Yay – the My Self-Care Journal is Published…
This journal is dedicated to Jo Mason. I was lucky enough to work with Jo in a National Mental Health and Wellbeing project many years ago
I valued many things about Jo and yes she was the person who introduced me to the concept of self-care, when I most needed to hear it. She was a true pioneer in the space of educator and school mental health and wellbeing in Australia and I am forever grateful to her and what I learnt from her. I hold many of our conversations close to my heart, in particular one of them at the Japanese Gardens in Darling Harbour, just before we heard the Dalai Lama speak. These are some other words I wrote about Jo as a keepsake created by Tracy for her family
Thanks also mum for investing your time to support me and picking up any grammar issues – you are a gem and this journal reads clearer because of you
Thank you to the clients whom have walked this adventure with me over the years and also made comments on the e-version for the past two years or so
And finally thanks Jill and Tracy who helped me connect with one of Jo’s daughter – really appreciate it
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.
Also – thank you so much to the clients, friends and perspective clients who gave feedback on the original Slow Down and Tune in Journal. After your feedback, that journal has now evolved in to the My Self-Care Journal and is now gender neutral – so yes young men and womxn can purchase the journal. So thank you all!
The people I work with have a few things in common: they are smart, highly motivated and want to make a difference in the world. A lot of them are also stressed and are on their way to or are recovering from burnout.
On the outside, they appear calm and confident. But on the inside, they are scared and worried – maybe even have a bit of imposter syndrome. Even though they know they cannot go on living like this, they are unsure of where or how to start to change and whether they have the capacity or ability to deal the possible setbacks when the changes don’t go according to plan.
The Power of Explanatory Style
Explanatory style is your way of explaining about events that happen to you (i.e. often referred to as bad events). It is a habit of thought learned in childhood/adolescence. Seligman (1990), says “your explanatory style stems directly from your view of your place in the world – whether you think you are valuable and deserving or worthless and hopeless.”
There are 3 dimensions to your explanatory style (the 3 P’s) –
- Permanence (is about time): temporary v’s permanent,
- Pervasiveness (is about space): specific v’s universal, and
- Personalisation: internal v’s external.
By identifying your explanatory style, you can see if it is more pessimistic or optimistic. The explanatory style of a pessimist is –
- Permanence (is about time): permanent (i.e. thinking in “always” and “never”),
- Pervasiveness (is about space): universal (i.e. people who catastrophise – have a challenge or failure in one area of their life and allow if to spread to other areas and believe bad event have universal causes), and
- Personalisation: external (i.e. blame other people or external events).
The explanatory style of an optimist is –
- Permanence (is about time): temporary (i.e. thinking in “sometimes” and “latelys”),
- Pervasiveness (is about space): specific (i.e. optimistic believe that bad events have a specific cause and good events will enhance everything), and
- Personalisation: internal (i.e. take responsibility and cause good things).
The Power Within Knowing Your Explanatory Style
Do you think identifying your explanatory style would be useful? If so, following are 3 simple questions to help to start to discover your explanatory style using the 3 P’s –
- Permanence – is this experience temporary or permanent?
- Pervasiveness – does this experience have a specific cause or universal cause?
- Personalisation – is the cause of this experience internal or external?
Once you discover this, you can start to choose to do the work and make any tweaks.
Over to You…
I hope this post has given you some insight in to the power within knowing your explanatory style. By becoming aware of your thinking habits, you can train your brain to be more resilient and deal more effectively with challenges and obstacles. Also – if you wanted to hear Sheryl Sandberg talk about the application of the 3 P’s, click here.
If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?
Seligman, M. (1990). Learned Optimism. NSW, Australia: Random House.
You know that moment, when you develop deep insight? As if something within you has shone so deeply that there is no more hiding? For me, I had one of those experiences on the weekend when I was having a conversation with a friend on my birthday. After the conversation, the following quote came across my path and again it resonated so deeply with me.
“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” ~
Subsequently, today I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on abandonment, including 3 ways we can abandon ourselves. Let’s get started…
What is Abandonment?
So we are on the same page about abandonment, I went back to the dictionary and found some definitions. These definitions of abandonment include –
- “the act of abandoning something or someone” ~ Merriam-Webster
- “an act or instance of leaving a person or thing permanently and completely” ~ Dictionary.com
- “the act of leaving someone or something or of ending or stopping something, usually forever” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
And these are the couple I found on abandon, which links to the above –
- “to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent” ~ Merriam-Webster
“To withdraw one’s support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert”
and “To give up by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, especially as a result of danger or other impending threat”
~ The Free Dictionary
As I was writing those definitions, I thought abandonment relating to ourselves and created the following from the above.
What is Self-Abandonment?
The definitions of self-abandonment created from the above –
- the act of abandoning our selves,
- an act or instance of leaving our selves permanently and completely,
- the act of leaving our selves or of ending or stopping something, usually forever,
- to give up to the control or influence of our selves,
- withdraw our own support or help, and
- give up on our selves by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, especially as a result of danger or other impending threat.
Are there any other additions you would make to the above on self-abandonment?
3 Ways We Can Abandon Ourselves
Over the years, I have discovered many ways I have abandoned my self, including –
- Wanting other people’s approval,
- Getting a good idea, however not following thought on it, and
- Saying ‘yes’ to something, when I would have preferred to say ‘no’.
1. Wanting Other People’s Approval
Now if you have been around here for a while, you might know I spent many years untangling my own approval addiction. This became very draining for me personally and I needed to learn another way. Fortunately, I did and continue to practise trusting myself.
“Remember that underlying all our fears is a lack of trust in ourselves.”
2. Getting a Good Idea
Ever had a good idea or a dream and not follow through on it? Yep – I have been there as well 🙂 However, I have learnt to honour those ideas and now have a process in place to honour them. This process helps me to decide if I want to follow through on them or not. Oprah said it this way –
“There is nothing worse than betraying yourself.”
3. Saying ‘Yes’ When You Want to Say ‘No’
Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something, when you would have preferred to say ‘no’. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Yes, I know saying ‘no’ can be changing, however what I have realised is that I needed to learn to say ‘no’ to some opportunities as they were taking away from the time and energy I could invest following my own dreams. As Paulo Coelho so eloquently said,
“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself!”
Other Ways We Can Abandon Ourselves…
There are also other ways we can abandon ourselves, including –
- Purchasing items that you know you don’t have the money for,
- Avoiding challenging feelings and emotions (i.e. loneliness),
- Looking for people to ‘complete you’,
- Not taking care of your needs,
- Comparing ourselves to other people,
- Being friends with people who hurt you, and
- Not being present in the moment.
Why Does Self-Abandonment Matter?
For me, self-abandonment matters because you matter. Yes, truly! Your feelings, your dreams, your health, your voice. your relationships. they all matter as they are part of you and you have a gift to bring in to the world that only you can deliver:)
4 Quotes to Remember that Relate to Self-Abandonment…
Following are 5 of my favourite quotes to remember around self-abandonment that might help or inspire you to start listening to your self –
- “If love is universal, no one can be left out.” ~ Deepak Chopra
- “When you abandon making choices, you enter the vast world of excuses.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
- “To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.” ~ David Whyte
- “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ~ Mary Oliver
Do you have any other quotes that inspire you to start listening to your Self? If so, feel free to share them below!
Over to You…
I hope this has given you some insight in to the ways we can abandon ourselves. Are you abandoning yourself, if so are you ready to stop and start listening to yourself instead?
Remember – life is an adventure and we are here to grown and evolve. So be kind to yourself 🙂
If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?
I came across this story a little while back from my previous training as a telephone counsellor. There was no author, however I like the meaning behind the story and serves as a good reminder about the gift of BEing authentically YOU!
The Gift of BEing Authentically YOU!
“Every moment of every day we have conscious choices. We can be happy or unhappy. We can dread getting older or aspire to wisdom through new experiences. We can believe we know or be open to new discovery. We can look for approval from others or give approval as never before – and so it is with love.
Explore the freedom that comes from forgiveness. It is time to acknowledge our resentments and non-forgiveness and move through them.
Our limitations are reputations of past patterns, and every pattern of thought that is challenged can be the doorway to miracles.
Each of us has feelings and each of us has the right to perceive as we do. Become a good listener, not a judge, and thus experience a panoramic view of life through many eyes.
We all long to be heard, and most of us have cried out for this since childhood. To hear ourselves and be heard by others, we need to practise listening at every opportunity, rather than contradicting others.
Remember that the future only exists in our minds at this moment. If we fear it, our minds are full of fear. If we look forward to it, then our minds are full of hope.
Behind everything there is a purpose. Chaos only exists in our minds if we allow it to. With the stilling of the mind will come peace, understanding, wonder and a new awareness of our inter-connectedness with all life.
Whatever our physical circumstances, we can know excitement, ecstasy and awe. We are so much more than our physical bodies alone.
Revel in every moment given to you. Time never runs out on us – we run out on time. Each moment contains such abundance and overwhelming quality.
The past is gone – let it go. The future is not born. The present is the greatest present you could ever be given.
Try to waste as few moments as possible with regret, guilt or self-attack. You are loved more deeply than you realise.
Never forget that you are a human being. Your imagination can take you into worry whirls. You can lock away your creativity and suppress your feelings. You can have a totally false concept of the perfect person you should be, and despise yourself for falling short of the ideal. You are a human being who has become very complex. Relax and become more simple.
Be patient with you. Be loving with you. You deserve it. As a child learns to walk, it stumbles and falls many times. As you move through the physical seasons of life, as you aspire to grow in wisdom rather than grow old, you will need to pick yourself up over and over again.
Take small, consistent steps. Enjoy your uniqueness and never imagine for one moment that life has been unkind to you.
Welcome every day. Laugh with yourself and chuckle deeply.
Know that every day in every way you are becoming wiser, wiser and wiser, and enjoy the journey over the hills and through the valleys of life.
Whether you can see it or not, your being brings colour, opportunity and meaning to more people than you will ever know. Thank you for being you and please thank yourself – for me!”
~ Author Unknown (if you know who it is can you please let me know so I can give credit? Thanks heaps).
Over to You…
What did you think of this poem? Feel free to share any insights, questions or comments below!
If you are ready to reclaim your courage and be happy by connecting with your heart, why not join our Toolkit?
A couple of weeks ago now, I opened a letter on September 16 that I had picked up from the post office the day before. I used to go to the post office each day, however now I just go when I feel it is time. When I opened the letter, I saw it was dated September 1, 2021. As I read it, I couldn’t believe my eyes as celebrating my past was not something I was great at (for a few reasons).
Subsequently, today on my journal I wanted to explore more about celebrating and one of the main reasons why I feel it is important to celebrate and take in the good.
Meaning of Celebrate…
Am gathering you know what celebrate means, however just so we are on the same page, so of the definitions or meanings of celebrate include –
- “to take part in special enjoyable activities in order to show that a particular occasion is important” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
- General sense of “commemorate or hono(u)r with demonstrations of joy” ~ Online Etymology Dictionary,
- “to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc.” or “to praise (someone or something): to say that (someone or something) is great or important” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
One of the Reasons Why I Have Learnt to Celebrate Over the Years…
As you might know, the brain is wired to have a negativity bias. Basically what that means, is as human beings we have a tendency to focus on what goes wrong in our lives, rather than what goes right. Subsequently – we need training to rewire and focus on what goes right.
Don’t believe me? Think about an average day at work. When you go home, what do you think of most? Is it the challenging comment that was made by a colleague or the project that is behind schedule? The compliment from your boss for a job well done or the acknowledgement from a client?
In Flourish, Martin Seligman writes –
“For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analyzing bad events. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for disaster, did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.”
Unfortunately, the constant focus on negative events and situations makes life challenging and can make life harder than it needs to be. However, over time I have learnt to take in the good and part of that has been celebrating achievements (which I didn’t tend to do much growing up).
How Have I Learnt to Celebrate or Take in the Good?
There are a few ways I have learnt to take in the good and one way has been using Rick Hanson’s HEAL framework. In his book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence Hanson writes –
“…taking in the good is the deliberate internalisation of positive experiences in implicit memory. It involves four simple steps –
- Have a positive experience
- Enrich it
- Absorb it
- Link positive and negative material.” (p.765).
Each step serves a purpose, when step 1 activating the positive mental state and step 2, 3 and 4 installing it in the brain and you can read more about it here and also watch his video.
Over to You…
Is celebrating one of your habits for wellbeing? If so, feel free to share your favourite ways to celebrate below – is it similar to the taking in the good strategy? Also – if you have gotten this far, sorry I hadn’t shared what I was celebrating, however it is outlined in the graphic below 🙂
If you have any comments, please leave them below or pop over to our Facebook page.
Hanson, R. (2013). Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence.New York, USA: Harmony Books.
Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New Your, U.S.A: Free Press.
Today is World Mental Health Day. Subsequently, today on the blog, I wanted to share about mental health and how it relates to life. Let’s get started…
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a term often used to describe an individual’s mental state. The World Health Organisation defines it as:
“A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stressors of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
As a term ‘mental health’ is frequently misunderstood. It is often referred to as a substitute for mental health conditions (e.g. depression, schizophrenia and anxiety conditions). However, as you can see by the definition above, everyone can benefit from looking after their mental health.
Mental Health Intervention Spectrum
When I was working in a National Mental Health Initiative, I was fortunate enough to learn quite a bit about mental health. I also supported schools to increase their knowledge and understanding of mental health. One of the ways we talked about mental health this was through the spectrum of interventions. As you can see by the diagram below it looks at – mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and maintenance.
More can read more about the diagram here.
Mental Health is Everybody’s Business
As you can see by the diagram above, at the core of mental health is providing strategies for promoting wellbeing and quality of life. The strategies will be different for different populations, however the intention remains the same – promoting well-being and quality of life for everyone!
How Does Mental Health Relate to Life?
After reading the above, can you see the importance of mental health and how it can relate to life? For example – do you think it is important for individuals to –
- have a safe and supportive environment to work and live in?
- be able to learn from their mistakes and others challenges in their work and life (i.e. develop resilience)?
- develop competence, resourcefulness and strategies to look after their mental health? and
- feel a sense of empowerment over their work and also their life?
Yes? Me too! Also – if you need immediate support with your mental health, there are a list of help lines here. Please use your discretion when choosing these services.
Over to You…
I hope this post has given you some insight in to what is mental health is and some ways it can relate to life? I truly believe mental health and wellbeing is everybody’s business. If you have any comments, please leave them below or pop over to our Facebook page.
Barry, M. (2001). Promoting positive mental health: Theoretical frameworks for practice. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 3(1), 25-34