meditate

  • How To Know If You Have Actually Changed

    It was a big day for me.

    I was driving 3 hours to hand over keys for the house we had just sold, in the week before we flew out to Italy for our wedding. I could taste the energy release on the tip of my tongue as this phase of our life ended and a new page was about to turn into the next chapter, but it all stopped when I reached my car door.

    I thought it was strange to be surrounded by grey concrete as far as the eye could see, except for a round black stain underneath my car. I climbed inside and turned on the engine.

    My newly filled tank of petrol had somehow leaked entirely out onto the floor, taking my day trip and week full of pre-wedding travel plans with it. After a mechanic came by shortly after, he said that someone had drilled into the tank to steal my petrol; the £1200 that I was quoted for garage repairs was worth far more than just the £40 of fuel they had taken. To start such a crucial week by losing my wheels when there was a house handover, dress shop trips, bridal beauty appointments and airport pick-ups to be done would have plunged me into a pit of despair 4 years ago…

    But not now.

    Now was different.

    Now I knew what it meant, and I knew that the only thing which could actually harm me was my own reaction to it.

    When disaster strikes, we are being called to see our situation in a new way and appreciate everything that we used to have, have and will have. The only thing which causes us such immense stress is our attachment to how we think things should be. If we can be loose with our beliefs and change them at any moment to serve rather than stress us, then we can finally enjoy full autonomy over our experience on Earth.

    If we let things get the better of us, then they will. If we can turn any negative into a positive, then nothing will ever get the better of us again.

    Our “best outcome time lag” will get shorter and shorter the more that we practice this type of mind control. This is what I call it when we look back to see how everything fitted together so perfectly because that painful, confusing event actually was in our best interest after all…

    The sooner that we can switch into this thinking and look through the lens of absolute faith instead of fear, the quicker we can free ourselves from self-induced anxiety and thoughts of impending doom.

    This is not to say that it won’t be hard. Of course it will – like all great things that are really worth having. To have something which has not been earned is to never enjoy and appreciate it fully. My grandfather taught me that, and at the time I thought he was wrong – of course I’d like to just win a million pounds on the lottery and have it all now! But there is a satisfaction to something being earned that does not come when it is taken from the hand of another.

    If we are brave enough to control our thoughts and find the best in things, then we will be able to savour the intricate beauty that is filling in the gaps of our whole existence. The perfection from which all circumstances and situations come is always there, we simply need to be able to see it for ourselves. As the single subjective viewer of our situation, we are the only one with the power to correct our viewpoint at any moment.

    If we are brave to see our situation in a new way and brave to let the old way go, then we are closer to revealing the truth of how everything is secretly working for us. If we are brave enough to untie our idea of how we think things should be, then we are finally free to enjoy how they really are. Everything is always perfect and working in our favour, somehow, but sometimes as humans we’re so resistant to our own good fortune that we close our eyes to the unspoilt beauty that surrounds us. All events are with a Divine purpose, and our greatest purpose comes from our greatest pain. What is taken away from us is the gift that we will one day soon give back to the world.

    When things don’t turn out as planned it’s a wonderful opportunity to compare how you react now with how you used to react. Your comparable pain (resulting from your thinking) is the barometer by which you can know and celebrate how far you’ve come. If we can continue to use our thoughts as an asset, then we will find the seeds of positivity hiding under each circumstance faster and faster with practice.

    You will know how much you’ve changed by how much hope you have for tomorrow in whatever form it may arrive, instead of continuing to be disappointed by what it turns out not to be.

    Let it be, and you will see, how the world, is meant to be.

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  • Get A Tortoise Mindset: Why The Overnight Success Story Is A Terrible Lie

    “There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

    Hare ran down the road for a while and then paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?”

    🐢

    A day can pass by in a whirlwind. As we battle our to-do lists and rush from here to there, we rarely get a chance to stop for breath – let alone to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come.

    But it is these small actions that we take each day which prime us for our own success. In our society it might be easier to think that races are won overnight by buying a lottery ticket, waking up to a million new followers, or to see that your gravy train has finally come in with everything that you wanted in tow…

    We think that this is what we want – but could we really cope if everything came along all at once? As humans we need time to adapt, adjust and accept change. If we’re catapulted into a new world without warning then our grip on reality slips. On top of this, due to the Yin and Yang of life, if a deep low were to follow a dizzying high then we would be exposed to extremes of living greater than we’d ever known before. Having a Tortoise approach protects us against this.

    If you’ve ever listened to how super successful people talk about their journey – or read their autobiographies – then you start to see that there’s a common theme of taking actions continuously and diligently in order to eventually get what they wanted.

    In a televised interview where Bill Gates and Warren Buffet sat on a sofa together, they were both asked what the single most important ingredient for success was. They said in unison: “focus”. Similarly, in an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, he told the interviewer that it took him 10 years to become an “overnight success”. In the Netflix series Defiant Ones, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails said that he had to enjoy each tiny win along the way until they all added up to the success that we see today.

    At no point did any of these people promise immediate gratification or a shortcut to the riches and fame that they now have.

    Selling ourselves the idea of overnight success is also selling ourselves a Terrible Lie, as Nine Inch Nails might say. We can’t expect to wake up with abs after doing one workout the day before, and the same is true for most of the goals that we have for ourselves. Consistent effort and intentional focus will take you to where you want to go when the time is right.

    I feel like I talk about the importance of timing a lot, but when it comes to achieving amazing feats – timing really is everything. A rush cannot produce the best results, nor can it offer the solid foundation that a sustainable future relies upon.

    Even though the Hare is full of confidence and appears to make strides over the Tortoise at the beginning, his hubris quickly becomes his downfall. Meanwhile, the Tortoise consistently takes considered action and ends up with the ultimate prize. There is a big price to pay for playing the short-game and expecting victories to be easily won overnight.

    Be the Tortoise, and know that what you want is possible if you’re unwilling to give up and unrelenting in your effort.

    Be the Tortoise, and enjoy looking back at your many different successes each morning – instead of hoping that one day there’ll be one big success to outdo them all.

    Be the Tortoise, and prepare to win the race like the rest of the greats…

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  • 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Motivation

    We all know the feeling when you’re in a slump and everything feels like you’re running uphill in sand, but the good news is that research shows you can influence your own motivation and self-control.

    I’ve gathered 10 ways to help you tap into your greatness and boost your motivation. You always have the greatness in you, sometimes it just needs activating!

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    This is a proven method for staying on track with exercise goals in particular, as you are no longer tackling them your own. Even when you’re struggling to find your own motivation, you have someone else there to hold you accountable for your own inaction.

    During the toughest of times, it also means that you have someone on side to cheer you on, offer kind words of advice, and help pick you back up after a defeat.

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    Desmond Tutu said “there is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time”. This is so intuitive, but the mentality often alludes us when we’re faced with a huge task that seems overwhelming. Anything can be accomplished, though, when we break it down and take on one bitesized chunk at a time…

    When embarking on something major, even getting started can feel challenging due to an immobilising fear of the task’s magnitude. Divide it up into baby steps which are manageable and know that no one expects you to achieve everything in one go, so don’t expect it of yourself.

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    Goal setting is key for motivation. When we have vague goals, we don’t get much traction because without a clear vision of where to go – it’s hard to commit. 

    Psychotherapist Denise Fournier (Ph.D) says that “setting goals is important for creating a meaningful, satisfying, successful life”. To tap into our limitless potential as human beings, we have to know exactly what it is that we want to accomplish.

    Defined goals provide the foundation for great achievements, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar reminds us that “a goal properly set is halfway reached”.

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    Getting pleasure out of an activity, like a workout, increases our motivation. If the task is something that we don’t want to do, then behavioural research shows that even financial incentives aren’t enough to keep us on track.

    Self-Determination Theory (SDT) says that goals are either intrinsically or extrinsically controlled. When you reach your intrinsic goals, you enjoy the activity in itself, so you aren’t even aware of how much time has passed. Extrinsically controlled goals, on the other hand, exist when your focus isn’t on the actual activity – but how it can help you to reach a desired outcome.

    In life, there will be times for both types of goals, but you will feel far more motivated when the activity itself brings you pleasure instead of just the final outcome which can feel a million miles away. Psychologists Edwin Locke and Gary Latham claim that well-chosen goals are part of the “high-performance cycle” because the right goals generate excitement and a sense of self-efficacy. In other words, we are more likely to feel motivated if we think: “I AM capable of reaching these goals”.

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    Motivating yourself to get started on a task can be hard. Yet most people will already be living according to a schedule of some sort, whether it’s a work calendar or personal diary, so if you add in allotted time for your goal then you will feel more compelled to stick to it like the rest of your obligations. 

    When we know that we’ll only have to do the task for 1 hour instead of giving ourselves a whole ‘day’ then it is much easier to use time to its maximum potential. Otherwise, we can easily find other ways to fill time if we give ourselves more than we need (cat videos anyone?) If you schedule time for your goal between other activities, then it also gives you the time pressure of needing to complete it before your next meeting.

    Take note of Parkinson’s Law here – the time that you assign to a task is the time that you will take to complete it.

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    This goes nicely with breaking the activity into bitesized chunks. It is easier to stay motivated for an hour instead of ‘an afternoon’ and you’ll be even more motivated when there’s a reward for completing one of your scheduled time-slots. These treats can be anything from a tea/coffee, toilet break or 2 minutes of social media! Whatever keeps you motivated and isn’t unhealthy in excess.

    Think of it this way, more chunks that you divide your task into = more treats!

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    Visual aids such as a mood board or imagery around your home provide inspiration and make your vision something that you can see with your own eyes. They give you something tangible to work towards, which in turn works wonders for keeping motivation high. The process of creating a moodboard is very personal and you can decide which elements of your vision you want to include, and which you don’t.

    You can read full instructions for how to create a powerful mood board here or watch the video here 🎨 

    Getting crystal clear on your end result and being reminded of it daily will raise your motivation to whole new levels!

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    A change of scene refreshes our energy. Even for the most motivated individual, doing the same task for long periods of time can get very monotonous and entice us to create boredom-induced distractions.

    Make sure that you aren’t chained to the desk/treadmill for 3 hours at a time, as this will ultimately have an adverse effect on your motivation when you start to associate the task with struggle and monotony. Mix it up and move into a new space if you need to, and ensure that you’re keeping your brain engaged with regular breaks.

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    Nothing is more inspirational than reading stories of those who have walked the path of success before you, especially when they came from humble beginnings or an old life which resonates with yours now. It’s important to consider which idols you can research and emulate in order to prove that your goal is achievable and worth pursuing.

    If they can do it, so can you! 

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    Goals turn dissatisfaction with our situation into an intention to improve it. You should always be proud of yourself for making a decision to change your life for the better! If motivation is running low, try to remember the reasons why you started on this path in the first place…

    What benefits were you hoping to achieve? I bet if you really think about it – then you’ve come quite some way from when you first had the idea?

    Give yourself credit where credit is due, and never be too hard on yourself.

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    Motivation is not in constant supply.

    But, while motivation comes and goes, if you can stick to your timetable and attack those bitesized chunks then you can steadily move towards your goals without relying on the appearance of a single emotion.

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  • 8 Reasons To Forgive The Person Who Hurt You The Most

    Rather than forgive and forget, sometimes we opt for “resent and fester” because it feels so much easier to reach.

    But who does it hurt the most if we aren’t willing to forgive?

    Today, I want to offer up the thought that we are always the ones who benefit the most from our decision to forgive. And here are 8 Reasons Why


    1 ⋆☽ To allow yourself peace of mind ☾⋆


    Tranquility of mind is what so many of us are lacking these days, with our manic schedules and endless demands filling our mindspace. By choosing not to forgive, you are choosing to hold on to something which could be released instead.

    Rather than mulling over the many ways that someone has wronged you, try to spend part of that time thinking about how and why you should forgive that person – and then spend the rest on things which make you happy.


    2 ⋆☽ To protect your energetic vibration ☾⋆


    The word that I notice myself saying most often is energy, because at the end of the day – that’s all we are! As you can imagine by how it makes you feel, resentment is a very low vibration energy for us to stay in. Over time, it turns toxic and becomes insidious to our entire energy field.

    Choosing love instead is a decision which will always elevate your energy to highest of heights. When your heart is full, you become a magnet for everything that you desire. Everything is reachable when you are coming from a place of love and gratitude. Forgiveness might be the secret sauce that you’re missing if you feel like something is in the way of your manifestations, but you can’t figure out quite what.


    3 ⋆☽ To benefit your other relationships ☾⋆


    When there is friction in a relationship, the static can be felt by everyone near it. In interconnected relationship networks, such as a family or friendship group, a failure to forgive can affect more than just one relationship. We have all been in the situation before of feeling forced to take sides because two people couldn’t reconcile something that happened between them.

    Similarly, one person may have caused you a huge amount of hurt, but by choosing not to forgive then you may be hurting other people around you too. Forgiveness heals your relationships with more than just who you are forgiving.


    4 ⋆☽ To be an example of what’s possible ☾⋆


    If you are able to forgive someone who has seriously wronged you, then you become an example of what’s possible. You show others that love is always an open option, and that no-one else’s actions can stop you from choosing it. Instead, you lead with love, and inspire others to do the same; even in the most testing situations…

    Your actions speak volumes about your character, and if you can teach others by example the value of forgiveness, then your character will start a positive ripple effect throughout the world. You can show other people the peace that follows forgiveness, and give them confidence to make the same choice when they need to. Reach for forgiveness and be a living example of what’s possible through love.


    ⋆☽ To let go of your past and make space for the future ☾⋆


    Making space for new things that you want to enter is a relatively recent lesson on my manifesting journey. Choosing to let go is a crucial part of saying “yes” to your future, because you’re no longer using that energy to hold onto your past instead.

    Let go of hurt and open the energetic door for new beginnings, new lessons, and your own healing. Through forgiveness, you make it possible to understand how the other person is feeling and what caused them to act this way, rather than having your judgement skewed by a blurry fog of resentment.


    ⋆☽ To practice empathy and understanding ☾⋆ 


    Empathy and understanding are not always our brain’s first response…

    When we are angered or perceive that we’re a victim of injustice, then we can feel a familiar urge to hop into monkey mode and beat our chests until we feel vindicated. But, in the long run, this does no good for our emotional, mental or spiritual health.

    Empathy is an art and the world needs more artists. When we are presented with people who have wronged us, then we are also presented with an opportunity to express ourselves as the kind, loving individuals that we really are. When we make seeking understanding rather than retribution one of our habitual responses, then we retrain our brain to instinctively look for the best in all people and circumstances.


    ⋆☽ To set emotional boundaries ☾⋆ 


    This one might sound counterintuitive at first, because: how can forgiving someone who has wronged you be an example of emotional boundaries? Isn’t it just giving them a free pass to do the same again?

    This reason is really to highlight that by forgiving someone, you are setting good emotional boundaries with yourself. You are making a conscious decision not to allow someone else to dictate your mood and emotions, and you’re reclaiming your own mental wellbeing. You are choosing to see people in a positive way, rather than allowing someone else to drag you down and cause you to see things differently as a result of their actions. You are keeping your emotions under your own control, rather than under the control of others.


    ⋆☽ To free yourself from regret ☾⋆ 


    The implications of this reason can be enormous. I don’t know about you, but in the context of strained family relationships, I always worry about what will happen when the other person dies and I am left here on Earth. What will I think; how will I feel; and will I have any regrets?

    The best way to avoid these potential regrets is to resolve the issues that you’re worrying about as quickly as your heart will allow. Choose to move forward in order to eliminate the risk of years looking back, wondering what you might have done differently. You never hear stories of people who have chosen to forgive, but then lived to regret it; yet there are many of people who have held onto grudges, and then regretted the time that they lost.


    As always, the choice is yours…


    When someone has seriously hurt you, then you are the only one who will know how you really feel about it – and therefore, how you would like to respond.

    But, somewhere in your heart, I am sure that there is a deep desire for healing, love, and completeness – which all become possible through the act of forgiveness.

    To forgive does not mean that you are permitting their wrong, but it does mean that you value your own mental and emotional health more than the past action of another person. It means that you value your own happiness and sanity to such an extent that no-one can take it away from you.

    The benefits of choosing forgiveness are plenty, and the benefits of going without it are few.

    Open your heart and forgive without fear, because you can’t always control the actions of others – but you can always choose how to react.

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