By Monisha Iswaran
There is so much conflicting information out there nowadays about what we should and shouldn’t be eating in order to be healthy. Sometimes it would honestly be so much easier if someone would just tell us what to do! Here are a few easy-to-follow rules that will help you and your family feel well nourished throughout the day – from working adults to newborn babies!
It’s so much better to have a few small meals a day, or at least break up your day with snacks, than to go several hours without so much as a carrot stick. This helps you to avoid the awful feeling of a blood sugar crash and also means you are less likely to go crazy on unhealthy food late at night (and that never makes anyone feel good)! Not to mention, you are likely to be more productive at work or school if you have a couple of snacks to keep your energy up.
Sometimes with children, it can be difficult to ensure they are having snacks regularly. Set up a high chair in your kitchen, so your little ones will have to sit in one spot until they finish their snack – and then they can go play. This will give them focus so that they know when they are popped in their chairs it’s time for their snack break.
Get Enough Calcium!
Having enough calcium in your diet has been proven to make you feel better and boost your overall mood – regardless of age! Great sources of calcium include kale, yogurt and milk, so if you can incorporate these ingredients into meals or snack time they’re bound to provide an energy boost.
Iron Is Just As Important!
Another thing you shouldn’t be skimping on is iron, as it supports energy levels and is extremely important in transporting oxygen! People who are anemic, or lacking in iron, are known to experience bouts of fatigue which is something you definitely want to avoid. Foods that are rich in iron include red meat, oatmeal and lentils.
Get Lots Of Veggies In Throughout The Day
There are so many creative ways you can include veggies throughout the day. In the morning, consider getting up a little earlier and making a blended vegetable juice. You won’t get a sugar spike like you would with fruit, and it helps you to retain fiber throughout the day. You can even pack them in to-go cups, so you can drink them on the way to dropping the kids off at school. Other ways to include vegetables at meal times are omelets, soups and wraps!
Choose Snacks Carefully
Remember when we said eating regularly was a good idea? Let’s revisit that. It doesn’t mean grabbing a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. Eating regularly is only a plus point for your health if you’re picking the right ingredients. A small serving of nuts, a granola bar, a banana or some berries are perfect ideas for light snacks, either mid-morning or in the afternoon. If you’re the type who loves a coffee break, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! A hit of caffeine in the morning can actually jumpstart your metabolism (although it’s definitely not good to get the kids started on caffeinated products too young!) Just make sure you’re taking in lots of water throughout the day to keep yourself properly hydrated as well.
*Note: Families With Babies
Of course you’ll need more specific tips on how to properly nourish your family members if you have an infant in the house. One tip is to feed your baby in a nursing chair, as this allows both you and your infant to be comfortable and relaxed, making the breastfeeding process a lot simpler. It’s also important to remember that if you’re a new mummy, nourishing yourself properly and keeping healthy will result in much better quality milk for your little one.
In short, keeping your family healthy, with a good level of nutrition in their systems doesn’t have to be a complicated affair with heaps of meal prep on the weekends. Sometimes the best way to start is just to follow a few tips or guidelines that are relevant for your family, and you’ll find that everything else starts to fall into place!
First published as an article for www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 18/04/2017
When I was growing up there were these fabulous books that allowed you to choose what happened next in the story you were reading. You chose from one of three or four options and it took you on a different path in the story. At each junction in the story you could choose again until you reached the end of your journey.
A friend visiting my home pointed at some of these books on my bookshelf the other day and reminded me of how much they were loved by kids globally. Her comment has stuck in my mind over the past couple of days and it’s left me pondering about where the sense of adventure in our lives has gone.
It’s almost as if somewhere along the way life has taken over, and we’re now on a conveyor belt hurtling along in an automated process, just waiting for the next thing in life to happen to us. We’re completely unconscious, just sitting there – sometimes being knocked over and sent down another chute, into another process – but otherwise operating on autopilot and dealing with whatever is thrown our way.
Somewhere along the way we’ve lost confidence in our ability to make decisions for ourselves.
We find ourselves with our head spinning, asking everyone else for the answers to our questions. We place all our trust in the answers that everyone gives to us, and we start walking a path that leads us to living someone else’s life.
Suddenly, we find ourselves existing in a fast-paced, unconscious world where every day starts and ends with a grind. Our health – both mental and physical – has suffered, and we’re stressed and exhausted. We’re running on empty, and we’re perilously close to collapsing … so we push ourselves even harder just so we can survive.
When did we forget that our lives are precious? When did we lose sight of our innate ability to have fun? When did we stop listening to what our heart knows we should be doing?
What made us choose automation over our own adventure?
Like many things in life, there are times when automation can be a very good thing. But not when it means you don’t control the decisions that are made for your life.
The fact is, we’ve been swept away by the speed of life. Everyone – and everything around us – moves so quickly that it can feel like there isn’t enough time to sit still and consider the decisions that need to be made in our lives. Information comes at us from every direction and it seems like there is nowhere to go and nowhere to hide for a reprieve.
We’re addicted to an environment that is highly stimulated and we live in a world of instantaneous feedback and interaction. We’re totally immersed in an artificial life of “right here, right now” and constantly reminded – through funky-sounding acronyms – that YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) really matter. We’re wired for stress stimuli … and our bodies respond automatically.
Here’s the thing: we’ve been conditioned by the world around us that our lives must be enmeshed for us to be successful. But in reality, we’ve reached a point in our lives where we now need to consciously stop and make some changes.
Although most of us don’t want to hear it, the truth is this: the more you slow down, the more clarity you get in your life … and it is clarity that gives us the ability to catapult ourselves forward in our lives.
The more time you take to connect with your intuition and to put your faith and your trust in that intuition, the more you will find yourself doing and being things that are really aligned with who you are. The less you rely on answers from others, the more you will find your own answers to those burning questions.
How? Start by turning your life into an adventure! Take control of choosing where your adventure takes you. Treat everything that is offered to you as pathways you can choose between and then explore where your decision takes you with a sense of fun and wonder.
It doesn’t take much to live your life in a very different way and there are loads of tips and tricks on how you can easily do this in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker 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.
First published as a guest blog post for www.melaneyryan.com on 11/04/2017
It’s time …. Take your place – Mahat Retreat – Chiang Mai 2017
Welcome to a world within a world …. a bubble in time where you can blink and find hours have passed at the same time as noticing that time has slowed down. It’s a dichotomy that proves that time doesn’t exist.
There’s a choice you make when you decide to attend a Mahat retreat: you choose to grow and develop; to step forward and take control of your life.
When you arrive at retreat you also make another choice: you choose how you transition through the growth and development that stepping forward presents to you.
From the moment you arrive, you understand that you are privileged to be there; to be surrounded by your tribe, to be receiving divine teachings; you know you have come home. Your need for belonging and your desperate search for direction dissipate as you settle into a rhythm that can only come when you understand that you are connected with everything, and everyone surrounding you.
The collective knowledge and wisdom blends and weaves around you and you realise that your contribution is just as valuable as everyone else’s – that collectively, you make up the whole. Without you, and your contribution, there would be a gaping hole that no one else could fill.
There is a covert power that comes with the realisation that the universe has been waiting for you to step into your greatness – that your playing small has held not only you, but also the collective back from operating at its full potential. All it takes is a conscious choice to embrace your greatness to allow this power to fuel your resolve, to stand strongly and to meet everything in life at eye level.
The fabric of a Mahat retreat is woven with magic – a magic that is unique to the combination of the individuals in attendance. Your soul is touched. Your soul is alive. There are moments when you dance, moments when you cry and moments when you are so still that it’s like you’re suspended in space. These moments weave together like a patchwork quilt that is being lovingly created to provide warmth and comfort in times of need.
Your journey in this sacred space is yours, but it is also shared on a deeper level with the collective. No matter the lesson, no matter the level of awakening you know deep within you that there is a seriousness with which you now approach your life.
As you depart the bubble you know that you are forever changed, your soul is evolved, your light is shining.
It’s time … step up and take your place … it’s no more difficult that making a small shift in perception.
Mahatma my tribe – may every day be a pathway to the light.
First published as a guest blog for www.naturalbeautyexpert.co on 20/03/2017
Simplicity is the key to less stress and avoiding life threatening events.
I think I just blinked and missed it!
Every year seems to fly by faster than the last. In fact, life now moves so quickly and is so jammed full of ‘stuff’ that it can be a struggle to remember what happened just a few days ago.
We’re surrounded by subliminal messaging that continually trains us to just keep going: to buy that thing, to attend that event, to take on more and more and more … and we’re thinking – consciously at times, but more often than not, subconsciously – that surely one of these things will be the golden nugget that sets us free from our life. The thing that will make us happy.
From a very young age we are taught to mould and shape ourselves to meet the expectations of others – instead of focusing on what we really want out of our lives.
We’re intelligent human beings, but we find ourselves running around making sure everyone else is looked after … without stopping to include ourselves and our own needs in our thoughts. Women, in particular, are schooled to be connected to community and dedicated to making sure everyone around them is OK … but that often means we lose ourselves along the way.
Before we know it, we find ourselves in a situation where we’re stressed, exhausted and our heads are spinning as we try to fit more and more into our lives. We ignore ourselves until we find ourselves in the middle of a traumatic event.
I know this because I perfected a life of giving to everyone and everything around me.
I gave and I gave until there was nothing left to give … and then I found a way to give more. I ignored myself to the extent that I suffered a breakdown that took me almost three years to recover from.
What this taught me is that the long-held belief that you have to suffer a traumatic event to make change in your life is a myth. Change is really easy when you know how, but for some reason we’re taught that it is too hard or too overwhelming.
If I had to encapsulate in one sentence my greatest learning through my recovery, I would say it is this:
‘Simplicity is the key to getting ahead; when we remove complexity and stress we significantly increase our quality of life’.
Change can seem overwhelming – because we’re conditioned that it’s hard. I always recommend starting with a few simple steps so that it’s much easier to see the path forward:Slow down. Trying to do everything because you think you ‘have to’ is only adding to your exhaustion. Instead, stop and think about what you want to do. Only say ‘Yes’ to those things that really attract you. Learn to say ‘No’. We often agree to help, even when we know we don’t have the time. We feel obligated to do things even when we’re not expected to. Understand your capacity, and don’t be afraid of saying ‘No’ if you’re feeling stretched. Make sure you re-energise your batteries every day. Set aside a period of time each day to relax and think happy thoughts, instead of agonising over the ‘to do’ list. This one small act each day will make sure your energy is always being recharged. Manage your expectations. Stop setting high expectations of what will be achieved every single day. Understanding that the ‘to-do’ list will always have things on it will allow you to adopt self-compassion in the way you complete the things on it. Become the “Queen of Declutter”. Clear your home and work space of anything that’s not regularly used. Avoid negative friends who make you feel unhappy when you’re around them. We have so much ‘stuff’ in our lives that holds us back … so find the things that boost your mood and make you feel great.
Having experienced a breakdown, I can tell you that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life.
I want everyone to know that you don’t have to wait for a breakdown to have permission to change.
The choice is yours. Take small, simple steps now and I’ll bet you’ll be amazed at just how easily and quickly your life moves in another direction.
Want more info on simplifying life and reducing stress? 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 email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
First published as a guest blog for www.realheidi.com on 13/03/2017
Life can be exhausting.
At a very young age, we transition almost overnight from a world of make believe, fantasy and imagination to one where we are conditioned to join the drive to success, where we take ourselves and our lives seriously and finally, where we begin to blend into everything and everyone around us.
Suddenly we find ourselves having to make decisions about whether the sport we love to play has to go … so that we have enough time to study. We have to make decisions about what subjects we are going to take … to make sure that we can access the ‘right’ career options when we leave school. We have to make decisions about what we are going to be when we grow up.
In fact, we’re so conditioned by our family, friends, school and community that we become robots, responding on auto-pilot to life as it happens around us. We’ve been so successfully moulded into the ‘right’ shape that our decisions are more about keeping everyone around us happy than they are about making sure we do things that are right for us.
We’re connected to everyone around us, yet we’ve never been more alone. Most of us learn from watching the world … but that’s now viewed through the lens of a computer, tablet or smartphone. As human beings, we’re built to experience the world we live in, but now information comes to us from all angles, and constantly, without any down-time. We live in sensory overload. We observe the world around us but we haven’t been taught to overlay what we see with a reality filter that standardises the information.
We use the information we receive as representative of a standard that we need to meet, or exceed. But here’s the thing: for the most part, what we ‘see’ are the best pieces of everyone else’s lives. We see the promotion, the announcement, the celebration, the adventure.
When we make this the ‘gold standard’ of life, and then compare our life against that benchmark, we naturally find ourselves lacking.
We’re connected 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. So, we find ourselves in a pressure cooker that builds in every corner of our lives. The relentless pressure erodes away our self-confidence, and without self-confidence our self-compassion becomes non-existent. It feels like our heads are constantly spinning in our drive to success … but we actually have no idea what success looks like. Before we know it, we find ourselves in a desperate, secret struggle to seek salvation from our own lives, whilst at the same time being resigned to the fact that our lives will most likely be this way forever.
Why do we live like this?
Because we’ve been shaped and moulded to accept this ‘lesson’: that life can only be lived in one way. We’ve been taught that to get ahead in life, stress and exhaustion are normal; in fact, they’re required. The stark truth is that stress and exhaustion are a direct result of adding more and more ‘stuff’ into our lives in an effort to find the pathway to success. It’s almost like we believe that if we keep putting things on our plate – and simply adjust to the ‘new normal’ – that eventually one of those added things will deliver us the break we need. We’ll have found that elusive ‘golden nugget’.
We lurch from mini-break to holiday to mini-break … and thanks to technology, we’re most likely to be continuing to work while we’re ‘away’. We accept as normal that if we can just make it to the next break then everything will be OK.
In the deep dark corners of our mind, we know that we need to do something differently. But we can’t face the thought that we might make some changes, and still be desperately unhappy. We spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that we’ve invested too much and that we’re ‘… too far down the path to turn back now …’.
I know this because I lived this life … to the extreme.
In fact, I perfected living this way … until I was forced to stop through experiencing cancer and a breakdown. Yes, I learned the hard way, but what I’ve learned is this: there is a very different way to live – a way that will accelerate your life and your path to success.
Through my recovery, I learned that we’ve been brainwashed to believe that our lives must be complex and stressful. I want everyone to know that we’ve been conditioned to believe that change is hard. Nothing could be further from the truth. The long-held belief that we have to wait for a traumatic event in our lives before we can change … is just pure hogwash!
People hear my story and they tell me how courageous and strong I am, but my journey has taught me that courage and strength are things that only need to be brought out once in a while. What I know now is that our everyday lives don’t have to be hard. Our normal lives can be just as full of relaxation and adventure as our holidays.
All you need to do is to learn to ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – and that’s no harder than learning to ask yourself a couple of questions and answer them honestly. The great thing is that you get to choose how you live. You can continue to be completely overwhelmed and have no idea how to get to where you want to go. Or, you can find a new pathway by finding the people who will teach you a new way.
The choice is yours … but I want you to know that there will never be a better time than right now to adopt a few simple steps that will empower you to live 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker 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.
First published on www.lifegrid.com.au on 09/03/2017
There are days when it can feel like you’re being pulled from pillar to post.
It’s a strange place to be when your life is flowing effortlessly and your work is connecting so strongly with everyone around you that more and more people want what you’re offering. It can seem as though every time you blink there is someone else wanting you to do something else for them and/or their business.
Everyone loves your work so much that they want their clients to have it too. Everyone wants what you can provide! But how do you give everyone what they want while still moving your business forward and making sure you keep the lights on?
Yes, being in demand comes with some challenges … but they’re great challenges to have.
As a Simplicity Expert, I spend a lot of time showing people how they can easily transition through the highs and lows of life. My experience has shown me that there are a few simple but important things to implement in your life that will support you, whether you are experiencing a high or a low.Define and identify your values.
Most of us are never taught to identify our values. Instead, our social conditioning takes over and we end up living a life that we are programmed to live by others.
When we define and identify with our own set of values, it is easier for us to make choices in our lives that are aligned with what is most important to us.
Once we know what our values are we can easily use them to determine what activities support our values. For those times when you are inundated with requests to do things for other people, you can use your values to work out what things you should and shouldn’t be doing.
If you don’t know what your values are, there is a free resource on my website that will help you work them out:
www.sheiqlife.com/free-toolsSet solid boundaries and defend them rigorously.
There’s a well-known saying: “it never rains, it pours.” And if we’re not careful we can find ourselves caught in the trap of trying to be everything to everyone all the time. This is especially true when you’re in high demand.
You can find yourself with your head down, madly trying to meet deadlines that were totally unrealistic, and that you agreed to without any real thought about whether or not you should be participating in the activity in the first place.
So, once you have your values in place, the next step is to work out what your boundaries are.
Your boundaries are the lines you aren’t prepared to cross, no matter what is offered to you. These are the lines that you know will support you in your everyday activities, and that will ensure you remain aligned with who you are, and what you stand for.
For example, you may be passionate about health and wellbeing … so you’re unlikely to want to align with another business whose focus is at odds with this, even if the ‘deal’ sounds great otherwise.
Your boundaries will make it easy for you to remain consistent in your behaviour and your communication. The more consistent you are, the more aligned your clients will be to you.Make sure you re-energise every day.
Work out your non-negotiable activities that must be in every day to ensure you are OK.
I’m a big believer that your energy levels should be the measure of your health. If your energy is low then it is a sign that your body needs you to provide it with nourishment. Nourishment comes in the form of quality food as well as activities that allow you to de-stress and spend time away from demanding situations and people.
Work out what you need to support you every day. For example, I make sure there is meditation and movement of some sort every day. These are non-negotiable items for me. They come first and everything else vies for the remaining time in the day. Other people I know spend time reading a good book, which allows them to escape to another world for a while. Others love to go for a run.
Find out what works for you. Schedule time for it every day, and make it the first priority in your diary.
There will always be demands on us – at different stages and to varying degrees. You can choose how you handle the demands:Option 1: Allow them to get out of control and rule how you act, react, think and behave.
orOption 2: Change the demands into requests, work out which ones align with your values and incorporate the ones that do align into the flow of your life.
My advice to you is this: make sure the choice you make is conscious.
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 email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Article first published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 3/03/2017Our lives are busier than ever – they’re so complex when simplicity will do. We’re programed from a young age to relentlessly, often ruthlessly pursue ‘more’. We push ourselves to the extreme to try and reach success. We’re totally unconscious to the fact that we’re slowly and painfully killing ourselves, from the inside out. If we’re lucky, we get to retirement without collapsing – we think we have to make it to retirement before we can relax. By the time we get there we’re often sick and end up spending our time shuffling between doctor’s appointments. What if we could consciously make the decision to make some changes NOW? What if we could stop, smell the roses and enjoy our lives NOW? Here’s 5 tips that will help you ‘Keep It Super Simple’ and navigate the demands of life in a very different way. As Dr Wayne Dyer Said: ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’ Tip #1: What if They’re Wrong? We’re all socially conditioned from the time we’re born. Generally this means we’re taught the ‘right’ and ‘appropriate way to behave. What we’re not taught is that social patterns differ vastly depending on the social structure within which we find ourselves. This means that what we are taught depends entirely upon which family, community, state, country, school and so on we happen to be born into and raised within. Our social conditioning usually takes the form of direct and indirect rewards or punishment to move us towards adopting the behaviours and beliefs of our family and community. In essence, most of us are ‘brainwashed’ to go through life on auto-pilot without ever questioning our behaviour. Often the result of this is that we go through our lives trying to squash our beliefs into a format that matches our social conditioning. We tend to spend most of our life being the person we’re ‘supposed to’ be and very rarely get the opportunity to be the person we are. The best way to challenge the auto-pilot is to learn to ask the question ‘What if they’re wrong?’ Asking this question will allow you to step back and get a different perspective on your struggle. Tip # 2: Eliminate Triangles One of the most complicated parts of our lives can be the toxic relationships we have. … either without realising they’re toxic, or because we feel we have no choice but to have them in our lives. Toxic relationships aren’t just with people. They can be with groups, workplaces, organisations, things, substances and habits. Every family and society assigns roles to it’s members and each person plays a part in the whole system. Every influence in your conditioning plays a part in shaping who you become, how you interact and the way in which you move through life. Sometimes we take on roles that are good and beneficial for us, but often we’re just dragged into the drama of life. The drama triangle is a psychological and social model for human interaction first described by Stephen Karpman, M.D. Triangles are situations where there are three people locked in a battle of some sort. Each person takes on a role of either a persecutor, a victim or a rescuer. The victim is always the party who assigns the roles. Triangles can take up a significant proportion of our time. They’re very rarely productive and can often go on and on with no result. Removing yourself from triangles will reduce the stress and complexity in your life exponentially. Take the time to identify and extricate yourself from the triangles in your life and watch how much extra time suddenly appears! Tip # 3: Beat Busy! I’m so busy …. it’s become the pre-requisite for proving that your life is a success. We fill our lives with layer after layer of ‘stuff’ so that we can prove to everyone we’re busy. Every second of every day must give us a story of what we’ve done, where we’ve been and who we were with. If we don’t have this, then what have we got? Our lives have become a competition amongst ourselves as to who is the busiest. We get out of bed in the morning and work really hard to polish our ‘busy badges’ until they shine. We proudly pin our badge to our lapel then go out into the day to see what else we can add to our schedule that will make our badge gleam every brighter. We’re consumed by the busy-off we’re caught in, but most of us aren’t even aware that we’re competing for the title. Sure we’re tired, exhausted and often run down, but we power through so that we can show how resilient and tough we are – stopping is NEVER an option. Busy is a badge that you can put down. Test everything in your life with the question ‘How does this feel?’. If there’s an ounce of struggle associated then you know you need to question what you can do to remove the struggle from your life. Tip # 4: Check your language If you stop to think about it, everything we say has the potential to come to fruition in our life – especially if we repeat it often. ‘There’s always a little truth behind every ‘just kidding’, a little knowledge behind every ‘I don’t know’, a little emotion behind every ‘I don’t care’, and a little pain behind every ‘it’s OK.’ (anonymous) The language we use is very powerful and it’s perhaps the most ignored aspect of our daily lives. When we are running on auto-pilot (as most of us are), we very rarely stop to take stock of what is happening in our lives. We’re conditioned to accept that where we are, what we do and how we do it is exactly where we’re supposed to be. They way you speak to yourself can be one of the most detrimental or the most powerful influences in your life. Take notice of what the ‘mean girl’ in your head is saying to you on a regular basis. Begin to notice the things you use as part of your story every day that aren’t true and perhaps don’t work for you anymore. Try to find another way to tell the story – a way that supports you and the things you want in your life. Cut out the noise and watch your life turn the most amazing corner. Find the simplicity in listening to yourself. Tip # 5: Technology – embrace the good, repel the bad Our lives are enhanced and broadened when we approach situations with an open mind. As humans we’re conditioned to rely on community to survive, but what happens when the way we live creates a fissure in the way that community operates? Technology can be great, and amazing advances are made every day that can save lives, improve communication globally and make our lives easier and more efficient. But technology has also made us busier than ever before and adds a layer of complexity to our lives that serves to disconnect us. We have seen massive changes in the way that communication occurs with the advent of social media, the use of text-messaging, emails and online news, weather and communication channels. This may make our life more efficient in some areas, but it also serves to disconnect us from the human aspect of community. What we’re now seeing is the impact of individuals sitting behind a computer screen and how easy it is to go on the attack with no thought about the impact on the individual you are attacking. It’s almost vital for us to program time without technological connection in our lives. Try to find at least 30 to 60 minutes once a week where you are disconnect from the technology in your life. Without personal connection our society will become totally and emotionally disconnected, and the decisions we make as a community will be disjointed and will serve only a small portion of our interests. The greater good will no longer exist, and if that happens we might as well become machines. Want to access more tips and tricks that can help you think and live differently? You can find loads in ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. You can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop. Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time! Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker 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.
Article first published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 20/02/2017 as part of the #lovetakesaction campaign
Sit still for just a minute and allow yourself a small slice of silence.
Use the space in this silence to ask yourself this question: ‘Is how I am living my life working for me?’
Are you squirming? Did your intuition tell you ‘No!’ and almost immediately your mind kicked in with all the reasons why it’s OK for your life to be the way it is?
Before you let overwhelm take over your thoughts … I want you to know that it is perfectly OK for your intuition to tell you that your life isn’t working for you.
According to Francis P. Cholle, ‘… intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason …’.
Our intuition can tell us a lot of things – if only we stop to listen.
Our lives are so busy now. Technology connects us 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. With this comes an accelerated sense of pressure that is compounded by our lives being visible on a global scale, in real time.
The way we live our lives has also changed as a direct result of our global connection. Barriers to entry in the marketing and advertising space are now almost non-existent, thanks to the power of the technology we carry in our hands. It is now easier, more efficient and more effective to market via social media, email and text messages than through traditional television and print media. It is instantaneous, direct to market and cost efficient.
The sheer speed that we live our lives at – and all the things that we try to squash into each and every day – leaves us feeling exhausted and with our heads spinning. Most of our day is spent on auto-pilot, where we lurch from one ‘crisis’ to the next. Because we communicate through a virtual world, we are surrounded by ‘evidence’ of everyone else’s success. We compare their success with our own life and find ourselves sadly lacking.
Who do you become in this environment?
We do our best to be ‘good people’. We slog our way through every day, desperately – but almost always unconsciously – trying to find our ‘golden nugget’ that will catapult us to success. When we live this way, in an unconscious state, we are vulnerable to suggestion; we are vulnerable to manipulation.
The immediacy of our lives – and the demands on them – leave us susceptible to thinking on the run. Now add in that overlay of the ‘auto-pilot’ syndrome. When you think about it objectively, it is easy to see how this state of being puts us in a position to be significantly influenced by what we see and hear. We can be fed information in snippets that are designed to elicit a response from us.
Before we know it, our buttons are pushed, we jump in. We become appropriately outraged and we have our say. We contribute to a cause. But whose cause is it – is it actually our cause? We don’t notice that we’re being driven by a mob mentality, ‘herded’, if you will, by a group energy … because there aren’t people physically around us. We get lost in the virtual ‘movement’ that is propelled by feelings and sentiments and ideals and values that, bluntly, are not necessarily our own.
Become conscious of the things that grab your attention.
More importantly, become aware of where your thoughts go first in response to the information you’ve received. Are your first thoughts negative, critical or harsh? If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to question whether you’re been conditioned – triggered, even – to respond that way.
The more we can consciously make a decision to make love the first filter we use – in every situation – the more we will take back our control over the way we behave in our lives.
Invest your time and energy in empathy rather than hate. Acknowledge the things that create a common bond, rather than becoming a voice of hate for someone else’s crusade.
Reach for relief.
Remember who you are.
Loosen the grip of auto-pilot on your life.
Stand true to who you are, whether you are communicating in person or through a virtual conversation.
Want more info? You can find free resources and heaps more information at my website www.sheiqlife.com and 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 email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker 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.
Article first published on www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 17/02/2017
No! is a complete sentence …
Almost all of us are constrained by ‘rules’ that we don’t even know exist – that aren’t actually written down anywhere but were drummed into us as part of our social conditioning as a child. When we were young, we were taught which behaviours were deemed acceptable and which parts of our character were to remain hidden from the world in order for us to be accepted.
In our hearts, we are all born with kind, generous and loving souls. It is only once we are exposed to the world around us that greed, fear and a relentless search for more are introduced to us.
History tells us that it’s the victor who writes the story of what happened during the battle. However, history very rarely documents the rules that were broken to win the battle.
Why? Because if everyday people realised that rules can be broken, then power and control over them would be lost. If only we knew the truth: that every single day, there are millions of rules being broken all over the world.
To some extent rules are needed to assist in keeping people safe. Can you imagine if there were no road rules … and it was fine to drive as fast as you like, weave all over the road with traffic coming at you from all directions, change lanes without indicating, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and pay no heed to killing anyone?
I think we can all agree that there are some rules in our lives that are necessary for the greater good.
Here’s the thing: most of us are so conditioned to obey the rules that we’ve never stopped to think about whether or not there might be some rules that we need to break free of … for our own greater good.
For example, how many times have you said ‘Yes’ to doing something … when you really didn’t want to do it, and in fact it was detrimental to you to have said ‘Yes’?
Being caught in the mould of being a perfectionist, I found myself trying to be everything to everyone and feeling like I failed every single time. I never, ever put myself first, and I had no concept of how to consider what I needed – for me to be OK. I also didn’t ever stop to consider whether my actions, or whatever I was doing, was detrimental to my own health.
I was caught up in the ‘system’ and felt compelled to continue on … when what I really needed to do was say ‘No’! What I actually needed was to stop and call out the fact that what I was doing wasn’t working for me and then step away to something that matched my values.
Instead, I worked for almost two decades in situations that clashed with my personal values. I told myself stories about why I had to stay there and I had a million reasons why I couldn’t leave. I ran around after everyone else and made sure they had what they needed to be OK. It wasn’t until I was recovering from a breakdown that I realised I did that completely at my own expense.
We often create a version of ourselves that we believe is the most acceptable to those around us. We become chameleons – changing and moulding ourselves for the different situations in our lives.
So, after those aforementioned nearly two decades of saying ‘Yes’ to everyone and everything except myself, I collapsed. I was totally and completely exhausted – mentally and physically – and my body and mind conspired against me to create a situation that I couldn’t get back up from. I had pushed too far, too hard … and for too long.
One of the most liberating moments of my life came not long after I was in pieces on the floor and I couldn’t get back up again. I was given the tools that helped me to realise that I needed to take the time to examine each of those pieces. Then, I could choose whether to pick up a given piece again and make it a part of me. Or, I could conclude that the piece in question no longer served me well and I could thank it for its contribution and let it go.
When you are able to say ‘No’ to a piece of yourself that you no longer need moving forwards, you can say ‘No’ to anything.
We find ourselves in time-poor situations of high stress simply because we said ‘Yes’ when we should have said ‘No’. Can you count how many times you’ve said or thought something like this: ‘I really didn’t feel like I could say no’?
The only person suffering through this situation was me – and it wasn’t until I was on the floor and couldn’t get up again that I realised that I had been miserable for almost my entire life.
Removing guilt and obligation from my play book, and refusing to bow to the ingrained conditioning that says that I must serve everyone else at the exclusion of myself, has allowed me to create a life where I can choose to participate in those things that are kind to me.
One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I can share with you is this: that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Saying ‘No’ to something is enough. You don’t need to elaborate, or explain, or contextualise … or embellish in any way at all.
Why? Well, because we’ve been programmed to be so helpful to others that it is excruciating when we have to say ‘No’. To ease the pain of this experience, we attempt to explain to others why we have been forced to say ‘No’. We work overtime to make the story as convincing as possible to make sure that our ‘No’ is accepted by the other person.
What I’ve discovered is that roughly 99.9 times out of 100, saying ‘No’ is all that is needed.
Getting comfortable with saying ‘No’ and resisting the urge to tack on an explanation can seem really hard. What I know, is that saying ‘No’ confidently and with easy comes down to practice – the more you say it, the easier it becomes.
Why not give it a try? Create a little experiment for yourself. Make a commitment to say ‘No’ to things at least three times a day. And when you do say ‘No’ … leave the ‘No’ as a complete sentence and see how often someone actually asks you for an explanation. I am willing to bet that there will be very few occasions where you are asked for any further information.
It won’t take long for you to be saying ‘No’ more often than you say yes. Get used to ‘No’ being a complete sentence and watch your world open up!
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a global thought leader who empowers simple connection 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.
Article first published on www.steelheels.com.au on 31/01/2017
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a driving force in the lives of too many of us.
We overload our lives with unnecessary activity because we’re focused on finding the ‘golden nugget’ that is going to catapult us to success and we’re worried that we’ll miss out on the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives.
In our late teenage years we’re expected to seriously assess our future and we’re asked to pick the direction our lives will take. With the changes in the education system, we now face a significant expense to cover the cost of a university degree, or any other form of post schooling education and unless we’re lucky enough to have someone who can afford to pay these education expenses for us, or we win a scholarship, the first step of our ‘career’ is weighed down by the shadow of debt.
Despite bringing fresh energy and excitement to our very first job, we also step out into the workforce feeling pressure to rise in our career – and quickly. Over time this pressure morphs into an underlying fear that we might not amount to much if we haven’t already made it.
Before we know it we’ve adopted a lifestyle that accepts being tired and stressed as normal. In fact, most people now hold a belief that if you’re not these things then you’re not working hard enough.
We find ourselves unable to say ‘No’ to a networking event, professional or personal development session and we’re left with our heads spinning trying to fit everything in. Our sleep is the first thing that goes – we don’t get anywhere near enough and the quality of the sleep depreciates over time.
When asked about the pressures in everyday lives, the number one recurring theme from women is that they are overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted because they’re busy living a life others expect of them.
FOMO is now the major factor driving us as a society to increased stress, ill health and untimely physical and psychological breakdowns.
Safe Work Australia reports that stress, burnout and fatigue impacts an increasing number of Australians each year, with 6% of all workers’ compensation claims for mental health disorders.
Safe Work Australia 2015, Work-Related Mental Disorders Profile Report claims that “Mental stress is the main cause of compensated work-related mental disorders, with 90% of mental disorder claims attributed to mental stress”
The report also found women workers were more likely to suffer and make a claim for compensation with the number of claims per million hours worked 2.3 times higher than those recorded for men.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Our societal belief that we have to wait for a traumatic event in our lives to have permission to change the way we live is one of the biggest furphies of the modern life. Getting ahead and achieving success is not about being busy – it’s about filling our lives with things that give us more energy than it takes to do them.
Each of us is a unique human being, and as such we need different things to support us in our everyday activities.
There are simple and easy things that we can do every day to help us make sure our energy is focused in the most productive way for us as individuals:
• Understand where you get your energy from: Make a list of all the things that give you energy – these are the things that make you happy, make you smile, make you laugh. They can be related to people, places or activities. • Understand how your energy is drained: Make a list of all the things that drain your energy – things that make you tired just thinking about them, people who steal your energy when you see them, work tasks that aren’t challenging or inspiring. • Reduce negativity: Make an effort to stay away from activities or people who drain your energy and replace them with things from the list that gives you energy.
It’s time to buck the trend. It’s time to start thinking and living differently. It’s time to open our eyes to the cost of living our lives in the shadow of stress and exhaustion.
It’s time to put FOMO in it’s place!
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 email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time! Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicty 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.