Mindful Monday – Gently emerge into the New Week

Mindful Gentleness works wonders…..

Oh, how the weekend appears to flash by and then we return to Monday. Mindfulness goes out of your brain, for many of you the school holidays have started and the pressure is on to entertain the children regardless of age.

This is the time you are continually spinning plates with all you need to do. Therefore NOW schedule some techniques or exercises you can do just for you – ones you can slip into quickly that will give you an energy boost.

How Many do You Spin at a Time?

How Many do You Spin at a Time?

My gift to you today is three you can take and use – just enjoy.  Once you practice them, they embed and become part of your repertoire of routines you regularly use.

A quick tension release especially when you are sitting for a long time at a desk/on a plane/in conferences/with the in-laws/ boring lunches or at any time you notice you are tense.

To relieve tension in the body have a quick go at this, it’s wonderful just to stay in the moment with it:

 Mindful Foot flexing.

One of the most disregarded parts of the body – how often do you acknowledge them?  They get abused something rotten – give them a pamper once in a while – and talk nicely to your toes, without whom you would topple over!

Say HELLO to your Feet and Toes!

Say HELLO to your Feet and Toes!

Sit down with your legs outstretched.

  • As you breathe in slowly, tense the muscles of your feet as tightly as you can;
  • Hold the tension as you pause your breath;
  • As you breathe out, slowly let the tension go
  • Feel the relaxation spread up your legs
  • Mindfully notice how this feeling moves throughout your whole body.

Do this 5/10 times….it’s great for circulation if you have been sitting for a while.

Quiet Space

      Tranquillity

Tranquillity

  1. Choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
  2. Before you start, do a few gentle stretching exercises to relieve muscular tension.
  3. Make yourself comfortable, either sitting or lying down, remember you need a straight spine
  4. Start to breathe slowly and deeply, in a calm and effortless way. Notice the breath in and out and the pauses between each
  5. Gently slowly tense, each part of your body on the in breath and then relax on the out breath, starting with your feet and working your way up to your face and head.
  1. As you focus on each area, think of warmth, heaviness, and relaxation.
  2. Push any distracting thoughts to the back of your mind; imagine them floating away.
  3. Don’t try to relax; simply let go of the tension in your muscles and allow them to become relaxed.
  4. Let your racing thoughts go. Some people find it helpful to visualise a calm, beautiful place such as a beach; garden; meadow; hilltop.
  5. Stay like this for about 5/10 minutes, then take some deep breaths and open your eyes, but stay sitting or lying for a few moments before you get up.

Remember, your thoughts will come in and out, let them go but make a note of what distracts your practice when you have finished as often you will need to address them – keep your records

Mindful Visualisation and Music

Why Visualisation you may ask…well you may remember as a kid you would daydream.  You would imagine, at a physical level when playing games like film hero’s/heroines; have superpowers; or just lie in the sun and let your thoughts dwindles and your imagination come to the fore.

Remember that space where you could escape from the day to day stuff that crowded in on you. I used to drape a tarpaulin over the washing line and make a sort of tent with is and sit under it in the rain….I was in a rain forest and could just listen to the sounds the water main as it hit the tent…I knew I was safe and warm.

For you,  just take 5 minutes and absorb the scene and music……..HERE!

See, you can do it….lovely was it? I have more to come.

Now that’s all for today – just a bit of good old Diva Spirituality for all my hardworking entrepreneurs out there….just Chill for a bit.

Until next time

Diva x

 

 

Do you do it? – “Doing the ‘Doing’” Well Do You?

“Doing the ‘Doing’”

‘What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it’ (Goethe 1749-1832)

I have been sharing the wisdom of ‘Doing the Doing’ for nearly 30 years now after realising how often people thought they just had to ‘Cosmically Order’; Visualise; Pray; Meditate; Ask the Universe and it would all happen. All manner of things, you can add your own.

Yes, it can happen; it’s great that these ideas, doctrines, processes are used to propel your thoughts in the right direction. However, it then needs you to follow-up for the magic to happen. ‘Doing the Doing’ is where you really get moving forward.

"

The Past Experiences

For years I have watched people go to workshops; conventions; readings; Retreats; Join groups; see therapists; buy books they never read and more all because they want to ‘Find themselves and their reason for being here!

Have you been to those conferences with the well-known GURU’s only to find the usual groupies there hanging on every word (yes myself included!)?  You begin to realise nothing is different, it’s the same content except it is dressed up in new clothes…

A quick Diva digression…did you know that Deepak Chopra once said that the word Guru meant ‘Gee you are you’ and that, ‘you are truly your own GURU?’

Well, all I can tell you is that from me and many of my tribe; ‘you have to get off those bums (fanny’s in the USA) and start the ‘DOING’ it won’t happen otherwise!’

Just because you are told to ‘Put it out there and it will materialise’   believe me without a good dollop of your energy; planning; thoughts; time; commitment; it will just be empty rhetoric!

My Challenge to you

Therefore I throw down this challenge to you. Come on peeps and join my tribe, start ‘doing the doing’ you all have dreams you want to get on with.  Earl Nightingale said:  “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it; the time will pass anyway.”

What is your ‘Doing’ what goals have you set yourself? Are you ‘doing the doing’ or do you just talk about it but never follow it through?

I have met many human beings who have so much potential, some fail to achieve their goals and visions because of not following through.

  • Which are you
  • Why might you fail?
  • What enables you to achieve?

Oliver Burkeman recently wrote a great article echoing my thoughts on the topic – check it out

Your Excuse is?

Having travelled in all walks of life, observed, listened, mentored, shared, facilitated I regularly hear people say;

  • I can’t…because of…
  • I’ll do it tomorrow
  • I’ll think about it
  • ‘I don’t have time/money/space/support.’

Why not stop, began to think mindfully about what it is you want (this is where a few visualisations would help).

If you say you don’t have time you could use that space between the ‘mad monkeys’ that keep you awake and sleep, slip into your imagination/daydream beginning to build your vision. NOW is the time you can start to ‘do the doing’ – Wow how exciting will that be for you?

My Journey to ‘Doing the Doing’

My journey into ‘doing’ began over 45 years ago when I was told I couldn’t study to be a Nursery Nurse – through ‘doing’ I was privileged to be teaching on NNEB courses 20 years later.

As ‘factory fodder’ (career teacher speak for not very bright) I knew I wanted to achieve a degree but had to wait until I was 25.

I did several academic awards including two degrees and achieved top grades – proving them wrong.

I made a decision even as a single Mum,  wanting to pay off my mortgage by the time I was 50, I succeeded at 49.

Yes, it took thinking outside the box and facing change, but you know what they say, ‘as one door closes another opens’ and it did for me and can for you.

In my 50’s I was in a wheelchair and was told I may not walk again – I can walk now; it took some lifestyle changes and a mindful process to enable this happen!

Recently I decided I would gather together much of what I had developed and shared with my tribe in the form of a workbook/manual.

Now I’m not the world’s best ‘Completer-Finisher’ yes,  I’m a genius at procrastination on occasions, (but a brilliant delegator!). However,  it took one of my students who has paper copies of all I do (she is not computer minded) to  turn up to class with a blue folder of a year’s worth of my notes beautifully ordered.

She looked at me and said – “here’s your book” and in front of me was everything I had shared with her.  Yes, it was at this point I knew it was my next ‘Doing the Doing’

Students Book of my notes/exercises/techniques

Students Book of
my notes/exercises/techniques

A few days later another friend contacted my with a link to http://junowrimo.com/ I checked out and committed to 50,000 words in a month….and I got 37,678 done and the book is in the proofing stage at present. (not bad for 30 days)

I also ‘do’ lots of other tasks/goals rather than put them off as I dislike having ‘mad monkeys’/’Brain Spam’ whizzing round my head reminding of all the ‘rough stuff’ I have around and keeping me awake at night.

You have realised as I am sure, to achieve your dreams you have to get off your bums and get on with it, not just talk about it.

Therefore to give you a kick start; A further Challenge is:

Jot down one thing you want to do; now the planning begins, try the 5WH method;

  • What do you want to do?
  • Who else is there to support you?
  • When will you start?
  • Where do you expect this to take you?
  • Why do you want to do it?
  • How long have you allocated?

NOW START!

It may take you a few minutes/hours/ days/weeks/years (it took me several with the mortgage), but you will have started ‘doing the doing’ rather than talking about it.

Have a go at visualising how it will feel when you have done it,  begin to feel that inner knowingness that it’s achievable.

 It's in your hands.

It’s in your hands.

It’s OK not to know where you want to get to completely as it’s the journey you take which will enable you to decide on which path to finally take – you will have a choice.

Small steps are key to all ‘doing the doing’ – as Buddha said, ‘A journey of a 1000 miles beings with the first step.’

Therefore, what are going to be your first steps into achieving ‘Doing YOUR Doing’?  When will you start to begin your journey? It will be an exciting time.

Until next time

Diva x

 

Slow Down – You Move to FAST…..

Slow down…well, you either hear the call, or you don’t.  But at a gut level you know it’s there.

Do you remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?  The Hare belts forward rushing and racing around trying to get all things done and burns out – the Tortoise just calmly moves along and eventually completes all the tasks, no mistakes and still feels chilled.  Which are you?

Which are YOU?

Which are YOU?

Daily Slow Down Tasks

You know what they all are, however, we all need reminders.  Don’t try to do them all at once, (as if you would lol!) that would be silly.

Mindful slowing down is quite simple, but not easy. It’s important to get started and begin making progress.

It’s a little like a baby starting to walk. There seems to be no real progress until one day you stand up, and suddenly you’re up and walking.

Just practice developing the tasks you remember most until they become a habit and then move on to new things….simples.  It takes everyone different lengths of time so remember it’s not a competition.

When I first work with new students I ask them to slow down the simple daily tasks they undertake, through habit and by applying Mindfulness thus being in the moment; they get results.

 Slowing Down and Mindfulness

These exercises will help you to notice the speed at which you are moving.  When you are tense, this is often faster and more spasmodic than necessary.  This exercise helps you turn down your metabolic rate.  For a few minutes, consciously and mindfully do everything the slightest fraction slower.

Choose a simple activity you do every day.  It could be;

  • getting dressed
  • having a shower
  • leaving the house and getting into the car
  • having breakfast or a tea break
  • watering your plants
  • taking the dog for a walk
WASHING UP!

WASHING UP!

Allow an extra minute or two, so you don’t have to hurry.  Do every movement just the slightest bit slower.

Carl Honoré in his TED Talk discusses the need to slow down and the resistance to it through conditioning and habit Click to watch an inspiring discussion.

Therefore, using Mindfulness as a tool to develop slowing down, consider these actions as you undertake them:

  • Notice the pace at which you walk, turn, sit, and lift things.  In other words, be natural without rushing in all everyday activities.
  • Walking. Most of us walk quite a bit each day, but we rarely think about walking. We also don’t pay much attention to what’s going on around us. Our thoughts are primarily on wherever it is we’re walking to.
  • While walking, notice what’s going on around you. Feel the pressure on your feet. Feel the temperature of the air on your skin. Smell the air; yes smell the air – describe it.
  • Eating. We’re rarely aware that we’re even eating, and taste well forget that, for many it doesn’t even hit the sides….
Notice your Food!

Notice your Food!

Try a little experiment.

Take an orange and eat it one piece at a time. Bite into it slowly and take the time to savour each bite. Take a full 30 seconds for each segment. There’s a 50-50 chance you won’t even be able to finish the entire orange. It’s richer than you think.

Lots of Vitamin C......

Lots of  fab Vitamins C……

Avoid eating in front of the television or while listening to music so that you can focus on your food and the people with you.  When you’re talking, talk. When you’re eating, eat.

Take it Slowly when….

Waiting in line. Maybe you find waiting in line to be especially frustrating. Notice the feelings and thoughts that arise while you’re waiting. But avoid getting emotionally involved. Simply be a casual observer. Breathe in and let go, you have just been given a few minutes to chill – take it!

Observing your Body – Take note when your movements are hurried and jerky why? and again when they are smooth and easy.  Do you breathe easily or hold your breath? You may need to review your breathing techniques. We rarely notice our bodies unless we’re in pain or ill. BIG mistake. Our bodies are one of the primary ways we experience the world.

Avoiding multitasking. Just do one task at a time. You’ll get more done, and it’s much easier to be mindful.  Remember the Tortoise and the Hare?  Once you have become more competent with the simple tasks and let go of the guilt about not multi-tasking you are ready to move onto the next stages.

‘Doing the Doing’

Become aware. This means,  be aware of everything in your environment, as well as everything you’re doing and thinking. Keep your focus on the present moment, not looking back at the past or concerning yourself with the future.

Become deliberate. Focus on what you’re doing and perform the next logical step. Keep going until the task is complete. Be focused on the task rather than getting the job over and done with.

Notice your feelings. If you think about it, emotions are nothing more than feelings that we’ve learned to label. When your body feels a certain way, you call it “jealousy,” “happiness,” “fear,” “shame,” and so on. Our brains don’t have the ability actually to feel anything. That’s why patients are frequently awake for many neurosurgery procedures. It ’s our emotions and physical self that ‘feels.’

Regularly take a moment to notice what each part of your body is feeling. Think relaxed or tense? Then make a choice about what you will do – Rush or Relax!

Learn how to regain control. (Top Tip)

If you find yourself unable to be mindful, there’s a great trick to bring your thoughts back to the present.

  1. List ten things that you see. It’s preferable for you to list the items aloud. Describe each one in some detail.
  2. List all the things you hear. Close your eyes and listen.
  3. Describe the smell in the air.
  4. Describe what you’re feeling physically. It might be, “My neck is hurting. I can feel the pressure of my feet on the ground. My belt feels tight. The air is a little cold on my skin. My body feels tired.”
  5. Take a minute to notice your breathing. Count your breaths as you feel the air moving in and out of your body.

When you complete this exercise, your mind should be back in the present.

We are all aware of how rushing around leads to mistakes; Psychologically it does us no good what so ever;  Our Physiology suffers too; our Stress levels increase….therefore maybe today is the day you start to believe Slow is the Way to Go!

Just Chill and Slow Down

Just Chill and Slow Down

Consider one of the daily tasks you do and decide to slow it down….just one, get into the habit of taking a little longer and begin to see the changes.

You may need to adjust you time management tools/schedule of daily tasks, but you can pop over and see the ‘The Time Doctor’  for that challenge….

Let me know what task you decide on and how you get on….

Until next time

Diva x

Self, Confidence and the Tight Rope Walk

Self-confidence is about balance.  Its like walking a tightrope at one extreme, we have people with low self-confidence.  At the other end, we have people who may be over-confident; we want to be standing stable and strong in the middle with few wobbles.

If you are under-confident, you’ll avoid taking risks and stretching yourself; and you might not try at all.  And if you’re over-confident, you may take on too much risk, stretch yourself beyond your capabilities, wobble badly and crash.  You may also find that you’re so optimistic that you don’t try hard enough to succeed actually.

Getting this accurate is a matter of having the right amount of confidence, founded in reality and on your true ability.  With the right amount of self-confidence, you will take informed risks, stretch yourself (but not beyond your abilities) and try hard can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise catch you unawares.

Check your SWOT – HERE

A SWOT Analysis is a powerful technique for identifying Strengths and Weaknesses (think of weaknesses as development needs!), and for examining the Opportunities and Threats you face.

Used in a personal context, it can enable you to reflect on your confidence;   it helps you develop your career in a way that takes the best advantage of your talents, abilities, and opportunities, and bring your life back into a more manageable balance.

What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to take advantage of.  By understanding your weaknesses, you can gain a Balanced Self-Confidence – HAVE A READ AND FOLLOW SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS

Building Self-Confidence

Building Bricks from 'abfablife'

Building Bricks from
‘abfablife’

Self-Confidence comes from 3 Building Blocks that underpin solid foundations

Self- Esteem: Comes from valuing yourself, your skills, qualities, who you are and ‘planning your life journey.’

Assertiveness: Having Thinking Time, Practice, courage, standing in your Power

Confidence:  Comes from Developing your Knowledge about YOU, your Values, Skills, Competences, Qualities, and Beliefs.

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence? It’s founded on a firm appreciation of your reality. The challenging news is that there’s no quick fix or 5-minute solution. The positive news is that building self-confidence is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through.  And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do will build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement.  No-one can take this away from you!

Setting out on your Tightrope walk to Self-Confidence:

Get ready for your expedition. You need to take stock of where you are, think about where you want to go, get yourself in the right mind set for your journey, and commit yourself to starting it and staying with it. No procrastinating!  In preparing for your journey, do the following things:

  • Look at what you’ve already achieved: that comes from your SWOT (keep adding to it)
  • Think about your life so far, perhaps you, did something for you that you wanted to do, or got some great feedback, played a key role in a project, did something that made a key difference in someone else’s life. Make a list so you will remember them.
  • Think about your strengths by using your SWOT ANALYSIS. Take a look at who and where you are, reflect on your recent life, think about what your friends would consider being your strengths and weaknesses. From these, think about the opportunities and threats you face.
  • Make sure that you enjoy a few minutes reflecting on your strengths!
  • Think about what’s important to you, and where you want to go:  Next, think about the things that are really important to you, and what you want to achieve with your life.

Setting and achieving goals is a key part of this, and your real self-confidence comes from this.  Goal setting is the process you use to set yourself targets and measure your success.

Set a NEW major goal in your life (or re-vamp an old one not yet achieved), identify the first step in setting out.  A top tip: Make sure it’s a very small step, perhaps taking no more than an hour to complete!

Start managing your mind:

Manage your Mind

Manage your Mind

At this stage, you need to start managing your mind. Learn to pick up and beat the negative self-talk which can destroy your confidence.  And learn how to use visualization to create strong mental images of what you’ll feel and experience as you achieve your major goals – there’s something about doing this that makes even major goals seem achievable!

Commit yourself to success!

The final part of preparing for the journey is to make a clear and unequivocal promise to yourself that you are committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it. If as you’re doing it, you find doubts starting to surface write them down and challenge them calmly and rationally.  If they dissolve under scrutiny, that’s great.  However if they are based on genuine risks make sure you set additional goals to manage these appropriately. Either way, make that promise to yourself!

Set out on your journey moving forward, small steps, reflect on outcomes, and accelerate towards achievement; stretch yourself a little at a time – you will find self-confidence building.

REMEMBER – There is NO such thing as PERFECTION! (You can have a little Wobble!)

Introducing Ms. Wobble

Introducing Ms. Wobble

  • Stop trying to be perfect, just be happy to be a human.
  • Don’t take everything so seriously. Smile and take a lighter approach.
  • Decide on your preferred outcome and act in your best interests.
  • Accept that you will not always be able to reach a specific goal.
  • Learn from your mistakes but ensure you don’t make them again.
  • Relax and remember that you don’t always have to be right!
  • Everyone makes mistakes, so let other people off the hook; you will find that life gets so much more forgiving when you do this.
  • What is your gut/intuitions reaction to the choice that you are making? Take a moment to notice and follow your instincts.
  • That piece of work will never be perfect – just give it your best shot and that will be enough.
  • Be happy to learn from the process of life; our mistakes help us to grow.

Let yourself off the hook

Life is a risky business and even if we try to stay in our comfort zones, we cannot feel entirely safe.  Mistakes are inevitable and as soon as we can accept this, our days take on a more positive aspect.       Once we can let ourselves off the hook of perfectionism, we can stride out there and take our slice of life.   Remember – try to keep BALANCE in your life

Lynda Field in her book, ‘Be Yourself’  makes the following points:

  • Positive action is one of the most powerful antidotes to apathy, discontent, and negativity.
  • Confidence is a quality that is often bestowed on us AFTER we have taken what feels like a risky step.
  • When you can overcome your fears you can achieve your dreams; have no fear.
  • Check that you are not expecting perfection (it does not exist!) and be able to recognise when you have done a ‘good enough’ job
  • Sometimes we have to make way for our ‘dreams’ by clearing away the debris that is blocking our path.

Keep an open mind and just be YOU.  Walk your tightrope with head held high knowing you will make it to the end….that is where the next Tightrope Journey will begin.

You will be amazed at what you will achieve and how your confidence will increase, and you will become more empowered.

Until next time

Diva x

Yes, or No…that is the Question!

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  I often think about that quote when I have to make a choice/decision – Yes (to be?) or No (not to be?).

The Bard - Don't you just Love him!

The Bard – Don’t you just Love him!

That is the basic key to decision-making – it all boils down to choice –  “will you – won’t you?”

What are the deciding factors?

Now, do you use Mindful Thinking Time (MTT) or just say the first thing that comes into your head? I hear you, ‘The first thing that comes into my head Diva’ – ‘WHY’ I yell at you? You are a grown up!

  • Conditioning is one reason
  • Fear is another
  • Your needs don’t matter
  • Anything for a quiet life
  • You could add to the list

FEAR!

Fear tend to be the big one…’if I say no what will be the repercussions’? It’s often to do with;

  • wanting to be liked
  • pleasing people
  • be seen as a good person
  • meeting all family needs
  • anything to stop arguments.

Saying YES – moving forward to saying No!

I don’t know about you, but I used to find saying  ‘NO’ to people so difficult when they asked me to do something for them.  The upshot would be that I overcommitted myself and got so stressed trying to spin lots of plates, juggling many balls, eventually I had a break-down.

Interestingly it is always your needs that get left behind. Then you feel animosity towards whoever you had said YES to and angry at yourself for not being strong and declining the request.

Firstly, it’s not their fault if you can’t be assertive and most people aren’t mind readers.  Secondly, you give them permission to continue to keep asking because you have never said NO!

Remember;

‘WHEN I SAY NO

I AM REFUSING

THE  REQUEST

NOT  REJECTING

THE  PERSON’

 

There is no particular time of the year that you find yourself being pulled in all directions (maybe festivities) it can be any day.

So, what to do about it?  Consider why you say YES…do you feel under pressure to do so? Is it often against your better judgment too.  If this is so, then there can be a few reasons why.

  1. You aren’t clear about your own priorities.
  2. You may feel the other person will dislike you if you say no and will become upset.
  3. The other person is a friend, and you always please your friends.
  4. Because you have always done it
  5. It is expected of you – (remember you have been giving permission for years)

check out more;

Reality Check!

Why do you say yes and then regret it; there will be a reason – sort it out! Move forward it’s your life – it’s SELF-CARE!

Remember your priorities should come first, when you say yes then you are often saying no to something else.

Only say yes to those things you want to do. You don’t have to give a reason why you say ‘NO ,’ however, you need to practice saying it as some people (often family) make it hard for us.

One strategy I get all my tribe to use is to say, ‘give me a few minutes and I will check my diary and get back to you.’   You can even say that you will ‘sleep on it.’  That way you give yourself a bit of mindful thinking time (MTT).

You then decide if it is a yes or a no.

YES - NO Decision Time

YES – NO
Decision Time

If it’s an NO, acknowledge the other persons request and what they are asking is important (to them), however, that you have ‘other commitments /priorities’ or ‘you don’t have enough time’ or ‘don’t have the skills.’

You can help the other person solve their problem by making a suggestion of someone else they can ask.  Keep in your head that ‘this is not my problem.’

Remember Some Top Tips:

  • When you say ‘NO’ you are refusing a request not rejecting the person.  State your position clearly and in a positive way.
  • Don’t hang around after coz the other person may think you could be changing your mind.
  • Consider your tone of voice – keep it neutral
  • Watch you body language, is it saying the same as your words?
  • Develop Self-respect for your own needs as it is core to your Self-Care
  • You always have choices about everything you do no matter how hard it may seem.

Your Challenge – Your Life

To get to a stage, I could say ‘NO’  without fear I had to practice; so my challenge to you is to find a friend and have a practice.

Take a situation like an invitation to an event you don’t want to attend and just have a go, listen to the feedback from your friend and Practice, Practice, Practice.  It will take time, but you will feel the benefits.

Yes, there may be a few casualties along the way. However, they may be the ‘Toxic Energies’ you needed to ditch anyway!

Its Your Do you want it?

Its Your
Do you want it?

 

The Payoff

Begin to feel how much more relaxed and empowered you are once you have started to say ‘NO’ – less stressed and have more time for the important things in your life. Just think;

  • MORE TIME;
  • LESS STRESS;
  • LIFE BALANCE

and that’s just 3 payoffs.

Let me know how your challenge goes.

Until next time

Diva X

 

Interpersonal Communication 101

Interpersonal Communication 101

Do you communicate?  Yes of course you do, you’re communicating now while reading this…it might not be verbally but, you will be giving away all sorts of signs and signals.

I’m sure like me you read lots of information, blogs and other material which spout on about communication and how crucial it is to business…. I maintain it’s the main building block to any effective organization and your personal life.   It needs to be a priority no matter what.

These are my Building Foundations

These are my Building Foundations

However, let us narrow it down a somewhat – you have your Interpersonal and your Intra-personal communication skills; these are just the basics…. I’m not going to get complicated. Just for this blog, we will stay with the Interpersonal and yes…I am sure I will digress from time to time that’s just me.

So often writers and commentators of communication tell you of the importance of the subject but do they get you to reflect on what communication is?  Is it non-judgemental; non-violent; clear; effective; understood by all involved and that’s just the basics?

Mucking up Instructions…….

Think back…how often have you been given instructions, nodded to affirm you’ve understood and then completely cocked up because you didn’t understand! How often have you given instruction or information to others (think children/partners here and even colleagues) only to find out later they have put the teapot in the cupboard rather than the teabags from the cupboard in the teapot….oh dear something so simple gets lost in translation.

Having lived with a very bright Aspergers for 34 years, I have had thousands of communication blips, like the day I said I would have the unwanted salad with my curry – that’s what I got – salad straight into the curry – it was a very strange mix….

Not the best mix....

Not the best mix….

Even Communication has a formula

A formula for excellent communication is understanding what you have been asked to do or be clear about what you have asked someone else to do:

“The transfer of a thought, idea, instructions or information to someone else ………………

    ………………so they have THE SAME UNDERSTANDING of that thought, idea, instructions, and information as you do.

It’s basically

The Transmission of…………..Ideas, feelings, information, instructions – From the mind of one person to the mind of another without loss or distortion!”

SIMPLES……. But is it?….No, not at all , it’s downright hard coz so much crap gets in the way.

The Brain bombarded with communication.

The Brain bombarded with communication.

Blocks to your Communication…

Therefore consider what are you Interpersonal Communication Skills like?  Mine, depend on what side of the bed I get out in a morning or lunchtime; they could change if it’s raining…but what I try to do is watch what I say before I say it…do you?

Here’s a quick quiz should you like to give it a go….. Link to quiz….

I used to go straight in for the kill in my younger days, right for the jugular. These where the behaviours demonstrated by my role models in business and education…now I am so aware they were just bullies and did copious amounts of damage.

Let’s give some thought to this necessary skill/competence we need;

How do we communicate effectively? Basically:

  • Written
  • Spoken/verbal
  • Visual
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Electronic

All have their plus and minus – I find text gets lost in translation for me and sometimes Facebook communication – and it’s also dependent on others learning styles too. so what about you?

We need to remember that depending on which research you read, Non-Verbal Communication makes up between 65%/75% of what you ‘say’  and this is communicated through non-verbal expressions (more on this later.) – this includes;  gestures, dress; touch; posture;  Paralinguistics;  Proxemics; eye contact; facial expressions. They all play a huge part in how communication is received.

BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

At times we find that we cannot communicate effectively, that our message is not getting across, that we cannot understand or be understood.  We need to be aware of what can get in the way of effective communication.  Physical problems such as poor hearing and eyesight are obvious barriers, which need to be sensitively handled; similarly,  challenges arising from speech disorders which need effort and good listening skills.

Range of Barriers to being Effective

Range of Barriers to being Effective

However, there are other less obvious barriers to effective communication.  For instance, if we are tired, ill or depressed, it is harder to say what we mean.  You would need to beware of this and try to overcome    others issues with patience and tact.  But just as important and probably harder to overcome are the barriers arising from prejudice , discrimination and stereotyping.  One needs to be aware of these potential problem areas, which could affect the efficiency and performance of your daily lives both personally and professionally.

Consider some of the simple challenges to effective communication which may get in your way when interacting with others:

WORDS which include – Language; Dialect; Jargon

PSYCHOLOGICAL effects including – Attitudes; Emotions

PHYSIOLOGICAL state – Ill-health; Discomfort

PERCEPTUAL views – Previous Experience (our baggage); different viewpoint/values; Lack of awareness/ignorance; Age/ Gender/ Social Difference / Culture/ Faith/ Religion

ORGANISATIONAL issues – Structure; Constraints; Technology;  Limits of equipment and tools to do your job.

ASK YOURSELF ‘HOW GOOD AM I AT’:

  • LETTING PEOPLE FINISH
  • USING ENCOURAGING PROMPTS
  • TOLERATING SILENCES
  • COPING WITH DIFFICULT SILENCES
  • ADOPTING APPROPRIATE N.V.C
  • QUESTIONING
  • SUMMARISING
  • CLARIFYING
  • INTERPRETING N.V.C
  • BEING AUTHENTIC
  • ENSURING CONGRUENCE
  • ADOPTING NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION

GIVE YOU SELF A SCORE OUT OF 6 FOR EACH OF THE ABOVE – 6 BEING EXCELLENT 1 BEING I NEED TO DO SOME WORK – (check your answers with those close to you they may give you a different answer!)

 So a Quick Guide to Improving Communication

Be Knowledgeable – Competent communicators understand the process intellectually and intuitively (use that gut feeling peeps).  However much you know or don’t know about communication, you can improve your communication by learning more.

Be Skilled – Intellectual knowing is the basis, certainly, but is not sufficient.  If you know intellectually all about riding a bicycle, if you’ve read every book there is on it, you still don’t know how to ride a bike.  Like learning to operate a computer, learning to communicate involves mastering skills.  You can break them down into components and practice.  A good summary of this process is “hear it, see it, do it, correct it”.  I have worked with Professors and Drs. who are very bright but have diabolical communication skills and no common sense!

Be Motivated – Learning anything worthwhile requires effort.  To improve, you must want to improve (if you don’t want to, then why are you attempting to improve?).  Without the motivation, you will never put your skills into practice, and therefore will never learn/develop them.

Be Flexible – One size does not fit all in human relations.  The actual application will vary tremendously by the situation and persons involved.  There are no good gimmicks that will be guaranteed to work with everyone.  Be willing to adapt your behaviour according to contexts.

Be Other – Oriented – Susan Jeffers, in Dare to Connect, said,  “that shy people are so because they are focused on themselves.  That’s not to say they are selfish.  Rather, they focus on what they want from a situation, and how others react to them.”  She continued,  “we approach others to feel better about ourselves.”

Finally….(nearly there)

It takes most of the “nerves” out of communication when we learn to approach other people with the primary purpose of making them feel better about themselves.  Let me emphasize that this is not of altruism or concern for the other people; it is simply the best way to lose the nerves.  You serve yourself best by not focusing so much on yourself.    This involves de-centring (consciously thinking about other’s thoughts and feelings) and empathizing (responding emotionally to another’s feelings).

So get out there and communicate your heart out; do it non-violently and remember to listen to what peeps are saying both verbally and non-verbally and don’t spend time thinking about formulating your answer – put them first.

Until Next time

Diva x

Your world spills out of your bag

Could your world spill out of your bag?

I’m not going to collude with you – you bring about your own stressors by the choices you make. I don’t wish to sound uncompassionate but it’s the truth. However, that’s for another time.

Stress is a response by the body, mind or spirit to either too much or too little PRESSURE. We all need ‘stress’ in a positive sense; it’s what gets us up in the morning; out to work; off on holiday; everyday tasks; it keeps us bouncing around all day.  What we don’t need is too much.

Come and get it.....

Come and get it…..

How much is too much? That depends on each individual; some can absorb lots more than others.  We each have a responsibility to ourselves to understand our parameters. We don’t need to try and match everyone else.

Since we all have some stress in our lives it’s  worth knowing a very simple little equation as to how stress materializes:

“Stress = High Demands + High Constraints + Low Support, therefore, an excess of demands over the individuals ability to meet them gives and we have the Outcome – ‘Dis-Stress’”

It this YOU?

It this YOU?

SYMPTOMS OF DIS-STRESS

So what are the symptoms you ask! Simply put they come under four headings:

  1. Loss of self-worth which covers; Low self-esteem; depression; withdrawal; lack of confidence.
  2. Loss of control covering; Confusion; compulsive behaviour; weepiness; irritability; difficulty in completing tasks; de-motivation.
  3. Loss of health body reactions these cover; Headaches; tension in muscles; indigestion; a backache; palpitations; high blood pressure; unaccountable pains and more.
  4. Loss of the ability to relax covering; Inability to sleep properly; waking too early; not able to settle to any one activity; can’t stay still; not easy to relax with others.

Most of all, each of these can be broken down further but starting somewhere maybe all anyone needs….Do any of the above strike a chord with you if so now maybe the time to start to take back control.  Not easy but small steps and don’t beat yourself up if you go backward occasionally – you can do it!

My Stress Journey – the big adventure….

I had a very big meltdown in my early 30’s which took me on my path to where I am now. I was a busy mom, a full-time manager in social services, young son, completing the 2nd degree, marriage disintegrating and I dropped my handbag. That was the point my life shattered, and I had a breakdown – yes that’s all it took my world spilling out of my handbag  across the floor and my life forever more changed.

Just gauge the state of your handbag/manbag with the state of your mind and well-being. It changed for the better (although it took me a while to realise that!) and my journey into who I took a new pathway and I never looked back. After several months of talking therapy, I began my search with extra help from my favourite mnemonic – 5WH when; where; why; who; what; how. It began with re-learning our lost  skills.

What I was told 6 years later by my brilliant psychiatrist was that I was one of the sanest women she had met but I needed to learn to say ‘NO’ more often and believe in my capabilities.

When does it all start?

Remember; babies aren’t born with ‘stress’ we chuck it all over them layer upon layer just like the skin of an onion….set them up to fail and wonder why we have troubled and dysfunctional youngsters.

Is this you? (Tick each that may apply –  source )

* persistent tiredness; exhaustion

* deliberate avoidance of things that need doing

* bodily tension, leading to headaches, migraines, upset stomach

* sleep problems; either can’t sleep or sleeping too much

* loss of appetite or increased eating of ‘comfort foods.’

* too much to do; no motivation to get started

* mind in a whirl; can’t think straight, concentrate or work effectively

* feeling under pressure; no time; often in a panic

Sometimes these symptoms can indicate a medical problem, and it is worth checking this out with your GP, but if you are looking for ways to manage your stress levels it is worth considering some of the things you can do for yourself at home.

So, where to start if you decide to break free of the ‘stress’ cycle? My suggestion would be:

RELAXATION

Because we have often lived and still live busy lifestyles we have forgotten the skill of RELAXING.  However, the good news is that it is possible to re-learn this skill and benefit from it.  There are a variety of ways to relax, and it is worth exploring several to find out which suits you.

REMEMBER – Thinking about Relaxation will often make you feel more tense, if this happens, please don’t give up, as it does take time and practice like any other skill you may try and develop.

FIRSTLY – you need to remember that it is o.k. to take a short time for yourself each day to practice, it also gives you the time to rest, thus enabling your body to slow down and re-energise.

SECONDLY – you will need to think about each part of your body in turn and spot where the tensions are, (when was the last time you gave conscious thought to your poor toes?  Just wait I have a blog coming up just about feet!).

DON’T FEEL GUILTY TAKING, THIS TIME, YOU DESERVE IT. BE NICE TO YOURSELF AND ENJOY  !!!!.

Spotting the tensions will come quickly with practice.  Try tensing and relaxing various parts of your body, feel the difference between the two stages.  With practice, you will be able to identify tension quickly and its causes, and also releases tension without too  much conscious effort.

And Relax........

And Relax……..

GUIDELINES FOR RELAXATION.

1.)   Get to know when and why you get tense and make changes in your lifestyle where possible.

2.)   Spot tension at an early stage; get to know where your body gets too tense and what triggers it.  Use this as a signal to deal with it and put into practice your new techniques

3.)   Relax – Practice as often as you need it, not just at the end or the beginning of each day.  Use what you learn and slowly you will become able to relax just by thinking about it.  Don’t at any point force yourself take it gently and slowly – be kind to you.

4.)   When you have found a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for a length of time ( you know who might!) turn off ‘phone’s and computers, so the sound is minimized.  Some people lie on a bed; others sit in a chair or on the floor.  Then off you go.  (After a time you will learn to switch off and relax in noisy places!!!!)

5.)   KEEP PRACTICING – How will you keep going?  It takes a time to break old habits like tension. It might seem too difficult at times, keep going, YOU WILL GET BETTER AND BETTER.

Quick on the spot Exercise

There are many approaches to stress reduction through relaxation, and no one method is right for everyone or in every setting.

and chill......

and chill……

Here’s a quick exercise  I learned years ago that helped me; many students use in all sorts of situations:

  1. Sit up and back in your chair spine straight so that you feel firmly rooted, legs slightly apart, feet flat on the floor.
  2. Close your eyes, Taking a deep breath in drop your shoulders each time you breath out slowly. Just focus on the breath, in for a count of 3/4 hold for a pause, breathe out to the count of 3/4 and repeat for a few minutes.
  3. Begin to imagine yourself relaxing more each time you breathe in and the tensions flowing away with every out breath.
  4. Finally, when you bring yourself back be mindful of how you are sitting nicely relaxed and feel the difference in comparison to when you began.

FINALLY…….

Learning to relax is invaluable if you get anxious and remember not just breathing can help, but Meditation/Tai Chi/Swimming/Yoga great techniques that can support stress reduction to – get out there and find that works for you.

Yes, our lives can be stressful and pressured.  It’s difficult to imagine finding the time and energy to do something about it.  However, it is worth the relatively small amount of effort it takes to learn some relaxation techniques.  Relaxation is a ‘transferable skill’ which will not only serve you well in exams, presentations or interviews but also at the dentist or in any other stressful setting, or as a way of helping you to get to sleep.

Enjoy the rest of your journey in a less stressful Mind and Body

Until next time

Diva X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t try to belly breathe in an under-wire bra

‘Don’t try to belly breathe wearing an under-wire bra’

This was a top tip from one of my students a few years ago.  Absolutely right, the air won’t get past the chest as the underwire stops it.  Therefore soft-cups peeps when you practice.

Never ever when Belly Breathing!

Never ever when Belly Breathing!

So, why air this top tip today?  Some of you may wonder what on earth my musings are about and that they seem a bit random. Let me enlighten you; each of my Blogs has an underlying message it’s down to you to decode it…the more enlightened you are the more you decode…. Simples.

Those of you who spotted the washing machine know what I’m on about.  But, today I will make it stress-free and easy-going and offer a little confab about ‘Belly Breathing’.

This particular Blog is totally lifted from my up and coming book. If you are interested in Mindful Breathing this is a great way to start.

The breath is the most important technique to practice; although we breathe all the time we often don’t do it properly. Therefore, to get started keep it simple.  To begin with, it’s all about the Breath, the posture, and a quiet place so you won’t be disturbed and then you move towards your centre/zone.  The magic is about to begin…

Choose a quiet space that you can customize for yourself – it can be as simple as a chair and a little space. Somewhere you can feel comfortable – turn off all distractions and get ready.

Start with sitting in a chair, keeping the back straight so your energy can flow and your feet uncrossed flat on the floor. Just notice how the chair supports you and where you feel the pressure.

Your Nose is Key

Next, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Begin to watch where the breath goes – it should go up the nose, down the throat into the lungs, then into the belly at which point the belly should inflate like a balloon – however when most people breathe in they seem to pull everything in. Just pay attention to the breath as it enters the body – the tip of your nose is a good starting point.

Tip of your nose is a great anchor to bring you back to your breath

Tip of your nose is a great anchor to bring you back to your breath

A couple of great tips.

  • Watch babies breathing and see how the belly inflates on the breath in and deflates as the breath moves out.
  • Now lie on a bed and as you breathe in notice how your belly rises and falls. None of this pulling it in malarky.

It takes a bit of practice, but you will get it and start breathing properly again — one warning though if you breathe too deeply, to begin with, you may feel lightheaded so just go back to a more gentle breath.

Just practice noticing the in and out flow of each breath and then notice the slight pause in between the in’s and the out. All you are doing is mindfully being aware of your breathing and your pauses.

Check out this visual aid

Here’s a quick little exercise to get you motivated

The following simple exercise is an effective method for achieving a mindful state. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and practice the following exercise twice for several minutes each day: Find a comfortable sitting posture or lie on your back. I advocate sitting in a chair as this can be done most places anytime anywhere.

  • If you’re sitting, keep the spine straight and let your shoulders drop –relax your body checking for any tensions- try to let it go.
  • Close your eyes if it feels comfortable (less distraction)
  • Focus your attention on your tummy, feeling it rise or expand gently as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out.
  • Concentrate on your breathing, ‘being with’ each breath count 1 when you breathe in, and 2 when you breathe out – up to 10 then start again. If you forget, go back to Breathe in for 1 and out for two keep these going for 3 minutes.

Every time you notice your mind has wandered off the breath, then your job is simply to bring your attention gently back to your breathing and the feeling of the breath coming in and out.

Practice – (just like cleaning your teeth it will become habit)

Practice this exercise for 3/5 minutes at a convenient time twice every day, whether you feel like it or not, for one week – and see how it feels to incorporate relaxation practice into your life – Try to do it at the same time each day, so it becomes a habit.

Be aware of how it feels to spend time each day just being with your breath, being ‘in the moment’ without having to do anything

Write down the things that distract you from your breathing practice and share them with someone.you can do this anyway this suits you; book; computer; verbally into your phone;  But, keep a timeline so you can see you progression you will be amazed and your growth.  Many of my tribe keep some sort of journal/diary those that don’t often forget chunks of their journey.

Use the best method of recording for you.

Use the best method of recording for you.

Remember that you won’t get it right all of the time and that’s great as no one is perfect.  With practice you will develop – Olympic Champions had to practice for many years before achieving their medals.

Start slowly and build your foundations

These are my Building Foundations

These are my Building Foundations

With basic mindfulness breathing, you want to try to increase to 5/10 minutes daily, to begin with, this will help you greatly. However if you  undertake all your daily tasks mindfully when you remember you are increasing the mindful habit incredibly.

Mindful breathing is the key to emotional well-being and helps reduce stress and other ailments. Remember you are looking to achieve a state of relaxed body and alert mind.

Keep checking breathing   – In through nose out through mouth; what happens to your diaphragm?  Remember to look at your posture and check out where tension is, breathe into it and release.

Although this exercise may sound very simple, it’s not.  To begin with, it requires time and commitment. Peeps often want to learn to meditate straight away without learning the basic building blocks.  THERE IS NO QUICK FIX – yes I was shouting at you!

As a result of practice, step by step the breath builds into great habits.  You become Mindfulness and Mindfulness is You….its Yin & Yang – complete balance.

     Life/Work Balance

Life/Work Balance

Further Top tips from students:

  • “It is very useful to make notes on your progress, a journal/diary maybe.” “Preparation is KEY.”
  • “Any breathing technique is useful ….I love them all. I use belly breathing throughout the day. I also find flexing my hands or feet on the in breath and relaxing them on the out breath is a good way of clearing the mind in order to get back to sleep. (J.E. 2016)
  • “Breathing and counting, you can’t panic about work and count” (V.W. 2016)

Until next time, happy breathing.

 

Diva x

Tickling Spiders – You have Love in the Home

Tickling Spiders means you have the love!

What on earth goes on during the summer in the UK?  I get up in the morning and take a leisurely stroll from the bedroom to the kitchen. Then I find my body and face get caught up in fines strands of spider gunk.

Where and why do they want to live in my house?  And do you know that they come back visiting every year!  Not only are there thin long spindly ones, but there are also the big black hairy butch ones that run at 100 miles an hour across carpets.  Mind you in my house I tend to only see the thin, spindly kind on a daily basis.

Showing the LOVE!

Showing the LOVE! Tickle me please.

I have a family that lives in my bathroom; they take off each time I turn the shower on, and a bunch that I am sure who have invited their extended family to live in dark corners of my kitchen. When the light from the sun is at a particular angle, I can see I have got quite a few old cobwebs dangling around the lampshades, so I know they get out to party at night.

My daughter-in-law (known as the DIL and I am the MIL (Mother-in-Law yes, I know it sounds like a duo who would sing at Eurovision!!) tells me that I am not alone.  Well, that’s silly because I knew that; Mulder & Scully told me many years ago we were not alone!

We are not alone!!!

We are not alone!!! Did they Tickle aliens?

I loved the X-Files, it plays to that universe in my mind and always transports me to other realms – digression alert!

But it would transpire that DIL has such creatures in her house too.  Maybe they are taking over the world?  Are they in your home too?

Now, would that be such a bad thing I ask myself?  Living under a regime of giant spiders could be better and could be far more exciting than the heads of governments we have at present.  Oh, I digress again.

Gadgets & Nozzles

I have this gadget which is pink and guarantees to remove all dust and cobwebs leaving the house sparkling. But stop! There is an old saying that ‘if there are cobwebs in the house then there is love’, does that mean if I have lots of cobwebs I have lots of love?

Or, are they just spider webs that get covered in household dust and the spider scuttles off to make another? I like to think it’s about the LOVE! But DIL she really goes for it as she does not entertain spiders in her house. She tells me the best way to clean cobwebs & Spiders without getting too close is to use the extension nozzle of your vacuum suck them up, then empty straight away.

Sweep Away (looks a bit phallic!!)

My gadget – Sweep Away (looks a bit phallic!!) Its a Tickle Stick

But do I want my home to light up like Blackpool Illuminations all bright and beautiful?  (for those of you who don’t know of Blackpool )

Wow, these look like Pants...a bit of a theme going on methinks

Wow, these look like Pants…a bit of a theme going on methinks

No, I don’t think so, I love my home as it is a bit of a mix of recycled objects; paintings; a few crystals. There are bundles of throws and shawls; books galore; a red carpet and a sofa which wraps around peeps so they feel they are in the arms of a protector.

In fact, my sofa is one of the many reason people come to visit me. They sit on it first then the legs come up as they slide down the full length and place their head on a cushion.  Some pull a throw over them others just close their eyes.

The Energy is LOVE!

The Energy is LOVE!

Me, I just get on with what I am doing. When they wake they often look embarrassed and say “have I been asleep?” “how long for?” One aspect they all mention is the energy in the room; I put that down to my spiders LOVE – (oh, and a bit of me too)

Sleep time does vary from person to person depending on their needs to drift into the quiet space where they feel safe. My no. 1 son has 15 minutes before going back to work on the days he visits; “no longer or I won’t sleep tonight” he says.  As if, I think he can sleep on a washing line.

Students can spend an hour; others 2 hours….it is what is right for them.  What space do you have in your home that you/others can ‘wrap up and just BE?’

Diva digression – main topic – it always gets away from me.

Oops, we have got away from spiders again. Were you aware that typical house spiders live about two years, they continue to reproduce throughout that time, so that’s a lot of spiders lurking in your crevices. Want to know more?

So what do I want to do about them? I gave this a bit of thought and realised spiders scoff many household pests that transmit a disease to humans –mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and cockroaches. You will always have spiders living in your house, but rarely will you see them except for autumn and winter when they want a warm.

You will always have spiders living in your house, but rarely will you see them except for autumn and winter when they want a warm place to rest in during the cold months.

Long Live Spiders

Live and let live I say along with all the Buddhists.  When I see one (a spider) I will remember the word LOVE and just give them a little tickle with whatever is to hand so they will scuttle back into their crevice; as for the fine trails of gunk across the room each day if that’s all I have to worry about then the Universe is really looking after me.

Until tomorrow……

Diva x

The Rise of the CLUTTER…..

The rise of the Clutter….it’s a bit like a scene from an old horror movie…you can see it as it silently moves into your head, your handbag; manbag; bedroom; car; kitchen; bathroom; and many other places that need filling with unnecessary paraphernalia.  It involves; husbands; partners; friends; children; family; It has a stealth that knows no bounds, it gets everywhere and guess what? YOU collude with it….you give it POWER, you say yes! Come into my life….I want you, I need you, and you forget how to say NO! Sad eh?

Who has had a go at de-cluttering?  You know I have,  some may remember the 26 cardigans earlier in the year, and I am still eBay-ing the handbags….well I had to share this as I was de-cluttering my fridge this week and yes there were unidentified objects in the bottom of the veg drawer….but it got me thinking…what goes next?  Then the way my brain works; great this can be a blog as part of the 30-day challenge YAY!

Cardigan clutter they grew into great piles

They grew into great piles

So, what can all this clutter do to you on a Physical/Emotional/Mental/ Spiritual/Social level? It ZAPS YOUR ENERGY!

Energy Zapping

We all know from all that evidence Einstein gave us, and now the mass of quantum physics/mechanics around that energy is within us and outside of us affecting our everyday lives. It permeates every nook and cranny including the mind and the brain.

Yes, it creeps over you and quietly slurps away at your energy? It may sound a bit off the wall…..yes your ‘STUFF’ your ‘CLUTTER’.

Did you know, your clutter/mind/brain holds onto energy and not always yours, but others energy you bring back to your home on your clothes & shoes from work/shopping/friends/all outside activities/pavements it ‘sticks’ everywhere (that’s another Blog.)

 

Energy Sticks Everywhere bringing clutter

Energy Sticks Everywhere bringing clutter

For years I have cleared clutter only for it to reappear within weeks; it replicates itself magically – do you find yourself in a similar situation?

So, where are we going with this then? During the few months, two friends led me to consider new methods of reducing the mass of unnecessary untidiness/disorder in my home.  Firstly there was an article sent by a friend (read) 

Then for my Birthday another friend bought me the book: ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo……it was a Eureka moment one category at a time! It does have its merits and focuses you on being mindful.

This made sense to me; (yes you have to plough through a bit of her backstory, but it’s worth it) and she shows you the formula for reducing the chaos in your home and therefore the ENERGY will change it’s a Win-Win.

Is there a Formula?

Never one to follow exactly what a formula is I set about doing it my way, and it’s beginning to work. I made a list of what I was going to reduce; Scarves; Cardigans; Coats; Jumpers; Bags/Handbags; Jewellery (broken down into item groups e.g. rings/bangles/watches etc.); Gloves; Crystals; CD’s; DVD’s; Books; Knick-knacks; Kitchenalia. My suggestion is to mix and match formulas and find your way.

“And what will you do with all you discard then Diva?” I hear you ask that’s easy: Charity; E-Bay; Local buying & selling pages; offering to others (not guilt tripping them into taking stuff!) and possibly the Tip.

So I commenced with scarves…..I started with 47 got rid of the dross and was down to 26 unique little numbers

Scarves were the hardest clutter to cull

Scarves were the hardest to cull

You have to remember you need to listen to the inner you, does the article give you a warm all over glow, a tingle, does it spark passion/joy?  Hold it and listen…..if no spark let it go. So I held each scarf with love and attention; eventually, I had 10 I was keeping – and a day later I had 6 and I believed that number is enough for anyone.  I had a place they will live, I won’t be adding to them. I was strong.  However, I have succumbed and gone out and bought more scarves…. I just love scarves!  Can’t help it 5 more in 6 weeks….

After the last successful clear-out [NOT!] came a further dumping. Handbags who says a girl can’t have too many handbags…well this Diva can I’ve kept 3 of the 17, gifted one and now 13 are going to eBay or charity, and they are selling.

Of all shapes and sizes

Of all shapes and sizes

I will admit by making space where the bags lived has created an energy change and it was unbelievable the bits I found in them; money, lost pens, mints, moths, cuddly toy, and washing machine. Just checking you are still reading and not skimming!

So I moved onto 26 cardigans they are now culled and down to just 7; 5 gifted on and the rest to charity…..one large box of Kitchenalia has gone to charity along with 30 CD’s donated to no. 1 son……so the energy and space are growing…..

I am proud that I only have one double wardrobe for my clothes/bags/shoes.  Several of my friends have not just multiple wardrobes but whole rooms dedicated to the fashion they love even though they can’t get into most of the said clothing. Imagine that, flipping heck I would ditch the stuff and rent the rooms out.

It won’t happen overnight – take it easy

Clearing physical clutter will take a bit of time; there are no quick fixes to years of buying, receiving, hoarding.  It also brings with it emotional baggage that you have to address.  I mean I still have all No 1 sons’ baby teeth what’s that about? I even added my wisdom tooth that fell out a few weeks ago to  them.…do I hear an ‘ah! A mummy moment?’

One by-product I can confirm is that once you have the physical clutter under control the Emotional/Mental begin to behave, and you can move on to them.

Therefore maybe an audit is due of what clutter you need to release; the habits you need to ditch. What will you release first?

Let me know if you follow this route and how it works out for you.

Until next time

Diva