We try to control everything around us because we believe that it will allow us to feel stress free, safe and happy, but the very act of trying to control the uncontrollable is a trap we set for ourselves, that makes us feel stressed, unsafe and unhappy.
I am so please to brag about my first appearance on the Real Heath show on DSTV
Check it out Starting
Monday: 23:30 ( First time episode plays out)
Tuesday 10:30 (Episode repeats)
Wednesday 14:30 (Episode repeats)
Friday 18:30 (Episode repeats)
Saturday 10:30 (Episode repeats)
Sunday 07:30 (Episode repeats)
New years resolutions – ha! Someone asked me what mine were for this year, I suppose they were expecting the usual – more work, more money, more success, more exercise, quit this, do that.
If I am perfectly honest with myself, I would have to say that if I really wanted those things, I would be sufficiently motivated to be doing them already, and not waiting for the new year. It is a strange phenomena that we expect our future self to be more motivated, more energized, more willing to do the “right thing”, the “hard work” than our current selves are. Then surprise, surprise, our future self turns out to be just as “slack” about getting those things as our current selves.
For myself, I have not set a New Years resolution for at least 10 years. I find that honesty is the best policy, and I do try to be as honest as possible with myself. Following the “know thyself” principal, I pretty much know what I want to do, and what I really don’t, what I will be willing to do and what I won’t, and I don’t try to con myself.
Ironically, my honesty doesn’t make me a lazy slacker. While I am working on being a human being – I am, by my very nature a human doing. I still have dreams, goals, plans, and I have every intention of perusing them, with energy and enthusiasm, but here is the plan…….
Instead of creating a list of everything I “should” or “must” do, I think about what I want to create for the year, and see if it makes my heart sing. How do I know if it makes my heart sing? My whole body says “YES” when I think about it. I feel energized, motivated and alive, sometimes with a frisson of fear, or peaceful, calm and content,
If I feel like I am losing energy, my body gets heavy, my chest feels a weight on it, my breathing becomes restricted, it is not for me.
So when I think about doing 10 hours of training every week for badminton – grooving new shots, playing games, drenched with sweat in the heat of Feb and going out in the cold in winter, losing, wining, putting myself out there in competition, socializing with the badminton crowd, my toes start wiggling my knees start bouncing and I am ready to go.
When I think of the new course I am taking about postural structural alignment, I can’t wait to get going.
MY RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE:
Make a list of the things that make your heart sing, and a list of the things that you are currently doing every day – adjust accordingly
PS. If you want to have great self esteem, and feel successful, do the things you are good at – the things you love, are very likely going to be the things you are good at. I am going to be so much better at studying postural alignment then I was at studying accounts at Varsity. And because I am fascinated and intrigued, I will be fabulous, and think my self awesome!
Consider this…How do you measure success or failure? What do you measure your success or failure by? In recent years I have discovered that how you measure success or failure is directly related to whether you tend to be happy, motivated and satisfied or frustrated, angst or irritated with your day. If you are finding yourself more irritated and fearful than happy and satisfied, this might be worth considering.
After a good 20 years of doing battle with my day to day, it finally occurred to me that the goals that I set as essentially sucked out of my thumb. I decide that I want them, what they will look like and when I should have them by. I imagine them up and the proceed to attempt to bring them to life by applying myself diligently, day by day towards achieving them. That is all great, no problem there, I am all over that dreaming big thing.
Here is the snafu. I like most people I know, I very quickly forgot that I had made up my goals pretty much arbitrarily – really, they seemed like a good idea at the time and behold the goal was born. Forgetting that fact, I allowed myself to attach pretty strongly to the goal, and to use it as a measure of my own self worth. Behold, the goal that I have arbitrarily created now becomes the whip on my back, the measure of my good enough-ness, my ability, who I am as a person, my very identity. Bye bye the exiting, positive, creative joy of working towards my dream, bye bye the jumping out of bed, can’t wait to get started, hello stress, pressure, fear, unhappiness, self judgement. WTF!
I myself have decided to measure my everyday success at work not by what I achieve in that day – despite my best efforts, I often achieve much less than I set out to – nor by whether I can get things or others, or the world to “go my way” – alas, I have discovered that I lack control in that arena too, but instead, did I turn up, dedicate myself, get involved and engaged, enjoy what I was doing as much as possible, work on loving my day, myself and my life. After all, I am only alive in this moment, right now in this place, doing this thing, I am not yet alive in the undefined future when I finally have the outcome. If I don’t decide to love the process of my day to day life, no amount of money, fame or other success in ?? years will replace a life lost to fear, frustration, and a lack of joy.
And what about the long term dream? I now choose to be in acceptance around that. I want it, I am willing to do the work, despite that, I may or may not achieve it. I no longer allow the achieving it to define me. It is just a dream that I dream because it pleases me and inspires me today. If I can’t manage to make it work, as I had hoped, I am quite sure I can find another.
I spent my life being a fighter – as a kid literally fighting – kick, punch, bite, yank, you need to toughen up with 2 older brothers. As an adult it meant, defend, protect, push, drive, strive, control, cling. It took me almost 40 years before I finally learned how to engage in the power of surrender, acceptance, and flow.
I always imagined that surrender, and acceptance would be the death of ambition and forward momentum. That losing that striving, always pushing need to prove myself better, stronger, more successful (mostly than myself ) would leave me a couch potatoes with a with dozen donuts and an remote control obsession.
Instead, I find that this peaceful, curious, joyful approach to engaging in those things I am passionate about, means I not longer spend my time battling fear of failure (and success), and more time finding a way to engage in and create what my heart desires. Perhaps I will succeed in whatever new project I have on the boil at any one time, perhaps I will not, I surrender to those 2 possibilities, and as a result, and am able to work today with a gentle, focused joy in this moment, rather than a fearful angst about whether it is going to be the right thing to get me there. As a result, I have truly experienced this moment – and since it is a variety or this moments that make up my life, I have experienced my life, and it is good.
I have learned to measure my success in a new way. I no longer wait for the outcome of my project to as the single measure of my success, a methodology that was sure to up my daily adrenaline output, instead count myself successful, everyday, in a variety of life affirming ways. I show up, I do my best, I live in my best possible joy, I do scary, challenging things and relish them, I practice, I feel my joy, I experience pleasure in the moment, I do the work, I connect, I treat myself kindly, I take care of myself, I give myself time for other things, I live.
On Friday night, my mixed doubles partner Andile and I won the Gauteng closed badminton tournament. Title defended from last year. Whooo hoo, who doesn’t like to win?
On Sunday morning, I was back on the court training with Wayne, who, wonderful man, gives up his early Sunday mornings to play with me, and make me a better singles player. He hits me a shuttle, and I play the same shot, again and again, hundreds of times, until I can hit is easily and consistently. I start with getting a couple over the net and in the court, and by the end of the session, I am getting the majority over and in. Next week we will do the same shot – guess what happens? I start by getting a couple over and in and end by getting most over an in – the same shot!
Yesterday my husband, Brett came up with an interesting comment. He said that the collective noun for failures is success, haha good one babe. But perhaps rather, it is the collective of many failures and small successes and more failures etc. that finally becomes the unconscious competence we are looking for. For myself, there have been many times when I have though, “finally, I have this waxed”, this shot, or this understanding or this skill, or this ability to be in peace; joy; happiness; self worth; self love, the present moment etc. only to find that life is like badminton, turn around and you start all over again. There is really no point in being annoyed, or disappointed or judgmental when we slip back into our old stuff, simply get back in the game, and love the practice. To my badminton buddies – I do love the game, and I do love the practice, to my life buddies – same applies.
When my husband asked me what makes my heart sing, I realized that it is the work I do around self esteem, self worth, self love, self healing turns me on like a firecracker. When I talk about developing self esteem, and mind body healing, my eyes light up, I can’t sit still, and frankly you would be hard pressed to shut me up.
Around self esteem: I believe that it is a fundamental human desire to be loved and accepted. This desire unfulfilled or perceived as unfulfilled in childhood leaves us with low self esteem, a lack of self love and a lack of self acceptance.
An unfulfilled, longing to be loved and accepted is a massive driving force in so much of what we do, how we behave, what we strive for, but much more importantly, how we feel about ourselves. Not feeling loved and accepted in childhood, leads to a lifetime of feeling unlovable and unacceptable.
The constant drive to be worthy, to be perfect, to be better, to be good enough, to prove again and again, leaves us feeling worn out, depressed, addicted, and unhappy.
I know and believe passionately that there is a solution, and I know without a doubt learning to love yourself is the solution. I know for a fact, that when it that changes, everything in life changes with it.
“You cannot blame yourself into happiness, judge yourself into contentment, criticize yourself into wholeness or punish yourself into fulfillment. Instead, you must love yourself into them.”-Scripts of my Soul
Sadly loving yourself is easier said then done, when you come from a place of lack of acceptability, and love-ability. In order to do it, you have to identify and change a whole heap of underlying beliefs, sometimes some values around self love, and do a whole lot of healing around experiences from your early years. Tough (perhaps impossible) to do alone. So people come to me for self esteem coaching, and when I walking that path with my clients fills my life with purpose, and meaning.
Around Mind-body healing: I believe that we designed to heal ourselves. While I do not discount the value of modern medicine for survival, I know that the body ultimately must heal itself, and to heal itself, I must have the resources in place that allow healing to happen. I believe in taking responsibility for my own health, for my own mind, and for my own well being, and that taking responsibility, means sorting out my nervous system functioning, my emotional state, my nutrition, and my bodies response to stress, because I know that I cannot heal unless I am willing to look at and correct all of these aspects.
Even though I have been a great proponent of mind body healing of most of my life, it has only been since I started doing Kinesiology, that I have really found a way to unlock that system in a way that is sometimes quite mind blowing. Having the skills to help my with my clients who are ill or hurting physically or emotionally, is another great privilege and passion in my life.
The lesson for me: just because the world is not going according to MY plan for it, does not mean something that happens is good or bad. I for one have lived long enough to look back on my life to see the things I though of as disasters at the time, turn out to be the turning point for something great in my life.
When my hubby and I work ourselves into a tiz over something, one of us has to remind the other – it is neither good nor bad, it just is what it is, we can never know the whole story. To which he often replies: it is neither good nor bad, it is just bloody irritating. Always good for a laugh he is.
My Favorite story
So, today I was reminded of the following story. I absolutely love this story, it reminds me that we judge things are normally good or bad, because they do or don’t fit into our plan – it is not the situation itself but the judgment on them that makes them feel “good” or “bad’ to us, and our emotional response follows.
I didn’t, unfortunately make the story up, and sadly don’t know who to credit it to. It goes like this:
There was an old man living in a small village in a small country. He owned a beautiful white stallion which was the envy of every one who saw it. It came to the attention of the emperor, who sent an agent to buy the stallion. But the man loved the horse and refused the generous offer. His fellow villagers thought him mad – “that kind of money is not easy to come by.” They remonstrated.
Some time later the stallion broke out of it’s corral and ran off. “you see’, cried the villagers, it was a bad thing that you did not sell the horse for now you have no horse and no money.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the stallion returned to the village trailing behind him a brood of wild mares that he had picked up in the mountains. “You were right’ cried the villagers “good thing that the horse ran off, now you have a whole herd.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the old man’s son was breaking one of the wild mares for the saddle, and he was thrown and broke both his legs, becoming lame. “Oh ho,” the villages pronounced “it was a bad thing that the horse came back with this herd, now your son is lame. Better to have no horses then a lame son.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the small country went to war with it’s neighbor, and the emperor started a conscription campaign, conscripting all the young men in the villages of the land. The villages knew that their sons were unlikely to make it home alive. “Who would have thought, it is a good thing your son is lame, at least he will survive this terrible war, when our sons will most likely die” they declared to the old man “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
For your children, developing a strong self esteem is critical, and as a parent, your influence in that area is paramount. You are in a perfect position to teach your children the knack of where they put their attention in life, and, as we all know what we put our focus on, expands. This video, offers a few simple, fool proof tips for parents to help their children grow a strong sense of self esteem and self acceptance, and to have a balanced, healthy outlook on life.
If you enjoy this or any of the blogs below, please pass them on to others, and if you would like to make comment, discuss the blog, or be notified of the next one please “like” the cloud 9 page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cloud9craighall