It has always been interesting to me that when we are caring for other people, and particularly, when caring for other people’s bodies, we seem to dynamically neglect our own.
Health-care workers can be the worst perpetrators of this!
When I was caring for my mother as she was dying, it was so important for me to take time to care for my own body, to spend an hour each day nurturing and caring for me, connecting in and checking in with my body, and also the beauty around me. This allowed me to connect with the sense of peace, calm, joy and gratitude that is available in every moment.
It’s not difficult to connect with and begin nurturing your body, and if you do, you will discover that caring for your body is one of the most nurturing and dynamic gateways for living life with greater ease and joy.
Here are two really great tools to rediscover the joy with your amazing body. I recommend you start doing this regularly. You will be amazed how much change you can create if you make this commitment.
TOOL #1: Rediscovering the joy of your body
It is time to start asking your body some questions, and let it contribute to you?
When you wake up in the morning, touch your arms, your stomach, your face, gently and just connect in and say “Hi.” Acknowledge it is there, and it is there with you. You might even being to thank it for being with you despite all the judgment you have heaped on it or the ignoring you have done of it. What if you could start to be grateful for your body anew in this moment?
Start tapping into your body every time you are making a decision that involves your body. Ask:
For everything that involves your body, start asking your body what it would like. It may take a while to start speaking the language of your body, but just start, and it’ll get easier, and more fun!
Tool #2: The One Metre walk.
This is practice for being present with your body and your surroundings.
Go somewhere where you can have some space and not be disturbed, you are about to go for the slowest walk of your life! Take one step, and then stop. Start taking notice of your body and your surroundings as you stand there. Your posture, the feeling of the ground underneath your feet. The air on your skin, your clothes on your skins. What smells, sounds, vibrations are you aware of? Is it different if you open or close your eyes? – What can you notice and acknowledge about you, your body, and the environment around you that you have never noticed before? How much can you notice around you before taking another step? How long can you stand in one spot and keep noticing more and more things?
If you got back to the same place twice, what different things can you notice from last time? You will be surprised how much we miss when we aren’t truly being present with us and our bodies in our lives.
Enjoy playing with these and remember – nurturing your body will allow you to nurture others with far greater ease. For what reason would you not want give yourself, and everybody else, that wonderful gift?
I have a bit of a different point of view of what a “Leader” is. It’s not about being in control or “in charge” of people, a situation, or having followers. To me, a leader is someone who is truly willing to LIVE!
Living as a leader is about being willing to choose what works for you and creates the most in life, regardless of what other people think, say and do. It’s also being willing to let other people choose what they need to choose, while never stop yourself from choosing what you need to choose, either.
Are you ready to no longer be a product of your past experiences, or of the attitudes of the people around you and just BE YOU – totally and joyfully?
If you are, here are my top 7 tips for creating it all with ease, kindness, and joy:
Being the Leader Tool #1: Make a demand to commit to your life
Demand of yourself every day to have allowance, to practice choosing, to be present, have gratitude and celebrate you. If you choose to change it, it will change. But you have to be willing to do whatever it takes, and change your “can’t, shouldn’t and won’t” points of view to “what else is possible?” points of view!
Being the Leader Tool #2: Interesting point of view – whose is it anyway?
Anytime any doubt comes up, or you feel hesitant, or stuck, or upset – whose point of view is that? Is it really yours? Or is it how your Mum feels about life? Is it how most people feel about their lives? Is it something you were taught that was true that isn’t? Is it really true for you (remember the heavy / light tool) or is it just an interesting point of view?
Being the Leader Tool #3: Ask Questions every day!
· What can I choose today that will allow me to keep moving forward right away?
· What else is possible that I have never considered?
· How does it get any better than this?
· What would be kind / nurturing / joyful for me to choose right now?
· What does my body require and desire of me and what does it desire to contribute to me?
Be the Leader Tool #4: Choose!
If something isn’t working, if you are going down the rabbit hole of judgment, ok cool, no problem. Choose it. And then you have another 10 seconds, choose again! If that choice doesn’t work, choose again. If something isn’t changing, make a different choice.
Being the Leader Tool #5: Give yourself permission to have it easy.
Do something that is fun for you. If you are not feeling great, be willing to ask questions, do something simple that adds to your life – put on bright clothes, listen to some nurturing music, stand outside in the sun for 5 minutes and just listen to your breathing.
Being the Leader Tool #6: Don’t give up and never give in!
Re-visit these tips, and use the questions consciously over and over until it becomes second nature to you. This is a different way of functioning you may need to give yourself some time. It’s not about getting it all right – spend 3 days on one tool and see what changes… Focus on gratitude for a week… pick one thing and indulge in it. There’s no right or wrong. Just as there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no right or wrong way to change things and live your life – it’s your life, choose what works for you!
Being the Leader Tool #7: Acknowledge you.
Take some time to notice what has changed in your life – without the filter of judgment. Is it possible you have actually created more than you think you have? Where is there ease in your life now that seems so natural to you, you might have forgotten that a few days or weeks ago it wasn’t an area of ease? Sometimes change does occur quickly and gently, and if we don’t acknowledge ourselves, we will miss the changes that have shown up for us!
Ease, freedom and joyful exuberance is part of living, if you choose it to be there – no matter what has occurred in your life. You truly can create whatever you desire. Use these tips to play with what would be fun for you to create in life. Where would you like to lead yourself today?
One thing that created the most grief for me in life was something many of you might not expect.
As a young child and into my 40s, I suffered with constant and debilitating migraines.
My response to having them was typical of the “symptoms” of grief: I would be out of circulation for days, I buried myself away, I didn't let anyone in. I had the shields up and I couldn’t stand to be around people. I would go into sadness, anger and a heavy and significant state of believing something was very wrong with me. I was stuck in the cycle of feeling helpless to change anything, and I was in a continual state of worry and fear about when my next one was coming.
I would never leave the house without a plastic bag full of different types of medications "just in case" I might need them. I was always told when you felt the first signs of migraine symptoms that you must take something straight away to stop it, and there were different medications for different symptoms – so I had quite a collection!
Putting coping mechanisms in play to deal with migraines took over so much of my life. My world became small and contracted. I tried to control as much as possible around me. I blamed the migraines for my life having to be so limited, but what I later came to realise was that it was my choice to be small and controlled that was creating the grief and pain I experienced.
The first time in my life that I truly felt empowered to start changing this was when I realized that my point of view creates the reality I experience, and not the other way around.
It can be confronting to acknowledge this at first. But for me, it was interesting to realise that when I create a point of view in my own world it can create a physical dis-ability, and it was even more interesting to acknowledge that I could change my reality with migraines by changing my point of view.
I had decided many years ago that the migraines were horrible and I couldn’t do anything about them. When I let go of that and started looking at things differently, what was previously impossible, began to unravel.
If you have something causing you constant grief, whether it’s a body or health issue, relationship issue, work issue, money issue or anything issue – I suggest that you don’t give up trying to change it until you have done (at least) these 3 things:
No more migraines, no more medications and no more contracting my life in order to cope.
Happy Body! Happy me!
If you would like to know more about the Access Bars check out www.wendymulder.accessconsciousness.com
Grief can come up in any part of life where we are faced with a big change, like a relationship break-up, but it doesn’t have to be all trauma and drama!
Here are 4 tips to have a lot more ease with the ending of a relationship, and embrace the beginning of something different:
1/ Stop looking for what went wrong.
When a relationship ends, we often spend many fruitless hours trying to work out what went wrong so that we can avoid making the same mistake in the future. We get tied up in regrets, blame and guilt. But what if there isn’t actually anything wrong with you, or with the relationship ending? All of us, deep down, know that every ending is also a new beginning, so what if you could see what’s right about it? Instead looking for the wrongness in yourself, the break up, or even in your ex-partner, ask: “what is right about this I haven’t been willing to acknowledge?” Every time you catch yourself going into ‘wrong’ mode, stop and ask “What’s right about this? What’s right about me?” Open your eyes to the gifts of the situation, rather than the problems!
2/ Don’t compare yourself with your ex, or anyone else.
In today’s social media focussed world, people are constantly projecting images of perfect, happy lives. But the images you see on social media are just that – images. You are seeing only what people want you to see, you aren’t seeing the reality of the situation. Instead of looking at what your ex is doing, what your coupled friends are doing, what other people are doing and judging it against your own life, start to LIVE your life, for you! Get out into the world and explore it. Discover what makes you happy. Take up an old hobby, take more walks out in nature. Read that book you never got around to. Take a random road trip. Start to prioritize you. Nurture and care for you, and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing!
3/ Don’t make anything significant.
Sometimes break ups can bring up resentments, recriminations, or we our ex-partners can say or do things that can appear hurtful. A friend of mine broke up with a man she had been living with for 4 years. Two weeks later he had a new live-in girlfriend. She was angry and upset, “Four years, and he has just moved on like I didn’t even matter!” I asked her, “Does it really change anything? Is what he is choosing really relevant to you?” and she said “Well, no, it isn’t!” When she gave up making what he did significant, she didn’t have to play the victim, or get angry, or feel wronged, or judge herself. She could instead focus on what was relevant to her. What other people choose doesn’t actually mean anything good or bad about you. It’s just the choice they are making. The only choices that have anything to do with you, are yours. What would you like to choose now that you haven’t chosen before?
4/ Have gratitude for you.
Do you value you? Do you see yourself as a gift? Are you grateful for yourself and the life you lead? Or do you refuse to see the greatness of you unless someone else sees it first? It’s not uncommon to hear people say “I don’t know who I am without this person,” after a break-up. This occurs when you see your value only through the other person’s eyes, and never your own. Take this time to train yourself to become your own cheerleader! Every day, write down 3 things you are grateful for about you. Keep a list, and make it grow. The beautiful thing about gratitude is that the more you put your attention on it, the more it grows. What if you could truly embrace the gift you are, no matter if there was anyone else around to acknowledge it or not?
What if you can allow yourself the moments of feeling sad or upset, but not allow it to stop you from fully embracing the change that has come your way?
The joy of living is our ability to choose and change all the time – but we seem to only embrace it when it aligns with our definition of what ‘good’ change is!
When we have decided that it’s a ‘good’ change, we allow it to improve and enrich us; when it’s ‘bad’ change, we experience deep loss and go into a sense of lack. But what creates the idea of what changes are good and which are bad?
The choice to experience change as loss is a symptom of a bigger societal trend. It is not actually what would necessarily work for you, or be in your (or anyone else’s) best interest. What if the whole concept of loss is based solely on how you have seen everybody else do it, how you have been taught to do it, and prevails only because you think you have no other choice? It would be too weird to grieve differently – or would it? What if you could start to make the choice to see things differently, and what if you could experience all change, any change, with a sense of gratitude and of possibility?
As someone who nurtured both my parents and my best friend in their way out of life, I realised that we have so many different choices when it comes to grief, loss and change in our lives. And the less judgment we have of things, the more joy and beauty is available in every moment.
What if death, or those changes we have been taught to believe in as the ‘losses’ in life, were not the bad and wrong things we have been told, but a change that creates a different possibility for everyone involved?
Imagine being able to be there for someone who is dying with kindness, gratitude and non-judgment. What difference would that make for them, and you? Imagine being able to farewell a loved one and allow your life to become greater, and not less as a result of the contribution they were in your life, whether that was for a long while, or a short while? Imagine being able to have the sadness of saying goodbye to something or someone you loved, but never losing the sense of possibility, the connection with joy, gratitude and greatness that is part of you?
There are gifts in every moment. Every change, no matter whether society tells us it’s a desirable change or not, has endless possibilities – if we are willing to receive the gifts they bring us.
When we experience a significant change or loss in our lives, is it true that there must be a time to grieve, a time to heal, and a time that comes when we can, at last, move forward?
We have been taught to believe that there is structure and framework to grief – for example, “The five stages” of grief tell you that grief is made up of feelings and emotions of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance as a part of dealing with loss.
A common misconception is that if you move on too quickly, it’s not real; you are in denial, you are suppressing your true sadness, or you are doing something wrong. People can develop a sense of guilt about being happy when they have lost a loved one, or don’t want to ‘move on’ because they believe it is dishonouring of their memory. What if none of this is real or true? Would your loved one really want you to be sad?
What if you didn’t have stay miserable to prove how much you cared? What if you could care, have gratitude, and yes, tears and sadness too – but what if you could choose, rather than do it the way everyone else says is correct? And what if joy could be part of it all, too?
I know a young lady whose father passed away when she was 15. Her mother very shortly after re-kindled a high-school romance, whilst she instead spent the next 10 years using the loss of her father to explore her own ideas about death, change and life, and in the process contributed to many others who had also experienced loss. Neither of these ways of dealing with loss is wrong, and the young woman is grateful for her experience in creating the person she is today. She realised that when she didn’t buy into any belief that her mother moved on too quickly, or that she took too long to move on, she could see the gift that each of their journeys was to their own lives and each other.
Moving forward isn’t about leaving anything behind, or ‘getting over’ a trauma, but choosing to live in each moment. It is making a choice to be present and grateful in life, even when things are not so rosy.
If there’s one thing that I have learned by my own journey with losing loves ones, is that every moment is a gift and you can receive all of it with ease, if you are willing!
What gift could we be in the world if we didn’t worry about how to grieve or how to move on, and just chose in the moment whatever it is we need to choose?
Are you happy with your life? If not, would you gift yourself and the world a totally different possibility this Christmas? The gift of being truly, beautifully, wonderfully YOU! It may sound crazy, but being you is the fastest route to happiness!
When you are being you, you aren’t fitting into what other people see as the right way to be. Your difference is not a wrongness. It is the gift you came into the world to be.
How are you a gift? When you show up as you, without trying to fitting in, and you stop looking for what’s wrong about you. When you give up believing you are wrong, you can begin to see what’s wonderful about you, you can have a true sense of gratitude for you and your life, and you can begin to be a contribution to creating greater possibilities for everyone. How does it get better than that?
You become a very real contribution to the world when you are willing to gift and receive without any judgements, expectations, projections, separations or rejections - of you or the other person.
Learn to Receive Gifts… including the Gift that YOU are!
Are you always the giver? How are you at actually receiving? When someone gives you a present, do you find it easy to receive? Do you receive it with the open joy of a kid, or do you wonder what you have to give in return to make it acceptable? What if you didn’t have to keep computing the value of things all the time and just receive with gratitude?
What are you willing to receive more of this year? Is receiving a physical gift different to receiving the gift you are? Not really. Have you made physical gifts more valuable than the beauty and brilliance of you? What if you could receive the things in life, AND receive the gift you are too, just by being here?
We are not taught to prioritise liking ourselves, being grateful for us, or having a sense of peace and ease with ourselves. We are taught to believe that it’s not valuable, and the valuable thing in life is what you can get, what you can do, and whether or not the people around you judge you favourably. What if this Christmas, the true gift was realising that the ‘get, do and judge’ paradigm is not real, and step into a kinder way of being in the world – that starts with you never judging yourself again?
The Gift of Non-Judgement and Gratitude
What if you could be so at ease with yourself that it didn’t matter what your family did or anyone else around you said or thought about you? What if you could just receive the judgments of others like a breeze going by, and let it flow on past?
Whatever you are not willing to receive stops you from receiving the things you most desire… it stops you from receiving love, money, ease, magic, possibilities… and so much more! If you’d like to change this, start being truly, deeply grateful for you. All of you, not just the pretty, shiny parts that you already know are likeable!
Being the gift of you is a reality-changer. So instead of worrying about getting everyone you know the ‘right’ gifts or stressing about how much money you are spending on them, ask these questions and see where it can lead…
> What gift can I be to myself and the world today?
> Who can I contribute the gift of non-judgement (gratitude) to?
> What can I be and receive that will allow me to be happier today?
How do you know who the ‘real you’ is? Look at you through the eyes of an animal. When an animal looks at you, they see the real you, without the filters of all the ways you have made yourself wrong. That’s why we love puppy-dog eyes so much! They are the eyes of non-judgement.
What if you would be grateful for you? Is this the greatest gift you can be to the world this Christmas (and every day?)
Sometimes a sudden and unexpected loss can really ‘side-swipe’ us. Whether you are made redundant in a job, lose money, your house or assets, a relationship ends, you lose a loved one (person or animal), or are diagnosed with a serious health condition, a seemingly overwhelming sense of shock and grief can occur. In that moment, we can make a whole gamut of decisions, judgements, and conclusions of what it’s all going to be like from that point forward. Grief will settle in and linger when we are intent on focussing on the loss, and mourning over the future we thought we were going to have, that now has changed.
What if you can acknowledge that life is not going to be exactly as you decided it was going to be? But, does that mean it has to be worse from now on? Or can it just be different?
People who deal more easily with unexpected grief are those who have gratitude for everything that shows up in their lives, not matter how long it stays. Of course you didn’t wish to lose what you cherished and cared for. Of course it sucks, beyond sucks. It’s ok to acknowledge that right now it's hard. It’s ok to be sad, angry, shocked and confused.
And, you don’t have to lose yourself in any of those emotions either. What if you could allow yourself to have whatever comes up, fully indulge in it, but know that you don’t have to choose it for more than 10 minutes at a time? You always have a choice.
What if you can be grateful for what was, sad for the loss, and at the same time wake up in the morning and know that you, in this moment are alive? What if you can miss someone or something and still know there is a beautiful planet out there, and things and people that you enjoy. Yes, life is going to be different now. Your future is more of a mystery than you once assumed it would be.
So now, what else is possible? Could you allow yourself to just be and do what you need to be and do right now?
And, what if unexpected Grief was not necessarily the end, but could actually open you up to a whole different array of possibilities and choices that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen?
Haven’t you ever wondered how it’s interesting that other people can see our talents and capacities long before we do? When I ask people “Would you be really willing to acknowledge that is so brilliant about you?” they are often unable to - because they have never seen it before, or they have seen it as a wrongness or a weakness, when actually it can be their strongness.
If this is you, a great question to start asking is: “What’s right about me I’m not getting?” and see what else can show up.
I have a friend whose family always called her over-sensitive. What she discovered through Access Consciousness® was that she wasn’t over-sensitive, she was just really, really, really aware. And the difference between those two things is enormous. She didn’t’ have to judge what she thought was a problem about her, and could see instead that it was actually a huge capacity!
She went from thinking “Everything I am and do is wrong,” to going “Oh! I’m just aware. Oh, they’re being mean again. I’m just aware of it.” She developed the capacity to be in acknowledgement of who she is, rather than judging herself as wrong for every single thing that showed up that other people didn’t agree with or like about her.
There’s an energy of contribution available when you receive who and what you are. For example, you are reading this because I am willing to acknowledge what I did differently with my parents dying and with other people who have experienced life-threatening illnesses, that was more ease-filled, peaceful, joyful and gratitude-filled than many other people had experienced.
If I judged myself for being different, I would not be talking about these possibilities publicly. By being willing to acknowledge how different I am, and that there was no wrongness, it’s just a different choice, I have been able to create a space and an invitation for other people to choose something different too. If I hadn’t been willing to acknowledge that I am different, and that what I have to offer is a gift, those other possibilities might still not exist. If you are judging you, you can’t see the gift that you are that contributes to the world, and you will not let the contribution you can be exist out there, where it is required and desired!
There’s so much more expansion in being willing to acknowledge you. It opens up so many doors and different possibilities for you to tap into and explore. It gives you a space to actually be you, and to enjoy being you! It also is a huge invitation for people to be themselves too.
What if, for every time you thought you were wrong, you asked “What’s right about me I am not getting?” instead and see what else could show up in your life that might be fun for you?
Wendy Mulder is an Access Consciousness® Facilitator, a Registered Nurse and Grief Therapist. She is the author of 'Learning From Grief'.