Lately I’ve been focusing on my relationship with the most important person in my life: ME. Sounds a little indulgent maybe a tad silly – perhaps but it had become necessary; for I found I had got to a point in my life where I needed to remember what made me ME. Yes I loved the people in my life, my job and I had even embraced meditation, in fact outwardly I was living a grand life BUT something was missing so I decided to look inwards to find it AND I did. Here’s how I fell in love with me:
Being Grateful Dolly Parton says it a lot and if you have read The Secret, you will know all about it. I love it because it is simple and actually works. When you get bogged down with everyday life it is so easy to forget about the wonder that is this life. By actually taking the time to be grateful you remember all that is important, all that is beautiful, and you are able to turn negatives into positives. Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret) says “When you’re grateful for the things you have, no matter how small they may be, you will see those things instantly increase.” I now start my day with a brain dump before I even get out of bed – mentally listing all that I am grateful for. It varies every day but just by doing this I l immediately started feeling the love and therefore start my day off on a happy note.
Follow the passion Before I embarked on this ‘fall in love with me’ exercise, I realised that everything in my life was being done as if I was on auto pilot. I couldn’t remember the last time I had done something that I was passionate about, yes I loved my life but it had gotten staid. Determined to change this I set about making a list of what I wanted – not needed – to do and then I set about making them happen. First I started small: I indulged in a day in pjs reading and drinking tea, planned a night out dancing with girlfriends, set up a stock portfolio and became a work mentor then I got bigger I travelled to countries I had long dreamed of going to and I changed my career. Everything I did I made sure I felt that rush you can only get when you are doing something you love. Every time you neglect what you are passionate about, your soul dims; but when your soul gets her groove on, life can feel quite extraordinary.
Turn It Off Your smart phone I mean – need I say more? Okay if I must… did you know the immense amount of time you spend with your device can actually leave you feeling worse about yourself AND while you are wrapped up in your virtual world, you allow the subtle beauty that’s unfolding around you to pass you by. Here are just some of the benefits of keeping your phone off even if it is only for an hour: There is less strain on your eyes, you become more mindful of the world around you, you feel calmer, you can connect with people for real, the brain functions better, you have increased concentration and a better chance of a restful sleep. So do it – turn off your phone – that text can wait.
Use affirmations ‘The bad stuff is easier to believe, you ever notice that?’ so says Vivian in Pretty Woman. Psychologists call it negativity bias. Words build or destroy so it is important to be mindful of the words you use. I felt I had got to a place whereby I was using ‘I can’t’ ‘I don’t’ and ‘I shouldn’t’ all the time and I felt weighed down by this negative speak. So I decided to change my vernacular by using affirmations and by doing this for a while I literally felt my demeanour change for the better. An affirmation is short statement you repeat regularly to make a formal declaration to yourself (and the universe) of your intention for it to be the truth. Ideally it should start with ‘I am’ ‘I can’ ‘I will.’ With constant repetition, affirmations can reprogram your thought patterns and change the way you think about things. It gives you the ability to replace dysfunctional beliefs with new positive ones and therefore make positive changes, and because what you remember the most are the things that happen with great emotion; affirmations work faster if you visualise what it is you are affirming. What works for me is two minute bursts of repeating an affirmation at least three times a day and if I find myself thinking negatively about the situation I will counteract the negative thought with my affirmation and repeat until I feel better.
Be of Service It was instilled in me from a young age that to be of service was paramount to attaining happiness. Unfortunately as I grew older I forgot this so I set about trying to bring this back into my life. I looked for small and large tasks to assist those living in my house, those in my close circle and those in the community. These conscious acts are varied from helping a cousin with his resume to volunteering at a homeless charity and while they are done to help the situation of others, ultimately it is me who is rewarded, for every time I give of myself I am left feeling useful and fulfilled. Who doesn’t want to feel like that? I truly believe you can reach the highest level of self love in this state of serving others.
The single greatest relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself, so it is worth taking time out to check in with yourself and make sure you are living the very best version of you.