Looking through some old files, I found this blog post that I wrote last year – but didn’t post.
However, the message is still relevant.
My 22-year old daughter is a student, and has just returned last year from overseas where she studied on exchange in Amsterdam. Those of you who know Amsterdam recognise that it is the capital of bicycles transport. She used a bike as her primary means of transport for several months.
On arrival, my daughter returned to using bicycle transport. Sadly, she got involved in an accident with a car a week after arriving. Fortunately, she only suffered minor injuries and was okay, but badly shaken.
After a week, my daughter made the decision to get back on her bike, because she doesn’t want to become scared of riding her bike. She is facing her fear and moving forward!
Do you have fears that keep you immobilised? Are there things that happened to you that keep you from being able to do all you want, in the ways you want?
Fear is an emotion that can rob you of choice, freedom and autonomy.
IF YOU LET IT.
Often the fear is firmly entrenched in your mind, enlarged by the stories and meanings you attach to it, stemming from the past, and not always based in the current reality. Over time, it can grow in your mind, and move away from the thing that actually set up the fear in the first place. Yet, it can be very powerful, and can leave you feeling powerless and unable to move.
When you are stuck in fear, anxiety increases and this in turn compounds the feeling of being unable to move or take action.
Marianne Williamson said in her book, A Return to Love (and was quoted by Nelson Mandela),
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
If you have a fear or belief that stops you from living the life you want, then the way forward is to face the fear, and overcome the things that immobilise you. Recognising that most often, the fear is a story you have created for yourself means that you can rewrite the message or story for yourself, and allow space and freedom to move forward.
Life is for living, not hiding behind the fear of what MIGHT happen. Most often, you can choose what happens, and by facing your fears, you can take small steps to gain confidence and rebuild your skills and abilities.
My daughter got back on her bike, and chose a bike path away from the cars. It was a good safe choice, which built her confidence. Your choice can be a small step towards the outcome you want. Make it so small, that you actually can’t NOT do it.
What can you do to face and liberate your fears and get back on your bike?
It’s funny isn’t it to think about what gets us moving to get things done? I’m tired today but it feels like a ‘good’ tired. And why? Well, it comes from working hard to get something done by a deadline. I was getting my house ready to be photographed to be advertised to sell. We all live happily in our homes amongst clutter and normal family living – but when we sell, it seems the norm is we try to make our homes look like it has first made an appearance in Home Beautiful. So my bevy of activity was about de-cluttering, extra cleaning, washing windows and finally shoving the last vestiges of untidiness into cupboards before my refuge is displayed to the world on a real estate website.
So now, the photos are done and we just need to pretend that we live like this all the time – or at least until someone is sufficiently besotted to want to make an amazing offer!
Was I stressed? You bet I was! But it felt like some manageable stress. That is, it was short term, with a specific deadline and had clear and specific benefits to me. I felt satisfied that I had done the best job I could.
I can’t help but contrast this with the type of stress some people experience in everyday life. When we have constant stress – through work, family, relationships, financial or other ongoing issues – it can feel that we are on constant hyper-alert, or hyper-vigilance. The disadvantage of this is that the body has to deal with the stress hormones released naturally by our bodies when we are feeling under threat. This is the fight/flight mode – a hangover from our cave man days. Along came the wild animal to attack us – our body released adrenalin and we were ready to fight the threat or run away to keep safe.
Fast forward to 2014. If we are constantly threatened by psychological threats, rather than physical, our body still releases the hormones. We try to fight the threat – but we can’t always run away. This can lead to physical illness, burnt out, compassion fatigue (a lack of empathy for others) and a myriad of other concerns.
The solution? I know you’ve heard it all before – but it is simple really – GOOD SELF CARE!
Acknowledge that life can be stressful and take active steps to limit, reduce or eliminate the things that cause you to feel threatened and want to fight or flee. Be realistic – do you really need that thing or person if you feel constantly drained? Is the benefit of that job, relationship or activity far outweighing the costs? Does that habit of smoking or drinking too much, outweigh the health costs? And if you can’t reduce the threat or stress – then be sure to have some pretty good strategies for self care to manage the impacts.
Would you like to know more and do a self evaluation of the impact of stress on your life? It can affect you physically emotionally cognitively and behaviorally.
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May I wish you all the very best for Christmas and a happy New Year. Whilst Christmas is a happy time for many, I know that it is also a challenging time for some as our expectations are not always of a joyful time connecting with family or friends. Don’t be limited by the expectations of those around you or what the media would have you believe is the only way to do the festive season. Create your new traditions in a way that suits you, and prepare to end the year positively in order to start the New Year.
Isn’t it interesting that we link Merry Christmas and a happy New Year together? It is as if we automatically move from one event to another. However, before we can look forward to the happiness of a new beginning, it is really important to have a successful ending. For many, Christmas is about overindulgence and recovery, and then not doing much until New Year. I hear many people say that New Year’s Eve is over rated, and that they don’t enjoy it very much at all. They are glad when the festive season is over and they can return to some normality.
I think the clue to enjoying Christmas and New Year’s Eve is to think about Christmas in a different way, then successfully end the year before embarking on a new one.
If you believe the media Christmas, is all about happy times with family and friends. For those who are fortunate to enjoy this, please remember those around you who do not share that happy fortune. If you don’t have those people surrounding you in an environment that is happy, caring and supportive, then this time of the year can lead to stress.
I encourage people who are alone or who find spending time with family potentially difficult, to view the occasion in a new light. There are no rules about how you should spend Christmas. After all, the way it is portrayed in 2013 is dramatically different to the scene of an unmarried man and his fiancee giving birth to a baby in makeshift accommodation in a stable at the back of an overbooked inn. I suspect there was no tinsel wrapped around the rafters, and you will recall that the Kings arrive some time later with gifts that were most certainly not iPods, Nintendo’s or a Wii.
Reflect on the time and whether or not you have any religious or spiritual belief, try to identify what the significance of the season is for you and create a new tradition that will reflect the meaning and purpose you attribute to the time of year.
I hear families having picnics in unusual places, working as volunteers to assist others, or generally doing things entirely differently so as to avoid the disappointment of not having what others would have us believe is the only way to do Christmas.
Then I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the year. As 2013 draws to a close it is useful to discover what was successful about it and what didn’t work so well and could be improved. This is what really helps to anticipate 2014 and move through New Year’s Eve, to start a really successful 2014.
I have discovered a fabulous tool to assist you to do this, so click here http://tinyurl.com/lxey367 to find out more.
I hope when I contact you again in early 2014 you are already engaged in planning your successful New Year.
I hope you had a great break over the Christmas/New Year. I spent some time by the water – both river and the sea, which refreshes and restores me. In northern Victoria we have endured extremely hot temperatures of up to 44 degrees and whilst I love summer, this is just a little too much!
Here is a photo of the wonderful waterfall we enjoyed on a 42 degree day.
We are now into planning 2013 and I have lots of great things in store For you. But I would like your feedback. I will list the Workshops and
retreats I have planned and if you are interested in attending,
please let me know. We will go ahead with the most popular ideas first.
I spent some time reflecting on 2012, and inspired by Inner Feng Shui coach Vicky White, I re-read my journal and wrote down a list of the things I learnt from my journal.
You may find some of these things interesting, amusing or inspiring:
And finally….. 20. When I feel stuck or caged in, it is because of my own limiting beliefs or actions. The possibilities are endless!
What is planned for 2013?
I have wonderful things planned for 2013.
Fire up for 2013
This 3 hour workshop helps you identify your aspiration and intentions for 2013 and gives you concrete plans to achieve them. Don’ t be the victim of more failed New Year intentions…. – move into 2013 with skills to achieve what you want.
Passion Test Workshops
I can schedule these in Shepparton, Melbourne, Geelong or Torquay. However, if you are in another are and would like to bring a Passion Test Workshop to your area, contact me. By getting a few friends and colleagues together, we may be able to deliver one right to your doorstep!
The Passion Test will help you identify your top five passions in live and unlock the secrets on how to live them to the full with ease and abundance!
Torquay Weekend Retreat
I hope to run a retreat in Torquay for a weekend in February or March. We will look at identifying your plans for a Passionate 2013, complete the Passion Test, uncover your strengths and talents, learn about balance and fulfilment and utilise stress management techniques.
In addition there will be time to enjoy walking or swimming on the beach, visiting coffee shops and the fabulous coastal town atmosphere
“Thriving not Surviving” Workshop
10 Tips for Creating a Passionate 2013
You may remember my Relaxation CD – “Relaxation for Body Mind and Spirit”
I have some copies of these which I wish to share. Like medication sitting on the mantelpiece and not taken, these CDs don’t work sitting in a cupboard. I would love to share them with you at the bargain price of $2! The CDs have some small crazing on the cover of the CD but they work just fine! This special price is just for the next 10 days, so snap yours up now, by clicking here . (Unfortunately this offer is only open to Australian residents)
So you really want to be living a more positive, fulfilling and meaningful life, the reality in front of you right now don’t seem to fulfil that. Maybe you feel held back by past baggage, current stressors in your life, a lack of motivation or feeling unsupported.
Living a life that is not positive, exciting, fulfilling or meaningful is a life half lived! Is this really the life you want for yourself? I doubt it……
So, if you want more in your life, and want the solutions and strategies to make change which is lasting and sustainable, then here is the answer:
Enrol in my Passion, Purpose and Pizzazz Course, to show you how to live the life you really want, one full of passion and purpose and pizzazz.
How will we do this?
This course will provide you with all the resources you need.
We will address:
This course is fantastic value. We will include:
This is all fantastic value, at a minimum of $241.
However, I am giving you this package at just $97!
I REALLY want you to gain from these benefits I can offer, so to encourage you to enrol in the next few days, I am offering even more bonuses to people who enrol by Sunday 6th May!
You will receive in addition to all of the things described above,
Enrol by Sunday 6th May and you will pay only $67!
Are you tempted to attend the Relinquish Restore and Renew Retreat in Bali but want more specific details to help you decide?
Our F.R.E.E. Teleseminar recording is designed to provide answers to those questions you may have and to help you understand how this retreat may be able to help you.
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What is your reaction when things don’t go according to plan? Are you able to roll with the punches, or does your anxiety keep you from enjoying your life to the full and reaching your potential? To a significant extent, our personality determines how well we deal with the stress in our lives, but there are many things you can do to help keep your stress under control. Here are 5 clues:
1. Get plenty of sleep. It’s quite common in our society to exist on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. But experts keep telling us we need at least 8 hours – not just to rest our bodies, but to rejuvenate our minds. “Tired” and “cranky” seem to go hand in hand. Don’t use your bedroom to watch the news or finish up some work from the office. Make that room your haven, a place to relax and escape the day. Have a hot cup of tea, take a warm bath, or read a paperback to help you unwind.
2. Find your higher power. Saying a short prayer or meditating in times of stress can give you a sense of calm, especially when the situation is one you really have no control over. Studies have shown that people who trust in a higher power have lower blood pressure. Being able to forgive people also can affect your blood pressure. Holding a grudge is not good for your health!
3. Turn off the electronic devices. The convenience that mobile or cell phones have added to our lives can actually be a double-edged sword. We depend on them so much it seems we can’t live without them. This increased accessibility means not only can our loved ones reach us at any time, but so can work. If your boss legitimately needs to have your phone number, make sure you set clear limits on when you can and cannot be reached. Your time off is yours.
4. Take a holiday or a break. It doesn’t have to be a fancy resort. A day at the beach or an afternoon at the park will do. Just anywhere you can be and not think about the bills, work, or whatever tensions you may have. It’s important to take time for yourself, so do it! You’ll feel better with a fresh outlook.
5. Treat yourself. Sign up for a yoga class at your local gym or community centre. The costs are nominal, and you’ll feel more relaxed after even just one session. A monthly massage or a spa treatment is also a great way to recharge. You’ll walk out feeling like a million dollar bowl of jelly. Even a manicure or pedicure will help you feel great.
Stress is sometimes unavoidable. But how we respond and what we do about it is up to us. Try some of these suggestions and see what you find helpful. Then put them into practice on a regular basis.