How To Use Mental And Emotional Strength when Facing Difficulty.
Welcome to the very first episode of Soul Centred Journey. Usually I'm sharing conversations with soul centred entrepreneurs, action takers people who are creating an amazing life and business and we talk about emotional strength and also the way that they've overcome their difficulties, that rock bottom moment in their life.
I've had plenty of rockbottom moments myself sometimes have coped better than others. I'm not always coped well but it got me thinking. Firstly am I hiding behind these conversations rather than sharing what I really want to say and secondly maybe it would help if I shared my journey, which is ongoing and the ways that I try and succeed and then sometimes fail to find emotional strength to deal with things. Particularly at the moment I've been going through a lot of changes. I feel very satisfied with the way I've managed some of those changes and perhaps less so with some of the others. But change can be very disruptive and it challenges us.
I hope these conversations will be a way of sharing with you my challenges and the way I deal with them because I hope it will help to hear somebody else who is going through the normal things that life throws at you and the way that I'm dealing with those good and bad and to offer up this idea this belief that I have that emotional strength isn't something that you're born with it's something that you develop you nurture it and you have to keep nurturing it if you want it to keep working for you. Also how easy it can be to stop relying on that strength or to undermine that strength if you don't nurture it. I thought I might also share some of the things I do to keep emotionally strong and the work of other people that I've also found really useful and supportive on my journey
My greatest wish would be just to get the conversation going and keep it going so we can support each other. Our family and friends and make emotional strength as ordinary or everyday a conversation as talking about the weather or the football game.
Why soul-centred? Well for me when I think about my life and more recently the coaching business I've created and the way that I'm helping people. It comes from my desire to live a life that felt more emotionally strong. I felt for a very long time that I was reacting all the time to the things that happened to me all the things that people did and said almost like I was really just at the whim of my emotions no control over them and the more I started to learn about how I could feel calm and not so reactive the more able I was to express how I felt or thought and in that way I felt like I started to express myself from my soul.
To me the Soul is that part of you that expresses who you truly are. When we listen to what our soul is telling us usually that's when we're truly happy. I think our soul is where our integrity and our true desires come from. So for me being able to create what I call a soul centered business means a coaching practice that allows me to support and help people so that they can get calm and start listening to what it is they want and need to do in their life to feel like they have a sense of balance that feeling that they can cope with whatever comes at them. I've learnt that emotional strength is not about being able to control and master your emotions. In fact it's much more about being able to accept them and move through them and not get stuck in them.
So with all that said I'm going to dive quickly into this. One of the things I was thinking about this week was the difference between mental and emotional strength and the ways that we can use it when we're facing difficulty. Now my difficulties lately have not been that great in the scheme of things. I'm not without shelter and food. Everybody's well in my family but we've moved house and it's a big move from the place that we'd settled in originally where we moved to New Zealand.
When we moved to New Zealand I found the separation from family and friends, being in a completely new place, out of my comfort zone, away from all the references, the shops, the television programs, the radio programs even the weather, I found it very hard to get my head around. I felt completely out of place. I hadn't realised that a sense of place was so very important to me and to suddenly be away from it so far away from it that I couldn't go back to England and visit very easily made me feel very lonely.
It wasn't something I was expecting to happen and I eventually descended into depression and I know now looking back that I was focusing so much on what I had left rather than the excitement of what I'd come to and in many ways it didn't make sense to me because I am an adventurer and I quite enjoy challenge and I'm a real problem solver. So moving to another country wasn't scary as such and I was excited by it. But what I realised looking back now is that in amongst all of the excitement I hadn't allowed myself any time to really process what was happening.
That in a way is one of my weak spots because I am a great planner a great schedular and very good at taking a project and coming up with all of the practical steps that are needed to see that project through and to make it a success. So that's what I did with the project of moving from England to New Zealand. It became a project and I forgot that it was actually about me, my life and the people that I love.
So it was all well organized and executed and I have to say my husband's a very good planner as well. He's much more of a detail man than I am but we make a great team so he's looking at the detail I'm looking at the bigger picture and together you know the move really was flawless. There were very few hiccups along the way and we moved in to a beautiful house in our new home in Havelock North.
It was a rental and it was about three times the size of our little 1930's terrace in England and I can remember the children the day we moved in they were just so excited by the size of the living room and they were leaping and rolling around and you know it was all very exciting but it was still all about material things if you like the nuts and bolts.
Pretty much within the space of four months we had found a house we were going to buy and then we'd moved from the rental and then it was at that point that I crashed.
If you've ever moved house you know just how much needs planning and organizing and again there I was back in planning mode. Obviously there was some emotion involved when you're buying a house I don't know if you're like me but I don't just look at it from a practical point of view. I want to know if I'm going to be happy there. I'm looking for how does the house make me feel. How would living in this house feel, what's the vibe I get from the house. It's probably why I'm so attracted to energy psychology. That sense of not just going with the words in your head. What are you telling yourself but also how's your body reacting. In some ways it makes it all the more amazing to me that I wasn't really feeling into how was I emotionally dealing with this big move from the UK and everything that I'd left behind.
So the story of my depression I think is one for another day but the lesson I learnt from that and the one that I'm applying to this new move now is to just allow myself to feel and to really explore how I'm feeling.
I'll be honest with you I've had a period probably of about six weeks where I felt quite angry, really quite angry. At times angry enough that I wanted to go out and break things and so I had to come up with ways to express that anger in a positive and a non-destructive way.
One of the ways I did that was to make sure that every day I went out and I got some sort of exercise and I found a great gym where I can go to a class every day and that's been brilliant for that. So for me it's about moving my body usually to music and just escaping a little bit but also getting that wonderful feeling that you get when your muscles are tired but you've worked hard. So of course the endorphins kick in as well. But more than that it's that expression of the pent up anger those emotions of I have.
Of course the other thing I do is I tap because I'm an emotional freedom technique practitioner. If I'm feeling angry I'll just tap around and breathe and allow myself to stomp about the room a little bit and say maybe just a few words like 'I feel so angry' 'all this anger in my body' and then I'll explore that a bit further and where is the anger sometimes my head sometimes my head feels tight sometimes it's in my chest or my stomach. It's just a good way of expressing that emotion so it doesn't get built up. Sometimes it's a daily thing that we have to do it certainly was for me for about six weeks just acknowledging and expressing that anger and it's taken a while for that to work it's way through.
I was talking to friends about this the other day that actually what I feel I'm going through is a sort of grief about leaving the place that we'd settled in for 10 years the way that my business has had to adapt and parts of it have had to close and change. Then on top of that both of my children have moved away from home. My youngest is now gone off to university and my eldest has settled in Japan to start his teaching career. I am hugely proud of both of them but also it means that my role as a mum has suddenly changed.
I guess if there's any message for me and one then I want to pass on is that emotional strength is not just a mental strength it's not just about what you think and the way you talk to yourself but it's also about how you feel and being open and accepting and willing to explore how you feel when you're facing difficulty. And that's something I'm still working on.
Thank you so much for listening and supporting the show fi you enjoy this episode then please head over to iTunes and leave me a rating if you're ready to take action and make changes in your life you'll love my free confidence building workbook. Get it here
Keep working and focusing on yourself because you deserve a calm joyful and emotionally strong life and I look forward to sharing with you next time on my soul centred journey.
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