My Self-Trust Journal is Published…

My Self-Trust Journal is Published…

Woohoo – My Self-Trust Journal is Published…

A few weeks ago now (March 27, 2022 to be exact), the My Self-Trust Journal was published 💙

Learning to come home to my true Self, develop greater self-awareness and increase self-trust has been an adventure that has been going for many years now 💙

Being on the adventure and shifting from the external (i.e. people-pleasing and imposter syndrome) to the internal (questioning my own sense of worth and purpose or if I had one) and knowing who I Am hasn’t been easy, however it’s worth it 💙

It’s involved many, many, many hours of training, being coached / mentored and even 4 x 10-day silent meditation retreats. It’s truly been a rollercoaster ride – very few regrets though and I’ll keep (un)learning 💙

Now it’s ready to be shared with the world 💙

 

Gratitude…

Thanks again mum for your support over the past few days of editing – you are a gem and I am so lucky to have you as my mum 💙

Thanks so much to my brother for his photography insights 💙

Thank you also to the clients whom I’ve worked with over the years and of course my own mentors and inner circle – am so grateful 💙

If you have read this far and for those people who have asked, this is the link to find out more where you can purchase it or find out more here.

Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Last night I locked myself out of my unit. This was the third time in 22ish years. However, last night was different. Yes the situation / context was very similar – I locked myself out of my unit. However, the difference was my reaction, my inner talk and how I handled it.

In my heart I knew there was really only one solution (the same thing I had done previously – ask for help from the locksmith). Fortunately, I had my phone in my hand as I was talking to a friend on the phone whom was coming to dinner. So I called the people whom I have used before. On the phone I gave them the details and said I had lasagne in the oven (as that was dinner). Luckily, the locksmith came within 15 minutes. It took a while to get in, however we did with minimal changes to the door and the lasagne was saved.

So how did I handle it so quickly? I saw what I needed to do (grateful for the many years of practise in mindfulness and training my mind), I took responsibility quickly, stayed grounded in what was happening (i.e. felt my feelings), had genuine compassion and kindness for myself (now this has definitely not been the case previously) and then forgave myself for making the error and recognise that no-one is perfect (yes this has been a challenge for me to untangle in my life) and released the situation 🙂 For me – this is how I measure my life and can see how much I have grown since I started this adventure as I used to struggle asking for help.

Subsequently, in today’s post I wanted to explore the topic of asking for help, including –

  • What is asking for help?
  • Why do we need to ask for help?
  • 5 myths about asking for help!
  • How can we ask for help?

 

What is Asking for Help?

Asking for help is a process of asking and then allowing yourself to receive that support from other people.

 

Why Do We Need To Ask for Help?

Honestly – because we are not an island and I don’t think we are meant to do everything by ourselves. Let me explain further.

In your life, would you agree there are some things you really enjoy doing, are passionate about and are good at? And then there are other things you just don’t like doing, are not so passionate about and are possibly not so good at?

Well the good news is some of the things we do not enjoy doing are other people’s strengths and gifts. This is one of the reasons why it is important to ask for help – we allow other people to share their gifts with us, which in turn allows us to receive as well.

N.B. Please know I am not talking about avoiding important tasks here as sometimes we still need to do the tasks we don’t want to do and are not our strengths – i.e. remembering to take out the garbage!

 

5 Myths About Asking for Help

There are many myths associated to asking for help. Some myths are explored below –

Myth: Asking for Help is a Sign of a Weakness.

Reality: Asking for help is not a sign of a weakness, but a sign of a strength. “The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.” ~ Rona Barrett

Myth: “I shouldn’t have any challenges or need ask for help.”

Reality: In this statement we are criticising ourselves. Self-criticism is not a helpful strategy to feel better despite it being socially acceptable. In fact, it can cause you to feel insecure and inadequate. Subsequently, we need to develop self-compassion. Self-compassion means I think my problems are also important and worthy of being attended to as well as your problems. Self-compassion is about being with our challenges and seeing them as they are not numbing them or pushing them away, which is more self-indulgent.

Myth: “I am burdening other people if I ask them for help. They are already busy.”

Reality: There are many people who love to help you, if given the opportunity. When you ask for help, you provide a space for people to shine as they share their gifts and talents with you. As Jim Rohn said – “Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.”

Myth: “I am not worthy of help or support.”

Reality: Everyone is worthy of help, love, belonging and support – as we have all made mistakes and need help in our lives, no one is perfect.

Myth: Asking for help means “I am incompetent.”

Reality: “Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” ~ Anne Wilson Schaef

 

How Can We Ask For Help?

When you are starting to ask for someone for help, I think it’s important to start by asking someone you have a good relationship with. For example, someone –

  • who knows you quite well,
  • talks to you,
  • smiles at you,
  • really listens to you, and
  • takes an interest in what you do (i.e. the activities you enjoy).

When we are asking for help, we also need to remember to have self-compassion. What is self-compassion –

Christopher Germer in his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions refers to self-compassion as “… simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” 

In her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Dr Kristin Neff refers to self compassion as having three components –

  1. Self-kindness – be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental.  
  2. Common humanity – feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering (i.e. experiencing our imperfections). 
  3. Mindfulness – that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain and exaggerating it.

Also, in the The Force of Kindness, Sharon Salzberg wrote – “this kind of compulsive concern with “I, me and mine” isn’t the same as loving ourselves… Loving ourselves points us to capacities of resilience, compassion and understanding within that are simply part of being alive.”

Remember the person you ask for help may say no, so if you have a good relationship with them beforehand and self-compassion, the no will be ‘softened’ per se. Here are some questions you may like to use when asking for you –

  • Can I ask you a favour?
  • Can you please help me with ..?
  • Could you spare me a minute?
  • Is there any chance, I could get some support from you with …?
  • Would it be possible if you could help me with …?
  • I could do with some help at the moment with …, do you have some time to help me?

 

Over to You…

I hope this post has helped clarify some myths around asking for help and if you have any questions, please contact us. If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

 

“We’re all imperfect and we all have needs. The weak usually do not ask for help, so they stay weak. If we recognize that we are imperfect, we will ask for help and we will pray for the guidance necessary to bring positive results to whatever we are doing.” ~ John Wooden

 

P.S. Thanks again to the locksmith who helped me last night and also for V for experiencing this little adventure with me. You were a great support (especially when I needed to make sure I was ringing the right person as I left my glasses inside the unit…) xxx And yes, I intend to take a breath to ensure I have my keys before I leave my home next time when speaking on the phone 🙂

References –

Germer, C. (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and EmotionsNew York: Guilford Press.

Neff, K. (2011). Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. New York, USA: HarperCollins Publishers.

My Gratitude Journal is Published…

My Gratitude Journal is Published…

Woohoo – My Gratitude Journal is Published…

I could never have imagined the feedback I have received the past few days on my first solo publication. For many years now, gratitude has been close to my heart for many, many reasons.

As a child, I remember my parents reminding me to say thank you when I received something.

As a young person, I remember my grandma reminding me to continue to say thank you to the people who show support towards me along my adventure of life (I also came to realise I am grateful for the people who did not, but that is another story).

Then as a young tennis player, I remember when Barry Masters the then CEO of Tennis NSW said thank you to me for writing to him and sharing my gratitude towards him for the support he gave me as a country tennis player.

Fast forward a few years, when I was a student doing my Masters and working in a National Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative and was reading the research behind gratitude and how it can support mental health and wellbeing.

So, I started to focus and cultivate it again deliberately in my life and with many clients in Habits for Wellbeing.Now I am pleased to share one of the habits that has helped me be here today – gratitude.

Gratitude really has been a gift to me and you just never know, it may also be a gift to you.

Thank You…

Thanks mum for your support over the past few days of editing – you are a gem and I am so lucky to have you as my mum.

To the clients who have walked this adventure with me over the many years, thank you for the courage you have shown. I never thought the 365 Days of Gratitude and 100 Days of Gratitude experiences would transform in to this journal and my first solo publication.

So thank you if you have read this far and for those people who have asked, this is the link to find out more where you can purchase it or find out more here.

We Are Worthy NOW!

We Are Worthy NOW!

One of the themes that has been running through conversations I have been having is worthiness.

Maybe it is because I have been learning to realise my value as a human being and not having to strive, prove or earn my own worth. Or maybe it is because that it what these conversations required – some awareness around worthiness. Subsequently, I am going to share a little more around this topic of worthiness.

In this post, I will discuss –

  • What is Worthiness?
  • A Lack of Worthiness…
  • 5 Quotes on Worthiness
  • Remember Worthiness Has No Prerequisites – We Are Worthy NOW…

Let’s get started…

What is Worthiness?

Ok it is probably quite self-explanatory, however here are a few definitions –

  • “the quality of being good enough; suitability.” ~ Google
  • having adequate or great merit, character, or value: ~ Dictionary.com
  • the quality of deserving respect or attention ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • “the quality or state of having merit or value ~ The Free Dictionary

 

A Lack of Worthiness…

Some of the definitions of unworthy include –

  • “beneath the dignity”, “not deserving” or “not commendable or credible” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “lacking in excellence or value” or “not deserved” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “not deserving respect or attention.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionary
  • “not deserving respect, admiration, or support” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • “If a person or thing is unworthy of something good, they do not deserve it.” ~ Collins Dictionary

 

If you have every questioned your worthiness, you will be familiar with the following sayings –

  • Who am I to …
  • Maybe when I …. then I can … or then I will be ready, valuable, deserving or worthy of …
  • I am JUST a ….
  • How could I possibly do …

A lack of worthiness looks like someone who is holding back, someone who is staying small, procrastinating, trying to  perfect, play it safe, or someone who is paralysed by doubt or fear.

A lack of worthiness feels like shame, guilt, worry, fear, disappointment or that sense of disconnectedness.

 

5 Quotes on Worthiness

Following are 5 inspiring quotes on worthiness –

  1. “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.” ~ Brené Brown
  2. “Self-worth is an understanding on the intellectual level, trusting at the heart level, and accepting at the soul level that you are worthy just because you believe that you are. Your worthiness is proven by your existence. Your breathing. The beating of your heart. Your mere presence is all that is needed to establish your worth.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
  3. “Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” ~ Ram Dass
  4. “Over the years, I’ve interviewed thousands of people, most of them women, and I would say that the root of every dysfunction I’ve ever encountered, every problem, has been some sense of a lacking of self-value or of self-worth.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
  5. “We must honour our worthiness in order to receive what we want. In our society we are conditioned to believe that we are not worthy, and that it is even selfish to want to be able to attract things into our lives.” ~ Wayne Dyer.

Do you have any other quotes that you like? If so, feel free to share them below!

 

Remember Worthiness Has No Prerequisites…

Without realising it, so many of us have allowed, created or been handed down a long list of worthiness “prerequisites.” For example –

I’ll be worthy when I get married.

I’ll be worthy when I finish my degree. 

I’ll be worthy when I win a tournament. 

I’ll be worthy when I can do the splits in yoga.

I’ll be worthy when I have 1000 Facebook likes or friends.  

I’ll be worthy when I can make a living with my business. 

I’ll be worthy when I write a book. 

I’ll be worthy when I lose 5kgs. 

I’ll be worthy when I can do it all and then some…

etc. etc. etc….

However, as Dr Brené Brown says – “There are no prerequisites for worthiness.” You are worthy NOW! You do not have to prove anything to anyone or earn the right to breathe (yes I did believe that).

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below.

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and be happy by connecting with your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

The Sixth Stage of Grief – Finding Meaning

The Sixth Stage of Grief – Finding Meaning

Grief and loss can be challenging for many of us. I don’t think I really knew too much about it growing up. However, later on in my life (maybe from about 30ish), I became acutely aware how much loss I had experienced (without actually realising it).

A few years back now, I wrote an article called – Coping with Grief and Loss – Insights in to the Grieving Process. If you are interested, please click here to read it. Today, I wanted to elaborate on that post and share about the Sixth Stage of Grief as it resonated with me when I heard it. However, before we start, let me share with you –

  • What is Loss?
  • What is Grief?
  • What Types of Loss Can Cause Grief?
  • The Original Five Stages of Grief,
  • The Six Stage of Grief – Finding Meaning, and
  • Some Insights in to Finding Meaning.

Let’s get started…

 

What is Loss?

Loss is being parted from someone or something that is really important to you. Loss can come into our lives in lots of ways, and it affects each of us differently.

 

What is Grief?

There are a number of definitions about grief, including –

  • “…intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionaries
  • “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job).” ~ MedicineNet.com

 

What Types of Loss Can Cause Grief?

Honestly – any type of loss can cause grief as grief is a reaction to a loss. Some examples of loss that can cause grief include –

  • Losing or leaving a job,
  • Death of someone you love,
  • Divorce or relationship breakup,
  • Retirement,
  • Selling the family home,
  • A pet passing,
  • Getting injured (especially if an athlete),
  • Loss of health,
  • A significant person in your life getting sick or ill, and
  • Loss of a friendship.

 

“The pain of the soul and heart is much more powerful that the pain of the body” ~ The Prophet.

 

The Original Five Stages of Grief

In her book On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross discussed what the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy, and their own families. The book is a discussion on some of the key emotional reactions to the experiences of the dying.

If you choose to read the book, you will see there are 5 stages that are described. The stages are used so the author can clearly articulate the experiences of the people she was learning from and they overlap. The five stages of grief are –

  1. Denial and isolation,
  2. Anger,
  3. Bargaining,
  4. Depression, and
  5. Acceptance.

You can see a visual of the diagram here.

 

The Sixth Stage of Grief – Finding Meaning

David Kessler has created the Sixth Stage of Grief. The sixth stage of grief evolved from the work of Kübler-Ross work after Kessler became a protege and friend of Kübler-Ross. They wrote two books together (Kessler 2019). In his book Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of GriefKessler clearly articulates the five stages –

  • “Denial: shock and disbelief that the loss has occurred, 
  • Anger: that someone we love is no longer here, 
  • Bargaining: all the what-ifs and regrets, 
  • Depression: sadness from the loss, 
  • Acceptance: acknowledging the reality of the loss.” (p. 1)

After Kessler experienced a significant loss of his own, he came to realise there was a six stage – meaning. Meaning –

“allows us to transform grief in to something else, something rich and fulfilling.” (Kessler, 2019).

Finding meaning takes time and depends on the loss and the situation / person. However, over time, finding meaning can help to start to find a path forward. Meaning can take on many forms, including gratitude for the time you had with loved ones to acknowledging the fragility and value of life. Kessler (2019) says that people –

“who are able to find meaning tend to have a much easier time grieving than those who don’t. (And) they’re less likely to remain stuck in one of the five stages.” (p.3). 

Some Insights into Finding Meaning

It is important to remember that grief and loss is complex process. For me personally finding meaning in my own experiences of grief and loss has been useful. However, for some of the losses it took me a long while to discover any meaning, so be compassionate to yourself!). A few insights that might help with finding meaning include –

  • We all respond to changes in our life in different ways – there is no right or wrong way to find meaning. There is also no timeframe to grieving and / or finding meaning.
  • You are the only one who can find the meaning.
  • Being able to acknowledge and accept the significance of a loss is important and helps to find meaning.
  • “Meaning doesn’t require understanding. It is not necessary to understand why someone died in order to find meaning” (Kessler 2019).
  • “Your lost is not a test, a lesson, something to handle, a gift or a blessing. Lost is simply what happens to you in life. Meaning is what you make happen.” (Kessler 2019).

 

Over to You…

I hope this has given you some insight in to the sixth stage of grief – finding meaning? If you have any questions, please ask them below or contact us. Also feel free to join our toolkit, to help you live with an open heart!

 

References –

Kessler, D. (2019). Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of Grief. New York, USA: Scribner.

Kübler-Ross, E. (1969). On Death and Dying: What the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy, and their own families. New York, USA: Scribner.

Reclaiming My Courage By Acknowledging and Navigating Fear

Reclaiming My Courage By Acknowledging and Navigating Fear

During the past few weeks, more changes and opportunities for transformation continue to present themselves in my life. Yes there are the obvious changes being presented with our current situation with the pandemic, however I also have a number of others.

In the past, these changes would have sent me straight in to fear, worry and panic as I didn’t know there was a gap as you can see by the image. Over many years of practise, I have remembered I have a choice in each moment of each situationI find myself in and I can those choices from a place of fear or a place of love (i.e. my courage).

Freedom to Choose

 

Why I Created a Fear List…

Many years ago I created a fear list. I created it like a reverse bucket list as I knew fear was one of the emotions that prevented me from living a whole-heartedly connected life. So we are are on the same page, fear is –

  • “…an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.” – Google and Oxford Dictionaries.
  • “…an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events.” – Wikipedia, and
  • “to be afraid of (something or someone)” or “to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

 

Identifying and Acknowledging My Fear

Wondering how I identify my fears? It is simple really – I have a number of them identified on an excel spreadsheet. However, I also stay alert each day with my feelings and have learnt to be able to identify when I am being triggered around things. For example – not having enough money to pay expenses.

When I discover my fear, I acknowledge it and use some self-compassion and mindfulness techniques I have learnt over the years. For example – the STOP Technique.

 

The STOP Technique – One Way to Acknowledge and Navigate Fear

One strategy I continue to use to interrupt fearful thoughts so I can choose to respond rather than react, is the STOP technique. This technique, helps me interrupt the ‘automatic pilot’ by bringing you back to the present moment. A brief description of how I use the STOP technique is –

  • S – stop. I stop to interrupt my fearful thought pattern or ‘automatic pilot’ by coming back to the present moment,
  • T – take a breath. I then take a breath and focus my experience of the in-breath and the out-breath (when it feels OK to do so),
  • O – open to observation. I connect to the experience of this moment and inquire with a sense of curiosity –
    • What am I seeing?
    • What am I feeling?
    • What am I sensing?
    • What am I hearing?
    • What am I smelling?
    • What am I thinking?
  • P – proceed. I then proceed and reconnect with my surroundings and the activity I was doing in the moment.

I have also used this process to journal, so I can untangle from the fearful thoughts.

 

Over to You…

How do you identify and navigate your fear? Feel free to share any comments below.

Ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards your freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?

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