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Uncertainty – What is In Your Control?

In my previous post, I talked about uncertainty. We feel uncertain when we can’t control or predict what the future will bring. We feel out of control.

Our inability to control what’s going on around us evokes in us an array of very disturbing emotions.

So what can we do with this unpredictability, uncertainty and lack of control?

The Serenity Prayer gives us the answer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference’- Reinhold Niebuhr

Out of those three options, the wisdom to know the difference is the most crucial.

We need discernment, wisdom to know what we can or can’t change.

So where do you think discernment comes from?

If you have been reading my posts, you would know it by now. If not, I invite you to read my post about your innate wisdom and intelligence.

In short, discernment comes from a quiet place, when you can cultivate silence and stillness, e.g. in meditation, yoga, walking in nature, practising mindfulness, or other reflective methods.

Those methods bring you into this magical moment of total peace and joy, where you can access the deeper, wiser part of you. However, you need to learn how to listen, be present, slow down. Please read my post on how to recharge yourself.

When you know how to access this inner wisdom, then you will be able to determine not just what you CAN change, but also what you CAN’T.

If you can’t change or influence something, what’s the point of worrying about it. The best course of action is to:

LET GO

and

SURRENDER

If you can’t change, or if making changes is not in your power, You have been given the opportunity to practice surrender.

As my yoga teacher, says: ‘Change is the only constant in your life.

However, if you have the power to change something, you can do it in the following ways:

· Keep yourself emotionally healthy (I will write more about this in a future post)

· Ground yourself when you feel fearful, anxious, scared, etc.

· Live your life in a conscious way by introducing rituals to it.

What are rituals? They are mindful ways of living, conscious ways to conduct your life. It happens when YOU are really present during any activity. You are not on autopilot. You sense, feel, hear, see what is around you. You don’t live in your head, unaware of what is going on.

When you ‘ritualise’ your life, you will feel more present, alive, joyful and more grounded. Life’s ups and downs will not have that much power to decentre you. You will have more resilience to deal with what life introduces you to, or gives you an opportunity to learn from, to experience it from a different point of view, to change perspective, to step back or to let go and surrender.

With this new attitude, your life will take a completely different meaning.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

P.S. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences on how you deal / have dealt with uncertainty. I’d love to hear from you.

Uncertainty – You have a choice!

The past few months have been so different from anything we’ve ever encountered. There’s so much uncertainty about our future, and how things will turn out. We have never had to go through anything vaguely resembling what is going on now.

We feel fear, and we worry because we can’t know, predict what the future will hold for us. This is what is called UNCERTAINTY.

But what is more disturbing is our inability to control or predict what the future will bring.

Our inability to control what’s going on around us evokes an array of other emotions, which are bobbing up and down, disturbing us like never before.

It’s so unnerving — this feeling of constant change.

We are not used to it. We don’t like it. We want to get rid of it.

Change makes us uneasy, fearful that we may lose control. It’s this fear of losing control that unsettles us.

We like stability and predictability. We want to know what is going to happen, day in and out.

But what are you willing to pay for this habitual life?

What are you prepared to sacrifice for the comfort of predictability?

Carl Rogers’ quote might give you perspective on known versus unknown:

“I realize that, if I were stable, prudent, and static, I would live in death. Therefore, I accept confusion, uncertainty, fear, and emotional ups and downs. Because that is the price, I am willing to pay for a fluid, perplexing, and exciting life.” — Carl Rogers (the most renowned psychotherapist of the 20th century).

So, we have two options: one is to embrace uncertainty and live the life of discovery and excitement. The alternative, as Carl Rogers said, is ‘…TO LIVE IN DEATH’. The choice is yours.

If you want to live an exciting and interesting life, you need to embrace uncertainty.

You have a choice.

I know what I choose. And YOU?

On the other hand, there are some things that you ARE in control of. More about that next time.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

P.S. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences on coping with uncertainty. I’d love to hear from you.

Just Be Yourself! How Difficult Can That Be?

Don’t be afraid of being yourself. We hear it all the time. But HOW?????

We, as children, were always taught to behave ourselves.

To comply with the requirements of adults, rules and expectations, at home and at school.

We did all that’s possible to fit in, to be accepted, to belong. Just to get a little bit of love and not be to rejected, while all the time our souls were screaming out loud …NOOOOOOO!!!

In order to be accepted by them, we needed to suppress our True Selves.

And in the process of fitting in we have lost this feeling of authenticity. Because being yourself was not allowed, it was not accepted. You had to fit in, be like others, to be less flamboyant, less expressive, sit quietly, not to be “disruptive”, to be complacent, not to stand out, and NEVER be DIFFERENT and so on …

As a child, if you were playful or noisy, you were punished, and god forbid if you expressed any anger. ANGER is not allowed for children. This emotion is exclusively reserved for adults. Some adults will then take this suppressed anger out on others or themselves.

Being yourself was simply FORBIDDEN.

Now, you may be wondering why YOU can’t just be free, be YOURSELF. It’s because you’ve had years of conditioning to be a very good obedient little child. You have forgotten, you stopped feeling, stopped sensing, stopped believing in what is possible, and who you really are!

We have lost this joy, innocence, fun, playfulness, laughter, the beauty of being ourselves.
And become sooo SELF-CONSCIOUS.
Afraid to be free, to express this wild sense of ‘me’.
Afraid of being judged, ridiculed, punished or abandoned.

Being yourself means being free to express yourself, and to live your life to the full.

The freedom of living out your dreams.

BUT HOW DIFFICULT CAN THAT BE?

More about this next time…

See you soon.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena
P.S. I’d love to hear from you. I’m curious if something resonated or spoke to you.

Start With — Being Kind to Yourself.

HOW difficult can this be? — you might ask.

For a long time, I found that being kind to myself was extremely tough for me. Even now, with all the uncertainty, I still expect a lot of myself.

It is getting better day by day, but I need to remind myself that it is a process of getting to know and cherish myself.

I used to drive myself so hard, working tirelessly, and never knew when to stop. I was expecting the best from myself, but and no matter what I did, 

IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH!

I was never satisfied.

I was always striving to do more, to be better, to improve, to achieve more, to learn more.

This was like an uncontrollable, invisible thing which was driving me crazy and sometimes to total exhaustion.

No matter what I did, it was never enough for me.

After some time spent in meditation and pondering on this, I realised that deep down I feel that:

I AM NOT ENOUGH.

That I needed to achieve, in order to be ‘deserveable ‘.

and

I needed to accomplish more to be loveable.

That feeling that we’re not enough stems from our childhood when we were only acknowledged when we performed well, brought home good grades or did something to make our parents proud. So they, in return, would love us.

Love given to us was conditional, was based on performance and achievement. We did not believe that being uniquely ourselves was in itself a gift and a miracle.

This is the reason that throughout our lives we feel unworthy of love, not accepted. We feel that doing and achieving more will gain people’s approval, love and acceptance.

The feeling that I’m not enough is one of the most difficult emotional wounds to heal.

I still struggle with this from time-to-time. It’s difficult to have kindness, compassion and appreciation for myself, but I’m getting better at it.

This feeling of unworthiness permeates through the core of one’s being, and no matter what you do, no matter how much you try, it doesn’t go away.

Being aware of this ‘not enough’ core feeling is the first step to freeing yourself from it.

The second step is to really nurture yourself, to care for yourself, treat yourself as you would treat somebody very precious to you:

– Listen to your body, to what it needs right now. Maybe you need to rest, do less not more? Do YOU need to be with others or on your own at this moment? What do YOU need, as opposed to what others expect from you?

– To discern what YOU are feeling right now. What is the emotion YOU need to acknowledge and feel? Allow yourself to feel the sensation fully, without denying it and pushing it away. (For more on emotions generally, please read my other post https://marzenapenfold.com/emotions-are-the-language-of-our-souls/)

– Be more understanding of yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. This is good enough.

It isn’t easy. It’s a long process of being compassionate, understanding, and in tune with yourself, but it’s so worth it. It’s so wonderful to free yourself from this insatiable feeling of not being enough. You don’t need to do anything to be deserving of love.

The third step requires courage and a radical shift in the understanding of who you think you are:

YOUR BIRTHRIGHT IS LOVE, JOY AND PEACE.

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

And When The Night Comes…

During the day, we get extremely busy trying to avoid our emotions. We find a lot of activities to make ourselves SOOOO busy, so we don’t have to deal with them. This way we pretend that they don’t exist, but deep down inside we really know they won’t go away.

But then the DREADED night comes, and we can’t escape them anymore.

There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, and…

Emotions keep us AWAKE all night.

Anxiety, fear, dread, worry will not let us sleep.

When we don’t allow ourselves to feel them during the day, they creep up and demand our attention at night. 

We can’t sleep, and we feel irritated because we know we need to sleep.

But sleep won’t come. The more we try to sleep and fail to do so, the more frustrated we become and the loop of exasperation continues, round and round…

Do you know how this feels?

I do!

This is what I do when I get overwhelmed by my emotions at night:

  • I get up. I don’t stay in bed because it only perpetuates anxiety and frustration.
  • I make myself a cup of herbal tea, wrap myself in a warm blanket and contemplate.
  • I actually love these peaceful, quiet moments, when everybody is asleep. The world itself is sleeping, and I can watch and listen to what is going on inside my body and mind.
  • Everything looks so much more peaceful, and I would even say beautiful, kind of enchanting maybe. Sometimes I stay in that meditative state for an hour or two, and afterwards, the body and the mind get quieter, more peaceful, and I’m ready to sleep.

Be gentle and kind to yourself – especially now, because these are exceptional times, and we have never had to encounter anything like this before.

If you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, fed up and angry with what is going on:

That is also OK. That’s how you feel right now.

You are managing the best you can at this moment.

Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Rest, be, allow yourself some comfort, love, attention and acceptance.

If you need some tips on how to nourish yourself, please click here to read my blog on this : https://marzenapenfold.com/what-can-you-do-to-nourish-yourself-today/

And when you are ready to acknowledge your emotion, I invite you to also read this blog : https://marzenapenfold.com/emotions-are-the-language-of-our-souls/

And remember

BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

What Can You Do To Nourish Yourself TODAY?

In light of recent developments, when we are surrounded with so much change and uncertainty, we need, more than ever, to find ways of looking after ourselves.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Again — I’m stating the obvious — You’re your main priority. If you don’t look after yourself, you will not be able to help others in need, especially at the moment.

2. I sincerely encourage you to limit the amount of TV and social media. News is designed to create angst, fear and nervousness. Some of us are addicted to news, but it increases your tension and stress levels. By all means, be informed, but if you can limit watching the news and scanning social media to once or twice a day, you will notice a GREAT reduction in your levels of stress.

3. Drink water and eat well. Avoid junk food — it drains your energy further.

4. Give yourself time to rest, to reflect, and nourish.

Read, meditate, do yoga, gardening, journaling, listening to music, drawing, painting, etc.

It is a perfect time to go inside yourself, to be more aware. Spend some time recharging yourself, to create a self-healing, soothing and nurturing environment.

5. Exercise, move your body — this is ESSENTIAL!! Try a little bit daily to get yourself started. Even just 5–10 minutes a day to start with. This will help to ground you, reduce worry and anguish.

6. Sleep! At least 8 hours a day. Rest as much as your body needs, so you can recharge yourself for the next day.

7. Last but not least: Help others. Call your friends/family, support others who might need you, in whatever way you can. 

Please feel free to share your self-care practices….

With all my love ❤️
Marzena

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. I’m curious if something resonated or spoke to you.

What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Ever Received?

I remember there was a time as an adult when my self-worth was very low.
Around that time, my father had a number of disagreements with my young son. On one occasion, he had treated my son in a, particularly bad way.

Although at that time I wouldn’t have defended myself against my father, I leapt to the defence of my son. As a mother, I would not allow anybody to hurt my son, I would have fought for him no matter what.

Later on, I was recalling this incident to my counsellor, and to this day I remember myself saying: “I don’t mind being mistreated by my father, but I will never tolerate him doing it to my son.”

And I still, all these years later, clearly recall how my counsellor responded.

She asked me:
“WHY DO YOU THINK THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE RESPECTED?”

WOW! How simple and powerful THAT was. I realised then how little value I had for myself. I also deserved to be treated with respect.
It was the most profound AHA moment for me. It changed my life.

THAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED.

This new understanding has significantly helped my life turn out for the better.

Because They Are Our Parents, It Does Not Give Them A Licence To Disrespect Us.

WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE, RESPECT AND APPRECIATION.

With all my love
Marzena