Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Learning to re-focus

What you focus on grows.

If I were to ask you to focus on something, for example the peacock, your mind would be filled with the image of the peacock and the colour. Your concentration would be directed on the bird. The more time you spent thinking about it, the more your thoughts would develop about the peacock - what it was doing, where it was etc. 
More time = more thoughts. 
Where am I going with this, you might think? 
Well the same principle applies to negative thinking. 

If we slip into the dark abyss of negativity, we may find ourselves plummeting right to the bottom of it. You may think that it happens 'all of a sudden', but it doesn't always. Sometimes the sinking is a consequence of feeding the negativity, nourishing it and letting it grow. When our minds begin to race and the negative onslaught begins, it is usually compounded by more negativity. Which then leads us to the bottom of that dark pool.
So how do we stop it?

Simple. Do not feed the negativity. 
Do not focus on it. 
Register the negative thought but react to it by shutting the negative invader down. 
Somebody once said to me before, change the reaction to your reaction and then take action. It sounds like a mouthful, but it makes so much sense. 
Your reaction to a situation may be to berate yourself and think negatively. Instead of reacting to that negativity with more negativity, treat yourself with compassion. 
What I mean is, when the negativity comes, choose to react to it by being kind to yourself and then physically doing something to distract yourself in a non-destructive manner. Distraction is a great cure to the stubborn negativity. 

What I find are really great distractions are the things that I am passionate about or that I enjoy doing. Here is a list of some feel-good distractions. Try a few out until you find which one you enjoy doing or that works for you. If none on the list appeal to you, do try to think of something you might like because with the negativity, there is always an excuse not to do something so ensure that you get up and DO IT anyway :)

Watch a movie - 
movies are great distractions. Allow yourself to become immersed in the storyline and your thoughts will only be consumed by the plot of the movie

Get creative - 
you might discover or re-discover a talent that you have. And even if you think that you're 'not a creative person', here me when I say this - everyone has the ability to be creative!! You can try - gardening, cooking, dancing, drawing, painting (paint by numbers are great!!), photography, sewing, writing, wood-work, lego-building, anything that you think might be interesting!

Listen to music - 
it can fill your ears with words that aren't your own negativity. Listen to music that makes you feel lighter however, and not wallow

Do some house-work - 
this may sound ridiculous to you but it is a very satisfying thing. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and at the same time distracts you! 

Watch a TV programme - 
there are so many to choose from, pick one that you enjoy and switch it on. If you don't have a TV, the internet has great websites like Netflix that have an endless choice of things to watch

Read a book - 
go to your local library or bookshop and pick up a book to read. Reading is a fantastic way to distract your mind as your imagination is being used to create the world of the story the way only you can uniquely see

Whichever distraction you find works for you, do it and do it often. Give yourself plenty of credit for taking the action and changing your reaction to the reaction. 

Do not linger on the negativity and you will reap the rewards of your efforts in feeling a lot lighter and a lot more at peace. 

You deserve more than the negative thoughts that encroach your mind.

Enjoy distracting yourself :)

Dare to Live SOS

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Ripple Effect - When you Deprive Yourself, You Deprive Others

So my entry is taking a different perspective on suicide, but just as I type that, I think to myself, well, all of our accounts are looking at this topic through different eyes.

The topic of suicide is so close to my heart as it could have taken everything away from me. To me everything is my world as I have come from a place where I felt I had nothing. You see, I am the indirect effect of what suicide. The ripple effect we don't always see or talk about. It nearly took from me my hero, my inspiration, my mentor, my mother and in turn my life. This is a little letter that I wanted to write to her when she was in that dark place. I wasn’t there in that place and time, but if I had the ability to write to her that day this is what I would write :

Dear Mam,

My name is ***********, I am writing to you from a future date, with a plee. Please do not make this decision. There is a future ahead of you. I am your daughter, yes I know they told you that you couldn't have kids, but trust me Mam, you are going to learn not to always believe everything you hear. Especially this voice in your head that is telling you today is the day. You see, I need you. I too have gone through times that were difficult and challenging at times, but because of you choosing against this voice you have helped me to get through them and have given me life, based on your life learnings.

Mam, I love you and I need you, if you make this decision today, you are stealing many things. You are taking your life, you are taking mine and you are taking my children’s life too. There are consequences to this decision, I don't want you to feel guilty, but empowered. I need you to fight today. I need you to fight today, for tomorrow, both yours and mine together.

I know today is an extremely dull day, you are walking through the rain without an umbrella, you cannot even feel how cold and wet you are right now,I understand that life just seems to be a constant passerby that you are always missing to connect with. Today doesn't have to be the day to end it all, today can be the day to start it all. For you, for me and our family.

Today you have the power to change your future and many others. Your actions have a consequence, and today you can choose to use it to create life not end it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tuesdays snippets of Inspiration

There are some people I have seen on YouTube over the years that have brought me to tears. They are incredibly inspirational and can be great sources of motivation to be grateful for our own lives. Do you ever think I am so lucky I can see, hear, feel, taste, touch. The simple pleasures we experience in life some people do not have such fortune. I encourage you today to look these people up, even if just to remind you how fortunate you are;

1. Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with the rare Tetra-amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh. Despite the absence of limbs, he is doing surf and swimming, and playing golf and soccer. He went college and completed an a Accounting and Business degree and  He began his travels as a motivational speaker, focusing on teenagers and problems in their lives. Check him out on youtube he is incredible.

2. Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. She went to college and completed a psychology degree. She can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license and she was the first to fly a plane with no arms.

3. Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch died in July 2008. He was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer, a terminal illness, in September of 2006. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 which became a popular YouTube video. Check his video out today. In his famous speech, Pausch showed a list of his childhood dreams, and explained how he achieved each of them. 

These are just three people, some of whom defied odds of life, they took their power back and used their dreams as inspiration and the cards they had been dealt to help others.
We all have a purpose, we can all heal and then use this to help heal others.
Be the best you you can be, you too can be that inspiration.

Love Dare a To Live SOS

Monday, 9 June 2014

Personal Monday: A Turning Point

I find this quite challenging to write as I dive back into what where my thoughts and feelings not so long ago.
I don't know how to put into words the torturous mind game I was playing with myself- where there was no winner besides the malicious voice living in my brain who triumphed by my dark and miserable state. The future seemed unbearable; I was repulsed by my own reflection and life. I believed I had accomplished nothing and I was nothing. Every day was achour, another 24 to live a life I desperately wanted to escape, leaving behind no trace of myexistence. I couldn't bare to see the pain in my mams eyes when she was around 'me'. All she wanted was to see me content and well and tried so hard but the only person who could escape me from this state was myself. Yet, I resisted. I didn't are about anything, nothing mattered, I was numb. Total abyss...
I believed the voice that told me I had nothing to offer this world. My existence didn't matter so why was I here? Fear and panic where the only emotions/feelings I knew. There was no room for fun or laughter-because nothing was fun about this game.
My only desire was escape. Before my eyes I slowly watched myself disappear, the once bubbly girl I knew was no more. Every organ slowly failing one by one and I still didn't care. I was too disconnected from myself and the world around me to even notice.
The biggest turning point in my recovery was a few months before I began the leaving cert at a doctor’s appt. I was told if I didn't change NOW I would be dead in two months and there wouldn't be a leaving cert to sit. When I heard this it didn't registrar that it was actually me in this position. The thought of not being here now literally terrifies me. On the way home from that doctors appt. I watched my mam break down in front of me pleading with me to stop listening to that voice and actually take a look at the situation I was in. The pain in her eyes and voice is something I will never forget. Instead of feeling bad about the pain I've caused her I now use it as motivation to never make her feel like that again. Despite what I thought I am her pride and joy and she loves me with every cell in her body. I Thought if I couldn't save my life for me I would do it for her and hopefully I might see the light...
A song that was playing on that long car journey home was 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk, this may seem like a strange song to get inspiration from (I suppose you can find inspiration from anywhere you look if you really try) but a line which really stood out for me was 'We've come too far to give up who we are'. I had been on this planet 18 years! I had come too far to give up on life and the possibility that things will get better!
I wanted to want to be here and at the time that was enough. That was all the motivation I needed. Very slowly but surely I learned to press mute on that voice and see every day as an opportunity. Everyday has the potential to be the best day of your life so why not today?YOOU DECIDE! It only takes one day to realise what you want and turn your life around. I had a choice... LIFE OR DEATH? I choose life and if I didn't the women I know I am today wouldn't be here.
I have hope for my future. I want true love, exploration, discovery, laughter, real tears, friendship, experiences, EVERYTHING and It is all possible because I choose to see it like this. Hope is the foundation to believing things will and do get better! It is so easy to sit and let life pass you by, but stand up and fight for what you want. Be the inspiration and change you want to see. Suicide is not an answer to challenging times. There is always a solution and that has taken me a long time to believe but I can now honestly say there IS always something you can do. Maybe along with the help of someone who understands.Things can and will get better.
Everyone deserves to live the life they dream of, that includes YOU!

Dare To Live SOS

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Have you ever heard of a vision board or a dream board?? A vision board is a simple yet powerful visualization tool that manifests your dreams into reality by activating the Law of Attraction (as discussed in the book and filM...The Secret). I can honestly say from my experience that it really works!
 It consists of a poster of cut-out pictures, drawings and phrases of the things that you want in your life, or the things that you want to become. Of course it can also be done as I have done myself on an iPad. There are plenty of apps, I love the wish board app.
Some examples include: pictures of places you would like to travel, your favorite car, dream man/woman, health goals, your career goals, inspirational quotes, pictures of friends and famiy, hobbies, really anything that you love and that inspire you. 
The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with positive images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live and the things you are grateful for, your life changes to match those images and those desires. The law of attraction at play!! When we express gratitude, we bring more into our lives to be thankful for. Although it may seem otherwise at times, we all have many things to be grateful for. If you are reading this blog, then you can be grateful for your eyesight and for being able to read! Sometimes when we feel in the out of darkness or depression it can be hard to find something to be grateful for. But dig deep there is lots to be grateful for in life. 

I have made many vision boards ver the years. I placed phrases and pictures of things I wanted to achieve onto a white board. I kept it in my room,  so every day when I walked through my room I would glance at my goals and dreams. Looking back on them with my husband frightens and excites me and  I can truly tell you that 80 or 90 percent of the things I placed on the board have become my reality. And a very happy reality, too!
Supplies needed:
  • Scissors
  • Assortment of Magazines/Websites (Pinterest/Tumblr)
  • A piece of cardboard (as big as you like)
  • Glue 

Start cutting out images and phrases of the things you love and want to see in your future onto the cardboard in any way, shape or form. You can be as creative as you desire. This is your personal masterpiece! And then, place it in a position where you will be able to view it regularly.  
 Happy Sunday everyone, focus on simplicity and your dreams will follow, This week dedicate half an hour of your day to yourself. Shut your door and sit quietly with a book, magazine and a cup of 
tea. Give yourself some quite time. It is vital for managing stress levels and overall hormonal 

Love Dare To Live SOS

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Can you believe it's the weekend again already!?

Ok, so the sun is meant to be hiding again this weekend, but that doesn't mean we have to hide along with it!! There are plenty of things on around the city if you live in Dublin, or you could take a trip up to the big city smoke!?

Movies, for example, can be great therapy. Bad neighbours is a very easy watch and more importantly will have you laugh a lot out loud. We sometimes can take life sooooo seriously but laughing can be such an anxiety and stress reliever. If bad neighbours is not your cup of tea there is 22 jump street or a million ways to die in the west. Anything that is light will help.

What about a trip to the zoo? You don't have to have young kids or a love of animals to check out the local zoo in your area. It could be fun!!

A trip to the markets with a friend can be a good pick me up. The tendency can be to isolate when we feel low but actually in these situations reconnecting with a friend, getting a coffee, pottering around the local market with different types of food, art, clothing can be a great distraction and tool to reconnecting with life.

How about a trip to the theatre? An ideal husband is on in the Gate theatre with great reviews. Check out the link here:

Finally, find ways to reconnect with you, your true essence. How about a nice yoga class? In Dartmouth square they do outdoor yoga for €5 at 11am on at Saturday. Yoga is a beautiful way to reconnect and feel a part of this world.

Life is so short, it is so important to appreciate all that you have now. Maybe you could do a little gratitude list of what you do have in your life. Dedicate a few minutes before going to sleep, breath into it and jot down a few things you are grateful for. It does not have to be a list the length of your arm, just a few points. We ALL have something to be grateful for.

Happy weekend reconnecting!

Dare To Live SOS