16 Inspirational Tips to Keep Life Simple that I wish I had known when I left home at 16!
Simple doesn’t have to mean dull or quiet!
1. Listen to the niggle
Pay attention to the little. Little things grow into big things. Little is easier to address than something that has continued over time, become a habit, being accepted by our peers, and set a precedence for enduring.
2. Stop tolerating and enduring
You are important and if something does not smell right, sound right, feel right, don’t tolerate it. You can create your own boundaries which honour and respect you in all your powerful, unique quirks and passions.
3. Keep learning
We don’t stop learning when we leave our family and school. All the greatest leaders have a team of skilled people to help them develop new life skills and negotiate new challenges, life stages and experiences. Get therapy from a skilled trauma therapist. Don’t say you haven’t had trauma. We all have! On a personal level, trauma is trauma. Your trauma is not comparable in severity to another’s. To clarify: trauma is any overwhelming experiencing that our system has not had the skills, resources, safety or support to process, and which is then in limbo in your system, getting triggered into old and limiting ways of coping. We all get triggered into ways of coping which are limiting. Don’t think there is no option beyond will power, positive thinking or that spiritual mind F*$K, that this is another life ‘lesson’ you needed to learn. We only keep having lessons when we don’t have the skills to engage with life’s challenges. You can’t control life, but you can develop an enormous range of tools to help you discern, grow, become more proactive and preventative to making adjustments, as you travel through life.
4. Find your Emotional muscle
We all become overwhelmed at times and are uncomfortable to be with or talk about certain things in our life or of those in our lives which affect us. Overwhelm will continue and structure you unless you learn new skills to metabolize uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and memories. When we have emotional muscle, we can negotiate vulnerability and our experiences of helplessness and not being in control. Otherwise we can get caught in involuntary defense system patterns which don’t serve the best of all of who we are. Get cracking! Find your emotional muscle! (Through the help of that skilled trauma therapist!) It will help you deepen intimacy, handle conflict and stress more effectively, and step out of your comfort zone to go for the life you want. You will wonder why you didn’t do this earlier!
5. Put yourself in new contexts which challenge you but fill you with joy.
Our system is constantly moving in every possible way, our thoughts, feelings, energy, and life! Even if we get out the same side of the bed and go to the same workplace daily, it is not a repeat of yesterday. We have an unconscious which is constantly engaging with us, as is our environment. We are not robots. We need variety and stimulation to feed our creative self. Give yourself the space to develop flexible responsiveness to move into your life from your instinctual self. Of course, you need the skills from each of the first four tips to get the most out of living each day from your instinctual, creative self.
6. Nature and sun
We are part of nature and our central nervous system and whole mind, body, soul, and energy system respond best when we get a large dose of nature and the sun. Otherwise we are living in boxes, and getting into another box to go to another box, to sit down on an unnatural object for long periods of time and walking from one unnatural, flat, hard surface to another. How long has it being since you walked on natural, uneven surfaces or walked barefoot? Try it? Get grounded and watch how your system relaxes and becomes more alive and connected. Have a go at walking on the grass rather than the concrete footpath. Your back and bones will love you for it.
7. Movement and get to know your body.
We are creatures who need to move. Our system goes to sleep and we can’t be optimal when we hardly move. The less neurological connection between your brain and your body and the more disease, stiffness, aches and pains you are destined to embody as you age. Get to know your body. You can be strong, flexible and functional all through your life. Can you move how you could when you were younger? Squat like a toddler, reach your toes (so you can cut your toenails), hold your balance on uneven surfaces, get yourself up from a chair without using your arms? You can have access to amazing information about the body and how to help your body regain the biomechanical alignment points, as you walk, move, sit and stand, so you can optimise bone density, your metabolism and whole body strength and cellular innervation. Listen to what your body is telling you, and what those aches are needing.
8. Eat to live
Eat clean, live, food which has not being processed and is most like it was originally intended to be farmed. Organic, grass-fed, wild. Live food which nourishes the gut, the body and the mind. You will be amazed how much energy, clarity of mind and purpose you can harness to negotiate life, when you eat clean. Your mood will become regulated, as will your hormones. Clean eating can assist anxiety, depression, gut health, blood sugar diseases, skin complaints and more.
We are all sleep deprived, which leaves us less able to step out of our comfort zone, or make the best choices on a daily basis. We all need sleep before midnight to assist our body rhythms. We are part of nature and need to remain in harmony with nature, with light and dark and we need to stop thinking we can have control everything. Whatever you think you can get away with is a trick. It all catches up to you. There are consequences to everything. When you don’t get enough restorative sleep, your body will choose which cells to neglect to enable you to keep going. It may be your eyesight, your gut health, or something else. Treat yourself like you would a baby. Create a bedtime routine to help you quiet down from the day, take a break from devices and blue light screens before bed, sleep in a fully blacked out, cool room with no electrical lights, Wi-Fi or mobile phones.
10. Ask yourself what do I want today, next week, month, year, decade.
Get clear and create a plan of the first few steps to take you in that direction. If you don’t have a plan, life and other people will create a plan for you and your life will be structured by your environment instead of your heart’s calling. When you are not clear or your past is telling you, that you can’t go for your dreams as it is too much, you will find a year, or a decade will pass and you will have wondered where the time went. Live so when you age you can look back and say, I lived the life I wanted to. Life is precious. Be creative and back yourself with your dreams the way you do for your friends or your children. If you are not clear, your life won’t be clear. Do you want fuzzy, messy, chaotic or clear and energizing. Your plan may be big or small, loud or quiet, but make a plan, so your life fits your soul’s imprint.
11. Have fun What lights you up? What energizes you?
Do you make time for this or discovering the new ways that your creative essence is wanting to be nourished? Life is full of dark and light. We can’t control everything. Make sure you consistently nourish and discover your fun, so that when life interrupts you with crap, you have fun to fuel you. You need fun in the bank so you don’t run empty. No one wants to be crushed by the dark stuff of life. Have you enough light in your life? Turn the tap on! You need fun, desire and creativity. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is essential to nourish the organs and keep you in flow.
12. Space life is so crowded with things to do and with technology bombarding us.
Create regular space from others and from man-made surroundings. We inhale and exhale. Space allows our energy to come back to our self, rather than constantly connecting to others, or to others on our devices. We need space from others, so we can attune and pay attention to our deep, wise, quiet inner self. So this part of us can stand by us and guide us. Creative knowing’s and ideas come through by holding space with ourselves, otherwise we become like mice on a wheel. Space allows you contact with that which is greater than you and with relationship with yourself. Your best friend. Make time with your best friend. If you are not comfortable being in solitude with yourself or taking yourself out to dinner or a movie, you are limiting your potential to intimacy with others. Find Yourself.
13. Connection We are social creatures.
We need connection, belonging and closeness. How can you develop connection with others so they are fulfilling, nurturing, supportive and respectful? Do you need to reflect on the circle of people in your life? Do you need to have some clarifying conversations, or endings? Friendships and relationships have unspoken rules. Make them conscious and honouring you. Connection also means with yourself…. Are you your best friend? Are you compassionate to you, as well as others? How can you develop your connection or compassion?
We were born through the act of creation, and our mind body system is constantly creating. As children, we were often told we are not creative. Other people’s words is not the truth about you. You are creative and always have been. You have a creative birth rite which is waiting for you to play with it. Discover how you like to play and create. Creation comes from our innocence. Play comes from our unconscious. Make friends with your unconscious. It is your best friend. There are many wonderful ways to learn how to develop your inner eyes and inner ears to pay attention to the great wisdom within your creative unconscious. Great awareness often comes out of play and being with the creative self. Surrender to the unknown and be take somewhere new. There is no right or wrong in this place of play. This is our right brain self, which is often under-developed and under-valued in our left brain, rational, ‘success’ driven world. Play, Create and Be.
15. Accept we are all independent and interdependent
Just because we are adults and independent, does not mean we are not also dependent. Accept we need each other and reach out when you need to. Reach out to people with skills and resources, warmth and acceptance, respect and safety. Don’t try and work everything out on your own. A mature adult can move flexibly, as needed between independence, dependence and interdependence as required for the specific moment and context. Accept your whole self, your light and strong parts and your dark and weak parts. You don’t have to like all the parts but you can have relationship with them and accept that they originated for a real reason. Honor your different parts, and experiment with creating new partnerships between your parts, for the greater good of all of who you are. Be kind and compassionate to you.
16. Speak out Be powerful.
Walk the talk. Be the kind of person you want others to be for you. Be that for you. Be that for others who are not safe, or those who are dependent or trapped in our community and in risky situations. Take healthy risks. Be the kind of person you are for your friends or children. Be the kind of person you want your village, community, society to be. Don’t wait for permission to be told what to do. A healthy community is active and pro-active. If someone is sick, physically or mentally or grieving or you know they have left an abusive relationship – take them a cooked meal. Don’t ask. Give. Silent people are contributing to what is not working in our environment. Be part of the ripple effect. Name when someone does something that is not o.k. Speak for those who are vulnerable or trapped. Don’t take over, don’t become a ‘rescuer’ or a ‘hero’. Just speak up and add to the voices to say, this is not what I am here for. Here I am – speaking and acting for life.
I am Anita Bentata, a 51 year old grandmother of three. I am a survivor of domestic violence and a scary and toxic childhood. I left home and school at 16 years to escape my family and being bullied at school. I then escaped another home at the age of 28 years with my two young child to escape domestic violence. Spending 7 years in court to protect the three of us, and I had to revolve my life around my children for their whole childhood to help in their recovery. During this time, I returned to school by going straight into University. Scary!
By 2000, I had begun my private practice as a Counsellor and later became qualified as a Psychotherapist, specializing in trauma, of course! I later qualified as an Integrative Health Coach and Restorative Exercise Specialist TM.
In 2016 I wrote my first book, The Wolf in a Suit, the 7 Secrets inside Relationship Abuse, Fairy Tales and Truths for Women, Community and Professionals. I am now entering a new phase of my business through becoming a professional speaker and workshop facilitator targeting relationship abuse. I run a Survivors group in Melbourne and train professionals and community to go beyond awareness into action.
Author, Professional Speaker, Survivor
When Life is not a Fairytale
Getting out of the Woods
The Wolf in a Suit :Fairytales and Truths about Abuse for women, community members and professionals
$39.95 plus $9.00 national postage
My group for survivors to help them reclaim their identity, trust, place in community and that group
Women Starting Again is a supportive community group consisting of courageous women who want a place to feel safe and reclaim our self, life, spontaneity, choices and relationships. Women living free.