Every three months I like to look at where I have been and plan where I am going. I am now very excitedly looking ahead to the next three months – July, August, September- SUMMER! I have some specific and practical goals that I am working towards, but more importantly I have intentions for how I want to BE. I hope they can help you think about how you want to BE this summer.
TRUST MY FEELINGS– Since last June, when I took that big leap to go to America, I have started trusting my feelings more (even though sometimes they are confusing). I have a strong personal conviction that the heart and the gut is much wiser than the mind. The mind by nature is an indecisive beast. It likes facts, figures, plans, but it can’t see past it’s very limited surroundings. The heart is wide and spreads past our beings and connects us with one another. It is in tune with infinite intelligence. The gut is smart, it can ‘digest’ ideas better than the fickle mind can. So going forward, I am choosing to listen to the heart and gut and ignore the mind. In the last year it has served me very well.
How to trust your feelings?
1. When you are faced with a decision, close your eyes and notice how your heart feels when you think about it. Does it sing and glow or shrink and shrivel. Choose the obvious.
2. Don’t listen to other minds. The problem with following your heart, is people who live in the mind will find it very hard to understand what you are doing. They will ask you questions- ‘why?’, ‘For what purpose?’ ‘For how long?’ ‘Is this a sensible decision?’ To all of these I answer- ‘I DON’T KNOW, because I feel like it’ And I don’t engage or get involved in the drama they want to create.
3. Let yourself relax. The body can connect to it’s wisdom much more easily when it is relaxed. The mind loves stress. It causes the body to tense (especially the head, neck and shoulders’) If you are confused, overwhelmed or stressed do something to relax the body before you press ahead. Practice some mindful breathing, take a walk in nature, have a bath, lie down and let the body melt into the sofa.
GO WITH THE FLOW– I have planted seeds and I am letting them grow. There is an urge within me to stamp on the ground, and to dig the seeds up and scream at them ‘HURRY UP! I want it this way’. But that is not how it works. I am choosing not to force, push or control anything. Who am I trying to kid? It’s all out of my control! I am relaxing into this lack of control. In the next three months I am committing to the act of surrendering in every area of my life. This does not mean being lazy or inactive. It means not fighting myself or the natural course of my life.
How to go with the flow?
1. Let go of the oars- Instead of trying to paddle upstream, can you let go and relax into the current?
2. Stop ‘TRYING’ Have you been desperately TRYING to make something happen but it’s not? Einstein’s famously said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Have you been doing this? Perhaps you need to take a different route, take a break or stop altogether?
3. Give up. Admit defeat. Don’t be afraid to admit that something didn’t work. Something was learnt. Something was gained. Move on.
4. Acceptance. There are things that are not perfect. There will ALWAYS be things that are not perfect. Can you accept things the way they are still move forward with faith?
5. Widen your gaze. You might be missing a very obvious opportunity because you are so focused on the task at hand. Let yourself relax and enjoy everything you do. Keep your eyes open to what’s around you.
I spent SO long hating myself and I’m not doing that anymore. I feel VERY lucky to have this opportunity to be here on planet earth in this form I have taken so I am going to love myself. What does this mean? It means a commitment to self-care. Doing the things that are good for me and make me feel good. It means accepting myself as I am and working with what I’ve got. It means saying no, when I need to say no and having a healthy amount of self respect.
How to love yourself?
1. Make time to relax. The body, mind and soul need time to rest and restore. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. This summer be generous with yourself. Learn to meditate, have a lie in, cuddle your dog.
2. Take care of your body. You body is a temple, treat it that way. You know what that means. Eating healthy, regular meals (I prefer to eat vegan, but whatever floats your boat). Moving the body- stretching, exercising, walking. Getting good quality sleep. It’s all obvious stuff. DO IT
3. Create healthy boundaries. You are precious and you need to choose what you let into your sphere. I don’t watch the news or read ‘beauty’ magazines. I spend time with people who light me up, and I cut out people who drag me down.
4. Do more of what is good and less of what is bad. Make two lists, one of things that are good for you, the other of things that are bad for you. Make a conscious effort to do more of what’s good, and cut down or cut out the bad things.
5. Treat yourself- Get a massage, buy some nice underwear, take yourself out. We need to treat ourselves the way we want to be treated so do something special for yourself this week.
Dance. Every. Day. I don’t care if you are an MJ or have two left feet, moving the body to music feels SO GOOD. In the morning I like pumping the tunes in my kitchen and dancing around in my underwear. The dorkier the moves the better.
LEARN FROM NATURE (and spend more time in it). I never feel more at home than I do when surrounded by beautiful nature. I live near a gorgeous forest and like to spend as much time there as I can. I listen to the sounds of the rustling trees and the birds. I breathe in the cool fresh air. I soak in all the beauty around me. There are lots of things to learn from nature. Here are somethings I have learnt.
1. I am realising I am just like a leaf (I decided to post someone a leaf, and this is when I realised this) Sometimes the wind blows me around and I get confused. Sometimes it is winter and things are bad. Sometimes it is summer and things are good. The amazing thing I know is….I am part of something much greater than me (the tree/the forest/the world/the universe). I am an important leaf!
2. Water is soft and fluid, but so strong. Water will eventually wear down big rocks, with ease and effortlessness. If I keep moving towards something I want with determination and focus, eventually something has to move.
3. Trees are very special. I have been noticing trees more. The deeper their roots, the higher their branches can reach.
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” C.G. Jung
How deeply have you touched despair, sadness and suffering? This affects your capacity to enjoy the counter emotions- hope, happiness and joy.
GET OUT there. If you live in a big city, a local park just don’t cut it. Go the sea, the woods, the hills. It will be worth the effort.
I’m not into giving advice. But here are some other suggestions for the next three months.
1. Stop worrying about what other people think about you. Spend more time worrying about what YOU think of you.
2. Don’t try and read minds. Tell people what you want and ask people questions. Be clear with your intentions and ask other people their’s.
4. KNOW that something really cool is on it’s way and always keep that in mind as you are working.
5. Aim higher. You have amazing potential. Keep striving.
6. Commit to a daily meditation practice.
7. Eat more cacao. Make a chocolate, banana, avocado smoothie. Mmmmmm.
8. Spend 10 minutes admiring a leaf.
9. Give more love. Give it to strangers. Give it to someone you are scared to. Give it someone you are scared of.
10. Stop spending so much time on your phone
Have a KILLER SUMMER
I know I’m going to
Ps. Life if one BIG joke. Laugh more.