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

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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