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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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

What to do if stars don’t align?

Hello gorgeous,

Some weeks, you feel like you are in the Zone (or in the Flow) and everything is flowing. But at other times, you feel like things are not working as you would like and you find yourself moaning about what’s going wrong… Well, that was my week this week… Only minor things, like bruising a toe, smashing the screen of my iPhone one more time, getting a migraine again, not getting the car papers we are waiting for (for more than a month…). Nothing earth shattering, but annoying nonetheless! Do you recognize that too?

So, I have been wondering what to do – instead of complaining – when you feel that way, so here are my ideas, good and bad!

  • Throw a tantrum: although this seems like a bad idea, getting this annoyed feeling out of your system is actually a good start to me. A good shout, a good cry, a boxing ball, that can help (at least a bit ;-))
  • Count your blessings: this is a serious idea and it is always a good one. That’s what I did this week to keep my mood up (after the screaming when my phone fell down). Looking at the bright side, focusing on our blessings will always uplift our feelings and put us back on track!
  • Focus on what you want: it is very easy to continue focusing on what went wrong, but doing this will only bring more of it I am afraid… So let’s re-focus on what it is that we want in a positive way and let’s see it done (in my case, a properly functioning iPhone, headspace, a properly functioning body…)
  • Focus on the now: many times, when we feel down, it is enough to focus on the now. You don’t need to meditate (although you are more than welcome to do that), but simply to ground yourself and consider where you are at this minute and what you are busy with today. Shift your focus to now. More often than not, now is good, we are alive, life is ok, we have what we need now etc.
  • Evaluate whether something is good or bad: the difficulty is always to know in the moment, it always generally makes sense afterwards… And some things are just neither good nor bad. I mean, apart from hurting for 10 minutes when I hit it, what’s wrong with a (possibly) broken toe? And my phone is still working even though it looks a bit sad like that ;-). Remember that sometimes, a “bad” event can be a blessing is disguise…
  • Do something new and/or creative: being creative works all the time with me, I become present to what I do, it takes my mind off things and I get happy that way. Even if being creative is not your thing, you can still try something new, open your mind to new horizons, research a new topic or watch an interesting talk. Maybe then you will also get new ideas, and potentially solutions to what was troubling you.

So what do you do when things go wrong? Please share your tips and ideas!

Keep your eyes on the stars

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

How to be your own best friend

Hello gorgeous,

Today, I would like to encourage you to act as your best friend would and to be your own best friend. Who, better than yourself, know how to cheer you up and how to treat you well? I know, when you are feeling down, it doesn’t seem that way at all, and you feel you don’t know anymore what could help you and get you out of your funk. But I believe if you make being that person a habit, you will be less inclined to end up in a funk in the first place, and quicker to get out as well…

Let me give you a few examples to get you started:

  • Add fun things (and sometimes a little bit crazy) in your agenda. This does not have to cost a lot of money or time. How about a test lesson for a new sport, sports coaches often offer them for free, and it will cost you one hour of your time to discover something that might become your new passion…
  • Take a friend out for lunch. Imagine 1 to 2 hours of pure catching up with them and laughing at life together, including planning new fun things together… and how about taking yourself out for lunch? With a good book if you don’t like sitting around on your own or without if you would like to connect with others!
  • Have compassion and understanding for yourself. You would do it for others, so why not apply it to yourself, instead of always being so demanding with yourself? We are always so prompt to judge ourselves harshly, but we, as everybody else, do the best we can in our circumstances. We deserve compassion. We deserve empathy and understanding of our situation. If that seems difficult to you, simply try looking at you with the eyes of somebody else for once.
  • Use affirmations and compliments on yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror as if you were somebody else. How would you compliment this person, what would you see in him/her? Maybe that you are proud of them, that you love them, that they are a magnificent being, that they are so brave, so kind… Well, say that to yourself, use the “I” person, say it a few times, and do it regularly to make it a habit!

So tell me, how do you treat yourself as your best friend would? Let me know!

A best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Every cloud has a silver lining…

Hello gorgeous,

My recent 2 surgeries got me thinking a lot (= far too much). When I heard, back in September, that I had to have a surgery to get rid of a carcinoma on my face, I realized I had been lucky enough to spend the first 50 years of my life surgery free and without any major disease. The first surgery was performed, and 2 weeks later I got the news that I had to go back for a 2nd one, as the plastic surgeon hadn’t removed everything (in spite of taking the necessary margins). I was devastated. It had taken me so long to accept and be happy with the way I looked, and now I was going to have to do that all again…

It also made me wonder if I would have had the courage to fight it, had it been a different form of cancer. And I was in search of meaning. What had I done (or not done) to bring about something like this to myself? Biological decoding gave me “abandon” but I still could not make enough sense of it. Yes, I felt abandoned, but was that it and what could I do about it now?

The next clue came from a Reiki Master (and Channel) who told me it was about self-acceptance. Now that stayed with me and resonated much more. So I decided to do a “Self-Love Manifesto” for myself, as an exercise of reconciliation with myself. As much as I hope to look more like I used to (instead of the way I look now, with a 5 cm red scar and a swollen part on the inner side of my left eye – although I wouldn’t compare myself to a Picasso portrait anymore as I did right after the surgery), I also know this will take (a lot of) time and I will never be the exact same again.

So I can choose to love myself anyway (and that’s what my husband said, God bless him) or I can choose to complain and mourn the old me. I can give myself time to come to terms with this whole story and go on with my life. The choice is up to me and today I choose Love. What do you choose today?

I give you my manifesto as an example and a blank one for you to do yours, should you wish to.

Mado' self-love manifesto

self-love manifesto

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine