Saturday 25th March 2017

Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

After living a life with many distractions, busy-ness to the max and more, I have found the quiet times in retirement are quite a challenge. Why? Because there are more stretches of time and space in which to think.

For me, it’s interesting to notice how I continue to strive and how I continue to want others to see me doing well in my quest for greater equanimity in my life overall and better management of my IBS.

Who is out of this real or imagined group who support me? Often it’s me.

I remain steadfast in my older, learned early, self-critical views and I am S L O W L Y learning to remember my self-compassion when I am not doing so well. It is not every day because I am making progress!

I am pleased to note, that when I started a Self-Compassion Course on-line with Kristen Neff and Brene Brown my overall score was: 1.93 and when I completed the course it was: 3.11

“Average overall self-compassion scores tend to be around 3.0 on the 1-5 scale, so you can interpret your overall score accordingly. As a rough guide, a score of 1-2.5 for your overall self-compassion score indicates you are low in self-compassion, 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high.”

So, what I take from that ‘score’ is I am improving in my self-compassion and I am remembering to speak more kindly to myself in difficult circumstances.

My Week 12 Intention.

This week I am going to practise self-compassion more. In fact, I will even make it something I do throughout the day in the smallest way. It might be a ‘go me’ under my breath or a literal ‘pat of kindness’ on my arm when I need soothing.

If you want to take the self-compassion Test, it is here: It is free and I find the work of Kristen Neff and fellow researchers fascinating. Self-esteem it is not!

I wish you well if you decide to take the test. It is very insightful.

Denyse.

UPDATE: I have chosen to reduce my blogging output as of this week so as to be more mindful of my self-care and self-kindness. I am not making any further intentions at this point. My life has been on a learning curve as part of ageing and transition to living with both a chronic condition (IBS and its accompanying limitations)  and the stress which is part of my inner being. I am wanting to feel less inward pressure on myself and needing to care for myself more. Blogging has been a part of my life for more than 6 years and will continue to be but I am blogging now for when and if I choose to. I know that regular  readers will completely understand my new(er) direction as of today! Thank you!

A reminder is in this image: 

 

Joining with Leanne and her lovely team for the  Lovin Linky on Thursdays here.

 

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Week 11 Intention. Recognise ‘It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Week 11 Intention. Recognise It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Every time I turn around to look for an answer to what life is dishing up to me now I see that it’s up to me how I address it and how I react/respond.

Until recently I thought that meant “ME” alone. However, with good advice and a cooler head helping me, I realise it means that I can see and seek how to act and solve issues for with tools at my disposal.

These might be professionals. taking my own advice and getting outside, reading an article, doing an on-line course and the like.

I just need to remember to find them and ask for the help from others where it’s useful.

But what I know is that it is all within me.

The poem from Mary Oliver captures the essence of what it is for me. Thanks for my husband (my wonderful confidante, friend and life guide) for this.

Last week, and continuing on, the Gratitude Journal app is having entries almost daily. That’s a win!

My Week 11 Intention.

To recognise that all I need is in me. I need to take into account the ‘in-built guide of my mind’ and the tools I have external to me that can also help me as need be.

I wish you a wonderful week ahead too. It will likely have bumps and scrapes but will have YOU to guide you too.

Denyse.

 

Linking here with Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life. Hello everyone!

 

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Week 10 Intention: Gratitude. 2017.36.

Week 10 Intention: Gratitude. 2017.36.

I’ve blogged before about writing in my gratitude journal on a  regular basis. Then, as if by ‘magic’ the habit gets waylaid. I know that when I made entries in it I could focus on the big and small things that I am grateful for.

I have an app and it gives me a reminder. I am back! It’s a paid app called Gratitude Journal – The Life-changing App. I like it because I can add photos as well as text. There are many others out there too

However, I also practise gratitude more these days without always recording it.

Gratitude has taken some criticism of late in some circles, as does the notion of whether meditation helps us if we cannot shut out our thoughts – by the way, you can’t and that’s OK too!…So I go along with what works for ME!

Here’s some information gleaned about gratitude from a great website worth subscribing to..it’s free. Source:

The Greater Good. 

Physical
• Stronger immune systems

• Less bothered by aches and pains

• Lower blood pressure

• Exercise more and take better care of their health

• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological

• Higher levels of positive emotions

• More alert, alive, and awake

• More joy and pleasure

• More optimism and happiness

Social

• More helpful, generous, and compassionate

• More forgiving

• More outgoing

• Feel less lonely and isolated.

The social benefits are especially significant here because, after all, gratitude is a social emotion. I see it as a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.

Indeed, this cuts to very heart of my definition of gratitude, which has two components. First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good thing in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Thank you to my lovely commenters relating to my ‘go gently’ intention. It “was” a tough week (I am getting somewhat familiar with those!) but I did treat myself more gently and now am ready to accept that some weeks/months/years ARE indeed tough as that is LIFE.

My Week 10 Intention.

To practise gratitude each day, and continue onwards after this week, by noting what I am grateful for and by recording a summary each evening in the journal.

What do you do to practise gratitude?

Denyse.

Joining the lovely Leanne’s linky called Lovin’ Life on Thursdays.

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My Week 9 Intention. Go Gently. 2017.32.

My Week 9 Intention. Go Gently. 2017.32.

almost decided not to post an intention this week.

Why?

It’s been a hard week on me, emotionally and physically.

The physical part relates to a bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome which went for longer than before – over 5 days.

The emotional part is how the above affects me ON top of the other life challenges I am facing.

So, with the advice of my health professionals and those who love me, I have come here to make an intention because the blogging needs to continue if it is to tell a story of my life in words.

Last week’s Perspective intention was noted from time to time and helped me somewhat. As always, I am human and a work-in-progress.

More stressors have become made known to me in recent days and I would not be honest if I did not say they are hitting me hard.

So, I am going gently. In taking care of myself and being a friend to myself. I have downloaded some excellent hypnotherapy audios from Audible and they are helping me along with meditation and being outside.

My week 9 intention is to go gently. To take time to recover and rest. To use  self-talk that is kind and non-critical affect.

 

How do you manage your well-being in a crisis?

Denyse.

Joining Leanne’s Lovin Life linky here on Thursdays.

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My Week 8 Intention. Perspective. 2017.28.

My Week 8 Intention. Perspective. 2017.28.

I’ve mostly been a details person..small picture…even though I can imagine a big picture I need to know details and more.

Now, as I have found in life, THIS is not always possible.

Who knew?

Ok, we all know but sometimes it is hard to let go of welded on beliefs of shoulds and musts.

Here’s where perspective will be more to the front than behind as I work (and play) with my intention for this week.

I want to continue to work with details because I find that comforting and helpful but I also want to keep in mind the bigger picture too.

From this:

 

To this:

My Week 8  intention is to broaden my view, keep matters in perspective and look at the whole picture wherever possible.

Update: last week’s intention of taking a break worked for me in some respects although learner-me who wants to ‘get better’ from her IBS and anxiety continues to seek new information and practise meditation and more. It was good to give myself permission to ‘take a break’ and the supportive comments from many helped!

What’s your intention this week?

Are you a big picture or details person?

Denyse.

Linking here with Sue from Sizzling at 60.

On Thursdays I link here with Leanne for Lovin Life.

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My Week 7 Intention. Take a Break. 2017.24.

My Week 7 Intention. Take a Break. 2017.24.

I have had a bit of a  rough week because I am trying too hard.

Yes, this is something that I do not realise until it’s almost too late.

It’s been a rough week on the health front with a nasty IBS flare. I can never really explain the why of IBS for me but I do get upset when the what of IBS impacts my life. The episodes meant I could not travel even to a needed appointment. It gets me down.

As a result of that, I try to fix things. I try too hard because that is who I am and I need to slow myself down and be more gentle and kindly towards myself.

I do not ’cause’ the IBS but I still have to live with its consequences and its effects on my confidence and demeanour.

I can add the HEATWAVE has affected me too as I dread the onset of extreme weather and as a worrier I think ‘what would we do if the power went off?’

So, I am giving myself a week off…from learning to manage my health symptoms and effects to….taking a more relaxed approach to life in retirement as it is for me!

My Intention for Week 7 is to give myself a break and take one! To do less learning and stop trying hard. To enjoy more moments that are about becoming absorbed in something creative or just being.

The way the past week was did not help my Week 6 intention of react less and respond more because my inner tension levels were higher. So, that’s OK too. I know what I need to do…and that is LESS..this week coming up!

How are you going?

Do you sometime try too hard and not realise until later?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

UPDATED as of Thursday 16 February. Since publishing this on Sunday some things have changed for the better…I have been listening to an amazing program about ‘helping your nervous illness’ (as she named anxiety back in the 1960s) by Dr Claire Weekes. I cannot explain without a whole blog post but I can tell you her messages are exactly what I needed to hear and understand. 

 

Joining Leanne’s lovin life linky here each Thursday. Thanks to her lovely team too I am really enjoying your comments!

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Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

I wonder what you thought when you saw this title?

In fact it IS about meditation and it IS for kids…yes!

From my experience of the past two years, meditation is helpful. I use it for helping me stay in the moment more and for being mindful. I’ve written about it here.

More and more though, it is found that a few minutes of meditation, slowing down to focus on the ‘here and now’ and the breath is an excellent strategy for us all. It is not about clearing the mind nor about going to sleep.

Smiling Mind is an Australian-based company producing apps and meditations on-line. The app is free. I have used this app a few times. I like the Australian accent too. Here’s the link to Smiling Mind to find out more.

What caught my eye recently from the ABC in Australia is this:

Meditations for Back to School.*

There are meditations for kids and teachers. I tried the kid one and that’s why I am sharing it here. I would suggest having a go with your children.

I would also try it with a class if I was still teaching!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TnQWp8VBwqQ/UePpQ7YiMWI/AAAAAAAAArw/StA8xwN1J7A/s1600/meditation+for+children.jpg

 

Here from ABC and Smiling Mind. From their website:

Our vision is to see mindfulness meditation on the Australian National Curriculum by 2020.

This hopeful statement from the Dalai Lama provides food for thought.

*Not a sponsored post..I just like to share what I think is helpful for families and education.

Have you tried meditation?

Do your children meditate?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

 

 

 

 

 

It is I Blog On Tuesday time I. B. O.T! Joining Kylie Purtell and the crew who blog on Tuesdays here.

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My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0b/75/1e/0b751e663829b6a2b95fa9e144b06085.jpg

I have always been a react first…and sometimes (OK, maybe a lot) an over-reactor who almost always regrets her behaviour.

Oh why oh why?

I think I know why…really..it’s about unexpressed words or views and how I need to get in first..maybe it’s about needing to think I have ‘control’ but then again..that’s not an excuse is it? Here’s an interesting take on the two!

credit: http://d3fhkv6xpescls.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/react-vs-respond.jpg

However, I do know that I regret my reactions almost EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I would rather take TIME to consider my response rather than react as I know the other person will feel valued and I will feel satisfied that I have not placed my frustrations or blame on another.

My Intention for Week 6 is to slow down my reaction to any given situation so that I take a breath, have a think of how I will behave, and make a response. I will also forgive myself for forgetting this and get back up and remember again!

Update: Intention Week 5. Listening actively has become an almost -automatic response (see what I did there!) and it really has changed me from within and in my dealings with others. 

So what is your style?

Reactor? Responder? Bit of both?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

Joining Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life Linky here.

P.S. This is from one of my favourite on-line teachers ever…Tara Brach. She has written two books I love and has a regular podcast too. Pop over to tarabrach.com to find out more.

If you have the time…this is awesome! Thanks Tara.

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