“Stay In Your Head – You’re Dead”

“Stay In Your Head – You’re Dead”

Hey Beautifuls!
Lately, my partner and I have been watching a lot of Tony Robbins. You may have heard of him, he’s a life coach, business/relationship expert and all round awesome guy with a lot of knowledge to share.

Yesterday, I was watching some clips on YouTube and one thing (of many) that stood out for me was this message: Stay in your head – your dead – now I know he doesn’t mean this literally but there is some truth to this.

Staying in our head is like a room for our fears and insecurities to put on plays for us. They make up scripts, stories and scenarios for us to watch and feast on and it can detach us from reality around us and create more anxiety and more fears of things that don’t exist. Even more so, it can focus in and highlight the negative parts of our partners or people that are close to us and completely wipe out the positives. We all have a dark side and a light side, and staying in your head at a time when you are vulnerable and going through conflicts/problems can highlight only the dark side in the person or people you are conflicting with and that puts you in a position of attack and react – rather then openness and willingness to understand.

Staying in your head means you aren’t present. You may be in the company of your partner, work colleagues or friends but you really aren’t there; you’re there with a cloud over your mind. You may be watching replays of past experiences that were painful or shameful and I tend to believe that the more we let our mind replay them, over time the replay can change and shifts from what the reality actually was (for some experiences). When we stay in our head watching replays, it affects our present in how we behave, feel and see things.

It can sometimes distort our perceptions of people we love because we assign a replay of our past to their existence even when they weren’t part it.

Staying in your head can stop you from growing and changing. Right now as you are,  you have strength, confidence and love to bring to yourself and others. You CAN GROW. You CAN CHANGE. What can stop us in our tracks is staying in our head. When we do this and don’t come up for air, we give permission for our fears, doubts, insecurities and pain to rewrite the bad stories, replay the scene over and over and when we come back to reality, we don’t believe in ourselves anymore. We say things like “I can’t do this, look at what I did! I’m a loser” “There’s not point, I tried quitting before and fucked up, I’m just not that person” “She/He’s too good for me, they can’t know my past” There starts to be a whole lot of no’s and cant’s which can stop you from giving love, receiving love and accepting the beautiful moments that appear. It stop you from bettering yourself because your head tells you, you can’t.

You can quit bad habits, you can achieve happiness and that person adores you – you deserve that love and he/she deserves love from you.

So this is my little rant on what I thought of when I heard that “stay in your head – your dead” quote.

Of course there is a need for reflection and analysis of yourself, situations and people to determine what is right for you, but don’t get comfortable in your head and allow the fear, pain and shame to be put on replay.

Stay present, stay mindful and stay open to love, challenges and to your relationships.

Please leave a comment if this speaks to you or if you have a perspective on this or an idea 🙂 I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you guys the most sweetest Sunday ❤

Amy xx

The Olive Tree

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“There Is No Such Thing As A Perfect Parent. So Just Be A Real One” Sue Atkins

“There Is No Such Thing As A Perfect Parent. So Just Be A Real One” Sue Atkins

Heya Parents!

Question: What do you guys think being a real parent means?

I personally think it’s about the people who show up, be present and really take ownership of and are committed to raising, supporting and showing unconditional love to that child. Also, a real parent is someone who struggles, who makes a mistake or who breaks down but get’s up and moves forward in love, strength and forgiveness.

Real parents are not squeaky clean or always having their shit together and have perfect homes with children who don’t kick and scream.

A perfect parent does not exist in this reality and we should stop striving to reach that perfectionism. Instead, we should stay present in our own family unit and try to be the best parent we can each day.

Don’t feel guilty if this week you can’t buy that toy your daughter’s been going on about all week. Don’t feel bad if, at the end of a long crazy day, you put your kids in front of the TV so you can have some time to yourself. Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t cook a home-made, natural, organic feast every night and some nights your kids might have Baked Beans on toast.

Be content in yourself that your daughter has all she needs and be positive that one day you will surprise her with that toy and she will love it!  Also, when you put that TV on, remind yourself that you deserve a moment’s peace while the kid’s zone out because you need it. You need to be okay with yourself so you can keep being an awesome parent and if that means having some chill time, then let it be. Lastly, Be bloody proud of yourself that you managed to be resourceful so that your children don’t have to go hungry because you got it sorted! 😀 And baked beans on toast isn’t going to kill them 😉

A real parent smiles, laughs, yells, cries and cheers. A real parent is someone that accepts that they don’t have all the answers but every day they are there, doing the best damn job as a parent that they can be.

Peace and Love

Amy

xx

Encouraging Positivity

Encouraging Positivity

This is a bit of rant so apologies if it sounds a bit all over the shop. It’s just something that I feel compelled to write about today.

Life can feel light as a feather or as heavy as a boulder. It can change in an instant or it can feel like a song on repeat. We can’t control how this game unfolds and our roles we play can vary and transform. There are a lot of things that are out of our control but we can always control how we think about them. Please don’t confuse this with how we feel about them; feelings are something that happens without logical thought, it’s an emotion and we can’t choose our emotions but we can choose how we think about a situation.

I often get told that I’m a positive person and I’m always happy. This is nice to hear and on one hand, it is true. I am generally a positive person but I’m not always happy, I just choose to show more of my happy self then my other emotions like stress, pain, discomfort or sadness. It’s not possible to always be happy, and if you are always happy, how can you tell if you never experienced pain? You need both to distinguish the light from the dark and to understand it.

I believe we should encourage each other to be positive, to choose positivity and instead of choosing to just be happy regardless of what is happening. The more we say to others “oh just choose happiness” “if you want to be happy, then just be” it can sound like those other emotions aren’t important or if you can’t choose to be happy right now, that there must be something wrong with you. It doesn’t validate that person who may be struggling with depression or who may have gone through trauma. We must be careful with how we say to others to just be happy when we don’t know what is happening in their world.

Choosing to be positive is about allowing yourself to feel sadness or pain and giving those emotions time to just be without it affecting your mind in a negative way which in turn could mean destructive behaviours and poor choices. You can feel sad, and use logical thinking to look at the situation and try your best to make the most out of it and see what you can learn from it. It’s about seeking out the good, the light in a situation or person. Choosing to be positive is allowing your heart to feel and your mind to help you decide on how to move forward or how to be present in a way that’s helpful to your mind, body and spirit.

We often confuse positivity with happiness. Happiness is an emotion that we are born with and positivity is a learned behaviour, a mindset that takes practice and mindfulness to achieve. Learning to think positively, can bring more happiness to your world but happiness can’t always bring positivity to your world. This is because happy feelings can come from things that are fleeting, one-offs or from destructive behaviours that can ultimately leave you feeling negative and will not create a positive state of mind.

So let’s encourage each other to practice positivity. To learn how to see the light in any dark scenario that the world can throw at us because ultimately, shit happens. So if we can practise positive thinking in that moment, we will be armed with the best possible tools for getting through it in a more enlightened way that our mind, body and spirit will be happy with long term 😀

Peace & Love

Amy

FB: The Olive Tree

Instagram: @theolivetree13

xx

Check Your Self-Talk

Check Your Self-Talk

To live a more positive and loving life, we need to check in with ourselves; our mind, body and spirit. We need to reconnect, become aware of ourselves and make sure that we are giving ourselves the right things and treating ourselves the right way.

What I want to write about today is about checking in with ourselves and stopping that negative self-talk that can pop up from time to time. We all have those voices in our head that keep us up at night or create anxiety about events that haven’t even happened yet. It can make us feel down, doubtful and angry.

I’m not an expert in this field, but I do have tools that I have used in the past to help me keep a more peaceful self-talk and battle that negative mind chatter that comes with having anxiety.

Here are my tips:

  1. VISUALIZE IT

If you’re a very visual person like I am, this might help you. I picture my negative self-talk scrawled on a piece of paper. When I see it I scrunch it up into a ball and throw in a tiny bin in the corner. It may sound silly but it helps. It will help you see that the negative talk is something that is insignificant and not needed and that you are stronger than it and are in control of it.

  1. ASK YOURSELF, WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO YOUR BEST FRIEND?

We are our best friends cheerleaders, we love them, support them and encourage them. When it comes to our own stuff, our self-talk can do the opposite. Things like “I’m an idiot, I always mess up” “I can’t do that” or “OMG I can’t do anything right” start to fly through the landscape of our mind like a blimp. Why do we do that to ourselves when we are the complete opposite for the people that we love? When you start seeing that in yourself, stop and ask yourself, is this something I would say to my best friend? A simple question can stop that flow of negative talk and give you a chance to regroup and rethink.

  1. THE RUBBERBAND

My psychologist recommended this to me each time I noticed that negative self-talk come in. I would pull the band and let it snap my wrist as a way if snapping me back to the present and keeping me from being consumed by my negative mind chatter. You don’t have to use this if you don’t want to, obviously. But having something around that will help you get out of that pit and back to the present can be helpful.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT, AND TALK TO IT

This may sound crazy but hear me out. One thing that can help is seeing that it’s there and talking to it like it’s another person. This person needs to be calmed down and needs to be told to go away and that it’s not needed. This person isn’t a part of you, it isn’t who you are. Become the kind inner voice that you need and let it drown out the negative.

  1. IMPERFECTIONS ARE A PART OF US

We need to stop holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. Perfectionism can be soul crushing, it can feel so heavy on our shoulders that even when we are progressing and improving, we can’t even see it because we are looking for that perfection. If you make a mistake, remind yourself that it’s a part of life and now you have gained more knowledge from having made that mistake. It’s okay to be imperfect and to make a mistake. Go easy on yourself and embrace your imperfections.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for reading <3. If you enjoyed reading this and feel it speaks to you then please give it a like and share it around. If you have any tips you would like to share then please do so in the comments.

Amy

Xxx

I Used To Want ‘Normal’

I Used To Want ‘Normal’

When you’re a teenager, what people have or don’t have, say, think and do matter way too much. I used to let it get to me and stupidly found myself wanting normal. I wanted normal days, no drama, no craziness, a normal family (yeah right), a normal body and mind. I was a very imaginative kid, I would rather sit and observe others than get involved all the time. I was seen as odd, quiet, weird, ‘the girl that stares’. I never meant to weird people out. I just always loved people watching, I loved getting lost in my own make-believe world and daydreaming. I loved changing the scene around me to something magical and strange. It didn’t help that I ran funny (thank you knocked knees).

I used to spend my days at schools thinking that everyone else had a normal life except me. The few friends I had all had their baggage and craziness. I remember mum saying ‘can you make normal friends’ She didn’t mean it as a bad thing, my mother grew up in an abusive home and always had to live in flight or fight mode so she desired normal and the ‘Brady Bunch’ type family. She wanted my brother and I to have normal friends and as less drama as we could have. It was hard to do when our family was and still is, a crazy dysfunctional bunch.

Later on, we both realized that what we were wanting was non existent. No one had normal, we just had LIVES. Our life was living with our mental illnesses, our mad house, our love for the unique and the unseen. Our life was the artistic life, the music life, the being-raised-by-a-single-mum life. My life was experiencing the pain, the love, the vulnerability and the beauty of being a 5 years old, a 10 year old and then a teenager.

Everyone is just trying to play this life game, crossing their fingers to roll a double and grab a win. No one has normality, we all choose which masks to wear that day that suits whatever we will be doing so we keep the game going as it “should be”

Normal is just an idea floating around our galaxy and it takes many forms. It’s what we desire when our life becomes topsy-turvy and it’s what we show the world when we need to be seen as a functional human being.

Anyway, this is my take on ‘The Normal’.

I hope you enjoyed reading and feel free to share your thoughts on what you think normal is or if you ever wanted ‘a normal life’

I wish you the most abnormal day!

Amy

Ajoy Living

xx

The Normal

Using Creativitiy To Come On Top Of Negativity

Using Creativitiy To Come On Top Of Negativity

Today I want to write about how to use creativity to get on top of negativity. This is something that my mother has fostered and nurtured in me since I can remember. I’ve always been a sensitive soul, someone that always feels emotions deeply whether it’s my own or someone else’s and at times it can be stifling and heavy. When I was little and my mother saw me falling into that black hole, she always told me to go draw, paint, get moving, or write it out and creativity always got me out of that funk… I came out feeling lighter and calmer in my mind. (Note, if these moods and negative thinking persist over long periods of time, then seeking help from health care professionals may be necessary) Over the years, I’ve found some ways of using creativity to battle the negative nellies and anxiety that I struggle with and I would like to share that with you.

Automatic Drawing, AKA Doodling

Not judging your art is key. Don’t worry about where it comes from, the aesthetic of it or the subject matter. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece, it’s more than that – it’s your soul, your emotions, and energy. It is authentically YOU and that is beautiful! Pick up a pencil, pen, crayon of whatever your choice of medium is and start doodling. Let your hand flow, don’t question it or rub it out just trust your hand and your mind’s eye and let it flow. I always find this a great way to get out of that negative space and put it on paper.

Dance

We don’t have to be professional dancers to feel the music and move 😊 Put on whatever you like and let your body respond. Sometimes I play some Black Sabbath loud in my backyard and swirl and headbang to their energy, and other times it’s Disney classics in the loungeroom with my little man and we bust out some moves together. It is known that exercise gives you the happy vibes aka endorphins and dancing is a great creative way to use that and let you get that tension out. Music is such a powerful tool in affecting our state of mind – so make sure you use it wisely 😊

Colour in and get crafty

Colour in, cut out shapes, stick on things, sew – all these things help me battle out the negative nellies because, with this, it’s not about using that negativity but rather focusing on the present and quietening that part of your mind. We are never too old to do arts and crafts and when you are doing anything like that, you are using different tools, mediums and skills and that helps you stay in the present. This requires critical thinking and using both parts of your brain and that is a powerful tool. When I sit down with all my bits and pieces or sewing, I don’t have room in my mind to focus on those negative thoughts and it gives me space to just be and make something beautiful. Amy 1 – Negative Nellies 0

Paint It Out

Splatter paint, throw it, smear it, spray it, drip it – I’ve used all these techniques to help me get rid of negative thinking and negative emotions that if I did not utilize, could turn into something destructive. You don’t have to go as far as Gestural Abstraction or ‘action painting’ and produce a Jackson Pollack lookalike, it can be figurative, it can be whatever you want it to be. When you attempt to visually represent your negative emotions and thinking, it can be confronting, scary or messy. I mean some of my work that I’ve done in that headspace is just dark and kinda freaks me out but when it’s out of my head and onto canvas or a wall, you can look at it and confront it. For me, it’s empowering because I feel in control of it. I see you, I see what you do to me and you don’t have power over me anymore. It becomes a therapeutic and reflective experience for me. There’s something about getting it out that calms the chatter in my mind.

Automatic Writing

Write something unstructured and uncensored. Don’t judge your words or who or what it relates to, just write what comes to your mind’s eye and let it flow. Express your emotions and your thoughts through words. When I have done that, it’s started off dark, angry or sad and then it transforms into reflective and questioning which I didn’t expect at the time, but it was a way for me to work through whatever it was that was keeping me down.

There are endless ways we use creativity to get on top of our negativity. There’s music therapy, art therapy, drama, dance, even cooking and gardening. You don’t have to be an artist to utilize creativity to make sure your negative thoughts and emotions don’t become destructive.

What creative things do you do to get on top of that negativity?

Have a beautiful day!

Amy x

10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Parent

10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Parent

1. The Parent Coffee

It’s rare to be able to be to sit and drink an entire cup of coffee in one sitting. Being able to savour every sip, snuggled up on the couch watching Netflix is a rare find. Nowadays I make my coffee and sip it in between making lunch for everyone, getting myself ready for work, which is done in between doing everything else like dressing my little man for daycare, oh and finding his socks! I’ve come to terms with the fact I will rarely find a matching pair, but those little buggers have legs I swear! I mean the places I find them, the mind boggles me. To add to my morning list includes making his breakfast, feeding the cats, packing bags, making sure the morning toilet trip happens so there are no accidents on the way to daycare and the usual random banter and chatting answering all his questions and getting into character; “Mummy, I am Optimus Prime and you’re Bumblebee”  Needless to say my coffee becomes cold but I get to have another try in the staff room at work (Looking on the bright side yeah ? 🙂 )

2. Sleep-ins Are A Thing Of The Past

My son hasn’t worked out the whole sleep in thing yet, so our day usually starts between 6-6:30 am, and on a good day it’s around 7 am. I attempt to get up 30 minutes earlier so I can get myself organized and throw some washing on. Farewell, sweet sleep-ins ❤

3. Nighttime Obstacle Course

I admit that my house isn’t always spotless at the end of every day. I try but come one, we aren’t robots, we are beautifully flawed humans. At 3 am when my bladder calls or my son needs me (more so when he was a bub), my zombified body stumbles out of bed, trying to remember where every Hot Wheels car, truck, action figure or lego piece lies so I don’t hurt myself and wake up the house. FYI I am incredibly clumsy so this is a real challenge and I pretty much get myself in trouble everytime.

4. Stepping On Lego

Oh MY WORD does it hurt!! Honestly, it is real pain when you step on those little demons. The worst times is when you’re rushing around trying to get everything ready for work and in the middle of the night.

5. Activating Your Inner Ninja

When you become a parent, you quickly learn how to leave your baby’s room like a ninja. The mini-me in your mind is screaming “DON’T WAKE THE BABY!” While you stealthily avoid every creak in the floorboards, and every toy on the ground (especially those annoying toys that talk if you press their bellies or hands). At times this requires the army crawl and making sure you keep to the shadows. My mantra “Don’t make a sound, stay out of sight and for God sake don’t bang the door!” Shutting the door without making a sound is an art.

6. Endless Washing

It. Never. Ends. I used to think it was such a hassle when it was little old’ me. Oh, how I feel foolish now.

7. Snacks Snacks Snacks

The bottomless pit that is your child’s stomach. How does it work? Where the hell does it go?? Example, they have breakfast, minutes later ‘I’m hungry Mummy’. They have 3 meals plus morning tea and afternoon tea and yet it’s just not enough! Now when I hear my son say “I want a snack mummy” I don’t hear the words, it just becomes this familiar annoying sound that will stay on repeat until the child is fed or until I say NO MORE child! This fridge isn’t magic, I don’t have the spell that refills it when it starts to get low, I really wish I did.

8. Stains & Spills

I am so grateful for floorboards, it is so easy to wipe up the endless spilled drinks, food, paint, play doh and all that other sticky and smelly stuff that children get into or spew up. I chose my couch purely on the colour; it’s dark chocolate so it hides stains like a pro. I do clean it but I mean there’s only so much you can get out of a marker that’s inked on it. I will never understand why some parents choose the white furniture when they have babies and toddlers and even teenagers; teenage boys can be just as grubby.

9. Bathroom Audience

If you have cats, this could relate to you too. When you become a parent, closing the door is just pointless and more of irritating because you constantly hear the ‘mum, mum, where are you, open the door, are you nearly finished? I want to see, what are you doing?’ so you keep it open because 1. you need to hear what’s going on, being left alone to their own devices without an adult present is dangerous territory and 2. well I don’t want to be yelling out having to explain everything and trying to soothe my son if he starts crying because I’ve closed the door on him. Cats and little humans just want your company when you actually need alone time and bathroom time becomes a bonding experience while all dignity goes out the door.

10. Wiping Another Humans Bum

This is the one my partner suggested when I asked him. He came into our lives when my boy was almost 2 and he was thrown into the deep end of wiping butts, cleaning poop and changing nappies, just like any other parent. He definitely didn’t get a ticket out of that one. Cleaning another human behind can be scary, funny, intense, stomach-churning and just downright ugh.. but you get used to it and you learn the tricks to make this process move quickly and efficiently. It’s just part of the parcel when becoming a parent whether it’s from birth or a couple of years in. To be honest, if it’s all contained in the nappy then you have a winner; it’s a whole other level when it’s an explosion and your baby decides it’s so interesting that he must play with it.

If you relate to these 10 or have others and or stories you would like to share, please leave me a comment, 🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading and I will post again soon! x

Amy

Ajoy Art Living