Category: Inspiration

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Asterisk Challenge Yourself and Explore Who You Are
13/11/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Creativity / No comments

I have created a new offering and I am super excited about how it is going so far. If you haven’t already heard, The self-reflection challenge is made up of 30 light and encouraging videos. Best of all this challenge is free and self-paced and has no end date! This challenge will be ready whenever you want to catch up on videos, start it all over again or share it with someone.

Each video discusses a different prompt or question that is designed to help you think about:

How you see yourself

What self-care means to you

Self-love and compassion

What really matters to you, dreams goals and other magical stuff!

The challenge covers a wide range of topics to help you reflect in a fun, useful and maybe even a little challenging way.


Self Reflection Challenge

 

Sharing what you are learning from each video is a great way of getting the most out of this challenge. Let others encourage you and also let others know what you think about their comments.

I will be answering each question along with you so you can get to know me a little too. I have to admit that I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway with this challenge but I  believe who we are, deserves to be seen, showed off and celebrated. Our dreams and ideas are important!

 

If you want to explore life coaching, self-care, being who you are unapologetically and self-love then you can sign up for my newsletter to receive updates, inspiration and the occasional freebie!
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Asterisk Why We All Need More Self Indulgence
16/10/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Inspiration / No comments

 

Why We All Need More Self Indulgence

Why We All Need More Self Indulgence

 

Do you indulge yourself? Can you let yourself have what you want without guilt? How easy do you find it to say and do what you really want? I am talking about self Indulgence. According to dictionary.com, the meaning of indulgent is indulging one’s own desires, passions, whims, etc., especially without restraint. 

the concept of indulgence often has a negative connotation. Self-indulgence is often associated with narcism and selfishness and being inconsiderate of others. It is often considered as a negative trait in a person rather than something to be admired. On the other hand, productivity, being organised, getting more done and striving is prized as the sign of a good worthwhile human. Someone with their life together, all organised. We all want to be more

On the other hand, productivity, being organised, getting more done and striving is prized as the sign of a good and valuable person. Someone with their life together, with their ducks in a row.  the idea often leaves us wanting to be more.

It can be so easy to push and tell ourselves that our self-care, desires or passions are not as important as the “serious stuff”. Paying the bills, working, being productive and accomplishing always seem to be valued as great ways to spend time. Proudly announcing that we spent a day wrapped in our duvet just doesn’t scream success in our society.

What I have learned about Self-Denial

I have the potential to be an expert in self-denial but I am working on letting my self-indulgent side out. When I feel pressured or busy, I find myself putting off pleasurable activities till later. I am even aware that it will do me harm in the long run. I hold productivity and achieving so dearly that everything else drops down the priority list. Maybe IIs it cos I like to be the martyr? maybe I am waiting for someone else to jump in take care of me. Do I want to be seen as superhuman? Or is it that I just put things off for later feeling it’s not important. It’s probably a combination of all of these things to varying degrees on different days.

The thing is I am not taking care of myself when I repeatedly put off and deny myself pleasure. When I deny any self-indulgence the first few times nothing really happens. I get on with things and sometimes I feel really good about how much I get done and how productive I feel. The next time I do it I do not even notice it and very soon I start to feel stiff and tired and lose my creativity and inspiration.

If I continue denying myself after this point, what I get is increased feelings of panic and desperation. I begin to feel hard put upon and then soon after I will blow up over things and I am not sure why. I have to force myself to get through my obligations and I just generally feel terrible. At this point, I stop and usually have a meltdown followed by a Netflix binge and a packet of biscuits. Then I let myself do what I need to do.

Self-Denial Diet

This all feels very bingy, it’s like I am on some sort of pleasure diet. You know when you are on some crazy faddy diet that cuts out a whole food group and you feel crappy. Well, I put myself on a pleasure diet I deny all forms of pleasure till I binge and then feel unproductive and guilty. I suspect this to be as unhealthy as its food equivalent. This doesn’t work, just like a diet, denial of any kind doesn’t work. Martha Beck explores this concept of how we can add more joy and practice being more self-indulgent in her book The Joy Diet. It’s really great reading if you want to go a little further than this article.

self indulgence

Being OK with Self-Indulgence

What can be done today, right now as we think about why we deny ourselves pleasure so easily and feel so terrible for it? The thing is that deep down we always know what we really need. We often hide it with layers and layers of social conditioning and expectations. This includes layers of beliefs and expectations that we have taken to our hearts. Ideas about being a woman, an employee, a business owner, friend, daughter, wife and a mother. What a good person does, what the right thing to do is and how we should look while we go about our daily lives. These expectations, ideas and beliefs can add guilt, pressure and stress if they are at total odds with reality.

You are worth more than that. What if we loved ourselves enough to know when to say stop we before we reach meltdown. Imagine if we valued ourselves enough to give ourselves what you need. What if we supported ourselves like we support others?

How do we begin to get more comfortable with self-indulgence?

What is working for me right now is listening to the voice that I have so often neglected. The one that tells me when I am tired and tells me to go for a walk instead of writing one more email. It is saying yes to pleasure, what I really want and give myself a yes day rather than continually telling myself no to what I want.

Even simpler than that is to notice how you really feel. Notice when you are denying yourself, notice when you put things off that you enjoy. Notice when you tell yourself that what you want is not important. When you say you will have fun later, when is that? Do you do it later or just put joy off again? What is your pattern or habit? Keep a note of how often you are denying yourself pleasure. Keep a note of how you feel when you do this and how it feels after. When do you stop, do you ever? Do you want to be able to do this more? Do you ever feel guilty for taking time for yourself or do you enjoy it and treasure it when it finally comes.

Examine it like you would something important, study and note how you feel and treat yourself.

Indulge Yourself and be at Your Best

Taking time out inspires my work. I can write a blog post in half an hour rather than eight when I am replenished, excited and inspired. When I feel good, I can talk with passion and emotion on video. Being at my best means I am a better, more present coach. As a mum, I am a more patient and empathetic. I am a hell of a lot more fun, happier I am a better partner and friend.

 

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Asterisk 5 Lessons In Self Love
02/10/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Inspiration / No comments

 

5 lessons in self love

5 lessons in self love

There was a time in my life when most days would be spent running around, endlessly busy and stressed. I would criticise myself for not being better at what I was doing and give myself a hard time for not being more than I was.

I’d tell myself that I didn’t have the time for things that were enjoyable or relaxing. Even when I did slow down, I would worry about all the tasks I needed to get back to and worry about forgetting tasks from my schedule. Comparing myself with others left me feeling down, I wished to be more focused, more organised and able.

I am glad to say that I eventually found this level of self-torture unbearable. This meant taking on the difficult task of changing the way I treated myself. These days, I am proud to say that there are many days where I show myself kindness, compassion, and love.

For example, as I wrote this article, I paused and made time to listen and really soak up a song I like that was playing on the radio. Doing this without feeling guilty and unproductive has taken some practice. It is little everyday things that make a huge difference.

To be at my best and my happiest, I need to make myself a priority. Loving myself and treating myself with care doesn’t just benefit me. I am sure you can imagine that feeling exhausted and inadequate made me way less enjoyable to be around.

Loving yourself is a skill and that means it takes practice. It is so easy to make excuses for not taking care of ourselves. We live in a society that values productivity, being organised and achieving results. Becoming caught up in our schedules and to do lists isn’t difficult.

To add to the pressure, we push ourselves through with a mean and critical inner monologue. We compare ourselves to others and see everything that we are not rather than everything that we already are.

Self-love has been a journey and it is still one I am trying to figure out. These are some of the lessons I have learned along the way as I work on showing myself some love.

 

Self Love
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash
I Need To Take Care Of Myself

We often tell ourselves that we are too busy for time out, that we don’t have time for the things we enjoy. This is such a draining and depressing way to live. My life is far too precious to avoid fun, laughter, and joy. Taking care of yourself doesn’t need to take a long time, it can be as simple as listening to music or getting outside. Can you imagine how a day filled with lots of little things that make you smile feels?

I Do Not Need To Work Harder Or Faster

There are of course times when I want to strive to get a task completed. There are things that are so important to me that I am prepared to push myself that bit further.

What I have learned is that we always have a choice. We can rush around trying to be superhuman or we can do things to the best of our abilities at a pace that feels good.

Ask yourself, is the rushing and stressing you do every day worth it? For me, it was not worth the effort or the results to go through life focusing on everything that needs to be done. As long as I have a rook over my head, my bills are paid, and my children are loved, everything else can wait a while.

Letting go of that pressure to do and be more has been an act of self-love. I would rather be happy than have an empty to do list. If I am truly honest, the empty to do list just isn’t going to happen. There will always be things that need to be done. It is better to make peace with that than to fight against it. Working harder or faster is an option, and not the only one available to me.

Being Critical Of Myself Does Not Motivate Me

Feedback and critique have an important role in how we learn and develop. The critique that we give ourselves can often be far harsher than those around us. Our inner critic is that little voice that tells you that you need to get it together and be different in some way to how you already are. It tells you that you are lacking and are not capable. This voice is a strongly demotivating force that feeds our fear and undermines our confidence.

Ditching the inner critic sounds simple but it takes awareness and practice. When I tackle a challenge and remind myself that my best is good enough, it makes things easier. It feels much better and I do not need to force myself to keep going. Remembering that what I do is worthwhile whether or not it is perfect takes the tension and fear from my shoulders. It makes a difficult situation that little bit easier.

Creating a kinder inner voice for myself is the smallest yet most transformational act of self-love I can undertake. Being my own cheerleader in life rather than my own torturer helps me be the person I am rather than focusing on all that I think I am not.

Self Love is not Self-Indulgent or Selfish

I used to feel so guilty if I wasn’t doing something that I considered to be serious or worthwhile. Reading a book for pleasure, painting my toenails or simply taking a  moment to do nothing were all things that I felt guilty for doing.

This is a cruel and deprived way to go through life. I do not want to deprive myself of the things that make me happy.  I want to make as much time for joy as possible. Enjoying life and keeping fun as a priority is not self-indulgent.

As a mum too, I find it incredibly easy to put my children before me. My children will always be central in my focus but I don’t want to forget who I am and how I want my own life to play out. By being fulfilled myself, I am a better mum and a happier person. I want my children to see me going out and reaching for happiness and making the most of my life so hopefully, in turn, they will do the same for themselves.

No One Has It All Figured Out

When we do not think very much of ourselves it can be easy to believe that everyone else is doing better at life than we are. Comparing is easy, humans are social creatures. We want to fit in and not risk judgment or shame.

Nobody has a clue what they are doing in this life, we are all just fumbling around trying to make the most of our situation while trying to make it look like we know what we are doing. When I realised that I was no more flawed or different than anyone else it was a massive relief. The pressure that it released allowed me to work on accepting myself for who I am rather than wanting to be more.

We are all amazing, each and every person on our planet. If you are giving yourself a hard time, pushing yourself and criticising your actions then you are even more amazing. I know this because I know that you are getting through life while not showing yourself any love. That is immensely difficult and takes great strength. Can you imagine who you would be if you loved and accepted yourself and took care of yourself? Imagine the potential you would awaken if you loved yourself.

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Asterisk How Much Pressure Do You Put On Yourself?
18/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Coaching / 2 responses

How much pressure do you put on yourself?

how much pressure do you put on yourself?

 

Pressure seems to be a part of modern life. There is the pressure to be successful in our relationships, careers and finances. There is the pressure to do the right thing and act the right way. Let’s not forget the pressure to look great while you are being successful. Much of our pressure comes from the society we live in. We receive messages about what is expected from the media, institutions and those around us but how much pressure do you pile onto yourself every day?

Have you ever noticed you telling yourself what you should and shouldn’t be doing? Maybe you told yourself that you should pull yourself together or shouldn’t let things get to you? These are the types of should or shouldn’t statements add pressure. They are a reflection of a judgement or a value we are placing on something. In my experience, the judgement is a critical one about how I should be more than I am.   Do you feel the pressure like a hard lump in your throat that you struggle to swallow?

I often talk to clients who tell me who they should and shouldn’t be something other than they are. They should be stronger, braver, more grateful and work harder or faster.  They shouldn’t care so much, let things get on top of them, take things to heart, or complain.

pressure of should and shouldn't
Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

It can be pretty gut-wrenching when we first notice the pressure we put on ourselves. Most of us would never ask anyone else to be more than they are and pile on the pressure in the same way. Why do we do it to ourselves?

Should and shouldn’t statements are often based on values and ideals which on its own isn’t a bad thing. What is bad is the judgement that we attached to it. When we judge how we are doing things and use it as a method of self-criticism. We use the words should and shouldn’t to imply that we are not doing something we are supposed to be. It adds a layer of pressure, of guilt and

We add a layer of pressure, of guilt and potentially shame as we internalise these ideas and what it means about us. For example, when I am behind on my writing and I tell myself that I should have written more, I feel guilty and lacking in my work (guilt) I could go even further by telling myself I am a bad writer (shame).

Can you notice the next time you are using should and shouldn’t to criticise yourself?

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?

Should and shouldn’t statements can but are a powerful weapon used by our inner critic can you imagine how life would feel if you could stop craving to be different than you are.  If you could believe that you do not need to be fixed.

You should not be any different to how you are. What you do is enough what you are is always enough.

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Asterisk 7 Tip For Easing Through Uncertainty
11/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Empowerment / No comments

uncertainty

 

easing through uncertainty

There are times when life feels uncertain, when you face challenges and you worry about how the future is going to look. Not knowing that things are going to work out can feel scary and overwhelming. We agonise over making decisions and wish someone would arrive with a crystal ball. We wish to be told that all our pain and worry are pointless because it is all going to be ok. Unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option so how do we help ourselves feel more grounded and secure in the face of uncertainty?

Here are 7 little things that I have found help me when the future looks scary and unknown.

Dream

Imagining how you want things to look once you get to the other side of this challenge can feel really reassuring.  This helps you to focus on the reasons you are doing this horrible scary thing rather than running for the hills. Remembering your goal or solution can also help you keep a little perspective when you are in the trenches. This isn’t permanent, things are going to look brighter!

Take a Step Back

When things get really tough don’t be afraid to back off if you need some space. Forcing yourself to power through and relentlessly look for a solution feels awful and is most likely counterproductive.

You don’t have to continually feel the fear and do it anyway.

Back away, pause and regain your strength and then get back to it. You are allowed to choose the long way round or take a detour. Return to your problem when you feel a little less overwhelmed. Finding your next step can seem easier after you have had the chance to take a breather.

Get Support

Talk to people who understand what you are facing. If you do not know anyone who has been through what you are dealing with then you can always find someone who you know will cheer you through it. We are not alone in our struggles, speaking out can be a great way to remind ourselves of this. Utilise family, friends and/or paid professionals if you need to get advice or to talk through what scares you. Let others support you.

Step Up The Self-Care

Get an early night, eat good food, take breaks, and have a little fun where you can. Being scared and brave both use up a lot of energy so take care of yourself. Even superwoman needs her rest so make sure you do too. Think of the things that make you smile, it doesn’t have to be a spa day or a day in the hairsalon to be self-care!

 

uncertainty
Photo by Frank McKenna via unsplash.com
Be gentle with yourself

Show yourself a little compassion, what you are doing is scary for a reason. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not the right thing to do but when things get scary we catastrophize and worry. Be gentle with yourself. You don’t need to have it all figured out or be perfect you just need to show up and do what you can.

Remember You’re On A Journey

Nothing is permanent, no situation whether it be a bad or good one.  The journey you are on will quite probably take you longer and be more difficult than you imagined. Nevertheless, you will get past this uncertainty It is not a permanent journey either, these feelings will pass. Be prepared to change things up on this journey. Things may not go as expected and that is ok.

Have A Little Self-Belief

Self Belief can be difficult when we are in the midst of something that feels uncertain and scary. Focus on your own abilities and have faith that you are capable to see this through. Doing this makes it a lot harder to focus on the uncertainty. Believe in your determination to see this through. You have undoubtedly overcome obstacles before and you will be able to overcome any current ones too.

We cannot avoid change and challenges but we can look after ourselves as we face them. We can give ourselves the time and space we need to get through uncertainty. Remembering that we are not alone in our situation and that we always have an option about how to proceed can take some of the pressure off around an uncertain future.

 

If you are struggling with uncertainty you can create a Self-care plan for yourself with my free worksheet.

 

getting through uncertainty

Have you heard of The 14-Day Refresh? You can explore ways to support yourself through challenges with my self-paced e-course.

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Asterisk Will You Give Your Self-Care A Refresh?
04/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Coaching / No comments

Self care ecourse

Self care ecourse

What is The 14-Day Refresh?

The 14-Day Refresh is an email Programme that explores what self-care means to you.  This course has been designed so you can make time for yourself in a way that suits you. You cannot be behind or late. There are no deadlines or targets. You set the pace for yourself. This is an opportunity for you to make some time for yourself and feel good about it!

What do you get when you sign up?

You will receive a daily email for 14-days, each one is filled with exercises, inspiration, encouragement and activities designed to help you reconnect with what inspires and replenishes you.  The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.

The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.

This course is yours forever, keep the emails so you can take this course whenever you feel the need to refresh!

make time for self care

Why I Created This Course

I wanted to create something flexible and accessible for everyone, whether you are super busy or on a tight budget. taking care of yourself is important no matter how your life looks right now.

I used to spend so much of my time taking care of everybody else in my life. The thing is that I believed I didn’t have time to look after myself. It seemed like replenishing my energy levels or treating myself to the things I enjoyed was frivolous and a waste of time. Whenever I took time out, I spent so much of that time feeling guilty about not being productive.

Taking my self-care seriously has made a massive difference in my daily life. It changed how I approach that never-ending to do list and how I feel every day. I wanted to create a self-care course so that you can save yourself from all the exhaustion, guilt and pressure and cut straight to having fun and feeling good!

Is this course for you?

The 14-Day refresh is great is you want to:

Relax into self-care

  • Rediscover what lights you up and revives you.
  • Make time for yourself more often.
  • Have a self-care routine that is about more than spa days and shopping.
  • Ditch the guilt and worrying about needing to be “productive”.
  • Have more energy and enthusiasm every day.

 

 

Say Yes To Self-Care

The total investment for the 14- Day refresh is $20. A PayPal invoice will be sent out upon sign up.

The first e-mail will be arriving into inboxes on 15th September 2017. Sign up now and save your space on this great course.

If you have any questions about this course please get in touch or have a look at my FAQ’s

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Asterisk This Is How You Lose Yourself
28/08/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / No comments

How to lose yourself

This is how you lose yourself

Do you have fierce dreams or do you remember a time when you did? Have you ever felt limitless, like nothing was going to stand in your way?

I remember feeling this way after I left high school and was at university. My dreams were all about how I was going to change the world. By helping people, by working for charities and getting my PhD. I was going to travel and maybe even start my own charity supporting women affected by gender based violence.

There is no denying that I have been blessed, I have never gone hungry and I have always had a bed to sleep in. I have people who support me and I have love in my life. My bills have always gotten paid (eventually) so my question is that enough to be happy? Is that all we need? Once we have those things should we consider ourselves fulfilled? Because let’s face it, others have it worse don’t they?

Lucky Me

Around 5 years ago I had an amazing house, two wonderful children, I didn’t need to work, we had a nice car and could afford a holiday once a year. we could eat out when we wanted and I could buy things without checking my bank balance first. I ran my own small business and my husband had 6 months of the year at home with us. My life was everything you would call conventional success but the one thing that was missing was that I was miserable

I told myself that I was lucky as there are so many people who were worse off than I was. That I couldn’t have it all and that I should just focus on being grateful rather kicking up a fuss. I got caught up in all the day to day responsibilities of ‘adulting’. It felt like stability and security were the most important things. It was time to ditch the dreams and get realistic about what was important. I didn’t need dreams of travel or having a career I loved because my life was safe. Boring but safe.

Off Track

Have you ever looked at your life and realised you went in a different direction than you intended? It is a perfectly adequate life but it doesn’t really light you up? You are filling your days with the things you are supposed to be doing rather than the things that excite and inspire you.

Did you do what was ‘best’, not what you wanted?
Did you tame yourself in some way?
Maybe you dampen your spirit?
Did you decide it was time to grow up rather than live a wild life?
Were there times when you stay quiet and pretend you didn’t mind?
Did you get stuck on the hamster wheel of getting things done?
This is how to lose yourself.

If you find yourself off track then the way back to what you really want is to remove the layers of obligations, responsibilities and objects, whatever is in the way of your happiness and those fierce dreams. It is adding something that lights you up to your life. Say yes to your wild dreams and no to convention when it isn’t making you happy. Be who you are unapologetically and reach for what excites you.

Do not feel guilty, you are worthy of happiness and the life you dream of. Money and conventional success are great if it excites you. But if it doesn’t leave you inspired and enthusiastic about the future then ditch it. You are not ungrateful for wanting something different to what you have. You cannot make yourself happy in a situation that is not what you truly want.

how to lose yourself
Photo by Jaime Handley on Unsplash
Why Shouldn’t We Aim For An Amazing Life?

Once your basic needs are met you do not lose the right to complain. A comfortable and stable life is not necessarily the ideal life for everyone. You cannot stop yourself from having wild and adventurous dreams because others are not as fortunate as you are. By all means, do your bit as a responsible citizen, help where you can, support others who need it.

Dare To Dream

It is fundamental in my opinion that everyone should have the right to be fed, clothed and sheltered. As is health care and education but here I am heading towards a political discussion that distracts from my point. The right to happiness is also important. The right to have dreams and unconventional desires. Dare to dream of an amazing life whether it be a home by the sea, an endless supply of books, or the opportunity to travel. Don’t let what makes you who you are be sidelined for anything. Our dreams make us unique and they are far too important to be given up on or forgotten.

Would you like to find ways to fit more of what you love into your every day? Download my free day planner and make room for the things that excite and inspire you.

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Asterisk 21 Ways to Practice Self Love
26/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Fun / 2 responses

21 ways to practice self love

21 ways to practice self love21 ways to practice self love

Do you love yourself? Do you love every part of you, both the good and the bad? When you look into the mirror, how do you feel about who you see? Many of us feel an indifference or mild feelings of either like or dislike. Some of us have a hard time finding anything about themselves that they like.

The idea of self-love can feel uncomfortable. For some, the concept of self-love can feel akin to being selfish, conceited or self-absorbed.  The media bombards us with images on how to change or improve who we are and how to hide our flaws. This makes it very difficult to accept or adore what we see in the mirror.

To get a little perspective, think of a person that you love or care deeply for. How do you feel about them? what feelings do you have when you think of this person?  Do you feel the same way towards yourself?

If the answer is no then you could probably benefit from practising a little self-love. Below are some ways to begin exercising that self-love muscle. They allow you to explore how you feel about yourself and the truth that you are enough as you are.

21 Ways to Practice Self-Love

  1. Pause – Allow yourself a few quiet minutes to simply be. You don’t need to do anything or be anywhere. Just sit in the moment and do nothing.
  2. Stop Apologising Unnecessarily – Apologising for everything can become a bit of a bad habit. I am not talking about when you have done something wrong. I am talking about things like apologising for how you feel, saying no or changing your mind. You are allowed to do this!
  3. Give Yourself A Pat On The Back – Recognise your achievements. Encourage yourself when you’re doing something new and scary. Try to create a kind inner voice rather than a critical one.
  4. Look In The Mirror And Tell Yourself “I love you” – I am not going to lie this one felt super cheesy and uncomfortable when I tried it first. I also have to say that with a bit of persistence, it started to make me smile.
  5. List Things That You Like About Yourself – Do you love your curly hair or how you always hold the door open for people? There must be something you like about yourself. If you find this tricky make this a week long task and add to the list as you find more things.
  6. Self-Care – If you have read my blog before then this will not be new or surprising. Making time to do the things that excite and inspire you is as important part of being happy.
  7. Sleep Well – Being tired makes things harder. Give yourself an early night or take a nap when you need to.
  8. Eat Well – This is about looking after your body. I love the occasional binge on ice cream and cookies too but when you feed your body nutritious and nourishing food you feel as well as look good.
  9. Be Honest – The next time you are tempted to pretend everything is fine when it isn’t, say so. You are entitled to feel how you do and to receive support from others when you need it.
  10. Stop People Pleasing – You will never please everyone and trying to is exhausting! Do yourself a favour and focus on pleasing yourself.
  11. Start a Gratitude Journal – When I first heard of this I thought it sounded a bit woo woo but taking the time to think about the positives and what you’re grateful for can be really beneficial. It is a way to focus on what is already good in your life and feeling and thankful for that.
  12. Keep A Note Of Your Success’s – Make a success list and write down all your accomplishments, from managed to resist a second slice of cheesecake to rocking that presentation at work! Look back on your list when you doubt yourself and remember all you have achieved.
  13. Remember The Compliments – What do people compliment you on? If you can’t think of any, start another list of the compliments you get from now on.
  14. ACCEPT  Compliments – When someone compliments you, don’t dismiss it. Accept what you are being told as the truth. You don’t need to be humble or self-deprecating, simply say thank you.
  15. Move Your Body In A Way You Enjoy – Dance, walk, run do yoga, swim or go to the gym. Taking care of your body is a way of showing yourself, love
  16. Give Mindfulness A Try –  Mindfulness is about being fully present in where you are and with what you are doing.  I am really guilty of thinking about my to-do do list while during other things so have been using mindfulness techniques to practise focusing on the here and now. You can learn more about mindfulness here.
  17. Write Yourself A Love Letter or Pep Talk – Write yourself a letter, tell yourself all the things you wish to hear. Be kind and encouraging. Read your letter back whenever you doubt your worth.
  18. Give Up Trying To Be Someone Else – As Oscar Wilde put it, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken
  19. Stop Comparing – Chances are there is someone who wishes they were more like you. “Can you imagine not craving to be different than you are right now?”
  20. Say No When You Need To – You do not have to say yes to everything and everyone. It leaves you empty and exhausted (see people pleasing)!
  21. Practice. Think of self-love as a new skill, be prepared to mess up and keep trying. You are worth the effort!

 

 If Self-Love sounds difficult…

If this list feels overwhelming pick the easiest and most achievable one on this list and begin there. There is no rush and you can try as many or as little of these ideas as feels right for you. If you find it hard to even like yourself then take it slowly. Think of self-love and acceptance as training for a marathon rather than a sprint. Practice going a little further each time rather than sprinting to the finish straight away.

We are all worthy of love, every single one of us. You are not broken or inadequate. You are perfect just as you are. Think of how you feel about that person you love once more. Can you imagine how you would treat yourself and what you could achieve if you felt that level of love for yourself?

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Asterisk Learn to love Yourself
19/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / 2 responses

love yourself

Love yourselfI talk about and promote self-care in my work because it was one of the first methods I used to recover from a very dark period. A time when I was depressed, anxious and had totally lost touch with any sense fun and freedom. I was so out of practice with showing myself love or kindness.

It was this experience that inspires my coaching business and writing today. I continue learning about myself and what works for me, I then share with you.

Every day, I learn a little more. There are parts of who I am that I love but I want more than that. True self-love is a process of learning to accept every inch of who you are. This means every lump and bump, every kind bone our bodies as well as every petty and needy bit too.

The journey towards self-love

I have learned that self-care is an important part of the journey but it is not the only thing needed to feel happy relaxed and free.  You have got to give yourself love and acceptance.

As the kid who was told she was nobody, on most of her schooling it has been difficult to let go of the idea that the people who bullied me were right. I hid away because ultimately, I felt flawed.

I hid away both the positive and negative parts to keep myself safe. This was very effective in such a traumatic situation. Like a hedgehog, I rolled up into a ball and kept my warm and soft centre tightly under wraps.

I used self-care as a first step to loosening up and to learn to let myself be valid and visible. As someone with needs worth considering. This involved making myself a priority without feeling guilty or bad. That was not easy, I can tell you!

The next step

In coach training, I was encouraged to focus on the gifts and skills that are uniquely mine. What have I to offer the world? This is an incredibly difficult thing to comprehend when you are used to hiding away. When you are so fearful of your brokenness being exposed to the world. I wanted so badly to not be ruined by my experiences as that bullied kid. I wanted it to mean something.

love your sparkle
Credit: unsplash.com

This is one of the main reasons that I became a coach and writer. I want to make every lesson learned and every ounce of pain worthwhile. It is important to me to create something that can give comfort and strength. I want to help people move past what is holding them back. No one is deeply flawed even if they believe it to be true. We are all enough and amazing just as we are.

Now that I am on the journey to explore those parts I have kept so hidden. I am finding there isn’t so much scary broken stuff as I thought. My broken bits are also just like everyone else’s. I’m not so unique in the bits I try to hide. It is a terrifying thing to put myself out there and risk judgement but wow how the payback is worth it! I’m paid in confidence and freedom, lessons and experiences. I am paid with a full life.

A new approach

I am adding an additional focus to my business. I am not only going to tell you to look after yourself. Accepting and loving yourself is just as important. That when you are tired and overwhelmed and feel like life is just neverendingly difficult. Being able to love yourself, accept yourself as you are and show yourself kindness is just as important as taking care of yourself.

All that love you pour out to your friends, your family, partner and children. Can you imagine if you showed yourself the same love? It’s difficult, to begin with. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world at first. You’d rather pull your teeth out with pliers. If you can gently but persistently learn to like something about yourself and nurture it and care for it. one day you may like it and then maybe even come to love it.

Loving yourself is a gift

To love yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to those around you. I started trying to love myself for my kid’s sake. I wanted them to love themselves and be lead by my example. Furthermore, it was really important to me to heal over my childhood. I also wanted to be more open and honest with those I care about. I don’t want to hide bits of myself away. It is important that I  am fully present rather than focusing on hiding and keeping myself safe. I want more.

I want more. Taking care of myself wasn’t all that I needed to do. My next step has been towards learning to love myself. I deserve a full life not limited by the worry that I am not enough. I am good enough as I am, so are you.

You are awesome

Why are we as women not relaxed? Why are we always worrying what everyone else thinks and wants? Wouldn’t it be great if we could we focus comfortably on ourselves?

I want to love me and I want to see my daughter grow up as a woman who loves herself. I want her to learn that putting herself first isn’t selfish or narcissistic. Self-love is important because she is important. I don’t want her to be limited by fear of her flaws and fear of judgement. I want her to love every inch of herself even the imperfections. My hope is that she will love herself as I love her. We should love ourselves as much as those around us do.

A Message

If you do not love yourself of even like yourself right now this doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of love. You are capable of anything. You are loved and valued and enough and important. Even your anxiety, even your shyness. every fear you have is worthy of your love.

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Asterisk What to Remember When Life Feels Hard
12/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Inspiration / No comments

when life feels hard

When life feels hard

There are times when it feels like you are hiking up an escalator that is moving downwards. I am sure you know the feeling. When no matter how hard you try, you still feel swamped and overwhelmed. Progress seems impossible. It is so easy to lose sight of ourselves and what is true and important at times like this. We get caught up in trying to move forwards and how difficult it all feels and we begin to doubt ourselves.

You are doing the best you can…and that is enough

When life feels hard it can be easy to think that we are not doing enough, that we are not making things happen. We often feel like we need to keep pushing and finding ways to solve our all our problems immediately. I have had many clients tell me that they need to find a solution to their problems yesterday! That is a lot of pressure!

Remember you are only human and you are doing all you can every day. It is always enough. You do not have to have everything fixed all at once. You are doing the best you can with what you have at this moment.

It’s ok to admit things suck right now

Personally, I am guilty of minimising the hard stuff. I’ll tell people “it is fine” when I really I feel like it is anything but fine. I am pretty sure I am not fooling anyone either. There is no doubt that you will get through whatever you are facing but that doesn’t mean you are not entitled to feel bad about your situation now. When things are hard, it doesn’t help to ignore how you feel. Be honest with yourself. It is much easier to support yourself when you are honest about how you are really feeling.

There is no doubt that you will get through whatever you are facing but that doesn’t mean you are not entitled to feel bad about your situation now. When things are hard, it doesn’t help to ignore how you feel. Be honest with yourself. It is much easier to support yourself when you are honest about how you are really feeling.

You are stronger than you realise

Think back on every challenge you have faced before. I am guessing a lot of them felt pretty impossible to deal with. You are stronger and more capable than you realise. You have come through challenges before and will overcome more obstacles in the future. Have faith in your abilities. One day you will look back on this time as something challenging that you overcame.

Things won’t always feel this hard

No matter how permanent or difficult the situation, things change and you change. You grow and adapt just as the world around you does.

To give you an example, my son was a really colicky baby. He would cry and cry for hours every evening no matter what we tried to find something to soothe him.  When I say we tried every trick in the book, I mean every single one!

During that period his Dad and I couldn’t imagine a future where our darling boy didn’t cry and howl every evening. It felt like he was going to be colicky forever! It seemed so difficult to see beyond our frustration and worry, no matter how often we were told it was a stage that would pass with time.

When things are hard it can be easy to forget that our situation and feelings are not permanent. Everything changes, neither the good nor the bad times last forever. One day the difficult times you are facing will be something you look back on from the other side.

You are not alone

It is so easy to feel like we are the only one in the world having a hard time. It can appear like everyone else is managing perfectly while we desperately try to make it look to the outside world that we are coping.

Reach out and tell someone that life is kicking your ass right now. Chances are that the person you talk to has been where you are. Who knows, they may even reply with “me too!”

Each of us has our own unique challenges but no one is exempt from obstacles and difficulty. There are all moments when we want to jump ship. Talking about it with someone can remind you that you are not alone and that you will get through this.

If you are struggling at the moment, this is my gentle reminder. Life will get easier again, you do not have to be a superhero!

when life feels hard

You can download my free notes to yourself as a reminder of your awesomeness when life is hard. You can cut them out, put in your planner or use them as bookmarks or simply download it to your phone so you have a little encouragement when you forget to give it to yourself.

Have you heard of my latest e-course? The 14 Day Refresh is really great for helping you to explore how you can take better care of yourself every day whether life is hard or not.

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