Simple Antidotes to Resentment

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~ Carrie Fisher

Resentment – it’s a corrosive emotion that causes damage to the container, no matter how cautiously  you try to hold it in.

Why do we get resentful? You might not have ever been consciously aware of it, but resentment always comes down to time.  We feel resentful when we believe we’ve wasted time on something or someone.

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Most of us start out in a relationship or activity giving willingly of our time.  In fact, all of us have been in situations where we consciously choose to put our own needs, wants or interests to one side BECAUSE of what we consider to be a higher priority. We want to invest in a new relationship, we want the person we love to achieve their dreams, we want to give a new job our best shot, we want to give everything we can to the raising of our children.  We make sacrifices. And at the start we are glad to do that, even though it means we move into a place of imbalance.

But over time, if we don’t begin get a pay-off for the sacrifice we’re making (enough money, appreciation, acknowledgement etc) we start to get that niggly uncomfortable feeling that reminds us we are off our path.  In fact, if we are still neglecting the things that are important to us longer term, even if we are now well remunerated or appreciated, resentment will show up in our lives.

As a society we deal with resentment in one of three main ways, and usually in this order:

  1. We swallow it down and become a ‘martyr’, carrying on in our unfulfilling life and always putting others first.  We keep a lid on resentment, or worse: begin to live a colourless formless life that is all about function and never about heart or art.
  2. We simmer with anger and crankiness, which pops up unexpectedly in our lives as over-the-top reactions to people and situations, or as passive aggression.  We develop a fondness for muttering under our breath or closing doors just a little too hard.
  3. We slide into depression, despair and apathy.  We begin to give up on ourselves and our dreams.  We lose faith in ourselves and our abilities.

So what are we going to do about it?

If you suspect that you are burdened with resentment in any area of your life I’m going to ask you to do something radical.

Stop for a minute, and invite Resentment to come have a chat with you.  Don’t be intimidated by them, or scared.  Resentment looks like a five year old stompy-footed version of yourself…

Image from www.sheknows.com

Image from www.sheknows.com

The stompy-footed five year old inside you is very clear about what’s not working in your life right now, so why not let them get it all off their chest.

The best way to work with your Inner Child directly is to have a conversation between the Big You, and the Little You. You can do this through what is known as Left Hand – Right Hand Dialogue. It’s an easy thing to do! Simply find some different coloured pens or pencils. Use your dominant hand (the one you usually write with) to be the Big You, the conscious awareness of you as an adult. Choose one pen for this hand. Then use your non-dominant hand to represent your Little You, and let that hand pick a pen, or pens to write the responses.

Have your Big You write a question for your Little You, and then let your Little You respond. The writing will be awkward, so don’t worry about spelling or vocabulary. What you’ll get is honesty, and love, and isn’t that all we really ever need to get clear about life?

Here are some suggested questions to use with your Inner Child work:

  • Why are we so angry?
  • What’s the worst thing about right now?
  • What would we prefer to be doing?
  • What would make us happier?

Of course, your Inner Child will have a list of hurts and complaints, but don’t expect it to be all everyone else’s fault.  Your Inner Child has a lucidity and an honesty that will get right to the heart of your situation, and it might not be what you think!

I’ll share an example from my own life (about fifteen years ago) at a time when I was just starting to get hugely busy with my spiritual and psychic work.  I still had a corporate communication business, but my spiritual work was taking more and more of my time. I was becoming ‘very professional’ and ‘successful’ as a psychic, and my quiet love had become a business in its own right.  I was also feeling a little burned out, and my initial enthusiasm was waning:

Big Nicole: Hi Little Nicole, why are you so cranky right now?

Little Nicole: It’s just not fair! We never have fun anymore.  You only ever use your cards for the other people.  When do we get to play with them?  Why don’t we just play with the crystals like we used to, or go sit in the garden with all the fairies? You’re always too busy. I hate that. And Mr X is so mean and stupid to you at work.  It doesn’t even pay good money!!!

 

Oh.  I hadn’t expected that. I thought the problem was that my husband left his dirty dishes on the counter and could never get them into the dishwasher.  I thought it was my never-shrinking to-do list and the things I never got time to get to. I thought it was all these other things…

When you have finished writing with your Inner Child, go make yourself a cup of tea or get a nice cold drink (yes, take the time to have a five minute disconnect from the process you just worked with – you  need to be firmly back in your adult brain for this next bit ) and then sit down and read over what you wrote.

Your Inner Child has given you a magical list of resentment remedies.  Take a pen and underline the important parts of what they said to you.

Little Nicole: It’s just not fair! We never have fun anymore.  You only ever use your cards for the other people.  When do we get to play with them?Why don’t we just play with the crystals like we used to, or go sit in the garden with all the fairies? You’re always too busy. I hate that. And Mr X is so mean and stupid to you at work.  It doesn’t even pay good money!!!

Now you need to put your Inner Child’s guidance into action. Start by finding some small windows of time just for you. Following my own Inner Child’s advice I gave myself the gift of ten minutes (that’s nothing! – anyone can find ten minutes!!!) each morning to choose a daily card, reflect and write a few insights, and play with my crystal collection.  One day a week I took a half-hour walk out in nature. Even though the amount of time I was gifting back to myself was small it made a huge positive change in the sense of freedom and expansion in my everyday world.

Little Nicole was also right about the mean man – I had a corporate client who was hugely demanding, calling me at home on weekends and expecting me to work 20 hour days to complete projects to his insane deadlines.  I finished my contract with his organisation and walked away, knowing that I had enough clients to work at my spiritual ‘job’ full time.

And I asked my husband to please put his plates in the dishwasher, and after asking him, he did!

My resentment melted away because I was honouring my own needs and making space for them in my life.

We feel resentment when there is not enough time for our own dreams and interests.  Of course our resentment will find a place to focus our attention, so we end up thinking it’s our annoying boss, or our ungrateful husband, or our demanding children who are ruining our lives.  But in fact, it was us and our choices all along. And in the beginning we were happy with those choices.

By making time for ourselves  and our dreams, our lives become more fulfilling and sustainable – and we find that the unbearable becomes tolerable again.  We might even regain our zest for the things that are currently dragging us down.

Resentment always has simple antidotes.  It is about reclaiming a corner of your life for YOU!  Life is short, and precious.  Don’t taint it with resentment – it’s just not worth it.  There’s always a better way.  Today I’m holding the intention that you find clarity, and the courage to take action to make your life more aligned with your Soul.  ❤ Much love to you xx

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Simple pleasures

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”  ~ John Burroughs

Are you suffering from Broken Robot Syndrome?  If so, I have some ideas to help you heal, and to reconnect with yourself and the world around you.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be satisfying.  In fact, most of the things that I enjoy cost little or nothing. Down here at my farm I don’t need to look far to indulge in some of life’s simple pleasures. A glass of fresh orange juice from fruit grown in our orchard, or a simple salad with ingredients straight from the garden.

Juicing oranges

A long hot bath after I’m tired and muddy from a ramble through the paddocks.

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Fresh flowers – from a friend’s garden or my own – in jars, old vases and teapots around the house.  These ones are actually weeds and vegetables gone to seed…

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Lying in bed on Sunday morning, leafing through one of my seed catalogues, dreaming about what I will plant for the next season’s harvest.

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The feel of soft green grass beneath my feet as I sit on a lawn chair under a leafy tree, throwing the ball for the dogs to chase.

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Sitting on the veranda having cups of tea with friends.

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Time with a needlepoint project. (Have you signed up for my 2013 Creative Challenge yet?)

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Listening to a favourite CD as I do the washing up.

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A really good coffee and time for writing. Okay, I admit that empty plate did have a fantastic Chausson aux Pommes on it from one of my favourite French Patisseries at one stage…

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Watching the new calf frolicking.

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The main ingredients for simple pleasures are these: Slowing down, Awareness and Appreciation.  You might be surrounded by things that could give you pleasure but you won’t notice them if you’re always working, worrying, constantly updating your status on facebook, tweeting, texting, surfing the web, or ear glued to the phone.

Today and in the week ahead I invite you to take a deep breathe, slow down, unplug and pay attention to the world around you. What nurtures you?  What feeds your soul? What can you do to bring these simple pleasures back into your life.

Feel free to leave your ideas for simple pleasures below, where it can inspire and nurture others here in our community too.  Wishing you some simple pleasures today, Nicole xx

Day 5 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from revroher.blogspot.com

 “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

~ Buddha

So here we are at Day 5 of our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.  Pull up a seat.  Let me give you a hug and make you a cup of tea. I just want to encourage you, and to remind you that you’re doing so well.

Have you encountered any resistance yet?  Have there been any moments where it’s been hard to muster your enthusiasm, or when finding five things to be grateful for, and really feeling that gratitude in your heart, has been an effort?

If you’re answer is no, then hooray for you – being in flow is a wonderful thing! But don’t be discouraged if you have already encountered some of this energy. And don’t be despondent if it visits you in the next days of our challenge.  Not every day will be sunshine, puppies and lollipops. And it’s precisely on those harder days, and flatter days, that we need gratitude the most.

Image from cakalusa.xanga.com

When you wake to find that an attitude of gratitude isn’t coming easily, or where you’re struggling to rouse any positive emotions, then I suggest you start with counting much smaller Blessings.

Start with safe Blessings that don’t lead you back to where you’ve been. Don’t look to areas in your life that are charged with negative associations.  Do all you can to be in this very moment – do all you can to be here right now.  For example, be grateful for the taste of a cup of tea, the smell of your favourite soap, or the sound of birdsong at your window in the morning.

When gratitude is difficult, understand that you are seeing your BRAIN conforming to its habitual patterns that create depressive or negative thinking, and that is why you need to keep going with this – so that you can retrain it to know how to feel good naturally and to look for more of those feel-good emotions and thought patterns.

Really work to live in the moment, with things you can be grateful for right now, and don’t overthink it. Don’t worry if you don’t get a raging ball of happiness in your heart every day. Just surrender and trust the process. I promise that it works.

So now let’s start our day with the activities that form the foundation of our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge:

Part One – Count Our Blessings and Use our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do each day is these first four steps, know that is enough.

If you feel especially flat, then carry your Gratitude Rock with you, or lie/sit in bed at the start or end of the day, and hold it over your heart so that its energy can recharge you.

If you have an abundance of gratitude and feel-good energy, send some extra to your fellow travellers on this journey, with the intent to uplift those who need it.

Your Gratitude Rock can recharge your heart, and fill you with energy.
Image from yoganv.blogpost.com

Are you ready for more of a challenge?  Today we are going to practice gratitude for the simple things.

It’s the simple things in life…

When I have talked to loved ones at the end of their lives, when I have held their hands and waited with them in those final days, it has always been the simple things that they have summoned forth in their memories – the little things that have given happiness or comfort or meaning somehow.

Image from annmichelesworld.blogpsot.com

A husband who always got the toothbrush ready with just the right amount of toothpaste for his wife whose eyesight had failed her.

A mother’s mashed potatoes – no one else’s ever tasted as good.

The smell of clean sheets.

The lovable way a dog’s teeth always snaggled its bottom lip into a toothy grin.

Coffee from your favourite cafe.

The exquisite perfume of a fresh gardenia or jonquil.

Sunshine.

Diving into the ocean, or surfing the perfect wave.

Hearing your favourite song on the radio.

The joy of paint on a brush, or a completed crossword.

Today, spend a minute or two and really savour one of life’s simple pleasures. When you are done, build up that energy in your heart and say Thank You to the Universe, which provides you with an abundance of little things that make your journey more memorable, more comfortable, more colourful.

If you remember a simple pleasure from your past that you haven’t included in your life for a while, then maybe make the effort to reconnect with that thing, or treat yourself to a whole new positive memory.

Life is for living, and happiness is in the moment.  Bless ♥

3O Days of Gratitude to Change Your Life

Image from whatislistening.com

Are you ready to change your life?  Are you ready to attract things that make you smile, that improve your health, that attract better jobs and relationships, that make you laugh, that fill your bank account with money and your heart with love and gladness?

If your answer is yes, then read on!

I’m a big believer in counting my Blessings.  In fact, during some of the harder parts of my life thus far, I am convinced that this is the one thing that got me through and out the other side.  The more I have embraced gratitude, the more I have noticed miracles and abundance turning up in my life.

Gratitude has become such a natural part of my life that I forget others might struggle with this concept, or perhaps not even understand it at all.

I decided to create this free 30 Day Gratitude Program in response to a person whose life is becoming increasingly broken as they complain bitterly about how awful it is. Today they asked me for help, and this 30 day challenge is my answer to them.

I promise that if you follow these simple instructions too, within 30 days you’ll start to see results.

Psychologists have found a link between gratitude and well-being. Studies have shown that when a person is depressed, anxious, negative and directionless, they can take control of these emotions and begin to turn them around themselves through a daily practice of finding things to be grateful for in their everyday life. The practice of gratitude literally has the capacity to rewire our brains, firing off more of our feel-good emotions and thinking patterns.  It helps us to remember who we are, what makes us happy, and where we want to go in life.

Conversely, when we focus on complaints, unhappiness and wrongs in our lives, we generate even more feelings of inadequacy, anger, frustration, depression and resentment. None of those energies are good for our health and well-being. It also makes us much less fun to be around.

Eeyore under his cloud of misery – Image from tvtropes.org

Of course, in my world, I don’t see this as mere psychology.  I see this as the Law of Attraction in action.  Quite simply, whatever we think about, and attach emotion to, we draw into our lives.  Our thoughts and emotions are magnetic to things of similar energy.

If your life isn’t turning out to your satisfaction, maybe it’s time to tune in to what you are thinking, and make some positive changes.

If you’d like to join me in this challenge, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find yourself a journal or notebook (yes you can use your computer or ipad etc if that works for you).
  2. Find yourself a gratitude rock.  This is a stone small enough to fit into your hand.  It can be a crystal or an ordinary garden variety rock. Choose what feels good to you.
  3. Set aside ten minutes each morning to read the daily challenge and about ten minutes during the day to work through your daily activity.

There will be a variety of activities, as well as some meditations. None of it will be hard.  Some of it will actually be fun.  And all of it will be working to shift your vibration and make you more magnetic to good in your life.

Want to join me?  If you’re up for it, leave me a comment below.  Let’s make this a giant Gratitude Party.  Feel free to invite your friends too.  The more we create a positive intention and vibration, the more it affects everyone and everything around us in magical ways – and that’s the definition of a Lightworker!

Lastly, write the following pledge in your journal.  When it’s written, repeat it out loud, with as much sincerity as you can muster. That way the Universe is put on notice of your intentions.

Dear Universe,

I am open to the possibility that there is more for me in this life, and I am ready to receive these Blessings by offering my thanks and gratitude in reciprocation.

I am so very grateful for my life, and for the learning opportunities I am being shown.

I am ready to embrace positive change and to accept an avalanche of good in my life. 

My commitment to you is that for the next 30 days (and beyond) I am willing to look for and name things I am thankful for, and to celebrate the many Blessings I already have.

With love and gratitude,

(insert your own name here)

 

Tomorrow we start Day 1.  See you there!

Journal for Spiritual Clarity and Connection 3 – All about my Emotions

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
~ Carl Jung

Week 3:  All About My Emotions

This week we are focussing on our emotions, our feelings and all that entails for us, with a special emphasis on feeling good.  Our plan is to understand and connect with our emotions; our relationships, triggers, dreams and hopes and how our surroundings influence us.

Journal Exercise:

Journal relationships this week.  Identify areas where you need to forgive or move on.

Work out who/what supports you and makes you feel good, and who/what brings you down.

Identify triggers for positive feelings, and triggers for negative feelings/low self worth.  Limit the negative triggers!

Use any of these starters to help you:

  • How I feel right now is…
  • What I need to do to improve how I feel now is…
  • One person who always makes me feel good is…
  • The thing in my life I need to let go of is…
  • The person in my life I need to let go of is…
  • I still can’t stop thinking about…
  • The stuff that always brings me down includes…
  • One of the happiest times of my life was…
  • I’m still proud of the fact that…
  • I shed far too many tears over…
  • The most powerful teacher of how NOT to do things in my life has been…
  • The most powerful example of how I’d like to be is…
  • When I think of my pet, I feel…
  • A place that evokes positive memories for me is…
  • A time in my life when I felt unstoppable was…
  • The person I am still mad at the most is…
  • The person I need to forgive most is…
  • When I think about people who suck me dry, or leave me feeling drained and bad about myself, these people come to mind…
  • If I could name the cheerleaders in my life, the people who have supported and encouraged me over the years, they would include…
  • Food that always makes me feel good about myself is…
  • Food that might feel good in the short term but that triggers guilt, low self-worth or uncomfortable physical symptoms is…
  • Music that uplifts me includes…
  • Movies that always make me feel good are…

Activity:

Overhaul your bedroom and lounge areas so that they reflect your style and are uplifting and nurturing.

Play music that inspires you. 

Introduce colour into your clothing and your life.  Get some sunshine, and spend time in nature.

Clean up your house, your car and your energy!

Contact an old friend, or do something to make new friends.  Spend time with people you love, and who love you!

(This image by vichie81)

‘Pebbles for your pocket’ meditation – a simple way to create inner peace

There is a short meditation I make part of my regular practice.  It involves the selection of four stones or pebbles, and then a simple reflection activity for each stone.  Often I will go for a walk first, and select four stones from the beach or the fields.  I’ve even managed to find four pebbles walking along a suburban sidewalk.

Sometimes I will select four tumbled crystals from my collection, using the energetic qualities or colours of the stones to further enhance my experience.  This is a lovely way for crystal lovers to find a practical use for their stones.

I then do a  five-minute meditation with my chosen stones, and for the rest of the day I carry those four stones with me in my pocket, to remind me of what I have practised in my morning meditation.

(In my pocket today I have citrine for Freshness, rough fluorite for Solidity, clear quartz for Clarity and amethyst for Freedom.♥)

Watch this short video by Thich Nhat Hanh to see how the stones are used in meditation.  You may want to choose your stones first, and then follow along.  Once you’ve done this a few times, and remember what the stones stand for, it’s a simple practice you can do anywhere, which creates a great feeling of peace and calm.