Monthly Archives: February 2014

The power of forgiveness

I have no doubt that we have all been in situations where we have been hurt by a family member, a friend, an ex-partner, a current partner or a work colleague. Have you ever felt hurt as a result of someone’s actions? How did you deal with it? Have you let go? Did you tell them? Do you have someone close to you that is a repeat offender?

To me, forgiveness is about letting go of a situation where someone has done or said something to me that has left me upset, hurt and betrayed. Up until about a year ago I used to deal with negative actions by crying, getting angry at the situation/person and simply just bottling up all my emotions until one day I would just explode! Really explode! I would feel negative and often felt frustrated at why I would let these situations get to me so much. I would think to myself ‘I am not deserving of this behaviour or action from someone I care about’, ‘I know I am good person so what have I done to deserve such hurt and suffering’.

I recall watching an Oprah episode where she was speaking to a bishop about forgiveness and he used the following analogy: he says that as humans we can be as full as a gallon or as full as a pint. When you are a person that is full as a gallon and are treated badly by someone who is full as a pint, there are going to be issues. Here you are giving so much of yourself and the other person is only giving you back half of what you giving of yourself because that’s all they have. They are half empty.

Over the last year I have written down the following notes in my journal as part of my path to master true forgiveness:

~ True happiness = forgiveness

~ When you say ‘I’m going to let go’, you really need to mean it. Letting go means you have given up the hope that the past cannot be changed.

~ Accept the past. Accept what has happened and ask yourself ‘where to from here’?

~ Don’t hold a grudge. Holding a grudge affects you as a person, affects your relationship/s with those around you and stops you from learning to love yourself.

~ Don’t build up walls around you. Try and surround yourself with people like you. People that are full gallons and give to you as much as you give them.

~ If the person hurting you is a family member and you have constant contact as I do, you need to try and understand why they are like that. Once you understand why they are a certain way, lower your expectations from them so you are not left disappointed.

Forgiving someone is not telling them what they did was ok. Forgiving someone is you as a person accepting something has happened, acknowledging it cannot be changed and then letting it go. If there is no forgiveness in our life then there is no room for change.

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Stressed? What is your outlet?

Ever feel like you are so overwhelmed by what is going on in your life? I have those days. It could be something as simple as just having a busy day with the kids, housework and running errands or when it’s that crazy time around the holiday season, it could be a bad day at work or when you get bill after bill in the mail and the household income hasn’t been so great? We all have everyday stresses in life but how do you deal with all these stresses?

For me it is exercise. I get lots of friends saying to me ‘you are obsessed’, ‘what for? You don’t need to run, you are thin already’, ‘you are crazy’. What people don’t seem to understand is that to me, exercise, in particular running outdoors is the biggest stress relief. It makes me happy!

It is when I clear my mind, re-think any decisions I have made or about to make and it is my time to re-focus and gather my thoughts. Each and every single time, guaranteed I come back home in a better mood like my day has only just begun.

I know with my husband he can go into his guitar room play some tunes and out he comes feeling less stressed. My brother tells me creativity is his form of de-stressing. I have a friend who tells me baking is her outlet and I know my mothers is a short walk after dinner and my fathers is spending some time gardening.

I strongly believe doing something for yourself like exercising, playing music, being creative, cooking etc is a great way to de-stress. Before finding my passion for fitness I would turn to food for comfort. I felt that food would soothe my emotions but I always felt guilty afterwards as I would often reach out for ‘comfort foods’ like chips, chocolate and ice-cream. I would feel so disgusted with myself for bingeing on these unhealthy foods but they would give me a high for a few hours and then send me crashing down. Or if I was at work and feeling down and unhappy I would often go and shop in the hope that a new pair of shoes or new clothes would make me feel better. They did for a couple of days but then I would feel guilty for spending money on things I didn’t really need.

With running it was free! All that was required was my time. And did I feel good afterwards? Of course! I always felt brilliant internally after exercising.

So I urge each and everyone of you to look for your own outlet. One that brings you joy and satisfaction and one that will make you feel good long term. Not just for a few days or a few weeks or a few months. Look for an outlet that does not involve anything material. We all know that material objects do not last forever and only bring us short term satisfaction. I guarantee you if society took a little time to do something for themselves that didn’t include television, any form of social media, online shopping etc we would all have healthier and more fulfilling relationships and lives. Give it a go!

Love Matters

It has been a tough this week on the home front. I am missing my brother who moved to Paris almost 2 months ago dearly.  My heart aches each time I think of him and what lengths I would go to just to be able to hug him. My children have been hard to handle and my patience has been tested one too many times.  There is so much going on in my life at the moment that I feel so overwhelmed to say the least.

Through all the emotions I have been through this week  I have had to remind myself I am human.  I cannot control what is going on in my life at the moment but what I can do is control how I react to it.  A part of wanting to change myself as a person, to grow as a person and to follow my purpose in life, I need to take responsibility of my place on this earth.

This week I have had to play the role of a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a sister-in-law and a friend two-fold.  It has felt incredible helping all those around in some way.  This is how I know that I am on the right track in life.  I feel that all I have to give is love to all those around me even through these incredibly stressful times.

There was a time where I would hold grudges, give my partner the silent treatment and just sit alone crying and frustrated at life.  Now I express how I feel, I give love to everyone around me and I let go of all the small things in life.  It is not worth holding onto negativity and ill feelings.  When you do as I did, you will ride a dangerous roller coaster in life where only negative things will occur day after day.

Showing love to others and receiving love from others is the greatest gift in life. Think of how you feel when you give or receive love from someone.  Think of all the positivity that stems from love.  What would our world be like if we just showed love to one another.  How much less hurt, war, rape, human trafficking, child slavery would exist if we just showed love to another human.

The first step in experiencing true love begins with ourselves. We need to respect and LOVE ourselves for others to respect and love us back.  We are all loveable and we are all worthy of love.  There is no other way.  This is the only way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all have a purpose in life

What do you want to be when you grow up?  I am sure this is a question we were all asked from a young age.  In  primary school I wanted to be a hairdresser.  In high school I wanted to be a lawyer and by university I wanted to become a criminal psychologist. While completing my university degree in social science I started working in retail. Five years later I was still in that same retail position.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I definitely didn’t want to be a criminal psychologist anymore and I didn’t want to be in retail long term either.  Later on when I commenced work at Bang & Olufsen I created some wonderful relationships with clients.  I would visit their homes as part of the customer service provided by Bang & Olufsen and we would eat and drink together and discuss everyday life issues together.  The long hours became difficult but I knew I wanted to stay in the customer service area so I found a job that dealt with clients but not face to face.

After four years in my new job I fell pregnant with my son.  I became a full time mum and three years after having my son, I fell pregnant with my daughter.  During this time I met many new mothers and made many new friends.  The entire time I was often told ‘you are a great listener’, ‘I feel so much better after seeing you’, ‘You are so positive to be around’, ‘I love you, I am so glad to have met you’ and so much more.  After four years of being on maternity leave I decided that I would not, could not go back to my 9-5 job. I made a decision that I was going to continue to be a good listener and I was going to help people in some way.  That’s why I loved being in retail and customer service positions.  I loved listening to peoples needs and I loved helping them meet their needs.  I have always had an immense passion for health and fitness (mental and physical) so I have made it my mission to further study physical and mental health.  I know listening and helping others is my calling in life.  It’s my purpose in life.  I truly believe we all have one.  We might not know it instantly but at some stage in life you will know it, you will feel it and you will be drawn towards to it.  You just need to be present, be alive in the moment and the universe will deliver.

 

‘I believe there’s a calling for all of us.  I know that every human has value and purpose.  The real work of our lives is to become aware.  And awakened.  To answer the call’.  – Oprah Winfrey


Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-Oprah-Winfrey-Found-Her-Purpose#ixzz2sX8Id0Gm

The world world we live in

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I woke up this morning and as I sat drinking my coffee I picked up my phone and opened my Instagram account.  Scrolling down I noticed that someone had posted a picture of PORTER magazines first issue by online fashion shop net-a-porter.  Initially I thought ‘Wow, look how gorgeous Brigitte Bardot was in her younger years’.  I then began reading the description beneath and saw that in actual fact it was Rachel Zoe.  I heard myself gasp and immediately thought ‘Oh my goodness, look at how much they have photo shopped her face’.  I know she is an attractive women but I also know she looks far from the picture that was staring back at me.  I went from feeling shocked to feeling angry. ‘This is so wrong’ I said to myself. What image is this sending to the millions of people around the world. All day I thought about it and the more I thought about it the angrier I became.

After my husband and I put our children to sleep I sat at the computer to write this blog.  I bought up the picture of Rachel Zoe again and showed my husband the picture of Rachel Zoe on the cover of PORTER versus how Rachel Zoe actually looks.  His response to me was ‘So, the teenagers and kids out there do not know how old she really is’.  I then covered the actual picture of Rachel Zoe with my thumb and said to him if our children were to see this glamorous cover without even knowing who Rachel Zoe is what would you think would go through their minds?  All I could see was a perfect nose, beautiful eyes with thick lashes, perfect cheekbones, a perfect pout with a perfectly structured nose.  Not to mention her thick blonde hair and even skin tone.  He then looked at me and said ‘you are right, perfect is all that they will see’.

I grew up most of my teens and all of my 20’s trying to attain the perfect figure and to have the perfect face when perfect does not exist.  I now know why I had these expectations of myself.  I grew up in a milk bar where every Monday we would receive the latest issues of WHO Magazine, New Weekly, CLEO, Cosmopolitan and many more and each week I would read all of them.  Magazine after magazine I was staring at these images of beautiful girls with perfect bodies, perfect faces and more importantly they seemed happy. So perfect body + perfect face = perfect life right?  NO.

Perfect does not exist and it makes me so sad that these big media companies can throw around images in magazines, on the internet, through social media and so on to the millions of young boys and girls who are already struggling with self image and self worth.  I know I will be telling my children that they are wired for struggle, that perfect does not exist but they will always be worthy of love and belonging.