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The Pathway of change

The Pathway of change

The Pathway of Change

(A guide to navigating change in your life)

At one point or another, we need to walk the pathway of change.

Change is never easy. I will admit I never enjoy change. I like it when things are predictable and I have a plan.

I will confess I like to feel I am in control.

Our world has gone through a massive change and so many have felt the impact on a global scale.

When we experience change, it feels scary and unstable. The mind likes to keep us safe. It will often bring up thoughts that fill us with fear. Not helpful! but the mind thinks it’s doing a good job at keeping us safe from harm. The mind likes to keep things familiar and predictable. The reality is most of us like to have some predictability in our life.

When a change in your life occurs, how do you manage it is the question.

Change is like walking down an unfamiliar pathway. We are met with an uncertainty of where it will lead, we may encounter detours, and we are not too sure of what we will encounter along the way. Deep down we hope the change will lead to something even better in our life. Yet, that uncertain voice inside of us will present all the “what-if scenarios”. We like to be prepared and have a plan in case something goes wrong.

While we are walking the pathway of change how do we navigate the array of feelings and thoughts that come up?

Here are three practices that can help you with navigating change in you life

1. Discover the resources you have within you

We all go through many phases of change within our lifetime. Reminding ourselves that we have been through change before. Think for a moment about who you are today. All the changing versions of yourself, you have experienced over your lifetime.

A great way to recognise what changes you have been through is to look back and think about all the changes you have gone through .

Take out a piece of paper find a quiet place and allow 15 minutes to create your change list.

Write down a list of all the changes you can think of that you have gone through up until today.

From the list look at the item think about either the lessons or the resources, you have gained from that change. There will be a mixture of positive change and change that may have difficult for you. Even from change that was difficult, some of the great’s lessons emerge. It can feel tough when you are going through change. But once you’re on the other side you have learned and grown from the experience.

That’s why this practice is so powerful. It reminds us that even in difficult circumstances. We raise to the challenge and get through the change. We have the resources within us we have been through change before and we survived.

2. Opening up the change.

The more we resist change the more difficult we make it for ourselves. While we know this on a conscious leave, we still seem to love to resist change. We want to stay in our comfort zone where it is familiar and safe. But change is enviable. Everything changes no matter how much we want to keep it the same. Life is constantly evolving, let us make it easier on ourselves by opening up to change. Being open to change allows us the grace to be present and to feel what is coming up.

Sit with the feeling and allowing the feeling to be there. It may feel uncomfortable. But have you noticed the more you try and resist the more uncomfortable the feeling becomes? Try allowing the feeling to be there. Bring your attention to the feeling and breath into it. Then allow yourself to open up to the feeling, without pushing it away, allow any feeling to be there as it is. Without pushing or fighting. Continue to observe any sensations you feel. If the feeling changes that is ok. If it doesn’t change that is ok also. The goal here is not to get rid of the feeling. The aim is to allow the feeling to be there.

You may be asking what the point of this exercise is if you feel uncomfortable. This exercise is about showing you that uncomfortable feelings can arise within you. But, the more you push and try to get rid of them, the more uncomfortable and challenged your feelings. Through this struggle with feeling, you make the change more painful for yourself. By allowing the feelings to be there and being with it. You eventually drop the struggles with the feeling. You open up to and make room for the feeling. You’re making life easier for yourself. By allowing yourself to be open and flow with the change without resistance.

3. Show yourself compassion

One of the most important practices, when change happens, is to show compassion. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. A simple way to show yourself compassion during times of change. Is to use compassionate hands practice.  Take your right hand and place it over your heart. Place your left hand on the upper part of your stomach. Imagine your hands are filled with loving compassionate energy. As you hold yourself with these compassionate hands. Allow yourself to take some slow deep breaths. You may want to repeat to yourself “ I am okay”

This practice can be used anytime you need to show yourself love and compassion, during challenging times.  (I have recorded a guided practice for this here 

Change within our lives is enviable. Things will change around us and within us no matter how much we want to hold onto the way things are. As you walk the pathway of change remind yourself. You have resources within you, you have been through change before. Resisting change makes, it is more difficult to allow yourself to open up to the feeling. The most important thing to remember is when you experiencing change, hold yourself with love and compassion

If you need more support with the change you are experiencing in your life please please get in touch with me or have a look at my work with me page. I would love to support you during this time.

 

 

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Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Tips for Practicing Self-Compassion and Kindness

Have you ever been harsh or critical with yourself? My guess is the answer is “YES”.  Did you know as humans, we are much harsher on ourselves than we are with other people? Think about it, have you secretly blamed and then beaten yourself up with negative self-talk. We do it so frequently, that we go on to autopilot. The criticism,  blaming and hash self-talk starts to flow. Before we know it, our mind filled with toxic thoughts.

If you can relate then I would love to let you in on a little secrete. One of the best ways to calm the harsh self-talk is to practise kindness and self-compassion.

Trust me! By being, kind and showing yourself, compassion will profoundly change your life. The more we practice being kind and compassionate with ourselves. The more we will develop the habit of self-compassion.

Here are a few tips on practising self-compassion to get you started.

Create Self Compassion time

We hear about the importance of self-care and the many benefits, but have you ever consider creating a self-compassionate time? Here some of my favourite ways to create self-compassion time in my day.

It only takes 10 minutes and it can make a huge difference to your emotional and mental health.

Self-soothing practices  

We can do simple practices such as self-soothing rituals like breaths in and say “

“I treat myself with love, kindness and compassion”.

Then breathe out. Repeat for five breath cycles.

Self-compassion break

 Take a self-compassion break. –It’s just like taking a tea break. A quick break in your day to show yourself some self-compassion. Step away from daily task and take 5 minutes break to show yourself some self-compassion. Do one kind thing for yourself during your compassion break. Pop a reminder on your phone or in your calendar. Then you have your self-compassion time scheduled. There no excuses for missing out on taking 5 minutes to be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Morning Routine

Another way to create self-compassion time is to start a morning routine that includes compassion.

This may be a morning meditation practice. (Check the link below for a free self-compassion meditation).  As part of your routine, you may like to include saying some compassionate words to yourself or give yourself a compliment. A great way to implement this is to write out your compassion words on a post-it note and stick it on the mirror.  Then when you’re getting ready in the morning, it’s right there on the mirror as a reminder. The perfect way to show yourself a little love and compassion in the morning.

Taking a self-compassion break helps you to care and nurture yourself. It allows you to open your heart and be kind to yourself.

Self-compassion practice for difficult emotions

When difficult emotions arise, we often experience feelings of overwhelming. When in this heightened state it is the perfect time to show yourself kindness and compassion to bring about emotional calm.

First recognizing the emotion without judgment or attachment. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself it’s normal to have an emotional reaction when life is difficult. Be gentle and nurturing with yourself. Give yourself the space to work through the emotions. Be open and ‘make room for thoughts and feelings. Allow feelings to flow through you. Don’t try and fight the feeling , push them down, or control them. Validate your experience through kind self-talk. Practice accepting difficult emotions when they arise.

When we accept that, it’s a normal part of being a human to have uncomfortable thoughts feelings and emotions is an act of self-compassion within itself.

Compassionate exercise when difficult emotions arise.

Pace your right hand on your heart, and then place your left hand over the top of your right hand.

Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself –

Close your eyes – Repeat this affirmation Slowly 10 times.

“I am ok”.

Self-compassion through writing

Writing is a great way to express emotions, improve your well-being and show kindness.

Try to incorporate self-compassion into your journal writing. This will make practising self-compassion even stronger.

In your journal, be open and honest with yourself. Write about anything experiences you had during the day. Did you feel bad about anything? Or judged yourself harshly? Was there a stressful situation? Write anything you want to allow yourself to reflect on your experience. From this experience, explore ways you can show yourself self, more kindness and compassion

I find using kind words such as:

I’m doing the best I can.

I’m learning and growing from my experiences.

I forgive myself

I reflect and look for ways to be my best self

I’m kind and gentle with myself

You may like to write you on self-compassion phrases, which feels good to you.


Self-compassion letter

Another writing exercise is to write a self-compassionate letter to yourself. In your letter let yourself know that you care about yourself. Be gentle, and reassuring towards yourself. Write yourself some kind, comforting words. This exercise is helpful in difficult times when you need to show yourself some love and kindness.

Compassionate Self-touch

This is a simple practice but is a powerful way of showing kindness and compassion.

Find a comfortable position.

Now bring your mind to something you have been struggling with, it could be an internal struggle or an external struggle. Sit with this struggle for a moment. You may want to consider how this struggle is affecting you, how it is affecting your life. Notice what difficult thoughts and feeling are arising.

Become aware of within the body where you feel the feelings that are arising. Be aware of the part of the body that is hurting the most.

Now bring your attention to one of your hand. Within this hand, imagine that you hold someone that is very kind and caring.

Then place this kind and caring hand gently on whichever part of the body that hurts the most.

Send warmth, care and compassion inwards. Through the palm to the place that is hurting.

Imagine the body softening, relaxing and making space. Allow kindness and compassion to flow through your body.

Continue with this kind of self-touch for as long as you wish. (You can download a guided recording of this practice) here

Only through practice, we become better at showing ourselves compassion. It may feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first but, the more kindness and compassion we are with ourselves. The better we become at handling life’s ups and downs.

Forgive yourself be gentle with yourself and recognize that you are a human.

You make mistakes.  You do not have to be perfect. You are learning, growing and doing the best that you can.

So, next time you are harsh or critical of yourself. Take a moment to pause and draw upon one of these practices. Show yourself kindness and compassion you are worth it.

You are worth of self-compassion

You are worthy of kindness

You are worthy of self-love.

And remember:

You can search the entire universe for someone who more deserving of you love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love affection, kindness and compassion. – Budda

I would love to hear how you feel about this topic and how you are bringing more self-compassion into your life Leave a  comment or get in touch here.

You may feel inspired to start your journey of self-compassion. Please click here. To find out more about how I can support you.

Listen to a free self-compassion meditation here.

A Guided To Self -Compassion

A Guided To Self -Compassion

Many of us struggle with self-compassion. I personally view myself as a compassionate person, but self-compassion is something I have struggled with, in my own life. I’ve had to learn the skills of how to be kind and compassionate towards myself.

Self-compassion takes practise, patience and perseverance, to perfect your skills.  Once you master the skill of self-compassion, you unveil a beautiful masterpiece within yourself

So how do we start creating our masterpiece within ourselves?

As I mentioned, many of us view ourselves as compassionate people. It’s easier to treat others with compassion, kindness and warmth. However, many of us can struggle to treat ourselves with the same compassion.

What is self-compassion?

Self-compassion is a mindfulness technique. It is the ability to acknowledge your own, thought, feelings and responses with understanding acceptance and kindness towards yourself

In other words, treating yourself the same way you would treat a good friend who is experiencing painful emotions. Think about how you would treat that friend. I am sure you would be warm, caring, kind and compassionate, towards them.

However, if you were in the same emotional pain. Could you extend the same compassion and love towards yourself? Are you able to acknowledge your plain and hold yourself in a kind, caring, warm, and compassionate way?

It is not always easy to show ourselves compassion. When we are in pain, we offend treat ourselves with harshness unkind word, judging and criticizing ourselves. The inner critic’s loves to show up when we make a mistake, fail at something or feel stressed and overwhelmed.

When the inner critic overwhelms us with judgement, harsh words, and negativity,   it is easy to miss the point of self-compassion. We invalidate our emotions by telling ourselves: We should not feel this way. We should not have these thoughts. Our mind telling us we should not act like this. We call ourselves unkind names. We repeated the “I am not good enough” story over and over again.

Does it sound familiar to you? We can be so harsh and critical of ourselves. Invalidating our experiences, thoughts, feeling and emotions. When we are overcome by difficult thoughts or feeling. This is the perfect time to learn how to show ourselves more self-compassion.

Many of us have little or no experience with self-compassion. Often when we told about self-companion, we find it threatening self-indigent or overwhelming.

The fact is self-compassion has so many positive effects on every aspect of our lives.

Over the last decade, research has consistently shown a positive correlation between self-compassion and well-being

That including:

  • Boost to happiness
  • Improved self-imagine
  • Self-worth
  •  Resilience
  •  Reduce stress
  •  Improved mental health

How do we start taking the steps to develop self-compassion?

The concept of self-compassion may feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first. If you are embarking on this self-compassion journey for the first time. Start by building self-compassion through small steps.

Do not allow yourself to be threatened and overwhelmed by the inner critic telling you it’s too hard.

Stop and reflect for a moment: “We have been criticizing ourselves for years and it has not worked. Let’s try something different. Try showing yourself approve, compassion and kindness and see what happens”

Take your time and be gentle with yourself. Here some tips to get you started with self-compassion.

Understanding the relationship with Inner critic.

Most of us are familiar with the inner critic. That voice in our mind is quick to judge and citizen us. The inner critic seems to enjoy the opportunity to highlight our mistakes, flaws, and failures.

Making us feel that we cannot measure up to the expectation, we place on ourselves. We replay the “never good enough” story on repeat in our mind. The relationship we have with our inner critic gives us the opportunity to start taking the first steps to develop self-compassion. We can learn how to release the “I’m not good enough story”, self-judgment and harsh words of the inner critic.

This is one of the most important steps towards self-compassion.

The first step is we need to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves. We can do this by, notice and name the story our inner critic is telling us. Then we can teach start ourselves how to disengage from the inner critic.

We do this by seeing the inner critics as nothing more than words and pictures, our mind it showing us. We do not need to get into a discussion with ourselves whether it’s true or false. We can show ourselves self-compassion. By letting the thoughts and pictures of the inner critic come and go in their own time. We do not need to be pushed around by the inner critic. We can show ourselves kindness and compassion in the storm of the inner critic by:

Talk to ourselves in a caring gentle and understanding way.

Try this: Notice and Name the Story

  • This week start to notice the story you tell yourself.
  • You may want to write down the words you say to yourself.
  • The next step- is to name the story eg, (There is the “I’m not good enough story).
  • By giving the story a name, it gives you more power. Realise it’s a story, it does not mean it true or false. Its only words and you can choose how much power you give those words.
  • Let go of the story if it is unkind.
  • Put your hand on your heart. Take some deep breaths. Release the words and show yourself kindness and compassion.

Only through practice and patience, we become better at showing ourselves compassion. Next time the inner critic shows up and starts judgement and using harsh words.  Take a moment pause and notice and name the story. Remember self-compassion is showing yourself the same kindness you would show a  friend or loved one in pain. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of kindness, and most of all you are worthy of self-compassion.  Start mastering the skill of self-compassion and unveil that beautiful masterpiece that is within you.

Are you ready to start taking the first steps to show yourself self-compassion?

I would love to hear how you feel about this topic and how you are bringing more self-compassion into your life. Please comment and share your experience

Do you feel inspired to start your journey of self-compassion? Please click here for more information about how I can help you with self-compassion. It is one of my favourite things to teach. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of Letting go

Season of Letting go

In the southern hemisphere, we have made the transition into the cooler weather. The morning air has become crisp and cool. The tree’s branches are bare of their leaves, almost a symbol of bearing their soul. The trees have let go of all their leaves and have allowed their branches to be exposed. They have let go of what they no longer need. Take a moment to look at the trees around you, they have let go of what they no longer need for the winter months. This transition of the tree can serve as a powerful lesson if you’re willing to see. Ask yourself: Are ready to let go of what you no longer need?

I know sometimes the process of letting go can seem scary and even painful at times. However, when we look at the trees for guidance it’s a natural process of change. There no resistance, or holding on. The tree just lets ‘s go and goes with the change.

If you are brave enough to face what is no longer serving you and let it go. You make room for the new expanded version of yourself. Look to the trees as it sheds it leaves baring itself for the winter months. Then making room for the new, that it knows will come in the spring. Just like the trees letting go of their leaves, are you ready to start letting go and making room for the new? As you reflect on the natural cycle of nature, it’s a reflection of the cycle of life. Once we let go of the old we make room for the new.

If you ready to start letting go and preparing yourself for the season of change, start with this simple practice of letting go. Be like the tree it does not shed its leaves all at once it takes it time gently shedding itself over time. Be kind to yourself just take it one step at a time.

A Practice For Letting Go.

1.Preparation for this practice.

Take out your journal or a clean sheet of paper. Get your favourite pen to write with.

2.Centre yourself

Take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth.
Take another deep breath in and out through your month making an “ahh” sound.
Take one last deep breath in and let it out through your mouth with an “ahh sound

3. Focusing on Letting go

Ask yourself, What do I need to let go off?
Try not to edit or overthink what comes up. Write down the first thing that comes to mind. This is usually the thing you need to hear and focus on the most.

4.Your answer

Once you have your answer to what you need to focus on:
Ask yourself I’m I ready to let go of this now?
It can be challenging to let go. Your mind may come up with reasons or excuses why you should not let go of this thing. If this happens, ask yourself: What is the benefit of holding on to this?
Write down your answer.

5. Imagine letting go.

Gently close your eyes for a moment take some deep breaths.
When your ready imagine yourself letting go of the thing you wrote down. Visualize what it would be like to let go. Go into what it would feel like to let go.
Then open your eyes. Write down in as much detail as possible about how it would feel.

6.The feeling of letting go.

Lots of different feeling can come up when letting go. Acknowledge what you’re feeling.
Let yourself know that it safe to let go and that you’re making room for the new.

7.Time for action

Write down one step you can take today to start letting go of this thing that you no longer need. What small step can start with today?

8. Making room for the new

 Repeat this practice in the winter months. It’s a time to retreat and let go. Be like the trees gently letting go of the old leaves day by day to make room for the new.

I hope this practice served you in letting go and creating more Harmony in your life.

Please share this post with friends or family if you found it helpful.

 

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