The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 29th January, 2018 – Always Do Your Best

Happy Monday!  I hope you have had a good week and managed not to make too many assumptions.

This week we turn our attention to Don Miguel Ruiz’s fourth and final ‘agreement,’ ‘Always Do Your Best’.  I love this one! Yes, I realize I say this about each one but, in my opinion, each ‘agreement’ contains a lot of wisdom that can be applied to our lives to great effect.

When I was at school and worried about an exam my mum would always say “just do your best.” While her words were well intentioned, I often felt under pressure; what if my best was simply not good enough?!  What then? Many of us, can relate to this, I’m sure.

As a teenager I didn’t have the insight to know that your best can change depending on your inner resources at the time and also your external circumstances. For example, studying for an exam in the morning after a good night’s sleep will usually result in a ‘better’ result than cramming last minute and late at night, for obvious reasons. Ruiz’s ‘Fourth Agreement,’ also illustrates that your best is better when you practise self-love and self-care rather than being self-critical.

When we are affected by ‘mental noise’ it is, in fact, impossible to do our best as we are battling the inner critic whose voice can drown out all of our ‘best’ attempts to do well.

When you practise true self-love your best is always good enough and it is not dependent on the result but on the effort that you made with the energy that you had at that point in time.

According to Ruiz, “when you do your best you learn to accept yourself” and this allows you to soften the internal critic. If you can put your hand on your heart and say to yourself “I did my best,” the invisible self-judge has no choice but to back down.

‘Always doing your best’ summarizes the ‘Four Agreements,’ as it allows us to discover that we are not perfect and that although our best may not yield ‘perfect’ results it is good enough! Looking back on the previous three Agreements’, Ruiz helps ease any pressure to always achieve them by stating:

“Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word.  Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally; just do your best.  Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best.”

This makes so much sense and the beauty of it is that when you take the pressure off yourself your best will come much more easily.

Have a great week and as always please do your best to share  The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit. I am also always so happy to get your feedback.

Always Do Your Best

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Always Do Your Best

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

Always Do Your Best

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 15th January, 2018 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

DearHappy Monday!  I hope this email finds you in good form and ready to start the week on a positive note.

I’m excited to hear about how you got on last week with Don Miguel Ruiz’s First Agreement, ‘Be Impeccable With Your Word’.  I found I did have a few moments where some words were almost out of my mouth and then I paused and thought is this the best way I can express myself? What impact will this have on the person I am talking to? I think that it is not only the words we choose but the way that we use the words that matters.

We may use lovely words but if there is aggression behind the words they are far from lovely.

This leads me to the Second Agreement, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally,‘ which Ruiz’ describes as:

“Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Boy oh boy, is this something I see a lot of in my work! If everyone immediately became immune to the opinions of others my waiting list would decrease drastically! This is one of the most common problems I help people with. “What will people think?” is a phrase I hear too often. I sense the intense suffering many clients have as they ponder and project what others will think about them if they seem them in any way weak or vulnerable. This can include issues with blushing to having an unsteady or nervous voice during a presentation.  The root of this fear often stems from the need to be accepted and approved of.

In order to reach the enlightened state of being where we are genuinely not affected by what we perceive other people think about us (because the truth is that we can’t read minds and don’t really know what other people think) requires a lot of deep inner work on security and confidence.  The world would be transformed for the better if no one took anything personally; there would be significant decreases in levels of crime, murders, and wars.  The ego and fear of what other people think leads humanity to behave in very inhumane ways.

Put ‘Don’t Take Things Personally’ into practice:

1. If someone insults you remember that this represents more how that person feels about themself and they are projecting their poison onto you. If you accept those words you also accept their poison which Ruiz describes as ‘black magic’. I find that empathy is a quick and effective way of removing the feelings of hurt or anger that an insult can evoke.

2. Let go of the need to be accepted and approved of. This really means that you are not flattered by a compliment or insulted by an slight.  The only opinion that matters to you on an inner level is your own. This one takes a lot of practice…

3. Practising the First Agreement of ‘being impeccable with your word’ will give you the inner confidence to stand over anything that you say or do.  You have nothing to hide or fear.

4. Learn to not ever take things personally and make this a habit that you practise every day (from the car that cuts you off in traffic to a loved one taking out their bad day on you). Like any other habit, it becomes automatic over time and great freedom will come from that.

I wish you the best of luck with incorporating this agreement into your life. It can take a lot of effort but that effort will help you to live and love from a place of peace.

Next week we will consider the Third Agreement which is ‘Don’t Make Assumptions.’ One of the things I really love about these ‘Agreements’ is that they really help our relationships to flourish.

Have a great week and as always please do share The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit.

I will be creating a series of free videos throughout 2018, “Anxiety Free, Stress-Free, Choose The Positive Habit” and I will be sure to send them to you as they will be packed with sound advice, insights and practical tips to keep you mentally and emotionally fit.

don't take anything personally

‘Mind Yourself Now!’ – Listen to the podcast from last Monday’s show (8th January). Click on image above.

To register for the full Positive Habit program please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme.  Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

Please take the time to take a look at Aoife McElwain’s book ‘Slow at Work’ which really captures how to cultivate a slow, more sustainable approach to work which will allow you to be productive AND avoid burnout. Please see here. I thoroughly recommend this book; Elsa Jones and I were honored to contribute to the research for this important book.

don't take anything personally
don't take anything personally

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

don't take anything personally

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 8th January, 2018 – The Four Agreements

I hope that you are well and welcome, as always, to any new readers – it’s a pleasure to have you with me.One of the books I got for Christmas was Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying,’ which after reading led me to become a little fixated with tidying and decluttering my wardrobe; I have always loved tidying but this book takes things to a new level!  In particular, folding clothes is turned into an art form and if you follow Condo’s advice then never again will your wardrobe be a chaotic mess. Instead your closet will look more like a display in a posh department store where each item is clearly visible and accessible!  After offloading about ten sacks to the charity shop, I am beginning to feel the therapeutic magic that Condo writes about.

A calm and decluttered space supports a calm and decluttered mind.

This brings me to another book that my ever loving husband bought me called ‘The Four Agreements,’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. Some of you may have heard of it or indeed Marie Kondo’s book as they are both international bestsellers. In hindsight, I wonder were these gifts a subtle message from my husband who is known for his tidiness and honesty?!

Like Deepak Chopra, Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican surgeon and author, turned his back on Western, conventional medicine to look at the healing powers of more holistic and ancient practices. In ‘The Four Agreements’ he focuses on the Toltec spiritual ethos which originates in Mexico.

Over the next four weeks of the blog I will deconstruct each agreement and suggest that you put the insights into practice for that week. The first agreement as you will see from the image above is:

“Agreement # 1 – Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

I really respect and admire this maxim which is actually the foundation of the remaining three agreements. The word is our most powerful tool in creating heaven or hell on earth, so that when we apply this agreement we are choosing to carefully consider what we say before we say it.  We choose to speak honestly and openly and always operate from a place of love.

One of the things I often notice with clients, friends and family is how quick they are to use negative language about themselves. Frequently this is a flippant comment and not intended in a serious way. However, the power of language is such that it leaves an imprint on our subconscious, so saying “stupid me” or “I’m so fat” is really not helpful to our image of ourselves or our self-esteem. Indeed, many of these beliefs are in fact subconscious agreements that we may have been carting around since  childhood. The bottom line is that they weigh us down, diminish us and keep us stuck.

When we use the word badly about ourselves the chances are that we will also do this about others. Again, the intention may not be serious or harmful but it leads to the rampant, toxic poison that is gossip.  While being on the receiving end of gossip may be unpleasant to say the least, the person who ultimately suffers most from it is the person who does the gossiping.

This week, listen to the conversations around you and notice how people talk about themselves and others.  The challenge for you is not to slip unintentionally into using the word negatively about yourself or others.  Awareness is the key to practising this and all of the agreements. Think carefully about the words you use and the impact they have on you and the people around you. The word ‘impeccable’ comes from the  Latin ‘pecatus’ which means ‘sin.’ When we are ‘impeccable’ with our word we therefore speak without sin about ourselves or about others.

In ‘The Four Agreements,’ Ruiz refers to the word as having the power of either white or black magic depending on how you use it. The word remains the most important tool of communication we have and our ability to be able to speak to each other is a gift that can be used for our greater good or for our downfall. Ruiz says:

“Use white magic, beginning with yourself, tell yourself how wonderful you are, how great you are. Tell yourself how much you love yourself.”

Next week we will consider the second agreement, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’. Imagine how this might help create a world of peace and harmony!

Have a great week and as always please do share The Positive Habit with anyone you think could benefit.

I will be creating a series of free videos throughout 2018, “Anxiety Free, Stress-Free, Choose The Positive Habit” and I will be sure to send them to you as they will be packed with sound advice, insights and practical tips to keep you mentally and emotionally fit.

the four agreements

‘Mind Yourself Now!’ – tune in to Today FM today, Monday 8th January at 10.30.am where I will be discussing taking the pressure off New Year’s goals and how to avoid feeling low around Blue Monday. You can also podcast the show if you miss it live.

To register for the full Positive Habit program please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme.  Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

the four agreements

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Early Bird until January 6th 2018 is only €115.00
Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

the four agreements

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