💪🏼The Strength of Forgiveness💪🏼

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“You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes”.

“You have to learn to select your thoughts the way you select your clothes every day. That’s a power you can cultivate. You wanna come here and control your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should control. If you can’t master your thoughts, you’re in trouble … stop trying. Surrender”. – Richard from Texas

What is forgiveness?

The first step to forgiveness is admitting that we have blamed someone or ourselves for something.  We are filled with anger, resentment, blame, hatred. Forgiveness is about letting go of these feelings we have been carrying around. Releasing yourself of these heavy thoughts of revenge or bitterness. We do not even have to come in to contact with the person we are trying to forgive. We do not have to tell them we forgive them or tell anyone at that matter. It is for your sanity and happiness that you need to forgive. The more we talk about how people have done us wrong and hurt us, the more negative thoughts and emotions we bring about in ourselves. Of course let off some steam and vent to your best friend about it when it is fresh and new and reflect. That is also a part of healing. But then forgive. Let the space be filled with love. Let it go.

Forgive and Forget?

Forgiveness doesn’t come easily for everyone, but the kind of forgiveness that really matters is the forgiveness that resides in your own heart. Self-compassion is what will enable you to learn and grow and become the best version of yourself. I will dedicate another post for self-compassion SOON. Forgiving someone does not mean you approve of the wrong they have done. It can mean different things to different people. For me, it means I forgive those who were not in a good head space at the time or had portrayed their inner demons through their behaviour. Sometimes I might view it as the person not being on the same emotional maturity as I am but that sometimes can come across as a bit arrogant. It is not that you feel sorry for the person either. It is about building awareness that peoples behaviours are usually a reflection of their inner selves. The same way if any of us have a bad day they might snap at the next person who asks them a question. If you are feeling sh**t about yourself you might criticise others just to make yourself feel better. Kind of like those bullies in school. More than likely they had a lot of stuff going on for them, either in their head or at home. Forgiveness is not about sympathising with people but about empathising with them.

sympathy: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

I also understand that some people commit horrible crimes and do outrageous things to people that cannot be empathised with. Some people might blame themselves for things others have done to them and might feel the horrible abuse or mistrust was deserving. In this case the person to forgive is yourself.

FORGIVE YOURSELF FIRST

Forgive yourself for believing you could have stopped what had happened. Forgive yourself for  believing you are not worthy. Forgive yourself for believing you were deserving of what happened. Forgive yourself for being in this negative mindset. Forgiveness is a journey. It is something that needs to be practised daily. You don’t just wake up one day and have forgiven and healed yourself and everyone around you.

I watched a movie recently called ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ There was a scene where Julia Roberts (Liz Gilbert) was speaking about how upset she was that she had left her husband and she felt he would never forgive her. This was something that was bothering her throughout the majority of the movie until she met this nice man (Richard from Texas) at a retreat in India who thought her she did not have to come in contact with her husband or hear him say he forgave her. She simply had to forgive herself.

 Liz Gilbert: I’m waiting for him to forgive me, to release me.
Richard from Texas: Waiting for him to forgive you is a damn waste of time. Forgive yourself.

“We all want things to stay the same, David … settle for living in misery, because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked around in this place, at the chaos it’s endured, the way it’s been adapted, burned, pillaged … then found a way to build itself back up again, and I was reassured. Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation”. – Liz Gilbert

Self Reflection

I have learned to forgive friends who chose boyfriends over our friendship. I have learned to forgive my Dad for making decisions I felt were wrong when it came to family and marriage. Work colleagues who had outbursts of rage towards me. But most importantly I have learned to forgive myself for making ill decisions in the past, for not taking responsibility for my own happiness sooner, for thinking I needed a boyfriend before I could find happiness and contentment. By letting go of all these negative feelings and thoughts I had towards these people and myself, I have become the happiest I have ever been. That, alongside mindfulness and other self healing practices. Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. You too will have your own journey.

As Kylie Jenner said ‘2016 is about realising stuff’. And I certainly have realised A LOT this past year!

 

J x

The act of Self Love: ❤️ Part 1

 I first came across the act of self love around Christmas time last year. Myself and my best friend felt we were in a bit of a negative cycle. We were bitching about everyone, being depressing f**ks, and just being very negative towards ourselves. We decided enough was enough. 

 I began to research how to love yourself, how to be more positive, and just how to be happy in general. Self love popped up several times so I decided to look into it further. I had heard Khloé Kardashian speak about it before so of course I was extra interested. If Khloe does it then I need to do it? Along the way I came across Charlie Chalpins poem and Gala Darlings book on Radical Self Love. There was endless blog posts on how to love yourself and step by step guides. After reading everything there was to read, I came up with my own idea of self love. In a recent post I described simple steps to loving yourself and introduced you to Charlie Chaplains poem. I decided to write about my understanding of self love and how I have incorporated it into my daily life. I will seperate the post into parts as I don’t want to bombard you’s with a lot of information all at once. I could write for days about self love so trust me this way will ensure you won’t get bored half way through. 😂

I believe the goal of self love is to become your own best friend. Treat yourself like you treat your best friend. If your best friend was having a bad day you might organise something fun to do that they like or you might just go around to their place and have a cup of tea and a chat. If you feel yourself having a bit of an off day, listen to yourself, bring yourself on a nice walk, put on your favourite movie to cheer yourself up. All the relationship advice you’ve give your best friends over the years, give the same advice to yourself. Stop going back to that same guy who’s treating you like sh**t and have more respect for yourself. Practice what you preach and all that jazz. 🙌🏽

 Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with some relaxation like booking a spa treatment or having a bubble bath. Go to yoga or do some meditation. Do something that relaxes you and takes your mind off the  hussle and bustle of life! Go for a long walk or go hiking. Try to do something nice for yourself at least once a month. Give yourself something to look forward to. Practicing mindfulness is also an act of kindness to yourself. You’re allowing yourself to get the most out of life. I’m currently doing a 52 weeks of living mindfully challenge so have a look over my previous posts if you’re interested in learning more. 

 Stop judging yourself and stop judging others. The more we criticise ourselves and others, the more negative energy we create within ourselves. Our thoughts and emotions are connected. If we think negative thoughts how are we supposed to feel happy? Friends who sit around screenshotting ugly photos of people on Facebook and are constantly judging others, are people you should try limit contact with. It’s like indirect bullying really. Negative friends like this will create negative energy and this energy will be passed onto you once you’re in contact with them. As I always say, self awareness is key. If you feel you’re speaking about someone or even yourself in a negative way, try stopping in your tracks and thinking: Is this comment really necessary? What good will come of speaking bad about this person? Like don’t get me wrong, if someone has been mean to you and you’re feeling angry and upset at what they’ve said or done to you, then by all means vent. But if all someone has done is post an innocent picture of themselves, is it really necessary to comment? Probably not. Tabloids and magazines are constantly judging celebrities so it’s no wonder we all do it. Social media has turned us all into hypercritical lunatics.

  Why did no one like that picture I posted? Oh ew I’m not liking that picture she looks ugly. Omg I can’t post that look at my eye. My face looks fat in that delete it! 

I suppose self criticism stems from having low self esteem which I have discussed in detail in a previous post. I have also given tips of how to improve your self esteem. I don’t want to repeat everything again in this post so do have a read back over it if you are interested. Improving your self esteem is defiantly all part of love yourself. How can you love yourself if you think negatively about yourself? Makes sense really. 

I’m going to leave it at three main points for this post as I don’t  want to bore you to death. Keep a look out for part 2 ❤️
J X 



💕As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin💕

As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering

are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.

Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody

As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time

was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this

person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,

and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.

Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,

I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens

at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.

Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,

and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.

Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do

and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in

my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for

my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew

me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude

a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since

I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry

about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING

is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me

and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my

mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this

connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems

with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing

new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

🔮Love Yourself Mindful Yoga & Meditation 🔮

‘The perfect workout for body, heart and soul’

 Recently I attended a ‘Love Yourself Mindful Yoga and Meditation’ workshop with Sophia Pollaro in The Elbowroom, Brunswick St, Dublin. From reading Sophia’s profile online I discovered she was a qualified Yoga Teacher for the past ten years. While practicing various forms of meditation, she discovered the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and its direct connection to the body. Yoga, and its endless benefits, was the next step on her path. Sophia’s teaching places emphases on a deep connection with the breath, stillness and clarity of the mind, strength, balance and a mindful flow of movement. Her classes include asanas (practice of postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation). Clothes wise, I wore yoga pants, socks with a grip underneath them (yoga socks), and a loose t shirt (comfy clothes). I also made sure I didn’t have a heavy meal beforehand. Just some fruit and yogurt or you could even have a smoothie maybe an hour before. No one wants cramps or indigestion at their first yoga class!

 We all know how to love others. We love our friends, family, partners and even pets but it is a bit more difficult to show love towards ourselves. This workshop thought me how to cultivate the healthy and healing self-attention we all need. Our awareness of breathing was the core skill thought to enhance relaxation (its importance was spoke about in an earlier post). To start off a full body scan was done to check in with ourselves and relax each part of our body (examples of this was mentioned in previous posts) Meditation was also brought in at the beginning followed by asana flow (a type of yoga). It wasn’t too difficult. Iv never done yoga before and I wouldn’t be the most flexible but I was able to do most of the moves without cutting off my breathing or looking like a twisted upside down fool (you don’t really go upside down, slight exaggeration). The meditation focused on self-compassion and love to ‘quiet the mind and nourish the heart’. Sophia asked us to pick one thing we did not like about ourselves. We sat with that thought. We thought about how it manifested in our daily lives. How it made us feel, what actions or behaviours it caused. Then we took a deep breath in and exhaled that negative thought. We were told to imagine someone close to us was sitting in front of us disclosing that they did not like that similar part of themselves. I imagined my little brother sitting on the mat infront of me. I became tearful when I imagined him with similar feelings about himself. Whatever way we responded to our loved ones telling us this information we were then to respond to ourselves when we had these thoughts. Sophia thought us how to be kind to ourselves, show love and compassion and to acknowledge these negative thoughts about ourselves. We were also thought how to show affection towards ourselves with this gentle pose: 

Sophia then repeated an affirmation of self love we all had to repeat in our heads as we meditated:

May I be happy

May I be safe 

May I be kind to myself

May I love myself just as I am

To end the Workshop we done another full body scan followed by the listening of a self love poem. This poem is the extended version of the one I have on my home page (Charlie Chaplain):


 On their website they said this workshop would leave you feeling ‘deeply relaxed, emotionally and physically stronger’, which i most certainly did.

 I have added the link below to the workshop and website if anyone is interested in attending in the future.

Love Yourself Yoga & Meditation Workshop

the-elbowroom-logo

 

J x

 

🌜A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 1🌛

 


‘A year of living mindfully’ by Anna Black is a workbook I bought recently to help me introduce mindfulness into my everyday tasks. Inside are 52 easy to follow exercises to guide us how to bring mindfulness into our daily lives.

 Mindfulness is something that everyone does each day without realising. It’s about paying attention to each experience we encounter without judging it. Children are the most mindful of us all! They focus on whats happening now in the present. When they play games they are only concentrating on the game and the majority of the time stay in the present moment. As we get older we begin to daydream, ruminate about the past and worry about the future. Technology has also impacted on this, as we tend to take pictures of experiences or text our friends about them instead of being present as it happens as we visually and mentally capture it. A few weeks ago I was in Croke Park at a Beyoncé concert. She stood directly above me and the first thing I did was whip out my phone to video it. I regretted it instantly as I barely looked at her face as she stood there. Instead I was staring at her through my phone. She came close by again a few songs later so I kept my phone in my pocket and just stared up at her as if she was God (which she is) and had a much more fabulous time. 👑🐝


Mindfulness is paying attention to an experience as you experience it. It is being aware of your surroundings, along with both your inner and outer experiences. Awareness of your breathing, emotions, feelings good or bad, sounds, senses, smells, scenery.

Week 1: 

Writing as practice: Exploring intention 1

 It is important to start off with our intentions for wanting to practice mindfulness. This can be done by writing down some reasons you want to start and some goals you would like to achieve by bringing this into your life.

 The first activity involves sitting and asking yourself “why do I want to practice mindfulness?” Sit with this thought for a few minutes whilst inhaling and exhaling slowly. Concentrate on each breath. Inhale through your nose and hold for 5 seconds then exhale your mouth slowly for at least 5 seconds (I’ll do a future post dedicated to breathing  exercises as it can be a bit more complicated than just breathing in and out). Set a timer for 3 minutes, get a pen and paper and write down any thoughts that come to mind whilst following these rules:

  1. Don’t stop. Keep repeating ” I want to practice mindfulness because…”
  2. Don’t edit your words or cross anything out.
  3. Don’t read what you are writing until the timer sounds.

Here’s what I wrote:

 I want to practice mindfulness because…. 

Live in the present, remain calm in stressful situations, mindful eating (I inhale my food), comfortable doing things alone, stop being dependent on others, happiness, stress free, content. 

 I’ll continue to post each exercise as I complete them over the next while. The main thing I like about this book is that there is no pressure to complete the exercises. It’s all at your own pace. If you want to complete two in the one week you can or leave the book down and not touch it for 3 weeks that’s perfectly OK too. These books aren’t for everyone and I’ll probably lose interest after a few weeks and look at it again in a few months but it’s nice to know it’s there when you need it ⭐️

J x