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Entries in direction (5)

Wednesday
Apr022014

Losing sight of our needs while caring for others.

Our overwhelming desire to care for others and contribute to their well-being is often our own undoing.

We care! We care deeply and completely for our partners, our parents, our siblings, our friends, our children ... and that is what motivates us to keep going when we feel our reserves are dwindling.  

In caring for others so consistently, we often find imbalance creeping into our lives. Perhaps we notice it, perhaps we don't initially.  Many of us are not sure what to do about that imbalance, and so we ignore it or avoid it and carry on with our caring for others.

Many of us hold the belief that taking care of ourselves means ceasing to take care of others, and that in order to take care of others properly, we must forget ourselves. 

Those of us who have forgotten ourselves either pay the price personally (physically, emotionally, mentally) or seek to make others pay for it!

Our own joy and well-being must be priority when we care for others - particularly if we want that caring to be effective. If this is not the case, then it would be better for us and others if we did something else.

How often do we do damage to ourselves while doing good that we are no longer capable of doing much of anything? We cut ourselves off from our Self to such an extent that our energy and vitality run out ... we become broken.

By failing to listen to our Self we are living without compassion towards that Self and life (through demanding, controlling, overworking, feeling guilty) we run the risk of producing a violent reaction from life itself via an accident, disease, depression, anxiety, mourning).  

This new conversation with Self starts with asking "what are my needs?" or "how am I meeting my own needs and what needs are not being met just now". 

Begin it today. 

Sarah xx

Monday
Nov192012

Motivation vs ability.

Two days ago I signed up to do something that terrifies me - something that has held me back for years. I decided I'd had enough. As the saying goes "change only occurs when the pain of staying the same becomes too great" ... I guess I'm there cos I fear not following this dream more than I fear doing this course.

I was fourteen when I began to realise that my grasp of Maths was not great ... my Maths teacher when I was fifteen gave me enough of a push that I studied extra hard to pass my exams of that year. When Math morphed into Statistics and Calculus in later years I was completely lost. I recall sitting in the Basic Maths course during my first year at university (college) with 500 other students and an uncomprehendable lecturer writing on an overhead projector screen and thinking to myself "nah, can't do it", leaving and never returning. 

After that, I just managed around it. Mathematics at that level never really came into my life - I was gratified of course to find that I didnt "need that silly course anyway!!" ... but the truth is I do. And I want it. I want to banish this idea that I can not do Math. I want to move on in my career and education and I need Maths to do it. I am no longer enjoying this limitation I have placed on myself and my development.

Can't or cannot implies a lack of ability to do something. I don't believe I lack the ability to apply myself to most things. What I have definitely lacked up until now was the motivation to do it. 

Ability or know-how and motivation are very different things. Without motivation, know-how is pretty useless. 

My motivation for putting myself through this potentially excruciating experience is that, like the chicken or the Billy Goats Gruff, I want to get to the other side. I want what is on offer over there. To get there I have to go through - after years of going around this one I can finally admit that.

So it's not, and has never been, a lack of ability. It's always been a lack of motivation. The HOW of things is most often very easy - these days even easier than before! 

It's the MOTIVATION that takes time to find. Without motivation, ability or know-how is nothing. 

Sarah xx

 

Sunday
Oct212012

A step towards self-care.

Is it at all familiar to you? … the moment where you start to wonder if you are going mad or “losing it” because you no longer appear to be able to handle the pace of your life, you feel like crying or hiding away somewhere dark and private? It's a sign that your self-care needs ramping up. 

My work over the past few weeks shows that this is a feeling familiar to a lot of people.

I want to let you know now that you are not going mad. You might indeed be losing it – but we need to look a little closer at what that means … 

We need to begin by understanding what you are trying to manage right now, what is on your jobs list, what are your responsibilities, what are you carrying with you from the past too (because the more you are carrying from back then, the heavier the load right?).

We might even write it all down … to see it all there on paper, to recognise that it takes a while to get it all in print because there is so much of it.

And let’s be expansive about this. For example, if you are simply going to work each day and coming home, eating dinner and going to bed then perhaps you are assessing your life as pretty much what it's always been. But to get the full story you will need to go a step further and write about whether you like your job; you are eating in a way you want to be eating; you are sleeping a full night; you are waking up feeling refreshed from sleep and so on.  

Once you have your list and have expanded on it, take the time to look at the list and ask yourself “what else is going on?” – this will help you understand that while the day-to-day activities may not have changed or increased a great deal, your response to them has. 

Start by doing just this, for now. It’s enough.

To begin being conscious of what your life involves (not just the activities but your feelings and responses to them) is a step in sorting out why you feel like you are losing it/not coping. 

It’s a step towards self-awareness and self-care. 

Any step in that direction is life-changing. 

sarahxx

Monday
Jul022012

A simpler life.

Knowing, prioritising and living your values is fundamental to having a simpler life. 

When you are not aware of your values, you don’t know what your priorities are. When you don’t know your priorities, everything seems “important”. 

When everything seems important, life is overwhelming, too busy, hard, murky, confusing, exhausting. When life is overwhelming, creating the changes you want and dealing with transition is tough going.

You stick to the daily grind.

You need that time in front of the TV to ‘shut-down’ for a while.

You need that drink to get through.

You need that food to numb the noise of the busy-ness.

You need to blame others for the way your life is going.

You need to look outside yourself for answers and direction. 

When you know your values, you know what is truly important – to you. When you know what is important to you, you make it a priority.

When you know what your priorities are, all the other ‘stuff’ pales in comparison.

Life becomes less overwhelming. You are focussing on what’s important to YOU – and that’s a lot fewer balls to juggle.

If you want a simpler life, work out what’s truly important to you.

Sarahxx

Wednesday
Jun062012

Setting your GPS for a destination YOU want.

Quit being shocked or disbelieving about where you are in your life.

You can no longer remain surprised at where you've ended up in life if your GPS is set for a destination completely different from the one you want.

Many of us can remember a time when we (sort of) knew what we wanted. We had ideas about how life would and could be. We set about making plans for reaching those would/could places. 

Perhaps along the way we got distracted and drifted away – from ourselves (who am I?), our purpose (what am I doing here?), how we want our lives to be (what do I want), our plans, our relationships, our children, our family.

... Now we feel isolated and alone.

We wonder how it happened and we assume that ‘they’ have changed, or there is something wrong with us that is making them distance themselves from us.

We wonder how we got off track, how we started to wobble, how we stepped out of the light.

Yet Self and connection, the light and balance is all a choice away. Choose to listen to your Self.

The answers are not elsewhere – ever!

When you focus within, you connect to Self.

When you connect to Self, you plug in to the combined energy of the universe.

There, you will find what you are looking so diligently for outside of yourself.

Begin today ... by sitting quietly with your Self for a moment. Ask the big questions: 'what do I want", "where am I going", "who am I".

Do it regularly - just for a minute.

Listen. 

Use what you hear to adjust the settings on your GPS and begin moving in a direction you value

Sarahxx