Are you letting yourself be happy?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Monday, 27 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

We all want to be happy. Who wouldn’t? We constantly strive to find happiness around us, in the work we do, with our family and friends, and in our lives generally. We even look for happiness, by buying nice things to adorn ourselves and our homes, as well as going to new places and experiencing new sights and sounds. All of this is just great… but are you actually LETTING yourself be happy?

Avoiding what’s good for us

You see, we all look for outside factors to make us happy. The things we buy, the people we hang around with and the places we visit, are all our attempts to FEEL happy. But often we miss the obvious – happiness is a state of BEING. We can feel happy any time we like.

The problem is we often AVOID those things that actually make us happy! We may know that listening to music and dancing around our living room makes us feel happy. The same may apply to gardening, painting or laying on the summer grass and staring up at the night sky.

But when was the last time you LET yourself do those things?

Or did you just not do them, because you were afraid of what others might say or how you may look?

The feelings around happiness

It was all so much easier when you were a child! You could run around, play, imagine and do whatever FELT good to you. As adults though, we feel we have to play the part of an adult. That may include being ‘sensible’ and ‘grown up’ or ‘acting your age’. So we learn how to push down those things that make us happy – and the associated feelings of happiness.

As an adult your life is now so busy. If you want to feel happy, you want to go straight for happy! Yet there are so many feelings associated with happiness – and these feelings escalate and grow into happiness – if we let them.

But we often don’t have the TIME to slowly get there. We don’t always remember that smiling lots can lead to feelings of happiness or that having a quick sing-along to a song can raise our spirits – and if we did this over several days, we’d feel happier more of the time.

Start being happy!

So what makes you happy? What makes you smile and what makes you feel lighter and inspired? Make a list of those things and commit to doing at least one every day. At the end of each day review what made you smile, the things that made you feel good, great and fantastic!

Give yourself permission to do what FEELS good, without worrying how it will look or what others will say. Do a little of this every day and you’ll soon start flexing that happiness muscle!

What have you got on your happiness list? What simple things can you implement to start being happy?  Share on the facebook page.

Do you want to find more happiness in your life? Check out the Finding Your Joy Programs to take your happiness into Joyful Living.

Image courtesy of Syda Productions/Dollar Photo Club

Think you can’t meditate?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Meditation. It’s something we think of as quite simplistic, but also something a lot of people often struggle to implement. When it comes to the art of meditation, we often think of it as just that – an art form. Something reserved for those who can naturally do it and those who have studied this form of art.

However, meditation DOESN’T have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be something that is studied for years before you can do it.

Our expectations of meditation

Think of meditation and the chances are you’ll think of the following:

  • A monk or revered person
  • Silence and stillness
  • A quiet, still, silent mind
  • Peace
  • Sitting for hours
  • Candles and incense
  • Being without or abstaining

It is these preconceived expectations of meditation that are often our real problem. They can cause a block around our ability to actually carry out the act of meditation. And it is these expectations that are actually stressing us out more – as we believe there is a right and wrong way to meditate.

Why we meditate

The definition of meditation is this: ‘The act of meditating’. Nothing more, nothing less. Meditation is contemplation, thought, deliberation, musing and reflection, to name a few synonyms. There is nothing mentioned in that definition about who has the ‘right’ to do it, how it is completed and what it relates to – other than the act of ‘thought’ itself.

So stop and think for a moment.

What you’ve just done is meditation in its simplest form.  See how easy that was? You thought about one specific thing for a split second and let your thought just be there.

Meditation can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. It is giving yourself time and space to have a moment of deliberate stillness.

The different ways to meditate

There are five different forms of meditation technique, as evolved from Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism and, as you now know what meditation is in its simplest form, you can look to expand your knowledge and experience of it.  The five forms can be described as:

  • Mindfulness meditation – concentrating on your breathing and focusing on nothing else. You can easily do this whilst sitting and/or standing.
  • Heart-centred meditation – focusing on your heart chakra, whilst breathing slowly. Imagine the colour green or pink and feeling behind it.
  • Reflective meditation – this is more about disciplined thought. It’s focusing on a theme, question or general topic and analysing and reflecting on it.
  • Concentration – focusing on nothing and letting thoughts that enter your mind drift away, without giving them any focus. This is the basis behind all other meditation techniques.
  • Creative – focusing on a quality such as love, forgiveness etc. and allowing those feelings to grow inside you.

So why not let go of your preconceived ideas around meditation and give one of these five a go?

As with anything, meditation gets easier over time, especially as you learn to focus on one specific thing. It’s about acknowledging your thoughts and, without judgement, just letting them go and bringing your focus back to your initial point of focus. Try it – and see how much easier it can be for you!

Learning to Relax and Meditate is a workshop I love to run. Find out the next dates and reserve your space by email:

Or you can buy my Yoga for Beginners DVD direct from my website

Image courtesy adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Clear your space to move forward

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 07 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Clearing space can be stimulating and rewarding. When it comes to new starts, creating optimism and having a renewed feeling of hope and anticipation, clearing space is key. Spring always brings with it an almost inbuilt need to have a clear out, spring clean and sort out to our physical space… but clearing your mind space can be just (if not more) rewarding!

Clearing your physical space

Clearing your physical space seems, on the surface, to be a simple case of removing old and unwanted items. There’s nothing better than having a good sort out and tidy up.

When it comes to clearing space, it’s always a good idea to start with one room at a time. If however, you have limited time or a lot of clearing to do, one room can seem too overwhelming for you. If this is the case, narrow your focus down even more, to one cabinet, one drawer or one shelf. You can then work up to clearing through the entire room.

A basic criteria to follow when clearing your physical space, is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I used this in the last 6 months?
  • Do I really like this?
  • What emotional attachment do I have to this – and is it one that’s positive?
  • Does the phrase “well, it might come in handy one day” spring to mind?
  • Am I keeping this because I want to or because I feel I “should”?

If you answer ‘no’ to first three and ‘yes’ to the last two – you need to get rid of the clutter it refers to!

Apart from clearing physical items, having a good spring clean also helps us clear out our mindset too. Why? Each of those items will have an emotional attachment, past memory and/or association attached to them – and they’ll not always be ones we want to have and remember! This is why we also need to work on clearing our mind space too.

Clearing mind space

As clearing your physical space can make you feel lighter and renewed, so can clearing your mind space too.

Your mind is full of non-physical clutter, some of which will be helpful, useful and positive – but there’s also the other stuff that helps hold us stuck and stagnant too. This clutter can be thought patterns, feelings, emotions and habits that are either remnants of old beliefs or current live wires in your mind.

Your mind cannot hold the space for two conflicting thought patterns at the same time. If you’re currently trying to change your mindset, you’ll also have associated thoughts and feelings attached to it too. You need to clear out ALL of this old stuff, to ensure you have room for the new – otherwise you may struggle to install the newer, more positive thoughts and beliefs, as your old ones are still occupying valuable mind space.

You have to start choosing which thoughts you’d like to keep and which one you’d like to let go off.

Sometimes this can be a simple process of making a conscious choice. Other times, you need to use techniques such as Emotional Freedom Technique, affirming, chakra clearing and sway testing to help release associated fears, feelings and emotional attachments.

Free writing can be a great way to find those deeply buried thoughts and feelings that may still be lurking. Simply grab a pen, notepad and some quiet time to yourself and think about the belief, thought or feeling you want to get rid of. Now ask yourself thought-provoking questions such as:

  • How does that make me feel?
  • What does that remind me of?
  • Whose voice is saying that?
  • And then what?
  • What do I get from keeping this?

Going through your possessions and mindset can be quite an emotional experience, so remember to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time and space to feel, experience and subsequently release the mind clutter within. This will ensure you have the space – both externally and internally – to move forward.

What one process or action can you put into place this week, to ensure you’re clearing your physical and emotional space to move forward?

Images © JZHuk & Iculig - Dollar Photo Club

Listen to your intuition

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Monday, 13 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

We all have a wealth of knowledge and experiences inside of us. Often we will know, at a soul level, what we need to do and say, what direction we need to go in and what decision we need to make. It is this knowing that we all our intuition.

Otherwise known as a ‘gut feeling’, ‘sixth sense’ ‘instinct’ or ‘a general knowing’, our intuition is our inbuilt guidance system. It understands us at a deeper level than we often understand ourselves. It instinctively knows what is right for us and it always wants what’s best for us… so how can you tune into your intuition?

Start by giving yourself a break


Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and relax. You cannot force your intuition to give you an answer – especially when you’re trying so hard to make a decision or choose a direction. Step outside (both literally and metaphorically!) and breathe. Give yourself the time and space to get calm, centred and relaxed. It is only when you give yourself permission to stop, that you can hear and feel the guidance within you – the fog will clear and the answer to your dilemma or question will rise to the conscious part of your mind.

It is then that you will feel as though the weight has been lifted from your shoulders. The answers will come clearer to you and you can actually hear that little voice of guidance inside.

Write it down

Another great way to get connected with your intuition is to journal. It isn’t a coincidence that the vast majority of successful people keep a journal or diary. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great way to connect deeper with yourself. Not only does it give your intuition a voice, it also enables you to be totally honest with yourself too – as there’s no fear of upsetting anyone else!

Writing in a journal is more than just keeping a diary – it’s a way of ‘free writing’. Free writing is where you write the thoughts, feelings and emotions you’re having without any rationalisation or logic involved. You’re just writing down the first things that come into your head – without questioning them in any way.

Learn to trust yourself

As mentioned above, it can be really difficult to trust in what you’re thinking and feeling, without letting rationalisation and logic get in the way. We’re bought up to be rational and logical, to be ‘sensible’.

But intuition is the gap between instinct and reason. It isn’t logical or rational and, most times, it cannot be explained. It’s that inner knowing that something is just ‘right’ for you, so learn to trust that feeling.

Stop dismissing and ignoring it – learn to listen to those flashes of inspiration; that deep feeling of ‘just knowing’. Don’t be afraid of it either, as fear will prevent you from taking action – and that is the last step towards tuning into your intuition – always take action on it!

As you listen to your intuition it may start to say things you are not expecting! If you want to learn more about journalling or listening to your intuition The Joy Journey is a great place to start click here to find out more.

Image courtesy of cescassawin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Would life coaching REALLY benefit you?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White


Life coaching. We understand that well-known personalities, politicians and actors etc all benefit from hiring a life coach. We even see the benefits they receive from that coaching – the habits they’ve broken, the positive ones they’ve gained and the spark they have back in their eyes – it’s obvious they love their life and are happy.

When it comes to ourselves hiring a life coach though, we hesitate. We worry about how we will actually benefit from life coaching. We stress about the cost and we think it’s something reserved for the ‘rich’ people.

The limiting beliefs we have

Those thoughts in themselves, actually highlight the REAL benefits, you as an individual will get from life coaching. They illustrate those limiting beliefs that are currently holding you back from:

 

 

  • Happiness
  • Financial success
  • Improved self confidence and esteem
  • Living your life, your way
  • Stretching yourself to achieve the goals and dreams you have

Isn’t coaching just for sports?

Look at it another way. When you mention ‘coaching’ most people will immediately think of sports coaching. We see the local football team, tennis player or other sporting individual who wants to improve their game, take on a coach.

After working with that coach they perform better, both as a team and as individuals, the individual and team as a whole are happier, their sponsors are happier, their fans are happier and the team’s financial and self worth improves.

We can SEE the benefits they are getting from their coach and consider it money well spent.

Individual life coaching

As an individual, life coaching can give you all of the same benefits. You want to change or improve an area of your life – whether it’s your finances, confidence, lifestyle, career etc. – and you want to see results. Like those sports players, you could keep practising and training, waiting (and hoping) you’ll improve and get better – or you could hire someone to look at what you’re doing and see if it’s:

  • WHAT you’re doing or not doing (your current stance)
  • HOW you’re doing (or not) doing it (your action steps and the practicalities)
  • WHY you’re doing it or not doing it (your mindset and those limiting thoughts and beliefs)

They can then give you a clear action plan to move you forward.

Life coaching is more than just coaching

A life coach isn’t just someone who points out what you should and shouldn’t be doing. They also:

  • Offer you support
  • Helps you build a support network around you
  • Answers your questions
  • Helps keep your motivation and enthusiasm high
  • Believes in you and what you want to achieve

Sometimes things get in the way of what you want – whether it’s your mindset, current actions and patterns or life generally. They limit your view and you cannot see how to move forward or what you need to do to make things happen. If life coaching can be of benefit AND you’re ready to make the necessary changes, isn’t it worth investing in that life coach AND your own future?

What are your experiences with a life coach? Are you ready to see a clear way forward and change your life? If you’re in the Berkshire area we can have a face to face, and if not lets meet up on Skype or G+Hangouts. If you want to discover yourself AND step past the confusion, why not take the first step and get in touch?