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 avoid visiting the kitchen when feeling emotional!

lifestyle-1-of-104-copyYesterday I had a ‘feeling crap’ day!

My thought process went a little something like this… ‘Seriously Camille, you’re such a failure! I knew you’d gain weight overseas in just one week! You have no will power when it comes to social occasions! Look at your body, it’s so disgusting. Why did you eat all that wedding cake and drink all that booze? You know having those things makes you feel like crap. You deserve to gain weight and feel miserable. You don’t deserve being happy!’

Wow!! Talk about hating on myself!

But the pity party didn’t stop there!

As I sat in bed, scrolling through Facebook, my mind continued ‘You are so deluded Camille, you will never be successful compared to others, you are not smart enough, pretty enough, lovable enough, just give up and accept that you’ll always work for someone else in a job you dislike, you’re not talented, get over yourself!’

Then I found myself standing in my kitchen. Not just once, but time and time again!

Thinking I was hungry, I’d make something to eat, go back in to my bedroom, feel better for a few minutes, but then the mind would find a new negative thought and abracadabra, I’d be back in the kitchen again!

For me, food has always been my no#1 source of comfort. It’s easy to access, tastes good and doesn’t talk back.

But most of the time its not hunger, its just an internal craving for love.

When I love myself, I don’t crave food, actually I don’t even think about it!

I realised when I found myself in my kitchen ( way too many times! ) I just needed to get out of the house, go to yoga and speak to a friend!

And that I did! I cycled to yoga, attended a class and instantly felt better because I was doing something loving for my body and mind. Then I called a friend, and instantly felt better because she too had been having a feeling crap day, so we laughed about how ridiculous it was, seeing we are beautiful, smart, wise beings!

So if you are having a feeling crap day, exit the kitchen ASAP and do something loving for your body and mind!

Go for a walk, do yoga, dance, write, call a friend, sit in a park, read a book, have a massage… whatever it takes to get out of the kitchen and distract those waste of time, negative thoughts ruining your day!

When you do something loving for your Self, the negative thoughts fade away. So why not do something loving for your Self every day! x

Ditching my grumpy pants!

lifestyle-3-of-104When I woke up this morning I felt really run down, similar to a hangover but without booze, not much energy, a bit moody, if I was employed, I would have wanted to call in sick.

Why had I woken up feeling this way when other days I had woken up feeling great? What was really going on, what was I really feeling, really thinking?

In the past I would have just accepted feeling shitty, blamed it on work or how I looked, ate crap foods to feel better, and waited for it to pass, which sometimes took up to 3 days.

But then I remembered that my true nature, within me, is not grumpy pants, my true nature, within me, is love.

So I sat in bed and took a moment to become a witness to what was going on within me, witness my thoughts and emotions. By doing this I quickly noticed that there was a huge amount of doubt and fear around my capability, the classic ‘I am not good enough, so what’s the point!’

I noticed I felt hopeless, like maybe I was over my head with creating my own business, attempting to make my dreams a reality.

I noticed that I felt useless, I felt lost and I felt alone.

Limiting thoughts and beliefs, all within me, draining my energy, making me feel shit about myself.

So rather than stay home in bed and help my Ego put together a pity party, I jumped on my bike and cycled to a creative, communal office space ( which has a meditation room ), giving myself the space to allow conscious flow.

When I meditated in this space this morning, I was able to dedicate more time to dive deeper into how I was really feeling. Closing the eyes, I was able to become a witness again to any thoughts and feelings that arose.

Once again the thought ‘I feel so alone’ came to mind, but this time I noticed tears building up in my eyes. I had no idea that I felt such deep sadness around this one simple thought.

So how do you stop a negative thought that feels so real? You don’t, you just allow time to sit with it, don’t try to suppress it or ignore it, just be a loving witness, until it passes. And it always passes. No thought is ever permanent, they are constantly changing.

This is what meditation allows you to do, be awareness of your thoughts as they rise and fall. This is why meditation is such an awesome tool to help overcome depression, stress and anxiety.

Rather than get caught up in emotions, you just watch them, let them do what they need to do, and notice that you are actually separate from them. You are all good 🙂

Your true nature is not your thoughts or beliefs, but simply loving self awareness watching the show.

 

The New!

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I was told by many that quitting my job, to travel to overseas and return to the unknown was very brave. But to me it never felt brave, it felt sane! Why would you keep doing something you are bored with, when you could be doing something exciting and new?

I honestly feel many people never really question why they are unhappy, I was one of them, I just keep doing the same thing over and over because it felt comfortable, even though deep down I felt frustrated, bored and incredibly restless.

I was over feeling this way, which is why I quit my job, flew to India, where through plenty of meditation I had a inner conscious awakening. I realised my old way of thinking, doing the same thing because it felt safe, was not working, I had to let go of my negative old beliefs, love who I am, trust I’ve got the goods within for greatness and embrace the new!

Since returning home last week, each day I meditate, tune in, listen to what I need to do, 100% trust that my inner guru ( intuition/being/God ) knows best, let go of expectation and just go with the flow.

By following through on every idea that pops in to my head, without questioning it, I have quickly noticed many positive changes take place! I’ve decluttered my entire home making it a beautiful and useful space, effortlessly lost weight, got an interview for a dream job, saved money on a new latptop, found a entrepreneurial workspace that’s affordable and registered for an online course to help turn my dreams in to a reality! All in just 1 week!

It can be overwhelming returning from 2 months overseas, with no job, living off a certain amount of savings. I notice that my mind craves security, so every time I spend money ( especially on an expensive notebook and online course! ) my mind freaks out! But the thing about money, if you are not spending it to improve your life, help you achieve your dreams, whats the point of having it?

Rather than let my mind be consumed with fear and anxiety, I’ve shifted it to trust and love whatever happens today, including all the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Since quitting my job I am the happiest I have felt in a very long time! By choosing to love and embrace the new, trust that I am supported no matter what, I now know what its like to feel free! 🙂

Today I loved the Self!

imageWhen someone tells me I’m attractive, I cringe and reply with an awkward ‘thanks’ and then quickly try to change the subject, what is with that? Yesterday I was told by a stranger that he knew I was a confident person by the way I walked, yet I second guessed if I was or not, what is what that? Today I was told by a teacher that I am a beautiful person, with a big heart, with so much potential, greatness and power ( how nice is that?! ) yet my first thought was, ummm.. ok, are you sure about that? Once again… what is what that!?

I’ll tell you what it is, it’s my mind acting INSANE!!! I keep getting told all the things that I want to hear, yet my mind comes rocking in and screams out, you can’t possibly be attractive with potential for greatness, there’s still so many things that need to be changed?!

Luckily through all my experiences and lots of meditation, I have learnt to be more kind to myself through my mind. A majority of the time I do feel happy, grounded and balanced. I don’t suffer from low self esteem or hate myself. I have many moments throughout the day where I mentally high five myself for what I am accomplishing, and most of the time I can look in the mirror and be accepting of what I see ( phew! ) BUT, when it comes to people complimenting me, I have trouble believing it, Self love goes flying out the window and my mind steps in and becomes my worst enemy.

When I stop loving myself ( the Self ), my mind is awesome at convincing me that I need fix myself! When I stop loving myself, my mind is awesome at avoiding the present moment and instead figures out what actions I need to take in the future in order to become successful, healthy, happy, attractive, wealthy, lovable, the perfect package for 2016! I realised today that this is the NUMBER 1 issue that is holding me back and causing me so much doubt and anxiety, I simply stop loving the Self in the present moment! I forget who I really am!

So… just in case I need to remind myself again, when self doubt arises… who am I? I’m a beautiful unique flower, created for a reason, in a garden of many beautiful flowers, so STOP COMPARING YOURSELF! Stop trying to fix yourself, you are perfect just the way you are! Smile, enjoy life, love who you are! 

When I started my blog in 2012, I called it todayiloved, so that for an entire year I would be grateful for one thing every day, and it was a pretty amazing year! Today I thought about those words again ‘today i loved’, and what they mean to me now 4 years on. What is it that I would love today if I could choose anything? What is most important to me now? What would help me become more successful, healthy, happy, attractive, wealthy, lovable? It’s the Self. My inner Self. Nothing more, nothing less, I understand the simplicity of this now.

A teacher in India shared this with me today. ‘Everything in life happens by itself, so don’t worry, smile, JUST BE, have fun! Every morning look into your eyes, love who you see, you are awesome, you are beautiful, love the Self! This is all you need.’

Start loving the Self today and every day and then see what follows! 

Camille x

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Today I loved Yoga

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Christmas Day, I’ve woken up hungover, not badly hungover but enough for my Mother to question my tone of voice on Viber, asking if i was ok? This year I’m spending Christmas solo in Varkala, India. I resigned from my job in Australia end of November, deciding to spend 9 weeks traveling India to regain some clarity around the direction of my life, as I felt it needed to change.

The first 4 weeks of my trip was spent in Madurai at the Sivananda Meenakshi Ashram completing a 1 month intensive yoga teaching training course, which I graduated from last Saturday! Yes, I can now officially teach hatha yoga classes, well my certificate looks nice anyway. Completing the teacher training was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, it pushed all the right buttons and the sense of accomplishment at the end for me was indescribable, especially as I never thought I was capable in the first place. I highly recommend doing this course if you want to upgrade your internal and external software and of course, walk away a certified yoga teacher and help people also feel good about themselves!

So now I’m spending week 5 relaxing in Varkala, enjoying freedom, hot showers and muslie for breakfast again! Varkala is located in the south of Kerela, down by the beach, a cliff side paradise of cheap restaurants, shopping, massages, beach swims and of course plenty of delicious food and booze! I did have this plan of staying sober and eating healthy after completing the teacher course but my mind convinced me to let go and enjoy myself, have some beer and cocktails, eat a veggie burger and chips, undoing all the wholesome ‘yogi’ work I’d clocked up at the ashram the past 30 days. I leave Varkala on Sunday, to spend another 4 weeks in Tiruvannamalai before I fly back home to the unknown, and as I type this, feeling somewhat average, I now realise the importance of every decision I make.

When I completed the teacher training I was glowing, the physical affects of doing yoga for 30 days changes your body, you lose weight, tone up, gain strength and flexibility, but also mentally and emotionally you gain this sense of love for yourself which then radiates to all those around you. You actually wake up wanting to do yoga in the morning, you feel at peace with the world, life just flows along effortlessly, anxiety and stress melt away and happiness becomes your true nature. So of course you want to continue to celebrate this new feeling of bliss, especially on holidays when making new friends, you order booze, have some greasy food and then before you know it, you don’t feel like doing yoga in the morning, you feel tired, run down and just want to sleep, drink and eat instead. But it’s Christmas, the time of indulging the senses, so you allow yourself another cocktail and piece of chocolate cake thinking that it will bring you a sense of joy and fulfillment, but instead all you want to do is pass out from a sugar coma in bed.

When it comes to my relationship with alcohol, I clearly see now that there are two paths in life I can take. There is the path whereby I drink alcohol, which always seems to lead to bad decision making ( indulging or desiring things that aren’t good for me ) and then I feel lazy and my health gets neglected for a few days. Or there is the path where I don’t drink alcohol, I wake up feeling vibrant, choose to do loving things for my body, make the right decisions and my state of consciousness expands. In 2013 I quit booze for an entire year and even though there were moments where I swear I was dreaming about wine, overall I was much better off without it. Everyone is different, but for me, I honestly think it comes down to just one question. What holds you back from being the best version of yourself? My answer, what I choose to put in my body each and every day. Alcohol is no longer working for me anymore, I realise this today. The short term pleasure I receive from a drink comes at a cost to my spiritual growth which is why, as of today, I am choosing to no longer drink alcohol again.

Instead I am choosing to love myself, not in a vain, arrogant, I am awesome, look at me being all healthy and sober sort of way. When you choose to love something you cherish it, you give it attention, you invest time in it, when it’s happy, you are happy, love makes love expand. Choosing love when it comes to the Self means putting awareness on it, wanting nothing but the best for it which means being more aware of what you put in it, exercising, meditating, thinking positive thoughts, becoming a better human being which hopefully inspires others to do the same. This the core essence of what yoga is, having a system in place that allows you to operate at your best, each and every day.

Today I loved in the past has been a blog about picking specific challenges like being grateful and quitting alcohol and running them for an entire year. I wouldn’t have been able to complete those challenges without this blog as writing makes you accountable, it creates self discipline which is so fundamental when implementing new routines when wanting to change. From my own personal experience, if you want to change something in your life, first step is set a goal, followed by some ground rules and then the rest is a mix of will power, dedication and support. Document your journey and be proud of even the small changes along the way.

Everything first comes from a thought ( the mind ), that thought then becomes an action, which then, if repeated, becomes a habit, habits become a personality, a personality becomes a destiny. So, if you want to change your destiny, you first must change your thoughts, makes sense. But is not as easy as just saying, hey, cool, I’m going to now change my thoughts, the mind has been running the show for a very long time, you have no idea what it will think next and most of the time, through this thing called desire, it’s very good at getting what it wants. So to help change the mind you need a really good support system in place, this is Yoga. I’m not talking new age yoga of trying to look sexy doing some crazy backward bend on one hand yoga, I’m talking proper old school yoga, which has 5 basic principles, proper exercise ( asanas ), proper breathing ( pranayama ), proper relaxation ( savasana ), proper diet ( vegetarian, no alcohol ) and meditation and positive thinking.

As I want to continue implementing all that I learnt on the yoga teacher training, I’ve decided that the next Today I Loved challenge will start today. It didn’t take long to come up with this idea, Today I Loved Yoga, loving union with the body and mind, union with the Self. The next 365 days I will work on calming my mind, nurturing my body and reconnecting with my true nature. 

The ground rules for Today I loved Yoga are:

  1. Exercise the body daily with asanas or walking.
  2. Meditate and connect with Self daily for at least 20 mins
  3. Eat a wholesome vegetarian diet and cut out alcohol.

Breathing, relaxation and positive thinking automatically jumps on board once the first 3 are implemented, I know this from my experience in the ashram for 30 days. When you are meditating you are working on your breathing. When you exercise you counteract this with relaxation afterwards. When you are eating well you feel great so positive thoughts become your nature.

So this is the new challenge that I accept and will document over the next 365 days.

Today I loved Yoga, choosing to love and connect with the Self wholeheartedly, creating new healthy conscious habits to support this, letting go and allowing life to flow, being awareness to all the changes and documenting the interesting stuff that takes place!

Namaste 🙂

Camille