Are those feelings really yours?

Hello gorgeous,

I had a weird (and unpleasant) experience this week, which I want to share with you. On Tuesday, I wasn’t really feeling good, rather sad. My mother came and told me it was the 20th anniversary of my grandmother passing. And as the day was passing by, my sadness only got worse, I just wanted to be alone and cry my heart out… When I finally went to bed, I could not sleep, my thoughts were so dark, I thought my whole life was a mess and what was I going to do with it? I still managed to fall asleep at some point, and luckily, the day after, the dark cloud hanging above my head was gone and I could just go back to being my normal self. But obviously that made me think and wonder whether those feelings were actually mine. I thought about my grandmother, I thought about a special configuration of stars, I was really puzzled with the whole thing. I don’t know what it was at the end (I thought about a few more different explanations!), but I know it wasn’t mine; it was too out of sync with me.

I think that, when we have a lot of empathy (we don’t necessarily have to be hypersensitive), it is very easy to feel overwhelmed by (negative) feelings originating from other people. And how about the energy-sucking people who can only complain all the time, can they bring you down with them too? How about the big disastrous events on the planet, can you feel those (and the conscious collective sadness) too? If yes, can you find a way to stay in your own vibration?

This brings me to the following: the necessity for introspection and time alone, to go back inside to find yourself back. And of course, meditation is a good exercise for that, but you can also read a good book or do a DIY (my personal favorite) with mindfulness and find yourself back this way as well. You can also go and walk in nature, listen to good music, whatever works for you in the moment.

How about you? Do you sometimes feel something that might not be yours?

A change of feelings a change of destiny

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

I wish you a great week.

Much love, Madeleine

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Should you feel guilty?

Hello gorgeous,

First of all, I would like to apologize for not having written for 2 weeks, it was school holidays here and my planning had to adapt… Moreover, I saw it as an experiment for me: am I going to feel guilty and how is that feeling going to develop?

I think guilt is a very common feeling in our culture and I don’t know anybody who does not feel guilty from time to time (and I think mothers are the worst ;-)). But to me, there are 2 types of guilt: the first, dictated by our education (in which religion also plays a part), where we position ourselves as kids getting told off by our parents for having done something “wrong” in their eyes. The second is the one that we feel ourselves, independently from education, as adults having their own judgment on good and bad and what we should do or not do (lying and betrayal are perfect examples where everyone has to decide for themselves, based on their own situation…).

I remember when I stopped smoking, years ago. A few months later, I woke up after a dream during which I had smoked again, and the feeling of guilt woke me up, like, no, I haven’t done that, have I? It was my own decision to stop smoking and nobody had pushed me to do it. Still, I was really nearly in panic because of that dream!

I think that, as much as we would like to get rid of that, more often than not, we are torn by this feeling, as if we were still young kids waiting to be scolded and punished. I am not saying that we should never feel guilty; obviously we should know what we do now and act consequently! But I would like tot suggest that we ask ourselves the question when that happens: is this guilt feeling coming from me or from my parents/family/education? Because when it’s the latter, we might want to learn to release it, to free ourselves from it, so we can be fully ourselves instead of still fitting the parental mould.

So, if you are curious about how not writing felt to me… I would say: deliciously guilty! It evolved of course during those 2 weeks, and I knew I would come back to you after this break, but I made sure I was aware of it, and I wanted to enjoy it as well, to fully embrace it, because it was fully mine J.

So, tell me, are you feeling guilty for anything right now? And is it really yours?

I don't feel guilt.Whatever I wish to do, I do.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

I wish you a great week.

Much love, Madeleine

Have you lost your sparkle?

Hello gorgeous,

A few days ago, a friend I had not seen in a while told me she was worried about me, she could see I had lost my sparkle. Since then, I have been (over) thinking, and have had quite some mood swings, alternating between sadness and anger and navigating as well as possible through those troubled waters. I know it’s not over yet, and it’s ok, but I tried to make sense of it and to make use of it at the same time. I give you my reflections and would love to hear if it resonates!

Sadness and anger are very often linked. It’s not always possible to find out which one was there first, but it doesn’t matter. Where there’s one, the other is not very far. If somebody hurts you, that will make you feel sad because of the hurt, and angry at this person for hurting you. You can also be angry at yourself for not doing what you think you should be doing, for not complying to your own standards, for letting yourself down etc. In my case, it’s a real mixture of me not being where I want to be (and working too much), and old hurts resurfacing again I believe.

The positive thing I noticed though, from those ups and downs, is that I don’t want to hide anything anymore and I have been more expressive about it around me than I normally am. I normally tend to repress any of that, and this week I didn’t and I felt better afterwards, as if I had removed a filter that was blocking the expression of my feelings. This just happened, without me consciously trying to achieve anything, rather behind my back!

The other positive thing about it is that it made me slow down this week, meditate more, read more (in order to avoid an explosion that was about to happen). Although I don’t have a solution yet to get my life back together (i.e. a proper plan of action), I am now actively busy (day and night) looking for clues and help around me and in me.

Lastly, we just got a new moon last night, and in one of the newsletters I receive, she invited us to use this new moon phase to: “be firm but gentle, seek boundaries that create peace within yourself and around you, that allow for tenderness and softness to arrive more and more in your daily routine, that feel connection affirming (with yourself and with others)” (source: Lisa Nagel). This message feels totally aligned with where I am at, and I am probably not the only one feeling that way…

So, tell me, have you felt this way before? How did you get out of it?

Happy-2

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

I wish you a great week.

Much love, Madeleine

Are you able to receive?

Hello gorgeous,

How many of us find “giving” easy and “receiving” (as in really receiving…) more difficult, maybe awkward even? How many can’t receive a compliment without neglecting it? You know, the usual: Oh hun you look so nice in that dress! Oh that old thing?… Or: that dish is really delicious! Oh it’s nothing really, so simple to make…

If you fall into that category, do you realize that you rob others of the joy they can feel when giving? If you can’t really receive, then their gift is not accepted as it should have been, and they are left with a weird feeling of unfinished business, of not being really understood maybe, and you spoiled their experience. Would you want your giving experience to be spoiled like that?…

So, for those of us who plaid guilty, what I am suggesting is going to require some effort from you… But it means doing it for you and doing it for them as well, so you will do a good deed by accepting gifts, compliments in a proper way 😉

Let’s imagine you receive a compliment about your outfit or a meal you prepared for friends.

Let’s take it one step at a time, practice step 1 enough times until you are ready for step 2!

Step 1: thank you hun. (that’s it, nothing else can come out of your mouth for at least 30s). And smile while looking at them in the eyes.

So, when you are ready to go further in receiving, how about the following:

Step 2: thank you hun, I really find it flattering indeed/ I am proud of myself indeed (you get my point). And smile too! This doesn’t fall into bragging, don’t worry, you are simply owning it properly and agreeing with the person.

If you need some practice, let me suggest you do “The compliment game” with a friend, or with your partner if you have one and he or she is willing ;-). I was introduced to it some years ago when I was learning Heart Intelligence Coaching, and I found it hard at the beginning too! But I have since used it in Circles and it is always a good one J. So here it goes:

You face the other person, standing or sitting, it doesn’t matter. You look at him/her in the eyes, you can also hold hands, and you give him/her a compliment. It must be something real, it must be true of course, you must feel what you say. It could be anything like: you have wonderful blue eyes, or I love your curly hair, or you always make me feel good, or you are so tolerant, so something you like about this person. The other person has to say “thank you” (like in Step 1). And then he or she goes on to give you a compliment etc. Let me tell you, after a few rounds, you both really feel good!

Let me know how it went!

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Declutter your life!

Hello gorgeous,

This looks like a new theme for me… In the space of a week, it came back a few times during conversations with friends, in my Pinterest feed, etc. so I guess it means I need to pay attention ;-). I have already started decluttering my house and giving or selling clothes that we don’t use anymore, but this is not just about physical clutter. There are all kinds of clutter: email clutter (I have about 900 in my inbox…), electronic clutter (and my computer is getting slower and slower), paper clutter… and, last but not least, mind clutter! I am guilty of all, are you too?

That being said, it doesn’t mean we all need to transform ourselves into Marie Kondo’s… Moreover, her minimalist style doesn’t suit all of us! As much as I would love to see my house organized and tidy, having kids make it difficult to keep it tidy at all times anyway!

The whole purpose of decluttering is making space for new things (and / or people). If your life is full already, there’s no space to receive or welcome anything else. No space for more “stuff” in the house, no time for another activity, no time for yourself, no time for new relationships… But if you manage to create some emptiness here and there, you are showing your willingness to make space for the new. And yet, like all of you, I know how difficult it can be to end a relationship (or to realize it has ended already), quit your job to take a risk, and get rid of stuff that you keep “just in case”… I am not going to give you advice on how to declutter, I let the pros do that part, but I just wanted to encourage you to let go of what does not serve you, be it clothes, shoes, old papers, old books, old stuff, and to notice afterwards how much lighter and better you feel after this exercise!

If, on the contrary, your life feels empty already, well that’s good news; it means you already have space for something new, so I want to encourage you to use it properly, use it for something/someone that you choose yourself and that you really want, instead of letting nature fill the emptiness with things and people you don’t want, because it will if you let it… J

And now is a good time for me to declutter a cupboard…

Clutter isn't just the stuff in your closet. It's anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Celebrate yourself <3

Hello gorgeous,

I am reaching the end of the first quarter, and number 80 of my MMMs, and it felt like a good time to celebrate. Plus, it’s spring, although we don’t get to realize it yet, so new and renewed energies are bubbling, all the more reasons to party!

Where last week was all about gratitude, this week is about pride, being proud of who you are. While some of us can really go overboard on that ;-), most of us don’t do it enough! And it’s those that I want to encourage today to sit still and do a small exercise. I would like you to take small pieces of colored paper, to write one phrase on each, and then put them together in a jar or in a box. Each phrase should start with “I am…” or at least “I + action verb”!

  • Your character traits: we all have a good mixture of deemed good and bad traits; let’s focus on the ones we personally like here! Here’s a few I like in myself:
    • I am creative
    • I am resilient
    • I am kind
  • Your accomplishments: don’t diminish what you did, don’t think for a second it was all-normal or easy, let yourself measure again the bigness of what you have accomplished so far. Let me give you a few examples:
    • I am a writer: I am currently writing my 80th MMMs and am intending to continue for as long as I can
    • I successfully delivered and raised (still busy!) 2 beautiful human beings into this world
    • I speak 3 languages (I can hear myself say: oh it’s nothing, some speak 9 languages…but I tell this little voice to shut up so that I can enjoy being proud of myself)
  • Your dreams not yet come true: we still have time, we never know how much time, but we still want to do a lot (do you have that bucket list within close reach?), don’t we? I certainly do! Here’s a few I am intending to achieve before leaving:
    • I am going paragliding this year
    • I work constantly on becoming a better version of myself
    • I intend to build or buy or renovate another house

I hope my examples will help you write yours and get you into a feel great mood, let me know! Declaring them to someone else also helps, so I am here to listen to yours! 🙂

The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

How to (really) feel grateful

Hello gorgeous,

I was reminded recently of the importance of feeling positive, in order to create more positive in our lives. When everything is going fine, it is easy to feel positive and grateful for what you have, and then everything flows. But when that is not the case, it can get (in my experience and I don’t think I am alone here) really difficult to focus on the good things and to really feel it inside. I probably told you already that I had a journal in which I was writing 3 things everyday I was grateful for. But I don’t think that’s enough. I think what is really necessary here is to feel that grateful feeling deep inside your heart. Even if it’s for one second, it is already good. But obviously, the more it lasts, the better!

What I would like to do is to give you some prompts, to help you become conscious of all the good in your life, so that, instead of restarting a list everyday, you can simply add to it, and the bigger the list, the easier it is to feel the gratitude (well at least that’s what I am hoping for!)

  • Your family: if you still have your parents, can you feel how blessed you are that they are still there and that you can still talk to them, love and be loved by them, you can be there for them as they were there to raise you… If they are gone, can you think of all the things they passed on to you (love, education, values etc…) and how blessed you are for having known them? If you have kids, think about all the love you can give and receive, how you get to give them your best.
  • Your relationships: even if some have stopped, for those, think about all that it brought you during the time of the relationship, all the support you have given to each other, all the laughs you shared, all the good moments you had together, the moments you really were there for each other… And for the current relationships, what do you love about this person, what do you bring to him/her and what does he/she bring you?
  • Yourself: that is probably the most difficult… Even though there is so much to appreciate about ourselves, we tend to be very demanding with ourselves and to take everything about ourselves for granted… Don’t we take our body for granted for instance, and the fact that it is supposed to function well (if we treat it well), think about being able to eat, sleep, drink, see, hear, talk, feel, smell, move, walk, run… And how about our brain? How about our skills, abilities? How about our character traits, our qualities?
  • Your work: what makes it a good day for you, is it feeling useful in your work, supporting others, interactions with others…? Do you go to work with pleasure in the morning, knowing you will enjoy (if not al, at least good parts of) your day?
  • Your current house: did you get to choose it? Is it yours (or partially yours and partially the bank’s)? Do you like it? Does it fit your needs? Is it beautiful? Is it at the right place for you? Do you like the decoration? What do you like most about this house? Can you remember happy moments you had in this house?

Gratitude is the wine

I hope my prompts will help you make that list and get into the gratitude feeling, let me know! 🙂

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine