Top tips for Mindful Dating

mindful-datingI used to find dating an incredibly anxious and stressful experience, because I would hand over my self worth to a man I’d just met, rather than value and love who I am!

During my dates rather than enjoying myself, my mind would be obsessing over the outfit I’d chosen, worrying about whether he finds me attractive and if he even liked what I was saying.

My mind would also try and figure out if my date was ticking enough boxes, could I see us together in 5 years, is there any chemistry, what if he tries to make a move and I’m not interested, what if I am interested and he rejects me… etc etc.

The reason I am saying all of this is because lately I’ve started dating again ( thank you Tinder ) and due to now being more self aware, living more mindfully, I’ve been experiencing dating in a completely new way.

Walking in to every date without any expectation of the future, focusing on just being present, loving who I am, being myself, having fun, has been a very positive experience, not just for me but also my date.

If you want to remove stress, anxiety, worry and concern from your dating experience, here are a few mindful dating tips to remember

  • Love who you are! Before you leave the house stand in front of the mirror and remind yourself that you are beautiful, wise, kind, fabulous, sexy, funny and extremely loveable! Remind yourself that you are not going on the date to get the guy’s approval, you already know that you are awesome, you are going on the date to get to know someone new and have fun!
  • Be mindful of your thoughts and don’t believe anything that pops up that is negative or unhelpful, remind yourself that your true essence is love!
  • Be yourself, be authentic, value your uniqueness, it’s what makes you one of a kind!
  • Ask lots of questions and listen, engage with the other person, learn something new from what they are sharing, you’re there to get to know your date, the more questions the better!
  • Smile, not only is smiling addictive, but it will release endorphins which will make you feel even more happy!

And most importantly…

Have fun!!

Dating should be enjoyable, so whenever you notice your mind wandering, getting caught up in the future, take a deep breathe and come back to the present. Where life truely unfolds 🙂

How to avoid panic when getting lost

bush.jpegI went for a bush walk today, on my own, with no one around, and I got lost!

When I realised after a few of hours of walking, that I wasn’t back at the start ( where I should have been ), my stomach did a triple back flip and my heart started racing!

Thank god for GPS on my mobile phone, quickly I was able to see that I was only about a 20 min walk from where I started, which did help calm the flight or fight survival default mode in my brain.

I actually had thought that there was a chance I would never be found, and then I would starve or die of thirst because I hadn’t carried any food or water with me. How ridiculous is that?!

Through being more self aware, I now know that my mind loves to jump to highly stressful, worse case situations, whenever life throws me a spanner.

But the great news is, the more times I am able to take a moment to stop, breathe, and just witness my thoughts when feeling worried, the easier it is for me to quickly avoid panic and feel A OK!

How to stay calm when life doesn’t go your way

lifestyle-96-of-104-copyI had a moment of panic this morning, which never feels nice!

In the past when a flatmate moves out, it’s normally at least a week before a new person moves in, not a few hours, which is what I experienced today.

The plan was that by 11am the first flatmate would have moved out so that by 11.30am the new flatmate could move in ( tight i know ). In theory it was a great idea, but at 10.45am when the first flatmate hadn’t shown up to move any of her stuff, I started to have a mild panic attack, i felt a bit stressed!

As soon as I started to become aware that I was feeling anxious about the situation, I toke a moment to observe the thoughts racing around in my head.

Being aware that my mind was getting in to a panic about all the possible worst case scenarios, I took a deep breathe, and calmly asked myself, ok, what can I do in this very moment, that will help me best?

I picked up my phone, sent a text to the first flatmate to get an update on her time frame ( which was 30 mins away ), then sent a text to the second flatmate who advises me she is now running late and is 2 hours away, phew!!

So after all of that worry, there was no drama in the end, it all worked out without me having to do much, other than simply be cool, calm and communicate.

Such a good reminder that life doesn’t always do what you want it to do, this happens to me frequently, so there is no need to stress.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… don’t worry, be happy, it all works out in the end. 🙂

Why forgiveness is so powerful

kindessThis morning I woke up to a message on Facebook from a past friend who I’d experienced a very hurtful falling out with a few years ago.

Up until this day, he is the only person in my life who I had unresolved conflict with, so to receive such heartfelt words of kindness and gratitude for the friendship journey we once shared together, brought a tear to my eye.

I honestly never expected to hear from him again. The last words he spoke to me hurt me to such a degree that pretending that he no longer existed, was the only way I knew of to avoid feeling emotional discomfort and pain.

This morning I am grateful that he reached out to break the silence, as it made me aware that emotional pain never leaves the body if past thoughts of hurt still remain there.

Trying to pretend something no longer exists, practicing avoidance, doesn’t make the pain disappear, it just hides within you somewhere.

Today I experienced that forgiveness is the only thing that removes the stubborn ‘pain’ stains from past, and to do this, all it takes is a simple choice that you make. You choose to let go of the past and simply forgive in the present moment.

I wanted to share my experience of forgiveness today, in the hope that if you are reading this and have unresolved conflict with someone, reach out, say sorry, send love.

Our true nature is not to feel anger or hurt, our true nature is to feel love and kindness. Our true nature is Love.

Stroke of Insight!

When it comes to your mind are you a lefty or a righty?

Not sure? Well neither was I until I came across a brilliant TED talk by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor called ‘My Stroke of Insight’.

In the TED talk she explains how the right hemisphere of the brain connects us with the present moment, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, all energy that’s shared with the whole of the universe, infinite, expansive, perfect, beautiful.

While the left hemisphere of the brain operates using language and logic, taking the present moment sensory data, and then trying to organise it using past thoughts to forecast possible future outcomes. Creating this sense of I AM, being seperate from everyone and everything.

Having watched this TED talk for the first time, this new experience has given me insight in to how I use my own mind.

I learnt I have a choice, I can chose to spend more time using the right hemisphere. By doing so, I can tap in to the life force of the universe, feeling an abundance of love, peace and creativity!

Feeling a sense of connection to every living being.

If you have 19mins and want to learn more, please enjoy watching the full talk below. 🙂

Can having a new experience each day make you more creative?

lifestyle-19-of-104-copyLatest research is that new experiences boost creativity. They create more flexibility in the mind, which then stimulates more  of those ‘light bulb’ moments we crave!

To gain more creative insight in the mind, the scientific experts recommend doing any form of activity that allows the mind to wander freely. Activities like taking long walks, freestyle writing, listening to music, creative projects, yoga, meditation and even daydreaming ( something I did loads of when I was a kid ).

They also suggest to be more social, exercise, sit in a coffee shop, spend time outdoors and try something new! Sit outside a box ( literally ) and look for unexpected experiences!

Lately I’ve been procrastinating BIG TIME on my course work, due to a lack of ideas, and my health has been rubbish, which is why I feel a ’30 Day New Experience Challenge’ is exactly what I need to get the creative juices flowing again!

So what are the rules? For the next 30 days, I just need to experience a new experience every day.

I want to discover if stepping outside my comfort zone has any effect on my mental wellbeing?

Will good things take place, will more ideas flow, will my health improve, will I feel happier and gain more mental clarity?

Can having new experiences every day boost creativity? Watch this space in 30 days! 🙂

Focusing on TODAY is what makes you most HAPPY!

happyWhy is it that we always tend to focus on what we don’t have, so much so, it can make us feel like shit?!

Just when I was mentally listing all the things that were missing from my life, a good friend overseas sent me an email. She too was upset that her life wasn’t going to plan, and had increased her consumption of red wine, in order to escape feeling unease.

We’ve been good friends since the age of 16, and we both thought that by 35 ( our age now ) we would be married, we’d have successful careers, own property and be a few years away from popping out kids.

But the reality is we are both still single, both uncertain about our current careers, have yet to invest in a mortgage and now have the pressure that our biological clocks have a good 4-6 years left, if best.

I instantly felt compassion for her, I could feel her pain. To help her not feel alone in her suffering, I shared with her my current ‘life is not going how I want it to go’ list.

  • Work ( I’ll be unemployed in a week- again – and no one wants to hire me?!  )
  • Home ( My flatmate moves out in 2 weeks and I can’t seem to find anyone right to move in?! )
  • Career ( What the hell am I good at, what is my life’s purpose?!  )
  • Dating ( Total lack of action happening in this area, why have i yet to meet someone?! )
  • Money ( More money is going out than in, and I don’t know when my next pay cheque will be?! )

After giving her pretty juicy detailed paragraphs on each topic, I then realised that actually, all the things I was complaining about, were things that will soon change, whether I like it or not.

Rather than accept the current circumstances as being exactly as they should be, the mind seems to find more comfort in making life out to be a MASSIVE struggle!! As humans we like to complain about what we don’t have, we like to play the victim, ‘oh you think your life is bad, listen to mine’ sort of thing.

When writing down my list of complaints, I could clearly see all the negative thoughts and beliefs that were getting in my own way. It was clear that within every ‘so called’ struggle I actually had the power within my own mind to see it in a different way. I could either feel stressed and depressed, or I could feel chilled out and content.

  • Work ( I’ll get work- I always do – and while I’m unemployed, I’ll catch up on my course work that’s due!)
  • Home ( I’ll find an awesome flatmate- I always do! )
  • Career ( Just be patient, follow charm, the right work will reveal itself! )
  • Dating ( It will happen when I least expect it- it always does!)
  • Money ( I have more than enough, I’ll be fine, it’s all good! )

Within a few minutes my mind went from negative nancy to positive… pauline?

We carry so much fear around the future, yet it’s not the future that’s the problem, it’s our minds wanting it to go a certain way!

FACT- Life is out of our control, every thought the mind produces you can never predict, if you could, tell me what you are about to think in the next minute? It’s impossible. Every new thought turns into a action ( if you allow it ) which then creates a new life event.

To add to that, everything external is also out of our control ( nature, health, other peoples thoughts and actions ) which means obsessing about an ideal future is pointless, as there is a good chance something completely different will take place!

Life loves to throw unexpected curve balls, ( you lose your job, your partner cheats on you, a family member get sick ) yet the best thing to do, is just try to juggle those balls in the present moment, using self love, optimism and kindness.

Self awareness gives you master skills to juggle the curve balls. Self awareness helps you love who you are, not tomorrow, but today.