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“Why Change?

Why Start Afresh?

What is Broken

That needs Fixing?

Those Words

Those Voices

That’s just the WORLD

And it’s MANY vices!

Do Not Change

Do Not Begin Again

Celebrate All that

You Are

Praise where you

Have Been

Look Yourself in the Eye

PROMISE YOURSELF

Each Day, You’ll Say:

“I Am Alive, I Am Me

Thank You”

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The Tough Cookie x x

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When the New Year comes around do you often begin by being hard on yourself identifying all the changes you ‘need’ and ‘should’ make?

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Really are you all that ‘bad’ as you are? Are there as many changes you think you need to make? Surely you’re good enough just as you currently are? Don’t get me wrong I’m a firm believer in making some small steps to improvement and having a healthier life/you but the idea of needing to change and transform completely is one I’m not a fan of. We can sometimes base our ideals on what media portrays to us is ‘perfect’ or what other people view as the best way of being, but what about what YOUR soul and inner heart are saying? Have you connected with your sense of self to know what sounds right for you?

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Take time to begin this New Year by listening to your inner wisdom that is already present, take some quiet time each day to reflect, to hear and to give to yourself. I’m beginning this new year with the wonderful Fresh Resolutions event tomorrow and after being sick since Christmas Day, being out of my routine and my body/soul/mind being off centre I cannot wait to take time to connect with myself, others, surround myself with positivity and set those goals for ME that are already within my inner sense for 2020! 🙌🏻🙋🏻‍♀️

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There’s still time to book a ticket for this wonderful inspirational day to commit to a 2020 that’s going to be epic for YOU!

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https://theuniversityoflife.com/freshresolutions/

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@theuniversityoflife_

M O V E M E N T

M O V E M E N T

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“My Grip it Loosens

My Faith & Trust Strengthen

My Fantasies Released

My Reality Recognised

My Talk, one of Love

My Pain not so Sharp

My Courage Arises

My Healing Progresses

My Surrender to God

My Life he Leads”

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The Tough Cookie x x

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At times in life it can seem like there is very little movement or that in fact you’re going backwards, not reaching those goals/visions that you have and so hope for. One moment it can feel like everything is on the right track and you’re moving forwards, things are aligning within the Universe and you’re right where you’re supposed to be. This place can feel so reassuring, comforting and safe.

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Other times it can be so unsettling then when you realise that it isn’t as aligned as you had thought, that job doesn’t come your way, that relationships ends, that opportunity missed. This can feel very unsettling, scary and disheartening. It can be really difficult to find the reasons or the meaning behind it. How do you cope with these disappointments?

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❓Do you distract yourself and pretend you’re not bothered?

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❓Do you hit rock bottom, feel sorry for yourself and a go to ‘victim mode’ a bit? Do others need to tend to you and give you attention?

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❓Do you trust that there is some higher power at play, believe there’s a reason and have faith that a better more promising outcome lies ahead? This can be extremely hard to do however I do believe it is the way forward. If I look back on my life I can see how various disappointments weren’t the right fit for me, I was grateful that ‘my vision’ didn’t work out.

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TRUST that today you ARE right where you’re meant to be, that no matter how ‘stuck’ you may feel or how much you believe you’re going backwards instead of forwards, there is movement. The tides don’t lie still for any given second, the sun never ceases to rise and fall so believe that your life is in constant motion and you’re being guided to the best outcomes for you. Pray, Trust and Believe 🙏❤️

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#higherpower #trust #belief #pray #keepgoing #alignment

F R I E N D

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“An inner calling

Between our hearts

A beat, a breath

Travels along

Connections come

A shared language

I for you, You for I”

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The Tough Cookie x x

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Who are those people in your life that show up for you? Those that you can call, reach out to for those times when life throws hurdles on your path?

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Do you reach out to those special people when you’re struggling or needing a listening ear/helping hand? Or do you wear that mask, say you’re ‘grand’ (typical Irish response!) cover it up and not want to be a ‘burden’ to another?

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Are you taking time out of your schedule to catch up with those friends that are dear to you? Are you adding some FUN into your weekly routine along with those that ignore joy and laughter in your life? As they say the friends are the family we choose, sometimes they even feel closer to us than family.

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I am so extremely grateful for those ‘soul pals’ (a term a dear friend shared with me this week which I love!) that are in my life, for showing up for me, for hearing me and showing their love by listening rather than fixing 💜🙏⭐️👭

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#friendships #soulpals #gratitude #laughter #fun #connections

HEARTBEAT

H E A R T B E A T 🖤

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“My Mark imprinted

Upon your waist

A daily reminder

That life’s too short

To waste!

Out of Love?

Out of Fear?

Both entangled

While my

Heart beat near.

A distant sound now

Too painful to touch

The Fear lingers on

But surely LOVE’s

Beat remains strong?”

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The Tough Cookie xx

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A VERY personal poem to share this Friday morning. In the past I used to open up and share my meaning and interpretations however I now rather you, the readers to take meaning of your own from my words to help you in your world. 🙏🖤🌎

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I am healing and becoming stronger and it feels great to be able to begin viewing painful past experiences in a differing light. Perspective is crucial and as long as you’re flexible and adaptable I do believe you can handle no matter what comes your way. Remember you’re a Tough Cookie 💪🏻🍪

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#toughcookie #healing #perspective #gentleness #understanding

T H E W A I T

T H E W A I T ⏳

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“A Waterfall flowing

Ideas, Dreams

Visions & Change

Gushing along

Rapidly falling

Hitting the Surface

Slowing Down

Those Rapids

Flattening

Energy escaping

Those Dreams

Those Ideas

Merged & Move

The next Destination?

Unknown for now

The Wait continues…”

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The Tough Cookie x

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Do you sometimes wonder if you’re ever going to fulfil all those dreams, goals and visions that you have created for yourself and your life?

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Do you sometimes fear that time will run out and that you’re not capable enough to really reach them? Or succeed?

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I have SO many ideas and dreams that I feel deep within my core, that I just know are all part of my life’s mission in helping children/adolescents and adults heal from past experiences, to unlock the true potential within and unleash the authentic empowered self that is fearless. However at times I do fear that I’m not good enough, that I’ll run out of time, that my ideas will already be performed. Those fears can lower my mood, make me feel like a fool for dealing.

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*THEN* I Remember:

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💡Nobody was walked in my shoes, had had my past experiences exactly as I have so therefore I DO have a gift to give and share with the Universe. I can bring insight and awareness that perhaps others cannot as it is based on my unique experiences and perspective. That surely is enough of a reason to keep believing and creating the life I see for myself.

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💡God’s plan, yes I remember that there IS a higher power at play, that if I ‘just be’, slow down, breathe and TRUST myself and this power to guide me, prepare me and work through me that those opportunities will present themselves to me provided that I am willing to work hard and take those risks as they come my way. Prayer helps me to keep believing and wash those fears away.

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💡I don’t know how much Time I do have on this earth so why worry about it? I cannot control it so it is wasting my energy even worrying about it. I’m practising living in this moment for today and being grateful for each moment I’m alive. If I can do my best today that is more than good enough.

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#time #waiting #trust #slowdown #dreams #visions #breathe

JIGSAW

J I G S A W 🧩

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“Where’s that piece?

That missing part?

To fill a hole

To complete the whole?

So long I searched

Too long life on hold

Stop looking

Slow it down

ALL those pieces

Are NOT lost

Don’t need to be found!

Already within

Look inside

You may be surprised

By what you find 🖤”

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The Tough Cookie x

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For too long I was on a search for finding pieces of myself I felt were missing, to desperately fill that void I felt within. I searched, I waited for those pieces to be found and to be filled. I’m finally realising that those pieces are within, they’re not lost, they just need to be revealed and shine through. I DO have all the pieces I need within, I just need to learn to see them through my own eyes and allow them to be heard, to grow and to flourish. 🌹

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#pieces #jigsaw #gowithin #selflove #selfbelief #awareness #soul #thetoughcookie

What Wavelength are You Tuned into? 🎼🎶

This last week I had been trying to get back writing my blogs and I just felt I had a mental block and was lacking inspiration/ideas to write about. I never force a piece so I didn’t write. It frustrated me but I also learned a lesson: it’s impossible to force something that is not there or within. 

I had a shit week. Everything seemed to overwhelm me, I was exhausted from constantly being on the go, juggling different areas of my life at a time and felt extremely run down. My health was suffering, I wasn’t sleeping properly, my food choices were not the most healthy and I felt anxious and on edge. I didn’t train/exercise as often as I usually do. I think this happens us all. Our ‘problems/challenges’ seem to take over, the anxieties and insecurities become loud in our head, the overwhelming feeling that things will never resolve themselves and that you are STUCK. It can seem like those around you are ‘living the dream’, sailing through their lives and bypassing you! 

Part of the overwhelming feeling this week was connected to feeling quite isolated/lonely. I am not one to ever usually ask for help, to reach out to someone often with my ‘baggage’ or problems. I never want to be a ‘burden’ or sound negative to somebody else. Sure isn’t everyone dealing with their own case full of baggage? They don’t need mine. Ryanair would have a field day! What I did learn this week however is that true friends don’t view it as baggage, they don’t feel drained after listening, a true friend is happy to help out, offer advice and doesn’t see you as sounding negative or that you’re offloading. I did step into this role that seems quite alien to me, I did open up to a friend and explained how this last week was horrendous, how I felt physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted with not a lot left to ‘give’. That’s my problem. More often than not I place myself in the position of ‘giving’. I choose to do this, I love to help out people but it’s to my own detriment. There comes the time then when I’m floored, with no energy, feeling stuck and ‘not myself’. 

It’s such an Irish thing to ask someone how they are and to not even listen or wait for the response. If somebody does reply with I’m feeling shit or I’m not ok it very often stuns the other person. Why? It can make them feel uncomfortable. That’s not the answer you were supposed to give!!! Surely you were supposed to say “I’m Grand”?? This is probably one of my most detested words! Grand! What does it even mean!! I try not to ask anyone how they are anymore unless I have the time and attention to give to them to actually hear exactly how they are. 

This week I didn’t even stop and ask myself how I was. So many times when I become busy and feel tired I loose touch with my body. I don’t know how I feel because I avoid the feelings and don’t have ‘time’! We all have time to check in with our soul and to really listen to what it is saying. Now is everything really ‘Grand?’ It’s possible to listen to other’s souls also, next time when talking with a friend try to listen into the wavelength of their station and hear what music their soul is playing? Not the music they’re singing in their head but the notes and lyrics that resound from deep within their soul.

“Listen to Your Soul

It Sings a Special Song 

If Others Listen Closely

They too will Sing Along” 

(Deirdre Ward) 

Is this the End…? 💪🏻🍪🦋

Lately I haven’t been feeling inspired to write, I have a bout of writers block. I have been contemplating finishing up the Tough Cookie Blog completely and wondering if maybe it has served its purpose, was it for my healing, for the transition I struggled with in moving from Abu Dhabi back home, in facing my mother’s grief, admitting my pain and hurt surrounding my adoption and birth parents, the battle with my mental health and old, debilitating wounds? It certainly served as an outlet for emotions that had been suppressed and locked up for years, it gave me the platform to hear my authentic and honest voice fully for the first time ever. What an important and crucial piece of my journey and path it has been. One I started over 3years ago!

I have shared myself wholeheartedly, opened up about the pieces that I believed were my darkest secrets, shameful stories and parts that I had labelled as broken, defective and wrong. How Wrong I was. There is NO part of me that is shameful, wrong, defective, ugly or broken. This is what my writing has helped me to see. The Tough Cookie helped me to hear those untrue beliefs, that old story that I had stuck on repeat constantly playing in the background. The demo was a dud! I had to rewrite the lyrics and hear the new melody that was reality, that was my true sound and rhythm in life. But I didn’t know it. I had to feel myself, my beat, learn my steps and find out for myself. I had to stop dancing to other’s beats and rhythms, I had to trust my own path, my own song and hear it within my soul.

This has been one of the hardest things I had to learn how to do, and to follow through on it has been a rollercoaster. One ride I wanted to jump off at so many points, and undoubtedly I still will want to in the future too. Life is a rollercoaster it can uplift you with a rush of exhilaration, or leave you feeling like you’re plummeting into a dark hole. It can be sensational yet utterly shit! What I have learned is how to steer myself and trust the route I’m taking on this more fully. Even those bumpy parts as uncomfortable they can be usually do have significance and some meaning behind them (as difficult as that can be to see and often never visible to the human eye) there has to be some reason. My faith in God helps me to believe in that higher plan that is already pre-orchestrated and laid out for us. How can you explain ALL those little and big coincidences that happen to us all in life if there wasn’t some truth in this?

So right now I am also trusting my gut that a break is needed from the world of blogging and social media with The Tough Cookie, my sense is that this is a time for me to immerse myself fully within my own connectedness, developing my awareness within to a deeper level and to focus on myself, my goals and aspirations. I have shared so much of my past, my present and my future vision that it is now time to be that bit more selfish with my time! From the Camino one massive lesson I gained was the importance of taking that solitude, that time out to hear, see, touch and smell what was hidden, blocked and numbed by the busyness of life, of our thoughts and those all too familiar stresses!

For now I sign off with much love and gratitude to all my fabulous Tough Cookies out there, I’m sure you’ve not heard the last of me…. And sure one goal is to get back to this autobiography I had started 👍💪🏻🍪🙋🏻🌸💜

Love Deirdre x

“A Minute

A Second

Words Used

With no ‘Presence’!

TIME we Think

We’ve Got

So Much

We Put it Off

Till Tomorrow

Then the Sorrow!

Time is not Eternal

It Runs Out

There’s No Doubt!

Seize the Day

Trust what YOU Say

It’s Simple if you

Pray &

Follow YOUR WAY!

Tough Cookie

Follow ‘Your Way’ 🥾➡️🚶🏻‍♀️

I’m not long back from completing the first leg of the Camino de Santiago beginning in France and crossing into Spain. I took a long, well overdue break from social media and blogging. The Tough Cookie needed to head off, reconnect with herself, nature and life! What better way than to contemplatively ‘Walk the Way’ for one week.

Lessons Learned along My Way:

Senses:

Before I had left to head off on my adventure I had felt very stressed, had lacked energy and vitality. I had deadlines for my college work, my own work with UNLOCK had been hectic and I realised that my head was so busy, clouded over and I lacked focus. Some might have thought I was crazy heading off when I had so many important assignments due two weeks later, however it was just what the doctor ordered! Do you ever feel like you’re on autopilot each day, not noticing the world around you, the people, the places? While I was walking, it honestly was as though my senses were reawakening – I could ‘see’ the beauty in nature around me, the diversity of people (such as Koreans, Sweedish, Americans, English, Africans) so many people from all corners of the world come and walk the Camino. You sometimes don’t realise how blurry your eyesight is while ‘running’ through the to-do list of a normal week.

Walking approximately 23km each day for roughly 7hours including little breaks along the way, I began to feel every fibre of my being, my muscles and limbs! I thought I had a reasonable level of fitness, that is until I began to climb the winding roads and inclines each day. During some steeps you wonder if you’ll make it to the top or not! Not to mention carrying a 10kg backpack in 22degree heat!

I will never forget the first day, I believe it was the toughest (walking along the Pyrenees) without sight of a café or shop for miles. It was a hot day and I feared not getting any food or fluids into me. After not much sleep and no reserves I remember spying a tiny trailer in the distance and hoping and praying it was someone selling water and some fruit! It was!! A man had his little stall of coffee, bread and bananas!! It was as if I had won the lotto, I nearly ran to meet him I was that weak with hunger! The smallest and most basic things can be the biggest and most important elements. It taught me a big lesson to be more grateful for food and water in my life. Those everyday essentials that we all too often take for granted.

Pain:

It’s said that during the Camino people go through various ‘stages’ – physical pain, emotional and spiritual pain. Most travellers were there to complete the whole five stages which would take over 5weeks. I admire those people as after one week I could really feel my body crying out to me! You begin to have aches in places you didn’t realise existed!! At some moments I wondered why I was doing it, why did I put my body under this pressure?! However the sense of achievement, the ability of the body in proving your head wrong is ALL worth it. Myself and my friend whom I travelled with did struggle physically at times but that’s when we uplifted each other, we offered up our pain through prayers and intentions for ourselves and others. The Way doesn’t have to be spiritual or religious however we did pray each day and for me it made all the difference. Being in such peaceful and calming surroundings in nature along with prayers, reflections on our life, our friends/families and pain that we have suffered to date helped feel as though we were cleansing our being, letting go of past hurt and clearing the way for the future we envision.

Belly Laughs:

Isn’t it awful how we can forget to laugh? Well I know I certainly can anyway! Sometimes I can take life too seriously, get all caught up with the ‘adult’ things that need doing and forget to embrace the silly/fun and child side of myself. During this trip there’s no mad nights out, no partying (which I’m not into anyway!) but boy did we laugh! On one particular evening I remember (photo evidence above!) being bent over on the side of the path in complete hysterics to the point I was fearful I’d wet myself!!! My friend had mentioned something that was funny from earlier in the day, she caught me unaware and I was falling over with laughter. It felt so wonderful it was just what my body, heart, mind and soul needed. Laughter helps us Live Longer, that’s for sure. It taught me to take more time out for those fun moments, to meet up with those people who are naturally humorous and help me laugh!

Prioritise:

As mentioned I had been feeling quite work out and exhausted before I had left. The trip really helps you to begin to prioritise yourself, your well being, physical and emotional. Myself and my friend while walking chatted about so many topics, we also had times of silence. I realised that I hadn’t prioritised myself within my life lately at all and all too often I put others needs first. Because your body and mind is tested and challenged within the walking/climbing/heat, you begin to have moments of epiphanies where your life becomes clearer and you can see what areas you need to look after more. For me it was most definitely about fuelling my social life, wellbeing and fun more. There must be a balance between work and play!!

Trust:

For the last day my friend was unable to walk due to her five blisters on her feet. She encouraged me to walk solo for that last stretch and she would meet me by taxi in the last village later that afternoon. I was worried, anxious and unsure whether I would be safe and ok on my own. I realised that I had relied on her to know the route and to guide me as she had done it previously. This was a big challenge for me! Some 31year olds might laugh at this but it honestly did scare me. I was up for the challenge! I left the room at 6:20am alone in a city searching and looking for the well known scallop shell or yellow arrow (signs to guide you on the way!) eventually I found some other walkers in the darkened streets and began the route. Very early I met a Sweedish lady who had lost her phone in the bushes. I began to help her and we found it. From that moment we sparked conversation and this was my new ‘buddy’ for the day. We conversed about all topics of life – work, family, loss, health, travel, romance! We clicked instantly and found out we were quite alike! This is the experience of the Camino, meeting people from all walks of life, sharing your story and connecting deeply! I knew she was sent to help me complete my final leg that day. That last day helped me to see to trust myself more, to know that I’m capable, safe and able to complete anything I set my mind to!

Since returning I feel much more refreshed, it has sparked a travel bug within me, to add more adventure to my life and most importantly to think of myself more often! It feels good to trust myself! I’ve got this 🙋🏻👍🌟💜

REST & RESET! 😴

Do You take Enough Time Out to Rest, Recuperate & Rejuvenate your Whole Being? .
I have been struggling lately with my Health, particularly my gut health & also my Energy reserve. Most mornings I’m awakening feeling as though I’ve not slept a wink. There’s very little left in the tank! WHY?
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I am consciously aware of my Why. It’s due to myself taking on too much work, commitments at once rather than balancing it out more & not trying to juggle all at once. It’s also down to myself not feeling able to ‘switch off’ from the stress of my work & college deadlines that hang over me. Thankfully I am finishing up at the end of the month! For me exercise & movement is key to my lifestyle, however lately I’ve been so depleted of energy even the thoughts of a small walk seems unreachable. This is NOT me! I have allowed life to take over & put my self-care on the back burner. .
Lately I’ve put on some extra weight & lack confidence within my body & self-image. A vicious cycle can begin wherein there’s constant negative self-talk and berating myself for not exercising. I can be my worst critic and so unbelievably hard on myself. It’s horrible how we can talk so nastily to ourselves & would never dream of it to another. I’m on annual leave for the next two weeks and heading off to do the 1st leg of the Camino de Santiago. This couldn’t be happening at a more apt time for me. I’m needing some solitude, some peace and to reconnect with myself, my whole self – body, mind, soul. .
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I’ve made some promises to myself for when I return: –
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*MY PROMISES: .
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-MOVE: Keep your balanced lifestyle of work and movement. Gently ease back to exercising each week, commit to some classes and feel my body once again. Become strong once again.
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-PEACE: Find ways to switch off, find calm and slow down this ‘race’ of life. I know I’m on social media too often & my head can be stuck in my phone. I’ve reflexology booked for this evening and I intend to keep a slot on a weekly basis for some gentle, soothing activity such as this.
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-EAT WELL: My diet hasn’t been the best, overeating to fuel my body & mind with energy. Craving those carbohydrates to keep me going. Eat Well to Feel Well

Focus Focus Focus 🏌🏻‍♀️⛳️💆🏻‍♀️

Lately I’ve been feeling quite agitated and stressed out with all that I have on, work commitments and the workload involved with my Masters. I have been feeling exhausted and lacking energy, allowing stress and negative thoughts run my life. I’ve given too much power to the negative and doubting mind. I’ve realised I don’t Trust myself enough.
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I love the work I do, I love taking on new challenges and any opportunity that comes along my way. However then I can feel a sense of impending doom e.g. I’m away tomorrow to Derry to a circus school (which is so exciting!) not to join the circus sadly but to provide training for them in helping them develop Resilience within their programmes for children. Knowing that I am quite a Resilient person I know what I’m taking about yet the closer tomorrow approaches the more anxious and negative I am becoming. Why? I’ve figured out its that I don’t Trust myself enough.
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Ways I’m Practising Self-Trust:
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Memories: I keep recalling other trainings I’ve facilitated, remembering how well they’ve went and how I was more than capable.
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Gentle Self-Talk: I am making a conscious effort to speak gently to myself, making powerful ‘I AM’ and ‘I CAN’ statements to rid my mind of self-deprecating phrases.
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Breathe: Some days I am so busy, rushing around organising work and avoiding to connect fully with my self and my body. It might sound daft but some days I find breathing slowly and slowing down my body difficult! Today I’m taking short breaks for 2mins to consciously BREATHE slowly and deeply!
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#anxiety #nerves #overcome #cbttherapy #ican #positivity #retrainthemind

Finding JOY 💛🐥

🐣🐣 Happy Easter to all you Tough Cookies out there 🐣🐣
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Do you take enough time to have Fun, be Playful and forget about all the stress, commitments and workload that life brings?
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Is it sometimes difficult to ‘Switch Off’ from the never ending to-do list? I frequently find it a challenge to just forget about the workload and be fully present at times. With my work as a Psychotherapist and Play Therapist you’re constantly thinking and reflecting on the clients and families you’re working with so some times ‘your time’ can run low! It’s crucial that I do take time for myself as I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote about not being able to pour from the empty cup.
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My niece and nephews (all 4 of them under 5years!) are Home at the minute and it’s a great excuse to let my hair down, play outside and release my inner child. There is nothing better than giggling with them and having innocent fun. Do you find Joy each week? Do you try to practice Gratitude as best you can? I watched Brené Brown’s documentary ‘A Call to Courage’ last night all about Vulnerability and Courage. It was excellent, she makes the valid point that being Courageous is when we feel Vulnerable. She also highlighted the importance of Gratitude of the very ordinary things in life because sadly some day they may be the very things or people you miss and wish you had. I had to recall lying in bed beside my late mother helping her with crossword and sudoku puzzles.
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*Ways I’m Finding Joy:
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Inner Child: Allow yourself to run wild and free like the child you used to be. Go to the Park/Beach/Playground and have FUN!
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Finding Gratitude: Each day I try to identify at least 3 things/moments or people I am Grateful for to remind me of how much I already HAVE rather than ALL I want to achieve/find.
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Being Vulnerable: Lately I had wondered about my Tough Cookie Blog again and whether I have the same buzz and excitement from it. Again it was my inner critic wondering whether my story and words were valid enough. YES they are and it brings me healing, I do it for ME in the hope it’ll touch someone else. I’m continuing to be Vulnerable in the hope of helping others!
#joy #vulnerability #gratitude 💜

Fight the FEAR 💪🏻🌟

Does FEAR of Failure & the Unknown Hold you back? Are you afraid to give it a go incase you let someone down or more importantly Yourself?

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I had signed up for a Half Marathon last weekend. I had it booked over a month ago. I was really contemplating cancelling it as I had been unwell & hadn’t trained very much. I hadn’t gone past 10miles in training so I really didn’t feel confident to be able to reach the 13mile mark. I was afraid of failing.

Then I thought about it & decided that I wouldn’t be failing, I’d go & remove any pressure on myself, that I’d enjoy the trip to Connemara & do the best I could. A friend of mine had also signed up so it was also going to be a sociable trip of catching up with great friends. I had been working & studying constantly the last few weekends so I knew I needed a little break away!

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Once I removed all pressure or targets from myself I didn’t feel as scared or worried about the race. My goal was to try to keep jogging without stopping. Mind you I did stop once during a never ending hill! In the past that would have even eaten me up! I have noticed that I’m not as hard on myself, I’m acknowledging my efforts & ability much more & I’m proud of myself for deciding to Try rather than Avoid! It really is Mind over Matter & Self-Chatter is crucial.

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Ways I got by:

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*Positive Self-Talk: What we tell ourselves really does affect what we believe & how we feel. At times when I felt tired or unsure if I’d make it through I repeated positive mantras to myself such as “I am strong, I am fit, I am fast, I am doing this” It helped me to keep believing in myself when all too often that doubting voice can creep in & tell me I’m not good enough.

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. *My Why: During it I kept the vision of the end Feeling in sight. I know the buzz I get after a race & the sense of achievement I feel. I kept connecting with that & visualising what the end line would look like & more crucially what it would Feel like.

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. *Gratitude: I know there is a LOT of talk out there about being Grateful & having this ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. Again there is Truth in what they say! I dedicated a mile to someone in my life. It kept me focused.

#nofear #goals

Eat Your Heart Out!! 💓

Do you Eat your Emotions? When you’re feeling upset, angry and stressed do you sometimes reach for that comfort food to fill a void, to satiate yourself? Does it Work?
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I think we all have ups and downs with Food, some of us restricting ourselves with food to keep a certain body weight and image, others binging on food to help fill that emotional hunger within.
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Yes I’ve been there, on both ends of the scale. And on those dreaded scales too!! Personally I know that when I’m triggered by someone or something, feeling stressed and overwhelmed I all too often reach for those carby and sweet foods to give me energy and help me function. I suffer with my gut health and it really plays havoc in moments like this. I consciously know those foods are the last thing that will help but there’s an inner subconscious drive that can take over.
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Ways I’m Helping myself with Emotional Eating:
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*Notice my Thoughts: When I can CATCH my thoughts, identify the triggers and know where they’ve stemmed from its easier to take CONTROL over them. I think when you have a reason it’s much easier to stop the urge. As humans we’re always looking for meaning and answers!
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*Connect: I’m practising whenever I have a craving or that inner urge to slow down and connect with my stomach to try and decipher whether it is in fact Hunger or whether it’s boredom/stress/emotions.
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*Gentle Approach: I try not to restrict myself too much, I don’t want to have a negative association with food as at the end of the day it’s what fuels us and is essential for life. I am learning not to beat myself up if I do fall off the plan. We are only human and that odd treat is definitely allowed and worth it!
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*New Ways of Coping: fins new ways to cope with the triggers and stressors in your life. Yesterday I became upset over an incident and yes I did have one or two sweet treats initially and then I decided to ‘Scribble Scream’ – a technique I suggest to parents and children all the time! I got out my paper and crayons and drew my feeling words that I wanted to scream out of me! I practice what I preach and it really does work!
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#healthyfood #choices #emotions #catchingthoughts