Month: January 2014

It’s Time To Talk

Depression has a way of entering a life and taking over. It affects motivation, eating and sleeping habits, sexual drive, concentration as well as many other things. It not only affects those who suffer from it but the people that surround them. Most of us can feel helpless in it’s presence, here’s a great representation of what it can do:

The difficulty with many mental health issues is the shame that is attached. Many people are afraid to be open and honest about how they are feeling. Carrying the weight of depression is difficult, carrying it on your own is almost impossible. The charity Aware here in Ireland has a campaign to stop the silence, called It’s Time To Talk. The goal is to show how important it is to have real and meaningful conversations about mental health.

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings wanted to add to the conversation. We decided to do a short video on ‘What is Therapy’.

The reason most people don’t start therapy is because they are scared about the experience, worried about what will be uncovered. I’m not going to lie and say that therapy is easy, it’s not. It can be very difficult but it can also be a life changing experience. Uncovering the past hurt and working through it, in a safe environment built on trust, is very healing.

If you have decided that you can’t keep going the way you have been, or feel like you don’t want to do this on your own.. Get help, life doesn’t have to be this hard. You are not admitting defeat, you are admitting that some things are not meant to be done alone.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton

Joy

Some people say that January has claims to the most depressing day of the year. Although scientifically that is not necessarily true, this month does have a dragging quality that seems to slow everything down. If you are feeling like you’re in a bit of a slump I offer some things that will hopefully leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. This first video is of an 8 month old baby getting to hear his mothers voice. He contracted bacterial meningitis when he was 4 months old and hadn’t been able to hear since then.

A very happy puppy from Imgur xjWsIJR This is just beautiful.

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If you want to read through more good news stories The Journal has a great collection of some as well as nice videos. This week I was spending time with people who were talking about the news. It was so depressing, it made me feel heavy and sad. When I left them I searched things that would make me feel lighter again. Be aware of what you’re hearing and being surrounded by. Negative energy has a lot of power and can creep in when you don’t want it too. Enjoy this January day and do something like Googling cute kittens. I doubt anyone ever felt worse after a search like that. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E.E. Cummings

Staring at the Stars

“This film follows the ancient cycle of sunset, to night, to sunrise. A continuous loop of perpetual movement that has been unbroken since the dawn of time, and the only true constant in our lives.” – Nicholas Buer photographer and man behind Ancients.

It’s easy to forget how connected we used to be to the movements of the stars. The constants in our lives now are commonly run by the time on a clock or rules made by other people. Our focus has drifted and become more complex.

The following video left me feeling small but connected and humbled in awe. It’s a good reminder that there is always a bigger picture, although it can be difficult to see that.

Your struggles and pain are a small piece of a much longer story, they don’t have to define you. Let the constant in your life be the sunrise and sunset, everything else is optional.

“It is better, I think, to grab at the stars than to sit flustered because you know you cannot reach them.” – R.A. Salvatore

Relationships

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The subject of relationships often pops up with clients, it often pops up in life. When it comes to romantic relationships things can get complicated very fast. There have been studies done that compare falling in love to being on drugs. It’s no wonder that after the falling has happened some people sit back and wonder how they got to where they are.

If you are presently at a relationship cross roads, take some time and sit with your feelings. Don’t sit with how you used to feel but how you feel now. Far too many people end up staying in unhappy relationships holding onto the past. They focus on how different they were or how different he/she was. Unfortunately that’s not the reality, how is the relationship today?

Ground yourself in the present and ask yourself what makes any relationship good. Does yours have these qualities? Here are a few ideas of what to look for:

  • We share some secrets.
  • We know about each other’s dreams and expectations.
  • Our first date is fresh in my mind.
  • I feel I come home to my partner whenever we meet up.
  • We disagree, we talk, we negotiate, we compromise.
  • Sex is pretty good most of the time.
  • We see conflict is a healthy component in our relationship. It tells us there are things to discuss, not things to drive us apart.
  • I love her/him for what they are, not for what I want.
  • He/She is my best friend.

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How do you feel about yourself in the relationship? The Self can often get lost in the love for another, which isn’t healthy. You should both have a part of your lives that is separate, it gives space for growth and exploration. If you want to read up on what is healthy and what isn’t, check out more here.

Every now and then checking in on how you feel about your relationship is important. It’s better if you don’t wait until it seems as though things are falling apart.

I know how scary it can be to imagine a life without your partner in it. But wouldn’t it be scarier to look back and see you spent so long unhappy? Open a dialogue with yourself, then open one with your partner.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky

How to Feel Inspired

“In a culture obsessed with measuring talent, ability, and potential, we often overlook the important role of inspiration in enabling potential.”

The above quote is from an article called From Evaluation to Inspiration written by Scott Barry Kaufman. It looks at how important inspiration can be to our overall well being, while also explaining that it is not something that can be forced. We’re in a society that doesn’t tell us how important inspiration is. What is does tell us is that  what’s important is getting a job, sticking to it, saving for retirement and enjoy that money…then?

I prefer the idea that life is what you make of it and it can have many forms. Therefore any of us can be inspired from even the most unlikely of places and will arrive when it chooses.  However, if you feel like inspiration is missing from your life why not see if we can change that.

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Preparation and effort are the main ingredients according to Kaufman. Which means that you need to be ready for that instant inspiration strikes you. Whether it’s making sure the space where you paint is clear or that you have time next week to start writing. You need to be open to the experience of inspiration, openness to any and all experience is important. An open mind means that you can have the awareness when you’re on to something and can get to work.  It is also important to allow yourself to be surrounded by inspiring people. That’s an energy that can be contagious.

If you’re looking for inspiration in any form I recommend looking at the following blog. Many of the photos posted are spaces in homes and ideas for your house. However, it’s very difficult to get inspiration when you aren’t in an inspiring place. Perhaps for you that’s the first step, make a space that inspires.

Are you feeling like you don’t know where to start? Have a look here at The Freedom Experiment.com, where there are tips on how to get passion and inspiration back into you life.

The days are long and Winter still has some blustery weather up her sleeve. Which makes it very easy to just sit back and hibernate. However, you could decide to do something different, tap into a different part of yourself. Kaufman says that inspiration can make you feel more satisfied, more spiritual and help you gain more meaning in your life.

Inspiration comes to those who are open to it, if it can be that easy then starting today be open to it. See what comes your way and welcome it. How else will you ever learn if you’re meant to be living a different life?

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

Time to Declutter

Welcome to January, the Monday of the year. Step one is to ignore any of the adverts and articles that make you feel bad about yourself. Step two is to do something that makes you feel good.

Decluttering is a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment. Start with 1 cupboard or closet, not the whole house. If you start too big then if you run out of time or energy you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t finish. This website aptly named uncluttered.com has tips for organisation and how to declutter most spaces.  Here you can read on why it’s important to have less clutter in your life and house as well as lots of advice on what to do to get started.

Karen Kingston the author of  Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui writes “When all your available space is filled with clutter, there is no room for anything new to come into your life. Your thoughts tend to dwell in the past, and you feel bogged down with problems that have dogged you for some time. You tend to look back rather than forward in your life, blaming the past for your current situation rather than taking responsibility for creating a better tomorrow.”

Holding onto items of the past which hold emotional meaning for us means we’re stuck in that time. It’s difficult to move forward when everything in your house ties you to the past. In the present your surrounded by stuff that may not have use for you anymore. As a culture we often link our identity to things. ‘Look how successful I am, I have lots of stuff.’

I don’t want my legacy to be a house full of stuff. I want it to be that I was a good person, surrounded by love. That cannot be stuffed in a pantry.

Starting today try to part with the items you haven’t used, the clothes you haven’t worn and the papers you won’t read. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment but you can feel a sense of letting go.

While you start this I recommend listening to some supportive music that allows you to enjoy clearing a space. The chorus of this song is ‘keep your head up, keep your heart strong.’ Words that can prove remarkably beneficial.

Make 2014 the year you work on you for you. Do something you feel good about.

“Freedom…is the act of releasing ourselves from the bondage of that which keeps us from living the life we were meant to live.” – Kelli Wilson