Pay attention to the slight movements of your eyes as you think about your favourite childhood cartoon character. Or a song you’re sick of hearing. Imagine how you may look in 20 years time. Your favourite ice cream flavour? It’s likely your eyes shifted slightly as you thought because your eye movements are linked to certain areas of your brain. Someone trying to lie about a made up conversation may shift their eyes to the left or someone having an internal debate may have their eyes cast downwards to the right.
Of course, this is not completely foolproof as our eyes are constantly moving and are affected by a number of environmental stimuli such as light, sound or even pressure to maintain eye contact in a conversation but this serves as a general guide.
1. Be kind to yourself - our words create our worlds. Use words that empower you rather than those that limit you. Instead of saying “I’m suffering” you can say “I’m in the process of healing”.
2. Treat yourself - you deserve it. Take yourself out on dates and spoil yourself with your favourite foods, movies & whatever else you love to do. This strengthens the relationship you have with yourself & invites more love into your life.
3. Spend time with those you love - surround yourself with positive energy. It’s pretty difficult to show yourself love when you’re surrounded by negativity. Spend time with those who make you forget to check your phone.
4. Be present with yourself - listen to your self-talk. Pay attention to the thoughts that run through your mind and observe the effect they have on your emotions.
5. Exercise - move into the body. Neglecting the body will result in poor physical & mental health over time - move into it to release energy that has been suppressed.
6. Healthy food - nourish your body & mind. The foods we eat will determine how we feel, both physically & mentally, choose the foods that will make you feel good.
7. Creativity - express yourself. Creativity is expression of the soul and can release built up energy that has been repressed inside of us - this is extremely important for self-care.
8. Nature - reconnect with yourself. When in nature observe how the animals & plants behave and see yourself reflected in them. The flowers are patient when waiting to bloom & the animals are totally present in the now.
9. Sleep - recharge your batteries. The most important aspect of self-care is knowing when you need to rest, sleep is vital for recovery of the body and our mind. You cannot feel well if you’re sleep deprived.
10. Mindfulness - be in the now. Looking after yourself means not missing out on life - when we spend any time outside of the present moment we waste our lives. Catch yourself when you project into the past or future and ground yourself in the now using your senses.
✨ This sounds like wishful thinking, but it’s true. When it comes to how I experience life (my happiness and general mood) the state of my mind is more influential than the state of my circumstances. The world holds no inherent meaning beyond my perception of it. Nobody’s perception of reality is objectively true; everyone’s point-of-view is merely an interpretation. If 100 people sat where I am sitting now, each 100 people would have a different interpretation of their surroundings based on their points-of-view and past experiences. The world is a blank canvas. My perception creates the picture.
When I perceive imperfection in another person or see a flaw in my life, do these flaws actually reside in the person and my circumstances, or does the flaw reside in my perception? My thoughts are so fundamental to my interpretation of life that I rarely notice how every day I am painting the canvas of my experience through the lens of my perception. Every thought is another brush stroke. Each subconscious judgement is another color. Soon I am looking at a painting (my experience of life) and have forgotten that I created it.
The kindest thing I can do for myself is remembering to slow down and observe my thinking mind – each inhale and exhale of thought – instead of giving it free reign to shape my experience of life without supervision. This is the point of meditation. My mind has the power to perceive both heaven and hell in each passing moment. Heaven is the state of unbiased and non-attached awareness. Hell is the hurricane of mental chaos. Regardless of what is happening in my life, I have the power to choose my point-of-view. My thoughts may seem insignificant compared to the big bad world, but the state of the world – with all its monsters, demons, angels, and lovers – does not impact my emotions as much as the state of my mind.
Logic does not help here. Only awareness. Because the world is an unfair place, seeing life from a happy perspective is not always rational. There are a million good reasons to be unhappy and blame others. But when I shift my focus from my circumstances to my awareness, I remember that peace-of-mind is always a choice.