How to have an honest chat with yourself

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Still your body

Settle your thoughts

Focus your attention on the clean, white page before you that will soon hold all of your answers.

Wait,

I feel you scuttling away

To get some tea, to tidy up , to quickly attend to another matter.

We circle, but rarely land.

It’s time now, to come home.

The answers you are seeking are right before you.

They are hiding in the empty lines, buried under the surface of that crisp, white page.

Until you mark them with your thoughts, your own truth will remain untold.

Stay seated right where you are, in your own dilemma,

For without this commitment you will continue facing a crisp white page that has much potential,

But no answers.

 
 

How To Exchange 15 Minutes Of Your Time For Something Of Value

Michelle iphone photos July 2014 033If we don’t consciously choose how to use our time, those precious spare moments or hours will be lost to unrewarding filler.

Time slips away, whether or not we choose to use it wisely. Even a window of 15 minutes can bring rich rewards if spent consciously. Whilst there are some more obvious ways of spending 15 minutes wisely, like meditation or perhaps  breathing exercises, there are other activities just a little outside the box that I know you will find worthwhile.  Here is a list that I think is a good trade for 15 minutes of my valuable time.

Pick from the menu below to find your own fair exchange. Perhaps you are looking for connectedness, stillness, efficiency, fitness, love and more. They are all available at the very low price of 15 minutes of your time. Ready to trade?

1. $15 for 15 minutes

I recently went to one of those drop-in-for-a-quickie places for the first time. I had 15 minutes to spare before collecting the after-school gaggle and, in desperate need of some body work, I scanned the menu for 15 minute options. Fast forward a mere 15 minutes and I was transformed. The quiet, the smell of rose-geranium, the firm but nurturing hands of the therapist made this a value-packed 15 minutes.

2. Write.

No planning, no over-thinking, just start. Blurt it all out. Have a whinge or have an epiphany. It is all great. Writing helps us sort and order our thoughts. It also helps us get in touch with ourselves and ourfeelings. By expressing ourselves in an unedited environment we can tap into self-guidance and experience the therapeutic effects of journal writing.

3. Write a love letter.

This helps you to get in touch with the positive feelings associated with love and gratitude. Dwell in those feelings for 15 minutes by writing a love letter to someone. You may choose to deliver it (in the mail or tucked into a lunch box) or not, but by spending the time and staying in this mind space for 15 minutes you are reinforcing these loving experiences and pathways in the brain.

4. Trade 15 minutes with a friend.

This works well over the phone on days that you need a pick-me-up, someone in your corner who is cheering you on when you can’t do it for yourself. Let them know in advance you need some loving-kindness, or a good laugh or a boost of ‘I-know-you-can-and-here’s-why’. This works best with friends who know you well and whom you can be vulnerable with.

5. Spend 15 minutes ONLY on a task from the to-do list.

It is often when I have a small window of time left before I need to walk out the door that I notice the place needs a tidy.  I can somehow make a mere 15 minutes incredibly productive. I move like a woman whose mother-in-law is heading down the driveway and can get a huge amount done knowing that it will all be over in 15 minutes when I need to leave. The daunting task gets done in  a much less imposing time frame.This is also a good time to make that appointment you have been putting off or clearing out ONE drawer. Less time to contemplate means the mind is less of a hindrance in the process of attending to stuff.

6.Take 15 minutes to photograph your kids, your pets, your neighborhood.

This is an active way of appreciating and actively noticing the ones we love and our surroundings. It helps the mind become more present focused when you fully engage with your subject and look a little more closely. Take the time to dwell in the small details.

7. Take 15 minutes to put together an outfit for the day.

Our clothes are like costumes. When we wear our old jeans and most loved t-shirt we are setting ourselves up for comfort. And whilst this is exactly what we need some of the time what about setting yourself up for an adventure, for being noticed, for self-expression, for trying a new approach (wearing heels always makes me feel like someone else, and I like her). This 15 minutes can breathe freshness into your whole day and maybe even beyond.

8. Done right,15 minutes of exercise can pack a punch.

1 minute squats + 1 minute pushups + I minute plank + 1 minute skipping + 1 minute back extensions. Repeat x 3. Done.

9. Draw to quiet the mind.

No artistic qualifications required here. Take the time to just involve yourself in the process and let your mind relax. Take a pencil in your left hand, close your eyes and slowly make lines all over the page. When you are done open your eyes. You may look for images amongst the lines and flesh them out, or enjoy coloring in your doodle. You may also enjoy doing this activity to music.

10. Brainstorm

Pick a prominent nagging dilemma and spend 15 minutes coming up with a list of creative solutions. Whether the problem is work related, organisational, social, creative, etc. give your self a big piece of paper and a time limit and without the opportunity to procrastinate or perfect you will have created the ideal environment for your ideas to flow.

11. Organise fuel for the day

Eating wholesome, nourishing food is key to our health and feeling at our optimal best. Nourishing ourselves helps our mind and body function well but it is also an act of self-care. Many of us intend to eat well but never quite follow through. Preparing healthy food needn’t be a roadblock to health and feeling great. A 15 minute investment in the preparation department here can mean the difference between a sugar and coffee fueled afternoon slump and ending the day with some pep still in your step. A fair and worthy trade here I think.

I would love to hear what you find is a rewarding exchange for 15 minutes of your time.

Drop me a  comment below.

Are you a great mother (to yourself)?

This morning I sat down to write a letter to my 13 year old daughter. The letter was not really to her… yet. It was written to her 18 year old self. She is putting together a time capsule and thought that my words may be a valuable inclusion.

So I write to my beautiful daughter – imagining who she will be in 5 years’ time. I feel a weight of responsibility to make each word count and for each sentence to be an offering of insight, wisdom, lessons and guidance. Whilst I express the admiration and wonder I feel at watching her move and achieve milestones in her life, I try to reach deeper. I feel that if I can configure just the right words they will help her discover life’s answers. I want these words to be the key that unlocks life’s hidden secrets – where assurance is stored, where fears are put to rest and where the knowledge that all will be ok is unveiled.

I keep writing in the hope that some gems will spill out. I have so much I want to say and I don’t want to leave out any important parts. I want to keep writing and telling her how wonderful she is and how she needn’t worry so much and I realise that as much as I try, my words cannot prepare her for the life that lies ahead. These words are more pertinent to the life I have lived. They are my lessons, ones that I have learnt from my life experience, and she will have her own. I have wrestled with, learnt from and grown through these experiences and I now realise that the person I am best placed to give advice to is ME.

As women we have access to an inner voice. Mine eagerly rises to the task with confidence when I want to offer guidance to my children. However, when I am searching for my own answers or direction I forget to turn to my intuition. I forget to access her calm, confident voice and her nurturing, reassuring wisdom. Sometimes when I step back from the intensity of a situation I am surprised to find clear solutions and words of comfort where I didn’t trust there were any. As women and mothers we know how to tap into the source that holds this intuitive knowledge – we find the right words to soothe a broken heart, we know the perfect remedy for a tummy ache and we know when when a hug is the only thing that can comfort.

We know how to mother our children but do we know how to mother ourselves?

Our inner child needs our love too. We need to extend our patience and forgiveness to ourselves. We need to give ourselves a break and rest when we are feeling overwhelmed. We need to show kindness and compassion toward ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally, just as we do our own children. I do not consider taking care of their needs as optional. I consider it to be the utmost priority, and I recognise that in order to live a healthy, happy life we should not consider our own needs as optional either.

Often we find ourselves turning to others for answers to our questions, or support for our ventures, or reassurance in times of fear and I realise that the place I go to in order to give all of this to my own children is also the source I can tap into to offer it to myself. I have a mother right inside me. She has all the necessary qualities and qualifications to do a great job with my children. Why would I not trust her with myself?

Do you mother yourself well?
Are you kind and compassionate to yourself?
Are you a good listener when your body or heart is telling you something?
Do you recognise when you need time out?
 

As part of her time capsule my daughter also wrote a letter to herself at 18. As I read her words my mind wonders to the future, to a time when she may have her own daughter. What wisdom will she want to pass on? I know her life will unfold differently to mine and she will have her own insights to offer.

Until then I am here to mother her and teach her how to mother herself.