Feeling Guilty for Putting Yourself First?!

“We are all just walking each other home!” Ram Dass

February 2019 New Moon Intention: spend more time mindfully caring for myself. 💜🤗🙏🏻 (so I can be more present in my life for both the small & big people who need me).  👧🏻👨

We often hear how being selfish is wrong. And we also know we can’t give from an empty cup. The “selfish” I am talking about today comes from a place of love and compassion, much in a Buddhist way to put it in fancy words. This kind of “selfish” doesn’t stem from an ego place of entitlement, nor judgement. It simply means taking ownership of your existence, actions, words, thoughts and current life situation. And doing things from a place of “being”. Pausing. And consciously choose words and actions that serve us. It’s quite the opposite of being reactive and automatically respond to an outside trigger (like when we disagree with something and we lash out on the other person trying to prove them wrong).

Therefore, today I’d like to invite you to spend 5 minutes (on purpose) asking yourself where in your life are you placing yourself second (third, fourth, no judging, okay?!). Right now mine is self-care (and also improving my listening skills) 🤓 what is/ are yours? 

Below I have put together a short list of practical things you can implement to see changes immediately in your particular aria(s). These helped me from getting back in shape when I stopped smoking after 14 years to running my first marathon, navigate career decisions and relocation to having more fun and creating new & exciting projects. Here goes:

  1. Conscious awareness.
    In practical terms: stop, drop and roll :)) meaning whenever you find yourself lost in thought (we all have that inner nagging monologue telling us that by now we should have got/ achieved x,y,z) you simply stop whatever you are doing in that moment, pause, take a really deep breath, and as the air goes out you pay attention to the feeling of the air leaving your body, chest and belly deflating feeling how everything relaxes on the inside. And this is how you get out of your head and into your body.
  2. Tiny goals.
    Set really small, measurable, achievable (should i say tiny/ even ridiculously easy?!) goals. Because when you will feel empowered you take more action, which stems more and more action and guess what? You are already doing it (whatever your goal is) without even noticing 🙂 how cool is that?!
  3. Fiesta all the way.
    Celebrate EVERY step of the journey. Of course we get sold into the mainstream culture of “go big or go home”. What you don’t see on Insta is all the “boring” workouts somebody has done in between their “before” and “after” pics, the endless pages or virtual pages tore off by someone who is writing, the cakes and muffin trays that have gone straight into the trash as recipes/ experiments have gone awry, need I say more?!
    You only learn by DOING not by talking about doing things:-) and each of these steps are as equally important as the taking that AFTER photo, or sharing your book with your tribe, or promoting that new recipe book with all the gorgeous yummy goodies in it.

How can we love someone else until we have learnt to love ourselves?!
How can we care for others when our own needs remain unmet?!.

Now that is something to ponder at the end of the day if you still think that being selfish is wrong.

As always, I would be happy to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments and let me know where in your life things right now feel out of balance?

Sending you love and good vibes,

xox

Ileana.

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash.

Moving Countries – 3 Tools to Make Yourself Happy & Start a New Life Abroad

“The Quality Of Your Life Is Determined By The Quality Of The Questions You Ask.”

“Piiiiiiiiiiiing!”. A new notification shows up to let you know your friend has updated their country of residence. They just moved abroad, starting a new chapter and now there’s a long thread of nearly 100 comments congratulating them on their new beginning. Old friends, colleagues, people at work. Every time I saw this, I used to sigh (naively) with a hint of envy, daydreaming of how a move abroad was going to solve ALL my problems: a job which I no longer loved and felt stuck in, challenging family dynamics (not getting along with my parents), wanting to start a creative venture (but not doing anything to actually pursue this), you know the stories. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Now, as I write this me and my partner have moved 5 times in less than 3 years: 2 new countries, 5 different houses, 1 dog, 1 baby and a steep learning curve I finally own and want to share as you too might be temped to think that moving will solve all your existing problems.

First shock came on my first day alone in our brand new cozy apartment in Bratislava (I work from home so I can be practically anywhere with an internet connection). “Where is everybody?!”. After working for nearly a week hopping from one cute cafe to another I finally came home one day and realised I missed my old friends. Badly. I had the most amazing time meeting new people, chatting to interesting folks during my lunch break but there was no connection. Nothing personal. Everybody was in such a rush that you brush off some polite generalities, maybe share your coffee/ lunch then move onto something else. And then it hit me. If I wanted to make new friends I was the one that had to skip the chit chat and see what happens. And to my surprise things shifted in a matter of days. Instead of the polite generalities I would go straight to what was on my radar at that time asking things like “what makes YOU happy?! do you have children? would you like to have children someday? why/ why not?!”.

It was not easy but in such a short amount of time I made friends with some incredible people I am still in touch with even to this day inspite of the geography that’s between us. My vulnerability is what gave me the most rich and authentic connections, something to which I also owe my overall wellbeing even nowadays in a new country, pregnant at that time (our 3rd house move), with a baby on the way while being away from my family of origin.

What also helped immensely during these times of transition was sticking to an ongoing exercise routine and setting (and tracking!) regular small, achievable health/ fitness goals to keep me grounded (and sane, most of the times!). Exercise of any kind gives you endorphins and changes your mood instantly so why not make the most of it, right? Again, this derived from asking myself the same questions “what makes me happy?! how do I know I am having a great?! what needs to happen during the day so I will feel accomplished at the end of it?!”. Once I had the answers, setting these tiny goals and then upgrading them on a regular basis was easy. I know even to this day that for me it takes at least 8-10k active steps/ day to have a great day. Ideally. This can be either walking, running, dog walking, mindful walking, a gym/ home workout that takes roughly 45 mins. Or 15 minutes spent in complete silence. This later one came after our baby was born and I truly got to appreciate a quiet space.

Now, you can’t really solve of a challenge (I’m calling it “challenge” on purpose) from the same level of consciousness you have created it. See, me complaining all the time of how I felt stuck in a job I had outgrown was not going to do it. I mean if it did I’d probably should’ve seen some results after my nearly 2 years of whining and complaining to everyone who would listen. I loved the benefits that came with the job (flexibility, a global environment, new and interesting people, lots of change) but it just didn’t do it for me anymore. It lacked depth and most importantly, it lacked connection and authenticity. I could only bring just a tiny part of myself to it and at times I felt like dying on the inside as I could only brush off some of my favourite topics in a corporate environment such as change, transitions in one’s life or the “quarter-life crisis” (more on that on a separate topic). I would see a spark in people’s eyes whenever I allowed the conversation to stir just a tad further during my workshops and then I would soak in the debriefs discussing what people were taking away from our interaction. And then one day I came across Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art” and this is how this space was born.

I started writing as a way of bringing some structure to my ENFP buzzing mind. I wrote a gratitude journal EVERY single day for the first 3 months of our first move abroad. Then, as I watched my inner monologue shifting I spent less time complaining about my job and more time focusing on the things that truly sparked joy. Such as writing. In my authentic voice. Sharing all parts of myself and not being afraid to own my vulnerability. For a while I wrote everything and anything. Thoughts. Demons. Dreams. Ideas. Plans. To-do list. I found the website 750words and I committed to a daily challenge to write (you guessed) 750 words/ day for an entire month. And then another one, and another one.

And what writing did for me, apart from the therapeutical-like aspect of allowing me to vent was to get a bird’s-eye view on where I was, where I was heading to and which way to take next. Because I had been searching long and hard for an answer from everyone around me except from me.

Because at the end of the day the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the questions we ask. Now, I would be happy to hear from you and what might be holding you back to make a move be it a literal one like moving abroad, start a new project, start a family, take up a commitment. Drop me a line in the comments and if you found this useful share it with your friends (you know who they are) those still on the fence going back and forth whether they should do it or not. And who knows what might come up with just one single click? 🙂

Sending you love & good vibes from a dull and cloudy London,

xox

Ileana.

Photo by Andrew Butler on Unsplash

How Cooking Can Become Your Meditation Too

There’s times in our lives when we find ourselves with little to nearly none “me-time” (like when we are taking up a new project, moving house, having a new baby, etc). And most of the times “me-time” is the first that gets chopped off our list because hey, now “we’re ______ ” (insert your current life situation that is preventing you from doing more of those things that make you happy). Lately, I found that cooking (and by that I mean super simple, very basic recipes that require just a handful of ingredients and a minimum of instructions/ steps) has become my “me time” and lately my very own “meditation practice”. And what I mean by that is that I intentionally chose to get super creative when it comes to carving out some more me-time. Hence cooking showed up again in my life, yay!

After experimenting with a few different recipes and ingredients, here is what I have arrived to:

  • first and foremost, you only cook like this when you are NOT hungry (the cooking is done purely for the pleasure of it, cooking for its own sake, NOT for the final product, that is just an added bonus)
  • second, try a few different cooking methods that speak to your OWN senses (if you are the visual kind you’d get more kicks our of decorating a cupcake or making a salad and play with colourful fresh ingredients; if you are highly kinesthetic and experience the world through touch/ feeling, like me, then I guarantee that baking something and using your hands to play with dough will definitely get you going)
  • third, once you find out what “does it” for you repeat the process several times and simply become aware of how you feel while you are doing it, and feel free to add some “extras” like playing your favourite music on the background (I can’t get enough of this lately – my muffins & pancakes just love some Justin Timberlake, yes, i know, that sounds funny but its oh-so true!)

My favourite go-to baking things lately have been the healthy version of the banana-buckwheat muffins (and pancakes). I figured that if I’m also getting an end product might as well eat it too 🙂 hence the recipe. I ended up creating my own version after several attempts and it goes like this:

Ingredients: (serves 1 – the one who is actually making all this 🙂 )

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour (honestly, you can wing this and add until you get to a consistency you want)
  • cinnamon powder & vanilla paste (to your own taste) and a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of plant-based milk (filtered water works too if you don’t have any milk)
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • a tiny bit of coconut oil (otherwise they’ll be super dry and just plainly put, bad:)

Steps:

  • mash the banana in a bowl until you get a lumpy paste
  • turn on the music and play something that gets you all happy and excited (helloooo Justin Timberlake – Take Back The Night)
  • come back to your recipe & add the flour and the liquid (milk/ water)
  • mix it up some more
  • throw in the remaining ingredients, simply taste & add (since it doesn’t have any eggs its safe to taste, and its actually nice)
  • preheat your oven
  • either use a muffin tray or simply put round bits of dough in a plain oven tray to form the pancakes (use a dab of coconut oil to grease the muffin pan or the baking tray, else they’ll get sticky and burnt)
  • give it about 10-12 minutes checking on them regularly (they do burn really easy, I found out while getting carried away with the music)

Et voila, you can now unleash your visual creative and start arranging your muffins/ pancakes any way you please. I love playing with colourful fruit (berries) and flax seeds for a different texture or maple syrup (taste delicious but it gives such a decadent vibe to any plate of pancakes, yawzza!).

What is your favourite thing to make just for the sake of making?! 🙂 Wanna give it a go with the muffin/ pancakes? Drop me a line in the comments and let me know how that went!

Yours in mindfully baking,

Ileana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Find Magic In Your Every Day Life

We all crave change one way or the other. Be it our clothes, our eating habits, our circle of friends. Our jobs, cars, partners, children and so on. We start off, eventually, on our journeys with a bang. Hey, sometimes we might even close that circle with another bang. But what happens in-between? The un-glamourous, sweaty, messy, shaky part that comes during the bangs?!

I was taught from an early age that “results are ALL that matters”. “Do whatever you can to get you want”!. “After me comes the flood!”. Growing up in a family where results mattered was no easy job. The perfect score in Maths, passing the next karate exam, getting accepted into THAT particular college. You see where this is going. I cheated my way through college big time. Have attended school for maybe 2 years out of 4. Got passing scores and even came close to a scholarship in my 3rd year (that year where I have actually gone to classes). Same thing with MY eating habits. MY hobbies. MY relationships. They all would start pretty well and then somewhere down the road I’d eventually lose interest. Became “unhappy”. Stopped. Complained things were not going the way I!! wanted. I would not see any “change/ results”. Complained some more. Then move onto something more shinny. More desirable. Something new! Always different. Always looking for the next “best thing”.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. I learnt so much more in the making. However the most important thing I learnt was that the in-between part it’s what really matters the most. The part I’d always dread and ran away from. Ha! The “boring” part. Here’s how it went. In my late 20’s I took up running. I was never the “running type”. I smoked for nearly 15 years since my early teen years (hard to believe, it now feels like it all happened in a previous lifetime). Then one day I decided to become a non-smoker. Since I now had sooo much free time cause I was not smoking anymore this led me to running. Why running? Cause apart from walking, its literally the one thing you have no excuse not to do it. You can go for a run wherever you are. No matter the time of the day. The season. The circumstances. Running eventually became my best friend. My therapist. My love. My life. For some years at least. It didn’t start off with a bang that’s for sure. It was so difficult in the beginning. Yet I persisted. Then it was really fun. Because for once in my life there was no pressure. No results were expected from me, of me and by me. Nor anyone else. No changes required. I took things as they unfolded. And I have to admit I fell in love. Little by little, morning by morning I discovered new things about me while I was running. Ideas started to show up. Projects. People. Places. All while I was running.

Because the magic of taking in things as they unravel with no expectations attached is what makes us feel alive. You see for the first time in 20 something years I stopped putting pressure on myself. And the positive ripple effect was unbelievable. This extended to everything around me: my habits, my relationships, my hobbies, my writing, my work. Slowly and steadily I became more & more present letting go of expectations of how things “should be”. And I would be so intrigued of how much time I used to spend judging, worrying, categorising, sorting, and pressuring people/ things around me. I learnt that every single mile I ran mattered, every imperfect run I would squeeze in on a busy day after work or on an early morning mattered, regardless of how slow or fast it was. No matter what kind of breakfast I had that day. No matter if my running shorts would match my tank top 😛 it would STILL matter. The person that would come back through the door AFTER a run was so different than the one that went out. More calm. Patient. Tolerant. Warm. Thoughtful. Loving. Enthusiastic. Energetic. All thanks to that “boring part” in the middle 🙂

So why not next time when things get “boring”, tedious and you get this urge to just screw it and go do something else choose to stay for just a little bit longer. Not much. But do it purposefully. Say to yourself taking a big breath in “I’m going to stick around doing this for at least 5 more minutes and then see what happens”.Then big breath out 🙂 Or you can replace minutes with breaths, 5 more breaths. Or metres 🙂 500m further down the road.

Because when you draw the line that’s how you make everything in life in general; building on this “boring” part in-between, adding 5 more breaths to whatever you’re doing, going literally 500m further.

Yours in mindfully choosing to stick around even when “it sucks” :),

Ileana.

xox

 

 

Photo by Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing on Unsplash.

One Step At A Time

Today’s lesson comes from being present while doing the most mundane tasks. I’ve always wanted to live in a (at least) 1 storey house. Now that my wish has been granted I never thought that would mean going up and down the stairs multiple times/ day while carrying loads of things (a glass of water, Iphone charger, laptop, then laptop charger, socks! brrrr you see where this is going, right?!). Add lets add laundry! to that list and soon enough I’d end up like a Chinese acrobat juggling the funniest combos while mindfully walking up and down the stairs.

My insight happened the other day while going up the stairs while counting the steps and repeating to myself “1 step at a time, Ileana; 1 step at a time” (try doing that calmly while you’re peeing big time). You see I was carrying a heavy load of freshly dried clothes, a handful of other items, again water! (highly dangerous, I know, as you can spill it and slip on it) so my plate aka my hands were full. In my enthusiasm half way up, like there was no turning back one of those moments occurred and something had to give. For just 1 split of a second I lost my balance and it looked like a catastrophe in the making. Me, falling, unable to reach anything to hold on to, in pain, with stuff all over the place and the nagging voice “I told YOU so!”. Luckily, I was spot-on and quickly re-composed while repeating to myself my stair-counting mantra “1 step at a time, 1 step at a time, Ileana”. I was saying that out-loud but for 1 moment my mind went in an instant to another place (upstairs, duuh, and to the other items I was about to bring downstairs).

And then it hit me, pun-intended. How many times have we not committed to more than we can take even tough we KNEW that was too much? How many times have we gotten ourselves over-friggin’-whelmed with chores/ stuff/ to-do’s maybe sometimes just for the sake of “being busy” or keeping up with others in our life who seem to be so successful and hence they are ALWAYS busy doing something?! (being non-stop on social media doesn’t help either). How many times have we told ourselves “I will start THIS tomorrow”? (and then let other commitments pile one on top of another, sacrificing often what is really important to us out of fear of not letting people down?). Or perhaps wanting to start a new creative project/ business/ positive habit and then getting frustrated as we want all the answers/ details now and then deciding we’ll wait until we have ALL the facts and better timing?! (insert your excuses here).

We will always have fear. Resistance. Uncertainty. And unless we find inside ourselves the courage to take 1 single step at a time nothing is going to change for us. Be it clean clothes or writing that book you’ve been talking about for ages, starting your blog, asking for a raise, drawing that portrait, taking up a new career, signing up for that class where you know you’ll be a complete newbie (and you will suck! and that IS fine, too!).

So, before I head downstairs again for the millionth time today (my desk is upstairs, its where I write and I also forget stuff most of the time) let me ask you this 1 thing “if nothing changes, 3-5 years from now, looking back on yourself, would you regret NOT having taken this opportunity?! YES or NO?!”. What comes first?! Don’t over think it, just be aware of the sensations in your body and mostly your stomach (your “gut”). That’s all. Your gut always has the answer. You don’t need to let anyone know, apart from yourself what that answer is.

I really hope to hear from you soon and your new beginnings. And while looking back may today be the day you sat with yourself even for just a minute and listened to yourself. Then, take 1 step at a time in the direction of your dreams.

Signing off today with one of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela:

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this do share it with your friends! And hop on over to Facebook in The Pineapple Diaries and join in the conversation!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Life’s Journey Towards the Big Ocean

Just like a river flows to the ocean in the same way our life unfolds. We may sometimes come across rocks or boulders, we may get slowed down in a swamp and feel like sinking heavily into mud. At times we might even stop to wonder “is that all there is to IT?!”. And the harder you pull to get yourself across that rocky mountain or out that swamp the more you feel like you’re sinking even deeper. Resistance has its sneaky ways of taking away your energy and leaving you feeling drained and overwhelmed. And what might seem counter-productive (such as “stop from whatever it is you’re doing and just stay there”) is exactly what will get you out of that swamp.

You might sometimes want to “do it all at once”. I mean, come on, of course you can BE-DO-HAVE anything that you want to. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if someone would guide you along this messy process of getting yourself un-stuck and then ready to create the life you’ve always desired?! Now if you’ve been procrastinating things for a while then you might feel there are some areas of your life which need special attention NOW. Hey, you might even feel that ALL areas of your life need attention right now. (been there, done that too :-)))).

Things like you want to have a healthy body AND feel good about yourself AND have tons of energy, clear skin, exercise or discover some form of movement which fits you perfectly, AND meditate every day, AND read all the books you’ve always wanted to, learn French AND Japanese, AND hang out more with people who share your ideas & with whom you can talk freely about what’s important to YOU, AND feel more connected to the world around you and to your-Self, AND make peace with your family and siblings at last (tough one!), AND learn to cook a nice meal for the Holidays, AND change your job, get that promotion, AND move to this place you’ve always fantasized about, AND create that beautiful piece of art that’ s been on your mind for ages but you never seem to make the time to actually manifest into being, and the list goes on and on.

The river always reaches the Ocean just like we are born into this world. The journey can be smooth or it can get shacky at times and bat-sh*t c-r-a-z-y. That’s why we say that “allowing is far more productive than striving”. Water naturally finds it way to the Ocean. Even when facing obstacles water will gently go around it and continue to flow. Even when there’s rocks and it seems quite impossible to go around it (think of Grand Canyon for a second). Sure it might get tangled into a swamp on its way but that wont ever stop water from flowing.

How would you feel if you knew your life goes pretty much the same? And that whenever you experience along the way it’s OK! Your life still continues to flow. And that it’s up to you how long you’ll stay tangled in there. Because the river is always flowing. And what you can do right here, today, this minute is to deliberately choose to FLOW with it. Sure we can always blame someone else for getting detour-ed. That others are luckier than us, have better (looking) genes, a great metabolism (can I get one too?!), born into rich(er) families, won the lottery and so on. But that won’t get us further.

So just like quick sands in the dessert whenever you find yourself stuck in a situation – stop! Stop AND breathe. Look around you. Check with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Stop pulling and stop pushing. You’ll only make a much bigger mess out of it. And get yourself even more deep into that sh*t. You know oh-too-well the story of “what got you here, won’t get you there”. Therefore you need to change the way you look at things, which is your mindset.

This is where I step in. And guide you & get you all cleaned up out of that messy swamp. Get you a nice change of clothes. Hey, maybe even a different hair cut 😛 and color. Hahaha! And last but not least, give you some awesome tools to take charge of your big life journey towards the Ocean. (from teaching you how to first and foremost LISTEN to yourself, talk to your(Higher)Self, make friends with yourself, care for yourself, and care for those around you).

Because when that river finally gets to the big Ocean all you have to carry is yourself. So why not choose in this moment to make your journey fun, exciting, kind, educative and caring?!

Stop. Breathe. Look around you. There’s so much beauty out there waiting to be discovered. To be looked at. And taken all in.

Photo by Wolf Schram on Unsplash <3

When You Feel You Are Not Enough

When we try to figure things out mentally (as in over-thinking them) 2 things happen:

1. We fail at telling the truth to who matters most (our Selves)
2. We end up frustrated because in the end the lie gives us only a temporary relief just like pain reliever when you had one too many drinks the night before

It took me about 8 years, 5 different formal qualifications (read “diplomas”) and endless exploration journeys only to come back in the same place: trying to define yourself is like biting your own teeth. Same goes for answering the question “so, what you do for a living?” when what you do does not fit in ANY of the traditional boxes (and God knows I have searched, tested, profile-d, experimented, prayed, yelled over a kazillion boxes “Let me in! This is where I belong”:-)))).

Only to end up disappointed 12 – 18 months later into that 1 particular box I was shouting at. There goes another one. You can cut that off your list! See ya later miss “lifestyle & business coach”. So long “personal trainer specialised in cardio-fitness, body building & functional training”. Buh-bye Ileana RD (registered dietitian). Au revoir “marathon runner, carb-lover, big-quads athletic girl”. See ya later miss “events manager”. Adios Ileana aka “trainer, facilitator & coach”. Toodle-oo “diversity & inclusion site lead”. Cheerio “Toastmasters club president & founder member”. And this is just to name few of the things over the years!

You see, making a commitment involves taking risks. Like tripping over and falling. Learning how to sit with “what is”. Risk of not looking good (ever tried eating spinach while wearing braces?! I did!:))). Disappointing (some) people?! Not being “everything to everyone”?! And not getting one too many “likes”. But there’s also a greater risk which exceeds all this: NOT HAVING LIVED. Like Steven Pressfield beautifully frames it in his “War of Art” (a must-read for anyone who wants to create anything, write, paint, dance, photograph, etc):

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Therefore I would like to leave you sitting with one question today “how are you feeling in your life right now?!” Where in your life do you feel most energized? (when you are working or playing, maybe when you are by yourself)?. What drains you? What relationships are no longer serving you & you are just holding on to them out of inertia?

Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know.

And when you feel that you are not enough, know that YOU ARE! And why not try a little experiment while you’re at it: since all your life you have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked how about try approving of yourself and see what happens. (quote by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life)

XOX

Ileana.

 

 

 

Why Journal

When’s the last time you actually wrote on paper, by hand, about the ALL the things going on through your mind, your day-to-day, your hopes, your dreams, your plans, your worries?! ..
 
Now why would you journal?!
 
1. Because getting stuff out of your head and onto paper is the easiest way of releasing things that no longer serve you. It’s like literally taking a dump, a brain dump :))
 
2. You will feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Once things are out of your head it means you will stop carrying them around. 
 
3. Your mind can no longer trick you into “ohh, but I NEVER said that about this topic” 😀 clarity comes through engagement, NOT through thought so if you ever feel confused or not sure what to do next always write out everything on paper! <3
 
4. It will help you see the big picture/ connect you with your vision.
 
5. Its the easy way of staying authentic and (re)connect with your inner voice regardless of the field you are working in (you don’t have to be a writer, or a creative to WRITE). You get to spend some time with yourself and what is TRULY important to YOU. Especially in a day & age where information is coming at us from everywhere.
 
Give it a go, grab a piece of paper and start writing!
 
XOX

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When You Are Resisting Change & How To Turn It Around

Today I am writing about change. And resistance to change. How we (our minds) can trick us into believing “we have arrived”, we already know the answer and that we’re THERE. Which instead says NO to anything that might remotely come closer to improving oneself.

The thing is this: its a trap! You wont believe the pain and the struggles one has to overcome not to mention the time we loose in between suffering. What I loved about Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” is the simple and yet profound truth that we can actually learn how to navigate by resistance. Meaning that whatever it is that we’re mostly resisting to (be it eating a healthier diet, taking up exercise, refraining from gossiping, stop offering unsolicited advice, change your job, change your friendships, etc) this IS exactly the thing we mostly need to do at that particular point in time in order to grow.

How many times have we been in a situation (usually not a pretty one) but where you get this nagging feeling that it’s not the first time you’ve been there. Maybe in another context, maybe with other people, maybe in your previous job, maybe when in college, etc. There is a common thread to it. You can’t really put your finger on it but you feel it so vividly in your body. Whether its frustration or the feeling that “something is missing” or “it’s not quite right” the same types of situations will continue to surface in various ways and different forms until we learn to face them & learn our lessons.

I will give you a quick example: you are at work. You have a colleague that has been mean to you. And its not their first time. You let it slide. You feel hurt but you choose to ignore it. Then your girlfriend keeps running late every time you meet. So late that at times you might be there waiting for 30 – 45 minutes until she shows up. You let it slide. Maybe you have a good old friend (you know, that kind of friend you grew up with) and most of the times they will ask to borrow money last minute for an “unexpected emergency situation” only to fail at giving it back at the time they promised. Now that we’ve put it all into writing it’s much easier to follow the thread. It’s a no-brainer someone here’s got boundary issues! Boundaries are so important when it comes to our own sense of well-being. Maybe you’ve been told that having boundaries or “saying no” is selfish. When the opposite couldn’t be more true. Boundaries are act of self-love and they provide us a tool for growth.

Now let’s run the same scenario again, this time with boundaries “switched on”. Enter mean colleague: you choose this time to openly acknowledge what they’ve just said to you and go something like “hey, I heard what you’ve just said, that was totally mean and from now I’m not going to put up with this”. Then carry on with your day. Enter late-running-girlfriend. “Honey, next time we’re meeting I’m OK to wait for you maximum 15 minutes. Then I’ll consider you’re not coming & I ‘ll be on my way. So if you really want us to meet at the time & place you chose please arrive in max 15 mins else I’m gone”. Bam! That was not even so difficult, was it?! Enter money-borrowing-old-friend. “Dude, this is the last time I’m giving you money. I don’t feel comfortable doing this and from now I have decided to stop doing the things that make me feel like crap (which is the part where I ask for my money back & you genuinely pretend you’ve forgotten about it then you try to convince me that you’ve already paid me back then I feel like a bad cop and honestly I have had it). So we’re still friends, only this is the last time I am borrowing money. If you don’t pay it back 2 weeks from now I no longer need it back. Okay?!”

Now that you’ve started creating some boundaries you’ll soon start experiencing life in a totally different way. Like people you work with will start treating you better, maybe they’ll even start looking at you with respect and admiration, perhaps your girlfriend will be “just” 15 minutes late or maybe you’ll hook up with another girl that’ll be more punctual 🙂 or your old friend will actually acknowledge their own behavior and they’ll start working on it once they realise this “habit” doesn’t serve them too.

I am not saying that you need to do all this at once just try and defuse that resistance one step at a time, one day at a time, one situation at a time.

So maybe next time when you get this nagging feeling that “something’s just not right” and “I sooo don’t want to this” instead of taking your phone out or open a new browser window & surf the web just stay where you are and ask yourself “what is it that I need/ feel I really need to be doing at this very moment? what is the thing/ action I am resisting to the most?”. Then get head-on to it.

I promise you’ll be so surprised by what’s going to happen next.

Now I am curious to find out where in your life are you facing the most resistance? In what particular area?! And what is 1 thing that you feel compelled to do and yet you’re not doing it?

Drop me a line in the comments below & if you liked this and you think your friends might enjoy it and find it useful please forward them this email.

Your is kicking resistance right in the butt,

xox

Ileana.

Change
Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Feeling Overwhelmed?!

Don`t know what to do next?!  Kinda wanting to start things but still unsure what exactly?!  then this might just give you a kick 

“Much of the time when people say they’re being analytical about their lives, they’re engaging in circular thinking with no drive towards a clear goal. They’re trying to figure out what to do by thinking about what to do.

That’s a mistake.

YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BY DOING IT.

You need to explore. You need to gain experience since experience bestows tremendous clarity.

How do you know which foods you like? By tasting lots of different foods. How will you know what kind of lifestyle you’ll enjoy and can maintain? Same way… by exploring and experiencing different possibilities.

Even when you don’t know how you want to live, then pick something you’d like to taste.” (Steve Pavlina)