This extract is taken from audio version of The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown.
Shame is the gremlin who says “never good enough” and if you can talk it out of that one “who do you think you are?”.
The thing to understand about shame is its not guilt.
Shame is a focus on self.
Guilt is a focus on behaviour.
Shame is “I am bad”
Guilt is “I did something bad”
Shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders.
And here’s what you need to know even more, Guilt is inversely correlated with those things.
Shame for women is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we are supposed to be.
For men, shame is not a bunch of competing conflicting expectations. Shame is one “Don’t be perceived as what?” “Weak”.
But the truth is vulnerability is not weakness.
I define vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, certainty, it fuels our daily lives and I’ve come to the belief this is my 12th year doing this research that vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.
If we are going to find our way back to each other we have to understand and know empathy because empathy is the antidote to shame.
If you put shame in a petri dish it nerds 3 things to grow exponentially, secrecy, silence and judgement.
If you put the same amount of shame in a petri dish and douse it with empathy it can’t survive.
The 2 most powerful words when we’re in struggle are “me too”.
If we are going to find our way back to each other vulnerability is going to be that path.
If you haven’t discovered Brene Brown and her work yet, go Google her. Her work should be on every Government agenda and every school curriculum and every company policy.
I love this post which explains how excitement and anxiety produce the same chemicals and by repeating the phrase “I am excited” 3 times helps change your experience.
With reference to scientific studies of how it helped people with a presentation.
Spring is right around the corner! Better weather, new beginnings, and for many of us, it means a lot more social, work, and family responsibilities. If for you that translates into outright panic or good old-fashioned stress, here are three great strategies for when you are freaking the fuck out.
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In this world the most challenging thing can be to be your true self. You can become so bogged down with everything around you without even realising it’s happening.
And how do you know it’s happened? When something lights you back up again and you realise that you had lost your way.
I am an empath, I have a beautiful gift of sensitivity and I love the people in my life, but as an empath I can absorb all of your rubbish.
You may not say it, but if it’s in your energy field I feel it and it can affect me. It’s like coming home with everyone’s laundry. I’m trying to work out how to get the equivalent of an energetic laundrette at my house.
My responsibility is too manage myself, my commitments and my life so that I’m in the best place possible for the people I love. I’m still learning.
What sparked this post was reading the post at the bottom by Crystal dreams. Her list of 1 to 80 felt like my todo list for 2018.
And do you know what, it lit me back up. It reminded me that when you sing from the song of your heart and soul you are the happiest you could ever be.
And when you do that you are the most beautiful and charming person to be with in the world.
So have a look at the article or peruse her 80 guidelines for living. If any government needed a new manifesto then it surely should be this one.
1. Take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming others, outside influences, your past, the planets, the weather. Own your own chaos and start to address your problems one by one. Begin with your home. You cannot function properly if your home is in a state of chaos, untidiness and filth. Then move on to bigger issues. Your relationships, your job, your finances. It is, quite simply, your choice.
2. Live in the Now. Stop worrying about the future or dwelling in the past. The only moment you can change is right here, right now.
3. Every now and then unplug yourself. Almost everything will function properly again once you disconnect it from the “mains” for a while, reboot it and then restart the programme. The same is valid for humans.
4. Spend at least 30 minutes a day in nature. Ground yourself. Walk barefoot on the earth if you can. Nature truly is our greatest healer.
5. Spend less time on Social Media and more time with those you love. Social Media scatters and fragments your energy enormously and a big part of why you are feeling frazzled all.the.time.
6. Don’t hang on to anger and resentment. Equally, don’t ignore them either. Anger is a valuable emotional reaction when we feel wronged and a clear signal that our boundaries need to be (re)established or (re)evaluated. Take time to be with your feelings, work your way through them and understand why you feel the way you do. The moment you understand, you will be able to let go, just like that.
7. Be kind to yourself and others. You never know what the other is going through.
8. Meditate. Often. Write in your journal, process the day.
9. It is ok to feel self-pity now and then, but don’t dwell there. Rather harness the energy to create a better future for yourself.
10. Be Grateful. For the good and the bad. They both have worthy lessons to teach.
11. Listen to the silence. It has much to say.
12. Cry when you need to cry. It will release the pressure and bring healing to the pain.
13. Let go of Pride and Prejudice.
14. Stop living your life according to the latest planetary alignments, horoscope, cosmic weather, list of recent ascension symptoms and general tarot readings. Whilst a good, personal energy, astrology or tarot reading can bring much clarity and insight, fully living your life according to what has been “foretold” is the best way to stop the magic from happening. One choice today will alter your path tomorrow. Ignore any sensationalist doom and gloom messages repeated ad nauseum. They are designed to lure the masses into a “need” by keeping you trapped in your misery so that you keep coming back for more.
15. Understand that NOTHING will cure you other than YOU. There is not a single crystal, healing modality, healer or guru who can miraculously fix you. The only thing they can do is align you with the frequency of the healing you need to find within yourself. You have to do the work. You will have to do the inner work. Nobody can do it for you.
16. Own your addictions. Owning them is the beginning to curing them. Whether sugar, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, OCD… the list is endless. Own it. Then watch the transformation happen. It may not be overnight, but you will take control more and more until one day… you are free.
17. Deep Healing takes time. Be patient and and gentle with yourself. Trust that you will get there.
18. You have all the answers within. Seek advice with those you trust but listen to the wisdom of your soul.
19. Trust your gut. It knows more than your mind.
20. Let go of the need to be right or defend yourself. Truth will eventually out and people will respect you for it even more.
21. Your body is your temple. Learn to love it, just the way it is. The more you love it, the better you will treat it and the more it will love you back and transform into the way you would love it to be.
22. There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything has a meaning.
23. Opinion is the lowest form of knowledge.
24. Stop procrastinating and evading unpleasant situations. The sooner you grab the proverbial bull by the horns, the sooner the problem will go away.
25. Nothing will ever truly go away until we have learnt the lesson fully. If you find yourself in a repeat groundhog- day pattern, ask yourself what you are not wanting to see. See it.
26. Know that it is ok to let go. Step away from people and situations which you have outgrown. Move on. It is fine and the way it is meant to be. It is all part of your and their growth.
27. Self-care and self-nurture is vital. Allow yourself to rest. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
28. Understand the power of your thoughts. Thought creates and manifests energy. You can invest that power in negativity or positivity. The choice is yours.
29. Know that there will be days that you will feel out of sorts, emotional and overwhelmed. I still have them regularly and that is ok. Surrender to the feeling, be with it and try to find the reason. Sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t. And that is fine. Tomorrow is another day and this too, shall pass.
30. If you are having a super unmotivated day, still try and do one productive thing, preferably something you love.
31. Create order, structure and a certain routine in your day. Begin with making your bed. Schedule your day. Make a to-do list if you find it hard to keep to your schedule and get to the end of the day having achieved all your goals. You will be surprised how good it feels to tick all your to-do’s off the list as the day goes by.
32. Equally, make time to be “free” for a while each day.
33. Did I mention meditate?
34. Stop getting involved in drama. Be discerning in what you read, listen to and believe. Limit your time on TV / Radio / Social Media networks that proclaim the latest doom and gloom news. Stop sharing sensationalist news, be it on terror, horrendous crashes, personal tragedy. It only spreads more angst and enforces control of the masses. Better even ditch TV and Radio altogether.
35. Your TV probably has over 500 channels. If you find yourself brainlessly flicking through them, remember that there is an off button.
36. Read lots of books to expand your knowledge and horizons. If you find this difficult because of time pressures, listen to audio-books instead. Listen to them when commuting, ironing, doing your chores. I have “read” through stacks of books in the last 3 months by using audible and it has been life-changing.
37. Trust. The Universe has your back.
38. Travel as much as you can. It will bring many an unexpected gift.
39. Remember that fear is an illusion. Unless in a real, life-threatening situation, most of what we imagine could happen, never happens.
40. Tell those you love that you love them.
41. Make every day count.
42. You cannot change others. Either accept them as they are or choose to distance yourself.
43. Relationships change. Your marriage, your friendship, your loveship. They will all evolve and change, and that is good. You can either grow with them or stay frozen in stagnation. Your choice.
44. Communication is vital. Express your feelings. Lack of communication is one of the biggest reasons for disharmony. If you find it hard to speak your feelings, write them down and pass your message on that way. Explain if you are finding it hard to express your emotions verbally. It will be understood.
45. Every now and then, take a risk. Go on an adventure. It adds spice to life and expands your horizons.
46. Clean up after yourself.
47. Avoid gossip and gossip magazines. You have no idea how horrendous and destructive their energy is.
48. What others think about you is none of your business.
49. Equally, what others do is none of your business.
50. Change is good. Stop resisting it.
51. Be creative in whichever way you love. Write, draw, paint, crochet, make jewellery, build something. It doesn’t matter what it is. But being creative matters to your soul and happiness. Creativity is one of the greatest healers.
52. You have more strength, resilience and courage within you than you will ever know. You can do this.
53. Make love not war.
54. Move your body. Exercise gently for 30 minutes a day. A brisk walk and 15 minutes of gentle Yoga will work wonders.
55. Your family is your greatest teacher.
56. Have regular, nourishing meals. It creates order in our day and order in your body.
57. There is life after copy and paste messages. Stop brainlessly copying messages onto your status. This too is a form of control and stops you from engaging your own brain and creativity.
58. Be patient. Everything will come to you at the right time.
59. Keep dreaming. Your dreams are the vehicle to manifestation.
60. Think before you speak.
61. Treat everyone with respect.
62. Have fun! If you forgot how to do that, play with a child for a while.
63. If someone really gets under your skin and triggers you deeply, there is an important lesson to learn. Step back, take a breath, observe your reaction and then take considered action.
64. Set boundaries if you feel violated. It is ok to define your limits. It is not a sign of weakness but of strength.
65. Show your emotions. Not everybody is good at reading other people’s energy or body language.
66. Stop worrying about getting older. It is a privilege denied to many.
67. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
68. Stop being available 24/7. There really is no need to answer that phone/message/text/email immediately.
69. Dare to be vulnerable. Your integrity will earn you deep respect.
70. There is no such thing as failure. Even when you give up for a while, it is not failure. See it as a breakthrough. There WILL be a point where you will be ready to try again.
71. Be totally honest with yourself. It will set you free.
72. Never stop learning. The moment you stop learning, life will become dull and meaningless.
73. Nothing will ever be perfect. Just be the most imperfectly perfect you can be, because all is perfect as it is anyway. One of the great paradoxes of life.
74. Be aware of energy. Your energy, the energy of your words, your thoughts, the energy of others, of things. I wish I could show everyone the effect and impact of energy. If we would all be aware of it, this world would truly be a better place.
75. Stop complaining. It keeps you trapped in the energy and makes you a victim.
76. Never ever grow up. It ‘s a trap 😉
77. It is never too late to change anything.
78. Love is the answer. No matter what the question.
79. Be the change you wish to see.
80. Be . Authentically .You. Always.
My Sunday morning started with purchasing a positivity magazine from Dotty Delightful. I can highly recommend it and below is a link to purchase something that for the price of a coffee will lift you longer than the caffeine high.
I love colour and positivity and this was brimming with it, just flicking through the pages instantly made me feel relaxed and lighter.
One of the pages was about gratitude and asked you to list 10 things that you are grateful for.
If you are like me, then your Facebook page is always filled with positive memes and recommendations for gratitude. Sometimes we can see something so much that we can switch off from it and forget about the power that it has.
I knew that I had positivity fatigue as I looked and thought “yeah I know I need to be grateful” and as I heard myself say that I realised that I had “positivity fatigue” and needed to remedy it quick.
So if you are filled with so much positivity but know that somewhere it isn’t working then take the time to do this, reconnect properly with gratitude.
1. Get your journal, paper, pens and block out half an hour from the people in your life (they will really benefit, because at the end of it they will get the new and improved version of you).
2. Firstly centre yourself, you do this by just closing your eyes, making sure your feet are on the floor and just take 3 nice deep breaths.
3. Write “I am grateful for (fill in the blank) because………… (the power is in the” because ” it helps it stop just being a list and really helps you to connect to the reasons why).
4. Repeat step 3 nine more times.
5. Go back to your life with a much more relaxed and calm centre, you and the people around you will appreciate it.
If you want see more of Dotty Delightful and what she does
My next Journaling For Self Love course starts on Thursday 8th June
I know you have had enough of the film and now I have mentioned it you can’t stop singing that all important life instruction “let it go”. No matter how annoyed you are with the film I feel it has an important message (love thaws, fear freezes) and what is even more amazing is that a nation of children are singing that life instruction to all the adults. You get the picture, adults are stressed and tense, trying to run a family, a household and the kids are just singing “let it go, let it go…”, thank you very much Disney for those instructions but how do you actually let it go.
The internet is buoyed up with lots of information of what you should do, but not always on how to do it. For me it is always about taking the time to stop and just pay attention.
Our subconscious and psyche are really amazing, they know exactly what they are doing, if only we understood them better and could see that they are truly trying to help us and not put us through hell.
Sometimes we can struggle to let something go because there is an emotion that needs healing and it can be an emotion from the past. The very clever psyche will alert us to things that need healing by “triggering” us, it could be that when somebody says something to you, your feelings and reaction are completely out of proportion to the situation, but what you know for sure is that those feelings are very real for you.
So step 1 – just recognising and having the awareness that your emotions are over the top for the situation will help you to distance yourself from them and just observe.
Step 2 – journal on your feelings, just actually stop, sit down and write out everything that you feel about the situation. As you start to write about how you are feeling or what you would like to say to the other person, you may find that you gently yield to some other emotions that you maybe hadn’t realised where there.
Give yourself the time and respect that you would give someone else to just have a look at something. Often in life it is the most simple solutions that help us, but we are so used to continuing on our hamster wheel reacting the way that we have done and only really maybe looking when a crisis happens.
You may find that when you journal that there are other feelings under there from a previous situation. For a variety of reasons when things happen to us we may bury our feelings. They remain in our subconscious and when similar events happen they can be triggered.
Its a bit like when you start to do laundry its helpful to put all the light coloured things together as they wash much better, its similar with your feelings. There maybe a situation where somebody ignores your feelings and you feel angry and similar to when you do wash day and shout “anybody got any lights that need doing” , your subconscious is shouting out “any more anger in there to get out” and like those old smelly socks underneath a teenagers bed, the other anger comes up going “oh hello, anger being processed, can we come too” and like those smelly socks that are smelling rancid, the anger may feel very strong and out of proportion to the situation, but is only because the anger has been festering under some teenagers bed.
When you have a backlog of laundry you may feel a little overwhelmed and when you start to look at your feelings, you may find that you have a bit of backlog, but with a bit of time put aside you can work through that laundry and somewhere some part of you will be very grateful that all the smelly socks have been dealt with.
If you would like some support with that backlog of laundry, I do 1 2 1 coaching and run journaling courses which provide a safe environment to support you.
I love Stephanies work, authenticity and honesty and am inspired by her journey x
In my last post I talked about getting your needs met, but what if you are a step behind and you are not even sure if your needs are or aren’t being met.
The first place to start is to be able to identify the signs that your needs are not being met or that something is out of balance.
What does your life look like when you are unhappy? Take some time and sit down and write it out. I understand that there are events outside of your control that can make you unhappy, but what if there aren’t? And even if there are, you can handle them so much better when your needs are being met.
For example mine are
- My house will be untidy and I will have no motivation to clean or tidy up. I know it is cool and trendy to bash housework and make out it is something that we shouldn’t want to do but the reality is that when our houses are clean and tidy we do actually feel so much better, not in an obsessive way, but as with everything in life in a balanced way. I am an empath and feel the energies of people, buildings and areas that I am with and if my house is untidy and I have no motivation to do anything about it then it means that somewhere I am over giving, I am being overstretched, I am out of balance. When my home is clean and tidy, I feel so much better because the energy of my house is clean and sparkly and I am able to relax better in the comfort of my own home.
- I become oversensitive to comments people make, when this is happening it is not helpful to me or the people around me. Feeling upset by people’s comments can also be about boundaries and how you are letting people treat you, which is a whole nother article. I know that when this is happening I need to put myself in serious timeout, relax and get back to me and find out what the problem really is, because it is not usually what people are saying that is the issue. For me it is generally that I am not listening to myself about what I should and shouldn’t be doing, I have forgotten to listen to my inner compass.
- I want to eat comforting carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help release serotonin (the happy and calm hormone) so somewhere this plea is a cry for relaxation, a cry for a hug for something comforting. Even though food can be comforting it is all about whether you are eating to feel nutritionally wholesome or whether you are eating to hide your feelings. Find other things that are more nurturing to your soul and listen to why you are feeling so tired and in need of sustenance. What decisions can you make that can help you feel more relaxed, nurtured and supported.
So those are mine, what are yours?
I know when these things are happening I need to stop and look around me and listen, take time out to really really listen to what my needs are. Human beings make life very complex, but most of the time the answers are really simple. I know in my case that when I take the time to listen to myself I find that somewhere a part of me is wanting to communicate something profound and life changing to me, which is possibly why I resist stopping and listening to it in the first place.
If you would really like some help with listening to yourself and helping you to navigate your way back to happiness then contact me below. I run journaling courses and one to one coaching sessions to help you identify your needs and make your self care a priority.