Finding your life purpose

find-your-purpose

Over the last few years I have had lots of major life changes. There has been moments where I’ve felt completely hopeless and helpless, in those situations I have been able to save myself through tuning back into the purpose of my life.  

So how do you find your life purpose? 

The questions I ask myself are:

If I could do anything in the world and there are absolutely no restrictions what would that be? And why?

What can you offer the world?

When are you at your happiest?

When do you feel most accomplished and most fulfilled?

What are you really good at? 

What makes you feel proud?

When you were a child what did you enjoy doing most?

These are just some questions, and this task isn’t a 10 minute job or a half an hour reflection.  Especially if you are doing this for the first time, these might be aspects which you have never thought about.

How do you know when you’ve found your life purpose? Really think about the reason you are doing what you are doing. Working with a therapist or coach really helps you with this process. Become self aware and you’ll find all the answers within yourself.  Once you start digging deep within yourself and reflecting on who you are and what you want you’ll discover things about yourself you never knew existed and that is the journey to truly finding your life purpose in life. 

Shopping Addiction

Once upon a time I had a shopping addiction.

I bought, clothes, shoes, stationary, to be honest – it was anything and everything. I’d even class buying certain food products as part of my addiction, for me it was a complete lack of self control and a urge to spend money regardless of what I spent it on. The aim was to feel better, to have that rush of good emotions, sometimes even to feel like someone else. The end outcome wasn’t a life full of expensive things, I instead had debt and I had no idea how I had found myself in a place of owing.

I always knew that something was wrong, I was spending beyond my means and would often experience guilt after buying things.

So, what changed and how did I stop my addiction? In my opinion there are two areas which people who have a shopping addiction need to focus on. Firstly, work on developing yourself as a person then secondly, learn how to become an expert in your finances. These two things coupled together worked for me. I’ll break it down for you:

1. Admit that you have a problem.
Firstly, I admitted to myself that I had a problem which was the most important part of the healing process, and I refer to it as healing because it really is. In my experience an addiction forms because something is happening for you emotionally and you are not able to cope, so you seek something which makes you feel good whether that is for a second or for hours. For me shopping made me feel good, there was nothing else which compared. Funnily enough I used to have a phrase ‘when I’m happy I shop, when I’m sad I shop’ meaning I just shopped all the time. It actually makes me laugh when I think about it because I was not happy back then, that’s the reason I could not stop the shopping urges, it was pretend happiness that I was really referring to.

2. Get to know yourself.
I began to really work on my self development, my main resource was and still is books. I read anything and everything which helps become the best ‘me’ possible, what I mean by this is someone who is comfortable in their own skin, who appreciates their own strengths and builds on them. I then started to search for answers relating to the concept of ‘loving yourself’, I’ve heard so much about self love but there didn’t seem to be any resources on the topic which spoke to me, to be honest I didn’t really get it. At first I thought it was merely about your physical appearance, making sure you wore nice clothes and your hair looked pristine. I mean taking care of your body and taking pride in your presentation is definitely something which helps you feel good but it wasn’t actually the true definition of self love. Self love for me, is having boundaries and being able to assert them with anyone in your life, giving yourself permission to be happy without guilt or shame and acknowledging your own needs and honouring their importance.

3. Ask yourself – What do you want do I want my life to look like?.

I built a picture of my future, something compelling. I have a vision for what I want to be like, all the characteristics I want to embody, the type of things I would like to do, the career I want, cities I’d love to visit or maybe live in. This helped me create goals for my future. Create a vision board if that helps, I would highly recommend that you do. Take some time to brainstorm anything that leads you to some clarity about what you want. Make sure it’s something you can refer back to which will help keep you on track. When I think about this, I feel excited – you should too that’s really the key.

4. For every purchase ask yourself questions.
More recently I bought a hypnosis CD by Paul Mckenna which is called ‘Stop emotional spending’ I find it helpful to listen to this often, the introduction of the CD is just as helpful as the hypnosis. McKenna asks that you questions your purchase before taking the plunge, a simple question like ‘ Do I really need this or am I looking to feel better?’ try it, it’s powerful and effective. I once heard Eckhart Tolle answer a question about shopping and he said something along the lines of ‘if you are walking in the park and see a beautiful flower, can you appreciate it’s beauty without ripping it out of it’s home? Of course you can, you do not need to possess every item that you see as beautiful, you can appreciate its beauty and leave it.’ Enough said.

5. Become an expert in your finances.
I used to be one of those people who said, ‘I have no idea where it all goes’ REALLY?????? Is there a big black hole in the ground in your bedroom where all your money disappears? It’s your job to know where your money is going! You need to know when you are being paid, when your direct debits are coming out of your account – also which account?! If you are like me and have more than one. Do you have debts? How much are they costing you each month in interest? Are you renting or have a mortgage, is your rent likely to increase in the next year or maybe your mortgage rates are about to change? Know everything. I allocate time every day to check my accounts, just to make sure everything is okay.

6. Budget.
I’ve given budgeting it’s own paragraph because it’s that important! Budget, Budget, Budget. Look at your income, set out your costs each month and then figure out how much you need to live – please be realistic otherwise this isn’t going to work. When you are over ambitious and think you’ll be able to live on £10 for a whole week you are just setting yourself up to fail. I’ve noticed when you have some room to manoeuvre you’re more likely to meet your budgeting targets. I find what works for me is, to write a list for all the food I need for the week and stick to it, when I’m at the supermarket I am definitely enticed into buying all sorts of random stuff but I keep my focus on the list.

8. Stop paying for everyone else.
I thought I’d put this in here seen as this is something I struggled with for so long, let me tell you something, most of the time when you offer to pay for something let’s say dinner the other person isn’t going to say no. There could be many reasons for this, the key one being – you offered!!!! Stop offering. It’s okay if you genuinely feel like treating the other person, a special occasion or the other person has forgotten their purse at home (actually the truth) that’s fine but remember this should be planned in your budget most likely under entertainment/socialising. However if you are doing it because you hate the awkward moment when the bill arrives and for whatever reason it makes you uncomfortable then no, just NO. You are on a road to financial ruin if you continue down this path. I was this person, I paid for a lot of dinners/cinema trips/days out you name it, for a lot of ‘friends’ but I realise now they weren’t friends but people who took advantage of me. I’m not saying your friends are taking advantage of you but some of mine did, and it makes me really angry. What worked for me in this area is to cut people out, I am good at cutting ties with people I have absolutely no problem doing it. I have no tolerance for freeloaders, it’s just plain disrespectful. Another thing I used to do is buy people expensive gifts for birthdays/events and never get anything in return. The ridiculous thing is that I do actually believe in the concept of giving without expecting anything in return. But if you’re in a good place financially then thats great, but if you’re depriving yourself of financial peace of mind then it’s probably not the best idea to keep buying people gifts while you’re in financial chaos.

7. Get a life coach
This is different to a therapist, a coach should be able to give you practical advice and guidance. If you haven’t got the money or can’t find a good coach an alternative is Youtube where you will find lots of information, I particularly like Dave Ramsey. I watched youtube videos, read books and even attended a bookkeeping course. I would recommend finding someone who can look through your finances and support you in the early stages.

A point I’d like to make is I still shop, and I enjoy it very much, this post isn’t about convincing you that shopping is a bad thing and you must stop, far from it. When I shop now I do it for the right reasons and the whole experience feels completely different. When I buy now I feel like I’m making an investment in my future, whether it’s a dress I’m buying or something for my home. This is how i see it, every purchase is directly connected to my goals in life. Let’s take something like clothes, why would that be a connected to your goals? I only buy clothes which I love, I feel good in and I know will support the vision of myself that I have. I never buy without thinking about my life, and how this item will support the life I am living and creating. I’ll make a confession, I still get urges to buy pointless stuff it often happens when I’m feeling emotional. Now I’m able to do something I thought I couldn’t before which is to exercise the self control, by simply closing my eyes for a few seconds and thinking about a life free of worry and debt – then instantly the urge is gone. It’s taken time and lots of work to get to that place, if it’s achievable for me it is definitely for you too! Crucially you need to remember -everything that works for you must be practised daily and become part of your lifestyle. If you can incorporate all of this into your life, you’ll become that person who is in control of their finances and their life.

If you’re struggling with shopping addiction, please seek help – speak to someone, a friend, colleague, whoever you feel comfortable talking to. In the U.K we are able to see our doctor and request a referral for therapy through the NHS this is something I’d definitely recommend. I am also happy to answer any questions, please email me at createhappythoughts@gmail.com

What are you experiences of shopping addiction? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

With love,
Create Happy Thoughts

A positive thought can change your state

Today I had a random encounter with someone who asked for my advice about a situation which is extremely challenging and involves many people. I spent about an hour guiding her to find a solution and then stopped because I could see that she felt stuck, stuck in their emotions and the stress of everything that was going on in her life. It was all a bit much, people have their own way of dealing with challenges that they are facing. So I changed my strategy, and said ‘think of one thing right now, that makes you feel happy, it can be anything. If for a moment it changes your state, that’s a good thing.’

Usually my default approach would be to acknowledge gratitude for the things which make you feel fortunate. In that moment I felt talking about gratitude wasn’t going to work, I know some people who struggle with the idea of gratitude. So, my alternative option is thinking of something that creates a good feeling, it could be your favourite show, a joke or a funny memory that makes you laugh out loud every time you recall it.
The objective is to remind you that you can experience something good amongst the challenges, and your feelings are not permanent they can be changed even if it is very subtly. Also, tapping into a moment of ‘positivity’ is a start, next time build on it. You can go from 5 minutes to 10 minutes to half an hour. With some practice a simple state change like this will become second nature.

This is when I realised what I want to get across on this blog, small changes can lead to a huge shift. Even the simple act of thinking of one happy thought can create huge change in how you feel. Fundamentally, we are all driven by our emotions – positive emotions will get you positive results.

Take some time today, to think about something that makes you happy and observe the affect it has on you. I’d love to hear what you came up with in the comments section.

With love,

Create Happy Thoughts

Procrastination

I recently attend a workshop on procrastinating; it was the usual stuff – nothing surprising. My friend decided to sneak out before the end, so I followed. The workshop did not have the desired effect, but it was the catalyst for a very interesting conversation about what we really thought was happening in our lives.

At dinner afterwards we spoke in length about our personal views of why we have yet to achieve all those goals we often talk about.

The question I asked my friend was – are we really procrastinating or prioritising?

My view is, we action our priorities. I used this example with my friend – whilst we were on holiday together, every morning it was really important for her to have breakfast. I, on the other hand did not care about breakfast, all I wanted to do was explore and find food along the way! Neither approach is wrong, but it is a simple example of where we put our energy.

Another example is, I often see the same drunk woman roaming the streets on my way to work. I’d say her priority in life is drinking and she makes it happen every single day. Yes, it is very likely that she is deeply troubled but that does not take away from the fact that she consciously buys alcohol and drinks it, then proceeds to walk around the streets. This is taking action, with negative results – yes. But it’s still taking action , and it gets her the results she wants. I might add that her clothes always appear to be clean and her hair is well groomed. So what does this tell us? She takes time to maintain a certain appearance; could this be a priority for her? From what I observed, I’d say yes.

Rather than think about why you’re not doing what you think you should be. Maybe consider why you’re doing the things you are.

What in your life right now always gets done, why are these things a priority?

I once heard a story about Richard Branson turning down an opportunity to add some more millions to his bank balance, the reason he declined the offer was because it did not fit into his priorities for that year. This was new to me, people actually turning things down?! Simple but mind-blowing to me.

This year I decided to set three goals for the year and every decision I make – I ask myself is this decision leading me closer to my goals. For those of you who are worried about all the other stuff in your life becoming neglected, do not worry those things will get done but your focus will be on your three main goals. Just because you are focusing on the things in your life which will bring you fulfilment and progress does not mean that your house will not get cleaned or that you will have no food at home. If anything you will notice, you are more productive when you have a clear target. You’ll finally have clarity.

Clarity is really the cure to procrastination. Be clear about what is REALLY important to you and make sure all your decisions contribute to this.

Reflect on your life, what are the priorities in your life?

With love,
Create Happy Thoughts

 

The power of choice

The power of choice

The best decision you can make is to detach yourself from anything and anyone that diverts you away from giving yourself the best chance in life. When you are your best self, you see your life with clarity, you are optimistic about the future whilst living in the present. You are focused on your goals, you contribute to the world and you are grateful for everything that you have.

In those moments when you are submerged in negative energy, you are feeling out of character and overwhelmed by everything and everyone. You have a choice to detach.

You always have the ability to choose, it’s whether you want to open your eyes to the opportunity.

The truth is always available to you, and the sooner you reveal it do yourself the sooner you will set yourself free.

First uncover the truth of your situation and make a choice to change. Reclaim your power. Don’t wait for someone else to come and rescue you, who knows how long you’ll be waiting. Empower yourself.

It’s your prerogative , choose your loved ones, choose your environment, choose what’s good for you. Whatever you think is best for you, is the best choice. Fitting in, becoming like everyone else and meeting someone else’s expectations will not lead to happiness.

Live your own path, it’s a decision that will serve you every single time.

With love,

Create Happy Thoughts

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How I found – Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

EFT

Since January 2015 I have been experiencing what I thought were allergic reactions.

I wanted to find a way to stop the rash that was appearing all over my body. I decided to make the obvious changes to my diet by eliminating gluten, diary and at one point drinking two tea spoons of olive oil a day! (Apparently this is helpful for skin issues – unfortunately it didn’t work for me)

Other things I tried included, adding apple cider vinegar to my baths and spraying myself with magnesium spray. Then on my way to work I’d swallow all the vitamins I thought I was lacking, in case this was the culprit! Oh, I was also oil pulling, with coconut oil every single day! All skincare products were investigated and use was limited. It was exhausting. You’d think after all of this there would be some change? No. Nothing.

I felt frustrated that after all of the changes I had made I was still experiencing reactions. I feel strongly about the harsh steroids which are prescribed for skin conditions, so that was not an option. I didn’t know what else I could do so I turned to what I know best – personal development.

Personal development is my thing and has always been a constant in my life. I attend events, read books, listen to podcasts, you get the picture! I’m always learning, because I love to learn. On the flip side I am also giving advice and guiding on a daily basis. I know how powerful thoughts can be, and I’m assuming as you’ve found this blog you also have an interest in improving the quality of your life through your thoughts.

Back to the story, I know when I experience high levels of stress it can manifest in physical symptoms however this was the first time that the condition was so sever. Often when I feel anxious or am overwhelmed by an issue I have not dealt with – my body will send me a message to remind me. For some of you, this might be a weird concept to get your head around – that your health is linked to your mind. After years of reading and following coaches, I agree with the theory that some illnesses are a result of issues which we are dealing with in our minds.

So, I accepted that I had a problem, possibly something that I didn’t want to deal with but needed to be dealt with. I spent hours reflecting on what the issue was, to no avail. This lead me to search the internet for idea’s and new approaches I can take to uncover what the problem could be, I had heard about EFT but did not take the time to learn more. With my health at risk, not to mention my sanity I was open to anything that would help me get closer to a resolution.

YouTube is always my ‘go to’ place for information, there I found Brad Yates. This is where my tapping journey began.

Emotional Freedom Technique is essentially acupuncture without the needles. Tapping on the meridian points whilst using statements and explorations, you are able to reduce the intensity of emotions attached to an event or issue. This is my interpretation, if you’d like more detailed information have a look on Gary Craig’s website www.emofree.com he is the creator of the technique.

The videos on YouTube are obviously very general, after following the videos to tap I began to see some positive benefits in relation to my skin reactions but I realised that I needed to deal with issues specific to me. So, I began to look for coaches in my local area to work with on a 1-1 basis at which point I found a EFT course – Which I completed! It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At the course I was able to address my ‘allergic reactions’ since then I have had very few reactions. This is a good outcome for me, as I am fully aware that stress manifests in many ways and for me it is often physical therefore when I am stressed my rash might re-appear to let me know that I need to take care of myself. Now I have found a way I can deal with anything which I am faced with.

EFT can be used on any issue, whether it’s a phobia or overcoming shyness. I was a little sceptical at first but the results speak for themselves, I have made huge progress in areas of my life which I struggled with before my tapping journey. Think about it this way, what’s the best thing that could happen if you gave it a try?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have you tried EFT? What are your positive experiences?

With love,
Create Happy Thoughts

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