Three Life Lessons That Have Made The Greatest Impact On My Life

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My dad has always told me, “we celebrate our successes and learn from our failures,” we never grow if we don’t stop and take time to reflect on the good and bad in whatever we have done. I’ve talked a lot about my recent mental health struggles. However, on reflection without the struggle there are so many things I wouldn’t have learned, which in turn have made me a much stronger woman today.

This week I want to share with you three life lessons which have made the greatest impact on me and are things I try and implement into every single day to develop me further as a person. These three things allow me to regularly check in and reevaluate where I’m at or how I am reacting to a situation and readjust my behaviour for a more favourable outcome. I’m not always perfect, I react in old negative habits sometimes but having a greater understanding of myself allows this behaviour to be less frequent and less futile to myself or my relationships.

Invest in yourself first

Let me ask you a question, how is anyone meant to help you with your low self-esteem/ self confidence/ mental health/ physical health ect if you won’t even do it yourself? Do whatever you can at whatever cost to look after number one (that’s you by the way) before anyone else. For me, it was seeking the counselling that I so desperately needed and working through my own hang ups in order to make progress. By taking the counselling I then further branched out into reading more by different specialists, working with a self empowerment coach and broadening my knowledge and learning about my behavioural patterns more and more in order to stop the bad behaviour from continuing. I still do this every damn day. Pick up a book, watch a TED Talk, read a psychology paper, meditate. Making the time to learn how to like yourself will not only better your relationship with yourself, with your friends and family, your colleagues, everyone who you reach on a daily basis will benefit. What you are putting out into the world will come back to you. I used to tell myself the story that I wasn’t worthy of being loved and I could only attract the wrong type of guy- so guess what? That’s exactly what I got. But when I started loving myself and having higher expectations of myself and others I attracted a fantastic man into my life who I love dearly. So, be careful what stories you tell, they will impact your life until you change them.

Do that project you think you can’t manage

That dream job/ project you’re always thinking about doing but never actually do anything about is only a dream because you’re not bringing it into reality. I never ever expected to be teaching yoga until it actually started to happen. I always day dreamed about doing it one day when the time was right and to be honest there never is a right time. I jumped straight in when my mental health was at it’s worst because I needed something to focus on and to keep me going. That has since launched into a small business I run alongside my day job. I’m also about to move from Scotland to England to begin a graduate scheme in digital marketing and I’m terrified of moving so far away from my friends, family and boyfriend, but it’s an experience I’ll learn so much from.

Do the thing you’re too scared to do. If you fail or find out it wasn’t for you then at least you can tick it off the list and learn so many different things from it. When I paid for my teacher training course I was worried that I might not even enjoy teaching at the end of it. But now I’m actually doing it I know how much joy it brings me and I learn from the different challenges I face every week and I thrive off building my own business and paying myself at the end of the month. If you never work on your own dreams you’ll end up working on someone else’s for them. Remember that.

Tell people you love them every single day

People are scared to put their heart’s on their sleeves these days. We are the generation who plays games when dating someone new and always has to have the upper hand keeping our heart’s closed off so they can’t see when they’ve hurt us. How are you meant to find a lasting, trustworthy relationship on those grounds. If you love someone tell them. Say it even if they don’t say it back and don’t close off when you don’t get the response you were maybe hoping for. I’ve learned that I would much rather put my all into a relationship; tell them I love them and talk about the future and have it all end than never be real, open and raw with someone. At least if it were all to finish you could walk away knowing that you gave it your everything and aren’t left wishing you had said or done things differently. Oh and tell your family it too, every single day because they’re equally as important.

Reflecting is a funny thing. It brings out all kinds of emotions in me but I love it all the same. Reflecting on the good allows me to be proud of how far I’ve come in life and reflecting on the not so great teaches me some of my greatest life lessons. Learn how to catch negatives and spin them into positives, whatever the situation you may be in.

Until Next Time,

XO

What is self care? Or more importantly, what isn’t it?

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As I write this post there are 5.1 Million #selfcare Instagram posts online. Posts full of inspirational quotes; bubble baths with pretty lush bath bombs; healthy dinner plates and yoga poses galore. Self care has become a buzzword and is expected to become the wellness word of the year. The question is, what is self care and why have we become so obsessed with it? Are we genuinely learning how to look after our mental health in order to better serve ourselves and others, or are we just following another online media trend?

The mental health awareness charity Mind, describe ‘Self Care’ as techniques or general lifestyle changes that allow individuals to create steps enabling them to manage their own mental health in a positive way.  These techniques differ from person to person, when I was suffering with depression I turned to my yoga practice to give me the opportunity to learn more about my thoughts and feelings and develop strategies when coping with the illness.

However, for others, self care may involve taking the time to cook a meal from scratch and enjoying it with a close friend or pouring a bath and giving themselves half an hour to read something that they enjoy or listen to an interesting podcast. What I’m getting at here is when practicing self care you have to do something which evokes feelings of love, care and joy within yourself. If  you are copying #selflove acts that someone posts online, but it isn’t bring you any form of happiness or contentment then you have fallen into the trap of following a trend and not developing healthy strategies to cope with the stresses that come up in daily life.

There has also been discussion in the media lately about whether self care is making Millennials more narcissistic and too involved in themselves. The term selfish gets a bit of a bad rep in British culture. If you’re ‘selfish’ people associate you to be someone who only thinks about themselves rather than do things to benefit others. However, I believe if you are consciously carving time out of your day for yourself, in order to recharge the batteries and calm the mind you will be able to serve others in a more productive way which not only benefits you it benefits those around you too.  In short, you’re probably not a narcissistic individual- well done for looking after yourself!

Self care isn’t a negative act, it’s an act of love and compassion towards yourself. I hope to teach people this in my future yoga classes and give them the opportunity to zone out from the world and channel their energy inwards to better themselves. This week I challenge you to take half an hour out of your day to do something that you love. Let me know in the comments below how it made you feel afterwards and if it allowed you to support your friends and family in a better way.

Until next time,

Megan xo

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