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Entries in physical (12)

Monday
Apr232012

Finding the focus

Sometimes, the challenge is simply finding your focus and keeping it. Knowing your values is a key way to working out what to focus upon.

Do you focus on your relationship: building a better one, improving the one you have, finding one, re-finding a connection with your significant other, resuming or changing the sex part and so forth?

Do you focus on your children: your connection to them, their needs, their upbringing, their troubles, their cries for help, their development?

What about your career: do you have one to speak of?, is it the one you want?, if not, is there something else you want to do?, what is it?, how do you find out?, does it fit your values?, have you the time and energy to find a new one or will you take up the old one because it's kind of risk free?, do you doubt your motivation for doing anything else other than what you can manage day-to-day? ... (and many other questions).

What about your friendships: where do they stand?, do they need work/focus/attention?, are your friends people who share your values/listen/care for you?, are your friendships nourishing or draining?, what would improve them?, what is missing?.

Your finances: do you have what you need to live?, are you using what you have to the best advantage?, where are you draining your finances by thinking you need something that is not really in line with your values?, how can you plug in to abundance?

How is your health and fitness compared to how you want it to be: are you healthy?, what needs to change?, what are you not paying attention to that needs attention?, what are your values around health and fitness and how are you living them/not living them?

... yes sometimes the challenge is working out where to focus your attention. Otherwise it can all seem

1. too hard

2. too confusing

3. too distracting.

Knowing your values is one way of finding your focus in this life (the one you are living now, in the present moment) and keeping it on track. 

Take each of these areas and work out what your values are. Those are your guidelines for living.

Let everything you do each day be in the service of one or more of your values. 

All the rest of that activity you convince yourself is 'needed' is surplus. Let it go.

sarahxx

Monday
Apr022012

Stepping back to let go a little.

I am writing this on the train as I return home from a weekend away with girlfriends. Nine of us left our children and partners for two nights and took a train ride to another town. There, we shopped, exercised, ate, drank, slept and didn't sleep, laughed and talked about lighter and weightier things than we usually have time for.

There is a shared knowledge that we are mothers but the experience is different for each of us because we are at different stages of parenting. One of us has two teenagers and an elder daughter who just got engaged to be married. Another has three children under 5 years old. Some of us work part time, some not at all outside the home (inside the home the workload is more than ample!). There are those with only sons, those with only daughters and a few with a mixture.

Even the mix of cultures is varied. Some have partners from the same culture while others are bi-cultural families living within a third culture. For this group, these things bring us together rather than segregate us.

Additionally, it is very rare for any of us to leave our families behind and run away for a weekend. For some it was the first time ever. For others it has happened a few times but those times can be counted on one hand.

A weekend away to reconnect to Self – outside the role of partner/wife and mother is a trip to another time. I heard the words 'before kids' frequently. “that was in another life” was met with nods of recognition. We know that our Self has been in there somewhere - under the roles we play in our day-to-day lives. We have, at times, almost lost hope of ever seeing our Self again.

At first, we need practice to reconnect. We try on that old Self and see if we recognise it in the mirror. We realise how much we have changed … and how little we have changed. We acknowledge the rich stories around us and are liberated by the differences and the similarities, the whispers and shouts of 'me too'. We let our vulnerabilities show more and more as the weekend goes on and we get tired of holding up the curtain to avoid being seen in our discomfort with ourselves without the protection of our roles.

We get glimpses of the life we know we must return to at the end of the weekend. Most of us are ready to 'go home' as we call it. We are ready to once again resume our lives as we know them.

Yet we do so a little differently. A little  changed for the chance to have stepped outside the box a moment and see what it all looks like from the outside.

The re-entry is not always easy. It requires letting go … again. We had to let go to come here, we have to let go to return. None of the letting go happens without a change, however imperceptible to the naked eye. Things are different for having let go, for the perspective created by a different view. A glimpse of ourselves, as we were, as we are … when no longer wrapped exclusively in the role of Mother and partner.

When did you last visit your Self?

sarah xx

Saturday
Mar242012

Wolves.

An old Cherokee told his grandson: “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, and resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”

The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

 

I love this story ... perhaps because it is a simple reminder of how much influence the focus of our attention has on our lives.

Perhaps it helps me understand that the choices I make are up to me, and my responsibility. 

I like the way the meaning goes beyond the idea of good and evil; it relates as effectively to the concepts of negative and positive - or any extremes found in the world.

Maybe it's simply the way it nudges me to check my thinking ... to see which direction I am heading, which wolf I am feeding.

What does it do for you?

sarahxx

 

 


Sunday
Feb262012

The space between the stuff.

Today I went to Ikea. 

I was there gazing longingly at the section devoted to organising stuff. I went looking for a solution to finding more space.

I have more stuff than I can deal with. Everyone else in my family likes to bring their stuff to our home, to me, to ensure I find a place for it so they don't have to let it go. I usually manage the stuff with a regular throw-out - but that breaks hearts and I feel like a meany!!

Today I noticed how much I wanted to buy plastic bins and little this-n-that thingy-majigs to put all the stuff in. I noticed how easy it would be to find new places for stuff so I didn't have to face the real issue - that we have too much STUFF.

I don't like all that stuff. I want it gone from my life. I want to live a more simple existence.

This idea is the very thing I love so much about spending time in the countryside; in the forests; by the lake; at the seaside. - where there is less stuff and more nature; where I can hear myself think; where I feel the world slow down just for a moment; where the balance is easy to connect with.

So today I remembered that the real issue is all our stuff and my desire to get rid of it, pass it on, share it with others so they don't have to buy more stuff. It felt good to say twenty times "reduce the stuff and you won't need the storage". And it's true.

The stuff is not the answer. The space between the stuff is what I am looking for.

sarah xx

 

Tuesday
Jan242012

When the wheels fall off.

It creeps up on you sometimes doesn't it?

There are moments in your life when you know you're speeding too fast and you feel like you are handling it OK but you are not sure it can last – or if you think you can handle it at the level it's at, you have an inkling that you can't really take anything else on the load...

You realise in addition to the speed that the things that normally keep you on balance are all out of whack too: eating, exercise, water intake, sleep, down time, connection to your partner, 'available' time with your children. Your 'to-do' list is enormous.

You know you are busy because you don't really have a minute to spare. If you did, well you know what you would do with it – all the things on the “wish-to-do” list.

But you tell yourself that there is nothing you can let slide. You keep on dragging your uncared-for and un-nurtured body and mind from one end of the day to the other.

You cross fingers that sleep will replenish you – but even that is broken, or filled with crazy dreams.

What's it going to take? How long will you wait? How much more will you add?

When the wheels eventually fall off – and they will sooner or later – it's usually a spectacular crash, a real event! It can feel like it crept up on you, that you were doing so well and all of sudden one little moment or task was more weight than you could bear.

But let's be honest here ... there was no creeping! 

Way back at the beginning, you stopped doing the important things.

You became distracted by the musts, shoulds, have-tos.

You gave into their nagging and focussed on them.

You left behind your priority.

You crept away from taking care of yourself in favour of taking care of others and the many 'things' that seem so critical on a daily basis.

It's time to return to the highest priority – taking care of YOU.

Nurturing your body and mind means you are ABLE to go out there and care for your children, your partner, your parents, your friends. It means you have a strong base upon which to do all that other stuff. Without it, the wheels fall off.

What can you begin to do today that will nurture and love your body and mind more than you have been doing?

If you are not sure how or where to start then admit it – it's OK. You can learn that by asking for help. 

Don't wait a minute longer - this is IT!

sarah xx