“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s been a busy couple of months for me and the people around me. Certain things have been neglected due to other priorities demanding my energy. Although it’s been frustrating, I always keep in mind that these things I’ve been neglecting will be nurtured and given energy once the timing is right again.
Life has its seasons. In Melbourne, it’s Autumn and the leaves are dropping in order to prepare for the colder weather. It’s no use fighting what is arising. If we work with life and how it is in this present moment, then we can experience less suffering and learn to deal with what comes up as it comes up rather than pushing through regardless, and creating more stress and turmoil. We may wish for life to be different, but quite simply, it’s not. So we work with what we’ve got!
All that being said, I have been continuing to assess what is truly important in life for me and that is what gets done no matter what. Spiritual practice, meditation and good wholesome connections are always number one in my world. Work still needs to get done, but doing so with an understanding that it’s not everything in life. Yes, we still need to make money, but if it comes at a cost of your physical and/or mental health, then is it really worth it? Can it be changed a little in order to make life balanced? Less hours perhaps, or maybe a completely new job or project? Only you know the answer to that.
Balance in life is always essential to a happy existence and I know that when I find myself in a period of busyness and stress, it means that I’m usually just out of balance at this time and a few little changes here and there can help to tip the scales back to a place of harmony.
Life is always changing. Don’t get caught up in times of busyness thinking that this will be this way forever…..because it won’t! Knowing what is important to you can help provide the grounding needed so you don’t get caught up in the stresses of the world. For me, meditation provides that grounding on a daily basis which helps me to flow with the never ending natural changes of life.
I was looking at the leaves falling away from the tree just outside my window in meditation this morning. As I was watching this tree shedding away its old leaves and letting go of everything externally of itself that makes it what it is; I could see that like us, it is just going through a change. These deciduous trees lose their leaves in order to conserve water and/or to better survive the winter weather conditions coming their way. Nature always knows what it is doing, and I often find in my life, that if things are “falling away”, then it is just nature’s way of preparing us for something that we may not be able to see coming around the corner, or sometimes (if we are lucky!), preparing us for something better that is coming our way!
We don’t know, what we don’t know, and if something is wanting to go from your life, allow it, and trust that everything is working out for you.
“In the end, only three things matter:
How much you loved,
How gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
Today I’ve been in my head a lot, thinking about if I had everything I wanted and my loved ones had everything that they wanted right now, would that make them happy?
Well, yes……initially. The
new house, the new car, the money in the bank, not having to worry about going
to work or where the money is coming from to pay the bills. Travelling the
world in 1st class, eating what you want and just living it up! Of
course that would be awesome, I’m not denying that, however, we still come back
to a point of wanting more. No matter what we have, our minds can miraculously
find a way to see a problem in a near perfect existence.
The dopamine runs out, and we start looking for more. The things that were new and shiny are now old and boring. We end up back where we started. Longing, seeking, craving and wanting more, driving us to a place of unhappiness……if we let it.
I think once you recognise this cycle of unhappiness, you can see it for what it is and start taking action to remedy this potentially negative cycle.
It’s in these moments of feeling unsatisfied that we need to breathe and just accept the present moment as it is. There are times when I’m stuck in traffic and I can feel the anger and frustration arising from within. This is when I take a deep breath and think, even if I had millions of dollars sitting in the bank right now, I would still be stuck in traffic. I may be in a slightly nicer car, but I would still have to deal with this anger and frustration arising.
No matter what our situation is in life, we still have to deal with our inner emotions. This is where meditation can play an enormous role in helping to see what’s really bugging us, and with practice, we can begin to distance ourselves from the negative emotions and start cultivating positive ones, which invites happiness! I also recommend practicing gratitude and giving without expecting anything in return highly on the happiness boosting ladder!
Next time you feel like you need something outside of yourself to feel happy, look within and generate it yourself!
I’m writing this one as a thank you to everyone who has donated blood in the past.
This time last year I was diagnosed with severe anaemia and needed blood transfusions for the first time in my life.
I have always been very healthy, but last year I moved from sunny, relaxing QLD, to cold, busy and stressful Melbourne! I thought I was healthy enough to deal with it, but my body thought otherwise! My red blood cell count began to drop significantly and even eating iron rich foods and taking iron supplements was not enough to boost my red blood cell count again. It got to the point where I had to have the transfusions to survive. And not just one transfusion, about 10 transfusions were needed because my body started “attacking itself.” Eventually after changing my diet to the Ketogenic one and removing a lot of the stresses out of my life, I got better, but I still desperately needed that blood to keep me going.
I remember how strange it felt to receive the blood. I remember feeling deep gratitude for all those people who donated the blood. These people I didn’t know and will never meet, but I am eternally grateful for their generosity and giving me the chance to recover and get back to full health.
I know that I’ll be donating blood when I can in a few months or so, but if I can inspire you to give blood (if you can!), then please do. You just never know who you may help. It could be a loved one who will need it in an emergency. Or it could be you. Although I hope none of you or your loved ones need a blood transfusion, I do hope that if you can donate, you do and feel good knowing that you’ve helped to save a life.
Want more info?
Donate Blood So Easy eBook
If you are feeling uninspired or unmotivated, don’t give up because you may not be the cause of this un-inspiring energy!
The people we regularly surround ourselves with, can have a huge impact on us. They help shape our view of the world by the sharing of stories, thoughts and ideas. Often, this a good thing and it can help us to see things in a different light. But if it constantly negative, leaving you feeling hopeless and unmotivated, then this energy is not serving you.
When it’s family who are the cause of your low energy, there is little we can do about it, other than be the catalyst for bringing positive energy to the team! The way I’ve been doing this lately, is by making an effort to surround myself with positive people when I’m not around the negative ones!
The more time you can spend in this uplifting energy, then the more likely you’ll be able to bring this energy home with you. It will have a positive impact on your life, but you do need to keep working on continually finding that positive vibe and sharing it in your world to make lasting change.
I remember when I lived in the rainforests in South East QLD with some beautiful people, it truly was bliss everyday! Hard moments, were easily overcome with the right mindset, understanding and compassion.
There were days that we were isolated with no power for 5 days due to torrential rains blocking all the roads, but by focusing on the positives and helping out our neighbours who were doing it much harder than us, it kind of made it a positive experience through connection and everyone being focused on a good outcome for all.
Here in the city, those little difficult moments seem to be that little bit more stressful! It’s just one thing after another, and it’s not hard to get into a negative thought process! But it’s this negative thinking that makes dealing with problems way more difficult than it needs to be. For some people, that way of thinking is all they know, so there is not much we can do about it other than recognise it for what it is and take a positive action to remedy it.
For me, I really value and make a conscious effort to find positive people to recharge my spirit. In business, I surround myself with people who love their business and are successful because of that passion. I study Buddhism with some beautiful people at my local temple which helps me to understand and work with the nature of the mind. I also volunteer a lot and give back where I can, because it’s such an energy boost when you can give without expecting anything in return!
All these things, help me to keep a positive, high energy, despite the harsher difficulties of the city life and the stressed out people within them!
In summary, if you are feeling low, find some positive people to surround yourself with. Gain a different perspective by connecting with new people and invite new ways of thinking. Allow them to boost your energy and motivate you. Give back where you can and notice your energy soar!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I have achieved absolutely nothing for the week. I feel like I’ve been stuck in my mind, still trying to figure things out, planning, taking care of other people’s needs and then getting to the end of the week wondering where all the time has gone and feeling like I’ll never achieve my goals that I had set for myself.
Then, I calm down, meditate, go for a walk and literally do anything to distract me from that thought process. This usually gives me enough time to refocus on a more positive mindset. I can start to focus on the things that I did get done. This week for example, I finally bought some new shoes that I’ve been meaning to get for the past 6 months! I also created a new healthy cracker recipe, again that I’ve been meaning to do for the past few months. I’ve connected with new people, got a healing, went somewhere new, and strengthened some existing relationships.
Sometimes when you are so focused on the negatives, that’s all that you’ll see. A quick change of focus can help you see the other side of reality which can create a more positive outlook on life. Yes, I still do need to do all those things I didn’t get done, but I won’t beat myself up about it, because I did finally get some things done that were really well overdue to be done!
Everything is always working out for us……even if we are not aware of it!
Recommended- Change your thoughts, Change your Life. By Dr Wayne Dyer
Whether it be a family member, customer or work mate that pushes your buttons to the point of feeling anger, it is a feeling that none of us like having to experience.
Anger is just a reaction to a thought, idea or concept. It is a reaction that opposes a belief you hold to so very tightly, that it creates a negative feeling inside yourself. When you are experiencing anger, it’s very difficult to regain control and think rationally in that moment, which is why it’s good to practice noticing when you are feeling anger, and often just walk away if you can. Sometimes this isn’t possible and taking a moment to breathe and detach mentally may help to calm the mind a little in order for you to regain some control and think about your next actions.
Actions coming from a place of anger can be destructive and the negative consequences simply are not worth it. Saying the wrong thing in a state of anger can hurt and damage relationships. Sometimes this can be forgiven, and sometimes it can’t.
Essentially, it’s up to you to learn ways of understanding and controlling your own anger. Learn what triggers you. Understand why you react to things the way you do, but also understand, that others may see things differently.
A husband may get angry when he has come home to a messy, unorganised house after an incredibly busy day at work, assuming that his wife has been lazing around all day. If he could breathe at this point of assumption, calm down and communicate with his wife and ask “how was your day?” He may discover that she also has had an incredibly busy day where nothing has gone her way either. Together they may come to some deeper understanding of what’s truly going underneath the mess and stress of day to day living and start working on solutions.
It does take time, but learning to understand your own triggers to anger and working on ways of diffusing the immediate reaction to triggers, can truly help you to live a happier life. Anger can be then dealt with quickly, and not left to fester for days, weeks, months or years, eventually causing illness.
Things will always anger us, but when you can notice the anger, and not react to it, that’s when you know that you can face just about anything!
Meditation, breathing, staying present, communication and patience are the tools for overcoming anger. If you are truly ready to change, here are a few more helpful resources-
My brother was called out to fix a broken sewer pipe a couple of weeks ago. At the time it was quite urgent, but we couldn’t get there until about a week later so they had to wait.
When he arrived on site yesterday, he had found out that the man who needed the pipe fixed had just found out that week that he only had a week to live and had recently just passed away over the weekend.
How can things that seem so important one minute, be so irrelevant the next? A broken pipe can have people in a panic, but when that reality is placed next to the ultimate truth that they could die at any moment, a broken pipe is literally just that, with no emotion attached to it. There are more important things to focus on.
Yes, life goes on and things need to be taken care of, but when you find yourself completely worked up over the little things in life, ask yourself- “Is this really worth feeling stressed about?” “If I only had a week to live, is this how I want to be living it?”
Worry never truly fixes things. Finding solutions to your problems does. Sometimes these solutions take time, and as long as you are focused on creating solutions, then you are not worrying, you are creating.
There is a lovely irish philosophy that helps to put worry in its place-
There are only 2 things to worry about-
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, there is nothing to worry about.
If you are sick, then there are only two things to worry about,
Either you will get well or you will die.
If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.
If you die, there are only two things to worry about.
Either you will go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
If you go to hell, then you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends, that you won’t have time to worry!
I also find it helpful to find gratitude for the things that you do have here and now. Even the little things. It trains your mind to find the positives in life which allows you to find more peace and happiness in a world that is constantly trying to find ways to stress you out. The next time you feel yourself getting stressed and worked up over something, take the focus from yourself and try to refocus on gratitude for the positive things in your world.
Here are a few of my simple things to be grateful for—
Money to pay the rent every week
Clean, fresh drinking water
Clean, fresh air to breathe
The ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell
Fresh sheets on the bed.
The people in your life.
The people who go to work every day to make your coffee, create the clothes you wear, clean public spaces, deliver your parcels and build your homes.
The Peaceful and Quiet times
Friends, family and loved ones.
Hope this helps relieve your worry 🙂
I have always been a person who likes to be in control and I am quite happy when life is running like clockwork, but I do feel that sense of boredom when living the same routine day in and day out, and on occasions welcome the excitement from the unknown……whilst still trying to control that too! Learning to trust in the uncertainty of life and allowing that to guide us to better things in life can be difficult, but ultimately, once we step out of our comfort zone and try new things, we can learn a lot about ourselves that we wouldn’t have known whilst being stuck in our place of comfort.
According to Tony Robbins, certainty is one of our basic needs, but we also need that feeling of uncertainty to balance things out.
People who value certainty over uncertainty, tend to have more anxiety over the unknown and are less likely to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.
You may have grand ideas and may be able to mentally construct the most beautiful future for yourself, but until you can push past that belief of having to know exactly how it’s all going to play out in the real world before you take any action, you’ll be trapped in your comfort zone of familiarity. This can lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction, depression and boredom.
These lower states of being can be our motivation to step out of our comfort zone. When this feeling to change is stronger than our desire to stay the same, this is when it becomes easier to step into the unknown. If you aren’t quite at this point yet, keep working on your reasons on wanting to change. Keep visualizing your future, pondering ideas and building excitement in your mind so that it feels almost real, and one day you’ll be motivated from within to step into the unknown and break free of your comfort zone!
Understand that it’s going to be uncomfortable and that’s ok. It’s going to feel weird and unnatural, because it is! Everyone has to start somewhere and the more you do it, the easier it will become. There are techniques that make change a little easier. Practicing regular meditation helps with stress and anxiety. I have also been hearing a lot about the Wim Hof Method lately (AKA the Ice Man) He basically uses breathing to bypass all the physiological layers of conditioning that keep us trapped in the known.
This deep breathing enables us to access our inner power and not be so controlled by our thoughts and emotions. This is a good method for those people who struggle with meditation, but also those people who need a bit of a push to change!
Change is never easy, but when you choose to change from within, stay committed and find that strength to break free of your comfort zone, the end result will be worth it!
The other day I was in the bakery ordering a coffee and the lovely lady behind the counter (who I’m pretty sure is Russian) offered a customer some free bread rolls. The customer requested to pay for them to which the Russian lady behind the counter with her broken English replied- “These rolls are not perfect. They are not perfectly round and are a little broken. We only sell perfect.”
Of course, when we are dealing with the food industry, consumables do need to be pretty perfect in order to sell, but it did get me thinking about other industries and made me consider the quality that I deliver to my customers in my businesses. Of course we all like to believe that we deliver quality products and services 100% of the time, but sometimes we look for ways to save money and time, and may cut corners here and there to increase profits. All businesses do this! But, is it worth it in the end? Are we better off focusing on delivering the absolute best to our customers in order to avoid headaches down the track? Only you know the answer to this!
I do strive for perfection a lot, and honestly, there is no such thing as perfect. Striving for perfection is ultimately unattainable because perfection is just an idea you have in your mind, and that idea will always change based on what you know. That being said, I believe that if your intention is to do your best and give your best to your customer and you follow this with action, then you have already achieved perfection.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”