ALONE TIME

RELAX

We have somehow survived the 11th week of lock down in England and it is gradually being eased. I wonder what your greatest challenges have been and are you coming out of lock down with a different perspective of yourself and future? I do not think we can view life the same as before lock down. I hope it has changed you for the better to a certain level of degree.

 Even perhaps never taking for granted the natural ease we had before lockdown to pop in and out of the supermarket without long queues, or fear of being infected by Covid 19. Or appreciating loved ones we have not been able to see for a long time. Or a quick visit to have a meal out with friends and family. I hope you come out of lockdown with quite a different perspective – appreciating life, health and an insight of why we are made to connect with each other.

I have appreciated the time and have worked on different projects. I believe I have only been able to do this by maximising what I term ‘alone times’, finding personal moments to be alone from the maddening crowd.

In spite of lockdown there are still so many things that still compete for our attention, these distract us from finding (alone time) solitude. Today I have woken up feeling lethargic and not so motivated, perhaps slightly exhausted from the predictability of lockdown. I have been up from 5.30am to do my daily reading of scripture and Prayers, then I went back to sleep. Sometimes I decide to work straight through, as I am best in the morning. I am now at my dining table reading and editing this blog – back in full steam. What am I trying to say? 

Solitude is different to Isolation as when in solitude it’s generally a personal decision to be alone to appreciate peace and quiet. You ask why would one want to be in solitude, after being locked in? It’s a good question to ask, as a choice to be in solitude means you can come out of it when you want, unless you get interrupted by one of the kids?

It is beneficial to get (alone time) solitude, to think, pray, meditate, reflect, write or ponder on a decision, review the present and the future.

In the Bible Jesus in ministry picked several moments to pray alone, away from the disciples (friends) and the crowd. It was his way of gaining spiritual strength to operate in a physical world where he faced and was to face much opposition.

After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. He used it has a time also to replenish his spiritual strength and focus. Also, as a time to prepare for the eventualities of his mission on earth. He had just performed the miracle of feeding the crowd of 5000 and healing the sick. Before the feeding of this crowd he was about to withdraw to a desolate place by himself but decided in his compassion to stay and heal and feed the crowd.

From Jesus’s demonstrated need to find a quiet place alone shows the important and benefits of us doing this. As we are mere mortals and live a very stressful and over demanding world. One that is always trying to distract our focus through social media, tv, newspapers, local and national noises, mobile phones to name a few.

How do you find your quiet place or solitude in Covid 19 Lockdown? I hear you say I have no choice now as we are all on Lockdown. Being locked in has been more challenging for some, more so than for others. However, where ever you find yourself you have to make an effort to find your alone time.

This requires self-discipline, creativity and courage. There is an essential need to check in with yourself daily. By writing quietly in a journal at the end of the day on what you did, achieved and could not get done. What you want to achieve the next day.

From a Judeo-Christian perspective, Solitude is good for meditation and reading scripture by yourself. Some decide to do this first thing in the morning as it sets one up for the day. Plans for the day can be made at this time, issues to address during the day and also certain things you decide to stay away that generally impact your emotional wellbeing.

 Many wake up early in the morning between 5am and 6am and have quiet time. It is a peaceful and special time of the day. Some go walking or jogging especially in the summer and some do prayer walks at this time.

The act of praying and meditating on scripture changes the atmosphere around you and it shifts perception of self and enables a deeper clarity of thoughts, this increases to make better judgements on decisions. It gives daily confidence, courage and creative ideas for your work, relationships, home and business.   

TIME

You say how can I start doing this? Consider the following –

1.What time of the day are you at your best? Morning, afternoon or Evening.

2.What time frame do you have to slot in quiet time.

3.What time of the day is less busy?

4.Find a quiet spot at home or in the garden.

5.Download a Bible App from your smartphone to read.

8.Sit quietly now and Write down what comes into your mind. 

9.Use the content you write to set some form of a life Plan

10.Your Plan should have simple and realistic life goals.

11. Each day you spend time alone after meditating on the word, pray, revisit your plans and goals.

12.Adjust and tick appropriately, add or deduct where necessary.

13.Try this for at least a month and you would have formed a Good Habit.

Wishing you a better and more productive life. Signing off now. There is always Hope after loss.     

HOW TO LIMIT THE IMPACT OF YOUR EMOTIONS?

BE HAPPY

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The ability to avoid being impacted by your emotions is to understand firstly that as human beings we are born in God’s image. A human being consists of Spirit, Soul, and Body. The ability to protect your soul enables you to manage what impacts your emotions. The Soul is man’s life. It is man’s real self, his complete self.

A relationship with God enables you to develop a Spirit which guards your Soul. Having such a relationship gives meaning and purpose to our lives on earth. What does it profit a man Jesus asked when he walked the earth, if a man gained the whole world in money, wealth and fame but lost his Soul? The answer is Nothing. Mark 8:36.

The prosperity of your Soul relies 100% on attaching yourself to God. You ask how do I do this? By literarily asking God to forgive you of all things you have done wrong, (by confessing I am sorry for my sins, saying you accept Jesus Christ into your life and you believe he is the lord and saviour of your life.’

The Holy Spirit will have an affinity with your spirit- renewing it and making it more sensitive to things of God.

You ask that simple? Yes, it is. That’s why the Bible refers to having childlike faith. By faith you start on a new road – growth comes by fellowship with others of like minds and reading the Bible to continue to seek understanding of your step of faith.

The stronger your Spirit, the more empowered is your Soul to manage circumstances that impact your emotions.

While physically different things can impact your emotions and the level it affects you varies from one person to another. This depends on how vulnerable in nature you are. Some individuals can continue to thrive in spite of challenges, while some are less resilient. The stronger your Spirit the more able you are to weather storms that impact your emotions.

So how do we avoid being impacted by our emotions? You have to protect your Spirit! A guarded Spirit directed by the action points below will strengthen the way your emotions are impacted. (To name a few)

1.You have to make a conscious effort daily to say to self that you are going to be Happy.

2.Life will always happen or is still happening with its ups and downs. It is how you decide to respond that counts.

3.Maintain a level of emotion insulation is key that is guarding what you watch with your eyes, what you ear with your ears and what you speak out of your mouth.

4.The word states that your eyes are the gateway to your Soul. What you view becomes what you love and keep as important in your Soul, therefore impacting heart and mind. Consequently, impacting how you see and react to things.

5.The word teaches on guarding what you hear. Too much of hearing negative and disturbing news or stories will distort your pure thoughts. This can make you anxious and experience feelings of anticipated doom.

6.What you say is also important. Do not let profanity come out of your mouth. As you speak so it shall be. The Bible states there is life and power on your tongue. Please confess life equals positive things. E.g. I will not die rather than I am going to die. Oh, I will find a job in spite of it all, rather than I will never work! What you confess you become. Speaking negatively around your children brings in negative thoughts and attitudes on them too.

What I’m I trying to say? Select the life you want to live! Select to hear positive news or things around you. Watch only things that encourage life and lift your Spirit, Soul, and body. Constantly hearing and watching positive things will naturally translate into what you speak out of your mouth.

7.Keep and maintain positive people around you.

8.Mentor someone new at learning what you have already learnt.

9.Find people who are more experienced than you to Mentor you and look up to.

May you have the Boldness to share this Timeless Truth with at least one person!

Signing off now. There is always Hope after of loss.    

Find me at businessandmarriagecoaching.co.uk

HOW RELIABLE ARE OUR EMOTIONS?

Let not your Heart be troubled’ John 14:1

With all the effects of Covid 19, loss of loved ones, not being able to connect with others in close proximity, unemployment and the atmosphere of uncertainty our emotions can start to waver especially if we have other issues that make us more vulnerable. Extreme grief due to the loss of a Spouse, challenging health issues, not to mention so many more make us emotionally raw.

The key at this time is finding strength and support to manage our emotions. You say what does this mean? I define this as trying to extract from your circumstances what is going well and be grateful instantly for this. Giving Thanks always for all things is the key to a cheerful and light heart. It makes you optimistic and hopeful in spite of what is happening now.

Thanks, can be expressed in words, poetry, song, dance – please find the best expression that suits you. When we do our challenges become less magnified. For those of us still grieving or have gone through grief we go through waves of different feelings – one moment it is a wave that tries to overwhelm and another time it might be one that incapacitates.

What we do know is that our emotions constantly change and respond in different ways to given situations due to a fluctuation of emotions. As emotions fluctuate and can change, this suggests they can be quite subjective and not the best judge of how we might really be responding to situations around us.

As they are unpredictable, we have to understand to learn how to let each given wave of emotion ride and settle, before responding to or making decisions on other events around us.

So far emotions can be unpredictable and can prevent us from operating objectively in given situations. So, they can be deceptive, not in how you are feeling in your loss, but in how you perceive other events around you.

Therefore, our emotions when impacted cloud or veil our rational. So, it is in times of deep emotional challenge that it is important to talk and share with others on how you are feeling so as to get the right help and support.

 Emotions make us or push us to do the most horrendous things especially when your thoughts become internalised and not voiced out to give less life to them. One specific emotion e.g. pain of loss can bring feelings of fear into your life. As loss makes the future uncertain due to the sudden change of life. It is important to try to understand these feelings and that allows us to manage them and not allow how thoughts to lose control.

 Fear can make us take the most irrational decisions e.g. small tasks can become mammoth ones, small goals become impossible to achieve or making the effort to talk to just one new person can make you freeze and lose bottle.

Emotional tumult can distract us from what the real issues are e.g. with all the hidden emotions Covid 19 has brought to nations. Many are unconsciously afraid of where the next pay packet is coming from, businesses being dissolved – no customers, shops being restricted from opening due to legislature pertaining to Covid 19 prevention.

How do we manage our emotions at this time of lockdown? I can only prescribe for you a timeless principle that works for me which is reading my Bible. You can easily download a free copy from App store on your mobile phone or tablet, listen to it audibly. If you have never picked one up this might be your opportunity to do so.

Start reading the Psalms written by David, they are like songs that naturally sooth your soul, perhaps gradually with time you will gain courage to read some of the amazing events and testimonies that happened when Christ walked the earth 2000 years ago.

The word of God has the power to transform your life from the inside out, all you need is faith as small as a mustard seed.

Secondly utilise the support you have around – friends, acquaintances, neighbours and colleagues.

Thirdly perhaps try to explore items in your home or office that are not used, sell on line to make money. Take a closer look at your financial outgoings and see where you can reduce or get services cheaper. The less financial pressure you are in at this time will ease the burden on your emotions.  

Perhaps get a close friend to do the same so you can both motivate each other. If you have children get them to scout for items they do not use. Just start with a few tangible items so not to get overwhelmed – google suitable sites that allow you to do this. Watch out for ones that allow you to display items for 1p etc.

I have just started this weekly series on managing your emotions. Look out for more.

This time shall past. There is always Hope after Loss. Signing off now.  

ISOLATION EQUALS OPPORTUNITY


The Covid 19 with all it’s variants shall not steal your health, focus, vision nor life’s work.

Self isolation for me and many can be quite scary as it denotes being by your self and being alone.In a society that can be quite lonely at times,especially living in a cosmopolitan city, you can easily wonder what you are going to do with all the time you have.

It’s the 7th week of Lockdown in the United Kingdom,if you are reading this,then you have endured so far.I wonder what your days have been like?Have you created something out of your natural gifts and talent?

Have you started writing a diary that perhaps might become a book? Or are you baking more of those Vegan cakes to order on a larger scale.It’s amazing what our minds can produce when in solitude.Do sever every moment.

I know we have to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain 2 metre social distance yet the word self isolation conjures for me the period l lost my husband.

While l was off work,everyone was away at work, every where was quiet,and l was by myself. Yet l could think much clearly in the midst of the isolation. l was physically conscious of being alone however l could picture what l would like my future to look like.

So to avoid the hidden fear of that period of Grief l have decided to maximise the time l have now off work, to continue writing and explore other ways of making streams of income,on line.The emphasis is to educate and up-skill.

If ever a time, the Pandemic has opened my mind to the need to know how to work more effectively on line, than any other season. I can see much clearly the fruits of working from home and working more independently

Being physically present at home enables me to be with my children,manage my own time,keep safe from the virus and also connect with people via Social media.However there is nothing as valuable as connecting directly in a room or real space with others.Social media is the only alternative right now,do learn how to use it.

So every adversity has a silver lining. So l’m saying if you have stopped work or you are working from home, any free time you have is an opportunity to do things you have been putting off for so many years.Perhaps the half written book,the plan to work independently, maximise your creativity, learn a new skill, or spend more time finding what your unique gift is.


Please make use of the time,as the days are short.Appreciate the time you get to be with your family.For some of you there is no reason to run off now to work or school/university.
It is a time perhaps to deal with underlying issues we avoid at home by immersing ourselves in so called work.E.g. Hidden personal grievances,hurts,forgiveness issues etc.

Self isolation raises the issue of Mental Health and how it could impact you.Not speaking for days to anyone can be soul destroying as it eats away at your confidence.

The more we talk or engage with others the more we grow our creative skills.I guess you must know now, that the isolation unit in most institutions of correction in the world, are the most punishing and demeaning for any individual.

So Plan also on how to take care of your Mental Health during this time.Ponder on these tips

  1. Set yourself a daily routine
  2. Drink and eat healthily.
  3. Do some form of daily exercise.
  4. Connect to at least one individual daily verbally or virtually by Social Media
  5. Not communicating with anyone but just your TV box is not good for your mind.Your mind needs to be stimulated by connecting to another human being.
  6. Go for a walk, this is allowed – the outdoor is especially good for your Mental Health.
  7. Open the windows and ventilate your home daily.
  8. Finish reading that book you have been struggling with or pick up one of the various recipe books you have and make a new meal for your family?
  9. Reach out by phone etc to those you know are living on their own or are vulnerable.
  10. Pray daily and confess positive affirmations to your self.
  11. *If you are concerned about your business or job find out on line, through your local authority what you are financially entitled to.*

Remember it is never over until the Lord says it’s over!! Exercise wisdom at all times in keeping well and staying safe.

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FINDING THE MAN TO WALK WITH YOU INTO YOUR FUTURE.

The questions to ask yourself now is what do l want? How do I prepare for what l want and how do l get it? Do I want to be a widow forever and how do I walk out of widowhood into a new relationship?

When you become a widow you become officially single even though in the midst of your present Grief you still feel emotionally attached to your dead spouse.The time and length of commitment with each other prevents you from defining self as single at the time of loss.

That’s why you have to work out your grief – each individual works his or her grief differently.This is not easy but it is possible with our internal grit /strength, and the right support around you.

The most important thing during a major adversity is having the right people around you = Good people,to encourage,motivate,be honest and yet kind to you. You have to do what is best for you e.g. be honest in how you feel and talk about it to those available to support you,get out of the house, go walking,listen to positive music,sleep well,rest,do not hide yourself behind too many chores, and for me it was praying and meditating on Bible scripture.

The latter was the only exercise that gave me the daily emotional lift i needed in my spirit. My day started with prayer and ended with prayer.It still does.

Prayer can be done anywhere,in the park while walking,in the privacy of your home,on the train quietly and in other incidences where fear tends to grip you e.g. at work when feeling over whelmed etc.

‘Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication,with thanksgiving,let your requests be made known to God’ Philippians 4:6

When i was a child i always confessed that i wanted to share my adult life with a male companion in marriage after surviving the ravishes of a broken home.

So in widowhood i reignited the same vision.My main request was to meet a decent and spiritual/God fearing man, who was financially self – sufficient, with a vision for his future and was confidant in himself,also one my children will gradually respect and accept.For this to happen i had to create room in my mind,in my physical space and daily routine.

Becoming single again can easily get you into bad habits such as waking up whenever you want,not keeping your home tidy,no meal time routine,overspending,having no time curfew for people to visit your home and hanging unto friends that just want to talk and waste your time all day.

So i decided even in my grief to maintain the routine i had while my late husband was still alive for my children and i.This made it easier for me to incorporate additional improvements such as a healthier food content,more exercise,less crowds, selecting just a safe set of close friends around me and focusing clearly on the needs of my children.

I also transformed my living space,making it newer and it certainly looks fresh.I removed all old furniture that reminded me of our past and replaced with contemporary fittings.Thank God i was finally able to afford my renovations.

Each step of the way i sought God’s counsel in prayer once i had written my specific plans and objectives.Each materialised in season.It has been and still is an amazing journey.

Meeting a new companion to walk in my future at the time was a distant dream, yet l hoped and prayed continuously that this would come to past.

For Example, what would my future companion look like and what qualities did l want in him. Then I took this into my prayer closet.

This means to those of you that are not Christians, praying (talking) about my listed needs to God in private.

After 5 years of being widowed i began to feel i was ready emotionally to seek a new relationship.Exercise kept me physically and emotionally strong so i maintained a rigid routine of walking,cycling, pilates and eating more pulses and less red meat.

I explored the best social setting in which to interact and socialise.

I opened myself to invitations to weddings, birthday parties and small social gatherings. I found it too obvious to attend single church events as they were full of much younger people.

The former strengthened my confidence and courage as l was able to socialise without being accompanied.

Yet I was comfortable enough to enjoy such outings. I learnt the importance of loving my own company. This is key when you want to start another relationship.

The trap we fall into unconsciously when we have been married for many years is to get used to having a male companion with you at all social events. So, when you lose a spouse you can feel like a part of you is truly missing.

You must gain courage to step out to interact in natural settings again. Once you succeed at the first attempt it feels less scary to do it again and again. Sometimes the company of a friend really helps in the initial stages.

When unsuccessful strides are made at these settings it is important to explore other ways of meeting people. A most popular option these days is online dating, a mind field for many yet the way of the world currently. This would require stepping your Courage up a gear or two.

It is important to confide in someone you trust when you start navigating on line dating as this person should guide and give you perspective etc.Perhaps one who has previously succeeded via this medium or Coaches/ Mentors in this area.

The most important thing is to decide which site to go on – as there are so many. What helps though is there appears to be sites that meet most needs. E.g. Widow/widower, Christian, Professional etc This narrows the demographics for you.

So, if you are a Christian perhaps narrow it down to Christian websites. Word of warning though, not everyone on these sites are who they say they are, as many hide behind a screen and spout fake platitudes. So, listen to the content of their replies and how they answer your important questions.

Be very cautious not to form imaginary emotional ties in your head before meeting the person. Do not chat too long (after 3 to 4 weeks of chatting) you need to arrange to meet them in a safe and public space. The initial meet also requires another level of Courage – just remember to tell at least someone of your arrangement/venue of meeting your blind date.   

Signing off now – there is hope after loss!

Find me at businessandmarriagecoaching.co.uk