What does RUOK really mean?

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I’ve been thinking about writing this for some time but didn’t know where to start because it’s about many things. Difficult times, kindness, caring, reaching out, friendship, but if I’m honest, it’s basically about giving a damn.

Not everyone lets you know they’re having a rough time. We’re all different. Not everyone asks for good thoughts and prayers. Not everyone asks for help. Not everyone complains. That doesn’t mean that their life doesn’t have its ups and downs, or that they aren’t dealing with challenges. It could mean that they’re keeping schtum because they want to stay as positive as they can; doing their best not to be at the mercy of overwhelming emotions.

These are the folks who look for the best outcome in their day. They are the ones who tell you only a tiny bit of what’s really going on because they look for the best feeling thought and choose to tell the story of their positive expectations instead. They seem so strong, don’t they? So together. So easy to be around. If they are dealing with something tough, they certainly don’t rabbit on about it. They talk about the good things instead.

And how do I know this? Because I’ve had a very difficult year. And I can only now say how hard it really was because the worst of it is over. I found it very hard to talk about because I didn’t want to drag myself down into what, for me, felt like a negative and stagnant place.

I handled it by shining as brightly as I could. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have used a kind word. That came home to me not long back when a social media friend picked up on a comment I made and sent me a private RUOK message. It was such a kind gesture that it brought tears to my eyes. My heart was full of appreciation.

So, how often in our busy lives do we reach out to those around us?  It’s a funny old world isn’t it, where the squeaky wheel always gets the attention. So, how about that friend, family member, or colleague who always has a smile on their face? Have you asked them lately how they’re doing?

There’s not a person out there who doesn’t have troubles, big or small, who doesn’t want validation or couldn’t use a kind word. My point is this ~ why not stop by and ask someone how they’re doing? Those who shine a bright light in this world would love a moment of your time.

So, go for it. Pick someone today, and ask them how they’re really doing, and then, listen. Trust me, it will not only make their day, it will make yours as well.

© Inara Hawley

Old Habits ~ New Choices

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Today I made an observation.

Recently I halved my wardrobe. I got rid of bags of clothes which were old, didn’t fit, and that I didn’t really like anymore. It felt great of course – organising one’s wardrobe always does, but you know what? I’m much better dressed now, and I love it. I’m not wearing the same old stuff out of habit anymore. I now look at my wardrobe every morning and pick something that feels really, good to wear.

And my observation is, that this experience is a great metaphor for life. If we let go of the old stuff that’s not serving us anymore and make purposeful good-feeling choices, we feel a whole lot better.

They say that old habits die hard, and that’s absolutely true if we don’t let new opportunity and choice into our lives.

So, what are you hanging onto, and what can you let go of to make room for the new? There are a wealth of new choices and opportunities out there. It is up to us – it’s our choice whether we greet our tomorrows with old habits or new choices.

© Inara Hawley 2017

Look For The Good

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Today I came across a great story ~ an initiative by the New Hampshire Police Department in America that was just too good not to share. This past winter they issued gift cards for free pizza and fries to residents who did the right thing. Yep, they started focusing on all the good stuff people were doing!

The Farmington Police Chief came up with the idea one day as he was watching a man battle the heavy snow to get to the street crosswalk. He was so impressed he thought, ‘this man needs a reward!’, and so the initiative was born. The Police Chief was prepared to fund it himself, but a local business put up their hand with a donation and away they went! By mid-March this year they had issued 30 tickets for things like keeping dogs on a leash, using road crosswalks and turn signals ~ simple rewards for simple acts of mindfulness.

And what do you think happened? Well, firstly, the obvious … lots of surprised, happy people. But then, another thing happened ~ it changed the mindset of everyone involved, and that is the point of this story. By focusing on the good everyone was uplifted and everyone was changed. Awareness increased, attitudes improved, and community ties were not only strengthened, they were reinforced with a huge burst of positive energy. And that, of course, made everyone feel very good indeed.

As the policeman in the video says, ‘It’s given us a different perspective. Now we’re out looking for good things”. Dipping into the Great Good is a wonderful thing, living within it is even better, but celebrating it is the best because it expands and attracts a whole lot more …

“When you look for the good you will find it. When you encourage it, you will you see more of it. When you love it you will become it.”

In joyful celebration!

Inara Hawley © 2015

Story Source: NBC News
Visit http://www.nbcnews.com/

A Desk with a View

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A Desk with a View - Sunday MusingsI spent the weekend reorganising my office space. I moved the desks around, I sorted files, I threw out old stuff, and found forgotten bits and pieces ~ little golden nuggets I’d put aside for later. Now all that reorganising was wonderful, but the best thing about it was getting off my butt and making the change. What a difference! I feel completely revitalised and so much more productive!

I’ve known for quite a while the office space needed fixing. It was all wrong ~ my desk was facing a wall and totally non-conducive to inspiration, something I was really craving and missing. I really hated sitting there, but I didn’t do a thing about it for the longest time. Now that it’s done, I can’t believe I allowed myself to stay stuck in a place I disliked for that length of time.

Don't Stay Stuck The point here is not why I allowed it to happen, the point is that I changed it, and next time I won’t be waiting … not even a second! When you get that feeling that something isn’t right, don’t wait ~ do something about it. Change it! Don’t put up with something that’s unsatisfactory. You are worth more than that. You deserve better, and you can make it better.

A positive change can turn everything around in a split second. It’s a bit like throwing up a bunch of balls that you weren’t holding very well and then catching them perfectly. I feel like I’m starting new even though it’s with all the same old stuff on my desk that I’ve been putting off, and I can tell you, it’s very liberating. If a little thing like changing my desk around to look at a view while I work has made such a big difference, can you imagine what a more significant change could make. It’s an exciting prospect isn’t it!

Don’t be afraid to do it if you think you may be trapped in inaction. Feeling stuck is just a feeling, not a fact. What it is … is a sign that it’s time to make a change. Whether that change is big or small, if you are feeling it, it’s time to do it. Don’t stay trapped in a place or a timeframe that doesn’t feel right. Free yourself, and do it now! And when you’ve done it, you’ll realise you were a lot less stuck than you thought you were. That inspiration, that lift or that exciting new challenge could be as simple as changing your view.

Cheers!

Inara Hawley © 2015

More Hugs for Me!

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Are you a hugger? Even if you’re not, you have to admit a hug feels really good, especially when you need one. And a hug can say so much don’t you think? Hugs are not just wordless gestures, they are actually very important, and here’s why.

Research shows that hugging has both physical and psychological benefits. Getting hugs helps loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. When you’re upset or sad a hug makes a difference. When you feel lost or unsafe a hug makes a difference. When you feel angry or frustrated a hug makes a difference. And when you’re sick a good hug makes a difference too ~ it helps you heal. It lowers your blood pressure and your stress hormones, relaxing you and strengthening your immune system. You could say that a hug a day keeps the doctor away!

A nice long hug also elevates our serotonin, which boosts our happiness level. Think about what you are doing when you are having a good long hug… you’re connecting with your hearts. And that, my friends, is the fastest way to get oxytocin, the love hormone, coursing through your body. Hugs nurture us. They let the love flow both ways. They make us feel more wanted, more loved, happier, and healthier.

Hugging - SundayMusings

So do you have enough hugs in your life? I love a good hug, but I’ve noticed I haven’t been hugging nearly enough lately. Somewhere along the line I forgot it was so important. But that is about to change! Hugging is on the agenda at least four times a day from now on. I know it’s going to be wonderful ~ I can already feel it, and Hubby is going to love it too!

So hug your family, hug your friends, hug your pets, hug a tree. Don’t be afraid to reach out ~ a hug is that little extension of yourself that shows you care, and you never know, you may just change a life because of it. You will certainly brighten someone’s day. Because a hug is not only good for you, it feels great!

Happy days! ❤

Inara Hawley © 2015

The Power of Giving

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‘Your work is to go forth into this physical environment looking for things that are a vibrational match to joy, connecting to Source Energy, and then following with the inspired action.’ ~ Abraham

Words to live by, and inspired action is certainly a wonderful thing ~ it’s filled with exhilarating energy, enthusiasm, excitement and passion. One rarely doubts oneself when in the throws of inspired action, but in reading the above quote my thoughts turned to what action feels like when it is not so inspired ~ when it’s full of doubt, anxiety or fear … when you find yourself asking: Can I do it? Should I do it? Is it the right thing to do? What if I fail? What if I can’t do it! You want to step forward, but feel conflicted and overwhelmed.

We all know when we take action amazing things happen, but it takes courage when we are filled with trepidation. There are many positive ways to overcome it, but one of the easiest and quickest ways is to approach that step forward with a spirit of generosity and giving. We can overcome so much when we go into giving mode ~ suddenly we stop thinking about how hard it is, and instead, realise how good it feels.

Being a giver is the easiest thing in the world, and it not only always succeeds, it makes most of us very happy. So if you ever find yourself feeling doubtful as to whether you can or can’t do something, open your generous heart and you will be just fine. Stepping up in the spirit of helping others is the best way to overcome your fears. And as well as making yourself and others feeling extraordinarily good, your self-worth will hugely expand ~ that is the power of giving.

As Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’  In the end, it is in giving that we receive, for it is then that we receive the greatest joy.

 Inara Hawley © 2015

Judgement vs Observation

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For years, I’ve pondered the subject of judgement, and in doing so have often asked myself ~ am I making a judgement or a factual observation? There is a big difference of course, and it does rather depend on where one goes with the observation. That’s the important bit, and the key I have discovered, is to make the observation neutral.

Judgement is based in opinions, both biased and subjective, and observation, when it’s neutral, is the act of witnessing without attachment. What that actually creates in our lives came roaring home to me when I read the following quote by Andy Shaw:

 “Judgement is Weakness, Observation is Power”

Judgements are so damaging ~ they are emotional, and negative, and we hang on to them to the detriment of ourselves and others. They cause jealousy, disharmony, and devalue who we are. They separate and weaken us. Neutral observation, on the other hand empowers us. Why ~ because judgement narrows our field of vision, and neutral observation expands it. It gives us the opportunity to allow so much more into our lives ~ to be more discerning and to embrace what supports us.

How freeing is that! To observe without judgement, and release with ease and flow what doesn’t support us. I think that’s wonderful. When you realise the power of it, and that it’s a simple choice, it becomes really easy.

With love and peace ♥

Inara Hawley © 2015