Welcome to our Happiness Today, Not Tomorrow fortnightly offering for people who are brave and bold and ready to take skilful action each day to break free from “the trance of busy” so that they can enjoy this one precious life.
Yes, that’s you.
You are reading this because you are ready to be more than simply busy.
This offering includes
- 1 new guided meditation (12 mins)
- 1 simple mindfulness practice (2 minute)
- 1 everyday jewel - a simple idea to transform an ordinary moment into a moment for happiness, fulfillment and wellbeing (1 minute)
These offerings act like a mini-retreat from your busy day, a way to quieten the external noise so you can see yourself and your life more clearly.
From here, you will feel inspired to take skilful and wise action towards happiness and fulfilment and away from busyness and overwhelm.
Today’s Topic - What would a friend say if you said that out loud? (learning to respond to our inner critic with skill, humour and compassion)
Let’s begin with some fun facts. We have between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day. 80% of these thoughts we had yesterday (in some shape or form). 80% of these thoughts have a slightly cautionary, fearful, negative feel to them. OK, so these facts actually weren’t so fun after all!
Are you getting the picture though. Most of us walk through our days caught inside our critical heads consumed by thoughts like…..
“Why did I say / do that. I wish I had said / done that instead”
“I didn’t get everything done today that I needed to”
“I am not prepared for this…..skilled / capable enough for this…....ready for this…..”
“Other people are more intelligent, capable, attractive, fit, organised or adventurous than me.”
“I made so many mistakes today”
“Why do I always lose my cool with my kids”
“I just can’t get on top of the house work”
“I wish I earned more money”
“How come I can’t tell people what I really need and want?”
Now whilst these thoughts are all just a function of our brains desire to protect us, over time, when these thoughts are left to roam freely in our minds, they can have a real impact on our sense of self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem. When we see ourselves in this “not enough” way, we shy away from opportunities, we don’t follow our dreams and we get caught in cycles of feeling like we just aren’t worthy of happiness, love and fulfilment.
We all have these self-critical thoughts. We all have thoughts that we need to do more, to be more, in order to be loved, to be happy, to be capable. People who appear happy, fulfilled and purposeful also have these type of limiting thoughts, they just know how to respond to these thoughts with skill, humour and compassion.
Today’s meditation - Letting go of self-criticism, inviting in self-compassion
This is a powerful meditation for anyone ready to understand their inner critic so that they can see this voice in new and liberating ways. When we come from a position of curiosity and understanding, we are then free to replace our self-critical thoughts with thoughts that are more supportive and compassionate. So are you ready to swap your self-critical thoughts with thoughts that ultimately make you feel brave and bold and ready to embrace life?
Today’s Mindful Moment - Doing the “friend” test
I love the friend test. It’s super quick and powerful. All you need to do is hold one of your self-critical thoughts in your mind. Then…...
Step One: Imagine saying this thought to a friend as if it was how you felt about her / him.
Hey Mel, I think you are always making mistakes.
Hey Mel, I think you will get fat from eating that cake and then no one will like you.
Hey Mel, did you know that those other mothers / fathers / colleagues / friends are doing a better job at life than you?
OK, now you may be laughing but seriously, you would never say those things to a friend so it’s pretty crazy that you speak to yourself in that way. Stop being so damn mean to yourself OK, life is hard enough!
Step Two: Imagine explaining to your friend that these are the types of thoughts you are having.
Hey Mel, I feel like I have been making heaps of mistakes lately.
Hey Mel, I have been feeling really guilty about my diet lately.
Hey Mel, I’m just feeling like everyone has it more together than me at the moment.
Imagine what lovely soothing words you friend would offer you. Like…..
You are doing a great job!
Hey, we all make mistakes, but I can think of heaps of awesome things you have done lately
Don’t worry about other people, we are all just trying our best and making mistakes along the way, it’s all part of being human.
So next time you notice your inner critic, try the “friend” test and see if you feel any better. In fact, do it right now!
Today’s ordinary jewel - the gift of self-compassion
When you notice that your inner critic is getting loud inside your head, pause, take a few deep breaths and remain open and curious. You may like to begin by simply saying “I am noticing that I am thinking…...right now”. This immediately creates some space between you and the self-critical thoughts. From here, say to yourself “I choose self compassion over self-criticism.” Then, offer yourself a soothing phrases like
- I am trying my best
- It’s OK to make mistakes
- Life feels hard today, but tomorrow is a new day
- This too shall pass
- My kids are lucky to have me
- I have lots of offer and to contribute
Notice any sense of calm, peace or relaxation that occurs when you change your inner dialogue.
Remember, we all have self-critical thoughts, happy, fulfilled and purposeful people just commit to changing the conversation inside their minds. Change requires effort and attention. You are worth the effort and attention OK?
This practice will become easier and easier over time. The benefits will filter into all aspects of your life.
If you have a friend or family member who could benefit from these practices, please forward this email onto them. They can sign up here.
Time is precious, and I am grateful that you chose to spend this time with me.
With gratitude and warmth,