Taking responsibility for YOU… My end of 2018 article

I woke up this morning and knew that today was the day that I had to do my end of year article. You see, for the past 2 weeks, I have been waiting for ‘that day’. Whenever I write a blog, I need to feel ‘that’ feeling. It’s difficult to describe, but I guess you could say, I need to wait for a moment to hit me. This morning, when I was walking my children to School, that moment hit me.

I looked up at the Sky, and the Sun was rising. WOW, what an incredible array of colours. I watched as my Boys, were riding their bike up the hill. It was freezing cold, but I stopped to breathe in the moment. As I looked at the colours forming around the clouds, I looked at the trees, the grass, and the birds. This is something I don’t do nearly enough of, and something I never did prior to this year. I took for granted the abundance that surrounded me.

Does anyone else do that?  Walk through life, being caught up in the things we cannot control? The person that cuts us up on the road? The person who walks in to us, and doesn’t apologise? The annoying person at work? The person on Instagram who looks INCREDIBLE, and appears to have the ‘Perfect Life’?  If only we didn’t care right?

I will never sit here and say that I have my shit together every day.  Let’s get real, we have been hard wired most of our lives, so it takes time to form new and lasting healthy habits.  We are only human.  Do I lose my shit? YES, Do I compare? YES…sometimes I do. Do I moan about things that really don’t matter?  YES.  So, what makes me happier now despite these things?

There are 3 answers to that – Self Love & Acceptance, Gratitude, and Forgiveness.

Self-Love/Acceptance – I love myself.  I love myself more than I have ever loved myself before. I look in the mirror, and even though I don’t see Abby Clancy staring back at me, I LOVE MYSELF.  I love my eyes, even when they are tired, and puffy and small… Why?  Because I can see everything around me.  The world I live in, the incredible colours. The places I travel to, the family time, the walks to School with my Children. Walking in to my Boys bedrooms every night and watching their wee faces as they sleep.

I love my body.  This gift I am so grateful for.  I get out of bed every morning and am so grateful to my body for being resilient enough to come back from the hammering I give it either at the gym, or when I’m not taking care of it, by fuelling it with too many jaegarbombs on a night out. I feel shit for 2 days, and my body is so incredible that it rejuvenates repeatedly. Sometimes all we see when we look at our bodies is either ‘too fat or too thin’ We don’t stop to really appreciate there’s so much more to our bodies than the weight we carry. The vital organs that we have, that help us survive each day.

Am I as intelligent as some others? NOPE, Did I get a master’s degree or a PHD? No, I did not, but I am me… and there is only one ME!  I accept that I am not perfect.  I accept that I still get angry, but guess what? I deeply love and accept myself.

Gratitude – We have all heard of that expression ‘There’s always someone worse off’ right? Isn’t that the truth?  Or how about this one… ‘You are the creator of your reality’ If I’m honest, it’s only the past 9 months that I really understood the true meaning of that, and I couldn’t agree more.   First, can I caveat that statement by saying, I am not saying that the horrific and tragic things that happen to people are in any way down to them.  What I mean by that is, when we find ourselves in toxic relationships with partners or friends or stuck in a situation that we feel like we can’t get out of or the same patterns keep repeating themselves over and over, we need to take responsibility for what is happening, and what we have created ourselves. It’s no one else’s responsibility to make us feel good, to get us out of the shit situation we have found ourselves in again…That one’s on us. I know this to be true, because for years, I was unhappy at work.  I used to blame others for things that went wrong. It then affected my home life.  I didn’t sleep, I used to feel anxious, all the while ‘blaming’ my work.  Was it a difficult environment?  Yes, it absolutely was. Did I ask to be treated that way, or spoke to like shit? No, I did not. So why was I the creator of that reality?

The answer was simple… I didn’t love and respect myself enough to do something about it. I …as in ‘ME’ I had allowed it to get to a point where I lost so much confidence in myself.  Not only did I think I was the worst person at my job, I also didn’t like the person I had become when I looked in the mirror.  Why? Because I WAS NOT BEING TRUE TO MYSELF! I was too busy trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of who I thought they thought I should be.

1 in 400 trillion! That’s the chances of you being born, to the parents you were born to with the unique DNA you have, and we are too busy trying to live up to what we perceive to be someone’s expectations of us.  The truth is, it really doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what we feel.  What they think of us is none of our business.

Be so grateful every day, that no matter what you’ve done, how you’ve lived, and what mistakes you have made, every night when you go to sleep the clock resets.  You open your eyes every morning, and you have a brand-new day, a chance to start again, a chance to begin again. The Sky doesn’t know what happened yesterday, what you said, or did.  It’s a new day, and the incredible thing is, that you get to start again.  You choose how you would like your day to be. So many people will never have that choice, so choose wisely.

Forgiveness – Ahhh good old forgiveness.  We do it a lot, forgive people for their wrong doings. But are you as forgiving with yourself? For me, this was a game changer.  Who knew that we were capable of so much ‘self-sabotage’? Who, reading this has messed up before?  Who reading this, if they’re honest has messed up BIG TIME, but barely admits it to themselves, because they’d rather push it out of their mind, as the guilt of what they have done is to bad to think about?

It doesn’t matter.  Seriously, it doesn’t matter.  LET IT GO!!  We are human, we get to F up!  It’s part of life.  So, when you ‘think you’ve dealt with it’, you really haven’t.  All you’ve done is push it deep in to the back of your mind.  In fact, you probably don’t think about it as much, and don’t feel like it consumes you anymore, when the truth is, it shows up in other aspects of your life.  Your subconscious mind is holding on to that shit.  My advice, feel it, label it and forgive yourself.  It’s the only way that you will be truly free.  You made a mistake, you got it wrong, or you messed up? And what? Are you going to let this impact your life for another 12 months? Why would you?  How can that possibly serve you?  Because you feel you should? You don’t deserve to be truly happy on the back of a mistake you made?  Can you see how that expression ‘You are the creator of your reality’ works here?

Allow yourself to feel the feelings, then allow forgiveness.  No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes.  It’s only a mistake when you don’t learn from it.  Have you learned from it? If the answer is yes, then FORGIVE YOURSELF, and live the life you deserve.

We all have bad days, but a bad day does not constitute a bad life. You are in charge of that.  We all lose our shit, and say or do things we don’t mean, but punishing yourself or others only robs you of happiness today.  The only guarantee you have in life, is this day, so forgive them, forgive yourself, and live your life.

As 2018 comes to an end, I’d like you to think about what you want 2019 to look like. Will it be different from 2018?  Do you have a plan? If not, that’s OK.  We don’t always need a plan. The only thing we should hope for is Self-Love, Self-Acceptance, Gratitude & Forgiveness.  If we nail these things, then we will be living in abundance.

However you decide to end 2018 and bring in 2019, have a think about the 1st of January being full of new and incredible opportunities, where you get to choose. You are not always in control of what happens to you, but you are in control of how you deal with life. Choose to put yourself first. Choose to take a few deep breaths before reacting to a situation. Choose your circle, and decide if those people who have stopped adding value to your life, really deserve your time, and energy. If they do, then OK, but choose to not let their unkind words or negativity impact you. Choose to stop seeing things as failure, and instead choose to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Choose to step out of your comfort zone, and not let the fear of ‘what others will think of you’ stop you from really living. Choose to practice self love and care every day.

You have 1 life, choose YOU!!

Jill x

Judgement of others……

When you’re stuck in judgment, you’re stuck in negativity, fear and separation.

The goal is to feel great every day, but how do we do it? Especially when we are triggered.

Are we justified in our judgment of others? The thing is, justified or not, when we are judging, we only feel good for a short time. Judgement can consume us and stop us seeing the situation for what it is. Judgment is fear.

Early in 2018 I embarked on my journey of personal development. I connected more with spirituality. This was incredibly deep, powerful and life changing. As I reflect on that period in life, I felt so connected to soul. I honoured old wounds, and healed. It wasn’t always plane sailing, as I had to meet some huge fears head on. I was so deeply connected to my guide and trusted that I was being led.

I believe through healing myself, and my past wounds I was quickly able to make space for everything that I wanted to bring into my life.

I believe that the best gift we can receive is inner peace. I have met so many people who have an abundance of financial wealth, but feel so disconnected, fearful, and overwhelmed.

So why do we judge others? We all judge right? Well most of us do, or have done in the past. Without even realising we are judging, we do it.

‘Why is he/she acting that way? I would never do that’

‘She/he is really getting on my nerves; they are so full of themselves’

‘She/he is such a dick head. What is up with them?’

The past few weeks I have been triggered by a few things, and dare I say it ‘YES I JUDGED’ Oh boy, have I judged others. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t overly gone out my way to purposely judge, but I’ve done it.

The past month, I have not given myself nearly enough self-care. I could sit here and say ‘I’ve been too busy; I didn’t have time. Something came up, I was too tired, I didn’t feel like I needed it. The truth is, it’s all excuses. Here’s the thing, in not doing it, I lost my way a little.

I need to practice self-care, including meditation and intention session every day. My old story and old ego still lives within me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here saying I turned in to a bitch, but I definitely let the ego take over at points.

The Universe and our guides (our higher self) is always with us, it sends us signs that we can either ignore or connect with.

I have been triggered on several occasions, where I got defensive and judged. I would justify my judgment of others, but trying to convince myself or someone else my rationale for behaving the way I did, like I knew best? Why is it that we feel the need to convince others that our actions are justified? ‘I’m saying this because they did this’ or ‘He/she is acting this way, so I’m justified in my actions’

But why do we do that?

I’ve heard that ‘Happy people don’t judge’ If I’m being completely honest, I believe this to be true.

When we are judging, or being judged by others, we need to really ask ourselves the question ‘Is this person happy?’ or ‘Am I happy’? Your ego will jump in again, and say ‘YES, of course you are, it’s not you, it’s them. You are fine, it’s all them’ You continue to judge, all the while spiralling into a place of consuming negativity.

Ring any bells?

I know when I have judged, and really get honest with myself, there is a fear attached to the act. Happy people don’t judge?! I must admit, when or if I judge, I’m not happy. Think about this.. When you feel amazing, you are less likely to let anything bother you, and if it does, you’re over it in a millisecond.

Next time you find yourself judging, I want you to ask yourself the following ‘What am I scared of here?’ Get honest with yourself. Take yourself in to a quiet space, and if you can, sit with the question. Meditate if you can. Grab a pen, journal, and get honest about why you are judging that person. What is it about them that scares you?

I’ve heard that when you are judging, you are holding a mirror up to yourself? Sometimes I believe this to be true, but other times, I’m not quite sure. I have judged on many occasions. I find myself judging people who have done some serious wrongdoing for sure. I can honestly say that I would never act the way they have, but what is it that makes a person behave the way they do? What has happened to them in their life that made them show up and act in the such a shit way? What has been missing or lost from their life? We might never agree with their actions, but letting go of any attachment, helps us see the person in their innocence.

Next time you judge, try catching yourself, and choosing again. Try to get clear around what it is about that person’s actions that are triggering you? Is it worth your judgment? Is there work you need to do on yourself to ensure their actions don’t have power over you? Once you get honest with yourself, do your own inner work, you’ll find that the other person maybe just like you.

It’s not always easy, but try seeing them in their innocence, and send them love rather than judging.

Love always,

Jill x

Embracing Vulnerability?! Let’s embrace the struggle together.

In a few weeks time I will reach my 40th year on this planet. How did that happen? I remember when my Mum turned 40, I was 14 at the time, and thought she was ancient. My 2 kids are only 8 and 5, and they definitely think I’m old. Arrgggg SEND HELP!!

I don’t feel 40, but It’s sometimes not until I look in the mirror that I realise I’m not 18 anymore. But here’s the thing, despite not being 18, I still feel like that young carefree girl lives within me, it’s just a lot of the time I’ve hidden her away. The one who used to just get drunk for fun. The one who was first up at parties, dancing on tables, and making everyone laugh with my impressions and carefree humour. As far as I can recall, I was definitely not someone who worried about what people thought, and thankfully there was no Social Media, to catch me in the act, or worse, a place for me to constantly character assassinate myself, and go comparison shopping 50 x a day.

I lived for the moment. I had so much fun. I’m sure there were plenty tears along the way, but it’s a strange one, as when I reminisce about my late teens and 20’s, I don’t remember many ( if any) that really stand out as being sad, or feeling never good enough.

I look back on those times from the age of around 19 onwards with the best memories. The word ‘Carefree’ most reflect that time in my life.

‘Youth is wasted on the young’ an old expression I used to hear a lot, but it’s not until now, that I understand the true meaning of this. I see so many young people wanting to be like someone else, not feeling good enough. I don’t remember it being so hard when I was their age. Young, beautiful girls as young as 18 getting fillers, botox, and having this deep need to change their face, to fit in, or to look like the next influencer on Social Media. Using filters in every single picture that they post, affirming to themselves every time they do this, that they are not enough. I know for sure, that Influencers, and many people in the public eye, who I’ve worked with, also find doing this completely exhausting too. I must add, that this is not just young people, it’s people of any age, but it’s starting earlier and earlier.

As a young girl, the biggest issue and ‘trend’ I faced was sunbeds. Always feeling like I resembled a corpse, so of course, I wanted to have that sun kissed look too. So, I’d hammer those sunbeds like no one’s business. It was definitely a ‘thing’ that we all did in the 90’s. I remember my best friend Janine and I being 13 years old and going on her Mum’s sunbed that she had hired for a month (yes, you could actually hire a sunbed.)

The company ‘Tan Tastic’ would deliver it to your house. Janine and I would top & tail on the thing together. We would pop the timer on for 30 mins, her at one end and me at another, and just chat about school and any other things that 13 & 14-year-old girls do. Now you may be reading this in absolute disbelief at a 13 year old girl going on a sunbed, but here’s the thing, we had no idea of the dangers of sunbeds back then like we do now.

Over the years, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been burned to a crisp and resembling a human tomato. Arrrgggg, what was I thinking? So, I guess, to some extent, that was my way of fitting in and not fully embracing myself?! Thankfully, except for a few lines, and some bad pictures there was no permanent damage. When I did learn that the overuse of a sunbed was bad for me, I moved on to fake tan. Every Thursday night, without exception, I would literally slap on the fake tan. Smelling like a cross between a digestive biscuit and dog food, but didn’t care, as I felt I was pretty horrible without it. It’s not until now, I look back at old pics of myself looking like a reject from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that I laugh. Boy was I orange?! There was no telling me though.

I dread to think what crap would be plastered across social media about me if phones had the same meaning in life as they do now. In the 90’s (and not that long ago) I was able to make a complete ass of myself, and it was never recorded and posted on Social Media.

It’s such hard work now?!

Isn’t it just? Having to look good in every picture. Having to ‘vet’ every single picture before it gets posted on your Social Media, through fear of it showing any of your ‘flaws’ AKA the parts of you you don’t like and want to hide from the world. The constant comparison shopping. The zooming in on the pic, only to nip pick at every single part of it, and unless it’s got a filter, it’s not getting posted. How hard it feels to live in a space where the only way you feel good about yourself is when a filter is on?

Of course, a filter makes you look amazing, the perfect skin, the glow, the glossy hair, the bright eyes. It can literally not only take 10 years off you, and make you look slimmer, it can also make you look like a completely different person. I’ve often wished there was a filter to make me look like I had nice feet. Instead I hide them when ever I can. That’s another story though.

Here’s the thing, every single time we pop a filter on our pictures, we are affirming that we are not good enough.

As a Life Coach, I have worked a number of people, who have really struggled with their image and how they see themselves. Much of this stems from what’s on Social Media, because let’s face it, you are comparing yourself to a highlight reel, when in fact, this person often doesn’t look like the image. I’ve witnessed girls getting fillers, and literally changing the whole look of their face because they have spent so long using filters on Social Media that they end up with social anxiety about going outside, through fear of people seeing ‘the real them’.

Love it or loathe it, Social Media is going nowhere, so how can we get everyone to embrace their truth and truest version of themselves more? To love and embrace their uniqueness, their wholeness?

We are so scared to be vulnerable, yet what’s interesting, is that when someone shows a bit of vulnerability, we love it. One that sticks out for me recently is a post on Instagram by Stacey Solomon (@staceysolomon). She was in her bikini, showing us her incredible body. She was brave enough to show her body in all it’s entirety. She wasn’t a size 8, with a flat tummy, and airbrushed, and her caption was all around loving your body, no matter what society tries to say. This post got almost 500,000 likes, compared to many of her other posts which are less than half that amount. Why? That’s easy, we love it when someone is real, and shows vulnerability. It gives us all permission to do the same.

So why is it then, that we still hold back from being our true selves, and embracing vulnerability? We love it when others do it, as it reminds us that it’s OK to be ‘me’, but we still struggle to put ourselves out there and live in our truth. This fear of being judged for being ourselves. Stacey talked about society telling us ‘we are not good enough’ but given that we, are in fact society, we are wholly responsible for doing this to ourselves.

Anxiety, depression, self-loathing, and self-harm.

Much of this comes from the stories we tell ourselves. We are all in this together, we all want to feel accepted, connected and loved, but this must start with truth. Owning our truth, being brave enough to step into our own unique power.

My mission this year, as I turn 40, is to create a movement, and make vulnerability sexy.

It must be hard work, and pretty exhausting having to edit and filter pictures, to show up in life telling the world you’re feeling amazing, searching for validation and allowing ‘likes’ on Social Media make or break your day. You are literally putting your happiness in to someone else’s hands. This will only ever either give you either a short instant gratification, or make you feel inadequate, and not good enough. The truth is, you are the one that’s in control of this. It’s no one else’s responsibility, it’s on you.

It’s no wonder it feels hard, when you’re trying to fit in to a box, or be someone other than yourself. It’s always going to feel hard. How would it feel if you were to show up as you? The real you, without all the bullshit? Pretty scary?

What If you didn’t worry about what others thought? You had no fear, and you knew, for sure you wouldn’t be judged? How would you show up in life then? Would you feel you needed to be someone other that your beautiful, unique self?

I truly believe if we all begin to let go of the need to be validated, and begin to love ourselves by owning and embracing the parts of us we try so hard to hide, then we will not only heal ourselves, but heal others too.

Everything is just a state of mind. Loving yourself and feeling ‘enough’ will never come from anything other than you. Make the choice to connect with your whole self this year. Searching out with, will only ever make you feel unfulfilled and possibly rejected.

I’m not saying it’s easy, and it can be scary, but over on the other side of fear is true transformations. You could start by practicing positive affirmations in front of a mirror. There’s a great book by Louise Hay called Mirror Work, which I’d highly recommend. Or you could start today, and post your first no filter picture up, with the hashtag #makevulnerabilitysexy

Trust me, people are watching, and in you doing this, will give others permission to do the same.

Together, let’s really create a movement this year, and #makevulnerabilitysexy

Love Jill x