Guest Post: the Forgiveness Challenge

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I have been participating in Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge.  Each day you are guided through how to forgive.

The Forgiveness Challenge teaches what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is not weak. Rather, forgiveness is an essential part of feeling whole.

The forgiveness Challenge aims to teach you how to bring more love and peace into your life, and help the world heal. This is because forgiveness teaches you to see the humanity in others. That is, despite whatever horrendous acts committed, they too have all the rights that you have.

I believe that forgiveness is an important part of acceptance. When you forgive someone or a situation, you are letting go of the possibility of a different past. Through forgiveness, you let go of the hurt and anger that you are holding onto. It is this hurt and anger that is preventing you from being all you can be. After forgiveness you shall be more able to accept the circumstances of your life. All these steps you have taken, and why you have ended up ‘here’ will become more clear. This is acceptance.

Acceptance is the recognition that you are right where you are meant to be. That the world is as it should be. And with such acceptance, will come contentment.

I like to think of contentment as an ‘equanimity’. The world will feel balanced. You will feel … not necessarily in control, but safe. Loved. Guided. Contentment will bring with it an understanding that bad things will happen, but they have a place, and that this too, shall pass. Contentment will allow you to always see all the good, despite the bad.

The Forgiveness Challenge started officially on the 4th May and runs for 30 days. I am only up to Day 6 of my Forgiveness Challenge. I am taking it slow. I am doing this because at times is is emotionally overwhelming. But, it is also because, I like to be doing multiple things at once. I have learnt that the ability to switch from one project to another is what keeps me interested and motivated. Ultimately, I think it is more important to complete the Challenge, to go through this process of forgiveness. I want to give it the attention it deserves, and sometimes I do not have the mental space or the physical time I wish to donate toward the Forgiveness Challenge. And so, I am taking it slow.

We have been asked to choose one person to forgive. One person to focus our learnings upon. One person.

I choose myself.

I need to forgive myself for so many bad choices. I need to forgive the situations I ended up in. I need to stop blaming myself as it is just hurting me. I am only causing myself damage. And it is now time to heal, to let go and to move on.

And, I wanted to extend an invitation for you to join me. I want you to take this step in healing yourself, and healing the world with me. I want you to do it because I believe that you will benefit, and I’d like the company.

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Thanks Sarah for this guest post, I am definitely going to consider participating in this.. Kooklah.

 

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Guest Post: Everything is as it should be

Editor: I hope you enjoy this guest post from Sarah as much as I have, I look forward to your feedback.

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These words have been a bit of a mantra of mine of late.

I am running late for a doctors appointment, and traffic is a nightmare. But, it is all okay, because I am exactly where I need to be. Everything is as it should be.

This acceptance that the world is perfect just as it is, is a lovely realisation to come too. The world is perfect in its imperfections. And you are too!

This realisation is a step towards a greater acceptance that I need to come to. I need to accept the autism in my life, that my children are exactly as they are meant to be. I am not there yet. I am not willing to let go of the possibility that I can somehow ‘improve’ them. They need to be better in order to function as adults, and I want this so much for them.

As I said, it is a step forward. A small step, but forward.

I believe that it is easier to start on the inconsequential. If I can accept that we have ran out of coconut flakes, then surely, eventually, I can accept that my pain won’t ever go away. If I can talk myself out of the stress of traffic standing still on the freeway, then there is hope that one day I will accept I was not invited to the wedding of someone who I thought of as a good friend.

Acceptance is tied up with forgiveness. Both are hard. But start small and eventually we’ll get there.

Try to remind yourself that everything is just as it should be and let me know how you go.

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Clutter + Mental Clarity

For my fortnightly guest post for Sarah at Creating Contentment I shared something I learnt in the last two weeks, how clutter can affect our state of mind. Find an excerpt below, then click the link to head over to Sarah’s blog to read the rest… Don’t forget to let me know what you think! Kooklah Xo

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It was during this week, as I was coming and going from work, with a few piles of belongings I was sorting through and some deconstructed furniture lying around that I felt really low… I found the clutter only added to my frustration, it made me feel dragged down and overloaded.

I have come to realise that our mental state is very much influenced by the area in which we spend the most amount of time. This realisation is fantastic and such a positive step in my journey.

Happy mind, happy life.

For the rest, click the link at the top of the post. Have a brilliant day…

Ask the Question… Guest post for Creating Contentment

For today’s guest post on Creating Contentment, I have written about something close to my heart. Something I try to do, and something I appreciate when people do it to me. It is reaching out and offering help, a shoulder or listening ear to those who need it. Below I have included an excerpt of the post. ‘Ask the Question’ in full post form {+ a post dedication – the first post I have officially dedicated to someone} can be read here.. we would love to read your comments and/or stories so feel free to share with us.

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I can see your mind ticking over, what question? There are many questions that come our way everyday. The question I am referring to, is not specific, it can be asked in many different ways. It is about reaching out to someone and making sure they have their head above water. It could be a friend, a family member, a work colleague or someone you pass by throughout the day – it could even be something to ask yourself.

If someone is really low, they can be very good with hiding it. Big smiles that don’t quite reach the eyes, answering with ‘fine’, or big pauses before saying good and quickly changing subjects or even avoiding people they know really well.

How do I know this? I know this, because  …… (go on, click over to the full post for the rest!)

Styling Positive,

Kooklah Xo

Talk Yourself Positive…

Here is the latest post from Sarah at Creating Contentment, it is all about using affirmations to help increase your positive mindset and make sure that your self-talk is not negative and increase your confidence. I have used various affirmations – but my favourite one at the moment is “She believed she could… and so she DID”, I find this to be very powerful and motivating. Please read on and let us know what you think of this post – I love it, and am so appreciative of the tips that Sarah has included. Find something that works for you, and use it. The best part is one day, you suddenly realise that you believe it!

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Today, I am sharing something that I have learnt.

 
It is possible to use affirmations to increase your positivity.

 
Now, in hindsight, I can see that this lesson was rather obvious, but I had to learn it through doing. Just like it is impossible to tell a women about the hardships of mothering before her first birth, some lessons need to be leant by experiencing them first hand.

 
Despite this, I am going to try and share what I learnt with you. I want YOU to know that you can use affirmations to be more positive. I am hoping that you trust me enough to try my suggestions. I hope that your confidence in me is enough that you will stop listening to your internal voice telling you that you are not enough, and put your faith in mine instead.
My message is this: using affirmations CAN make you feel better!
I use affirmations daily. Not in the formal way of looking in a mirror and talking to yourself. I have tried this, but felt too awkward and silly. Feelings of embarrassment are not conductive to voicing affirmations. Affirmations need to be believed. Therefore, when using affirmations, speak naturally. You need to believe that you are speaking the truth. And that the truth comes with the conviction of a kind friend.
Affirmations are simple statements that enhances your creative power for change. Writing your own affirmations can bring clarity to your thoughts allowing you to focus on what you really want. Speaking the words aloud allows your body to have the sensation of speaking, hearing and feeling the words as you say them. And, your feelings become engrossed in these sensations. Use your emotions to bring further life to your affirmations.

 
Or, meditate on your affirmations, like I do. Repeat the phrase over and over, feeling the words in your entire body. I try and visualise the ‘truth’ of the words and what that would look like for me.
Affirmations are personal. They should reflect your wants, your dreams, what you need from your life. That said, some of my favourite affirmations are vague enough to be relevant to many people. So, because YOU are wonderful, I shall share some of them with you.

I am beautiful.
I am worthy of exercise.
I am strong enough to do what is needed of me.
I am grounded on and supported by this earth.
I am safe and secure. All that I need will be provided for me.
I choose to make healthy choices.
I am healing. I am healed.
I am willing to believe that I can forgive.
I believe I can be happy.
I choose to stand tall and be proud.
I am actively creating my own contentment.
I am loved.

 

You need to believe the affirmation that you use. If you cannot believe the statement “I am beautiful”, change it to “I am willing to believe that I am beautiful”, or “I can choose to be beautiful”. Change the language of the statement so to make it more believable. Notice the variations of language that I use on my affirmations above. Some statements I am still distancing myself from, so that I can still believe in the truth of the statement. And that is ok. Like everything, this is a journey towards my improvement. If I was already ‘better’, there would be no need of improvement now would there? Start where you are, and take a small step … in any direction. That direction IS forward. And you, my friend, are worthy of betterment.
Perhaps one of these could be your first affirmation?
1. “I am willing to believe that I am worthy of betterment” or
2. “I believe that I am worthy of betterment” or
3. “I am worthy of betterment”.
What level/ number/ stage are you at, for this affirmation?

 
Do you like the affirmations I use? Are there any there that you could believe if you told them to yourself? Will you start telling yourself affirmations?
I would love to know if you already use affirmations, what words you tell yourself. Please leave a comment and let me know.

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Sounds of Inspiration – Guest post for Creating Contentment

All my life I have loved music. This easily stems back to my early childhood where the typical children’s songs and entertainment of the time {the very first version of The Wiggles} would be played for not much longer than an hour or two before Mum and Dad would turn it off, place a record from their collection in the player and blare it. Anything and everything in their collection was played – the list would fill this page – but it always had a decent beat, could be danced or sung to and was played loud. I loved it. It forms my fondest memories… music was always in the background.

From there music became the vice for me to cope with anything life could throw my way.

In December I picked a song that was ‘current’ of the moment that made me feel energised and inspired whenever I heard it. I thought this is the song, it is the one that I am using to remind myself of my strength and resilience, to promote confidence……

For the rest of the post, and to find out what the song is, head to Creating Contentment

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I hope you have enjoyed this post, I would love to know if anyone else has a song that is spurring them on at the moment,

Styling Positive,

Sarah/Kooklah — For the Style Seeking Girl

“a paediatrician and Centrelink”

Today I bring to you the now regular fortnightly guestpost from Sarah at Creating Contentment. It is a day late in posting – my apologies Sarah! – but is a fantastic read. What is below is a truly honest, heartfelt account that allows you to feel completely in the moment with Sarah and empathise with her feelings. It is a reminder of the power of positive thinking… how negativity can change perspectives of experiences. I really want to thank Sarah for the chance to be let into her world and for taking a risk at been vulnerable. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments or similar experiences, either via posting below this post, on our facebook page {click here} or commenting on instagram (@saregiak – me/FTSSG + @creatingcontentment) …….

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Recently I had two appointments straight after each other. One was to see our paediatrician for Third, and the next was with Centrelink.

These appointments were made a long time ago. I had made the appointment to see our paediatrician at our last appointment three months ago. Centrelink informed me that I had to attend a meeting with them about a month before hand. I added both to the calendar in my phone, and didn’t think more of it.

Two weeks out, I update our weekly family schedule. It was only then that I realised that I was double booked. Neither appointment was able to be changed. Our paediatrician is booked months in advanced, and we needed to see him before the start of the school year. And Centrelink? Well, it is just too difficult to call and talk to them.

So I had to be at our paediatrician’s at 10.30am. The Centrelink appointment was at 11am. It was near impossible to do both. To make matters worse, the paediatrician’s receptionist called to inform me that he was no longer going to travel to our area to visit clients, but they were willing to a give me the same appointment time and date if I travelled to see him. An hour away. I felt like I had no choice and agreed.

I told myself, and Husband, that Centrelink would not care if I was half an hour to an hour late. I told him that Centrelink would only stop our payments at the end of the day, not immediately, and hoped it was true.

From the moment I wrote up our weekly schedule on the family whiteboard I became anxious. I was worried about the logistics of time and place. I was stressing over the possible lack of income. I was very worried over the possible out come of both appointments.

The paediatrician has this power to take away and give me ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ children. His words have changed my life before. His words still shape my everyday. In a sense, everything started and stemmed from him.

And Centrelink, they have the power to take our income, to severely change our lifestyle, to change everything.

I dressed the morning of these appointment with trepidation. I was nervous and scared. I wore a big comfy cardigan to keep myself safe. I shared THIS  picture on Instagram.

Someone commented on the picture with these words:

“Think always positive @creatingcontentment get the good vibes going. Don’t ever go into an appointment with negativity and always have an open mind.”

These words really resonated with me. I told her, that she had a good point. A point that didn’t occur to me.

Like you, I am learning.

Like you, I am on a journey.

I often forget where I am going, and what I am doing it for.

I am not naturally positive. I am dark and morose, anxious and fearful. But I am hoping to change my ways. I am trying so hard to change my thoughts. Everyday, I am practicing. Everyday, I am getting more contentment and being a little bit less reactive.

This photo is now a reminded of my general attitude. That I often expect the worse and attempt to protect myself from it. Look at my body language, it is speaking volumes of how uneasy I am feeling.

Reread my words above.

Notice how I am dwelling on the negative in the past with our paediatrician. Notice how I am obsessing about the future. Notice how I judged. These are all easy ways to be negative. Thinking this way is the best way to make yourself feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed.

It is a reminder that I should look to the positive, that the positive is there. It is a reminder to practice my mindfulness. To focus upon the now. To embrace the possibility of positivity.

And the positive was there.

The paediatrician just wanted to have a chat. He wanted to check that I felt safe with Third going to a mainstream school. He wanted to write letters to the school offering support and assistance. He wanted to make sure that I felt good about the decisions we had made. He was being kind and generous.

Amazingly, so was Centrelink. They were double (triple) checking that my injury was still existent. They wanted to make sure that we were being provided with the full extent of benefits available to us. They wanted to book me in for further appointments in the hope of progression.

And you know what?

I hope that the next time I see Centrelink that I have progressed. I hope that I can begin to see more of the good. I hope that I can be more hopeful.

I’m going to start tomorrow right now.

Tomorrow is the first day back at school for First and Second. It is going to be great!!

What is going to be great for you?

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