Today I loved ditching my grumpy pants!

When I woke up this morning I felt really run down, similar to a hangover but without booze, not much energy, a bit moody, if I was employed, I would have wanted to call in sick.

Why had I woken up feeling this way when other days I had woken up feeling great? What was really going on, what was I really feeling, really thinking?

In the past I would have just accepted feeling shitty, blamed it on work or how I looked, ate crap foods to feel better, and waited for it to pass, which sometimes took up to 3 days.

But then I remembered that my true nature, within me, is not grumpy pants, my true nature, within me, is love.   

So I sat in bed and took a moment to become a witness to what was going on within me, witness my thoughts and emotions. By doing this I quickly noticed that there was a huge amount of doubt and fear around my capability, the classic ‘I am not good enough, so what’s the point!’

I noticed I felt hopeless, like maybe I was over my head with creating my own business, attempting to make my dreams a reality.

I noticed that I felt useless, I felt lost and I felt alone. 

Limiting thoughts and beliefs, all within me, draining my energy, making me feel shit about myself.

So rather than stay home in bed and help my Ego put together a pity party, I jumped on my bike and cycled to a creative, communal office space ( which has a meditation room ), giving myself the space to allow conscious flow.

When I meditated in this space this morning, I was able to dedicate more time to dive deeper into how I was really feeling. Closing the eyes, I was able to become a witness again to any thoughts and feelings that arose.

Once again the thought ‘I feel so alone’ came to mind, but this time I noticed tears building up in my eyes. I had no idea that I felt such deep sadness around this one simple thought.  

So how do you stop a negative thought that feels so real? You don’t, you just allow time to sit with it, don’t try to suppress it or ignore it, just be a loving witness, until it passes. And it always passes. No thought is ever permanent, they are constantly changing.

This is what meditation allows you to do, be awareness of your thoughts as they rise and fall. This is why meditation is such an awesome tool to help overcome depression, stress and anxiety.

Rather than get caught up in emotions, you just watch them, let them do what they need to do, and notice that you are actually separate from them. You are all good :)  

Your true nature is not your thoughts or beliefs, but simply loving self awareness watching the show.

 

Today I loved overcoming anxiety when dating!

Since returning from India, without any effort at all, I have attracted a number of men into my life who have shown romantic interest in me, some new, some from the past.

Due to my current unemployed ‘in between careers’ status, I actually had no desire or intention of dating anyone for awhile, but… in choosing to live life in flow, being 100% open to whatever comes my way, a few days ago I said yes to a date next week, out of curiosity to see where it goes.

The thing I find about dating is this, it can be rather shit if you let it be! Lets take a simple text message for an example.

This morning I had this desire to send a text to the guy I am seeing next week, just a simple text message wishing him a nice day. But rather than feeling good about my choice in doing so, trusting that my heart had good intentions and to just go with it, instead I quickly noticed the fear kick in.

It went a little something like this… Is it too early to send a text since we only spoke two days ago? Am I breaking the rules by sending a text, should I instead let him chase me? Would he freak out getting a text from me so early on a Sunday morning, thinking maybe I was obsessed with him? A whole lot of bullshit fear came rushing in, taking over my beautiful idea of simply sending a loving thought to him.

This feeling of fear took over the feeling of love. I noticed it also brought up my past feelings of shame and regret from when I had put myself out there and then didn’t get a response, especially within a time frame I wanted ( which for me is always straight away! ) Having these old beliefs, ideas, expectations is what makes dating hard. But it shouldn’t be hard, you should be able to enjoy it!

So to enjoy dating, you need to let go of the fear and expectation and put the focus back on love, especially loving yourself. Rather than freaking out and telling yourself you are not good enough because he hasn’t responded to your message, tell yourself that you are perfect, beautiful and the most lovable person on this planet!

Don’t waste a moment worrying about it, get on with living the amazing life you were put on this planet to live. Your true being will attract the right soul for you, so it’s all good, there is honestly nothing to worry about as long as you stay 100% true to yourself!

When you let the fear and anxiety in, the love diminishes. Don’t let another person make you forget that your true being is pure love.

Be aware of the feelings and emotions arise in the body, sit with them, connect to the negative thoughts and observe how stupid they are! Tell yourself that you are love, your true being is love and love attracts love. Take some time to meditate on this, connecting with the inner part of yourself that is wise, strong, beautiful and courageous.

Never feel shame around showing love to others, even if you don’t receive it back. Keep loving everything that you do, enjoy the feeling, enjoy the moments, life is to be enjoyed, enjoy life!

PS. He did send me a message back ( within an hour ) and it was all good :)

Today I loved the New!

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I was told by many that quitting my job, to travel to overseas and return to the unknown was very brave. But to me it never felt brave, it felt sane! Why would you keep doing something you are bored with, when you could be doing something exciting and new?

I honestly feel many people never really question why they are unhappy, I was one of them, I just keep doing the same thing over and over because it felt comfortable, even though deep down I felt frustrated, bored and incredibly restless.

I was over feeling this way, which is why I quit my job, flew to India, where through plenty of meditation I had a inner conscious awakening. I realised my old way of thinking, doing the same thing because it felt safe, was not working, I had to let go of my negative old beliefs, love who I am, trust I’ve got the goods within for greatness and embrace the new!

Since returning home last week, each day I meditate, tune in, listen to what I need to do, 100% trust that my inner guru ( intuition/being/God ) knows best, let go of expectation and just go with the flow.

By following through on every idea that pops in to my head, without questioning it, I have quickly noticed many positive changes take place! I’ve decluttered my entire home making it a beautiful and useful space, effortlessly lost weight, got an interview for a dream job, saved money on a new latptop, found a entrepreneurial workspace that’s affordable and registered for an online course to help turn my dreams in to a reality! All in just 1 week!

It can be overwhelming returning from 2 months overseas, with no job, living off a certain amount of savings. I notice that my mind craves security, so every time I spend money ( especially on an expensive notebook and online course! ) my mind freaks out! But the thing about money, if you are not spending it to improve your life, help you achieve your dreams, whats the point of having it?

Rather than let my mind be consumed with fear and anxiety, I’ve shifted it to trust and love whatever happens today, including all the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Since quitting my job I am the happiest I have felt in a very long time! By choosing to love and embrace the new, trust that I am supported no matter what, I now know what its like to feel free! :)

Today I loved the Self!

imageWhen someone tells me I’m attractive, I cringe and reply with an awkward ‘thanks’ and then quickly try to change the subject, what is with that? Yesterday I was told by a stranger that he knew I was a confident person by the way I walked, yet I second guessed if I was or not, what is what that? Today I was told by a teacher that I am a beautiful person, with a big heart, with so much potential, greatness and power ( how nice is that?! ) yet my first thought was, ummm.. ok, are you sure about that? Once again… what is what that!?

I’ll tell you what it is, it’s my mind acting INSANE!!! I keep getting told all the things that I want to hear, yet my mind comes rocking in and screams out, you can’t possibly be attractive with potential for greatness, there’s still so many things that need to be changed?!

Luckily through all my experiences and lots of meditation, I have learnt to be more kind to myself through my mind. A majority of the time I do feel happy, grounded and balanced. I don’t suffer from low self esteem or hate myself. I have many moments throughout the day where I mentally high five myself for what I am accomplishing, and most of the time I can look in the mirror and be accepting of what I see ( phew! ) BUT, when it comes to people complimenting me, I have trouble believing it, Self love goes flying out the window and my mind steps in and becomes my worst enemy.

When I stop loving myself ( the Self ), my mind is awesome at convincing me that I need fix myself! When I stop loving myself, my mind is awesome at avoiding the present moment and instead figures out what actions I need to take in the future in order to become successful, healthy, happy, attractive, wealthy, lovable, the perfect package for 2016! I realised today that this is the NUMBER 1 issue that is holding me back and causing me so much doubt and anxiety, I simply stop loving the Self in the present moment! I forget who I really am!

So… just in case I need to remind myself again, when self doubt arises… who am I? I’m a beautiful unique flower, created for a reason, in a garden of many beautiful flowers, so STOP COMPARING YOURSELF! Stop trying to fix yourself, you are perfect just the way you are! Smile, enjoy life, love who you are! 

When I started my blog in 2012, I called it todayiloved, so that for an entire year I would be grateful for one thing every day, and it was a pretty amazing year! Today I thought about those words again ‘today i loved’, and what they mean to me now 4 years on. What is it that I would love today if I could choose anything? What is most important to me now? What would help me become more successful, healthy, happy, attractive, wealthy, lovable? It’s the Self. My inner Self. Nothing more, nothing less, I understand the simplicity of this now.

A teacher in India shared this with me today. ‘Everything in life happens by itself, so don’t worry, smile, JUST BE, have fun! Every morning look into your eyes, love who you see, you are awesome, you are beautiful, love the Self! This is all you need.’

Start loving the Self today and every day and then see what follows! 

Camille x

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Happy ‘Brand Spanking’ New Year!

imageDay 2 of 2016 and I’ve already broken a couple of my New Years Resolutions, which is a pretty disappointing effort on my part, but if I am being honest, my list this year was a bit on the greedy/demanding side, normally people pick one, I went with 10!

I had the usual eat well, exercise, meditate, but then I threw in be loving and kind towards others, desire less, consume less, complain less, be more content with what you have, attract loving relationships into your life with love, connect more with your inner Self and let go of trying to control everything! But the irony is, I can now clearly see that my list is me trying to control every aspect of my life, thinking that if I do, I will become this perfect human being!

Fact- It’s impossible to be a perfect human being and New Years Resolutions easily get broken because life is bloody hard! Every day you are confronted with some sort of challenge ( especially in India where I am at the moment, don’t even get me started! ) and it’s way more comfortable to revert back to old patterns of thinking and behaving rather than implement new changes that require some effort. Rather than accept this reality, we instead make a specific list and then feel disappointed as soon as we fail ( which you most likely will, unless you are in the minority who have one good NY resolution and obsess over it for the next 365 days and then revert back to old habits the following year )

So I am throwing out my unrealistic list and instead I’m putting focus on just showing up each day and doing the best I can, I call this Love. A big part of being able to do this comes with another word, acceptance. When i arrived in Tiruvannamalai, India over a week ago, the accommodation I had prebooked and paid for with an Indian friend of my American friend was not what I had been shown in photos. There wasn’t a bed, instead a dirty mattress on the floor without any sheets, the bathroom was dirty, no toilet paper, full of mosquitos and overall it just had a really bad vibe. I had paid decent money and mentioned to him that I wasn’t happy with what i had got BUT because it was late that night, I was tired from the 8 hour all up trip, he had to go back to Chennai for 3 days, I accepted my situation and went to bed ( praying that the mosquitos didn’t eat me alive and that my back would survive )

What I didn’t accept though is bad business, getting ripped off by someone who I thought was a good person helping me out. I found out the next day when visiting the much nicer hotel next door that I had been charged nearly three times as much!! I’ve been in India 5 weeks and this was my first experience of getting screwed over, and it was by the one person I had trusted most, I wasn’t impressed!!! But for whatever reason ( maybe because I was a kind person and actually gave the Indian guy extra money on top for helping me out ) I was blessed. The hotel owner next door ( who is now my saviour ) took me in the next day temporarily, having to move some people around as he is booked out, came over to my dodgy hotel and translated my concerns to the owner who didn’t speak English, then a few days later had very firm words to my dodgy so called Indian friend, and arranged for me to get ALL my money back, this very rarely happens in India, so I am incredibly lucky, which I called being blessed!!

There is a fine line between acceptance and being taken for a ride, it’s called the middle line. Challenges take place all the time, they are unavoidable and show up whenever they want, this is life. What I have learnt in India is rather than get upset and angry about it, it’s best to just surrender, calm the mind, listen to the inner guidance, and trust that it will all work out in the end. Every action has a reaction, which is a lesson. When it comes to India, don’t pay anything in advanced. Be clear about what you want and what you have paid for as they will try to get as much money from you as they can. I never ended up on the street, in the end I got better accommodation. Also having spent time looking at many rental rooms in India, I am incredibly grateful for my living conditions at home, especially my bed!

So to sum it all up, 2016 is the year I choose to be more loving, accepting and trust that whatever happens, regardless of getting what I want or don’t want at the time, always works out in the end!

PS The love heart stone in the photo I bought on New Years Day, along a path in the Arunachala mountain, after a beautiful deep meditation in Ramana Maharshi’s Virupaksha Cave. It was a gift and reminder to myself to love more in 2016. If you are into meditation, I highly recommend jumping on a plane and spending some quality time in Tiruvannamalai, especially up the mountain, healing takes place!

 

 

 

 

Today I loved Yoga

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Christmas Day, I’ve woken up hungover, not badly hungover but enough for my Mother to question my tone of voice on Viber, asking if i was ok? This year I’m spending Christmas solo in Varkala, India. I resigned from my job in Australia end of November, deciding to spend 9 weeks traveling India to regain some clarity around the direction of my life, as I felt it needed to change.

The first 4 weeks of my trip was spent in Madurai at the Sivananda Meenakshi Ashram completing a 1 month intensive yoga teaching training course, which I graduated from last Saturday! Yes, I can now officially teach hatha yoga classes, well my certificate looks nice anyway. Completing the teacher training was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, it pushed all the right buttons and the sense of accomplishment at the end for me was indescribable, especially as I never thought I was capable in the first place. I highly recommend doing this course if you want to upgrade your internal and external software and of course, walk away a certified yoga teacher and help people also feel good about themselves!

So now I’m spending week 5 relaxing in Varkala, enjoying freedom, hot showers and muslie for breakfast again! Varkala is located in the south of Kerela, down by the beach, a cliff side paradise of cheap restaurants, shopping, massages, beach swims and of course plenty of delicious food and booze! I did have this plan of staying sober and eating healthy after completing the teacher course but my mind convinced me to let go and enjoy myself, have some beer and cocktails, eat a veggie burger and chips, undoing all the wholesome ‘yogi’ work I’d clocked up at the ashram the past 30 days. I leave Varkala on Sunday, to spend another 4 weeks in Tiruvannamalai before I fly back home to the unknown, and as I type this, feeling somewhat average, I now realise the importance of every decision I make.

When I completed the teacher training I was glowing, the physical affects of doing yoga for 30 days changes your body, you lose weight, tone up, gain strength and flexibility, but also mentally and emotionally you gain this sense of love for yourself which then radiates to all those around you. You actually wake up wanting to do yoga in the morning, you feel at peace with the world, life just flows along effortlessly, anxiety and stress melt away and happiness becomes your true nature. So of course you want to continue to celebrate this new feeling of bliss, especially on holidays when making new friends, you order booze, have some greasy food and then before you know it, you don’t feel like doing yoga in the morning, you feel tired, run down and just want to sleep, drink and eat instead. But it’s Christmas, the time of indulging the senses, so you allow yourself another cocktail and piece of chocolate cake thinking that it will bring you a sense of joy and fulfillment, but instead all you want to do is pass out from a sugar coma in bed.

When it comes to my relationship with alcohol, I clearly see now that there are two paths in life I can take. There is the path whereby I drink alcohol, which always seems to lead to bad decision making ( indulging or desiring things that aren’t good for me ) and then I feel lazy and my health gets neglected for a few days. Or there is the path where I don’t drink alcohol, I wake up feeling vibrant, choose to do loving things for my body, make the right decisions and my state of consciousness expands. In 2013 I quit booze for an entire year and even though there were moments where I swear I was dreaming about wine, overall I was much better off without it. Everyone is different, but for me, I honestly think it comes down to just one question. What holds you back from being the best version of yourself? My answer, what I choose to put in my body each and every day. Alcohol is no longer working for me anymore, I realise this today. The short term pleasure I receive from a drink comes at a cost to my spiritual growth which is why, as of today, I am choosing to no longer drink alcohol again.

Instead I am choosing to love myself, not in a vain, arrogant, I am awesome, look at me being all healthy and sober sort of way. When you choose to love something you cherish it, you give it attention, you invest time in it, when it’s happy, you are happy, love makes love expand. Choosing love when it comes to the Self means putting awareness on it, wanting nothing but the best for it which means being more aware of what you put in it, exercising, meditating, thinking positive thoughts, becoming a better human being which hopefully inspires others to do the same. This the core essence of what yoga is, having a system in place that allows you to operate at your best, each and every day.

Today I loved in the past has been a blog about picking specific challenges like being grateful and quitting alcohol and running them for an entire year. I wouldn’t have been able to complete those challenges without this blog as writing makes you accountable, it creates self discipline which is so fundamental when implementing new routines when wanting to change. From my own personal experience, if you want to change something in your life, first step is set a goal, followed by some ground rules and then the rest is a mix of will power, dedication and support. Document your journey and be proud of even the small changes along the way.

Everything first comes from a thought ( the mind ), that thought then becomes an action, which then, if repeated, becomes a habit, habits become a personality, a personality becomes a destiny. So, if you want to change your destiny, you first must change your thoughts, makes sense. But is not as easy as just saying, hey, cool, I’m going to now change my thoughts, the mind has been running the show for a very long time, you have no idea what it will think next and most of the time, through this thing called desire, it’s very good at getting what it wants. So to help change the mind you need a really good support system in place, this is Yoga. I’m not talking new age yoga of trying to look sexy doing some crazy backward bend on one hand yoga, I’m talking proper old school yoga, which has 5 basic principles, proper exercise ( asanas ), proper breathing ( pranayama ), proper relaxation ( savasana ), proper diet ( vegetarian, no alcohol ) and meditation and positive thinking.

As I want to continue implementing all that I learnt on the yoga teacher training, I’ve decided that the next Today I Loved challenge will start today. It didn’t take long to come up with this idea, Today I Loved Yoga, loving union with the body and mind, union with the Self. The next 365 days I will work on calming my mind, nurturing my body and reconnecting with my true nature. 

The ground rules for Today I loved Yoga are:

  1. Exercise the body daily with asanas or walking.
  2. Meditate and connect with Self daily for at least 20 mins
  3. Eat a wholesome vegetarian diet and cut out alcohol.

Breathing, relaxation and positive thinking automatically jumps on board once the first 3 are implemented, I know this from my experience in the ashram for 30 days. When you are meditating you are working on your breathing. When you exercise you counteract this with relaxation afterwards. When you are eating well you feel great so positive thoughts become your nature.

So this is the new challenge that I accept and will document over the next 365 days.

Today I loved Yoga, choosing to love and connect with the Self wholeheartedly, creating new healthy conscious habits to support this, letting go and allowing life to flow, being awareness to all the changes and documenting the interesting stuff that takes place!

Namaste :)

Camille

 

Goodbye Job, Hello India!

I can’t believe I’m at the airport ( I remember booking this trip a year ago! ), bag checked in, officially unemployed, about to embark on a 9 week journey in the south of India, starting with a 30 day intensive yoga teacher training course, what was I thinking? As I type this I already feel incredibly exhausted!

And no wonder, the last few months for me have been an epic display of burning myself out, behaving in ways that I wouldn’t particularly class as loving towards myself. Maybe I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I had resigned from my well paid job of 5 years to go spend 2 months overseas in a third world country that people keep telling me is not safe and will blow my mind ( in good ways and bad )!

Whatever the reason, I have been looking for love and comfort in all the wrong places. I have kept my social calendar busy with way too many Tinder dates, trying to find a fix through feeling desired by emotionally unavailable men. Red wine has somehow become a daily part of my diet. I can’t remember the last time I actually cooked something decent at home. I have been out most nights keeping myself busy/distracted. And for the first time, in a long time, I am actually looking forward to getting on the plane so I can stop, put the phone and internet away and do nothing. NOTHING. Just me and my thoughts. India is now in charge, and all I need to do is get off the plane in Chennai and be open to all the life lessons she will throw my way, good and bad.

Working full time as a Personal Assistant/ Administrator, a majority of my waking life is spent organising everyone and everything, which I guess has made me somewhat of a control freak? I have decided to embark on this trip, not for just a month, but 2 months so I can work on letting go of this need to control my life down to the second! Instead, I want India to tell me what to do. Show me what I need to know. Teach me what’s really important. Make me feel and understand with my heart and mind, that the real source of love is not from external objects, like men on Tinder and a glass of shiraz, it’s from knowing who you really are, pure conscious awareness and then loving yourself wholeheartedly.

This is my story I am going to share with you all. This is what todayiloved is all about. Learning how to be in love with Self in the present moment and watching it then expand.

Time to go jump on the plane, sleep and then wake up on the other side! Yep, I am a little bit excited!!!

Namaste

Camille