Are opposites inseparable?

Pleasure and Pain, though directly opposite are contrived to be constant companions. -Pierre Charron

Hello My friends,

The kitchen upgrade is ongoing, this week my hubby has been busy putting up plaster board and plastering the joins, framing doorways and painting timber. There is one thing I know about myself, living in a messy and cluttered environment stresses me out.

The way I live on the outside, tends to reflect the way I’m feeling on the inside. Having the kitchen dismantled with benches and cupboards distributed in the lounge and dining area are not helping our household run smoothly. Being people of habit, we continue to look for the toaster and the fridge where they were before we moved them, increasing our frustration.

With all this upheaval in our home, it got me thinking about pleasure and pain, and how we don’t seem to be able to have one without the other.

I want the pleasure of a new kitchen, however to get it I have to go through the pain of change and going without the organisation I am accustomed to.

The question for me is;

“Do I run to pleasure and away from pain?” Or “Do I run head on into pain knowing that there will be pleasure on the other side of the pain?”

What is a healthy definition of pain and pleasure? Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony, Pain has both physical and emotional components. Pleasure: The agreeable feeling that accompanies getting something good or much wanted. A feeling of happiness or satisfaction.

What is my definition of pain and pleasure? Pain is often something I have to go through to get the pleasure, happiness and joy of the thing I want.

What is your definition of pleasure and pain?

Is our behaviour predetermined, or can we change the way we respond?

I believe we always have a choice. We can choose the thoughts we think, which create the way we feel, which determine the way we respond or react to any situation, which creates our reality by the actions we take.

Pleasure verses Pain

Rewards verses Bribes, The carrot and the stick scenario. The story is told of a farmer who wanted his donkey to carry his load of produce to the market. The donkey being stubborn had stopped on the track and wouldn’t budge. The farmer found a stick on the road side and whipped the donkey, yelling at it to move. The donkey stood stead fast. The farmers neighbour came past, seeing the farmers dilemma, he suggested the farmer use a carrot on a stick, hung over the donkeys nose. The donkey lurched forward to get the carrot, moving quickly to market, the farmer rewarded the donkey with the carrot.

Fear verses Love,

How much of our lives are lived in fear?

The fear of failing, the fear of actually succeeding, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, the fear of rejection, the fear of being accepted, or the fear of not being good enough. So much fear!

How much of our lives are lived from a place of love?

The love of failing, the love of succeeding, the love of change, the love of the unknown and excitement, the love of rejection, the love of being accepted and acceptable, the love of yourself and everything that encompasses you.

Can we choose one over the other? When I conquer the fear of failing, by embracing failure as the learning curve it is, then I can enjoy the reward of the success that learning and changing produce. I can love failing, for the benefit it gives me in moving ahead to become the person and business woman I’m aiming at.

On the flip side of each perceived negative is a tremendous positive. By learning to embrace the pain of the negative emotion or behaviour, we get to enjoy the financial success, the friendship, the romance or the fulfillment of the dream.

As I’m travelling along this journey of self discovery, I’m in an uncharted land, where the land marks are completely different to anything I’ve done or who I’ve been before. I’m finding the fear of the pain of stepping into the unknown is in my head. The thoughts I think about what could happen, are worse than the pain of what actually happens as I follow my inner tuition and step into the unknown, talk to people I don’t know, write papers I’ve never done before. The thoughts from my past are not useful for the growth of who I want to be.

Is there something you want to pursue? What is your big dream?

What is stopping you from taking the steps that need to be taken?

Is it the pain of the unknown, or the fear of failing?

What would happen if you followed your little voice, the one that knows what you need to do?

You can change the messages from your past, by looking at what you think is going to happen when you step into the pain. Emotions are just thought signals, vibrations sent from your brain, that it perceives danger, You don’t have to act on an emotion, you can let it sit in your body, calm it down and choose a better thought to give a better emotion, that will allow you to take the next action step into your future dream, today.

Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite are contrived to be constant companions. -Pierre Charron

I am choosing to run into the pain to get to the pleasure on the other side. What about you? Do you run towards the pain to get the pleasure? or Do you run away from the pain forgoing the future pleasure?

This week investigate the way you look at pleasure and pain in relation to your BIG dream.

Until next week, live your best authentic life.

Linda Codlin

Discipline: Pleasure or Pain?

Hello My friends,

This week has zipped by exceptionally quickly. I’ve had a birthday this week, now I’m a little older and wiser. They say the older you get the faster time goes by.

I was sitting in the back yard eating my lunch today. Our picnic table is under the huge Puriri tree, which is wonderful for offering shade from the hot afternoon sun. As I was eating my sandwich the little red flowers floated to the ground. I looked up into the branches, and hiding among the leaves, upside down was a little juvenile Tui. He is so young he doesn’t have a wattle yet. He was vigorously shaking the flower to get his beak right to the tip to extract all the nectar. I am so blessed to live in a garden where we have native birds sipping nectar.

Today I want to talk about discipline.

Okay, before you grunt and put your device away in disgust. Hear me out.

The definition of discipline according to the dictionary is, “The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience”

That’s how I grew up with the interpretation of discipline. Discipline was something to avoid at all costs, it created pain, and in my mind pain was not good. That’s how I raised my children. The motivating factor behind discipline in this sense is fear, if I don’t behave in a certain way something bad is going to happen to me. I am going to be punished.

Is it any wonder we ever do anything? Think back over your life, how many times have you, not done something good, that you really wanted to because you were afraid of going against the rules of your family? How many times have you rebelled against the rules of your family or society? Deciding to face the fury of your family. Isn’t that what all rebellion is about, breaking free from the ‘discipline and control’ of someone else.

What if we came to discipline from a place of Love?

Love desires the very best for the person love is bestowed upon. I’m not saying we don’t need rules, all communities require some form of governing. I’m suggesting that we create our own rules for governing our lives, and the rewards we get for following through with them.

Why is it that the gyms have lots of members but few patrons? I’d like to suggest it’s our lack of self-discipline.

Why do we ignore our credit card statements, and continue to shop? I’d suggest there is an emotional reason, one that we’re running away from. Self-discipline would help turn this area around.

We have two main operating systems in our brain.

The first is to avoid pain. We are wired to reject pain and move away from it. If we perceive that over eating or over spending or over drinking is going to numb the pain or remove it, we move in that direction.

The second is to run to pleasure. Every thing we do is to give us pleasure. False pleasure or true pleasure. False pleasure always has a sting in it’s tail, like a scorpion. It’s the overeating which creates health issues, it’s spending money on things you don’t want, which creates the debt and the over stuffed houses we live in, it’s drinking to excess which creates devastation in our families, health and finances. True pleasure leaves you with the feeling of well-being, it builds your self-confidence and self-esteem. True pleasure brings people together.

Do you find being disciplined difficult?

Do you find that you show up for other people, but not yourself?

Do you find you can be disciplined at work, but not at home?

What are the thoughts behind your version of discipline?

Are they thoughts of fear? “If I don’t show up for work I’ll get the sack” “It’s important that I show up on time and prepared, or I’ll be humiliated.”

What if we came to discipline from a place of self-love?

It is my belief that it is our thoughts that determine what actions we take, those actions determine the habits that we create and those habits determine whether we have a well lived life.

Discipline in and of itself is neutral, It’s a word. It is what you believe it to mean that adds the power to it.

Think of the areas in your life where you are disciplined. Yes, you do have areas of your life where you have discipline. It might be brushing your teeth, or feeding your children or pets, or putting on clothes to go outside. You have areas of your life where you have discipline. What are your thoughts when you do these things? Do you even think about it? Are they on auto pilot?

Discipline is the key to freedom. By being disciplined you create space in your life to move towards the pleasure and things you really want.

Do you want to lose weight? Discipline is the key, discipline from a place of self-love. Where you watch with interest the thoughts you are thinking when you choose foods that you know are not the best for your body. You watch the thoughts, that talk you out of going to the gym or for that walk around the block. Know that is just your brain trying to keep in in it’s ‘safe normal’ place.

Do you want to get out of debt? Discipline is the key, once again from a place of self-love. It is with self-love and acceptance that you can investigate without guilt or shame the stories that are running in your mind, creating your need to spend.

With awareness you will discover what you are thinking to yourself. These are the thoughts that are driving you. Are they thoughts of love for yourself or do they berate and belittle you, do they motivate you to move toward your goal or do they stop you in your tracks?

Discipline can be instilled in your life one thought at a time.

Choose a goal you want to achieve.

Why do you want it? (Do you like your why? That’s all that is important)

What do you need to do to achieve it?

Write these down? They will become your action steps.

To get something you have never had, you have to become someone you’ve never been before.

To make permanent lasting change stick you have to change the way you think about yourself.

Think about how you will feel when you have achieved your goal. How will the way you dress change? Will you be more confident? How is your life different once your goal is achieved?

What are thoughts you’ll be thinking?

If you’ve released your excess weight, You could be thinking, “I look good in this little black dress” “I love eating healthy and nourishing foods”

If you’ve paid off your credit card, “You could be thinking, “I have so much more money to invest in my future.” ” I enjoying buying what I need with cash.”

To become someone you have never been, you have to think in ways you’ve never thought before.

This week choose one little tiny activity that you can repeat over and over to create a new habit, toward s your goal. Buddy that action with something you already to do to double it’s success rate. Watch the thoughts that rise as you do this action. Are these the thoughts that the you who has achieved their goal will be thinking, if not choose a better thought.

You choose the thoughts you think at any given time. choose the good ones.

Take your discipline out of it’s box, dust it off, sprinkle it with self-love and a little tiny action and watch it grow.

Till next time, be your authentic self.

Linda Codlin

"What you seek is seeking you." Rumi

Hello, My friends.

This week has been a busy one. Hubby and I began to remodel our kitchen.

Our kitchen has always been on the remodel list, it is a 1950’s original walk through, narrow kitchen. When we purchased this house the kitchen was painted a turquoise green, the window frame and cupboard surrounds were a darker turquoise green than the cupboards and walls. It looked hideous, The floor covering was an orange mosaic tile style vinyl, possibly from the 1970’s era. The first thing hubby did after moving in was to paint the window frames white, and the walls and cupboard doors a light grey, this made the room bearable to be in.

All the time we have lived in this home, I’ve been thinking and considering how I want the kitchen to look, I considered removing a wall to include the lounge, and make it an open living space. This wall happens to be load bearing, which means it’ll need a large dose of capital, we scrubbed that idea- more dollars than we wanted to invest.

The kitchen had a built in pantry which didn’t suit our needs, and a short bench with cupboards above. The fridge lived in the dining area, as there was no space in the kitchen for it. After much humming and hawing, we made a decision. We picked up our tools and began removing the wall units and benches, we dismantled the pantry and made a small space instantly bigger. We cleaned up the mess, moved the fridge, put back the benches and all of a sudden the kitchen plan came together. Is it finished? No! Do we have a better idea of what we want? Definitely.

Sometimes our lives are like my kitchen, the lay out is all wrong, the colour is hideous. it just isn’t working the way we want it to, or the way it used to.

We give our lives a lick of paint, so to speak, to make it more tolerable. We go about our daily routines, making do, unhappy with the functionality of the space that is us.

A long time ago, I learned a valuable lesson through the school of hard knocks. The lesson being, what I think will cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time, or is too hard. Really isn’t. It’s what I have believed to be true. I have learnt to use a timer to take the “I can’t start this project, it’s going to take too long.” thought from inaction to beginning. I discovered I could do anything for fifteen, thirty or sixty minutes. Set the timer and begin. When the timer goes off, tidy up and stop. Look at what has been accomplished that wouldn’t have been. I’ve gardened this way, did the house work, revamped rooms, cleaned the house from floor to ceiling and room by room, studied while I worked. These beliefs were stopping me from doing what needed to be done. I kept putting up with broken things, and unfinished things, believing they would cost more money than I had to repair or replace them. That was a lie, once I did the research and priced up the repair, the item would cost surprisingly less than my mind had led me to believe. I would set the goal and the intention to mend or discard the broken things, to complete the work that had been started, and somehow, what I needed arrived, I juggled the finances to make the money available, I reshuffled my time constraints to make space available to do what needed doing. The people with the know how that I needed would appear to guide me. What I was seeking would find me.

What are you putting up with in your life?

What is dragging you down?

What gives you that sinking feeling every time you walk past it?

Our kitchen work has begun, will it be finished next week? I’d say not, however, we will work on it consistently over the next few months to get it where we want it.

What one area in your life do you want to make a change in?

Do you want to be more consistent? Do you want more love? Do you want more inner peace? What about a new job, or career? Do you want to be a published author, telling and writing your story? Do you want to purchase a new lounge suite, you know, the one that every time you see it you go, “I’d love that in my lounge.” Is it beginning to train for a marathon? or Reshaping your body? or Is it that you want to own your own home, or upgrade to your next home? Maybe for you it’s spending more time with your family and friends, or is it travelling to exotic places, or places of historic significance. Maybe you want to live with less clutter, be more organised, find that document you just put down? What ever it is, If you are looking for it, it is looking for you.

Grab a pen and paper, write it down, what ever it is you want, put it on the paper with as much detail as you can muster, put what you want into a tangible format. (Now if that little voice says, ” Oh, it’s not that important, or it’s not a big thing, or I don’t have time right now. Do it anyway.) Read it, does it inspire you? or even frighten you a little? Great! What is one thing you can do towards making it a reality?

If your goal is owning a brand new Mustang, read up on it, learn everything about it, take it for a test drive, smell it, feel it.

If your goal is to travel the world, find someone who has been there or a podcast about the place you want to travel to, talk to a travel agent, get your brochures, open a travel savings account, purchase your luggage. Move towards it and it will move towards you.

If purchasing a new home is your goal, decide what type of home you want, where you would prefer to live, in what area, investigate your financial situation, plan to create a budget to achieve that house.

If you want to be more organised, and have less clutter, begin with 3 boxes, one for rubbish, one for give away and one to put away. Set your timer for 20 mins. Tackle only one draw, or shelf at a time, and sort through every thing in that area. The items either go in one of the three boxes. When the timer goes off, you put the rubbish out in the bin, you donate the give-aways. (Be strong, no take backs.) and the put away items get to be put where you want them to go. There are great resources available to increase these skills, use the library.

Whatever the goal is that you’ve written on your paper, reread it, put it on a small card in your wallet and read it every day, take small steps towards it.

Rumi says, “What you seek, is seeking you.”

I have found that once I begin on a path, the inspiration comes to help me complete the journey. I have to be willing to take a step into the unknown. With my kitchen, I have an idea on how I want it to look, I’ve taken the step into the unknown, in taking what I have apart, now I’m trusting that as I do my research and do the activities I need to do, the kitchen I want will begin to take shape.

Be willing to take a step into the unknown and go after what you really want.

Live your most authentic life, follow what you want one step at a time. Until next time.

Linda Codlin

Be My Valentine Everyday!

Hello, My friends,

How was your Valentines Day? Did you spend time with your significant other? Did you make time to celebrate with your friends?

My hubby and I had dinner with my brother and his wife, we shared great food and excellent conversation. We also watched a movie that was on our love to see list, and to top it off we came home to see the deer from the hill behind us, pop out of our neighbours garden, look at us and trot on down the road.

What if I were to tell you, you can have Valentines Day everyday of the year. Would you call me crazy? Tell me that you’d go broke, buying that many gifts.

What is Valentines Day? When we strip the commercialization away, the “I have to get her/him something big, or expensive to symbolize my love and affection.” Valentines Day boils down to a day to celebrate the ones we love.

My belief is that we can only love someone to the extent that we love ourselves. Love is a thought, followed by a feeling/emotion, which we then put into action.

Imagine, that your life is like a water fountain, when the water is flowing freely, you have more than enough to share, the water splashes over the edges and trickles into the crevices, nourishing everything it touches. Love is the water, love is one of the most basic needs a human being has.

Your authentic self is the source of that water/love.

If you neglect the source you won’t have anything to give.

To love yourself, to have genuine self acceptance, to be truly confident in who you are and what you can do, is the spring that the water/love flows from.

In your life you may have gremlins working hard to squash any form of self love, telling you, “Who do you think you are? Loving yourself is vanity, it’s stupid, it’s prideful, you’re too fat, too thin, not smart enough.” This list is endless. It is an untrue list.

We deserve love because WE ARE.

Let me repeat that, “We deserve love because WE ARE.” Not because of what we can do, but because we are. We are not human doings, we are human beings. We are alive, today, hence WE ARE.

I’m not talking about the love of anyone else, I’m talking about the love of the most important person in your life. YOU!

I can almost hear some of you laughing at me, “Yeah,right! you don’t live in my skin, you haven’t done the things I’ve done, seen the things I’ve seen, or lived through the things I’ve lived through.”

You are right, I haven’t.

I have lived my own version of a life without love. To me it wasn’t pretty either, it has left scars and insecurities, hurdles that I am still working to overcome, I guess that’s part of what it means to be a human being.

However, loving ourselves is entirely our choice. We get to choose how we think about ourselves. The next time you head to the bathroom, stop in front of the mirror, wink at yourself and say, “You’re looking good.” If you’re alone and feeling brave say it out loud so your ears hear it.

What is the response that comes back instantly? Is it uplifting and encouraging, or is it deflating and pessimistic?

Whatever it is. It is good, notice it, observe with interest. DO NOT beat yourself up! This is your starting place.

To move forward from where you are, you need to know where you are. By observing your reaction to the mirror conversation, you have a starting point.

Every morning when you have your shower, shave or apply your make-up, look at yourself in the mirror, smile and say, “I think you’re the best.” “You’re looking mighty handsome/sexy this morning.” Watch with interest what comes back at you, these are the things you can begin to find the opposite of and start reassuring yourself with.

For example, My past Linda would say, “You look lovely today.” into the mirror and instantly the reply would be, “Who are you kidding, your hair needs a cut, your face is too fat, and those clothes, argh.” Nasty Linda was in her prime. I learned to shut her down by listening to what she was saying, acknowledging the grain of truth and by taking care of me, I got the hair cut, I told her this is my face, then I began to care for it, I began a beauty routine. I may not be able to change it, however, I can work with what I’ve got, I began taking better care of the clothes I had. With each action I shut the voice down. Then I’d say something new to myself in the mirror and listen to the response and take action to counter what I was hearing.

Once you’ve mastered giving yourself genuine compliments, you can look yourself in the eye and say with conviction, “I love you.” Using the same process, of watching with interest the thoughts and reactions that come up, finding the positive opposite and reinforcing that. The depreciating self-talk will be eliminated and only love will be reflected back to you.

I am statements are the most powerful things you can say about and to yourself. Ensure they are positive and in the present tense.

I am Confident

I am Responsible

I am Beautiful

I am Kind

I have found that this has been the quickest way to retrain my mind to think in a way that allows my fountain of love to flow freely, to and through me.

Valentines Day everyday, is learning to love ourselves without conditions.

To love ourselves, because WE ARE.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves and those we love, is to speak kindly, to show acts of thoughtfulness, to have compassion, and to be our true most authentic selves.

I want to leave you with a challenge I was given a while ago.

For the next thirty days first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, by yourself, in front of a mirror, stand up straight, square your shoulders, look yourself in the eye, and quietly, but with conviction, say in the first-person present tense.

” I ________ am a person of integrity, I am enthusiastic, I take pride in my appearance and what I do. I have a sense of humour, I have empathy, compassion and dedication.

I have character, I am knowledgeable, I have a healthy self-image, a passion for what is right. I have faith, wisdom and a vision for my life.

I am honest, sincere, disciplined, and motivated. I am focused, I get things done in a timely manner. I am bold, authoritative, and confident. I am humble, fair and sensitive.

I am an active listener, a student, a teacher and a self starter, I am an excellent communicator, I am resourceful, creative, competent and intelligent. I am health-conscious, I am active, flexible, punctual and persistent. I am developing winning habits.

I am an honourable person who is truly grateful for the opportunity life has given me. These are the qualities of the winner I was born to be, I am committed to developing these marvelous qualities with which I have been entrusted.

*Tonight I am going to sleep wonderfully well, I will dream powerful, positive dreams. I will awaken energized and refreshed, and tomorrow’s going to be magnificent!

*Today is the first day of the rest of my life, I am blessed, today is a wonderful day to be alive.

Choose one quality that you want to improve, study that quality and implement it in your life. I can guarantee, that you will see a difference in how you show up for yourself.

This week let your water fountain, of love, splash those around you with the authenticness of who you are. Happy Valentines Day every day of the year.

Until next time

Linda Codlin

What colour is your lens?

Hello My friends,

This week has been a big one for me. I finished at my job of fifteen years, to commence studying. This is a strange and foreign land for me. One I am enjoying getting lost in.

This week I thought I’d chat about perspective.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. “What does perspective mean to me?” “How does it influence my behaviour and beliefs?” “Can I change my perspective?” “What would I change it to?”

The dictionary defines perspective as “a particular way of considering something,” “to think about a situation in a wise and reasonable way,” “to compare something with other things so that it can be accurately and fairly judged.”

What does perspective mean to me? It’s the way I view the world around me. It’s the split second judgement calls I make on whether I like something or not, whether I can do something or not, it’s how I compare myself with others. Usually I believe my perspective to be the right one, and everyone else has it, oh, so wrong. What about you? What does perspective mean to you? Is it the way you see things?

Where do we get our perspectives from? I believe our perspectives come from a multiple of sources. They are expanded by the ideas that work colleagues have, when someone shows us a different way to think about a problem. It’s the seeds of potential placed in our minds by people who challenge the status quo. It’s the situations we find ourselves in when the choices we’ve made don’t lead where we thought they would. We get our perspectives unconsciously from our parents, our cultural upbringing, educational institutes, our society, television, social media, our peers and associates. All of these and many more determine our perspectives.

How does our perspective influence our behaviour and beliefs? Our behaviour and beliefs are directly influenced by our perspective, everything we say and do are run through our unconscious filters of bias and prejudice, within seconds of meeting someone new, we have sized them up and made a judgement call, and often we’re not even aware of it. Our perspectives determine what cars we think are the safest, what food is the healthiest, it determines how we respond to people, (are they a threat or are they friendly) how we dress, what make up we wear, if any. Where we choose to live.

Our perspectives are based on the things we have been shown and told all our lives, if we don’t choose to deliberately look at them, they will continue to drive us.

Can we change our perspectives? I believe we can and must.

If the lens of our life view is distorted, the view of our lives will also be distorted. That distortion will prevent us from getting the things we want in life.

How do we change our perspectives? Our perspectives can be changed by the environment we surround ourselves with, the books we read, the people we converse with, the thoughts we fill our minds with.

Choose to look at one area of your life today. Maybe, the food you eat, the programmes you watch on television, the way you talk to your wife, husband, children at the end of a long and tiring day. Your life it doesn’t have to be this way, you can make a positive change.

Change the way:

You look at your food, (eat for nutrition and health,)

You watch television, (choose shows that educate and inspire,)

You converse with family members, (smile, give them a hug, listen, send love to them through your words.)

One way I was shown how to do this was to write the problem or area on a piece of paper, get every aspect of the problem onto the paper. The pros and the cons, what you’d like to see happen, and how you’d like it to be resolved. Place the page on a table, with a minimum of four chair seating. In your mind, invite the greatest minds you know to sit at the table. Ask yourself, “What would ‘Oprah’ ‘Aristotle’ ‘Albert Einstein’ ‘Steven Jobs’ (fill the places with whoever is relevant to you.) say if they had this problem.” Go around the table and ask them one at a time, ” What would you do if you had this situation?” Take note of your response. This has been helpful to shift the way that I view a problem when I’m stuck in my perspective and can’t move forward. Think outside the box, and act on this insight.

Changing our perspective is all that is needed for us to see what we can really achieve. What would you change your perspective to, if you could?

Would you drop that little bit of sarcasm you have towards a certain group of people? Would you soften your view on poverty?

Would you become less racially biased?

Would you have more compassion for your work colleague?

Would you discover the solution to that issue that has plagued your life for always?

Would your life have a little more happiness in it, because you’re not stressing so much?

Would you let go of the grudges and hurts that feed your perspective?

What if you smiled at each person you met today? and noticed the little bit of you joy feel as you extend the proverbial olive branch, to creating a better place to live, work, and love.

In conclusion, What are some of the perspectives you hold dear? Are they serving you in getting what you want from your life? If not, write them out and hold a round table conference with the people who will help you gain a better perspective over your life.

Live your most authentic life, until next time.

Linda Codlin

Lessons from a little boy.

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Buddah.

Hello, My friends,

Life is a teacher, and we are the students. Now that’s a bold statement.

It’s a statement I am learning to embrace in my life.

Life has a way of getting our attention.

I believe life wants us to actually live. Most of us go through our lives in a fog, dragging ourselves through one activity to the next, plodding on, each day the same as the day before, knowing that our tomorrows will be the same as today. We hurry through today to get to the “prize” that tomorrow promises, to find there is no “prize” or the satisfaction we desired from the”prize” doesn’t fulfill what we hoped it would.

I believe life wants us to feel, to enjoy, to have pleasure in the mundane things, to be aware of our surroundings.

As a teacher, life will use whatever is at hand.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you will be aware that I believe that our thoughts create our feelings, which create our actions, which create our lives.

It is true, if you’re going to state something, you’d better be prepared to be tested on it.

My test arrived this week in the shape of a small five year old, male child. If you are a parent, you probably can relate, children have the uncanniest way of pushing buttons you never knew existed, or that you thought you’d sorted a long time ago.

Life put this small boy in my path this week, I believe to test me. It’s easy to spout words on a blank page, in front of a computer. It’s not so easy to live those words. I have to admit I struggled to sit with my anger when he defied my requests, to rephrase my remarks to create, rather than destroy. To find the good in the little lad when he was screaming the neighbourhood down in his full blown meltdown. What I did learn, was in any given moment I have a choice. I have the choice to respond or react. I can choose to act without thinking. ( And I did), or I can use the 5 sec rule, breathe in and breathe out, and then make a choice. (Which I also did.) Let the emotion of the moment settle. During the meltdown event, there were lots of moments, where I chose inaction over what my mind and body wanted to do. He survived, (maybe even thrived a little) this week with his Nana, and his Nana learned a lot about herself.

It’s not in the sunny days that we find who we are and what we’re made of. It’s in the hard times, the uncomfortable times, the times when everything seems to go wrong. It’s when life throws those curved balls. You know the ones, they make you re-evaluate: Where you’re heading? What your life is all about? What is a priority, and what isn’t? What can be eliminated? It may be an illness, or a relationship break down, or a financial event, a divorce, the loss of a loved one.

I believe life is trying to get our attention. The times in my life I have grown the most and changed as a woman were in the times of the greatest hard ship and heart ache. they were the times when my walls were at there weakest.

Sometimes we need a shake up to wake us from the fog of our lives.

Let life teach, everything that happens, happens for a reason. (Another bold statement, and I have no doubt there will be a strengthening event to see if I really mean it.)

Find the lesson in the event, investigate the options, look for things that may need to change, play with life a little, try the What if….. game.

What if…. I lost the weight and gained the health and vitality I want.

What if….I did that idea that seems a little crazy.

What if …. I followed the doctors instructions.

What if ….I joined a band, ..sang in the choir…took up cooking french cuisine.

What if…. I lived everyday to the fullest.

What if …. I dreamed a dream, then followed it.

What if … I stopped to cuddle a little five year old male child

Life is full of opportunities.

When you start asking what if? Let the teacher appear, take the action you know to do, watch your life change and evolve.

Thoughts become feelings, feelings become actions, actions become habits and then you have a new and exciting life.

Go out there and live yours, follow your heart, ask What if?

Be your authentic self, till next time

Linda Codlin

Inner Alignment

Hello My friends.

This week I want to talk about being authentic.

To be authentic means to have an alignment within yourself.

That all parts are congruent with each other.

When there is internal conflict, the world seems off slightly, our energy has to flow over or around the block.

Imagine that your energy radiates through you, a bit like a wind tunnel, it draws air through it by vacuum. If the wall of the tunnel cracks and spills dirt into the tunnel in one area, the air can still flow through it, maybe a little slower than before, that’s when you feel a bit off, not enough for the warning bells to ring, but just a little niggle that somethings not right.

If you ignore this little niggle, the crack may widen and spill more dirt, or another fracture may appear somewhere else, and you have a second, third or fourth pile of dirt blocking the air flow. Eventually, if you neglect the signs that something is amiss, then the entire wall of the tunnel may collapse blocking all but a whisper of air from getting through.

Some of you may be living in the space where only a whisper of your energy is getting through the blockages. You know something is not right, you’re tired of being tired, you’re over, overeating, you’re feeling drained and depleted, it doesn’t matter how much money is in the bank it never seems to be enough, you feel unloved even when you have loved ones around you.

I am here to give you hope, there is a way to clear the blockages. It will take work and time. Just as in the analogy of the tunnel, to clear the collapsed walls it will take work and time.

For you to be in alignment with your true self, you must discover what it is that makes you, you. What are your core values? These are the things that consistently guide your life. These are like the filter that you run everything you do and think through. You consider these to be important or beneficial. For some people it’s honesty, integrity, or monetary value, being reliable, doing what you say you’re going to do, being where you say you’re going to be, loyalty, and respect. For some it might be, How will this person help me get what I want? What’s in it for me?

Sometimes our values are given to us by default, we collect them like precious toys as children, from the significant adults in our lives, and the experiences we have along the way.

For today I want to ask a few questions to get you thinking about what motivates you to do what you do. Where there could be mis-alignments, detracting from you being your authentic self.

  1. What do you enjoy doing the most? Where would you spend all your time if you could? What activity has you so involved that the hours just whisk away? For me it’s reading and writing, the hours just melt away.
  2. What are the activities, or things you couldn’t live without? Is it that sense of luxury that stylish clothes give you? Is it the morning walk around the garden? Is it the type of home you live in or the type of car you drive? Maybe for you it’s having a clutter free home? Living as frugally as you can? One of mine is living in a sunny home, I choose to live in sunny homes, every-time.
  3. What is the one thing that always, always irritates you about other people? Is it their being late? or not thinking about other peoples needs? or is it their leaving the equipment they used out, instead of putting it away after them? or is it not saying what they really mean? What irritates me, are people being treated unfairly. When you’ve figured out what always irritates you, flip it over and see what the opposite is, that will give you a clue to what your value is. In the example I gave above my value is justice.
  4. How do you behave when you’re under stress or pressure, when things don’t go the way you plan? Do you withdraw? Do you yell? Do you sulk? Do you eat? Do you spend money? Do you help other people? What is your avoidance mechanism? This I believe is the easiest way to tell what your core values really are. One of mine is eating, it is a form of self punishment, take that! you naughty girl. The underlying value for me has been I’m not good enough.

Can you relate, The I’m not enough value is so insidious it pervades everything.

As you work your way through discovering your core values, you may find some that don’t serve you. I have found, that uncovering the thought behind the value and changing that thought for one that serves me better has changed the way I behave.

What you think, you become. Thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, actions create habits and habits create a well lived life. Choose your thoughts carefully, they are what your tomorrows are built on today.

Let me know what your core values are by emailing me on authenticlivingwithlinda@gmail.com

Have a value centred week, Be your authentic self, until next time.

Linda Codlin

What About Success?

Hello My Friends,

Last week, I asked you to be aware of what you were thinking, How did you get on?

This week, I’ve been thinking about what success looks like to me. When I ask myself the question, “How am I living in abundance today?” (This is linked to my WOY (word of the year)) I somehow slide into thinking about success, and how I can be successful? I’ve noticed that the underlining thought is that I’m not successful yet. Which when I look at the facts is actually untrue. I am very successful.

The dictionary defines success as “The accomplishment of one’s aim or purpose.” “The attainment of wealth, position, and honours.”

Success seems to be a term that comes loaded with guilt, The guilt of not having achieved “success” by a ‘certain age’, or having a ‘certain life style’. On the flip side there is the guilt of having ‘the life style’, and having ‘achieved wealth’.

Success as a generality is a term of comparison, “Are you successful compared to your peers?” “Are you successful compared to what your parents expectations are?” How does society expect a person who has achieved success to behave, to live?” “Are you successful if you have a large bank balance?” Are you successful if you are married?” Are you successful if you have children?”

Does that mean you’re not successful, if you’re not like your peers? or you haven’t lived up to your parents expectations? or your bank account doesn’t have multiple zeros after the digits? or you are single? or childless? I think not.

Who defines what success is?

I believe we each define our own version of success.

We live in an abundant world, “The accomplishment of one’s aim or purpose” is an open ended invitation to be and do or have whatever we want. If your version of success is owning your own home, go for it, if your version of success is travelling the world, go for it, if it’s having children, do it. If you are prepared to do the things that will enable you to accomplish your aim or purpose, you can have success.

To me that’s the external success taken care of.

What defines the internal success?

You know, the kindness, the spitefulness, the love, the anger, the confidence, the cowardice, the peace, the jealousy, the gentleness, the harshness, the joy. The way we treat ourselves when no-one else is watching. These are the things that are not so easy to pinpoint as successes. I believe these attributes are every bit as important as the external successes. The thoughts that drive these attributes define how we behave, what we achieve, how well we live our lives in the every day.

You are successful, when you show you care about yourself by eating with mindfulness, by going for a walk when you don’t feel like it, when you sit with your anger and let it tell you what’s really going on under the event.

You are successful, when you walk into the board room confident in your abilities, when you respond to your children’s demands in an appropriate manner, when you sit and cry because your heart is breaking, when you bite your tongue instead of spewing out the venom that you want to. These are the greatest successes, these are the successes that go unseen and unappreciated.

You are successful, I am successful.

My definition of success is “I choose to think on purpose, to allow all my thoughts a place to be observed, to keep those that work for me and redefine those that don’t serve me, I choose to act on those thoughts that bring me closer to my goals, aims and purpose. I notice and celebrate when I succeed in taking a step closer to the me I want to be.”

In closing, what is your definition of success?

Remember you define what success looks like to you.

This week, set yourself a goal and work toward it, celebrating every step forward as a success. You can succeed, one thought at a time.

Have a successful week, Be your authentic self, until next time.

Linda Codlin

Be the creator!

Hello, My friends,

I’m sitting in my office, I just observed our short haired ginger cat slink into the master bedroom. He knows he’s not supposed to be in there. If I were to have a look for him, he’d be under the bed hiding.

How many times do we do things that we know we shouldn’t, and hide out in fear of being discovered.

It could be eating an entire packet of biscuits once the kids have gone to bed, or drinking a bottle of wine every night, or purchasing yet another dress, which we stuff into our over full wardrobe.

We feel guilty because we know better and we beat ourselves up – silently – inside our heads, where no-one else can see.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Let me tell you what I know.

Everything you and I do is to feel a certain way, or to not feel a certain way. We overeat, over drink, over shop, over anything and you know your own devices, We do it to quell the feelings inside us. You know, it’s the “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t provide, I don’t earn enough,” “Life is hard on me,” ” As I child my …..” These are the programmes running in the back of our lives.

I have learned that every emotion (feeling) comes from a thought inside my head. That thought creates an energetic vibration within my body, (My feelings), and it’s these emotions that I’m trying to run away from. I’ve had limited success in changing my outside behaviour, but, I’d always slipped back into my default habits, cursed myself for not having the will power, or stickability to stay with my goal. Then I’d go back to over indulging in my go vice, to cover up my shame, to try to silence the voice in my head telling me some very nasty stories.

We can silence that inner critic, come out into the open, stop slinking about, hiding under the bed like the cat. By learning to own our emotions. Not acting on them, just watching them, feeling the feeling, noticing where it sits in our body, observing the thoughts that are running wild in our minds.

For me, this process is extremely scary. I am the type of person who “needs” to be in control, and when my emotions are running around like unruly children, I want to squash them into submission, put them back in the box. Just watching, noticing without action is hugely uncomfortable. However the more I observe, I notice that my type of story is nearly always the same, “I’m not good enough.”

I have learned that I can change this story. I discovered that I’m not broken, I never was, that was a lie I picked up along the way. I am a creator. WE are all creators, we always have been, we just didn’t know it.

The secret to creating is in our thoughts. Choosing the thoughts that feel good, thinking from a place of confidence, abundance and joy. Acknowledging all our feelings, the so called good and bad feelings, they all have a part to play in the women we are becoming.

Remember this is a process, as the hair ad, said, ” It won’t happen over night, but it will happen.”

Create your new life one thought at a time. This week, notice what you say to yourself when you think you’ve fallen off the “wagon” whatever your particular wagon is. Then try a little experiment, Imagine you are a small child learning a new skill, how would you encourage that child to try again, when they think they can’t do it? Encourage yourself, just as you would a small child, “You can do it, You are good enough.” Say to yourself, “I am good enough, I have got this, I can do it.” Then watch, do you notice a change in how you feel.

Have a great week, Be your authentic self, See you next time.

Resolutions

Hello My Friends,

The new year is upon us, we’re 6 days into the new year.

Did you create a list of new year’s resolutions?

Are they the same or similiar to previous years?

How are you going with your execution?

For me I’ve written lists of to do’s for ever. (And I still do, it’s in my DNA )

I’m a list queen. And I’d accomplish most everything on my list.

I’d set my determination to Go!

I’d have the satisfaction of crossing the item off my list and seeing the fruits of my labour producing the outcomes I desired.

That is so long as it didn’t involve losing weight or listening to my inner self. I became the mistress of taking my excess weight off, then I would regain it whenever a life event happened. This is still a work in progress. This year my aim is to listen to my inner Linda and figure out what is behind my emotional eating. Being curious with myself, side stepping the mean girl who calls me nasty names. I figure this part of my journey will be a bit higgledy pickledy as I have 50 years of old habits to unravel.

But as for other goals like painting the house, redecorating the lounge, building a new herb garden. I’m your gal, if it’s tangible and gives a visible result, I’m in.

Take the time I painted the roof of our house. At the time I was a shift worker, working twelve hour shifts, two days and two nights with four days off. Excellent opportunity. At the time, it seemed I was always tired and my list was always nagging at me. I’d climb the ladder with paint bucket and brush. I’d begin with great gusto. Each day I’d progress a little further till the heat of the day made me call it quits. I’d squeeze in an hour here and an hour there. My self righteousness was palpable, look at me, see how good I am. I’d climb down the ladder to find family in the cool, chilling out. Wham, judgemental Linda would come in swinging for a show down, I’d stomp around, bang a door, but never say anything, Martyr Linda joined the party, she’s the one that’s been making all the sacrifices, blah, blah, blah. (It didn’t matter that the family had already mown the lawn, weeded the garden, and washed the car.) The only thing with this party was no-one was feeling any joy. I didn’t like who I was, or how I was treating my loved ones.

Something had to change, Someone had to change, and the only person feeling hard done by was me. One thing I have learned is I can’t change anyone else, if I want things to change it has to come from me. The way I was thinking was affecting my behaviour. To change my actions, I had to change my feelings, which required me to change the way I thought about the situation I was in.

Yes, the to do lists got done, there was little joy and peace. The job on the list was the goal, not how well the journey was walked or the status of the relationships with the people around me were lived.

This year I’m on the journey to mend a few of those relationships, and create a life of fun, new adventures, add interest and challenge into my daily life.

In the last year I have been discovering so many new, to me things. One of those things is to choose a word that describes what and who I want to be in the coming year. I asked myself questions like,

What am I tired of putting up with?

What would I change if I could change anything about my life?

What do I want more of in my life?

Who do I want to become? If I could be anyone, what characteristics, would I want to embody?

Sitting still, and answering these questions, seeking guidance from my inner self, my word for 2020 is abundance. I want to experience more abundance in my friendships, more abundance in my marriage, more abundance within myself, more abundance in our finances, more abundance with my children. Now some of you may have the notion that abundance is only about money. Well it is about money, but it’s so much more than that. We live in an abundant world, take a look at nature, plants have more seeds than they’ll ever grow- abundance, We are surrounded by abundance every day, I want to open my eyes to see it, feel it, be a part of the universes abundance every day.

So, my word for this year is Abundance: I will run my decisions through the filter of, How will this make my life more abundant? Will this enhance or detract from my abundant life?

Have you thought about what you want the year 2020 to be like for you? Do you have a word for 2020? Share it with me at authenticlivingwithlinda@gmail.com

Until next time: See you my friends.