Paying attention is a self loving habit, if something isn’t working or something feels off, just stop.
Stop and ask yourself what you need in that moment to make yourself feel better. Sometimes we don’t ask ourselves because we are frightened that we won’t be able to fulfil our own needs. It usually is something very simple and just requires us to be flexible.
Today after my teaching session I wasn’t feeling great but had a heap of marking to do and generally like to do it in school. I took 5 minutes to think about what I needed and it was that I should go home, have a rest, enjoy some sunshine and do the marking later.
I can have quite a fixed mindset and I most definitely dislike taking work home especially marking, but in this instance it was much more self loving to take a break.
Make it a habit to just stop for 5 minutes, get off the hamster wheel and just ask yourself what it is you need and is there a more self loving way of doing this.
Attention, it’s all about attention. Self loving people pay attention to themselves and their needs. Yesterday I talked about breath and water and it is really interesting how our mind can convince us of something, it’s only when we really pay attention that we know what is going on.
I drink herbal tea 99% of the time so I was convinced that I was drinking enough fluids, it was only when I decided to pay attention and put my focus on it that I realised the truth, I should have had the auditors in sooner.
I decided to use the app Water Drink Monitor which records how much you drink a day against what you should drink (calculated from you inputting your weight). I was shocked to discover that I was only drinking 800ml of water a day, short of the recommended general of 2 litres a day and whey off my 4 litres calculated from the app!
In case you aren’t aware your body is roughly 75% water and your brain 90% water, so if you aren’t properly hydrated you aren’t giving yourself a chance. I won’t go into what type of water you drink, that is a new post.
Our solutions to our problems are actually very simple, but we get so caught up in creating drama and responding to others drama that we don’t get chance to catch our breath.
I am an empath, which means that I feel the feelings of people around me. It is a gift because you know how people feel and therefore can help them with their needs.
It also comes with a responsibility to look after yourself. This can appear challenging as you get caught up in everything around you, not knowing whose feelings are whom.
Last summer I was talking to someone about my dramas of being an empath and she politely asked me some questions….
How much water do you drink?
How often do you just stop and focus on your breath?
I was agahst, did this woman not know how dramatic my life was and how much time and energy I had devoted to that! Surely my problems couldn’t just be sorted by going back to basics and checking in with those first?
I decided to demote my drama queen and go back to basics, water and breath, which are the 2 most important things for the living.
Self love can mean going right back to basics and making sure our needs are met first.
When you journal you are getting in touch with a deep inner part of you, so treat yourself well. Find a nice quiet space, I personally like to light candles and incense, put on my healing music, cuddle up under a blanket and write with lovely coloured pens and in a beautiful notebook. Treat yourself well, treat yourself like royalty, a good journaling session can be a luxurious and nurturing activity.
Relax knowing that whatever you write is perfect, don’t hold back if you feel that its not what you should be writing, just look at the prompts and just allow yourself to flow. You will be pleasantly surprised by what you uncover.
Another way of thinking about it is to imagine that you had someone sat in front of you and they actually wanted to fully listen to you and fully hear you and are completely supportive of your situation.
If you have a situation that is on your mind then here are a set of prompts to help you
How am I actually feeling about this situation (no holds barred, you don’t have to share this with anybody you just need to actually acknowledge and feel your feelings).
When have I felt like this before? What was the situation, who was involved, what was the outcome?
What did I learn about myself in this situation?
If I had a crystal ball what would that tell me? (this is a fabulous no holds barred coaching strategy, because somewhere we know what is happening, we just haven’t found a way to verbalise it yet).
Go back and do it again, yes again, its amazing when you go back to something how you may a have another layer of understanding. If you can, redo it 3 times and see what happens.
Good luck with this, be kind and gentle with yourself you are doing a great job.
So you’ve started to realise that not taking it personally is definitely a way forward to change your life and maybe you have dabbled in some journaling, but how do you keep up your stamina?
Surely you can’t spend the rest of your life lounging around with your candles and gel pens delving deep into your soul or maybe you don’t want to. There is life to be lead, work, family, children, relationships, bills, shopping, blah blah blah.
Well no it doesn’t have to be this way,
more of a change of attitude,
more of a noticing,
more of a paying attention to yourself
I wonder what is going on here
I wonder how I am feeling.
Just taking the time to notice, to pay attention on a regular basis will have an impact. If you are listening to yourself more, maybe you won’t need to get triggered because in the simple act of listening you are being proactive and don’t need the triggers to warn you that something is amiss.
As human beings we make life complicated and therefore assume that the solutions also have to be, they don’t.
The effectiveness isn’t just in the remedy but in how often you take it.
Be gentle, be kind, pay attention and in those moments, cherish.
My Self Love Day 1 article prompted a question along the lines of “yes that is great I have not to take it personal, I get that, its all to do with the other person and not me, but how do I actually do it?”
So are you ready for the magic formula? This is how we do it ….
The first thing to do is actually pay the situation some attention and a wonderful way to do that is through journaling. It is only when we put our attention on it that we can find out what the root cause is.
It’s ok noticing the dripping tap but unless we take any action, the tap is going to keep dripping and until we look at it we can’t know why. It might be because it needs a new washer, but until you investigate you have no idea what the root cause is and if you don’t know what that is how on earth can you find a solution.
Journaling helps you to look at the situation, which in a lot of cases is nothing to do with what is happening. It can be an old hurt or pain resurfacing to be healed. I recently had an achilles tendon injury and one of the therapies on offer was to retraumatise the injury to promote the healing process.
Our psyche can be doing that to help us heal an old trauma or hurt by creating another one to promote the healing process. The journaling helps us to stand back from the situation and look at the story objectively to see if we can see the core.
Having an awareness and understanding of the situation is also very helpful in giving you a barrier between the person and the situation. Just take your journal and write down everything that you would want to say to them if you gave yourself full permission to feel all those feelings.
Once you have journaled and felt your feelings you may feel differently about the person and the situation and you are able to respond rather than react to them.
I have an upcoming course on Journaling for Self Love and have been asked lots of questions about it so I have decided to blog for 30 days on the questions that I frequently get asked.
One of my roles that I play in life is being a secondary school teacher. The most common question I get asked is “How do you stay so calm, relaxed and patient?”
The first and most important one is that I do not take anything personally. How a person responds or reacts to me is everything to do with them and nothing to do with me. That one is a biggie and takes a while to master, but it is so worth the time and effort into practising it. In fact it is one of the cornerstones of something called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
It can seem challenging at first, we have spent so long buying into “taking it personally” that to drop it feels like the other person is getting away with something. A part of us has been happy blaming someone else for our misfortunes, allowing our days and lives to be affected by how other people treat us. As I write this it feels ridiculous that we could allow someone to have so much power over our day. It would be a great act of self love to be able to drop the habit, because that is all it is, a habit and habits can be changed.
So could you do that?
Just for today try not taking anything personally and seeing what happens.
Seeing how you feel at the end of the day, how has your day changed, for the better?