Listen To Your Heart

Listen to Your Heart

Listen to your heart…

No, not the Roxette song from the late 80s and I’m not talking in the romantic sense either.

Listen to your heart… Open your heart…

The universe has been conspiring to place women in my path to ensure I get the message:

Stop over-thinking.
Get out of your head and into your heart.

A couple of years ago I did some work with a Jungian therapist. I was struggling with grief, ongoing stress, ill health. She encouraged me to listen to my unconscious. Allow the dreams. Hear the messages. Listen to my heart, to my soul, to my true self. Nurture my creativity, my feminine self.

How do you want to feel?

Danielle LaPorte first popped up on my radar about 18 months ago. For the first time, goal setting made sense to me. In my heart. I embarked on the soul journey that is The Desire Map.

What does my heart say? How do I want to feel?

Not do. Not achieve. Radical. Core Desired Feelings.

I want to feel connected, creative, radiant, nourished, invigorated.

Next across my path came Brené Brown and her Ted Talk on vulnerability and the book The Gifts of Imperfection. All the things Brené talks about cultivating – authenticity, self-compasssion, a resilient spirit, gratitude and joy and so on – are about opening your heart, sitting with that vulnerability and using your whole heart to live.

Be seen. Develop meaningful connection with others. Oh yes!

Yin Yang Mother recently wrote about opening your heart from a yogic perspective. She talked about noticing your breathing: does your chest fill completely or does it catch? Your back: does your thoracic spine or shoulders fold forward around your heart? This restriction, this pain is actually imprisoning your heart, not protecting it.

Yes, my body is closing in in my heart both physically and emotionally. I have headaches, painfully tight muscles. Practising a gentle bridge pose over a bolster helps open my chest physically and exposes my heart to vulnerability. I sometimes cry. I’m learning to be more comfortable with that and to be patient and kind.

The gentle and insightful Kirri White wrote yet another raw and open piece on self-caretaking a mindful pause. I find this strategy incredibly powerful.

But what am I actually doing when I press pause?

I’m listening to my heart.

I’ve been going to Kelly Burch‘s Fill Your Cup sessions and learning to use EFT to work with energy and emotions. I feel difficult emotions most often in my heart. The tapping helps me to listen patiently, evolve it and increase the positive energy. By the end of a session, my heart is often bursting with warm, loving, kind energy!

One of Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day recent prompts was “Listening to…”

My heart. My heart said I was listening to my heart.

My heart said be creative. I thought I’d try to draw or paint a heart rather than find some other image to photograph. I tried to sit with the uncomfortable feelings/thoughts (“but I’m hopeless at art”) and just make marks on the paper. Deb Dane‘s constant example helped inspire and encourage me.

Again with the vulnerability and fear when I shared my chosen image on Instagram and Facebook. But I’m so glad I did. It connected me with most of those core desired feelings. I felt radiant, invigorated, creative.

Deep gratitude to the women who put themselves out there, allow themselves to be vulnerable by showing us their heart and in so doing, uplift others around the planet.

OK Mother Universe. I’m listening! I commit to allowing my heart to guide me rather than the sometimes crazy stuff that whirls around inside my head.

How do you listen to your heart? What does it tell you?

Caz x

Confessions of a Dishonest Mama

Mothers lie

Yes, I lie to my child. Not just about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny either.

Sometimes I lie to my child about what I’m feeding him.

As I’ve mentioned before, my Mr 7 has sensory and anxiety issues with food. It makes feeding him frustrating, difficult and sometimes embarrassing when other people don’t get why your child won’t eat millions of things ‘all’ children eat. [Read more...]

Upcycled Travel-Themed Storage Boxes

In an effort to help my study/spare room feel more loved peaceful and inviting, I was on the lookout for ways to better store and disguise some of the ‘stuff’ I had hanging around after a round of de-cluttering. Cheap, easy and preferably upcycled were key criteria.

DIY Design Fanatic Box
I fell for some jute/twine covered boxes but then discovered that they were very time consuming and by the time I bought all the twine and hot glue plus some fabric if I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash, more expensive than I was planning on.

DIY-Mudroom-Organizing-Ideas
Enter a trio of map covered shoe boxes and I knew I had my winner. I love travel, the colours would work with the vague scheme I’ve been trying to cultivate and I already had old atlas pages left over from my Love Garlands (they weren’t suitable as the orientation didn’t match on front and back). [Read more...]

Learning to fill my cup

Crio and candle

I’ve been feeling fairly blah again lately and out of any sense of rhythm or routine. Sigh…

Some of it has been rooted in the everyday – returning from Singapore, illness, fibromyalgia symptoms, Mr 7′s health and then getting sick myself with the the pelvic floor-challenging cough from hell. I’ve been struggling to keep on top of the everyday stuff and feel like I’m getting nowhere, or further behind if possible on other things.

I can see now that some of the blah-ness comes from neglecting myself. My inner self mostly. Sure I’ve been doing some things that I enjoy – reading, watching some favourite TV shows, cooking – but it hasn’t really kept me in touch with ME. I haven’t been nourishing myself with what my soul craves.

I read about Kelly Burch’s weekly Fill Your Cup sessions and my heart said “Yes!”. My head then chimed in with all sorts of unhelpful advice – it’s too far. You’re too busy. You shouldn’t be spending money on yourself. What would you want to do that for?

And then I thought, I am going to do this. I want to do this.

And I am loving it!

I started doing some EFT (tapping) in coaching sessions with Kirri White last year and found it a really effective way to change how I was feeling both physically and emotionally. Kelly trained Kirri and has also made up custom flower essence blends for Mr 7 so it felt like a natural convergence.

We’ve had a really supportive, intimate group of women. All of us have different stories but we’re all not afraid to listen to our hearts and delve into things that may not be easily explained. All the ‘proof’ I need is in how I feel.

Kelly’s analogy of filling your cup made a huge amount of sense to me. At the first session, I really felt like my cup was empty, with just a bone dry stain on the bottom. The EFT we did together, the sense of connection along with feeling good about having done something nurturing gave my cup a much needed top up.

Early the next morning we had to take Mr 7 to the ED with croup and deal with his distress when multiple doctors attempted to extract a foreign object from his ear that we didn’t even know was there (yes, Mother of the Year Award for me!). If my cup was still empty, I’m sure I wouldn’t have coped as well as I did, physically or emotionally. The croup resolved but the ear is an ongoing issue. I’ve regained the reserves to tap for Mr 7 too to help him stay calm.

At this week’s group, Kelly drew a picture of a bird in a cage. It meant different things to each of us and we each had a different emotional response. My initial response was to cough uncontrollably! Hmmm…

bird-flying-from-cage

A common thread that emerged however, was that no matter what other people in our lives did or said, we each needed to take responsibility for how we felt.

Our own energy.

Fill our own cups.

Sure it’s nice if those we love are supportive, compliment or praise us and so on. But we need to know what we need and we can give it to ourselves.

Bird trust wings

I know that EFT helps lift my energy and enthusiasm for life. Writing and other creative pursuits nourish my spirit too.  Connecting with others. Spending time in nature.

I’m going to listen more closely to my heart and follow it to keep myself nourished.

How do you fill your cup? Do you keep it topped up or does it run dry from time to time?

 

Filling a hole in our household

There has been something missing from my life for some time. Just over three and a half years in fact. There has been grief, longing but a level of acceptance that one day, some day, that hole would be filled.

For you see, although I have owned (or been owned by) cats, I am a dog person. My parents had a dog before I was born. I grew up with dogs and formed strong bonds with dogs of relatives and close friends.

My first very own ‘baby’, Dave came to us on our first wedding anniversary and stayed for nearly fifteen years. A rough coated Jack Russell Terrier, he had loads of personality and a winning way with everyone he met. He was just another member of our household.

Dave [Read more...]

Got 15 Seconds For Some Self Love?

Snowdrops

Self care. Self love. I’ve been trying to work on this for a while. Sometimes it seems too hard. Too many other things I ‘should’ be doing. Too tired. Not enough time, energy, money, self discipline…blah blah…excuses…

I’ve made self care lists… have a massage, a long bath, a walk by myself, a girls’ weekend. Things that often seemed too big or tricky to fit into my sometimes complicated life.

I felt like I ‘should’ do affirmations. ‘I love and approve of myself’ and all that but they just left me feeling squirmy, like I was telling lies. I know lots of people swear by affirmations but they haven’t been right for me.

One day in the midst of the morning rush, I was doing my usual glaring at myself in the mirror as I ‘slapped’ on some moisturiser. I realised I was almost literally slapping myself. I was being rough, harsh and heavy with my hands as I was critical about my skin – irritated, red, blotchy, flaky.

Stop.

I would never treat someone else I loved like that. Or anyone else at all for that matter. [Read more...]

From the Muck…

Some years ago I read an analogy about lotus flowers emerging from the dirty mud. I was going through some tough times and it struck a chord.

Beauty from the ugly.

Light from the dark.

Hope.

They say if you haven’t learnt a particular lesson that it will continue to present itself until you do. History repeating and all that.

Our spa had been neglected all winter after yet another thing went wrong with it. Muck, gunk and general revoltingness developed. Completely unpleasant and uninviting.

dirty spa

[Read more...]

Stealth by Chocolate

Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, particularly for chocolate. Luckily, in the last year or so I have discovered a veritable plethora of healthy chocolate delicacies and I’ve been sneaking them into anyone who crosses my path…

Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants and magnesium and even when baked, doesn’t send my young man into crazy-person status like heavily processed chocolate can. I can also hide spirulina powder into his chocolate spelt muffins or brownies.

Sweeteners like maple syrup, rice malt syrup and depending on your tolerance of fructose, honey and dates, are also easier on the system and less likely to invoke nasty sugar highs and subsequent slumps.

Combine these with healthy fats like coconut oil, coconut cream, macadamia oil, nuts and seeds and you stay satisfied for longer and need to eat less.

Win.

These are some of the chocolate creations that are currently on high rotation in our house and I’ve been steadily working on converting other families by taking them to gatherings and the like.

If I think they might not react enthusiastically at first, I don’t mention the ingredients or that they’re ‘healthy’ until after the oohs and aahs have emerged. I can’t count the number of requests I’ve had for the recipes so here they are.

Delicious. Healthy. Simple.

[Read more...]

Keep it Simple

Bare tree

I’m a bit late to the theme word for the year party but one has just popped up for me and I wanted to write about it.

Simple

Simplicity

I want to focus on simplifying my life. Simplifying the approach I take to things.
Keep it simple stupid sweetheart!

I have been reading a number of blogs that have a ‘simple’ focus for a while now particularly Home Life Simplified and The Art of Simple (formerly Simple Mom).  I love them both and have learned a lot but somehow it was all sitting outside of me. I hadn’t internalised it.

Something just clicked for me about 10 days ago – I yearn for things to be simpler. Why can’t life be simpler?(!!) [Read more...]

A Return to Creativity

I’ve been on quite a journey these past 12 months. Life presented some quite unexpected left turns, parenting bumps and health challenges. Definitely not ‘to plan’. I knew I needed to find a way to live differently, be differently. Different but at the same time, actually more… ME.

As I did some soul searching, one of the things that kept coming up was a return to my creative roots, nurturing them rather than ignoring them or smothering them in a mountain of busyness.

Three months ago I launched this blog. I was terrified but I am loving sharing my thoughts and connecting with people.  I’m also enjoying the process for its own sake, even if no one is reading what I’m writing. [Read more...]