I once heard Tony Robbins say, “If you don’t have 10mins a day to yourself then you don’t have a life.”
And I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, the first hour of your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Well, lately I noticed that my mornings have felt a little mundane and like a half-empty cup. Some days I’m able to jump out of bed with a bounce in my step and start doing things right away, and this works, but on other days when I’m feeling a little discouraged and uninspired, not so well.
So a few weeks ago, I found myself daydreaming of what my mornings would be like in my new home. (Currently my husband and I are looking for a home.)
My daydream went like this:
I wake up to our zen alarm clock slowly with a gradual light and a soft sound to a bird chirping; instead of my husbands loud beeping smartphone.
Still under the covers, I place one hand over my heart and the other over my stomach and I say good morning to God with a short prayer and show gratitude for the day ahead. (This is the only thing that I’ve consistently done for many years now.)
I head to my bathroom that feels like I’m in a 5 star hotel, brush my teeth, and then make my way to the lounge and do some stretching. Feeling flexible and lighter, I put the kettle on to make hot tea with lemon.
I settle into my dreamworld chair with my wildly comfortable and oh-so soft cozy chic knit throw and read my devotional. I get connected with my spiritual side instead of scrolling through social media and feeling frazzled and defeated.
Being connected to God first thing in the morning puts me into a peaceful place where I feel safe, confident within and divinely guided on my path.
After I’m spiritually connected, I move onto my mindset work, daily visualisation, and set my intentions for the day, which looks something like this:
– Sit with whatever is present and usually for most of us that’s our inner critic and fears. So do a brain dump and write down a rant about your worst-case scenarios and/or how crappy, stuck, and unmotivated you feel.
– Once all that crap is out of your way, team up with your “wise self” and a power greater than yourself and get intentional about how you want to show up for the day. For example, “Today, I am the type of woman who shows up in the world as optimistic, and confident. I invite the energy of unconditional love into myself and into my day, and ask how I can be of service. I embody a state of gratitude.”
– Then write out your ideal life AS IF you are living it right now. What do you want to come true? For example if you’re wanting a soulmate, “I am so excited that the man I’ve been praying for has walked into my life. We had our weekly date night tonight and saw the movie…” So you are writing it out like it’s already happened.
– Once you’ve written out your ideal life, visualise what it feels like to have your desires come true – get into those ‘feel good vibes.’
So to sum it all up, get the yucky thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, shift your beliefs around you not getting what you desire, then visualise what you do want, and make sure you’re not walking around saying, WHEN I GET THAT THEN I WILL BE HAPPY.
And instead look at:
Who you are BEING as a person and HOW you are showing up in the world and what you choose to BELIEVE to be true?
I used to think we needed the soulmate, house, career etc. first to feel a certain way; but discovered we have to FEEL that way first TO ATTRACT THESE THINGS.
Once my daydream was over, I thought, “Even though I’m not in our ideal home (yet) where I’ll have that quiet space to read & connect in my dreamworld chair, I can still light my luxurious candle and do the mindset work .”
And so I did.
I bought a new luxurious candle and a notebook and got started, again. And I absolutely love it because I don’t feel so all over the place during my day. I know where my focus is and have faith in where I’m going.
It’s incredible how a small change in your life without having to move to Paris, or turn into a nun (not that there’s anything wrong with doing those things), basically not having to do any kinds of extreme measures can make you feel inspired and uplifted with life again.
And I want to revel in this luxurious morning as much as I can before a tiny one arrives and has me plan out a complete different morning in a new way.
Now, the last thing I want to do is come across like my mornings are perfect (or going to be), every single day where you beat yourself up.
So, let me tell you: sometimes I not only fail to get up earlier because my body needed that extra hour of sleep but I forget that mindset work even exists. And some days I don’t set any intentions at all.
I wanted to share this practice with you because it helps me when I do it, and that I aspire to do each day. And I aspire to not beat myself up or take life so seriously when I fail to do so.
I would love to hear your morning daydream? And how you can create it to come true?
Even just a part of it. You can always build upon it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect right away. You might just begin with a pretty notebook or a candle…
If you’re feeling a little lost, stuck, or unmotivated, challenge yourself for 30days to change how you feel by doing this morning practice and making it your own.
See what happens.
Sending love…and inspiration to help you move through any challenges.
Self-doubt & self-criticism seems to be as common as breathing. It’s painful to doubt and critizise ourselves which makes us feel not confident in who we are but we still seem to do it.
So how do we stop it?
Firstly, I just want to say that I completely understand as one of the biggest things that has been a challenge for me is the voice of my inner critic and self-doubt. And I don’t know of one person who has yet to not experience self-doubt. If you do please introduce me to them.
I truly believe that part of our purpose is to go back and remember who we truly are.
When you were born you didn’t have any self-doubt or insecurities. As a baby you just knew that you were loveable just the way you were and you didn’t have any negative thoughts about yourself. Then things happened in your life; you either got bullied, criticised, ridiculed, abused, there was chaos in the household or at school, and so on.
There’s so many things that we go through in our life that we eventually move away from our truth and unconsciously start to tell a story about ourselves that isn’t even true.
It’s not even your truth. These thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself ARE NOT EVEN YOURS.
Over time, you employed these thoughts about yourself from other people such as parents, teachers, kids, religious leaders, society, ex-boyfriends/husbands etc, made them your own and programmed your brain with these limiting beliefs without even realising it and now that’s why they feel so real and true because you made them yours.
However, these self-doubts ARE NOT YOUR OWN. This is so important and powerful to understand.
When you become aware and understand where your self-doubt came from, it will no longer have power over you.
You know that meme, “Not today satan, not today!” Exactly, enough said.
And let’s be clear that self-confidence is not arrogance. Arrogance has the energy of, I’m better than you but that’s just simply insecurity. So someone who constantly has to prove to others how good they are is an insecure person.
Self-confidence is, I value who I am as a person. I am good enough right now. I can achieve anything I put my mind to, and I love myself exactly as I am.
And the more confident you are, the more you can encourage others to stand in their confidence and not surrender to their self-doubt.
So how do we change this? How do we get rid of the self-doubt and feel more confident in who we truly are?
There has to be some inner shifts. And the first inner shift that needs to occur is:
1. MOVE INTO SELF-ACCEPTANCE
A shift into self-acceptance means letting yourself off the hook of perfectionism, and not caring what other people think of you. It means not making your self-acceptance conditional upon achieving a certain goal, or looking a certain way, or seeking approval from a man or anyone else.
A few years back when I was having a coaching session with my own life coach, I can remember feeling self-doubt and insecure. I was so hard on myself, I expected everything about me and my life to be perfect and I told him that I felt like a fraud. And he said to me, “Irene, you would be so surprised with the amount of teachers in this industry who do not have their life together but come across as they do. You are doing more than fine, actually you are doing better than what they are. So relax, you have nothing to worry about.”
The reason why I was having these self-doubts was because I was in self-judgement and comparing myself to others. But where did this come from? I had negative thoughts stored within my mind of what other people had said about me which was causing me to doubt myself. And what I needed to do instead was come to a place of self-acceptance to where I was in my life, how far I came, what I accomplished so far, and kick those thoughts that didn’t even belong to me to the curb.
The minute you come into self-acceptance & understand who you truly are is when you feel more confident. Now, self-acceptance doesn’t mean you give up on your health and fitness, or following your passion, or bettering yourself, or not doing that thing you’re called to do, it means you stop judging yourself and open your heart to where you stand today in this moment.
You acknowledge everything that you’ve overcome and achieved so far big or small, and approve of yourself. It means you take bold action anyway. So if you’re heading into an interview and you’re feeling nervous or insecure, you come into acceptance and agreement that you’re feeling nervous but you’re going to do this anyway and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I’ve learned that you don’t have to feel confident to be confident. I can remember the first time I did public speaking at this event and I was SO nervous and definitely didn’t feel confident but I did it anyway. And at the end of my talk this lady came up to me and said how great I was and if I could give her the details to the speaking coach that I used. I laughed so hard inside because I didn’t use anyone as my speaking coach.
So without even realising what I did at this speaking event was I presented myself in a confident manner without having to feel confident. This is also powerful to know.
It also means that we have to learn to go beyond our feelings and negative thoughts and choose to do what is right and what we strongly believe in anyway.
Which leads me to the next point of helping you get rid of self-doubt and that is to:
2. DECLUTTER YOUR SELF-TALK
Become aware as to what you’re saying to yourself. If your self-talk is filled with, you’re not that pretty, maybe I won’t get that interview, I wish I was more like her, I will never find true love etc. do you think that this will help you feel more confident? Of course not.
So you have to change your self-talk and this is a gradual process. Going from, “I feel ugly” to “I’m the most gorgeous woman in the world” can feel a little far fetched. But if that is your self-talk then I applaud you and encourage you to keep going!
However, for most of us it’s hard to get from being super judgemental and insecure to, “I’m beautiful and amazing.”
Instead, your self-talk could sound something like this, “I’m in the process of learning to love myself and for that I’m really proud of myself,” or “I’m going to go this party and do my best to be myself and talk to people I don’t know, knowing that I’m good enough,” or “Maybe this interview didn’t go as well as I wanted it to but I’m going to learn from it anyway and I’m sure I’ll do better next time,” or “I’m learning to see my beauty and I love how courageous I am for that.”
So this kind of self-talk is what’s going to turn down the volume of your self-doubt and promote more self-confidence.
At the end of the day, your critical voice thinks it’s there to protect you. Most of the time we worry and listen to our self-doubt and not pay much attention to our spirit (our truth) because our brain has developed these neural pathways of lies that were embedded from our past life events and people that shaped us to live and think in a particular way.
So whenever your self-doubt creeps in, which it will, because it does take some deliberate effort to change these beliefs, my advice is to be kind, love and accept your inner critic. Stop shaming and bashing that part of you. As strange as it sounds, compassion is needed for ALL parts of you and is most needed right now.
Allow that self-compassion to soak into the self-doubt and then move out of it by changing your self-talk with your new truths.
It was a beautiful sunny day and a walk down the beach sounded like a great idea. After all, working out on the beach was one of my favourite things to do for my body and spirit.
“If I can walk from here to that post, I’ll be happy,” I thought to myself. I was 5mins into the walk and this extreme fatigue came over me. My legs were weak and wobbly and I had to lay down on the sand.
I looked up to the sky, with tears streaming down my face. “Dear God, I just want myself back. I just want to be able to be strong again and walk for 45mins like I used to,” I thought.
Little did I know staying in an abusive relationship past its expiration date, and experiencing painful breakups thereafter, I was to have a breakdown in health.
While “being strong” and “staying positive” would only get me so far, I discovered that unresolved experiences, unprocessed emotional baggage, limiting beliefs, fear, and a disconnect from my heart would not only make me the most miserable person to be around but very ill.
I was to discover that every illness had an emotional component and that your emotional patterns increase your chances to physical illnesses, depression, and anxiety.
People might go on a detox, get rid of the parasites, clear out the mold from their home, and so on, (which I believe is necessary), but they don’t look at their relationships that are dying, the breakups they’re still pining over, the guilt, anger, sadness, or resentment they’re still hanging onto, or the people and friendships around them that could be causing them to wilt just like the leaves falling off a plant.
We all have intuitive abilities to know when there’s something wrong or right, however, there’s a part of our brain that ignores our intuition because who doesn’t want a relationship to work or last a lifetime??
Yes, nutrition, your environment, and your genetics with how food effects us all play an important role, however, evidently, we also cannot ignore our emotional health and how it contributes to our immune system.
I was very resilient (as us humans tend to be) and felt invisible, but being in a state of fight-or-flight mode for long periods of time, eventually my body did breakdown. We can go through so much in life before we have a breakdown. But we cannot run forever from our spirit or the truth of what we need to face that will set us free. We just don’t get away with that for too long.
During my healing I came across this quote by Caroline Myss that resonated with my own spirit and just blew me away.
“When an illness is a part of your spiritual journey, no medical intervention can heal you until your spirit has begun to make the changes that the illness was designed to inspire.”
I truly came to understand and witness that my emotional imbalance massively affected my immune system, but I also believe that my spirit was trying to grab my attention too. It was trying to tell me that I didn’t know my worth, I wasn’t living in accordance to my values, and that I didn’t love or accept myself no matter what.
So I immersed myself with education that had everything to do with energy medicine, health and stress, and how to heal the body after chronic stress.
On a basic level, when you experience a breakup, or a stressful/toxic relationship or you’re having to try and “fix” someone and dealing with constant disappointment, negativity, and deception, or you don’t feel safe and secure, your immune system gets reactive. Cortisol and epinephrine rise, which makes your immune system go down and whatever you’re genetically predesposed to comes to surface.
So when you’re constantly under stress, your adrenals produce cortisol, a stress hormone that, under normal circumstances, suppresses inflammation and gives you the ability to get out of danger.
However, when cortisol levels remain high for too long, your body actually produces inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. This causes you to feel symptoms such as headaches, joint pain and swelling, arthritis, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, weight gain, and eventually diabetes and heart disease. There are many studies that cite cellular inflammation is the root cause of almost all degenerative diseases.
I”ll use myself as an example to demonstrate this point. When I was under constant stress for long periods of time, my immune system was no longer functionng optimally and left me vulnerable to infectious diseases and so-called autoimmune disorders.
When I had stage 4 Epstein-Barr virus (which can cause autoimmune disease), Lyme also came to surface when my immune system was at an all time low and off balance due to chronic stress.
As a result of my health, I felt I had no choice but to get to the root cause of why my body was prone to ill health. I became aware of my deep rooted beliefs in my heart and the core wounds that had me fall out of love with myself. Such as, “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not safe and secure,” “I’m not lovable.”
You don’t need to be fixed, you need self-love. The kind that is rooted in Divine love.
You don’t have to be perfect, only human.
Yes, there are times when I think a part of my brain decides to channel the spirit of a 90 year old strong healthy woman from Ikaria Greece as I hear the words in my mind: Just relax. Don’t worry about anything. Have that glass of wine.
( I like this old woman.)
So you see, stress isn’t all about your to-do list and how busy you are and how much work you need to do. I’ve learned that the types of stress that can create the most impact on our bodies comes from physiological stress.
Stress also occurs when we keep thinking about the past or fearing the future and wish things were different to what is occuring now.
However, when your immune system is strong, your body is able to keep viruses, bacteria etc. at bay.
If you’ve been through breakups or stressful relationships or currently going through either of them, here are some tips to help shield your health.
Any kind of breakup, or stressful relationship, or constantly feeling anxious, or wearing the superwoman cape is going to stress you out and influence your immune system.
Now, I believe that there are just some things in life that happen, and so we can’t drive ourselves insane tyring to figure out every teeny weeny thing on how we “attracted” this physical symptom and then blame ourselves.
Instead of blaming your situation and not feeling good enough, focus on the intention on wanting to feel better and that you’re in a process of birthing a new beautiful phase of your life. That if it wasn’t for this particular season in your life, you couldn’t have given birth to a more happier, healthier, and loving you.
So here are 15 natural tips to help support your immune system in stressful breakups and relationships or simply life (there’s more, but this is plenty to get you started).
1. Manage Cortisol Levels Cortisol is release during times of stress so look for supplements to help balance the body’s level of cortisol such as, Licorice root or Siberian ginseng which helps protect the adrenal glands from overreacting to stress. 2. Antioxidants with B Vitamins Serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and progesterone are essentially eaten up during the stress of a break up. The antioxidants will help your body make serotonin to reduce the pain in the immune system. If you’re in peri-menopause those symptoms can get worse during a break up – boost that hormonal system that is related to serotonin. According to Harvard researchers, it’s estimated that by age 35, the typical woman is already deficient in progesterone. Get your levels checked. I’ve also heard women balance their hormones through a strict eating plan. Each to their own. (Do your own research and do what is best for you.) 3. Supplement your Body with Zinc, Vitamin C, and Magnesium Zinc helps strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C ( Ester C) lowers inflammation, repairs damaged neurotransmitters, and soothes adrenal glands, and magnesium lowers anxiety and calms an overactive nervous system and reduces adrenal gland stress. 4. Support Adrenals with Snacks If you know you have adrenal fatigue, intermitting fasting is not for you because if your blood sugar drops too low, your adrenals have to release cortisol again and so you’re not giving them a change to recuperate. My favourite adrenal snack: Date, celery, apple. Check out Medical Medium for more info on this. He’s amazing & has helped me tremendously with my health.
5. Check Your Thyroid TSH goes up with stress. 6. Emotional Release Work We are conditioned to manage and suppress our emotions from an early age. When we face our emotions they can be scary and uncomfortable so we create suppression strategies so we don’t have to feel those painful feelings. It’s important to take an honest look at the ways we ignore our emotions. For example, watching tv, numbing the pain, being strong, overeating, positive affirmations, and moving to the next best thing. Emotions are actually energy in motion. When this energy doesn’t have the opportunity to be released, it ends up being suppressed and stored in the body taking up energetic space. We don’t want this. I highly encourage you to invest in yourself by seeking out a good therapist or a coach to help you. If you want to get started now, the first tool I recommend is release writing. This is different to journaling. Release writing is letting your mind flow in the direction of where it wants to go in that moment and allowing your emotions to surface without judgement. These words are not intended to be re-read so be in a safe place where you can tear the paper and throw it out. After release writing it’s so important to bring yourself back into the present moment and without analysing or judging yourself. The purpose is to move the energy out of your body with love & compassion.
7. Get Enough Sleep Sleep is the best way to digest excess hormones & stress in your body. To support you, you can use Melissa the essential oil, also known as lemon balm. I rub the oil on my writs right before bed. 8. Fruits, Vegetables & Pause Find your own way of balanced eating and focus on fresh local produce. Before you eat, eat without stress and get your digestion ready by staring at your meal and setting an intention or saying a prayer before you eat. This pause before you eat helps the blood flow in your belly and improves digestion. 9. Move Your Body Everyday Whether that’s stretching, yoga, walking, pilates, hula hooping, whatever you can to help yourself with mild depression and move your emotions out from your body.
10. Pleasure and Laughter Balance your negative & positive emotions with pleasure & humour – watch funny movies, see comedy shows, read funny books, anything to improve your dopamine. And do one thing everyday that brings you pleasure (that doesn’t include food). Some examples are listening to music, having tea with your fave person, taking that class, writing in your pretty journal, or lighting a candle and meditating. Living & enjoying the small things in life will help balance the stress in your life.
11. Prayer & Meditation Both improve mood disorders 12. Get a Massage Getting frequent massages can lower depression, decreases pain, lowers pms, and lowers chances toward having melancholy.
13. Infrared Sauna Therapy My absolute favourite. Research shows the benefits of using an infrared sauna is likely to improve your immunity and a sense of wellbeing by triggering the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. Along with many other benefits!
14. Tap your Thymus Gland The thymus gland is the engine of your immune system. It’s responsible for making T-cells, which are vital to a healthy functioning immune system and sits right over the heart, the upper part of the chest. I first learned about the thymus gland during an immune sytem workshop and found it so facinating. Exercise: with your fingertips tap for about 15-30 seconds while you breathe naturally and deeply (think of tarzan). If that area feels tender when you tap, don’t worry it’s usually a sign that there’s some stagnant energy there and therefore beneficial for you. Over time, as the thymus gets more balanced, it will become less sore.
15. Learn From Your Relationships The power of a question: What did you learn about the relationship? What was healthy? What was unhealthy? What did you learn about yourself? Or what are you currently learning in your relationship? And about yourself? What are you currently learning about your life? Where in your relationships (including friendships) are you not feeling fulfilled? What isn’t working? What are you going to do about it?
I believe true healing is not measured by perfect physical health or no negative emotions but being more of the real you and living your life in alignment to your core values. And how much you’ve loved, and forgiven yourself, and others. And how much you’ve accepted yourself along your journey and the compassion you’ve given yourself during the mess. And falling in love with yourself in the process of what you’re shedding and who you are revealing.
I hope the list above encourages you to start somewhere, and know that baby steps are also powerful.
** Disclaimer: This article contains the opinions, studies, and ideas of its coach/author. It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subjects addressed in this article. The coach/author (Irene Elias) is not engaged in rendering medical, health, or any other kind of professional health services in this article. The reader should consult his or her medical, health professional before adopting any of the suggestions in this article or drawing inferences from it.
“Dear Irene, how can I be more patient, loving and kind to myself?”
If I could show you my inbox, it’s flooded with many women worldwide wanting to learn how to love themselves but have no idea where to start and where to go.
We are at a time where we don’t love ourselves and didn’t even know it for some time.
Now, before we get started, who am I to guide you on this subject? Well, on my journey of hating myself, I discovered healing, and through healing I found a way to love myself….because if I wanted to live (as dramatic as it sounds) this was my only way.
And I’m so glad I did. Now that I’m on the other side, I want to encourage you and let you know that it’s more than possible to love yourself. And so, I have the authority to teach about self love.
Does it mean that my life is perfect? No. Does it mean that I’m perfect? No. Does it mean I stop trying to better my life? No. Does it mean I stop trying to become the woman God created me to be? No.
It means that I now honor my body, mind, heart, spirit and emotions, and come to rescue myself.
What I see many people throwing around is, “You just have to love yourself and everything else around you will change positively. What do you love about yourself?” Uh, yes, but what does that exactly look like and how does one begin to do that when they hate themselves?
It’s not helpful to tell someone at the start of their self love journey to just find something to love themselves, it’s like telling someone to do bungee jumping straight away when they’re scared of heights.
And this is where Self Love Junkie comes in, because the roots of your incapacity to love yourself run deep. And for some, this wiring of the brain began since infancy.
We move slowly and strategically.
Perhaps you are being hard on yourself for not finding love yet, or you haven’t lost that weight yet, or you’re taking a long time to heal and you feel you should be faster, or you feel guilty for going back to your ex, or you’re experiencing another heartbreak, or you can’t set healthy boundaries, or you can’t stand up for yourself, whatever the case may be, you’re not letting yourself off the hook of perfection.
I do believe you have to reach an expiration date of deciding to reduce your inner critic no matter what and finding your wounds that need healing. And that may look like seeking out some trauma healing or therapy or coaching. I never said it will be easy because the challenge can also arise from the people around you. But this is where the mama bear inside you needs to come out and stick up for yourself.
stop scrolling turn off the TV put the magazine down block your ears from opinions and saturate your mind and spirit with spiritual inspiration.
If you feel you are too caught up in not liking yourself, and the thought of trying to find something to love yourself is currently too far fetched, move out of your own way by being kind and loving to others.
My spiritual coach taught me to be the source of the very thing that I want in my life. So if you want love, you be the most loving version of you with everyone you meet.
If you want to be more patient and kind to yourself, go and volunteer at a rehabilitation facility and be patient, kind, and loving to those people.
So what this looks like is, you are BEING the source of the very thing you’re desiring in your life. And watch what happens.
— SOUL ACTION EXERCISES —
1. Think of two people you know who could really use some love, patience, and kindness. Then think of creative ways you can show this act of love & kindness to these people—and do it! I guarantee you will feel a beautiful sense of fulfillment and joy afterward.
2. Play with imagination – what if you forgot that you’re not the person who is not loving, kind, or patience with themselves? What is the best case scenario? The best case scenario is you’re the person who is loving and kind to themselves. FEEL that. There is life force there. If you feel like you can’t, you are stuck in your head. Allow yourself to imagine best case scenarios and then DO something to move that energy out of your body.
3. Prayer and ask God to turn you into someone who is loving and kind to yourself and others. Don’t take this one too lightly. Miracles do happen and you are worthy of them too.
You can’t heal what you don’t reveal.
And therefore, you can’t cover up your self hate with exercises like “I love……about myself” and expect your life around you to change positively just like that.
So what if today you gave yourself permission to not beat yourself up for anything and instead lean into God’s love?
What if that all the steps and missteps that you’ve taken on your journey had meaning and were guiding you to the place where you can forgive yourself, honor the lessons, and grow in love for yourself and others.
What if you were the most patient, loving, and kindest person to yourself, what would that look or sound like to you?
I would love to hear what best case scenarios you came up with your imagination!
Was this helpful? If so… I’ve got an eBook with empowering question prompts and soul action exercises — just like the one in this article. You can sign up and read anytime. Check it out!
“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” ― Paulo Coelho
If you sit down and reflect honestly, you will probably observe that change is the only constant thing in our lives. And so one would think that it’s imperative to learn how to adapt and commit to change and that you’ll actually keep.
But it ain’t so easy is it?
The current observations that I’ve made with the people around me is that many are focusing on their health and healing. Which is amazing. And I know this to be true for me too. My number one focus in my life is my health. Having had chronic illnesses (still healing), I know for sure that if someone was wanting to make changes in their life and didn’t know where to start, I would ask them about their health, because if that’s not running properly, the rest of our life cannot live up to its full potential.
So let’s begin by acknowledging the fact that you want to become your truest and most powerful self. And in order to do that you need to make some changes. Great. So now you’re aware. Once you’re aware this leads to accountabliltiy. Now you can no longer say you cannot change.
Here are my thoughts on how to make commitments that you’ll actually keep — particularly when it comes to health and healing.
1. Define your why.
Define what type of change you want to commit to and why. What is the bigger purpose behind your change? You have to really want this. And if you don’t know what you’re committing to, then you’ll never be able to truly commit to change. Be clear and be honest while defining your commitment. Write it down & make a plan by defining why you’re doing this and how you’re going to do this.
Let’s use the example of health and healing. If you don’t like the condition your body is currently in or your health, you might decide that you’ve had enough and it’s time to change it. You must define why you are doing this; be as clear, honest and detailed as you can. Then draft a plan regarding the methods you are going to practice to achieve this, such as what foods you’ll incorporate into your eating habits, the supplements you need to take, the physical activity you’re going to do, your sleeping habits and so forth. This will make you aware of what you are actually committing to and prepare yourself for the longlasting change ahead.
Once you’ve identified your why, see it & read it often.
2. Be persistent.
Commitment requires persistence. You cannot back out because you’re finding it hard to adapt to change or if the change is not immediately working out for you. To acquire great results from the change, you have to practice persistence. Again, using the example of health, some days you will do well; you will eat healthy meals and you will workout like a beast. Other days will not go so smoothly. You might feel like crap or just have a rough day. These days will pass. You’ll be okay. Rest. No guilt. Try again the next day. What can you do to remind yourself about persistence?
3. Polish your thoughts.
Motivation isn’t perminent, neither is willpower. So what happens when you lose motivation or willpower? Two things: 1. go back to your notebook where you defined your commitments. Re-read those reasons and plans that you wrote down while you were defining your commitments when you were powerfully motivated. 2. notice your mindset. Is your thinking in alignment with what you want to acheive? If not, then polish your thoughts to support your best self. If your motivations have changed, draft your plan again and add some new reasons to the list.
Committing to change—any change—can be daunting and plain difficult. Understand that you’ll make mistakes and have setbacks. Forgive yourself. And move on. The goal is to be your best self, not perfect. Perfetionism is nothing more that professional insecurity.
Here’s a little worksheet to pull it all together:
My commitment is: ______________________________.
I really want this commitment because (your why): ______________________________.
The action plan that I’m going to follow so that I can succeed, is: ______________________________.
The thoughts that I’m going to think to support my best self, are: ______________________________.
Start with self love.
You were designed and created to succeed and overcome and live powerfully.
Dear Dolores, The distance between us is breaking my spirit. Falling in love with you was the easiest thing I have ever done. PS. Kiss the kids. – Don Shirley, Green Book (movie)
Most women that I know would love to receive a love letter from their partner.
Perhaps you have received a love letter (or many) from someone or have never received one. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is receiving a love letter from you.
But who would even think to write themselves a love letter when we’ve been trained to look to others to help us feel whole and complete.
You might be thinking, “Yeah but, Irene, receiving a love letter from someone you love expressing their love to you would be amazing.”
I’m not saying that it’s not amazing to receive one but why put yourself in a position where you’re placing all of your power into someone else’s hands to make you feel a certain way? Because if that’s the case, then they can also make you feel the opposite and then your emotions will just constantly be a rollercoaster based on what he does or doesn’t do.
I can remember in a previous relationship trying to get my partner to do certain things and it just wasn’t in his character to do so. It didn’t mean that he wasn’t madly in love with me, it just wasn’t his style.
The stress of trying to “change” someone and having to deal with constant disappointment, and negativity leads to a cascade of stress hormones in your body.
It is well documented that people who are under constant stress weakens their immune systems, leaving them a magnet to infectious diseases and so-called autoimmune disorders. And I can say this is true because that happened to me.
Having said that, I do believe in the power of letter writing and the impact they can have on someone. One letter can truly change someone’s life.
However, receiving a love letter from yourself can also have a meaningful impact and change your entire life.
How so? When we write our thoughts down this solidifies the realness of what is truly going on within us, we better hear our inner voice, connect to God, and release the emotions from our body.
It’s funny at what happens when you release your expectations, the very thing that you’re desiring has a higher chance of coming your way.
When we desire something so desperately we can actually push it away from our ‘desperate’ energy. If we can just trust, stay in our love vibe, and detach from any outcome, we might be surprised by what the universe brings to us.
So, now it’s time to learn how to write yourself a love letter. You could go about it in a few ways, but I’ll share my experience to give you an idea and what inspired me to write this post.
It had been 7 years since I re-visted New York. It’s a place that I hold close to my heart. I went to visit one of my old apartments and as I stood there, so many scenes came flooding into my mind. I saw a movie of myself coming and going through the front door and what I was going through.
And then I got really sad.
As I stood there, I thought to myself how much I’ve positively changed, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And here I was (my future self ) standing outside the apartment wishing I could have passed on some words of wisdom to the girl who I gave my last breath to 7 years ago.
This is what I told tell my past self…
Dear past Irene,
I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you when it was me you were needing the most. I’m so sorry I didn’t see your worth. I was blinded by looking externally to gain and measure your worth & value through other peoples opinions, to men, and to beauty. I didn’t know any better. I sabotaged your potential because I didn’t believe in you enough and chose to believe in those f&%ked up thoughts that kept manipulating you into believing that you weren’t good enough, successful enough, pretty enough or smart enough. In your darkest times, the love and approval you were so desperately seeking, I abandoned you. I’m so sorry. But I’ve learned so much from you. And for that, I have to thank you. Without your experiences, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. But most importantly, without your strength, courage, faith, and hope, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thank you for not giving up on the woman staring back at you in the mirror. Even though it was ugly at times, some how you managed to wipe your tears, pick yourself up from the floor and continue on. Your tenacious spirit truly inspires me.
I love you.
xoxo, Me (aka the woman starting back at you in the mirror)
Okay. So now it’s your turn. There is no right or wrong way to write a letter to yourself – it has to be right for you. The letter above was a forgiveness letter. You may choose to write a letter from your future self to your current self.
If you could have a glimpse into your future, what message would you want your future self to tell you? She wants to reassure you that you’re ready to receive all that you need to know.
You’re already good enough & worthy enough simply for your existence Look in the mirror and give that woman love and credit Do your best every day Don’t push your dreams to the side for anyone Your worth & beauty does not live in a man You don’t have to know every step, you just need to have the faith Believe in yourself and everything will come together
How does she dress and act? Perhaps she has this confidence about her and assurity. You see how powerful and confident you’ve become. If you want to receive some guidance, ask your future self what you want to know most and then listen as she gives you the best answer for you right now. She then tells you to apply your answer.
Go somewhere where you feel comfortable and safe and where you won’t be interrupted. Light a candle, put on a good song or write in silence, and write from the heart, saying what you need to say and maybe what you need or needed to hear.
Place the letter somewhere, and whenever you lose focus and feel helpless, read the letter.
I would love to know the guidance you receive!
With love, Irene
PS. If you would love to feel more worthy & confident in love & in your relationship, come & join my free workshop here
You’ve noticed that you struggle with being your true self when getting to know someone in a romantic way or in your current partnership.
You don’t feel you can be vulnerable enough to show all of your true self, even the parts that aren’t as pretty.
You feel like you have it engrained in your mind that nobody will love you for who you truly are so you try and morph yourself into someone that you think a partner would like, which is maybe why you’re still single or in a relationship and struggling.
What if I told you that it’s more than possible to know that it’s safe to show someone the real you and be respected and loved for all of your flaws?
How can I be so sure, you may ask?
I remember a time in my life when I was dating my now-husband and I had a major melt down right in front of him.
I was on the floor crying and screaming, and I mean I was doing that big ugly cry. In between processing my emotions, I did wonder if I may have screwed up my chances with this relationship.
However, I was feeling so much hurt that I was more concerned about me releasing these emotions. So I allowed myself to feel and accept the fact that this is how I felt and if he didn’t like what he saw then he wasn’t for me.
For the first time, I had revealed by vulnerable side to him and he witnessed my not so pretty parts.
He sat in silence and just let me be in my pool of emotions. Once I finished, there was silence in the room. I walked up to him and put my arms around his shoulders and sobbed quietly in his lap.
He held the space for me and didn’t say a word. He cradled me and held onto me so tightly and lovingly. I will never forget the love that I felt from him during that moment of long silence.
The day after, I asked him if he was turned off at all by what he saw and his response was, “Irene, I love you even more…”
Oh, get the tissues out.
I knew right then and there that he was ‘the one’ for me.
Someone who saw the not so perfect Irene…someone who saw past the illusion of perfection and instead saw the essence of my soul…and loved even more.
I knew that the self-love work that I had done played a major role with how this all unfolded. My energy field read that I no longer desired acceptance from others. It had become exhausting and I was done with that story. Not to say that it doesn’t feel great to be accepted by others, but that is short lived happiness.
If you cannot accept yourself, then others will have a hard time accepting you. And vice versa, if we want to be accepted we have to accept others.
So why do we have such a hard time accepting ourselves?
Well, since childhood we’ve been led to believe that we’re not good enough exactly as we are and so we have to be, look, or act a certain way in order to be loved.
In other words: we shouldn’t have any “flaws.”
And so we desperately want to be loved and accepted for who we are, we spend our energy trying to get the approval, and trying to win people’s hearts because we’ve developed this obscured belief that we have to be perfect.
As a result, we might hide aspects of ourselves or put up masks to hide our true self.
Perfection is merely an illusion and something we cannot measure against our self worth. We are inherently worthy exactly as we are.
If you’re trying to measure yourself up against perfection then you’ll keep chasing your tail and waste your precious time.
To love yourself exactly as you are, you must stop wishing you were someone else, stop trying to become someone else and embrace the amazing woman who already resides with you.
If you’re having a hard time with this, I totally understand how difficult it is to accept yourself exactly as you are in this moment because like I said we’ve been trained for so many years to seek to other people for their love and approval.
But what I would like to remind you is, the events in your life, the wounds that you carry are not the sum of who you truly are. The reason why you’re having such a difficult time accepting the real you is because you’ve become more invested with the story you’re telling yourself about yourself. You’ve lost sight of the essence of who you are because you identify more with the story.
My advice? Be willing to peel your attention away from focusing on the parts of yourself that feel you aren’t good enough…and instead direct your focus on parts of yourself that make you feel good enough.
Then here comes the fear. Some people are afraid that if they accept themselves then they have to settle or accept all that is wrong and then there won’t be any progress or change in their lives.
Not the case at all. It simply means you are practising unconditional love and coming to peace with what was, what is and who you’re becoming in the process.
As I write this post, a butterfly has just landed on my window right in front of me. How fitting. A sign? Maybe. Perhaps imagine yourself as a butterfly…
This reminds me of a popular quote by my friend and mentor Cynthia Occelli –
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction”
When we’re wanting to reveal our true self we have to crack a few false masks, and this can feel uncomfortable and scary. But once the mask cracks, your true beauty is revealed. It was there from the moment you were born but along the way you picked up messages that told you false beliefs.
I hope you can dismiss the lies that were given to you along the way and see that your true self is beautiful and good enough.
If acceptance feels foreign to you, that’s completely normal. It’s a process of retraining yourself to develop a new habit, turn it into an attitude of self-acceptance and then allow yourself to spend time in what I like to call your divine temple aka your heart.
You can begin this process in the morning while sipping your coffee and before you start your day. Write these 2 sentences down and fill in the blank with something you approve of yourself:
1. “I’m now beginning to see my true self.” 2. “I am willing to accept myself and I approve of ………………………..”
For example, “I am willing to accept myself and I approve of my tenacious personality.”
Just imagine for a moment how good it would feel when you woke up in the morning and you had a loved one expressing their approval of you. However, instead of waiting for someone else to approve of you, you start and do it for yourself. Much more empowering and fulfilling.
I hope that this piece of writing will make you less afraid about showing your true self in your romantic relationship.
“True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” ― Erich Segal
And this is exactly how true love showed up in my life.
If I didn’t know what I know I would have missed this opportunity with my husband.
True love was something that I always believed in and what I always wanted. I knew it was possible for me but there were times when I also doubted and even pondered whether I was just meant to be alone.
I spent so many years in relationships, longing, wishing, hurting and hoping. And in my loneliness moments and single seasons, when doubt used to crawl in I would lean on to faith that there was a man out there praying for a woman like me just as much as I was praying for him.
I was willing for my heart to be broken open, saying to God daily: “I am now ready. Thank you for my divine love husband who has walked into my life.”
A couple of years later…he entered my life.
A serendipitous moment – one where I could not even imagine would’ve happened.
I had arrived home from yoga coming out of my car and he was on the opposite side of the road getting ready to leave from my neighbours house. I didn’t see him, he saw me and remembered ‘that girl’ from 10 years ago who he never saw again up until this point. He knew right then and there he had to find a way to get my number.
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” – Albert Einstein
And as they say, the rest is history.
I’ll tell you the full story another time.
But let me tell you this now, true love — the kind that genuinely flows from both sides, with no fireworks to begin with — can be sweeter than banners or flashing lights.
And let me tell you another thing, on our first date, I drove home in tears because I didn’t think that he was ‘the one.’
I’m so glad I listened to my guidance.
Sometimes we can not even imagine how our soul mate is going to show up. And they may even show up wearing different clothing with what we had in mind, which is what happened to me.
Some women (and men of course) can miss out on their opportunity of true love because they have in mind of what the other person should look like physically and therefore turn the other way.
Don’t be too fixated on how your person should look like, yeah sure, you have to be some what physically attracted to them but focus more on how they make you FEEL and how YOU want to feel. This feeling can lead to juicer connection in and out of the bedroom regardless of their looks.
I get so many emails from women in their 20’s, 30’s and even 50’s looking for love or getting over heartbreak and feel they will end up alone. I can tell you, what you believe in strongly will come to you.
It happened for me in my 40’s and I truly believe once we’ve become clear and committed to healing our wounds and on the path of loving ourselves it’s just a matter of divine timing.
So, if you are still looking for the kind of passionate and spiritually based love that makes you feel safe, respected and where you can be vulnerable enough to show your true self, do not lose faith. Your person is looking for you just as much as you are looking for him!
AND . . . I would love to support you in feeling more calm and excited about your love life. Even if you are in a relationship and you would like to take it up to a soul mate level!
Have you ever found yourself sitting on New Years Eve hoping and wishing (and in some cases begging) that the New Year would be different?
Or maybe not even on New Years – you’ve found yourself hoping and wishing whenever you were wanting to start over or create something you desire for yourself like lose weight, get confident, get over a breakup, prepare yourself for a new man, get healthier, cultivate self-love or focus on your dream career?
I get it. I’ve been there. And I totally understand. As someone who survived an abusive relationship, more breakups thereafter, career confusion, started over in 3 different cities and overcome many health challenges, I know a thing or two about overcoming your challenges, starting over, loving yourself through the mess, and creating your own success.
Are you unhappy with yourself?
Would you like to invite your soulmate into your life?
Do you want to learn to love yourself?
Do you want to improve your health?
Are you ready to make a change?
Whatever the case may be, the Review. Release. Reset Masterclass is your go-to to getting started in creating a clean slate so that your dreams and wishes start off on the right foot and set you up for success.
I’ve decided to create the ultimate intimate experience for every woman who can’t bear the thought of spending one more year being miserable with themselves, alone on Valentines Day, settling for less than in their life, being in crappy relationships, or not being the woman they were designed to be.
In this masterclass I will share what I’ve been doing for the last four years; reflecting on the past year, setting goals and creating intentions, looking back with wisdom in hand (big secret), making room for what you’re praying for and creating, and aligning and taking actions steps for your dreams to come into fruition.
Join me on Thursday morning December 13th at 10:30 AM ACDT (Wednesday evening for some of you) 7 PM ET, we’ll meet LIVE, hosted via Zoom as we get clear on what we’re bringing into the new year – and what we’re letting go of from this year – and make space for what you’re creating in life, relationships and the woman you desire to be.
You’ll be able to join the masterclass from anywhere in the world and will run for approx 60mins, if you’re able to join live, you’ll have access to me as your personal coach to ask me questions on the call (and join in on answering each other’s questions!). You can also email questions in beforehand, if you can’t join live, and you’ll also receive the recording if you can’t make it live.
Lately I’ve been in a state of heightened alert with the words that come out of my mouth. I believe it’s because currently in this season of my life there’s so much transition. And so I’ve had to rely on a strong healthy mindset and high energy levels to accomplish what I need and want to do. It has not been easy.
Over time, I’ve realised the power of our words and the effect they can have on every area of our life, including the total vibe of our day.
It feels tempting to complain when life seems difficult or not going our way and more tempting to complain when we get around our girlfriends and family.
And to top it all off, us women can be really good at negative programming. We constantly tell ourselves what is not good enough; our hair, our relationship, our skin, our job, our body, our finaces, our health, someone else’s behaviour, and the list goes on. Even though what we’re complaining about might have some truth to it, we’re still speaking about our life (and ourselves) in a disempowering way.
If you’re at a place where you’re struggling or your life is not where you want it to be yet, look and pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth.
Become really aware when you speak to other people and instead of talking about your struggles or what you don’t have yet, start talking about what it is you desire and what you’re currently doing to get there.
When you’re feeling tempted to complain and talk about what’s not working in your life, there’s a little trick that you can do that I heard from pastor Steven Furticks where he said to add this statement at the end of your sentences:
“…and that’s just the way I want it”
I think this is just brilliant.
So for example it looks something like this:
“I’m scared I’m going to end up alone and that’s just the way I want it.” “I’m so overwhelmed and that’s just the way I want it.” “No matter what I do I just can’t seem to lose weight and that’s just the way I want it.” “There are no good men (or women) in this town and that’s just the way I want it.” “I’m so tired and that’s just the way I want it.” “I’m struggling with faith and hope and that’s just the way I want it.”
Whoa. Talk about stripping down your words. So when you read those statements, you stop and kinda go “Hell no, that’s not the way I want it!” So as you can see, we can disempower our life by the words we choose to speak without even realising.
So how do we change these words from disempowering to empowering our life instead? Let’s go over some disempowering and empowering statements:
Disempowering Statement: “I’m scared I’m going to end up alone.” Empowering Statement: “I haven’t met my soulmate yet, but I’m loving myself and creating a life that I adore and I know that it will happen at the right time and that’s just the way I want it.”
Disempowering Statement: “No matter what I do I just can’t seem to lose weight.” Empowering Statement: “I am in the process of taking the right steps for my health and weight loss that will lead to losing weight and that’s just the way I want it.”
Disempowering Statement: “I am so overwhelmed.” Empowering Statement: “You know what, lately I have been feeling overwhelmed, but that could also be a mindset thing. So I’m now delegating and doing the best that I can do to no longer feel overwhelmed and that’s just the way I want it.”
Now that you have this tool, I cannot wait for you to use it and tell me how it’s changing your life.
For me, I noticed I was saying “I’m so tired,” and “I have so much to do.” And it’s not like there’s no truth to this, but like I said before, even though what we’re complaining about has some nuggets of truth, it’s not really helpful.
As a matter of fact, just before this blog post, my mum called me over the phone and half way through our conversation she said, “You sound really tired.” I had to chuckle because when you’re in this type of industry the universe ALWAYS sends you assignments to make sure you’re practicing walking your talk.
You might be wondering what my response was? Well, this is what I said, “Yeah I actually am, but I’m doing some things for my health so that I won’t feel as tired and I’m also going to get some rest later.”
So we either use words to speak life or death over our life! Use them wisely.
Which disempowering statement has been rolling off your tongue lately? And what are you going to choose to say instead?