Taking control when life feels out of control

There are things that we can control in our lives and there are things that are out of our control.

Since COVID-19, I have been closely observing and listening to people’s reactions to what is happening in the world – including my own. I have been met with anxiety, panic, grief, sadness, anger and even rage! Some of these have been my own reactions 🙂

We can’t control the current current pandemic but we can control how we deal with it.

Our internal narrative is what drives our reactions to situations and our feeling of being ‘out of control’. These internal narratives are always based on the beliefs we have about ourselves, others, the world and future.

Julian Rotter was an American psychologist who developed the locus of control theory which looks at the extent to which individuals believe they have power or control over what happens to them.

In this video I share a little more about this and how we can apply it more consciously to current times. WATCH VIDEO HERE

Those with an internal locus of control tend to attribute what happens to them to their own skills, capabilities and reactions. Their internal narrative goes something like:

“I can make things happen”

“Who can I help today?”

“What can I do to feel better?”

These people are more resilient optimistic and healthy.

Those with an external locus of control tend to believe that they don’t have much control over what happens to them.  Their internal narrative echoes:

” What’s the point?”

“It’s too hard”

“People can’t be trusted”

These people are more likely to become depressed, experience ongoing relationship problems and be immunocompromised.

While we are facing very challenging and testing times, I believe these are times of great opportunities for making conscious decisions about how we chose to live our lives. These are also times about owning who we are and what is within our power to change or make a difference, however small.

How can you become a more empowered agent in your own life, right now? 

The following questions are designed to help steer you in this direction. Take the time to go through these questions, staying present as you read them and trusting the answers that come:

  • What will help you feel more creative, inspired or hopeful?
  • Do you need to put down boundaries in relationships?
  • What is really important to you right now? What do you value right now?
  • Have you slowed down the pace of your life? What are you appreciating about it? If not, how can you slow your pace of life?
  • Are you finding new ways to connect with others?
  • Is this an opportunity to show patience, grace or selflessness in your relationships?
  • Most importantly, can you be more compassionate to your own needs? What can you do differently to honour yourself and your needs at this time?

I’m certain we are all being given opportunities to live our lives differently. More consciously, more openly yet more grounded than ever before in who we are.

If you’re interested in learning how to navigate the world of emotions, I have released a brand new self-guided course called Master Your Emotions Activate Your Brilliance . For information about the course, CLICK HERE.

Keeping your perspective during challenging times

Our emotional and physical health can be highly affected during challenging times. Whether it’s keeping up with social distancing, overwhelming feelings from media overload or learning to live with family 24/7, are all situations that can make us feel like we are going to ‘lose the plot’.

One way to bring calm or balance back into our lives is through maintaining our perspective on a situation. We can do this by choosing to acknowledge the challenge and what we may be needing to learn from it. This will help us look at the bigger picture.

This week I’ve recorded this video for you which explains four ways to help you keep your perspective.

1. Acknowledge

When we are going through changes or uncertainty, we need to acknowledge how we feel about it. Acknowledge the situation, name it and own it. How are you feeling right now? Say it out aloud! Name all of the emotions you have trapped inside your body, own it but let yourself feel it.

Often times we try and keep a facade of “I’m ok” because we think we have to be strong for everyone. In fact, this can only happen if you are honest with yourself about how you are going and what you need. Only then can you be more emotionally and physically available to others.

2. What’s working?

Look at what is working in your life. Gratitude is one way that can help us change our perspective from focusing on the problem to looking at the bigger picture. A friend of mine has started a gratitude poster where everyone in the family writes down one thing every day that they are grateful for. They’ve seen a significant shift in the energy of the house simply by focusing on what’s working for them right now. Try and incorporate a ritual gratitude into your daily life.

3. Focus on your purpose

What do you do well? Are you doing it? If not, find a way to be on more aligned with what comes naturally to you. Embrace your strengths and be creative about how you can bring them to life. For example, if you used to love coaching and mentoring people at work but find that people are not accessing you as much or seeking your support because you are all  working from home now, then reach out and make contact to see how they are going and ask if you can offer support to them.

4. Envision the future

What do you want to see change or happen after you emerge from isolation or social distancing? How would you ideally want things to be different in the world or your community? What can you do, on an individual level to start effecting change?

Start by choosing to look and accept both the difficult and the good that comes with our current situation. When we continue to develop our capacity for opposites, we  tend to experience more peace, ease and balance in our lives.   When we are more balanced, we can better effect change.

In my video I recommend the book “Man Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. I think it’s great content to read during self-isolation and I love this quote from his book:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

We can’t change the fact that we need to self-isolate or social distance to protect ourselves, our family and the greater community, but we can change the way we think, feel or sense. And this can help us connect on a deeper level to ourselves and others.

Managing the Transition

In this blog I spoke about how I could feel the movement of life happening beneath my feet. It’s an exciting time, but one that can cause a certain amount of anxiety.

Letting go of something that has been held so dear to you for so long is hard. Letting go of something that you’ve invested a lot of time or money in is especially hard. So how can we ‘go with the flow’ in this transition period to ensure that we are embracing the opportunities that lie ahead?

Embrace the emotion

This involves firstly being aware of the emotion and naming it. Is it fear? Excitement? Anger? This awareness brings the attention and energy focus to inside your body. With increased awareness comes a connection between our emotions, intellect and logic. And this is magic!

A healthy relationship with our emotions allows us to break behavioural and mindset patterns that occur in our life. It helps you feel the transition and go with it.

Practise acceptance

At the last Empowered Woman Retreat one of the participants said to me “what if I don’t agree with something going on in my life? How can I accept it?” She had become aware of the emotion attached with the situation, but her logic brain couldn’t accept it and therefore she couldn’t move past it.

My answer is you don’t have to agree with it, or like it, in order to accept it.

Radically accepting what you are feeling, experiencing or sensing will help you during this transitional period. This brings us into the present and aware of the opportunities that may normally pass us by.

Be open and conscious

Awareness, acceptance and then allowing the transition to happen automatically brings us into the present moment. When we are fully in the present, you are grateful, our enjoyment increases, the feeling of peace is more obvious, relationships improve. The list is endless! But most of all being present brings clarity which means that we are more open to seeing the possibilities that are laid out in front of us.

Transitional periods in our life can make us feel a little off balance or out of control. But by remembering to embrace, accept and be present we can bring back a sense of peace to the changes happening around and within us. And who knows where that may take you?

It’s All Part of the Journey

It’s been quite an interesting time of late!

Over the last month I’ve given myself time and space to integrate challenging emotional shifts.

I felt like I was being dealt a deck of difficult cards and I wanted to understand the rules and get on with with living my life because that’s what I do.

I wanted to grow and integrate these intense emotions quickly because I like to name my elephants and move on!

A client and I were sharing yesterday how growth, in expansive phase, can feel addictive. We love it because we feel powerful whereas contraction is something we tend to resist and usually avoid.

Contraction is when we need to slow down to integrate, feel, express and experience those intense emotions.

When we are contracting or in a state of “I don’t know what is going on or why I’m feeling what I’m feeling” we can’t see much further beyond what we are experiencing.

And just as well because when we are contracting we need to let go of what is out there and surrender to contraction or “shedding shit”-  a phrase we came to use often at our last level 2 retreat. Needless to say it was embraced by everyone! (Level 2 is a retreat for women who’ve attended The Empowered Woman Retreat ).

Contraction is important for our well-being and journey. It helps us heal and gives us insight into the next part of our journey.

But we don’t like it because we don’t like not knowing and feeling the intensity of our negative emotions.

And like with anything we don’t understand we seek to understand  by asking questions such as:

  • What does this mean?
  • What do I need to do?
  • What should I do?
  • How do I stop this or get out of this?

Staying in the question is important but challenging because it means asking but not doing. 

We ask these questions because it’s an in-built part of our growth mechanism.

There is nothing wrong with this when it’s done patiently but we mostly want to hurry the process and by-pass the experiencing and expressing part of contraction.

Yet this very process is what helps us to reposition our power. It’s how we gain insight, derive meaning and awaken our potential.

Questioning and doubting are inherent part of these experiences. They go hand in hand and their role is to help us check-in and stay aligned with our truth.

But too much self-doubt is also not good as it can lead to depression, anxiety and apathy.

When we understand the role of doubt and questioning we don’t need to have a strong hold on it.

Acknowledge it and allow yourself to drop into it without having to have a hold on what it is. We are being asked to dive deep into darkness.

Stay in doubt but do so with trust. Know that doubt is essential.

Doubt is a gift of insight and it’s part of our inner guidance system. 

If you ready to integrate challenging and contracting times in your life, you’ll learn how to do that at The Empowered Woman Retreat. Together we will dive deep to reclaim and realign your truth and own your fears.

The early birds, ends soon. Join us for your unique powerful transformation. YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE.

 

How Emotions Show Up In Your Body

Humans are intrinsically emotional beings. We are designed to express our emotions freely and openly, however many people tend to suppress emotions such as shame, fear and anger.

Whatever the reason, suppressing emotions can have an impact on your physical as well as mental health. It can show up in tense muscles in your neck and shoulders, inflammation, chronic health problems and even gut issues.

When we are emotionally triggered, or charged, we also end up projecting on to others unresolved or suppressed emotions. This is a missed opportunity for growth.

In my new 6- week course Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance we explore this notion further; of how negative emotions can manifest in our body if left unresolved.

I’m looking forward to our first group call for my new program Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance. This group call has been postponed for 18th September at 8pm AEST.  So it’s not too late to enrol!

Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance

This course is for you if you ready to:

  • Better manage your emotions;
  • Learn tools to deal with other people’s confronting emotions;
  • Stop feeling ’emotionally drained’;
  • Discover more about yourself through the powerful language of your emotions.

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to reply to this email and ask away!

Or register for the course here: MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS – ACTIVATE YOUR BRILLIANCE

Look forward to helping you activate your brilliance.

The Next Step

Most of us are good at understanding our emotions but unfortunately, we are not that great at experiencing and expressing what we feel. We know when we are angry, fearful or hurt and why it happened. And that’s great!

But what do you do with this?

If we don’t give ourselves permission to feel the emotion or express how we feel, then it leaks into all areas of our life. Anger left to simmer turns into resentment. Fear left unexpressed can turn into deep anxiety. Hurt left untouched can manifest in hostility. All very powerful emotions that continue to build in our lives and affect our relationships and prevent us from living our best lives.

So how can we stop this from happening?

We need to allow ourselves to firstly feel the emotion. It’s ok to feel these ‘negative’ emotions. Don’t brush it aside and move on. Feeling and reflecting are the key to firstly unlock the emotion. (If you missed my recent Masterclass on how to do this, you can watch the replay here).

The next step is to master your emotions.

By this I mean understanding how to turn your emotions around and lift that heavy feeling that gets lodged in your body when you hang on to emotions that do not serve you. When we master our emotions, it allows us the freedom to reconnect to ourselves. And that is truly liberating!

Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance is my new 6 week program that can help you do exactly this.

With a combination of self study and weekly access to me through live group calls you will learn how to:

  • Use emotions intelligently;
  • Understand the purpose of different emotions;
  • Better understand your emotions;
  • Express and experience your emotions;
  • Change your emotions;

Use reflection when trying to understand our emotions.

Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance

Program starts Wednesday 28 August, so grab your spot now!

I look forward to helping you lift the weight of your emotions so you can reconnect to the woman you are supposed to be.

Curiosity Doesn’t Kill You. It Makes You Stronger

Life is one big learning curve. We are constantly thrown challenges to overcome and obstacles to manoeuvre around. How we learn from these challenges and integrate them into our lives is entirely up to us.

Part of our challenge is consciously deciding how to use these lessons to embrace our unique journey. To do this requires curiosity and presence to the unknown.

If you’re feeling curious on how to step into your challenges and emotions, join me for an hour in my live Masterclass “Unlock the Power of Your Emotions“.

How can you be curious today? You may like to journal on or think about:

  • Who you are in this point of your life
  • What things are important to you
  • Why you feel the way you do
  • How to learn more about yourself from the challenges you face
  • The reason these changes are happening

Such big, hairy questions and answering them is easier said than done!

At the core of these questions is that knowing ourselves is an inside job. We can start on the outside of course, but it will all eventually lead us to the work that is needed to be done on the inside.

It is our responsibility to claim ourselves. No one else can do it for us. The question is though, how do we actually make a start? Make the first step towards change and a more purposeful life?

Unlock the Power of Your Emotions” will provide you with the knowledge and tools to learn to trust and connect with yourself and begin to feel more confident. You will get clarity on feelings or sensations you don’t yet understand to move towards a more purposeful life.

Join me at 8pm on Wednesday 31 July. You can reserve your spot here. I can’t wait to share your curiosity with you!

 

Stay Alert, Keep Listening

What has been playing out for you recently?

What have you been noticing, feeling or sensing?

Maybe you haven’t had time to stop to notice, feel or sense what is actually going inside of you.

Perhaps you would like to use this as an opportunity to tune in to what you notice and sense inside of you.

What and where are you sensing something in your body? Whatever comes up is relevant, timely and important for you.

Take the time to turn your attention inward and bring your awareness to that which calls your attention.

It could be a strong sensation. For example, a feeling of tightness in your chest. It could be a tingling pain in your back.

We can be too quick to dismiss what we notice or sense because we may not immediately understand it or we try to explain away all too quickly.

Each sensation is important. We just need to let it speak to us. As it speaks it unfolds and sometimes it resolves. Anything unspoken, or unfelt, cannot grow.

In the words of my dear friend Pattie:

Stay alert. Keep Listening.

Be it a sensation, a feeling, an image …it all counts. Just notice the most prominent sensation or feeling.

What is wanting your attention the most?

As you stay with it, notice if it changes into another feeling or sensation.

Just follow the Source of the next sensation.

Trust the Source of your innate intelligence as it communicates with you through your sensations or feelings.

There is no wrong or right here. Just acknowledgement and presence with whatever arises.

This requires us to slow down. It’s only in slowing down that we start to connect and feel. We get out of thinking energy and into feeling space.

When we connect to feeling, in other words noticing and sensing what is truly going on in our body we begin to:

  • Bridge the gap between our head and heart;
  • Trust in what we feel and sense;
  • Trust our decisions;
  • Strengthen our intuition;
  • Deepen our relationships;
  • Be more emotionally honest and vulnerable;

I am all too aware of how important this work is because this is the essence of how I developed trust in myself, who I am, and my purpose in this life.

It’s also the most important foundation for my clients’ transformation.

So, I’m excited to share that at the end of this I will be running a brand new online training called “Embrace Your Unique Journey”

In this online training I will teach you powerful ways to help you learn to:

  1. Transform discomfort, fear, stuckness, anxiety;
  2. Shift something which you can’t quite place your finger on;
  3. Powerful ways to work with your emotions;
  4. Learn to let go and move on;
  5. Trust and connect with yourself.

Mark your calendars for for “Embrace Your Unique Journey” online training masterclass on 31st July at 8pm AEST. 

Stay tuned for more details coming next week!

Are you a Mental Hoarder?

Have you heard of the term mental hoardering?

Mental hoardering is when we clutter our mind with too much worry or overthinking. We think about something which has happened or that which hasn’t yet happened and we mull over it for weeks on end.

This is how anxiety and depression are born.

Mental pressure, unreasonable expectations and a heavy sense of obligation can all lead to mental hoardering, as can an overwhelming sense of guilt which is the biggest drain of your mental and physical energy.

When there is hoardering there is no space for creativity, new ideas, insight and inspiration to emerge. This equates to lack of empowered action.

Think about it in terms of a cluttered physical space: it becomes stagnant, dark and overwhelming. It’s a room no one likes to go to. It becomes wasted space.  And unfortunately, this how potential is wasted.

As such one becomes blind to the beauty and opportunity that surrounds them. They miss the five year old that has just passed by and smiled at them, just because. Or they miss the opportunity that awaits them because they are blind to it.

To help us mentally declutter we must be at peace with nothingness.

What do I mean by this? Nothingness is about creating space for ourselves intentionally, to do nothing and just be. No agenda. Crazy right?

It can be a little scary when we give ourselves the permission to be in nothingness, that place where not much happens. Our ego find space, emptiness or void very threatening. Our ego likes to be busy.

It has taken me a while but I have finally succumbed to the art of surrendering to being by giving myself the permission to do so.

I tend to do this leading up to big projects or events such as retreats or presentations. This seems almost counterintuitive because a part of me says you need to get busy preparing but deep down I know that if I don’t do this I will create unnecessary clutter and worry.

I’ll go on long walks, have meandering kind of conversations with people I would not otherwise meet. And in these conversations something amazing happens. Once I got inspiration for a process that I used in my retreat. Another time, I met a woman who ended up coming to my retreat and turning her life around. This is worth surrendering for!

But we need to know how to be in nothingness.

How to let the waves of life carry us through the tunnel of nothingness and not freak out. Your first experience of coming into nothingness may not go well. It takes practice.

At first it can be like a running tap with so many things being released and washed out.

What I can say from practicing the art of surrendering to being is that it connects me to my presence, my power and my purpose which are The Empowerment Principles I teach my clients. This helps them step into their presence, power and purpose and live life in alignment with who they truly are.

I get surges of creativity, insight and clarity on where my life needs to go next. Decision making and action-taking are a lot more effortful.

I usually experience this urge to do nothing about once a month, or every two months. This doesn’t need to be long. It could be 2 hours a week or a whole day just dedicated to being. To pottering and letting myself be or even discovering what does this being look like or feel like. It usually coincides leading up to my menstrual cycle. Take note women because it’s your body’s way of letting you know that you need to stop and recharge.

It may take some time to acquaint yourself with this practice.

In our busy lives we are convinced that keeping busy and measuring our productivity brings more productivity, results, money and fulfilment. On paper maybe it does. But not deep down and I know you would agree with me on this.

I see people sabotage their life and the opportunity to experience fulfilment and meaning by remaining chronically busy, erratic and unfocused.

When we remain a slave to leading a busy life we lack a strong foundation upon which to enter the next chapter of our life. Wrong decisions can be made.

The next Empowered Woman Live Retreat is next Friday.  My biggest preparation for the retreat isn’t sitting down in front of the computer and organising my slides. (But yes, some of that does happen after I’ve allowed myself to get present and clear).

Instead, my preparation is focused on becoming a conduit of presence and connection so that I can open up to whatever needs to happen leading up to the retreat and at the retreat to guide women through their breakthroughs and transformation.

I encourage you to make time for nothingness in your life this weekend. Be present enough to connect to your needs and the wisdom that lies deep within you. Your truth.

I want you to try it, so you can emerge out of your busyness, confusion and overwhelm and be ready to embrace the opportunities that are waiting to meet you.

The Most Powerful Antidote to Stress

My most powerful stress relief is laughter.

I love a good laugh. In fact, my most endearing relationships are ones in which we have shared a lot of laughter over the years, be it over hardship or something really funny.

When there is shared laughter, a lot of healing and cleansing happens.

When we laugh, we awaken our creativity which helps us reconnect and get into flow with life.

When was the last time you had good ol’ belly laugh?

A good belly laugh opens us up to life and renews our perspective on things. Suddenly, what was overwhelming and confusing can seem more manageable and achievable.

Laughter squeezes and massages our internal organs, especially our stomach and spleen which in Chinese medicine is associated with worry and anxiety when things are out of balance. So a good belly laugh helps release anxiety and stress because the feel-good endorphins are in full swing.

I love the laughs that make me cry. In fact, I’m known for crying when I laugh hard.  It doesn’t take much to make me laugh. I do appreciate this quality about myself. 🙂

I had a really good laugh last Saturday night at something I did. I went out with a group of close girlfriends with whom I’ve shared some amazing laughs over the years. This is a group of women I’ve known since we’ve had our children. So laughter has helped see us through some seriously sleep-deprived nights and other low moments on our motherhood journey.

We went out to a restaurant and soon after we arrived I had to use the bathroom. As I walked through the main door leading through to the bathroom there were three other doors: one for women, one for accessible and one for men’s toilets.

The light was dim so I made sure to look closely at the sign to ensure I went to the right bathroom – as you would.

When I was done, I was washing my hands and something called for my attention to look to my left. When I looked to the left, I saw three urinals on the wall! I immediately thought to myself: Hang on! What?! Why are there urinals in here?!  I wasn’t thinking that I may have gone in the wrong bathroom I was thinking, why are there urinals in the women’s toilets?

I found myself deciding I no longer need to dry my hands, or put on the fancy hand moisturiser and swiftly made an exit before I saw anyone else come in or out of the bathroom.

As I came out I could hardly contain my laughter! This led to some jolly-good belly laughs at our dinner table.

What was even funnier, is that as another girlfriend went to the toilet, thinking how could Suzi get this wrong, while looking at the sign on the door, a man came out of the women’s bathroom just as she was about to walk in! This sure made for a funny and interesting night!

So, how can you open up to more laughter in your life?

Here are a few suggestions:

1) Think back to something funny which happened in your life.

2) Watch a funny show or movie – I watched Despicable 2 with my girls and that made me and the girls laugh so much. Seinfeld is the go-to-for my husband. I love being around him when he laughs while watching the show because it makes me laugh just hearing him laugh.  Laughter is contagious!

3) Set the intention that you want to laugh more in life – especially if life has been tough. You will soon be laughing your way through life!

4) Find something that reminds you of laughter e.g. maybe photos of your children or pets. Put them somewhere visible to remind you not to take things too seriously.

Here’s to a long weekend full of laughter and creating funny memories with loved ones.