Enjoying life is a choice

9 October

Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of life: the being, having and doing; that we forget to enjoy the experiences of life. And for most of us, we have created a habit of moving robotically through our experiences, because of our old negative patterns of thinking and acting; and therefore missing out on the enjoyment and only experiencing the discomfort.  So then, how do we choose enjoy our life experiences?

1. Change your thoughts

The thoughts we think and the words we speak are creating all of our experiences. So when we worry and expect the worst in any experience or situation, that’s what we are creating. And the same goes for if we think the best thoughts and expect joy, then we will have the most enjoyable experiences. Just become aware of your thoughts and observe them when you are in experiences that don’t feel so enjoyable. Affirm: I am willing to change the thoughts creating this experience. Then change them with new thoughts. If you are thinking thoughts such as “I hate…”  you will get exactly that which you “hate”. When you think thoughts about what you enjoy and what you would love to happen, then that’s what you’ll get too. (LouiseHay.com)

2. Making positive choices that suit you

So often, we make unconscious choices out of old habits, even though the choices lead to discomfort and unpleasant experiences. And we don’t even realize that we are doing this. We may say Yes when we actually want to say No and then we complain that we are unhappy, even though it’s our choice. The rule I now live by is that if it’s not an absolute Yes, then it’s a No. Love yourself enough to listen to your inner guidance when making decisions. Ask yourself if this decision will lead to enjoyment or pain and decide from there whether it’s a good choice for you or not. (CherylRichardson.com)

3. Seeing the joy in every experience

There are often experiences and situations that we are already in and the only choice that we can make is to see the pain or the pleasure in the experience. Life is all about experiences of pain and pleasure, the secret is to find the smallest enjoyment in every situation. And feel grateful for it. Step out of the situation, look in and see where the humour lies. Have good laugh and move on. All experiences do pass and it’s far better for an experience to pass, having felt some enjoyment, then moving painfully through the discomfort and missing out on the good stuff.

I have three children and there are responsibilities and situations that I often need to walk through, whether I choose to or not. Such as school events, parent teacher meetings and playdates. Even a trip to the shops can be an enjoyable experience if I choose it to be. I used to be so focussed on the negatives of the situations and worried about what could go “wrong” that I ended up having stressful experiences. When I changed my thoughts about my responsibilities and decided to enjoy my life, the experiences started changing and I started enjoying experiences which I previously disliked. I now choose to see the humour in the trips to the shops where there are meltdowns. And I choose to go to the shops at the quietest times, when my children are all fed and relaxed because that is more enjoyable for everyone. And that’s how I now choose to enjoy my life ~ Alison Livanos

Just keep walking…

17 March 2017

And here we are. We’ve taken the decision to transform our lives. We’ve made the commitment to learn to love ourselves. We are weeding out the old limiting beliefs and planting beautiful new seeds of thoughts of self-love, peace, joy and all the other wonderful stuff we’d love for life. And it seems like nothing is happening. And it all feels pointless at times. And perhaps this is just silly anyway. You see this is how it goes… You make the decision to change your world and that’s the first step. Then you weed out the old limiting beliefs holding you back and that’s another step. And you plant some lovely new thoughts like seeds in fertile soil and that’s yet another step. And then we need to water the seeds and nurture them. And we need to take some action steps forward into the direction we choose to go. And we need to keep weeding old beliefs and seeding new thoughts as we go along and as we become more aware.

There too will be challenges to help you learn, grow and heal. Some challenges may even be shifting you in the best direction for your new world. And each small step may seem small and silly but they do all make a difference. And as you continue on your journey, the seeds start breaking open and sprouting teeny tiny sprouts. And each step you take, and each thought you think takes you closer to where you are going. And if you’re not sure of the next step to take, take a rest, listen to your intuition, rise and follow what your intuition tells you. It’s all a gentle, loving process of unfolding your truth as you create your world. Affirm: I trust the process of life. I am safe (Louise Hay). So just keep walking… one small step at a time ~ Alison Livanos

 

Loving Yourself in your Love Language

IMG_4738
As we learn to love ourselves, it is so important that we do things for ourselves to feel and grow our self-love and we all have unique ways that we can do this.

You may have heard of The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman). According to the book, there are five different love languages that we all use to express our love to others and to feel love from others. These include Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. When we show our love to someone else in our love language and their language is different to ours, we get lost in translation and they may be left feeling unloved because they didn’t realize that your action is a communication of love. And we are left feeling unappreciated. And the same for us in return. If your love language is Quality Time and your husband’s is Acts of Service, he may work extremely hard to show you that he loves you but because he is working hard, he may be spending less time with you so you may be left feeling unloved because your love language is Quality Time.

This same idea goes for showing yourself love, as you are learning to love yourself. Let’s say your love language is Quality Time and you are ignoring your need for Me-time, you could still be left feeling unloved, if you are only spending time working and not spending time with yourself.

If you haven’t realized what your love language is, you could check out www.fivelovelanguages.com and do the quiz to find out your love language. Then think about 5 ways that you could show yourself love in your own love language and commit to doing one of these at least once a day.

Translating your Love Language…

Quality Time – You could spend some time alone listening to music or whatever you enjoy doing.

Acts of Service – You could clean out your cupboards or cook yourself your favourite dish.

Words of Affirmation – Look yourself in the mirror and speak beautiful words of love such as, “I love and accept you exactly as you are.” (Louise Hay)

Physical Touch – You could indulge in a relaxing massage at a spa or a hot lavender bath while the children are sleeping.

Receiving Gifts – You could take yourself shopping for something you would love but wouldn’t normally buy yourself, it doesn’t have to be huge, only something you’d really love.

As we begin to speak our own love language, instead of other peoples, we begin to feel appreciation for ourselves and for our own magnificence and that’s where the magic is ~ Alison Livanos @imspired

You’re Amazing Just the Way You Are

amazing 4

We have all been created with authentic gifts, talents and abilities. The challenge is to acknowledge and appreciate these throughout the madness and chaos of society’s expectations.  

We spend our lives comparing ourselves to others, people who have also been created with their own uniqueness, not ours. And as we try to ‘change’ to match these other people, we start living according to their values and goals. And then we fail, according to their standards, we forget who we are and so miss out on the incredible opportunities which are ours for the taking.  

The truth is that we all have an incredible destiny and purpose. The greatest challenge is to realize who we are and what our flow is. Get to know yourself, your true authentic self. And as you get to discover your uniqueness and authenticity, you can begin to appreciate and love yourself for who are. And as you begin to love yourself for who you are, you start discovering your own unique gifts and talents which you can share with the world so that you can grow to be the person you are meant to be. Not who you think you should be, but rather who you truly are. Because you are amazing just the way you are! ~ Alison Livanos

Letting go of 2016 with Gratitude is creating an extraordinary 2017

imspiresun
With only a few hours left of 2016, we are all reflecting back on the year gone by. And as we think about the year ahead, our hearts are filled with Faith that 2017 will bring with it all the blessings we would so love.                                               

It’s no secret that 2016 brought with it an abundance of trials and tribulations for many but within these lies an abundance of hidden blessings in the form of experience.                                                                                        

The secret to creating an outstanding 2017 ahead lies within realizing these lessons and expressing Gratitude for all that is. Think of how are your experiences served you and how much stronger you are as a result of them.                                                                                                                                                                             

Count your blessings in this present moment and then look ahead to 2017 with Faith and Joy in your heart, knowing that whatever experiences come your way are all part of your experience of Life. Wishing you a wonderful transition into 2017!                                                                                                               

With Love, Alison Livanos xxx

Finding the Love, Peace and Joy in Christmas

christmas

And so this is Christmas and what have you done? ~ John Lennon. Well, you’re the Mom so you did it all, everyday, all year, every year. You made it happen: the delicious Christmas lunch or dinner; the most wanted gifts, perfectly wrapped gifts under the tree and all the trips to the Malls amidst the chaos of the silly season. Somewhere between the endless festive season cleaning, washing, cooking, laundry, ironing, mopping, sweeping and the endless grocery shopping trips; and making it all happen, it’s sometimes challenging to find the joy in Christmas.

So where do we find the Love, Peace and Joy that Christmas is expected to bring? It all starts with us, the Moms.

1. Keeping your thoughts positive

The thoughts we think and the words we speak are creating all our experiences. Through the challenges and tribulations of the festive season, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings set the tone for Christmas. By keeping our thoughts positive, we are setting a happy tone for Christmas for both ourselves and our children. Take some time out at the end of the day to write down all the good in the day that has passed and even if it seemed like a challenging day, find the opportunity for learning through these challenges.

2. Taking time out to breathe

There’s cooking and cleaning and mopping and sweeping and shopping and dusting and dishes and laundry and entertaining and comforting and disciplining and teaching and nursing and  and and …the list is endless. And somewhere between all these duties and chores, we forget to breathe. Take some time out throughout the day: sneak off just for 5 minutes and take 10 slow, deep breaths while counting to 10 to recharge yourself and slow down a bit. You too are on holiday and you deserve to feel some peace.

3. Making some fun memories

The school holidays sometimes feel endless but they will be over before you know it and then it’s back to the routine of school lunches and pick-up. Connect with your own inner child by remembering what you enjoyed as a child and then share these with your own kids. Take some time to make some holiday memories with the kids, whether you’re away or at home. You could draw with the kids, colour in, go for walks, toast marshmallows, bake cookies, swim or go bug hunting. The housework will be there whether you have fun or not but the holidays will be over soon and then you’ve missed the fun. And remember to capture these fun memories to look back at and enjoy.

4. Keeping your sense of humour

Sugar, over-excitement and over-tired children (and Dads too LOL) can be a real treat. And sometimes it all becomes too much for one Mom to handle. When it all seems too much and you’ve breathed beyond breathing, find the humour in the situation. Imagine you have your own comedy show going and find the laughter through it all, the silly season won’t last forever so just laugh and it will all seem much easier to enjoy.

5. Letting it go, quickly

Emotions can run high over the holiday season and it can all become too much and escalate to overflowing levels. When you feel the anger or the tension and the emotions start flowing, let them flow and then let it go quickly. Holding onto the tension or frustration, only creates more. So feel the emotions, have a good cry, breath and let it go.

6. Expressing Gratitude

Between the whining and nagging; sibling bickering and squabbling; and over tiredness of all, emotions can sometimes run extremely high. Finding things to be thankful for is a wonderful way to balance all these high emotions. At the end of each day, look back and reflect; and think about what there is to be grateful for, then write these down in a journal: right down to the smallest thing. Even a wonderful hot day that got the laundry dry while the kids were swimming and giving you some peace, counts.

Remember to express appreciation for all that is, for all you have and especially to yourself for all you do. Appreciation of the pleasure in the pains and the pain in the pleasures, the trials and tribulations and the wonderful moments of truth, is the true secret to feeling the true Love, Peace and Joy in Christmas.

Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas filled with an abundance of Love, Peace and Joy!

Lots of love,

Allie

Acknowledging Yourself Brings Out Your Best

img_4231

The 2016 school year is almost done and it’s been an interesting experience for all of us. Everyone is ready to finish the final term and we’re counting down the days until it’s time to finally enjoy the holidays. And we’ve all done our best and showed up but all too quickly we get swept into the holiday and tend to forget about ourselves.

This is the perfect time to give yourself some acknowledgement by taking some time to reflect back on the year past and all the experiences which came and went. Then think about how much you have experienced, overcome and achieved throughout the year. From the smallest trial and tribulations to the greatest accomplishments; and write them all down.

Think back to the birthday parties where you gave your best; to the sports days where you showed up. And even if that wasn’t your thing, think about where you managed to show-up and do your best anyway.

As we take some time to focus on our accomplishments and achievements, we realize how valuable we truly are and how much we do for our children; and we gain the inspiration to keep on doing our best. As we appreciate ourselves for our invaluable contribution to life, we grow in worth and we grow in spirit. And then we find the inspiration and strength to face the school holidays with love in our hearts and to realize that we too deserve to rest over the school holidays.

As our appreciation for ourselves and our contributions to life grows, we in turn draw appreciation back to us from our families ~ Alison Livanos

Let go of the guilt, Mom

letting-go-of-guilt-2

At some point along our parenting journey, we may have experienced that feeling of guilt to some level or another, for something we did or didn’t do for our children. We all make those perceived Mommy mistakes. Forgetting something important. Losing our tempers in the heat of the moment when we misunderstood an action. Working late. Missing school events. Being too busy with work to be a volunteer Mom at school. Letting the kids eat something that’s unhealthy because we’re just enough of negotiating. Whatever your perceived mistakes, you could let them go.

Holding onto that feeling of guilt is more of a disfavour to our children than not because it’s keeping us trapped in the past. And when we’re trapped in the past, it’s that much more challenging to be truly present with what is happening in the moment and to appreciate the value of the experience. Guilt holds us back and keeps us from appreciating the value of what we have in our children and we just try and make up for that guilt in all we do; thereby generating further feelings of guilt.

So how do we let go of the feelings of guilt? You could make a list of all the things that you feel you have or haven’t done to or for your children. Whatever comes to mind, and how ever simple and silly it may seem, write it down. Now think about each action and ask how what you did or didn’t do is actually helping your children grow and learn? Then you can even take it a step further and think about how the action is actually part of your own development and growth. 

As we begin to appreciate the experiences which we have had or we have given to our children, we are brought into a state of appreciation which leads us to experience the true love of our children. That’s when we can truly be present for ourselves, our children and everyone in our lives ~ Alison Livanos.

The Gift of Self Care

treating-ourselves

As Moms we tend to give selflessly to everyone, including our children, our husbands or partners, our friends, just about everyone, except ourselves. The challenge is: how can we nurture and care for those around us if we are feeling drained and tired and unfulfilled ourselves? How can we expect ourselves to be the strong, supportive, loving Mom we love to be if we ourselves feel unsupported and loved? It all begins with us.

Imagine a big pot that you need to feed your family from. Now imagine the pot is empty. How on earth can we expect to feed our family from an empty pot? Now imagine you are that pot. Well how on earth can you give your family the love and nurturing they need if you are not first nurtured and loved yourself? How could you fill the pot today so that you can feed your family the love and nurturing they need?

Sometimes, we get so busy juggling the duties of Motherhood, work, relationships and all the other stuff, that some of us have even forgotten what we love to do. We spend our days finding ways to fulfill our families and make our bosses or clients happy and thinking about their needs and wants and we forget what our needs and wants are.

The best way to give your family the best is to find what is best for you too. Perhaps you could consider doing a bit of time travel and go back to a time when you were a carefree, fun-loving, happy child. Even people who have had the most challenging childhoods, had some happy moments and activities that took them to a place of happiness.  

Now take a piece of paper and write at the top: What did I love to do as a child? Now think of all the things that you have ever loved to do before, write down whatever comes to mind. It could be eating ice cream around the pool. Baking cookies. Writing poetry. Drawing pictures. Whatever comes to mind, write these down. It may be challenging at first but try to find five things to start with and then build on that list.

Now pick one of these things to do today. Just one small, simple act of kindness for yourself so that you can start filling your pot of love. And then tomorrow another. And then as you start feeling nourished yourself, you start building up the strength to be your best again so you can give your best to everyone around you. Now that is fulfilling ~ Alison Livanos.

Finding the Love

Love and Acceptance

It’s no secret that being a Mom introduces a whole new world of challenges. Even a whole new Universe of fascinating trials and tribulations and they don’t seem to disappear. As we feel we’ve overcome a challenge and grown to a new level, new challenges appear and they just keep evolving to a whole new level.  

From the pregnancy pressures to the blessed baby days to the trying toddler years to the cherished childhood years; we always do our best with the knowledge, awareness and strength we have in the moment, even if we think we’re not. And somewhere between doing our best and the trials and tribulations, so often we feel the inadequacy of ourselves. And we beat ourselves up, judge ourselves, criticize our efforts and at the end of the day, we wonder where we’re going with all of this.  

The truth is that Motherhood is part of our journey and there is so much we can learn from our own children. Our children are our mirrors and their behaviour mirrors exactly what we feel about and do to ourselves.  

You see, deep within all of us is a child, longing for love and approval. And that child carries all the beliefs and knowledge which she has gained from your own childhood years, both healthy and unhealthy. And when we acknowledge and learn to love the child within us, something magical happens: we begin to understand and appreciate our own children’s actions. We begin to understand their feelings and the reason why they say and do the things they do. And that’s where our healing begins. And as we start healing our own inner child, our children start responding differently to us.  

As a Mom of twin daughters and an elder daughter, I have often wondered why I was picked to raise these incredibly high energy children. They are energetic and adventurous with a love for life and fun. When I get stressed and frazzled, they join in on the fun and poke buttons in the middle of my brain which they know will get reactions out of me. And they know exactly what to do to get my emotions flowing. And that’s challenging.  

When I discovered that I was ignoring my own child within and I was constantly criticizing myself, I started realizing why my children ignore me and disregard my feelings. And as I connected with my own inner child and started my own healing journey, my children started acknowledging me and my feelings and started listening to what I have to say. And I started seeing how incredibly amazing little humans they are, just as they are, even when they make mistakes.  

So how do we find the love in Motherhood? Connect with your child within. Get to know her. Love her. Show her compassion. And understand why she feels the way she does. And as we do this, we begin to understand why our children do the things they do. And as we grow our love and acceptance for our own inner child, our love and acceptance shines through to our own children. And that’s an incredible gift to both them and yourself for life ~ Alison Livanos.