Monthly Archives: August 2014

Its all about you….

Your most important relationship is with yourself….we have all heard this in pop psychology, self-help books and cute quotes on Facebook but what does it mean really?
For a long time I have been aware of this as a concept but I have to admit that I didn’t really understand its true meaning or how it could impact my life until recently.

I guess for me it wasn’t until I truly felt alone that I realised how much I needed myself and how much being with myself impacted on my happiness and the amount of Joy in my life.

We use so many things to avoid really, truly being with ourselves. Being alone with our thoughts and really understanding what is going on inside.

Our mind creates for us the illusion that “if only” is the answer to the discomfort that we feel. If only I had that job, that house, that sparkly shiny thing.

I admit to being guilty of this. My working life spanning 4 different careers is a testament to it. My need to avoid really knowing myself had me try on many different hats. I have also sold my self-worth to the external in an effort to feel that I am a valid individual. Pitching my value against other people’s opinions, comparing myself to their achievements.

I feel blessed to have had this experience to teach me and also blessed by the love of my husband whose complete acceptance helped me to believe I had value. And now I have to acknowledge how his passing has also blessed me. He blessed me by leaving me alone with myself. My initial reaction to his death was one of shock. He was my purpose how could I continue to exist without him.  His presence in my life had taught me that I would not find myself in my work no matter how consumed I became by it. I was left alone, alone with myself and I didn’t really know who that was or if I even liked her.

Initially I tried to block the part of me that screamed to find out with food. I ate myself into complete silence but this soon became unsatisfying. I would like to say I was willing to try a different approach to listen to myself and to hear what I had to say, but that would be a lie. The truth is I resisted the process like a cat resists a bath! But eventually I began to give way and to allow process of loving myself to unfold.

For me its not about massages, lighting candles and taking long baths although I do enjoy these things.  For me self love turned out to be a much more internal process. Finding out what I like, what my values are, what I truly desire, what holds me back and that nothing is more validating than understanding whats going on inside. I feel suddenly really free to express myself and to know that who I am is not defined by any external source. I have been on the road to discovering what makes me happy and brings me joy. I have been romancing myself like a new love I want to know every inch of

I now recognize what is means to love myself. Its giving myself time when I need to be alone. Its moving when I feel twitchy because this is a sign that something needs to be heard and for me moving moves that energy. Its acknowledging my spiritual nature and really taking time to allow this to be a pert of my life in a way that feels comfortable and authentic. Its asking myself my opinion and letting the answer come before I judge it. All of this is really simple and it all feels very loving and has allowed joy to leak in to my spirit and into my heart.

SO I can tell you there is really something in all the pop psychology suggestions…. You will always be the most important person in your life. You are so important I encourage to take some time to discover who you truly are and to find out what self love is for you. Don’t be afraid of the discomfort, accept this as part of the process. Keep going, I promise its worth it.

I’d love to know how this goes for you and any of your thoughts, feel free to post them in the comments below.

Love Paula xx

 

 

 

 

 

No more cardboard moments…..

How easily we become entrenched in the monotony of our everyday routines. Wishing we had more time, that we could work less and play more and putting off joy until the weekend or our next holiday. I have been thinking about the things that make life memorable, the moments that have the most impact and that we remember forever. The ones that make you smile when you think of them.

Something triggered such a memory for me this week. I remembered seeing an expression of bliss and joy on the face of my lovely husband. I smiled at the thought of it. It wasn’t the kind of moment that would normally make a memory special. It wasn’t the kind of moment you would photograph and post on facebook. He was in ICU, he had not long been out of an induced comma. He had a strong desire to soak his feet in a basin of warm water. He had been asking the nurses and myself to do this for him. The look on his face when he finally got to put his feet in that warm water “utter and complete joy” I smile on the inside when I think about it, my heart smiles too.

Such a simple moment, unplanned, part of the every day routine in ICU, but rich and real and it will stay with me forever. This got me thinking about how we make memories and how to make a memory out of everyday because life is really short. I am fast approaching the age my husband was when he passed away, what if my memory making time is running out like his did?

What I have realized is that we have a choice. We can give ourselves over fully to every moment or we can go through our day wishing we were elsewhere making cardboard moments out of our everyday routines. Moments that all look the same, memories that have no distinction from each other, memories that you can put out with the recycling to use again next week when you are, once again not engaging with the life in every moment and every moment in your life.

So how do we change our mindset that tells us memory making is for “special times” I have thought about this a lot this week and I have been experimenting. What I have discovered is that if I allow myself to be fully engaged with what I am doing,  what I am doing gives me something back. It gives me a sense of purpose and completion. It helps me to recognize that I need to give myself a little more time some days or that I need to take a break or that its good to really enjoy exactly what I am doing no matter how big, small, exciting or important that something is.

The really surprising thing about this process of being committed to every moment is that it has given me more time. I have become less stressed and more effective at completing what needs to be done. I have had time to walk on the beach, to exercise, to cook for myself  and I have started to notice the joy that is all around me to be had. Sunrise over Wellington from the window of a plane. Turning up the car Radio and singing really, really, loudly. Deciding on my plans for my new kitchen and signing them off enjoying every change and every choice I am making.

My heart is open in sharing this with you I am fully engaged in the joy of putting down these words. Make the most of every moment, give yourself to it fully, it might surprise you, there is Joy to be had!