Hair Credit @HayleyStevenson :P
1. Getting to know myself
And I mean really know myself. I knew before I was a 5-foot-2, brown haired girl from Surrey.
I didn’t know the thing that stresses me out the most (not living up to my own expectations). That my main struggle was trying to fit into someone else’s agenda. That I could make doing the same things much more bearable when I was able to structure my own time.
I realised I never spent any time really getting to know myself before. Even the things I did kind of knew before (that I’m optimist, an extrovert) I never took time to acknowledge. Or work out how they could work best for me.
By getting to know myself, I am able to understand why I do things, what I need to be able to do new things, what truly makes me happy and why. This means I can transfer successful parts of my life into other areas. I don’t need to start from scratch each time, I know the things that make me feel happier, more confident, less stressed in any situation. I have my go tos.
It really gives you a whole new perspective on life. You know whether an emotion, fear, experience is really happening how you think it is, or whether it’s just a story from childhood replaying itself.
2. Listening and interpreting my body
Now I’d be lying if I pretended I do all this time. But it’s definitely something I’ve got way more conscious of.
Our body is far more than a shell to carry us around. It’s what we experience life through - all of our senses, our feelings, emotions, pleasure, pain - is all felt through our body.
And our body is constantly telling us things. We all know that uneasy feeling we feel when we walk into somewhere that just doesn’t feel right. But we’ve lost our connection with our bodies.
I didn’t trust my body - I saw it as something that could hold me back by being tired, not fitting into the tight dress I wanted, or not being able to keep up with my pace of life.
Whereas, it’s actually the other way round. My body is tired to force me to take the rest I need to, and to help me sleep and restore. Only by loving and respecting my body will I get into the tight dress. If I look after my body and find the right pace of life of me, my body is more than able to keep up.
When I have a strange feeling or pain in my body, I drop into it, ask it questions - what are you trying to tell me? Often it is a fear, an unprocessed emotion, and as I soon as I acknowledge it and work out what it’s telling me, it disappears. Hippy, but magical. And rather useful.
The body knows. And it’s not worried about doing what society told it to do (hello brain!).
3. Recognising that everything is my choice
This was huuuuuuuge for me.
I have eliminated the word “should” from my vocabulaly (other than for demonstrative purposes...) . Everything is my choice.
Notice the difference:
“ I should go to the party tonight because I haven’t seen these people for a long time”
“ I am choosing to go to the party tonight because other priorities have meant I haven’t seen these people for a while, and it’s important to me to keep that connection”
“ I am choosing not to go the party tonight because rest and sleep is more important to me tonight. There is a reason I have chosen not to see these people for a while.”
If you’re not doing something, it’s because you have chosen to make something else a priority. You haven’t gone to the gym because you’ve chosen to catch up with an important friend instead.
If we are choosing to be miserable, this is our choice. Some of the happiest people in the world have absolutely nothing. Things, people, external factors can of course affect our happiness but we are the ones that choose whether to be happy or miserable.
Every minute of every day is a choice. Our emotions are a choice. Doing things we love or make us unhappy is our choice.
I chose happiness as much as I can. I am a constant optimist. Every rubbish situation (and my god, does life throw these out of the blue) is an opportunity to grow, to find peace, to process emotions.
4. Gratitude and positivity
Baby jesus, this one’s huge.
My go to gratitude is to think one of my two best friends from home. I literally cannot feel anything but love and happiness when I think of these girls. Just the thought of them and the fact they are in my life makes me SO happy.
It’s scientifically proven that you cannot feel anger, sadness, anxiety etc. when you are truly feeling gratitude.
Keeping a gratitude journal is the perfect way to start or end your day. It keeps you concentrated on the amazing things in life (that we ignore and take for granted).
People comment on my endless positivity. One of my favourite feedbacks from a client recently: “I can’t even remember what I was saying to you at that time, but I just remember feeling amazing afterwards”.
And my god/Universe/Buddha, does it get you through the tough times. It also makes the slightly annoying (train cancelled, traffic on SZR) times so much more bearable (I am lucky to be able to travel/drive/go to the place I’m going).
If you’re grateful and positive, you’re happy in that moment. And all we are ever living is the current moment.
5. Learning and expanding
I always thought I didn’t like school. Academia was basically downhill from playschool for me, enjoyment wise. Play school was super fun, wasn't it?
Now, I realised I simply wasn’t learning about things that light me up (sorry/not sorry Law). Now, I would read all day, every day if other things didn't have to take priority. (Swiftly corrected “I don’t have time to read” here!).
I have taken six courses in the last year, and read countless non-fiction books. All of which have expanded me in different ways - I’ve learnt about myself, I’ve learnt how to help others, I’ve learnt about behaviours, patterns, fears, success, food, sleep. I’ve met some INCREDIBLE people who I would have never met otherwise.
It’s all over Facebook that the most successful people read for half an hour every day. There’s a reason for this! Every book I read, gives me something I weave into my coaching, material for a workshop or an insight into myself.
If we don’t learn or try new things, we can’t expand, we don’t expose ourselves to new things, experiences, people.
A year ago I had no idea that a horse walking over to a person at a particular point of time can give the person the greatest insight into their personal behaviour that they’ll ever have.
That a donkey could teach me more about my love life patterns than any amount of talking ever could.
Change Change Change
When I think back, I have gone through some MEGA transformations. Quickly. I’m so used to working at such a fast pace (thanks corporate law) that I have to consciously make myself stop and reflect.
And how did I make the changes so quickly? I surrounded myself with the right people. People who taught me things, who taught me about myself, who showered me in positivity, who supported me when times got tough.
I have a wonderful network of friends and family, who are always there for me and for that I am infinitely grateful. I also have two paid coaches, three informal coaching arrangements with other coaches, an energy healer and a herd of horses.
There’s simply no way I could have made the changes I have, as quickly as I have, without having this support.
There’s no shame in asking for help. The people who do great things, make great changes, lead great lives, rarely get there by themselves. If you can’t see the way through an issue, you need help getting there. And you’ll get there SO much quicker with someone who knows the way supporting you.
If you’d like to start discovering the changes you can make to your own life to boost your happiness every single day, I offer a free initial chat. If we’re not a great fit, I’ll refer you onto someone more suited. If we are, I am so excited to help make a difference in your life.