. I was soaring off out of this 2017! When you lift each other up like that, we reach further, dream bigger, and realise anything is possible. It’s all in our hands. It made me think of a song lyric by Lady Gaga ‘Hey girl, Hey girl. We can make it easy if we lift each other.’

This year I have some similar resolutions and goals, I have added in some practical ones also.  Resolutions can be daunting, your laying it on the line, and in kicks those overwhelming feels! How to start, how can I achieve this, can I follow through???? Eeeeeekkk! This shit is scary! I learned a good trick a couple of years back. It’s to break the goal down into smaller pieces so you don’t freak out and quit, before even giving it and yourself a proper chance.

Break it down to monthly goals, review at the end of each month. Decide if your actions are working, are they helping you get closer to your goal? What can you lose, keep, add, adjust? A goal can always be adjusted. You can break things down even further to daily and weekly goals. For example; one of my daily goals/targets is to drink 2/2.5 litres of water and to complete my duo lingo. A weekly goal for me is; get my training days in, at least one outdoor activity and practice yoga at home on the weekend. My Jan monthly goal, yes that’s right, the predictable… giving up booze for the month, also included is budgeting. All of these little things plug into my bigger picture goals, and will aid me in getting closer to where I want to be. Sometimes I’ll miss a day here an there, but that’s ok,  I know I’m making positive moves in the right direction.

Last week one of my favourite Yogi Instructors returned to the studio I practice at.  It’s so wonderful seeing how an instructors practice has grown, her yoga flows are always so natural. This lady was off studying Feng Shui.  We had a brief chat about what she was up to, and isn’t it funny how conversations and ideas stay with you, to pop up later in your week? On the back of it, I did a major clear out of my wardrobe and toiletries. I opened the windows aired out my space and lit some Palo Santo. I felt my space was calm and relaxed, my head was ready to tackle some changes for the new year.

Give the monthly/ weekly/ daily thing a go, keep it simple. Don’t be afraid to change as you go either. This is your journey afterall, be kind to yourself, be the artist to your masterpiece. Here’s to another fresh start and continuing the good we have already done for ourselves.

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Festive Season

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, when all our bodies and minds want to do is slow down, it’s one of the busiest times of the year, and unfortunately it’s very difficult to slow down and unwind.  It’s exhausting, I’m exhausted, I figure its my body clock screaming at me to slow down. It’s hard to listen though, with all the fever and cheer to be had. This year I am doing my best, to take some time and listen, especially if I am pushing too hard, and not beat myself up for that.  To actually listen to my body when its telling me to rest.

I know Christmas is not everyone’s cup of tea. For me though, I have always loved this time of year. I have held onto my childhood spirit. There is one or two memories that just stayed with me, and they make me feel all cozy and frivolously festive. I love the cooking and baking smells in the kitchen, I delight in recreating them year after year, decorating the Christmas tree, finding a perfect gift, the lights, cooler brisk weather, the anticipation of whether it will snow. Perhaps there is something I have wired in my brain to tap back into that feeling and it just happens naturally for me.  

It’s also a difficult time of year for many, especially if we have lost someone dear to us around this time of year or be it any other time,loss is highlighted. As it’s the end of year we all naturally reflect on what has gone before. It’s a time of year of letting go, being with family and love, we think of the loved ones who have left this world. It’s a happy and sorrowful mash-up. No wonder emotions run high, exhaustion of the year gone by coupled with pressure for everyone to be jolly and happy, can bring on unwanted stress.

How can we try make our own Christmas’s a good one?Especially a time when people honour tradition. My family have had to change our traditions throughout the years, and this is healthy. When something isn’t working anymore or has grown tired, we shouldn’t be afraid to change it up and make new memories with new traditions. Our circumstances are always changing as we grow older, we can, with kindness move forward, make way for new ways to enjoy this time of year. Celebrate the new, say goodbye to the old, isn’t that what we are ultimately doing at this time of year in any-case?. One tradition we manage to hold onto in our house is our Christmas toast. ‘To absent friends and loved ones’ This came from my Mum’s side of the family. It’s so simple but has so much meaning for us, especially after recent losses, changes in circumstances and tradition, with my brother being unable to be with us the last 2 years. Good news is, we created a new tradition for when he comes home in January now.

Perhaps we can put things in place that will help you have a Merrier Christmas and take some pressure off. Setting a time frame of how much intense family interaction you are going to do, giving yourself some space throughout the day, a time out. Having a longer shower, listening to favourite music, going for a walk, getting outdoors…I don’t know what it might be, try tap into something that gives you a little joy and use it to help relax and enjoy the break and not hurtle through it at light speed without taking a breath.

Lets take a breath, slow down and enjoy a well needed break.

This is one of my favourite Christmas morning memories, we got plastic red noses in our stockings, I thought it was the funniest thing ever, I laughed so hard I cried 😂IMG_1076

Notice

I’ve been trying to adjust back to my reality. It’s hard work!Only a week since I crash landed back home.Are old patterns creeping back in?

I bike most days, and on my route home, I sail through a village, passing this one store in particular. I never fail to notice it. It’s called Fineline Furniture, but everyday without fail when I fly by, I read it as Feline Furniture. EVERY FREAKIN TIME!!I’m like; No Ruth! You did it again. Haha, I smirk and resolve that I will see its real name the next day. Does it happen? Nope! Is the universe telling me I am destined to be a crazy cat lady?

It got me thinking, how many other situations do I do that in…only see my version, keep missing the message? The mind is such a powerful thing, habit/thought patterns can be stubborn to shift. I’m talking about ones that don’t serve you, or get in the way of a more positive outlook of yourself. It is hard to let go of a way of viewing yourself or certain situations. The old way is so comfortable, and the highway onto it, so fast, being near impossible to pump the brakes, take a breath, look and listen, so easily lost, returning back to a place you don’t want to be.

One of the most valuable things I have learned through my yoga practice is to notice. Stop and notice how you actually feel, give yourself a moment. Once you have the ability to stop and notice, recognise a behaviour or pattern, it starts to lose power over you. Noticing means you can change or do something positive about it, you are aware. Before I started this blog I would notice, but I would feel negatively toward it. Now I am learning to love and accept myself bit by bit, I’m starting to notice with a smile and a little warm inner hug. I’ve found some lightness to the technique and it’s a little less daunting to tackle or make decisions on.

How can you start noticing? I recently read ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ by Carlo Rovelli. ‘Electrons only exist if they are interacting with something else.’ I thought this was so interesting. If u apply it to us as a whole, I think the more we interact with each other the more energy we create, we are more vibrant. Taking from my recent trip,  go out and meet people, connect and interact, you will start to notice more, see new perspectives and get you outside that inner dialogue. Energy attracts energy, go forth and mingle with your people, engage in the new, be curious and notice, have fun doing it too.Mugs

The Adventure

How to start with this post?!!Big Sigh!….What an experience. I hope it to be the first of many more adventures. Doing this trip has reawakened my love of travel. That feeling you get, when you finally let go of the day to day rattle, and are completely immersed in the moments which are so far from a daily routine. I wish you could bottle that feeling. It’s a mix of wonder, gratitude, freedom, excitement; I can’t even explain. A warm breeze on your skin, a smile on your face, a quite excitement for the unknown yet to come. The worries drift away. Its Bliss.

Some of my highlights Guatemala; Jumping off a thermal waterfall, arriving to it by boat and tractor, the ruins of Tikal and surrounding jungle, a sunset float cruise with a swim at dark in the Flores lake. The music, the dancing. Belize; Caye Caulker, the islanders, the energy vibe, snorkeling with nurse sharks, rum punch, fireball, Sunset at the Split, Yoga on a rooftop, bike tour with the local kids. Mexico; Cenote, the ocean, Coco Bongo, El Hongo community centre for kids, postcard picture prefect. Most of all though…The memories I made on this trip with the wonderful people I met. Our amazing guide with his big heart and beautiful soul, that gave so much, a gift of this experience.

What did I learn? This is a tricky one! Mostly I was just so grateful to have the opportunity to go away and see this part of the world. The love you felt in each place, the people who brought us on the tours, how much they cared, the passion they held for showing us their little piece of heaven in this world, was touching.

One thing that really stood out, was my life… is so incredibly routine. Meeting some of the locals and our wonderful guide made me really want to look at the way I am living my life. My life is so different, life here is so different. I crave some of that freedom or passion, I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is. Perhaps it’s the culture over there. They care more for people, they give themselves and are always true to themselves, they don’t hide who they are. How do I shake some of my routine? Be braver, think less and do more, listen to my heart. It’s hard to see that when you are in such a routine way of living, to step outside and see life through another’s eyes, it’s very powerful.

I love some of my routines, but I want to change things.  Things I held to be important in my life, may not be so important. I want to work on figuring out how to bring some of this freedom into my life. It will take some time I know this, but I am willing to find a way and be braver and consider possibilities that I was maybe afraid of before.  Who knows where the wind may take me! Off on my broomstick!

If anyone is considering going on a big trip, the tour group I went with are great. PM me for details. It’s a clever way to get a taste of what you could do, they work with wonderful community projects which you contribute to by going on tour, a major positive. I am not sure if I am tour group girl myself, but I know what I saw, and what I experienced would have been very hard to do solo. One tip I would give is; check the distance of your tour, how much travelling is involved. Choose something where you see more and travel days are not so plentiful.

In conclusion, go travel, rediscover parts of yourself, see the world through someone else’s eyes, get a new perspective, it can only add to the life you are living already.

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Solo Adventure

One of my New Years resolutions this year was to travel more. I made it a priority,and stuck to my guns, which can prove difficult with resolutions,more often than not we can fall short on some of them.Reflecting on the year and this particular resolution, has given me renewed energy, making me see I do have sticking power when I put my mind to it.

Every year I go away on an exquisite trip with my BFF holiday buddy.This year was going to be no different,except we were upping the stakes location wise. The Caribbean being our quest. We were very excited about the prospect!Our beady eyes were on the prize! Unfortunately my super pal and holibop companion had to pull out, and our Caribbean dreams were put on ice.I was gutted.

What was I going to do??SHITBALLS!! Planning was not my forte,P had such talent for researching and picking the best spots.Me? I usually floated in shouting YAS!,TAKE MY FARTHINGS,I SHALL GO! Having a companion to share in an adventure, a great friend who gets me,no drama,just laughs, is such a luxury and not something not to be taken for granted. I couldn’t let myself hold me back from an opportunity to try something new.

I had attempted a solo holiday venture two years previous. A damp squib affair. Guernsey, off-season, inclement weather, near drowning experience,failed pamper day, awkward drinks with the German barkeep. Not my best work. I missed sharing my holiday experience with a friend. The thoughts of this type of holiday again was bumming me out majorly.

When my brilliant sister suggested I use a tour group to discover some far-flung location, it terrified me. I mean, could I?, me?,do that? I sweated thinking about the possibility.  Lots of people do this, it’s not that big of a deal…I knew I was holding myself back, and for what? I didn’t want to give up and not go away. Before I had the time to over think it and back out, I pushed the button and booked a trip . SHITIDYFUCKFUCK! You see as a kid I was painfully shy, that little girl still lives inside me. Especially when I am outside my comfort zone, this trip was just that.

Since making a decision to actively change my mindset, I understood that I had to stop that little girl inside, and those feelings, overtaking this wonderful opportunity I was giving myself. The fact I am at a point in my life where, I am not tied to anything, means it’s the perfect time to go and celebrate that fact. Solo trip take 2 here I come. 16 days across Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. I leave on Tuesday.

Heres to overcoming fears, trusting in oneself, exploring this world, meeting new people, making connections and living a little more boldly. Lets not be the obstacle in our way to a better life/experience. If we can look at things with new perspective, not putting ourselves in a box, we can cut new and different paths to goals we truly want to achieve.

A quote I read last week, is helping calm my nerves some, ‘Don’t try to be perfect, instead make it interesting.’ I love it! Bon Voyage kids, looking forward to sharing my experience upon my return 😊IMG_6176

Going back to my Roots

My oldest friend’s mother passed away recently. She is the first in my group of friends to have lost a parent. At the funeral, although it was very sad, all her siblings shared very touching words in her memory. They were so intimate, warm and loving, and celebrated each part of her life. Although I have fond memories of her wonderful Mum; it was very special to witness and hear about her life.

I am lucky to have both my parents still with me. It struck me that perhaps I don’t know a huge deal about their lives before all of us arrived; me, my sister and brother. My own Mum is going into hospital for an operation shortly, it has got me thinking about her, as a person. I feel I have not appreciated that recently, let’s be fair probably not for a while. I have taken for granted my special Mum. Grown impatient, and sometimes reacted unkindly.  I am a good daughter I know that, and I am hard on myself, but I want to be better.

Part of learning how to love yourself is understanding your roots and appreciating where you came from also. Your parents are part of you, they made you. Some of the traits I love about myself were learned from them, along with the ones I may not be so fond of, but am learning to accept.

I am dedicating some time and positive energy into being more understanding and caring, especially with my Mum. She is a special person. When I see how she fought and turned things around for herself and us, much later in her life, it inspires me.  She stayed home to take care of us growing up. When we were old enough, she went out into the work force. She tried her hand a Waitressing, which didn’t work out. She ended up getting a job in the local kindergarten.  This is where everything started. She made the decision to go back to college at night, completing her Degree in Fine Art, going on to do her H Dip and began teaching Art at Second Level. Although Mum could be a shy, anxious person, her confidence grew as a teacher and soon she feel in love with teaching, and her students loved her. I know this from the endless cards and gifts they bestowed upon her year in year out.

This is where I get my determination from, she has taught me not to be scared to try things on my own, or make new connections with like-minded people at any point in life.  She has taught me it is important to have your own interests and to pursue the things that make you happy in order to be true to yourself. My Dad has always supported her in this. These lessons are invaluable to me.

Now she is retired. It’s a new chapter of her/their life, and I need to remember that.  She is just a girl inside too, she has to find her way again, and I have to treat her with kindness and support at this time in her life, both her and my Dad.  They have supported me though my life, now it’s my turn to start repaying the favour and not be inpatient or unkind. It’s a chance to get to know them more, and I look forward to doing that.

It’s one thing to say you are grateful, this time I want to feel actually take time to feel it. I will spend time with these two wonderful people who I love dearly, enjoy their spirit and energy fully, learning and growing from them with new valour and fresh eyes, a new perspective.