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posted 10 May 2015, 05:09 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 04:32 ]

By Louise Jensen

I find myself writing this at 3 am. I have sold my house and although consciously I had made the choice to sell, unconsciously I had reservations and found myself rather emotional over what is, ultimately, a pile of bricks. I had been happily living in the present moment when the offer came through and I was thrown head first back into a past full of reminiscing and regrets. All my teachings vanished in an instant and I was left with a serious case of Attachment. So what is it, and what can we do about it?

We can, at times, chase happiness relentlessly because we have the false belief it comes from outside of ourselves. However, as things outside of ourselves can cause anxiety and stress wouldn't it be better if we could experience the quiet joy of being without putting conditions on it? How many times have you thought “when I get …... I will be so happy”, “when ….. happens my life will be perfect”. We relentlessly pursue things we desire and although they can make us momentarily happy when we obtain then, invariably we then end up wanting something else. Modern day society has left us longing for things we think we have to have in order to experience life more pleasurably. We are left being more attached to our beliefs of “I need”and “I want” than the actual object. Of course attachment isn't solely to objects, we can form attachment to people and ideas just as easily. We all want to feel loved, worthy, wanted etc. and grasp the belief that someone can provide this for us. Even if we do see that someone can't give us what we want we cling on vainly to the belief that they can. If we continue to view a person through the filter of our fear based requirements that they make us feel a certain way, we are setting ourselves up for rejection and disappointment. So, do we want to be attached or happy? Habitually many of us hang on to our core beliefs that make us unhappy, believing that we are unworthy, unlovable can provide a sense of stability in the familiar feelings even when they make us miserable.

To attain true freedom from attachment we need to have freedom from our beliefs. Once we recognise that we use our beliefs of a shield against fears to maintain attachment we can begin to loosen our hold. Rather than demanding and needing (which can fuel anger if these demands and needs are not met) we can start preferring. As we can only become attached to things that we see as separate to ourselves, if we become fully unified with the universe there is nothing outside of you, nothing to attach to. We can then experience genuine life beyond fear, which leaves us with love and peace. How awesome would that feeling be?

To explore this concept further please see our workshop page.

Louise Jensen

Embrace change and avoid pain

posted 10 May 2015, 05:08 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 04:34 ]

By Tonya Sheridan

One of the things that keeps people stuck in life is the fear of change. Often, as painful as it may be, they will stay in an unhealthy relationship, a job they hate, or a place that no longer serves them just to avoid change. If you feel this way, you are not alone. We have been conditioned to believe that change is hard, stressful, and should be avoided at all costs if we want to remain safe and comfortable. The truth is, as much as we try to avoid it, change will come and we have the choice to be empowered and create positive change or to stick our head in the sand until we are forced to change our situation.

If you want to make a change in your life but are afraid or if you are already going through a difficult change, how you choose to perceive it is what will determine your actual experience and outcome. In order to change your perception you must look at your current belief about change and replace it with a positive belief. You must also change your mindset and see change as an essential part of life and learn to flow with it.

Having faith in change is an essential part of having the right mindset. Have you ever noticed how some people seem to navigate through change with very little stress or anxiety? This is because they have a positive mindset and belief about change. While a person who resists change might have a belief that ” Change is hard and should be avoided at all costs”, a person with a positive mindset has an opposite belief such as ”Change always brings new opportunities and interesting people into my life.” By learning to change our perception we can have a completely different experience. Even if you are facing an extremely challenging time in your life, having a new mind-set about change will affect your experience and outcome.

People with a positive attitude about change take it one step further – they embrace change. They know that change is about growing and they find it exciting to find out what is on the other side of the transition. Even when change is forced upon them due to life circumstances, they trust that some good will come out of it and they make the best of their situation.

The first thing you must do to change your perception is to identify what thoughts you are feeding your mind about change. Begin paying attention to what you are saying to yourself and others. Having this awareness will enable you to change your negative beliefs into positive ones. Write down the thoughts that come to you about change or that you say to others and then turn them into a positive affirmation.

Look at an area of your life right now that you would like to change. Ask yourself what your life will look like one year from now if you do nothing. Then ask yourself what you would like it took look like and what one small step you could take to today to bring you that place.

If you are struggling with change right now in your life, imagine the good that could come from it. Visualize yourself a year from now and picture the best possible outcome that could come from what is happening today. Part of healing is being able to move forward and look for the positive. Strengthen your faith and care for yourself physically and emotionally.

Go easy on yourself and don’t expect to be able to change everything overnight. Embracing change and giving yourself some time will make your journey through change much easier.

copyright 2012 Tonya Sheridan

Tonya Sheridan

Positive parenting through language

posted 10 May 2015, 05:06 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 04:35 ]

By Louise Jensen

For the past few weeks my 6 year old son has been having trouble getting to, and staying, asleep. It is rare I sleep all the way through the night with my pain levels, so consequently this last month has passed in a blur of exhaustion.

Despite gently probing Finley the only explanation I have managed to secure is “Mummy I have worries that stop me sleeping, not big ones, just normal worries”. I cannot dismiss any concerns at age 6 as being unimportant, I knew he had been worried about sports day but that had now passed and I feared getting up in the night had become a habit.

Last night at bed time I produced with flourish a bag of Gatamalan worry dolls. I explained to Finley that these dolls were the answer to his sleeping problem and once they were under his pillow they would take all his worries away from him and he would sleep through the night. After going through the bag and naming them all he promptly fell asleep for ten hours!

The language we use is critical. The subconscious mind has difficulty processing negatives and they cause us distress and fear. Consequently, had I said to Finley “These dolls will help because you can’t sleep” he would have picked out the words can’t andsleep which would have reinforced the belief he had formed that he no longer slept through the night. Using the sentence “The dolls will take your worries away and you will sleep through the night” he subconsciously picked out will take worries away will sleep. Clever old English language eh?

It is during our formative years that we develop many of our negative beliefs which many of us carry into adulthood; I can’t, I’m not good enough, It’s too hard …. Inadvertently we pick up these ideas from the language of our primary care-givers, parents, teachers, child minders etc. and the more we hear them the more we believe the words to be true.

If you begin using words affirmative in nature they will integrate naturally into your vocabulary. If we can use language to eradicate limiting beliefs in a child’s head we can help them lead more empowering lives which will impact into adulthood. Awesome how powerful words can be isn’t it, and such a simple thing to practice.

So next time your child asks you for something they can’t do, i.e. I want to go skating. Keep the reply positive. Rather than “you don’t know how to skate” you could try, yes “you can learn how to skate”. Keep commands simple, replace “don’t run” with walk (the brain will respond to run). Start to notice how differently your children respond to you and how much easier it is to parent.

In the wise words of Mahatma Ghandhi: -
  • Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
  • Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviour.
  • Keep your behaviour positive, because your behaviour becomes your habits.
  • Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
  • Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.
Louise Jensen

What is confidence?

posted 10 May 2015, 05:04 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 04:36 ]

By Louise Jensen

I am writing this lying on a blanket in the glorious sunshine at my local (ish) lido. A cloudless sky, clear blue water and lush green grass make this a lovely place to be. Add a pen and paper to the mix and I really am in heaven.

Although I am happy and relaxed, looking around it is clear that not everybody, particularly the women, feel the same.

A few ladies are wandering around unselfconsciously in bikinis, seemingly at ease with who they are. Others are hiding under towels or sarongs, constantly checking how much flesh is exposed and adjusting themselves accordingly. A small proportion remain clothed, even whilst in the pool.

This has led me to question what is confidence, when do we get it, how do we lose it and, most importantly, how do we get it back?

We are born with confidence, the inner knowing that we can, that we are enough. A baby believes it can learn to crawl, a toddler believes it can learn to walk. We all believe we can until we are told we can’t, we shouldn’t, it’s not a good idea. It’s only then we start to question ourselves and the self-judgement starts. Nobody analyses the way they look until they encounter spiteful taunts at school or unrealistic media images.

Our belief system, the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us is formed during our formative years. Being told we are wrong, bad, can’t, will never be etc. is something many of us, subconsciously, carry into adulthood. Even if we come from a loving, supportive family it can be a throwaway comment that stays with us.

It is only recently I have linked my self-conscious nature and inability to speak publicly with a statement made to me by a teacher when I was 7. Wanting to appear in a school play she told me “Louise, you are so softly-spoken no-one will want to listen to you when you speak”. My brain registered “no-one wants to listen to you speak”, and consequently I have, until recently, spent the vast majority of my life hiding in corners, trying to make myself invisible.

So what can we do to raise our self-image? Thankfully lots.

Firstly, if you have any negative memories like I had above can you now look at them with fresh eyes? I think now that the teacher was trying to be helpful, wanting me to project to enable both me, and the play, to be of a high standard. This knowing came as a huge relief to feel I was not being personally criticised, that there was, in fact, a loving intent behind her comment.

Secondly, think of yourself in a more positive, loving way. When was the last time you paid a friend a compliment? When was the last time you paid yourself a compliment? Exactly. While it can feel a totally alien concept to be kind towards ourselves initially, the more we practice this, the more we believe it to be true. Personal empowerment cards which pick words for you daily (available here in our shop) are a great tool if you struggle with this concept.

Thirdly, stop waiting. Confidence won’t magically appear when you lose weight, change jobs or alter relationships. Write a list right now of 10 things you are happy with and carry it with you. Refer to it often and add to it when you can. Gratitude leads to love, and when we are experiencing self-love it is impossible to be self-critical.

Now excuse me, it’s kind of hot and I’m going to make my way over to the ice-cream kiosk without my sarong. I believe no-one will really focus on my wobbly bits. After all, the most noticeable curve on a woman is her smile and mine is pretty big right now :o)

Louise Jensen

Ending the search for happiness

posted 10 May 2015, 05:01 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 04:37 ]

By Robert Holden

I wonder, has it ever occurred to you that the search for happiness can be a major block to happiness? In the beginning, the search for happiness seems honest enough. However, I would ask you, how long do you really need to search for? One week? One month? One more year? One more workshop? My first spiritual mentor, an Indian yogi and philosopher, insisted that the search for happiness can be over in the blink of an eye, if, that is, you accept you are what we seek.

How exactly might the search for happiness be a block to happiness? Here are five insights for you to consider.

1. Outside You: The search for happiness arises from the erroneous belief that happiness is outside you. This displacement takes happiness away from its proper place, just as the search for happiness also takes you away from yourself. Happiness is not outside you. Until you accept that happiness is your true nature you will keep searching for happiness in all the wrong places.

2. Not Here: The search for happiness conditions you to think that happiness is somewhere else other than where you are right now. Mistakenly, you believe that happiness is a destination, and a place to get to. This causes you to race through your life so as to get to happiness. In an effort to get to some sacred place you overlook the beautiful ordinary, and you fail to see what is here already. Your searching is a form of blindness.

3. Not Now: The search for happiness implies that happiness is in the future, and not now. Mistakenly, you put all of your efforts into a happy future that is apparently on its way. Meanwhile, you live in the not-now. You use all of your “nows” as stepping stones to get you to the next moment, and the next. You have no time to be happy, right now. You hope to be happy soon, but your future ends up being the same as what you are doing now.

4. To Objectify: If you believe that happiness is outside of you, you can’t help but objectify happiness. This means you end up defining happiness as an “it” or a “thing” that exists in other places and in other people. This objectification encourages you to go shopping for happiness. Instead of being happy, you try to have happiness by attracting it, catching it, buying it, and keeping it. True happiness is not another coffee machine!

5. To Find: The search for happiness can be never-ending because searching is not the same as finding. At some point on your life-journey, you have to be willing to stop being a searcher, and be a finder. For example, instead of searching for love, find out how loving you can be. And, instead of searching for your purpose, choose one. And, instead of seeking after happiness, find within yourself a willingness and openness to be happy now, and to share your happiness with the world.

Ironically, it’s only when you give up the search for happiness that you actually find happiness. So, just for today, try this simple experiment. Make it your intention to find happiness today. Stop and recognize your true nature. Appreciate where you are right here. Enjoy this moment right now. Choose to be instead of to have. And be willing to see that happiness cannot be found in the world until you are willing to share it first.

Robert Holden

7 Steps To Unleash Your Inner Goddess

posted 10 May 2015, 05:00 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:01 ]

By Louise Jensen

Think back. Remember a time you felt confident and in control; wanna feel like that again? We all have a fiery, sexy, powerful inner Goddess waiting to be unleashed right now.

Self-empowerment lights our internal fire, making us glow, improves our relationships, provides the self-belief to pursue the career we want and leads to better sex.

  1. Don’t wait for weight. Being a Goddess is not dependent on dress size. You are beautiful, sensual and desirable just as you are. Believe it. The sexiest curve on a woman is her smile, show yours often.
  2. Don’t be a people pleaser. We all have a certain amount of unavoidable tasks to perform but constantly saying yes to things you don’t want to do can have a serious detrimental effect on your physical and emotional health. What are you compromising on and can you change it?
  3. Stand in your own power. Ultimately you don’t need anyone’s approval. Don’t let negative comments make you think you can’t. You can.
  4. Be present. Thinking “when I had ­………. In the past I was confident” or “when I get …….. in the future I will be confident” will lead to a spiral of self-doubt about who you are now. What you have right here, right now will work for you if you let it. Trust me.
  5. Be kind to yourself. When was the last time you paid a friend a compliment? When was the last time you paid yourself a compliment? Point taken?
  6. Have some self-belief. Clichéd I know but if you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect anyone else to?
  7. The most empowering thing to me was realising I have a choice. Feel the fear and do it anyway, or don’t do it. It’s your life, you get to decide.
Follow these tips then get out there and strut your stuff. It’s your time to shine.

Do you want to be right or happy?

posted 10 May 2015, 04:59 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:04 ]

By Louise Jensen

Until very recently I had co-owned some property with an ex-partner he had been living in. When he decided to move out we made the decision to sell and that’s when a previously amicable situation turned sour. This isn’t a negative piece about him, and nor shall I go into details but rather about a choice I had to make which is quite common in this ‘ole thing we call life.

In my situation emotions were running high and a lot of money was at stake. It didn’t end in a way I felt was entirely fair and friends and family were full of advice about what I could/should do. Finally after months of wrangling and solicitors letters I decided to let it go. Why? Because I had to make a choice between trying to prove my point (which was stressful and interfering in my emotional well-being), and being happy. Trying to achieve both, in this instance, just wasn’t working for me.

Ideally we would all like to be right and happy but from time to time we find ourselves in frustrating scenarios where we can make a choice about how we feel. Your colleague may be promoted over you, a friend may do something you don’t agree with, you may receive an unjust parking ticket or your partner may be, well, just irritating you.

Recognising it is not the situation that makes us feel bad but the way we instantly label it as wrong and react to it leads us to a choice. We can be judgemental, inwardly seethe and lament about the injustice all we want or we can choose to know that although we don’t agree with the words and actions of others it doesn’t have to breed negativity and loathing within us. We cannot change or control the way others speak and behave no matter how much it conflicts with our own beliefs.

So next time you find yourself compromised ask yourself the following: -
  1. Can I let this go without serious repercussions? If you can, great.
  2. What will I gain by pursuing this? If ultimately it is just to say/know you were right think about whether that feeling of satisfaction will really be worth the stress you go through to get there?
  3. Am I worrying too much? If you are spending time going over and over this scenario in your head, or thinking about the impact it may have on your future, you are missing the beauty of the Now. Is it really worth it?
  4. What will happen if I prove I am right? Usually not a lot! Think carefully about what you will gain by trying to prove your point. Think about what you could gain right now by consciously choosing happiness over negativity.
I made my choice and it doesn’t mean I won’t stand up for what I believe in in the future or let others take advantage but I had to evaluate what is truly important to me right now.

If something is interfering with your inner peace and joy of being, you may need to ask yourself “do I want to be fighting to be right or be happy?” Now breathe, and let it go.

Prioritising life’s to do list

posted 10 May 2015, 04:57 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:10 ]

By Craig Ruvere

I often meet up with a friend of mine on Wednesday nights, for coffee and conversation at a small café in a local bookstore.

The other night, while she stood at the counter ordering something caffeinated to drink and a sweet-treat to munch on, I was busy laying claim on a table for two. With everyone searching for a comfortable place to drink their coffee and flip through a book they have no intention of buying, available tables are often hard to find.

Patiently waiting for her return, my eyes landed upon a magazine sitting atop the table in front of me. The cover was a series of yellow, green and orange gourds of varying shapes and sizes – all artistically arranged.

The magazine’s title was “Real Simple” and its intent was to make life as “simple” as possible each and every day. It featured recipes, beauty tips, ideas for the home and inspirational stories for those looking to minimize the chaos many of us find ourselves plagued with.

Flipping through the first few pages, I came across a message from Editor Kristin Van Ogtrop. She spoke at some length about to-do-lists and how our lives are often dictated by these pesky reminders. Admittedly, my kitchen table is frequently littered with yellow post it notes or torn pieces of scrap paper listing a myriad of projects I need to complete. Unfortunately, as the tiny papers increase, so does my anxiety – especially after the realization that I haven’t made much progress.

She recanted a story of how she recently came across an envelope containing cards and well wishes from cherished individuals she had previously worked with. She began reading some of the heartfelt messages from people she still remembered fondly. But as life so often gets in the way, she soon realized several years had passed and the relationships she once valued had taken a back seat. It was at that moment when she came to a very interesting conclusion: “I realized that the contents of that envelope formed a different sort of to-do-list – one made up not of things but of people.”

Take a look at your own life and ask yourself, what’s on my to-do-list?

Our lives seem filled to capacity with a plethora of errands, chores and commitments which often pull us in different directions — robbing us of the more memorable moments life has to offer.

In short we prioritise our lives based upon what we believe to be important and inadvertently forget about the people we always assume will be around when our to-do-lists are finally complete.

It’s funny how our lists seem to focus so much on taking care of responsibilities, yet pay little attention to taking care of the people who provide our lives with meaning and memories.

Imagine turning off the television and tuning out all distractions to interact with that special someone who’s been sitting right next to, yet somehow has been forgotten along life’s journey. Or to regularly afford time to a parent or grandparent as a small token of respect and honour to those who sacrificed so much so that you could have a better life. Aren’t those priorities which deserve a top spot on our to-do-lists?

Lists are a great way to remind yourself to change the oil in your car, pick up bread and milk at the grocery store or your suit at the dry cleaners. But when do we ever remind ourselves to better foster the relationships in our lives? To take time out of our precious schedules to show someone just how valuable they truly are to us.

David Norris once wrote that, “How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever.”

Craig Ruvere

Paint yourself happy

posted 10 May 2015, 04:54 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:14 ]

By Sandra Mellors

Intuitive painting, using colour art can often be, on a personal level, a form of art therapy. I have regularly used this method to help release a lot of emotional issues and deal with situations I am going through. Art therapy can help the physical body as well as the emotional. One example of how this has also helped me personally was during a long amount of time being poorly and weak in hospital I used pencils to keep my hands strong.

Bright colours keep me positive. Colours are very meaningful and can change depending on the moment.

I use the colours I am drawn to and mainly use acrylic paints or sometimes oil pastels to create colourful artwork. I really go with the flow and allow the paintbrush to paint and go where it wants to. This creates lots of different movements. I use long strokes the size of the paper or canvas & short movements too, these also often come out as shapes and it is afterwards that pictures or shapes can be seen.

I have painted red and black when I was upset and angry and often use yellow for joy.

I really recommend this and love to share with others. I am hoping to work with patients in hospitals in the near future. My goal is to help the sick stay positive and have a focus.

Follow my tips to try this for yourself: -

  1. Set the sceneMake sure you are in a relaxed environment. I always start by putting on a chilled out cd.
  2. Choose your colours - Put any colours on your pallet that you are drawn to – don’t worry about what you are going to paint at this stage. The colours you choose may relate to chakras you need to open or life events that have affected you.
  3. Brush strokesStart applying the paints to the canvas until you feel drawn to another colour.
  4. Be open mindedThe colour will give you direction in relation to any thoughts that pop into your mind. For example red can be related to childhood issues that may be unresolved or linked to your financial affairs.
  5. Experiment Try painting with your eyes closed in a meditative state. Paint when you are experiencing both negative and positive emotions and notice how differently the colours and shapes are.
  6. Have funEnjoy it. Don’t worry about what it’s going to be or who will see it.
Sandra Mellors

Being the presence of love

posted 10 May 2015, 04:53 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:25 ]

By Andi Evans

Be love.

I have struggled with this my whole life, not really knowing or understanding what to make of it. On one hand, being the presence of love is grossly misunderstood. Being the presence of love means loving yourself fully. When you truly understand self-love, as opposed to selfish love, you have the opportunity to shine your light on the world, and truly help others. So what does this mean?

Loving yourself fully means being strong, being understanding, being compassionate, and being honest. Being honest with others is a piece of cake. (sometimes…) It's being honest with ourselves where we tend to fall short.

Being honest with ourselves means accepting no less than love as the answer to heal all wounds. And sometimes being love is walking away from situations, friendships, jobs, even family.

I have had a few instances in my life where my spiritual growth (which has taught me to stand up for myself, and not let fear of loss rule my life) has caused a loss of friendship. And though I have great love in my heart for those who are no longer a part of my life, I do realize it is a gift. As you can only have true loving relationships with honesty. And the phrase ‘the truth hurts’ is accurate, but it is also a chance to heal. Giving one a chance to heal is love.

We all make mistakes in our life….ones we deeply pay for…sometimes the mistakes become life-changing. But there are lessons for all. What is your lesson in your current relationship? When you examine this honestly with yourself, and choose love, you can only be a more beautiful reflection on others, and a magnificent imprint on this earth.

Andi Evans

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