"I can't talk to my family about this Liz, they all tell me I'm the strong one, and that I've got my shit together."
But even the strong ones need that hug sometimes, that reassurance, that space, that support, that encouragement. The strong ones also need the faith and belief, the compassion, the buddy to walk the path with them
If you are a strong one who is propping so many up, who is supporting and encouraging, but then goes home and sobs, or can feel that pent up stuff building in your body, please send us a message. You can simply say I can't be strong anymore and we can start the conversation from there.
You do not have to walk this journey on your own. We see you, we hear you. We get it.
Get in touch, either for you or for someone else. https://www.taranakiretreat.org.nz/contactus.html
What is the kindest thing you could do for yourself?
Could it be to take 5 outside?
Could it be to change the bed sheets?
Could it be do to make that Doctor's appointment?
Could it be to say no to something?
Could it be to have ten minutes playing the guitar?
What could it be for you?
World Gratitude Day this month - 21st September.
More and more I am hearing about the healing powers of gratitude. I am a firm believer, but recently saw that it was being spoken about at a trauma event. I feel the evidence has become so much that a regular sustained gratitude practice can really have such a positive impact. It has been shown many times to change the neural pathways in our brain.
When we think of something enough, or often, it starts to form a pathway in our brain, just like when we take a path through some grass. If we were to regularly walk that exact path, or repeat those beliefs in our mind then we will create a pathway, and this pathway will continue to deepen and be carved out.
However with a regular practice, we can start diverging off that original path, and creating another one. One that, thanks to the gratitude, helps us create more positive outlooks, beliefs, patterns, habits.
And then the positive ripple starts spreading out, and after a while we know no other way, we are spotting things left, right and centre, that we are grateful for, and the best bit? Gratitude is about keeping it small. What are the small things right now that you are grateful for? Here's ten of mine right away....
My dinner (mine always involves food)
Great conversation this afternoon
Time to relax today
Someone remembering how I like my tea
A change to blog.
Look around, what are you grateful for?
Road trip time.
Car is packed and you are on your way, destination may be known, it may not be.
You've been driving for a bit, and there's a sign that says scenic lookout. Do you stop?
Bit further along there is a lovely looking cafe and you are feeling a bit peckish or maybe in need of coffee. Do you stop?
A while in to the journey you see a sign for some waterfalls that you've always wanted to visit, but alway driven past. Do you go and explore?
You see cars parked in the streets and there seems to be a market on. Do you stop?
I remember while road tripping about a year ago my heart and soul would be wanting to stop and explore/investigate, but my head would be determined to get to wherever we were going, even if we didn't know. That time my heart and soul won and I was so grateful, had a beautiful curious experience.
This can also be applied in life. When are you going to stop along the way, rather than constantly striving and driving to get somewhere. Where are the places, you can take in how far you have come, when can you recharge, or explore or have fun?
It's not about the destination, it is so about the journey...
You'll know if you are!
Lists for the week, the month, the year, life.
Lists for holiday, to do for the business, to clean the house, to get started on the project.
Don't get me wrong, I love lists, and I will be the first to put my hand up and say they do sometimes get rewritten more ofen than maybe is helpful, and yes I am a pen and paper list person, you just don't get that same satisfaction on a device/app when crossing something off!
How do lists work for you? Do you spend a lot of your time rewriting them when actually we could be getting another thing ticked off the list.
Do you ever use a list for self-care? For the things you want to do for yourself? Do you ever add me-time, reading a book, going for a walk to your list? I know for me some days, I am far more effective if I just go and do one of those things for me, and then come back to what I am trying to clear/shift/achieve than if I insist on ploughing through.
I am so blessed doing what I do, and walking alongside the people I do. I get to hear such wisdom and gems from people, other days I get greatly appreciated reminders. Last week was one of them. This beautiful soul shared she had been out to sit in the sunshine during her lunch break.
That stuck with me! The following morning I wrote lunch outside on my list. It wasn't a long time, but it was so beautiful and very effective.
Do you need to review your list writing?
Sometimes all the sleep in the world won't leave us feeling refreshed and energised, not if it is our soul that is tired.
We can be physically exhausted and mentally exhausted and sleep will help them, but if our soul is empty and we are not doing anything to fill our tanks up, have me-time, take time out, look after ourselves, things that bring us joy, then our soul is going to be what feels weary.
Could you start with writing yourself a list of all those things that bring you joy, those things where you get lost in them, maybe its a jigsaw,a book or a craft. I remember listening to a podcast once and it talked about two groups of people in this study, they both had the same amount of free time, one spent it on devices and social media, the other spent it on reading, taking classes, going out, getting creative, pottering in the kitchen. The second group reported that they felt they had more time, even though it was the same amount.
It tends to be those latter things that top us up, that recharge us, that get the blood pumping again and boost those energy levels.
So if sleep doesn't seem to be recharging you, is it time to try topping up the tanks? Something for your soul...
Something I hear very often.
It is often followed by a story about an art teacher or another influencing adult saying something that stopped us in our tracks. We could have been drawing away totally happy, and then that thunderbolt comes in and cuts us to the core. That, is then often followed by the person sharing the embarrassment or humiliation they felt in that moment.
I get it. I had that art teacher. As we were choosing our subjects she turned to my friend who sat next to me and said "how come you are not doing a creative subject?" To which my friend replied "because I don't have any spare options."
While happily tackling the bowl of fruit in front of me and feeling at least some connection to my efforts, I piped up "I'm not doing a creative subject either."
"That's because you're not creative. Your friend here is."
That was that moment for me.
Creativity is huge, it's not just whether you can draw or not, it's not just whether you can sing or not, it covers so much from dealing with situations, finding solutions, entrepreneurship, innovation, thinking outside the box, problem solving and much more.
What has someone said that is continuing to stop you exploring something new, fulfilling a dream, trying something different?
Is it time that changed?
Such a big topic, but feel during times of uncertainty that we are experiencing currently, it is one that comes to the forefront of my mind again.
Whatever we are going through or experiencing whatever decision we have to make or junction we are at, we only ever have two choices. Are we going to come from a place of fear, or a place of love?
With the second wave of covid, it has brought with it a second wave of fearmongering, headlines, predictions and all sorts. Fear is a natural response to the unknown, but if we remain in that place it can be very uncomfortable, stressful, anxiety producing and more.
When we are able to start pausing and responding from a place of love as opposed to reacting from a place of fear, it gives us space and we can start to approach situations/decisions/opportunities, we can be more conscious in our thinking, weighing up our options, pros and cons, or simply responding in a way that is far more aligned with who we really are.
As you go through your day, and over these coming days, maybe bring some awareness in to the decisions you are facing. Life can begin to flow a lot easier when we choose to respond from a place of love.
Liz our Life Coach
Kotahitanga - The road is long but the journey is never dull
Kia ore e te whānau
Back in your inbox. During our e-newsletter break, we've had a bit of a re-jig!
From feedback received, we disovered that:
- Most people preferred a fortnightly over a weekly newsletter
- Some folks prefer a monthly newsletter (if this is you, please reply to this message and let us know - and we'll sort that. We'd far rather keep you, than lose you because you're feeling deluged.)
- People would find the following information most useful to know; and we will be using these four key update areas:
1. The difference that your support is making
2. A brief update from day-to-day life at the Retreat
3. Where there are specifc needs - what they are!
4. Some reflective / uplifting content
The Difference that Your Support is Making
This week, I'd like to talk about our Core Work. Because this, overall, is what the community and our donors are enabling to happen. And it's incredible:
Today's figures: We have an open caseload of 269 people. That includes people who are:
This is the day-to-day bread and butter of our mahi - and it is the outcome of the support of incredibly kind people like you. We truly are all in this together.
See it as a mental breather from yoru day to day routine to do something totally different. To learn more about the project, join us for a cuppa on Thursday August 20th, either Startford Dairy, 8 Fenton St, Stratford, 12=1.30pm or at Taranaki Retreat, 517 Hurford Rd, New Plymouth 5.30-7pm. For more information or to register, please contact Sally Barnett on 021 725598 or email@example.com
But their teacher, Evan, mentioned their outing to Troy and he was keen to come along and happy to share his talents for others to enjoy. The whole event was planned in a just a few hours. Troy was open to coming and seeing the Retreat; our Guests were open to stopping what they were doing and coming along to enjoy and it boosted everyone's day.
Where There are Specifc Needs - What They Are!
We have been hit hard by the financial implications of the pandemic. We continue to lobby the Government to support Grassroots services like ourselves who are working in Suicide Prevention. Our funding is through our community; people like you and me who make the choice to give what we can. We critically need support to keep up with the level of demand. The very, very best way to support is through our "Shout a Stay" Programme. You can fund therapeutic work, kai, even an entire whānau stay - either with a one-off donation, or with a regular gift. It would be beyond awesome if you'd think about this (by the way - THANK YOU - if you already support us in this way! ...where would we be without you? Stuck...) - you can find out more about the scheme on our website here for one-off donations, or here for ongoing gifts. Of course every gift is tax-reclaimable; but far more importantly, you will KNOW the difference you are making.
Is there anyone you could forward this onto, who might be open to supporting a truly good cause?
Some Words for ReflectionYou may be familiar with this cool poem, entitled Worst Day Ever? Written by a teen called Chanie Gorkin. Have a read.Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don't try to convince me that
There's something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
And it's not true that
It's all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one's surroundings are good
It's not true that good exists
I'm sure you can agree that
It's all beyond my control
And you'll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day
Did you read it? OK; now read it again from bottom to top, the other way.Sometimes the answer lies in, literally, turning stuff around, and looking at it through the other end of the telescope / seeing the other side.
Executive Officer, Taranaki Retreat - and your companion on this journey.
30th July - International Day of Friendship
How much of a friend are you being to yourself right now? We often hear would you speak to a child like that? Would you speak to your best friend the way you have just spoken to yourself? Chances are you probably wouldn't.
Sometimes we can feel that we have friends that let us down, partners that criticise, relatives that are quick to add their two cents in, but actually sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
What if for a day, okay a morning, even the next hour, could you try bringing a pause in to whatever you are up to, and just ask yourself, what is the kindest thing I could do for myself right now? What do I really need right now? What is the most nourishing, compassionate activity that would bring me joy, top me up, relax me or energise me? Any chance you can do some of that, or at least look at how you can bring more of whatever it is in to life more. Often, as in almost always, what we actually need doesn't cost a lot if anything, and often doesn't need to take up a huge amount of time.
If you were your best friend right now, what would you be giving yourself?
Liz the Life Coach