What do you need to let go of?

 

The full moon tonight provides the perfect opportunity to release and let go of anything that no longer serves you anymore. By that I mean emotions,thoughts, ideas, beliefs, relationships or things that do not benefit you any longer. Letting go of some of these things can make space in your life for new things to enter your life.

What do you need to let go of to make room for the new, or to give you peace? Forgiveness is a way of letting go also, is there someone you need to forgive? Or something you need to forgive yourself for?

How Similar Are You To Your Teenage Self?

 

I have been reflecting on the similarities between me now and me as a teenager. I started this blog post months ago when I was recognising similarities between myself and my teenage daughter. Today I was listening to music that I listened to all the time as a teenager and it reminded me of this post. Excuse the quality of the photo! This was taken in 1994 when I was all of 13 and probably thought I knew everything.

Listening to the music today (Nirvana), I felt like me. It felt good.

I think I probably stopped listening to the music that I liked as often because I had kids and my taste wasn’t exactly their taste. And honestly, it probably wasn’t exactly the music most of my friends and family were listening to either.

My Similarities

My music taste is similar. The other day I was making a playlist of songs that make me feel most like ‘me’. My music taste has always been a little unlike most of my friends and probably still is. Metallica, Guns n Roses, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chilli Peppers still all make the list (as they have since I was 12) and some country-ish music thrown in occasionally for something different. My Cher phase has passed however…. Although now that I have remembered my pre-teen love of Cher I may find myself looking for a Cher playlist on Spotify!

My taste in clothing hasn’t really changed much. I still wear mostly black much to my family’s insistence that I become more colourful. I still own a denim jacket and I still only wear makeup if I am going to something fancy.

I was a messy teenager… nothing much has changed there. I was always 10 minutes late….  Now I would say I am always running late but generally get there right on time. Except kinder… always late to an 8.30am kinder start.

I was shy but once I felt comfortable I could talk and talk and talk. Nothing much has changed there.

I used to write and read all of the time. I would develop characters and stories and draw the characters and what they were wearing. I kept a journal with all my secrets. I only took up journaling again about two years ago and have only been writing this blog for a few months and still finding my writing style but I am doing it. When I was working as a Social Worker I used to love the part where I had to write up my client’s life stories.

I have always been a kind person and sensitive to other people. I think that I lost it a little when my youngest two were very small because I felt so ‘needed’ by my family constantly that I didn’t have the emotional space to be there as much as I normally would for others. Hopefully now that has come back, it feels like it has.

I have always been highly sensitive. To smell, sound, emotions, other people’s needs and feelings, to events in the world.

I wanted to work ‘helping people’. I still think that this is my purpose.

My hair…. Hasn’t changed much at all, except some grey ones!

My Differences

I would never begin a conversation. I would now.

My self-confidence is higher.

I used to hate being introverted. Now I accept that as part of me and work with it.

I have realised life is so much more complicated than I thought as a teenager.

I used to love a microwaved tomato and cheese croissant at school. Now only a toasted one will suffice.

In reflection, I am probably pretty similar to how I was as a teenager, with a few positive changes. There are a few things like listening to the music I love that I need to remember to do more.

How similar are you to the teenage version of you?

How To Start Journaling

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend and when I mentioned journaling she asked what I did when I said I journaled. I thought maybe there were others reading who might like to know more about journaling so I have written a little about how I journal and how it helps me.

When I was a teenager, I used to have a lockable diary that I would write in. Often, I would write important events in it, but I would also write about how I was feeling and what was going on in my life. I found this useful particularly when I was sad or angry. A place to get my emotions out.

As an adult, I only journaled occasionally, generally when I was going through a difficult time or record events such as when I was going through IVF or when my Dad passed away.

A few years ago I began to journal more frequently. I have found it to be beneficial for various reasons.

I have found journaling can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • As an emotional release, particularly when I am feeling frustrated, upset or angry.
  • An opportunity to clarify my thoughts. Journaling can be a very useful tool to sort through the thoughts, emotions and ideas circling around in my head.
  • It provides an opportunity to reflect on my experiences and thoughts.
  • After writing things out I gain a different perspective or insight in to what is going on for me.
  • I can keep a written record of my goals, ideas, and experiences.
  • It can be useful when my mind feels overloaded. I often use it as a ‘thought download’ – writing down everything that is going on in my head. Sometimes it helps just to get it out of my head and on to paper.
  • Journaling can help me come up with answers that I need.
  • I learn more about myself.

 

All you need to start journaling is a notebook and a pen. I personally like a hard-backed spiral bound notebook, or a hard-backed journal. I like a hard back because I usually write when I am in bed on lying on the couch and find having a hard back easier. I also like a good pen that flows well because once I get going I can write quite fast and hate my pen feeling like it can’t keep up with me!

I like to journal when it is quite so that I can just tune in to my thoughts and write without distraction.

When I started journaling, and even some days now, it can feel like I don’t know what to write. It can feel forced. Honestly, I have found the best thing to do is just to start writing and keep going. After a little while I find that my thoughts start flowing on to the page. Sometimes I just start by writing out questions that I need answered and then the answers start coming after a few minutes of writing out the questions.

I don’t always expect (or get) answers via journaling. Sometimes there is no clear answer. I do find that it helps sort out my thoughts, calm down if I am angry, or at least get my thoughts and feelings out.

Sometimes I use journaling prompts to learn a little more about myself, such as the weekly self-discovery questions that I post for my readers. I find that answering it by writing in my journal lets me explore the answers more deeply than just thinking about it.

 

Some things I find helpful when journaling are:

  • Privacy is essential. Knowing that no one is going to read your private thoughts means that you can feel comfortable to write. If you do not feel comfortable with having a written journal you can use online password protected journaling websites such as Penzu or 750words (I have never used one so not sure which site is best to use sorry) or write it on a piece of paper and burn it.
  • Don’t censor your thoughts. You need to be open to being honest with yourself. This isn’t always easy in the beginning but will come over time.
  • As I mentioned before, a good pen is ideal!
  • Do it regularly. Even if you set aside 5 minutes a few times a week to begin, or even once a week. You will probably find soon enough that that 5 minutes turns in to more.
  • Just keep writing until your words flow and the answers come.

 

Essentially, the key to journaling is just to put words on a page! So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook and pen and put pen to paper.

I would love to know if you already journal or if you are inspired to start one, let me know in the comments.

Are you putting any parts of your life on hold?

Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? If you are why?

Many of us put parts of our life on hold. Waiting until the kids are older, we have more time, more money, or maybe just until we get the courage to do it. I think many of us, particularly mothers, put our self care on hold until we have more time. Or we put our relationships on hold with our partners and with our friends because we are too busy or waiting until the kids are older. The problem with this is that our relationships suffer and we can end up feeling isolated from our partners and friends. Sometimes relationships will end because one or both partners put off making their relationship a priority because they have small children. In the case of putting our self care on hold, our mental health and often our interactions with our families suffer because we are not looking after ourselves.

Maybe you used to be very creative but you are not making space for creativity in your life anymore. What are some small ways you could bring creativity back in to your life?

Maybe you are not happy at your job and need something more fulfilling but fear of taking that step is holding you back.

Is it your health, your happiness, your dreams that you are putting on hold? Why? Some reasons are very valid, we cannot do everything all at once, some things need to be put on hold for a little while. But sometimes our reasons are based on fear. Fear of ‘what if I fail’ or ‘I am not good enough’. Sometimes we just can’t see a way that we could possibly fit anything else in to our lives.

I encourage you to have a think about why you are putting off parts of your life and how you can make room in your life for those things. You don’t need to think too big, just focus on little things you could do. For example, if it is your health, can you make small changes like walking the kids to school once a week? If it is that you have put aside the creative part of you, can you buy a colouring book and pencils and colour for 10 minutes before bed or while you are waiting in the car for the kids to finish school?

What parts of your life are you putting on hold? 

 

7 Years of Marriage

This week my husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Seven years of marriage feels like it has gone very fast. At the same time, we have been through a lot of ups and some very hard downs in that time.

We have been together for over 14 years, with a few breaks here and there prior to getting married. The last seven years have been the best. Not the most fun, carefree times of our relationship, but the most connected times.

I can honestly say that I love him more now than the day we were married. We have both grown together and our relationship has grown as a result. We have worked out how to best support each other through the hard moments. How to move on after arguments. How to break through those times where we are feeling ‘stuck’. We know what each other needs to be happy and try to give each other the space they need to do those things. We work together as a team.

We balance each other out. We are stereotypical left brain driven (him) and right brain driven (me) and while this can cause a few issues because we are so different in how we think, we are learning to use these differences to complement each other and work better together.

I would be lying if I said that having a happy relationship is easy, because it isn’t. We have to work at it. But it is worth it.

I feel grateful every day (almost) that I married him. Here is to many, many more anniversaries.

Looking back over my wedding photos and looking at my wedding dress in the cupboard I remember how much fun we had on the day. Lots of fun, dancing, and love. I think that for our tenth anniversary I might host a party where everyone comes dressed in their wedding dress or other fancy dress that they never get to wear. I loved my dress and would love an excuse to wear it again. If you know me in real life, look out for your invitation in about three years time!

I Feel Most Like Me When I …

This weeks self discovery question is to finish this sentence ‘I feel most like me when I…’

Have a think about when you feel like you. Is it when you are out with friends? When you are at home with your family? Maybe when you are exercising or doing your favourite hobby? When you are alone?

I think I feel most like myself when I have a day or weekend to myself. When I can choose to do whatever I want. Read, meditate, walk, eat, have a bath. When I am taking time out for my own self care and to tune in to my self and my intuition.  I feel myself when I am relaxed and enjoying a peaceful night at home with my husband and kids. When I am dressed in clothes that I love. I also feel it when I am talking to people and helping them… you can take the girl out of Social Work but not the Social Worker out of the girl…

I would love to know what makes you feel most like you.