Hold On Help is on the way ☺

Hello gorgeous,

(And yes I know Whitney Houston is singing that ;-))

About a week ago, I manifested something I had asked for: a part-time job to complete my current activities and bring more ease to our finances. We first celebrated that properly, but with time passing, I started getting worried (about being able to do it all…) and having difficulties falling asleep. It culminated with a back pain yesterday, more than enough signs for me to stop and listen to myself. I cancelled all planned activities for this weekend in order to move as little as possible, and take as much rest as possible. I also wore my special belt to support my back.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I had to think about Support in general, the one we give to our self and the one we receive, the one we ask for and the one we receive without asking, and I felt it was important to share my ideas about that.

  • Obviously, I believe we should be the first ones to look at what we need and to give it to ourselves as much as possible. So… Is it rest we need, is it a comforting shoulder, is it a place to stay to escape our not-so-healthy environment for a few days, is it somebody we can delegate things to (like cleaning or cooking), is it to plan less (appointments, clients, whatever) in our agenda, is it more exercise, more self care, or a big hug? Let’s see for ourselves what would help us get out of worry / overwhelm / funk… In my case, it really was a mix of those so I ended up resting a lot, clearing my agenda, delegating the cleaning for the next 4 months, and promising myself to not overbook myself (although I need to be held accountable for that by my friends!)
  • Many of us have difficulties asking for help. We might feel too vulnerable and don’t want to let people see this aspect of our selves. Or maybe we think we will be “too much” to others. And yet, what others think of us is only a reflection of who they are, not who we are. So if we don’t allow that from us, it simply means this is something we repress from ourselves, we don’t want to see it, to be vulnerable, to be a burden… But on the other hand, doesn’t people who show their vulnerability touch us, and how often do we think our friends are a burden?
  • So, as a first step, how about simply being honest with our family/loved ones and sharing our truth: admitting we are entering our cave but would love to be pulled out of it, or that we wish to be left alone for a while until we decide to resurface? Or that we would love them to come for a tea and a hug without having to ask for it? Our best friends will know anyway that something is going on, be it because we don’t give news, or because they notice it in our voice…
  • How about asking your invisible team for help? Help in manifesting support, creative ideas, clearing your agenda, whatever. I, for one, am guilty of not doing that often enough, whereas we are told that they are simply waiting for us to ask…
  • Even though it might still be a stretch, try and ask at least one person for one thing that you need and that would help you feel better.
  • And you know what: when you help yourself by doing all those things, you automatically get help from others too (it’s the famous “God helps those who help themselves” in action…)

So go on and be a good friend to yourself!

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Madeleine

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11 ideas to be your own Valentine ☺

Hello gorgeous,

This last weekend was Valentine, and although I believe it is much more commercial than it is romantic, I still get romantic at heart. Our daughter gave us her pocket money so that we could go to the restaurant together, and that really touched us a lot! (We said we would go the 4 of us in a few weeks instead ;-)).

The romantic in me wants to talk about love, more specifically about how we can take good care of ourselves, like our lover would do. So here are my ideas, I am sure you will get some more, don’t hesitate to share on the blog!

  1. The most obvious: buy yourself a gift, like flowers, a jewel, or a lingerie set. After all, who better than ourselves know which flowers we like, which bra fits us the best etc…
  2. Self-care: treat yourself with an aromatic bath, using scented candles, take a good book with you and maybe a glass of wine (or a tea!), and enjoy your time (don’t forget to put warm water after a while ;-))
  3. Share: call a good friend for a nice and long-due conversation today, but pick one that is uplifting and will give you energy, not the other way around. Don’t gossip, simply be positive and uplifting.
  4. Plan: Look at your bucket list and plan your next move, your next item on the list. And if you don’t have a bucket list yet, it’s high time to start one!
  5. Write: write yourself a love letter, tell yourself what and why you love about yourself, about your qualities, your personality traits, and maybe what you love about your appearance as well. Try to be as exhaustive as possible. Fill at least one A4 page, more is even better.
  6. Get emotional: get yourself a good DVD or rent a movie for the evening. One that you want to see very badly, or one that you already saw and always makes you laugh (or cry or both, whatever you feel like).
  7. Get physical: you get to choose, yoga, Pilates, dancing with the music, hula hooping, running, whatever sport you prefer. Go generate those endorphins!!!
  8. Go in nature: go for a walk (or for a run!) and take all the time you need to feel, smell, listen and relax. You may even want to hug a tree! And if you have a dog, you do that already, so just be even more mindful of the nature than you normally are.
  9. Act like a kid: time to pick one of those adult coloring books, or create something with your hands (like a dream-catcher, I showed my daughters recently how to make one), or play (beat the dancer on the Wii Just Dance for instance, or anything else where you can really let yourself go as a kid would do!), you may also hug your favorite teddy bear, indulge in candies and Nutella…
  10. The Feng-Shui way: declutter! Oh I can feel the resistance, yours as well as mine, when I hear those words… And yet, after decluttering even just one drawer, you will already feel so much lighter! So time to throw those old undies, give away what you don’t wear anymore etc. and make sure you keep all those old souvenirs together in a chest instead of having them scattered everywhere in the house!
  11. The most woo-woo: meditate and decide to feel the love inside of you (that very high frequency…). When you feel it, send it out, to your kids, your parents, your friends, your pets etc. for a few moments. It feels really good!

SINCE 1991

I would love to know which of those you already do consistently, to treat yourself well. And if you have new ones, I would love to know as well to make this list much bigger!

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Madeleine

How to use language to lighten up your life ☺

Hello gorgeous,

Have you noticed how often you used words like “I need to …, I should …, I must…”.

I have! And I am probably guilty of doing it as well, but as always it is a lot easier to detect it in conversations with others when they say something like that 😉

My girlfriends know me by now and they are already used to paying attention to that if they don’t want me to notice and stop them and ask them: “Really, you need to do that” or “Should you …?”. The other one that I often hear – and this one I haven’t yet managed myself to stop using, is “I want…”.

There are entire books dedicated to the use of language, I read one or two on that topic (“Conscious language: The logos of now” by Robert Tennyson Stevens), but I simply want choose here to give you the easiest ways to replace the most common ones:

  • Instead of: “I need to do that, I should do that, I must do that, I have to do that”. Use: “I choose to do that”, or “I decide to do that”. In the first case you are a victim, in the 2nd you are responsible for your actions, and that’s quite a big difference! Other options could be: I claim, I have, I deserve, I enjoy.
  • Instead of: “I want to be so and so”, say “I am so and so” or “I choose to be so and so”. Using “I want to” is only declaring your want to the Universe, which will conspire to keep it as a want (and not give it to you!!!). “I am” is the most powerful, and “I choose” is pretty good too!
  • On top of that, we also often use negative sentences, like: “I can’t, I don’t know” … or with negative words like “blocked, hard” etc. You can always rephrase the sentences in a positive way, even though it might feel like it’s only an affirmation you repeat like a mantra and it does not yet feel like your reality. E.g. “It’s too hard” can become “I choose to make it easy”
  • Another one you could remove from your vocabulary is “try”. Saying “I’ll try…” is simply giving yourself a chance to escape or to not succeed… I suggest replacing it by “I will”… Because then you commit to doing something, you are doing your part of the work!
  • And please please please never again say: “This is killing me…” if you don’t wan’t to get sick!!!

FRENCH

Even though there is a lot more to language than what I just presented you, if you can pay attention to your use of words and already make those few and small changes, I guarantee you will already feel lighter! And already paying attention and becoming conscious of the words you say is a good first step :-).

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Madeleine

4 beliefs that could be blocking your decision-making

Hello gorgeous,

About 3 times today, the topic of decision came to me, via different ways, so it felt the sign was too big for me to ignore that I needed to write on it!

Decision-making is a process that can feel difficult for some of us, and for my part I know that it has become a lot easier with time (and evolution, dare I say ;-)). That’s why I want to tell you what I think are the limiting beliefs we should smash in order to make it easier for ourselves!

  • You think, “A decision is definite, you can’t undo it”. Well, at the end of the day, there are actually very few decisions that are definite. The only one that comes to mind is the decision to end this human life and give this human body a rest. But for all the others, I don’t think so. This belief is only creating a lot of pressure for us to make the “right” decision. However most of our decisions are only valid until we change our mind, or until we feel we can take another one. Let me give you a few examples. I changed career many times, and more than once, I thought, “that’s it, there is no going back” (leaving food industry behind me), or “this is it for me” (getting into HR). I came back to Food Industry when I joined Unilever years after going into IT and saying good-bye to my field of study. I realized once I was in HR that I actually did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would…
  • You say to yourself “I still need to know more before I can make a decision”. I used to be like that, I would not want to give my opinion on something, let alone make a decision, if I did not feel I had all the required information I needed up front. Then I learned to trust my gut. And it completely changed my decision-making process! I can still gather evidence if required (by others), but I don’t need it anymore.
  • You consider that “It’s easier to let others decide for me”. Others, or fate, or circumstances… Yes it is easier, but is it better? I don’t think so! We are all responsible for our lives and what we make of them, even though many of us give away that responsibility to others and prefer to take on a victim role. But when we know it’s all up to us, then we prefer to be in the lead and make that decision ourselves.
  • You believe that “Making a decision is a serious matter”. Well, is life a serious matter? Isn’t Joy the purpose of life? When we believe it is, then no decision is a serious matter, it should on the contrary be fun to make a decision! Should I take the red one or the black one? Do we go left or do we go right? All roads lead to Rome, don’t they? And if you pick the wrong guy, well, you can change your mind, right? 😉

You cannot change your destination overnight. You can change your direction.

I would love to know from you if you came across other beliefs you have about making decisions that are making it difficult, or on the contrary, that are helping you decide!

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Madeleine