That time of year is coming around again – Christmas, Yule, the holidays, whatever you want to call it. It’s a really magical time of the year, but it’s also a very stressful time of the year for many of us too.
The pressure many of us feel to have everything just perfect, from the gifts to the food and drink, to making sure the entire family has an amazing day, these pressures leave us feeling stressed out and unable to see a way beyond the madness.
Making lists can really help here. Lists allow us to have each task laid out in black and white and once ticked off we can feel enormous pleasure in achieving something. It also allows us to break everything down into more manageable chunks and can take some of the pressure off.
And of course some things we just cannot control so just breathe and let go.
If you’re anything like me you’ll be fantastic at giving advice to others, solving their problems, and generally being the support they need.
But what about yourself?
Again, if you’re anything like me you won’t be so good at being that same caring person for yourself. For whatever reason we find it difficult to prioritise ourselves and often run on empty, which in turn is very detrimental to not only our health, but our emotional wellbeing also.
If all you can manage is five minutes a day, every day, then that’s a start. Five minutes turns into ten minutes, ten minutes turns into twenty minutes, and so on and so forth.
Make yourself a priority, you really do deserve it.
I’ve known many fake people in my life and it is sad to think that they have felt they have to make a persona up in order to be liked.
It’s also sad that some people do not like us because we are being our genuine selves. It’s easy to blame the advent of social media on this, but people being fake is nothing new.
I like the quotes that encourage us to be ourselves, telling us that the world needs our uniqueness. Such quotes inspire me to keep on being myself. I often have to remind myself that not everyone is going to like me and that is ok, that’s just how life is.
Keep on being yourself. The world needs your uniqueness.
You can choose to stop the perpetual negativity and move forward into positivity.
Allowing Your Soul to Shine
At times, we’ve all wanted to crawl under a rock and hide away from the world. We may have preferred to be invisible rather than let other people see us or notice that we exist. This desire not to be seen often happens when we are feeling very hurt, angry, or simply weary of the world. And while we may console ourselves with the defense that we are shy, an introvert, or a loner, we may actually be hiding.
When we hide and make believe that we are invisible, we can think that no one sees us even though, truthfully, we are only really hiding from ourselves. And while we may try to live life as inconspicuously as possible, we only succeed in becoming more conspicuous because people can’t help but notice that we are trying to hide our light. None of us are meant to hide; each one of us radiates a unique brilliance that is meant to illuminate the world. When we try to dim our light, we diminish the natural radiance of the Universe, and we deprive the people around us of the unique gifts and talents that we are here to share.
Stepping out of the wings and letting your light shine is actually a way to serve the planet. We each have a responsibility to contribute to our community, and we do this when we let ourselves be seen. It doesn’t do anyone any good when we try to hide. We are all beings of light and we are here to light the way for each other. When we let ourselves shine, we become a bright mirror that others can see their own reflected brilliance through, and they can’t help but want to shine also. Shine your light out into the world, bless those around you by sharing your gifts, and watch the universe glow.
One of the things I have found whilst recovering from a PTSD episode is to make sure self love and self care are high on my agenda.
I have candles lit, incense burning, herbal tea to drink and I’m reading a book. Life in this very moment feels peaceful.
Not a lot of people know this, I’ve been referred to a neurologist as I have some concerning symptoms that need investigating. There is a concern that I MAY have MS. My appointment is tomorrow.
I’ve been very unwell with these symptoms for quite some time, hence the lack of holiday snaps, I was ill on holiday too. We went away despite me being ill because how my health is right now could be the new reality for me every day.
Drawing this card today feels very significant to me. Self care for anyone is a must. Self care for chronic illness warriors is essential as we need to check in with our body’s regularly to make sure we aren’t over doing it.
As someone who has been struggling with chronic illness for years, I have learnt to be thankful for small things, no matter what they are. Being chronically ill can be very overwhelming and can actually take over your life, leaving you feeling down and even angry a lot of the time. Early on in my illness, someone told me that the best way she coped was to be thankful for the small things in life. She explained that gratitude had a way of helping her to cope with the daily struggles she faced because of her chronic illnesses.
As someone who has followed a pagan path since the age of 14, this was something that felt right for me too. I know many people with chronic illnesses feel really isolated and helpless and for me, I was looking for something to focus on that wasn’t all about the illnesses. People turn to prayer, people turn to meditation, people turn to support networks, people do what they can to cope the best way they can.
I am not religious and I often find that support groups can be overwhelming, if not fraught with power struggles and drama – not all are like this, I hasten to add. When I started showing gratitude for small things in life I started to feel less tense, more accepting of my illnesses, and more relaxed with my life as a whole. Gratitude allowed me to view life differently. Gone was the anger and bitterness that my body had failed me. Gone were the resentful feelings I had been harbouring towards people who weren’t sick.
I began to view everyday as a blessing. Whilst I was not brimming with vitality and good health, I was at least alive. By showing gratitude each day I actually began to see life from a more positive viewpoint. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I feel like I am the biggest, grouchiest bear there is, but those days are less frequent now and I put it down to the power of positivity and practising gratitude.
I have found that there really is always something to be grateful for. It could be something as mundane as the weather not being so hot, or it could even be that the doctor’s surgery wasn’t so busy and I was seen fairly quickly, rather than having to wait for a long time. Gratitude doesn’t need to be based on materialistic things. Gratitude can be small and simple; a beautiful flower you can see, the sound of a child’s laughter, a sunny day, a decent night’s sleep, absolutely anything that makes you feel a little better about life.
And once you start feeling grateful for small blessings, more blessings start to manifest in your life, making you feel even more grateful. Of course, the simple things in life are as equally important as larger blessings, and once you begin this practice you soon learn that you are surrounded by blessings and miraculous things. Being grateful helps us remain positive and this can help reduce stress in our lives – totally a win-win situation.
Practicing being grateful does not mean you will turn into a peace-loving, dope-smoking hippy, 😉 there will still be things in life that annoy you, that challenge you, that upset you, etc, you’ll just feel more abe to deal with them, and that in itself is a blessing.
Some people like to keep a gratitude journal. This helps them to focus on the positive things in their lives, and also keep a record of what has made them feel grateful. Other people like to verbalise their gratitude, whether that be out loud to themselves, or whether they record what they are saying. There is no right or wrong way to practice being grateful, whatever works for you is right for you.