My 6 steps to living a connected, conscious and happy life that you will love

One of the benefits of living abroad is that despite of spending long periods of time away from the people and places we love the most, when we finally get to see them it is possible to see the growth and changes that have taken place in them and ourselves much easier than if we saw them day to day.  Distance gives us the benefit of objective perspective.

This autumn I appreciated the benefit of such perspective when I  visited a place and some of the people I love most in the world after a long break. Not only was it great to catch up, I repeatedly heard “wow you are so strong and grounded now” (something we all though I wouldn’t be when I lived in this community over 11 years ago). I felt my own strength through their observations. I felt grounded. I felt powerful. I realised that I am living a conscious, connected and happy life. I mean that’s what I have been aiming at right, and when I was with these darling people I knew that all my efforts are truly working and that I am blossoming into my own potential. It felt great.

And it got me thinking about how was it I started this change, this evolution inside me? In essence what was it that I shifted in order to allow myself to grow? Big questions which have, as it turns out, fairly simple answers. If you are at the stage right now where you are thinking I want that kind of shift in me, I want to change my life and live a life of power here are some of the initial things I did to begin on this journey of the conscious and connected lifestyle that I love today.

Taking responsibility

The biggest shift I had to make, anyone has to make, to live consciously and powerfully is to take responsibility for themselves. You simply cannot live consciously and powerfully when you live in a victim mindset. Through the eyes of the “poor little me” mindset everything happens to you, nothing is your fault and you are powerless to change your circumstances. Understanding truly that we are responsible for our lives, what happens in them and the way we respond to the events around us is to be empowered. When we understand that we create our experience in life we get the freedom of choice, the choice to create the experience we want.

It took me many years to understand this until the final aha moment where the penny dropped and I got it. So do get put off if takes you too long to get it. Jim Carey gave a great speech on youtube explore this idea further, our intention creating our experience, check it out for inspiration

The past is in the past

We all have a past. Be it good, or bad, or both. However it is simply the past. Unchangeable and over. When moved to a new country I had the horrible experience of discovering that when you leave everything you know your emotional baggage is still there. Sometimes shouting louder than ever before as there is little to distract it and a lot of new uncertainties to stimulate old wounds. It was all down to the way I told my personal narrative. The stories we tell define us, become us if we lt them. If we keep mentioning the past then that makes it part of our present. Reliving past hurts makes them current in your present. Consider the stories you tell about yourself when you meet a stranger, who do you tell yourself, and them, that you are?  

You have to accept your past. And accept that you cannot change it. Logically there is nothing you can do about what has happened only what does happen. When we accept that our past is over and put it in its rightful place behind us, we can begin to live in our now.

Asking questions

Analysing what is happening in your life. Allowing the understanding that everything has a teaching for us if we look for it makes every part of life more conscious. When life hurls something at you ask questions such as “why did I create this?” or “what is the teaching here?” will empower you to respond rather than react. Looking for teachings helps you understand yourself so much better. We have a saying at home with us “if you understand it you can do something about it”. Understanding and learning are both essential parts of maintaining a connected conscious lifestyle.

Daring to fail

Daring to fail, is daring to do. Nothing is more powerful than taking the first step and then the next. If you don’t dare to fail at something you don’t give yourself the opportunity to grow. And the great thing is if you do fail it is not the end of the world, it is another opportunity to grow. Mistakes after all, are teaching gifts. Use those gifts, learn and then dare again.

Knowing,  loving and being true to yourself

This is a HUGE part of the process. In order to live a conscious and connected lifestyle you have to know yourself, know what is truly important to yourself. There is no point in throwing yourself out into a yoga retreat just because it is supposed to be good for you when you inner you prefers to play ice hockey and gets a healthy buzz and connection doing just that.  Walk your own talk, noone elses. Holding your integrity and living your truth is a major part of having a satisfying life where you respect yourself.

And love yourself as you are. (I know massively huge journey for many of us however the principle holds true). If you can’t love a part of yourself see if you can find out why and what you need to do in order to love that part of you. Then do it. Theoretical thinking, soul searching  is all well and good, however without the support of practical action you won’t get much further in your process. Take the time to connect with yourself as often as you can. I know there are kids, career and other things clamoring for your attention however if you can’t take care of yourself and take the time to love yourself, you cannot do your best in all the areas of life.

Loving the journey

There is no end goal in life. Well unless you count the one where you are in a box. Your life is right here, right now. Life is a journey so make sure you enjoy it. Obviously creating your perfect life will help you do that but in the meantime it is equally important to love your life now too. Enjoy the small things. They are the infrastructure of a strong and powerful life. Practise gratitude. Celebrate successes no matter if they are big or small. And make memories as often as you can. After all when we make it into that box who wants to think I didn’t make time to appreciate and enjoy my journey. Cat Stevens summed it up perfectly “We are only dancing on this earth for a short time” so dance and enjoy. Happiness is a choice we get to make and who wouldn’t rather have a happy life.

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Now all of these mindsets and actions don’t come overnight, or even in the short time it has taken you to read this article. They need to be practised over and over again to become natural to us. I still struggle to maintain them. A burnt ruiner lasagna I made for a party was my most recent challenge. However being aware of these choices in our mindset and our actions creates an experience of life that is connected and conscious and mostly rewarding. I love my life, all its ups and downs, small moments and teachings.  Most of all I love the opportunities I have created to continuously blossom and evolve being the strongest Emma I can be. I know that you have the power within you to do just the same.

Have a wonderful week <3

Happiness isa concious choice

 

 

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Which me is reacting to you? (A guide to understanding tour reactions)

When Shrek told donkey that ogres were like onions he wasn’t wrong. We are all like onions we all have layers. No matter who you are on the surface today, there is layer beneath layer of your past and personality bubbling just under that surface. And sometimes these layers, these different versions of you, react to situations in your daily life without you even knowing it. Infact it’s often hard to know which you is responding to a situation.

This week I was fortunate to have a chance to peel back the layers in my life and wow did I get a shock. As I peeled back through different stories of my past I began to find parts of myself I thought long gone, were actually still there, large as life, and often influencing my reactions to people and situations in my now. It was an incredibly powerful experience and gave me a deeper understanding of myself and the way I interact with people. The biggest shock was although my grown up nearly 40 self thought I was in control it turns out that underneath the surface there is a frustrated teenager and a scared little girl who alternately react to the people in my life without me realising it. Once I recognised them it became so clear as to why I immediately begin to rage the minute a parental figure tries to interfere in my future plans and why it was that a person who represented consequences for me sparked off my insecurities. Completely unbeknown to me this little girl and teenager had been running a huge part of my adult life and my default reaction patterns came from me then not me now. Wow.

Now as you may know I am a big advocate of responding as opposed to reacting to things in life, consciously choosing rather than running on autopilot. So you can imagine my surprise at this new discovery. However it’s a great teaching, suddenly I am so much more aware of which me is trying to react to a situation, I can understand on a deeper level why things are affecting me emotionally and I feel so much more in control. It’s empowering.

Many of us have a struggle with reacting rather than responding. It’s partly due to our dna response fight or flight. However if we learn to peel back the layers and get to know the roles and dramas that lie inside of us, then we can learn to consciously take control of our emotional responses. With that knowledge we can begin to naturally respond to life’s curveballs. Obviously this is a HUGE journey of self discovery and cannot be covered by a quick how to guide. However if you would like to begin peeling back the layers of yourself then here are a few steps you can take to begin this journey.

Identify milestone versions of you

You need to look into your past and identify the main versions of you that are close to the surface. Look at how do you remember yourself as a child, a teenager, in your 20s, 30s, etc

Were there any significant events in your life that you remember effecting you. For me I had a specific photo as a little girl who embodies my memory of me as a child and an old beanie hat that reminds me of my very confused teenage self. Find these versions of you and give them a name.

Identify emotional characteristics of these versions of you

Now in a journal start to define these versions of you.Take each one and try to write some key words down emotions you associate with them. So for example my little girl was scared and desperately wanted to be good enough. My teenager was frustrated and angry, ready to defend herself at the drop of a hat. Write as many keys words or insights as you can for each of the versions of you that you have identified.

Investigate the triggers and reactions

Look at each version one at a time. Try to remember through free writing what triggers would be the catalyst for the emotional characteristics, and what  response this version of you had to specific situations. So for example with my teenager I could identify that when she felt disapproval of her she would react defensively, angrily trying to justify her actions, usually resulting in arguments with loved ones. My little girl would get scared by arguments because she thought they were her fault and so she tried to be good enough. If you have identified a lonely little boy you might discover that he would tease his sister at home when he felt lonely at school. Try and find the triggers and reactions for these versions of you. Don’t worry if you can’t get them all at once, baby steps is definitely the way here.

Compare the triggers then and the triggers now

Ok this is a little harder but incredibly powerful. Take one version of you. Look at the triggers you identified and now try and find a similar situation or a similar emotional response on your life now. I found that when me Mr T asked me why I did something a particular way it actually kicked off the “I am not good enough” feelings of my little girl. It is amazing the more you look into these triggers and responses the more you will see patterns emerging.

What next?

So now you have all this information what to do with it? This is now a guideline for you. You can look at your emotional characteristics and response patterns of the past versions of you, if you have unhealthy patterns then start to work out strategies that are healthy. I am now working on discussing my frustrations with parental interference with them instead of exploding behind closed doors. You may have discovered some unhealed wounds that are too big for you to deal with alone, if that is the case then please do seek support.  You may find that simply by having identified which you is responding to a situation that this makes you more conscious in your interactions with others. Each of us is different so what we do with this journey of self discovery is up to us.

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As I said before this is a huge journey and much bigger than I can cover in one article. However I hope that this gives you some inspiration to begin to understand the layers you have within you. For me this journey has been a wonderful exploration of myself. It has raised my consciousness of self to another level and is bringing a sense of peace to my life in areas I didn’t know needed it. And that in itself is a powerful healing. I hope that you enjoy this discovery process as much as I did

Enjoy your journey<3

Do not allowyour