Your End of Year Exercises To Welcome in 2015

On December 30, 2014 In Mind

 

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(Image credit Jessica MacCormick)

It’s around this time that I notice my Facebook feeds starts filling up with people saying how awful their year has been and that next year BETTER be good. I never really resonated with the idea of threatening the year ahead, it doesn’t seem like the most proactive or positive way to introduce yourself to something. Imagine if when we met a new person we shook their hand and shouted at them YOU BETTER BE A GOOD FRIEND OR ELSE!

Everything is of value and plenty of peoples years will sting more strongly with sadness or hold challenges greater than other years they remember. So, instead of threatening the time itself, how about we offer compassion to ourselves? Maybe a bit of a pat on the back to say YOU DID IT, you kept walking.

The things that we learn from our most challenging times do not usually present themselves to us in an instant, we have to trust they will appear at some point. For now, there is no beating up of anyone, just an urge to be kind to yourself, rest and when you are ready, be curious for something positive that might just be ahead.

I always have a regular exercise that I do either on NYE or January the 1st to set myself into a positive frame of mind for the coming year. I shared this post last year and wanted to add it it and include some ideas for exercises that you can do to welcome in 2015.

❤ The Exercises 

❤ For 2014

It’s often that we sit down and think of all the things we didn’t do, or sit and think of everything we perceive to have gone wrong. Scrap that. The year is yours to nurture, love and celebrate, whatever happened.

  • Write down all the positive things you can remember from the year gone by.

It doesn’t matter how small you believe it to be. Anything you did that made you feel good, any achievements, anything and everything positive that comes up for you. It is very important not to use the end of a year as an excuse to call yourself a failure or say that you didn’t achieve something – that is voluntary self punishment and you are too awesome to waste your time on that.

S0 – this list, it’s a gratitude list, for yourself and for the year itself, you might even want to say thank you for some of the challenges that you had, even if you can’t see how they make sense yet – know that they are an important part of your journey.

  • Write down everything you love about yourself and the aspects of you that you are grateful for. Try it for a few things you don’t feel so comfortable with.

Write as much as and for as long as you like, this should be an uplifting exercise and you might find that you break through a few blocks in the process!

Be creative, what quirks about yourself have you noticed this year, what oddities or ‘weirdo forever’ parts of yourself have bloomed. If you’ve felt that this year has been a real challenge (or a pain in the ass) then be grateful for the fact that you are still standing.

❤ For 2015

  • This is where you manifest for the year ahead – Write down what you would like to see coming in this year.

This is where I would like to give you a little reminder on manifesting. Manifesting is not forcing something into being. Manifesting is setting intentions, taking action and then allowing things to happen in their own natural flow.

Goal setting can sometimes be really restrictive. For example “Lose 10lbs by February’ or ‘be happy’, reek of restricted pressure. So rather than write down very specific things for your year, allow everything to be fluid and expand, focus on what you want to feel and try to bring in less intentions that are of a controlling nature. When you start writing, think via the process below –

Manifestation = Intention + Action + Surrender

Intention – This shows you getting aligned with your plan, think from your highest place of love and health. Craft your ideas only from a positive source. Do not let fear be your root because it is not stable, nothing can grow from there that will serve you the best. To be successful at manifesting we need to have the plan, the vision, ask yourself. What do I really want to achieve here? Focus on the feeling, How will what you write down make you feel? – Take this idea and run free! 

Action – This won’t be what you are doing right this moment in your notebook but it will be for the rest of the year – Put your intentions in to place, be practical. Make the steps must be taken for you to successfully proceed on your chosen path. What are the steps that you can take to keep moving? Fear is immobilizing, when you take one step the Universe will push you two more. Do not be afraid, you are designed to evolve.

Surrender – Now this is the important step – and think about this as you write. You make the intentions and then what?… Well you have to SURRENDER. You don’t have to control, if you stare over your life with a controlling eye it’s like placing a jar over a butterfly and wondering why it’s not going anywhere. Everything needs to breathe, including your dreams. The surrender process allows flow and lets things to move as they should. Recognize that the intention and actions are your guide and the surrender is the force that will take them to where they should go.

When you are finished, close your book and leave this be. I have to say I’ve been doing this exercise for the past four years, each year I look back for the first time at the list I wrote in January and have been amazed at how it’s played out. It’s always happened that everything that hasn’t appeared in my life has because it was making a space for something better or was part of an important lesson in my experience.

❤ Bonus exercises

If you want to work a little deeper and let go of some of your fears and disappointments from the past year, try some of these – make sure you go at this with loving intent, you are absolutely NOT allowed to use the word ‘Failure’ ;)

  • If you could go back to January and give yourself a piece of positive advice for the coming year what would it be? – Take it for next year.
  • Who did you meet this year that made you think about life in a more positive light, made you feel like there was new hope, gave you ideas and feelings that you hadn’t considered before or inspired you in any small way? – Spend more time with them.
  • What connections have been toxic for you this year? – make a point to spend more time with those who uplift you this coming year and respect that people will come in and out your life as you age, everyone will bring a message or a lesson. Allow fluidity.
  • What negative thoughts about yourself are you going to in this moment CHOOSE to leave behind?
  • How could you be kinder to yourself in this new year? Have you thought about your non-negotionables?
  • What have you seen repeat for you this year? Write down positive intention to leave behind unhealthy beliefs and actions that no longer serve you as you evolve forwards.
  • Forgiveness is a radical act of self love. When you forgive yourself, another, a situation or anything that is causing you pain it is an act of freedom. You deserve to cut those ties.
  • Are you ready to allow yourself to experience all that is new? Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to move forwards. Make the intention to allow yourself to experience 2015 with new and fresh eyes.
  • I love you! Happy New Year and I’m happy to let you know that your 2015 Tarotscope is ready for instant download now!

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Feeling Good is Better Than Fitting In

On November 26, 2014 In Body, The Louniverse

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This has become a mantra of sorts for me and recently the most frequent method of self care I’ve shared with my clients.

Why? because it’s been a huge part of my journey over the last let’s say umm 20 years?! and I want to help you out by sharing with you what I’ve learned.

This post is going to be related to food and my health but I can span this topic over pretty much any aspect of life. It does however seem the most frequent within health and spirituality – attached to these life changing moments where we fall to our knees and have to change something. It may be that like me you have had to change your diet, or it might be a new approach to caring for yourself. It may be a shift from negative to positive thinking.

The connecting story is this fear of being questioned about our lifestyle choices, or GASP judged even.

How about we change the channel and remember why we make changes in our life to start with.

❤ My own journey from fitting in to feeling good:

Last Summer I was in LA catching up with old friends and generally loving life in the Sun. I had plans to meet up with a friend I’d not seen for a while and as we planned where to get dinner I felt a familiar rush of anxiety come over me.

You see a great source of anxiety for me over the past 12 years has been food. It’s not been about your typical eating disorders but stems from the fact that changing my diet completely changed (and saved, I believe) my life. Hey, that sounds pretty positive I hear you say, and it is, it truly is, I can’t imagine what state I’d be in if I hadn’t chosen that path. But it’s been a hard journey, there were years where I was, to put it simply terrified of food. I associated changing my diet with a lot of the pain and trauma I experienced. It all rolled up in one big ball and started to form into a way of thinking that wasn’t helping me move forward.

At his moment in question what stirred up within my anxiety sat at that dinner table was a 12 year stretch of feeling like I had to explain myself in order to somehow comfort other people or to seem normal or fun or whatever. That was pretty subconscious but the explaining of the self became like this essay transcript that I knew off by heart. It went something like this

Q: Why don’t you eat sugar/gluten/nuts/ and so on…

A: Well you see, ***years ago I was seriously ill (and so on..) and one of the things that helped me recover was following this diet (and so on….) and then you see it just made me so much better I never saw the point of reintroducing those foods… continue on until I’d felt like I’d adequately explained why I wasn’t ‘normal’.  

So back at that dinner table all I could think about was if I was seeming weird. The thing is, I had all reason to feel anxious – a  couple of days before I’d discovered that I’m allergic to Pineapple and I was feeling a bit on edge. However I didn’t stop to recognise that I could have just been vulnerable and said that I was feeling nervous and so really not wanting to upset my body, especially when away from home. No that would have been WAY TOO EASY, so instead I just internally panicked and gave out the ‘safe’ story that I knew so well.

❤ Rewriting a tired old story:

So after I got back from that last trip to LA I started to rewrite that old story, but before I rewrote, I had to own it first.

Why did I feel like I had to apologise for the health choices I make? Where was it coming from? It’s not like I wasn’t at home with my own oddities in all other areas, I’ve always been an out and proud weirdo (forever and ever amen) but I clearly had a big block still sitting in my way that was stopping me from fully embracing my own wellness. I was desperate to be the normal one at the dinner table.

It was easy to blame it on other things and there was still a lot of anger and fear tied up in this old approach to food.

There were a LOT of ‘what if’s’

  • What if people think i’m being fussy?
  • What if I never trust anyone to care for me if I have an allergic reaction?
  • What if I’ll never meet someone to date who won’t think I’m ridiculous?
  • What if people think I’m making it up?

I was SO TIRED of playing this tired story out and also I knew I also had to release some last bits of anger that I had towards those years of being so unwell.

You see,  all those years ago, I was furious, absolutely seething with anger at my body and my life for ridding me of those years that I deemed so precious and essential. Those first years of your 20’s, not being able to drink with all my friends, having to leave university. At that point I wasn’t able to really understand that I was in the most wonderful learning experience of my life. Of course not – we can trust that but in times of pain it doesn’t always come as a comfort. I was angry at ‘having’ to change my diet. In my mind I perceived it as something forced.

And part of it was that I didn’t trust my body or anyone else to look after me. I had traumas related to unexpected hospital visits and all those memories of my body feeling like it was breaking down upon itself. I knew this and I’d been already working on it for years. Constant forgiveness and love for my system was the key to it all. This was the final change point, this bit about trying to fit in.

But hold on. There was one thing that I hadn’t been owning up to..

All those years ago.. Who was it who CHOSE to heal the holistic way? Who CHOSE to change her diet? Who CHOSE to take the journey to feeling good?

Oh yeah.. it was me. Time to re write this chapter and return to that original choice, the one that has been ruling my life for the past 5 years, every day, that fuels every decision and every movement I make – Mind, Body and Spirit. It’s my guiding star, this approach to life, and it was the only answer I needed. You see,

I have an overwhelming desire to feel good.

and the best best about this desire – it’s completely non arguable. It’s a complete sentence that tells the entire story that I ‘thought’ I ‘should’ tell – in one foul swoop. And on top of that, it’s positive and exciting.  Nail hit well and truly on the head.

❤ Tools and Tips that help me stay feeling good:

So how do you get to a place where you can feel less anxious about letting others know about the choices you have made for your health? Here are some of the things that I have discovered and tools that I use to help me.

  • It is a non-negotionable thing. I’ve written about my nn’s before and looking after my body is one of them. I eat entirely to manage my Autoimmune Thyroid disorder – Hashimotos and histamine intolerance. It’s funny because I realised just this year after an enlightening conversation with my new favourite Health Advisor Bethany (who is now taking consults at Celestine Eleven) that I’ve been intuitively eating for my body for my entire life. Every single food that I don’t like is really high in histamine (for example: avocados – I’M SO SORRY EVERYONE I JUST NEVER LIKED THEM!). Make your lifestyle choices a positive non negotiable thing for you. Your choice is to care for yourself, and that is pretty awesome.
  • Your wellness regime is not supposed to be a form of punishment.  I don’t believe in referring to food as clean or dirty, or talking about food as if it’s a treat or even worse ‘I had a bad day’ – they are swift roots to having food be the enemy and generally make losing weight and feeling good a lot harder. I am tuned into my body, we are on speed dial, anything that doesn’t work I get a swift message about it and I know how to rebalance. How do you use food as a reward or punishment? Do you berate yourself when you don’t do your exercise or meditation practice?
  • Judgement is reflective – You do not have to explain yourself. If we have a fear of being judged then it’s because somewhere (and it may be on the surface or buried deep within) we are judging ourself. It is SO easy to walk away from this truth, because how often do we want to face up to the fact we are the judgemental one?

And what about when someone does judge you? or they don’t respond well? – Again it’s reflective. When we receive judgement it’s because we are pulling a thread in the person we are speaking to. The easiest example – Have you ever told someone your biggest dream and they’ve responded like you just threatened their life? – If someone is terrified of making changes in their own life then it can be hard to accept them in someone else’s.

The way to respond to judgement – self or otherwise is with compassion.

So – That long drawn out story? that anxiety in your stomach worrying if someone is going to judge you? Worrying about how to explain yourself – It’s ok. The only thing you need to work on is feeling comfortable with your choices to feel good and releasing any old stories, anger and resentment to do with them. Keep looking after yourself. Do the internal work and you will notice the response to your decisions get better and better. And back to that original point. You do not have to explain yourself.

“I do **** because I have a great desire to feel good and care for myself.” – Tell that to anyone and you’ll find it’s pretty non – arguable closed sentence AND it is filled with good vibes!  It’s my new story, the best bit is, it’s not fictional.

I am safe in my body

  • I don’t think that mantra can be said enough times. I use it every time I am frustrated with a health issue, which is at the moment every day. It’s a call home to the present moment and to the body. When we are experiencing illness or are being cruel to ourselves we form an instant disconnect to the body as we start to view it externally as opposed to part of ourselves. The body needs acceptance, love and nurture from it’s owner. It’s not an easy practice but worth putting in your daily routine. This is a point for me to take into another post too – remind me about that!
  • Feeling good is FUN. Oh yeah took a while to get to this one. If you are constantly trying to fit in at the expense of feeling good then seriously it’s no fun, like zero fun. And life is not supposed to be a dragged out, worn out, tiresome slog trying to please a perceived illusion of someone you have created in your mind.
  • Do you need to do a ‘friend’ check? If you are surrounded by friends who don’t support your choices to feel good then some balance might be off. It can be a testing time. Stop drinking and your social life shifts in an instance (especially in the UK a country that thrives on alcohol) and oh god will anyone still want to hang out with you if you are sober? What if all your friends think you’re crazy for wanting to meditate? If you are trying to positive think and all your friends ditch you because they can only communicate in ‘I hates’ then what? IT’S OK! Swiftly check back into YOU. Your greatest friends do not love you because of how you care for your body, in fact they should love you even more for it. Who do YOU want to spend you time with? This is not about ditching your current friends, but make space to bond with those who you share a common interest of self care with. It’s fun to have a spiritual running buddy!
  • Cool does not exist. Quit sugar and are you suddenly uncool? OMGGG…. Sure it maybe that the most popular thing you can post on instagram is a pastel Macaron (snore) or a pile of cupcakes but the only thing that is truly cool is owning your own EVERYTHING. It’s all very well to list Ben and Jerrys as your favourite things in the Universe but if you’re going to break out in hives when you eat it, then well thats a swift trip to sadsville – population 1.
  • Teach not preach. It is not your responsibility to make everyone else have an ‘awakening’ just like you did! No way.. I have to say that every week I try and get (force) my mum to follow an AIP diet with me, because I KNOW it will make her feel amazing, but it’s almost like every time I say anything she eats double of the things that aren’t good for her! I had to remind myself that if she wants to make the choice for herself then she can, and meanwhile I will just keep looking after me and love her as usual.
  • Your wellness routine is unique. I can only ever share my experience and one line of advice, which is, in simple. If you don’t feel good then get your snorkel on and go deep diving and find out what you need. There is a reason that you don’t feel optimal and you can find it out. I promise.

❤  Your turn!

Where are you trying to fit in at the expense of feeling good? Come and chat with me about it here.

LOVE

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