With our busy lives we can become detached from others in our lives and end up feeling isolated as a result. When we truly listen to our friends, family and colleagues we gain so much in connection and insights in to our own lives. We also start to understand other peoples point of view without feeling defensive of our own. We begin to see the world as a beautiful tapestry where differences are to be celebrated instead of a threatening place to withdraw from. We realize there are many similarities between us, the common ground which is always there. We also have to listen to ourselves and how we feel as a first step. If we don't do that we are less able to understand others. Knowing yourself is one of life's greatest lessons. The other is self-acceptance of all your perceived flaws with a sense of humor that doesn't take it all too seriously. We are meant to have fun and enjoy life. If we listen to other peoples stories of their lives and points of view instead of worrying about what might or might not happen we could prevent a whole lot of misunderstanding and have more peace of mind!
You adopt many roles in life but what version of yourself are you currently living out? What roles do you identify with the most and which provide you with continuity? All roles, such as the ones we have at work, home and in our families are not forever, they change as we change. We may move to college or university leaving our original home, become parents ourselves and change jobs. These all give us new roles and with it a sense of identity. Our communities also give us an identity and within that a role. You may be the person others come to in a crisis or a keen gardener who helps other people with theirs. At work you may be the organized one or the person who is likely to be there when the going gets tough. You may be the problem solver. In our families we can adopt an original role then as we grow up if family members can change with us we have a new role. Many children get frustrated with parents when they try and keep them stuck rather than see them as the adults they have become. What you need to ask with all your roles at work, home and in the community is - is the role you play beneficial to you now? If not how do you want it to change? You may need to draw new boundaries with family and friends if you want to make changes. If you are always expected to babysit for friends and no longer want to do so as frequently then a new boundary has to be drawn for example. If you are always the one to stay late at work but want more time with your family, you may need to draw a new boundary with your boss! If you are identified with being the family carer but now wish to take a job which will be a new role for you, you will find others also need to change. Sometimes they are not too keen on that idea! However, being true to who you are now is important to your well-being and also to theirs.
We all use our power in life which can bring harmony to people and situations or not. The right use of power is to heal not harm even if that means we walk away to another chapter in life. We understand we are all evolving and need compassion when we make mistakes. We use power wisely if we help people in our communities in ways that do not detract from their independence or privacy. We offer advice based on kindness and tact if asked. We refrain from giving unsolicited advice to boost our own egos. The wise use of power in wider society is to help the vulnerable without treating them as less than ourselves simply because they are not as fortunate. We are all students in life learning from each other. with relationships the best mirror for our own growth. In our lives, the wise use of power is to find ways to share skills and experience and not to discard them as irrelevant. It is valuing yourself and your contribution without feeling you are not good enough. It is thinking before you act or speak. It is speaking your truth respectfully , owning it, and realizing it is your take on reality and may not be everyone's. Standing in your own power can be frightening but it is freeing as well. With freedom comes responsibility. We need to use it well and wisely.
Each of us has a different view of what we see as beautiful. However, with our busy lives we often forget to look around us at the many gifts of beauty in life. Our media is apt to focus on what isn't going according to plan rather than the many things that are. Society as well has a different view of beauty which is portrayed in magazines and on television shaping opinions not always for the best. Beauty however can hide within chaos and is always there to be found by those who take the time to do so. I love the simple things in life that are also profound such as a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a smile from a child, trees rustling in the wind, the smell of cut grass and of dew in the morning. The kindness of a stranger is something I value and have often experienced. To me this is beauty in action . Forgiveness and tolerance are also acts of beauty. If we become more mindful within our lives we will be able to tune in to the beauty we all have inside us which is never ending and always there. Then we will see the beauty in others who are not in society's view beautiful. We will see that our planet is rich with beauty which lifts our mood.
We all have an inner child which lives within us. The child loves to play, be spontaneous and have fun. As adults we are often so busy with our lives that we forget or dismiss this important part of ourselves. The child likes to feel safe and be nurtured. You can do this by finding out what activities you find enjoyable, fun or nurturing. Perhaps it's crafts or gardening? A hot bath and time to enjoy it may be the answer for you Certain people are good to be with as you feel uplifted when you see them. Certain places too can be uplifting and nurturing, feeding you and your inner child. Time on your own when you can connect to your core self, the person, is important. otherwise we look track of who we are. I enjoy going to the beach as I find it soothing. Building sand castles is also fun. Using the swings at a local park or the sea-saw is fun for your inner child as well. A simple walk in the park can be enough to feed your child within. When your child feels scared, reassurance is needed from your adult self. Creating a wise person to come in within your mind to nurture and protect your inner child can help. You can then gain a perspective on your current situation and give a more reasoned response.
It's said that perception is projection. In other words, what you see as your reality is what you experience and project out in to the world. That's determined by your upbringing, schooling, society in general and your life experiences, what is also called the socialization process by some. Yet, this is only a fragment of who we are. Whilst we need to walk our walk on the earth I feel it's important not to loose sight of the bigger picture of who we really are. The essence of our being which gave birth to the creative idea of living here now through a physical body to learn and grow. We all need to walk in balance between the physical and spiritual side of our nature, what is called the middle path. This isn't easy in a world that demands full co-operation on all things material! Indeed, finding time to just be for many people seems like a luxury. It actually isn't as time alone is essential for good health and well-being. Again it's back to perception. If you perceive you don't have any time as that's perhaps the way you have always seen it, that's what you will experience. By changing our mind-set and starting to believe in another reality in our lives we can make changes for the better.
We work with intention every day even if we are unaware of it. The universe sees what we mean rather than what we say. This can be a good thing given we sometimes say what we don't really mean! Even if we don't make a decision there is the intention of not making one perhaps with a hidden agenda beneath it masking what we really want to happen but are afraid to ask. This often results in things happening we don't actually want as we didn't take responsibility for being in the driving seat of our lives. At least it can show you what you don't want and point you in the direction of what you do want! It is however frustrating for other people who have to guess what you mean and want! Even if you did ask and they said no to your request at least you can then look for another avenue to get your needs met. It saves a lot of time. Clear communication can also help relationships work on an honest level building trust.
Gratitude. It's something few of us really think about until we are saved from the brink of something major. Yet gratitude lifts our mood building confidence and trust in life's abundance. We can be grateful for small things every day which enhance our enjoyment of life such as a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a child's smile, the kindness of a stranger, a good book, the smell of cut grass on a summer's day. Gratitude doesn't have to involve a major event. It encourages mindfulness; being in the moment which can make our lives smoother by focusing on acceptance of situations as they are. We can then work towards change rather than getting stressed about them. This in turn leads to growth, expanding our horizons. When we pay attention with gratitude to the good things that happen to us every day the not so good things are put in to perspective.Doing this can lower stress and give us breathing space to make informed decisions rather than impulsive ones we may regret later. Keeping a note book and writing down what you are grateful for starts the process. It can become part of a daily log or journal of your life journey.
When we compare ourselves to others we fall in to the comparison trap giving our power away in the process. This lowers our self-esteem and has a knock on effect to our happiness and well-being. As we are all unique although connected we cannot judge ourselves against others. We are not after all comparing like with like in for example appearance, lifestyle, beliefs and values. By falling in to the comparison trap we set impossible standards and expectations of ourselves that may leave us feeling dissatisfied as it will never be enough. Having clear goals is fine as long as they are your own, are attainable and realistic. If not why are you setting them? If your answer is to be like someone else why not be the best self you can be instead?
You teach others how you want to be treated by the amount you will tolerate. You also role model to others by your actions rather than words. Children especially pick up on this! Saying no to requests is not impolite but your right although at times difficult. We each have certain situations we find more challenging to say no to than others. Being assertive isn't about aggression. It's about listening with respect and compassion to yourself and others whilst maintaining your own boundaries. It's about balance and being aware of your limits. One of my main indicators in a situation I need to say yes or no to is how I feel in my body; am I tense, how does my gut feel? Over the top enthusiasm can also be an indicator that you may need to stand back and take time to decide! We can take too many things on in good faith then wish we hadn't and try to back out.Over commitment isn't a healthy path in the long-term. If you're being pushed for an answer especially by sales people you are more than likely being bullied. Do you really want to say yes to that?
Ankhra Laan-Ra. Glasgow based Well-being and Fitness Coach.