Values are what we truly feel are most important, essential or valuable to our lives as parents. Our values originate from whatever we perceive to be missing in our lives. So if we perceive that we are missing relationships, money, or influence, we will seek, desire and value a partner, cash and social networks. Our perceived voids therefore determine our values.
Since we have more than one void and corresponding value, we actually have a series of voids and values ranging from the most important to the least important. Our values can occur in any of the seven primary areas of life – Spiritual, Mental, Vocational, Financial, Familial, Social and Physical and they can be concentrated in one or few areas or dispersed through all seven unevenly.
Every perception, decision and action we make is determined by our hierarchy of values. Every decision is based upon what we feel is going to provide us with the most advantage over disadvantage and most reward over risk to our highest values. The more parents understand their own and their children’s hierarchy of values the more they can communicate, educate and empower themselves and their children.
Every family member has a unique hierarchy of values and no two family members have the same set of values. Whenever either or both parents project their highest values onto their children there will be both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits can initially give them outer direction and can sometimes save them from learning the hard way. The drawbacks can cloud the child’s individual mission. Children spontaneously love learning what is truly highest on their own hierarchy of values, what is most important to them, but not necessarily those values projected by their parents or teachers.
When parents identify, respect and communicate whatever they feel is wise for their children to learn in terms of the child’s highest values, children expand their learning horizons and incorporate these new values and interests. When parents autocratically project their values and learning content onto their children without knowing or honouring their childrens’ highest values, the children can resist.
Many learning difficulties are simply due to parents or teachers not honouring what is truly most important to the child and not communicating information in terms of the child’s highest values or inspirations.
The child’s identity revolves around their highest value – their purpose. It is what they spontaneously love to learn and fulfill. Children naturally express genius in their highest value and suppress any genius in their lowest. Many learning abilities are only in certain areas. These same children excel in other areas that are aligned congruently with their highest values. Children could be labeled Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at their school while enduring a class they are not inspired by or engaged in, while at home they could stay focused for six hours straight on their video games and demonstrate Attention Surplus Order (ASO). Before projecting labels, it is wise to first discover children’s highest values. Authorities projecting labels sometimes undermine the very genius they are claiming to breed.
Experiencing high levels of stress can make you age prematurely. You probably know at least a few individuals who have experienced what they imagine to be highly stressful events – maybe a divorce, the loss of a loved one, a reduction in income, debt or the discovery of a serious health issue – that has accelerated their ageing processes quite rapidly.
I remember a young man who found out that his mother had metastatic cancer. Within a few weeks he began growing a patch of white hair. It was quite amazing how quickly he went grey. I watched a 20-year-old girl find out she was pregnant, without knowing who the father was, and saw how she felt the pressure of the social and financial implications.
Experiencing high levels of stress can make you prematurely age. But there are a few sensible actions you can take to cope.
So what can you do if you find yourself experiencing circumstances that feel emotionally distressing? Having a close friend or a professional to communicate with would be ideal. Meditation and stilling your mind to enable your inner solutions to arise can also assist. Exercising to channel off some extra tension will maybe assist temporarily. Making sure you eat quality, nutritious food during such times is certainly wise. Also, ask yourself how your perceived stressful situation could serve or benefit you now and in the future?
To perceive only the negative side of the emotional equation and not even attempt to search for the accompanying positive side can further exacerbate the stress and keep you forever bound to the source of your stress.
Balancing the equation can help dissolve this concentrated stress. A balanced mind – and seeing the positive side of things – offers the solution. Ask yourself what the drawbacks would be if this emotionally stressful event had not occurred? Sometimes we assume that our life would have been much better if things would have turned out differently.
Sometimes people compare their present realities to falsely optimistic fantasies. Having unrealistic expectations about the world or yourself can add to your stress perceptions when life doesn’t match your ideal fantasy. Be sure your life expectations are balanced and realistic. Life offers a balance. One-sided events don’t occur.
Since many stressful situations involve personal interactions with others, it’s wise to ask where and when you have participated in such an interaction with someone else who perceived you as being the source of their stress. This question can humble you and make you think twice about unwisely judging others, since a lot of stress involves exaggerated judgments about others. Self-reflection is wise and honest introspection often reveals humbling histories. When you become reflective your expectations often become more realistic.
If someone is criticising or rejecting you, ask yourself where someone is simultaneously praising or accepting you, although maybe not within the same location. This takes deep introspection, but it is worth it. A great discovery is revealed when you take the time to honestly probe the initially unseen world that balances every event.
“Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time.” ― Rebecca Wells
Let’s talk about perfectionism and the idea of being perfect. We live in a world in which we are constantly being bombarded with images of the perfect body, the picture-perfect relationship and the ideal life. The implicit notion is that if we are perfect we will AUTOMATICALLY gain more love, more money, more acceptance and more happiness in our lives. The premise of perfectionism is that until you reach perfect, you are unworthy of all that life can offer. This is possibly the greatest lie of our time. With social media and online living we are more connected than ever before but we are simultaneously at more risk of daily comparison and daily, internal berating. As a result, we try to contort ourselves into these impossible images of perfection, prescribed by an unwell, modern society, in the hopes that we will experience a better life.
Psychologists, Paul L. Hewitt (Ph.D.) and Gordon L. Flett (Ph.D.) have shown (through their numerous studies), that perfectionism has been positively correlated with depression, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, problematic relationships and lower levels of self-esteem. Perfectionists are more likely to express cynicism and experience higher levels of stress at home and at work, as well as experiencing a decreased sense of overall satisfaction with one’s self and one’s life. Striving for perfection will lock you in an egoistic, perpetuating cycle which will ultimately cause you more pain than happiness.
The cycle follows this general form: You hold an internal belief (that arose for whatever reason) that you must be perfect in order to have that ideal job, relationship etc; so in an effort to reach your goals you attempt to change yourself. For example, I will only find the love of my life when I drop five pounds. I will only be happy when I have (insert monetary amount here). Perfection cannot be maintained so you ultimately fail. This failure makes you feel guilty and shameful for not being perfect. In other words, you perceive the problem to be something that you did wrong and the cycle begins again. This vicious, perpetuating cycle of perfectionism must be broken. Perfectionism in itself is the problem, not YOU.
So disconnect from this notion, simply let it go. If you experience feelings of guilt and shame because you are not perfect, take solace in the fact that this is totally normal. Show me a perfect human being and I will show you their plastic surgeon. Allow these feelings to arise to the surface and then release them. Know this: there is no perfect, it simply does not exist. There is only this moment in which you can find the courage to live authentically.
Follow your body and not your mind. Listen to your body and what it needs.
What does this mean and how can we apply this practically in our lives day to day and moment by moment?
To help support a smooth and easy transition back into work and family life after the changed routine and potential excesses of the holidays, work with awareness and intention around what foods you reach for and why:
- Excess sugar creates an acid state in your body which in turn creates cravings for more and more sugary foods. Increase your intake of fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables. This will detoxify your body and help return it to an alkaline state.
- Eat only when hungry and drink only when thirsty – in this way you follow your body and not your mind.
- Avoid eating cooked and raw food together; this will help to strengthen digestive fire (agni).
- Re-establish a regular routine around sleeping, waking and eating habits, this helps to ground and balance body and mind.
When we over identify with the story of our mind and are driven by fear, anxiety, frustration, anger or worry we become stuck in our head and disconnected from our body and life. Here, the practice of the half smile is a beautiful way to help bring us back into our body, our heart and the present moment.
The half smile:
- Slightly lift the corners of your mouth and hold softly for at least three breaths.
- Notice what changes in your body and mind… your focus drops out of your head and into your body, you become aware of what parts of your body are tense, which in turn helps it to relax, you get space from the drama of your mind, your heart can open which provides the potential to return back into the spaciousness of the present moment.
- This can be practiced during any periods of waiting – for the kettle to boil, in any queue at the shops, at the traffic lights, on the telephone as well as first thing in the morning upon waking, and last thing at night just before sleep.
- There is no quick fix… benefits accrue with regular practice over time. If you do this practice 5 or more times a day, it will make a surprising difference to your body and mind, and to the environment.
- When we smile it immediately brings us back into our hearts.
Enjoy the practice of the half smile, and remember to listen to your body.
People often ask me what Metanoia means. Some even think it's my first name. While others can barely pronounce it.
Metanoia is the word that has been a huge part of my life for the past year. It's a word I stumbled across on Instagram a while back and immediately identified with it's meaning.
Metanoia (n.): the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self, or way of life - (pronunciation | meh-tah-NOY-ah)
To me, metanoia represents growth. The possibility of improving ourselves, living the life we envision and the ability of chasing our dreams. In order to be successful and happy, we should constantly be evolving and learning. Learning new ways, new strategies, new routes.
One of my favorite quotes is: "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." We have the power to create our own paths, opportunities, and destination. That theory is behind Metanoia Living. To showcase the pursuit of a lifestyle -the Metanoia Lifestyle. Inspiring you be open to change, to travel, to discover and to create a happy, fun and balanced life.
We all have our unique journeys. For that same reason, the word metanoia can be personalized to each one of us. We add our own value to the meaning. Metanoia serves as a daily motivation and inspiration for me- which is why it's my favorite word. Hopefully, it becomes yours too!
Do you complain too much?
“The year is flying by too quickly. And I haven’t achieved what I should have”
“I can’t believe I haven’t stuck to my resolutions.”
These are just some of the complaints I hear in my practice. But all complaints, It seems to me, are tied to fear. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are legitimate things to feel scared or worried about: paying your bills, securing a stable future, for instance. But fear, and the subsequent complaining about it, is crippling. Why? We associate the act of complaining with off-loading far more than we do with problem solving. As a result, we complain simply to get things off our chest, not to resolve problems. This is known as ineffective complaining and it has been linked to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Moaning that that the year is flying by is not going to make it slow down. So instead of trying to avoid the underlying feelings of fear by complaining, why not simply face them?
How do you do this? Firstly, you need to become aware of when you are ineffectively complaining. Become mindful of the everyday complaints that have become routine (bad weather/ traffic) to the larger more valid worries (financial security/ job happiness). Secondly, take some time to write down what is really concerning you. There is no correct or incorrect way of doing this, just write without thinking too much or editing anything. Thirdly, reflect on what you’ve written and notice if any beliefs and feelings arise. Notice if these beliefs and feelings have any validity in reality. For example, feeling unworthy can often lead to inaction, so identifying underlying beliefs can often lead to major breakthroughs! Fourthly, take action and be kind to yourself in the process. After all, you are only human, doing the best you can do with where you are in this present moment.
I am turning 40 this year and I’ll admit that even at this age, I often battle with the fact that I’m a person challenging convention which means I’m often the more ‘abnormal’ in a group.
Despite undoubtedly being classified as proper grown-up now with a pocket full of competencies and coping skill to call on in difficult situations, I still often find it uncomfortable that I’m just not the same and face the wrath of people whom I irritate because the information I disperse about food challenges the norm, makes people have to look at their attitude to nutrition and it can and does sometimes make people defensive. This is often a huge pity because it is meant to be an empowering journey toward claiming greater health but that’s a story for another day.
The point is that you’ve got to be quite powerfully connected to your own internal compass to face the rejection you risk when you challenge convention in order to lead the change you believe in and stand for.
You’ve also got to be mindful that the modern day mother’s context particularly is pretty heavy and complex.
Woman are fed up in spades of feeling inadequate on some level and carry guilt as a matter of course, they’re guilty if they work, they’re guilty if they don’t, they face a juggling act between home and work and a busy modern day world, self esteem can run pretty thin, most woman are not up for anymore messages that say that they aren’t good enough or that make any further demands on their time. Most woman I meet, somewhere, don’t feel like that they quite measure up to some virtual ideal out there of what a modern day successful woman should be.
You can see then why having to deliver the message that the convenience that they get from being relieved of having to spend time in the kitchen, through industrial and refined foods, isn’t actually as convenient as it appears isn’t an easy message to deliver.
The convenience of outsourcing your pantry to big food, is going to end up in less energy, more trips to the Doctor ultimately and the inconvenience of disease down the line. This is no exaggeration – the global stats show rising levels of cancer, heart disease and diabetes in more affluent societies.
This generation faces the most industrial and toxic environment yet – what our immune systems have to contend with now compared to even 50 years ago – isn’t the same.
We know how rare ‘real food’ has become when we try to source organically grown, untainted fresh farm produce and find it scarce. We know how rare naturally raised meat is to find because we see how difficult it is to find farms that can afford to raise animals in a true free-range environment on a diet they are most naturally to.
I know this only too well because I have tried to build up a business selling organic food and still battle to create a shop with anywhere near enough in, the produce is scarce. If I wanted to sell industrially which now also means conventionally farmed produce with artificial fertilizers, pesticides and in a way that harms the environment, erodes biodiversity and pollutes the soil – I could fill a shop in a tick. In a heartbeat. The difficulty would be service and establishing a brand and a store people want to head to, my difficulty would not be with supply. There is an abundance of conveyor belt and conventionally farmed toxic food out there – it is our normal.
If it is this difficult as an adult to be abnormal and go against the grain by eating real food, we need to be mindful of what our children are put through when we assert their right to proper nutrition amongst a ‘norm’ that has somewhere between 50 and 100 tsp. of refined sugar a day, chemicals, additives and preservatives laying the foundation for diabetes and ailing immune systems in adulthood, as a daily matter of course in their lives.
If this is the ‘norm’ and we know it is and we know how much courage it can take to challenge convention and stand out, what is it like for children who are eating healthy food who have radically different lunch boxes in the classroom?
Do they get ostracized for being different? Do they find it difficult to manage the contradictions they see and hear? If we tell them that we aren’t feeding them unhealthy food because we love them, does that mean in their little minds those children who eat refined junk foods have parents who don’t love them? Do we mean to tell them that when we know this isn’t true. Might it confuse them mightily? They know their friends are loved and yet some of their friends are eating foods we demonize because we are aware of the strain these food burdens their systems with. What are little brains and hearts to make of this? What happens when they go to parties and want to eat the sweets and rubbish that the other ‘normal’ children are eating, food they have been told is ‘bad for them’ – what are they to do with the guilt? It’s a tough enough minefield to manage as an adult; do we need to think about how our children are managing this? I know we do because of the challenges I face navigating through this with my daughter.
When I want to see my friends, there’s a fair amount of very non-organic food and alcohol flowing, friendship means the world to me and is a large part of my emotional health, I am adamant that to not spend good time with them – including eating what they are eating and stay home with my organic green juice alone – would not be healthy. I have that t-shirt and I won’t ever be putting that one back on.
We have to talk very seriously about children. As much as we talk about the impact of refined food, chemicals, sugar and preservative on their health – we have to cast a lens at the emotional landscape of eating with them – particularly when we know that rightly or wrongly – eating healthy food in our current landscape is actually not normal. That’s how severely dysfunctional our nutritional world is right now.
I’ve really been worried about this lately and had to find a way to navigate myself and my daughter through a difficult issue but just yesterday morning we had a break through. I’m going to share this with you because it’s a vital part of the Jozi Real Food conversation with regards to children.
My daughter is the daughter of a food activist really, for all of her life; she has had the experience of eating food very different to what her friends eat. I can’t divorce her from this reality any more than I can get her a new mother. It’s a part of our household and I’ve walked some interesting paths on this topic and it has not been easy and remains challenging.
Along the way, I have had to adapt and throw some of my most informed principles down the toilet in order to allow her breathing room to be normal and to reduce the tension around food that can crop up when her friends are running around with blue fizzers and I’m offering blueberries.
This surprises people, but I am not one of those people anymore who will stick to a principle if it causes too much tension for my loved ones. I used to be. Nowadays, I don’t attach half as much weight to my need to be right and principled as my need to be flexible and open enough to give others the space to be regardless of what I believe. I guess that’s another great topic actually for another day- but let’s just say we live in a more relaxed household nowadays. I still only buy organic food from farms I know but I’m far less rigid, far more flexible and when Kiara is in scenes where my friend’s children are eating rubbish that she wants to eat too, I breathe, let go, relax. That doesn’t mean I let go of the principle, it means I love my family more than my principles.
But there are lines in the sand, there is a point beyond which I can’t relax without compromising myself too much and there must always be boundaries around that. That’s a very delicate tightrope to walk at times.
Anyhow – to the heart of the story – finally. I’ve been worried about my daughter’s lunch-boxes. She doesn’t get lunch-boxes like the rest of the class. White bread doesn’t enter our house. Actually we don’t do bread at all because I just don’t see any great nutritional reason to do so and far too many great reasons to avoid it, unless it’s sourdough. But that’s not soft, white, fluffy bread with softeners in, it’s real bread, it’s different.
She does not get chocolates and packets of anything off a conveyor belt in her lunch-box. She gets fruit and dried fruit and chopped up bits of peppers, tomatoes, cheese or cucumbers as additions to her main lunch, which is always leftovers from the night before. We always have an abundance of great organic cooked dishes around our supper table and we always cook enough and make enough salads that they can fill lunch-boxes the next day so that there is no need for sandwiches.
The thing is, this automatically makes her different. It is not cool for a 7 year old to be different. At 7, you’re trying your level best to fit in, not stand out.
So when I found out recently that Kiara gets teased sometimes for her lunches and has children mock the smell that comes out of her lunchbox with cooked food in, I found myself back on that delicate tight-rope feeling quite miserable.
I have a line in the sand about sandwiches and bread that isn’t negotiable. I am not having my daughter eating a mouthful of preservatives and chemicals in a fluff of dead industrial wheat containing additives linked to ADHD that are banned in other countries. That’s a line. Having her teased though and feeling embarrassed about her lunch-box, is another line. Over my dead body am I going to be let her go through that either so we’re making some adjustments.
Yesterday morning though, we were chatting about it in the kitchen and we came up with this breakthrough together.
We were chatting about this lunch-box issue because I was packing cottage pie for her and we were thinking about how we can handle the kids that tease her because she isn’t eating sandwiches and has meals for lunch. I wasn’t lecturing her; it was a real sort of chat where both her and I were exploring how we can handle this. So I asked her whether there are other children who have different lunches, so she said ‘yes, a girl called Nosipho has chicken and mielies and gravy and salad for lunch.’ So I said to her the thing is Kiara, we can’t start giving you unhealthy food that we know isn’t good for you just because the other kids are eating it and are teasing you. We have to teach them, we can’t let them make you unhealthy, what do you think? She was happy with this idea. So I said ‘what if, you start making a fuss about Nosipho’s lunch?’. Whenever Nosipho opens her lunch-box why don’t you say something like ‘oh wow Nosipho, that looks really delicious, what a great lunch, it looks so much tastier than sandwiches, you’re so lucky’! The child was beside herself with amusement at this idea. Then she got all comical and dramatic and we started dramatizing this idea into something ludicrous until we were both in hysterics. We had her yelling ‘OH WOW NOSIPHO, YOU HAVE THE MOST AMAZING LUNCH, EVERYBODY COME SMELL IT’, we then took it too far as 7 year olds just love doing – and we were sketching scenes of teachers and the whole class coming to see Kiara and Nosipho’s lunch – it got very funny, the tension of the topic is eased and now Kiara has a new strategy to help her deal with the fact that her lunch is different that actually empowers her and better still – if she can find the courage to pull this off, can make space for new norms in the class-room.
We need to be mindful, this taught me, that if we are going to be out there challenging convention – which is what the Jozi Real Food Revolution is all about – we must equip our children with the skills they need to manage it. We need to be sensitive to the burden it places on them to be different and to empower them in these conversations and we need to know when to relax a principle in the name of love. We need to know where our boundaries are, white bread and coke are 2 of mine that come to mind – and we need to keep open dialogue with our children and help them creatively manage the spaces they find themselves in. My daughter is particularly feisty and can assert herself but what about children who can’t, they may need more support.
It might sound dramatic to be putting it like this – but it really is – in my experience – that serious out there – that if your child eats healthy food and has real food in their lunch-boxes – they are in the minority. The majority of lunch-boxes contain food out of packets – they just might be taking some strain about this. Let’s take care with our children.
Whilst their physical health is mightily important and affects their cognitive ability, their energy levels throughout the day, the strength of their immune systems, their ability to focus and participate – their social health is equally as important. Their ability to integrate into society is paramount to their relationship with their world. Even if society is wrong, and we know this is true when it comes to the food that has become normal – the value of being right is negligible if it cause social harm and disease and if you’re sitting too far removed from society, you’re going to battle with emotional health – I’m adamant about this.
Let’s be mindful that the energy around food must be joyful and nourishing, once it gets too tense, let that be your guideline that something needs to be adjusted and let’s be very, very kind to our children and help them stand up and for real and healthy food in a way that empowers them and provide open arms and ears to the challenge that being different can bring to them.
Our lives would improve immeasurably if we let go of past hurts and nagging anxieties and surrendered to the present moment. This is easier said than done. I’d like to answer three questions about letting go: What stops us from letting go? How do we let go? What happens when we let go?
By the time we reach adulthood we’ve undergone a lot of conditioning. It’s hard to let go of all the things we’ve been conditioned to believe.
A well-adjusted ego is important to survive and thrive in the world, but it needn’t hold us back from exploring our true freedom and potential. There is something more beyond the ego, and we can feel a yearning to be set free from the limits of our conditioning: societal, cultural, familial. What stops us from connecting more deeply to ourselves, friends and family, from expressing our creative talents? The main reason we stay stuck is because of fear – the fear of failure, loss, rejection, abandonment, judgment and criticism. This manifests in all aspects of our lives and is experienced as contraction and disconnection. At the root of this fear is the belief that we are separate. Our ego will always be there, but when we grow into Spirit we identify less with the contracted ego and more with the unbounded, unseparated Self.
How do we let go? Letting go of the ego’s story is the start of spiritual awakening. We start to let go of hurts and anxieties when we acknowledge what we are feeling, and allow ourselves to honestly feel it. This is a very important first step and too often neglected because of a strong conditioning to suppress our emotions. The breath is also an important tool in spiritual practice. Breath is Life, and Life flows through us in rhythms of expansion (in breath) and release (out breath). The out breath is a process of letting go. By relaxing and surrendering on the out breath we create a gap in the flow of mind-chatter and loosen our rigid sense of identity.
What happens when we let go? When we let go we reconnect to Being, back into the flow of Life and the precious present moment. As we let go of the mind chatter, we are able to feel Life, living from the heart: our lives become enriched with authenticity, love, compassion and joy.
I’m sitting at a coffee shop contemplating on what to write about, when I over-hear a group of ladies talking behind me. The conversation is typical at the outset and then implodes into a group chorus of negative, self-placating talk. ‘Oh no, of course he wouldn’t date me, I’m far too fat’. ‘My husband and I don’t have enough sex’; ‘My kids take up all my time…’ ‘I’m always too busy, I feel like I’m spinning’...
The conversation continues and it becomes as clear as day that this group of women are feeling particularly victimised and unworthy. What would it mean to these women if they could speak kindly to themselves and expressively communicate their needs and desires? It would mean that they would have to respond to the situations they are in accordingly. How would they do this? By developing a healthy sense of self-worth.
The belief that one is worthy of love and self- care is often a foreign concept to women and men. To be a good mother/husband, lover, wife and partner we often believe that we have to put others first. I’m reminded of aeroplane instructions, in which we are directed to put on our own oxygen masks before helping others. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could treat ourselves well first and foremost? Now to some this may sound incredibly selfish but that is exactly my point. There is a fundamental difference between self-love and selfishness.
Self- love is the ability to treat yourself well, which includes healthy and kind thoughts about yourself. Self-love and a healthy self-esteem intertwine, if you believe you are worthy of love, you treat yourself kindly and others respond accordingly to this. Selfishness is a narcissistic, self-orientation that puts ones’ needs first without consideration of others. Brene Brown, discusses the belief that one is worthy of love, and the impact that this belief has on relationships, beautifully in the video below:
How does this relate to relationships?
If you have a healthy sense of self-worth and love, you can express this directly in your relationships. BELIEVING that you are worthy of love and a great life, despite what you think you look like or think you lack, helps you achieve a sense of wellness. This sense of wellness affords one the ability to act accordingly. So for the exhausted mother, this may be allowing herself the opportunity to take a much needed break, despite what others may need or want from her. For the unhappy lover, self-love and worthiness is expressed by communicating her sexual needs without blaming herself or her partner for their sexual rut, but by rather changing their sexual script (which takes courage). [This couple can also spice up their love life with the help of Foxy Box]. Lastly, for the woman who thought she was too fat to land a hot date, well self-love is accepting who you are, as you are. Of course, this is not to abdicate from the responsibility of taking care of oneself but rather the ability to be kind to yourself at this moment in time, and then take healthy steps moving forward.
So here are my five steps to achieving a healthy sense of self-worth:
- Quit the negative self- talk.
- Surround yourself with people who are good for you- people who help you build your self-confidence.
- Take care of yourself: remember self-care and selfishness are two different things.
- Embrace your imperfections!
- Express self-love first and love for others will naturally follow.
You’ve probably heard of terms like ‘active listening’, ‘engaged listening’, ‘conscious listening’ or some other concept of what it means to listen. Listening, a most basic human capability, has become a speciality. In the modern age our ability to listen has been overshadowed by excessive visual stimulation. We take in so much through our eyes, while modernity gazes blankly back at us: computer, smart phone, television, billboard.
Most people rely more on their eyes than their ears. And with all the visual bombardment we’re subjected to, we can become imbalanced.
Sight relates to the fire element, hearing relates to the space element. The receptive act of listening suggests a feminine quality, whereas the penetrating aspects of sight suggest a masculine. Where sight tends to home in on detail, focusing the mind, activating desire and thinking; listening has an expansive and all-encompassing quality. Expansive? All-encompassing? By listening with every cell in our body we connect to the Divine?
Listening is a key to wisdom. The voice is the fingerprint of the soul.
A person’s voice says so much about them, and most often the voice just wants to be heard. We convey our respect and caring by listening intently, giving space to the precious voice.
Our ancestors needed to be good listeners. They really had to tune into the sounds of the jungle and listen out for danger. Practicing our listening will bring immediate results. We’ll access our intuition by listening for subtle tones and emotional nuances. But the ultimate gift of listening is that by relaxing into sound we experience the stillness that lies beneath. This is the whisper of God.