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September 17, 2019

Sometimes the trying is the problem:

We feel something unpleasant, we want it to stop, we want to fix it. It’s a normal human urge. Sometimes though, the act of trying drives up pressure and stress, paradoxically causing more of the stress that may be driving the problem. If what we do isn’t helping, try doing nothing. Just allow it to be there, and say “ok, fine, I don’t give a sh*t”. You’d be surprised how often it helps. If the strategy isn’t working, remember George and do the opposite.

September 16, 2019

Keep it easy for your mind to digest:

The simple message is the one that we always need to hear. We talk more to ourselves than we talk to anyone else, so let’s keep it relaxed, neutral and real. No stories, no buts, no elaborations. Notice the feelings you have in the moment. Then give yourself the simple message: “It’s ok.” “It is what it is.” “All is well.” Those simple, easy and true message choices are highly digestible for the mind, and resonate with truth. Choose your easy digestible message for today and stick with it.

September 13, 2019

Help to do the thing:

And you can relax here for a moment, simply gliding over my words as I speak slowly to your subconscious mind, reminding you in a very friendly, motivating way of that thing, you know, the thing you need to do that perhaps hasn’t quite happened up until now, for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter why, what matters is that you CAN, and your inner mind can feel the urge building, positive feelings now, that feeling of yes, ok, just do it now, do it today, you can, and you know, and I know too, how much better you’ll feel when you start, when you say go, when you hit send, so move forward now doing what you need to do, easily, comfortably and with a smile inside. You can.

September 12, 2019

When you feel like you’re over it.

We all have our moments of being emotionally “f**king over it”. The thing is, it’s a permanent, global statement to make to our minds and will generally lead to worse thoughts, feelings and actions (or inaction as the case may be). So when you get the “over it” thought/feeling, stop. Say to yourself “it’s just a feeling, a temporary moment in time”. Ask yourself what you need. Do you need a break? To vent or debrief? To change your routine or way of operating? More fun moments? (I think definitely more fun is needed!) Do you need to address anything or make a decision? If so, wait 24 hours or more until you feel clear-headed. No impulsive actions! Also, remind yourself it’s human to have “over it” thoughts and feelings. They usually pass. You’ll be into it again any minute. There’s always something new, challenging and/or interesting if we keep looking.

September 11, 2019

Plans and expectations:

Plans can be ok, we can have ideas and intentions about what we’d like to do. But once we attach to expectations about how it “should” be, how it “should” feel and how others “should” respond or behave, we are potentially creating disappointment or anger. We can have intentions. Logically we know that things often don’t turn out as expected, so the more we can detach from outcome and just allow whatever unfolds to unfold, the more we can be ok with it. Anger and disappointment mean that we had expectations, even though we mightn’t have been aware of it. Easier to form our intentions and then allow it to be as it is. Not our job to control others or outcomes. Allow things to be as they are today.

September 10, 2019

Are you getting your prescription of silent time??

The world can be noisy and intrusive, demands can be loud and multi-directional. We need some silent time as an antidote to all the cognitive overload we experience. If you can’t find silence in the environment then perhaps it’s time to get noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs. Be silent. Take a breath. Remember to focus on areas of comfort within the body and mind. Create space in there so that more good feelings can naturally arise.

September 9, 2019

Focus on your assets!

So many good things about you. Maybe you can’t always see them, but think of that person in your life who does see them. What positive aspects would they fire off about you? You have loads of enjoyable qualities and personal competencies and you’re probably not as great at focusing on those as you could be. Every day, list at least 3 qualities you like in yourself. Change them up and find new ones you hadn’t thought about. Most females in particular need to focus on positive aspects of self a whole lot more. Forget the gap, forget the perfectionism and focus on the “f*ck yeah, I’ve got this!” Plenty of good stuff in you. 👊

September 6, 2019

You’re doing a great job:

As you notice my first words today, as your eyes begin to move and relax, I want you to hear me saying now, to you, GREAT JOB, because yes you are, with all that you have going on, all the hard parts right now, all the challenges, just breathe, slow down, feel very pleased with yourself here, because you know, and I know too, that you truly are doing a great job, and it all belongs to you and it all gets better and better for you too. You are great. Five stars for you 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

September 5, 2019

Feeling lucky??

The research on luck is pretty cool. It suggests that lucky people feel lucky, look for and spot good opportunities and then take the initiative, which reinforces their sense of being lucky. Lucky people also reframe things to focus on the lucky side of outcomes. So if you believe you’re lucky, you’ll be more lucky. Believing you’re unlucky has a similar self-fulfilling effect so it might be prudent to look for examples of luckiness today! It’s already happening 🌟

September 4, 2019

Moments of stillness.

Notice what comes into your mind’s eye when you imagine stillness. The idea of stillness might be an image of nature, perhaps water, or a tree on a windless day. It could be a sky, vast and colorful, overarching everything. Or perhaps it’s a more vague sense of stillness without clear images, a feeling of equanimity, of being relatively immune to the ups and downs of daily life. It doesn’t matter what comes to mind. Contemplating stillness is a message for your nervous system. Just for a moment, be still. Breathe.

September 3, 2019

Friendliness:

Notice the signs of friendliness around you today. You might see it in nature, the sky, the animals, the traffic, the people, the events that occur, or perhaps in your own feelings of openness! Seeing the world as a friendly system rather than a hostile system has known health benefits, both emotionally and physically. Be vigilant for friendly signs today ☀

September 2, 2019

What do you need?

There’s always something we could be doing a little differently so that we feel better and life goes a little more smoothly. Are you avoiding something? Not acknowledging what you really need or want? Something that you need to to banish from your repertoire? Do the thing you need to do. No excuses. No bullshit justification. Do it and make your life easier. It’s worth it and so are you.

August 30, 2019

Comfort installation:

As you read this, and your eyes scan my helpful words, your subconscious mind can begin now to enter the control room of your mind, breathing slowly, deep breath in, now hold it, now release, and as you do release you can allow all tension to easily exit your system, becoming more and more relaxed, more and more comfortable with every out-breath now, all tightness becoming softer, and you can begin to notice more comfort in your nervous system, little by little, bit by bit, feeling better and better as time goes on, more and more flashes of enjoyment for you now. You will.

August 29, 2019

Tired mind needs rest!

If you’ve been multi-tasking or taking in complex information then you’re probably in cognitive overload. These days our levels of stimulation is higher, with more incoming data via our devices as well as from other parts of life. Studies show that our minds are in deficit and it’s affecting attention, recall and mood. Please build brain breaks into every day. Things are not becoming simpler for most of us so we need to compensate. Dream, potter, walk, read, meditate, do nothing. Let it breathe.

August 28, 2019

Lightness:

Choose the bright light today. Sit in the sun, turn the lights up higher and move towards shiny things. While you may be carrying many burdens, you can lighten your load by keeping that eternal sunshine in your mind. Beware of dark thoughts and stop them in their tracks without buying into them. Work on keeping the lightness via noticing it creating humor and by focusing on the good stuff.

August 27, 2019

Emotional distraction:

Distraction is a mixed bag. On one hand it’s great to be able to take our minds away from our concerns and focus on something entertaining or exciting. On the other hand, we now have an epidemic of boredom and anxiety intolerance. Boredom and anxiety are both unpleasant states that are inbuilt into human experience, and some people will feel these states more intensely than others. As with most strong emotions, avoidance (via various distractions) doesn’t build skill or tolerance, it just builds on-going avoidance, possibly even leading to addiction for some. Most adults know this. Most kids do not. Distraction is useful short-term. Learning to tolerate and manage the gamut of emotional states is much more useful long-term. Beware of avoidance!

August 26, 2019

Hang in there.

So many people are going through tough times lately. Nobody knows why but it seems that many are having difficulties, feeling tired, feeling ill, feeling discouraged. It can be hard doing what you need to do when feeling like this, and it’s really important to watch your narrative so you don’t add to the suffering via stressful or despairing thoughts. This weird phase is temporary. It will pass, hopefully sooner than expected. You will feel ok, then better than ok. Maybe the tide is turning now. Today could be better than expected. It will. ☀

August 23, 2019

Just being:

Perhaps there has been too much doing, or thinking, or thinking about doing, or perhaps doing not much but thinking that you should be doing; all too much really, it’s time to relax now, to let go, to let it be what it is, to let it unfold or pass in its own good time, resolving naturally, all things working together for good, and your subconscious mind knows exactly what I mean, and exactly where to apply these ideas now, as you listen to me as I talk, easing off now, letting it be in flow, just being. You can.

August 22, 2019

What a great job!

Have you taken the time to remind yourself what a great job you’re doing? You know that things aren’t always easy and that you have circumstances and hurdles to overcome. Solving problems is the essence of life, and we strive to have the kinds of problems most preferable to our makeup. You know that you always do the best job you can managing your unique set of challenges and please remember to feel pretty good about that. Life can be tough sometimes and it’s crucial to appreciate your determination and persistence. Great job 👊

August 21, 2019

Pressures and responsibilities:

That feeling of worry in the background of the mind can be quite distracting. It can fog the brain, block the memory and drain emotional energy. Think for a moment about where you might be feeling a sense of too much pressure or responsibility. And really, the question is how to mentally release yourself of any excessive sense of pressure. Maybe there’s a change to be made in behavior, but more likely a change to be made in the mind. Agree to release yourself from the self-imposed sense of pressure. You are free. You are competent. Just show up, with a good attitude and do what needs to be done. That’s it.

August 20, 2019

Strength for today:

All of your physical, mental and emotional resources are with you today and always. While at times they might feel harder to access, it’s all there and it all belongs to you. Everything you need is within you and will be available right when it’s needed, including any external support. You’re traveling with a comprehensive toolbox so have faith in your ability to handle it all today. You will.

August 19, 2019

Great minds!

You’re here, you’re reading this, you’re a seeker! You look for ways to feel better and to experience the fulfilment that you know you’re capable of. You have many skills and talents, and great resourcefulness. Your mind is active and you work to solve interesting problems, and you are stimulated and stimulating. Appreciate the great mind you have today, it’s always working to create opportunities and meaning. Relax and let it happen.

August 16, 2019

Need to wind down?

Many of us feel that tension, that wound-up feeling of too much pressure, so it’s time now, as you read this, to allow your inner mind to be open to the idea of winding down, relaxing, letting go, and as you take a slow, deep breath now, just simply allow the oxygen to enter and move around your system, that’s right, unwinding easily, all systems softening, releasing all stress and strain, dissolving all tension in your muscles and in your mind, allowing your consciousness to bring in the sunshine and feel all the love that is around you. Unwind and enjoy ☀

August 15, 2019

Drink your tea.

Black, green, white or herbal, tea is a great relaxing ritual that enables us to take a breath and recharge. Nothing wrong with a coffee to boost you in the morning, but remember to indulge in the relaxing and antioxidant benefits of your cups of tea. And while you’re having your tea, stop. Enjoy it. Be appreciative as you take your magic elixir. Use the moment as an opportunity to be present and smiling.

August 14, 2019

Tired brain?

A brain that feels tired and slow and foggy is often the result of physical, emotional and cognitive overload. Cognitive overload is probably the most common and overlooked factor, and relates to the amount of thinking and processing that you’ve been doing, especially if you’ve had a lot of problems or worries or study or other information coming your way. Ease the load for a bit. We don’t always need to push our brain to the limits. Keep your reading and entertainment light, and stop with the multi-tasking, especially online. Many more people are online whilst doing other things and the constant brain multi-tasking has been shown to have ADHD-like effects on the brain. One thing at a time, easy things, fun things. Give your brain a rest whenever possible.

August 13, 2019

Emotional faking:

Emotional faking is when we have to suppress our actual internal responses such as frustration, annoyance, pain, tiredness, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, illness, sadness etc due to work or personal factors, and instead put on a happy or neutral face. It’s not just a face though, it’s a voice, and a look and an attitude. Many people (especially those in service, education or helping roles) have to suppress or override emotional and physical states regularly. It’s tiring. In fact, the amount of emotional suppression or faking in a role is linked to burnout levels. Awareness is key. Don’t fool yourself, don’t deny your reality. Yes you have to present a certain way. But acknowledge it internally and be kind to yourself. It’s human to have these states and feelings. Make sure to check in with your emotional self and be nice.

August 12, 2019

Can’t handle much today?

Sometimes it feels like everything is a bit much, it all happens at once and it’s a bit too intense. So go simple. Minute by minute. Only think of now, here, today. No lamenting the past, no fast-forwarding into the future. Focus on what’s in front of you, turn up, with a good attitude and only do your best. It’s enough.

August 9, 2019

Can do:

As you begin to read this, and perhaps your conscious or subconscious mind has certain concerns, things you have been wanting to change or improve, and now, here, as you hear my voice, as I speak to you, and you can simply listen, and I can remind your inner mind that YES, YES YOU CAN. You absolutely can do this, this thing that seemed once so difficult, becoming easier day by day, hour by hour, improving as you learn, all things take time to learn, building skills, conscious and subconscious, and you do learn, and you CAN feel better now and you definitely CAN do it. Know this today. You can.

August 8, 2019

Stress with stomach:

When our sympathetic nervous system is activated by stress, many parts of the body gear up for action automatically. So if we feel under threat, chances are, the stomach is very much affected. We have a whole nervous system in that area (the enteric nervous system) and the gut can easily be triggered by all kinds of stressors. It can even be confused into an irritable bowel pattern, alternating between holding on and releasing too much. Our antidote is to continue to find ways to activate the calming parasympathetic nervous system via the rest/digest/relax approach. The system has been vigilant; now we train it to calm down. We breathe. We take a break. We talk to the right people. We chill. We think about things differently, re-write the story, go to the source, acknowledge the emotions or inner conflicts. There’s a logic to it all and it can improve. Be kind to yourself today.

August 7, 2019

Vibe readers alert.

If you have the kind of nervous system that picks up on the vibes and the energy and emotion of others then you’re lucky. You have access to a whole lot of information. But what does your body and mind do with that? Do you act on it, ignore it or ruminate on it? And are you interpreting it accurately or just feeling things and not sure why? Do you recognize it as “their stuff” or take responsibility for it? Our systems are tuned to pick up energetic information for survival, but like any information, it can be overwhelming, misleading and at times draining. Notice your mindbody responses today and learn to notice other vibes without judgement or attachment. Your energy is protected. Your vibe is clear and bright. Imagine the light inside you and send it out via your fingertips today. Stay bright.

August 6, 2019

Hello to anxiety:

Anxiety can appear in the night, either in horrible dreams or in unpleasant thoughts/feelings that keep us from sleep. Some people are welcomed with anxiety symptoms when they wake up, pounding heart and sense of dread, perhaps for no discernible reason at all. The system is stuck in hypervigilance mode. Maybe there’s external stress, maybe you’re run down or worried. Your bodymind thinks it’s time for fight/flight. What is it fighting or running from? What might you be conflicted about? Who might you be consciously or subconsciously angry with? Anxiety carries a message and when we can finally decode it to the satisfaction of our subconscious minds, the symptoms will cease. Ask yourself the key questions. You don’t have to tell the people concerned. It’s just for you. May you be calm and joyful today.

August 5, 2019

Waking tired??

Most people do. It usually takes an hour or two to feel alive, let alone have a coherent thought. Being slow to warm up in the morning is ok, it doesn’t mean you didn’t sleep well enough or that you shouldn’t get up. Many operate under the illusion that if sleep was right, they’d awake feeling energized and joyous. Sadly, no. Taking time to emerge is normal and necessary for many. Give yourself that time, enjoy a cup of tea and let your adrenalin kick in when required. Be accepting of how you feel and don’t analyze it. You’re ok. And it will only get better. May your day be pleasant.

August 2, 2019

Release and relief:

I want you now to read this slowly, letting your eyes just gaze at my words, in a relaxed sort of way, breathing slowly, deeply, as you let go now, letting go of all pressure, all the different pressures that affect you, you know what they are, just allow them to release now, like tiny balloons floating off into the sky, they move away, they disappear, they dissolve into the nothingness they came from, and your subconscious mind can remind you now to enjoy this release, this relief as you continue letting go and relaxing today, you can. Let them float away quietly as you flow peacefully and pleasantly with your day now.

August 1, 2019

The price of approval.

When it comes to certain people, earning their approval can be very costly. Staying silent, repressing needs, swallowing frustration, fake laughing at hostile “jokes”, ignoring behavior etc. Is it worth the price?? Being sensitive to the approval of others (people-pleasing) creates many inner conflicts and is linked with emotional/mood upsets and mind-body syndromes such as fatigue and chronic pain. Within reason, it may be necessary to allow others to disapprove of us. Be kind and be ethical. The resulting approval (or lack of) is not your stuff.

July 31, 2019

Most things respond to relaxation.

Whether it’s fatigue, pain, anxiety, low mood, anger, worry or the other many problems of life, all disturbances benefit from finding a way to get the system into relaxation. Some people say that they cannot relax. For them, relaxation is a skill to be learned and we all need to try many methods at different times to get the release feeling. That’s all you want. Just a mini brain break where the system says “ahhhh..” and then things improve. Breathe. Keep looking. Find a way that helps you.

July 30, 2019

Non-morning people.

If you’re slow to warm up in the morning, that’s ok. In fact it’s becoming increasingly common. Many people have trouble getting anything out of their brain first thing, needing an hour (or 3!) before anything makes sense. It may even be hereditary. It can also be a function of staying up too late and/or lack of sleep. We all operate on a different rhythm of energy. Yes we can change it, slowly and patiently using small time increments. Go to bed a little earlier and give yourself the time and space you need for mornings.

July 29, 2019

The rare bird.

You are a rare bird. Nobody does it just like you do. Your special mix of gifts and talents is a rarity. Your ideas and thought processes are unique to you. You add to the overall mix in a way that only you can do. Be pleased and go forth without second-guessing. You’ve earned it.

July 26, 2019

Serenity boost.

In your mind’s eye, imagine as you read this, that my helpful words bring a circle of soft light, a very lovely golden light, in through your eyes, this calming and soothing light moving into all aspects of your brain, clearing and cleansing, and that this soft golden light also heals and protects, moving towards any area in the mind or body that needs to repair or renew, easily and comfortably healing everything as needed and keeping you in calm serenity. Send the golden light ahead of you today for inner peace.

July 25, 2019

Detach from drama:

Drama is usually an attempt to control a situation. Somebody throws a grenade in order to get your attention and get you to do what they want you to do. It can be disruptive, or annoying, or even boring. It’s often a form of adult tantruming. It’s not your circus. Not your stuff. Watch with curiosity from a distance. Unhook and detach.

July 24, 2019

Mojo rising?

How’s your mojo? Many people are also feeling a little flat and meh right now. It’s important for the mind to remember that this too is temporary. Soon your energy will increase. Focus on remembering fun from the past. Remember joy. Remember experiences where time flew and you were totally focused on what was right in front of you. Enthusiasm and energy are cyclic states and will return in a pleasant flood of inspiration soon. After night comes day. Remember the energized state using the power of your mind and be ready to notice your mojo rising soon.

July 23, 2019

Quietly claim your personal authority.

Forget self importance. Forget ego and status and other bullshit frames of reference. Just remember what you stand for, the things you’ve done, what you’ve achieved over time and the fact that you’re incredibly resourceful and willing. You have earned the right to be where you are. Stand up with calm strength and carry your personal authority with ease.

July 22, 2019

Move slowly. 
Take it easy today. There’s a lot going on right now. You need to slow down. Take a breath. Remember what matters. Remain in light.

July 19, 2019

Quiet please.

When we have a sense of inner calm, of inner peace, we can begin to relax, begin to know that all is well and that we can just be, and you know, and I know too, that we need to slow everything down, slow down that inner chitter chatter, slow down the labeling or judging of things, cease the commentary on life now and then, just breathing, listening to the sound of the air as it enters, circulates, exits, bringing that calm wave of peace, wellbeing, quiet, slow breathing now. Allow your mind to enjoy the quiet as it expands to fill all of your cells with peace.

July 18, 2019

Choose health.

So where in your life are you not choosing health? Where do you need to focus? Think of the various elements of health: physical, emotional, creative, spiritual, intellectual, social, intimacy, growth etc. Think of your activity and rest cycles. Your fuel. Your relationships. Your inner chit chat. Where do you need to choose health?? Do one thing today.

July 17, 2019

Stop the ruminating brain!

Rumination is the practice of going over and over a thought repetitively, reliving it without mentally moving on. If the thought is a pleasant thought, then this feels great! Usually though, we don’t ruminate enough on love or appreciation thoughts, we get stuck on self criticism, worry about the future or people or other inadequacy thoughts. Catch yourself! Say out loud “This is bullshit useless rumination!” Have a go-to thought for replacement. A favorite song, pet, book, poem, car, movie, sports team, element of nature, a quote, an item of clothing; anything at all to focus on instead of the unpleasant ruminating thought. Ban that shit.

July 16,2019

Tide goes out, tide comes in.

Tree grows leaves, then leaves fall. Day becomes night becomes day. We breathe in, we release that breath out. We are active, then we are asleep. Action and inaction. Within all of nature there are growth cycles and rest cycles. This is also true emotionally. Excitement, then plateau. Motivated, then meh. Striving, then coasting. Building, then maintaining. Enjoy and appreciate both the ins and the outs today.

July 15, 2019

Let things fall into place today!

You don’t need to control or worry about everything. You don’t need to do plans A, B and C. No need to triple check or second guess. Just let things flow naturally and assume that everything is unfolding as it needs to. The sun rises, the planets are held in place. Your assistance is not required. Relax. Be in flow.

July 11, 2019

People comparisons suck.

Comparing one child to another. Comparing your confidence to somebody else’s perceived confidence. Comparing your success with others. Comparing your energy or vitality with how you imagine you used to feel. Comparing your achievements with some bullshit idea of your “potential”. Comparing your ability to that of others. All of it is asking for mood trouble and all of it sucks. Let’s all just run our own race and let others run theirs.

July 10, 2019

We can decide we don’t know.

Many things that happen, strange behaviors we witness, or feelings we have that don’t seem to make sense, all the weirdness of being human can be confusing. Our desires or preferences change, we have trouble making a decision, we don’t know what we want, we get restless. It’s best not to jump to any conclusions or take any impulsive action. It’s ok not to know. Don’t judge the situation. Be in the space of not knowing and trust that all will unfold at the appropriate time. It will.

July 9, 2019

Want self-improvement??

Improving something means changing your idea of what is important and making a decision about taking a regular small action. Just choose one. Many people overwhelm themselves trying to change everything at once. Don’t fall for it. Decide what matters the most and do the thing that improves it. Stick to that thing.

July 8, 2019

Decide it’s good!

Whatever it is today, decide that it’s good and pronounce it as good! There’s always a way of making it work for you if you decide that it will. It’s not even about seeing positives, you don’t need to. Just decide that it’s good and move on to the next thought or action. It’s all good.

July 5, 2019

Adjusting the speed switch:

As you read this, slowly, even more slowly, your inner mind can begin to wonder where in your life you need to slow the speed down, and perhaps even where you need to pick up the speed, you know, and I know too that it’s all about balance, knowing when to pause, slowly, and when to get into gear, a little more quickly, that’s right, using the power of your inner mind to correctly discern where to adjust your speed now, moving forward comfortably and pleasantly towards all the good things you need. Green means go.

July 4, 2019

Stop with the more, more, more!

Have you noticed that life might be getting a little crazy? Are you less busy than you used to be? And who the hell says being busy is always a good thing?! Stop. Think. Breathe. Cut down. Make space. Do less. Enjoy the break.

July 3, 2019

Focus on the YOU parts:

With all the stuff we stress about, there’s stuff within our control and then there’s the stuff that is about other factors, other people’s choices and external constraints. All we can do something about is our stuff. The rest is up to the other people involved. When it comes to others, you aren’t the cause and you aren’t the cure. Stick to your own stuff.

July 2, 2019

Yes, it all works out.

That thing that’s worrying you and stopping you from enjoying the moment? Just remember: it all works out. We don’t have to know the how, we just have to know that in the big picture, over time, it all works out. So you might as well just relax right now.

July 1, 2019

New dawn, new day:

Every day is a fresh start. Bring a fresh attitude and just do the best you can with whatever energy and optimism you might feel today. It’s a brand new day and it always will be. Whatever it is, it’s temporary and it’s changeable. Good things await you.

June 28, 2019

Turning down hyper-vigilance:

You know, and I know too, that sometimes the nervous system becomes too focused, a little too alert, like a periscope that has popped up and continues to scan even though it might be time to rest now, so slow right down, allowing my helpful words to ease the pace, breathing now, in, holding it, then out, slowing it, in again, waiting comfortably, then out again, even more slowly, that’s right, as we remind your inner mind to take down the periscope, only normal level watch is required, no extra surveillance right now, easing all units, just allowing, trusting, knowing that your subconscious mind is always covering everything that truly needs to be covered, so you can call off the troops and simply go with the flow of your life today. Relax now.

June 27, 2019

Just be ok.

You don’t have to be amazing. Don’t have to be great. Don’t have to set the world on fire or do anything that blows people away. No need to impress or convince others. Nothing to prove. No competition. No prizes. Just do your thing, be ordinary, focus on what the day gives you, forget the ego and just be ok.

June 26, 2019

The brain that talks too much:

The only way to stop the potentially upsetting internal chatter is to learn that skill called attentional control. Attentional control means finding various ways to deliberately control your own internal attention focus rather than being at the mercy of where your brain automatically takes you. If you think you can’t do attentional control then you definitely need to learn it. It’s not that hard but it requires practice, starting with very short periods then increasing to longer phases. The method is this: choosing a point of focus and then choosing to return your mind to that point of focus over and over whenever the mind drifts to other matters. Simply bring the attention back. You can choose visual things to focus on, or sounds, or physical things like breathing or tapping. You can even count from one to five using your own fingers, over and over. Or choose something more complex. Or just focus on the silent mind while waiting for the next thought to appear like a cloud. Once it appears, you can notice it and return to the silent mind. Deliberate attentional control is one of our most important skills for staying sane in this weird world. Spend two minutes today and build up your control levels.

June 25, 2019

Need more freedom? Do less.

Do less of the stuff that brings less pleasure and less achievement. Less of the stuff that feels like a waste of your time and energy. Stop being busy and stop talking about being busy. Decide what really brings enjoyment or fulfillment and do that. Leave some time for nothing at all. Find some little things to delete from your schedule and enjoy the freedom that comes from making a choice.

June 24, 2019

The brain on perfectionism:

There are two types of perfectionism, and some poor people produce both! One type is being driven to avoid errors as judged by yourself and your own standards. The second type involves being drive towards avoiding errors based on some type of external or social judgement via others. According to recent research, the second perfectionism type, being worried about imagined external standards is more activating in certain brain regions and leads to more emotional pain. Whether it’s fear of making a mistake at work, school, socially or in some other “visible” way, it can lead to anxiety, inhibition and self criticism. It’s also a cycle; if we avoided error once, our brain often wants to repeat the perfection pattern again to get the “payoff”. Making the move towards applying realistic internal standards might require a bit of time and coaching, but the brain is happier for it. Write down what really matters to you. Make sure it’s realistic and down to earth. Operate according to your own ethics and values and know that’s all we can do. And it’s enough.

June 21, 2019

Your positive image installation:

Stop hurrying, stop stressing and slow down, read this now, much more slowly, breathing easily, letting your eyes drift and feeling much more comfortable right now, as I remind your inner mind that you can point your focus in any direction you choose, and even after the image is taken, you can filter it in many different ways, and even choose to put a new frame around it, so remember now to forget to highlight what isn’t important, and remember to brighten and highlight all the glowing aspects, the parts for the inner eye to appreciate and feel good about now, you choose the focus, you choose the frame, and you get to feel great about the image that you produce. Look and like.

June 20, 2019

No, it’s not just you.

All the weirdness, fears, self doubts, desires, mood ups and downs, blowups, “blah” days and irritations that happen, they happen to pretty much everyone in different ways. Humans are perfectly imperfect and yet many still strive to be like happy robots, feeling or experiencing nothing uncomfortable or unpleasant. As a society we have begun to idealize how we should be and how we should feel, this mythical “best version of ourselves”, feeling great when we wake up, feeling “healthy”, being able to motivate ourselves at will, enjoying a life of highs and feeling intensely proud about it all. This idealization can only lead to frustration and discontent. Acceptance of *what is* is the first step for all of us. It doesn’t mean we can’t move towards other possibilities and changes, but we can do so with a mood of calm acceptance rather than frustration and self-criticism. All humans are perfectly imperfect, it’s not personal and it’s no big deal. Forget the idealized mythical perfect state. Be kind to yourself today and approach anything that concerns you with a mood of amusement and a sense of possibility.

June 19,2019

How to listen:

When someone is telling you what they are bothered by or upset about, whether it’s about you or someone else, just listen. Hold back the suggestions, advice and “it all happens for a reason” talk. Most people just want to vent, to be heard, to be understood and to be validated. Validation means saying things like “that’s awful” or “that’s so difficult” or some other indication of *getting it*. Jumping straight into “why don’t you just...” is generally annoying and often invalidating. Equally annoying is bringing your own “similar” experience straight in to show that you get it. Usually it’s best to keep the focus on the person needing to talk unless they ask whether you’ve had a similar thing happen. Sometimes you can just hear the story and say “WOW”. Wow as in “that’s full on”. Just listen. Pay attention. Just be there. That’s all most people want.

June 18, 2019

How to understand nasty behavior:

Actually, mostly we can’t. In my work I often see people so upset by the behavior of others and trying to work out why, what they’ve done to “deserve” it, how could that person do that, “why me” and on it goes. The thing is, most “nasty” behavior isn’t thought of as nasty by those doing it. Most people don’t appear to set out to cause harm consciously. There’s another pattern running based on how they see and code the world differently from how we might code it. Based on their own narrative of events, they feel justified, often in some mood of righteous indignation. In their mind, they are doing what is fair and just, and have probably rationalized it and come up with some cognitive story we could never predict or understand. From a logical level it may never make sense. All we can remember is that we can’t predict or control the inner narrative of another person. And their frame of reference may be vastly different from our own. We release the need to understand it through our own lens. We can choose to listen to their views if it’s respectful. We can then choose a response based on acceptance, kindness and our own code of ethics.

June 17, 2019

Give it your best today!

Whatever your best is will be influenced by how you feel and the amount of energy available. Choose a good attitude and show up ready to give the best you can. Don’t compare your best with other days, or past times, or other people. Just the best you can, then let it be. It’s enough.

June 14, 2019

Energy charge coming:

Whether your batteries are fully charged, or perhaps needing a little extra boost, slow down now, reading my words, as you breathe easily, and with the power of your mind’s eye, imagine that charge surging comfortably through your system, lighting up all the energy pathways within the cells, boosting power, filling you with the capacity for GO, for Yes and for any other HAPPY that you might like to feel and enjoy right now, increasing, naturally boosting and radiating all the energy you might require, easily, naturally and smoothly. Installation is complete. Hit save. And go on to your next task now.

June 13, 2019

We always have a choice.

Even if you can’t change what’s going on, you can choose to view the opportunities, the interesting elements, the learning, the parts you can become curious about, the little aspects to appreciate, the bits to laugh at. There’s always a way of seeing things differently. Always.

June 12, 2019

Watch out for dogs that bite.

Somebody tells you that a particular dog is known to bite people. “But I love dogs”, you think. “Dogs love me. It seems friendly. Surely it won’t bite me”. Then. Sure enough, one day, the dog loses its shit and bites you. You’re shocked! But. You knew. You were warned. This dog bites. Think about this concept in relation to certain people in your life and the poor behavior you have seen them display, perhaps many times over. And yet. Perhaps you expected that they wouldn’t do it again, wouldn’t do it to you, would learn from what happened, would suddenly “get it” and change. And sometimes we do get lucky. Other times not. There are times we really, really need to remember: this dog bites.

June 11, 2019

Mistakes are allowed.

Let’s agree to accept our humanity today, as well as the humanity of others. No human is a perfect robot, and I doubt we could all agree on how the perfect human robot should be programmed anyway. Everyone is doing the best they can, and there may be mistakes. Mistakes are ok. We learn, we move on, perhaps we improve. Enjoy being an imperfect non-robot human today. Humans are awesome.

June 7, 2019

You’re better than ok:

Stop. Slow your thinking, Speak slowly inside your mind as you read my words, as I speak to you, here, and you can take a moment to remember some pleasant things, the kind things you said or did recently, slowing down now to remember, the fun moments, the little wins, just those tiny things we do in life that give us pleasure or meaning, breathing slowly, or maybe a tricky task that you got through, something that once seemed overwhelming and now you’ve got it, you did it, it’s ok, you’re ok, breathing very smoothly now and allowing all the air to move freely through your relaxed system, you’re ok, in fact you’re better than ok. You’re awesome.

June 6, 2019

Banish imposters!

So many people go about their life feeling like an imposter or fraud on the inside. “If people only knew what I was really like then I’d be found out, I’d be banished” says the imposter voice. You can know, right here, right now, that the imposter voice is actually a mix of anxiety and humility. Anxiety based on fear of not being good enough or knowing enough, and the humility to know that none of us can know enough and there is always more to learn. Truthfully, imposter syndrome usually carries a dose of comparison too, comparing ourselves with people who appear supremely confident, big talkers, maybe even arrogant self-promoters. If we get the imposter feeling (and it is a feeling, not a fact), we need to go back to the evidence. Make a list of your demonstrated skills, experience, abilities, qualifications if relevant, and if you say you can’t think of any, check with somebody who knows you well. There will be plenty. If you have imposter syndrome, you’re a driven (and probably modest) person who wants to do well. The true frauds and imposters think they are totally awesome. Any healthy self doubt is a sign of being grounded and open to learning. Be real. And be glad you are.

June 5, 2019

No nitpicking

Not with yourself and not with others. Stick to the big issues and what really matters to you. There’s a some things you shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about. You only have so many rat’s asses to give so choose wisely and focus on your key values. What’s truly matters is the only thing that should guide whether or not we decide to give a rat’s. Be aware of allocating yours today.

June 4, 2019

Need some encouragement?

If you need to boost encouragement for some situation or task, the quickest way is to think of the relevant qualities in somebody else. The motivation of a certain friend, family member, famous person, sportsperson etc, the bravery of somebody who has been through something similar or equally difficult, the inspiration and creativity of an artist or musician or anybody else who overcame the odds and succeeded. Humans are humans. If one of us can do something difficult, the rest of us can learn from it and take some encouragement. May you smoothly get through whatever you need to deal with today.

June 3, 2019

Today gets better

Notice and appreciate all small improvements today, starting now. The more we ask our mind to scan for the things that we can feel good or ok about, the more our subconscious will accept and benefit from the improvements. Better and better, and more relaxed. Watch for things to appreciate now.

May 31, 2019

Stop. Breathe. Wait. Repeat.

You know, and I know too, that your head has been a bit too full with all those things you’re taking in, processing and thinking about and trying to solve, so slow down your eyes now, letting your eyes go just a little heavier, relaxing the eye muscles here as you listen to me, as I talk to you and I remind your inner mind that you can take time out inside, let the inner mind relax and be free, nothing to do right now, nothing to solve, nowhere to be, just be here, now, relaxing the little muscles in the neck and shoulders that carry all the stress and strain, breathing slowly and easily, that’s right, just breathe, let it all settle by itself, it will, all will unfold in your favor and you can go about your day with the carefree inner mind. Go now.

May 30, 2019

Head is too full?

There’s a thing called cognitive load. It’s about the amount of information you’re trying to carry in your head or take in or process. It includes information from work, finances, study, reading, podcasts, other people’s information, problems needing to be solved and anything else you’re thinking about or trying not to think about. Many people I talk to are increasing their mental load continuously and almost addictively, due to love of learning combined with a kind of driven perfectionism. Cognitive load is strongly associated with stress and burnout. Give your brain a break. Do some stuff where you’re not thinking. Have some fun. Waste some time. Lie around being dreamy. Look at the clouds. Stare at a tree. May your brain be free today.

May 29, 2019

Speak to people you love as if you love them!

It’s easy to be tired, stressed, time-pressured, irritated and therefore careless with tone or words. It’s easy to become over-familiar and speak without thought or consideration for how our words might sound or feel to the person close to us. Many people would never snap at a friend or colleague the way they can snap at a “nearest and dearest”. Reality TV is normalizing some pretty tacky conversational modes so let’s not replay these scenes at home. Let’s stop. Breathe. Take stock. Remember what matters. Speak the truth with kindness and love, and if we screw it up by accident, apologize instantly and do it over again. Nasty only breeds more nasty. Kindness, respect, appreciation and reassurance can help ensure the safe delivery of your message.

May 28, 2019

The Self-Care List:

With all the “have to” things we need to get done, let’s not forget to check in on the important aspects of self-care. Without the right self-care, we feel down, we fatigue, we burn out. Firstly we have the physical aspects: food, sleep, exercise, affection, relaxation. Then we have emotional: tuning in, body and mind awareness, creativity and self expression, doing things that boost good feelings, being heard, understood and validated. Thirdly we look at spiritual aspects of self care, however that shows up for you- beliefs, meditation, contemplation of ideas or philosophy, connection to what matters to you. Intellectual self-care is about feeding the mind; new ideas, growth, input, consolidation. Ethical self care is about making sure you are living up to your own code of conduct in personal life and work life. And finally social self-care is about engaging in the right amount of social connection in a way that is fun and meaningful for you. All of the above will be different for everyone. The question is: what do YOU need more of or less of? Choose a self-care option to implement for yourself today.

May 27, 2019

Relief from pressure:

No hurry, no worry. Act as if you have all the time in the world and act as if it’s all fun anyway. The pressure is from within so you might as well delete it. Remove the deadline and just act as if it doesn’t matter. Without pressure, shit gets done. Chill out and go do it.

May 24, 2019

Calm amidst turmoil:

With everything going on, taking time out for relaxation can feel almost, but not quite, impossible; nothing is ever impossible when we put our minds to it, so slow down right now, breathe in slowly, let your eyes rest slowly and easily across my words here, as I say helpful words to you now, and you can listen, slowing down, really breathing, with your inner mind fully present and alert now, your subconscious mind fully alive, listening to me here, saying the thing that you most need to know today, it’s ok, slowing down, being calm, possibilities are there for you, and your inner mind now has full access, all the ideas and resources and options, remembering now to say those positive helpful things to yourself, you are in fact quite awesome, you have many skills and talents, and you can remember to remain calm so the information downloads are fully clear and accessible for you now. Breathe and remember. Enjoy.

May 23, 2019

Over-stretching yourself??

There are many ways to burn our candles at both ends, either externally or internally. Are you expecting or asking too much of yourself? Doing too much in one area of life and neglecting another? Pushing yourself without rest or sleep? Being overly driven? Procrastinating too much and creating internal guilt-pressure? Focusing so much on the needs of others that you overlook yourself? Trying to cover too many bases?? If you need to create more balance then you’ll know it as you read this. Make one small adjustment today so you’ll have a little extra inner peace and joy.

May 22, 2019

Don’t force it.

Worry can create a tendency to take quick action, to do something. There is a time for action. There is a time to wait and see what unfolds. Many things unfold naturally to show the way forward if we are calm and aware. Step back and wait.

May 21, 2019

Food and balanced mood:

If you’re like most people, being tired and/or stressed is a massive risk in terms of making nutritional choices that promote balanced mood and energy. States of tiredness, sleep deprivation or stress are linked with altered cortisol levels (stress hormones) which often trigger urges for sugar or carbs. In addition, eating sugary/fatty foods at this time is more likely to lead to weight gain in the middle regions. These sugar/carb urges often occur at mid afternoon and at night after dinner. It’s no mystery and when it happens we need to go back to basics: food, sleep, exercise, relaxation and social balance. In terms of food, breakfast, lunch and dinner need to contain a decent amount of protein (which women often lack) as well as vegetables or some fruit. Eggs or protein shake at breakfast, protein and salad/veg for lunch and protein and veg for dinner. Go for a small walk. Chat to a fun friend. Meditate in whatever way suits your personality. Talk to somebody about the issues that worry you. Get some morning sunshine and plenty of darkness in the evening. Dim your lights and screens. And above all, know that you CAN do this and that it WILL help you feel better. Choose wisely today.

May 20, 2019

Brain instructions:

It’s possible to make a request of the brain so that it knows what you want to focus on today. There may be many things coming up in your day today, or perhaps few things. Either way, I invite you to request now that your brain sorts for all positive or enjoyable aspects. Your brain can now begin the subconscious search and scan, noticing the pleasurable parts and ignoring the other parts for now. That is your mission, should you choose to accept it. Request this of your brain right now. Just ask and your mind will begin to comply: notice the highlights please.

May 17, 2019

Guilt-free day:

As best as I can tell, guilt is an emotion we have no need to generate unless we have done deliberate harm to others, and yet guilt can bubble up strangely when we’ve done no such harm, so, as I talk to you now, and you can listen if it feels true, it might be time now to turn that guilt trigger button right down, to a much safer, comfortable, more appropriate adult level for you here, so take a long, slow deep breath, holding it, and letting it go, slowly, easily, and as you continue to slow down, breathing in another relaxation, that’s right, feeling that deep breath moving through all of the body, mind, mind and body working together now to move up into that part of the brain that somehow decided, a long long time ago, that you were responsible, that you were at fault somehow, probably when you were very very young, and yet, you’ve updated so many things since then, you believe so many different things now, you have upgraded in consciousness and you know, and I know too, that we can only be responsible for our own deliberate thoughts and deliberate behaviors, and also that when we act according to our code of ethics, we are doing the best we can, and that’s all we need to do now, just focus on our side of the fence and do as best we can, then know that it all works out anyway and it’s all ok anyway, all your cells updating any part of the brain now, attributing responsibility with the wise adult mind, dissolving any childlike beliefs that are no longer helpful now, updating and upgrading and integrating for you now, as you relax and move into one guilt-free day and another then another. Go on.

May 16, 2019

Functioning when tired:

It might be tiredness, it might be fatigue; either way, often we have to find a way of functioning and doing what we need to do while feeling pretty awful. If we are tired or fatigued, the goal is to avoid creating a secondary unpleasant emotional state. For example, you could generate anxiety or frustration or anger about being tired or fatigued, then your nervous system has even more to manage. As hard as it is, we can cultivate an acceptance of the energy state we’re in. It is what it is and we can just do the best we can on the day by remaining calm and neutral. If we are to be tired/fatigued then we try to be ok with it. Doesn’t mean we don’t seek solutions or work towards building a more functional energy state via sleep, correct food, environmental aspects, emotional factors, physical changes etc. We can work on all these, often with coaching from the right professionals. But in the now, we are ok with being tired, we can know our brain is still active, our body is operating, all is well. Dwell on the aspects of your body and mind that feel alright and remain neutral about the rest of it. More calm means more rest and repair. May your energy fire up nicely today.

May 15, 2019

You’ve got this!

Whatever it is that you’re worried about, remember: you’ve got this. You are resourceful and have many talents. All you need to do is remain calm, let things unfold and make reasonable choices as you go along. Don’t jump too far ahead; stay in the NOW. If you just do what is needed right now, and calmly move forward using the information you have available, you have SO got this. Somehow it might even take care of itself, many things work out if we just stay out of the way. Either way, you have many gifts and abilities to guide you. You’ve got this.

May 14, 2019

Nothing is black and white:

Whether it’s about a situation, another person or yourself, thinking in black and white terms often leads us to feel angry or judgemental or not good enough or other feelings we don’t enjoy. Black and white thinking might come in the form of thoughts about what you or others or events *should* do or feel or achieve. Or what you or others *shouldn’t* do or be. Or what you or others *deserve*. Or what is *success* versus *failure*. Or that something is good/bad. Any time we tend think or speak like something is a “rule”, or that it’s “all or nothing”, we are potentially thinking in black and white. In truth, most things in life are grey, with complexity and many aspects we may not even be aware of. Let’s all be more conscious of our version of black and white thinking and remember to consider the other ways of looking at it.

May 13, 2019

Elevated nervous system?

If you’re waking up, if you’re a tad hypervigilant, if you’re tense or anxious, or a bit hyped or having stomach or digestive issues, then your sympathetic nervous system is probably elevated. Many of us are what we call Sympathetic Dominant, which means our accelerator pedal is stuck on, driving the machine hard and perhaps a little too fast. We need to make sure we regularly activate our inner brake pedal, which is the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system slows things down and is in control of rest and digestion. You can activate your brake pedal by breathing, preferably from the diaphragm. Breathe in slowly through your nose, count to 4, hold it in for the count of 7 and breathe out for the count of 8. After a few rounds, notice where in your body you hold tension or speediness. Focus on that and do a few more rounds of 4, 7, 8 breathing. And make sure you use your own meditation methods each day too, it helps lower cortisol (stress hormones) and assists the part of your brain that chooses helpful thoughts. Remember to breathe today.

May 10, 2019

Dissolve chaos and drama:

While there may well be all kinds of activity going on around you, it’s time now to allow the release of all awareness, the dissolving of pressure or tension, simply allowing in a dose of inner peace nor, maybe for just a minute or so, slowing down, deep slow breath in, now, as your eyes rest easily on my words, that’s right, now long slow breath out, easy, and again, slow breath in, through your nose, easy, then hold it, now release it, and as you do release it, you can feel some of that tension leave your body and mind, simply letting it go as the air leaves you, releasing it into the air around you, dissolving now, and little pockets of inner peace can begin to expand inside you, filling like small happy balloons of pleasure, lifting you, inspiring you and energizing you peacefully into your day. Take off now.

May 9, 2019

The silent treatment:

Going all silent on somebody is a horrible way to punish them. It’s the epitome of passive-aggressive behaviour. Passive-aggressive means that we’re not actually *doing anything* but our withdrawal of something constitutes a level of aggression in itself. It’s aim is often both to make a point and perhaps (paradoxically) to prevent conflict. A more adult way is of course to explain that you need a time out before talking and still maintain civility. So what about if somebody is deliberately doing silent treatment towards you?? You can ask them what’s happening and you will likely be told a version of “nothing/I’m fine”. What do you do with that?? We have a few options. If it’s a person we are more detached from, we can decide it’s not our problem unless they choose to raise their issue. You can certainly offer them the opportunity to raise their issue. You can also explain that silent treatment or withdrawal is not a strategy you feel comfortable with and that you’d like to work out another way to deal with whatever is going on. And if required you could get a coach to help with communication in that relationship. If all fails, perhaps further distance or detachment is needed. Deliberate silent treatment has been shown to be very damaging and destructive to relationships of all kinds. It’s also one of the four key predictors of relationship breakdown. Firstly: make sure you don’t do it to others. Secondly: If it bothers you in a relationship, raise it and get assistance if required. Silent passive aggressive moves suck.

May 8, 2019

Drama around you??

We know there are people that actually need chaos. Do they actual enjoy it?? Often they say they don’t and yet somehow they are at the centre of drama after drama and it may appear that they are the catalyst for much of it. It may be that their nervous system is wired to require a particular kind of high excitement, high adrenaline environment, and that without it, things feel dead or boring or just not quite right. For the rest of us who require inner peace, this need for chaos or drama can be disturbing, unsettling, annoying and even upsetting. Detachment isn’t always easy, especially when you care about the people involved. For prevention, choose distance from drama-seekers wherever possible. For treatment, repeat to yourself that you choose to focus on what matters to you, you will be acting within your own integrity and you will choose peace. Fight the urge to protect everyone. If we are talking about adults (who create and maintain most drama) then they too are ADULTS with resources and choices. Decide that it is your choice to remain in the state of peace. It’s their stuff. Your job is to choose to be drama-free, to remain calm and to focus on what truly matters.

May 7, 2019

Watching people make bad decisions??

Whether it’s friends or family, most of us get to watch others make decisions that leave our mouths open in shock or disbelief. Maybe they choose harmful activities, or maybe choose to stay in a relationship that seems toxic, or don’t manage money well, or perhaps it’s what they DON’T do for themselves or others. Yes it can be very hard to watch, especially when we care about that person and want the best for them. We can feel responsible,like it’s up to us to help or fix it. And when we get that urge, a key question to ask is whether or not that person is in the market for actual help or advice. (A tip: most people are not). If people respond well to help or suggestions, both by listening and/or taking their own action then they are ready for change. But if they don’t listen or continue as is, they are not ready. And that’s ok. We can offer suggestions and leave it there. Beyond that, it is not our job to control others. Please repeat: it is not my job to control or direct others. Help is available if needed. Live and let live. Sometimes all you can do is offer open and non-judgemental energy. And that’s a lot.

May 6, 2019

Work with the Now:

While it can be habitual to jump ahead and try to work out the future, it’s often stress-inducing and even overwhelming. Just for today, stick to today, in fact, stick to the next 5 minutes. If you stay in now/5 min, and manage that well, then the rest will take care of itself. Keep it simple in your mind today. It all works out.

May 3, 2019

Feel upbeat:

I don’t really know how you woke up feeling, I don’t truly know what’s going on for you today at all, or what is to come, but what we CAN do, if you want to listen to my helpful instructions, is to calm it all down now, taking one slow deep breath, slowly, that’s right, let that oxygen circulate easily, slowly, dissolving all tension now as you breathe out and as I talk, and you can just listen, all is well, nothing to do right now, really quite free in your inner mind, allowing that freedom feeling to move around all the places in your mind that need to know, and as that freedom feeling does move around, it is, you can also allow a certain level of upbeat to happen, slowly, just turning up the upbeat now, hand on the dial, your inner mind knowing exactly where and how, little bit more upbeat, feeling better and better as your day goes on, more and more relaxed upbeat for you now, flowing easily with the rhythm of however it goes, upbeat it is.

May 2, 2019

Jealous focus on others:

Maybe it’s social media and the constant protection of beauty and success. Maybe it’s insecurity, or self-doubt or perfectionism. Or maybe feeling like “potential” hasn’t been achieved. Or that you want or feel you deserve what they have. It can seem unfair and it can feel like “doing everything right” isn’t paying off and/or that others have things they don’t “deserve”. No matter what, it’s all a form of unpleasant comparison to others and it’s going to sting. The only antidotes involve sticking to your own yard, so to speak. Staying in your own yard means focusing on your achievements, your goals, the things you appreciate and enjoy. Any time the focus drifts to others, we gently bring it back, knowing that it’s their journey and that our journey is unique to us. We also don’t truly know what goes on for others; nobody ever really knows what difficulties they face or what’s really going on behind the scenes. If you’re focusing on another and feeling jealous, say “ I can’t judge the merit of this, I know nothing about their true situation ”. Then go back to your situation. Start with appreciating what you do have or enjoy and then remember your intentions or goals. Focusing on others is completely useless and demoralizing. Return to self and look at the brightness in the now as well as the future. It is.

May 1, 2019

Face the truth.

Is there a little dose of truth you’ve been avoiding?? Something you’ve been denying or justifying to yourself and need to stop and look at the reality? A habit you really need to change? A negative or apathetic attitude that needs a kick into a new gear? A behavior that needs to stop or start? Some self-pity that needs to convert into appreciation or action? A one-way relationship that must alter course? A lifestyle rut that needs to be shaken up? A new direction for some part of your leisure time? Whatever that truth is for you, face it and move towards a better state of mind. You can.

April 30, 2019

Energy for healing:

Whatever needs healing right now, whether it’s for you (emotionally or for some physical situation) or for someone else or other aspects of nature, send some healing energy to that place. Research demonstrates the effect of sending deliberate or intentional energy, which can be in the form of a thought, color, light or feeling, and it doesn’t even matter if the person knows or believes. You can receive some healing energy to yourself, via this message. All you have to do is be willing to receive it. We are like transmission stations, sending and receiving different forms of energy all the time via sympathetic resonance. Be receptive to the helpful energy for yourself today and send some out for others when you can.

April 29, 2019

Everything at once:

Most of us seem to have a stress tolerance limit that is fairly stable. We’ve worked out our life balance, and we do ok with it, until somehow there’s extra to cope with. Maybe family stuff, or unexpected financial issues, or illness, a Monday morning, strange conflict with others, car or appliance failure or other life annoyances. And as we know, these things often arrive in groups rather than alone! It can tip us over our stress tolerance limits before we know it, and into overwhelm or anxiety. Our first requirement is to notice, or acknowledge what’s happening. Know that everyone feels this way at times (more often than we could know) and that it’s human. It can hit us harder at various points in the hormone cycle too, so be aware. Notice, acknowledge, be calm. Chunk down. Face one thing at a time; everything cannot be solved right now. Breathe. Start with one. Know that it’s all an ongoing mission and that all missions have challenges within them. It all works out. It’s already improving right now.

April 28, 2019

Changing involuntary emotions and sensations:

You know, and I know too, that most of us have certain patterns that kick in, feelings that we don’t perhaps enjoy, or thoughts that arise, seemingly from nowhere, to disturb our peace of mind, maybe even in a dream, or triggered by some random event that the subconscious mind connects to, and by listening now, slowing down, tuning in with your inner mind to me now, as I talk to you here, your subconscious mind can hear, loud and clear, and make some adjustments right now, right here, small adjustments, turning the discomfort dial down now, that’s right, down a little further, to a relaxed and much more functional level, very good, and moving to that dial that controls motivation and confidence now, and turning that dial up a bit higher, just a bit more, turning it up to a strong and vibrant level, not too much, just getting it right, and leaving it there, so that your subconscious mind can know how to balance feelings easily, without analysis, without effort, just starting to feel better now for no good reason, and boosting enjoyment for your day. Enjoy.

April 27, 2019

Appreciate and like.

Appreciation is easy. It can be just a thought about a thing you like, something enjoyable, an idea you are inspired by, a person you enjoy, something interesting or beautiful in nature, an activity you do or once did, an animal or loved pet, a task that is easy, a piece of clothing or jewellery, a color, a particular book, a piece of music or a band or anything at all that you can remember or think of that gets you into the state of appreciating. You don’t have to feel grateful as such, you can just feel a sense of liking this aspect or being glad it’s in your orbit. Gratitude can sometimes feel like a pressure, like something we’re “supposed” to feel, whereas appreciating is just an easy sensation of liking and being glad. Find five things to appreciate around you now. They can be tiny or huge. Then find a few more. All you have to say is “I like it”. And notice how that feels.

April 26, 2019

Focus on what you CAN do.

I see so many people being so hard on themselves, so self-critical. These patterns usually start early in life. If there was a critical voice in childhood, perhaps it became internalized. Most of us don’t like the feeling of feeling inadequate, of nothing ever being good enough for somebody. And yet it’s something we also do to ourselves. It’s about expectations. Do we expect to be a human or are we expecting ourselves to behave like a robot designed and programmed to somebody’s idea of perfection? We know that perfectionism leads to anxiety, trouble and disappointment, sometimes even despair. So we need to focus our mental lens on the little wins, the minor enjoyments, the strengths. We can build on these. Let’s focus today on what is going well, what we CAN do and what the next small step is. Watch for the good bits today.

April 25, 2019

Internally shaky:

There are days when things don’t feel great inside. Maybe something has happened, maybe nothing has happened. These are the days to take it very easy out in the world. And by that, it means taking it very easy on yourself. Imagine you were looking after a young person that wasn’t feeling well or had been very upset. You’d gently lead them, you’d speak with kindness and reassurance, you’d choose or avoid certain people or places and you’d keep checking in on them. That’s what we all need for ourselves. When tired or stressed or shaky, we need inner friendliness and reassurance much more than we need any form of self medication with sugar or other substances. Niceness to self brings a calm and pleasant energy to the world. Practise self-kindness today.

April 24, 2019

Non-judgement and the brain:

Most minds have an urge to judge. We judge our own experiences, ourselves, others, the past, the present and the future. We label it, decide it’s good, bad, boring, exciting, terrible, perfect, concerning, it’s alright, it’s unacceptable, it’s better or worse or pointless etc etc. We assume that “positive” judgements are good (so we even judge our judgements!!) but even these can bring distress by way of contrast and by having an assumption that everything should feel good and/or be deemed good. To practise non-judgement, the key is to say IT IS. Whatever “it” might be, someone’s behavior, your own feelings or pain or experience, just notice it and acknowledge that it IS. The secondary freak out that can come from the habit of judging every emotion or experience can lead to a lot of stress, anxiety, frustration and despair. Saying “it is” doesn’t keep us stuck in places we shouldn’t be. If a feeling or experience is temporary, it will still pass, but we will have less distress. If it’s a situation we should be acting on, we will accept the reality more quickly and perhaps do what is truly required. When you notice yourself reacting and judging today (we all do, it’s part of being human) just go back to IT IS. If you want to feel even more accepting, try “IT IS. And that’s OK”. See how it feels. Again, that doesn’t mean you remain in unacceptable situations or circumstances. But perhaps it can bring a clarity about where to go next. Either way, IT IS.

April 23, 2019

The brain that smiles!

Smiling sends a quick signal to the brain and lifts our spirit, even a tiny bit, if only for a second. You need to push the smile up to involve the eyes! A grin is even more potent. Give a grin at yourself every time you pass a mirror or reflective surface! The smile muscles boost brain chemistry whether or not you have anything to smile about. Give random strangers a smile and nod. We never know how much they might need that free smile today. Let’s commit to bringing more smiles into daily activity.

April 22, 2019

Boosting relationship connection:

There are a few key actions we can take to make things more enjoyable and smooth. One is the way we respond to seemingly random comments. If a partner comments on something, from their day, to the weather, traffic, TV show or other observation, in psychology land we call that a “bid for attention”. It’s so easy (especially in long term couples) to ignore it, stay on a device, grunt, or make a dismissive yet vaguely polite comment. For example a person might say “traffic was so slow tonight”. We can answer “mmm” or “ok” or ignore or say “it’s always slow” etc. In truth, none of those responses enhance connection. A comment is a bid for attention. If we want to build or maintain connection we could respond “oh was it frustrating?” or “where were the trouble spots” or “how did you distract yourself from it” or “I wonder what was going on” or some other response that shows interest and allows conversation to continue. The other person may not wish to say any more about it. But they will have had a solid response to their bid for attention and research/clinical practice shows the connection-boosting effect of this habit. We tend to do it with friends and colleagues while we can get lazy and complacent with partners if we’re tired or stressed. Don’t use up all your good stuff during the day. Take some to the person you’re with. Maybe get your other half to follow this page if you think it might help you to have things to talk about! We need more people thinking about the issues we share on this page so think about somebody who might benefit. And remember to respond to a bid for attention today!

  

April 21, 2019

Take the inner child with you!

One of the keys to on-going fun and contentment is to have regular chats with the inner child. What does it want to do? What does it enjoy? How could it have a good time in this situation? What doesn’t it want to be involved in? Who does it like/dislike? The inner child is often about 9 years old and wants to do all the things you liked doing at that age, from playing, to talking, to learning and to dreaming while looking at the sky or out the window. That inner child knows what you need more than you do. You don’t have to everything it wants to do, but tapping in will help you understand when and why you feel naturally motivated or joyous. Tap into the wisdom and guidance of that kid today. Maybe even skip a little while you’re walking.

  

April 20, 2019

Validation for you:

We move around in the world every day, doing what we need to do, putting on whatever mask is needed on whatever day, sometimes hiding what is really going on inside, so today, as I speak slowly to your inner mind, listening now, to the acknowledgement, the validation that is for you, the REAL you, the part that feels everything, the part that deals with the pain and the wins and the hard times and the tricky bits, the part that perhaps not many people see, I’m talking here, speaking to that part right now, breathe in now, a deep breath of relaxation as you release all tension and strain, and simply feel that validation for the inner you, letting me remind your inner mind to feel good now, feel grateful for the good, feel satisfied with the wins, feel strong in the face of trouble, feel accepting of the ups and downs and know that it’s ok, and you’re doing great. You are.

  

April 19, 2019

Get it over with.

That thing you’re dreading or putting off? Just bite the bullet. Get the thing happening and then you won’t have to feel the blah of procrastination any more. Procrastination is a mix of “should” and “want to” combined with a stab of guilt and avoidance. Get it over with. The buzz of action is much more pleasant than the discomfort of ongoing “coulda shoulda”. Make it start today. It’s never as bad as we think and it’s usually easier than we could predict. Go on.

  

April 18, 2019

There is no defence!

Couples and families often have an issue where somebody says “the wrong thing” and then tries to explain “but all I meant was...”. Can we spread the word that when we say or do the wrong thing, even if we don’t quite get it (and this is assuming we’re dealing with a reasonable person and not a head-tripper) the response should be to be quiet and listen. Then agree that it was “the wrong thing” or that we can see how it comes across as “wrong” and apologize. The amount of defence and justification I hear in my work is a worry. It only elevates conflict and makes the other person even more frustrated. Fight the urge to defend and justify. Just hear the complaint and agree with the validity of it as much as possible. Again assuming you’re dealing with a (generally!) rational person that cares about you. We shut up. We listen. We validate. We apologize. We agree to be mindful in future. Amazing how many problems just go away when we do that.

  

April 17, 2019

Song therapy today!

Find that song. The one that makes you feel how you want to feel and dials up the mood you need today. Is from the past?? A song that’s always meant something? Or something new that reminds you to always stay in touch with recent music? Or some random track that you can really listen to and lose yourself in?? Use the power of music to lift your spirits today.

  

April 16, 2019

Anti-Rut, Anti-Boredom!

Being in a rut or feeling bored is not fun. It can build frustration and lead to impulsive acts that may not be great in the long term. We avoid ruts by making sure we keep changing it up, doing something different, setting new small challenges. In a similar way we can avoid boredom by looking for differences rather than focusing on sameness, by remaining curious and asking new questions, by reminding ourselves what is important and WHY we are doing this. It’s an inside job and it all depends on attitude and optimism. Most of the time these feelings are temporary and go away all by themselves if we don’t buy in. But if they’re sticking around, we need to change it up, get creative, challenge ourselves within the situation. Every day is different if we remember to look.

  

April 15, 2019

Release control:

There are times, many times really, where we need to just let it go, let things play out as they may, just allowing things to unfold, breathing now, slowing down, eyes gliding slowly over my words, speaking to your inner mind, the mind that knows, it’s not always time for action, just wait, let it unfold, events will reveal themselves and all is well. Release.

  

April 14, 2019

Self confidence:

It’s about knowing it’s in there. Even if you don’t feel it right now, even when you’re not sure, know that the resources are inside and will present themselves at the required time. You will always have what you need available at the moment you need it. You have intelligence, resourcefulness, competence, personality, wit and charm at your disposal. Always. And your bag of tricks grows stronger every day with every experience. You refuse to do comparison with others. It’s about you; you’re unique and you do it your way. You are equipped. You CAN do it. Be calm, say yes and know that confidence is always there with you.

  

April 13, 2019

Pissed off?? Check expectations.

Expectations are a recipe for emotional consequences. If we are disappointed, pissed off, let down or angry, turns out we had expectations. Maybe we weren’t even aware of it. Those expectations might have been about the behavior/actions of others or they may have been expectations of how we ourselves would feel in a certain situation. Many people feel that if something was the “right thing” for them, they’d feel different, better, euphoric even. A lot of us have idealized and unrealistic expectations of how we will feel. We expect to feel “refreshed” or “energized” upon waking (most of us wake up foggy and take ages to kick start). We expect to feel madly in love all the time in long term relationships (love goes in cycles and changes form). We expect to feel “passionate” and “motivated” in the “right” job or the “right” educational program (motivation goes up and down, we feel interest but it waxes and wanes like most things in life). We expect other people to “do the right thing” by us or know how to “make us happy” (other people come equipped with many different installations both in personality and life experience and will see things via their own model of the world). Many of our expectations are quite reasonable. Some are idealizations. Others are completely unrealistic given the people or circumstances involved. If you’re pissed off, check the expectations. The answer may lie there.

  

April 12, 2019

Look at the sky. Look at a tree.

Nature is constantly changing. We can look at one small element, whether it’s in the country or the city or even in our mind’s eye, and see the artistry or sense the calm or feel the inspiration that comes from the scene. We can remember that we are part of nature, growing, changing, unique and with our own features or gifts. If we feel lost or tired or despairing we can look at something in nature for an idea of how to reframe circumstances for a better-feeling thought. Do a sky check today. Find a tree or three to gaze at. A ray of sunshine to notice. And remember the possibilities. Remember it’s all alive with action.

  

April 11, 2019

No rush.

There just isn’t. It all works out. Slow down, enjoy, allow, relax. Hurrying links us to worrying and other expressions of anxiety. It all gets done somehow. Slow it down and enjoy the moments today.

  

April 10, 2019

You just never know!

Take a moment now, relaxing easily as you read my words, slowing your eyes down, slowly breathing in, holding it, and now releasing it, that’s right, allowing all tension to dissolve, little muscles in neck and shoulders easing now, letting the tension simply drop from your jaw muscles, all those little muscles carrying your stress and strain, just softening now, as you read, and as I remind your mind that it’s a new day, and it always will be, and nothing will ever be the same again, in a good way, better and newer things, we really never know what good things are just around the corner, the exciting things, the fun, new people, the interesting new ideas, the changes that might feel scary but will in fact lead to growth and inspiration, the learning, the opportunities, the things we will laugh about, the accidental good times we will have, these things are always coming, are here already, be on lookout, the never-ending creation of your life, better and better now, you just never know what’s next, relaxing now, as you just go on the ride. May your ride be friendly as you increase energy and brain alertness now for the journey.

  

April 9, 2019

Frustrated?? Then read more.

Frustration is a type of stress. It’s an agitated, unpleasant feeling that often leads to thoughts that spiral to anger, lowered mood, despair or anxiety. It can also be a positive force that leads us to take action when processed or focused correctly. How do we create frustration? Frustration is nearly always a case of thinking something should be different from what it is. We want it faster. We want it now. We “should” be further ahead. We “should” be feeling different. We “deserve” better. It “should” have worked by now. We “shouldn’t” be still in this place. They “shouldn’t” think/act like that. They “should” know better. Today “should” have gone differently. This needs to change. We’re “over it”. It’s not “fair”. We’re “done”. All of these types of internal narratives will build frustration. And what they have in common is a lack of acceptance or allowing of what is, combined with a strong expectation of something else, possibly even an internal rule about how it “should” be. And I’m not saying we’re always incorrect in our assessment; there are times when a situation is not ok and we need to take action or exit. And this is where it can be a positive motivator. But if these frustration patterns are recurring, or regularly triggered by everyday stuff, then we need to take stock of our inner narrator. We all narrate life from the inside. Does the inner narrator need a shake up or an attitude adjustment? Do we need to go with the flow a little more and be a little less judgey?? Notice your themes and frequency of frustrations today and see if you can shake up the internal narrator to see which part (if any) really needs the change.

  

April 8, 2019

Anti-procrastination method:

Most of the time, we don’t feel too great after procrastinating. We put something off, put it out of mind, tell ourselves we will start later, tomorrow, when there’s more time, when things settle down. The only antidote to procrastination is to say NO to ourselves, like we would if a kid was trying to put something off when it needs to be done. NO, we can say. DO IT NOW. JUST DO A LITTLE BIT. Whatever it is, just start, just do a little bit of it, maybe 5-10 minutes. That’s all. Then you can feel like you’ve begun and it won’t feel so overwhelming or difficult. Procrastination is a cycle. The more we do it, the more we do it. The mind gets used to helping us feel off the hook and justifying it. Sometimes it’s ok to take a break or rest but we all know the difference deep down. When it’s got to be done, we start. Face it. Say it. No excuses. No thinking up reasons why not to. JUST DO IT. Do one thing today, one tiny action towards something you’ve been procrastinating on. You’ll feel good after. Reward chemicals beat self-annoyance any day.

  

April 7, 2019

Physical pain:

Most pain gives double distress. First there’s the sensation itself, then there is the concern/irritation/fear/worry cycle that can accompanies the pain. We might not have so much control over the first sensation of pain, but evidence shows that our internal response to the pain can affect how long we feel the pain for, as well as the level of distress we feel. While this isn’t easy (and depends on severity of course), the key seems to be to notice and name thepain without entering into distress thoughts. For example saying “throbbing pain left side of neck” or wherever it is. Talk to the pain. Ask that part of the body how it is feeling and whether it has anything it needs to tell you. You might ask the pain what word it represents. Ask if there is any underlying emotion, stress or conflict that needs to be processed. Ask yourself what color the pain is, and think about what color you’d like it to be. You might even imagine changing the color of the pain area using the power of your imagination. When people’s brains are monitored on fMRI, the results have suggested lower ratings of pain perception using these and similar techniques. Again, the idea is to avoid secondary suffering by not freaking out and through a calm detached awareness of aspects of the pain. We can’t always do it and that’s ok. But when you can, or can do it for somebody else, it’s pretty effective. May your day be pain-free and comfortable.

  

April 6, 2019

Power yourself:

If you need to power up, don’t think about any tiredness or fog. Yes, your brake pedal may be a little stick today but if you want energy, focus on hitting the accelerator pedal. You are powered by the daylight or any other light you think about. You are solar powered. Bring the light into your mind, your brain, your nervous system and your body. Let there be light everywhere inside and outside you, powering up your energy meter. Lighten up your thoughts. Travel lightly. Choose a light touch for everything you say and do. You can even be a light-worker if you choose, for added energy bonuses. Stay out of the heavy zone today, turn your eyes towards wherever the light is and feel your energy power right up whenever you need it.

  

April 5, 2019

Hitting PAUSE button now:

You know, and I know too, that there are all those things on your mind, those worries, fears, uncertainties and annoyances, and things that can affect the mind, affect clear thinking and make you feel like you need to take action, without even always knowing what action, so just read my words now, here, and take a slow deep breath, while we hit the PAUSE button, breathing in again now, allowing your mind to stop processing, because too much processing is really just looping and doubting and looping and being frustrated and then more looping, doubting, so hit PAUSE now, in your inner mind, just breathe, and all that other stuff can just FREEZE for a bit, clearing the channels, allowing the intelligence to move freely through you without all the pointless jamming up of circuits, and leave it on PAUSE now, that’s right, just move on with your day and let life take care of itself. It all works out. It is.

  

April 4, 2019

Calm Acceptance:

Whatever it is, it is what it is. We can resist it, we can be pissed off, we can try to control it, we can ruminate on it or worry about it. But is it within our circle of influence? Is there something we can do to change it?? If not, then we go back to the facts. It is what it is. We allow it to be as it is and give ourselves continual reminders. Just let it be. And over time, we find that acceptance comes with the bonus of inner peace. Allow the flow today.

  

April 3, 2019 

Energy check ✅

It’s easy to fall into flat energy patterns around others, especially if we know them well, and even more so if we share a home with them. What energy are you bringing to the room? Do you bring a mood of possibility, of being pleased to be here, of being curious about their experiences, of being glad to see them? Or are you stuck in your head, with your own problems and experiences? Of course we all have many personal challenges which can preoccupy us. But when we are around people we care about, it can be good to remember that we need to give a little energy too. We can internally remind ourselves “I’m glad to be here, and I’m keen to see what unfolds!” A little energy and a little curiosity goes a long way in feeding the vibe of any relationship. It starts with internal appreciation and exits as a mood of possibility. If you’re glad to be there, make sure it shows.

April 2, 2019

Boundary-crossers and their effects:

They ask inappropriate questions. Get too personal. Disclose too much. Give you way too much information. Ask the unreasonable. Make personal comments. Get a little too close. Want too much. People that regularly cross boundaries are not reading the social play at all. They break the unwritten rules of social behavior and appear not to notice the subtle (or not so subtle) reactions of the people they affect. If we make them aware of the violation, they may be surprised, or sorry, contemptuous or defiant, depending on personality factors and context. Most relatively sensitive people have a hard time understanding this behavior. “How can they do this?!?” “How can they even ask that?!?” Don’t they realize?!?” “I would never do that to them!” And you’re right. You wouldn’t. Having clear boundaries is a wonderful thing; the only downside is the total lack of understanding of those who do not! There’s no easy answer. All we can do is say some version of “hey, that’s not ok” without too much justification or debate. Maybe just keep repeating “it’s not ok” and “let’s not go there”. Most importantly, it’s not personal. Refuse to take it personally. It’s not about why they don’t respect YOU, it’s about their regular behavioral choices. If you looked at the history you’d probably see a whole lot of similar behavior. Back off, decide what you’re boundaries will be and just say it. Briefly. Without blame. It’s not personal, you’re just two humans with differing models of the world. Stick with your working model and let them have theirs.

  

April 1, 2019

No expectations.

You could just go into today with an open mind and a calm thought about everything being easy and natural. There is no pressure to be anything or to feel anything, to live up to anything or to prove anything. Show up, where you need to be, on time, with a positive attitude. Do what you need to do. Release expectations of yourself and others today. You will probably always give more than required anyway so why not just take away any performance pressure. It doesn’t help and it’s generally counter-productive. Trust in your humanity and all the good things that flow through you and through others. Just be.

  

Going easy, doors opening:

Enough of the rush and struggle and strain as you listen to me now, and I give your inner mind that reminder to chill, to stop for breath, pause, and just listen to my words, slowly, slowing down even more, deeper and more relaxed now, as you glide with your eyes and ease with your mind, letting all tension dissolve in all the little muscles that carry all your stress and strain, relaxing shoulders now, breathing, letting the neck become loose, and allowing all tension to leave your legs too, your calves can relax now, and your feet can feel much more comfortable, easy, contented, grounded on the floor, connected to the earth, at one with all that is, here now, and yet there too, walking easily through the open doors without resistance, just choosing the easy path and allowing a little calm and a dash of joy to emerge when ready. It will.

  

Avoid Brain Drain:

Give your brain a break! A ten second meditation or breather will allow your brain to reboot. But do we even take ten seconds in this busy life?? People used to zone out in cars, trams, lifts, walking, sitting or lying in bed. Now we seem to be attached to phones and incoming information most of the time. Cognitive overload is a real thing! If you feel like your memory or concentration isn’t what it used to be, reduce cognitive overload. Take a mental break. Close your eyes and just breathe for ten breaths. Repeat “calm, chill, relax” ten times. Release physical tension. Allow yourself “time to potter” from a cognitive point of view. Let the mind drift and look at the sky. We all need this. May your brain be allowed a little downtime today.

  

The physiology of mood state:

Sometimes it’s hard to control the thoughts. It can be even more tricky to interrupt the emotions when they kick in. It’s good to know that there are always things we can do just by changing parts of the body, and that these small changes can actually affect how we feel quite quickly. Look up! Keep your head up and your eyes up! This stops us accessing unpleasant thoughts and feelings as easily. Stand up. Make sure you stand with shoulders back and legs 40 cm apart. Make a fist on both hands and say “YES” in a voice with power and certainty. Keep looking up. Put a grin on your face even if you don’t feel like smiling. We know from research that the grin state changes the brain just a little towards the good. Move around. Walk around the room or house or outside. Maybe even run a bit, just for a minute. Or you could shake your hands around if you can’t run around. If you’re sitting, sit up straight. No slumping! Breathe deeply into your chest, or even lower into the belly area. Keep looking up! Small continual physical changes make little improvements in mood or energy or motivation and every little bit helps, right! While you’re focusing on moving your body differently, you can’t focus as easily on thoughts and feelings too. Keep those eyes up today!

  

You’re stronger than you think you are.

You’re smarter than you think you are. You’re more likable than you think. You’re more resourceful and talented and wise. You can see multiple perspectives on anything, as well as the funny side when appropriate. You know who you are and you disregard the opinions of others when you are clear about what you want. You are confident and courageous. Use your strengths by focusing more on them, and knowing they will always be your super powers. Go forth and be bold today.

  

Working for peace:

You know if you slow down, now, letting your eyes glide much more slowly over my words, that’s right, breathing now, choosing a mood of peace, an intention of peace, that inner feeling of peace for you today, no matter what goes on around you, you connect to a small haven of peace in your inner mind now, and you stay there, peacefully, enjoying the private quiet space, and every choice you make today, my voice will remind you to choose according to inner peace. Begin now.

  

BrainFreeze:

You’re talking, you suddenly go blank on what you were about to say. You’re about to say something else and the words don’t come to you, or come out all jumbled. You’re racking your brain trying to remember the name of a person, place or thing, and you KNOW you know it, but there’s a blank spot where the information usually lives. You hear a song, you knew the band, or you see the movie and know that actor, and yet when you go to say it, there’s nothing there. You have to google it. It might appear that brain freeze is becoming more common and frequent! People worry about cognitive decline but in fact we should be more concerned about our cognitive overload. We live in an increasingly stimulating world where we are constantly expected to mentally multi task and take in massive amounts of digital AND real-world information simultaneously. Have you ever used your smart phone or device while watching TV or talking to somebody or doing another task?? Most of us do this more regularly. Cognitive overload creates a minor attention and memory deficit situation. Review your multi tasking and digital time and perhaps reduce other forms of stress where possible. Bottom line: the information is still there in your brain. Nothing important will be missed. Your brain is fine. Relax and trust it.

  

Weather and seasonal tiredness:

We humans are part of nature, and we are affected by aspects of nature more than some of us realize. Our energy and mood can be affected by sunlight (or lack of), heat, cold, temperature fluctuations, humidity, dryness, pollen count, high pressure systems, low presume systems, air quality, moon cycles, and so much more. There are phases where everyone’s feeling excessively tired and achey; that’s when you look to the environmental conditions and suspect that there’s something going on. World events and other collective emotional experiences may play a part also. In times like these, we focus on the main keys to wellbeing. We eat well and don’t let tiredness dictate a need for sugar or junk. We get as much sleep as we are able to, without worrying about it too much and creating anxious insomnia. We exercise a little without pushing beyond our reserves. We maintain an attitude of optimism: this is temporary, it doesn’t have to affect us too much and it’s nothing personal. No inadequacy on our part; just an environmental energy dip. At times they can be a day or so, at times they can be prolonged. If you’re feeling it, others probably are too. It’s ok. The tide will go in, the tide will go out. It always flows.

  

More on the spotlight effect:

In a world of increased social media immersion, are we training our nervous systems to be more self-conscious? And with this self-consciousness, are we increasing vulnerability towards self-doubt as well as social anxiety? Having an awareness of “what will people think” was once an adaptive strategy when we lived in small tribes where acceptance meant survival. But could global social media secretly trick our minds into being less sure of our decision-making as well as how we present to the world?? In an ideal world, we would “know” that social media presence is an illusion, and a world separate from the “real” world. Maybe our brains have evolved to integrate this, and perhaps those of us born and raised pre-internet operate differently from those born into it. Has it affected social anxiety? Are some people less willing to talk and do face to face activities? Asking the question is more important than knowing the answer. Let’s remove the spotlight that might subconsciously be on us (in our own minds) and direct the light back into the world where it belongs.

  

The fear of being judged:

Yes it can feel like the spotlight is on you, and that others are watching and highlighting your every move, noticing and assessing and judging harshly! As we know though, something can *feel* like it’s happening and yet not be happening at all. It’s called emotional reasoning. People who have high self-consciousness (leading to a fear of being judged negatively) feel worried either consciously or subconsciously about the spotlight being on them, with all perceived flaws or mistakes glaringly obvious to all. Yet the evidence of this is long/standing. In psychology we call it a cognitive error: we mistakenly assume that people are focused on and assessing us when they are not. In fact, most people are focused on themselves and their own issues or worries or perhaps even your judgement of them! If you’ve been criticized or judged in the past it can feel like it will happen again. The radar becomes attuned to watching for convincing signs. Unless you hear it for yourself (which will reflect on the person being judgey, not on you) then assume it’s cognitive error. Refuse to pay attention and direct your focus outwardly where it belongs: on the world or on people or on helpful/interesting ideas. Allow yourself to live and let live today.

  

Releasing the build-up:

It’s time now, as you take a moment to read my words, slowing down now, that’s right, just letting your eyes glide slowly over what I say to you here, easy and comfortable, you are, time now to begin sending that message to your inner mind, that place that stores all the information and memories and emotions, we ask now that your inner mind begins to make a wise decision for your benefit, deciding what to release now, allowing all the built-up stuff to exit and dissolve naturally, quickly, easily, without you even needing to do anything, nothing for you to do, your inner mind can do it all for you, relaxing and releasing with my helpful instructions, and you may be surprised at the feeling of noting that a small burden is gone, something is shifting, space is created and lightness appears. Just allow it all to happen in its own time. It is.

  

How’s your heart??

This could be one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. And I’m not talking about medical tests or ECG readings. I’m talking about the emotional state of your heart. Is it open? Is it friendly? Is it trusting? Is it calm? Or is it closed, bitter, hurt or resentful? Think about what you might need to do and/or stop doing in order for your heart to remain open and able to give as well as receive. Open-hearted might just be important. Put your hand on your chest and check in today. Remember to listen.

  

The Busy Trap:

We fall into routines, we don’t make time to think about what we love to do, let alone doing it. But of course we all have the same allotted time and we always will. We can make choices about where and how to spend some of it, even if not a lot of it. Choose wisely!! What gives you the most excitement, fun, joy, inspiration?? How can you take a tiny chunk of time and give it to yourself for the stuff that’s good for the soul? Organize it today. Do something you love.

  

Competing with your past self:

It’s so easy to remember the things we “used to” be able to do, the way our brain “used to” function, the energy we “used to” have and the ailments we “never had” back then. It’s seductive and it’s competitive. Comparing and competing with a past (often imaginary) version of ourselves is draining and toxic. All we can do is focus on doing the best we can with what we feel or have available TODAY. Maybe the best you can do today is a stroll and anap, or maybe just the nap! It doesn’t mean you won’t feel better tomorrow or in the future. And even if you can’t, the best moments are to be had by training the mind to stay in right now, in today, just showing up wherever you need to be and doing the best that you can with a good attitude. And we do that by reminding ourselves that that’s our job right now. Remain calm, remain present and just do the thing you need to do. Let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

  

Gather evidence:

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to gather evidence of good. Be one-eyed and look for things that work out, aspects that go more easily than expected, kind or pleasant people, enjoyable views or moments, creatures and animals, happy thoughts, fun music and brief episodes of joy. There might be other stuff, but for today you can choose to ignore it or find a way of thinking well of it. This is a Jedi mind training exercise and it’s very useful for guiding thought processes in order to help keep mood and energy on track. May the force be with you today.

  

Trippy for brain:

So many things to focus on and think about and do, all that pressure and stress you want a break from, and you do need a break, can have a break now, a simple, easy and quick break that brings many instant benefits, clearing the channels, easing your mind and recharging your batteries now, breathing in slowly, hold it, that’s right, now release the air slowly, dissolving tension now, lifting your spirits and letting your mind trip away happily, forgetting what you need to forget for now, and then later, remembering what you need to remember, easily and comfortably feeling better, breathing in again, holding it as you listen to my helpful positive instructions, and then releasing it as you allow all worry and tension to leave your bodymind, that’s right, having a nice trip, and you know, and I know too, that a nice relaxing trip always helps, and that a quick trip can be a great trip. Come back and stay chill, enjoying your day.

  

Help!!

Sometimes we need it. Many people can’t ask for it. Most of the world are happy to provide it but they can’t read your mind. Where and when do you need help? You don’t even have to know exactly what kind of help is required. Just saying I NEED HELP can be a good start. There are somethings we cannot do alone. There are many changes we cannot generate by ourselves. When we send out the help signal, help will arrive. Avoid the urge to be self-sufficient at the wrong moments; humans are made for inter-dependence. Ask for help.

  

The story brings the mood:

Yes, we wake up with an emotional state sometimes. On other days we wake up neutral and become affected by our inner narrative about how things are, how they should be, what’s happened and what’s going to happen. Inner narrative (that commentary we do on everything inside) hugely affects mood and is totally correlated with levels of depression and anxiety. If you want to manage low mood or depressive feelings, you must learn to manage your narrative. How?? I’m glad you asked. Firstly, you must notice it in a non-judgemental way. If the narrative or things you’re saying to yourself brings good feelings or pleasure, it’s probably ok. But if you’re not feeling good and heading down a “spiral” then your inner narrative needs to be challenged. Certain patterns emerge. Narratives like WHY ME, THIS SUCKS, I HATE THIS, IT’S REALLY BAD AND IT’S GETTING WORSE, WHY AM I ALWATS LIKE THIS, THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME, IT’S NOT FAIR, WHAT IF THIS TERRIBLE THING HAPPENS, WHAT IF I SCREW IT ALL UP, PEOPLE ALWAYS DISAPPOINT ME, WHY IS NOBODY EVER THERE FOR ME, I JUST CAN’T COPE, IT’S ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER, IT NEVER STOPS, I’M JUST A BASKET CASE, I’M AN ALL OR NOTHING PERSON SO I CAN’T DO THIS, F*CK THIS, IT’S TOO HARD, etc etc. Those kinds of thoughts form a narrative (running storyline) which changes chemistry and feeds a depression and/or anxiety loop. Of course the thoughts are irrational and at some level we know this. So we need to point out to ourselves where they are inaccurate and replace them with neutral thoughts like I’M OK, IT WILL BE OK, I’VE GOT THIS, I CAN DO IT, I’VE BEEN THROUGH OTHER STUFF AND I’M A SURVIVOR, JUST BREATHE AND KEEP GOING, IT’S JUST PART OF BEING HUMAN, MY JOB IS TO BE CALM AND JUST SHOW UP DOING THE BEST I CAN ON THE DAY AND I REFUSE TO KEEP ANALYZING. Monitor the narratives today and notice what comes out of your mouth as well. Narrative becomes emotional reality so make sure yours is to your liking.

  

The physical sensations of anxiety:

The worrying is annoying enough. The repetitive thought loops are aggravating too, not to mention the irrational ideas that seem to pop into the mind all by themselves. But for people that get physical sensations of anxiety as well, moving about in the world can be daunting. Maybe it’s tears that kick in when anxiety hits a peak, tears that seem to come from nowhere and won’t turn off. Or racing heart, or trembling, dizziness, nausea and changes in sensory perception. Some people feel paralyzed or frozen. All the symptoms can be scary, and even though they really are a normal part of anxiety, they can feel overwhelming and debilitating. The root cause is a nervous system that goes into the red zone with a little too much intensity and too frequently. Our treatment involves bringing down the adrenalin peak, not so much in the moment of panic but overall. We use prevention. We retrain the nerves to be more chill, both via the mind and the physiology. It’s different for every person: some people need to address their ongoing inner conflicts, others need to learn to speak their mind or to leave an unhealthy situation. For some is changing the catastrophic thought patterns and learning to be more relaxed or less perfection-seeking in the inner narrative. For many it’s all of the above! The worst strategy is avoidance. This is a trap! If you teach your system to avoid all scary situations then it will be harder to stop it kicking in. There are also many supplements we prescribe to calm the system, depending on the person’s pattern and history. Begin with the mind and body calming methods. We all need these on hand (which is why my anxiety card sets are published) and we need to focus on it every day, not just when things are peaking. Do something today to keep your system chill.

  

Benefits of singing!

Whether you think you can sing or not, the truth is, everyone can. Just like the birds, we all have different voices and all belong in the world of nature, including you! Singing releases tension, lowers stress hormones, boosts serotonin, expresses emotion and channels inspiration or creativity. You can do it in private, alone, or with others and feel the benefits. While you’re singing, you are focused completely; you can’t sing and have other thoughts in your mind. It’s akin to meditation and has all the same positive body/mind side-effects. Like other forms of mediation, we do not judge or evaluate our singing, we just do it and keep going. You’re not in a competition. Singing (and chanting) has been used as a highly effective meditation technique for centuries and is great for people that prefer to be moving or physical when meditating, or those that don’t enjoy the silent, internal types of meditation methods. Or you can just have fun and be excited and forget all about the positive side-effects. Choose your favorite music and sing along today. Teachers, please keep singing alive in the classroom! Singing keeps you locked in a sense of freedom and we need more of that. Choose your song for the day.

  

Energize and motivate:

Listen now, to my voice as you bring to notice, with that part of your mind that knows how you want to feel, how you CAN feel, the way you want to be, the actions you’d like to take, soon, feeling that inspiration build here, as you follow my words, and my words transfer to your inner mind, raising that potent inner substance, the substance that fills your being with possibilities and options, mind allowing all the new ideas to grow now, any ideas, helpful ideas that get you where you want to go, towards energy, feeling that YES, you want this, you want it now, feeling can build slowly or quickly, it doesn’t really matter, but build it will, and you’ll get those positive feelings and enact them wherever and whenever needed. Go on.

  

The love day.

Today can mean anything you want it to mean. More love for nature. Noticing the love in people. Being loving towards yourself and others. Thinking about what love means- you know it’s a verb, not a noun. Put some love into action today.

  

Remember that NO THANKS thing??

How many things are you really doing out of duty, guilt and obligation? Do you actually WANT to do these things? Or do you do it to avoid the programmed guilty feeling that comes if you say no? Is it really ethical to agree to requests you don’t want to agree to (within reason of course) and then feel silently guilty/resentful? Wouldn’t you prefer to know if somebody didn’t want to do something, rather than them silently going along with it and feeling weird?? Of course there are things we have to do sometimes, obligations we need to meet even though we don’t like it. I get that. But I’m talking about those other things where you really could say NO THANKS and yet your head starts nodding and your mouth says ok. Our inability to be truthful and say NO THANKS may also be enabling rude or entitled behavior and we’d best not encourage that. Just two words. They’re very powerful. They’re under-utilized. So again I remind you. Use liberally for a more pleasant life. Here’s your prescription: When you get the NO feeling, use the NO THANKS.

  

States of enthusiasm:

No state of enthusiasm is permanent. No matter what the original enthusiasm is, it will probably wax and wane over time. Many enthusiasms will return to high peaks naturally; some will fade over time due to changes or natural redirections. In other words we can’t always rely on desire or passion as an indicator of whether we’re in the right place. Relying purely on emotional state is akin to romantic idealism: the idea that if it’s right, it will feel fantastic all the time. Psychologists have noted a rise in expectations connected to romantic idealism in relation to dating, partnerships, educational programs, job choices, family relationships and life in general. Many people now expect to feel enthused all the time and get the exit urge if they don’t. Interestingly this pattern of low frustration tolerance has long been known as a risk factor for anxiety and depression. We can learn to ride the waves, the ups and downs, the peaks and the ruts. Enthusiasm feels great and makes motivation much easier. In a lower ebb we use our cognitive skills and just do it, without too much analysis. Enthusiasm always returns, perhaps in a new form. May you be enthused today.

  

How not to boost energy:

If you’re a little flat or tired, there are things that will help and things that will make you feel more tired and possibly irritable. Being kind and positive and accepting towards yourself will help. Don’t judge the feelings of flatness, just notice and acknowledge them and remind yourself you’ll be ok, and to take it easy. What will not help is berating yourself, comparing yourself to other supposedly more energetic times in life, contrasting yourself with people that appear to be more energized or being pissed off about feeling tired. We have every right to feel pissed off if we like. But it won’t help us feel better. Isn’t the goal to feel better?? Other things that won’t help include sugar hits or excessive caffeine. A little caffeine might help but don’t go over your threshold or you’ll feel rattled and weird. Keep returning to chill state, let the tiredness be what it is and keep looking after the basics: positive, accepting attitude, nutritious food, plenty of sleep, fluids and gentle exercise. You’ll be ok.

  

Self-approval practice:

Stop for a moment now, as you read my words, hear me talking to you here, and as you do hear my words, put your other hand on your heart and simply say, in your mind or out loud if possible: “You’re great. In fact you rock. You know you always do the best you can, and while you’re pretty hard on yourself, you’re actually doing very well. “. Say that again, read it out loud, other hand on heart and know, at the deepest cellular level, that these words are always true and that you can always move towards feeling good. Enjoy today.

  

Feeling a little wiped out??

Having trouble moving, thinking, getting going? You’re not alone. There are many reasons we might feel wiped out right now. Humidity is high and it’s tiring if you’re not used to it. Constant weather changes can also be draining for many people. Altered routine, (maybe the back to school phase) has an effect. The start of the year has a holiday vibe and then suddenly it doesn’t. Traffic changes. Expectations change. We often feel we should feel different from what we do, be more active, be achieving more. And this pressure (self-inflicted) is tiring and prolongs the inertia. You may also be fighting a mild virus (always tiring) or be in the zone of recovering from too much stress or adrenalin from recent times. Mental and physical energy are related and one can feed (or drain) the other. Remember that we humans work in energy phases. If there is a down-cycle, then an up-cycle is on its way. Do all the good basics with sleep, quality food, optimism, rest, fun etc then just chill and say “it is what it is”. Energy is on the way to you.

  

It’s not your fault.

The thing you worry about, it’s not your fault. You came into the world designed this way and you were purpose-built for your experiences. It’s time to be unapologetic about who you are and cease self-disapproval. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on taking action or changing behaviors or re-working your inner narrative. But it’s time to end any feelings of defectiveness or self-blame. It helps nothing, it’s de-motivating and serotonin-draining. Let’s accept being ok, as is. Go into the world today remembering that you are purpose-built and equipped with whatever resources you might need so you can just relax and take it all in.

  

No thanks.

Memorize this. It applies when you don’t want to do something. It applies when somebody tries to draw you into a conversation you don’t want to be in. It applies to unwanted or unsolicited advice. It applies to drama you don’t want any part of. It applies to negative thoughts or ideas that might come into your mind. It applies to anything you choose not to engage with. Use liberally.

  

Choose inspiration:

Inspiration comes from within. There’s no trying, no effort; it’s like the energy just wells up ready to express itself. Contrast this with self-motivation, which usually requires a whole lot of “come on” and “have to or else”. Of course we need to be able to self-motivate for tasks that we don’t feel like doing, and we need to be able to use mental determination and be a bit of a cheerleader for ourselves when required. Inspiration requires a different approach. It involves having the right space, knowing what truly matters, and most of all, self-awareness. What lights up your tree? WHY do you do what you do? Which aspect of this would be most energizing right now? Are you ready for the doing phase? Or do you need to choose a percolation activity? Listening? Reading? Music? Meditating on it? Waiting for a change in weather? Sleeping on it? Walking? Doing something mindless to allow creative urges to kick in when they’re ready? Remember that inspiration is always there, running its program in the background. Sometimes we just need to trust in its presence and wait for the right space and the right conditions to let it flow.

  

Click like on today:

There are days when it’s ok to relax emotionally, to just scroll through your inner experiences, things that are happening now, or material in your mind from the past, maybe even worries about things yet to come, and just mindlessly click like, slowing down your thoughts, dissolving tension, breathing slowly now, just click like, let your eyes relax as you take this in, it’s all ok, reading more slowly now, just click like and move on, no rumination, no dwelling, just let experiences occur and click on like right now, knowing that like can be neutral or like can be appreciation, or like can be because you love it or like can be detachment or agreement or anything really, your mind can process whatever it is as perfectly ok and can come back to find enjoyment in the how. Just click like and feel more relaxed out there today.

  

Self doubt and self-ratings:

If there is anxiety in our system, there is also a conscious or subconscious worry of some kind, often about our ability to meet certain conditions. It might be our emotional competence, or professional competence, academic competence or sporting or musical or relationship competence. This concern is more common in females, perhaps due to societal programming around so-called humility. Humility is a good thing; we don’t want to be arrogant or grandiose. However, we need to be able to make a positive and realistic appraisal of our abilities and research suggests most of us, both male and female, are inaccurate in our assessment. In fact, well-known research by Dunning and Kruger (look it up, really interesting stuff) shows that people with higher skill levels are more likely to underrate their skills compared to others, whereas, paradoxically, those with lesser abilities tend to overestimate their skills. This finding applies to many kinds of skills, from communication, to driving, to various professional and academic abilities. So next time you have a flash of self-doubt, a) be glad you are humble and open to learning, b) be pleased you are a person who wants to improve and c) note that you are probably at the mercy of the Dunning-Kruger Effect and likely to be underestimating your own skills and abilities. You’re ok. You’re enough and you’re probably better than you think. In all truth, you rock. So relax and get on with whatever needs to be done.

  

Busy, self-important, grandiose:

There’s a percentage of people who are programmed to feel “better than”. Control and power is important to them, possibly because they already feel a bit superior and need to demonstrate this in their environment of choice. These people feel that they know more and are more competent than others, which of course is generally not the case in reality. They’re not particularly open to feedback though, so you might get a bit of attitude if you try and tell them something or point out any area for development. Many grandiose people maintain their own superior feelings by showing how certain other people are “below them”. They usually cultivate other “important” people but decide early on who is “not worth their time and energy”. Having a grandiose person in the family or workplace can be quite destructive and/or hurtful. Of course, the more we recognize the pattern, the less personally we take it and the less we are affected. They use similar (therefore predictable) tricks and are fairly shameless in their activities. No, they won’t feel bad about how they act. In their mind the narrative is fair and just, and they’re just doing what’s right. Lay low, minimize exposure and watch like you’re a sociologist. Learn the pattern and know that most other people will be on to it after a time. Nobody enjoys being around self-importance; it’s a disempowering dynamic, but only if you don’t recognize it. As one in the know, you are now granted immunity from their ways! Knowledge and detachment are now yours.

  

Thanks to all teachers:

The students are back at school, teachers are back at work and it’s all happening. Teachers pour out their energy in all sorts of ways, doing so much emotional work while they have their multiple educational responsibilities to manage. Any role in a school is a high-pressure role, with little to no breathing space, rare moments of silence and not a lot of privacy. More and more is asked of teachers and school staff every year, as their duty of care somehow expands into myriad areas of social and emotional development. Thank you to all school staff for the work that you do, and we remind you that self-care is paramount. Please continue to build and maintain habits that support your energy and optimism this year and know that your hard work is noticed and appreciated. Enjoy your day and have fun.

  

Your brain is fine:

At times it can feel like your brain goes a little offline, making it harder to access the information you need, and you know, and I know too that the most important thing is to allow relaxation, to clear the channels of all worry and pressure, to empty the mind and allow its natural flow to continue now, bringing wherever you need, words, ideas, music, being articulate when needed, quiet when needed, no concern about appearances, no internal conversations about the brain’s speed or efficiency, just trusting that whatever you need will be downloaded to you at exactly the right moment, now, the words come easily, that’s right, dialing that idea in now, it’s locked in, installed; and, knowing now that it’s all there for you, you can use it anytime you want. So go use it.

  

Be willing to take action today:

If you feel that wave of dissatisfaction, that sense of discontent, it means you’re going for something higher or better. If you’re being called for an improvement, don’t ignore the signals. Voice it, say it, admit the truth to yourself. Even if you don’t tell anyone else yet, be honest with yourself about how you feel. Discontentment is worth listening to and can lead to better things. From a place of “I’m not happy with this” we can begin to the walk the pathway out of one set of circumstances into a newer, better arrangement. It begins with self-honesty and action. Just one step. Change is necessary for growth. You can do this. And if you don’t know what to do, that’s ok. Admit the truth and wait for inner guidance. When it comes, make sure you’re listening.

  

Wasting time and energy on self-criticism??

You’ve heard that saying “it is what it is”?? Well, it’s the same with us. We are what we are. We’re not all the same and it would be so boring if we were. Yes we have irrational moments or phases, sensitivities, aggravations, strange obsessions, despairing moments, unexplained exhilarations and moods that fluctuate. Welcome to the human gang. Its normal. It’s ok. Rejoice in our joint humanness today.

  

Building some enthusiasm:

Having that energized “must take action” feeling is exciting. When we are inspired, it’s not an effort, it’s just a flow of thought, energy and action. To be inspired literally means to be filled with the spirit of YES, of possibility, of ideas that need to be brought into the world. Some people need a sense of newness to boost inspiration. It can be more of a challenge to be inspired about something you’ve already done many times before, or never really *wanted* to do in the first place. So to allow inspiration or enthusiasm to build, we may need to create a vacuum, a space in which it can grow and develop. Or we may need to put ourselves in a new and unfamiliar situation to get the brain in a new zone. Or we may need some peace and boredom to let new ideas seed themselves. Either way, trust that enthusiasm will always grow. Our emotions run in cycles, an ebb and flow. Our job is to enjoy or accept all parts of the cycle as a tree accepts all seasons. May your inspiration begin to show signs of fruit today.

  

New patterns!

At any moment, we can alter what we do or how we think. We can challenge the narrative, say yes instead of no, or no instead of yes, or do something we’d normally avoid. We can react differently, ask for new input, resist an old habit. There’s always a way to make tiny changes, and small changes can lead to a whole new experience over time. No day is ever the same. It’s always a brand new day and it always will be. If you feel like a dose of newness, choose three things to do differently today. Take another route and see where it leads you.

  

Beginning to wind down:

It can be tricky, can’t it, to release all tension, to relax right now, letting go of all concerns as you begin to wind down, to dissolve all worries and let all pressure disappear into the nothingness it came from, no need for the pressure at all, it all works out, later you know you will look back and wonder why you worried at all, because it all turned out ok, so why not look back right now, knowing that it’s already turned out ok even though it hasn’t finished yet, look back and laugh in advance, you can, and then return to now, just enjoying what is. May the path be easy and obvious today.

  

Choose your message in music!

Do you need energy? Peace? Motivation? Reassurance? Fun? Creativity? Endurance? Optimism? A dose of holiday spirit?? Whatever you need, you can dial it up right now with the right music. It might be the structure of the melody itself that brings the vibe you need, or the beats per minute, or the lyrics. Perhaps it’s a nostalgic thing, music that takes you back to a time when you felt they way you’d like to feel more of now. If you have a feeling you want to generate and don’t know the music to select, google it. Say “what’s the most motivating music” and see what comes up. Or “most popular song for happiness” or something like that. You may find music you don’t expect, or perhaps don’t even know about. It could be tracks with or without lyrics, and maybe from a genre you don’t normally listen to. Even the process of searching will help your mind focus on the chosen state. Remember, no matter what the ailment, music is medicine.

  

Unexpectedly good:

Some things turn out to be better than we think. We spend time worrying, planning, working out contingencies and exits, only to find we don’t need them. When we operate with kindness, intelligence, trust, boundaries and ethics, chances are, it all works out. Be on the lookout today for the unexpectedly good. It might be the traffic, the shop, the workplace, the easy solving of a stuck situation, a usually-tricky person who engages pleasantly. Expected the unexpectedly good and watch it appear today.

  

Dose of confidence!

Whatever it is, whatever the concern, you’ve SO got this. You can do it, you are capable and clever and resourceful. While you might not always feel your powers, they are ALWAYS available and ready so you can perform whatever feat you need to. Whether you need to think it or feel it, confidence is yours to know. Today please remember the inner certainty that says “You’ve got this” whenever you need reassurance and then, afterwards, remember that inner certainty also says “See?! It always works out for you! Great job!” Be with your confidence today.

  

Only the open doors:

If the door opens in front of you today, walk through it. But if it’s closed or somebody closes it in your face, then walk confidently in another direction. Take the easy path and know that what is meant to happen is already happening. Don’t try to push your way through the closing door, just relax and know that there’s another door wide open and waiting for you. This applies to people, jobs, and anything else you may have been pushing for or grasping at. Just chill. It will happen perfectly in its own good time.

  

Focus on health!

As I say hello to your inner mind, to your subconscious mind, the part of you that manages all your bodily processes, and beats your heart, relaxing now, slowing down, listening to that part of you that breathes you and heals you and returns everything to your perfect blueprint of nature, releasing all tension now, I’d like to remind you that you really don’t need to fish for worries, no need to think of the pricklies that might or might not be there, they fade and dissolve easily now, you can just feel the perfect still blue waters of health, strength, vitality, returning now, always there for you, in this moment all is well, you are well, you are perfect, whole and complete, strong and kickass, and it all works out for you and your loved ones, and everybody is easily guided towards perfect health and wellness now. Remind your inner mind today: I choose perfect health.

  

Your brain needs a break!

At the moment, almost everyone I speak to is worrying about their lack of motivation, inability to concentrate and feeling of brain fog. You and I both know that for this time of year (plus the kind of year it’s been- 2018 has been super intense for many people) we are not going to be operating at full power. Nobody used to expect that. There used to be this idea about “winding down” for the end of the year. But life has changed a bit; somehow we expect (or are expected) to cram in more and more activity without that easing-off period that we need. So if you’re feeling a little frayed, less enthusiastic, not quite on your game, well, that’s actually normal. We’re humans, not robots. Your battery life is a little low and you may need a re-charge. Start planning your recharge strategy soon and in the meantime, take the pressure off yourself. You’re doing fine.

  

Ignoring first instincts:

For most things, the first instinct you have about people or situations turns out to be right. The one exception to this is in assessing romantic partners but I’ll get back to that later. In normal life, when we read situations and people, our body gives us feedback, often via the stomach and nervous system. It’s a similar radar to what animals have; think of how dogs instinctively move towards some people and avoid others. Most young kids have the same built-in yes/no system. As adults, we have it too. As long as we are not already anxious or in fear mode (this makes everything seem like it should be avoided) we should wait for the yes/no feeling. Not get caught up with analysis using our minds, but let the circumstances evolve to SHOW us whether it’s a yes or a no. And of course, we must then act on that feeling. It’s usually right. Many of the toxic situations or difficult people that I discuss with clients result in me asking the question about when they got the “NO” feeling, or when did the alarm bells ring. Usually, the answer is that the “NO” alarm came very early on and was ignored or reframed or excused. The one exception I mentioned earlier about dating relates to waiting a bit before listening to your body signals. If we rely on instant attraction (a bad habit and sadly now, a common habit) we are usually running towards our pattern and may end up in trouble if we have a pattern of being with tricky partners. Wait until several meetings before making an accurate assessment using all built-in radars. But once you have given it time, please listen to your radar signals. Our radar is there to keep us safe and keep us with the right tribe. No ignoring, no excusing. Listen, check with a trusted person if necessary, and act.

  

Service is slow, traffic is slow:

It’s so easy to think impatient thoughts with others who are slower than we’d like them to be. We want the world to flow easily with the rhythm of our life, but sometimes it’s just slowing us down. Can we just take that as an opportunity to slow down and be in the moment? At times it’s hard; we have places to be, things to do. It can even be our own physical or mental slowness annoying us on a particular day. Anytime we want to speed ourselves (or others) up, we are talking about adrenalin matching. Many of us run on adrenalin and want everything fast. Of course this is exhausting and will result in tiredness. The first stage is tired and wired, we feel adrenalized but exhausted. Many people are in that zone right now. When the adrenalin stops, we’re just tired and that may not feel great. The body needs rest though; the objective isn’t to fire up more adrenalin. We need to let some slowness happen in order to refuel. The energy and focus comes back, all in good time. Take those slow moments today, breathe and allow them to be as they are, and let your system wind down a little.

  

Look out the window:

Everything looks different out of the window, and we can always find beauty out there. Metaphorically speaking, looking out the window might mean looking outside of current experiences or thoughts or circumstances, or maybe seeing things from a different angle; perhaps even just observing life going on, nature just being, or colors changing with the light. Outside of the window, there are many good things, you might have to look a little further afield at times, or maybe reframe what you do see, but it’s always there. The sky, the sun, the action, the peace. Take it in the way you need to for today.

  

Trusting.

We can try to control everything, and everyone, or we can decide that perhaps we can allow our subconscious mind to take over, trusting that we are being cleverly guided if we just get out of the way, that things are taking their own direction, it will ultimately be a very good direction, leading to many positive experiences you don’t even know about yet, and what can seem one way often turns out to be something really quite different, we think we know, but we never truly know what positive pleasant things are just around the corner, so relax now, take in my words, allow your subconscious mind to listen to my message of TRUST and just relax, knowing your inner mind is on the case and you don’t have to effort so much at all, it’s all working together for good. Trust.

  

The criticism dump:

It’s bad enough when we do a criticism dump on ourselves. All that crap about not being good enough and should be this or that; usually we are being way too hard on ourselves and need to shut the f**k up and be nice to ourselves. But. There’s another kind of criticism dump that comes from others, usually close family,partner or friend. Maybe something happened, you disagreed, or maybe they just erupted due to a bad day or stressful time. So they dump a whole lot of nasty crap on you about what you’re like, who you are and what you need to realize etc. Of course in any dump like this, there may be a small grain of truth. Nobody is perfect and we all have our little quirks that are potentially annoying to others. But again, delivery is everything. We can choose to talk with someone about our issue with kindness and a loving attitude or with harshness. When people speak about issues in anger, harshness often results. If their criticism dump has left you totally confused and rattled, there’s a high possibility that you have been head-f**ked or manipulated. There may not be anything of value to analyze. Check with a trusted friend or confidante but know that confusion and brain-addling after a criticism dump often shows something about the person delivering it rather than anything about you. Some people use a criticism dump to attempt to control or manipulate the other person, and/or to boost their own feelings of superiority and being “right”. It’s a horrible thing to do to a human. If people want to raise personal issues they need to reflect first, choose an appropriate time and deliver the message with kindness and without blame. Imagine the relationships that could be saved and improved. No more dumps.

  

Freedom now!

Where do you need to claim more freedom? Where do you need to change your thinking or your approach so that you have the freedom you need? Freedom is much more a state of mind than a state of reality. It’s about feeling autonomous, like you can do what you want, when you want. We can feel free even in captivity if we have a freedom mindset. Most of us aren’t in captivity at all, yet don’t always access our freedom consciousness. Feeling trapped or claustrophobic is a narrative, a story we tell ourselves about jobs or relationships or education or options or lifestyles. But in reality, we make choices and we are free. We can change our choices and we can change the story we tell about life. Claim and enjoy your freedom today.

  

Nothing to say:

Some days, our words desert us. We can feel silent and internal, or maybe we have something to say but the words just won’t come out. We can feel blank or jumbled. The days of lost language are normal and temporary. If you want to, you can even say to yourself or others “I’m having one of those days when language deserts me!” and people will know exactly what you mean. The mind is a strange thing and if it wants a break from languaging, then so be it. The less you stress, the quicker it passes. May your words be with you today if needed, but if not, chill. It doesn’t matter, and they’ll be home safely again soon.

  

Morning moods:

Morning people are lucky, their cortisol burst kicks in early so they wake up a bit more alive, able to function, talk and exercise in the early hours. They tend to go to bed earlier at night and their circadian rhythm supports the so-called “normal” work or school hour pattern. Then there are the night-oriented people. They feel alive later in the day (and night) and don’t truly wake up until around 10 am even though they may have been out of bed for hours. Night people are the ones most at risk for sleep issues as they often stay up later than they should, and/or overstimulate themselves at night, ending up in regular sleep debt. Night people are more likely to feel bad mood and grogginess in the morning, as their circadian rhythm kicks in with the cortisol a bit later. Then you have the adaptables, (a smaller group) who can get up earlier or later and still feel ok. If you wake up feeling a bit tired or groggy, that’s fine. If it takes you a little while to get going (especially on a Monday) that’s pretty standard. Relax about it and let your brain and body slowly catch up to the day. You’ll feel better as the morning goes on.

  

Stop. Look. Take a breath:

Yes, relax now as you read my words, listening calmly with your inner mind paying close attention now, time to slow the inner processes today, allowing full and complete recovery, all systems returning to normal, the better side of normal, optimal even, very beneficial for you now, slowing nervous system activity, that’s right, heart rate and blood pressure returning to optimum balance, brain waves operating at the right capacity for your needs today, relaxing easily, everything smooth, all is well in there, returning to your perfect blueprint for health and contentment now, allowing perfect balance to adjust and remain. Just be.

  

The things you haven’t done:

Just do one thing now. A little thing you’ve been putting off. Take a tiny step. It feels good and it builds momentum. Write it down and then tick it off. Go now and do it.

  

Tough times:

You may be one of the many people going through a very difficult time at the moment. You’re not alone. Humans are connected as much by our suffering as by our joy. Know that there are people tuning in to you right now and helping you with the energy and strength you need to go forward. You are never ever alone (despite how it might seem) and support can often come from unexpected places and in unexpected ways. Notice small signs of reassurance today and know that connection and strength is yours.

  

Looking at the good bits:

At this time of year, so many people are saying they feel tired, over it, done and ready for a break. Unstable weather doesn’t help; either does the seasonal low energy or pessimism of those around us! It’s time to engage deliberate attentional control and focus on the good parts. Anything good about anything at all. A sky, a color, a person, a pet, a song, a breath, a pair of sneakers, a perfume, a great TV series, a moment of peace, a great cup of tea. Can be tiny and unimportant or deeper and values-based; doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your brain remembers a good thing. You don’t have to wait for a good feeling, maybe it will come, maybe you’re too depleted right now. But either way, you’re not adding to any negative thoughts and you’re building up your optimism again. You can do it. Give me ten! Go for your good things!

  

Be with the flow:

Release all resistance today and go where things go. Allow it to unfold, knowing it will turn out as it should, despite how it may appear initially. Nature has its own organizational system and sometimes the tree loses a branch or two before the inevitable regrowth occurs. We are all part of nature and all is unfolding in the same way if we could see the big picture. May life flow easily for you today.

  

Nervous system on calm mode:

As you read this, imagine that your eyes are closing, maybe blinking once or twice, that’s right, then imagine closed eyes, relaxed, taking in all helpful messages as you breathe now, very comfortable, willing, relaxing into my words as I remind your inner mind to go now to the controls, over to the mode settings, selecting CALM, that’s right, the correct level is activated and your system can now go, and can remain on CALM now. Lock that on and move forward peacefully into the rest of your day. Thank you.

  

It’s fine to say no.

If you just don’t want to or you’ve already got too much on your plate or you’d rather do something else or rather do nothing at all. Just say no. “No thanks, I’d prefer not to”. “Or no thanks I already have a commitment”. No explanation required. As we move into the holiday season, please remember and rehearse these words if you might need them. Your wellbeing is the best intention to move towards.

  

Harsh doesn’t help:

If you want to raise an issue, if you want to improve things or assert yourself, beware of harshness. Using harsh words or tones is more likely to generate a defensive or withdrawal response in most people, as they can feel criticized or shocked by the harsh elements and miss your key message. If we want somebody to truly hear our concerns, we need to deliver the message in a palatable form so that it can be taken in and processed without the walls flying up. Start soft. Ask if it’s ok to raise an issue. Use a calm low pleasant voice and if you can’t, then wait until you can. Do not label the behavior (eg it’s stupid, or lazy or inconsiderate) or make a statement about why you think they are doing it. Just gently describe how it appears to you then say “I’d prefer it if you could do this next time” and ask if that’s ok. Yes it’s hard to be patient with those we love (the irony..) but it’s those people we need to be patient with. They don’t do things to deliberately annoy us and even if they do, the harsh approach won’t help. State your perception and then your preference. Be succinct and only say it once. When they listen and agree, thank them. Then shut up and move on. Yes you know this already. But let’s all take a reminder to ditch the harsh.

  

In case of drama: use detachment

It’s not your stuff. It’s not even real. It’s none of your business. Relax and breathe. Focus on something else. Take a break. Change the subject. Stay away for a while. Let things blow over. Remember most drama burns itself out if left alone. Think like a dog; they wouldn’t be into it at all. Go for a walk. Count trees or lights or floor tiles. Listen to a song and find a message in it. Remember what actually matters to you. Write down INNER PEACE and let your actions be guided by this.

  

Generating optimism:

Optimism isn’t something we sit around and hope to feel, but rather it’s a process that we choose to engage in. It’s not the same as positive thinking, despite most people getting the two mixed up. Optimism is a special way of reading situations or interpreting events. Using optimism, undesirable circumstances or unpleasant feelings are viewed as temporary states. Knowing it’s temporary stops the freak out. The unwanted aspects are also viewed in a specific, factual, contained way rather than generalizing the unpleasant state or event towards your whole life. And thirdly, they are not viewed as a personal thing, but rather something that *just happens at times*, as part of being human. Conversely, we use optimism when pleasant or desirable things happen by taking credit, by seeing it as something repeatable in the future rather than just due to mere chance or one-off luck. So, no matter how you feel today, employing the thought process of optimism will only help you feel better. If you’re not feeling great, know that it’s temporary, due to specific factors and choose to focus on other aspects that are ok. If you’re feeling good, enjoy it and be glad that capacity always exists within you. Choose to generate optimism!

  

Find some joy:

In the midst of life and all its distractions and phases of chaos, our minds sometimes need reminding about scanning for the joy moments as they appear, perhaps even choosing certain activities to create more joy moments, so listen to me now as I speak quietly to your inner mind, relaxing all muscles, that’s right, releasing tension from your neck and shoulders and face and legs, breathing, softening all muscle groups now as you breathe and listen, and you know, and I know too, that joy moments can be tiny, fleeting, enjoyable flickers, a sight, a sound, perhaps even a smell, new or long-forgotten, can all be brought to consciousness now, remembering joy, letting your inner scanner move towards the joy indicators, remembering what brings joy moments for you, perhaps through beauty, or creativity or kindness or peace or love, maybe just a moment of freedom or imagining driving on a highway with the best music pumping, anything really, that moment of happy, fleeting, noticed and appreciated and remembered. Remember now.

  

Here’s your green light ✅

Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses. No more analysis about why. No avoidance. Just begin. Do the thing you know you need to do. Here is your sign. Green means go.

  

Where are their boundaries??

People who lack boundaries can be a major source of stress. They intrude. They ask questions about things they really shouldn’t. They make inappropriate requests or give “feedback” that wasn’t asked for. They probably have no idea that their behavior is violating social norms and even if it’s raised, they might defend, or justify (perhaps even apologize) and it will probably happen again. You know it will. A one-off boundary intrusion isn’t a big deal. We write it off. But serial offenders?? We find ourselves wanting to avoid contact and getting stressed before we see them. Afterwards it’s common to go over and over the intrusion, questioning our role, the legitimacy of our reactions and what we should or shouldn’t have said. Truth is, dealing with boundary violations is easier for some personality types but other types take it personally as well as having difficultly asserting themselves. Firstly we need to recognize the intrusion and then we need to know what to say. Less is more. Saying “that’s not cool” or “that’s a little too much” or “that’s not really ok” is a great start. Even saying it to yourself is a great start, rather than looping and questioning your response. Rehearse one line to say. Less is more. Then say nothing further on the matter. They can figure it out.

  

Is it a case of user error?

Perhaps you once thought there was something wrong with you, your brain wasn’t working as fast it should or the nervous system was acting up or being too reactive or the energy system setting is on too low and you’re lacking in power or your immunity was all over the shop. Many times all of these signals can be a pointer towards user error. How are you running different aspects of your life?? Check your activity and rest cycles. Also check your enjoyment and fulfillment ratio. Check your fuel quality, food, beverages and intake consistency. Check hazardous relationships or dynamics and how frequently you engage, both in reality and in your mind. Check how you’ve been processing your long term history. There might be an error in the narrative that regularly takes your system off course. When we correct user error at the physical, mental, spiritual or emotional levels we often see a nice boost in the overall system. Check in with yourself today.

  

What’s more important?

We get caught up in rubbish sometimes, from time wasting activity that provides little pleasure or achievement, or spending time with people we don’t really want to be hanging with, or mentally going over drama or conflict we’d rather have no part in. So what truly matters? What’s more important? What people or activities or ideas will be your choices? Any time something feels a bit full-on today, check in and calmly ask yourself what truly matters. This question leads us to clarity.

  

That break you need to give yourself:

You can take in any message easily, in fact perhaps when you were very young you took in a few unhelpful messages, perhaps about yourself, or who or what you need to be, and we can change all that, installing a much more helpful message, giving yourself that break that you know you need to give yourself, watching here, now, as my words leave this, or that page, and enter the inner realm of your mind easily, smoothly and calmly, you are fine, you are great, you are enough, you are perfect as is and you’re doing a good job of life, no rules, no shoulds, just do YOU and that will be great thanks, no other requirements, no pressure and no self-recriminations, just do you, then do whatever else you need to do in your own cool way, unique, nobody else just like you, and that’s very cool, just being and letting it be. The break for yourself is yours to give.

  

Make any thought temporary:

Whatever it is that gets into your mind, it will move on to the next thing. Whether it’s a tired thought, a worried thought, a pissed-off thought or something you don’t like thinking about, it can pass quite quickly. The easiest way to move that thing on is to not buy into it, not get annoyed about thinking it, not wonder why you’re thinking it, not work madly to change it. Just say “oh ok” in a very neutral, nonchalant kind of way and then wait for the next thought. In other words, no thoughts about the thought! Thoughts have a way of sliding quickly into nothing without us feeding them. If you need a distractor, choose a song for the day and every time something comes up in your head, hear, recite or imagine a key line of your song. Maybe it’s an ABBA song. Funny thing about ABBA. They were temporary too but they were always cool. Anyone who says they can’t find one of their songs to positively impact their consciousness is probably lying! We were all raised on that stuff. Choose yours today and make it your go-to if you need help letting go of a thought you’re not enjoying. I will be going with “I am the tiger”. (It’s probably on Spotify) May your day be great!

  

Trust in your other mind:

We don’t always have to rely only on the conscious mind. Our subconscious minds are always working away in the background like a massive information storage unit, holding facts, memories, skills, body processes and all the things we need to keep things ticking away nicely. It would be exhausting if we had to hold everything front of mind, remembering to breathe, blink and trigger own heartbeats or immune systems. Luckily, all this happens all by itself and it all works better when we relax. So today, relax and appreciate your subconscious mind. Thank it for being there for memory retrieval, information storage and all health and physical intelligence. Allow your subconscious mind to do all the hard work for you while you cruise easily through your day. It will.

  

Self-doubt means you’re smarter than you think:

Most people who worry about not being good enough are actually way better than they realize. Healthy self-doubt means you question yourself at times but don’t dwell on it too much or let it stop you from doing what you want to do. When you notice thoughts of self doubt, acknowledge them as a sign of being an open person, somebody without arrogance or grandiosity. Also know that self doubt is not a accurate indicator of your actual intelligence or competence or attractiveness or whatever it is you might be unsure of. It might be just a mental habit you need to release. You’re ok. You’re enough. Just go with that today. In fact you’re way better than ok, but ok is a great start.

  

Better. Better. Better.

You’re already better than you think, it will go better than you expect and you will feel even better soon, sooner than you might have thought, just relax now, take a breath and hold it, then let it go now, that’s better, more and more calm mind for you now, everything is ok, all is in perfect order whether we can see it now or not, sometimes we can see it later, how much better things are, even though we didn’t know before, now we can see and feel it, feeling better, thinking more clearly, seeing things as they are, being here now, better future, pleasant people, easy days and restful nights, connecting with the peace and the love in your world now. Much better.

  

When you need inspiration:

If you need your emotions and brain to fire up a little, then you need to be inspired. Inspiration is the best feeling, powering us into ideas, action and completion. The only thing is, it mostly arrives spontaneously and can be hard to trigger on command. There are, however, a few things that can set the right vibe for inspiration to come flooding into the channel. First, it’s best if the channel is relaxed. Empty in fact. Doing the “pressure” or “trying” thing is unlikely to help. Often we are better off taking a break and releasing all effort. Then add stimulation later: either visual, kinesthetic or auditory. Visual might include books, information, photos, pictures or other visual scenes. Kinesthetic might mean massage, yoga, physical activity, sport, a run or a quiet walk. Auditory could be music, audiobook, lecture, webinar, talking or discussion or listening to some other sounds or beats. Decide that you can inspire yourself anytime. You actually can. Your inner story needs to be one of possibility. Just get calm then add the right stimulus until your boost arrives.

  

When you get really annoyed with the behavior of others:

Maybe their annoying behavior is during interaction with us or maybe we are observing from a distance. Perhaps there is rudeness, or negativity. Or choices that seem destructive or crazy or harmful. Or repeating behavior that continually leads to a negative outcome. Or lack of empathy, a disregard for the feelings of others. Or excessive self-involvement. Or grandiosity, superiority behavior. All of these patterns tend to annoy pleasant, kind, ethical people. But the aggravation can be detrimental in terms of triggering unwanted stress or discomfort, even pain or illness for some. So we need to get our heads clear about seeing that unwanted behavior so we can move on. In truth, seeing that behavior is a useful thing and reminds us of the values we stand for, the behaviors we choose to engage in ourselves. The unwanted stuff isn’t about us. It’s a series of choices made by somebody else with a different mind and a different guidance system. If it’s a one-off, maybe we can discuss it and resolve it. But if it’s a pattern, it’s probably their life choice. It’s ok that they act like that because it’s a reminder of your guidance system and how happy you are with the choices you make. Any reminder of our ethics and key values is a good thing. Let them do their thing and feel good about doing your thing. Sound ok to you?

  

Do you need to back off??

Sometimes the best course of action is no action. We can be propelled by our own worry, or our need to feel we are “doing something” about whatever it is, but perhaps there are times to relax all effort and let things unfold. Many issues resolve themselves without our intervention or interference. Knowing whether or when to back off is a key skill in any relationship or situation, as is knowing when action is truly required. The wisdom is in knowing the difference. If in doubt, sleep on it and wait 24 hours. It may resolve itself.

  

Clear your mind of discord:

Our worried minds can often be on the lookout for what is wrong, what could go wrong, and who is definitely wrong. This is of course quite aggravating and draining to the nervous system. We can filter out those thoughts by sending them out the exit door as soon as they arrive. As every criticism or judgment comes to mind, release it without buying in. Notice it, do not berate or criticize yourself for thinking it and thereby create further discord. Just let it release or dissolve. Say to yourself “I release that thought” or “I allow that thought to dissolve into the nothingness it came from”. We let go of all criticisms today and allow a state of neutrality to envelop the mind. Neutral is fine. In fact from a neutral mind, many great things arise.

  

Morning anxiety:

Whether it’s at 4 am or when you wake to your alarm, morning anxiety is an unpleasant way to return to consciousness. Pounding heart, hot sweat or uneasy feelings, possibly jumping into worrying thoughts or panicky loops. You may have had scary or disturbing dreams while asleep too, often leaving a vibe of fight/flight afterwards. This pattern means your system is on high alert, either recent or long term stress, stuck in hyper-vigilant mode and flooding you with adrenalin. What are you going to do in order to calm your nervous system down and teach it to chill during the day? Maybe you’re not stressed so much as too busy, too much in a hurry. Are you clearing stress with exercise? Watching your caffeine intake? Eating well? Eating the wrong foods for you or skipping meals (especially breakfast or lunch) can destabilize blood sugar and lead to more anxiety symptoms. Do you need to do a short meditation or relaxation exercise a few times a day? Have less screen time? Screen time on devices has been shown to boost anxiety, mainly due to cognitive overstimulation. Even if you’re doing simple or “fun” stuff on your phone/computer, you are most likely to be boosting anxiety over time. Do one thing today to calm your nerves and do it regularly. Our goal isn’t to wake feeling great ; if you do then that’s fabulous, but most people wake up a little tired and a tad slow to move. Our aim is to wake up in a neutral state so we can build on energy and positive emotion. It starts now. Activate your best chill choices.

  

Your approval rating:

In the era of google reviews and online feedback, the approval of others looms as a tempting reason to do or not do things. People raised in a critical or withholding household may also be programmed towards approval-seeking behavior as an early survival mechanism. But as we all know, approval ratings are meaningless. It’s so easy to focus on one negative review and disregard all the positive glowing feedback. And what’s it all based on? Somebody’s judgement or opinion based on their idiosyncratic personal preferences or their mood on the day or what their friend said or what their parents taught them, or something they heard ages ago?? Other people’s opinions are impossible to predict or control, and even if you could control their approval, what would you have to do or change in order to get (and maintain) that approval?? Have you noticed that approval seeking is pointless and meaningless? Let’s look to a broader philosophy. Be kind, be ethical, maintain your own code of conduct and let others have their own opinions. Those opinions of others are irrelevant to you because you are operating only based on your own approval. And that rating is the only one that matters.

  

Easing out of overwhelm:

When it all feels a bit too much and you’ve got it all piling on top of you, it’s time to step back. Overwhelm is a state of stress that can lead to panic, frustration and emotional paralysis. You just can’t be effective or make good decisions in this state, and remember, state controls both perception and behavior. If we need to change our state, we must address both the physiology and the mental side. Change the physiology: take a break, walk, have a shower, bath, massage or some other physical intervention. You may need brain or nervous system supplementation. If you already have those supplements prescribed, take them!! As for the mental side, again take a mental break from all the intrusions. Move yourself away and focus on reading or listening to music or watching a show or talking to somebody fun. Take your brain somewhere pleasant for a bit. When you’ve had that space you can come back and decide where to begin. New brain, new decision and new action. And that action may in fact be taking no action at all. Most things resolve themselves if we calmly get out of the way.

  

Better things!

Whatever you need to be better today, be open to it coming to you. Look for small signs of improvement; notice them and celebrate them, appreciate them and take some credit, use some praise. Things are looking up and you never know what other good things may be just around the corner for you if you keep an eye out. The better it gets, the better it gets.

  

Access to all intelligence:

Whatever you need today, just slow down now, take a long deep breath, that’s right, breathing and waiting, allowing the channels to clear, releasing all fear and worry, dissolving all tension now as you breathe, as you read my words, listening now, you’re doing very well, and you have access to all the intelligence you need, all resources easily available to you now, all required information coming through to you, your channel is open and ready to receive and transmit exactly as needed for you, just let the information circulate, it will, everything you need is right there. It is.

  

When stuff gets messy:

At the height of an overwhelm phase it can seem like nothing will ever be easy or simple again. It’s like having a horrible virus or flu where you feel so awful and can’t even imagine feeling well or energetic ever again. And yet strangely, after some weeks, the memory is generally faded, we can’t really remember how horrific we felt, life has gone forward and it becomes just another blip on the radar of our normal human experience. Any mess can be like that, feeling so big and upsetting and awful at the time, and yet fading into history, perhaps more quickly and easily than you might have expected. Mess is temporary. We humans are always moving from disrepair to repair, from chaos to order, from sadness to joy. May your journey progress well today.

  

Go towards the love:

It’s easy sometimes to fixate on what’s wrong in life, and where things or relationships need to improve. But if we point our lens towards what we love, or the things we get joy from, or the animals or plants or creatures that we connect with, at that exact moment we feel good. The human mind is geared to problem-solve by circulating back to the problem areas, but this is ineffective. Animals don’t do it. They move only towards what they love. Plants also move and grow towards the light. Be with nature and take your mind towards the love and the light today.

  

Listening well?

Listening is a much underrated skill. There are times when we can just chat, back and forth, easy and natural, and there are times for true and focused listening. Especially when somebody has a concern or is angry or upset. True listening isn’t about waiting for YOUR turn, or holding off while preparing the next bit of talking, or suggesting or challenging or arguing or advising or justifying. It’s a conscious choice to deliberately focus your attention on the message of the other person. Many people make the crucial communication error of turning the conversation straight back to themselves with “yes, well I blah blah blah”. True listening is a one way street. Engaging with a monologue, not a dialogue. Focusing on the message of the other, asking questions about THEIR message or THEIR experience or THEIR course of action. It’s not always meant to be a tennis game with messages going back and fro. There’s time for that later. Knowing when to totally focus on the message of the other (without defensiveness or argument or justification or “tit for tat” point scoring or nitpicking on details) is a crucial relationship skill, whether it’s romantic partnership, friendship or workplace relationships. Remember there’s a spotlight. And when the other person is talking, that communication spotlight can stay with them until it’s time for another issue, possibly at a later time. Better listening means better relationship.

  

Are you going the right way?

Think about where you’re heading, whether it be in your mind, in your actions, in your communications, in your relationships, or in your choices. You know where you want to be. Remember where your sign is pointing and choose now to go in that direction. That’s the right way.

  

A little bit of a shake-up!

It’s easy to get in a rut, cruising along in a routine as we so often do, can be quite comfortable, comforting, convenient and yet also, sometimes we need a little boost, a sense of excitement, you know, and I know too, that a small change in routine can lead to greater enjoyment, energy, maybe even fun, so listen to me now, breathing deeply as I talk to you, and you can just listen, relaxing, dissolving all tension, simply allowing the possibility of a new thing, or perhaps an old thing that you used to enjoy, something that you haven’t done for a while, or something completely different, going to a new place, or setting out on an unknown adventure, driving or walking a different route, your brain will wake up and pay attention, relishing the newness and uncertainty, and then afterwards, feeling good, that sense of having done something, anything, quite an accomplishment, especially if you didn’t really feel like it, but sometimes we don’t feel like doing things and then when we do them we feel great, remembering that feeling, bring it into your day now, take it with you, and look now for opportunities to say YES to something new. Yes.

  

Got pressure to perform?

Whether it’s exam time or a job interview or other instances in which you have to produce a performance on demand, it’s important how to know to approach it with calmness. The more we focus on the “anxiety” associated with performance, the more that anxiety feels like a real thing. Its not a thing. It’s only our nervous system response to pressure, and in fact most of the pressure is due to perception. Adrenalin can be experienced as excitement as well as fear and yet they seem so different. We can change our perception in an instant if we choose. Reframe the situation, take out the “do or die” aspect, and the belief that it’s “all up to you”. In truth, your subconscious mind has been preparing you for this situation for quite some time. You don’t need to know everything consciously. The more you relax and trust your subconscious mind to deliver what is necessary, the easier it gets and the more successful it gets. The information is all there. It doesn’t need to be front of mind; that’s not how memory works. Just know that you have easy access to everything you need and begin to move confidently into the place where you can bring that information to the party on command. Trust in the intelligence. Trust in the force. It’s bigger than you are.

  

Hey! Stop!

No rushing. No hurrying. No multi tasking. Just slow down. Stop. Take a breath. Take it all in. Move easily through the day and allow yourself to enjoy stuff. Be here. It’s ok here.

  

Are you respecting your sensitivity?

Do you need to speak more kindly to yourself and others? Take credit for good things? Spare yourself harshness and criticism? Avoid noisy or toxic environments? Get some more quiet time? Improve social choices? Or perhaps you just need to remember and appreciate and enjoy your sensitive element. It’s an important part that makes you who you are. And you are needed in the world, just as is. Acknowledge and honor sensitivity today!

  

Agree to keep a positive mental attitude today!

We agree that our own happiness is 100% our responsibility, right? So it means that if we choose to feel happy today (and let’s face it, it is a choice and you can choose another state if it’s more appropriate for your circumstances), we need to keep the internal attitude geared towards the positive. Look for stuff to feel ok about, refuse to dwell on stuff that isn’t ok, avoid other people’s drama where possible, accepting facts without blame or resentment, no sweating the small stuff and lots of remembering what truly matters to us. Maybe all we can achieve is a state of neutral, and that’s fine too. But to keep the mind out of the negative is an achievement as well as an ongoing daily challenge. Take it minute by minute by looking for one good thing at a time. May your day be positive

  

Open to good things:

Every morning is a super-important time to let some appreciation into your consciousness, simply beginning to notice anything really, anything to feel good about, or like, or feel enjoyment of, so relax now, here as you read this, dissolving and releasing all concerns and worries, just allow them to fade into the distance now, that’s right, relaxing all those little muscles in the neck and shoulders, letting all tension drain away, breathing in, very good, you’re doing well, just breathing out slowly, becoming aware, consciously or subconsciously, it doesn’t really matter, becoming aware of some things you could actually feel ok about, feel good about, things you like that are around you, or in you, or through you, or of you, maybe you can see them, or just see using the power of your imagination, it doesn’t matter really, just relaxing and allowing the good to seep into every cell now, transforming and renewing and empowering for you. It is.

  

Willing to detach:

That thing that you’re worried about, maybe you’re feeling like you need to do something, say something, or prevent some potential calamity, but please stop. There is much power in being calm and detached. Detached doesn’t mean apathy and it doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you are willing to step back and let things sort themselves out. Just be willing. You don’t have to know how to fix it, or even how to detach. Just say to yourself that you are willing to detach. The power is in the calm.

  

Thinking too much:

Over-thinking is a real thing. It’s all about a thought loop, often an analytical or unpleasant thought loop that replays itself over and over. Some people overthink by mentally rehearsing a conversation in their heads, perhaps defending themselves against a person who might be upset or angry or accusing towards them. Another way to overthink is to ask WHY something happened, or WHY somebody did what they did, or even WHY something didn’t happen the way we think it *should* have happened; it’s a great way to mentally fatigue yourself. Mostly we don’t really ever know why people make the choices they do, it’s their history, their programming and sometimes their own brand of dysfunctional pattern. Getting annoyed and focusing on it over and over is another overthinking trap. You may notice that all of these habits are mentally draining as well as being a complete waste of energy. In truth, “overthinking” really means putting mental energy in the wrong place. Apply it to something useful like word or number problem solving, or reading/repeating song lyrics, reading out loud or choosing a mantra like “peaceful mind today”. Refuse to throw mental energy down the drain. Taking control of our attention and our thoughts is probably one of the most important life skills and it takes a lifetime of practice. Please practice today. Peaceful mind to you.

  

Lethargy, apathy and irritability:

Many people are affected by the seasons of the year in addition to other stressors in life. If you found yourself lingering in a zone of lethargy (low energy), apathy (low motivation) and irritability (being annoyed or bothered by many things) these last few months, you are not alone. Generally, energy gradually returns first, bringing some emotional motivation which then eases the irritation. There are times when we have to change our life to boost energy, and times when we just allow it to return when it’s ready. And it will. Maybe you’ve felt a little energy returning already? Perhaps today will feel a little better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better again. We never know. It can feel like a slow process, and then suddenly we are running on four cylinders again! May your joy fuel levels move towards high today.

  

Some appreciation for you:

There are many people that appreciate you. They think you’re awesome, just as you are. They love the way you think, the way you do things, just everything really. Ok, there might be a few out there that don’t appreciate you so much due to their own preferences, we can allow that, not really our problem, nothing to do with us at all. And what we can do, every day, hour by hour, is a little self-appreciation. Appreciate yourself. You’re alright. You’re more than good enough. You have many talents and gifts and you do many interesting things that might go under the radar; don’t let them go under your own radar! Some appreciation please! Appreciate yourself for reading this and being the kind of person who focuses on wellbeing and improvement. It’s a great thing. Appreciate yourself for being open-minded and learning-oriented. That’s also a great thing. Now find a couple more things to appreciate. Make it a habit today and then kick it on to the next day. Appreciation feels good.

  

The new assertive for sensitives:

Sensitives tend to prioritize love and kindness over telling their truth when they’re upset or angry with somebody. Sensitives often feel bad about this, and think of themselves as somewhat cowardly or fear-driven. Of course, the reality is more complex. Most sensitives unconsciously identity with the fragility in the person they are upset with. And this fragility may be real, or it may be a false projection. Either way, it’s as though the sensitive wants to protect the other person from feeling bad so they choose not speak up. This dynamic has the potential to create a relationship based on inauthenticity which is generally quite unfulfilling to the sensitive (even though the other party may be quite satisfied with the status quo). The only way into a more “real” dynamic is to begin to tell the truth kindly, and with love. In other words, state your feelings quietly, kindly and with no accusation. Agree that it is only your perception; this is how it feels to you and you would welcome clarification or perspective. You can be firm (kind, fair but firm) in what you will and won’t do. And you can state your reasons why with no blame, no heightened emotion and no frustration. This takes a lot of time and we will not always succeed in maintaining equilibrium. This is an ideal to aim for, not a rule to follow. The key takeaway idea is to operate with love AND truth. Don’t bury the truth to keep false rapport with people you actually care about.

  

In the drama-free zone?

If you’ve grown up around drama or volatility, chances are, you’ll feel like it’s “normal” to some extent. Maybe it doesn’t even feel particularly unpleasant, and maybe it’s even a little boring without it. The downside of drama is quite extensive; the stress, the effect on others, the strain on the nervous system, the continual and tiring output of adrenalin. As much as we can, it’s preferable to make drama-free choices. Stay away from toxic people or relationships; don’t feed the sharks unless you’re happy to be bitten or eaten for breakfast. Stay in your little love bubble today and know that there are times to remind yourself “not my circus, not my monkeys”.

  

Playtime:

If you’ve been feeling like you might need a bit of a boost, think about how much (or more likely how little?!) playtime you have in your life. Playtime is empty, it’s fun, there are possibilities but not necessities, there are choices and you get to choose the ones you enjoy the most. It used to be assumed that kids need plenty of free playtime every day, and we know that this freedom of mind helps the brain develop as well as being good for many other aspects of a person. These days we tend to schedule and structure more than ever before and this approach probably bleeds into our playtime as adults too. Would you like free play at the park? The beach? Indoors? With musical instruments or art supplies? At a bookshop or library? Reading or writing? At a farm or zoo? On exercise or physical equipment? With cars or karts? Think about the playtime you’d enjoy the most and factor it in daily for increased fun in life.

  

Stop. Take a breath.

Releasing the buildup of the week now, taking a breath, breathing in new life, holding it, then exhaling all the stresses and strain here, as I talk to you, reminding your mind to let go now, to relax and let calm come slowly to you. No chasing, no grasping, no expectations, no criticisms. Let it be what it is and just take a breath. And again.

  

Choose your own negative thought loop replacement!

Tired? Stressed? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Feeling flat? All of those can lead to thought loops or ruminating on unpleasant ideas from the past or worries about the future. If you’re an inner talker, you need to reprogram that shit right now! In advance. Choose your loop. Your new loop might vary from day to day depending on what you want to focus on or feel. Make it a mantra. A mantra is a short word, phrase or sentence designed to keep your mind on something neutral or uplifting. You just keep repeating it. If your thoughts drift off into worry or negativity, that’s ok. Just go straight back to your mantra. Here’s a few mantra ideas which hopefully lead you to other ideas that work for you.

- thank you, thank you, thank you for everything

- I love many things and people in my life

- yes yes yes yes yes

- everything is easy

- one moment at a time

- I focus on peace

- I stay in the chill zone

- I appreciate the people who I love and who love me

- bit by bit, it’s getting better

- my job is to remain calm

- it all works out

- my brain is moving towards inspiration

- I know everything I need to know

- information comes easily to me

Anyway choose your own fun mantra for today and do it every day. Don’t let your auto pilot mind run the show, instead learn to dial up the focus and feeling you want each day!

  

Expectations, disappointments and resentments:

These three things go together. We expect somebody to do something we think they “should” do or respond in a certain way, or know something we think they “should” know. And then, because they are who they are, or we didn’t actually communicate what we wanted to happen, they don’t do as we expect. Then we get disappointed, pissed off or resentful. Most of the time, an objective third party would be unsurprised by the response and say something like “well what did you expect?!” And yet. Humans continue with expectations that people will see the world as we do, act as we would act and automatically know what we need from them. Truthfully we can’t really judge people’s actions from our own frame of reference anyway; we never know how people’s backgrounds and anxieties and personality structure and narratives and insecurities etc contribute to their responses. They don’t act as we act because they don’t think as we think. And that’s ok. Let them be as they are. We can adjust our expectations or we can set different boundaries with them if required. But one thing is for sure: we should probably expect that they will continue to act and think as they do now. Live and let live as much as we can, speak up about what we need and/or set boundaries when we need to. Less expectations, less resentment. Sound ok to you??

  

Overtalkers and their effects:

Reading the play is a crucial aspect of conversation. Some people seem to think it’s about “getting your point across” so they keep talking and talking regardless of what the response is, sometimes repeating the same message several times and going into unnecessary detail. Have they noticed that people switch off?? Do they see that their message is lost in the haze of “information”?? The human concentration span has not increased; in fact it would seem to be lower than previously, probably due to our intake of controlled, fast, targeted information via computers and devices. We put a lot of emphasis on listening skills in relationships, both at home and at work. I’d like to see equal attention on message delivery. The art of the soft entry, choosing the timing, checking the message with the listener, giving them time to think and respond, breaking a message into small chunks if necessary, leaving space for processing. Serving up an item at a time rather than a big long word salad. We call this “staying in rapport” which means being in sync with each other. The overtalker often believes they are the communicator in the relationship but may just be doing a little too much talking and not enough rapport monitoring. Conversation is an art worth spending some time with.

  

Sunny day thoughts:

Sunshine changes thoughts and feelings for most of us, boosting energy and bringing a lightness into the way we look at things. Sunshine can bring a sense of possibility, of freedom, a carefree sensation that is very uplifting. When it’s sunny we feel like we can do things, sometimes we even have the motivation to follow through! We’re only ever one thought away from sunny day thoughts. Part of it is physical but the other part is emotional, based on the feeling we have when we connect with the sunshine. Go outside and look at the sun today, it’s always there bringing warmth and light. Draw some rays into yourself and feel the boost in whichever way you might need it.

  

Lightness:

Amidst all the heavy and the busy, it might be useful to notice that element of the light, the bright spot, however large or small, getting brighter now, growing, glowing, allowing more light to reach your mind, your cells, all aspects of your system that need more light now recovering, transmitting and circulating that light, brighter and brighter, more and more light into the far reaches of all spaces, bright shiny light that illuminates and warms and clarifies, filling the lightness of your being now, open to the light, you are the light, go forth in lightness today and remain strong in your brightness.

  

A day in EASY:

The word EASY is one of those words we need to be reminded of every now and then. It’s one of the most powerful words for the human nervous system, having deep cellular effects when we use it. Humans in the western world tend to like things to be “hard”. We admire people for their “hard work” and feel satisfied after a “difficult” challenge has been “conquered”. But what if it was EASY? What if you chose to see it as EASY, whatever it is? Have you noticed the smoothing effect it has on the psyche and the nervous system? And it’s EASY to put this into practice. Just say it. I choose EASY. This will be EASY. EASY does it. Gonna take it EASY today. I’ll take the EASY way. EASY peasy. Go EASY. Seriously, go EASY today. And the next day too.

  

Losing your shit??

Many of us would not be described as angry people. We strive for kindness, compassion and ethical behavior and absolutely hate it when angry feelings kick in. Even when provoked, most of us try to remain calm and in control. For non-angry people, it can be very disconcerting when they feel like they are losing their temper, getting impatient more easily, snapping and saying things that are not so nice. This is usually a byproduct of stress overload, tiredness or illness. It can also be hormonal (or all of the above!!) When we are losing our shit, it’s time to take stock and lower the adrenalin. Our system can get stuck in the gear of hyper-vigilance and nothing about this is fun. Certainly not fun for those around us!! Walk, breathe, sleep, meditate, make some time for nothingness. If your nervous system is hitting the red zone, do the things you need to do in order to get it back in the green territory. And above all, don’t be harsh with yourself. It’s normal to get irritable or abrasive at times and if we can recognize it, then we can tone it down. Go green today.

  

Change of season malaise:

For some reason, it’s been a time of malaise for many people in the last week or two. Malaise is defined as a “general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify”. Maybe it’s a virus, maybe it’s allergies, maybe it’s post-winter blues or accumulated stress or nothing in particular. While we can feel super-impatient about not feeling on top of our game, we need to chill and accept that it’s just part of a cycle, it too shall pass, it’s a temporary storing of energy and bit by bit, day by day, things will slowly improve and then one day, things will feel just fine and then you won’t even remember that you felt this way. Be patient with yourself and others today; everyone is probably feeling similar and chilled vibes will help it pass more comfortably in its own time.

  

Just checking in:

So how are you, really?? What is it that you need today? Are you thinking of your wellbeing, and doing one thing that will lead you towards greater calmness, comfort or pleasure? Check in with yourself as you would a friend, and give yourself the advice or recommendations you would give a friend, in a friendly, kind way with no self-criticism. Then, follow that advice. It’s probably very sound, because I bet you give great advice to others. Be a friend to yourself today and practise self-kindness.

  

Need a minute’s peace??

Watch my words here, as you read, just listening to the sounds as they form in your inner mind, noticing the words that bring healing ideas for you, words that are calming, reminding your inner mind that everything is ok, you are here, you are breathing and wherever you are is where you’re meant to be right now, and it can change for the better in an instant, we never know what goodies lie just around the corner, or when we will feel that burst of improvement, or when inner peace will arrive all by itself when we weren’t looking, contentment now, when we can just relax, nothing to prove or do, just being now and know that is enough, enjoying your moments of peace as they arrive. They will.

  

Worry won’t help.

Whatever or whoever we are worried about, sending worry thoughts is like sending something scary in the mail. What would you prefer to send over the mental mail system? Would you rather send a form of reassurance? Caring? Calm? Love? Healing? Intelligence? Peace? Joy? Whatever you think the situation needs, focus on that. Choose the word, or a feeling of it, or a picture of it, or some form of representation in your mind. Then focus on sending that essence to the situation using the power of your imagination. Do it in a relaxed and casual manner, no pressure involved. Just send what is required and know that you are helping yourself as well as the other parties involved. Delete the worry and send only the good stuff today.

  

Days when you just feel blahhh:

There are many triggers for a blah kind of day; could be tiredness, maybe you’re a little unwell, been to stressed for too long, need a break or a holiday or perhaps it’s just boredom or being in a rut. When we have those blah days, it’s good to acknowledge it. I find it useful to check in whether it’s more an issue of mood, energy or circumstances, or perhaps a mix of both. We can do this by rating our satisfaction with our current mood (emotions) out of ten, then energy (physical strength) out of ten and lastly our circumstances (current life events) out of ten. That can sometimes provide an indicator of what’s going on. It doesn’t necessarily mean we need to change anything about it. There are certainly times to take action, and there are also times where we need to chill and perhaps take the pressure off. I often find that when we look at life circumstances, the reason for the blah feelings become clear. And it’s normal to not feel great when things are not great, but many people now expect to feel good all the time and get quite frustrated when they feel normal human emotions. In fact it would be weird to feel good when things are less than ideal. We operate on an emotional and energetic spectrum and it’s ok to go up and down. Of course if it’s too far down for too long then we need assistance but the normal ups and downs can be managed through equanimity, which means choosing to remain calm and composed as much as we can, even when things are tough. Choose equanimity today, and remember: it’s temporary.

  

The thing you want to improve right now:

Most of us have something we’re not quite happy with at any given time, something we want to work on. The first thing we need is a sense of a beginning, some momentum to carry us forward. All we need to do is one tiny thing. Maybe that thing is a change in thinking, repeating a line or mantra internally, or perhaps it’s a small action step. You’ll know what the best thing is. The idea is that sometime today, you do this small thing, get that change happening in a tiny way so that you can feel a slight sense of progress. When we take a small action, we take some internal credit and our optimism is boosted. This actually creates a change in brain chemistry. Have a small intention and then carry it out. Feel the positive internal shift. The tiniest thing can make all the difference in the world. Where will you start today??

  

Nothing too serious:

It’s been a heavy time for many people lately and its easy to get into the habit of waiting for the next unpleasant thing to happen. The mind is naturally vigilant and can get into overdrive when things have been difficult over time. So today, let’s deliberately cultivate an attitude of lightness. Learning from our animals and from nature, let’s remember how to enjoy the pleasant moments when they’re around and notice the good stuff. Find something to laugh at and pay attention to any moments of stillness, fun, enjoyment or pleasure. Cast off any seriousness as much as you are able to and make every effort to be with the lightness today!

  

Let the week slide off you:

With all of its stresses, tensions and activity, a week can feel like a long time, or it can go past in a flash too, wondering where the time went in the haze of the busy-ness or nothingness, so take a moment now, here, as I talk to you, and you can just listen, hearing my words as I speak to your inner mind, slow it down, letting all muscles relax, neck and shoulders softening, that’s right, moving towards that button or dial that controls comfort now, and simply turn up that comfort in your inner mind, noting the increased calm as your mind prepares to allow all the issues of the week to slide away, comfort and calm increasing now, solidly secured, everything is fine, you’re ok, you got through it all, you did very well in fact, you could feel quite good about it all, just enjoy that feeling now as you let the past slide off into the ether, and you move forward here, anchored into confidence and energized for a new phase. Enjoy.

  

Enough already:

Stop seeking the gaps. The ever-hungry mind is always trying to be better or feel better. But improvement is natural, and there’s nothing to seek, or to prove to yourself or anyone else. You’ve done enough. You’re doing enough now. You have everything you need. You’re more than good enough. You just ARE enough. Relax and enjoy.

  

Being a success:

Success has nothing to do with status, possessions or money. Real success is about what truly matters in life, as in what truly creates satisfaction for you . Status doesn’t actually exist. It’s a made-up construct. Everyone is equal and nobody is more important than anybody else. Possessions give temporary satisfaction followed by a desire for more, more, more. Money makes a difference in life satisfaction only up to a certain comfortable income point, then has been shown to have little impact on overall life enjoyment. Success is living according to your own personal values, setting up the life or lifestyle that is enjoyable for you and sharing it with the people you choose to be around. Success is a sense of wellbeing, that your life has the balance YOU choose, not what is expected or determined by somebody else. You have the right level of freedom, autonomy and security that works for YOU, and you can just let other people create the situation that works for them without feeling judged, judging or threatened. Success is finding the enjoyment within each day, in both the bigger and smaller things. They’re all equal and they all increase fulfillment. Enjoy your own personal success today.

  

Agree to agree:

Is there something you’re being resistant towards? Annoyed with? Pissed off about? Don’t like?? For the sake of inner peace and wellbeing, let’s agree to agree with what is. Just say to yourself “I agree to agree”. You’re not inviting more of it, or saying you can’t change it, or even approving of it. Just agreeing that it IS. From a place of agreement we can be calm and clear enough to move forward in a better vibe. It’s all about the vibe. May your day be agreeable

  

A day of gentle:

Sensitive people are generally affected by their surroundings, both the humans and the environment. It’s a day to remove yourself from any inner or outer harshness and connect yourself with gentle and peaceful stuff. Speak very calmly and quietly to yourself and do not criticize anything you do. Turn your phone on silent. Choose your music and other “noise” carefully. Avoid or shield yourself from harsh personalities. Don’t do anything major. Just take some inner time to revive the system and let it take the time it takes, there’s no pressure and no hurry. Whatever pressure comes from outside, just ignore it and stick with your inner peace and go gentle today! Your job is to remain calm.

  

Quick escape:

Much has been going on, both with and outside you and you need to have a little escape into peace now, a quick holiday for the mind, just to reset your vibe, so slow down down, breathe in as you read this, now hold it, now slowly release it, allowing all tension to dissolve and disappear into the nothingness it came from, breathing in now, holding, releasing, all sadness and worry to morph into pure white light, all fog and confusion leaving the system and we can now trigger the switch to illuminate your mind back into top gear, all is clear, all is calm and all is well, from deep within you generate good feelings, you can, calm, clear and confident you rise up to greet the world now. Go well.

  

You’ve gotta let that 💩 go today:

Life is full of good things and good people and it’s our job to find them and enjoy them. There will also be 💩. We may find that too, but the mantra for today is “Let that 💩 go!” In other words, don’t dwell on it, don’t analyze it, don’t worry about it, just repeat the mantra (well the mantra is pretty funny, right?!!) and move on with your day. All the annoyances, drama, madness, traffic and other silly aggravations you come across, you can be amused to remind yourself to “Let that 💩 go!!”

  

Stress arriving in weird physical ways:

Some people don’t express their emotional overload as anxiety or depressed feelings, but instead it comes out via the body. This can take many forms: insomnia, heartbeat issues, gut problems, IBS, nausea, pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue, skin breakouts, blisters or cold sores, migraines, brain fog, nasal problems, flu-like symptoms (eg swollen glands or sore throat), excess fluid or swelling, twitches and on it goes. Many people have weird symptoms that become apparent as stress-induced over time, in fact it’s fairly normal. It’s interesting though, because the worry about treating or removing the symptoms takes our attention away from whatever is really creating the overload. Next time we get our bodily stress symptom, see it like you would see an indicator on your car. Something is in overload and your system is giving you the message. You don’t have to remove stress (we can’t, and most of us find want to remove all challenge anyway) but perhaps there’s something you could acknowledge that might have affected you. Think about it, talk about it. Say to yourself “if I was the kind of person who got really upset or angry, what would I possibly be upset/furious about right now?” When your mind hears the answer, somehow it helps the physical pattern too. No frustration, just acceptance and understanding. May your day be chilled and symptom-free today.

  

Recovery after being around nasty:

After exposure to conflict, rudeness, crazy behavior or other harsh energies, we often feel the effects in our nervous system for quite some time. The incidents can replay as we try to “figure it out” and somehow process what has occurred. Maybe we just witnessed it or perhaps we were the recipient of misplaced aggression or anger. For those of us who are sensitive, it can feel like an assault to the psyche. Even if we aren’t really thinking about it, we can still feel shaken and stirred. After such incidents we need to go into energy recovery mode. Soothing internal voice, soothing activities, contact with pleasant energy and methods to clear the harsh energy. Have a shower or wash your hands. Water can help shift the vibe. Also go to nature or pets for pure energy. Surround yourself with white light and feel the white light clearing and purifying. Know that the white light is inside you and comes from within, and is powerful enough to dispel or dissolve any other energies around you. Create the calm pleasant energy inside yourself and mentally offer it to the person who was harsh. They need it more than you do. And remember, it’s not personal. They didn’t do it “to you”, it’s just how they operate based on their programming. Maintain your own program for kindness and peace and stay with the pleasant energies as much as you can! May the white light be with you today.

  

Choose 3 for peace:

Everyone is going through stuff. The best way to get a double-burst of serotonin (feel-good chemical) is to gain enjoyment via being genuinely helpful. So today your mission (if you choose to accept it!) is to deliberately radiate goodwill and peace to 3 people who look like they need it. You might be tired, you might be stressed, you might not be in the mood. But let’s do it anyway; you’ll reap the benefits as well as the people you choose. Start looking for your first recipient now. Goodwill and peace to you today too.

  

Peace transfer:

Perhaps there’s a way in which a little extra inner peace might assist you on your way today, that settled feeling of everything is ok, breathing it in now as you read, all is well, breathe in, hold it, all is well, now breathe out, all is well, you can just relax as you take in my words, it’s all ok, the world goes on, sun comes up every day, planets held in place, grass is growing, seasons change, all is well, everything in its correct form, breathing now, knowing at all levels that life supports you, all is well, and you can carry this feeling all day, and tomorrow, and for as long as you like, just keep activating that thought, all is well, and it is well, and may your day be filled with inner peace now.

  

What’s on your mind???

It’s funny to be asked what’s on your mind when most of us have way too much on our minds. We’re living in an increasingly complicated world, often made more complex by too many choices, which we quickly find out about due to our use of technology. We expect ourselves to multitask at a mental level not found in previous times. We have internalized romantic idealism to such a degree that we expect a certain perfection in every relationship, child, friendship, job, activity or task and we socially compare to other “perfect beings” when things inevitably don’t go to plan. In short, we have a lot on our minds, some of which is due to unrealistic expectations of ourselves, others and life in general, as well as low tolerance for ambiguity, boredom, frustration or just “ordinariness”. Humans have thinking minds. This is our strength and our cross to bear! Life probably won’t return to simpler times but we can make a choice as to what we hold in our minds. Our brains and nervous systems prefer one thing at a time. Less is more. Do less, think less and focus on what truly matters rather than what the media or consumerism wants us to think matters. In that sense life hasn’t changed. We feel good when we are active, kind, peaceful and ethical. We need to know that we are all different in our gifts and we all belong. Choose your focus carefully today.

  

When it all looks like it’s turning to  💩:

You know the feeling, one thing after another, task after task going wrong, all seems to happen at once, you’re getting frustrated, getting overwhelmed, feeling unlucky, feeling thwarted. Looking back on those phases though, sometimes a different picture emerges. Often, looking back, we are so glad we didn’t achieve/get the thing we thought we must/should have. Or that thing that went wrong led to a big change that improved everything. Or that person you thought you needed in your life was replaced by a much more suitable option. The broken thing led to the acquisition of a much better thing. When we are assessing how bad things are, we lack this perspective of the bigger picture; mostly we only see it in hindsight. But let’s experiment with the idea of bringing hindsight into the now, knowing that we won’t be seeing the bigger picture yet, but it will come. Next time things feel in chaos, the mantra is “I’m willing to trust in the resolution of the bigger picture and I choose peace”.

  

Go outside for a minute!

There is so much evidence suggesting that even a quick trip outside during the day is good for your physical and emotional symptoms. If possible, interact with a tree. Touch it, look at it, breathe it in and think about the tree, either holistically or by noticing aspects of it. Look at the sky. Hear the sounds around you, from all aspects. It’s all nature and it’s all good. Inside is great too, but there’s something about getting outside for a bit that improves concentration, mood and strength. And make sure you find that tree to interact with today.

  

If the dogs could talk:

If we let our dog community advise us today, they might have a few suggestions:

1. Be excited when you wake up! You get to see everyone and it’s really fun.

2. Mealtime is great! Focus fully on it and enjoy your food with enthusiasm. Just eat what’s in your bowl. The rest of it isn’t yours.

3. Anything can be used for playtime! A sock, a soft toy, a stick; really, just use your imagination!

4. We like some people better than others. So we hang with the ones we like best.

5. There is a natural order in the social hierarchy. You don’t need to compare yourself to others because everyone belongs.

6. You always look cute. If in doubt, stop and do a cute look.

7. The world is here for your entertainment and pleasure. Enjoy it.

8. When it’s time to rest, just stop and rest. Let the world go about its business and be so relaxed you don’t even hear the cars go by.

9. Everybody loves you and if they don’t, there’s something wrong with them!

Choose one dog lesson for today and put on repeat in your mind!

  

The Perfect Day:

The perfect day is the day you’re already having, whatever happens will happen, it all works out, and your inner mind can align with this pleasant idea very quickly, so let’s relax now, breathing in some peace, softening all muscles, and allow today just to be what it is, unfolding however it does, perfect in its own way, all part of the bigger picture, only good will come from it when your mind chooses to see the possibilities, tuning into appreciation so that all parts of your mind can feel good now.

  

Just in case you forget:

1. You have an intelligent and curious mind

2. You’re an interesting and complex person

3. You are probably more sensitive than most, and that’s exciting

4. You have many talents and gifts, some still to be discovered

5. Everything works out well for you

6. People like you even though some may not understand you

7. Things can get even better than they are now

8. You need to tell yourself stuff like this all the time, especially on tough days. Read it again and choose the most important reminder for today!

  

When people aren’t sorry:

Stubbornness, pride and lack of empathy are traits that prevent some people being sorry for what they’ve said/done or perhaps from saying it out loud to the person they’ve wronged. Most of us are quite forgiving when the person is truly and genuinely apologetic and seems to “get” what they did. In other words, it’s not just a blanket apology or a fake apology (eg “I’m sorry if I offended anyone, it was not my intention” - that’s meaningless) but a true understanding of the transgression and actual words saying SORRY. A good apology has three parts. 1. Genuine remorse using the word Sorry. 2. Accurate description of the action being apologized for. 3. Reassurance that it won’t happen again and how the person will try to ensure this or make repair. If you don’t get your apology, beware of resentment. Resentment is, of course, a poison that hurts us more than the person we direct it towards, so our energy is better spent changing our narrative regarding the person concerned. You can know that they made a mistake but lack the insight or awareness to know this and/or to repair the situation in an adult manner. That’s not your problem. It may have consequences for the future of your relationship but either way, it’s not personal and it’s not your stuff. Once again, let’s focus on keeping things right on our side of the fence.

  

Over-screening the brain:

There’s so much we don’t yet know about the way device screen time is interacting with our brains and creating symptoms we don’t enjoy. This is especially true in regard to children’s and teen’s developing brains but evidence suggests many of us are affected much more than we realize. We’ve always known that TV watching (which is a very passive version of screen time) puts the brain into a state akin to mild depression and that increased TV watching is correlated with worsened mood and energy. But it would seem that interactive screen time (games, eBay, online shopping, social media checking, messaging, YouTube watching) has effects on the brain that are much more concerning. By increasing cognitive load, these activities put the brain and nervous system into a particular state of stress that is highly addictive to many, and can result in symptoms that replicate mood swings, anger, irrational outbursts, lack of impulse control, difficulty studying or completing tasks, rage episodes, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, inability to concentrate, lowered mood, boredom with “normal activities”, memory problems, decreased motivation, fatigue and impaired social skills. In fact, evidence is suggesting that screen use can create symptoms that look like ADHD and other developmental disorders in children and teens. Some kids require a total screen fast to get their behaviors and concentration back on track. Do you need to check your interactive screen time? Would you feel better if you did a little less phone/iPad/computer and a little more old-school activity??

  

Respect yourself and your needs today!

Whatever happens isn’t personal, but sometimes stuff needs to be said. Speak up when you need to speak up. Do it calmly and use the adult voice of reason. Think about what you want and ask for it. Be specific and use examples. Once you’ve asked, notice all tiny positive improvements (teeny weeny ones) and comment in an affirming way. Do this with yourself too; note the little things you’re doing well and verbally give yourself praise, out loud if you can, silently if you have to. You don’t need to hide. You don’t need to take any crap. Respond with your inner adult and say what needs to be said today.

  

Pay attention if you’re tired or unwell:

You know how easy it can be to let thoughts veer and spiral towards the negative if we’re not feeling so good, maybe a bit tired, aching or stressed, or sick, it happens, and you know, and I know too, that feeling bad about feeling bad can make it even worse so listen now, as I have a word with your inner mind, fully relaxing, letting all tension drain from your neck and shoulders, those muscles that carry all the stress and strain, allowing them to release, dissolving any hardness now, that’s right, softening, face muscles relaxing too, easing and slowing the breath, good job, and paying attention now to the innate intelligence of the body, whether you think of this special innate intelligence as part of nature, the same force that makes the plants grow, that holds the planets in place, that changes day to night to day again, every day, that brings the sun up, shining daily as it does, that grows baby humans and animals and trees from tiny cells or spores, the force that ensures that an orange seed can sow an orange tree which produces oranges for us, and we can pick those oranges and they will grow back again, this innate intelligence working through you, with you, in you, as you, right now as you read this, all intelligent processes operating for you with no effort at all, pay attention to that now, you can, and notice how the force expands to meet your every need and increases strongly with your focus. Enjoy.

  

Creative attentional control:

The point of learning attentional control is to be able to take hold of the mind and direct it towards a chosen focus rather than running loose with depressive, anxious or angry thoughts. It gives us a choice. Feeling like you have no control over the mind is a awful (and sometimes scary) so it’s a skill we must practice daily. Some of us enjoy more creative methods of directing our mind so here are some of these.

1. Take a favorite album and play on headphones. Close your eyes and tune into only aspects of the music. Listen to the bass, then drums, then guitars or lyrics etc. When thoughts come, return focus immediately to the music.

2. Get your pet. Focus on only the pet, stroking it, noticing how it looks, feels and sounds as you do this. Look for the detail in the fur, the sensations of touching that fur, the underlying bone structure you can feel, the colors you can observe.

3. Take some colored pencils or textas and draw or color in something. Start with something simple like a house or tree or person. It’s not about quality. It’s about putting all your focus in that task.

4. Go for a walk. Notice and name all aspects that you see, only keep your focus on what you are externally experiencing. Or for another exercise, go for a walk and only count your steps. Nothing else. Just count the entirety of the steps with your own mind.

5. Get a glass of water or tea. Slowly drink it, concentrating only on the feeling of the liquid, its smell or taste, the sensation of it moving in your mouth, throat, stomach, the feeling of the glass in your hand and the look of it as it slowly transfers its goodness over to you as you drink.

6. Go to the beach or the bush in your mind. Feel yourself walking, barefoot, noting the sensations underfoot, the sounds, the scenes around you. Go for detail. Make it good.

7. Say “thank you”. Over and over. Just thank you. Nothing else. For as long as you can. You can say it in your mind to something, nothing, somebody or nobody.

Attentional control builds mental muscles. We are not the victims of our thoughts or feelings. We can take our mind to many pleasant places with practice.

  

Attention control for visuals:

Many of the attention control methods are geared towards words. Listening to words, counting breaths, repeating mantras, hearing recordings of instructions etc. If you’re a visual person, internal attention control can be a challenge. There are many ways to work on this from a visual perspective so I’ll give you a few favorites. Start with 2-3 minutes practice and increase daily as a challenge to yourself. The aim is to build brain attention muscle. First idea: In a room, identify the top left corner of that room and the top right corner. You might want to imagine L for left on one side and R for right on the other, using your mind’s eye. Now slowly move your eyes from left to right. You can do it a little faster if it feels better. Keep your head stable and only move your eyes. You can say “left, right” in your mind or aloud if you like.

Another method is to get a largish piece of paper and draw a square. Starting at top left, put the number one in corner, then 2 at top right, 3 at bottom right and 4 at bottom left. Then put the paper on a wall/floor/table/lap in front of you. Starting at 1, say the numbers as you move clockwise around the square with your eyes. The third method is to have a calming picture or sentence in front of you on a card or piece of paper. Find on internet and print out. It could be a nature or beach image or anything you find calming. Or it could be a sentence like “you can feel great more often when your mind is calm”. Whatever it is, you’re going to look at it. You can look at the whole thing or the details. Just keep looking/reading. If you don’t want a printed picture or photo, use a lit candle or fireplace or fishbowl or clouds in the sky. Watch it moving. As a visual, learn to tune in only to what you see and even if your mind drifts (it will) keep returning your object of attention.

  

Deliberate attention control during anxiety:

Anxiety feeds on thought loops. Yes there is a real physical sensation. It might be stomach or chest or other body feelings. It might feel natural to focus on those feelings too. Or maybe there’s another worry thought loop involved about a situation or other people. The truth is, anxious or worry thoughts won’t help anything. Won’t boost health, won’t solve problems, won’t prevent trouble of any kind. However a still or calm mind does help with all those things. The most simple and basic way to bring the mind back to a chosen point of attention (and therefore build the skill of deliberate attentional control) is to count breaths. You can count on just the out breath or both, you choose. You can count in cycles of ten. Or less. Some people choose cycles of 4 just to build skill. You may feel you mind wandering, thinking it’s boring or that it won’t “work”. The point is, as soon as you have a thought just completely ignore it and go back to the counting breath cycles. It doesn’t matter that your attention wavers. The skill is in learning to bring it back to the chosen focus. Do four cycles of four breaths right now. Slowly. Through your nose. If you can make time, do another four. Do it when you take a toilet break. Do it in the car. Do it twice every hour. If you’re with friends or colleagues or students, ask them to join in. Take four.

  

Can you control your attention?

The ability to control where the mind puts its attention is one of the strongest predictors of success in most areas of life. The more we rely on external sources of attention engagement, the less we learn this crucial ability. Scrolling social media, gazing at the internet on iPhones, iPad, watching Netflix or TV, online shopping, gaming and other screen activities are all passive attention-grabbers. They’re not a bad thing to do, they’re fun and they’re a distraction from internal mental activity. However if we have any kind of issue with anxious or depressive thoughts, it’s generally a signal that we need to learn better attentional control. There are many methods of learning attentional control and I will post more about them this week. Learning how to notice where the attention is, then bring it back to where you need it to be is a life skill. Some have suggested that we are losing this ability over time and that passive and instant entertainment/engagement may be one of the factors involved. Another factor is the increasing expectation that we feel “good” all the time and then have frustrated or worried thoughts if we don’t feel “good”. Either way, learning deliberate attentional control helps most human conditions. Notice your attentional patterns today and let’s see where we need to redirect. As always, our focus determines our outcome.

  

A chat with your inner 9 year old:

As you listen to my words, relaxing here, in the now, I want you to allow your inner 9 year old to tune in very carefully to my helpful instructions, listening now, all eyes here please, watching and listening, that’s right, and you know, and I know too, that your inner 9 year old will tell you exactly what to do so that you have more fun, who to spend time with, who to stop spending time with, what to learn more about, where to spend more play time, what music to listen or dance to and where you want to go today, in your inner mind, free like then, no pressure, just finding what looks like fun, or finding what isn’t so much fun and making it more fun, listening to what you want, what you feel like and what brings joy. Allow the inner 9 year old to run free today.

  

“Not good enough” thoughts and feelings:

Whether the sensations arise in the form of internal words or feelings, urs not uncommon to have that “not good enough” vibe at times. The first healing step is to notice the thought or feeling when it arrives. Did anything trigger it?? Most commonly it will be due to comparison with somebody else deemed “better”. The second most common trigger is a sense of “failing” at something or not creating the effect we wanted. The third trigger is rumination, the act of mentally looping stuff from the past. There are generally 3 aspects of “not good enough” feelings: Competence, Personality and Attractiveness. Of course it’s all in our perception of whether we are competent, likable and attractive “enough”, and for some brains, nothing is enough. We need to work on and challenge any belief that we SHOULD be a certain way. Usually our standards are harsh and unrelenting. Generally we are “good enough” as is, probably way better than good. If there’s a small aspect we need to work on, let’s identify that small step and refrain from over-generalizing about being “better” in huge or vague ways. The whole “not good enough” thing is a scam. We’re all plenty good enough and please remember that today.

  

The movie version:

Whatever is going on for you right now, imagine it as a movie. Would you produce it as a comedy, drama, thriller or action movie? Or would it be an art house film, animated or with subtitles? Are you a main character or somebody “acted upon” by a protagonist? You get to direct all the action. How do you want the story to develop? How do you want your character to learn or grow? What obstacles and barriers will they overcome and what will their achievements be? Do you want to write a happy ending or just leave a “slice of life” moment with viewers? How do you see audience reaction? Would they have opinions or advice for the key characters? Taking another perspective, especially a creative view of a situation can help unlock your next move. Or movie. Or even a sequel. It’s up to you. After all, you’re the producer, writer and director.

  

Energy hit:

Energy builds from within, from the physical and the emotional. Think of the exciting thing that drives you, the thing you enjoy, the thing that really matters to you. Combine it with physical movement, whatever you can do right now, whether it’s running, jumping or moving something while sitting or standing. Get your mind and body active. Add some music that revs your system and makes you feel even more alive. The energy is there and you must activate! Get going right now!

  

For you:

Wishing you a day of calm, a day of pleasant interactions and a day of good feelings. Be open to noticing all the beauty around you and seeing beauty where other people might see something less. Whatever happens, it’s ok. Whatever is said, know that you’re awesome and that all the people that matter already know this. Go you good thing.

  

Meditation for positive outcomes:

There’s that thing, that thing on your mind, perhaps a little concerned about, or wanting to feel better about, knowing we can’t control other people, or many outside events, but working internally we can change many things, gain many improvements, you can, breathing in now, slowing down, allowing the breath to move comfortably through the system, relaxing those neck and shoulder muscles, slowing down a little more, that’s right, easing your mind and dissolving any tension here, as you allow the positive outcome to unfold, it will, just let the good thing happen, all is working for your good, everything unfolding in perfect order, you will take all the steps you need to take now, do the thing you know you need to be doing today, keeping that positive attitude, showing up now and doing what needs to be done. Your mindset is strong.

  

Instant Chill:

Look up. Put your eyes about ceiling level. Having your eyes at this angle stops us going into most thoughts and feelings, allowing the brain to blank out a bit for a moment. Close your eyes (making sure eyeballs stay upwards) and see if you feel better or worse. Choose the best one. Now breathe in through your nose and count to 4. Hold that breath gently for the count of 7. Breathe it slowly out of your nose for the count of 8. Repeat this several times. Then, still looking up, think or say the words CLEAR, CALM, CONFIDENT. Then think or say the word YES. Breathe out slowly through your nose and continue on in chilled mode.

  

It’s always better chilled.

Whatever it is, you need to chill. With a more relaxed nervous system, your decision making is improved, your immunity is stronger, your verbal skills are boosted, you can articulate your points more effectively, you can choose your responses rather than just reacting, you can rest and recover, you can improve sleep quality, you can enjoy things more, you can allow and accept events, you can open up the stream of creativity within and express whatever it is that you have to give. Uptight sucks. Notice it, acknowledge it then choose chill instead. Chill always works. You can chill. Chill now.

  

Brain-free days:

Some days it feels like the brain is away for a bit, perhaps it needs a holiday and is taking one without permission. It can feel foggy, blank and just unavailable when needed. It can be scary when you worry whether the brain will show up to help with thoughts, words and memories, and maybe it will be a little slow (or a lot slow!) to bring forth what is required. This slow-brain feeling can be a result of sleep patterns or quality, food or substance hangover, general tiredness, stress, boredom, lack of stimulation or a long period of too much stimulation. What do you need to recharge? Is it a physical boost or a mental boost? Or rather a physical or mental break? Escapism or activity? Action or meditation? Of course you can just do nothing at all to intervene, and know that it’s a normal and common phenomenon. Either way, thank your brain for all it’s hard work and be appreciative of and patient with its efforts today!

  

Emotional Balance:

When we have harmony on the inside, everything outside us feels a little easier to deal with. And even though we don’t always wake up with harmonious feelings, or maybe we did but events soon disrupted our equilibrium, we can consciously move towards balancing the mix. Do you need to turn down the tension? Turn up the relaxation a little? Notch up the calm, boost the warm energy, move the optimism a little higher and bring down any coldness or discomfort. Work from the inside, slowing your breathing, which slows down other aspects of nervous functioning. Choose calm and warm thoughts and be accepting of what happens around you. Amidst any chaos of today you can now continue to work on your inner balance.

  

Be off the hook today:

Whatever you’re feeling a little guilty about, or maybe a little responsible for, you can listen to me now, and get off the hook right here, without really trying, just listen to my words, you’re ok, you are a kind person with good intentions and an ethical way about you, there is no desire to harm, never has been, you work towards the good, and you do know, don’t you, that we can’t be responsible for everything, that other people respond the way they do, due to their past programming and current choices, we can’t control that, never could and never will, and you know, you come from a place of good, so I want you now to stay in that place of goodness, what others do is up to them, just hang in your bubble of goodness and feel ok about doing what you do. It’s ok. You’re truly off the hook.

  

Are you overthinking it?

If there’s something you need to do, then do it. Take the action. Do the small thing first and you’ll feel better and it will naturally lead into momentum for the next thing. Yes you could delay it by doing all the “what ifs” in your head; it won’t make any difference. Take the main “what if” and say “what will I do if that happens” and actually write it down. If you can write down a specific concern and write down a list or plan of what you will do if it happens, this takes it out of vague anxiety land and into practical action territory. You can do it. You’ve got this. Remind yourself that you’re good to go. Stop thinking and start doing.

  

Getting out of negative thinking ruts:

Is there any part of your thinking process that needs a bit of a tweak right now? Even though you might be a very optimistic person in general, most of us have an area where we are more prone to a narrative that takes us down the dark alley. Maybe it’s your energy, your job, your social life, your kids, family, your eating or your weight or something else entirely, maybe your narrative needs a little uplifting. Firstly, notice and eliminate the negative remarks you might be making, or the “what’s the point” or helpless, “I’m no good” type statements. Then go for a neutral type narrative, eg “it is what it is” or “this is the place I’m starting from now”. Then form a statement of intention. Is it a case of taking action or changing your attitude, or both? Perhaps an attitude of openness, willingness, acceptance and a connection to possibilities might help. It’s easy to get stuck in a thinking rut and not even realize. Get on to it and get back on the path towards better feelings.

  

Reassurance.

When we are worried or anxious or overwhelmed, we need reassurance. We need to know that it will be fine, that everything will turn out ok, that all things are working together for the good. And this is true, it’s going to be ok, it’s ok already, everything is fine. Internalize and install this software now, ready to activate in the moments you need it for yourself and others. It’s ok. You’re ok. Everything is fine. You’re doing great. In fact, you rock.

  

Right people, right place, right time:

What if you just assumed that you’d be right where you need to be, that you’re there now, with the right people, and that the right people and things will continue to show up, just at the perfect time? This would allow you to release concern for the future and realize that it takes care of itself and all we have to do is chill out and make good decisions when the time arises. Let the harmony begin.

  

One sentence to meditate you:

The essence of mediation is to simply allow whatever is happening internally to happen, while not buying into any of it, none of it matters really, thoughts come and go, feelings arise and subside like the waves, and the breath just keeps moving in, bringing life, and moving out, taking away all byproducts as you read my words, letting all concerns dissolve into the nothingness they came from, releasing any unnecessary drama from the week, and all of it is unnecessary, focusing only on the mantra of calm confidence now, relaxing into your day and letting it unfold into the maximum joy that awaits you.

  

A one-sentence challenge on good moods:

To increase good moods we need to address both our physiology and our mental focus so start with your body; move, eat correctly for your type, shake things up and have some fun, get some meditation/rest/sleep and then when you wake up, work on your mind with thoughts of what’s going well, what you’re enjoying, the good things around you and what changes you’ll make to improve your life even more.

  

A one-sentence challenge on worry:

Whilst the recipe for general worry is to tune into all future negative possibilities or worse-case scenarios and hang in the cloud of doom, an improved twist is to focus on only one, or maximum two possible scenarios and list a written plan for what you will actually do if they happen, putting you straight back into the land of focused action and emotional control.

  

A one-sentence challenge on pleasure and motivation:

When we’re feeling low, we can build on positive state by firstly increasing motivation via a list of tasks that bring a sense of achievement and secondly by deliberately continuing fun activities that have brought pleasure in the past, knowing that both will slowly increase our natural optimism.

  

A one-sentence challenge on INNER PEACE:

Remember that we CHOOSE peace by allowing things to flow, walking away from the drama where possible and deciding that we can always work on maintaining inner harmony regardless of the outer conditions.

  

Pump it up:

If you need a bit of activity, a little energy today, then listen here, tuning into my words as we tune up your engine, little tweaks boost faster performance, stronger now, as you read and as I talk to you here, and you can just listen, breathing, relaxing easily now as you allow all the intelligent internal forces to go quickly to work on your behalf, feeling better, revving up the system, turbo boosted now, installation complete, time to let the system run, taking off with you, taking you wherever you need to go today, speedily, safely, smoothly and with the enjoyable soundtrack of your choice, take off now and feel the power from within as you travel to your perfect destination.

  

Assertiveness for people that prefer not to assert:

Some of our personalities are not geared towards stopping rudeness, calling time out, saying no or establishing firm boundaries. Many of us just prefer to be around people that have our kind of boundaries rather than having to do something to put that boundary in place. This is especially true when dealing with a self-involved, critical or dominant personality, or somebody who harshly bulldozes over the needs of others. So if you have a situation like that, you need some lines ready, lines that feel ok inside you as well as (hopefully) having a boundary effect. When it comes to asserting, less is more. Fewer words and no explanation. Break the pattern then be silent or move away. This creates more power than endless justification or explanation of your feelings. The idea is to just say no to the behavior or request. Here are a few lines to add to your arsenal:

- I’m not really into this.

- I’m thinking not.

- Let’s not.

- Seriously, let’s not go there.

- That’s not cool.

- That’s not ok.

- Dude/mate you need to back off

- I’m calling time out on this topic

- I think this is enough.

- If this continues I’ll be leaving.

- I think this is where I get off.

- I’m out.

Choose the lines that feel appropriate and use them. Say one then if the person persists, say “seriously” or “I mean it” and repeat the line. You can give a brief explanation of your feelings if they ask for it. Then be silent or move away from the conversation. It may not change the future behavior but it will help establish your boundaries and self respect. Use with love.

  

The exhaustion of expectations:

If you’re hard on yourself then it means you are expecting too much of yourself. Expecting to feel a certain way, expecting certain reactions, thinking you SHOULD be doing particular things or not doing them, making critical judgements about not meeting expectations even though they might be unreasonable. That’s the key message of today: your expectations of yourself in your current circumstances may be unreasonable. It doesn’t mean we can’t improve things or change. It just means you might be expecting too much in too many areas and you need to decide what the priority is. We can’t achieve everything in every area at once. Check your self-expectations today and ask how you can be more reasonable and understanding of yourself in the way that perhaps you are for others. One thing at a time.

  

Motivating ourselves with the whip:

Whipping ourselves into getting stuff done is generally ineffective and also unpleasant. The key question for any strategy is “does it work”. And not just in the short term, but over the long term. And for something to work over the longer term, it has to feel good. Many of us think that if we don’t whip ourselves mentally, we will turn into lazy complacent slugs who do nothing and let everything turn to crap. In truth, this is highly unlikely. Activity level is one of the key aspects of personality, so it remains largely unchanged over time unless affected by stress, circumstances or illness. We are better off motivating ourselves by using our values. Asking ourselves what is important right now, what do I need right now, what would be the best thing to do for myself right now. What do I need to do in order to feel fulfilled and satisfied today? No self-berating, no name-calling, no “what’s the point”, no negativity or hopelessness, no self-criticism or catastrophizing. It is neither useful nor pleasant and it certainly won’t produce activity or change over the long term. Try a little self-kindness for motivating yourself. It works wonders.

  

What we don’t want or what we DO want??

One of the most important skills of optimism is learning to go into intention. Going into intention means thinking about the preferred state rather than the feared or unwanted state. So, asking ourselves questions such as:

- how would I like it to be?

- what is my goal in this situation right now?

- what mood state shall I cultivate today?

- what would I like more of?

- what is my main priority?

- what would I like to achieve in this moment?

- what do I want to feel right now, given the circumstances?

Whatever it is, take your mind in hand and go into the place you want to be. Maybe you won’t quite get there, but by focusing on it you will get a lot closer than if you looked in the other unwanted direction. Do you want some fun, some enjoyment or some inner peace today? Focus on it then take actions that support moving in your chosen direction now.

  

Make life easy today:

We can think hard, or we can think easy, the easy way is just to let it happen, know that it won’t be that difficult; most difficulties are brought by ourselves from the mind, whereas in real life it’s much easier than we expect, why did we spend that time worrying and planning, it all just worked out, might as well just assume it will continue to work out easily, it will, everything falling into place even better than you’d hoped, and you can hear yourself saying “I can’t believe that was so easy” and yet you will start to believe it, and then expect it, and then just assume it without even a thought. An easy life is a good life.

  

Be aware of seasonal mood shifts:

For so many reasons, lots of people are currently experiencing difficulties with mood and energy. As we move through the seasonal shift, regardless of our personal weather preferences, it can still trigger changes in anxiety, contentment, pleasure, immunity, sleep, social engagement, motivation and energy. We can mitigate this to some extent via our own choices of course, though there may also be an element of accepting the different seasonaleffects on our body/psyche. To maximize mood we need to be aware of sunlight, food choice, level of activity, right amount of sleep, scheduling social events, maintaining optimistic thoughts (not trying to be “positive”, but focusing on balanced, factual and non-catastrophic thoughts) and doing pleasurable activities such as reading, music, writing, other creative expression and whatever else you usually enjoy. Binge-watching some great shows is also fun for many of us. Changes in mood are normal but if too extreme, please seek assistance. There are many ways of boosting serotonin and personal coping skills and it never hurts to get a little coaching on this. Catch some sunlight when you can today and focus on capturing some feel-good moments.

  

The art of the attention-seeker:

Nothing wrong with a little attention, we all need it. It’s the chronic attention-seeking vampires that tend to drain our batteries if we are around them or watching them too long. Bottom line: whatever it is, it’s about them. Their story is more interesting, what happened to them is worse, and the spotlight must go back to them ASAP. It’s annoying, it’s boring and sometimes it’s highly aggravating. Generally we can’t stop the behavior by subtle hints nor by pointing it out directly. Many have tried and been surprised by the emergence of a new drama that is now fuel for the attention sucker. It’s a chronic personality pattern only manageable if the person themselves identifies that they have a problem (unlikely). Limit involvement if you can. And if you can’t (because it’s a family member or colleague) then recognize the pattern. Expect it. Detach from it. Allow them to be like that whilst limiting your listening time. Memorize a few key lines such as “yes, sounds full on” and have a change of subject ready at hand. These people thrive on drama but you don’t have to buy in. Stay in your bubble and choose peace.

  

Impatience and irritation:

There could be triggers, it could be conflict or traffic or crazy people or events, or tiredness or overwhelm or maybe just waking up that way for no reason. It can be unpleasant and it can be hard to contain. The nervous system becomes aggravated and/or hyped and sometimes we aren’t even aware of it until somebody reacts to our energy or tense response. When we become aware of this aggravated nervous system state, we could consider possible triggers in order to place it in context. We could also ask ourselves what is missing right now, what do we need in order to restore some equilibrium? Do we need some time to self or time with others? More sleep, more fun, less work, more challenge, less pressure, more time in the head, better food, more music or something else entirely? The key statement is “I want to feel good”. Sometimes even acknowledging that will point you towards the how. Remind yourself today that your goal is to feel good and let the many helpful parts of your mind direct you towards the way there.

  

Optimism in dating & relationships:

It’s so easy to get sucked in by the grass that looks greener. A form of pessimism can creep into attitudes about relationships before we’ve even realized, and it’s a poison that we really don’t want to allow. Yes, being in the dating world is a challenge. It’s not dissimilar to job-seeking in that it’s an initial recruitment exercise that hopefully leads to a satisfying connection over time. Like job seeking, people hate the thought of doing the beginning part; the CV (which these days is often an online or app dating profile), the interviews (initial contact which may be sporadic or prolonged) and the trial period (an actual meet-up). And then there’s the probationary period, the getting to know you phase which lasts 3-6 months or more. An attitude of relaxed optimism is required, combined with discernment and an ability to be open to experiences but also a willingness to stop when red flags present themselves. It’s a fine line between openness and delusion. Once a good connection occurs, the challenge is to let it evolve naturally, like you would any friendship. No pressure, no comparisons, no deadlines. Just as in established relationships, people aren’t perfect. If we have 80% compatibility (or maybe even less!) we can work with that using good communication skills. We need to prioritize kindness and a caring attitude in partners, as well as a willingness to resolve areas of disagreement without nastiness. A dash of humor is helpful. An attitude of optimism is required at all times. This doesn’t mean seeing everything through rose colored glasses (delusional and potentially dangerous). It means being factual and knowing there are always possibilities. Good things can always happen if if we take the right action and we make good decisions.

  

Trusting in the ok-ness:

With the many disturbances in our outside world, it’s sometimes more challenging to maintain inner harmony, that sense of being ok with what is, of trusting in the unfolding process, so let’s pause now, here, as I speak to you, and you can just listen, nothing to do, no action to take, just listening now, as I talk to your inner mind, the mind that knows peace, that wants to feel the harmony of being, that can allow the silence for a bit, just sitting, or standing, or whatever else is happening, dissolving any tension now, as you breathe in, and breathe out, on it goes, the world continues, all is well, and you can relax in that little moment of OK, and you can trust in that moment, and allow it to grow and expand at its own natural pace, deeper now, that’s right, trusting in the flow and moving easily into the rest of your day. Go easy.

  

Anxiety needs an outlet:

Anxiety is a form of energy that can feel extremely uncomfortable and distressing. It’s often possible to dissolve or reduce it when we give it an outlet, a focus, somewhere to go. This outlet could be physical, such as different forms of exercise or movement, it could be creative expressions via music, art, writing, poetry, craft or projects; it could be verbal via helpful talks with others, or it could be something else entirely, such as methods that tap into the subconscious mind and reveal helpful information. Next time you feel an anxious sensation or notice an anxious thought, ask yourself what type of outlet might assist this energy to move through your system in a way that helps you. If you’re not sure, take a pen and start of write about a possible outlet for your sensations and see what help your brain might offer you.

  

Conflict-avoidant?

While there are those individuals who seem to thrive on conflict, many of us more sensitive types avoid it, sometimes to our detriment. It’s great to be accommodating, it can be useful to keep the peace and be a contributor to harmony. Unnecessary conflict is annoying and aggravating to the nerves. However, there are times to say something. Times where you need to stand up redirect the flow. Say what you think, state what you want. You can also do this with calmness and with kindness, and with 100% respect for the other person. Generally this goes well when we actually get ourselves to speak, unless of course you are being unreasonable yourself in your expectations or if you’re dealing with somebody who is being egocentric, defensive, shut down, nasty or manipulative. Truth is, it won’t always go well. But the point is not to be scared of it. If it doesn’t go well, review your expectations as well as your timing, start-up approach and delivery, perhaps with a trusted person. Then consider the openness, emotional maturity and receptivity of the other person. Some people can take responsibility for their emotions and actions as well as respecting your needs, while others continue to blame, defend or deflect, focusing only on their own point of view. That section is not your job to manage. Watch with curiosity and generate detachment when the behavior of others is less than emotionally intelligent. This kind of intelligence operates in a bell-shaped curve like most other forms. Continue to develop your own emotional intelligence, especially the ability to spot manipulation when it occurs. Conflict is just initial disagreement and it doesn’t have to get ugly if people use their skills. And if you’ve used yours then you’ve done your bit. All you can do is let it go and back right off.

  

It’s your job to do you:

We are designed perfectly, intelligently and uniquely. Not the same as others, though we may share some similarities. So why be so hard on ourselves? Why all the self-criticism and pressure to be different, better or more? It’s great to have intentions and want to make progress in our given areas, but if we can’t just enjoy the us that is us, then we will limit our achievement as well as our inner peace and contentment. Make a commitment to enjoy your *self* today. You might really like you if you just gave you a chance. In fact, you could really take to you. After all, you’re only doing your job, just doing you. Do it well.

  

To sanity!

Amidst the chaos and silliness of life, we can allow that balanced feeling of sanity, remembering, feeling the stability of the mind, grounded, rational and clear, seeing things in perspective now, you will, breathing in, clearing out all blockages here, breathing out, slowly, that’s right, allowing your body and mind to relax now, all is well, everything in balance, calm and free, all the planets are in place, the trees are growing at their own pace and the sun comes up day after day, as it always does, life goes on, you go on, feeling better and better, clearer now, relaxed and amused, to enjoy your day with a warm mind.

  

Want confidence? Count your credits:

So many of us are working on a deficit model for ourselves, always focusing on what needs improvement, what needs work, what needs to change, what we did wrong etc. While this is common in driven and approval-oriented people, it does nothing for boosting confidence and just exacerbates any “not good enough” feelings. So. Claim your credits. Notice your little wins. Praise your daily achievements. Notice your good points. Remind yourself of past positives. Focus on your strengths and list them. Talk yourself up on the inside. Do it no matter how you feel, and do it constantly. Confidence is just a consistent and positive set of beliefs about yourself. You have the facts to back up those beliefs so use them today and every day!

  

Hard to think straight?

Brain fog, mental overload, emotional overwhelm, too much happening, competing demands, illness, lots of thinking and lack of sleep all combine to block our brain power and make us forget why we went into to the room and what we came for! Or we read a paragraph and have to re-read it because we can’t remember any of it. It happens. It’s actually no big deal, and the best thing we can do is to not freak out, not put extra pressure on the brain at all, just let it be as it is, a temporary state. We can reboot via rest, meditation, a walk, some music, or even just a little time. Most things improve by themselves given the chance, and even just the knowledge of that expected improvement can help the mind relax and return to baseline. Let your mind chill today and just allow it to be as it is, no comparing to past times or other people, just letting it be. It will do everything it needs to do for you, guaranteed.

  

The inner struggles of others:

It’s easy to feel like everyone else is doing super well, confident, successful and happy without any of the inner contortions that we ourselves might have. Truth is, most people hide their inner demons quite effectively, giving the impression that all is well to the outside world. This is often the case for people going through the so-called invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, EDS, pain conditions, addictions, PTSD and emotional disturbances of all sorts. Or maybe there is something awful going on at home, relationship issues, trouble with family or other loved ones, or grief, insomnia, anxiety or something else making life tough. We never really know. I work with people going through private struggles every day, and am generally amazed at how successfully they hide it from the world and carry on with life. I’m also often amazed at the lack of empathy they receive when they do confide in others, especially in regard to the physical “invisible illnesses”. These conditions can be notoriously hard to manage and hard to understand unless you’ve been through it or seen it close up. Let’s agree to remember that many (maybe even most) people have some kind of private struggle even though the outside may look perfect. It’s part of the human condition and perhaps it will help stop the self-judgement I see so regularly when people are privately not coping. We’re all in this together and doing the best we can.

  

Guilt dissolving:

There’s a thing where sensitive people take on more personal responsibility than required, especially with other people and how they feel. This leads to lots of undeserved guilt and rumination about possible wrong-doings, or concerns of not doing enough. Sensitives can even rake over the coals of supposed wrong-doings from many many years ago and still feel the guilt as though it was fresh. It’s important to recognize this guilt as a mere schema, a fake message from your confused mind!! Everyone is responsible for creating their own peace and happiness, including you! We bring much more good to the world with feelings of peace and joy. That is our key responsibility: to work on the vibe we bring. If we make a mistake we apologize then we move on. So let’s agree to dissolve that guilt now and allow the peace and joy vibes to come to the surface.

  

Sunshine brain:

The look and feel of sunshine always has an uplifting effect on the mind and body, and we can carry that sunshine with us in every cell, in every part of our subconscious and all parts of us that need to know, so listen to my words, feeling that sunshine, warming you, calming you, energizing all aspects of your whole self, pure clear power, every morning the sun rises, and with that, you too will rise, stronger, wiser and better every day, powered by sunshine and fueled by light, taking in the oxygen that clears all blockages, smoothes all crooked places and makes easy the path ahead of you now, always sunny on the inside, well-lit and bright now, ready to shine and go forward with joy. Be with the light today.

  

The thing you’re worried about:

That thing will be ok. Consider this a message of reassurance that the thing will turn out fine, it will be fixed or dealt with and you will have the right inner resources and external help to make sure everything turns out just fine. It’s ok and everything always gets better. Just thought you might need a reminder. Relax and enjoy your day.

  

When others attack, criticize or judge you unfairly:

It can be very upsetting to be labeled or judged in a way that we perceive to be very unfair. We might hear words directly from the person who said them, or second hand from somebody who feels like we *need to know* what is being said about us. Or we might overhear it or read it by accident on social media. Sometimes those words can linger in our minds for a long time. We can wonder about the grains of truth, create self doubt, or even just stay furious or resentful or upset about the unfairness or inaccuracy of what was said. Replaying scenes in our minds like this is generally unhelpful. Yes, if we’ve heard that same feedback many times, it’s worth considering any shift in behavior or attitude that might be needed. We might even ask one honest and trusted friend if there’s anything we need to take on board from the information. Beyond that, it’s our job to erase the incident and return to what we know is true. Are you kind, ethical and a person of your word? Do you admit mistakes and apologize when necessary? Have you got a general history of being competent and pleasant? If so (and it IS so!) then the rogue comments must be deleted and replaced with what you know to be true of yourself. We probably can’t change what that person thinks of us (though it was probably an off the cuff remark and not a permanent opinion anyway) and we need to LET them think what they think, seeing it as a reflection of their judgement and willingness to be unkind. Many people have a hidden hostile attribution bias which means that they find nasty or negative intention in ambiguous situations. It’s a common pattern (not a pleasant pattern to live with either) and it’s nothing to do with us. Maintain a positive attitude towards yourself and as hard as it is, be willing to let others think what they like. Not our problem. Resolve to keep a good opinion of yourself because that’s the opinion that really matters.

  

A dose of book therapy:

Using reading as a tool to feel or think differently is as powerful as any other mood altering activity. Bibliotherapy is a recognized professional method; a problem is identified, a book is prescribed. And I’m not talking about self-help type books (though these can be interesting and helpful) but rather a novel or perhaps even a biography/autobiography. Reading takes us to another place, another world, inside other characters, their problems, their solutions. It can be a revelation, a distraction, an escape, a thrill, amusement, mystery, or even entertainment. But it takes us out of our limited perspective and into something much broader: the varieties of the human condition. Are we reading less and using our devices more for activity that doesn’t add much to our life? There might only be a small window of time available but perhaps a page or two of another world might be just the dose that lifts you to where you want to be. Do you need to increase your daily dose of reading?

  

Inner critic on pause:

Yes the inner critic can be helpful at times (er, kind of), pointing out where things could be improved (yeah, ah, thanks for that) and noting where we really need to lift our game (awesome, feeling great about that too, cheers). But today, I reckon let’s put that inner critic on pause and just decide to listen to the inner cheer leader. This one says YAY!! whenever you do anything, it says IT’S GREAT!! whenever you ask yourself if something is ok or not and this one says YES!! and GO!! GO!! GO!!when you want to move into action. This one, no matter what happens, says TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT, WHO DO WE APPRECIATE??! YOU!! YES YOU!! And you know what?? It really does. The Inner critic is officially now on pause so let’s run with that crazy inner cheer leader today and have some fun!

  

Listen to your body:

Whether you’re trying to make a decision or just moving towards feeling good, it’s time to tune in here, listening to my words, so that I can remind that part of your mind, the inner mind, paying close attention now, as I ask you to check in, truly paying attention to the message your body has for you, you know the information is there for you if you want to look, and listen, and feel your way to doing the thing that makes you feel better, or not doing the thing that you know will make you feel worse, pausing now, breath in, holding it for a few seconds as you listen to me, now breathe out, releasing all concerns and resistance now, allowing any messages to come into conscious awareness in their own time, they will, and you can take note and take right action. You will.

  

Ending procrastination cycles:

We procrastinate when we associate more pain with doing the thing compared to pleasure we could be having instead. When we put off and avoid, all we see and feel is the unpleasantness of what we need to do, in fact we feel that yuck feeling every time we think about it so we try and put it out of our minds to make the thing go away. But it doesn’t go away; it sits there like a subconscious burden, a mix of annoyance and guilt and “should” feelings that we try to push out of awareness. It’s not really necessary to get *motivated* in order to make the thing happen. That implies that a certain emotional state of desire or pleasure is required, and we should wait for that. Well, good luck; with some tasks it just won’t feel that way. What we need is to get the thing done. There is satisfaction in ticking off tasks that we’ve been putting off. Getting it done requires a plan more so than an emotion. Write it down. Write down what needs to be done and perhaps break it into smaller sections, as small as possible. Allocate a time frame for each section. Generally the thing we put off doesn’t take nearly as long as all the time we spend avoiding and/or feeling annoyed about it. Write down the parts and notes about how and when to do it. Summarize the plan and enjoy the feeling of control that results. Then, just do the plan. Don’t wait to feel great about it. Just feel neutral and do it. Feeling neutral is ok. Then, when it’s done you can have that relief feeling that comes from getting a burden off your back. If it’s an ongoing task, make a simple ongoing plan. You can. Go and do it.

  

Want to know who somebody really is??

Just watch them for a while. Watch what actions they take, which actions they avoid taking. Watch what they do in a variety of situations. Try and ignore the words for a bit, and take a look at the “doing” or not doing part. People will always show you who they are over time, and when we meet somebody we don’t know who they are, even though we might *feel* like we know who they are. It’s just projection. The most projection happens in romantic connections but can also happen in professional or friendship connections. Only when we know somebody intimately and regularly for several months do we begin to get a glimpse of who they are, via the actions they choose. Watch wisely.

  

Body image and self-consciousness:

If we go back a few decades, we notice much less talk of body image, and much less self-consciousness about looks. Yes, some people still had issues with it, but the lens wasn’t squarely focused on all aspects of image in the way that it can be now, via social media, peer group and advertising. The more we focus on something, the bigger it gets, mostly in our own minds. We tell young people “looks don’t matter as much as what’s inside” and that “people are more focused on themselves than on mentally criticizing others”. Both these things are true. Becoming too self-conscious takes our awareness into an unhelpful spiral and out of the real world where it belongs. We need to focus on the important things that truly matter. Body image and self-consciousness are being sold to us by media and businesses that want us to feel insecure so we will buy their stuff. End of. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good and making the most of what we have and how we present it to the world. But excessive self-focus will create trouble, including social comparison, anxiety and often depression. It also distorts what we see in the mirror; the more we analyze, the more extreme it will seem as we lose perspective. Let’s keep the focus on what truly matters. We’re not on this earth to be a pretty ornament on a shelf. We’re here for our mission: to keep the world a good place and to add to the positive energy. Refuse to take part in the image fixation being thrust upon us. It’s a waste of our time and energy. Focus on what matters today.

  

Clear your head:

Nothing worse than a foggy brain and cloudy thoughts. Brain fog is more common when we’re tired or after a long period of stress, or perhaps when we’ve been drinking too much or haven’t been looking after our nutrition as well as we could. All of those factors will help clear some brain space; get better rest, sleep more and eat what you know your body needs to eat. Exercise is also great for clearing the head, even if it’s just a quick burst or a short walk. Mediation or relaxation methods can clear the head too, through calm focus. In fact, mini mediations throughout the day can help the brain remain more alert and alive. What does your brain need today? Above all else, be kind, gentle and positive towards your brain. It does a lot for you and will perform more effectively with encouragement and praise rather than frustration. Remember to say thank you for all it does for you. And then add some calm breathing to help clarity. A couple of seconds can reboot the system for greater performance. Brains are great. Enjoy yours today.

  

Chill Pill

Watch my words closely here, listening to my voice as I talk to you, now, wherever you are, it’s time to chill, no matter what you are doing, reading this now, deeper and deeper and more relaxed, that’s right, letting all garbage and the crap go, just releasing it all now, deeper and deeper and more relaxed, you can, just letting it all flow out wherever it needs to be, chilling now, letting all tension drain away, deeper and deeper and more relaxed, you allow peace, allow joy, allow things to unfold as they do, easily now, deeper and deeper and more relaxed, that’s right, you can, staying chill as you go smoothly into the rest of your day. You can.

  

All of those worries:

Lots to worry about, unknowns, possible difficulties, unresolved issues, on-going problems: our minds seem to think that worry helps so it keeps that loop pumping. Worry is some distorted attempt at problem solving, except it isn’t. When we study what the brain does in worry, it just loops over the problem with a vague sense of looking for solutions but not actually settling on any. If we just thought “ok what tiny thing could I do to help this situation”, generally we could do that thing and then worry would not be required. In truth, worry is unhelpful. We need to convert worry into one tiny action step that we agree to do and perhaps write it down. After this we agree to replace the worry thoughts with some kind of brain distraction, from counting, to mantras, to reading out loud, to singing or reciting song lyrics or tv lines or anything at all to fill the space of the hungry mind. Worry is mentally useless and very draining. Resolve to choose the one small action step then go into thought distraction or replacement today!

  

Motivation for the unwanted tasks:

Whether it’s completing an unfinished job, getting that study done, doing the assignment or getting ourselves out of the house to be active, the desire will not always be present. Waiting and waiting for desire to strike is also called “procrastination”. We tend not to procrastinate or avoid the tasks we really really want to do; in other words, our desire drives us straight into action. If we want to get something done, we need to self-generate that desire, rather than passively waiting for the lightning to strike. We can boost desire by focusing on how good it will be to do the thing or to have it finished, and feel that satisfaction, in other words focusing on the pleasure and meaning of the task. This is actually the most pleasant way to motivate but if our sooky, whingey, lazy mind gets in the way, complaining that it doesn’t want to, there’s no fun in it etc, then perhaps the focus can shift to the pain of not doing the thing. The pain of having it hanging over your head, the annoyance at not having done it, the consequences of being avoidant about the task. Face the thing that needs to be done with wise adult mind, agree to do it now (or whenever it needs doing) and be positive about doing it. That’s motivation for you. Just do it.

  

Nobody compares to you so stop trying.

Every person is unique and different and weird in their own way, talented in some areas and useless in others. It’s so easy to take a quick glimpse at one person and somehow decide on them as a blueprint for some way that we should be like them. Should be achieving what they are achieving. Should have the time/energy/motivation/zen that they (appear to) have. Should have the body they have, or the looks, or the creative output or the clothes, possessions, houses, investments or cars. Whatever the hell it is that we compare, we know nothing. We know nothing of their inner life, their circumstances, their backstory, their battles or difficulties other than what they have chosen to show the world. Next time we do a social comparison and line ourselves up with someone and their features/achievements, the reminder will come through in mind: “I know nothing about this person and I have no right to compare. I’m just going to stick to me and where I am right now. I’m where I need to be and I’ll keep moving forward at the right pace for me”. Other people are really none of our business.

  

Resolve to personalize nothing:

As we know, weird things happen to everyone. It’s the human experience. We have motivational ups and downs. We have mood ups and downs. Our energy and health levels vary. Sometimes we feel sociable, other times we become reclusive. Most of the emotions we go through are common to the human condition but some people are more successful at hiding these, even hiding it from themselves at times. If other people disapprove or criticize, it generally says more about them and their judgmental minds/beliefs than it does about those they judge. Rejection isn’t really a thing. Everybody is on their own trip, looking for a particular experience (which might be a different or crazy or completely unrealistic experience) so if they choose to move away from you, it probably isn’t anything about you, it’s just that they want to order something else on the menu. The traffic (and people’s behavior in traffic) isn’t personal either. It just is. Nothing that happens outside us is aimed to thwart us. Things just happen in life’s ongoing series of challenges. Let’s resolve to take nothing personally and move through today’s challenges with relaxed detachment. May your day be smooth and pleasant.

  

Don’t feel like it??

Things to do, maybe hard, or boring or just “have to be done” type things and maybe you just don’t feel like it yet, waiting for the urge, waiting for the motivation which, actually, we don’t need to feel quite in the way we think we do, yes sometimes it’s emotional desire than revs the system and pushes us into action, but today, perhaps it’s different, perhaps a little determination will activate your mind here, listening to my words now, connecting with the knowledge that you CAN do this, it’s ok, you don’t have to be wildly pumped about it, can just quietly and non-dramatically get it done, get it over with now, tick that box and get it crossed off your list, one less thing to do, that feeling of relief, of release of pressure, you’ll enjoy that too, many ways to get things done so go do it and enjoy the reward buzz.

  

Want to build confidence?

Confidence is a feeling of yes, in fact a knowing of yes. That sense of “I’ve got this, I can handle it, not a problem”. Confidence may not be the first thought or feeling that arises but it can be the second one that we choose. Just like we tell kids “you can do this, just do your best, you’ll be fine, you’ve got this”, we need to tell ourselves the same stuff, maybe over and over, just like some kids need to be reminded over and over. Of course it’s also important to delete the thoughts that undermine confidence. Cut out all self-criticism! Then go to work countering any doubts that arise. Some minds are more prone to self-doubt than others, and need extra reassurance. So get into that self-reassurance today! You got this! Easy.

  

Decide to enjoy today:

We are programmed for health, energy and enjoyment. Sometimes life and its many challenges can get in the way of our sense of well-being and we can start to feel or think that things are pretty awful. And yes, maybe one thing is awful, or two (or three?!). But. Maybe it’s not quite as awful as we think. And maybe the rest of it is better than ok and you can focus on those parts and decide to start enjoying those moments. Enjoy the stuff you can and treat the other stuff as a temporary endurance. Sometimes our problem-focused minds need to be reminded that we are in fact here to enjoy ourselves in whichever way we are designed for, but it won’t always just roll out in front of us, especially in our minds. Some days we need to help our eyes and minds scan for enjoyment. Make sure your eyes are locked in the zone today.

  

The army of imposters:

Imposter syndrome is a common issue out there, especially in women. That feeling of not really knowing, of being discovered as a fraud, of being exposed as incompetent after all. There are two major components to a strong self- concept: our sense of competence and our sense of likability. Both are important in terms of building internal evidence. Most of us (due to human programming) only tend to remember the counter evidence but it’s time to start consciously collecting evidence for competency (any and all things done well) as well as likability (any good rapport or exchange between you and others). You’re no fraud. You do your best and you do it with ethics and kindness and an intent to do good in the world. Your input matters!

  

The only thing you can control:

Really, the only thing we can influence is our own state of mind. Our state then determines our behavior which is the aspect of life over which we get to make choices. Good state of mind means easier behavioral choice. If we focus on negativity, tiredness, anger, frustration, annoyance and other irritated thoughts, we have less behavioral control. Every thought we think has a chemical reaction both in the nervous system and in the immune system (and probably many systems not yet identified and it’s all one system anyway) so we need to aim for higher thoughts if we want to make conscious positive choices in behavior. Unpleasant emotional states lead to auto pilot behavioral choices which are not always helpful. Finding something (anything!) to like or appreciate will help activate a better state. Gratitude is not required (though if it spontaneously occurs, that’s great), just some part of the experience that you can appreciate or acknowledge as good or fortunate. And when it feels like we can’t find it, it means we need to keep looking. The good is always there if we are willing to keep looking. May you find much to appreciate or enjoy today.

  

Tune into the best frequency:

So many frequencies are available to tune into, our own inner vibe, the vibe of others, the vibe of news and current affairs, or particular music, or aspects of nature, such as plants and animals and minerals, and all frequencies have different feelings, some are warm and friendly and uplifting; those are the ones I’d like to remind your mind about, right now, the good vibes, the uplifting frequencies, the buzz where those positive feelings surround you and fill you with energy and possibilities now, allowing those frequencies to make their way easily into your experience today, here, receiving and transmitting now, keeping the dial tuned in here, that’s right, and notice how effortless it can be just to feel ok, and let your day flow in the easiness of it all. Enjoy.

  

Need to shut up sometimes??

Some of us have issues with saying things that don’t really need to be said. The wrong words at the wrong time can make a situation so much worse and create a big drama out of a small aggravation. We all need to learn to be able to shut our mouths sometimes despite a feeling or thought that might urge us to correct, criticize, advise, judge, defend, yell, name call, unhelpfully comment etc. At other times of course we need to respond and share. But. Sometimes we need to shut the #%%# up. The wisdom is in know when to do it.

  

Brain blanks:

Brain blanks get blamed on so many things. We walk into a room then forgot why we went there. We go to say a word we know that we “know” and it won’t come. We go to talk about a song or movie or person or tv show and the title/name stays just out of mental reach, just on the tip of our tongue. We are talking about something then completely lose our train of thought and have to ask the other person where we were going with this. It happens to everyone. It gets blamed on age (yet it happens to young people all the time, they just don’t notice or care as much), it gets blamed on stress, hormones and attention deficit and a whole host of other troubles. And yet. I talk to people of all ages every day all day and have for many many years. It happens. To us all. Probably doesn’t mean anything much and it doesn’t even matter. The important information always comes through when needed. Let’s give our brains a break and stop demanding google-like instant performance. Release the pressure today and let your brain chill. Paradoxically it will work more effectively that way anyhow.

  

Today is a NEW day.

Good as new. Look for the newness, enjoy the differences and stay in the now. Today has hidden goodies if you have your eyes open looking for them. Make sure to catch them all.

  

Uplift

As you read this, I want you to imagine that you can hear me talking, that a very pleasant and focused tone is entering your mind and directing your thoughts to a very peaceful place, just let it happen, it will, as you hear my words now as I talk to you, stirring up the positive energy within you, igniting that force that boosts you into optimal gear, ready to calmly and pleasantly move forward into the next part of your day with a great attitude, with whatever skills and knowledge you require, it’s all there for you and all will go well because you can just relax and let it happen naturally, least effort, best result now, you have many talents and skills and they are activated here for you, imagine the energy increasing now, building up to where you need it to be, pumped and good to go. Now go.

  

What little extra can you do for YOU today??

Your subconscious mind knows of something that would help you feel better. Do you need sunshine and outdoors? Or some really good clean nutrition? To be around certain people or away from others? To relax or meditate or walk in nature? To do something fun, creative or expressive? To listen to a certain piece of music? To increase or decrease your level of challenge? To get more adventure? To write or record something or some part of your experience? To spend time with animals or pets? To contact somebody? Or just to take time out and just be? Whatever it is, listen. And do it. If our bodies are giving us signals that things aren’t right, it’s our job to listen and act. Tune in and be responsive to your needs today.

  

Remember what matters:

Focus on the parts that are meaningful to you. The aspects that matter. The aspects that made a difference. The learnings that came as a result. The benefits you’ve enjoyed. The positive changes over time. What matters is what is important today.

  

Break the loop of anxiety:

Like everything else, anxiety has a structure. This structure becomes a physiological habit within the system and forms a loop that can be hard to exit. The structure is based on two aspects: bodily feelings generated within the nervous system as well as fear based thoughts generated within the mind. The feelings might include racing heart, nausea, involuntary crying, tight chest or throat, visual or auditory changes, dissociation and other physical sensations of unease. The fear thoughts might be about these physical sensations (freaking out about them) or they might be thoughts about other fears/worries. Break an anxiety loop usually involves teaching the brain how to change both the physiology (bodily aspects) and the mental focus of those phases; in other words, doing something different with both body and mind. The mind needs a positive distraction or neutral acceptance in order to change the loop. The body can respond to many changes, including movement, stillness, breathing, different nutrition or supplements, hormone management, gut programs to treat bacteria, and nervous system methods (used by psychologists) such as hypnosis and EMDR. The most important thing to know is that anxiety is a neural pattern and that any pattern can be altered and improved over time. Change the physiology and change the focus and you have a different pattern already. The predisposition might remain but the response can be one of optimism.

  

Expectations and outcomes:

Go into today expecting good things. Of course there might be minor irritations or concerns, but your job is to direct your mind to the stuff that is ok, or maybe even better than ok. No matter what is happening, ask your brain to find the good aspects. Our lazy mind will often argue that there are no good aspects, but that’s only due to lack of mind training. The more we look for, and acknowledge good aspects, the easier it becomes to see them, even in adverse times. We don’t have to be “happy” when things are tough, or pretend to feel great. Just directing the mind to the positive or ok aspects will help balance perspective and keep us out of the dreaded all-or-nothing thoughts where things are either all good or all bad. That kind of thinking promotes frustration, self-pity and depression. A balanced view is good enough, acknowledging all aspects of a situation and choosing to direct the mind to the ok or acceptable parts. Perhaps you could notice some right now.

  

Can’t-be-bothered-isms:

You’ve been there, right? All the talk streams of “I don’t feel like it, what’s the point anyway, can’t do it, too much effort, too hard, I’m too lazy, I don’t want too” - blah, blah, blah, on it goes, sucking ourselves into the vortex of apathy, when really, we could do it, could do just a little bit, could make a start, could take one small step, could begin, could play with the idea, could do a bit of what’s worked in the past, could write down one thing, could make a small list, could put on some music to help, could enlist somebody to join in, could listen to a podcast to inspire, could read something that might enlighten, could relax or meditate and visualize it, could talk to somebody about it, could think “maybe I can”, could know “anything is possible”, could say “do it now”, could just go and start.

  

Self-indulging??

Most of us are probably too hard on ourselves, expecting perfection and not being accepting of our normal human ups and downs. While we can get all self-critical at times, most of us have something we ignore that we probably should get on to. Is there an area where you maybe need to be a little tougher on yourself? Perhaps you’re doing a little self-indulgence by avoiding doing things you know would be healthier for you. Indulging a sweet tooth a little too much?? Few too many drinks?? Cigarettes or other nicotine delivery products? Eating what is “quick and easy?” Not going for a walk or doing other exercise? Choosing to take things too personally?? All are examples of a self-indulgence that we could address if we wanted to. No pressure. Just an invitation to listen to your wise mind about anything that might be good to change just a little. The invitation is yours.

  

Toxic leaders:

Leadership in the workplace has a massive effect on morale. There are many ways a leader will help create a better or worse atmosphere, including the example they set with their own competence or work ethic, how they communicate with others and the amount of role clarity they provide. One of the biggest ways in which leaders set a scene is in helping determine the openness in communication. In most workplaces, it’s the norm to be non-confrontational and whisper secretly about annoyances and grievances. An effective leader will create a culture in which problems can be raised directly and in a manner which is neither accusing or blaming. Behaviors or tasks can be discussed with the people concerned so that observers know that people are being held accountable, fairly and ethically. A leader needs to be able to notice what is going on (in both task and relationship dynamics) and begin open discussions towards implementing change strategies straight away. If these competent leadership behaviors do not occur, then a negative, gossipy and divided workplace can easily breed. Of course we are all responsible for our open and honest workplace communication no matter what our role. But it’s the leader’s job to influence others in a positive and productive direction. This applies to families as much as workplaces and any other areas where people work in a group. Check your open communication today and be part of the force towards progress.

  

Weird secret physical manifestations of stress:

Sometimes we don’t even know we’re stressed but our subconscious does, so it gets manifested via the body. Stomach pains, IBS, back/neck/shoulder pain, muscle aches, insomnia, rashes, eczema, unexplained fatigue or exhaustion, numbness, and myriad other ways that the body can tell us that something is going on. When one of these manifestations occurs, firstly, acknowledge to yourself that “this is emotional”. You don’t actually need to know which emotion or situation it relates to. Usually it’s an internal conflict of some kind, or a repressed frustration that you’re not conscious of at all. Internal conflicts are famous for triggering body symptoms. They involve wanting one thing but on the other hand wanting another, or feeling caught in a situation with no apparent solution. Family conflicts are a good example. Often they are ongoing and we’d like to “solve” them, yet can’t due to the personalities involved. Unresolved frustrations are another common trigger of these body symptoms, as well as being upset with somebody but unable or unwilling to express it. Again, acknowledge the discomfort and its probable emotional origins and know that your brain is directing the stress into physical symptoms. Thank your brain for letting you know you have something to work out and maybe talk to somebody you trust about any unresolved or frustrating issues in order to move forward emotionally. And relax about the symptom, stressing about it will just divert your mind from the true cause. Ask yourself “if I was a super angry, resentful type of person, what would I be angry or resentful about right now?” You may be surprised by the answer. And it may make more sense as to why you have symptoms.

  

Feeding anger and drama:

Many tv shows are set up to trigger anger, fear and drama vibes, in fact there are whole channels dedicated to this goal. Notice when you watch this kind of material, do you feel tense and agitated or relaxed and content?? Notice too, with friends, family or colleagues, who is boosting anger and drama content. Many people will try to fire up the conversation by generating mutual anger or drama towards an external person or source and they may get a mood lift from doing so. Do you get a mood lift?? Chances are, you walk away drained and edgy, perhaps not even sure why. Notice when drama is being generated or fed, and choose whether to opt out. Drama-free choices generally correlate with inner peace. Need more peace?? Stay out of drama.

  

Engage in a higher perspective:

It can be so easy to get caught up in the stress and junk and irritations of everyday life, and so it’s just as important to take a little break from that, to let your mind relax and go to that place where everything is fine and nothing matters, that higher perspective where every event has its place but we don’t need to do anything except observe with neutral detachment, watching it all like it was on TV, just sitting back and letting life flow, knowing that it all works out somehow, mostly without our interference, it all comes together and that time we spent stressing and worrying was just a wasted choice really, might as well just let it be what it is, it’s all ok, breathing in, relaxing, letting it go, that’s right, you can, all of this keeps life interesting and the contrast of pleasant and not so pleasant is normal and human and perfectly ok, you’re perfectly fine, perfect as is, and you can allow your mind to spend more and more time in this higher perspective, this much more balanced perspective as of now. Stay there.

  

Emotions about pain and physical conditions:

Illness, pain and physical conditions can be scary. The unknown, the discomfort, the unpleasantness, the fear of things getting worse; it’s easy to feel worried, anxious, annoyed, frustrated, irritated and sometimes even angry. We generate these emotions because we want to feel better and we want to improve our situation. Only thing is, these types of emotions are not optimal for healing. We know from the neuropeptide model that every thought we think triggers a chemical reaction in the body, affecting the nervous system and the immune system. So if we want to help the cells of the body heal or improve, we need to focus on aspects of attention that feel good. This can be anything at all, as long as it feels ok while we are thinking about it or focused on it. Movies, books, pets, music, art, nature, silly things, comedy, old photos, meditative practices, gratitude lists, anything at all to keep the mind feeling good in an easy and neutral way so that our cells are in the best position to improve functioning. Make a list of things to do or focus on while in illness or pain. Don’t leave it to chance, don’t leave it to instinct. Keep the mind in a neutral or semi pleasant mode and let your body do its own healing job. It knows what to do.

  

Grandiosity is judgment-impairing!

We often wonder why people who are grandiose, self-important, entitled and rude cannot see what effect they are having on others. Many times we feel we should point it out to them so they “get it” and can modify their behavior. After all, if they knew it upset others, they’d stop, right?? In truth, they probably won’t. While drugs, alcohol and other substances can temporarily raise grandiosity, some people are permanently wired for everyday grandiosity, self importance, superiority, entitlement and, in effect non-filtered behavior. Many factors can play a part in generating this, including a combination of genetics, personality formation, early trauma and lack of parental boundaries. Bottom line is, to the grandiose person, this grandiosity feels good. It’s like a high. And any “high” will impair our judgment. When people are high on alcohol or other substances, they often don’t realize when they’re being obnoxious or inappropriate. Grandiosity is the same thing; it will come with a lack of self-awareness, probably even a complete denial of inappropriate behavior and possibly, if challenged, a redirect towards you as being the problem (too sensitive, misunderstanding them, being weird/crazy/neurotic) rather than seeing themselves as needing to change. The point is, they’re on a high. Not gonna come down from that. You can challenge the behavior if you have some leverage (ie something they want or need such as a relationship or job) but if you have no leverage then you probably have no case. Be willing to leave them to it if necessary and spend your time with people who are not high on their own self-importance. It’s quite hazardous to be around. Proceed with great caution.

  

Watching the lazy people:

Lazy people avoid effort. Often they will happily do the easy stuff, the things that might be a bit more fun to do, but the other stuff, well that’s a bit hard, might be uncomfortable, so it’s easier to take the pathway of looking active but maybe not actually doing very much. Lazy people can make an art of looking busy or productive but the results often tell a different story. For conscientious people, this is super difficult to watch, both in the workplace and in the home environment. Generally, lazy people try to hide their laziness and may argue that they are busy doing other things. Yet somehow, the conscientious ones end up doing all the difficult parts and feeling resentful about doing more than their fair share. In truth, lazier people are self-preserving. They will, consciously or unconsciously choose what they feel like doing rather than look at the bigger picture of what needs to be done. And they may genuinely feel that they are contributing and be quite shocked when others feel they’re not pulling their weight. There’s a personality trait called Activity Level and lazier people have a lower preference on this continuum, often combined with lower levels of conscientiousness. These two traits can cause major issues in couples and in the workplace, and generally it’s easier to choose the correct compatible match in the first place rather than attempt to change ingrained patterns over time. We all have an area of life where we choose some laziness, and it may not be causing us any issues. But check in and make sure it’s not triggering somebody else’s resentment. And in regard to working or living with laziness, work out a task allocation system in a friendly way and a meeting or discussion time to check in on results in a calm manner. Accountability can help boost activity and conscientiousness in ways you might not expect.

  

Keep your eyes on where you want to be:

When they teach racing car drivers how to stay on the track at high speed, the most important lesson is to keep your eyes on the road on front of you, especially if you feel like you might lose control. The minute your eyes go off the track, your more likely to head right off that track and into the fence. So where do your eyes need to be today? What do you want to feel or do or be? What is your one intention for today? Whatever it is, make it something simple and achievable then keep your eyes right on it. Front of mind means focus. Stay right on that track today.

  

Hello peace.

Inner peace is ok to feel, right now, doesn’t matter what’s going on out there, look right here, staring at my words as I talk to you, and you can listen, as I remind your mind to return now to inner peace, dissolving all tension, relaxing all concerns, just breathing, breathing means peace, breathe as you read these words, slower now, that’s right, everything easy, slowing the mind, your nervous system relaxing into peace, hit the lock switch on inner peace now and stay there.

  

Your optimism challenge:

If you’re reading this, you either have an optimistic pattern already or want to move towards it. The truth is, most people have an area where they need to activate a little more optimism. Optimism isn’t about being “positive”, despite what most people think. It’s about knowing the right questions to ask yourself when problems arise. Questions like “what do I really want here” or “what is the best direction to move towards?” It’s about checking your narrative and asking questions of yourself in regard to the story you are telling about the problem situation. Such as “what am I telling myself about this issue?” “How can I reframe this?” “What is a helpful narrative or train of thought here?” “What are the facts?” Then finally optimism is about taking the right action that will help things. Asking “what’s one small step that will take me in my chosen direction?” “What will I do today towards this?” “Who else might be able to help?” “What am I doing already that I can do more of?” Smart questions lead to stronger optimism and better choices for us all. Choose your questions wisely today.

  

Should we confront breaches of boundaries??

The person who is high in sensitivity and empathy (probably you!) generally has trouble when it comes to voicing concerns over boundary infringements. Maybe it’s a friend or family member who is consistently late, rude/blunt, dismissive, intrusive or demanding. Or a colleague/acquaintance who makes off-color or inappropriate remarks. Or the “all about me” person that manages to turn every conversation back to themselves and their experience. How do we know when it’s a reasonable time to raise it? Do we raise it with humor or in earnest? Do we begin to avoid the person or situation rather than having to face a potentially awkward or uncomfortable conversation? How do we react if they’re hurt or upset by our view of it, and does the anticipation of this reaction prevent us from raising issues at all? Whether or not we address boundary violations will depend on the nature of the relationship, perceived loss or gain of rapport, our assessment of the other person’s emotional maturity (including self awareness, openness and capacity to change or modify their behavior) and ultimately how important the relationship is to us. When we say “it’s not worth bringing this up”, do we mean the relationship isn’t worth it, or the potential stress isn’t worth it? If we can honestly assess all these factors then we can approach it with an effective strategy. Often our personality style determines whether or not to raise things. We are all on a spectrum ranging from “I couldn’t possibly say that, it might upset them” to “I can’t help but say whatever I’m thinking and I have every right to”. Most boundary issues are trickier than they first appear. We need to first focus on our own self-awareness and ensure that we are coming from a balanced perspective.

  

For the good:

Good thoughts, good food, good people, good times, good chillouts, good music, good rest, good environment, good activities, good memories, good feelings and all other things good for you today. Make the good choices.

  

How to feel really, really bad:

Think of all the ways you should be better. Focus on the many areas you need to improve on. Remember all the bad things you’ve said or done and go over them again and again, getting mad at yourself in new ways each time. Dig up as many old hurts from the past and try to relive them. See the faces and hear the voices. Of course you must take the blame for what went wrong and recognize all your character flaws. They’re probably worse since then, too. Project these bad feelings into the future as well, affecting everything you do. Cast doubt on all decisions and think of all possible worst-case scenarios. To feel really, really bad, you have to scare yourself a lot, so make sure you imagine many terrible possibilities. Then get annoyed with yourself for being so uncontrolled or undisciplined in your thinking. I mean, you should be able to feel good all the time, right? You could stop this feel-bad program anytime you like, couldn’t you?? You could probably see the pointlessness of all these feeling-bad habits and interrupt them, maybe just sometimes?? Would you be willing to do that, stop the self-torture? Being kind to yourself is really much more enjoyable. Perhaps give that program a run today and skip the bad-feeling stuff. I reckon you deserve a break anyway.

  

All the complaining energy suckers:

We see them in the workplace, the tv, the restaurants, families and everywhere else, whinging, complaining and focusing on the enormity of their problems. If you’re reading my posts, you’re a solution-focused person who likes to protect you’re energy and improve life. But as we know, there’s a massive group of people that enjoy complainant mode much of the time. Complainant mode (which we all join in from time to time) is where we focus on problems, deny responsibility, disregard possible solutions and vent our irritation. In fact, people in complainant mode can become annoyed or even enraged if you try to suggest a course of action; clearly you don’t understand just how complicated and awful and intractable their special problem is. It’s unique and wouldn’t possibly be improved by the simpleton things you’re suggesting. Being around people in complainant mode (especially more than one at a time) is mega draining and often enraging if it happens frequently. You will feel frustrated listening, a bit incredulous and eventually bored. Afterwards you may feel that the life blood has been drained from you. As I already said, we all go into complainant mode at times, but it’s about relative frequency and duration. Most of us don’t like to live there because it doesn’t feel good to us. We need progress and action and solutions. Others do choose to live there, and that is their legitimate choice. We, however, have the choice regarding how often and how long we engage with this. We may choose to say “I’m not engaging in this conversation” or “I have nothing to say about this”. Sympathy and attention as responses are fine if they work quickly and change the direction, but it wears thin over time. Watch your own responses to problems and make sure you stay in possibility mode. When you engage with chronic complainants, make it in small and infrequent doses. Be aware of what’s happening and interrupt the pattern if required. Yes the complaint may then become about you. But that’s almost a compliment in the circumstances.

  

Gratitude Blast!

As you notice everything around you today, say “thank you”. Your window, the view outside, however the sky looks, the people you see, the colors of the walls, the signs and sounds of nature, say “thank you”. To yourself, whatever activity you are doing, what you’re feeling, thinking, wearing, the ideas that come to you, the observations, the movements of your mind and body, say “thank you”. If you need a mantra for the mind, the mantra of “thank you ” is one of the most powerful. No matter what goes on in the external world, stay in internal “thank you” today for a continuous blast of gratitude and more inner peace. Thank you.

  

Use your mental filter today!

What do you want to filter out today? Maybe filter out any drama, aggravation or annoyance, filter out stuff that you don’t really need to see or hear about or think about. Any worries could be filtered out for the day, just like a water filter takes out the parts we don’t need, the parts that aren’t so friendly, and leaves us with all the good bits, the healthy stuff, the feel-good part. Or you could use a color filter if you prefer, putting a yellow or a pink or blue hue over today’s events. Or maybe an auditory type filter, playing pleasant white noise or happy music over anything you need to block out. Today lets choose the filter that boosts your optimism, your energy and your general enjoyment of the day. May it be a great one for you.

  

Some lift-off for today:

With all the drama and activity of the week, maybe you’re a little fried, a tad burnt out, perhaps needing some power to get you through the next few days, so read on slowly, slowing your eyes now as you listen carefully to my words, as I talk to you here, and you can relax now, as your inner mind takes over as I communicate directly with you, the real you, the you that knows what you need to do, relaxing, the you that can focus on that one thing, calm now, breathing, just letting any tensions dissolve back into the nothingness where they belong, releasing all concern now, right now, all that is true is person reading words, and you can stay right here in this moment, just being, with nothing to do, nothing to feel responsible for, nobody to please, no decisions to make, nowhere to be, not rushing or hurrying, just simply being, and noticing how much your system is relieved when you can just be, enabling the regeneration of energy, sustainable energy now, more power for you, stronger now, and more focused, doing only what you need to do for NOW, and letting later and tomorrow and the future take care of itself, it will, while you relax now into calm positive energy and move pleasantly through the rest of your day. You can.

  

Soothing the anxiety:

Anxiety is the brain and nervous system running amok, giving alarming messages that are a little too full-on for the context involved. Many people get anxiety in advance of something, an event, a social situation or some other part of life. For others, it’s the unknown, the future or time with no activities to distract them. Anxiety can also manifest as pain or body symptoms just to scare the hell out of us, sending many people to doctors looking for answers to rashes, pain syndromes, fatigue, stomach symptoms and other random physical conditions that turn out to be “just stress”. Many of our brains/bodies are just wired for a bit of anxiety. It’s ok. We can lessen the frequency, intensity and duration of anxiety by recognition (knowing it’s just excess brain or nerve activity), calm awareness (ie not freaking out about the anxiety or getting frustrated/angry with it) and learning methods to calm or reassure the system, which will vary from person to person. The key is figuring out the root cause, which is often one or more subconscious beliefs, fears or past associations combined with a sensitive temperament. Common themes include performance pressure, fear of failure and fear of rejection or abandonment. We also need to do prevention via correct food, adequate sleep, minimal caffeine, not misusing alcohol/drugs/substances, doing light exercise and having regular relaxation or downtime. Anxiety takes many forms and therefore requires many solutions. What has helped in the past? What aspect of life needs to change or improve? What is one tiny thing that generally soothes you in a helpful way? What’s one thing you can remind yourself (about you, or about life or whatever) that will calm the wave? Over time we learn many ways to make things smoother. Knowing that we can always learn to manage it in new ways, even if we’ve been anxious for a long time is also reassuring. Take a breath and direct yourself to chill today.

  

Criticism and harshness to loved ones:

Most people are careful at work. Careful how they put things, make sure to be respectful and sensitive and mindful of feelings. Even in shops and other public places, most of us attempt to be polite and step around offending anyone. Most of us apply this care policy with friends as well. So what happens to disable this process at home?? So many people are abrupt, critical, dismissive, even rude to those they love. Apparently if there’s love between partners/family it’s ok to be horrible if we feel like it??! It’s actually not ok. It’s super easy to take loved ones for granted and assume some sort of unconditional positive regard when venting our irritation. But the truth is that displaying regular criticism or contempt or rudeness or defensiveness or disengagement will lead to resentment in the other person, and probably distance or detachment over time. Let’s make a pact to watch how we interact with loved ones and choose to ACT with love. Love is a verb so let’s commit to some loving communication behaviors every day with the people closest to us. They have their own stuff going on too. It might look like life is easy for them but life is easy for nobody. Let’s act with kindness and love today and be aware of our impact on those closest to us.

  

Phone-free time:

Phone addiction isn’t getting any better. Any spare minute, any non-active moment, many of us reach for our phones, checking, doing pointless or mindless scrolling and even playing silly games that have no real purpose other than to distract the mind. Are we overdoing our technology focus?? Is your phone interfering with your concentration in other areas, task or relationship?? Phone free time is easy. Just go and plug it into the charger in another room for a period of time each day and night. Or turn it off for a period and place in another room. Many of our brains have become hyper-vigilant with our phones, as though we must see or know everything right away and instantly respond. If we go back in time 20 years or so, none of us expected to instantly see or know the things we now feel are so urgent. Truthfully none of it is urgent and most of it isn’t even important. Phones are training our brains to think that everything coming through is both urgent and important. Let’s interrupt that brain re-wiring process by taking some time out of phone reach today, and especially tonight.

  

False alarms:

Most stuff we worry about and go looping about over and over in our minds never actually eventuates. Humans aren’t great at the unknown. We like to be in “control”, to know what’s going to happen and what we will do and say. Actually we don’t really need to worry and plan. We have resources and abilities to handle anything that needs to be handled, and we can do it all in the moment. Most of us, in fact, are quite fine in a crisis; it’s the not-knowing stage we dislike the most. Maybe that’s the key- to remind ourselves in the unknown stage that we are very resourceful and can handle anything that actually happens. We are not required to do any pre-work. It doesn’t help and it’s a waste of energy. Let’s commit to ditching the false alarm pre-work and agree that we will competently handle what comes, when it arrives. Mostly, what comes along turns out to be just fine.

  

Effortless day:

Welcome to the day, it doesn’t matter what time you join us, anytime is fine, and at any time at all you can choose to go a little more effortless, you can, so stop now and breathe in slowly, effortlessly, then hold it in, holding now, and then release it, breathing out and releasing all effort here, letting go and really just allowing your body to do its thing, no effort breathing, no need to think too much at all, just let it happen, that’s right, flowing in, flowing out, one with the flow of all things, connected in the way that you want to be connected, relaxed, joyous, free from effort, just flowing with the rhythm of all things and feeling pretty good. Just take it easy today.

  

Minimize catastrophes!

Many of us speak to ourselves about our troubles or worries using dramatic narratives containing extreme language which makes the problem so much bigger! “It’s really bad, worst thing ever, I just hate this, it’s going to be a disaster, I’m just so bad at this, I’ve always been terrible at these sort of things, it will ruin everything, it always happens, it’s not good enough, I’ll let everyone down, nothing ever goes my way and it’s all my fault” etc etc; on and on the mind bleats. Bigger, badder language means bigger, badder feelings! (Yes I know “badder” isn’t a word, but it’s a thing). So if we want to feel better, we need to cut that shit down to size. It’s not that bad, it’s not the end of the world, there are worse things, I can solve it another way if this doesn’t work out, it’s temporary, it only happens occasionally, it’s fixable, it’s normal human experience, part of life, no big deal, I can do this, it’s probably easier than I think, it could even be a walk in the park, it’s probably fine. Watch out for dramatic narratives today and cut that shit right down to size! Maximize the good and minimize the bad and things will feel pretty ok.

  

Stillness vs Stimulation:

Most of our minds have never been so vigilant. Addicted to your phone?? Checking updates regularly? Seeing notifications? Or maybe just real-life drama keeping your mind active and spinning? We need to antidote the stimulation with stillness breaks for the mind and nervous system. Just close your eyes, even if for a few seconds. Do it now. Take a breath and be aware of nothingness. When you’re all revved up you can even feel the whirring of the mind when trying to relax. That’s ok. Let the whirring slow down all by itself by taking another breath. Withdraw stimulation in small doses then increase dosage over time. Please do it now. Close your eyes and just take a breath. Seriously. Please enjoy this moment of stillness several times today.

  

Tiredness and cravings:

Being tired is a major risk factor for craving stuff, usually stuff we don’t want to have. Tiredness is probably as risky as unpleasant emotions when it comes to urges and cravings, but when you put the two together (tiredness and forms of emotional discomfort) then we have trouble. Generally speaking, we can create addictions when we give into cravings to “get away” from unpleasant or uncomfortable states because we set up a neural escape route in the brain and we keep wanting to activate it when we feel bad. Following cravings that result from a place of feeling bad in some way usually leads us into trouble. Thing is, if we can notice a craving, be aware of it and let it rise over us like a wave, we can feel the wave envelop us then pass overhead and subside. Many of us have done this for years during meditation with other thoughts and feelings. We actually don’t need to respond to a craving or obsession with an action or compulsion. We can see it for what it is, a thought form with a physical craving, then allow the wave to pass. It generally passes more quickly than we expect, especially if we view it as that wave that washes over us powerfully then subsides if we just wait and relax into it. Rule of thumb: taking “negative for you” action based on tiredness or unpleasant emotion is trouble. Let’s ride the wave of feeling instead. It’s just temporary, right.

  

Reduce aggravation:

It’s all the noise, the people, the silliness, the traffic, the unnecessary things people say or do, the sleep we lack and the worries we have; it all builds up over time and it’s time to release some of that aggravation now, just let it drain away to the nothingness it came from, knowing that most of it doesn’t really matter at all, most of it you won’t even remember pretty soon, in fact you could start to forget right now, remembering only what you need to remember, the fun, the good things, and forgetting what you need to forget, just letting it drift off into the past, over and done and finished for you now, knowing the the past exists only in the mind, we allow your mind to clear now, allowing that clean empty room just to sit quietly, just being, just knowing that all is well, and that it always will be, and you can go about your day with calm clear confidence now. You will.

  

The drain of drama:

Drama addiction is a thing. There are people that love it and they’re often the very ones that say they hate it. But behavior is telling; hating drama means making drama-free choices. Truth is, drama promotes adrenalin, either excitement or fear, depending on your involvement and perspective. Because of this, drama is draining. If you’ve been exposed and you’re not a drama-lover, you’ll probably feel frustrated and drained. Detach from drama by recognizing it early. See the signs. Signs usually involve somebody’s perception of themselves as victim or rescuer, with somebody else painted as persecutor. In truth, there’s always more to all stories and nothing is ever as simple as hero/villain. Buy out of all drama stocks today and enjoy the peace that comes with a balanced and intelligent perspective.

  

Calling all tired people!

Is your tank a little low right now?? The feeling of having to run on empty can be a scary one, so much to do and worrying about the capacity to do it, and the ability of your brain to process it all. Tiredness is multi-faceted; it can link to physical factors such as sleep, nutrition quality, activity/rest patterns and exercise (over exercising as well as not enough). It can also link to imbalances in the adrenalin cycle. One day we are pumped and activated, then some how we’ve depleted our stores and seem all flat. Emotional factors drain our reserves too; repressed frustration, excess pressure, too much boredom or overwork of any kind. Getting back in balance means checking in with yourself: what do you need? Extra sleep? A bit of “me time”? Some escapism via movies/reading/adventures? To get outside into nature? Time with fun people? More music in your day? Or several of the above perhaps! Do one thing today to help yourself restore balance and make sure to check your narrative about your energy levels. The story we tell ourselves will either help or hinder, so choose the version where problems are temporary, fixable and manageable.

  

Activate possibilities!

Anything is possible. We never know what great things are just around the corner, and the better we feel, the better it gets. With an attitude of optimism and a feeling of being a lucky person, all kinds of things come to us. What is luck?? Luck is knowing you are lucky, looking for lucky opportunities and taking action on those opportunities when they present. Luck is staying out of complaining or victim consciousness and looking for the good stuff so you can watch it multiply. Luck is knowing that prosperity is everywhere and that we are all part of it if we join in consciousness. Consciousness means having the thoughts and feelings that match the results you want. Our consciousness is contagious and we can infect others with our possibility thinking if they are open to it, and vice versa. Be a force for positive possibilities today!

  

Acting from guilt??

Accepting invitations to things that you don’t want to go to? Agreeing to do things you really aren’t interested in? Saying yes when you want to say “No #%*#ing way”?? You need a lesson in no-guilt choices. Firstly, we need to accept a few basic human rights. Number one: other people have the right to ask you to do stuff, socially or otherwise. Number two: you have the right to your human emotions, including the emotion of “no way in hell do I want to do this thing!”

Number three: unless you are their employee for this specific purpose, you have the right to say no. And you can say no in a kinder, softer way if it suits your personality. You can say “oh sorry, I really can’t.” Or “I wish I could but I have other commitments” or “maybe next time but this time I absolutely can’t” or “sorry, that’s not really my kind of thing but thanks so much for asking” or some other version of “no #%*%ing way!” The key is to sound firm and emphatic. Don’t leave room for negotiation. If the person asks why not, say “I have other commitments”. If they push for more info, look at them as though you’re a little confused and just repeat “other commitments” or “I’m busy”. You owe no explanation. Do not go into excuses or justifications. Chances are they are a person who doesn’t read the play if they are pushing it, and no wonder you don’t want to go to that thing they’re asking you to. Going to things out of duty or obligation should be rare and you shouldn’t do it if it feels really wrong. How about prioritizing wellbeing and self-care? Smile and say “sorry but I can’t”. You can do that.

  

Dodging toxic energy:

Whether it’s angry people, entitled people, those with narcissistic traits or substance affected people, if you’re an empath then you need to take extra care to both avoid and recover from those types of energy. All of us can’t help but be exposed to it at times (possibly often depending on work and public or social contact) so let’s add an installation to help your system clear it effectively, just listening now, tuning into the optimism we can always access, breathing in, holding it, then letting it go, and as you do let it go, I want you to see and feel all that buildup from the week exit your system with the outbreath, all the way out now, letting it all release back into the white light of transformation, knowing that the light is always there, all we need to do is flick that switch, connecting now to strong positive energy, the feeling of YES and the knowing of NOW, and that feeling is within you and you can connect any time you want to, right now, feeling that optimism streaming through your system, bringing everything back into clear focus. Repeat as needed.

  

The first five seconds after a negative thought:

You have a small window of time after a negative thought, around five seconds in which your choice is made to feed it, or interrupt it, or challenge it or laugh at it or whatever else. For example if you were to say or think “this sucks”, you could follow it up with how everything else sucks too, it’s always sucked and maybe you suck etc. Or you could follow up with “actually it’s not as bad as accidentally bashing my elbow on the wall” or “other things suck way more” or “luckily it will only suck for 15 minutes (or however long) or “it’s not really that bad, I just need to get it over with” or “it sucks but later today/tomorrow I’ll be fine” or “it’s ok”. That small five second gap after a negative thought will have a huge impact on your mood for the next hour or more. Choose a new thought with your wise mind. Next time complaint thoughts enter your mind, remember my words: in the next five seconds choose another neutralizing thought pathway. The quicker you can get back to a thought of “it’s ok, I’m ok”, the quicker you’ll actually feel ok. The mind is affected by many external events, but it’s you who’s driving that bus. Keep your hands on the wheel.

  

Stuck in a rut??

Things feel the same, things feel boring, things feel predictable, nothing to get excited about? We have these times occasionally. Routine can be comfortable at first and disconcerting after a while. Is it time to switch it up? Which part of life feels like the rut? Is it just a negative thought issue or does something need to rev up a little? It’s easy to blame everything and think that all aspects need to change, but in all truth, a small change in one area can make everything feel a bit different, and can even lead to unexpected changes in other aspects of life. A new pair of glasses can make the whole world look sharper. A different item of clothing can brighten you up. A new adventure can give a couple something interesting to talk about. A quick walk around the block can clear your mind. Driving a different way home can make your brain stay on higher alert. Switching the furniture around can change the vibe of a room. Go somewhere different, do something different. Remember the emotional power of doing the one small thing.

  

Your brain is different:

Most people are wired for the negative. Things not to like, things to fear or hate, things to complain about. Your brain is different. That’s why you read messages like this. Your brain wants to see the good stuff, it wants to feel inspired, it wants to be uplifted, it wants to feel good. Your brain is wired to look for opportunities and possibilities and solutions. You’re lucky to have a brain like this, and you’re probably doing a lot to get your brain to operate this way. A brain that looks for optimization has many health and mood benefits! Even on a day when you feel tired, or flat or low about something, your brain is still wired for optimization so there’s no need to be concerned. Just let your system to the work while you relax and appreciate this great mind that you have. I congratulate you.

  

Weird and proud!

If you ever feel weird, if you ever feel like an alien in the world, maybe you are. And there’s lots of us! Weirdness is cool. Seeing things differently from the herd, having different emotional reactions, perhaps having high sensitivity, looking a little more deeply into certain areas of life, being a tad quirky or eccentric, maybe veering towards idealism at times and being a little disappointed with events or people when ideals aren’t met, striving for ethical and kind behavior and not being satisfied if we think we aren’t living up to our own high standards, hoping for meaningful conversation and relationships, striving for internal and external authenticity, appreciating art or music or beauty or culture when it hits us, looking for the good stuff and aiming for a life of optimism. Yes it’s great to be weird. I’m all for it.

  

Improving things:

You have things, we all have things we want to move forward with, perhaps we’re not quite sure, or worry that we’re not quite ready, or maybe it feels like there are a few things in the way, but let’s clear that up now, clear the way for new beginnings, newer, more positive thoughts and better, more focused action for you now, slowing your eyes as you read, just go slow, breathe in now, hold it for a second, now release it, breathing all the way out as your inner mind comes all the way with me now, listening for my helpful message, a reminder of optimism, of starting to remember what it is you want, and why, that inner peace you’ll feel when it’s moving forward nicely, easily, and much more smoothly than you might have expected, beginning to expect better things now, things always work out for you, you can expect the best, sometimes we don’t know what the best thing is for us, but later on, in hindsight, it can be very good indeed, and we can see that it did work out, that everything came together in a way that was really quite perfect, and it always starts somewhere, perhaps it’s already beginning, those improvements kicking nicely into gear for you now, just relax and let all be well for you.

  

Boredom is a weird feeling:

I hear many busy people saying they’d love to have time to be bored. What they are really referring to is time out of “have to” where they can potter about with nothing to do and feel a bit free. In fact, boredom is quite the opposite feeling; it isn’t relaxing or feeling free, it’s actually a frustrated and highly uncomfortable sensation that some people feel more easily and intensely than others. Boredom is a strong feeling of “I don’t like what is happening now” or “something else should be happening now”. The feeling of boredom is a massive physical resistance to the now, whatever that now is, usually because the topic or activity is undesirable, uninspiring or otherwise objectionable. Our proneness to boredom seems to be part of how our brain is wired, as well as a combination of personality elements such as need for novelty, activity level, mental processing speed, level of entitlement and areas of interest. We can antidote boredom both mentally and physically by doing something different, slowing down the stress reaction and by choosing different thoughts. True boredom is a stressed feeling so any effective antidote for stress will also help boredom, whether it’s cognitive changes, music, exercise, pleasant distractions, meditation, other people, activity planning or simply just accepting the present moment and deciding it’s ok as is. It’s only temporary anyway. It’s up to us to find the inspiration in every moment if we want it. May you be easily inspired today.

  

If you need to get motivated:

Motivation isn’t just something you feel, it’s something you do. You can wait around forever until your desire drives you into action or you can build up your own drive so that you can access it when needed. Drive is just a matter of urgency towards action, a strong feeling of “want to” or “have to”. Most people with motivation problems are waiting for the “want to” to magically arrive by itself. We call this “desire-based” motivation. This is fine in theory but in practice often leads to procrastination, avoidance and staying in a zone of being comfortable. Driven people have less motivation problems because they know that motivation is not always about “want to”. It’s about using your brain to get to the place of a compelling sense of “have to”. With “have to” drive, you have to know WHY you have to, and these reasons need to mean something. And it’s not just about the positive outcomes or feelings that will come if you do the thing, sometimes we need to focus on the negatives and pain that will happen if we don’t do that thing. Many times we need to remind ourselves to drop the excuses, stop being a baby and just bloody do it. We usually feel better once we do the thing, and wonder why we were being a drama queen about it. So if there’s not enough natural “want to” for you, work on your drive. Get the “why” part worked out and get yourself into “have to” thinking. No excuses. You know you’ll feel better after you get yourself into gear. Go on.

  

Brain can’t think??

Some days, often for no apparent reason, the brain seems to go into fuzz ball mode. You walk into a room, then forget why you came. You read something, only to forget it within seconds. You go to say a normal word, one that you KNOW that you know, and you go blank. You can’t remember what you did yesterday, let alone that important fact you’re trying to remember. And then you worry about why your brain is all cotton-wool, which of course only clogs up the channel even more. The more we try to focus, the harder it feels. Of course, as kids, we had dreamy, forgetful, unfocused times too. But we didn’t care. We didn’t TRY to remember things, or perhaps even notice if we didn’t. Learning is easier for most kids (compared to adults) because kids aren’t immediately mentally checking their learning and memory of whatever it is. They just let whatever flow in, and then out. This more relaxed alpha wave state of mind is better for the brain, and learning, and memory, as well as the nervous system. So if the brain is having a slow day, let it. If recall takes a minute, just wait. If there’s a blank, allow the blank, knowing the idea will return when needed. And it doesn’t matter anyway, you don’t need to notice. Give your brain an off-duty day if it needs it; you’ll still function perfectly well, probably better than most others, and you’ll be charged up again soon enough. Trust your brain to do what it needs to do.

  

Nervous when asserting??

So many people withhold from asserting themselves due to nervous thoughts and feelings. We’ve come to somehow believe that if we don’t feel “comfortable” doing something then maybe we shouldn’t do it. This of course is just ridiculous! Whenever we move to the next level of learning or performance, some uncertainty or discomfort is there. And so is growth and achievement, plus reward chemicals when we give it a shot! Stop all the mental rehearsal and trust yourself to say what you think and ask for what you want. The biggest mistake most people make is not thinking about what they actually want (it’s easier to focus on what you don’t want) and not asking for it (it’s easier to be silently pissed off). So. When you feel the need to assert, ignore the nerves; they’re just normal when we stretch ourselves a bit. Then ask for the behavior or change you’d like in a calm and polite manner. That’s it. Stop talking. You’ve done your part. Either they will agree or comply, or they won’t. Not your problem (yet). You might feel a tad nervous afterwards, it’s just an empathy bi-product which you can also ignore. This calm assertiveness thing could become a habit. Not a bad idea at all, right?

  

Check your year so far:

We’ve been in this new journey around the sun for a short time now and while many of us vow to change some habits or patterns, life can get in the way of our good intentions. Maybe there’s nothing to change. Or perhaps we can check the basics first: sleep, food choice, activity level, relaxation, social choices, leisure or hobbies, creative outlets, optimistic thought patterns, spiritual practices, maybe even just stopping to enjoy the view?? Choose one thing today that you’d like to do more of. Write it down as well as when you’d like to do it. Perhaps also choose one thing that you’d like to do less of (eg time wasted worrying, time spent complaining or listening to others complain, or maybe time wasted scrolling through stuff on your phone!) Put the written intentions somewhere where you’ll see them. Now decide to activate this intention and make sure you do something in the next 24 hours. Action towards what you want always feels good and lifts mood. Enjoy.

  

Sabotage via the inner rebel:

Nothing wrong with having an inner rebel. It helps us be who we want to be and do the things we want to do, except when it doesn’t. You probably know people who have an inner rebel that actually causes them more trouble by stopping them achieving the things they want to achieve. That kind of inner rebel has certain outcomes it wants but then says things like:

“But I don’t want to”

“I shouldn’t have to”

“It’s too hard” 

“It’s not fair”

“I can’t do it” 

“Stuff it, I’ll do what I want”

  

Stop pushing and start allowing:

Things happen regularly that we do not like. Most of the time we may not have done anything to cause this unfortunate sequence of events and we feel resentful that the stress of it is interfering with our ability to feel good. We humans have this strange inbuilt expectation that life events should always be pleasant and when they aren’t, we can feel thwarted, like it’s not fair! In truth, fairness is not a helpful concept when it applies to life. Things can happen due to the consciousness and the choices and of many people (including ourselves) as well as other unknown factors. Let’s agree to flow with life today. Let’s stop resisting what is, whether it’s the people, the politics, tiredness, injustice, weird weather, the traffic, sickness, world events, family drama or other annoying things. Let’s allow it to just be as it is and stop pushing against it. It will be ok. Let’s just say “yeah, whatever” and get on with the stuff we need to do and the stuff we feel good about. Annoying things don’t deserve our attention and we certainly don’t benefit from giving it our attention. Do what needs to be done and then move on mentally. The motto today is “Let that shit go!” Are you in?

  

Activate your optimism:

Optimism is never about denial of human emotions or changing the facts. If anything, it’s about validating your feelings, knowing they are normal under the circumstances but then monitoring your narrative or story about what is occurring. It’s about sticking to the facts, actually. The most important thing is whatever it is, do not personalize it. It’s a part of normal life, happens to many people and is not an indicator of defectiveness on your part. It’s just life. Shit happens. Secondly, do not make it bigger than it is, or generalize it. It’s just this one thing, everything else is going on as normal, it’s contained to this small area. Confine the issue to the smaller space it belongs in. And thirdly, know that everything is temporary. It won’t be like this forever, probably won’t even be like this in a day or two. Humans have a remarkable ability to take an unpleasant moment and stretch it into the past and then forward it into the future. The past is over. End of. The future is unknown and will take care of itself and will likely be much better than you expect. Optimism is about staying in the now and finding the positive aspects so that whatever is happening remains temporary, specific and not something terrible about you. You can do this. On the other hand if something great happens, do the opposite! Claim credit, expect that good things continue and know that its positive ripple effects will extend more goodness into everything else! With the help of a little optimism, today can be a good day anytime you like. Ready to activate it??

  

The installation of wellbeing for you:

Wellbeing is a state we can generate regardless of circumstance, unlike satisfaction or happiness which can be more conditional and based on life evolving according to our preferences. Wellbeing is just a process of remembering that all is well, that you are ok, that you can relax now and stop taking thought, and you CAN stop, you CAN let your mind drift towards somewhere pleasant, now, while I talk to you, and you listen, letting your inner mind go a little deeper now as you remember what it is that your mind needs to know, that all IS well, that you ARE ok, that you CAN always reach for a thought that feels better than where you are right now, that just one thought, or image, or memory, or song lyric, or picture or maybe even a deep breath can change it in a moment so you feel just that little bit better, moving towards wellbeing always, no need to take on other people’s stuff, that’s up to them, let’s stay with our own wellbeing, if we feel a little better then we bring more wellbeing to the world and that can only be good, and it is good and you are good and it is all good today, just reach for that thought that feels a little better than before and you’re already moving. Keep going.

  

Take a non-think break:

Our minds need a minute here and there to stop the internal activity. To just be. Take that time today to stop, breathe in, feel the pleasant nothingness, breathe out. And congratulate yourself for building tiny mental breaks into your routine. It’s becoming a lost art with all our driven and rushed behavior. Let’s commit to time out of mind here and there. Every day! Please start now.

  

Get a theme song for today!

Music is the fastest way to change our brain chemistry and nervous system activity. The speed or tempo of a particular song will speed you up or slow you down. The melody will affect your emotions. And the lyrics can form a message in your head. You can choose from your past favorites and feel happy or nostalgic or you can choose some other track that gives you inspiration or energy. Music is medicine and it’s all about choosing the right dose at the right time in order to dial up what you want to feel. Don’t leave it to chance! Choose a direction for how you want to set up your mood now and grab some music that takes you there.

  

Mental rehearsal of arguments:

We humans have an interesting capacity that our animal friends lack. We can do this thing where we can imagine an argument in our minds, we can hear the criticisms or demands of the other person (which may be actual events from the past or purely imagined) and we respond to those criticisms or arguments internally. Of course, the nervous system responds as though it’s really happening; stress chemicals, tension, aggravation, anger, righteous indignation and on it goes. It’s a strange phenomenon really, as most of this negative rehearsal we do is for nothing. We are projecting a drama about what the other person is thinking/feeling/saying and coming to our own defense. Even if that argument did happen in the past, it’s the past. It’s over. The end. But we humans, we can resurrect this shit in our minds in the blink of an eye! And then make up some extra bits where they say more offensive things and we get hurt and/or fight back. Pretty crazy right?! Even if we think the argument is coming, mental rehearsal is unlikely to help us deal with it calmly. The antidote is to remind yourself “Hey I’m making this shit up!! I’m being a producer, a scriptwriter and a director! Clever, but pointless”. Then choose an appreciative thought about the here and now about sometime else. Something entirely different. Argument rehearsal is a form of worrying/anxiety/anger; it’s a waste of your headspace. Choose something interesting or fun or amusing or even neutral to focus on instead.

  

We thank teachers:

All the teachers and school staff have gone back to work, starting another year doing one of the most important jobs in existence. The role of a person working in education gets bigger and more complex every year, not just with academic and curriculum requirements, but with growing social complexity. Many school staff feel responsible for so many aspects that used to be the responsibility of the family, and due to their incredible kindness and professionalism, school staff often go way beyond the call of duty. Please tag the teachers/school staff you know and thank them. And, teachers/school staff, a message for you: please look after your physical and emotional wellbeing. Make it a priority. Eat when you are supposed to eat, take mini breaks just to breathe, give appreciation to yourself and other staff, find a way to unwind before you get home so that you can actually interact calmly and enjoy your nights. Find escapism and activities that get your brain right away from work. Learn to meditate in a way that works for you, to slow your brain down. In fact, slow down in general. Stop the rushing and take your time. It will all get done when it gets done, and it’s never all done anyway, just let it evolve as it does. Teachers and school staff, we thank you. You’re awesome as.

  

Fun, clever, effective!

Yes you are, and the power is within you to activate even more fun, clever and effective experiences, beginning now, breathing in slowly as you listen to my voice, holding it, then slowly releasing that breath now, all systems calm as I talk to you here, and you listen now, that part of your mind where all positive expertise is stored, those skills and resources that are waiting, ready, poised to kick into gear for you when they get the green light, we green light them now, green means GO, releasing now, all the potential fun, cleverness and effectiveness and other active friendly qualities moving now into your day with you, adding to your experiences and bringing more joy. Go for it.

  

Relationships: the movie version or the real-life version??

Hollywood romantic idealism has a lot to answer for. Whether it’s a date, a new relationship or a longer term partnership, many of our expectations are becoming a tad more overblown. Whether it’s the influence of literature, movies, articles or social media, many people have this thing about “the one” and what it will feel like and be like long term. This leads to problems when things don’t feel like the idealized perfection we’ve trained ourselves to expect. Does this mean that she/he “isn’t the one”?? Firstly, the concept of “the one” is flawed. For most people there are many compatible people. Secondly, with any other human, there will be ups and downs, phases of being in sync and out of sync, times when you feel like they are a soul mate and times when they feel like a weird or difficult stranger. Love has cycles. And even the kind of “love” you feel changes from person to person and sometimes from week to week. But aren’t we meant to feel magnetically attracted and obsessed forever if it’s “the one”??? No we aren’t. We maintain love by focusing on positive aspects, maintaining attraction via novelty and space, developing clear and respectful communication patterns and solving problems or disputes with as little criticism/nastiness as possible. And if we need help doing this, we get coaching. Most of us didn’t grow up with the best relationship role models so some coaching can lead to great results if both parties are somewhat willing. Check your romantic idealism next time you have a complaint thought! Perhaps you need to communicate or perhaps you need to chill. The wisdom is in knowing which and when.

  

Commit to improving your self-confidence:

This is a great time to feel stronger within yourself. Clearly you are an intelligent person who is very open to learning and applying new concepts. Perhaps the issue is too much worry about approval and peace-keeping, which is a part of perfectionism. Or perhaps you worry about your competence in some area and whether you are doing well enough. Maybe you compare yourself to others, which is generally a terrible idea if you want to feel focused or confident. Maybe you’re often rebelling against yourself or others and creating self-sabotage. Remember though, self-confidence is a pure and natural state. We need to identify the barriers we are erecting through our own thought habits and behaviors, the patterns that undermine and erode self-confidence. The pattern of self-confident thought includes:

- I’m ok. I can do this. Small steps.

- What other people do or think is a reflection of their consciousness, not mine. And it’s none of   my business.

- I am my own person. I was designed this way and I add value to the world in my own unique    way

- I have no need to apologize for who I am. If my behavior is ethical and kind then other people’s   expectations are their responsibility.

- I have many gifts and talents so I’ll focus on using them to my best ability on the day. Some   days will be better than others, that’s just life.

- Shit happens. If I don’t do as well as I wanted to, oh well, it’s temporary and I’ll be better next    time.

- I’m probably more effective than I give myself credit for. In fact, I’m probably doing pretty well.

Sound like some patterns you could use?? Feel free to add one to your mix today.

  

Learning to use thought choice:

There is a direct link between how much control we believe we have over our thought content and how we feel within ourselves. We will all feel different degrees of physiologically-generated ups and downs in mood based on sleep, food choice, weather, hormones, energy level, health issues, etc as well as mood alterations triggered by emotional or relational aspects of life; in other words, the stuff that happens around us. However, those who can choose or manage their thoughts tend to fare better. There are many methods of thought management. We can do thought replacement, where we choose a go-to thought such as “everything works out in the long run” or “I’m ok, it’s ok” when we feel distressed. We can choose reframing to manage thoughts by asking questions like “how would a comedian see this” or “what are the positive aspects here” or “what’s an alternative view of this”. We can also choose thoughts that keep us in the here and now, such as “this is temporary” or “right now I just need to breathe and do nothing else” or “right now the things I feel good about are x, y and z”. The choice of thought doesn’t matter, the object is to feel a little better. And the most important part is to know that thought management is possible. Yes, we may need to do it over and over. Thought looping is a human pattern so most of us must learn to control our thoughts by conscious re-direction. Choose your preferred destination today.

  

Holidays, Monday’s and IQ hangovers:

So many things can affect our brain’s working ability; the weather, amount of sleep last night, pollen levels, air quality in general, day of the week, working and leisure time balance, background stress and on it goes. If you feel less than optimal in brain power, the worst thing you can do is focus on it and worry about whether you are competent. Let your brain be as it is right now, relaxation is the only cure. Any stressed-out dwelling on it will make it feel worse! Just chill and know that your brain on one or two cylinders is probably better than most people’s brains running on all four cylinders! You’ll be ok. The power is there, just let it spring into action in its own good time. It’s all there for you when you need it, your subconscious mind stores everything and will kick into gear as the moment requires. All is well.

  

A word with your inner mind about more contentment:

While there’s currently a lot of talk out there about happiness, we all know that happiness is very elusive, both as a concept and as a feeling; something we notice the absence of rather than the presence of, so I’d like a word with your inner mind now, as you slow down reading this, one deep slow breath in, that’s right, hold it, and then slowly out again, as you consider the feeling of contentment instead, that feeling of quiet inner satisfaction, the knowledge that you can feel ok, you can experience inner peace no matter what is going on outside of you, and it is outside of you, nothing to do with you really, moving now towards that sense of equanimity, being ok with the world, ok with yourself, ok with the now, you are, you can just focus on breathing in, breathing out, and knowing that’s your only task right now, and all the rest will take care of itself in its own good time. And we can be content with that.

  

You’re ok. In fact your better than ok!

You’re doing great. With all the stuff you have going on, you’re functioning, you’re doing your best and you’re always striving to be better. I know this because you read these posts, and I know very well the group we have here, reading these ideas and what that means. Give yourself credit now. You’re doing great. Your sensitivity and intelligence are excellent qualities and bring joy to others that share similar qualities. You do make a difference and the world is a better place with you in it. Feel good today.

  

Can’t get that thought out of your head??

Sometimes we get stuck with a thought loop that doesn’t feel good. Thought loops are generally “negative” in that they are fear or anger phrases that keep replaying over and over in the mind, even though we don’t want them to. It may be a legitimate (ie “factual”) thought but if it doesn’t bring peace or joy, then it serves no purpose other than unpleasant feelings. To dissolve thought loops we generally need to replace them. It’s good to choose a go-to thought for the occasion. You’ll know it’s the right one when the intensity drops and/or you get a slight sense of calm. Useful replacement thoughts will vary for different people, and even vary for the same person on different days or for different situations. One day, the thought of “I am willing to see the good in this” might bring calm, and on another day we might choose “may I be filled with loving kindness” or “they are free to be as they are and do as they like, just as I am” or “this is none of my business” or “it all works out somehow” or “if I think about the bigger picture, this is not big deal”. There are so many possible replacement thoughts that we could choose. We can dip into a book at random until something resonates. Or a song. Or choose an aspect of nature (the ocean, sky, animal, trees etc) to focus on. Or we can just breathe, or count breaths in cycles of 3 or 5 or 10. The idea is to move quickly away from any looping thought that harms. And when it comes back (it usually does!) just calmly move away again. After many moves (sometimes many thousands!) your brain may just get the message to stop going there. Go somewhere pleasant instead today!

  

All focused on fixing and changing??

One of the areas we fixate on the most these days is that of our relationships, intimate/romantic, family and friends. Many of us get hooked into improvement orientation here, thinking that if only this part changed, if we could just get the other person to communicate better, or stop doing certain things or start being more positive or more accountable or stop being manipulative or be less critical (or whatever else our brain generates) then we will be happy. Much of this improvement orientation happens in our minds; most of us don’t actually direct it to the person concerned. On the other hand, if we can get clear on three things, we would certainly have more inner peace. These things are 1) other people can (and generally will) be as they are. 2) it’s not our job to fix, change or control. And 3) we need to be clear on what our own boundaries are. If their behavior is affecting us, we ask them to stop. If the behavior persists then we make a CHOICE about the amount of time or energy to invest in the relationship. Most of our irritations with people are reduced when we decide to let them just be as they are (as if we have any control anyway!) but also make a clear choice about our own involvement or engagement with the behaviors or people concerned. Sometimes we need to bounce this with a trusted confidante as it can be confusing - clarifying what’s our stuff and what’s their stuff. Begin with the idea that it’s not our job to fix people. They can only do that for themselves and many will choose not to because they don’t feel that they need to or believe that they cannot change. We can focus instead on improving our own thoughts and responses instead. We actually have some control over that part.

  

Get a message from your 9 year old self:

When you were 9, you probably knew how to have fun. Maybe you liked to read, or ride your bike, or go exploring, or watch movies, hang out with friends or just lie outside looking at the sky, dreaming of nothing and everything. Your 9 year old pre-adolescent self probably knew a little more about how to be in the moment, take no thought for the concerns of the future and just enjoy. If that 9 year old self could speak to you today, what would they suggest to you right now?? What would they like you to do more of? Less of? Who would they like to see more of? What changes would they demand of you? Listen to your 9 year old self. Most of us at 9 do things that we LIKE to do (during leisure time) as opposed to the things we think we SHOULD do, or what other people think we should do. In fact the 9 year old isn’t particularly concerned about what others think at all. The 9 year old self is still in there waiting for you to take notice. Check in, listen and act today.

  

Moving towards inner harmony for 2018:

Whatever the concern, whatever issue we have or intention we might hold, considering the idea of harmony is helpful. Inner harmony means a sense that things are ok, a lack of any struggle between different parts of something, allowing things to be as they are, a feeling of agreeing with life. Whatever is, just is. We can resist it or dislike it but if it exists, either within us or without, then all parts can move towards inner harmony. Harmony means that somehow, in some strange way, all things are working together for good, even though the “how” may not be visible or known to us yet. A choir involves many, many voices creating many different notes, some which might seem strange if heard individually, and yet, heard together, the sound produced is balanced, harmonious and oddly powerful. As you move forward in your life today, notice and acknowledge the harmony around you as well as the harmony within. All is well.

  

Stop and check in:

Everyone I see right now is talking about running on empty but also still trying to run around like crazy. Being both tired and wired is emotionally a bit risky and can lead to a bit of a mood crash, especially once the adrenalin peters out. Many people feel awful once they finally stop and spend the first week of their holidays in some type of pain or illness. Slow down now. Right now, as you read this. Slowly decelerate and let your system wind down before it comes to a halt. Take some time to relax, to reflect, to meditate, to go for a walk. Eat small amounts of clean natural food that makes you feel strong. Slow down on the roads and let other people in and out as required. Recognize that most people are in a crazed state right now and need your chilled vibes! We can relax no matter what. Take a breath now and let’s all remind our subconscious minds to keep things pleasant, comfortable and fun. Everything is ok.

  

Realistic holiday intentions:

It’s easy to idealize things this time of year. How you “should” feel, how friends or family “should” behave, what you “should” give or not give. Work with the truth. Look at the facts. How are you doing right now?? What are you really capable of? What’s the truth about where those around you are at? The personalities and circumstances involved? Do you need to adjust your expectations to line up with reality? Overdoing the expectations will lead to guilt, hurt and disappointment. Keep your narrative truthful and proceed accordingly.

  

Holiday overindulgence: How will you feel tomorrow??

At this time of year, I have many clients raising issues about the amount they feel they “have to” eat or drink and how terrible they feel afterwards, either physically or emotionally. You can indulge as much as you like, but if overindulgence has been an issue that has caused stress or regret in the past, then it might be worth planning to wind it back a bit. Plan in advance. Go into parties, events and gatherings with forethought. Whether it’s food, alcohol or other substances, work out how to minimize whatever it is you need to watch out for, and put a plan in place, perhaps with a trusted person to help you make sure it happens. It’s up to you. Nobody will force any substance down your throat so you get to make the choice and the best choices for you will be aided by pre-planning. Have fun and do it in a way that leaves you feeling ok the next day!

  

"Home" for the holidays??

It's really only in recent years that movies are popping up about dysfunctional families reuniting for Christmas/holidays without it turning into a Hollywood happy ending. Families and/or relatives can be a difficult experience for some, and a confusing or frustrating experience for many. Most of us know who we are in day to day life. We have established our identity, we know what's important to us, and many of the people we associate with share similar values and philosophies. Then. Suddenly we are back with the people who knew us when. Possibly back in the house where things may not feel so good. Perhaps they all still treat us like they did when we were little, or as the "difficult one" or the "quiet one" or the "too sensitive" one, the "rebel" or the "lost one" or perhaps even the the "baby" or the one who had to fight for themselves some reason, maybe even the "naughty one". So many people report feeling "not taken seriously" in their family group, or maybe overlooked in favor of some other family member who apparently ticks all the "right" boxes. If you feel happy and comfortable with your family and relatives then you are lucky; enjoy it! And if not, then focus on who you are, your own identify and achievements and know that you will be back amongst your own kind soon. Either way, your ok.

  

Expectations of yourself this time of year:

How are you feeling?? Is your energy at full throttle? Feeling strong and charged up?? Or is your enthusiasm getting all maxed out? Most people need to pull back a little at this time of year and remember that it gets a little crazy and expectations can get a little much. Somehow there’s pressure to do too much, see too many people and perhaps engage in things you don’t really want to engage in. Check in with yourself today and make sure you’re keeping everything in perspective and keeping life simple. What matters is peace and joy. The rest can wait. Go slow today.

  

Time to breathe.

Today we all need time to just breathe. No goal. No intention. No information. Just breathe and then breathe again. Space for the brain. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, nothing to prove. Just breathe.

  

Inner guidance vs self-doubt:

Most of us would get clear and accurate information about our life and how to proceed but for the self-doubt content that crowds out the true message. Self-doubt often arrives via the mouth of others; have you noticed how everyone has an opinion, an agenda and a point to make?? Just enough to make you wonder, throw a seed of doubt or confusion into the mix. Many of us need to break the habit of discussing our plans or decisions with others in important matters, or at least being very careful who we take into our confidence. If you know the person is prone to opinions, judgements and strong preferences, perhaps go elsewhere. The useful person is the one who asks questions about what YOU want or need and helps you clarify what is truly the best way forward for YOU rather than letting their stuff color your guidance. Remember that you are very intelligent and intuitive. Ask yourself the right questions (and perhaps write down the answers) such as:

What is my goal here?

What are the most important factors to take into account?

What has worked well for me in the past?

What do I need to be careful of?

What are the risks involved?

What is my best-case scenario?

What will work into my life best?

Then trust the answers to guide you. You know best about what’s right for you.

  

Our friends with status anxiety:

Status anxiety is the feeling or worry that we are not doing as well as we should be, perhaps not keeping up with those around us, should be achieving more, should be making more money or having "the best" of something, more trophies or generally being more important in the world. It's a relatively new concept; while some people certainly experienced it in previous generations due to internal or family pressure, it's much more common now perhaps due to social media and reality tv. The idea is, we are all supposed to be "amazing" and have "amazing" lives, apparently. You may have noticed that some people buy into status anxiety more than others and never feel like they have enough or are doing enough, whereas, some of us don't care, we stick to what matters to us and just do our thing, enjoying the more simple pleasures. Which do you think leads to more contentment and inner peace?? We all know appearances (both in social media and real-life observations) mean nothing. Most people present a more successful and "perfect" facade than actually exists in reality. Status is nothing and can change in the instant we see somebody who has "more". Inner peace is everything and we can work towards it no matter what is happening. Choose peace today.

  

The fear of being "selfish":

The term "selfish" has been used to criticize people who do what they want to do rather than do the thing that pleases others. For most of us, being accused of "selfishness" is something we'd never want, it brings a certain horror, possibly even a sickly guilt or shame feeling. Of course there are levels of "selfishness". We all know people who have zero empathy, who are willing to hurt others, who manipulate, create conflict and feel no remorse when they have done interpersonal damage. But if you're reading this, you're not that person. Interestingly, when sensitive or kind people get around to making choices that are actually good for their own wellbeing, especially in regard to who they choose to spend time with, they often fear being seen as "selfish". Perhaps they may even be accused of "selfishness" by the people they are choosing to distance from. This kind of "selfishness" could also be called "Self Preservation" or even "Choosing Peace" or "Prioritizing Wellbeing". I chose to put the term "selfish" in inverted commas because in this context, it's a nasty, meaningless, manipulative term that should not be in the psyches of most people reading this, as it relates to themselves. Are you kind? Are you ethical? Then the leftover empathic guilt about saying no or setting boundaries has nothing to do with this silly "selfishness" word. It's about making good mature choices for Wellbeing. Let's ditch the S word for good.

  

Doing what needs to be done - for you.

Most of us keep our commitments to other people, but somehow the commitments that would help our wellbeing get a little lost in the mix, so let me speak now, quietly and seriously, directly to your subconscious mind, knowing that the inner part of you will protect and assist with your deepest priorities, helping you now, thinking just of what you truly need to do for yourself, that one small thing, making all the difference, perhaps even leading on to other better things for you, reminding your mind to do that thing, to take action and put your well-being at the top of the priority list now, at least equal with the needs of others, you can, allowing that one thing to take shape and lead you towards greater energy and optimism now. You will.

  

Ditch the drama:

Every situation we face has a choice that activates or feeds drama, as well as a drama-free choice. While others may engage in drama around you, you can opt in or out, depending on your thoughts and choices. The drama-free choice will feel less exciting and also more peaceful. You may even wish to say to yourself “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. This is a very good detachment and drama-reduction mantra and has been used successfully for generations! Stay with the chill today, avoid the crap and preserve your inner peace.

  

A quick message about going easy:

Decide to take it easy today. Go easy on yourself, easy with others and as much as you can, just do easy things. Move smoothly and easily in the flow today.

  

Motivational lows:

It's normal for we humans to fluctuate in our acceleration levels. While we might be pumped up and on fire at certain times, at other times we get flat, lethargic and lazy. This may be just seasonal or cyclic, or can be related to both physical and emotional factors. If you feel like re-triggering your motivational system, first think physical. Are you eating the food that gives you the energized sense of lightness that you need? Are you getting adequate sleep? Are you getting enough relaxation/pottering around time for yourself? Are you moving or exercising the right amount for you? Too much? Too little? Make the adjustments you need to make and write a plan or list. Also consider emotional factors. The idea is to trigger dopamine, the chemical of excitement and focus. What are you looking forward to? What are you doing that is exciting or challenging? What new things are you learning or doing? Where are you competing, either with others or yourself? What gets your heart racing in a pleasant way? Where's the fun? Do you need to set a new goal to challenge and motivate you? Motivation generally comes back in its own time if it's just a mojo phase, but sometimes we need to do something to help it along. See what you can do to accelerate things a little today.

  

Changes in relationships:

Most of us will change quite a bit in any five year period. Depending on where we are in our life cycle, we may experience alterations or redirections in our choices, priorities, social tolerance, leisure preferences, partying behavior, health orientation, work life and enjoyment of certain activities or people. We may also change significantly in what we like to talk about, or the way we approach talking about certain issues. Some relationships will still be a good energy match, while others may start to feel different, possibly uncomfortable, maybe even combative at times. This happens in various relationship types, including friendships, romantic relationships and families. If one person does more changing than another, or if both change in different directions then it may be necessary to renegotiate the relationship. This means starting with goodwill, pulling back on any judgements, working on clear communication (especially listening) and remembering that sameness isn't always required for connection. Even if people change, or we change, we can strengthen a connection through staying with curiosity rather than judgment, acceptance rather than frustration. The relationship may alter in closeness or contact frequency and yet still be fulfilling. Check in with your various connections over the next few days with benevolent curiosity.

  

The brain in shock:

Many things can trigger the brain’s shock mode; unexpected events, emotional attacks, deaths and other losses, anything painful can get it going. Shock mode will be different for all of us. Some people go into a frozen-like state, others become emotional right away, some panic or feel major anxiety or anger, others dissociate, some go into practical mode and seem to bypass the feeling phase. Some need to talk about things, some need privacy or solitude or maybe even company while avoiding the subject. It’s mythical that we all must talk about things; some people can process better by themselves while other people definitely prefer to process by talking with others. There is no right or wrong way to be in shock or grief; we all have our coping mechanisms and we need to trust our systems to process it in the right way for us in whatever time it takes for us. So many people have rules or expectations about how themselves or others are “supposed” to feel but the truth is, there is no normal. The only thing that is normal is that we go through phases with shock or grief, it doesn’t stay the same all the time, or even over time. Sometimes we think phases have passed, and then they come back temporarily, and then move on again later. The system has its own clever design and if we ask ourselves what we need at any given moment, the answers will come. The most important thing is to be accepting of phases and not impatient. Let it unfold as it does and know that all feeling states are temporary even though it may not feel that way. The sun always comes up after the dark night passes.

  

On Belonging:

It’s easy for some of us to feel a little alienated at times, a bit different, maybe from the general world or the family or colleagues, and while it’s great to be unique, it’s also important to know that you belong, and maybe one day your mind told you that you didn’t, perhaps as a young person, at school or among those at home, or some other group experience, we’ve all had that feeling sometimes, we misunderstood something and made up a story about somebody else’s behavior, really it was about them and their choices and their patterns, but we mistakenly think it’s about us, easy mistake to make, and now, here, we can correct that mistake so that your inner mind always knows that you do belong, breathing now, taking in my words as you breathe slowly, you belong everywhere, you are an important part of the overall plan for the universe, you are required, just as is, exactly as you were made, and maybe you ruffle a few feathers at times, perhaps that’s your job, to challenge things, improve them, help growth, your uniqueness helping the world adapt, accommodate and grow in a beneficial way, you belong, you don’t have to belong to anyone in particular, you belong to yourself and whoever else you want to belong to, you belong in the world and it wouldn’t be the same without you so know that feeling deep now in your inner mind and make that installation permanent, walking through your day now, just knowing that you always belong and you always will, a special part of the universe, perfect as is. You are.

  

How do you feel around victimhood people??

Victimhood is a way of thinking about the self and the world. Most of victimology involves a narrative of not having a choice, of being powerless, of having things happen TO you, or being done TO you, rather than seeing yourself as an active participant in life. Because victims feel powerless, they also feel resentful. They will resent other people, resent circumstances, maybe even resent the way they themselves are, their own personality or physical features or history. It's a quick road to self-pity, to feeling angry and sorry for yourself. There are times of course when we all have moments of feeling like we've been victimized. Most of us can have our time of venting, complaining and whinging, and then pull ourselves back into action mode by taking responsibility for our part in the situation. Maybe we can't change what has happened but we can challenge our own narrative or story about it, and go into action mode about how we can make the best of it by activating our choices. Some people, however, do not activate this mode, and prefer to live in the land of victimhood. When you see or hear this, you may recognize your own feelings of frustration or anger because you will probably see the choices and possibilities in the situation and also notice that the person isn't taking any responsibility for their part in what occurred. Victimology is probably the more popular choice right now and is perpetuated in certain aspects of the media. Notice it, be conscious of your feelings when observing others and don't take it personally. People have spent many years working on their worldview and probably won't change it unless they do some serious work. Detach and let them be.

  

Trusting the future to take care of itself:

Many of us have things that we worry about, mostly things that haven't happened yet but we fear that they will, or maybe we just have a vague fear about how something will work out or how we will cope. Yet, if we look back over our life so far, most of us have had some stuff happen, maybe it was painful, and yet we actually did cope. Using the skills and resources we have accumulated, we got through it, the most painful part was indeed temporary, and over time, things improved. Maybe it's even difficult to remember the full awfulness of that time now, perhaps some of it remains accessible while other parts fade. Humans are designed for adversity. While it isn't enjoyable at the time, we solve problems as they happen, we draw on strengths we didn't know we had and we receive support from unexpected sources. When the future worry kicks in, remind yourself that you are built to cope with all sorts of problems and that you will be emerge well from any adversity. The future will take care of itself, just as it always has.

  

The Present:

This is me reminding your mind to BE HERE NOW, in the present moment. Most of us are great at drifting into the past, comparing past and present selves or events or others, drifting into the future, planning, worrying and projecting. Most of it comes to nothing. If the past/future thoughts make you energized and inspired, great; stick with them. Most of us, however, would have better mood and energy if we stayed with the NOW a bit more often. Our animals and pets live in the now and experience greater happiness and joy than most of their parents, and probably sleep better as a result! There are many ways to stay in the now, including looking around, listening, breathing, moving, playing music, being present while talking to people (rather than planning your next statement in your mind) or even just saying to yourself NOW IS OK. This is your reminder to find a way to stay here today!

  

Approval Immunity!

One of the most freeing changes we can work towards is feeling free of the need for approval. If we’re lucky, some people in our lives will give us unconditional approval. So we can be whoever we are, totally real, and they think we are just fine. If somebody is withholding approval then it means either their approval is conditional on you meeting their expectations or that for whatever warped reason, they get something out of seeing you uncomfortable. There are people that enjoy the power that comes from seeing people feeling uncertain or insecure. Either way, the only approval that matters is unconditional approval, and that comes naturally. If you don’t have it then maybe you don’t want it, and why you don’t have it is none of your concern. Sometimes we work harder to get the approval we don’t have (especially in families and new relationships) while taking for granted the approval that is on tap anytime. Generally speaking, if we have to work hard to get it, we will have to triple our workload to keep it. There are many people with ambivalent or avoidant attachment issues and nothing you do is going to fix that. You can’t fix twisted and you can’t fix remote. Your mantra is “I’m immune from needing approval anyway”. Approval needs are inbuilt from the days when we needed to fit in with the pack to survive. But nowadays we choose our pack. Choose to be with the ones that naturally fit. Wish the others all the best in their quest to convert the world and choose to stay where the love is.

  

A note about being the "best version" of yourself:

The new perfectionism about the self is very tiring. Apparently we are meant to be as "fit" or "healthy" as we "should" be, make the "most" of all aspects of our "looks", have a "positive body image" and in general "be the best version of ourselves". How gross is that. These types of concepts are very concerning, and create emotional disturbance in kind by generating excessive focus on the self rather than the world outside the self. It also sets up a model where we are either "good enough" or not good enough, and given that we are meant to be "best versions" of ourselves, do we ever actually achieve that, or is it always just out of reach? Using ideas like "I just want to be the best version of myself" is the new version of "I just want to reach my potential" which is equally disempowering, pressurizing, anxiety-provoking and generally pointless. As a goal, it is too vague, too broad, completely non-specific and really quite unhelpful. The goals that people tend to successfully achieve (and this has been heavily researched) are based on small, achievable, specific and measurable steps. So if you really need or want to improve something, choose one area of life, pin it down to one specific action or behaviour, focus on a very small measurable step and work out your plan for doing it consistently. Follow up on it and make yourself accountable. That's all you need to do. Forget being the best. It's a bullshit construct designed to generate insecurity so you will engage in more consumer behavior. You're fine as is. You're probably actually quite awesome. Know that today.

  

Misunderstood by others?

It can hurt immensely when we are misunderstood or misperceived, especially by friends or family or others close to us. We may be just doing our thing, no intention to hurt anybody, perhaps even trying to be helpful, and yet we may not be seen this way by the person concerned. We may even be judged, criticized and accused of being selfish or inconsiderate. This stuff can cut deeply for people that try to act with kindness and love. However, regardless of our motivations or intentions, we only have control over OUR thoughts and behaviors and interpretations. On the other side of the fence, the other person may have unspoken expectations based on who knows what, perhaps their own past, their current mood, daily irritations, unmet needs, dysfunctional beliefs, twisted thinking or entitled attitudes. There is so much going on on their side of the fence that it is impossible to "figure out". And in fact, it's not our responsibility to "figure it out". Ideally, as adults we make an unwritten contract to be reasonable in our expectations of each other. Ideally we agree to ask for what we need, while always giving the other person space to refuse or negotiate if they need to. Ideally we live and let live, knowing that people have different preferences and priorities in how they live life. Ideally if we are upset, we raise it rationally and allow space for discussion. Sadly, some adults cannot operate by these reasonable limits. That's on them and we need to detach from their projections and know that it's a reflection of their mind, not our character. Again I will say: if we are ethical and kind in our intentions and behaviour, then that's enough. We cannot change the unreasonable expectations of others.

  

There's no such things as rejection:

Perhaps due to our increasingly social media-oriented culture, I hear more about rejection fears these days than I did in the past, especially as it relates to dating apps and/or meeting people. Fear of rejection stops many people from engaging with others and affects their behavior if they do contact or meet somebody that they might like. As I say in my office all the time, rejection fears are strange and pointless because there is actually no such thing as rejection. It's actually quite an egocentric construct and it does not exist if you know how attraction actually works. Firstly, we have little choice in who we are attracted to without knowing them. It's a strange mix of visual preferences (mostly unconscious and certainly involuntary), pheromones and some other familiarity or unfamiliarity feeling that somehow excites us. It's not like we've gone through a checklist, rated the person on a range of factors and decided yes or no. Attraction or magnetism just either happens or it doesn't. Nothing to do with us, therefore it's not a rejection as all, it's just a case of magnetism or non magnetism. Then we get to know the person, their voice, way of communicating, their physicality and their personality. Once again, this will either FEEL like a compatibility match or it won't. If it feels like a yes, we go forward. Incidentally we may not be correct in our compatibility assessment; it may be due to old childhood patterns and what feels normal or exciting. But again, it's not a rational or logical choice so if it's a no, it's not our fault or theirs, and it's not a rejection. It's just not a match because it's all chemistry. We can't create it and we can't fake it. Take nothing personally, most relationships are a complicated mix of mysterious chemistry and emotional projection and we look for the vibe that works for us. No rejection exists.

  

Commit to an optimism boost today:

We all have that one thing (maybe even more than one) that we don't feel great about. When we think about it we activate an inner vibration of fear or anger or pessimism, sometimes even before the thought kicks in. Even though feelings often arrive before a conscious thought, we can still use our thoughts to moderate how we feel. The first step is to be willing to remind yourself that the situation is ok. Many people object to this step, insisting that the situation is NOT ok at all so why should they work towards thinking that it is?? The answer relates to acceptance. We are not saying we like it or that we approve of it or prefer it. We are saying it is ok which means that "it is what it is" and that we CAN manage our feelings about it. We are doing the opposite of catastrophizing, which is making a situation bigger and feeling worse about it. Practice saying "it's ok as it is". Next step is to move it forward somehow, but we must know what we want to achieve. This intention should only relate to our feelings, our actions, things we can actually control. If our goal is to change another person or their attitudes, forget it. We can't. Asking yourself "what can I do to feel better about this" is a useful question, as is "what small step can I take to improve how I feel". Start now. Focusing only on factors you can control is a golden key to wellbeing and optimism.

  

Balance, perspective and humor!

The more you get into life, the more things can seem a little serious, a little out of perspective, even sometimes quite dramatic and yes, life throws us curve balls at times and the more we can laugh, the more we can be calm, and calm always helps everything stay in balance as it should be, so easy now, relaxing your eyes, slowing your breathing, letting all tension and seriousness dissolve now, shrinking all drama into postcard size, or maybe even matchbox size, letting all details fade away into the distance, focusing only on the light above you, all around you, shining that light on to all the funny things now, the slightly amusing, the kind-of-funny, the laugh out loud, the totally ridiculous, the hilarious insanity of it all, letting your inner mind see the larger scheme of things, the big picture and the comedy in it all, you can, any story can form a brilliant sitcom for you now, laughing comfortably and changing the humor lens to get a new perspective any time you want to. Watch out for all the funny stuff today and make sure your laugh track is turned up loud!

  

Anxiety when things are going well??

Many people have a vigilant mind and know exactly how to worry. A vigilant mind is set up to subconsciously scan for problems or danger so that the system is alert and poised for action. But what about when things are going well for a period of time? What about when there are no problems? This type of anxiety applies often to relationship anxiety as well as health anxiety. So many people are optimists, yet feel anxious when it all appears to be “too good”. What if something goes wrong?? What if it was all lost somehow?? What if this is a premonition and I shouldn’t relax or enjoy it??? The truth is, the human brain is hard-wired for survival and challenges, which means it will look for trouble to fix, problems to solve and circumstances to avoid. When things are going well, it may still be in active mode. Give it something to do. Count the great things. Recite a mantra saying thank you for things you enjoy, or an unrelated mantra! Learn something new. Focus on a puzzle to solve (eg word or number puzzle). Know that “good times anxiety” is a thing but not a thing that means anything. Ignore it and enjoy the sun when it shines. Wellbeing is your birthright!

  

The art of passive-aggressive behavior:

Some people have a black belt in passive aggressive techniques. The cold shoulder? So infuriating, just keep turning away and breaking eye contact. Silent treatment? They can keep it up way longer than you can stand it. Maybe just don’t answer messages or texts. That keeps it ambiguous! Comments under the breath? Keep it coming, then deny you said anything. Super effective. Hostile remarks that are then framed as “only joking” when you object?? Killer move that one. And if cornered?? Change the subject! The derail is a master passive aggressive move that leaves the other confused and a little blind-sided. How about the contemptuous eye-roll? But it’s ok because they didn’t “say anything!” And. If you ask what’s wrong when something is clearly wrong, the finest passive aggressive response is “nothing”. Keep them guessing! Make them figure it out! Covert hostility is common in couples and is a strong predictor of trouble. The only solution is to learn to communicate calmly and directly without blame. Please let’s notice any passive aggressive habits in ourselves and commit to eliminating them. Clear, calm, direct communication is key.

  

Need a break?

What do you need a little break from? You could take a break from being too accommodating. Or a break from being hard on yourself. Or a break from social media. Or a break from putting your head in the sand about something you need to do. Or a break from routine. Is it time to get out of a rut? Do you need a break from a certain situation or person? A break from work or a break from boredom? Think about the small change you need and take a bit of action on it today. You know you’ll feel better for it!

  

What if you just relaxed about everything today?

What if you just believed that it would all unfold perfectly? What if you just trusted in yourself and events? What if you released all concern? What if you just stayed in the moment and enjoyed whatever happened to be pleasant? What if you just assumed all was well? You could try that today if you wanted to and let your nervous system have a moment in the sun. What if it made your day a little easier? You could always do it again tomorrow. Relax and move forward again knowing that all is ok.

  

Sunshine for the mind:

With all that goes on in the week, in the world, it’s so important to let a little sunshine into all parts of your mind, the part reading this message to you, and the other parts that need to know, so relax now, breathing slowly, eyes moving much more comfortably, slowing down, releasing all tension now, and using the power of your imagination, I want you to open up all the curtains and blinds and covers in your mind, opening the windows too, now turn the lights on too, at the same time letting all the sunlight in, as much light as you need for today, letting that light stream into all the parts of your mind, into all corners and any dark areas, boosting your power, revving your energy system and clearing anything that needs to be cleared now, sunlight charging up your body and soothing your emotions ready for action. Stay in the light today!

  

Joy is a choice.

You don’t have to choose it. There is no pressure to be joyous, and sometimes it’s not what we want to feel. But, if the idea of increasing enjoyment appeals to you, you can say right now “I choose joy!” When you say that, you will generally feel a little chemical uplift and your mind might veer towards things, even very small things that you feel good about. I just said “I choose joy” and my eyes went straight to the blue sky and trees that I can see from the window right now and the pleasure of all the signs of nature around me. I said it in my car a day or two ago and just enjoyed the feeling of my car, the music I was playing and the road in front of me. Allowing your mind to choose its own joy focus after saying “I choose joy” will strengthen the feeling and remind you how easy it can be to grab a split second here and there just to feel enjoyment. Repeat as often as you like today.

  

The effects of angry people:

There are two main varieties of angry people: the first is the angry person who is going to let you know all about it. They will express their anger, often without appropriate containment or boundaries, and blame you, others or circumstances for their emotional state. This kind of anger can be volatile and shocking to the nervous system, often taking us by surprise and leaving us stunned, upset and confused afterwards. The other type of anger is the silent, seething, controller anger. The person denies the anger, and though you can feel it coming from them, they won’t voice it and maintain that there’s nothing wrong if you ask. This kind of anger is extremely frustrating to be around because the punishing effects are strong and powerful. You are aware that the person is ruminating on something, working up a narrative, but you don’t know for sure and you don’t know what it’s about. There is no easy way to be around either type of dysfunctional anger other than a) knowing that the other is responsible for managing their state and getting their needs met respectfully and b) minimizing contact with inappropriately angry people. Of course anger is a normal and healthy emotion generated by violations of various types, and functional anger is fine. In functional anger we express our anger in a respectful (and hopefully relatively calm) manner by describing our emotional response and asking for the change we want to experience without blaming or labeling the other person. This usually ends well, providing the other person involved also has the appropriate level of emotional maturity. Most people aren’t great at managing anger. They either lean towards denial or over-expression. Let’s aim for balanced, calm expressions of anger where we prioritize calm respectful communication at all times.

  

A moment to meditate:

Your brain needs a break here and there, just a moment to release stimulation and thought activity. Take that break now. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Count to five as you breathe in. Hold and count to three. Now breathe out slowly through your nose again counting to five as you release tension. Please repeat three times and have a great day.

  

Irritation needs reframing!

Anything that irritates you today can be used as a reminder to practice the art of the reframe. Reframing is just the ability to deliberately choose to see an alternative view, or take multiple perspectives in relation to events. There is an automatic first story, and then we can switch to a preferred other story. Bad traffic? Reframe it as a chance to chill, or to listen to something you enjoy. Don’t like the weather?? Reframe it as an improvement compared to what happens in other parts of the world. Feeling tired? You are, in fact storing energy and gearing up to feel better soon. People that bother you? Reframe by reminding yourself that everyone is doing the best they can with the capacity they have, and that there may be more going on for that person than you are aware of. Feeling impatient?? Reframe it as a useful trait that gets things happening. We can reframe anything if our mind is willing and flexible. The skill of reframing can be learned and taught, and is an excellent preventative for depression and anxiety. Every thought we think generates a chemical reaction in the system. Choose to generate neutral or positive chemicals today.

  

Reflection on all the good in people!

With all the weirdness that goes on in the world, sometimes it's great to allow our minds to focus on the kindness, the love, the difference people can really make to out lives, sometimes without even really knowing us, so let your mind drift as you read, slowing down, easy pace, just allowing one slow deep breath, then another, many people we meet over our lives, could be just a friendly face or remark, simple kindness from a stranger or somebody we know, perhaps somebody that just understood without needing to be told, or said that thing that made all the difference, or gave you that look so that you knew that they knew, or laughed and laughed with you until you couldn't stop, or hung out when you just needed a human around, or created some piece of art or music that moved you, or a person in a professional role that truly went beyond the call of duty or walked the extra mile for you, or maybe that little extra that you yourself did for somebody, maybe they knew, or maybe only you know, one act of loving kindness making all the difference that perhaps you don't even know you have done, we don't need to know, just allowing our minds to focus on the many many good things that humans do for each other, every day, every minute, making things easier, more pleasant, more comfortable, and you can connect with that human goodness any time you want to. Be connected today.

  

Judging other people:

We can feel ourselves judging people or events (especially on social media) as good, bad, right, wrong, annoying, amazing, immature, successful, irritating, fun, infuriating, happy, miserable, boring, charismatic, insecure, confident, unhealthy, fit, drab, cool, difficult, chilled, complex, simple, deep and many, many other words that we use to label people in that short-hand way our brain uses to judge others. The truth is, we never know or see the complete picture about any person or their life. A snapshot or sequence of behavior can be a interesting way of making an assessment of whether we move closer or away from a person, and we may be quite correct in our assessment in terms of energy match. But to judge less, we need to turn off black and white labels. We can note our impressions, avoid dichotomous labels, know that we lack the whole picture and choose to move closer or further away from connection based on the information at hand. Less judgement of others leads to less judgement of ourselves. If we can be flexible enough to acknowledge the complexity in others, perhaps we can allow ourselves the same understanding.

  

Anxiety and uncertainty:

Anxiety is really about the tolerance of different kinds of uncertainty. There are many types of uncertainties that show up in our lives, and whether it’s situational, relationships, physical symptoms, jobs, disagreements, social events or other aspects of the unknown, some of us really don’t like it, don’t like feeling out of control, don’t like the process of not knowing. Many people avoid these situations in order to avoid the anxiety. Truthfully, everyone experiences anxiety in various degrees. To manage it well we need to become more adept at the process of internally calming ourselves down when approaching the unknown or uncontrollable. Interestingly, smart phones and social apps have made it quicker and easier to seek reassurance from others in times of anxiety. This can be helpful short term, but some research shows that the more we quickly seek reassurance from others when anxious, the more anxiety we will generate, probably due to the fact that we are training our brain to be a help-seeking missile rather than be able to self-soothe. It’s great to connect with others and receive support of course. But if you relate to this post then perhaps wait a bit. Don’t rush to solve control everything and work at being a little more ok with uncertainty. Stop seeking instant reassurance from others and start working towards generating it from within. Imagine you were dealing with an anxious child or pet. You’d speak to it kindly, lead them forward, be reassuring and perhaps distract them with a calm or fun activity. Use some similar self-soothing today to calm your brain.

  

Being less reactive:

Toning down our reactivity starts with a decision. We form an intention to be more calm, balanced and work towards greater equanimity. Why do we do this? Firstly for our own benefit. Excess amygdala activity means more stress hormones which leads to the inability to think straight or solve problems. Equanimity means we can take in the information more factually without the emotions of fear or anger clouding our brain. Secondly because it’s god for our interactions and will help most things go more smoothly. How do we do it? We need to calm the sympathetic nervous system. Any relaxation method will help, whether it’s breathing, music, meditating, or just free-floating relaxation. We also need to manage the dialogue or narrative that goes on in our minds. When we are quick reactors, we tend to fire up language quickly, using the internal talk of fear or fury, labeling things as bad, wrong, unfair or outrageous. Tone down the language. Rather than your usual internal or external comments, say “this is not quite my preference” or “this is a little different from what I had in mind” or something similar. Then say “and it’s ok”. Ok means you don’t have to like it but can be accepting or allowing of it. Saying it’s ok also means that you can deal with it. Being in this state will help you decide what to do next without the lens of fear or fury. This is one of the best recipes for the chill pill and I hope it brings relief for you.

  

Dealing with entitled people:

Entitlement is a thing. Some studies show recent increases in numbers of people with the trait of feeling special, feeling better than others and demanding special treatment or expecting that rules don't apply to them. Healthy entitlement is ok of course; feeling that we are just as deserving of good things as anyone else and feeling equally entitled to joy and contentment. However, the other more noxious kind of entitlement is feeling better than, feeling that your needs are the priority rather than the person or organization that you are dealing with, getting angry if you have to comply with normal rules or regulations, expectations or even laws. Entitled people can come across as irritated, haughty or grandiose if they don't get what they want or if they want to demonstrate their superiority over you. It's unpleasant behavior and usually has significant effects on their relationships, especially family. When dealing with an entitled person, it's important to remember that it isn't about you and isn't something you should take personally. It's their way of thinking and operating and while you should stick to appropriate boundaries, you probably won't get them to change or see it your way. Recognizing entitled behavior for what it is can take the sting out of it.

  

What do you need to get done today??

Consider this a reminder for your mind, a trigger to help your subconscious mind come on board and assist with whatever you need to get done today, smaller or bigger tasks, perhaps that one thing you have been putting off or waiting for, until that sign arrives to DO IT NOW, to GET IT DONE, knowing full well that you will feel good when you put the tick against that thing, slowing your mind down now, breathing, remembering, it’s on the list now and you get to tick it off and release it from your list once it’s done, feeling free and feeling accomplished, focusing now on that feeling and letting that feeling draw you now towards action, just DO IT, it is never as difficult or as unpleasant as what we imagine it will be, in fact most of us ask ourselves why we didn’t just get on with it earlier, it’s not that bad at all, in fact it’s really quite fine, and you get to feel really, really good just knowing that it’s getting done, you’re moving forward, you’re kicking ass and kicking winning goals! Go take some action now and enjoy that feeling of DONE!!

  

Getting frustrated?? Read this.

Frustration is a very interesting emotion. Some people argue that it isn’t an emotion at all, but rather a catch-all type state. I think it is an emotion, somewhere on the anger spectrum but not quite the same, and I notice similar patterns around it whenever it gets mentioned. When people speak of frustration it is ALWAYS focused on something they can’t control. Frustration appears to be born of trying to control the uncontrollables. Often frustration is about involuntary bodily symptoms (eg pain conditions or fatigue etc), other people’s behavior, events in the world, things people say, the traffic, the hold-ups in life, the way other people don’t do what they say they will do, etc. In other words, all the stuff we can never control. So the formula is: focus on uncontrollables = greater frustration. To reduce frustration we can either choose our environment or people very carefully (not that easy to do) or reduce our attachment to outcome. We can allow whatever is there simply to be there. Yes we may have a preference for it to be otherwise. But if we can’t control it or avoid it, then we drop the focus on it. Let it be. We can allow it to be what it is without liking it. We can choose peace instead and dissolve frustration by not feeding it. Choose peace today.

  

Time for music therapy!!

As we all know, the right music at the right time is the quickest way to boost positive brain chemistry! You can charge up your energy with faster or intense music, raise motivation with some pumping-type tracks and calm yourself down super-fast with chill songs. What do you need to feel right now? Choose a song or a playlist and get it moving through your nervous system! You’ll know right away if you chose the correct match and chemistry will respond accordingly. Get into it today!

  

Go outside and connect with nature!

Yes you might be busy, might be stuck inside all day for whatever reason. But go outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Look at the sky. Touch something green, whether it’s grass or maybe a tree. Be barefoot if you can! Notice all the elements of nature that you can see, and listen for any messages you might need to receive for yourself or others. Know that you are part of nature and that all are taken care of.

  

A little bit of trust today:

It’s great to be a proactive person, a person who takes action, somebody that’s accountable and responsible. The only thing is, the flipside of having these helpful traits is feeling a little too responsible for making everything turn out ok, not just for ourselves, but for everyone else too. It means we often lose trust that things will just somehow work out ok. Interestingly, people from previous generations had a lot more trust in things working out, and were more focused on enjoying the now than we are in the present generations. If we want some enjoyment, we might need to choose trust. Trust is a belief and a feeling but it starts with a choice. We can choose to increase our trust in things being ok and be less focused on controlling everything. Just notice when you have the urge to control an outcome for yourself or others and choose trust instead. We can still do what we need to do, but our enjoyment and contentment can only increase with a little trust on the side. Try some today.

  

Stop now and take in a dose of peace.

Peace is much underrated. The pace of our world isn’t slowing down and the glare of social media can be a little blinding at times so relax now, as you allow your eyes to glide smoothly over my words, as I talk to you here, calmly, reminding your mind of all the sources of peace around you, many avenues for peace; sometimes silence, other times just tuning in to nature, connecting with a pet or animal, listening to some music and simply noticing all the sounds, or maybe just being, sitting in the peace of now, without any thought or judgement or analysis, you can, reminding your subconscious mind to scan for peace, to move towards peace today, to allow the feeling of peace to grow and grow, clearing the space inside your mind so you have the ability to think, to feel and to know that all is well and that peace is available at any moment if you choose to seek it. Seek now and forever hold your peace.

  

Step out of the way!

We all have situations in our lives where we would benefit from just stepping out of the way. Drop the pressure, drop the control tactics and stop trying to get something to happen. We could, if we chose, just let it unfold in its own way in its own time. There’s a time for action and a time just to take a breath and step back. That time is now. Jump in the back seat for a bit and see where it takes you.

  

  

Feeling bad? Feeling sad or angry?? Check your narrative!

As humans, we are natural storytellers. We observe an event, we tell ourselves a story that assesses the situation: it’s good, it’s bad, it’s awful, it’s ok, it’s unfair, it’s great, it’s so/so, it’s going to lead to trouble, it’s going to work out well, it’s going to be painful, it’s going to last a long time, it’s not my fault, it is my fault, nobody else seems to have this happen, other people don’t feel like this, there’s something wrong here, this sucks, I like this, I hate this, I have lots of support, nobody is here for me, AND AND AND - you get the message. Suddenly we’ve constructed an internal narrative that will deepen whatever we already feel, good or bad. I see many people who can’t quite understand why they’re feeling a particular way (anxious, sad, depressed or apathetic etc) and when we tease out the internal narrative, the answer becomes a little more clear. Luckily we have some choice. We can challenge our current narrative; it’s neither right nor wrong. It’s chosen by us, and it will either be helpful or unhelpful in the way we feel. Words are powerful whether they are said aloud to others or just said silently in our minds. Check your narrative today and choose words that support how you WANT to feel. And you WANT to feel good. Start now.

  

Find your balance:

Remember learning to ride a bike or a scooter? One of the key lessons is about letting your body tune your inner balance system to feel when you are off centre, then automatically correcting yourself so that you keep moving forward in a comfortable way, hopefully without falling! Life balance is a similar process of listening to your inner body. When we are out of balance, symptoms will show up so that we can listen and self-correct. Are you ignoring imbalance signals? We often do this for short periods just to get across a deadline, but doing it long term will result in imbalances that take a little longer to correct. Remember the feeling of being on a bike and listen to your body today for auto-correction!

  

You’ll be ok today.

No need to be excellent. You don’t even need to be great. Definitely don’t aim for perfect. You don’t have to be very good. Drop the pressure, lose the tension and just be ok today. No pressure to be driven, ambitious , successful or even productive. Have you noticed that for many people, the escalating pressure to reach perfection goals is creating stress, self-comparison and feelings of not being good enough?? Perhaps we can enjoy being average, embrace being ordinary and fully commit to just being ok today. Ok??

  

Mediation for articulating your truth:

As you read my words, as I talk to you here, you can know that your inner mind can listen, can deeply relax now, can read between my lines as I speak to you, knowing that the truth is now flowing freely, combined with loving-kindness, and that as humans we warm very well to this combination, many people hold back on truth, later feeling annoyed or resentful, knowing fully that there is another way, there is a method for telling the truth with love, with kindness, in fact as best as I can tell, it isn't very loving without the truth, and it isn't very kind if it isn't authentic, and it isn't very truthful if you don't say it, so slow your mind now, breathe deeply, let your gut tell you what the facts are, no judgement, just the facts, and let loving-kindness guide your mind to the articulation of those facts, knowing just what to say, and choosing to say it in the right way, at the right time for the best results for all concerned, calmly, with love and with the knowledge that each is responsible for their own path and their own choices and that you are entitled to speak your truth now with love. You can.

  

  

Vow to say what you need to say!

Yes, there are times to shut the hell up. Times when speaking needs to wait or things will get way worse. But there are other times when your boundaries are truly being violated and it's time to speak. There's a myth that it should come naturally, without fast-beating heart, without nausea or panic feelings. But truthfully, when most of us have to assert ourselves, there's an adrenalin response that kicks in and it feels anything but calm. This is good! We are designed this way, that's why we call it the fight/flight mechanism. It's designed to kick into gear and help at these moments. Don't wait for the calm confidence to speak. Speak when it's TIME to speak, when you get the signal of "No, this is not ok". And if you don't know what to say, just say that. "This is not ok". Then let the other person respond. You don't have to know all the words. Just give a STOP signal. You might question yourself later but subconsciously you'll also be pleased with yourself for drawing that line. Vow to speak up when necessary today!

  

What if there was nobody to impress today?

What would life be like if we let go the pressure to present an impressive exterior to the outside world? The pressure to show we have it all under control, or that life is perfect or that we are happy, ambitious and succeeding? Most of us are installed with a grain or two of perfectionism, feeling like we have to be a certain way in order to win the approval of others. This of course means that we won't approve of ourselves until this list is also checked off. Trouble is, the list is never finished so we never get to the self-approval part. The more things we think we have to be or do in order to be "ok", the more things we have to feel bad about ourselves for not doing or being. Most people also overestimate the amount of judgement from others anyway; most of that is all in the mind, a projection perhaps left over from previous experiences. The vast majority of people are focused on their own lives and aren't focused on you at all. So. What if the pressure to be perfect and impressive was pointless?? (It is) Might be worth letting that one go today. Just being you is impressive enough, and you can choose to be impressed right now.

  

We find whatever we look for:

If we look for spiders, we will definitely find them. If we look for evidence of a damaged world, or difficult people, we will be sure to find that too. The mind is trained to notice whatever we consciously or subconsciously decide to focus on. Let's decide to keep a look out for beautiful things, pleasant surprises and miracles today. Hopefully we might just find a few.

  

No expectations today:

No expectations doesn't mean feeling negative or pessimistic. In fact, releasing all expectations is likely to lead to better feelings and less strain. It means you don't have to try to be anything or feel anything in particular. It means simply being open to whatever happens, allowing of whatever comes and a release of attempts to control either yourself or events. Let any and all pressure out of today and just let it unfold as it does. It will be fine.

  

Meditation for inner harmony:

Life will continue to happen, out there, up and down like it always has been; it's easy to forget that things are getting better, that many good things are evolving constantly, working towards improvement, so relax a little now as you read my words, as I talk to you, and you can listen, or not really listen, doesn't matter, as your subconscious mind knows exactly what to do, breathing more slowly now, dissolving tension, this message transmitting to the part of you that needs to harmonize, flowing more easily, simply allowing things to be as they are, not here to fix or change everything today, you are as you are, whole and perfect in your imperfection as we all are, flowing with the rhythm of this today, more harmonious now, more allowing of what is, simply accepting the now and open to the maybe, your subconscious mind attuned to the good around you as you naturally move towards the open doors here, all things working together for your good, and you can notice how much better you can feel, more calm, more confident and much more tuned in now, you are. Stay tuned.

  

The inconsistency of happiness:

Research indicates that there has been a change in our culture, quite a recent change, relating to our expectations of happiness. Many people now assume that it's "normal" to feel energetic and happy as a baseline, and that any deviation from this is some kind of pathology. In fact, experiencing the range of human emotions is normal. Sometimes these emotions are more intense than we would prefer and perhaps last longer than we would like. In my experience there is usually a rational reason behind these emotions, whether conscious or subconscious. I often say to clients "if I were in that situation I would feel terrible too" and also that "if you weren't feeling like that, then something would really be wrong". Have we become intolerant of normal emotional ups and downs?? Our expectations of fulfillment in relationships, job, life in general have increased. Perhaps our expectations for how we feel day to day have also become unrealistic. Some days our energy is low. Our contentment is low. We feel aggravated, anxious, irritable or bored. These feelings are human. And they generally pass if we observe them without judgement or fear while continuing to engage in actions based on what is truly important or meaningful to us. Let's opt out of the new perfectionism regarding life and adopt a new philosophy of just being a human with ups and downs. It works just fine.

  

One thing for your physical self:

Just do one thing to boost your physical health today. It doesn't have to be huge or extreme. Maybe have a little less of something you think is harmful to your system. Or go for a walk. Go outside and connect with nature. Choose more water or black/green tea. Eat lightly if this would feel good, or perhaps eat more consistently. Get a massage or attend yoga. Go to the gym if you enjoy that. Go to sleep earlier. Or do something else that benefits your physical wellbeing. It's all linked and you only have to do one thing. So what's your one thing going to be??

  

Choose your people well!

If you've been brought up in an emotional environment laced with a bit of criticism, chances are you may be subconsciously attracted to earning or seeking the attention of those who withhold approval. This might apply to friendships, romantic relationships or work colleagues and is generally a fruitless exercise. We need to work at becoming comfortable with people that freely give us love and approval and choose to be around these kinds of relationships. People with high IQ are often especially attracted to relationships that present a "challenge" (eg hot and cold people) but challenge implies a level of stress. This dynamic is becoming even more prevalent in the online dating world, where people are kept simmering on the back burner for long periods of time. Be careful who you trust with your innermost and make sure you give the good stuff to people who have actually earned that trust via loving or kind behaviour over time. As the saying goes, it's a better policy to walk through the open doors and go where the love is.

  

Stop looking at them!

You are one of a kind. You know you are! Yes there are people similar, people sharing the same goals or concerns. But nobody has your exact collection of traits and talents and gifts. That's why there's no point at all in comparing yourself to others; where they are versus where you should be. There is no should and there is no comparison. We all have our unique path and it's got nothing to do with how or why somebody else got to where they are on their unique path. We all need to notice what brings us joy and just keep walking towards this, bit by bit, day by day. Commit to no comparisons today. Where you are is where you are, and it's the right place for today.

  

The Perfection of Imperfection!

Being imperfect is excellent. Being imperfect is relaxing. Being imperfect is a hell of a lot less pressure. Being imperfect is normal. Being imperfect is being human. Perfectionism as a personality pattern sucks. Firstly it's not even a real thing. We cannot and should not be perfect. And what IS perfect, anyway?? By whose standards are we judging? If we do the thing perfectly in our own eyes, chances are somebody else won't find it perfect at all, so no matter what, we need to perfect the art of being imperfect. The perfect parent?? Doesn't exist. The perfect body? What a joke. It's all subjective and all temporary. The perfect life?? Show me one of those, I'm yet to see one. The perfect partner??Again, as humans we have strengths, flaws and quirks so I doubt that the perfect partner is even a thing. Perfect anything sucks. Aiming for perfection is something many people (much more frequently women) do unconsciously and it leads to pressure, anxiety, hyper-vigilance and a constant fear of failure. So, a new goal. To perfect our willingness to be imperfect. To be pleased with our imperfection. To enjoy our imperfection. This is the challenge I offer you today. Please be imperfect.

  

Interrupting anxiety:

Anxiety can start its wave via a terrifying thought, a horrible feeling of dread or other physical/emotional symptoms such as stomach knots, dizziness, shakiness, tension or irritability. It arrives in many guises and sometimes new or unfamiliar ones. The trouble with all the anxiety guises is that they often trigger a second round of anxiety ABOUT the symptom itself. "Why am I feeling this? When will it stop? What if it doesn't stop? What if it isn't just anxiety and it's something worse?? How am I going to get through today/tonight/tomorrow feeling like this?" And on the mind goes, deepening the spiral of fear. As hard as it is, we need to be more nonchalant about anxiety symptoms. "Oh yes, just a little anxiety or worry activity today, this will settle down soon. Not worth dwelling on it". Anxiety wants to scare the shit out of you so you really pay attention. That's its job. When we respond with a little more "Ho hum, this old thing again" we short-circuit the pattern somewhat. Figuring out the reason for anxiety doesn't usually make it stop and sometimes can deepen it if you try to do it on your own. Interrupting the pattern can be a better plan, then you can reflect later from a calmer place. Interrupt via physical activity (walk, run, swim, drive, yoga, gym etc) or brain distractions (music, reading, movies/shows, art, craft, making things, gardening, cleaning etc) or by human connection (talking to or being with friends, getting a massage, listening to calming people on podcasts or YouTube etc). Do something different. Move body or mind, preferably both. And be chill about it. Don't buy into the fear campaigns. All is well.

  

Is it that bloody hard to listen??

So many people take listening for granted. It isn't just about hearing, it's about understanding and reaching resolution. And it certainly isn't about waiting for your chance to talk again so you can argue every point. I notice in my work that many people, especially when talking with their partners or family members, are hopeless listeners, listening only for points of argument and correction, waiting to hit back like it's a game of tennis. Others are "brick wall" listeners, giving no eye contact, no response or indication that they are engaged at all. Some are chronic interruptors, jumping in to point out this or that before any sentence can be completed. Yes it can be hard to listen non-defensively when it's a contentious issue. It can be tough to hear somebody out if you don't agree, very hard to let them finish and even harder to pause and check that you heard the right message. And yet this is exactly what is helpful. Listen. Shut up. Look at them while they speak. Check the message you heard to make sure you got the right information. Then respond calmly. Don't argue or accuse or defend. Don't use "but". Train yourself to start with "Yes and..". The idea is to aim for understanding of each other and work towards a mutual resolution. Or maybe just to listen and agree that yes, they could be right, they may have a point there. Practice engaged listening today. No arguing. No defensive responses. Just take in the message and check you heard it correctly. Ask what the person would like you to do or how they'd like you to respond. Good things may come of this.

  

Reframe that annoying thing:

Certain days of the week are more prone to providing niggles. Little things that aren't really that big of a deal but can trigger enough irritating feelings to build into something that affects mood and energy if we let it. When we become aware of a mild annoyance about something we can't change or avoid, then we can take a breath (maybe three), and then decide to see the annoyance in perspective and reframe it. Reframing is the art of cutting something down to true size, seeing it differently, changing the meaning of it and choosing a new narrative. The new narrative doesn't have to be positive as such, but it helps if it's at least neutral, as in "this situation is ok". And, mildly annoying things are ok. We can handle them. We can reframe them so they don't spiral our brain into anger or negativity. Decide to look for reasons why those niggles are, in fact, ok and be pleased with yourself for skilled reframing!

  

Some food for your brain:

Your brain will appreciate something fresh, something that feels good right now and also leads to very, very good feelings later, feelings of being happy that you made the right choice for yourself, you did the thing that you can really feel good about, relaxing now, breathing in, holding it, breathing out, thinking of that one thing you can do today, for yourself, and maybe even tomorrow; if it makes you feel good then it's really no effort at all is it, just continuing to do that thing and feeling very good about it, knowing that good feelings multiply and accumulate, good choices for you, good feelings for you, more good feelings leading to more good choices for you now. Do it.

  

Seek fun! Seek joy!

It's so easy to get sucked into the problems of the world and some weeks they can feel insurmountable. Mostly it's stuff we can't control anyway so we might be able to help the world more effectively from a place of improved wellbeing. Being stressed and bogged down in problems doesn't usually lead to creative thought. So let's resolve to move towards more fun, more excitement and more experiences that bring us joy. Little things bring fun and joy! Kids find joy in small things, whether it's in nature, creativity, drawing, pets, playing, reading or just being silly. Interestingly devices (iPhones, iPads and other machines) don't bring fun or joy, just obsession and distraction. More device time correlates with less contentment. Let's move into old-school kid-mode and find more ways to enjoy the little fun things.

  

Here's your SLOW DOWN sign:

I think most of us would agree about the increasing pace of life and our constant vigilance for new information or experiences. Our brains might enjoy it (temporarily) but our nervous systems are asking for it all to SLOW down. Slow down so we can rest, sleep, digest, relax. It's not going to work well if we are racing all during the day and expecting to relax later. Most people will find that their mind is still racing even if they try to stop. We need to slow down across the day so that we aren't in overdrive. Then we can just tap the brakes lightly when we want to relax, rather than having to slam them so hard. Slow it down today. Stop rushing. Relax. Let things happen in their own time. Heed the stop sign and the slow down sign!

  

Intruder alert!!

Two kinds of people can feel like intrusions: those with no boundaries and those with no filter. Lack of boundaries means that the person doesn't read the play and back off appropriately, perhaps asking too much, being too needy, crossing the line and generally breaking the unwritten rules of social behavior. In a similar way, the person with no filter says rude/weird things, says too much, over-discloses or makes inappropriate critical comments. Having no filter is another boundary issue of course, but in a more verbally-oriented way. The two patterns often occur together and will more likely occur around less assertive people. Less assertive types may be unsettled or upset with the behaviors but have trouble knowing what to say or do. Sometimes it's easier to use a quick response such as "hey, that's not cool" or "oh, I need some time out here" and then follow with an explanation if asked why. They may or may not get it, but we need strategies for managing intrusions before they become aggravations. Avoidance of the person is always an option, but doesn't seem to decrease the stress of knowing that person is still around and may strike again. Notice if you have any intruder alerts and commit to asking for time out if you want it.

  

Morning aggravation:  

Contrary to popular expectation, many of us don't wake up feeling refreshed and enthusiastic in the morning. Some people do, and that's great for them. You may have noticed that many people don't like talking or activity in the morning, needing peace and a little time just to ease into the day. Noises and intrusions can be unsettling or aggravating to the people that need their time and space in the morning, and life may not permit this needed peace period. If you need less morning aggravation, how could you work towards it? And if you can't have it, can you make up for it later with relaxation or meditation?? Or perhaps use noise-canceling headphones and listen to music/white noise/something else? Be gentle with your nervous system in the morning, and be allowing of its need to enter the world at its own pace.

  

A meditation for managing reactions to the world:

There are times when the world seems a little strange, a little chaotic, triggers a bit of an urge to avoid, so let's build some internal protection for you now as you read this, slowing down, breathing in, breathing in the good stuff, as you do this, your subconscious mind can quietly take note of all that good stuff in your life, the stuff that truly matters, you enjoy it, you love it, it loves you, breathing out, knowing of more good stuff to come, we never really know just what great stuff is just around the corner, all is well in your little corner of the world, subconscious mind relaxing and simply allowing the good to rise to the surface, remain in focus, going back into oneness any time things out there seem too many, just returning to oneness, feeling your connection to the good, the beauty, the animals, the sky, the music, the people, the sunshine and all other good things, drinking all that stuff in, going deep inside like a liquid tonic, healing all parts and boosting good feelings now. It is.

  

The ones that won't help themselves:

Chances are, you're a helpful person. Caring and kind and offering of support. There is also a pretty strong chance that you've spent a bit of time trying to help certain people who asked for help, only to notice that they continued to stay in their current predicament, despite the pain it appeared to be causing them. Frustrating much??!! Truth is, people will choose when and if they change something big, like a damaging relationship or life habit, or emotional concern. There are those who prefer a victim consciousness, feeling they are helpless to change anyway. Others prefer the comfort of the known over the possible discomfort of the unknown. Another group wants the change or outcome but isn't prepared to do what it takes and go through the pain. And you know what? All of this is ok. We let people be where they are. If they change, it's up to them, if not, it's their life and ultimately their choice. We live and let live. We cannot want more for others than they want for themselves! Next time it happens, remember that it's ok.

  

The people that "have to be right":

Did you know that "having to be right" as a personality trait is a major relationship risk? The people that "always think they know" and close down to the opinions of others tend to create fractures and cracks in all their relationships, romantic and otherwise. Talking to a person who stubbornly insists or implies that they are right about most things is extremely frustrating, even infuriating. Many of us, in the face of that pointless arrogance or egotism, will find ourselves arguing just because the person is so rigid. Of course there's generally no point. Stubbornness and "being right" is its own punishment in that it's repellant. We all have some level of tendency in this area so it's worth being conscious of it and making an effort to remain open. Nobody is "right" and nobody knows everything. Let's remain open and flexible in attitude today.

  

The tiredness phases:

There are times when almost everybody is reporting tiredness and lack of motivation. I'm hearing it a lot right now, with people feeling like they have nothing left in the tank and one more thing on their plate would be totally overwhelming. In a tiredness phase, the best thing we can do is accept it, it's temporary, it passes and we WILL feel better again, even though when we are in it, it feels like forever. The anxiety associated with the tiredness phase will drive the exhaustion even more. Tired nerves need a rest. Tired brains need a break. Tired bodies need care. If you're in need of a recharge, decide on one thing now that you will do to help yourself. Maybe it's chilling out and not giving a **** about something. Maybe it's resting more or doing something fun, taking some time out of mind. We all feel better with a plan. Plan your one recovery thing now

  

"I was only joking, you're just being too sensitive:"

"Put down" humor isn't funny to the person who is being put down, but somehow they are often expected to laugh and go along with it in our culture. Jokes and "banter" are interesting processes; being "funny" can easily cross the line into being cruel or nasty, and the "just joking" person doesn't see why the recipient should be upset. After all, it was "just a joke". But jokes/banter can have hostile undertones and hurt people, intentionally or not. The intelligent response is not "well you're too sensitive", it's "I'm sorry, I accidentally crossed the line and I won't do it again". And the intelligent response to the person who says to you "its just a joke" is "I'm not laughing so maybe you just missed the mark". We never know what people have gone through (or are still going through) so a little empathy is always a good thing.

  

A breath of fresh air:

We can all let the stress get on top of us and feel that need for a change, to get away from everything, reduce overwhelm and get perspective, and you know and I know too, that sometimes we need that breath of fresh air, so slow it right down now, remembering that all the air around you is fresh and new, constantly recycling and re-energizing via a moment of focus, so focus now, slowly breathing in, feeling the cool glow of new oxygen move through your system, lighting up your warm places, clearing any build-ups and circulating good feelings throughout, and, as you breathe out slowly, allowing the energy cycle to build again, taking a moment just to breathe, feeling the air exit, friendly and accommodating, all is well, nothing you need to do at all right now, just be, just breathe.

  

What are you doing to slow your brainwaves?

For many of us, the pace of life is fast. Are you busier than you used to be? Find it hard to relax? Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? As well as lifestyle and stress, our engagement with technology (including phones, iPads, social media etc) great affects our level of stimulation and keeps us in the higher paced beta brain waves. The place of brain relaxation is what we call alpha waves, which interestingly is also the best state for creativity, learning and taking in new information, as well as healing from physical and emotional dysregulation. So what are you doing to slow down your brainwaves? There are many pathways; walking, yoga, meditation, art/craft, daydreaming, music and driving in a car can all be routes to alpha waves. There are also apps that you can download (especially Brainwave by Banzai Labs) that use binaural beats to lure your brain into relaxed alpha waves. Everybody has five or ten minutes where they could do this, and if you only have two or three minutes you'll still benefit. Get off social media and plug into alpha for a few minutes. Relax into a quick brain holiday and get a recharge.

  

Please be nice.

To you. Please be nice to YOU today. Choose two things that are kind to you, two comments or actions or other things that demonstrate self-kindness. Do it. Do it today and tomorrow and every other day. Encourage others towards acts of self-kindness too. You're great. Remember that.

  

"Don't take it so personally"

When nasty behaviour occurs, especially via partner, friend, colleague or family member, most of us will initially take it personally. The process of "taking it personally" means that we project our consciousness onto the other person and imagine what it would be like and what we would be thinking if we were ever to be that nasty. And we know we never would be that nasty. So it feels inexplicable; how could they do that?? How could they do that "to us"?? Truthfully, although it feels like they are deliberately doing it "to us", they are not. They are being themselves. They are doing it because that's who they are in this instance. It may be a one-off, bad mood, over the edge type thing, or it may in fact be an on-going auto pilot behaviour to be rude/superior/accusing/blaming/cruel/withholding under certain stress conditions. Some people feel entitled to behave badly if they feel they have been slighted or wronged in some way, even though you may know nothing about this perceived "slight". This is called offending from the victim position; ie that person acted in a way I disapprove of so I'm entitled to retaliate. This behaviour accounts for a lot of nastiness and is highly dysfunctional. If that person is upset with us, a) they need to take responsibility for those feelings and realize it may be a miscommunication or incorrect expectations and b) they can raise it calmly and kindly as a discussion. Nastiness is always the choice made by a person who is stuck in their belief about "being right" and not questioning their own behaviour. So it's certainly not personal, despite how it feels. It's their choice, it's very unpleasant and it's their stuff.

 

Give your mind a break today:

Too much thinking, always thinking, it's no wonder we get stressed and have trouble switching off. Begin now to take quick brain breaks all day. You can do it from another room (kitchen or bathroom if you need to escape) or wherever you are. Stop. Close your eyes. Roll your eyes upwards just a bit. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel that breath moving in and out. Think of "CALM". An image may come; let it come. Take another breath. If you can do this for one or two minutes, great. Even ten seconds will help. Do it now and repeat today for CALM ENERGY.

  

Are you forgetting something??

This message, an important message, will be short and to the point, a direct message to your subconscious mind, as you read this, slowing down, breathing in, relaxed as you remember exactly what you need to remember, you can, and forgetting all the things you need to forget, you will, trusting your subconscious mind to know the difference and to keep your mind in the now for what truly matters. Be here.

  

The Irritating People:

There are people who just don't realize that their behavior or communication style is obnoxious. If you're reading these posts you're probably not one of them; in fact you're probably into self-improvement and generally too hard on yourself. But I'll bet you notice the obnoxious ones. The self-absorbed, the know-it-all, the one that talks too much and doesn't ever listen, the victim, the me me me person, the blamer, the gossip, the sneaky one. It can be hard to know whether to confront or ignore this behavior and the answer depends on how close you are to it, the possible consequences and whether you've been given license to be honest. Generally it's best to detach and distance oneself from obnoxious people if it's an ongoing pattern. Leave them to their life and go ahead with yours. Don't judge yourself for being affected by their obnoxious behavior; you won't be the only one. Wish them well but move into another direction with people you feel good around. Most of us prefer people that are able to read the play and know how to adjust in different dynamics. Unfortunately some people get stuck in a rigid pattern. Not your fault. Wish them well and then go forth to where you prefer to be!

  

Honing Detachment Skills:

Detachment skills mean less regret, less anxiety and less self-blame. We need to apply detachment to the past, the present and the future in order to neutralize unpleasant feelings. So, here are a few key points on detachment:

1. What you feel is what you feel. There are no should or shouldn'ts.

2. What happened, it happened. It was the only way it could have gone.

3. Where you are now is where you're meant to be.

4. Things always change at the right time.

5. It always works out.

6. Whatever is happening now is exactly what should be happening now.

Try one or two of these today when agitation or irritation arises and notice the neutralizing effect of detaching from outcome. It's pretty cool.

  

Victims and blamers:  

There are those people that always find a way to blame other people or circumstances for the situation they are in. The trouble with doing this is that the unstated assumption is "I can't control this and I can't change it". Feeling like a victim to circumstances isn't great for our mood, our health, our relationships or our work. Of course there are times when things happen "to us" and it isn't "our fault". But there's always some aspect of the situation we can control or work on, even if it's just our mental attitude towards it. Many couples are so quick to play the blame game; as soon as anything happens, fingers are pointed, usually resulting in defensiveness and more counter-attack finger pointing. Blame is a useless and disempowering approach. Today, ask yourself (only where appropriate of course) "what's MY part in creating this situation?" and "what do I need to do to improve things?" Sitting mentally within YOUR locus of control is a great strategy for health, mood and success. There's always something WE can do to lift things.

  

Messages from your gut:

There's a nervous system in the gut called the Enteric Nervous System or ENS. This is why we get so many feelings in there, from butterflies to anxiety, irritation to love; many of the strongest emotions are experienced in the stomach. We also experience intuitive hunches or guidance as a gut feeling. These feelings, which are quite different from impulsive feelings, should not be ignored. Most of us have ignored gut feelings (eg "this person isn't trustworthy" or "this situation is not for me") and regretted it afterwards. If you have gut trouble, ask yourself whether this might be your body's way of communicating something that you're worried, upset or very frustrated about. Most people go looking for food intolerances and other physical triggers (which can of course be involved) but generally the main triggers are in fact emotional. For many, any disturbance to the mind or nervous system will also disturb the gut and its functions. Listen to your gut today, both for intuitive guidance and as an emotional barometer, then take appropriate action. The gut messages don't like to be ignored.

  

Are you being serious??

Sometimes I think most of us get a little too serious. When we get pressured or stressed we can let things get a little out of perspective and forget what matters. We need to have more fun! We need to remember what's funny to us, what we enjoy and what we love to do. We need to chill. Check the seriousness levels today and relax! It all works out.

  

Today is self-liking day!

Enough self-criticism. Enough misguided perfectionism! Enough self comparing to others. Enough pressure to be more of this or less of that. Today is a day for committed self-liking. Just agree to like everything that you do or say or feel today. Starting right now. Hit that internal "like" button on everything with no judgements at all. Like!

  

No apologies for who you are:

One thing I've been noticing lately is the amount of people who apologize for who they are or what they are about to say, eg "This will sound silly but.." or "I know other people have it a lot worse than me so I shouldn't even complain but.." Or "I know this is really weird of me but..." None of these statements are necessary and in fact undermine confidence. You are who you are, you feel what you feel and your experience is your experience. Women in particular appear to apologize more for who they are or what they think or feel when it isn't necessary. Be unapologetically you today. No need to censor when you are sharing your experience! There is no "silly" or "weird", it's all good and it's all human so just be authentically you.

  

Catch some stillness:

Anywhere you focus, you can find some stillness if you just remember to stop and look. You can look at a tree. Or a chair. Or a pet. Or a wall. Or the color behind your eyes when you close them. If your thoughts are firing, wait for the gap. There's always a small gap in between the thoughts, just wait for it, focus on it, notice it and go inside it. You can feel the stillness as you breathe if you focus on that oxygen moving in and around and out. More stillness means more inner peace. Be aware of all the stillness around and inside you today.

  

Meditation for greater harmony:

Even we we are in the middle of chaotic events in life or in the world, we need to be able to access inner harmony, which in turn helps to promote outer harmony as well, so listening now, breathing slowly as I talk to you here, allowing your mind to release all concern, to let go of responsibilities that aren't even yours anyway, just being, reading very slowly, deep breath, slower now, that's right, letting your inner mind listen as the outer mind hears my helpful words, all things in easy, harmonious flow within you, the system slows, it checks and balances itself naturally, you allow this to happen now, breathing and allowing the flow of oxygen in, the circulation is easy, the flow of oxygen out, rhythmic, comfortable, all things working together for good now, they are, simply allowing things to be, it all works out, it all flows easily, no more blocking the flow, from now on you flow comfortably with the rhythm of events, you detach, you stay in your own positive inner world, harmonious, friendly and funny, it's very pleasant in there and your subconscious mind can help you check in and maintain inner sunshine today and always. Enjoy your own private feeling of harmony today.

  

Music changes brain chemistry!

In fact, music is one of the fastest ways to alter our mood chemistry by somehow getting our brainwaves and heart-rate in sync with the song rhythm and structure. Undulations in music (rises and falls in intensity) seem to boost serotonin levels somehow and, providing we like the song, flood our systems with feel-good chemicals. Skip the news or podcast or random radio today and choose some music that dials up the speed and vibe that you need for the day. Need calm? I'm sure you have a playlist that gets you there. Need a boost? Then grab the playlist that speeds you up. Get on it!  

 

Oh, what now??!

"What now" is the sound of overwhelm, the feeling of having a plate that is already full and yet here comes more. Overwhelm drives our brain into fuzz mode, the emotion overloading the hippocampus which part of the brain that solves our problems. Maybe it's time to take a step back. The antidote for overwhelm is to address one thought or issue at a time. Not everything at once! Ok. First thing: what do I need to do right now to feel a little calmer? Make a list? Take a break? Breathe? Go for a walk? Meditate? Stroke a pet? Talk to a friend? Or just wait? Either way, don't sit in overwhelm, do something to help your brain think of one small thing and calmly move towards it. Forget the rest. Most things take care of themselves if we leave them alone and let them unfold. Start with one small chunk that needs to be done now and let the rest be. It all works out.

  

Watch your language!

As much as we need to be careful in how we speak to others, it's equally important that we monitor the words we use in our inner commentary. We comment internally on everything; our appearance, our behavior, how we think we did in certain situations, whether or not we are pleased with ourselves, every little thing. Are you speaking to yourself as you would to another person you wanted to love and protect?? Speak with kindness and understanding towards yourself today and throw in a few compliments and a bit of appreciation too. It's only fair.

 

Go easy today.

Take your time. Breathe. Allow today to unfold in its own time and in its own way. You don't have to control it. Everything will be ok. No striving, no pressure. Choose to go easy and just let things be.

  

Are you reading this??

Reading lowers stress hormones, boosts positive brain chemistry and helps our minds form new connections. You can read to learn, to escape, to laugh, to be absorbed or taken away into another world. Reading is correlated with so many life improvements, unlike TV which is mood-neutral or sometimes mood-depleting, and social media overuse which is definitely associated with negative effects on brain chemistry. Reading is one of the best and most underutilized forms of therapy and I prescribe books every day for my clients, both fiction and non-fiction as well as quality self-help literature. Get some bibliotherapy (literature or books for improved circumstances) today! Read something that is helpful for you.

  

What do I need to remind you of today??

It's my job to remind you of what's important to you. Your intentions, the things you said you wanted to do or change or improve, think of the main one now. How's your progress? Are you letting yourself off the hook and making excuses? Or are you taking the action you need to take to get it happening? Things will change when you do something different. Just do one thing different today and remember to note and enjoy your progress.

  

The Can't-Be-Bothered Syndrome:

Most people get a case of can't-be-bothered-itis at some point and there's a lot of it going around right now. It could be the weather, could be mid-year stuff, could be due to other circumstances. Symptoms include low motivation, not wanting to do things, lack of pleasure or enjoyment and general do-nothing-ism. You can wait it out until it goes away by itself (risky move depending on how long it takes) or you can generate the cure from within. The cure is in both thinking process and actions taken. Firstly, stop saying you can't be bothered or whatever version of that you say inside or out loud. Whatever it is you want to be more motivated to do, write it down. Write a daily list. Also write down and continually remind yourself of WHY you want to do it, what the benefits are, what you will get as a result of doing it. Remind yourself that doing it isn't that bad, and that you will feel ok, maybe even enjoy it a little. Reinforce to yourself how good you feel when you DO get it done. You CAN do it. Stop with the energy-killing thoughts and choose action-boosting thoughts. You CAN be bothered. There IS a point. Get it done and then feel good, that's the point. Do it.

  

Staying drama-free:

Life events will always happen and it's generally in the best interests of our wellbeing to minimize the internal drama. This means choosing a calm perspective on things and overriding any tendency to react impulsively. If the drama involves other people, remind yourself that it's their life and that you can view it with detachment. Say to yourself "not my circus, not my monkeys". If it is a scary or challenging event or incident, remind yourself to take one small step at a time, just dealing with the now rather than jumping to conclusions or fears of the future. If you are baited into conversational drama by others, refuse to eat the bait. If in doubt, say "I don't know what to say about that" or "I don't really have an opinion on this". Keep your nervous system in neutral gear today and don't jump on the adrenalin bandwagon. Stay chill and be drama-free.

  

Meditation for health boost:

Each cell in our body is set up to react instantly to the thoughts we think via chemical messengers called neuro peptides. What this means is that your immune system is listening and responding to everything that goes on in your mind, so let's go in there now, relaxing here, and reset the mind-focus just a little, taking a long slow breath now, holding, now releasing it and letting go just a little more, that's right, breathing in again, hold, then release all concerns with your out-breath, allowing all tensions to dissolve now, back into the nothingness they came from, so that you can now focus on wellbeing, no more focus on pain or suffering right now, committing to using the power of your mind to imagine good health, strength, I want you to focus now on remembering a time in your life, perhaps long ago, when you felt very strong inside, very healthy, maybe a memory of doing and enjoying something quite physical, perhaps even running along a beach or at a park, feeling alive and filled with enthusiasm, remembering now, and allowing all your cells to be filled with this positive memory of strength, wellness, focus and fun, all cells remembering now, taking in that feeling, holding it, and integrating it into the now so you can take it everywhere with you today, you will. Be well.

  

You deserve good things!

No matter what has happened in the past, you deserve all the best things that bring joy, happiness, fun and fulfilment for you. Check the different areas of your life: where do you need to change your attitude and allow in more good stuff? Sometimes we start to expect certain areas of life to be ordinary, or limited, or lacking, or boring or just ok. Lift your mindset. Expect and allow something better in that aspect of your life and take the required action that you need to take. You deserve great things.

  

Make a commitment!

If you truly want to improve a situation, it calls for consistent and dedicated effort. Are you being half-hearted in your attempts?? Wanting to see results without really doing what it takes? Not working on consciously motivating yourself? Well, we get the result according to what we put into it. Make a solid plan, commit to it and get the thing happening today!

  

Dump any guilt:

If ever there was a useless emotion, it's guilt. The evolutionary purpose of guilt is to notice when we make a social mistake, make amends if necessary and learn from it so that we don't repeat the mistake and lose connection with the tribe. In my experience, with most guilt, there has been no real transgression except for a perception of not meeting the demands or expectations of others. Feeling responsibility around the happiness or satisfaction of others triggers guilt in those with people-pleasing patterns, which is interesting as most of us would argue that while we have a duty to be ethical and kind, we don't actually have the obligation (or ability) to make others happy. Doing things for or with others is great, if it's a win/win. If not, then it may be manipulation. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness, it's an inside job. So next time the guilt kicks in, do a check: is there a transgression to apologize for? Or is it simply that you're feeling responsible for not meeting the expectations of another? The "guilt" may just be a remnant of people-pleasing and maybe we shouldn't be led by this trait. Go for win/win.

  

Free of the opinions of others?

You actually are free of these opinions. They do not belong to you and you have no obligation to enter into them unless you choose. Other people's judgements and opinions are a reflection of the reality they create in their own minds based on their history, their consciousness and their expectations. If you choose to see some truth in their opinions, that's up to you. You can also say "I see no truth in that so I delete it from my mind" every time it comes up. Sometimes there is a grain of truth in the feedback, but often it's just the narrative of another person with a different reality and a different agenda. Most of us are too open to the opinions of others. Decide today to put up a wall of "no thanks, not interested" followed by appropriate deletion.

  

Meditation to get clear on what you want for today:

Every day is a new day, starting fresh now, doesn't matter what time it is, it's always the time to clear any concerns so that you can focus on what it is that matters to you, redirect that compass towards your north now, breathing in slowly, through your nose, relaxing, then breathing out now, also through your nose, and again, slow easy breath though the nose, hold it, and now release it through the nose, letting all tension and resistance go now, just breathe, just be, allowing my words to flow through your eyes, into your mind's eye, into your imagination where all things begin, building possibilities and reminding your subconscious mind to slow down and check your intentions, what it is that truly matters right now, your true values, guided now towards that which fulfills you and gives you that sense of positive progress, that feeling of YES, that movement that you've been working towards becoming clearer and clearer, closer and closer, everything getting better for you now as you simply breathe and I remind your mind to do that thing that will lead you down the right path today, good choices for you now, easily, comfortably, losing any resistance and just cruising towards the good stuff. Keep going.

  

Speak from your true self!

So often we don't say what we want, what we actually need and then we are annoyed when we don't get it! We don't like to be difficult or demanding and honestly, there is no need to be. We can calmly, kindly and respectfully speak authentically and state what we need. With love. No matter what. Be unapologetic. It's not a crime to say how you feel or ask for what you want when you have done so calmly and respectfully, without any blame or criticism of another person. Be authentic. Be unapologetic. You know you're ethical and kind so switch on your truth button today as well.

  

You're on the right track.

Even if it feels like it's not progressing well enough, or moving fast enough, it's important to know you're on the right track. So many of us get stuck in how it *should* be different, or how far we *should* have advanced by now or how *long* it took to get going or even how we *shouldn't* have to do this. No point going down that feel-bad path. Keep moving forward towards your true north and don't lament the past or worry about the future, just be here and be glad you're on the right track today. Keep walking.  

  

One thing and one thing only.

Just do one thing at a time today. No thinking forward or thinking back. No multi tasking. Focus fully on that one thing you are doing right now. Be here with just the one.

  

Booster for happy peaceful connections:

There are times when communication isn't easy, when things are misunderstood, misinterpreted and even just not heard at all. The most important thing is to have harmonious communication from within yourself, so let's install some clear alignment today, as you read this, starting to slow down, to breathe more slowly, in, holding that breath a second, then really letting it go, releasing all difficulty now, allowing all tension to dissolve, back to the nothingness it came from, and I want you to use the power of your mind, in your imagination noticing that whiteboard we have in our heads, all chock-full of the things we think, do, feel, say, crowding up so much mental space in there, time to create some clarity now so taking that eraser and I want you to use the full power of your imagination now to physically erase all the writing on the whiteboard, cleaning and clearing it all now, wiping the board completely shiny, clean and new so you can feel that space, that ability to start from clarity and begin again from a state of nothingness, of zero, of openness. From that openness move back into your day with willingness to see and hear with clarity and to respond with a clear and calm mind. Enjoy.

  

Today is "Take Nothing Personally" Day.

Repeat after me. "It's not about me. It's not about me. It's not about me". Things happen, people do stupid stuff, people say all sorts of garbage, some people are going to be rude, or inconsiderate or downright insane sometimes. And you know what? It's their stuff. Not about you. Not about you at all. In fact it would (and will) happen to anyone. Whether is the world, work, family, kids, traffic insanity or weird internet trolls, it's not personal, it's not about you. Ok??  

  

Maintaining the motivation:

Starting a change is easy. Most people reach a point of pain where they can't stand things the way they are anymore and beginning a change is a relief. That feeling of "I'm finally doing something about it" kicks in. But over time, many people do not engage their motivation mechanisms and allow their choices to return to the old ways. This happens because people put it off until tomorrow, say "it's too hard", or they "can't be bothered" or decide to "reward themselves" for what they have done so far with a reward that includes returning to the unhelpful old pattern. Sometimes people just "forget" to do the new thing because they haven't made the effort to stay conscious or alert about keeping the change going. Making a permanent change is an effort. It requires some vigilance, planning, checking in, accountability and honesty about what we are doing and why. It won't happen by itself automatically, perhaps ever, regarding certain patterns. There are some things we will always need to keep an eye on if we want it to be different and that's ok. We can all tolerate a little effort and/or discomfort in order to keep a good thing going. The maintenance of the change brings the emotional reward. Whatever it is for you that you're working on changing, keep it front of mind, and make a plan to keep it going.

  

Everyone thinks they know how to be optimistic.

With the thousands of books and articles and media presentations that now exist relating to positive psychology, people know think they "know" all about it and "know" how to do it. In my observation, this is mostly not the case. Those who think it's about "just thinking positive thoughts" are inaccurate. It's about facing reality in a factual way, free of distortion. It's about focusing only on the now. It's about not thinkingthat events or other people's statements are personal. It's about seeing the world as a neutral canvas on which we project our opinions, interpretations and narratives. It's about viewing our own thoughts and feelings as projections which we can witness or watch with a degree of detachment rather than feeding them or believing them to be the "truth". Optimism requires an assessment of "what is", followed by a question about what to think or do in order to best maximize the situation. It's actually a skill that requires constant practice and honing. Anybody who thinks its simple is missing the point. The human experience is full of challenges and different optimism skills are required for different challenges. Non-judgmental acceptance and positive action is not easy. That's why we need continued practice and reminders. Notice where your thoughts or feelings become agitated, anxious, restless, bored, annoyed or gloomy. There is your target area for honing your skills right there. Be glad when you find an opportunity to work on your optimism today. Observe the facts and reframe towards neutrality.

  

Face the fear!

It's human to try and avoid feelings of fear. Fear sensations are unpleasant, whether they manifest emotionally or via the body as pain or tension sensations. People use all kinds of distractions and substances in order to not feel what's really going on for them. But remember: feelings are not there to "get rid of". They are part of our well-designed information system, intended to provide feedback about what is going on as well as guiding us towards corrective action when necessary. Sometimes the alarm system gets a little stuck (in the case of panic symptoms and chronic pain/fatigue) but nonetheless, we need to check in, face the concerns our subconscious mind/body might be experiencing and act on it. By naming a fear honestly to ourselves and spending a little contemplative time on it we often find the fear begins to resolve itself. If it doesn't, we seek good help to get further insight and strategies. But bottom line, ignoring or avoiding fear is only good for short-term survival. Long term, we need to face it, listen to it, talk it through and take corrective action.

  

Positive thoughts prescription for today:

After certain events in life, we can need a little recharge sometimes, a redirection of of the mind towards the positive, a relaxing of the nervous system towards calm, so if it sounds enticing to feel a little more comfortable, a little more optimistic, then take a slow deep breath, holding it now, then releasing it as you release all concerns at the same moment, breathing and releasing, just knowing that with every new day, in fact with every new moment, we can start afresh, focusing on what is going well and noticing certain things that we can think and feel to bring more enjoyable energy for ourselves right now, more fun, more laughing, more action, more feelings of progress and achievement just through remembering to notice what you do each day, the little things and the things that were really quite big for you, the difficulties you faced, the things you managed to get done despite obstacles, the people you interacted with and made a difference for, all of the good in the world that you contribute to every day, every moment, just by your mere presence, you don't have to do anything, just by simply being, you are a positive influence on yourself and the world, enjoy it and feel good today.

  

The relaxation of pets:

Have you noticed how dogs and cats sleep? How they instantly relax and chill, despite the things going on around them? If they are tired, they rest. When they feel ill, they rest. When it's time to enjoy fun, they enjoy. When it's over, they chill. What lesson do you need to take from the pets in your life today?

  

Speak the truth.

While there are many different kinds of stress, denial and avoidance are probably the stronger patterns leading to nervous system stress. Have fatigue? Pain? Anxiety?

Your body knows what is true for you. Stop avoiding any truth you need to face about aspects of your life needing change and take the action that your body wants you to take. You'll feel instantly better.

  

Feeling pessimistic about something in life?

There are times when things seem grim, life gets tough, people get overwhelmed and can't see a way through. Times like these, it's important to remember that you just never know what can happen; right out of the blue, the situation can take a turn for the better, all by itself without any human interference! We just never know what good things are just around the corner but those that believe they could be just around the corner seem to feel better and achieve more success. Even when things look bleak, that good thing is about ready to happen. It's happened to you before so you know it's true. Remember the good thing today.

  

Monday Self-Care!

Mondays are strange things, our bodies and minds have much to adjust to. Whether we are working or not, there is a change of energy or pace from the weekend to the week and some of us need help synchronizing. We can start by releasing any pressure to be a particular way today. Release expectations. Release the "shoulds". When the nervous system needs time to adjust, the best thing we can do is decide to just BE. Breathe in. Breathe out. No mental performance pressure, just allow your system to be as it is today. May you be relaxed and calm.

  

Boosting abundance:

It can be easy to compare ourselves to others and feel like we don't have "enough" or do as much as we "should" be doing, easy to enter into a fear mentality rather than our natural state of abundance, so let's address that now, sitting quietly for a moment, plenty of moments to choose from, just relaxing, nothing to do or prove right now in this moment, breathing in, waiting, waiting, plenty of time, now breathe out slowly, allowing your mind to fully relax and be comfortable, listening to my voice now, as I talk to you, and you can just let your inner mind take in many, many ideas, from so many places, always multiplying, growing and increasing, plenty for now, plenty for later, as one idea moves through, the next one is already moving into consciousness, plentiful, abundant, never-ending and permanent, and your inner mind can know just how fortunate you are, just how much you have and always will have, better things for you now, many ideas, ideas that grow and provide fruit for you, fruit that will feed, and feeding provides more and more growth, ideas never stop, and just when you wonder when the next idea will come, you find that there are always plenty more fish in the sea for you, swimming closer to remind you of the plentiful abundance of the universe that exists inside your own mind and you can know this today, tuning in to all rich opportunities and trusting in the law of increase. Enjoy the feast.

  

Anxiety of the free-floating type:

Sometimes we know exactly why we are worried. There's a link between our anxiety level and our current stress or concern and it makes sense to be feeling that way. At other times, we feel the feeling with no particular identifiable trigger that we can pinpoint, and it often feels more concerning for exactly that reason. This of course is known as free-floating anxiety, anxiety that floats around the psyche and appears to latch on to every situation and infect it with worry or a sense of impending doom. As we know, the brain is somewhat reassured when feelings are identified and labeled, it hates it when we ignore and repress, often escalating the feeling to get us to take notice. So when we notice this free floating anxiety, the first helpful thing to to is calmly name it, almost like you would if a friend was describing the feeling. "Oh ok, so I just have a little free-floating anxiety today". Hopefully you will hear the calmness and "no big deal" vibe in that quote, with the idea that we are not going to freak out about something so normal as free floating anxiety. The more accepting we are of it and the more we are able to be almost humorous about it. We can say "yeah, yeah, I get it, I'm supposed to be worried about everything, thanks for that, I'll get back to you" while moving on with normal activities. Don't avoid it, just jokingly acknowledge it and keep doing stuff. When it alerts you again, say "yes thanks, heard you the last time, thanks for the warnings, I'll just keep moving forward". It's a normal state and can fade quickly by itself. Obviously if it's happening too often you may benefit from professional assistance. In the meantime, use a bit of non-judgmental, humorous acceptance of the feelings that arise today!

  

Getting out of overwhelm:

Overwhelm is a horrible state of feeling like everything is just too much and we can't even process it, let alone focus on what to actually do about it. Overwhelm usually means the brain has gone into a state of stress hormone overload, with the fear-generating amygdala activating wildly and the problem-solving centers of the brain flailing helplessly. Of we think of the biological side of overwhelm, it becomes clear that we usually need to do something to calm or balance the physical processes before we approach the mind side of things. Trying to think clearly when your chemistry is out of control can be practically impossible. So we start with soothing the nervous system and activating the parasympathetic side, rather than the stress-oriented sympathetic nervous system. Exercise (walking, swimming, yoga etc) will help to break the cycle of overwhelm for many people. Another effective option is targeted breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose, count three, hold it, count three, then slowly out of your nose, count three. Only breathe and count for 5-10 min and your parasympathetic system will kick in. Then, once calmer, decide to focus on only one thing. The first thing. Perhaps the easiest thing. Write down what you will do. Then tick off that thing and move to the next. Overwhelm must be dealt with in small chunks only. One small thing at a time today.

  

The thing you're putting off:

Most of us have one thing that we keep delaying or putting off, the thing that would make us feel heaps better, or improve our quality of life. Procrastination means putting off effort, delaying it until the time feels "right" or easier. But it probably won't. The point of effort is the reward that comes WITH the doing, not before the doing. Think of taking one small step towards the thing you need to do, and actually do it today. You know you'll feel better after. It's never as big a deal as what we think it will be and the effort is never as bad as we make out. Do the thing. You'll feel good.

  

Moment of quiet:

Take a moment just to be still today. Just sit. No thoughts or plans or trying to meditate or feel anything in particular. Take that moment and know that your brain will benefit from that brief state of just being.

  

Little things that help:

Sometimes when things get weird, little tiny things can help it feel just a little better so relax now, breathing slowly as you read my words, deep breath in, and holding it, and now letting it go, comfortable now as you allow my words to reach your inner mind, the part of your mind that remembers those little things, the caring things that people did, the things you did for others, the tiny pleasures in life, the laughing parts, things that were so funny at the time and maybe you can't even remember now exactly what was funny but you remember the feeling, on the verge of laughing now as you think back, remembering the little things, the pets, animals that just seemed to smile at you, people that just get you, the connections that always stay no matter what, your connection with yourself, when you feel good, magnifying that feeling now and allowing it to build over the course of the day as you feel better and better and put all the pieces in place to have a day that is good

  

Problems, plans and hoping for the best:

When there's some sort of problem, whether it's problem eating, substance problems, anxieties, relationship issues or other areas of difficulty, most people in the world operate on a "just hope for the best" model. In other words they don't truly or clearly identify the issue and they don't put a strategic plan in place to make sure things go well. Instead they rely on mood state, circumstances, the behavior of others and the external environment and let that dictate or affect the outcome. This is not optimism. This is "blindly hoping for the best" and while it often works with one-off minor concerns, it's a terrible strategy for longer-term issues that have been problematic in the past and likely to cause issues in future. Optimism means clearly identifying problems or challenges, developing a suitable and achievable goal state and a realistic plan for making it happen, which the person ACTS UPON. Many issues can eventually become non-issues if we get out of half-baked hoping/denial and activate the right planning process. How do you want things to be? What do YOU need to do to make this happen? Who else needs to be part of the conversation? What tiny thing can you do today?

  

On social anxiety:

Social anxiety can occur before going to things, during the things themselves and of course, after the things like a post-mortem. The key question of social anxiety is about being "good enough" in some way, maybe intellectually, conversationally, physically, our perceived status, or some other factor we think people are going to evaluate. Truthfully, most people subconsciously evaluate others based on their interpersonal warmth. In other words, do they come across as a kind and trustworthy person? While we worry about so many factors to be self conscious about, all we really need to do is tune in to the people we are going to be around and transmit a genuine interest in THEM, rather than projecting some rubbish about what they may be thinking of us. Chances are, they are also thinking of how they themselves are coming across. Be present by focusing on feeling genuine interest and kindness to the others at whatever social event you're concerned about. Be a transmitter of interpersonal warmth today.

  

Risky Relationships: check your expectations:

There are some relationships (romantic, platonic and family) that are risky. Risky due to past behavior, risky in trust levels, risky due to personality factors of the people involved, risky due to our human inclination to take things personally when they go wrong, risky because humans are quite upset after disappointment and abandonment. Most people go into risky relationships with what they think are open eyes, they say "I know what I'm doing" or "I can handle it". Truthfully though, when there are alarm bells early on, ignore them at your peril. If a dog has bitten before (metaphorically speaking) then chances are it will bite you too. So many people are shocked when the dog bites *them* even though they were fully aware of the history and behavior. Past behavior is a very good predictor of future behavior in relationships unless a person has done a LOT of work on themselves and had intensive coaching (which is quite rare). Are you in a risky relationship with somebody, romantic, platonic or blood-related?? Check your expectations. Stick to the history and the facts and choose the decisions you would recommend for a friend if they asked your advice. Do the smart thing. Activate your boundaries and expect mutual full-respect behavior in all relationships.

  

Need a little luck today?

Remember: you're a lucky person, good things always happen for you and you always manage to be in the right place at the right time with the right people! The scientific research on lucky people consistently shows that holding these beliefs is correlated with experiencing more good luck. It has also been demonstrated that people who believe themselves to be lucky are more likely to take advantage of the good opportunities that come their way, leading to greater success in their chosen endeavor. Even if something unpleasant happens, we can still focus on the lucky aspects and remember all the lucky parts of it that improved things or helped us in some way. Wishing you the best of luck for today! May you always be in the right place at the right time with the right people

  

Staying true to yourself in the face of whatever:

Other people and random events have this habit of throwing tricky situations our way, tricky words or actions that we think we understand but then we doubt ourselves, we give the benefit of the doubt, sometimes a few too many times, maybe even to the point where we feel guilty or anxious or confused, and it may be helpful here, as you read this, to slow right down, take one slow breath in now, that's right, and hold it, and hold it, and now let it go, feeling a little part of that tension melt away as you release each breath, continuing with the slow deep breaths now as I have a quick word with your subconscious mind, that part of your mind that comes completely alive and awake when it's time to help the change process, it will, and I'd like to ask your subconscious mind to focus on your eyes, the idea that you can see many things from behind your eyes, your point of view, your analysis of the situation, clearly seeing the facts as they are, no manipulation, no toxic self doubt, no looping around in circles trying to figure out what and who and why, just the facts, clear as day, as they are, is what it is, not personal, it says nothing about you, you are kind and ethical and helpful and you will continue to be so, regardless of the reciprocity of the situation, true to YOU, much prosperity around you, much positive connection and correct action, and your subconscious mind can know that whatever is going on will be ok, will be more than fine, is already resolving itself, you just stay true to you and all is well. It is.

  

How to spot when you're being manipulated:

Confusion is often a sign of being manipulated in a relationship, whether it's romantic, family or friend. You feel confused about who is right and who is wrong. You think about your view of the situation and it feels clear until you think of it from the point of view of what the other person is saying, then it gets all cloudy. There may be mixed messages, behavior that doesn't match up with words. For example they may profess their care or love for you yet continually behave in a disrespectful manner, or be disregarding of your feelings. If you raise your concerns they might stonewall you (withdraw or respond with a blank look or dismissive remark). They may criticize you and tell you that you're too sensitive or that you're taking it the wrong way. Or they might talk a lot, rationalizing their behavior so that you go back into confusion about the legitimacy of your point of view. Your brain may feel addled. Guilt is another key indicator of manipulation. You may try to put a boundary in place or say no or create distance but they attempt to guilt you into submission, either with rules, logic, charm or emotion. People create their own expectations. You are free not to comply, with kindness and with an ethical attitude. If they impose the expectation through manipulative means, you will feel the guilt, confusion or anger to alert you. Get clear. Check in with somebody who is great with boundaries. Get some help about the boundary you need to draw. And keep your eyes open.

  

Feeling bad about a relationship or other key event?? Check your narrative:

As humans we constant narrate our lives internally, almost like the director's commentary on movies that you can watch on the bonus section. We comment on the rightness or wrongness of things, the motivations of others, we justify or condemn actions and predict situations and consequences. We do a post-mortem after key incidents, what went wrong and why, and who is to blame and what should or shouldn't happen next. We evaluate and analyze the characters involved and label their personality characteristics. The content and vibe of this narrative will generate further feelings. Just like movie, in life we have an experience, then a secondary experience as a result of the narrative we apply to it. If we are ruminating (going over and over in our mind) on key events, then perhaps it's time to check the narrative and make sure it's helpful and factual. Often we need a third party to assist or we get stuck in our own version of what happened. Ask "what are the facts here?" and "how else could this be interpreted?" or "what's another possible explanation for this part of the story?" Or even "how might an outsider who didn't know any of us view this part of the situation?" A new narrative brings new possibilities and new feelings. This is especially true regarding relationship narratives, either current shaky relationships of any kind, and definitely in break-up related narratives which can keep people stuck for years. When in doubt, please check your story.

  

Are you in a toxic relationship with somebody?

Toxic means somebody is using manipulation, knowingly or unknowingly. Somebody is exercising power or control or guilt or just plain disregard in order to get what they want, and yet refuses to be accountable for any emotional consequences. That person's needs are being met while the other person (you) feels like something isn't right and either tries to ignore the problem or tries negotiate, but doesn't succeed. We can have toxic relationships with dating or romantic partners, friends, family or colleagues. When you need to say no or set a boundary, your body will tell you. There could be feelings of tension, anxiety, guilt, nervousness or irritation. Many people ignore this feeling and rationalize the behavior of the other person which often builds internal or repressed frustration. Some get mad at themselves for not being assertive, others know there's no point because the other person will never understand or respond like an adult. Some people just want to hold on to the crumbs they are getting rather than risk losing the connection, damaged though it is. The purpose of setting boundaries can be to create a change in the relationship, and sometimes you will be successful. But the other reason for doing it is self respect. Staying in a toxic relationship without setting boundaries is saying "I don't matter". But. You do matter. Whether the other person agrees with your boundary is not the point. The point is detoxifying the relationship by being YOU, being authentic and truthful (hopefully as respectfully and kindly as possible) and detaching from the outcome. If the relationship is over then it wasn't a relationship. It was just a one-way manipulation. Be your authentic self today.

  

A million talents:

Most of us are so focused on self-improvement that we forget how many special things we can do, big and small, how many abilities, skills, and gifts we have that we use every day without thinking about it, without even noticing! Even by reading this, by being interested in material such as this, by making sense of it and applying it to your life, you are demonstrating and using many skills right now. You get to feel good about that! You probably notice the many skills of others more than you notice your own but it's time to tune into your million talents and feel good about them as they happen. You may not get appreciation from others as you go about your day using all your clever talents, but you can certainly boost your own brain chemistry by regularly appreciating yourself as you go along! Well done, you can say. That was great, you can add. Good on you, you can affirm! And I mean it, you can assure. Self-appreciation is the theme of today so please enjoy it.

  

System recovery:

After all you've been through in the last week or two, or maybe even three, it's great to take a pause and allow your system to go into repair and recovery mode, it's been doing well, so now you can take a pleasant moment to help things work even more effectively, so slow your breathing, here, now, take one slower breathe, hold it, then let it go, now, as you read and let your eyes move a little more slowly too, take another slower, deeper breath, hold it, hold it a little longer, and now let it go, and as you do let it go, your inner mind can help you let go of all the other things you need to release right now, with every slow out-breath, that's right, take another breath, holding it now for a moment, then breathing out slowly, just simply allowing your mind to let go of all the stored up stuff, just releasing it now into the nothingness it came from, cleaning and clearing your mind, everything in there now is neat and ordered as you breathe on, so that you can just tune into happy and let the day run itself very well. With every breath, your mind can release everything it needs to, and your body feels more and more relaxed. Just let it go and enjoy the ride.

  

Dangers of Repressed Frustration:

Repressed frustration is when we feel annoyed or pissed off or angry about something but we make a choice to keep it inside us. Maybe we can't express it due to personality factors such as approval needs or peace-keeping tendencies, or maybe we fear losing a relationship or starting a fight if we speak up, or perhaps due to our work or professional role we are not in a position to show the frustration. There are many legitimate reasons not to "express" frustration and in fact we may need to work on our frustration tolerance skills if we are overreacting or personalizing something that is just part of life (eg bad traffic, poor customer service, random rudeness etc). However, the amount of repressed frustration we experience may be affecting pain conditions, anger management, mood problems, anxiety, overeating, chronic fatigue and other health issues. Repressed frustration often creates internal conflicts and stressful inner debates about what is right/fair. Be conscious of the presence of frustration and consider whether discussing it is helpful, or whether you need to create a boundary, assert yourself or detach from something/somebody. Or maybe you don't need to anything except be more aware. Notice your patterns today and name your inner responses without judgement.

  

Days when you just don't feel like it:

Some days you wake up and just don't feel so great. It can be very hard to get it together. Maybe it's too much overload, or a poor night's sleep or other stuff going on in your life; maybe there's no reason at all, just a random low energy day. No need to freak out about days like this, we all have them. First step is to acknowledge the feelings or sensations in your body, whether it's tiredness, tension or stiffness or whatever. Label any other feelings without judging them or building a story about them. Have you noticed that stories about not feeling good usually deepen the state and make it feel worse?? No stories. Just stick to the facts without judgement. Then move on to solutions: how can you take it easy today? How can you keep your thoughts on the now, stay chill and lose any internal pressure? How can you cruise through the day in your own mind so that you don't load any extra stress?? Lower the revs a little when you feel like you're running on empty. Just stick it in cruise control and go along for the ride. Soon it will be better.

  

Rushing and stress chemicals:

Hurrying and rushing around is what most of us do, under time pressure from the minute we wake up until we finally sleep (or can't sleep!). Rushing keeps the nervous system in a state of fight/flight and will have you racing around your day flooded with stress chemicals such as adrenalin and its chronic stress cousin, cortisol. Over time, high cortisol depletes our natural good mood chemicals (especially serotonin), leaving us miserable or exhausted or both. Slow down today. Slow down in your mind as well as your body. Whatever gets done or not done is ok. And as I've said before, you're probably not doing brain surgery so slow it down, chill out and stop racing about like your life depended on it. Choose to wander instead. And remember to notice a few pretty things as you go. 

  

Fun check!

Are you having enough fun?? Could you use a little extra? Write down three things that are genuinely fun for you and also note down when you will do them next and for how long. Sometimes life gets in the way and we need to actually plan the time for fun. Do it now and enjoy the anticipation!

  

Draw the line in the sand:

The line in the sand is a real thing, a metaphor or story that can talk to the subconscious mind in a way that reminds you exactly when and where it is that the line needs to be drawn for you, in your life right now, so begin reading this in a more fluid way, flowing with my words, more relaxed, slowing your eyes now, as I talk to you, and you can just listen, and allow that part of your inner mind to come wide awake, letting your imagination drift towards that sense of the line in the sand, the important place where you get a certain uncomfortable feeling, you know you need to draw the line, you need to say "no more" and that's it, then you've drawn the line and from now on, you'll stay firmly on your side of the line, always in integrity with yourself and what you value, knowing what you know to be true, no matter what anyone else might think or say, simply choosing to know your truth and stay on that side, feeling very good, very congruent and you know, and I know too, that you can see much more clearly now, know when the boundary needs to be set, and take action as soon as you get that feeling of needing to draw that line in the sand. Be ready.

  

Remember how to manage awful thoughts??

Most people can manage their thoughts when feeling good, but struggle to remember how to approach this when they feel low or worried or panicked. Firstly, identify what you are thinking about. Write it down. Merely thinking it is too vague and less helpful. Write down the situation and what you're saying to yourself about it. This is called "the narrative" because it isn't the actual truth, it's a story you are telling yourself and it might need to be challenged a little so you can feel differently. The next step is to notice the feeling. Call it something, such as "miserable" or "lonely", "aggravated" or "overwhelmed" or whatever it happens to be. It's best not to use depression or anxiety as labels, as these are umbrella terms describing patterns rather than actual emotions. We name the emotion without judging it as good/bad/warranted or unwarranted because we know from brain research that the process of recognizing and labeling the feeling somehow helps the brain calm down. Now identify which cognitive distortions you were using in the way you were thinking about your situation. Were you personalizing something? Catastrophizing? Focusing on negatives? Predicting an unknown future?? Mind reading? Learn more about cognitive distortions if you need to. Now. Choose better thoughts, neutral, calm non-judging thoughts such as "it will pass", "I can handle this", "it's ok", "I'm just going to focus on one tiny step" or something else calming. You will notice that the feelings drop a bit in intensity once we've identified the distortions and chosen better thoughts. This very important and underrated skill can boost your energy and optimism quite quickly. Use often!

  

How to best help others:

Everyone has stuff going on. It might be in our own mind, or nasty events, illness, scary unknowns or difficulties with people close to us. Many people look like they are doing fine and don't need any help, and maybe they think they really don't need help. But support is one of the most important things in life. There are many kinds of help and support and we can offer it in the way that best suits our own personal gifts. Some people are natural practical helpers, offering meals, car rides and physical or domestic assistance. Others are more emotional helpers, providing a listening ear, problem solving and empathy. Another type is more likely to help in a spiritual way, offering prayers or mediation, other intuitive guidance or special connection. Another subset help via distraction, humor and getting away from the stress situation with other activities. Creative types may offer artwork, music, craft or some other symbolic expression of their love. If you want to help, think of your own 

  

Back to simple:

This is your reminder to keep things in perspective. Slow down, take a breath and notice the good. Then take another breath. The only thing that is true right now is you slowing down and taking a breath. Your nervous system will thank you for this. Just breathe.

  

"No" could be the word of health.

The word YES is great for us, it's about receiving, and openness and allowing certain people or events or choices into our lives. In my work with people in difficulty however, one pattern I continually notice is difficultly with the "NO". Saying NO to unhealthy situations, people or behaviors, saying NO to ourselves when we are doing something we know will lead to feeling worse, saying NO to people who are intrusive or violating our boundaries in some way, saying NO to doing too much or going beyond our physical limits. In fact I would suggest that NO, used in the right circumstances, begins the pathway to health. It doesn't always mean literally saying NO out loud when the behavior involves others, but rather demonstrating through your actions that you will not accommodate this. Choose one thing, behavior or situation that you will say NO to from now on. Make that commitment to follow through with the NO and work out what you will say and do, both to yourself and others. No is a word of strength. Use it wisely.

  

Assert a little more:

Being able to calmly and kindly assert yourself is something most of us want to improve. It's a matter of boundaries, knowing what is reasonable behavior, both in yourself and others, being able to stay on your side of the line by knowing what is your stuff and what is their stuff, as well as making sure others stay on their side of the line, so as you think about this line you are now going to draw, I want you to slow your eyes down, reading slowly to let my words enter the part of your mind that decided a long long time ago where the line was, or wasn't, or maybe didn't even know, never really knew, but it's time to know, and you can know many things, and remember when you first began to draw lines, when you were very young, perhaps beginning to write your own name, and it was so tricky to draw that figure in the right way, in the right place, but over time, with practice, with determination, you began to be more solid, more secure, more confident and able to put those lines in exactly the right place at the right time, and you got the right result and you were very pleased with yourself, you kept going and were able to draw many more lines over time, in exactly the right way, and it becomes easier and easier once you know, once you practice, giving yourself that determination and that time to learn, and your subconscious mind knows exactly how to apply this lesson for you, here, now, so take that away with you and say and do what needs to be done today. Go.

  

What do you need to cut out of your life?

Sometimes we tell ourselves we need to "cut back" on certain things. Sometimes we may need a moderate approach in order to have balance. And, there are things (which could include people, habits, substances or certain thinking patterns like guilt) that we need to cut out completely, and we've just been kidding ourselves about "cutting back". The word cut has a finality to it. If you've been trying to make a change somewhere and going back and forth in success, then there are probably thought patterns or mental excuses or behaviors that you need to cut out permanently. This starts with a decision. It requires on-going determination and a specific and well-thought-out plan. It also requires vigilance, accountability, follow-up and often external support. It means cutting out complaining and self-pity or self-indulgence. But it's up to you to decide. Whether you ready or not is irrelevant. We are never truly "ready". The questions is this: are you WILLING to make the cut and do what it takes.

  

When your achievements aren't acknowledged:

Life seems to run in themes, and one of the themes I've noticed lately when people are talking to me is their feeling of having down something or achieved a milestone, telling close friends or family about it and then not getting much back. It's probably true to say there are many people who are not skilled at complimenting or acknowledging others. Rather than saying "that's so great, well done", some choose to return the topic to themselves, give advice, point out that more could be done or make some other unsupportive comment. The lack of ability to acknowledge success of others is a bit like the people who lack the ability to sincerely and fully apologize. Interestingly these two traits often go together. People who have family members (especially parents or close siblings) with these two skill deficits often feel quite upset and hurt when it occurs. Again, we must remember that this behavior says more about that person's personality or thinking process than it does about us or our achievement. As much as it can feel hurtful, it's not about us. It's about their inability. And if we know somebody has that pattern, then it becomes about our realistic expectations of them. Internal self acknowledgement is the most important thing anyway. Do some of that today.

  

True confidence:

Real confidence isn't about feeling better than or superior to others. It's not about feeling arrogant or entitled or saying "I deserve" this or that. True confidence is about feeling equal to others, that everybody, most of all yourself is worthy of your own acceptance and respect. It means that you can trust your own view of the world without constantly doubting yourself or going to others for validation and approval. Confidence means "I'm ok. And you're ok. Even if we think or act or perform differently". Confidence is not going into the "one down" or lesser position just to make others feel comfortable. This is a particular issue for women. Strong and confident women are often labeled intimidating or worse still "bossy" (which many see as a sexist term as it is generally not used with boys or men who show leadership skills) and can be viewed with suspicion or put down by others. Confidence means being self aware and checking your behavior, being accountable if you acted in ways that go against your values, while also remaining accepting of yourself as a person. Vow to act with full respect towards yourself from now on. You're ok. In fact, you're great. Remember that today.

  

Judgement-free day:

Today is a day that we can be more conscious of the judgements and labels that we constantly apply to people and events. It's natural for the human mind to offer up these labels and judgements, but are they helpful? Do they feel good? Do they create aggravation or inner conflict? Do they create a one-up and one-down situation? Are they mostly black and white? Decide today just to let people and events BE as they are, without applying principles of good or bad to them. They just are. We can say to ourselves "I don't know, I refuse to judge this". Let's live and let live today without judging, and notice the positive effects on mood and energy.

  

Anti-procrastination:

Most of us have times where we put something off, usually something we don't really feel like doing, and as we put if off, we think we feel better but you know, and I know too that the thing we need to do sits at the back of the mind, weighing heavily as we try to ignore the discomfort, so listen now, slowing down here, even more slowly, that's right, as I speak to you, my words directly aimed at your subconscious mind, and you can listen easily, allowing my words to glide slowly into that part of you that truly wants to take action NOW, the part that knows just how much better you will feel when you say to yourself DO IT NOW, and then without thinking, doubting or questioning, you can move straight to that thing, that task, that ACTION, and just DO IT, no thinking, no asking how you feel. just get it done now, FAST, enjoying the feeling of DOING IT and having it done, just knowing how good it feels to tick the thing off the list and remove the weight from your shoulders, feeling lighter, more free, more satisfied with your ability to just GET IT DONE. You can. Go on now.

  

Dealing with dishonesty:

Most of the people reading posts like this are straight-up people who are into personal improvement, accountability and honesty. Honesty is a funny thing. When surveyed or asked, nearly all people rate themselves as very honest. Truth is, some of them are lying to themselves. Dishonesty is usually related to self image preservation. That is, telling a story that makes the person look good. This is why most dishonesty occurs. If I tell you the truth, you may think less of me, so I have to take a risk. Most dishonest people are motivated to preserve that positive, honorable, stable or successful image of themselves that they have worked hard to project. Some of this is sometimes based on shame, the desire to hide parts of the self that people feel bad or guilty about so rather than own up to it, they hide it with dishonesty. At other times it is based on superiority, the belief that they are better than others. Dishonesty is also often related to personal gain, especially money. There is a subgroup of people willing to be less than honest in order to have more for themselves. From this we can glean three patterns in dishonest people: strong motivation to present a certain image to the world, shame about certain parts of themselves they wish to hide and lastly greed or entitlement about money or possessions. And we can't take any of that personally. If somebody is dishonest, it's about those patterns and they will do it with anyone. It's not about you.

  

Is low frustration tolerance an epidemic??

I notice that I've been discussing low frustration tolerance in my office a great deal recently. This idea is related to feeling uncomfortable or annoyed about something and internally demanding that it be different or avoided in some way. It's essentially an unwillingness (often incorrectly perceived by the person concerned as an "inability") to put up with unpleasant feelings or situations that might be stressful or difficult. Most people with an addiction have very low frustration tolerance and a desire to feel a particular way quickly via a substance or activity that causes them trouble over time. Frustration tolerance is one of the most important skills a child can learn. Mostly, it's about how we talk internally to ourselves about that situation. It's the difference between saying "it's not the end of the world, it's normal, I can do this/I can handle this" compared to "I can't, this sucks, it's not fair, screw this, I'm done". As you can imagine, having frustration tolerance skills helps us in school, relationships, jobs, traffic and other tricky situations, as well as helping us handle the normal internal ups and downs of emotion, such as anxiety, feeling flat, tiredness, irritation, anger etc. Let's check in on our frustration tolerance today. It's a skill we can easily increase via awareness and reminding ourselves that it's ok, it's not a catastrophe, it's normal human experience and we can handle it. We can.

  

Make today easy.

EASY starts in the mind with and intention and translates into your choices. Not easy as in lazy. Just easy as in do what needs to be done in a relaxed manner without excessive mental activity, hurrying or resistance. Flow with the rhythm of today, just go with it and stop with the pressure. You're not doing brain surgery (unless of course you are ACTUALLY doing brain surgery as your work!!) so keep it in perspective and cruise through your day with some enjoyment and fun. Please.

  

No yelling. Ever.

One thing I notice a lot in my work is the amount of yelling and crossing the line that people are prepared to do with somebody they are in a relationship with. Most would never speak that way to friends or work colleagues, yet think so show it's ok to be critical, contemptuous, defensive, stonewalling and/or use rude or abusive language with partners because "they deserve it" or "they don't listen otherwise" or "I was retaliating" or whatever. I'm an advocate for full respect communication in which we listen effectively, then we use calm assertiveness and verbalized requests for change. Many people somehow expect partners to mind-read about what they want the other person to do, and then they build a chain of resentment when it doesn't automatically happen (because the "right one" will read our minds, right??!!) then explode when the resentment gets too much, becoming blaming and accusing. Couples often need coaching regarding how to "fight", or at least how to not cross the line when discussing areas of disagreement. Many think their fighting style is ok and don't realize the negative affects on both the relationship over time and the children or others who are around. Most of us did not grow up in families where we learned these skills, in fact most of us learned the opposite. It's ok to get coaching. It might just change everything. In the meantime, let's all check our behavior. No explosions. No yelling or abuse. Deal?

  

Clearing the energy:

Maybe you've had some difficult things happening this week, or some unpleasant people, or even perhaps some irritated thoughts or something that leaves your energy a tad depleted. There are days when we need to activate an energy reboot, and it's really quite easy, so relax now, allowing yourself to slow right down as you read my words, letting your mind go into cruise mode, just gently scanning with your mind's eye as I talk to you, here, and you can be there, but really we can both be in the same place as you make that decision now to hit the reset button on your system, that button that clears all the history and the complications, leaving much-needed free space, and you can do whatever you like when you have free space, allow it to remain clear or perhaps to fill with positive things, uplifting thoughts, motivated feelings and whatever it is that is fun for you now, and using the power of your imagination, I want you to see the color of that reset button, and the shape, and the texture of its material, and in your mind's eye, hit reset now, you can do it more than once if you need to, clearing the system of all that needs to be cleansed and cleared now, it is, the space is free and you can go now feeling much better, more energetic and calm, doing the things you need to do. Go.

  

From noxious to toxic:

The key issue with people who behave in noxious or toxic ways is that they have zero awareness of this. And if made aware, they will generally dismiss it or deflect accountability somehow, perhaps even back towards the person trying to raise the issue. There are people in the world who are open to feedback, will consider it and adapt their behavior if they know they are upsetting or harming others. However, another subset of people will continue their egregious behavior even in the face of negative consequences and/or serious requests for change. This information is to remind us all that not everybody can change and not everybody is willing. Let's keep working on our own side of the fence and let those other people be as they are, it's their pattern, it's there stuff. And it's ok.

  

The connection between boundaries and guilt:

Sensitive people often feel more than their fair share of guilt. It's natural to feel guilty if we have truly done something that violates our own ethical standards or if we were lacking in kindness on a particular occasion. However, once the incident is duly considered, we can decide what we will do next time, apologize if necessary and then mentally move past it. The other kind of guilt comes when we haven't done anything truly wrong, but we are taking responsibility for the response (real or imagined) of another person, usually family, friend or co-worker. We think we are seeing the situation "through their eyes" accurately but in cognitive psychology this thought distortion is known as Mind Reading and Fortune Telling. Generally we don't really know what a person is thinking or feeling. In addition, nobody is responsible for creating our internal happiness except ourselves, and most of us accept that. But when it comes to other people, somehow we can feel (consciously or unconsciously) as though we are in fact responsible for their happiness. This leads to guilt and anxiety if we feel we are not doing what they might want. Having strong boundaries means we know what is our stuff and what is their stuff, and we don't let their judgments in. We can consider the judgement or opinion, but it belongs with the other person and is a reflection of them and their consciousness, not you, unless you choose to adopt the same narrative. Next time unwarranted guilt raises its head, remember to check your boundaries. There's a pretty good chance that actually, it's not your stuff.

  

Eating according to weather or your health goals??

When the weather changes, sometimes our food preferences change too, and we need to incorporate different ways of eating according to our health goals. When the weather is darker or colder, we often want food that feels more "rich", which is certainly possible and not that difficult. For example, if you are a meat eater, you can slow cook lamb shanks with green vegetables. Or have some kind of curry with meat, or chicken or tofu, including vegetables and maybe even cauliflower rice. If you like bolognaise sauce you can make zucchini noodles easily with a spiralizer and serve with your meat-based sauce. Thai, Indian or other Asian style curries are fabulous with some protein and veg. You can also make a great frittata using eggs, vegetables and some feta cheese. The issue isn't really finding the recipes (easily available online or in books) but in getting your head right. Stay positive and look for ways to stay within your plan rather than making excuses, getting lazy, grabbing crap takeaway or resorting to the so-called "comfort foods" which in fact make many people feel very UNCOMFORTABLE once consumed. Make an exciting food plan and make sure preparation is quick and easy. All the examples above are quick. Want to feel good? Check what you put in your stomach. It's all connected.

  

Beware of drama junkies:

Drama junkies love to feel upset about things and only feel truly alive when their fight/flight mechanism has been activated. This can be due to a volatile childhood which makes intensity seem normal or desirable, or a particular kind of personality that needs plenty of intensity or aggravation from outside in the world. Ideally people who need high drama will find work that provides it, and that can be quite satisfying. Even then, there are those with high drama need that will still require extra outside of work or family life. Drama junkies may create conversations that lead to discussion of stressful things, or upsetting events or anger-provoking topics. You can either join them and feed it, or agree with them quietly then detach. Notice the effects of different types of conversations on you today. Do negative or upsetting topics affect you? Energize you? Drain you? Leave you feeling neutral? Think about what you want to feel today and feed the conversations that give you the uplifting feeling you prefer.

  

Activating your mojo:

Mojo is the juice that powers us forward into doing the things we want to do, it makes us aware of the life force within us and helps us direct our energy into the things that matter. Sometimes the flame can start to dwindle due to life and its many demands, so let's remedy that now, here, as you slowly begin to relax your eyes as you listen to my helpful words, words that are specially prepared by me, in order to speak directly to your subconscious mind, the seat of the flame, the control room of the life force, and things can happen without you having to do very much at all, as we move calmly and slowly into that control room, exciting place, centre of activity, bright and busy, with many things going on all at once, all the time, and we can move towards the panel that controls your mojo, can go up there and begin to slide the adjustment towards HIGHER, and you can know that your mojo can now begin to lift, slowly, comfortably, so that you may not even notice that spark at first, but over the next few days, pay close attention to the fact that you will begin to look forward to things, begin to feel just a little more happiness, more excitement, more spark, more drive and focus as your mojo flame burns higher and brighter every day now. Enjoy.

  

Motivation? Can't be bothered? What's the point?

At certain times of the year, many of us go through dips in motivation. Maybe it's the weather, or life circumstances, immune system activity or just tiredness, but we start to get that "can't be bothered" feeling and then activities we normally enjoy (or at least endure) get pushed to the side. We can either allow the phase to take its course, or we can lift ourselves back into action using mind body methods. All that is happening is that our physical energy is just a little lower than normal and we are allowing that to dictate our mental activity. If we need to break out of a motivational slump, then we can make a written list of activities/tasks (not too many) and decide that we don't have to gain maximum enjoyment right now, the pleasure can be in the completion itself instead. Make the list, tick them off, feel pleased for doing it when you didn't really feel like it. If we wait for high motivation it may take a long time (basic recipe for procrastination by the way). Or we can just do it now and feel good just because we got it done. Do it. Tell yourself you can.

  

Physical vs mental anxiety:

Sometimes we create and feed anxiety through our thoughts, usually via the dreaded "what if" scenarios and their catastrophic consequences. At other times, anxiety starts with a physical feeling. For some it's tension or tightness, for others it's shakiness or nervous feelings, for many it's through the stomach, pain, nausea or discomfort. If the anxiety starts as physical, we can train ourselves not to feed it with mental components as well. We can choose to be calm about the feelings, noting their presence without freaking out. Knowing it will pass, nothing to worry about, just the body choosing to be hypervigilant for some reason. Doing something physical (as opposed to sitting thinking about the feelings) will often help. Walk, run, move, just do something that involves activity and distraction. Or, breathe and allow it to pass (which it will). A key move is to only feed or amplify pleasant and positive thoughts and feelings. Let the others pass without judgement or freak outs until you move back into the more comfortable neutral gear.

  

Harmonious relationships:

While the most helpful thing in any relationship is compatibility in key values and preferences, we can also improve communication about differences in order to improve the relationship. A pattern I see regularly in relationships that are not functioning well is when one or both people go into the mode of "I'm right, you're wrong". This can either be followed by, "And I'm going to tell you all about it right now" or "And I can't even be bothered telling you because you should already know". Both of these versions are very damaging, no matter what the trigger. I work with clients towards full respect communication. This means that in any relationship we are both equal. Nobody is the superior being or has the right to put the other down. And we can and should communicate our concerns or requests, but we do so in a way that is respectful, without blame or labels. For example "I felt really annoyed/hurt/ when you didn't show up on time and I'd really like you to make an effort to be there at the time we agree on in future". The other person, rather than going into defense or excuses can then say "yes you're right, I'm sorry, I'll work harder to be on time". This allows non escalation and includes no blaming, labeling or accusations. Commit to full respect communication today.

  

Ways to stop magnifying negative thoughts:

When worries arise, or downer type thoughts, we can dwell (which prolongs and escalates the lower mood) or we can divert quickly and neutralize. One quick way to neutralize whatever it is that comes up in your mind is to repeat "It's getting better". Whatever it is, whether it's something you're concerned about, insomnia, or pain, or fatigue, or yourself and what you've said/done/not done, either way, reminding yourself firmly over and over that "it's getting better" will take the brain on another path. Don't question yourself about whether it's "really" getting better or try to find evidence that it isn't. Just repeat the phrase. Interestingly, using this method of auto-suggestion is quite an old and established pathway to improvement if you stick to it. After training in hypnotherapy, French psychologist Emile Coue had all his clients using conscious auto-suggestion and achieved some amazing results. His clients were to repeat "day by day in every way I'm getting better and better" many times daily. You can choose the reduced version to use as needed or try the extended phrase if you prefer it. Either way, it's a great thought stopper and diversion technique. And you know what, it IS getting better.

  

Mind clearing:

Sometimes the mind can get all gummed up and foggy with all the thoughts and all that stuff that happens or doesn't happen, and there are times when we need a little clearing, just to be able to see straight, and we can start that now; now is always the right time, so just slow those eyes of yours, that's right, reading just a little more slowly, you're doing very well, slower still, so that my words can slowly and clearly reach your mind now, that vacuum effect, where all the stuff you don't need is simply vacuumed from the mind here, gently sucked away and then dissolved into the nothingness it came from, cleansing and clearing, emptying the space, everything neat and ordered in just the way you want it, leaving room for more good, more fun, more possibilities and ideas and sleep and whatever else you might want, but simply allowing that space to clear and expand into perfect clarity, that's right, and you can take that clarity back into your day now. Stay clear.

  

Go approval-free today!

How many things do we not say or not do in case it brings disapproval from others?? How many times do we worry before we bring up topics that might be difficult? Or bring them up but worry later, going over and over what was said in case it upset somebody? Our job is to be ethical and kind of course, but our job is also to live and speak our truth within those boundaries. People that don't live or voice their truth often have slower rates of healing, especially from anxiety, fatigue and depression. Where are you holding back? Resolve to go approval-free today. Self-approval is the drug of choice. Be ethical, be kind and live the truth.

  

Overdoing the guilt?

As an emotion, guilt has a purpose. Its job is to help us review our behavior and to make sure that in hindsight we've made choice that are aligned with our key values. Were we ethical? Were we kind? Did we do the best we could, given the circumstances and how we were feeling at the time? If the answer is yes, we did, then then we could feel ok, even if we decide to do something different for next time. But. If guilt is still flowing, then something in our thought process is distorted which is generating unpleasant emotion. Usually, unwarranted guilt is made up of several thought distortions, mind reading, fortune telling, catastrophizing and minimizing the positives. Mind reading because we are making up a story about what another person or feels. Fortune telling because we think we know what will happen next and what consequences will occur. Catastrophizing because we are making a bigger deal of it that it is. When we write down our guilty thoughts it's much easier to see the distortions and correct them. Guilt is a byproduct of empathy gone awry. Keep the empathy (kindness and ethical behavior) and lose the distortions for more pleasant results!

  

Gotta do it!!

Procrastinating? Not doing what you need to do? This is your signal to get it started, get on with it, get it finished. Stop thinking, start doing and don't bother with excuses, do the thing you said you were going to do, then you can chill. Go on.

  

On a bad run??

It's strange how bad runs seem to happen. One difficult thing happens and then a few more tricky or unpleasant things often occur around the same time. Even in families or among friendship groups, weird event clusters can occur. When we feel this happening, it's important not to catastrophize; all the events are part of normal human experience, they are not personal. We are not being targeted. Also, it's important to remind ourselves that it's temporary. It often doesn't feel temporary at the time, but it is. And afterwards we look back with less aggravation and then much later on, we forget the phase even happened, like a bad cold or flu whose details or intensity quickly fade from memory. Today could be the start of a very good phase, who knows?! Keep your mind in check, hold pleasant thoughts and be ready for good stuff to come your way.

  

Setting up for good days:

On some days, good feelings arrive for no good reason, that light feeling in the chest, clear head, sense of having slept well enough or at least not caring, a feeling of possibility about the day ahead that just seems to be effortless and spontaneous but slow things down now as you read this, more relaxed, slower now, breathing, you know, and I know too that good moods don't just come out of nowhere, somehow, all the gears in the body and mind are moving in the right direction, you are moving, you are active, you are making the decisions that are right for you, doing the things you know will make you feel better, alive and connected now, plugged into the source of whoever and whatever brings you joy, and we can decide right here, now, to do more of this, to actively program the mind to do more of what works, more good decisions for you, thinking the right way, positive, knowing that you CAN overcome these difficulties that can sometimes feel so powerful, but you have more power, right now, we charge your battery to the point where you know you are stronger, faster and more alive and you can move forward today knowing that it's getting better, moving well, progressing day by day. Stay on the right side of good decisions today. You will.

  

Are you magnifying imperfections??

One of the common thought patterns that leads to depression, stress and anxiety is the tendency to zoom in on one tiny thing that isn't right, a small portion that you're not happy with, either in a task, an event, appearance, other people, relationships or jobs, or other things in life. It's as though we look at the tiny imperfection using a microscope, so it looks huge and overwhelming, and everything else is hidden. Many people do this with certain aspects of their own appearance or personality, leading to feeling completely awful about the self based on one tiny exaggerated factor. Or maybe it's one part of yourself, a habit, personality trait or tendency and for that you criticize and crucify yourself. We humans have an ability to forget the whole picture and just zero in on the bit that makes us feel bad. Nobody knows why we do it, but it feels horrible. Most people, females in particular, would ignore the twenty compliments and remember the one bit of negative feedback. This is a great example of magnifying imperfections and leads to worry, anger, feeling bad and other unpleasantness. Go for balance. Check the big picture today and make sure you deliberately look for what is going well and what is already good.

  

Personalizing stuff and its effect on mood:

Traffic, other people's behavior, the events of the world, the rudeness of words, tiredness, illness and other unpleasant stuff; it's very easy to take it personally and feel bad that it's happening "to us". It can feel unfair, unjust and like we did nothing to deserve this. Interestingly, those last thoughts I just mentioned, about the unfairness of things, and how we didn't "deserve for this bad thing to happen" are the most likely to trigger a cycle of self pity, despair and depression, perhaps even resentment. We also know that people who ruminate about the unfairness of things are the most likely to have anger issues. The opposite of personalizing is to know that all the things that happen are part of the human experience, and that it's nothing to do with fairness, worthiness or deservingness. Some stuff just happens, due to a collection of precipitating factors that may have very little to do with us. De-personalizing things that happen is helpful for prevention of anxiety and depression. It's not always about you. Stuff just happens. After it's happened, we do the best we can to recover and get back to life. Resolve to take nothing personally today.

  

Thanks:

Today is a day to write down a list of things you feel very thankful for. Anything at all. Small things, like your cup of tea or a pleasant scene around you. Bigger things like people you care about or enjoy. Huge things like life itself, nature and the bigger picture of creativity, intelligence and renewal. If you have trouble thinking of things, just say "thanks" or "thank you", over and over. Your brain will get the message.

  

The trouble with anxious or negative thoughts:

The real issue with these unpleasant thoughts is that they arrive seemingly out of nowhere and then run so fast through the mind, generating new and similarly unpleasant thoughts as they go. Of course we know the strategy is to notice the thought, label it without buying into the content (eg "catastrophizing thought") and then go back to the realistic facts which are always better and less dire than we first think. In other words, we challenge the truth of our "story" and arrive at a more factual conclusion then we feel a little better. Again though, the issue is the speed of the thoughts. If you think you can successfully achieve thought changing by using your mind alone, you would be one of the few people in the world. None of us can, they go too fast. The only way to start retraining the mind is to do what most people can't be bothered doing, and that is to write down the negative thoughts and stories that pass through. All the time. Then, identify the distortions in the thoughts (write it down) and correct the facts (yes, write that down too). You'd be amazed how effective this is, for anxiety, depression, pain, CFS, insomnia, relationship issues and loads of other life things. I might cover a few types of thought distortions if this would be helpful in identifying where things go south. In the meantime, get a notebook. Get ready to write.

  

Less and less anxiety:

Most people want the feeling of calm inside, that feeling that everything is ok and there's no need to worry, so it's time now to take a minute, won't take you long at all to listen to my words, as you slowly read, slowing down your eyes, and then your breathing can follow in some relaxed way, whatever way feels natural to you, easier somehow, and more pleasant, just simply allowing things to take their course, trusting that nature knows how to do things, how to help creatures breathe, in fact how to create a creature from a tiny seed and give it life, how to turn a tiny pod into a fully grown tree, how to heal when there is an injury, how to restore full function when there has been an imbalance, and how to create peace after a storm has passed. And just like the waves that vary, sometimes huge and thick, sometimes flat and easy, emotions can change very quickly, and all can be restored into calm by letting the wave pass by, or pass over you or maybe even under you, and then you can move right on with your day, knowing that all is indeed well. It is.

  

Neutral Thought Training:

If we experience anxiety, depression or fatigue, managing our thought process is a crucial part of recovery. Negative and/or scary thoughts or feelings are naturally going to arise and we need to know what to do with these. Typical thoughts are catastrophising, freaking out with what ifs, focusing on only the negatives, personalizing it and projecting the bad stuff into the future. Once you label it in your mind "anxious thought/feeling" we need a neutral thought to go straight towards. Here are a few suggestions for a repetitive homing thought during anxiety:

- Repeat over and over "Thank you"

- Repeat name of beloved pet or person. 

- Say "Just breathe" repeatedly

-Count forwards to ten or backwards repeatedly. With each breath if you prefer. 

- Notice and label all the green you can see. 

- "Peace". Say it and breathe. 

- Focus on love. Who do you love? Who loves you?

- Alphabet- choose a theme (eg beach, TV shows, sport, bands etc) go through and choose one that starts with each letter.

So you get the idea. Label the anxiety thought then move straight to the homing thought. As many times as it takes. The brain gets the diversion message eventually!

  

Anxiety mind triggers:

Anxiety usually starts with a feeling, and that's the thing we focus on. But when we trace it back, there's often been a series of thoughts or worries, sometimes conscious and at other times operating below conscious awareness. Once we are aware of the anxiety sensation, many of us then go into an anxious thought spiral, often based on catastrophising, future fantasies and self criticism. For example, worrying about something that has happened or is about to happen, thinking of the unpleasant ways it might go, thinking how it always happens and will lead to more bad things and then getting mad at yourself for thinking like this, but being unable to stop it. Sound familiar?! When an anxious thought it feeling arises, call it. Label it "ah, there's an anxious thought". Don't figure out what or why. Just notice, label, then move on to a chosen neutral thought. Do this twenty times if you have to. The neutral thought is something you may want to have organized in advance. More on this aspect tomorrow. In the meantime, practice labeling the thoughts without buying in or adding to them. Don't build a fire. Our aim is to extinguish, not fuel the flames.

  

The New Day:

Every day is a new day. Every day is a chance to change. Every day is a chance to start something or to start again if you want to. Every day we should be ready for good things to happen. Every day is new and can be completely different from other days if we actually look for the differences, or of course it can feel exactly the same as most other days if we look for that sameness. We control most of our day by our thoughts and reactions. Some things that happen will be beyond our control, especially the aspects that involve other people. But we can take charge of our boundaries, our thoughts, and how we choose to respond. How we respond determines how we feel. We can either feed a negative spiral or circumvent it by detaching and deliberately going in another thought direction. Choose the new day with the new thought today. Your mantra today is "it's a new day!".

  

Make it a GOOD Friday!

Make GOOD choices. Focus on what makes you feel GOOD over the long term. Think GOOD thoughts. Do something GOOD for somebody! Think of all the GOOD things and people in your life. Reflect on how things can turn out to be for the greater GOOD even though it may not seem so at first. Use the word "GOOD" as often as you can. Make it a GOOD one for you and those around you today!

  

Sticking to habits:

Changing habits isn't easy and often takes a bit of time and some coaching. Many people WANT to change what they do, whether it's food habits, sleep time, alcohol or substance use, exercise, relationship patterns or other things. But wanting isn't enough. If we stick with the "want to" phase, we will go well when we feel good, when we naturally feel motivated. But that won't be all the time. We get stressed, we get tired, we become overwhelmed or lose our mojo or are around other people that don't support the change and then suddenly, it isn't so important, it can wait, it's already ruined, what's the point, might as well start next week, isn't the right time now. This pattern is common and people usually self-justify it at first, then go into guilt mode later. The solution is in the decision making process. When the choice moment comes, go beyond "want to" or desire. Go long term. What is the outcome you ultimately want? What is the important value here? What is the most intelligent thing to do, given the outcome you want? Challenge the self-indulgent or self-pity or lazy thoughts that arise and focus on what matters to you. Then make your choice according to those guiding principles. If you live according to your own key values, you have integrity. If you lie to yourself and cheat yourself out of what you know is important to you, you won't feel good. Make the right decisions for yourself today!

  

Stubborn attitudes and beliefs:

Stubbornness is a mixed bag. It can be a part of determination, as in stubbornly refusing to accept defeat, or stubbornly persisting in the face of opposition or difficulty. The flip side of stubbornness is the inability to remain open, listen or take in new information. The other more worrying part of stubbornness is a refusal to admit when we are wrong, or to say sorry and show remorse. Many people have a defensive streak and will deny any possible wrong-doing. While this may protect the ego, it does not protect the relationship with the other person involved. Check internal stubbornness. Ask, is this a time to be "right" or is this a time to be flexible? There are times for both, of course, but stubbornness causes more problems in relationships than many other personality traits. Ask what is more important: the ego and its need to be right? Or the feelings of both parties in the relationship. Let's do our part to lessen the unnecessary stubborn aspects in our world.

  

Anxiety, concentration and blood sugar:

So many people who have nervous system issues do not manage their blood sugar effectively. There is a direct connection between anxiety and unstable blood sugar. Skipping meals (especially breakfast) will mean that your blood sugar will drop and your adrenalin levels will skyrocket. High adrenalin means more anxiety and/or agitation. In addition, your brain won't be adequately fueled, which affects concentration, memory and clear thinking. We are also more likely to overreact (leading to increased anxiety) when not adequately fueled. For the optimal mood state, calm nerves and focused mind, we need a balance of protein (palm-sized), low GI carbs (ideally vegetables) and good fats (just a bit) at least three times a day. Some people need five or six smaller meals, others are better with three. Yes there is a current buzz about intermittent fasting (eating dinner early then not eating at all until late morning/lunch the next day) but this works for some, not all. Those with less stable blood sugar may find it disturbs their sleep, energy and mood. The key is to find what works best for you. But remember, if you want good feelings, choose the right fuel.

  

Beware fear tactics:

Fear tactics are designed to scare you and make you believe that a perceived threat against you is real. It may come from within your own mind, perhaps your own inner catastrophizing. Or other people, including friends or family may "warn you" or trigger thoughts of anticipated harm or rejection. The media is full of fear messages, possible harm, multiple dangers, talk of "epidemics" and other threats to your safety and health. Remember your grounding thoughts: you are safe. All is well. Do not be caught in the illusion of fear. Most people's brains will automatically overreact to the fear message in order to protect the self. It's up to us to put up the stop sign, re-establish perspective and proceed with relaxed awareness. Anything we need to know or do will become apparent. Until then, our job is to remain calm. Enjoy the calm today.

  

A short reminder for your inner critic:

Slow down now as you read these words, as I speak to the inner part of your mind, the control room that manages all change processes, because you know, and I know too, that your inner critic has been too active lately, judging yourself, perhaps maybe even judging others at times, comparing, contrasting and being a little to harsh on yourself, and you know that it's time to turn down the volume on that voice now, fade out that voice, let it blend into the white noise of background life, no longer necessary, we thank it for its input, but it has now been superseded by a much more balanced and positive voice that searches for and comments on the ok, the good, and the better than good. Listen for THAT voice today. It will be much louder. That voice says all is well.

  

Your quick reminder:

Your reminder today is that it is not personal. Whatever it is that is bothering you, it's not personal. It's just the way things are, not about you, not your stuff, it's just the human condition. Some humans operate differently from others and that's ok. It's not about you. Remember.

  

Your next short reminder:

This reminder is about activating your boundaries. We have two sets of boundaries, one for outgoing, which appropriately contains our own words, emotions and behavior as well as one for incoming, which protects us from the inappropriate words, expectations or behavior of others. Check yours today and activate them with emotional intelligence.

  

Short reminder time:

Today your personal reminder is to make choices that are best for your body. Great choices in food, water, activity, relaxation and rest will power up your body and boost your mood. Think long term and think best choice.

  

A week of short reminders:

Today is your reminder to take a breath. Whatever that means for you, physical, emotional, activity level, relationship or other issue. Remember to take a deep breath.

  

Tapping into connection:

Sometimes it can be easy to allow feelings of disconnection or isolation to float around in the mind, feelings about people or relationships, wishing they were other than what they are, and as you know, and I know too, whatever we focus on will expand, so watch my words here now, slowly, letting your eyes relax into an easy glide, dissolving all tension as you read now what I'm saying to you, slowly and comfortably, as my mind connects with yours, synchronizing as I pass these helpful words to your inner mind, the subconscious mind, where all change takes place now, connecting to all positive points like a strong electrical circuit, you know which energies you want to align with, and it doesn't really matter whether they are nearby or not, or even whether or not they are still moving in your human scene, using the power of your mind, you connect now with the love, the essence, with the bond you know is always there and you can feel it now and always, just by tuning in, always with you, always connected, always available through the circuitry as long as you tap in and so you tap in now and you can notice the positive charges begin to flow within your circuit. Stay tuned today.

  

Your personal reminder:

This is your reminder to look after your personal wellbeing today. You know what this means for you. We all have a priority for self-care; for some it is the correct nutrition and no excuses. For others it is staying away from toxic substances no matter what the triggers are. For others it is remembering to stop, breathe and relax. Some need to remember to walk, or move or boost activity. Or do some fun things, hang out with fun people or avoid certain other people/activities. Others need to meditate and take time out of mind. Do what you need to do for yourself today please.

  

Not feeling good?? Work backwards:

When you're not feeling good in yourself, it's generally something that has developed over time. For most people, mood is a slow build and if going in a negative direction, can be easily triggered into a depressive or anxious mode of thinking. Mood builds according to two major areas: physiological processes and emotional/cognitive focus. Physiological factors include what you eat, what you don't eat, what you drink, substances consumed, blood sugar patterns, hormones, brain chemistry patterns, energy/exhaustion, nervous system activity and sleep or rest cycles, among other things. These areas have huge affects on depression and anxiety triggers as they set the scene for how your body/mind will respond. Similarly, thinking patterns and emotional focus have a massive influence on mood build up. Catastrophizing, continual worry, only seeing the negatives, putting yourself or others down in your mind, angry thoughts, "what's the point" thoughts, judgmental thinking etc will deplete your good mood chemicals and lead you into the viral spiral. Moods have patterns. If you want to feel good, think physiology and think focus. Even if you don't feel great, attending to these areas will give some relief and a sense of direction.

  

The catastrophizing brain:

Some brains freak out, and when in the grip of anxiety, start throwing out terrible worst case scenarios about people, the future and things in general. It could be that you are catastrophizing about your relationship, your children, your finances or even the future of the world. Catastrophizing thoughts aren't rational or helpful, but they feel "true" when in the grip of an anxiety flood. Later on, when you feel better, you can look back and wonder what the hell you were thinking, but they certainly feel realistic when they kick in. The trick is to recognize that it's just anxious catastrophizing as it happens (not easy but can be achieved if consciously worked on) and to label it as just an anxious thought rather than buying into its content. Continue to label it as "anxious thought" and take your brain somewhere else with action that is distracting and positive. If we continually disregard the catastrophizing content, it will fade away more quickly over time, and arise less. Keep your thoughts real today!

  

Things that go right:

The human brain may have evolved with a tendency to track for problems in order to survive. This is especially true for those of us with "hyper vigilant" systems that constantly scan and check and have trouble relaxing or shutting off. We can settle the hyper vigilance via calming activities or interventions (including relaxation methods and key nutritional supplements) and we can also teach our brain to scan for something that WE choose rather than an autopilot choice. For example if you ask your brain to scan for all the blue that you can see around you, you will find the blue. In a similar way, you can ask your brain to scan for all the things that go "right" or well for you today. Our brains are so used to scanning for possible danger or discomfort but we can employ this same process more consciously just by being aware and making a clear choice. Scan for friendliness, things going smoothly, areas of bodily comfort, pleasant scenery, colors you enjoy, animals, smiling people, nature sounds and anything else that pleases you. Let your brain use its evolutionary mechanism for your enjoyment today!

  

Time to focus:

The thing you need to do, it's time to remind your mind to get in line, to move towards the action you need to take, so watch my words carefully as I speak now to your inner mind, slowly, with the friendly and gentle nudge towards what you and I both know you can do, can easily do, can make it happen really quite smoothly, in a relaxed way, releasing any tension now, letting your inner mind focus like a laser beam right on that thing you need to do, in your mind's eye moving now towards your target and remembering the positive feelings you can now have in advance, with more good stuff to come!

  

That thing you're upset about:

Think about the thing that might be bothering you right now. I'm assuming you've probably analyzed the problem side of the issue enough. Now it's time to focus on the elements that will move things forward. I want you to ask yourself three questions about this:

1. In relation to this situation, how do you want to feel?

2. What story are you telling yourself about this situation and where do you need to challenge fact vs interpretation?

3. Given your emotional goal and the facts, what small step would be the best one to take and when will you do this?

When we have a problem we need to examine the human feelings that come with it. And then, if we don't want to remain stuck in the problem state, we need to move towards solution focus using questions such as those I've stated above! So what are you going to do now??

  

Kindness check:

We know that most people are more kind and patient with people at work compared to people they live with. Are you using up your kind, patient energy during the day and then bringing impatience home with you? Is there somebody with whom you'd like to feel more kindly, or to act with more kindness? Kindness is a state of mind in which we accept the person for who they are whether we approve of their actions or not, and we feel a generosity of spirit towards them. Generosity of spirit means we assume the best, we feel open and we transmit positive energy. Where do you need to work on generosity of spirit? On the roads? At home? With certain friends or co-workers? While watching TV? Or just in general? Kindness plus appropriate boundaries (ie do not let in what should not be let in) seems to be a recipe for wisdom. And as I've said many times before, kindness should be one of the top criteria for choosing partners when dating. It's a strong predictor of success in all relationships, again paired with appropriate boundaries. Consider one key relationship today and check in with the kindness/boundary balance.

  

Sticking with changes you make:

Most people only make changes when their level of emotional pain reaches an intolerable level and life feels out of control. This applies to changes such as eating, exercise, substance use, drinking, anger management, addictions and relationship patterns. Often, something has gone wrong, or there is some unpleasant catalyst for the change of behavior or habit. Changing things and getting it under control feels great. At first. At first, there is a kind of high, a relief, a feeling of euphoria about finally getting started, about feeling better, about making progress. Then, over a few weeks, the change begins to feel "normal" and less exciting. Old thoughts begin to appear, old urges are triggered, it becomes "boring" or maybe just less compelling, less important somehow. Excuses kick in, permission to go back to the old way is self-granted. This is where the true work begins, in terms of the maintenance of change. Some call it self regulation, the ability to keep yourself on track doing the things that you know are right for you. It won't happen by itself, you have to help it. Put up reminders about why you are doing it, read or listen to relevant experts/authors on the topic, seek coaching which provides an accountability process, set up talks with a friend or group making similar changes. Do something. Keep the momentum. YOU need to trigger the momentum.

  

People and pain:

It's hard to watch people in pain. Sometimes we can see it, sometimes it's well-hidden. Pain increases stress hormones, and as a result, lowers serotonin, the good mood chemical. It's really hard to project a good mood when you're in pain, and some people just can't. For many, pain can lead to withdrawal, grumpiness, moodiness and irritability, especially if the pain has become chronic. Pain can also generate a lot of anxiety, as people worry about doing what they need to do, and how long this will go on, and what it might mean. Many people, such as those with fibromyalgia, CFS or other chronic pain conditions, feel like this every day. Nobody can see the pain they feel. And when they try to tell people, most don't really understand or empathize with just how debilitating chronic pain is, especially pain with no "obvious" cause. People understand a "back injury" or a broken arm, but chronic pain conditions are invisible and therefore remain largely unacknowledged. This of course only adds to the pain and mood effects of those particular conditions. Many people are in silent, secret pain, both physical and emotional, and it could be affecting the behavior of those around you without you knowing. Be aware today just in case.

  

Allowing inner peace:

Amongst all the turmoil out there, we can still access a feeling or thought or word of inner peace, here, now, reading my words, slowing down, beginning just to let your eyes glide much more, easily, slow down, breathing slower, tension releasing, simply dissolving all that stuff that you used to hold on to, now just really letting go and allowing your inner mind to remind you of what you already know, and you do know peace, deep, inner peace that is only found by looking through in the minds eye at what is really true and real, all is well and you can remember this feeling now, remembering a time, perhaps long ago, when you felt very very relaxed, nothing bothers you now, all things working together for your good, just simply allowing things to be as they are while you bask in the mellowness of inner peace today. You can.

  

Remember your mission today.

Only you know what your mission is. Your mission is the thing that gets you out of bed, that gives you purpose and satisfaction. It may have nothing to do with any paid or unpaid work that you do, and it might be something others don't understand. But it's YOUR mission, you have accepted it and now you must let it propel you through your day. We know when we are on mission. We feel purposeful and focused even though it may also be tiring or stressful. Sometimes one mission finishes and you know it's time to wait for the next mission to reveal itself, which it will, in good time. Be honest with yourself about whether your mission still propels you forward or whether you are ready for your next assignment. And be prepared to be patient. Not all is revealed in the timeline we prefer but it works out right in the long run. Tune into your inner compass today and move forward in the direction of your true mission.

  

Working on your optimism game:

When stuff happens, we need ways of redirecting the negative thoughts so that we don't end up in a spiral. When the problem thought of feeling arises, ask yourself a series of optimism-boosting questions to change the flow of your narrative. Let's say you wake up with overwhelming fatigue or pain, you feel pretty awful, and have a few thoughts arising about how bad you feel and how hard the day is going to be. So you could redirect by asking yourself:

- Given how I feel, what's my goal today? What can I focus on?

- What tiny thing could I do that might help me feel better or minimize the effects of how I feel?

- Who can I speak to or see that would help me feel better?

- What do I need to do for myself so that I feel ok about feeling this way?

- What do I need to do to stay calm about this temporary situation?

- What small steps can I take now?

Asking questions changes thought content and prevents the viral spiral into depressive thought. Use them often!

  

Remember your mission today.

Only you know what your mission is. Your mission is the thing that gets you out of bed, that gives you purpose and satisfaction. It may have nothing to do with any paid or unpaid work that you do, and it might be something others don't understand. But it's YOUR mission, you have accepted it and now you must let it propel you through your day. We know when we are on mission. We feel purposeful and focused even though it may also be tiring or stressful. Sometimes one mission finishes and you know it's time to wait for the next mission to reveal itself, which it will, in good time. Be honest with yourself about whether your mission still propels you forward or whether you are ready for your next assignment. And be prepared to be patient. Not all is revealed in the timeline we prefer but it works out right in the long run. Tune into your inner compass today and move forward in the direction of your true mission.

  

Good feelings now:

Most of us want more positive feelings coursing through our veins, easing the nervous system and promoting pleasant thoughts so just read my words slowly now, relaxing the eyes so that they can in turn relax the mind, and soothe the body, your body and your mind remember many good feelings, past, moving into the present just by the feeling of their memory, letting your inner mind remember now, maybe something from when you were very much younger, a happy time, a fun time, running freely on a beach or somewhere else completely, in your own world doing something, just not thinking, being IN the fun, your mind and body at one, free, just being in that moment where your mind forgot to think and only remembered to BE, and you can be, today, in this moment, quite free, right now, just free of care, being willing to feel good, willing to feel a little bit better, willing to take a holiday from cares or concerns in the inner mind, just letting the pleasant feelings flow naturally. They will.

  

So you want to eat better and be more healthy?

Improving our nutrition, exercise and substance choices is a simple way to boost mood and energy quickly. The only barrier is in the mind. For some people, the mind will throw up all sorts of reasons why: "it's hard, it's difficult, it can't happen now, it's self-deprivation, it's not the right time, other people don't have to do it, why should it be so hard for me, it's my hormones, it's not fair, it's too much, I can't be bothered, I'm overwhelmed, there's too much conflicting information, I've got too much on anyway, I'm going out so I can't do it, and it's always been a problem for me". I hear these patterns in my clinic most days. That narrative is a justification for staying as is. Truthfully, any change takes a DECISION, which means that other options are cut off and a single path is CHOSEN. It's a CHOICE. We need to make that choice consistently, using SELF DISCIPLINE. We expect children to employ self discipline (ie doing things they may not want to do, for their own good) but somehow some of us expect adulthood to be fully free with regard to how we treat out bodies. We have a CHOICE. We can go with urges, impulses and desires, or we can CHOOSE to do the best thing for our precious body and mind. And it is precious. Treat your bodymind with respect today and CHOOSE well.

  

A little bit of self-appreciation:

None of us want to be arrogant or entitled, or to project an attitude of superiority. People with these traits have a tough time in life, and often can't understand why they offend so many people and burn relationships. On the other hand, most genuinely great people don't realize how great they are, and may even tend towards feeling inferior in some way. It's important to be able to appreciate our own strengths, the unique or interesting combination of traits that we bring to the world. Nobody else does it just like you! And who are you to judge yourself harshly? It's like a piece of art, it just takes the right eye or the right perspective to see the beauty and complexity in something that may appear simple. Or the perfect simplicity in something that may appear complex. If you choose, you can decide that you were made perfectly, and that you present a unique and pretty cool package to the world. Notice the things you do, feel and say that you enjoy, as they happen. Begin to self-appreciate a little more as you go through your day today!

  

Tiredness and adrenal recharge:

Sometimes after being particularly energetic during a busy or stressful time, we hit an adrenal crash. This feels like a phase of tiredness in that we feel unmotivated, not able to think clearly and have thoughts about just staying in bed or lying on the couch indefinitely. When the adrenal glands have been forced to pump out energy for an extended or intense period, they need rest and recovery time and only your body can decide how long that takes. If we try and force it we often end up feeling worse. Many of us become worried or anxious during tired phases as we are "busy" and have "so much to do", and "how long will this last?" But the busy-ness probably got us here in the first place, and those tired phases are an invitation to look at how you could do things a bit differently. Where do you need to relax more? Is it more mind relaxation or body relaxation? What could you do more of? And less of? Is there anything you have been overdoing or avoiding doing? Listen to the body, it knows much more than the mind, and is not subject to the "shoulds" that we do in our head. Tired phases pass more effectively when we listen to what the bodymind wants, and follow through. Listen today.

  

Blank mind and Fog mind:

There are days when we can't think. Days when we don't seem to be able to talk properly. Days when we walk into a room and forget why we came. Days when we can't remember names, events or other things from the recent past or long term stuff that we "know we know". People blame all kinds of things for these brain blanks; age, tiredness, hormones, illness, medication and premature cognitive decline! But these foggy days happen to everyone. They pass more quickly if we just know that it's a temporary fog/blank and pay no attention to it at all. The brain is clever. If you fear something, it will show you more and more examples to increase your vigilance. So if you want sharpness, search for it. Notice the times you feel really on the ball, the times when information or language just flows effortlessly. Happens all the time. Notice this today!

  

Getting over stuff:

Sometimes things happen, things that get stuck in the inner mind, and it's hard to shake them, can be hard to integrate and move forward, so with your eyes slowly gliding over my words, so I can talk to you, here, your subconscious mind knows to listen carefully to my helpful instructions, relaxing the mind, letting all tension dissolve from the face, the neck, the shoulders, softer now, allowing a little inner peace to slowly make its way around your system via my words to you, reassuring your inner mind, all is well, everything is in perfect order, your subconscious mind can begin to settle, less analyzing, less worrying and negativity now, just simply being, allowing everything to settle in its new place, happier, more confident, knowing what matters and forgetting now about what doesn't matter anymore, because there is really no need to remember, dissolving what no longer serves you now, focusing on the good from now on, now is the time and here is the place and you're more than ok.

  

Inner peace for today!

We can't control the level of peace around us, but we can contribute by working on our own level of inner peace. Inner peace comes by accepting what is, whatever that is. Just say "It is". And feel the deep breath that comes when we agree that "it is". We don't have to label it good or bad, right or wrong, or judge it in any way. We can just breathe in and say "it is". We can increase inner harmony via this choice of acceptance, breathing into what is, and letting go the tension or resistance. We don't solve any problems from a state of fury, frustration or annoyance. Return to inner peace, then let the mind direct you in ways you may not have expected.

  

Negative thoughts arising!

Every single person, even the most happy or optimistic among us, are subject to negative thoughts. They could be about ourselves, the world, other people or events and they arise from nowhere in particular. Some researchers have suggested that the "negative bias" of the brain may be protective, helping us to predict, identify and deal with potential threats or problems. While this is possible, many of our negative thoughts are pointless and just make us feel bad for no good reason. The difference is in the amount of attention we pay to the thoughts. Optimistic people are aware of their negative thoughts, but find ways of diverting and reframing. On the other hand, those with less optimism often buy into the thought as if it was true, finding further evidence and generally forging mentally down the black hole. When a negative thought arises, cancel it. Say "I cancel that thought" or "I delete that thought". Cancel or delete, whichever word is stronger for you. Then actively choose a new thought. If your negative thought is about an event or situation, cancel or delete it, then choose "it will be ok, I can handle this" or something else that takes your brain pathway in a different direction. Don't run with negativity! Calmly cancel or delete, then move to possibility today.

  

Not good enough??

When it comes to ourselves, many of us judge so harshly, we should be better, we should be faster, quicker, more calm and less stressed, doing more of one thing and less of another, or just different in some undefined way. And yet, we are as we are, perhaps we don't need to change so much, perhaps we are already good enough! Yes we can have intentions, goals, areas of progress, and we can also be good enough already. Try it out today, when the critical voice kicks in, say to it "it's ok, I'm actually good enough". And you are.

  

The mantra of EASY.

The word for today is EASY. Decide now that everything that you need to do can be easy, your body can feel easy, all interactions can be easy and pleasant. Whenever you come across a challenge, you can say "This is easy". EASY is a word with semantic density, and has a positive effect on the mind and nervous system. Easy isn't about the outcome, it's about the process, the attitude and physiology you choose to enter the day with. Be easy today.

  

Are you listening?

Your bodymind is carrying a bit of stress right now, and it's time to let that stuff go, to release all the unwanted, unneeded, no longer necessary residual, just dissolving it into the nothingness it came from, so listen now, hearing my words as I slowly talk to your inner mind, and you can slowly listen as you read this, allowing your eyes to easily focus and your mind to calmly absorb, just noticing any areas in the bodymind where the color isn't quite right, the places where some excess or build up has occurred, and now, here, using the power of your mind's eye, simply allowing that stuff to be drained away, sucked out using that powerful energy vacuum we all have access to, taking it all out, dissolved and gone, leaving only clean energy, healthy cells and a strong clear nervous system, feeling much better now, cleansed, purified and ready to flow with the rhythm of your life. Go with ease today.

  

Goals, failure and misery!

We know that setting goals and being outcome oriented is great for achieving success in work, sport and other hobbies where we have a certain level of control. One of the key principles of goal setting is to decide what outcome you want, but ONLY focus on the part which is in your control. For example if you were starting a running program, you might have the goal of going out running three times per week for thirty minutes. That is achievable. However, if you set the goal of beating the times of other people, well, that's not within your control. Working with athletes involves focusing on improving PERSONAL BEST, rather than comparisons to what other people are doing. There's a reason for this: what any other human does is not within our control, so if our goal is focused on that, we are setting ourselves up for misery. In addition, when we set a goal or intention, we need to release ourselves from attachment to the outcome. We never truly know what's best for ourselves or others; even if we thought achieving a certain thing would be for our highest good, it may true out that some other outcome was best for all concerned. We don't know, so we release attachment and control. And we feel better.

  

  

We are responsible for the energy we bring!

It's easy to blame circumstances, other people, traffic, bad mood or other factors for allowing ourselves to bring angry, irritated, gloomy energy to our interactions with others. Of course there are times when it's difficult to hide how we feel, and times when we really need to discuss how we feel. But in the workplace or other social interactions, we all need to be aware of human sympathetic resonance. This refers to the way our energy or mood will affect the other people around us. If we are angry, negative or gloomy, there will be effects on others. Some will feel anxious, some will feel drained, others may try to compensate with extra positivity and some may feel like the air has been sucked out of the room. A small subset will be unaffected and may not even notice. If we can't get ourselves out of a negative space after a day or two, we may need to take further action. We know ourselves what promotes our optimism, whether it's talking to a trusted person, reading, music, massage, yoga, meditation, creative activities, rest or relaxation, increased exercise and self care. We must take responsibility for boosting our vibe without any self recrimination. Good vibes to you today

  

Frustrations and irritations!

We can feel very thwarted when things don't go the way we want them to go, leading to tension, agitated feelings and inner resistance. Frustration is really just thinking and feeling that things "should" not be the way they are, and "should" be the way we prefer. Frustration tolerance is a key skill in maintaining positive mood and avoiding depressed or angry thoughts. We learn to tolerate frustration as children by the way our parents and teachers help us manage disappointments or refusals. We learn to fight it, to tantrum it or alternatively, to self-sooth, which means to calm ourselves down and find a way to allow or accept what is happening. Even if our frustration tolerance is low (which will be exacerbated by tiredness, chronic pain, illness or overload) we can work on the self-soothing skills. Remind yourself of why it will be ok, that you can handle this, that you can move on to something else, that it's just temporary, that it's not such a big deal, that you can accept it. The quicker you can use your mind to dissolve irritation or frustration, the less your system 

  

Distracting the anxious brain:

Anxiety feels like something we should pay attention to, a horrible alarm signal that is loud, unpleasant and signaling imminent danger. If we are genuinely in danger then it isn't anxiety, it's an appropriate fear response. Mostly though, there is no imminent threat, just a nervous system with an overactive alarm mechanism. We can re-train this mechanism with help, training it to turn down the noise. Our first step is to train the brain to pay less attention to the noise and focus on something else. By redirecting focus, we send a message to the subconscious mind that we aren't as interested, and over time the alarm will reduce in intensity. We do this via distraction mechanisms. We give the brain another job to do so that it pays less attention to the physical or cognitive anxiety symptoms. This distraction job can be anything, from something creative, to counting, to naming objects, to changing breathing, to coloring in, to repeating a mantra or key words. The trick is to CONTINUE doing the distraction method rather than do it for ten seconds and say "this doesn't work!" The method is in the discipline, and the knowledge that anxiety isn't worth paying attention to. Find your distraction task and stick with it.

  

Pulling the plug on any pain or stress:

Most of us store some residual stress or pain or frustration in our bodies, manifesting as tension or discomfort or perhaps just a sense of unease or tiredness, so let's tune in now, tuning in to any stored stuff, anything you need to release here, slowing down as you allow your subconscious mind to do the work for you, relaxing while your inner mind makes all the required adjustments now, focusing your attention on the color of what will be released, the shape, and the associated feeling, and through the power of your imagination, allowing your mind to know what the color will be once it's all released, and the shape of what will drain away, and now, when you're ready, using your mind's eye, simply pull the plug and let it all drain out of you, like water going down the plug hole at the end of a shower, releasing now, letting it all pass easily through, leaving you cleansed and renewed and ready to go forth into the rest of your day. It will.

  

Flat mood days:

Some people have very consistent moods. This may be due to levels of serotonin, testosterone and other body chemicals as well as genetic structure or hereditary factors such as the speed/intensity of our personal fight/ flight response. Based on our personal chemical mix, some of us may have moods that fluctuate more than most. Generally, people have a preference for the up moods, they feel better and bring more internal fun. Learning to allow and manage the flat moods is also important, as they could be due to tiredness, adrenal dysfunction, substance use, thinking style, stress, overload or other personal circumstances. Mostly they are also temporary. Of course, if flat mood becomes the norm, help is probably indicated. But the odd flat mood requires self care such as rest, clean fuel, space, doing things that recharge the system (whatever that is for you, we are all different), a dash of optimism and perhaps discussing the mood with a trusted friend or professional. Often discussion and acknowledgment of the mood will help it shift if given the correct relaxed attention. Tune in today and ask what your mood needs right now. Then do what it asks. It knows.

  

Responding to mood or negativity in others:

Sometimes we have people around us that are genuinely going through a hard time and are mood affected. When mood is low, people can sometimes react with more irritability, negative interpretations of situations and hostile attributions towards others. From our own perspective, these perceptions can seem so obviously off-base, so clearly a result of mood rather than reality, and yet the person involved may not see it that way at all. As well as responding to their worldview, we may also have a secondary reaction to their energy state. Low mood and negative perceptions can be draining to be around at times, especially when we like and/or love the person in that state. It can be hard to watch them go through that phase, knowing that perhaps we can't help or influence their situation and it can also be hard to feel the effects of their mood on our own mood. When we are connected to somebody, mood is somewhat contagious and our nervous system will respond (scientists refer to this as sympathetic resonance). Awareness is key. Know that it's their phase and work on staying in your own positive state. Focus on optimizing the good and allowing them to be as they are. It's temporary.

  

Forget the hype, remember the love!

Today is a day to think of love, in a loving way. Love of the present, love of the past, love for key others in your life, romantic or platonic or familial, it's all love and it's all you. Be with the love today, forget all the expectations and analysis and commercial crap and just stay with the love.

  

Are YOU feeling lucky?

Lucky is a state of mind, a choice, a decision about what to focus on out of myriad possibilities available to you at any moment. You can feel lucky about the past, lucky it was good, lucky it wasn't worse, lucky you survived it, lucky you are still around to tell the tale, lucky to be breathing or smiling or laughing, lucky to live where you live, lucky to know the people you know, lucky to see the sky, or the ground or the animals or birds, lucky in the present moment, knowing you will also be lucky in the future. And you can be lucky to know that luck is something you always have, as long as you know you have it. Interesting thing about the research on luck, lucky people believe they are lucky and that makes them more lucky! And what appears to be "bad luck" often turns out to be a dose of good fortune, even though it didn't look that way at first. You know you are lucky. Go into the world as a lucky person today!

  

Happiness booster shot:

Most people have a time in their life, perhaps a few key moments where we can remember feeling the flow of happiness, that feeling of everything being perfectly ok, tinged with a slight excitement, and maybe you'd like to feel a little more of that, so slow down your mind now by easing your body, by slowing your reading down so that you can easily glide along with my words, here, relaxing now, allowing your system to become one with these words that can remind your mind of happy, remembering that feeling now, deep in all the cells, that feeling of being ok with past, present and future all at once, that feeling of possibility, of knowing that good things are here now, and that more good things are just around the corner, happy, at any moment, at all moments, good things just waiting for you, and you can move towards them, towards happy, without even knowing, really just allowing the good to unfold in front of you, it will. Remind your mind to be open to momentary lapses of happiness today. You can.

  

Comparisons lead to trouble.

Most of us find it hard to stay in the now and focus on where we are and what we need to do. It's so easy to look at the lives of others and make assumptions, or even to look back at our own past and think that things used to be "better" or that we used to be "better" in some way or another. These contrasts are perceptions based on mood and may have very little truth to them anyway. In my office I often hear people idealizing the lives of others, and/or aspects of their own past, as well as where they "should" be in their lives now. Comparing your achievements, your energy, your looks or even your overall happiness to that of others will generally lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, guilt, immobilization or frustration. Decide to stay in the now and be allowing or accepting of what is. From a place of acceptance we can then move into optimization, of making the best of what is, without going into negative frames in our minds. Be here now, stop any comparisons and then optimize the aspects of life that matter to you, starting with just one thing. All tiny bits of progress will light up your brain.

  

Times when we feel lost:

There are phases where we feel so focused, motivated and clear, we know what we want and we know where we are going. Then, in other phases, sometimes without obvious cause, we feel lost, directionless, unsure of our place and uncertain of the direction in which to move. It's like the system goes into a neutral gear, waiting and idling. For some people this is seen as a natural part of life (which it really is) and for others it is distressing, especially if it goes on longer than the person is willing to allow. There are many ways to get out of a slump, depending on personality as well as casual factors. Of course it is also quite fine just to wait it out. Or you could try:

- writing down things you have enjoyed most 

- writing down what really matters to you 

- working out the one thing you could focus on or one key goal 

- talking to somebody you trust about the situation 

- reading a relevant book or article 

- doing something completely new that you wouldn't normally do

- fixing the basics, sleep routine, food, exercise

-meditation 

Action creates momentum so start anywhere you like.

  

Chronological Age? Quite meaningless.

Everywhere we look there are references to age and what it means for health, ability and looks, especially for women. Consumerist agenda requires us to feel fearful and insecure so that we invest money in the youth promoting (age-defying) products they wish to market. Many people also hold strong beliefs about age and what is or is no longer "appropriate" to do, wear or be. All of this is just groupthink bullshit of course, but it's easy to trigger doubt and fear around age and where you "should be" at that "stage of life". Truthfully we all follow differed paths at different times and there is no standard and no "should". Age is arbitrary and not meaningful at all. Don't buy into numbers and don't link your achievements, confidence or beliefs to any of it.

  

Motivate:

To motivate means to put into action mode, to stimulate and to activate energy towards a particular direction. To feel motivated we need a why, plus the energy to move forward towards that why. Go back to the WHY. What matters to you? What is it that you want to feel, think, do, be or have? Once the correct challenge is there, the dopamine flows. Dopamine is the brain chemistry of motivation, of wanting to move towards the goal state. Now check your physiology. Are you sludgy due to lapses in nutrition, sleep or activity level? Which can you improve first? Then check your mindset. Are you being negative, flat, complaining, doing "what's the point" thinking or generally being a cognitive sludge? Fire up your thinking into "I can" and "I will!" and don't let lazy thinking slip past its useful point (lazy thinking can be great for rest and relaxation!). Motivate, put yourself into physical and mental action mode and keep stepping forward bit by bit, reminding yourself of each tiny chunk of progress. Just go for it.

  

Some extra LIKES for your brain:

Social media has attuned our brains to the concept of the LIKE, the thumbs up symbol now triggers a release of positive mood chemicals instantly, below our awareness and says YES to whatever it focuses on so I want you to listen now, to my words, as I talk, here to you, and your mind can remember to LIKE all the bits that speak to you, all the things that you can begin to notice today, seeing things now that you LIKE, thumbs up for that, and people that give you that LIKE feeling, noting now that there are many things to LIKE, feelings, experiences, ideas, music, people, pets, plans, memories, many things all get the LIKE from your brain, all get the thumbs up symbol now and simply allowing that idea of the LIKE to enter your consciousness, a LIKE for today, a LIKE for you and who you are and who you are becoming and who you have always been  and a LIKE for all the things to come and a LIKE for right now this second. Thumbs up, all good. LIKE.

  

Not personal! Not personal!

Which thing this week do you have to remember not to take personally?? Somebody did something, said something or neglected to do/say something you expected from them? Any way it goes, we can agree that it's not your stuff. It's a statement of THEIR consciousness at the time, THEIR beliefs and THEIR assessment of appropriate action. They are neither right not wrong. They just are the way they are and will act accordingly, regardless of your preferences. Yes, sometimes our words and actions can provoke a reaction in others and we need to be aware of this. But unprovoked stuff?? Not about you. It's THEIR stuff. It's not personal.

  

Good social choices!

How about from now on, you see more of the people you enjoy seeing and feel good after spending time with? Make a list (it can be a small list!) of the people that really add energy and fun to your life. Think of how you could have a little more time or contact with them. Also make a list of your "should" people, the ones you feel obligated to see or contact but you don't enjoy it or maybe even feel drained by it. Resolve to spend less time and detach yourself a bit, even if these people are relatives. Sharing DNA does not necessarily mean sharing positive energy, and many people feel toxic around certain relatives yet spend time out of duty. Limit time and choose neutral space. Get in and out fast. It's actually a loving choice to operate this way as it is more likely to preserve any positive rapport that may exist, rather than overdosing on the person and veering into tension or conflict. Resolve to choose wisely how to spend your time and energy going forward!

  

Openness!

Being closed is being shut down, stubborn, fixed, not interested, not curious and not connected. Being open, on the other hand, is welcoming the new, keeping your eyes and mind open to ideas, experiences and differences, being engaged, allowing possibilities. Choosing a mindset of being open to experience and possibilities can lead to greater optimism and happiness. Don't close down any options. Say "maybe". We don't really know, we can't really judge. Say "I'm open to possibilities" whenever you feel your mind shut down or being resistant today.

  

Better sleep for you:

The brain is a strange creature when it comes to sleeping, imagination always overrides will. If we want to sleep and worry about not sleeping, we often take longer to get there, and/or awake feeling unrefreshed. In fact, most people of all ages feel unrefreshed, tired and a little groggy upon waking, and this feeling usually doesn't correlate with sleep quality. Good sleep is boosted by the perception of ADEQUATE sleep. The more we feel we sleep well enough (regardless of objective evidence of sleep or subjective perception of the feeling of having slept well) the more our mind and nervous system will relax. People who are "good sleepers" don't think much about it. In contrast, those who feel and verbalize that they are poor sleepers are programming their brains for the continued perception of bad sleep as well as increasing the likelihood of increased arousal due to concern about getting to sleep. We can decide that we sleep well enough and, while still keeping good sleep habits, can allow it to be as it is. No more concern about sleeping "better", from now on, you can just know that you sleep well enough. You're ok.

  

To help your nerves relax:

The first thing about relaxing is allowing yourself to be right here, reading my words to you, letting your eyes move slowly across the helpful instructions and really just slowing down, softening, letting all tension dissolve into the nothingness it came from, the nothingness that it really is, because all that really is, is right now, you reading my words to you, as I speak to your inner mind, and remind your mind of what to remember, all is well, all is in perfect universal order, the bigger picture is taking care of itself, naturally, easily and without any need for your control or concern, and in fact you know, and I know too, that there are things you can just forget about right now, just let them go, allow them to resolve themselves in their own time, in their own way, they will, the universe is very happy to run itself, you don't need to run things at all, just let them be, enjoy the ups and the downs, neither good nor bad, all just experiences, allowing experiences to be as they are, getting easier for you now, more relaxed, more able to flow with what is, trusting what will be, and enjoying your new ability to relax into life. You are.

  

A day without complaints:

A day without complaints about anything is a very difficult task. It's amazing how much of our conversation with others consists of complaining, about work, the weather, other people, money, traffic, the lack of something or too much of something, the state of the world and more. Nothing particularly wrong about this; it's how we connect and share experiences with people. It is, however, an interesting exercise to go just one day without a single verbalized complaint, just to see how it feels and to note how much of our conversation is based on mutual vent and complaint. You may find you don't have much to say! Try it if you're up for something a bit different. And don't announce it, just do it and note the results!

  

Beware of negative self generalizations:

When something goes wrong, do you ever make comments along these lines?? These are some I've heard in the last week or so.

"That's just my luck"

"Story of my life"

"Typical me"

"Here we go again"

"This always happens to me"

"If it's going to happen to anyone, it's sure to be me"

It is helpful to only say these types of self generalizations in relation to good fortune or positive events. Do not reinforce unhelpful beliefs or self fulfilling prophesies!Unfortunate events are better framed one-offs and need to be seen as temporary and not personal to you. Fortunate events, on the other hand, are exactly your luck, always happen to you and form the story of your life! Be lucky today.

  

Procrastinate much??

Let me guess what goes through your mind when you procrastinate:

Don't feel like it yet? It can wait? Do it tomorrow? Wait until you feel the urge? Can't really be bothered? Too overwhelmed right now? It's all too hard? It's not the right time? Will do it soon, just not now? You're not ready? Too much else going on right now? You'll do it on your own terms and in your own time? Who cares anyway? It doesn't even matter?? 

Well we can say all that and more if we want to but the truth is, it probably does matter and it needs to be done NOW. Do it now. No more thinking of reasons not to, it could be done before you even think of another excuse. So JUST DO IT. Today is the day and now is the time. Do it now.

  

The thing you worry most about:

It's funny how most of the things we worry about never actually happen or turn out not to be the problems we thought they would be. Does your mind need to be re-focused elsewhere? Give it a new job, even if that job is just naming things that are fun or good or attractive right now. We mainly worry about things we can't control, otherwise there would be no point worrying, right?? But then, if we can't control it anyway, probably no point worrying no matter what. And we can learn to manage worrying by taking the mind in a new direction, even if the thoughts return, they are just thoughts and we can let them pass without buying in. Resolve to waste less mind space with worrying today!

  

Don't get hooked into Christmas drama!

Christmas drama is a thing. It can be about logistics, presents, who goes where, and when, and for how long, and isn't it our turn, and last year you did or didn't do this, and why aren't you staying longer (or shorter) or somewhere else, and who gives what to who and who said or didn't say whatever. Apparently it's all meant to be about peace and joy but maybe some people forget?!Don't buy in to Christmas drama. Say "Let's not go there" if stuff comes up and make sure you activate all your helpful boundaries! Stay in the peace and joy vibe. It's much more fun.

  

A reminder to remember what matters:

Sometimes during busy periods of life, overwhelming phases of life and times when we don't feel great, negative thoughts and fears can take over. The pressure of everything can feel too much and can block our experience of the good. When it's harder to see the positives, it can be helpful to deliberately focus your thoughts on what truly matters. What matters to you. This of course will be a little different for everyone, but some of the answers I've had when I've asked people what truly matters to them include: love, friends, inner peace, creativity, pets, friends/family/loved ones, learning, progress, past achievements, music, exciting things to come, financial stability, health, community, spirituality, books, nature, sports, fashion, art, freedom, being active, being challenged, security and individuality. What matters to you today? Choose one thing to help focus mind and emotions if things get tricky.

  

It's the season to feel calm energy:

Things can certainly get a little busy right now, and you know, and I know too that things have been going on, both inside and out, and that you may need a little top up, a little extra burst of power so that you can stay, and you can remain at your best, so now I want you to slow your eyes as you read my words, one slower breath, then another, that's right, easing everything now, simply allowing my words to flow from my mind through to your eyes, slowing down, and into your mind too, where they can begin to filter down to all the right places, the places that need to know, to be calm, to remain calm, it's really all ok, everything is in order and everything works out, all the pieces fitting into their rightful places now, that's right, and beginning to allow that energy to build, from a calm place, from a place of knowing, a place of infinite order, a place of perfect peace, yet strong energy begins to flow, not wasted on things that don't really matter, but flowing towards the rhythm of your life, the stuff that matters, the stuff of energy, calm, joy and pleasant experiences for you now, just allowing it to happen naturally, it will. Start now.

  

Check your story!

How are you interpreting things today? Are you expecting it to go well? Subconsciously predicting any flat, boring or unpleasant aspects? Our expectations tend to influence our moods as well as our outcomes. Check your story, frame it towards the positive, keep your inner language upbeat and focus on what you want rather than what you don't want today!

  

How's your fuel consumption and performance?

Sometimes we all need a reminder that our body is a luxury vehicle and needs to be taken care of accordingly. We need the cleanest, high quality fuel for optimal performance, which means good protein and loads of vegetables. We need to take our vehicle out for a spin regularly to let the engine run and hit maximum capacity; this means move! Get out, do something, charge up your energy system in a way that is exciting for you! We all need a full detail and polish every now and then to keep things looking flash, and we need a few passengers to have fun with too. Check your personal fuel gauge today, make the appropriate adjustments and get out there and give it a few revs!

  

Newness:

It's two weeks into the new year and for most of us, the changing of the year triggers us to think about the changes we want to implement. What are you committed to doing, or feeling this year? Maybe it's something you'd like to do more of or less of. More experiences of a particular type? Different choices? Perhaps to be more consistent with a healthy habit, or to reduce an unhealthy habit? A change begins with an idea, develops into an intention and is cemented by a solid plan that builds in our human tendency to return to baseline. In other words, don't expect your new year motivational spurt to get you through. You need a plan that incorporates the times when you "don't feel like it". True and lasting change is based on a discipline rather than a desire, which for most of us, ebbs and flows based on mood and circumstance. If you're serious about change, get a solid plan, make yourself accountable and ensure that you get some coaching if you need another person (most of us do) to help stay on track. A new beginning starts now.

  

There's mindfulness and then there's Kindfulness:

Being mindful means being conscious of your thoughts or experience, the idea being that you are present in the moment without needing to label or judge your experiences. You can observe that you have a tense feeling or a headache or a joyful feeling without analyzing it, investigating it, trying to get away from it or trying to hang on to it. Just allowing it to be there. A step away from that mindful focus is training your mind to be kind to everything that is there, everything within you. Many people are good at kindness to others, not so good at kindness to self. Being kind to anxious feelings, being kind to the body and its aches or discomforts, being kind to the parts that need healing, being kind to the urges for destructive or self sabotaging behavior. That doesn't mean indulging those parts, just being nice to yourself, as well as firm and kind, as you would a small child who wanted to do something it shouldn't. Help your brain move towards Kindfulness today.

  

Re-routing the anxiety habit:

Perhaps your mind is one of those minds that tends to idly drift towards worry and anxiety, a restless brain that needs a focus, and focus can change physiology in an instant, which can lead to pleasant or not so pleasant feelings depending on where your brain chooses to mentally spotlight, so listen here, now, slow your eyes so that your mind will follow, let your slowing down eyes remind your mind to carefully and slowly listen to my helpful words, as I talk here, to you, reminding your mind that it is safe to trust, that the world and the planets are held in place by positive forces stronger and bigger than you or I, that we alone do not have to take care of everything, no need to control or worry, you know that the universe always has your back, you're being looked after, just like the leaves on the trees, the birds in the sky and the planets that are always held in place, and that you can relax knowing that all is well, all is exactly where and when it needs to be and it's really ok. It is.

  

Point your brain towards good:

As we all know, the human brain is naturally set up to watch for negatives, problems, dangers and trouble. While it's a certainly a good survival mechanism, it can skew our thoughts and feelings towards concerning matters unnecessarily. We can redirect the thought traffic by deliberately seeking the good, the pleasant and the comfortable. Look around you right now. Find one beautiful thing, one interesting thing, one thing for which you are appreciative and one thing you are truly thankful for. Repeat this three times today and help your brain remember to know what's good for it!

  

Misunderstood by family:

Unfortunately, personality type does not really run in families. It is not uncommon for sensitive, psychologically minded or emotionally intelligent people to be the only one in their family that operates that way, especially those who have done a lot of work on themselves and their patterns. It is natural for open people to want a more open, honest and respectful relationship with family members and in an ideal world, this would happen through discussion of feelings, sharing experiences and asserting boundaries. However as you may have noticed, many of us are not living in that ideal world and may be greeted by family members who don't really listen, are invalidating and are not able to listen to feedback or respect boundaries. This can feel quite hurtful, and is especially activated during the holiday season which we idealize as "family fun time". Truthfully it isn't fun for everyone, not all will feel welcomed, validated or understood. And we can see this for what it is, accept people for who they are, see the differences with non-judgmental detachment without taking it personally. It's not about you. It's about the weird chemical mix that is present in all families. Some are more naturally compatible than others. Not your fault. But it is your responsibility to reframe, detach, see the positives, look for areas of connection or agreement, set boundaries and walk away if and when you need to. Live and let live.

  

A moment's peace:

So you're a little busy, perhaps a tad overwhelmed, maybe running a little flat, maybe needing positive messages, well, slow down right now, open your inner mind to the good stuff, let my helpful words run in through your eyes, all the way into your brain, all around your head, down through your neck, melting away that stress and strain, down now through your shoulder muscles where you carry all that tension, letting it go now, relaxing, just being, taking in my positive words, getting better, just leaving all that other stuff behind for a while, allowing yourself to FEEL GOOD, that's all we need really, to feel good, starts with the mind, filters all the way down through the body, circulating very pleasant colors all around the heart, moving down to calm the stomach, feeling good in there, all things working together for good for you now, it is, and down through your legs, helping those muscles to feel really really good, powering you for whatever is to come, plenty of resources, you can do it, everything will be ok, it is ok now, just keep breathing and moving forward in peace.

  

Happy Monday to you:

Slow down. Notice and enjoy the clean air, the food, your drinks, nice people, good music, the sky, your breathing, how good things look, pleasant smells, warm feelings and interesting ideas. They're everywhere and you can take them in for increased happiness. Now.

  

People who can't say sorry:

There is nothing like the power of a genuine Sorry. When we are disappointed, upset, angry with somebody, often all it takes is for them to hear how we feel, really get it, say they are sorry and promise to work on it. But so many people can't do this. Their version of sorry (which may or may not include the actual word sorry) is "sorry but,. Sorry but I was busy, sorry but I was stressed, sorry but aren't you taking it the wrong way, sorry but that wasn't what I meant, sorry but that wasn't my intention. If you do a sorry but, then all the other person will hear is the bit after the but. I see this every day in my clinic when working with couples, co-workers or family members. Resentments build up and are only magnified by the sorry but. What the person learns is that there is no point saying how you feel or trying to assert needs as the other person doesn't really get it. Or what it takes to make them get it is arduous, exhausting and draining. Let's start with our own sorry. Be genuine. Be sorry they are upset, even if you don't fully get it yet. Listen without defense, justification or explanation. Just be sorry and say so. When the apology has been genuinely heard and accepted, then things can move on. You don't always have to give your side of the story. It's for your benefit, not theirs, unless they specifically ask for it. Being sorry and shutting up is actually ok.

  

Focus!

If we want to make a change, we need to give it all of our focus. Most of us vaguely want a few changes, maybe just thinking about it sometimes when the pain is too much then allowing it to fade to the background when other things come into mind. Focus leads to action! Find a way to keep what you want in front of mind; put up post it notes, put reminders on your phone to alert you at key times, ask other people to remind you or hold you accountable. If we focus on too many things, something will lose out. Choose your most important thing and give it the focus and attention it needs to create lasting action!

  

Fuel for your journey today:

There are times when we register a little low on fuel, a little empty in the tank, not quite powering along in the way we like, and a little extra boost is always helpful, so slow down here now, breathing, in, waiting a bit, breathing out, relaxing now as your eyes slow down and you just allow all tension to melt, shoulders releasing now, that's right, just being, listening to my words as I ask your very helpful subconscious mind to review the fuel levels now, sending you in your mind's eye into the recharging station, using the immense power of your imagination to lock into the pump and get that fuel line started, flow begins now, refueling you with the highest quality stuff, filling up now, fuel gauge already beginning to show more, nearly full, feeling ready, always ready to launch some extra power on demand, rocket fuel levels high now, ready for anything, highest quality fuel and the most responsive engine system, you are power packed and ready to race now. Go.

  

Sending you good vibes!

What do you need today? Inspiration? Peace? Some fun? A sense of order? The knowledge that somebody really gets you? The belief that everything is truly ok even if it doesn't feel like it? New ideas to flood your brain? A feeling of energy and focus? Well, consider it yours. This message is a signal of the good feelings to come your way today. Keep a look out for improvements and that lift that you might be looking for. It's on the way!

  

Giving and receiving:

Most generous and kind people are great at giving to others of course, but not quite so great at receiving. Think about whether you're a great receiver. Can you happily take and thank people for compliments? Do you ask for and accept help? Do you readily and easily accept gifts? Do you welcome other people's offerings or prefer to do it yourself?? Be open to receiving today. It's more generous to be open and not deprive people of the pleasure of giving to you! Research consistently shows that kindness and helping behavior raise serotonin levels in both the giver and receiver as well as any witnesses so make sure you elevate your receiving behavior today! And may you enjoy the multiple serotonin boost!

  

A note for the mind on disappointment in people:

Auto pilot thoughts about disappointment are the ones that come all by themselves, often negative, often self doubting and usually distressing. These often relate to feelings of rejection by or disappointment in the actions or absence of other people (friends, family, potential partners etc) and lead to feelings of disconnection and/or loneliness. When these thoughts arise, we need to notice them, acknowledge their presence and then gently redirect them by challenging the negative story. We can question the truth of them or we can take the thought into a more positive direction, perhaps by ceasing to focus on what we don't have or can't get, and focusing instead on what we do have, the people that do support and love us, the people that are there for us. Train your mind to go where the love is today.

  

A word with your physical self:

So it's this time of the year, people are tired, people are reacting to changes in weather, in activity, in the world, in expectations. Maybe you're feeling good, maybe you're struggling a little. However you are, your physical system needs attention and protection. Feed it with clean quality fuel and don't make excuses for putting rubbish in. Rubbish in means feeling more rubbish yourself. So what if other people are justifying their own rubbish choices, let them have what they choose and make sure you choose what you know will feel good not just while it's in your mouth, but the hours afterwards to. Walk it. Even a small walk is better than no walk. Get some sunshine or at least a little outdoor air. Protect your sleep cycle. If you're run down the last thing you need is less sleep or rest. Prioritize yourself and your system. Do good, feel good.  

  

Take a minute to breathe:

Just take one minute now, slow down your mind as you read my words, slow down your breath as you begin to flow more easily, allow your nervous system to soften, easing off that pressure here as I talk to you, just being, forgetting to remember all the things you don't even have to do right now as you relax, just for one minute, very beneficial micro holiday for the mind as you receive my message of calmness, of focus on the good, of just chill and know that all is well now, and to remember to be kind enough to give your mind this pleasant calm breathing time all through the day. Feel better.

  

Calmness in chaos:

Staying calm when you want to freak is a tricky thing. It requires knowing that you're scared and acknowledging that part of the mind, while also making a decision from the wise mind about how to proceed. Stating "my job is to remain calm" can be helpful, while at the same time consciously releasing physical tension. Also focus on acceptance. Whatever is, is. What will be, will be. Most things work out just fine in the long run so focus on the fact that all is well in the grand scheme of things. It is.

  

Stuck?

It's easy to feel trapped, in a situation, in a mindset, behavior or emotion. Remember your freedom. Freedom comes from changing the situation by taking action or by changing our mindset about it. Be free today.

  

Taking the credit or the blame??

Most people are better at one than the other. People that hold themselves very accountable and are quick to accept the blame and apologize often have trouble taking credit for the good stuff they do, or accepting compliments in a genuinely felt way. Those who readily take credit for their achievements and are very open to compliments often find it hard to be totally accountable for mistakes and admit when they are wrong, preferring to see situational factors as causes rather than their own actions. Both skill sets are useful in relationships with others (personal and work-based), especially the skill of being able to openly admit accountability and genuinely apologize. This is one of the best diffusers of resentment and can clear the decks for much better vibes all around. The skill of taking credit is crucial to boosting feel good brain chemistry and enables you to have a better relationship with yourself. Notice and work on both today.

  

The Silent Treatment:

Going silent and cold on somebody has been a weapon of choice for many people for many years. One day you have sunshine, then the next, it's gone and you feel totally alone and left in the dark about why. Maybe you even ask, is everything ok, only to be told "I'm fine". But it isn't fine, you can feel it and you have to marinate in the anxiety or confusion of not knowing. Sometimes you'll be told later, after an appropriate time in coventry, other times it will just pass and things return to normal without explanation. Yes, it's called passive aggression because it's hurtful even though you're technically "doing nothing". This kind of withdrawal (used regularly) is one of the four key predictors of breakup or divorce in modern relationships. Often we learn to do silent treatment on people by watching those we grow up with. A more effective method is to calmly and kindly state what you're upset about and ask for the change you prefer. If you're not listened to, time after time, then that can be horrible, and consequences need to be put in place such as counseling or mediation with a third party. Silent treatment generally isn't helpful though, and promotes dysfunctional communication patterns. Start talking about whatever you need to talk about today.  

  

Calling all memory cells:

Many of us worry about our memory, about preserving our brain cells, about staying sharp for the now and for the future, so I'd like to have a few words with your inner mind now as you start to slow down your breathing and your eyes and just relax, the part of your mind that stores everything, holding all information and memories, all things from past and present, relaxing a little deeper now, the part of you that will always remember, even when you forget to know that you do, and you do remember, and from now on you can be much more aware, much more confident that you DO know, and you can relax, because YOU know, and I know too that the mind and its memory enjoys being relaxed, and will offer up more information very quickly when it feels relaxed and free, letting that pressure drop now, taking away that sense of worry or urgency, no help at all, your memory is strong, you remember what you need to know and you remember it at the right time, no rush, your brain is clear and sharp and getting stronger all the time, new dendrites, nerve growth factor multiplying and building your capacity for new information now and always, storage facilities in excellent condition and cleverly renewing with every sleep. You do.

  

The boost in self-involvement:

We are entering a new era in which many (maybe most) interactions occur by device rather than face to face. While there are benefits to our increased ability to contact or connect, are we losing the relational skills of being able to verbally and tactfully articulate what we think, want, need from another person and solve problems together? As our personal world shrinks into a device, how is it affecting our perceptions of the world? Are we becoming more self-involved and focused on our own particular concerns? Devices are easy. If we don't like it, scroll past, ignore the message, respond minimally. Passive aggressive behavior has never been easier or more common than on our devices. But the real work of relationships is about being open, being fiercely honest yet kind in delivery, being able to listen and actually hear the message under the words and respond with agreement and negotiation. Don't let technology kill our relational skills. Device relationship skills are important too, we need to know how to manage the typed word and its responses. But real people need real conversation and verbal problem management skills, especially to remember to articulate kindness and appreciation in difficult times.

  

People who mess with your head:

There are people out there who insist on being right, being one up and having the power or control. For those of us who are a little more sensitive, this can be very confusing and can lead to self doubt and uncertainty about what is real, what isn't, what is my stuff and what is theirs. Sensitive people tend to be a little too porous and open to the feedback of others, which may in fact be be about the other person and their agenda. Accusations of "selfishness" are a perfect example. Often one person makes a request (or demand) of another, then when the person says no, they are called "selfish". Depending on what that word means to you personally, you could feel quite awful about the label and wonder if it was true; ie "yes I did put my needs first in this situation, so perhaps that is selfish". Yet really, all that has happened is that the person did not get what they wanted and has sent a guilt trip your way, with a label attached. If we want to be less porous, we can say "well that may be their reality based on their agenda, but I'm not taking that on. That's their stuff". Most guilt trippers use similar tactics (accusations of unkindness, selfishness, martyr comments and reminders of all they do for you or others). Let them have their reality. Choose your own version and keep your head intact.

  

Check in to peace:

It doesn't matter how many moods we move through today, a check in with peace will help. Peace boosts happiness, peace boosts healing, peace boosts concentration, memory and enjoyment. What is peace? Peace is the thought or feeling that everything is ok exactly as it is RIGHT NOW. We can't feel peace in the future (although we can decide to expect that things will continue to be ok going forward) but we can feel peace in the now. What is your peace trigger? Some people focus on their pet, an animal, nature, the sea, trees, the sky or other parts of the environment, while others focus on breathing in and out. A particular thought, such as IT'S OK or ALL IS WELL can also bring peace. And it is ok. Check in a few times today to find your connection with peace, and notice how all aspects of body and mind respond optimally.

  

System freak outs:

Some of our systems are wired for the occasional freak out. Anxiety starts blaring, heart races, voice in the head says get out and run. Some people get a flood of emotion or tears with the freak out, some just get all systems on full pounding throttle and some accompanying fears. Humans get it, animals get it, and many times there's no obvious cause and no apparent trigger. Some systems have a hair trigger. Of course this process can be settled and retrained by many interventions but a sensitive nervous system can be a part of the constitution and certainly not in a negative way, especially if we are accepting and welcoming of it. The less we fight, the quicker it passes. The less we object, the less it tends to happen. And then it passes, we return to equilibrium, all is well. May your system be calm and welcoming today.

  

Please LIKE.

Think of yourself now, in a vague kind of way, either a visual, or an idea or even just your name as you read my words to you, and as you think of yourself, using your mind's eye, just click LIKE, click LIKE then move on to the next thought, and the next thought is liking the next thing, clicking LIKE on all aspects of yourself today, on the way you look, don't think too much, just quickly scroll through in your mind and without any real thought, just click LIKE, and as you move easily through your day today, whatever is happening, just click LIKE in your mind, as if you had chosen it, or even if you didn't, you can click LIKE anyway, message to the brain, smiley faces for you in there, thumbs up, going around all day just clicking LIKE. Enjoy your serotonin hit.

  

Myths about men, women and listening:

There are many myths about who listens better, who never listens and who needs to listen more. The truth is, I work with couples and families every day and most people are pretty terrible listeners. They anticipate, they interrupt, their eyes show that they are formulating their argument, defense or next point while the other is talking, they fire back their points without acknowledging the words of the other and mostly it feels more like watching a tennis match than a relational interaction. Listening is hard. We need to suspend our thoughts, judgements and assumptions about what "we already know they are going to say". We need to hear the message behind what is said, the intention, the request. And check that we heard correctly, especially on important matters. "So you're saying that when I do ___, you feel ____ and you'd prefer it if I ____". The other can then confirm or modify, and will feel actually heard. It's preferable if we can then say "Yes, I get that and I'll work on it" rather than going into counter attack. Almost nobody does this. We go bang bang back and forth and few people feel really listened to, heard or validated. Forget the myths. We all need to work on our listening. We need to shut up, actually hear the concern and the request, verbally make it valid and leave space for genuine interaction. Let's all try today.

  

Boundaries and relationship anxiety/avoidance:

Relationships can be draining if one person wants the energy of the other, doesn't give back in the way we prefer and doesn't read the play. Unfortunately this happens a great deal, in family relationships, friendships and even among partners. A relationship can feel like exhaustion and we aren't sure why, especially if the person is "nice". Nice or not, there is often passive aggressive behavior or subtle boundary violation. It's much harder to assert yourself when it's subtle, especially if others can't see it or if the other person doesn't listen, justifies themselves or holds you in contempt for raising issues. If we don't have boundaries we don't feel safe. While asserting ourselves can feel scary because the outcome is out of our control (and may lead to rejection) we need to dare to rock the boat. Kindly and calmly state our feelings and our preferred option from the other, which they have a right to refuse. Refusal has consequences on the relationship, that's a natural outcome and better than years of silent seething resentment. Dare to rock the boat as necessary today.

  

The anxiety-gut loop:

If your digestive system isn't working so well, it often results in bloating, discomfort, food intolerances and pain. Interestingly, it often also triggers anxiety. Anything that creates inflammation in the system can have inflammatory effects on mood and anxiety, which of course also lowers energy. While it's true that the anxiety can come first via thought or emotion and trigger gut issues, it's equally true that gut dysbiosis (and/or eating foods that don't sit well for you) can be the key cause of anxiety. This is why we often treat from both angles in my clinic; mind and body are one system and improving one aspect generally creates improvement in the whole. Look after your gut today. Eat food that is clean and gut-friendly for you and avoid known irritants. Your calm will increase accordingly!

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A boost for the truth:

Keeping the peace and shutting up about things that really matter generally leads to more problems, mostly for you rather than the person you protect. If we have boundaries and can tell the truth with love and kindness, we don't need to stress or worry about how others react because we can trust that our perception is valid and worth stating and that it in itself cannot "cause" offense. So if you'd like to tell a few more truths in loving and kind ways then let me have a word with your subconscious mind now, the part of you that always knows the truth, slow it down, listen closer now, relaxing and allowing your subconscious mind a little relief, the idea that you can in fact start by saying how you feel, with no anger, no accusation, no criticism, just how you feel and what you prefer, calmly, really just providing information in a pleasant way, how it's received is not your job to predict or control or react to, any reaction that comes, you can just say ok, you can just end it right there, you can just stop, no need to enter debate, no need to justify or defend or explain any further, just state how you feel and what you prefer, calmly and with love and with kindness, and your subconscious mind can help you now, providing the indicator of when it's time to speak, kick in at the right time, on the spot, calmly holding to what you think and knowing that you have the right. You do.

  

Let it go and trust!

The universe has your back. We think we have to do it all ourselves but apparently planets are held in place, grass keeps growing, the sun shines and baby things of all types keep being born without human interference. Take your hands off the wheel (not in the car!!) and know that things will be ok if you let them. It all works out.

  

You will feel better!

However you're feeling now, it's temporary. If you're feeling great then notice the thoughts and feelings and remind your mind to code them for future use! If you're not feeling as great as you want to feel, again, remind your mind that it's temporary. Rate your mood or energy out of ten. If you're a five, what would it take to be a six? A rush of determination? A peaceful few breaths? A thought about something really good? A memory of a person you care about? Recollecting something you feel proud of achieving? A smile as you think of something funny? Or maybe you are happy just to allow yourself to feel exactly as you feel, knowing that tomorrow is another day and in fact you might even feel better sooner than that?? Either way, you can know that the human ecosystem strives for improvement in energy, mood, healing and achievement so you can just relax and allow it all to get better moment by moment. You don't even have to do anything.  

  

Cant stop thinking about it?

If there's something you genuinely want or need to stop thinking about, it can be a challenge. The brain can get into obsessive loops and convince you that it's really important to keep going over and over the thing, even though to the observer, it can seem a little nutty. If we want the brain to stop thinking about something, often we need to give it another task. There aren't many people in the world (and even less females) that have the kind of brain that can just switch itself off from a topic at will. Most of us find it incredibly challenging and more so if high emotion or fear is involved. So giving the brain another task is like giving the rat a maze to run in order to keep it busy (and rats are very clever creatures!). Mantra based meditation is much underrated in favor of the current obsession with mindfulness type meditation. A mantra is something you repeat literally over and over (TM and shiva type meditations are examples of this but any mantra or word or saying that is meaningful to you will do the trick). Another secular option is counting or using the alphabet to code a topic with your mind. Counting or naming all colors you can see, going through the alphabet and finding a movie/tv show/car brand/fashion brand/dog breed/country/suburb or whatever else for each letter. If you want to change course, give your mind a job and keep it on that job until the moment passes.

  

Some pain relief:

Whether it's physical pain, emotional pain or existential pain from noticing crazy events in the world, we all need to know how to trigger a little pain relief, a spot of analgesic, a tad more comfort, so begin by allowing yourself to relax, let tension drop from your neck and shoulder muscles, those tiny muscles connected to your head and neck that hold all your tension and worries, simply allow them now to soften, dissolving all concerns, nothing to do right now, and nothing to prove, slowing your eyes right down as you read, gliding over my helpful instructions here, listening to my words and allowing your subconscious mind to come wide awake and very alert, relaxed and helpful, noticing the color and shape of any pain, just noticing without judgement or analysis, and sending cooling messages to that part of you that needs comfort, just letting it settle, sending calm feelings, relaxing thoughts, relaxed body, everything feels better when we are relaxed, releasing all pressure, you have a green light just to be, nothing to do right now, nowhere to be, just taking a moment to focus your mind on comfort and knowing that you can carry that comfort with you today and always. You will.  

  

Choose generous!

There's always three ways to judge our selves, events and people, the harsh, the neutral and the generous. While sometimes neutral is all we can manage, it isn't very uplifting. Harsh judgement never really leads to anything good, so neutral is our target unless we can aim for something higher. And if we can, the generous attribution will always feel better, and will raise your feel good chemicals quickly. Be generous in your thoughts about your self, about others on the roads, out and about in the world and at work, but especially at home. Many of us use up all of our generosity, tolerance and patience supplies during the day and give those at home some other kind of tired irritation chemicals. Save some generosity today and use it for the ones in the inner circle.

  

A new A.D.D. epidemic:

It's going around in workplaces and very very obvious in many relationships between couples, especially long term couples. This new syndrome is called Appreciation Deficit Disorder and many of us are displaying key symptoms. Signs include not noticing what is going well, unwillingness to compliment the other, focusing on what's missing, talking about what's wrong all the time, criticizing and complaining and even when good things happen, feeling that they are just not good ENOUGH. Treatment is quite straightforward but the pre requisite is awareness of the symptoms and an admission of the key behaviors. The first step is beginning to notice and comment on whatever is going well, even if the glass is only 10% full. The prescription is to state 5-10 good things in the workplace and to compliment at least 8 times a day in couples. Treatment has been shown to increase happiness, communication and positive connection. Check for symptoms and take action immediately.

  

Boosting excitement chemicals:

For most of us, when we were kids or teenagers, we were able to access excitement chemicals on a regular basis. We got excited about seeing friends, doing things, special events, getting away with stuff, taking risks, acquiring something new, playing certain games or sports, doing something different, and often before celebrations like birthdays, Christmas or other special times. As adults, some of this can fade into "normal" and we can lose access to the rush that our brains are capable of so let's work on that now, let's help you brain remember how to access just a little more joy juice, an extra hit of dopamine to drive you forward; relaxing now and slowing you eyes here, tuning into my words, all the brain has to remember is novelty and fun, nothing too specific, and that dopamine, that excitement chemical of challenge and reward can trigger itself and boost you into a bit more excitement, remembering excitement from the past, that feeling before something good happened, the anticipation of an exciting thing about to happen, the not knowing, the uncertainty, will it or won't it, but either way it will be exciting, let your subconscious mind remember those feelings now, firing up the messengers of excitement, challenge and joy, of anticipation and celebration and so you can go and focus on some things that you look forward to here and now, make sure you put more challenge and fun on the agenda. Enjoy.  

  

Watch out for energy thieves!

Draining situations, draining people, draining activities and poor food/substance choices will rob you of energy very quickly. The most important energy thief to watch out for is the mind. Thoughts of hopelessness, boredom,resentment or self pity will quickly drain energy and leave you flat. Feel the emotions, acknowledge them without judging and then move into another thought or action that is energy neutral or energy boosting. Some people don't have a lot of energy themselves so will latch on to yours to get a dose. Be mindful of this and detach! Take responsibility for your own energy supplies today and stay topped up with optimism.

  

Many possibilities!

Whatever you're thinking about, analyzing, worrying about or ruminating on, remember one thing. There are many possible stories about this. Whenever we think we know why something happened or why somebody did or said something, or what it all means, all we have is a story. To be emotionally healthy and mature, we need to remind ourself that it IS just a story and that we don't really know so we cannot really judge. There are many other possible stories about what did or didn't happen so we might as well choose the one that involves the least judgment and the one that triggers either peace or neutrality. Those who stubbornly stick to their one version of events often suffer for it. Flexibility in the story we tell ourselves is a key to recovery.

  

Song therapy:

It doesn't matter how well you can sing (or if you can't sing at all!). Singing elevates all our good mood chemicals and triggers immune boosting molecules at the same time. You want a serotonin hit? Put on a song and sing with it. Get some oxygen in your lungs and belt it out in the car or anywhere you like! Choose your own music or something from the radio that you're guaranteed to have downloaded into your brain. Anytime you need a hit of chemicals, the music is waiting for you to join in!

  

You're already enough.

As is, as you were designed. Anything you change or add to yourself is just a bonus. You're already way more than you think. And you're enough.

  

Taking non-action:

So many of us, when faced with a situation of uncertainty, whip into action mode. In general, action mode tends to be helpful in life and "action people" make good problem solvers. There are times, however, when the best action is non-action. To do nothing. To sit. To wait. To let things unfold. Many uncertainties resolve on their own and we can unwittingly make things worse by jumping in too quickly. Yes there are people that do nothing for far too long, avoiding and procrastinating. But I'm guessing many of us here are the driven ones who might just jump in too quickly in order to eliminate uncertainty. Remember the power of the pause. Many things resolve themselves without our anxious interference.

  

Improving relationship communication:

In my work, I see so many relationships going south primarily due to lack of communication. Often one person is overly critical or controlling while the other is passive aggressive, holds things in and builds up resentment. Resentment is a love killer. It's important to speak the truth, with tact and with kindness. We can kindly request changes in behaviour and own our desire for these changes without blame. When on the receiving end of a request for change (even if it's disguised as criticism) we can firstly LISTEN without defensiveness. The most important thing is not to hit back, eye roll or quibble over details, but rather to hear the (often legitimate) request for change and agree to as much of it as you can. Yes it's annoying/infuriating when a person says "you always/never do ...." when it's really a sometimes thing, but you could also respond with "yes I do have an issue with that and I will absolutely commit to change". And then do it. Nothing builds resentment faster than an apology not followed by action. Small changes in communication can build rather than destroy love, and remind you that you're on the same team.

  

Is your body happy with you today??

Are you giving your body the rest it needs? The proper nutrition? Are you giving your body the inspiration for energy and motivation? Are you overtaxing or straining your body at work or some other activity? Are you moving it enough? Are you giving it enough fun? Are you taking it to places or people where it doesn't want to be? If you're not listening to your body, it will speak louder through pain, fatigue, or some other condition. Our bodies and minds are one but if we split from the body and its messages when can get into conflict and trouble. Tune in, listen and take corrective action today!

  

Getting rid of the moods of others:

Sometimes we are around people with negative or hostile attitudes, and for sensitive people, this can leave some sort of energetic residue, affecting mood, thinking ability and motivation. At times we don't even realize how much we can be affected by other people so it's important to tune in and be able to get back to your state no matter what so tune in now, slow it right down and let your eyes take in my words slowly, gliding, easing your way across here, now while your subconscious mind can zero in on my helpful instructions and begin now to start the cleansing process, relaxing and releasing, like rain on a window or outside, beginning to clear away all that other stuff, with your mind's eye now think of water, could be any kind of water, the beach, the ocean, a shower or bath, or a pond, it doesn't matter really, but now imagine yourself entering the water and swimming along comfortably for a minute or two, just gliding along and allowing the water to hold you, releasing the residue, see it coming away from you like dark ink, slowly moving into the water until there is none left, it's all cleared, and then now, as you complete your moment, imagine emerging from the water into the warm clear sunlight, fresh, clean and ready to go. You are.

  

Grandiose people and the fallout:

The grandiose person moves around life feeling superior to others, often even superior to their friends, family and partner. They can be critical, insensitive, dismissive and insulting because to them, they are telling "the truth". Of course their truth may differ from those around them but they feel sure that they are "right" so they tend not to take too much notice of the opinions of others. Getting a grandiose person to change is very difficult and often not possible, fundamentally because there is nothing in it for them to change. They are quite happy, feel fine about themselves, it's probably you that they think has a problem, you're too sensitive, you have no sense of humor, you need to get a grip. If you're dealing with a grandiose person in your circle, you need limits, boundaries and consequences that you will follow. If they have all the power then these boundaries will be irrelevant. But if they want the relationship or something else involving you then you need to create clear expectations, keep the person accountable (very difficult for grandiose people to hold themselves accountable) and follow through on consequences (eg distance or non contact) if your boundaries are violated. Yes this is very challenging and most will need professional coaching to assist. The first step is recognizing grandiosity and its effects. It's not you, it's them. But you can do something to change the effect on you if you remain conscious and focused.

  

A break from striving:

Being driven has its upside, you'll achieve things, you'll create results. Being driven can also be addictive; the new goal is always just out of reach and the feeling of being finished never truly appears. There are times to strive and there are times to feel just fine with the way things are, using acceptance rather than always wanting the next change. Your mantra is "Now is fine, now is good". And acceptance or enjoyment are just as important as progress. In fact progress isn't much fun without enjoyment! So notice whether you need to strive or whether it's actually time to cruise today. Seed or harvest, it's all about balance.

  

A reminder about what other people think of you:

It's meaningless. It's all based on projection. Its created by the thoughts or beliefs they've made up about you, positive or negative. It's based on THEIR history, THEIR preferences, THEIR feeling about themselves when they are around you, THEIR sense of self, THEIR insecurities, THEIR ambitions or lack of, THEIR internalized rules about how people should or should not look, talk, think or be. Really not worth thinking about much at all when you consider how little of it relates to facts or reality. Forget it.

  

A message for those going through hard times:

Yes life can be shit sometimes, and there are moments when it all seems to come at once and it feels totally overwhelming. It can seem like there's no end in sight and that certainly nothing good will come of it. What do YOU need when you feel like this? Self compassion is pretty important to start with. To know that yes, you are going through hell and give yourself permission to feel yuck about it. Even acknowledging the feelings involved is helpful for the brain and nervous system, and will mitigate the pain somewhat according to FMRI studies. Also know that you are connected to all the other people going through horrible times, similar and dissimilar to yours. Know that humans are programmed to care and that many people really do care, even if their way of showing it is different from yours. Some people show care by making food, some by giving gifts, some via words of support, some via giving you space, some via sending love or healing from afar. Love is love, and it's coming your way whether you know it right now or not. And it may be from a source you didn't expect. And next you need a plan. What's the first thing you can do for yourself that shows YOU care about YOU? Do something that's kind to your body AND mind. Focus on self care. Be nice to yourself like you would to a child or friend. May you be well and happy today.

  

Determination booster:

If you can't be bothered, if you're not doing what you need to do, if you're not following through and need a motivation lift, then follow me now, watch my words and let them slowly enter your mind, the part of your mind that controls determination, slow down now, gliding over these words, allowing your subconscious mind to fully engage, and using your mind's eye, imagine the switch that controls your determination, that feeling of I CAN, because you really can, it's quite possible, you can do it, you can feel that you CAN, and then you CAN follow through and then you CAN feel very good indeed, knowing that you could and you DID, just by turning up that switch now, turn it up a little more, boosting determination which means you CAN DO, you CAN believe it, then you can just do it, boosting that YES feeling that drives action, you already have the ability, it's just lining up those emotions and getting on to it now. YES you CAN and you will. It's an inside job and the job is done. Now enjoy.

  

How's your integrity?

Are you doing what you said you were going to do? Are you following through on your commitments to yourself? Are you being open and telling your truth to others? Are you telling the truth to yourself?? Are you doing what you believe to be the right thing for yourself? Are you looking after yourself in the way you need to? Are you doing the fun or interesting things you really want to do? Check your integrity and make any corrections. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

  

Today: 

Just flow with it. It's all ok as is. No interventions needed. Just be

  

Effectively influencing others:

If we want to discuss or raise an issue with somebody, or ask for a change in behavior, it's best to do it from a place of calm, even a place of detachment. The less we attach to any particular outcome, the more power we have in most situations. If we try and raise something while we're upset, sometimes our emotions can trigger others into defensiveness, anger, judgement or shut down. The formula for raising something is to first own it ("look I know this is my issue, but I sometimes feel xxxxx") and then kindly ask for the change you'd like ("and I'm wondering if you would be able to do xxxxx instead next time"). Nothing is guaranteed of course, but most (yes only most!) reasonable people are open to friendly influence with what we call a soft start-up. If we go in hard, no matter how "in the right" we may be, the defensive response is much more likely. Give the soft start-up a shot.

  

Get uplifted!

The key to being uplifted is in the word UP. To feel uplifted, get up. Speed up. Think up. Look up. Breathe up. Dress up. Talk up. Eat up. Drink up. Pick it up. Go up. Choose up. The only way is up. It's up to you.

  

Staying in flow:

With everything that goes on around us, it can be a challenge sometimes to stay in flow, that state of calm trusting acceptance with a dash of contentment that transcends all circumstances, we want more of that, so slow yourself down now, breathe slowly, slower now, through your nose, and simply allow the gentle breaths to move slowly in, circulating strongly through your system and out again, and as you do breathe slowly, your subconscious mind can come wide awake and listen to me, here, now with my helpful instructions for you, that's right, flowing more easily with life now, just moving easily into the rhythm that comes and goes, in harmony now, drifting along quite pleasantly, always moving in the direction of your highest intentions, love, peace, happiness, goodwill, all building within you now, hourly, daily, refueling your supplies of positive, taking in the good, expressing the good, flowing pleasantly with the rhythm of your life from now on, emerging now with greater energy and more and more inspiration with every new breath, always in harmony with what is. You are.

  

Emotions, stress and food:

Many people with food issues need to attend more closely and more positively to their emotions. Being more present means noticing and naming your irritation, frustration, boredom, sadness, pissed off feelings, tiredness, overwhelm, self pity, hostility, anger, anxiety and all the other ones that pop up during life. Mostly when we eat or think about eating, it isn't hunger. It's an inner restlessness demanding to be calmed. And doing this with food is generally a path we don't want to go down, primarily because it actually leaves our emotional issues unaddressed! Emotions are signals that want to be seen and heard, and sometimes (not always) acted upon. We need to work out what you're really hungry for. Is it stimulation? Fun? Validation? Appreciation? Connection? Purpose? Notice it, name it and if possible, work out a plan to move towards the real thing, not some food substitute. Notice emotions today. Research shows that by recognizing and naming them, we can positively alter brain activity. Start today!

  

How do you want to feel today?

Start with intention. If you let an auto pilot mood take hold due to tiredness, people, events, weather etc then you leave yourself open to a spiral of possible negativity. Start with your desire. Would you like to feel more energised? More calm? More peaceful? More inspired? More focused? More determined? What do YOU need to do to get that feeling you want? Most moods can be improved in 20 minutes according to studies. Just 20 min of the right activity for you. The most successful 20 min mood lifts include walking or running, listening to the right music, meditating, listing the things you genuinely feel good or grateful about and doing kind things for other people (eg writing a note of thanks or some other generous act). Every day, in the morning, think about how you want to feel. It only takes a few seconds. Then factor in one or two activities to promote that feeling. Do it now!

  

Finish the thing:

Progress is one of the key human needs and we tend to get a rush of positive brain chemicals when we tick something of our list. In fact, some people will even go back to their list to write something they already finished, just to tick it off and get the buzz! Make a list today, only a few achievable things, get them done and tick them off! Then enjoy your progress buzz!

  

Joy Tracking for increased happiness:

Which activities and people bring you joy? Where and when do you feel moments of contentment or enjoyment? Whenever you feel the buzz, pause for a microsecond and note what you are doing and where. There are personalized patterns to joy! We can feel it alone or with others, indoors or out, in nature or in the city, in silence or in noise or music, in the present or in nostalgia. Track your joy! Write it down, notice the patterns, increase the stuff that is associated with more of it. If we have more joyous times then we have less of the other stuff by default. Have you had a dose of joy yet today? Get started and please take notes 

  

Boosting self control:

We all have things we want to start, want to maintain, want to complete, things we want to feel successful with, where sometimes our lesser impulses interrupt us and take us down another route that isn't quite where we want to be. So let's take a minute now to boost your inner self control system, helping you to relax a little more now, breathing slowly, eyes slowing right down now, thats right, listening to me here, tuning in so my voice can help you to help yourself, using the power of your mind, seeing that compass of yours now, the inner compass, very clearly with the arrow pointing towards your intention, towards your true north, pointing and directing you to where you need to be, where you want to be, your preferred outcome is yours now, always moving now towards what you know is important and beneficial, easier to stay on track from now on, with the compass always guiding you back to true north through the immense power of your subconscious mind, it will. Follow your own powerful inner compass today and notice how much easier it can be to stay on track. Go there now.

  

Too busy for what???

When we get "busy" we give ourselves excuses to stop doing certain things, and often these things relate to our health and wellbeing. Too busy to eat well, too busy to exercise, definitely too busy to meditate and no time to relax. When are we "busy" we are saying what really matters to us. We are making a choice about what we value and where we CHOOSE to spend our time and energy. Feeling good requires (for most of us at least!) good choices in how we fuel our bodies and minds. What are you choosing today?? Next time you hear yourself claiming "too busy" as a reason, know that what you are really saying is "I'm choosing to put my focus elsewhere right now". Then think about your real priorities and make sure your compass is pointed in the direction of where you want to be.

  

Step away from the drama!

Drama can be found everywhere, and is enticing due to its ability to stimulate a bit of adrenalin and make you feel "Alive". If we feel a bit bored or flat, drama in the form of fear or anger will kickstart the adrenal glands by triggering stress hormone release. Even though it's stressful, for many people it feels better than feeling nothing, or feeling bad. So drama (creating it or joining it) can easily become addictive. Anything that takes us out of boredom or restless states can become addictive. Most addictions are not friendly to our life, and addiction to drama is no exception. Others may try to drag you in, and it's your choice to stay detached (even if on the surface you give the "socially appropriate" response of "wow!" or some thing similar). Check your own need for drama and see if you can't find some excitement chemicals some place else today. Excitement chemicals based on love, enjoyment, achievement, contribution and personal progress are much more long lasting, pleasant to the body and ultimately sustainable.

  

Benefits of mini-meditation:

Just a few times a day, stop and close your eyes. Take a breath slowly and feel it enter and move around your system. Notice the colors behind your eyes of the good feeling that sits at the centre of your being as you relax. Take two more breaths (or a few extra if you like!) and focus on some kind of goodness. Then you're done. Your brain has enjoyed a mini break which is demonstrated to help recharge you, your stress hormones have had a chance for a re-balance and your nervous system is calmer. Repeat a few times per day for maximum benefit!

  

Retraining the brain during resentment or self pity:

If you've done it tough as a kid, or have a hard time in parts of life as an adult, it's easy to feel a bit deprived. Emotional deprivation is that feeling of self pity, of being a bit sad or resentful about your needs not being met in the past or the present, and perhaps not expecting them to be met in the future. This is especially true for people that didn't have their emotional needs attended to as children. Often this pattern can lead to over indulgence in food, alcohol and other substances later in adulthood, or in choosing partners or activities that don't meet emotional needs. If you're trying to change a pattern (of mood, eating, exercising, whatever), watch very carefully for when deprivation feelings kick in. You'll know because they are usually accompanied by "it's not fair" thoughts, and comparisons to how much easier it is for other people. Acknowledge the deprived feeling. Notice it and label it. This labeling of emotion has been shown in FMRI studies to down regulate the intensity in the brain. Notice what you feel and say to yourself that it's ok and that it's normal to feel that way. Then move on to another focus or activity that is in line with your real intention, knowing that you are cleverly retraining your brain in the process.

  

Plug into happy:

Happy doesn't mean euphoric. Happy doesn't mean everything meets your exact standards and that there are no problems. Happy is a state of acceptance, a state of "it's ok", a willingness to allow things just to be just as they are, so relax a little now, slowing down your eyes, a little slower now, that's right, simply reminding your mind to unwind any of that inner tension, letting all tension dissolve now, that's right, neck and shoulders much more relaxed now, softer, releasing any grip, just allowing what is, not trying to be anything, no thought for tomorrow, or yesterday, just being, allowing the natural state of happy to find you, it will, you don't need to look or search or strive, just allow the contentment of right now to immerse itself in your cells, healing, relaxing, energizing, comforting and fulfilling, no more driving or striving, just allow that natural state to find you, and it will only find you when you relax and forget to look, remembering to just be, here and now. You are.

  

Three good things:

It's easy to feel a bit flat or despondent as a baseline state, especially if you're not excited about much right now for whatever reason. One thing that can help is deliberately getting the brain to retrospectively review the past 24 hours for things that actually went well. So right now, go back to yesterday (or the day you've just had, if it's nighttime) and find three things that went well or that you enjoyed or felt good about. It could be a meal, a walk, a conversation, something you did, said, created, found, saw, cleaned, disposed of, wore, bought, acquired, ate or admired. It doesn't matter at all what the content is. The process of finding the "what went well" is the important part of the brain training. Do it every morning or night for optimal results!

  

Stuck mood?

Moods can shift very rapidly for the better, even when we think they won't. Sleep is often the fastest trigger, along with other kinds of rests, holidays and changes of scenery. Other people (the right ones of course!) can uplift mood super fast, as can the right music, book, activity or element of nature. Sometimes a little change in circumstances can help, as well as the obvious improvements in nutrition and exercise. At times all we need is a little peace, a break from the inner and outer noise or chaos. The most important thing to know is that our mood always strives towards improvement if we help it along a tiny bit. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing. It's all about what we hold in mind. Choose one thing (or maybe nothing!) to focus on and feel even better than you do right now!

Just say it.

Too many times we stop ourselves saying what we want to or perhaps need to say. In case it comes out wrongly, in case it triggers "offense", in case we "look bad". And these unexpressed words sometimes fade away and sometimes fester to cause internal conflict. So we could choose to just say it. Sensitive people are rarely in danger of causing offense and are more likely to doubt themselves and their perceptions. Just say it today.

  

Quick reminder:

Everything out there, whether it's traffic or people or events, is neutral until we judge or label it. Our first judgement or label might not lead to good feelings but luckily we always have a second chance as well as a third. If there's fear, anger, hopelessness, hostility or another type of bad-feeling judgement, check in again. We can notice facts without labeling or judging. And it feels a lot better.

  

Nervous system booster shot:

Sometimes events can be taxing to the nervous system, leading to tension, pressure, agitation and eventually exhaustion. If your sympathetic nervous system is activated too regularly due to personality, thought style or stressful circumstances/people then it's harder to feel at your best so settle in to read this more slowly now, just slow your eyes down, right here, nothing to do or think about or solve, just simply letting my words run slowly across the page, entering your subconscious mind easily, my helpful words smoothing the waters so that you can really allow that tension to dissolve now, relaxing the neck and shoulders, breathe in, breathe out, more slowly, that's right, just take a breath, slowing your breath can remind your mind that it's all fine, staying in the now, feeling the good that kicks in when you just allow yourself to slow right down, breathe, and feel better now, dialing down that tension and stress you used to carry, no need for that now, you can be much more comfortable, naturally, using the power of your mind. Allow your nerves to remain calm today and stay connected to the good. You are.

  

Food and mood check:

Many busy people forget about the link between what they put in their mouths and how they feel, both physically and emotionally. If you want to feel more energized and more emotionally balanced, eating for quick and easy convenience is not usually a great idea. Sugars, processed foods and high carb items will lead to a crash, physically and emotionally. Eat your protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu etc), eat your good fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil etc) and eat your vegetables! Good fuel means better performance. It doesn't take long to be organized and your reward chemicals will soon kick in to make it a habit. Lots of people have "reasons" why it's too hard (read "excuses"). It's up to you whether your health and happiness if a priority or not, but it's an easy hack to feeling better very quickly. Get on it!

  

Release some control:

Control is helpful in achievement drive and can definitely be a bonus in getting things done and being successful in various ways. The trouble is, once we have a control pattern in place, it tends to bleed into the parts of our emotional life where it can cause problems. The trick is knowing when to release control in order to reduce anxiety, overwhelm and self imposed pressure. If our goal relates to another person/people, relationships or events or other aspects over which we have no control then it's time to release. People with anxious control patterns sometimes benefit from remembering that "the universe has your back" and all will be ok in the bigger picture. You can relax and trust if you choose. Many anxious control types believe that nothing "good" will happen unless they "make" it happen, yet this grasping approach often creates the reverse effect. Relax. Release control on that thing you're concerned about. Act as if the universe has your back.

  

Music meditation:

One of the best and most effective types of meditative practice involves using music to fill the consciousness. When you choose the right music, on headphones, with closed eyes and no other stimulus, you'll hear different aspects of the music you may not have noticed before, and if you focus only on the music, your brain will drift nicely into an alpha state. Alpha brain wave state is the best part of meditation, that feeling of floating or transcending from normal consciousness, the sensation of being removed from everyday life so that the brain gets a restorative holiday. Some people choose classical music or other non-lyric music, others choose slower, trippier albums that provide relaxation and inspiration. Music meditation may also start a helpful thought process that leads you to an unexpected solution or insight relating to a part of your life. This type of meditation is called contemplative meditation and is very underrated with all the current focus on mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is great, but sometimes we need another focus, especially if the mind is busy, stressed or restless. Choose a mellowish album and go on a contemplative trip today!

  

Daily dose of optimism:

Optimism isn't about denying what is. It's about acceptance of reality, reframing what is into a possibility for something that is ok or better, and it's about taking realistic action given what outcomes you want. So you feel tired or ill or low? Accept that it is that way FOR NOW. It's temporary and feelings/sensations/moods come and go, mediated by time, sleep, rest and what thoughts we hold in consciousness. If we dwell on how much it sucks and how unfair it is, we tend to feel way worse for way longer. If we decide it's unpleasant but temporary, then choose our focus of attention carefully and deliberately, we may feel a little better a little sooner. Whatever you feel today, take a dose of optimism by first accepting the reality of what is. Don't speculate on the future of it, or the why, just stay in the now, with IS, without labeling and without impatience. Know that it's ok. Then ask yourself, "given what is, how do I need to think and act in order to stay calm and allow this phase to complete itself?" Everything improves.

  

Self-judgers listen up!

You know, and I know too, that some of us are prone to telling ourselves off, to criticize ourselves if things don't go well, or to generally name call and label ourselves at times, but this is unhelpful, useless mental activity and actually quite unpleasant, so listen up, slow right down now, slowing the eyes and letting them close just slightly as you read my words, as I talk to you here, now, hearing my voice, listening or not really listening, it doesn't matter either way, because your subconscious mind can listen, and pay attention, and really understand my helpful instructions in a very relaxed and comfortable way, relaxing all muscles now, and relaxing that urge to be so hard on the self, leave that in the past now, much more supportive of yourself, perhaps becoming instantly more accepting, no more labels on you, no more name calling or judging, allowing yourself just to be exactly as you are, you have been designed perfectly, nothing wrong with you at all, you're really very open and always learning and moving towards improvement in how you feel and you can feel better right now, just for having read this, for being the kind of person who learns and enjoys and is willing to be part of a positive experience that will only get better and better. You are.

  

Simplify.

From complicated thoughts to overcrowded schedules, most of us need to simplify. One simple idea. One deep breath. One thing at a time. Let the the need for complication be released. Simplify.

  

Calm nervous system:

Most people are over activated in their sympathetic nervous system, which is like keeping your foot planted flat out on the accelerator pedal of your car. We need to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (which acts a bit like the brake pedal) for greater balance and calm. Take a breath in through your nose and feel it enter your nostrils and head. Hold it there a second or two. Then very slowly breathe it out through your nose, feeling the air leave your system. Imagine you are making an "mmmmm" sound as you expel your breaths. Do five or ten cycles of these and your nervous system will slow down nicely. And don't go so fast today.

  

Sucked in by people pleasing??

Feeling responsible for the reactions or emotions of others is a draining pattern. Not only do you have to be hypervigilant, but you have to keep your own emotions in check, suppress them and then modify your response to keep the other person happy. Which of course you don't. People pleasing is not even an effective strategy. How many times have you heard someone say "I try to keep everyone happy but they're never satisfied!" This is because we truly can't "make" anyone happy. It's an inside job. Our mission is to figure out what we personally need for ongoing happiness and work towards that without impeding the happiness of others. We can be ethical, we can be kind, we can be generous. But we can't make others happy. That's their mission, and if they choose not to accept that mission, it's not your responsibility. Focus on your own mission today and be in energy saving mode.

  

Up-regulate your mood today:

We don't always wake up in a good mood, and in fact our dreams can be a pointer to the chemistry we are carrying for the next day. Anxious or weird dreams can leave some people shaky or wiped the next day, or unsettled sleep can leave us tired and achey. Whatever mood we wake up with, it can be boosted somewhat with a few tricks. First of all you must know and believe that you can boost mood. Then you must engage physical activity if you can. Walk vigorously or run on the spot (or if you can't, imagine doing that). Then work on your brain. The first attitude is "I can and I will!" The second attitude is positivity. Find three things that you truly feel good about, big or small, important or trivial. Thirdly, get on the frequency of gratitude. Just say "thank you thank you thank you" until you feel a physical sense of uplift. Today could be great.

  

Nothing to fear:

As your eyes move from left to right over these words, you can notice that right now, there is nothing to fear, you can relax a little more, slowing your eyes, letting the eyes glide just a little more, eyelids heavier, tension dissolving now, one deep breath, just really letting all that stress and strain leave your mind and body, relaxing all the muscles in the neck, shoulders and back now, just breathing in and out, breathing new life into your cells, breathing a smile slowly into each cell and feeling those cells respond with calm strength, you will, coming back to now, staying in now, where there is nothing to worry about or do, nothing you need to fix or control, nothing you need to feel self conscious about, allowing yourself to come back to the state of calmly just being, not having to be anything in particular, just being, relaxing, breathing and allowing more and more good feelings to move happily through your system now. You will.

  

Check in with the feelings!

If you're tired, in pain or get ill frequently, chances are you need to check in more (or check in differently) with your emotions. Most people put their emotions to one side, especially if the emotions are about something they can't control or take action on. But it's not about control or action. It's about that younger, inner part of you being noticed, acknowledged and reassured. Even if the feelings are of stress, anger, frustration, overwhelm, tiredness, anxiety or whatever, listen to them. Tell them you've noticed. Ask them how they'd like you to best take care of yourself right now. Welcome them, take notice and soothe yourself like you would for a child or friend. How are you doing in there today? It's time for you to check in.

  

More attractive than you realize!

Most people see themselves a less attractive than they objectively are. Maybe this is the mirror effect, or the influence of photos (some people photograph better than others regardless of attractiveness) or maybe past criticism or rejection. But the fact is, chances are you are much more attractive than you realize. This applies especially to females, who are often conditioned to be much more sensitive about or critical of their looks. Your mantra for today is "I look great!" Do you have a few other women you'd like to pass that on to and tell them they look great?? They probably need to hear it too!

  

The imagined lives of others:

Apparently, other people have better lives, more fun, greater confidence, superior careers, less problems, and go out socializing much more often. Or so we think. The imagined lives of others can cause inferior feelings, otherwise known as the social comparison effect. It's all made up anyway, all projection; we really have no idea what is really going on in the lives or minds of others. Social media has escalated the social comparison effect, as we now have pictures to stir up our imagined narratives of others. But of course most people only choose the best pictures with the most visible fun. It's just a moment in time and it only represents how they want to be seen at that single moment. We need to affirm that our life is fine and that if something is genuinely missing, we will work to change things. Want more fun? Schedule an outing! Want more glamour? Get dressed up and go somewhere. Tweak things so that life feels better. And ditch the social comparison. It's just wasted mental energy and you can use it for fun stuff instead.

  

Nothing to fear right now:

Humans are much better at being in the past or thinking about the future. Being right here, right now can be challenging. And yet, right here, right now, things are ok. You're reading this, I'm saying this, you are breathing in and out, and that is all. Come back here. There is nothing to worry about, nothing to do, nowhere to be right now, no pressure to perform. Let the present moment be as it is. Our minds can be trained if we just keep coming back.

  

Energy Power Up:

As tired as we can physically feel, most energy ups and downs are generated from the mind, from how we feel, from our level of boredom, or overwhelm, or frustration or guilt or whatever other emotion might be consciously or unconsciously hovering, so if we need an energy boost we need to go via the mind, through the emotions, landing in the nervous system and physical body to get the tiny changes that will power things up now, so let your eyes slowly glide over my words, slowing now, dissolving any tension, let go, that's right, just allowing things to be as they are, feelings as they are, everything as it is right now, knowing that noticing and accepting can easily lead to changes, to improvements, just simply by noticing, and you know, and I know too that you need to do more noticing, noticing the rise and fall of your emotional tides, in and out, just like the breath, always moving, nothing ever staying exactly the same, even the heavy storms pass, often quite quickly, and the clouds disappear, the sun comes out and suddenly we see light, we feel warmer, and the air is fresher, cleaner, and you can begin again, every day new, calmer in the knowledge that the good is always just around the corner and you are always energized and ready. Enjoy.

  

Watch out for tiredness!

Through the lens of tiredness, life seems very different. Things seem harder, meaning is harder to find and fun or joy can be very difficult to access. Through the lens of tiredness, it all feels like an effort, sometimes a huge effort for little or no reward. Tiredness drops our mood and in many cases increases anxiety. The only way to mitigate this is to knowingly accept the tiredness, acknowledge it and its mood effects without believing in the truth of what the tired thoughts or feelings might be saying to you. Everything feels better after sleep or a good rest, and we can bounce back remarkably quickly even though we feel like we won't. Mid-year tiredness is extremely common so if you're just treading water at the moment, know that it's ok to tread, most people are doing the same, and you'll certainly feel better soon.

  

Permission to slack off a bit?

Only you can know whether you are too driven in your chosen pursuits, too perfection oriented and too hard on yourself. If you are, then consider this message your trigger to chill out a bit, take a breath and maybe even take a break. If on the other hand you are a little too self indulgent, prone to procrastinate and give yourself constant reasons to wait until tomorrow, next week, next month, then perhaps consider this message a trigger to get your shit together, cut the crap and get started! Of course we all have both patterns, usually in different areas of life. Some of us are motivated and focused at work/study but slack around self care or health. For others it's the opposite. Think about your balance of activity and rest and notice which one you might need a little more of today!

  

Fake fear thoughts:

Our minds generate untrue and untested thoughts constantly. Most of them might not matter, maybe we don't buy into them so they have no power. But at times, our thoughts trigger unpleasant feelings like fear, anxiety, doubt, and negativity, which can then bring on more of the same type of thoughts to create a downward spiral. It's important to be able to return to basic fact and to learn to disregard the power of thoughts in general. The only thing that is actually true right now is that you are reading this post. You are breathing in, you are breathing out. Returning to the simple fact of the present moment allows us to eject all the commentary our mind generates, which is mostly meaningless and made up anyway, so why pay attention. Return to the simple fact of what you are doing right now. The only thing that is true right now is person sitting/standing, reading this. Right now is ok.

  

Mantra for today:

May we be more peaceful and loving beings today. May we remember that we have no idea what is really going on in the lives or minds of others. May we be a force for good in the world today.

  

Access your hidden talents:

We all have gifts, some we know about and use, and others that are waiting to be activated and discovered, and it doesn't matter how young you are, there is newness there which we can now begin to uncover, you can apply these gifts to the area of your life where it would be most useful, and so your subconscious mind can assist right now, just continue to read, slowly, while I continue to talk to you, even more slowly now, talking to your subconscious mind now, offering helpful instructions, time to unlock that hidden potential, activate what needs to be activated now, you know, it's there, always been there, always will be there, always newness just around the corner, possibilities and options and exciting new things for you always, all you need to do is remember to know, to notice the difference, to pay attention to what is getting better, small steps, sometimes very tiny, but always present, always improving and always moving in the direction of good, those new talents helping you towards where you need to be, already are and always will be, just know, smile, and remember to notice all their positive signs today. You will.

  

Pet alert!

Our pets (and the pets of others!) increase our serotonin, lower our blood pressure, balance our stress hormones and generally improve mood instantly! Focus on your with pet with appreciation today, or on a pet you know or have met that makes you smile. Even the thought of your chosen pet will change your brain chemistry in milliseconds

  

Easier decisions for you?

Many of us rush into action without a useful decision making strategy and end up with regrets and feelings of being annoyed about going against intuition. So if we are deciding whether to make a move, do an activity, buy something, see somebody, stop seeing somebody, or make a change of some kind, ask this:

Will doing this bring me joy? Will doing this bring me peace?

Will doing this bring more inner harmony? 

And truly listen to the response from your body. While the mind can rationalize and convince, the body always knows the truth straight away. We need to listen and act on that truth.

  

The Mindful Pause:

One of the keys to building happiness and peace every day is to remember the art of the mindful pause. Rather than always getting caught up in the doing, or the rushing, or the worrying, or the boredom, take a regular quick stop to consciously pause. Some people set an alarm on their phone to pause, and in fact there are apps you can download to remind you. In this pause, what you do is based on the feeling you want. If you want peace, pause and breathe and feel the peace within you. If you want joy, pause and think of all the good things, the things that excite you. If you want contentment, pause and feel the positive aspects of life, the things you genuinely appreciate. Or, if you just want to feel present, pause and think about what matters or what's most important to you RIGHT NOW in this moment. Enjoy your pauses today.

  

The Kind Mind:

Number one rule, be kind to self. No harshness, self criticism or blame. Definitely no name calling! Number two rule, remember you never truly know what's going on in somebody else's life. So each person you meet, you could either make their day better or worse. The Kind Mind prefers to be a source of good in the world but knows that being "nice" is not the same as being kind. Sometimes the truth is kind. Sometimes silence is kind. Sometimes ending a relationship is kind. Kindness and wisdom come from the same place. Start with self kindness and the rest will follow.

  

No comparisons:

The human mind loves to compare, better, worse, should be, not enough, too much, shouldn't, more, less, used to be, need to be, blah blah, most of it designed to create insecurity and inferiority, well, no more, enough of that, we need a word with your subconscious mind to put some prevention and immunity in place just in case, so allow those shoulder and neck muscles of yours to relax right now, breathing just a little deeper, slowing right down, more relaxed, slow your eyes as you read my words, let my words speak to you, slowly, moving from here directly to your subconscious mind, deeper now, and more relaxed, subconscious mind wise, wide awake and ready for helpful instructions, as they begin, begin now to know, and to be completely aware of the perfect pattern, the inner perfect pattern, what is perfect for you, and what is, right now, already exactly as it should be, quite perfect really, and you can become and you are already becoming, totally indifferent to what others are doing, not doing, being, not being, saying, not saying, all that matters now is the good that you already are, always have been, and always will be, unique, nobody with your particular set of talents and gifts and skills, nothing to prove, no more pressure, no more unhelpful comparison, just enjoying your fruits, letting it be as it is, perfect, whole and complete. You are.

  

Stop! Look! Enjoy!

Most of us are rushing about all the time, thinking about what we have to do, planning, worrying about this and that, going over things in our minds and generally not being present. We can make it a thing to stop just for a few seconds, several times a day, starting right now, and just look. Preferably outside, even if it has to be outside via a window. Just look, and allow yourself to enjoy what you see, whether it's aspects of nature or human created scenery. Look at it now and enjoy it. Just be.

  

Don't ask why, ask what.

When things go wrong, asking WHY did it happen or WHY did they do this is an easy trap to fall into. The thing about that trap is that it never leads anywhere useful. Analyzing the motives of others is really just guessing and projection; we never really know, and even if we had an explanation from them, people don't usually do things for the reason they think they do. Many of our motives are unconscious and quite primal, especially in relationships. So when something happens, we stick to the facts, and we can say: "This is what happened. I don't know why. I don't need to know why. The most important thing I need to focus on is WHAT I want to feel and think now". Not so much what to DO, that comes later. Many people take impatient action (which usually involves telling somebody off!) when they really need to just stop and think and wait for a bit. So, when something happens, stop with the why, there is no useful why. Ask what. What would you like to FEEL now? What do you need to THINK in order to feel that way? Focus on YOUR focus! Focus leads to correct attention which leads to correct action.

  

How about you let all things be exactly as they are today.

Mental resistance is tiring. Judging and labeling is pointless. Whether it's the traffic, the people, the news, the weather or the mood you woke up with, just let it be as it is. Releasing resistance has the paradoxical effect of allowing for change without trying to make it happen. Relax. It is what it is. Let it be.

  

What you focus on expands:

When you get a certain new car, you spot them everywhere. If you're scared of spiders, you will notice spiders that nobody else sees. If you're easily offended you will spot opportunities to feel that way whether it was intended or not. The part of the brain that pays attention (the reticular activating system) will search and find all the things you have consciously or subconsciously told it to pay attention to. What do you want your brain to pay attention to today? Choose carefully according to how you want to feel. Focusing on any/all good things is a start. Focus on sunshine. Focus on kind or helpful people. Focus on the parts of your body that feel comfortable. Focus on things you like! The skill of paying attention on purpose is a key to happiness. Get your attention in check today!

  

When you get people that bother you:

Maybe it's the critical people, or the judgmental people, or the ones who drone on and on with no idea that you've tuned out ages ago, or the incompetent ones, or the negative ones, or the ones who complain, or whoever, but there will be days when people will have an effect on your nervous system that doesn't feel so good, so let's program something in right here, now, let's have a chat with your subconscious mind, put in a word or two, slowly, slowing down as you read, slowing your eyes down now, relaxing a little, letting the tension drop from those tiny muscles in the neck and shoulders, those tiny muscles that carry all your stress and strain, just relaxing them now, relaxing your jaw and allowing your subconscious mind to come wide awake, listening to my words here, ready to build immunity for you, immune from the words of others, allowing a shield to form, a shield that protects you from all unhelpful energy or words, simply allowing you to detach now, dissolving any resistance, dissolving any concern, no need to bother reacting really, just indifferent to those things and people who used to disturb you, no more, just really not caring, letting them be, nothing to do, nothing to do with you anyway, you just relax from now on, let them be, moving along and feeling good from the inside now, smiling cells, breathing and knowing that all is well. It is.

  

Focus on EASY:

The word easy has a calming and positive effect on the human nervous system. In contrast, every time we say things are hard, this is hard, it's all too hard, this has a draining, constricting, unpleasant chemical effect. Most things are easier than we think, easier than we allow them to be, and even if they aren't, thinking of them as easy can help you get through it with more ease. Even if we just focus on the ease of one tiny tiny step. That's what easy is, greater EASE. So ease into your day, watch your thoughts and remember to take it easy.

  

Motivation and enthusiasm boost:

Motivation and enthusiasm come from desire, or a drive towards something. To feel motivated we have to have a strong WHY. Want to sleep more? Eat better? Drink less? Work differently?? Change a habit? Improve something?? Know your WHY. Why are you doing it? Staying in touch with your why keeps it out of vague concept land and back in the realm of relevant and compelling. By the way, the best kind of WHY to start with is "because I feel really good when I do it". Feeling good keeps us motivated and creates a fulfilling wellbeing cycle. Think about what makes you feel good and keep your eye on that today!

  

Let yourself off the hook today:

Whatever you think you've done, whatever hasn't been perfect for you, it's time to stop making yourself feel bad. Feeling bad doesn't help the situation, in fact usually it makes things worse. So let yourself off the hook, remind yourself of what you've learned and start afresh now, with a very clean slate. Be as forgiving to yourself as you'd like to be to others. No more mean talk about yourself, only good things from now on please. No more expecting perfection. You're off the hook.

  

Breathe in. Smile. Breathe out. Smile.

Our physiology can change our chemistry in an instant. Smiling changes your brain, whether or not you have anything to smile about. Smiling while focusing on the breath lowers stress hormones while promoting positive mood. Again, breathe in. Smile! Breathe out. Smile. Repeat when necessary

  

Not in the mood?

At times, there are things we need to do, want to do, have to do, but we just don't feel in the mood, not really in the right headspace yet, just not feeling it. But of course, with the right input we can trigger a little change in mood, just a slight lift in motivation, that ability to not be driven solely by how we feel, but to take control and help create a new vibe, so simply slow down your eyes now, as you read this, relaxing as I talk to you, and you can listen, not doing anything, not expecting anything much, just knowing that by planting a small seed, we can quickly grow something quite strong and all it takes is just a little idea, watered daily with a touch of sunshine, and then a new feeling begins, starting deep somewhere within before we are even aware of it, then growing into a stronger feeling, starting to activate now, moving towards acceleration, driving forward almost by itself, propelling and compelling you towards what you need to do, what you now WANT to do, easily, effortlessly and very comfortably, a new mood of possibility and it's yours any time you need it so you can allow it to activate on your behalf whenever you like. Begin now.

  

A day of non-judgement:

Most of us spend a bit of time in our day judging things as good or bad, right or wrong, perhaps even judging ourselves, other people around us and making up stories in our head about what things mean and why people do what they do. Judgement can help us make sense of the world in a positive way and it can also allow us to make sense of a world in a way that triggers anger, hostility, blame, guilt and resentment. When we find ourselves judging, we can choose to say "I don't know what this means so I'm refusing to judge". If people state that something is good or bad, you can think or say "maybe". Because the truth is, we don't know yet. We don't have the big picture. Sometimes something that seems bad can turn out to be very fortunate, just as sometimes getting what we want turns out to be a major booby prize. We just don't know. Be comfortable with not knowing and not judging today!

  

A moment of self appreciation please!

Most of us are keen for a little extra inner peace. What robs us of comfortable feelings is lack of acceptance, of ourselves, of other people and of events. It is a fact that things are as they are. You are as you are. Perhaps you were actually perfectly designed for your particular mission. There are always things we look to improve, but even improvement happens more effectively from a state of acceptance and appreciation rather than criticism. Take a moment to feel appreciation for yourself now, whether for certain qualities, skills, achievements or just for being. Just being is enough you know.

  

A very brief reminder:

Slow down. Relax. Breathe. Stay away from hurry mode and let your nervous system remain comfortable today. There is really no rush if you look at the bigger picture. Just take it easy.

  

A new day, with new beginnings:

Where do you need to start afresh today? A new thought? A new approach? A new idea? A new resolution? A new attitude? Even the word "NEW" has a strong positive effect on mood chemistry and the nervous system, which is why it's so widely used by advertisers. And the great thing is, it really is a new day, and it always will be, and nothing ever has to be the same again if you choose to have that new day. Try out the mantra "it's a new day" and see how it suits you. And remember to choose to see that new day as it comes your way.

  

Being gentle with yourself?

We tend to reserve our most harsh judgements and criticisms for ourselves, which can lead to guilt, self doubt, inadequacy and anxiety, and of course as humans we have every right to think what we think and feel how we feel, but have you ever wondered, just really stopping now, slowing right down breathing in, breathing out, just to think, to reflect in a calm, comfortable way as you slow your eyes as they read this, just how it might feel if youeased up on yourself, if you took the pressure off, if you let go some of the expectations you place on yourself, allowing you to just be, as you are, perfectly fine, definitely good enough, probably much better than you think, without even trying, without the strain, without the inner tension that you can let dissolve right now, no more tightness, allowing everything to be much more comfortably loose, easier, going easily through the open doors, following your inner guidance and stepping forward with relaxed focus, knowing where you need to be, what to say and to whom without ever really having to plan and scheme, just trusting yourself and being very kind and gentle towards yourself at all times, you can and you will begin now please.

  

Filter your incoming!

Social media is a mixed bag for everyone, but for sensitive people, it may be having effects that go unnoticed. Sensitive and highly sensitive people have difficulty filtering out weird energy as well as negative energy and may find that social media browsing leads to vague anxiety, agitation, restlessness, irritation and mood change. Yes, it's addictive. It's been designed and shaped to make us feel like we are missing out if we don't click, read and scroll, and to feel that something exciting is coming up (it usually isn't!). Limit your time on social media and be aware of the effect on your brain chemistry and nervous system. The research is in now after ten or so years of active use, and the results aren't great. Yes it can enhance the perception of social connection if used wisely but it also triggers social comparison, annoyance (due to seeing things online that people may not or should not share in real life), fear of missing out, downgrading actual experiences as opposed to public experiences (photos) and excessive self consciousness. Use wisely.

  

Nothing personal:

As you may have noticed, there are times when certain other people can be inconsiderate, rude, manipulative, dismissive, patronizing and difficult. And you know what? It's no reflection on us. The behavior of others is only a reflection of THEIR consciousness, their beliefs, their false entitlement, their self involvement, their moods, their lack of awareness, their emotional patterns, their life situation. It's not about you. It's their stuff. See difficult behavior through the lens of "their stuff" and refuse to see it in any way about you. It's not about you.

  

A small simple message.

Relax now. Breathe. Focus on one small thing and just do that. You have nothing to prove today. Just be.

  

Anything can happen!

Many good things are just around the corner, maybe even starting to happen now without our knowledge. It's easy to get stuck in how we see things, seeing only grim reality, how we think things "are", but our perceptions can be wrong and things can be much better than we could ever expect. What if we always assumed that good things are always about to happen, always just around the corner? This creates positive expectancy and boosts optimism. The thought process of expecting good things also creates a change in brain chemistry that is probably bound to help attract or create newer and better things! Something good is definitely happening today. Your job is to find it!

  

Reclaiming the Should:

The era we live in is all about doing what you feel like doing, being "authentic" and not conforming to other people's ideas of what the rules are. This creates more freedom, flexibility and self acceptance and leads to many positive outcomes. On the flip-side (everything has a flip-side!) we also have to create boundaries for ourselves in order to achieve, both in a traditional and personal sense. Getting things done and being somewhat organized is important. Fulfilling our commitments or promises is important. Looking after our health is important. Being our best selves is important. Being ethical and kind is important. These are the places where we need to reclaim the Should. If we NEED to do something in order to be balanced or happy or ethical or healthy, then we SHOULD do it. Sometimes we need to say NO to ourselves, just as we need to say NO to children who want to do something that is not helpful or appropriate at the time. The ability to say NO to ourselves (impulse control) is a key skill for happiness and achievement, and is a key component of emotional intelligence. Saying NO and redirecting to what you SHOULD do (not according to society's expectations, but according to the natural laws of health, happiness and balance) gives us our boundaries, stops procrastination and keeps us on track. Stick to what you need to do for balance today and know that you SHOULD!

  

Reframing and letting things go:

One of the hardest things to discern is when to assert ourselves and when to let something go. Many of us let things go where we probably should assert our boundaries, while also raising concerns with others that maybe don't matter at all in the scheme of things. One of the questions that helps to decide the importance of an issue is "Will this matter in five years' time?" Some things will matter. You know that if you don't raise it, consequences may happen that perhaps the other person needs to be aware of. Or maybe the consequences for you are strong enough that you will remember and still feel strongly in five years. Other things, by asking that question we realize we'd probably forget it in three weeks, let alone five years. This is a context reframe question that brings a broader perspective into the issue as opposed to just feelings in the now, which can be affected by so many things. If we interpret events through are current mood, or our overwhelm, or our winter melancholy or our physical tiredness etc then we don't get the full picture. Five years is a good mediator of what truly matters.

  

Got to rate yourself higher!

So often when I talk to clients I find that they see themselves through critical eyes, feeling not good enough and comparing themselves unfavourably to others. I often think or say that I wish they could see themselves through my eyes or the eyes of another person who gets how great they are. This is actually a learnable skill and one to master in order to boost confidence or what they call "self esteem", which really means how much you like yourself or hold yourself in esteem. Seeing yourself through the eyes of another person can be extremely helpful when you want to feel better quickly. Think of that person who most gets you and most admires you. It could be friend, partner or (if you're lucky) a family member. If you can, get them to tell you what they most value or like about you, or if not, think of some of the positive things they've said about you over time. Spend a few minutes seeing yourself through their eyes, the eyes of objectivity and clarity. Our own self views are often skewed by mood or events that occur, or by memories of earlier criticism. Refuse to dwell mentally on what feels bad! Choose the eyes of admiration, or respect, or love and stay there.

  

Write down your intention, write down your plan!

So much research has shown that people who write down what they want to achieve have a much, much higher chance of actually completing their plan. This means writing it down anywhere, either on a post it note, piece of paper, notebook or even in a list on your phone. Look at the plan or intention regularly and imagine somebody close to you congratulating you on its completion (make sure you choose a person who really would mention it in real life!). The combined technique of writing down an intention and imagining being congratulated or praised on its achievement have been shown to be even more powerful in many studies. Maybe the brain takes it more seriously if it's written down, maybe it's the regular reminder, maybe even the act of writing it down uses a different part of the brain that activates motivation chemistry. You don't need detail, dot points will do. You don't need a major or important goal, just anything you might want to do or finish or have. You don't need to make it neat or pretty, just get it on the page and look at it. Put it somewhere you will see it often and know that your brain will start working it for you immediately! Jot it down now.

  

Chill time for your subconscious mind!

Your subconscious is always working in the background, keeping the body ticking away, carrying all those worries that go back many years, keeping you safe from any perceived threats and striving to ensure that you move in the right direction. When we can get good rapport between out conscious mind (what we are consciously aware of in the now) and our subconscious, life goes much more smoothly and we feel better, so let your subconscious mind come very wide awake and alert as you read this, slowing down your reading to send the signal to your conscious mind to relax, to go off some place else, let the subconscious mind take over here, easing into automatic listening, now, as I talk, and you can just listen, knowing that your subconscious mind is very powerful, keeping your heart beating, breathing for you, digesting your food, building your contentment, doing all the things necessary so that you don't even have to think about it, moving you towards those things you want, you know those goals you have for yourself, the goals about feeling better, being better, doing certain things that will be good for you, you will, and your subconscious mind can take over for you now, and you can relax, remembering to chill, forgetting any concerns now, just comfortably allowing yourself to move easily towards the good things right now. Let it happen naturally and enjoy your day, whatever it brings.

  

Prioritize more fun right now!

Fun is much underrated. We need more fun in relationships. Fun in friendships. Fun at work. Fun in downtime. Fun in hobbies. If we prioritize fun then we choose differently! Most entrepreneurs choose their projects based on the level of fun it will bring. If it's fun, it's motivating. Of course, fun means totally different things to different people and we probably can't choose or predict fun for others. But we know what feels like fun for ourselves. And the tiny kid in us just wants to have plenty of fun in an adult life, or it gets a bit pissed off and rebellious. If you're feeling flat, lost mojo, low energy, then ask yourself about the fun factor. Where do you need more? How would you like to do more? We can't expect others to make it fun for us, we create the fun by aligning with what is exciting, pleasant and compelling. If in doubt, think back to what was fun for you at nine or ten years of age (pre puberty, pre teen) as these things will nearly always remain fun for your whole life if you choose to keep it up. Before we knew how to be cool we knew how to have fun. All we need to do is remember. And to factor it in. Always.

  

Ingredients of a good day:

First of all, we have to DECIDE to create a good day. Of course, most people wait and "see what happens" before deciding if it's a good day or not. But it's not what happens, it's our attitude or response to what happens that determines how we feel. So decide now that it's going to be a good day due to your internal response system and your ability to reframe whatever (or whoever!) might occur that may not be to your liking. Secondly, choose a thought process. Of course we all have automatic thoughts, many of them not so positive, many of them complaint thoughts, but we don't have to buy in. We can allow the thought and then replace it kindly and gently with a more neutral and/or uplifting thought. The most powerful replacement thought is "It's ok." That thought, "It's ok" will bring a slight calm accepting effect to most people almost instantly. Thirdly, keep a preemptive mantra in place, such as "I choose peace today" or "I'm willing to see the good in all things today". Those two key words (CHOOSE and WILLING) put the choice back into our consciousness, rather than us feeling like a victim to outside events. Be willing today and choose the thoughts that allow it to be a good day.

  

The new guilt about life balance!

It's a relatively new thing, but so many people worry now about the lack of balance in their lives, or their diet or their relationships. People often worry about work/life balance as though work isn't or shouldn't be a key part of life for some. Truthfully, work plays a huge role in the lives and the pleasure of many people, whereas for others it's just a way to make a living and support other activities or people. Balance is one of those words that sounds good in theory but doesn't really tell us anything about what you want to change. If you had more "balance" in your life, what would, be happening? More sleep? Getting home earlier? More fun activities? More time with friends or family? The key question to ask is not how to get some vague notion of balance (which probably doesn't exist, it's just some idea of the life WE want, some particular combination of activities that feels right to us) then ask the key question "What is missing right now?" Again, is it time with key people, fun, enjoyment, peace and quiet, alone time, reading time, creative outlet time, playing music, time with animals or in nature? Find a missing thing and schedule it in. It happens when we make it happen.

  

Is it time for some self appreciation?

You know, and I know too, that you often hold thoughts of appreciation for other people, admiring things about them, feeling thankful for certain actions or behaviors, and just liking who they are in general. These thoughts make you feel very good about that person, and enhance the enjoyment you feel in the connection, and of course if you slow down for a minute here, now, slow your eyes as you read this and let all tension dissolve, and just adjust your mind towards similar appreciative thoughts for your own self, those things you could admire about your own self, the traits that you could like, the many skills and talents that you possess and express, those creative things you do that maybe not many people notice, but you can notice can you not, and you can choose to feel really quite good about those things, maybe some things you said and did, or things you didn't say when you could have, or things you held back from which turned out to be very good indeed, your judgment was sound wasn't it, your intuition was spot on, always is if you really listen, and listen you will, and then you can appreciate that after the event too, or maybe even at the time, or perhaps even in advance from now on, no proof needed, just choosing to appreciate those things about you that make you interesting now. Remember.

  

What's your body got to say for itself today?

Most of us continually ignore important messages from our body. More and more over time, emotional issues are processed or expressed via physical discomforts such as back, neck and shoulder pain, overeating, insomnia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue and constant viruses. There is generally some kind of overwhelm in the nervous system, something the person hasn't become consciously aware of as something to be faced and perhaps acted on. If there is something physical kicking in regularly, check your life and check your relationships. Where might you be overwhelmed? Where might you be repressing frustration or rage? What might you be unconsciously worried about? What could you be dreading? What is happening that you don't like, or don't want to happen? Talking through these issues can help the brain process it as an emotional issue rather than re-routing it as a physical condition. No, it's not all in your head, physical conditions are very real and very painful. But the brain and emotions have a large role to play, perhaps a larger role than most of us have considered in the past, especially in this era where "staying positive" can lead to denial of what might be really going on at the emotional level. Acknowledging our current emotional reality is the first step towards optimism and sometimes body discomfort is the first sign that we need to check in. Check in today.

  

Building motivation for what you want:

What would you like for today? Is it a certain behaviour or action, a particular mood, something you want to get done? Why do you want this?? Asking ourselves about the WHY of wanting something is a helpful step towards boosting desire, which is integral to motivation. Unless we rev up the chemistry of desire, we tend not to get the activation of determination or discipline. People who stay motivated over the long term are people who know how to stay connected to desire. Why do you want it? Why is it important to DO IT NOW? What good feelings will it bring? What positive things will it lead to? What unpleasant things will it prevent? The skill of staying connected to desire is crucial for preventing procrastination. Procrastination occurs when you want the outcome of doing something, but lack the focused thinking that leads to its action NOW, so you delay it until some later date (which is often unhelpful). When you focus on building desire, you also build the thoughts and feelings that make you WANT to do it now. Keep going back to why you want it and let the WHY drive you straight into the HOW today. Now.

  

Remember to release tension today!

We carry so much tension around each day without even being conscious of it. Tension in the body connects with tension in the mind and emotions, changing the way we think and triggering a cycle of further physical tightness and pain. Most stressed people are not aware of the degree to which they hold stress in the body, tensing up neck, shoulder, back, stomach and leg muscles habitually, as well as the muscles in the jaw (TMJ) which can lead to headaches and tiredness. Start an antidote exercise! It takes only a few seconds to release some tension. The first thing is to become aware of where you store your tension. Consciously tense up the area then release it a few times, reminding it to relax and let go, allowing all tightness to dissolve. Then, at various times during the day, check in again and release the tension. Often people yawn when releasing tension, this is a sign of energy shifting, as well as a cue to relax. When in doubt, start by relaxing the facial and jaw muscles, followed by neck and shoulder. You can relax now, no matter what is happening. In fact, whatever is happening, relaxing is guaranteed to help.

  

Moving beyond unpleasantness:

When things happen that feel bad or sad, it's so easy to get stuck, stuck in the why, stuck in the unfairness, stuck in the emotions or resentment, stuck in concern for the future. The first step is to cease the fighting of the feeling or thoughts, and just allow it to be, allowing now whatever happens to be floating around your consciousness here and now, slowing right down as you read this, letting any resistance dissolve into the nothingness it came from and just allowing what is, to be what is, it will, in fact it just is, and you can let that be, just by saying "it is", and of course what is isn't the same as what will be, and as you know, and I know too, things can change very quickly, begin to improve and feel better now, things can feel more comfortable, your inner mind can somehow allow whichever small changes to occur naturally, so that everything is integrated, and inner peace starts as a very small seed, if we let that seed be what it is, leave it alone without pushing or prodding, then the seed begins to grow and sprout, increasing and spreading its essence all through your being now, that seed of inner peace growing, blooming, extending to whenever and wherever it is needed now for you, just being.

  

Pump up more music today!

Of course music is the quickest game changer for your brain, with the right music at the right time instantly changing your brain chemistry in any direction that you might want. When we change the chemistry, we also change the thoughts, and that's a much quicker way of feeling better no matter whether it's a physical, mental or emotional state that you want to dial up. Sometimes you need known and trusted music to reboot the system, other times you need something new to capture the brain's attention and remind you that there will always be new music to elevate you or to calm you. Don't get into a rut with your music, or start complaining that "they" don't make good music anymore. There's plenty of brilliant new music, it's more available than it ever was, just not on most commercial radio stations! Do a google search for new music that sounds like bands you love, or use some newer music apps like Discovr Music, Spotify, Pandora or Bandcamp to find things that might just blow your mind. It's one of the cheapest and most effective drugs for instant feel-good so remember to include plenty of music in your daily wellbeing routine!

  

Tracking from self doubt to confidence:

A moment of self doubt can hit quickly, usually triggered by some kind of thought along the lines of "can I really do this? Is it good enough?" which then leads to a horrible anxious defective kind of feeling. For some people, those type of questions are habitual. If we can't stop the questioning, we can certainly influence what happens after it. The questions are vague, non specific and anxiety inducing without any real content. This is the key to the antidote. If the case for the prosecution is that weak, then we only need a half decent case for the defense and we will easily win. So, in response to the "but is it good enough?", the case for the defense says: "Yes! It's definitely good enough and here's why. You're intelligent and competent and have done loads of successful things before. With your skills and positive attitude you'll do at least as well as most people, probably better. Have faith in your innate resourcefulness and trust that you will deliver the right goods for the situation at hand, no matter what it is. You have shown great adaptability and competence in the past, and the past is the best predictor of the future, so just get on with it in a state of optimism". As you can see, the case for the defense is strong. Listen to that one.

  

Drama is draining!

Drama steals out energy, even if we are just on the periphery watching or thinking about it. There are definitely those who thrive on drama, and get a little bored if things are too mellow. All it takes to start a drama is to identify a grievance or decide that somebody did something that they should not have done. To feed the drama, other people are brought in for their opinions and/or support. Suddenly we have victim, persecutor and rescuers, the perfect drama recipe. This is how tv and movies organize drama to get our attention too! But what works as entertainment on a screen can be quite damaging and draining in real life. Families are good places for drama to simmer; usually the roles have been allocated for years and years so big messes can trigger and erupt easily. If we want more inner peace in life, then it may be helpful to make drama-free choices by choosing not to buy in, either behaviorally or in our private thoughts. We accept that some people need or enjoy drama, but if we don't, we can choose to stay out of it. Repeat "I'm staying out of it!" And we can choose not to judge or take sides. Repeat "I'm choosing not to judge!" Sometimes, the fence can be a comfortable place to sit.  

  

What attitude are you bringing to the mix today?  

We humans operate on sympathetic resonance. This means that we pick up on each other's vibes somehow, and get affected by it even without being aware that we are. Of course some of us will feel it more than others. We can't control the vibe or energy of others but what we can do is to help bring some positive energy to the mix, to take responsibility for the vibes we bring to the world and hopefully improve the bigger picture. It doesn't matter whether we happen to feel good today or not. Bringing thoughts or attitudes of openness, kindness, calm, acceptance, optimism, possibility or even neutrality will be helpful. If a mantra helps, you could repeat the words "I'm willing to be open today" or something similar. Not everybody takes responsibility for their vibe and how they affect others but we can. Let's put some good stuff out there today.

  

Reality check on your food plan!

Many of my clients identify that they need to keep their food agenda at the front of mind. Are you also one of the people who needs a reminder to plan what you are going to put in your mouth this week? Yes, it can take more effort; yes, it's quicker and easier to do "quick and easy" food, but is that really what you want?? If you want to feel good, then check your fuel source and go for the high quality clean stuff. For each meal, check your high quality protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu etc) and get some coloured vegetables and/or salad. Ditch the processed stuff and stay with the pure foods that feel good physically and emotionally while you eat them as well as afterwards! If you're prone to bingeing, stay away from the foods that open the floodgates and stick to the stuff you know you feel good about. Even if you're tired, stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed or sick, it will not help to be eating the foods that end up making you feel awful half an hour after you finish them. Tune into your emotions instead, as well as your thoughts. How do you feel? How would you prefer to feel? What's the best pathway to get yourself where you want to be? Plan your meals for this week and enjoy sticking to what you know will help you feel good.

  

Getting back into the feeling good zone:

When you've lost a bit of your mojo, it can be tough to turn things around and start to feel optimistic and focused, but we can start right now to relax all concern, to slow down the mind, to let the eyes soften and shoulder muscles release their tension now, knowing that the first key towards better feeling is to relax, to cease any resistance, to let go of all tension now, simply being with what is, allowing what is, knowing that things can improve very quickly, very suddenly, more than we expect, if we can just relax with it, relax in the knowledge that all things pass, all things improve, all things working for good now, all forces awakening to help you, already moving back to where you want to be, just because you're asking, and focusing and heading towards the good zone, letting all internal mechanisms adjust themselves automatically as your body and mind returns to the perfect pattern for you now, it has, and you can relax and let it.

  

Brain loops and overthinking:

What does it mean to be "overthinking" something? Generally it means there is wasted mental effort, often leading to unhelpful thoughts and anxious feelings. It means going over and over the same issue, mostly from the same perspective that didn't help the first time. The feeling of overthinking isn't fun. We can feel the brain stuck in a loop but it's hard to change track and we need mental tricks to get out of the gear we are locked into. One of the better methods is firstly to remind yourself that worrying and/or mental problem solving is completely ineffective and secondly to give the busy brain something else to do that absorbs the attention. Regarding the first stage of accepting the futility (and potential damage) of worry/problem solving, many people have issues with this, and cling to the belief that this thinking process helps them. Years of research and clinical evidence backs up the claim that it does not. Solutions (if they are even needed) are much more likely to arrive spontaneously when the brain is either relaxed or thinking of something else entirely. Striving and looping seems like a clever thing to do but we must remind ourselves about how creativity arises: i.e. relaxation, distraction, daydreaming. You can give your brain any other task to re-direct its focus: song lyrics, counting, repeating words or mantras, naming objects in the room, nonsense phrases to make you laugh, anything at all. Delay the "problem solving" and let your brain do something silly. And then do it some more.

  

The rise in high sensitivity:

After getting a media request to comment on the rise in people identifying as HSP (highly sensitive person), I've been wondering about whether there has been an actual rise or just an increase in acceptance and awareness (I'm thinking the latter). Sensitivity to other people, impressions and one's own emotions has always been a trait that is distributed on a bell-shaped curve, with the majority of people falling somewhere in the middle area. There are some with very low sensitivity; these people should not be seen as "insensitive" but rather are described as easy-going, hardy, thick-skinned and even tempered. This is not a pathology any more than the high sensitivity end of the spectrum. At the higher end, people report feeling more affected by things, more aware of their emotions and those of others, more sensitive to environment and impressions and often more likely to dwell on or analyse those. High sensitivity can link to mood issues such as depression and anxiety but doesn't always. Sensitives often experience a great range of emotions and many of them are pleasant. Many have been told by others that they are "too sensitive" which is about as pointless and silly as telling the grass it is "too green". Sensitivity is great, as long as we know how to manage it and not get pulled into negative vortexes when triggered. Sensitivity means we have access to a great range of experiences and emotions which means a rich life. It's a good thing and should be seen as an indicator of strength, resilience and optimism. If you identify as a sensitive, make sure to notice and enjoy the beneficial side today!

  

Good things for you!

Because you read this, we understand a few things about your personality. We get your sensitivity, your desire to learn, your need to work on yourself, your curiosity about people, your need for making the world a better place. Because you are higher in the trait of sensitivity, you get affected by things and as a result, you may need to monitor your mind more than some during weird times. Keep a guard at your mind. Make sure that you notice and tune in to the good stuff today, no matter what is going on. Life always has challenges and sadness, and it's up to us to help each other reconnect with the good stuff, the silver linings, the kindness, the love that is expressed even amidst the most difficult times. Wishing you good things today, may your mind remain open to the best.

  

System Reboot for stuck patterns!

Sometimes we feel like we are stuck in a rut, locked into a pattern that feels immovable or like a loop that won't stop and at those times it can be useful to simply allow your brain to slow down here as you read, knowing that your inner mind can perform a system reboot for you now, the kind of reboot that takes your nervous system into calm, clear focus here, slowing your eyes as you read, bringing the internal voice into a much calmer, quieter place, body more comfortable now as you read this, allowing all tension to melt away into the nothingness it came from, just being with what is, here in the now where all is well, where your mind can reset itself gently, kindly, comfortably for you now, hitting that reset button and simply knowing that all relevant adjustments are now beginning, all parts restored to the perfect pattern of health, joy and peace, just allow it, align now with the infinite peace of inner connection and take that feeling with you now as you move comfortably into your day. Enjoy.

  

  

Anxiety and the body:

Depending on your personality type, anxiety will find many different ways to express itself in order to get our attention and scare us. If we are people who are very driven, perfectionist type, results oriented, don't like to let people down and want harmony around you, then it will be more likely that anxiety will express itself via physical symptoms such as back or neck pain syndromes, debilitating fatigue, heart palpitations, irritable bowel and other bodily disturbances guaranteed to get your attention. More and more people are processing stress through their bodies as we justify the need to be busier and busier, or we do the thing we think we "should" do instead of what we are really here for. We talk of the importance of wellbeing measures like correct food, quality sleep, balanced exercise and relaxation or time out, but in reality these are only for when we "have time". As humans, we vote with our feet and we demonstrate our priorities by how we actually spend our time and energy, not by what we say our priorities are. Is it time to take stock? Is your body objecting to certain elements of your life pattern? Are you listening? Hello??? Trying to get your attention. Tune in today and make the choices that your body needs you to make. Sometimes (mostly!) it knows best.

  

  

Working on the love factor:

While most people think of love as a feeling, it's actually a verb. As in something you do, rather than something you feel. Many people wait to feel love before they "do" love, but loving actions also increase the love feelings all around. Key research on love in romantic/partnership relationships has found three key factors that maintain things: passion, intimacy and commitment (for more info on that check out Robert Sternberg). Passion isn't just about sex, but also includes enthusiasm, desire, an urgency in wanting to be with and talk to that person. Intimacy includes closeness, communication and willingness to understand and validate the other person. Commitment is stability, consistently showing up, loyalty, knowing that you are in it together and will be there for each other. The absence of one of these factors generally creates a relationship issue, which can be worked on if both are willing. But the biggest hurdle I find in working with people is a mutual willingness to "do" love. Probably the most common cause of this is silent (or not so silent) resentment. Allowing resentment to build is poison to relationships. The loving thing to do is to kindly articulate your concerns. And the loving thing to do is to listen to and act on the other person's concerns where possible. The love factor improves the world. Do a little more love today.

  

  

Need to get more done?? 

So many people talk to me about their unfinished To Do Lists, those things that sit in our consciousness waiting to be finished, and we really want to do them, and yet. And yet. So how do we get them done? We set a time. And we set some rules. And we plan for distraction within the plan and rules. Humans love distraction, it allows us to recharge, reboot and ultimately be more effective. The trick is the time and nature of the distraction. For example opening Facebook has been shown to eat way more time than people expect, raise anxiety often and leave people feeling empty and unproductive. Distracting yourself with a look outside or a quick walk in the yard or street, closing your eyes to get a drifty dreamy brain state or even a quick look in a book will raise your mood much more effectively as well as leaving you feeling more refreshed. Many of our other current distractions leave us feeling worse and go on way too long. This includes TV, eating, other social media and mindless internet searches. Block the time wasters! Set the time and rules for your task. For example, you could work in half hour bursts with ten minutes off after each chunk. Write it down then tick off each part as it's done. Take your distraction breaks and return to the task at the time you agreed with yourself. Stick to the plan! And enjoy your feeling of productivity on demand!

  

Check that perfectionism!

Perfectionism has always been a double edged sword. On the one hand, it can facilitate motivation, achievement and approval. On the other hand, it can lead to self-doubt, self-criticism, overwhelm, procrastination and lack of achievement to due setting impossibility high standards, and/or fear of failure. Perfectionism can trigger anxiety, with the mind playing the "all or nothing" game, either it's perfect or it's all a horrendous failure. This results in a feeling of never being satisfied, and even when success occurs, no good feelings are triggered. Perfectionism is a tricky habit to change but it can be done. Continually re-aligning our intentions or goals to something more reasonable is a good start. Accepting and enjoying our human-ness is also required! And being relaxed about outcomes, especially as they relate to other people or events we can't control (eg what uni results we get, or winning a job) is essential. The other mental habit is re-defining what perfect means. Perfect can mean that something or somebody meets the impossible high standard or it can mean the perfection of what actually is. In other words, it's perfect right now, whatever happens. I prefer the latter.

  

Permission to feel really good:

Sometimes we wake up with good feelings, other days we wake up tense, irritable, tired or stressed, and we can know now that whatever energy we wake up with, it can always get better, all your brain has to do is tune in here, now, slowing down that focus from your eyes, slow your reading of my words, relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles, the voice in your head becoming slower, and more authoritative in a pleasant way, very pleasant and comfortable, with just the right amount of energy, turning up the volume on the positive energy dial now, and moving to the feel good dial, rolling that dial a little higher, so you can feel good now, just a bit more, much more relaxed, happier and feeling very calm from the inside, very secure about everything, very confident, really just knowing that you are well and that all are well, and that you now have permission to feel very good no matter what, and allow that good feeling to increase over the day today, it will. Have a great day.

  

Do you know what a good catch you are?

Whether it's about relationships, jobs or other opportunities, most of the people I talk to tend to focus on their areas of insecurity, their worries about potentially not being good enough. This of course achieves nothing and just leads to self-doubt, missed opportunities and general unpleasant feelings! To flip the brain into the right gear, I generally coach clients to focus on areas of strength. What so people generally like or comment on about your strengths? What do they say your skills or talents or points of interest are? What have you always liked about yourself? What past achievements are important to you? What are you proud of? What personality characteristics in yourself do you admire and want to show more of? Anyway, you know you're smart, attractive, competent and likable so focus on all of those today! See each example of how those strengths play out in your day and remember to take notice!

  

When people feel compelled to share their unhelpful opinions:

Other people's opinions are very interesting. It would appear that some people have an opinion on everything, despite their level of experience or education in relation to that area of knowledge. Having strong opinions (and expressing them) is an indicator of certain personality factors rather than an indicator of wisdom or intelligence. And yet, many of my clients are quite negatively affected by the opinions of others, even when they don't respect the wisdom of those people. These opinions can be a serious deterrent to progress, especially regarding emotional issues or difficult patterns. The majority of damaging opinions seem to come from family members (often parents or siblings) as well as partners. These include opinions about treatment, about whether people should or should not take medication, where people should or should not be working and who they should be in relationships with. While people often know the other person's opinions are not correct or based on genuine education or training, they still plant a seed of doubt, and irritation. It can be hard to stop their flow of verbal opinionhood, but we can choose to cut off the topic by saying "look, thanks for providing your personal opinion on this, I'm going in a different direction for now and I'll get back to you if I need some assistance". Cut it off early and dismiss it as what it is, just their personal opinion. Then move back to your trusted direction. Trust in your own guidance today.

  

Kindness in relationships trumps everything! 

Many of us use up our best selves at work or in other daily activities. Then when we come home, we have little left to give, and are more likely to grunt, want space, look at devices or TV instead of talking and generally engage less than we could. This is ok once in a while, but if we want connection with those we live with, we need to make and respond to bids for attention. So many years of research has demonstrated that being engaging and kind even when you don't feel like it is the key to long lasting and pleasant relationships, while withdrawal and contempt are killers of connection. Kindness should be the number one desirable trait in any future partner, though it is often left off the list when I ask clients what they seek in a potential mate. The ability to stay in kindness (whether in communication, fights or even during break ups) is much underrated and I'd like to see more couples skilled up in this area. While kindness is a trait, it can also be trained into being if the person is motivated. Choose kindness and engagement today!

  

Set yourself up for a good day!

Good days are about how we feel, not about what happens in that day. And if we work on our consciousness (what we focus on and think about) as well as our physical energy, it's harder for any people or events to affect us negatively. Check your food plan for the day. Have you organized your protein and vegetables for each meal? Eat breakfast and again, make sure it includes protein! Check your caffeine plan. A little goes a long way, and more might be too much! Remember, if you kick your tension into overdrive, your mood (and probably sleep) will suffer. Get some steps happening. More movement equals mood boost. Check your attitude. Appreciation, praise and gratitude are the quickest mood boosters known. Grab on to the good, be glad about stuff, even if it's very small stuff, and find something you genuinely appreciate, in your world, yourself, and in others. It's a discipline! You don't have to do it all the time, but the more you do it, the better you feel. Look around you to find things you like, and ignore the other stuff. The other stuff can wait. Having a good day is a decision and we can all decide right now, no matter what time of day it is and what's already happened. Have a good one!

  

Immunity booster shot:

Immunity is protection, the ability to have the appropriate physical and emotional boundaries in place in order to maintain your perfect internal equilibrium, the perfect conditions for you to feel energized and contented, so just slow down now and let your subconscious mind drift here, slowing down the eyes, really listening now as I talk to you, my words slowly seeping down, deeper, talking to your inner mind, the place that controls those boundaries, the immunity centre, keeping out what needs to be kept out, only letting in what is safe and beneficial to you now, stronger, healing any areas of uncertainty, more powerful in your core, the right level of vigilance, not too much, not too little, just the right level of keeping an eye on what truly belongs and what does not, clarity there, here, energy building as your clarity and focus improve markedly, feeling much more solid in the world, flexible, alert and ready for the action you know you need to take today, now, doing it and feeling good, moving in the world with an attitude of easy, relaxed and active. You are.

  

Enthusiasm lesson from dogs:

The life of the average pet dog probably has a bit more monotony and routine than the life of its owner. And yet the enthusiasm level of the dog is usually much higher, with dogs excited to wake up, excited to see its family in the morning, excited for breakfast, excited to walk, excited for the day's adventures, excited to get home, excited for dinner, excited for playtime and excited for bedtime. Most dogs live in a state of "This?? Wow!! Yes!!", whatever "this" may happen to be. Again, this is because dogs do not judge or label experience, but instead live consciously in the moment, holding positive expectations (except for vet visits and bath time, although some dogs love this too!). Non judgement and non-labelling of experiences is something we can cultivate as humans, as is an enthusiastic state of mind. Choosing to say to yourself "This?? Wow!! Yes!!" and genuinely finding a way to praise or appreciate any experience will boost enthusiasm and gratitude. These habit changes will bring you the extra happiness benefits associated with being a dog!

  

The avoidance of boredom:

Boredom is now one of the biggest complaints of young people and adults. It would seem that the better and more available our technology becomes, the more intolerant to boredom WE become. Every time we have to wait for somebody, we glance at the phone. Any empty minutes, we check phones, Facebook, Instagram etc, looking for a pleasant (?) distraction from whatever else is or isn't going on. The thing is, we need to remember the "Best Ideas In The Shower Effect". Many of us have our best creative ideas in the shower (or in the car or on a walk or other non-stimulated situations). When the brain is out of focus, it seems to reset in some positive way that leads to new inspiration. We used to have more of this time, waiting, standing in line, on public transport, bored, just being; this time was previously used for letting the brain wander wherever it wanted to. Boredom is good. Boredom lets the brain rest and recover, as well as allowing space for inspiration, ideas and possibilities. Most people now report feeling unpleasantly restless or agitated when bored, and that's when we reach for distractions. Begin the reframe of boredom today. Decide to look forward to some bored moments and enjoy them, knowing it's brain beneficial. Put the phone down and let your mind drift.

  

Controllers and micro managers:

There are certain personalities that have to control everything. They over-instruct, they appear to assume you are a novice at everything, they give too much information, they want to ask/tell/check/monitor into oblivion. These are the organizers of the world (or at least the people that THINK they are well-organized!). It's easy to take this behaviour personally when you're on the receiving end, feeling not trusted, not seen as competent or skilled enough. But in fact, what it's really about is anxious control. The people with deep-seated anxious control patterns worry a lot, get anxious about things being "just so" and therefore move into control mode to make sure it all comes out the way they think it should. Anxious control patterns usually don't go down too well in the workplace or at home, and this person is likely to have tested many relationships with their vigilance/checking/instructing/bossing ways. When on the receiving end, remind yourself that the person is acting from anxious control and have sympathy for them. It wouldn't be easy to be inside that head. Reassure them that it will be fine, that you will keep them informed and that the task will be done on time and in a quality manner. And then remind yourself again that it's not your stuff! Trust is a much underrated thing.

  

A female thing:

Have you noticed that women are often unkind to themselves? When it comes to their looks, achievements and relationships, many women harshly judge or blame themselves, always seeming to fall short of the mark, always looking for perfection, seeing what is missing or what "should" be rather than what is. When it comes to success, many women do not feel it or recognize it. Many have a pattern of never taking credit, preferring to attribute successes to luck, circumstances and other people's actions. This is especially true in the workplace, as well as in education. An inability to acknowledge achievements leads to insecurity, self-doubt and fraud syndrome, as well as an unwillingness to self-promote when necessary (eg job interviews). Women also spend time comparing themselves to others who are seen as "better" or who have achieved "more", further cementing the insecurity pattern. Of course some males have these cognitive patterns too, although they are certainly more common in females. We can actively work to change these patterns by internally praising ourselves, taking credit and choosing to note achievements for ourselves, whether or not we verbalize them. We can also make an extra effort to praise and acknowledge the achievements of other women, and actively promote or support their success. Learning to enjoy the success feeling is an important skill and it needs to be socially acceptable in order to happen more regularly. Increase your praise and recognition today, for yourself and others!

  

For reducing overwhelm:

Too many things, not enough time, too much in the head, none of it feels calm so it's time to just do nothing, just for a minute or so, while I talk to you, slowly, and you can listen, or just simply allowing your eyes to move slower and slower, glide over my words now, letting that inner part of your mind come very alive, the part that listens and makes key changes that allow you to feel much more comfortable, more calm, knowing that it's just one thing, just do one thing, be conscious of that one thing, then calmly move to the next thing, all things are really quite enjoyable if we can just go into calm and begin to notice the pleasant parts, just breathe, letting your mind relax, nothing to do right now, right this second, nowhere to be, nobody to feel responsible for, just being, just reading and letting your inner mind focus on this one task, being here now, knowing all is well, things get done, if you allow your mind to look back, things were done, things worked out, and you can trust that your inner mind will make sure that this is always the case, you don't really have to do anything to make it happen, just simply allowing the natural flow of activity now, staying present and remembering to enjoy.

  

The deceptives and the liars:

Lying and deception is a skill. There are outright lies, covert lies, lies of omission and grey area lies, and only certain personalities are capable of successful deception. Some appear to deceive even themselves, probably feeling so convinced by their story that they genuinely feel they are not lying to you. Others know exactly what they are doing and take a certain satisfaction in their behavior. Skilled liars can look you in the eye. Their lies are not evident in their facial expressions, although skilled professionals can often spot micro eye movements that signal the altered brain activity of liars. Many liars learned the behavior in childhood, either to get out of trouble with an out of control parent, to get attention due to neglect or odd family dynamics and sometimes as a learned behavior from family members. It's a primitive survival skill and is often used to allow the liar to get what they want while remaining to be seen by others in a positive light. On the receiving end, it's invalidating, infuriating, disrespectful, and makes people feel like they are going crazy. People often go to great lengths to "prove the lies" and are shocked that the liar still remains adamant despite the showing of visible proof. If lying has been long term or habitual, it takes a lot of time and full commitment to train a person out of it and most will not admit to the pattern or seek help. Being around the habituals is usually toxic and sometimes dangerous. When you spot this ongoing pattern, move away fast. And check in with your own truth today. Where do you need to be more authentically truthful?

  

Want to stay younger longer?

It turns out that feeling healthy is the key to staying young! Studies have shown that how young and healthy you believe you are (and how healthy you feel) is one of the best predictors of health and longevity, often out-ranking cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other more traditional measures of health. One large Swiss study also demonstrated that predictors of longevity included being female (sorry guys!), not smoking (or at least not smoking in adult life for long) most importantly, cognitive processing speed.

The researchers were shocked that factors such as subjective feeling of health and mental processing speed were better predictors of risk than the other factors they studied. We know that remaining cognitively active is associated with aging well, but we don't know if the cognitive activity is the cause or the effect of healthy aging! Either way, think and talk health more (unless discussing illness with doctors/professional!), increase your focus on how good you feel and make sure you are always learning new skills and enhancing cognitive processing! New learning means new brain pathways so keep it active!

  

Distractions!

Distractions are everywhere, from social media to people to TV to food to things we do while avoiding the things we need to do. Which distractions do you need to eliminate? Are your distractions productive or do they feel like time of your life that you'll never get back? What would you prefer to be doing when you need a distraction? Choose your distraction activity wisely and make sure it's something that feeds you at a deeper level rather than the empty calories of junk!

  

  

Wake up and smell the good!

It's so easy to get caught up in life, in problems or worries, in how we are physically, in other people's stuff, in all the things we have to get done, in multi-tasking and busy-ness. But if we want happiness and peace, we need to stay tuned to the good! Think of the last 24 hours. List ten things (they can be very small things too!) that went well, things that you liked or appreciated or felt good about. Spending some time every morning mentally going back over the good aspects of the last 24 hours can make a measurable difference to your baseline happiness and can help the next 24 hours to go well too. Start now! What went well for you in the last 24 hours??

  

Motivation to exercise and be healthy!

You know how hard it can be to take that first step, the step that gets things happening, the step that leads to many other steps, and you can take that first step right here, right now, by slowly reading my words, slow your eyes down now to really let my helpful instructions filter deeper, down into your subconscious mind, where all decisions are made, and you can make a decision, a decision to enjoy the first step, just like when you were very very young, and you were learning to walk, and of course you don't remember that very first step you took on your own, but you did take that step, and soon you were walking and walking, and then you were running, and once you were running, there was no stopping you, and you moved around happily by yourself, enjoying your freedom in the world, exploring and being curious and always looking for a new thing, and happy to walk or run to see, to take part in, or really just for the fun of being able to walk and run by yourself, with others, anytime you wanted to, then, and now, your freedom is enjoyable, you enjoy that time, being able to walk, being able to run, feeling that freedom, that feeling of energy, that feeling of movement, starting with one small step, enjoying yourself, leading to many steps and feeling very light indeed, light and free and energized feelings for you now. Off you go!

  

Chunking down when things get too much:

Have you noticed that most sensitive people expect way too much from themselves? Many of us have probably at times wished that we were lazier, less caring, less driven. But when some of us come pre-loaded with a personality that favours achievement, action and progress, these are the things that are going to give you pleasure chemicals and that's really ok. The trouble is, all effects are dose-dependent. This means that in the right dose, action leads to satisfaction and fulfilment, the sense of a purposeful or meaningful life. In excess doses, it leads to overwhelm, overload, scattered thinking and perhaps addiction to activity at the expense of rest and balance. When we feel our nervous system revving up a little too much, it's time to check in. The signals might be when you start talking about being "so busy" or especially "too busy", or "I have so much to do I don't know where to start". Start with one. Prioritize calmness. From calmness comes clarity. Then from clarity we can chunk down to JUST THIS ONE THING, no more mental multi-tasking, just doing the one activity now that needs to be done. Then rest. Balancing your rest/activity cycle is important for both emotional and physical wellbeing. Don't feed any unbalanced addiction to activity today. Just one thing at a time.

  

From energized to drained in one interaction!

It's always confusing when you think you're having quite an energized day and then suddenly find yourself feeling exhausted, like you need a nap as soon as possible. Of course it can be a build up via physical effects like weather changes, blood sugar drop or overdoing it, but equally likely (especially if you're energetically sensitive) is that you've had some interaction that has sapped your energy completely. Tracking back, at times it can be hard to work out who or why. Sometimes the person was a long talker, somebody who talks in long excessive bursts during work-related or personal conversations, with no room for your response and perhaps no interest in your response. Listening to long talkers can be quite exhausting, as they often over-explain, give too much information or detail, and completely lose their sense of you as audience. Or perhaps the person is a vague talker, not providing anything concrete in response to your questions, or not really committing to any opinions or answers. Perhaps there was veiled negativity, despair, gloom or anger in the interaction. All of these will be potentially draining to sensitive people. As always, the antidote is awareness, acceptance and energetically clearing the after-effects if necessary. Use your cancel, clear, delete buttons where necessary and preserve your positive energy today!

  

The ingredients of confidence:

If you want more confidence, generally you need to look at your beliefs about yourself in two key areas. Number one is your competence. Competence is your belief about your ability to do things, whatever things are relevant or important to you. Out sense of competence is critical to feeling confident in life, and is one of the reasons early learning (at school and at home) is such a formative influence on how we feel about ourselves. To boost competence, focus on the things you can do, the things you have achieved, the progress you've made. Most of us take this for granted, but you can easily be more conscious and appreciative of it. Likability is about your ability to be liked by others, your personality power, your ability to get into rapport. Again, early experiences of acceptance, love and/or rejection will contribute to our sense of likability. To boost likability, focus on people, past and present, who like or love you. And smile more! Generally speaking, when it comes to confidence, most people will feel better about either competence or likability, and know which one they need to develop. Know that you have both, naturally, and that you just need to believe in them and trust that others see them too. Be conscious of their presence today!

  

Your authentic self:

Maybe sometimes you think you have to hide who you are and how you feel, that people won't get it, or people won't like it. Hiding the self usually has the effect of making us feel worse about ourselves as the underlying motive is to hide something "bad". If you want to feel good, it starts with self acceptance. Self acceptance means that we stop judging ourselves and decide that all parts are ok, even the parts we thought we had to change. People don't change successfully coming from a place of disapproval anyway. Change is best achieved via genuine acceptance, followed by curiosity, which can then lead to flexible choices in thoughts and behaviour. We can begin to notice our thoughts, feelings preferences as they arise. We can then wonder about alternative expressions or how best to channel our emotions. Please be accepting of your true self today. Whatever shows up, just let it be there and make a choice about how you express it from a place of non-judgmental awareness.

  

How to get more of what you want:

Reading this, now, there may be things that you want more of, internal things, external things, things involving others, all things that consciously you would like more of, and it's natural to want more of the good, so simply allow your eyes to move a little more slowly now, so that I can talk and you can listen, listening intently with your subconscious mind, allowing your inner mind to take over now, while your conscious mind just moves slowly over my words, these helpful words that will install the program you want, the program you need, watching these words now, and using your mind's eye, allowing a spark of an idea to form somewhere in your mind, or in the body, the idea of that thing you want more of, becoming clearer now, clarity is the first step isn't it, the people who know what they want are much more likely to get what they want and now you begin to be much more clear about what you want, starting with that one thing, tuning your inner mind towards it, all forces now on board with you, the universe supports you, moving towards the higher good, the law of improvement, the natural tide of increase, abundant things flowing to you now, all you have to do is openly receive. Remain willing to receive today and notice the small signs of improvement everywhere.

  

Holding on to resentments:

Resentment is the poison of relationships. We are most likely to generate long term resentment when we are angry about something, but for whatever reason, do not or cannot voice our anger. Some of us, by virtue of personality, say what we think regardless of consequences, whereas others prefer to bide their time and/or keep the peace. Peace keeping missions can be a double-edged sword, as often we are keeping external peace with the other person while on the inside, a war is raging. Internal conflict is the worst. It keeps us awake at night, it keeps us questioning ourselves, it keeps us ruminating: "is it reasonable to feel like this?" "What will I say?" This thinking often then becomes "No point saying anything, it won't do any good". And no, it often won't get the other person to change, and sometimes when you have voiced your concerns and the other person STILL won't change their behaviour, it can feel even worse. How can they know it's so upsetting, and yet still continue? Resentment can breed even more under these conditions. Letting go of resentment can be a complex process and there are no easy or one-size-fits-all answers. The first step is awareness, and the second is the WILLINGNESS to release resentment, even if you wish to end the relationship. Strangely the first step to many things is stronger emotional awareness. Check in with yourself today!

  

Those overwhelming times:

There are times when life seems to give us a whole lot of challenges to overcome simultaneously. One at a time, no problem, we can work our way through. But multiple tricky things, not so much. The brain does not like to multi task at the best of times, let alone the worst. When the emotional part of the brain (the amygdala) is activated excessively, the problem solving parts of the brain are inactivated, and as a result we feel highly anxious, overwhelmed and unable to think clearly about what to do. The first priority is to calm the brain's emotional centre so that your thinking mind can function again! There are many ways to start the calm phase and this will vary according to the situation and level of distress. A walk will help. Breathing and meditation will help. Distraction can sometimes help, taking a break from focusing on the issues. Music can help, but it has to be the right choice that gives you the feeling you want. Talking to a trusted friend or professional can help. Writing a list can help, as long as it starts to become a plan and simplifies rather than complicates the situation. The most important thing is "one thing at a time". Choose your first priority, even if they all seem equally urgent. The brain can't do multi! Choose one, start with one, know that you have dealt with many things before and you've got this. You can.