I’ve become a Negative Nellie. Everything irritates me. My husband, my car, my hair, my son, my mum, my sister, my dog, my washing machine, my pilates instructor. Is it Nellie, or Nelly, who the F cares, that’s bugging me too now. Everything. Nothing is going the way I want it to, and nobody seems to see that everything is wrong. How can the whole world be out of step with my idea of how it all should work. How the dishes should be stacked in the dishwasher, which pile the dirty clothes go into, how I want my tee shirts folded (I mean god forbid my husband tries to help with the house work, I have to bit his head off for not doing it the way I want it to be done).
If you’re reading this and thinking how ridiculous this is, thank God! If you’re nodding in agreement then my friend we need to go on a little journey.
I am grateful that I had just enough awareness left in me to wake up to how ridiculous I sound. All this tension I harbour around resisting and rejecting everything around me was starting to manifest physically too with neck and back tension, and it’s no wonder because once I actually tuned into my body language I was constantly tense.
Think about it, when you're uncomfortable, or when you brace yourself for hurting yourself, or tense up just before someone hurts themselves, living in a negative mind frame kept me this tense all the time. It was like witnessing a car crash, after car crash, except it wasn’t a car crash it was my thoughts, crashing against reality. And the worst part is the more negative thoughts I had, the more those thoughts created other negative baby thoughts that just kept breeding like rabbits.
This has to stop.
As Buddha put it:
If you want to know what your future life will be like, look at your life right now.
Think about that, and how it applies to me, to you to everybody.
If you’re too busy for your family and friends now, your future will look exactly the same unless you change it.
If you’re depressed and anxious now, your future will be the same unless you change the present.
If you’re constantly struggling with money, your future will be exactly the same, unless you change the present.
The right now. Right this instance.
For some of you my three little sentences might have made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with rage. How could I make such a statement, I don’t know you, I don’t know anything about your life or your circumstances.
While this is true, I don’t, and probably never will, but change starts with change, and a will to change. To become aware of the traps you set for yourself, and the limiting beliefs that are keeping you there.
So back to Negative Nellie (ahem, that’s me… hi!). I’ve been making slow progress with an amazing book called The Complete Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. Brilliant book that’s been making very subtle shifts in my mothering (and wifing) ways. I hadn’t picked it up for a while, it’s rather big you see, but when I do, lordy does it have a powerful impact.
In this book, using Buddhist principles about spiritual growth and suffering, Sarah helps guide you to make subtle changes that enhance the quality of your life and the lives around you. It’s not about changing your kids, rather changing your experience.
On the topic of Negative Nellies, because they’ve been around for a long longer than we have, and Karma, the Buddha said:
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifest as the deed;
The deed develops into a habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all things.
This little verse turned on a mega light bulb for me.
The more negative thoughts I have, the more they sink down into my psyche and become me. I don’t want to be that, because let’s face it, nobody likes a Negative Nellie or Nelly for that matter.
It starts with awareness. Catching yourself in the act of having a negative thought. Feel the tension, where is your breath, let it go with loving kindness.
Someone cuts you off at the traffic light, instead of beeping your horn and flipping them the bird, be compassionate, you don’t know their story, and send them love.
Ah instant calm, and you’re not chasing after them just so they can see how pissed off you are
Someone makes a remark that gets under your skin, send them love and let it go, instead of letting yourself stew about it for days when the offender has long forgotten about the incident.
Something not going the way you planned, surrender and let it go, it might not go the way you thought, but it’s going anyway, so let yourself flow with the new way, you might even learn something new.
Your kids driving you bonkers? Take a deep breath and ask yourself what is required from you in this present moment. These moments of total frustration are the best places to practise being calm. I you can be calm whilst being beaten with a spatula over the head whilst listening to Hot Potato for the 108th time, you can withstand anything.
So go forth my friend and embrace the life of practice. That’s what we are all here for, to learn and to practise. Practise compassion, understanding, breathing, and surrender, and the if we can all do that, the world would be a better place for it.
In an often isolating world, sharing our experiences as mothers on instagram has helped so many mums connect with other like minded souls going through the same highs and lows. I have loved watching fellow Brisbane super mum of five (yea mama!), Abbey Braithwaite, share her motherhood journey with the world. Her pictures are peppered with tiny fingers grabbing tasty morsels that she prepares and magical adventures with her little people. There is, of course, much more to this beautiful woman than you can share on instagram.
Winter is finally here, and has brought with it the dry skin, hair and chapped lips. Time to switch up your beauty routine to ensure your skin is protected. Here is the round up of my favourite products at the moment that I use to keep my skin soft, supple and beautiful
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