Stress: changing my fear into love

It’s autumn holiday in The Hague. We are very much enjoying the free time. I love to sleep in, eat when I feel like it and as a family we are reorganizing the house. Our project is to move into the biggest bedroom. This one was split in half with a wall in between when I was pregnant with our youngest. Now almost 21 months.

The sole purpose of this wall was to provide our children with their own space. Turns out our youngest had his own plan. He turned our plan upside down by sharing continuously that he didn’t want to sleep by himself. Because of his resistance we got into the benefits of co-sleeping again.

The big house change engineered new streams of positive energy through all rooms. Our daughter moved back to her original room and is very happy with more space and her privacy. We got ourselves a new (secondhand) closet and mattresses. We sleep on cheap light wooden beds and quite expensive mattresses filled with all kinds of natural material.

This morning we woke up to a new closet looking into the contents of it, because the doors are still waiting to be put in their place. We made it to Ikea for extra shelves and storage. Unfortunately the decision to accompany my partner caused a bit of stress. The hick-up was the time-frame. We should have left earlier for Ikea so that my daughter and I would have more time to arrive at our theatre performance.

Now I was emotionally challenged to change my fear into love. The fear of running late and missing the performance into love; telling our friends that we would be later and calling the theatre to ask if they would let us in. They would if we wouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes late. This meant we would be at least on time to see the whole lot of the performance. This helped me to get back into a loving state of mind. Luckily we were in our seats five minutes after the performance had started.

All together I felt stressed for only a few minutes. I’m happy everything turned out fine. But for a next time: I will listen and act upon my initial feeling of staying home with my daughter to have lunch. Afterwards we would cycle to the theatre and be there at least fifteen minutes aheads of time, because to me that is part of going to the theatre: taking time to enjoy my quality time with my daughter and absorb creative storytelling.

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Yoga: a silent and inspiring place

As you may have already noticed: I started yoga last week. Although it’s only my second week of regular yoga practice I’m definitely reaping the benefits of it.

What I like about the classes I take at yogastudio Linggan is the studio I enter. From the moment I cross the threshold I’m surrounded by a happy and relaxing atmosphere. Linggan chose for a colour combination of fuchsia pink, black and white. This colour combination can be found on cushions, candles and flowers. They are located in city centre the Hague. Perhaps the atmosphere is better felt because of leaving the city center and entering an oasis of quietness.

Of course, experiencing the location as such, comes down to if one is able to open up for yoga as it is being teached. Some people still hear an occasional car or scooter driving by. Or people who clash their bags with ornaments against the window and feel disturbed by the noise. I hear the noise but I don’t feel disturbed. I’m very much concentrated on changing from one pose into another and keep breathing while doing this. By the way, breathing is what we do during the entire class.

I’ve noticed that the instructors from whom I’ve had class were very keen on breathing instructions. Because of this I’ve had some awesome classes. After class I felt cleansed from the inside out. (morning ashtanga vinyasa & evening hatha) There were also classes where I missed the breathing instructions as a continuous flow through the yoga poses. I believe it depends on the group of practitioners and the type of class. (afternoon gentle hatha & morning sivananda)

It’s a real challenge to keep doing the ujjayi breathing. This is a type of breathing while making a soft internal sonorous sound. This sound resonates from the throat to the heart on an inhalation, and from the heart to the throat on an exhalation. The ujjayi breathing warms up the body quickly and keeps the body warm.

When one gets familiar with the yoga poses and reaches a level of concentration and focus which are required to perform them than one starts experiencing the surroundings as it is meant to be. Than we enter a state of observation in stead of irritation. In this state of pure bliss we are connected with a higher consciousness. As I said before, this is only my second week, but I’m in!! In my silent and inspiring place, myself.

So are you practicing yoga? What does it bring you? If not, are you about to start yoga?

Did you find peace of mind?

“Did you find peace of mind?”, one of the participants during the training ‘A Fun Filled Life’ given on the 4th of November asked me this question. My answer was a whole heartedly ‘yes’. Yes, I found peace of mind after the birth of our daughter. Her presence brings us (me and my partner) back to the basics of life. I simply can not stress myself, because the attention has swifted from my wishes and ambitions to taking care of her. Of course I do have my ambitions, but I reach for them in a slower, more thoughtful pace. Yes, in other words, with peace of mind!!

And what is your story? Have you found peace of mind?

3 Tips on Finding balance after burn-out

sport

Getting yourself into a burn-out by working hard is common knowledge. What isn’t, is that getting yourself out of the burn-out is hard work too. A possible definition of a burn-out is that you don’t feel mentally and physically strong to go about and handle your daily life. From the moment that you admit -with ‘you’ I refer to you and your body -that you are totally exhausted, the recovery starts by taking as much rest as possible. You need to catch up your sleeping hours and feel mentally and psychically rested to start taking charge of your life again by doing things step by step. And now comes the hard part!

The signals which got you in the burn-out are still there. You wish they weren’t, but unfortunately they are. The process of recovering of a burn-out takes time. The bodily signals I am speaking of, now pop up once in a while in stead of every day. The trick is to be overly conscious about these signals. For one that’s a typical headache and for another it’s aching eyes or stomach pain. Know your psychical signals, because they tell you a lot about ‘crossing mental and physical borders of your recovery’.

3 Tips on finding balance after burn-out

Recovery takes time
1. Know that it takes time to recover: you won’t get over a burn-out after a week of catching up sleep. A reason for this is that you are still the same person with the same ‘hard working-characteristics’. After a few days of working in the same way as you used to have, including being present at your social activities, the signals could return.

Listen & act upon your signals
2. Listen carefully to your signals. When physical pains start coming back again you should listen to them and ask yourself the following question: ‘How shall I take my rest?’ By taking a powernap on the couch, sit down and close my eyes, sleep for an hour, listen to music and so on. Anything which takes you out of the ‘thinking mode’ will help you to overcome the signals.

Setting priorities
3. The following question could be: ‘How did I get myself into this position again?’ Be as honest as possible in finding the answer to this question. The answers will get you back in balance & business! What also passes by as a learning point during the recovery process is that you learn to know what you are able to handle on a daily basis. Set your priorities and keep up with them. Don’t feel like a failure if you need to reset your priorities. That’s all part of the learning curve. Admit that your ambitions were a bit too high for the time being, but as soon as you feel healthy and in balance more (different) activities will be a part of your day.

The tips above will help you to create a healthy way of life. Some people like to take upon this challenge on their own and some know they would be happy with professional guidance. Changing habits need time. Habits are driven by the mind. And if you might feel any resistance or have any questions about what you think or feel during the recovery you can contact me.

Lifecoaching in action: make up your Balance Now!

1.Health
How do you feel today? Do you eat a healthy diet? Do you exercise on a regular basis? For example: it could be that you are suffering  annoying pains, but you don’t take action to get your fysical state back to how it always has been, because of lack of time. Is it lack of time and all the deadlines you are facing or is it about setting priorities? My belief is that your health is the basis of everything what is going on in your life. Everything revolves arond YOU! And if you don’t feel up beat because of different reasons then it is time to do something about it. Be honest with yourself.

2.Relationships
Do you make time for your beloved ones, the ones who give you energy? Do you have friends or relatives who sap your energy, every time you see them? As my partner and I are both ambitious people I often tell him that we need to see our dear family and friends on a regular basis. Because of our work schedule we have to give it some more time to balance our get-togethers with family and friends. Moreover, in case of family, they live all across Holland. Yes, Holland is a small country, but the travelling surely takes up time. Furthermore, be aware of spending time with people who affect your state of mind. Is it worth spending time with them? If they are, then it is best to keep your emotional distance. Act like a Buddha! People can spit their negative thougths, but know that these emotions are theirs to keep. If we are speaking about people who don’t actually mean a lot to us, then minimize the time you spend with them or when the relationship is too horrible, make up your mind about continuing the relationship.

3.Career
Can you see yourself in the same career in five years’ time? If that thought makes you think of five long years of stress and boredom, it’s time to start researching a career change Will your current actions put you in the position you want to be in, or will they mean that you never progress from where you currently are? What you can do  when it comes down to choosing the career which will fit you best is to visualize, for example, at least 9 moments of pure happiness, and then translate these feelings to work related pillars such as people you work with, working conditions, working internationally, in contact with people or more a solitary function etc.

4.Education
Are you thinking of additional education or are you already studying next to your full-time job?
Alternatively, are you taking on so many extra credit courses that you’re risking burn-out? In our society we all want more, better and it is also part of our status. But does it really make you happy? And if you really want to take additional courses or a Master Degree make it possible for yourself to lead a ‘normal’ life along the way! Keep seeing your friends, make time for love and enjoy the time you have. I often hear people saying that it only takes up 2 years of their life. Two full years of hard work and then what? The thing is that people forget that they live now. Everything is happening now, how are you able to postpone coming across the love of your life for example? It sounds like I am a dreamer, but I know first hand that it is possible. Recently I heard that someone decided to stop taking courses in his Master Degree. After one year of full-time working and studying he got tired of everything.

5.Opportunities
Something many people regret in life is not taking advantage of the chances that they have. Are you missing out on any opportunities at the moment? Imagine that you have your future-self looking back at the life you are leading right now and telling you to sign up for that course, take that class, reach out to that potential new friend, or volunteer for that big project at work? A good place to look for the opportunities you’re missing is to think about anything you’re afraid to try, or afraid to start. Those are the things that future-self wishes you would do!

By Chungmei Cheng
Lifecoach for Orchid of Life

1st day of SUMMER and last week before maternity leave

bubbles

Summer arrived with the beautiful sunbeams shining on our balcony. Working from home has it’s benefits. One of them is to be able to lounge in a very comfortable chair. A chair in which you can sit/lay in three different positions. This is especially great because my babybelly is getting bigger and bigger. The only imaginable risk is that it is so comfortable that I could fall asleep. If it was not for my everlasting drive to be busy with coachingactivities I would fall asleep and then lounging wouldn’t be an option. Fortunately I can work and live through the day because of these sunny powerbreaks.

With this beautiful first summer day my last week before maternity leave started as well. My last week, hmmm? Nooo, that’s not possible! There are a few things I would like to finish. Since being pregnant and all I fail on concentration and focus. Does this irritate me? Well, to a certain extent, yes: it’s keeping me busy. I WANT to WORK and finish what I started, but nature calls a lot lately. When I have energy, I work. When I need rest, I take my rest. It’s like a constant communication with my body. Which is good. As a coach I would advise everyone (yes everyone, including the men!:-)) to get pregnant at least once in your life. The process will draw your attention to your body which definitely leads to a more healthy balance between mind and body.

And how come I can live with not finishing my project? Guess once!! Because there is a much BIGGER thing waiting for me/us! Our baby, our first child. How is that for a change? No projects, nor coachingsessions to deal with, but the biggest ‘project’ in life for which I don’t have any experience. Allright, does it count that I have changed diapers of my little brother? Don’t think so. From next week on I will take a deep dive into a neverending babyworld. Will go with the flow!

Am I living the perfect life as a lifecoach?

Jaua Brasil 2009

Are you leading the perfect life as a lifecoach? I was asked this question recently by a French girl. Clever girl! People have asked me this question many times. I understand this completely. I am dealing with peoples lives. If I would be unhappy with my own life this would lead to negative and low energy. So this is why I not lead the perfect life, but strive to lead a mentally and psychically healthy life.

So back to the question. To be able to answer the question, you need to first define what ‘perfect’ is for you and for me.

For some the word ‘perfect’ could be described as in..

..doing the work that you love,
..being with the love of your life,
…living in the house and city that you adore,
..driving a car, own several bikes (or other vehicles),
..having peaceful relationships with everyone around you,
..being in peace with yourself all the time,
..living in good health, blessed with family and children,
..going on a holiday at least 3 times a year,
..being able to do all the sports you like and so on!

Focus and work on aspects which are important to you! And then you can say with true conviction that you lead the perfect life. Remember, less is more! Well, I can definitely say that I am leading the PERFECT life with only focussing on a few aspects of this list! So may I now continue my work as a lifecoach? 😉

And what about you? Are you working towards the perfect life or already living it?