November 2016 - sheIQ Life

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Squirm | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on http://blog.sivanaspirit.com on 24/11/2016

Are you one of those people who gives lip service to the benefits of ‘quiet’ practices such as yoga, tai chi and meditation?

Are you known to utter the words “I’ve heard it’s really good for you ….. but I just can’t sit still”? Or maybe you’re someone who does these classes and finds it hard to tone down the voices in your head.

I understand where you’re coming from because I used to be just like you. On the surface I acknowledged that these practices were absolutely beneficial … and then I would add a string of reasons, excuses and thoughts to deflect from the knowledge that I should be doing them.

I was fully enmeshed in ‘being busy’ – a competition that so many of us unconsciously engage with. There wasn’t a second that wasn’t fully scheduled – and in some cases, completely over-booked. Somehow I made it all work and I successfully juggled all the balls I had in the air ….. until I didn’t.

My world imploded in the space of an hour. I went from being a fully-functioning, high-powered, award-winning executive to a wreck on the floor unable to stop crying – within minutes. It took less than 60 minutes for me to no longer be able to exist in the world I had created for myself.

It took almost three years for me to work through all the ‘stuff’ I had in my life and navigate to a place of calm and quiet where I could learn, grow and develop every day. It took almost three years for me to learn that ‘… there’s nothing you need to do, be, have, get, change, practice or learn in order to be happy, loving and whole …’ (Michael Neill).

I was trudging along in my life, operating on auto-pilot and living the life that someone else had programmed me to live through my social conditioning. If questioned, I would have a string of answers as to why I had to live my life that way – there simply was no room for me to think otherwise.

I lived in a state of internal chaos, projecting an outward calm that belied the storm raging underneath the surface. But the problem was, that outward calm I was portraying used up all of my energy reserves. Maintaining that calm façade was constantly draining my energy sources … until there was nothing left.

It was when there was nothing left that I received my ‘wake-up call’, and in a way that was so significant that I had to stop and listen to what I was being told – or die.

What was there to learn from this?

I learned that if I could stop the struggle, take a step back and break all my ‘stuff’ down into small, manageable pieces, then I could slowly and methodically remove that ‘stuff’ from my life.

When I stopped and took the time to sit quietly or to engage in activities that taught me to quieten my mind, I could embrace a whole new aspect of life that was previously closed to me. Western living had taught me that the quiet was dangerous. I was taught to look outside myself for an immediate fix to all my problems. Anything that couldn’t be immediately fixed would be pushed aside and ignored until it no longer ‘existed’.

I learned to sit still and embrace the quiet. By teaching myself to connect to the inner workings of my energy and mind, I reconnected myself with the source of my thoughts. In turn, working with the source of my thoughts gave me the insight I needed to revitalise the way I looked at my life.

So what about now?

Well, now my choices come down to two simple things: I choose to feel better right now, or I choose to feel worse right now. When I base my life on this simple tenet it becomes a lot easier to sit still and listen to the words that the quiet brings.

There are so many ways that the quiet supports me. In particular, the quiet allows me to know that there is nothing to be afraid of in the silence. Silence simply gives me the ability to connect more deeply with who I am – to connect with the real me.

By learning to embrace the quiet, I found the path to my purpose. The quiet allows me to quit the struggle against myself and others … and to acknowledge that my life is fulfilled through the simplicity of living.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

 Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and the author of Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.

choc-hearts-lg | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on www.lifegrid.com.au on 17/11/2016

Imagine the most stressful, complex situation you’ve ever faced … and then multiply it by 1,000. That’s what every second of every day was like for me.

I was a sugar addict and I lived my life fuelled by adrenalin and cortisol. I spent all my time running around after everyone else, making sure everyone was okay and had everything they needed and, like every great perfectionist, I completely trivialised the impact of stress and exhaustion.

Despite my ability to mask it from those around me, my body and my mind were under such significant strain that they had no option but to collapse – dropping me from such a height, and with such force, that I was unable to get back up again. When your world collapses you are thrust into a deep and dark place where confusion is the only constant.

If you can, imagine a situation where you look around yourself … but nothing is familiar. Where you look at yourself in a mirror … and see a stranger. Where you ask your mind to find you a solution … but your intelligence fails to provide you with any answers.

Then you might understand a small portion of what it is like to experience a total breakdown. Perhaps the worst part of this scenario is not being able to communicate what is happening to you, because you don’t understand it yourself.

I can tell you that when you are in a million pieces, on the floor and unable to stop crying, it is very difficult to work out which way to turn and what you need to do to move forward. Time is suddenly suspended – everything you had planned, every project you were undertaking, everything you were doing for someone else is unexpectedly gone. Your whole reason for being drops out from underneath you.

Suddenly, you have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one depending on you – simply because you can’t process anything or deliver anything to anyone. Every ball you are juggling falls to the ground and you can’t pick any of them up. You can no longer compete in the ‘busy-off’ you were previously engaged in and everything around you looks and feels unfamiliar.

In the blink of an eye, the only things you can cope with are the basic tenets of life – things like simple food, fresh air and lots and lots of space.

If I learned one thing from experiencing a traumatic event, it is this: we do not have to suffer to be successful.

Our lives do not have to be a slog until we retire, and the societal belief that we have to have a traumatic event in our lives before we can change is one of the biggest furphies of modern life.

From personal experience I can tell you that it is a long, hard and painful climb back to a ‘normal’ life after a traumatic event. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

The bright side? Well, I now know that change can be so easy when we’re taught how.

I am living proof that the most important part of living a stress-free and simple life is learning to take small steps towards things you want. I no longer subscribe to the lifestyle that says that success can only be achieved by living life in overwhelm with adrenalin and cortisol driving every decision. I’m positive that this only ensures a fast track to a guaranteed early death.

Having been forced to rebuild my life from the ground up, I have learned that it is always my choices that determine how I live. I chose to redefine ‘success’ as ensuring my number one focus is on making sure that I have the things in my life that re-energise me every day.

Instead of eating loads of sugar-laden chocolate, I now deliberately and consciously choose to make sure I have chocolate for my soul.

Every day is dedicated to showing people there’s a very different way to live and to sharing my work with the world.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy. Follow my social links.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

stress | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 01/11/2016

Being stressed is simply a fact of everyday life – right?

Everyday living demands that we absorb stress and power on. From a very young age we’re taught that we must be resilient and strong for us to survive – and indeed thrive in the world.

We live in a dog-eats-dog world, where morphing into something we’re not is the safest pathway to success. We become whoever we need to be to get ahead. We compromise on the things that are important to us – often without any conscious understanding that we’re doing so.

We dabble in the parts of the spiritual world that are deemed acceptable and we espouse beliefs such as ‘Karma will look after us – what we give out, we’ll get back’ but we condescend the ‘hippy’ beliefs of those who embrace the spiritual life as a whole.

In reality, we’re stressed, exhausted and totally overwhelmed. We’re lost and we don’t know which way to turn to steer our lives back on the right track. We feel like we’re so far down the path we’ve travelled that it’s too late to turn back now.

We get away with living our lives like this because we’ve become adept at hiding the full impact that stress has on our lives.

But what if the full impact of your stress was visible for everyone to see?

What if those things hidden on the inside where suddenly fully observable by everyone around us? What if the façade that protects the truth of our lives was suddenly see-through and everyone could look inside?

For most of us, the mere thought of this happening has us running to find a dark, hidden space where we can hide. The terror of thinking that others could see the truth about our lives is what drives us to keep the façade in place.

We’re so busy projecting a version of our lives to the outside world that we operate on auto-pilot – making sure we do the ‘right’ things, at the ‘right’ time and for the ‘right’ people.

Very rarely do we stop to consider the impact on us of living this way. Not only are we hiding the truth of our lives from everyone around us, most of us are hiding the truth from ourselves as well.

Stress is a modern day silent killer.

The impact on our bodies ranges from weight gain, to toxicity build up, to long-term mental health issues.  What we don’t realise is that not only are we reducing our quality of life now, but we’re also significantly reducing the quality of our life in later years as well as most likely reducing the longevity of our lives as well.

Popping pills – whether they’re pharmaceutical, prescribed by medical experts or self-medication (of both legal and illegal nature!) – is not the solution it’s cracked up to be. When we’re ill, it is our bodies way of telling us that something is out of balance and we need to stop and rest to recover. Our conditioning however, tells us that when we’re ill it’s time to mask our symptoms and ‘soldier on’.

The increase in stress related illness – whether it be mental or physical health related – tells us that the way we are currently living clearly isn’t working for us.

So instead of reaching for an immediate fix that gives us a false sense of our ability to keep going, maybe we should take the time to consider that if we’re that terrified of what people will think if they see us stop, that it might be time to make some changes that allow us to consciously make better choices about how we live.

There’s only so long that we can continue to live in the way that we do before we’re given a life event that forces us to stop. Despite our social conditioning, living life in a very different way doesn’t have to be any more complicated than learning to think a little bit differently. Isn’t it time you questioned why you continue to allow your stress level to rule your life?

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

 

Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and Professional Speaker, and is the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.

 

SheiqLife Logo | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker
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