Hello everyone and welcome to mindful.mel.
What is mindful.mel about?
I created an Instagram account that I named mindful.mel. It was just an idea, that I was going to use it to write down my thoughts and feelings around different things that mattered to me. It contains quotes and my ramblings on life, happiness, love, and my ways of being more mindful in this constantly busy world. So I decided to take it one step further and turn it into a blog.
I look forward to seeing where this new journey is going to take me!
I hope you enjoy reading!
As an adult we have a long list of things “to-do.” It’s either physically written down, recorded in our smart phones or stored somewhere in our brains. While we are often aware of our priorities we tend to just go through the motions – get up, go to work, pay the bills, eat, sleep, repeat. We seem to be programmed. Life isn’t that simple. Sometimes we are thrown curve balls, or we make the decision to add other layers to our lives – studying, starting a new hobby, changing jobs, relationships, fly fishing…what ever takes your fancy really. We some how have to find a balance and make sure that our priorities match our goals and vision for the future that we want.
This is why I have been absent from blogging. I have had to prioritise my time and energy to ensure what needs to get done does get done in the most effective and efficient way (not to mention writers block, but I shall keep that for another time). Now let me tell you what I have learnt about this…I am a pretty good procrastinator! For instance, I’ve got a shite load of boxes sitting in the garage that have been there since I moved into this house about a year and a half ago. I know those boxes are there and I keep telling myself I will crush them and recycle them thoughtfully….now that I have assignments coming out of my ears, a business to try and build, work to attend to, and overall life admin – nothing seems more important now then getting rid of those damn boxes! I know you hear what I am saying. I have had to exercise some self control – will the world end if those boxes aren’t crushed? No…I mean the world might end, but not because I haven’t crushed those boxes.
When we have visions for our future in any shape or form it can become overwhelming. While you can sit down and think about where you would like to be in 3, 5 or 10 years time, often you won’t have a clue, however when you make the decision and have a rough idea of where you would like to be, taking the first steps towards these goals can be a challenge. For me personally I get really overwhelmed at the thought of where I would like to be. Yes, I should break my goals down into more manageable chunks, but it is scary and anxiety provoking. So much so that I end up feeling like a dead weight that isn’t moving any where and everything that I am working for constantly feels out of reach.
So what is the solution? Keep moving forward. When procrastination or fear sets in, to sit with it, acknowledge it and then continue to push through, until our goals are no longer at our finger tips, but instead in the palms of our hands.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Stephan R. Covey
Happy June people!
Where on earth has the first half of the year gone?
For the month of May my mini challenge was to meditate every day – I did a 10 minute meditation in the morning before getting up, followed by a 30 minute meditation in the evening before bed.
Did this practice change my life? I would have to say yes, yes it did!
The morning meditation included the affirmation “Today is going to be a good day…Today is a good day.” When I wasn’t feeling on top of my game I would come back to this mantra and say it to myself. It made such a difference. Sometimes when you say an affirmation or a mantra to yourself you can feel a bit goofy, but the more you say it the more you feel it, and it really does happen. Now this is not to say that shite didn’t happen, because shite did and does happen. However there was a part of the mediation that talks about if you are faced with challenge throughout the day that you will be able to handle it, and sure enough, any challenges that did come my way I was able to handle.
The evening meditation was about letting go of the past and clearing the charkas. In the evening I would most of the time fall asleep during this meditation, however I believe subconsciously the meditation still has an effect.
I also attended a meditation class during the month which I absolutely love. To be in another environment with like minded people where you have permission to do nothing else but meditate. There is nothing to do, no where to be, but to just be present in the moment. I’ve been attending these meditation sessions with Lulu for 2.5 years now, and always look forward to going. I have popped Lulu’s details down the bottom if you are interested in joining a meditation class.
There are so many meditation apps out there now, and some great meditations on YouTube. You just have to find what suits you and what you are looking for. There have been times in the past where I have felt to wired and to frantic to meditate, but these are the times that you need it the most. To stop. To concentrate on your breathing. You would be surprised at how much more productive you can be when you take 10 minutes out to meditate. It can set you back on your tracks where you can think clearer and get more done.
Lulu’s Place Psychic Healer Positive Life Coach
Morning Meditation: Morning Meditation 10 Minutes – Positive Affirmations to start your day
Evening Meditation: Cut the Chords of Past and Present
We learn to speak from such a young age. Speaking is difficult when you really think about it. Once we learn to speak we do so in order to communicate with others, to ask for help and to socialise. However as we get older, we learn that some things are not appropriate to say, for instance it would be rude to say to a waiter in a restaurant “I want water now” (channelling a 2 year old talking to their mother or father). We learn the social cues that are acceptable, and what are not. However, if you delve deeper, if you pull apart words that you say in your everyday life you will discover that they can change the whole idea of your statement, whether you intend to or not.
I have become aware that I unintentionally use the word “just.” Such a funny word. One in which can change your innocent comment into one in which is rather negative. Nothing is ever ‘just.’ ‘Just a minute’ often means more than a minute, or could be less than a minute. If someone asks ‘how long are you going away for?’ and you reply “just 6 nights” it implies that 6 nights is not enough, when someone else would love to be away for 2 nights, and 6 nights would be an absolute dream. The minute you put the word ‘just’ in front of anything you are toning it down. ‘What are you studying?’ ‘Just massage therapy’ like that is not enough? It automatically indicates that you don’t hold value to what you are studying, when being a massage therapist can help so many people in so many ways. ‘I’m just a nurse.’ You are the person attending to sick individuals every day in a way that no-one else can. ‘I’m just a cleaner.’ You help prevent people from getting sick by keeping buildings, workspaces, frequently visited places clean. Are you getting my drift?
Be mindful of the way in which you speak. It certainly is reflective of how you view yourself and the world around you. The words you say can denote if you have a positive outlook, with the glass being half full, or a more negative outlook with the glass being half empty. Being conscious and actively attempting to change the words you use on a regular basis can assist you in changing your whole outlook.
You are never ‘just’ anything.
Remember that, you are never ‘just’ anything.
Mindful Mel 🙂
As part of my mini challenges for 2019 I have just completed Appreciation April! During the month of April I would write down each day at least 5 things that I appreciate or am grateful for. It could have been things that happened during that day, or it could just be more general.
There were evenings where I would forget to write down my 5 things. I am a stickler for habit, and may be bordering OCD but I would tell myself that it is ok if I missed a day. The world is not going to come to an end. If I felt the need I would add a few extra appreciation points instead of just writing 5.
What did I learn from Appreciation April?
That it really is the small things that count! Obviously not big and grand things happen every day, but the little things that occur each day can be the things that bring a smile to our face – blue skies, birds chirping, an elderly couple holding hands, a kid stomping through the autumn leaves in his gumboots. All of these small acts fill up happy spaces within your heart. I found that reflecting on them and really taking the time to write about it and appreciate it made me more aware of what was going on around me throughout the day.
So what’s next?
I am so excited for this one! For 31 days I will be participating in mindful meditation. I will be doing a short meditation in the morning to set off the day and a longer one in the evening before bed. Will report on changes, and anything that I have noticed at the end of the month. Please feel free to join along and share your experiences too!
As you get older you “do you” and you get involved in the mundane routine that is life. It may feel like you are just going through the motions that you aren’t aware of what is going on around you. Sure you might have set yourself some goals and you are chipping away at them slowly but surely but what you may not realise is that someone is watching you. Not in a creepy way. In a way that they admire you.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you did something that you thought was really cool? Like a trick on the monkey bars, mastered the cartwheel or learnt how to spell a new word? And you use to say to your Mum or Dad, or anyone that you looked up to for that matter “look at me! Watch me!” Your parents, or the adult that you called upon would smile and give you words of encouragement and tell you how spectacular your new trick was, or they will acknowledge how hard you worked for something. As you age, you learn not to ask people to watch you, and you seek to find that intrinsic motivation where you are proud of yourself. Of course, we are human beings and most of us do well by having our efforts recognised be it in a professional sense or in our personal lives, however we don’t hear it as often and sometimes it can take you by surprise.
If you have ever had the opportunity to be around small children you will realise that they are tiny sponges that soak up everything! And I mean everything! They are watching everything that you do and listening to every word you say (even if it doesn’t appear that they are) and out of nowhere they will mimic you. They will say a phase that comes out of your mouth in the exact same tone in which you say it. They might grab a cloth and wipe the coffee table because they have seen you do it, or grab a tissue for their sibling and try and wipe their nose because they have seen their parents do it.
However as adults we are much more modest and humble. We are taught not to boast. We keep our heads down and our bums up and we continually chip away. While we observe others we often keep our opinions and thoughts to ourselves. To receive a compliment for some can be confronting, for others they take it in their stride. If you notice someone is kicking life’s goals, let them know. Encourage them. Tell them how proud you are of them. Tell them how much they motivate you to set your own goals. Tell them that you have noticed. It’s easy to become complacent and to just assume that people ‘know’ they are doing well, but it is certainly another thing to be told. To hear it, to read it, and then in turn to feel it.
My point is that we often want what we don’t have, and more often than not there is someone watching you thinking that they want exactly what you have at this present time. So be grateful and thankful for all that you have, keep your chin up, hold your head high, and keep working towards those goals. Be kind; be respectful, because no matter how old or how young you are, you never know who is following in your footsteps.
It is often believed that self-esteem issues are heightened during our teenage years, due to a surge in hormones and that phase in your life where you are working out who you are as a human being. However, self-esteem issues are rife all throughout life – whether you are a 5 year old, a 15 year old, 35 year old etc etc. These issues can take you by surprise. You may not even notice that you have them until you become aware of the words that come out of your mouth, or you notice that you develop negative or uncomfortable feelings towards a situation.
Sometimes it is obvious as to where these self-esteem issues have arisen from. Other times you have to dig deeper to uncover where these beliefs about yourself have come from. Whether you are well aware of where they stem from or if you do have to do a bit of digging around it is a rather confronting experience.
Social media is a breeding ground for uncovering these personal demons. We are human beings and we can’t help but compare our lives to others. Often feeling like our life isn’t ‘good enough’ or feeling that by a certain age we ‘should be’ doing and achieving certain things – the marriage, the house, the babies, the endless bank account, the exotic holidays, the redecorating, the smoking hot bod. It’s an endless pit of things that society has painted as being the ‘norm.’
I am going to be totally raw and honest here – body image. Never bothered me growing up. As a teenager I was a happy, naive individual. Life was bliss. As a 32 year old woman, I struggle with body image, and the funniest thing about that, is that I am the fittest I have ever been. Scrolling through social media can be dangerous. Whilst I know I could tidy up my diet, I also know that it isn’t all that bad. Furthermore, having a solid reminder that we are all different and two people can be following the exact same diet, doing the exact same exercises but have two completely different body shapes, and that is totally fine. We are all individuals and we are not supposed to look the same.
In relation to dating I have noticed that I have a type. I always thought that I didn’t have one, but with the whole online dating extravaganza some friends of mine pointed out that I did have a type. The most concerning thing that came out of my mouth when I was talking to a friend about a potential date was “I don’t think someone like him would go for someone like me.” I think my friend’s reaction of “and why not?!” with the look of horror on her face made me realise that I didn’t think I was good enough – not attractive enough, not fit enough, and not interesting enough. There are a lot of things obviously going on here – 1. I’ve already judged someone I haven’t met, and 2. I don’t think I am good enough for certain ‘types’ of people, and I’ve resigned to less than I deserve.
So how do we address these issues? How do we build our self-esteem to appreciate the person that we are? How do we start telling ourselves that we are good enough? It begins with changing your thought patterns. It is important to acknowledge these thoughts and feelings as they arise acknowledge them without judgement and then let them go. Like any thought or feeling, they are fleeting, they are not permanent. Following up with a positive affirmation or saying some kind words to yourself helps change the thought patterns in your mind “you’re smart, you’ve got this, you know what you’re doing, your hair looks good today, I’m a great Mum, I’ve worked really hard” ect. Are all examples of things you can say to yourself to help change your thought patterns from the negative to the positive. It takes time, practice and persistence to change these thought patterns but it is possible!
“I am me, nothing more, nothing less, and that is enough” Harpreet M Dayal
Minimisation March was an interesting one. I had intended on getting rid of things that no gave me joy lol. Now not too long ago I actually went through all of my clothes and donated what I no longer wore to charity, and if house hold items broke and were beyond repair I got rid of them straight away as opposed to letting them pile up. I have started collecting a pile of ‘hard rubbish’ for when the time comes, it will all be together and easy to dispose of. I still have a whole heap of cardboard boxes that I need to dispose of from when I moved house…almost a year and a half ago. However, life happens things get ridiculously busy and we all have other priorities, so for now when I get a spare minute to do that they can wait. The world will not come to an end.
A major aspect of minimisation March was cutting down on spending. I looked at my budget. I looked at my outgoings vs my income and looked at how I can cut down on what I spend. If you haven’t done this already, I highly recommend that you do. Look at where you can cut costs on utility bills, insurance, subscriptions ect. For instance – I don’t watch Netflix (I will give you a moment while you pick your mouth up off the floor lol). So I ended my subscription. No use paying for something that I don’t use! Same with online dating. I made the most of my subscription by chatting and going on these so called ‘dates.’ However once the subscription ended I made the conscious decision to cease the membership because 1. It was not bringing me joy and 2. It was a waste of money.
I also made the conscious decision to cut down on the amount of procrastination and time wasting that is consumed by social media. At the end of March I decided to sign out of Instagram and Snap Chat and only use what I needed for business purposes. Have I missed it? To be honest, no I haven’t. Have I felt the need to check it? No I haven’t. This is really surprising for me. I thought I would be suffering from FOMO but I’m not. I’m just keeping calm and carrying on which has been all sorts of wonderful! Things are getting done.
Now I have entered Appreciation April. This involves writing down 5 things a day that I appreciate and am grateful for. Will be interesting to reflect on my findings at the end of the month, and if doing this task has made a difference to my overall wellbeing.
Until next time,