Category: Inspiration

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Asterisk How Much Pressure Do You Put On Yourself?
18/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Coaching / No comments

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

Sign up

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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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Asterisk Free yourself from Self-Judgement
31/05/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Empowerment / No comments

free yourself from self-j

self judgement

Have you ever noticed yourself focusing on what you think you should and shouldn’t be doing? The sort of thoughts that add pressure to a situation, for example, “you should just get on with things”, “you shouldn’t let it bother you”. These types of thoughts can often be a means of self-judgement.

They are a reflection of a value we are placing on ourselves or our situation. Most often the judgment isn’t a nice one. It feels hard and restricting like a hard lump in your throat that you have to force down.

I should be doing more

Recently, I found myself skipping exercise in favour of getting work done. I felt like I was behind on my blog and my first e-course launch was imminent. It felt like there just wasn’t enough time.

Pushing through my work and putting off breaks seemed like the solution. I started eating lunch at my desk (which is a pet hate of mine) to get more done. I kept telling myself that my work should be my main focus and that I shouldn’t be taking time off when I was behind. It all sounds very hard and restrictive, doesn’t it? I can tell you that it felt that way too.

Giving into I want

When I gave into taking a walk in the sunshine, I felt better (no surprise there). I even came up with the idea for this article during my walk. Ironically, I made more progress with my work while taking a break than the previous hour where I had sat at the computer willing inspiration to come and then distracting myself on Facebook.

Consciously I know that exercising and getting outside are both good habits. I know that they make me feel good and keep me well. There is, however, another part of me that fights this. The one that tells me I should sit at my desk until I have created a reasonable amount of output. The part that criticises and makes the judgments and generally tells me I am not enough as I am.

I’m like Pinocchio when he meets honest John and Gideon the cat and decides to join Stromboli’s puppet show instead of going to school. I start off down a road where I believe that I need to work harder and change what I am doing. There is the thought that I am not a good enough writer. I fall into the trap of listening to these judgements and believing them. In these moments it is hard to remember the truth.

Freedom from self-judgement
photo credit: unsplash.com
Enough as you are

Can you believe you are enough as you are? You do not need to be perfect ever. Please do not aim for a prettier, smarter, more organised, or more capable version of yourself.

You do not need to deny yourself the things you need. How you show up in the world every day is just how you should be. You are important and valuable. You are doing your best and that is all that is ever required.

Should and shouldn’t statements can be a powerful weapon used by our inner critic. Imagine how your life would look if you could stop wanting to be different than you are?

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Asterisk Am I Doing The Right Thing?
22/05/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Facing Challenges / No comments

the right thing

Am I doing the right thing?Change is scary and overwhelming. I think most of us would agree on that. Feeling fear is natural emotion. It is nature’s way of stopping the humans from getting eaten by bears in big dark caves. Fear has the function of helping us question things and weigh up risks. Fear also paralyses us. It stops us from making progress like a deer caught in headlights.

Fear feels vile, that tight, restricting, cold disabling feeling in the pit of your stomach. You ask yourself is everything going to be ok? Will everything work out?  You feel like you need some proof, some evidence that what you are going through is going to reap rewards. You wish there was someone with a crystal ball who could come and tell you that you are not making a mistake. How do we navigate fear? How do we know when to leap into the dark cave or run for the hills?

Personally, I am on the verge of something big within my business and I am terrified. My terror is based around the idea that this big business opportunity may actually succeed. What if I can’t handle it? Am I ready? What if I screw it up?

So, I have taken to give myself pep talks. I remind myself of how much I want this and how it doesn’t need to be perfect. What I have to offer is enough. I have something amazing to share and that can only be a positive thing for those who are looking for it.

There have been tougher challenges than this one and there will no doubt be tougher ones in the future. I will conquer this one challenge. Whether this latest opportunity works out or not. I am still me. I will still be of value and have something positive to offer the world around me. This one event is not the making and breaking of me or my business. It is only a part of the story, a part of my journey, its success is not a measuring stick for my own worth. I take a deep breath, I shake off the fear for a little while and I proceed.

Will it be worth it?

When we are facing a big challenge or change we ask ourselves if it will be worth all the blood sweat and tears? Will the reward be worth the hard work? Are we doing the right thing or will we come to regret our choice?

 Ultimately we can never know what the future holds but we can ask ourselves, “what is it worth?”  Are your dreams worth the risk? How will you feel when you achieve this goal? what is the feeling you are hoping to capture? Freedom, success, joy, pride? Find the feeling behind the change you want to make. If what you are striving for is going to give you that feeling then keep going. Your dreams are worth the risk of disappointment. What you want from life is worth the gamble.

For example, If the goal you are striving for is to feel healthy and good in your body. Is this feeling worth the daunting task of showing up as the new girl at that exercise class?

Think about how your goal will make you feel and how badly do you want to feel that way. Is it worth what you are going through now? Are you willing to take a leap to escape what isn’t working, to risk the change you want so badly? Does safe and unsatisfying feel worse or better than taking the risk?

make a change take a risk
credit:unsplash.com
Kill your fear, not your aspirations

You can deal with the fear, you can big yourself up and remind yourself of your awesomeness. You can learn self-belief and confidence. We can practice taking risks. We can deal with our fear because after all, it’s only an emotion (admittedly a potentially powerful one).

Your dreams and goals however are, the things you care about.  The dreams we have for ourselves cannot be successfully forgotten and ignored forever. what we really want from life is anchored in who we are even if we aren’t aware of it. If we can shift the fear out of the way or push through its jungle then maybe we can get to the things what we want in life

How do I know it’s not a knee-jerk reaction that I’ll regret?

Can you trust your intuition? Deep down we always know the right way ahead for ourselves. Being able to trust our own intuition is the best guide for knowing if we are doing the right thing. It can be hard to admit it or access that quiet but steady inner voice but it is there.

The choice is yours. It is never too late, you can choose and re-choose. You can change your mind, we all have the freedom to decide to be brave. You have it within you to know and achieve what you really want, whether that’s a life in the country, running your own business or travelling the world. It’s within you like a nagging desire that won’t be silenced so don’t try. Go with it, take a risk!

You have it within you to know and achieve what you really want, whether that’s a life in the country, running your own business or travelling the world. It is within you, that nagging desire that won’t be silenced, so don’t try.

Go with it, take a risk!

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Asterisk How To Create A Daily Self-Care Ritual
15/05/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Creativity / No comments

create a self-care ritual

Create a self-care ritual

 

During a recent session, one of my clients described a morning ritual she has created as part of her self-care routine. This lovely lady pauses in her bed every morning and allows herself to wake slowly. She sits with her thoughts and lights candles. This time gives her the opportunity to feel calm and grounded before getting up. She likes to enjoy a few moments of peace before dealing with the day.  This is her time, purely for herself and it sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Count me in!

I love this idea and have been totally inspired to create a morning ritual for myself.  I want to have a few minutes each day encourage a calm and grounded feeling before I rock up online to share my coaching magic.

The thing is my mornings after I immediately wake up are busy, so an early morning ritual isn’t going to work for me.  If you are thinking about creating a daily ritual don’t be tempted to carbon copy others. What works for them will not necessarily work for you.  The time of day or the activity can vary, what is important is finding something you can easily replicate every day.

Finding a time that is consistently suitable can be tricky. In pursuit of my own daily ritual, I tried to think of a time that I have consistently got peace. It is also important to consider when I could benefit from pausing during the day.  My mornings may be busy but once I get everyone off to school and nursery, I usually have a little quiet time as I head into my office to start work.

Create a Ritual
Photo: James Marcom
Creating space

It is important to think about what could serve you when you create a ritual. For me, work usually begins at around 8 am. If I have no appointments scheduled for the morning, I usually start with my emails and any communications via social media. I always take a cup of coffee or tea into my office with me so this is a habit I could build on.

I would like to be able to take a few moments of calm and set an intention for my day. It could also be good to take a few deep breaths and shake off any stress from the busy morning. The house at this point of the day is silent and still. I really want to take the chance to enjoy that rare and unfamiliar sound of my quiet and calm house before I switch on the computer. A few deep breaths and then a pep talk or intention setting for the day also feels good.

Being self-employed is awesome but it can feel like a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times.  I often like to give myself a little pep talk when I am facing fears or worries. It is a way of reminding myself of my awesomeness. The idea of setting a kind intention for myself feels like a great addition to my daily work targets. For example, concentrating on how I want to approach my work and show up at work is beneficial. By imagining how I would like to approach my day, I can hopefully help to cultivate that feeling in reality.

How a ritual can help your self-care

Creating a ritual for yourself is all about taking a few moments to pause and take everything in. Taking this time also allows you to step off the planning and doing treadmill. A ritual creates space in our daily life for free thought and for allowing the mind to wander. By making this activity a routine or ritual we encourage a positive habit for our mental energy and mood every day.

Tips for creating a ritual

  • Create space in your day – Think about when you regularly have quiet time. It doesn’t have to be a large chunk of your day. 3-5 minutes can be enough to carve out a mindful pause for yourself.
  • Location, location, location – where feels calm? for some being around others can feel calming whereas others like the solitude. Is there a space at work or at home that feels calming to you?
  • What clears your head and calms you? – meditation, people watching, breathing exercises, practice mindfulness, journaling, light candles, stretching are all suggestions. If you prefer you can also try consciously doing nothing!
  • Keep it simple – Don’t worry about needing to create a long and elaborate process. Remember how simply my client’s ritual looks. Don’t be tempted to fill up your ritual with tasks.

I’d love to hear about the type of daily rituals you have or want to create for yourself? Let me know in the comments section.

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