4 Keys to Break Free from Worry

Dear Moms,

This week I thought I’d share my story about how I used to be a chronic worrier and how I’ve found some very useful keys that really help when worrying strikes. I’m grateful to report that with these keys my worrying has become less frequent 🙂

I think unless you are extremely lucky or an enlightened being worry does visit us for time to time, however, I didn’t realise how bad it was for me until I started watching my thoughts and observing how a little worry could turn into the worst disaster! On a scale of 1-10, I probably was at an 8 or 9 especially after becoming a mom. Most days I would spend a lot of my energy worrying?! Finding some relief was really warranted 🙂

Dare I say it but looking back I thought worry was actually beneficial that if I worried enough I’d be able to prevent bad things from happening, plotting out every scenario in my head. However it wasn’t until I took a step back and started researching/reading and practicing Reiki that I realised that I didn’t need to live like that especially since the activity of chronic worrying is so bad for our well being. Worrying causes our brain to think we are in danger, this starts a cascade of events – our brain signals our body to release stress hormones, then our immune system gets suppressed which in turn leads to us becoming more susceptible to illness.

It started for me in secondary school when I put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘succeed’, to get good grades and get into university. And, then worrying about jobs and climbing the career ladder, and then that turned into worrying about what people thought of me, or worrying if I made a mistake how it could affect my career etc.  After Issey was born I worried about her health and then my health and how I was going to manage my career and being a mom. It was exhausting… It wasn’t until my health really suffered that I started to review all the areas of my life and realised that this chronic worrying was a bad habit that I needed to change as a priority.

So if you find yourself getting into a worry trap here are 4 proven keys that have really helped me.

  1. Observe – as mentioned above I’ve learnt that simply observing my worrisome thoughts as they start to come in I have the ability to quickly stop them turning into worst case scenarios. This takes practice (the more you practice you are literally re-wiring your brain with what’s called new neural pathways to stop the spiral happening) I am now amazed how quickly I can turn my thoughts around, I just simply say thank you for showing up worrisome thought however I am not going to engage in you. I also find that affirmations help change the nervous energy in my body to more of a calm energy. My favourite affirmations are ‘all is well’, ‘only good lies before me’, ‘I am happy, calm and relaxed’ and ‘just for today I will not worry’ (this beauty is one of the five Reiki principles). I’ve also observed that worry happens for me when I am extremely tired,  haven’t eaten well (although this is extremely rare) and/or watched some news that was extremely worrisome. So now I ensure I put my sleep and food as a priority and decide what I watch, for example, we never watch the news anymore (growing up it was the first thing we saw in the morning and the last thing we saw at night!). I’ve broken the habit of news watching and we have removed our TV from our home so we only watch content on our devices that we choose for ourselves. I’m not suggesting you give up your TV however maybe observe how you feel after you watch something especially the news…
  2. Meditate – yes I am talking about meditation again ha! I have to tell you that my meditation practice has literally changed my brain and my personality, I am no longer the person I used to be and therefore no longer a chronic worrier! I always feel relaxed, refreshed and calm after doing a 10 or 20-minute meditation and this stays with me throughout the day. I see this as a daily habit I will never give up.
  3. Take purposeful action and then let go – when the worry doesn’t seem to be going away or it is indeed a very big worry then sometimes action is warranted. This may be in the form of writing out the worry on paper and then reviewing it later. What I find is most of the time on relection it doesn’t seem so bad… Depending on the worry another action maybe simply contacting someone to find out some more information… However, once I have done all that I can then I let it go and simply hand it over to a greater power in my case I will ask the angels for help ;0
  4. Practice Gratitude – yes I am also mentioning gratitude again 🙂  if you follow my blog or are part of the moms speaking your truth private facebook group you will know I am always talking about the simple yet extremely powerful practice of gratitude. Two things to mention about gratitude, firstly, if you feel worried just start thinking about what you are grateful for this will stop the worry trap (your brain can’t be worried and grateful at the same time!!) Did you know that if you earn more than $10/day you are better off than 80% of the rest of the world. This statistic always brings me back to reality and grateful for my home and my running water! The second thing with gratitude is that if you genuinely start practising it you will find worry doesn’t come to you as often. This gem of a practice is so powerful and changes your energy for the better. In our household every night before we go to sleep with Issey we all take turns to list out the things we are grateful for, this is a practice we want to instil in Issey so that she will believe it’s the norm and becomes a great habit of hers.

So Moms, if you try the above out I’m confident that it will help you, as it has truly helped me. My advice is not to try and implement everything at once maybe try one key out and see how you get on.

As always love to hear from you so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below…

Love and best wishes,

L X

References:

How worrying affects your body 

Stress and the immune system

Anxiety and the immune system

Neural Plasticity

Reiki Rays just for today

Statisitics 

 

A letter to my mom, ten years on…

Moms,

This week I am sharing a letter that I have written to my mom Nuala, she is now 10 years passed – however it still feels like yesterday…

For those of you who have experienced loss and grief I wanted to share how I work through it, part of this process is writing my mom letters, I have done this frequently over the years. For some reason over the last number of weeks, my mom has been in my dreams most nights so I thought it might be a good idea to write to her again – however this time I am sharing this with you all 🙂

Dear Mom,

It’s been over 10 years since you’ve passed and over the last number of weeks, I’ve been having very vivid dreams of you, chatting like old times and planning where we will go out for dinner, therefore it feels like a good time to write you a letter and share how I am getting on after so  many years.

The first thing I can say is grief is always with me – I don’t think it will ever go, it’s not a linear thing, it’s quite bumpy, sometimes forward and then sometimes back! However, I do feel I am able to some degree accept your loss now, it took a lot of soul-searching to finally feel at peace with this.

For me the memories have really helped, I have so many fond memories that I reminisce about (sometimes daily) and am so grateful for all our trips especially to Paris and our last trip to New York, but of course since your passing there are so many important occasions that I  wish you were able to make especially my wedding and the birth of Issey…. however it was not meant to be.

In so many ways you remind me of Issey she has a similar sense of humour and a zest of life, always full of energy and enjoying herself. People always said you were the life and soul of the party. I find that she has this trait. She also loves singing and dancing and would dance until her feet are sore, she loves music so much – just like you. She has the same cheeky giggle and just lights up a room when she enters her energy is so beautiful again just like you.

I know if she had met you, you two would have been best buddies and she would have loved her nanny so much. She, of course, knows about you and we talk about you daily – she also knows how much I miss you and I share this openly so she understands that grief is a human emotion and something we all go through.

Looking back I wish I had savoured every single moment a lot more especially near the end with you. There were times where we would lay down together on the bed while you got your oxygen and just hold hands and not say anything. For those times I wish I had stayed longer with you. I also wish we discussed death more and how your transition would go, however, it never seemed appropriate to bring it up, it almost seemed it was not happening so we didn’t discuss it. I think that’s the way you wanted it.

Knowing what I know now about death I would of said so many things to you before your passing such as it’s okay to let go and don’t worry about your children (as I know you were) and that it’s a beautiful place where you are going and that I know you will visit me frequently on this side in dreams and different synchronicities.  And, I know I will get to meet you again.

I would have also thanked you for being my mom, you were the most amazing and perfect mom for me. I believe I chose you without any doubt to be my mom and I am so grateful for all you did for me, the hours of helping me learn for exams, the encouragement, the love and our hug times.

I would have also shared with you how much I especially loved our catch ups, going out for lunch and dinner and thinking of the next places we would visit. Some of my funniest memories involved you being whisked away by a French man and having the craic while I sat downstairs on my own in a cafe in Montmartre wondering why you were taking so long in the toilet, only to find you laughing out loud and dancing around upstairs in the cafe’s loft.

Or the time in New York on our rickshaw ride when we laughed out loud the whole way back to our hotel and that you tipped our rickshaw guy $50 and asked him if he wanted to have a shower in our hotel as he was sweating profusely from taxing us around that night. Oh, it was such great fun!! My brother, sisters and I still laugh out loud about this 😉

Or how Rok and I were planning on taking you and dad on a surprise trip to Slovenia so you could see where Rok was from and meet his family, however, we never made it there but I now wish I had told you all about this.

Grief is a funny thing somedays I seem to be just fine,  and I think I am finally moving past it, however even 10 years on the grief can just hit me like a tonne of bricks and be all consuming and those days I try and give myself a break and let the sadness in and just be with it. Practising meditation and Reiki has also helped me, it has brought me so much peace. I often think you helped me find these wonderful practices. Of course Rok has been there for me chatting often late into the nights when I found it hard to sleep or just couldn’t make sense of what had happened. My Rok, my family and friends have been there when I needed them, I’ve bended a few ears over the years!!

So mom, please continue to visit me in my dreams and continue sending me signs like feathers, and butterflies as they always help me feel close to you… I will always miss you so much but I know I will see you again.

I LOVE you millions,

Lisa X

Resource: Books that have helped me with my grief

Anita Moorjani – Dying to be me

Anita Moorjani – What if this is heaven?

Mitch Albom – Tuesdays with Morrie 

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For those days…

Hello Moms,

So on my last blog post, I talked about how I was feeling more mindful lately whilst going about my daily tasks. However, I wanted to highlight that while this is the case I still have some days that are challenging for me and I thought it’s important to share my thoughts and my approach when this happens.

Moms, even though I employ mindfulness and have a regular meditation practice I still have those days where things don’t flow the way I wish they would – and you know this is perfectly normal as we are human after all, trying to raise little humans 😉

My research and readings about the practice of mindfulness, meditation and following certain mentors that I resonate with often don’t talk about difficult times and sometimes just say you have to keep doing the work. Whilst I agree with this and it’s important to keep your meditation practice going I also think it’s important to talk about the days that are challenging and what to do when these days arise.

Challenging days for me include emotions just cropping up from nowhere, or my little one is calling me for the 100th time and I’m feeling quite drained. To wondering what time it is… as all I want to do is go to bed (however its just 1 pm in the afternoon). And/or, I know it’s time to cook the dinner and all I want to do is eat toast, not prepare a nutritious beautiful meal. When I have one of those days then I remember a few things that help me to get through it, let me share this with you:

  1. This will pass:  I remind myself as often as I can that these feelings will pass and if I need to I will have a little cry to release my emotions.
  2. Thoughts are just thoughts: I say to myself ‘my thoughts do not mean anything’  I  learned this from A Course in Miracles Workbook (ACIM), which is one of my favourite lessons from the course, it just means that your thoughts are not ‘real’ thoughts and sometimes our mind makes things out to be worse then it really is. I also use the following affirmation: ‘All is well’ and will say this as often as I need to.
  3. Have compassion: I remember to be kinder and more compassionate to myself. Oftentimes we don’t extend the same compassion to ourselves as we would to our friends/family members. So I will ask myself – if a friend was having a difficult day what would I say to him/her? And I extend the same kindness to myself and take the pressure off.
  4. Remove judgment:  I also stop judging myself for thinking I’m a bad mother, especially when I need time to myself, I will take a break, breathe deeply and make a cup of tea, and often times will write down how I am feeling. It’s surprising how writing down my thoughts will help change my energy.  However, it’s always challenging for me to do this at first, but I always feel better afterward.
  5. Move my body: I will often put on Spotify and dance around my living room (energy permitting) which always makes me feel more uplifted and helps toshift my energy.
  6. Reach out to someone I trust: Sometimes I will give someone I trust a call/text… this is a person who I know will hold space for me (i.e. just listen) and not judge me.
  7. Grateful for my awareness: And, importantly I remember how grateful I am for my awareness that I’m just having one of ‘those days’ and I’ll feel better soon because I always do 🙂

Moms, do you have ‘those days’ and if so what helps you? Love you to share this with me.

Best wishes and Love L X

Mindful tasks vs Multi-tasking

So the following is what has inspired my blog post today – as I was going about my morning, making beds and moving onto the kitchen to unload the dishwasher all of a sudden my mom popped into my mind and started thinking about how grateful I am for all that she did for me as a child…

My initial thought was to call her up and say ‘Mom this is what I was thinking this morning’, however, my mom has passed away and yes even after 10 years my first instinct is still to call her?!!

So I just spoke to her in my mind instead ;0

I digress…so after this thought two things came to me – how it seems so much easier for me to do what is considered mundane now… I can do these tasks such as making the beds, unloading the dishwasher with an ease and a feeling of contentment and gratitude. The second thing is that I usually have nice memories pop into my mind as I go about my tasks – making it all the while more pleasant (maybe that’s unique to me?!!)

My awareness of this and the fact I am sharing this with you – that I am now more present/mindful is a great realization and win for me as for years I was a serial multitasker 🙂 and never getting anywhere fast! And trying to do so many things at once always left me feeling so depleted. For example, I would start one thing, move onto another, never really get anything finished and was always rushing and feeling quite stressed.  This was the case across all areas of my life.

So how did I become more mindful and have more of a relaxed feeling about things…

I have no doubt it’s down to my meditation practice… For me, meditation brings an instant relief whilst doing the meditation itself but it also impacts the remainder of my day wonderfully.

I am curious, moms, do you practice meditation or have you ever tried to do this? If you do practice or have in the past did you find it helpful?  And, if you haven’t practiced would you consider it…

Let me know your thoughts…

With love and best wishes, L X

PS: just had a thought to do a blog post on why I started my meditation practice and what meditations I use which I find helpful – so watch this space 😉

 

Moms speaking their truth

Hello Moms!

This is my first blog post 🙂

I’ve decided to create this blog and post as often as I can on all the joys and challenges of being a mom?!!!

I’m also looking for a connection with other moms out there.  Perhaps we can help each other and offer support.

Having left my full-time role as a self-employed business analyst last year and now being home with my beautiful Issey all the time – I thought having this blog would be something that’s just for me.

My aim is to also set up a private Facebook group so we can post images, questions and provide a safe space for us all to connect.

I consider myself a multi-passionate mom, so that means I have lots of interests: besides trying to be the best mom to my daughter I also love learning about nutrition, essential oils and cooking especially anything related to plant-based meals, juices, and smoothies. I absolutely love reading (especially self-help books – particularly interested in the mind-body connection), meditating (nearly 4 years of practice now… ;0) yoga and practicing Reiki (delighted to become a practitioner last year). These are just some of my passions –  perhaps you’d like to share some of yours with me…

Love to hear from you…

Best wishes, Lisa X