wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

Taking responsibility instead of blaming others

We have control over ourselves, we have the power.

By blaming someone, we give that power away, we give it to them. We are saying, it is your fault that I feel like this – which is essentially saying, you have control over me and my feelings.

Saying someone else creates your suffering is not taking responsibility for yourself. You are in control of your own life.

I used to really struggle with this. I would get so frustrated and upset because other people would do things that annoyed me. I blamed other people for my unhappiness. But it was my perception. I let myself get annoyed at external things beyond my control, until I learned that I control how I  view things.

Last week I began to get stressed and frustrated looking after a child who is pretty demanding and craves attention. My mind was on auto-pilot thinking, ‘ she’s so demanding, ungrateful, needy and controlling. it’s her way or no way.’ This kind of thinking just led me to feel more and more annoyed every time she’d have a new injury or be demanding my attention without any patience.

When I became aware of my thoughts I realized the effect they where having on my body (stress,anxiety,muscle tension) and how I was acting colder, blunter with the child. Both things I didn’t want.

So as I stepped out of auto-pilot, I took responsibility because I know that it was only my perception at fault. The way I was viewing the situation was as if my thoughts and assumptions where the truth. Thoughts and assumptions are not truth.

Instead I decided to be curious, this child would never choose to be this unhappy with herself, she doesn’t choose to get stressed out,cry at little things, she doesn’t choose to be so needy and demanding of her mum. There must be more depth to it than I am currently viewing. I understood she has insecurities, she needs attention because she is missing something. With understanding, I began to grow compassion and empathy and realised theres a lot more depth to this little person than I know.

There’s a lot more depth to each and every person, more than we will ever know.

So I had that transformation with our relationship, by taking responsibility and deciding to change my views instead of just blaming her for my anxious state.

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we recognize our power and control. We recognize the freedom of choice.

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Are you creating happiness or suffering for yourself?

Most of us hate the thought that we suffer because of our own thoughts or that we create unhappiness for ourselves. We want to blame someone else or other people’s actions or life situations for causing these negative emotions within us. But does that change or transform them? No, it’s just not accepting responsibility.

Im writing this post because I want us all to understand we are responsible for our happiness and for our suffering, when you understand that then you understand you have control over your thoughts and emotions and they don’t control you. Therefore you have the power and control over your happiness and suffering. You choose how to look at things and that’s what decides whether you are sad or happy.

And you may ask how? Whenever you’re sad or suffering in any form whether it’s anger, frustration, depression – question yourself -‘what thoughts am I thinking about myself and others?’ Because everything comes from thought. Thoughts manifest our reality and create our lives because a thought comes through in our words, actions and feelings.

Feelings of anger or resistance may arise within you from what I have just said, that’s not you that’s just the ego that’s inside each and every one of us. Put your ego aside and try it. Go through that feeling of resistance..

For example let’s say you are suffering because you’re feeling like the odd one out in your group of friends, perhaps you feel like you’re not as attractive, you don’t enjoy the same hobbies as them and you feel like they all know what they want in life because they’re smart and you have no idea and feel dumb. Think how those thoughts may be affecting your life. They are full of negativity, putting yourself down, comparing yourself to others and putting pressure on you.

So now you have awareness you would be able to identify these negative thoughts about the situation that makes you unhappy – great! Now you can change that because you have control over your thoughts. To turn it into a positive perspective, recognize that comparison is the thief of joy, there is no point comparing your beauty to another as we are all unique, there’s no one else on the planet like you and that is beautiful in itself. Focusing on what we do like about ourselves creates happy thoughts , whilst for example – perhaps wishing you had darker skin or bigger hips When in reality you are pale and slim, will only cause suffering because that’s not your body, it’s resisting what you are. show love for what you are and embrace it instead of trying to be something you’re not. Embracing our natural beauty is much easier than resisting and trying to change it!

we all have unique paths and different journeys, there is no smart and dumb because we all excel at different things and we’re all lacking in other things, sometimes it takes longer to find out what we excel in but isn’t that exciting, knowing there’s something out there to discover and be great at, you just have to experiment and try new things which is wonderful anyway.

You see everything changes when you change your perspective on things.

you decide whether you bring yourself suffering or joy.

i understand sometimes it’s difficult to see the other way of thinking if you’re too caught up in it, so perhaps ask a friend or write it down. Ask me and il happily try to find a positive outlook on a situation for you.

remember to take time out to think to yourself -what thoughts am I thinking that is creating this suffering or this happiness? Either is good to observe!

the sun is always shining 🙂

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Lose yourself to find yourself 

many people struggle with the feeling of losing themselves, not knowing who they are or finding who they are. If you consider yourself as one of these people, see it in a positive light. How can you find yourself if you weren’t to lose yourself in the first place? 

Here’s a paragraph from eckhart tolle’s book, A new earth: 

‘To the ego it will seem as if you were losing yourself, but the opposite is the case. Your ego is a form-identity, as your ego becomes less, you become more. If you are alert enough, you may be able to detect some of these unconscious patterns within yourself; 

Demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it. Trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene. Giving your opinion when nobody asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation. Trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks etc. Taking things personally, feeling offended, making yourself right and others wrong. 

Once you have detected such a pattern within yourself, I suggest you conduct an experiment. Find out what it feels like and what happens if you let go of that pattern. Just drop it and see what happens. 

De-emphasising who you are on the level of form is another way of generating consciousness. Discover the enormous power that flows through you into the world when you stop emphasising your ego, your form identity. ‘

I think this is a great paragraph for us all as I’m sure we can all find some truth within ourselves and those behavious. For some, reading that might make you feel angry, or your ego angry I should say. There’s so much truth in those words, it take guts to accept that truth within yourself. By becoming aware of that truth, you have the awareness to change and grow. 

We can only change things we don’t like once we become aware and accept our ego’s behaviour. Only when your ego feels small will you be able to grow as your true self. 

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The difference between reacting and responding

I have briefly touched up on the difference between reacting to a situation rather than responding. Some people have sensitive reaction modes and will be seen as short-tempered, mouthy or temperamental. Short-tempered people who fit that category of being reactive are the same as everyone else of course, it’s all unconscious behaviour, they’re unaware that their egos have taken over. We all tend to react from time to time, we have different fuses if you like.

Noticing when you are reacting is the key. Becoming aware, being present in the moment and thinking, ‘how can I respond to this?’ instead of being on auto-pilot without really thinking and then reacting.

When I say reacting, it usually means –

-Raised voice/Shouting

– Sarcasm

– Anger/Frustration

– Lashing out/ throwing things/ hitting things

Reaction = More conflict, suffering and negative feelings

Responding = Open, honest discussion. Solving and creating solutions, being aware on both parts.

With responding you are actually thinking about the situation. We essentially want to live in harmony amongst each other, not war, this means as individuals also.

I have a great example as I just had a situation I had to deal with.

A man sat next to me to watch a movie in the hostel, he smelled of alcohol and was drinking a bottle of wine so I knew he was pretty drunk from his behaviour. After a while he began stroking my leg, I waited a few minutes because I wasn’t sure if I was mistaken. But no, he was pretty obvious stroking my leg. I looked at him and he still didn’t stop. I didn’t know how to react or respond.. So I walked away.

Taking time out to think about the situation, I decided to confront him. I didn’t want drama, I just wanted him to be aware of his actions and know they weren’t appropriate. So calmly I just told him I didn’t think it was appropriate and that I now felt uncomfortable. He was full of apology and excuses, yet we where able to discuss the situation calmly and I hope I made him think about his actions.

If I had instantly reacted and shouted at him, he probably would’ve shouted back at me, denied it etc. I wouldn’t of got him to think about his actions or my feelings because by shouting we’re never really listening. Our minds are already in defense mode, we just want to keep going until we win. I would’ve offended him and he would’ve offended me back, with no solving just more drama and complication.

Usually the more we practise the easier it becomes, it becomes a habit. Think about what you want to create, do you want to create more drama and negativity? Or do you want to create a solution and solve things.

We say we want peace not war. Lets prove it, lets start changing things, beginning with ourselves. 🙂

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Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Everything that irritates us in others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

What do you think this means?

Do you ever think about why you get annoyed with people? Why that habit they have irritates you or the way they act or behave.

I read this quote a while ago and always tried figuring out where I could be behaving in the same way as the behaviour of others annoyed me.

I had a huge revelation whilst writing in my journal the other day. I was thinking about how I thought a guy I met had been special, yet I was open to meeting more special people in the future. However I didn’t like the thought of this one special guy wanting to go on and meet other special girls – I liked the thought of me being the only special girl, otherwise My mind said I wasn’t special at all.

You can imagine the confusion in my mind because to me I could meet several special people, all different and special to me. Yet if the tables where turned and the special guy met new special girls, my mind would say that I wasn’t special to him at all. It didn’t count the same for him that he could meet several special girls all different and special in each way to him. It woke me up to the fact that sometimes I think a situation is different before I even consider how I would act if I was in the other persons shoes?

Have you ever been the victim to someone treating you badly in a relationship or friendship? Perhaps your friend bailed on you to hang out with her new boyfriend, perhaps your boyfriend flirted with his ex.. Things that are bound to annoy you, things that make you question your relationship/friendship. Yet you may never question your love for your friend/partner of you where to bail on them or flirt with your ex. You don’t see it as anything wrong because you know you love your friend/ partner.. Yet they see your behaviour and feel unloved.

Usually we find it hard to recognize our own faults, me very much included. Sometimes others help us become aware of them , yet other time a good factor is to just look at what annoys us.. We will usually find we’re behaving exactly the same way to the same person or another.

Sometimes we need to think outside our bubble and take a step to look at our actions, how would we feel in the other persons shoes. Usually we can resolve whatever annoys us because we find it within ourselves too.

Have a think, write down people/things/behaviours/actions that annoy you and see if you can recognize yourself jn any of them. Be true, honest and open, that’s how you will break through the problem.

Good luck and remember writing a journal is great for figuring stuff out 🙂

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How not to take things personally

When someone calls us names, criticises us, makes fun of us or disagrees with us – we usually take it personally.

We take it to heart and it causes us suffering. We usually re-play that comment or situation in our minds, constantly reminding ourselves of that suffering which leads to more suffering and depression.

When we take things personally we take it as a personal attack and our ego’s instinct is to personally attack back.

For example – If I was to say your car was green, and you where to say no it’s blue. We would take the disagreement personally and argue because both our ego’s want to be right and the other person to be wrong. The argument in itself is pointless because does the car care what colour we say it is? no. Therefore who are we trying to prove ourselves to = ourselves.

It’s not easy, it actually is quite hard to not take something personally because we believe that it is personal, until we are able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

For example, When you may cook someone food and ask for their honest feedback, they may say it was bland. That will probably hurt your feelings and you may think right, they dont like me, i dont care what they think anyway, i dont like them now.

When in reality, you could put yourself in their shoes and see that they gave you what you asked for, honest feedback with good intention – so that you could learn and improve from this mistake. We have no failures in life – only when we don’t learn anything. For example you could beat yourself up and think, my dinner was crap it was a failure, i am a failure – when it actually was a great success because you learned from that experience to add some more flavour. The real failure would’ve been for everyone to pretend it was good, and you would carry on serving the same bland food.

In first instance we will usually take things personally, you might ask ‘how can I not take it personally when I have someone shouting in my face saying I did a bad job, I am useless’ etc. That is a personal attack on you, yes. But you choose whether to take it personally.

Thought a – You can choose to think ‘Maybe I am useless, i hate that person, who do they think they are talking to me like that! I’m going to give them a taste of their own medicine, see how they like it when I tell them they’re ugly and nobody likes them’

Or you can choose thought b – think ‘Wow, they are having a bad day, something is really troubling them. If it wasn’t me, it would’ve been someone else having all that negative emotion thrown at. Maybe I should show them some love and be here if they need someone to talk to’

You see, whenever someone personally attacks you it isn’t because its personal for you, its personal for them. They have some issues they need to work on, they have emotions they aren’t coping with so they need to put them out there and get a reaction. They need to argue, shout, scream, it’s unfortunate that it comes out for you, but if you weren’t there it would’ve been someone else anyway. That’s how it shows its not for you to take personally as it could’ve been anyone.

If you look at the two scenarios you can see how both would have different endings. If you where to think a – you can see how it would lead to more arguing, personally attacking each other, damaging each other and causing no good, only misery and pain.

Where as thought b – you would perhaps begin to feel sorry for this person, you cant imagine what they must be going through to have so much anger and hatred inside them. You would start to feel compassion for them and not take on board their hurtful words so it would not cause you suffering. Maybe you would in fact even give this person a shoulder to cry on and say, what really is the problem here, do you want to talk about it.

The same goes for when we are feeling angry, upset or frustrated and we take it out on someone else. Perhaps then we need to question, what is really bothering me.

These situations crop up in life daily, only when we can recognize them in ourselves and others can we begin to understand that we dont need to take personal attacks, personally. And when we are at the receiving end, maybe we should give our attackers love, care and ask them what’s truly wrong. Instead of automatically attacking them back, which only creates grief.

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How the way we think causes suffering, not the situation itself.

We tend to blame people or situations for causing us unhappiness and suffering, yet this is not truly the case.

It’s not the situation or people who cause us suffering but the way we think about it, deal with it and react to it.

For example the same unfortunate things happen to people every day, yet each person thinks about that situation differently and has different levels of suffering.

Today I found myself causing myself pain, hurt and more suffering over something that wasn’t very important.

I had been told today I had the afternoon off so I made plans with a lady I met to go swimming in the Billabong. As it is my last week here and I had become friends with this lady, I thought it’d be special to go swimming in it together and sharing the experience. However plans changed and I had to work the lunchtime shift and my friend was leaving straight after lunch so with no one to cover me, it was not possible for me to go swimming with her.

I felt upset, annoyed and angry. I had these plans and I had to work when I was told I didn’t have to.

I was very aware of my feelings, i knew I was upset and angry and was looking for someone to blame.

So I took a step back at the bigger picture, did I enjoy feeling like this? No. Then why was I doing it to myself – It wasn’t the end of the world.

Then another thought piped up – ‘It’s such a nice sunny day though, it would’ve been perfect to go swimming there today, and it would’ve been a great experience before Elenoor left.’

That thought right there was doing no good, only harming myself further – causing me more suffering to feel angrier and upset.

I observed that thought closely and felt how that single sentence in my mind caused me many more negative emotions. Did they change the situation? no. They just made me feel worse so what was the point?

Instead I decided I can look at it a different way, accept that it just wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps there would’ve been a snake or something in there that I avoided, perhaps it wouldn’t of been to my expectation. And I can always go again, perhaps I just need to challenge myself and go alone. There where endless possibilities of ways I could look at the situation in a positive way, that didn’t cause me suffering.

Once I had changed my view of thinking and accepted the situation, I felt a weight had been lifted. It just wasn’t as important anymore, I couldn’t change it but I could change my way of thinking about it.

Every day in life we cause ourselves suffering from viewing situations negatively. When plans change, things dont go our way or how we expected.. it’s easy for negative thoughts to pop up – but we dont have to listen to them.

We can observe our thoughts and feel the emotions they create inside our bodies. Negative emotions don’t tend to feel nice or good to us so surely it makes sense for us to stop and look at the bigger picture, not let the ego react.

Emotions come as a reaction in our body to our thoughts. Think positive thoughts, you will feel happy. Feel negative emotions and you will feel stressed, anxious, fearful, angry, annoyed etc. Maybe like my situation, negative thoughts will pop into your head first and cause you to feel angry and upset, thats ok, just let them flow through you and observe them, then you can decide actually I dont want to feel like this, so i choose to see the situation differently, positively.

There’s always a positive outlook, we just need to find it.

The sun is always shining 🙂

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