Thoughts are not reality

Are you an over thinker? Do you analyse every scenario? Do you sometimes find yourself in a vicious intrusive thought trap? You may have thought things about yourself such as, “I’m ugly”,  “I’m not good enough” or “This WILL go wrong” but did you know that often these thoughts, belief systems and stories we tell ourselves, are actually not real?

When discovering the book The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, I was astounded at the concept that more often than not, our thoughts are a conjuring of our own mind and are often not facts, but stories we tell ourselves.

If you break down what thoughts actually are, you will realise that our thoughts are just words. We have a never ending commentary in our minds, a radio station that sometimes gets stuck on the same channel, and we become hooked on stories we tell ourselves, believing them to be true.

Russ Harris challenges the reality of our thinking. He looks at how our happiness depends on a habit of mind WE actually cultivate. We drown in the stories we tell ourselves, and can become a crazy thought factory that often causes us emotional harm.

How do we stop this? It’s not easy, but we must start noticing our thoughts. Especially when we find ourself in a negative state of mind. We must create space and look at our ‘thinking mind’ as an observer and we must challenge if our thoughts are actually true. Am I not good enough? Who says. What are the facts behind this belief. Often you will find there are none and this is when the thought will become fiction and you will detach from it.

This way of living requires practice. The human mind is constantly thinking. It can be difficult to stop and observe and it’s almost impossible to turn the radio station of our mind off but, it is possible to change the channel. All we can do is step back, listen to the ‘words’ we are telling ourselves and try and choose or diffuse them.

Learning this tool can be astoundingly liberating. Rather than being a slave to your mind, you can become the master and choose what thoughts are healthy for you.

So remember, when you are experiencing intrusive thoughts; thoughts are not reality. They are just thoughts created by you.

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Beyond death, Life

When I first heard the concept Beyond death, Life, I struggled to understand its meaning. It is only now, after going through my own hardship and struggles, that this concept makes profound sense.

We may find ourselves experiencing intense hardship now or have at some period in our life, perhaps hitting rock bottom, wondering if we will ever see light again. But what we don’t realise at the time is that these struggles can actually be the making of us. Through adversity and challenges, we actually become a higher version of ourselves.

It may be that death has come to you through a physical loss that takes you into the depths of despair. It may be a loss of a financial or professional situation you once relied on. It may be grieving a relationship with your partner, family or friend. It could be a sense that you don’t know who you are anymore, and that you feel you have lost yourself.

If we reach the bottom, you must be willing to face death; releasing the situation, the old ego, casting aside its layer’s. This is not easy, especially during a significant time of loss. But with release of the old self, we enable ourselves to live a new self.

When experiencing a period of struggle you are actually at a cusp of an ending and a beginning. The moment is happening so you can experience an intense, transformative period of growth as hard as this is to understand at the time. You may be thinking why has this happened? That it is unfair and that no good can possibly come out of the situation. Either way, there is an imminent ending and a new life is coming to you.

Personally, I struggle with this concept when it comes to death of a loved one. There is a part of you that does not want to release the grief in fear you may actually let them go. I feel this is an exception.

Ultimately believing in the concept Beyond death, Life, I now know is a statement of hope. It’s an opportunity for you to focus on what is becoming, whilst honoring what is no longer to be.

Life Interrupted | Life in a psychiatric facility #2

I noticed by week five in the facility I started to do odd things. I was moulding into the beige, peeling walls. Everyone knew me and I was forming some attachments. I longed for progress but honestly felt like I was drifting more into insanity.

I would circle the hospital, pace and critique every artwork and ensure it was straight. There were endless prints of Monet. Those damn water lilies. Sometimes I would make each piece crooked and straighten them again on my next lap, just for something to do. I was bored. I’d wave at the cameras. I knew I must look insane. Was I?

Life in the facility had become monotonous. Wake, eat, medication, eat, group therapy, eat, pace, eat and then again after more medication, eat. I was getting fat. I would wobble more as I paced. And, every day was the same. Every day was vanilla.

I would sort through the health brochures and chuck those that were out of date, just to be helpful. I would change signs that were spelt wrong, just to be helpful. I would take my blood pressure and that of other patients, just to be helpful. I sorted through DVD collections, and placed them all in genre and alphabetical order. I was aware I was losing my mind. My mask was dropping. I started not to care.

One night I watched a couple of patients play Chess in the dining room. I had no idea what was happening, I didn’t know the rules but just sat and stared. It was something to do. One of the men looked rough, upkept, dangerous. He smelt of stale whiskey and smoke. He carried a tin, I didn’t know what was in it. I asked him where he learnt to play.

“In jail”, he replied.

I didn’t bat an eye lid. I picked up my ham and cheese sandwich and waddled to my room.

What was in his tin? It didn’t matter. I realised I had reached the point. I was desensitised.

I am currently working on a book regarding this topic. Any comments on this piece would be greatly appreciated. I’d love to hear from you.

THE ADELAIDE STYLIST: The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is just under two weeks away, and if you haven’t bought your gift, Anthea Cluse, The Adelaide Stylist, is here to help! And, unlike the catalogues flooding our letterboxes, these gifts are certainly going to be much more well received than another home or kitchen appliance (A vacuum for Mother’s Day…don’t think so!)

Personal Styling Experience Gift Voucher

Wardrobe

Does your mum have trouble deciding what to wear? Does she have a closet full of clothes that she never wears and/or needs organizing?  If your mum is short on time to shop for herself contact Anthea, The Adelaide Stylist (anthea@theadelaidestylist.com.au) and she will arrange a gift voucher and package that will give your Mum an experience like no other!

Flowers

This may seem like an obvious choice, but to help you decide where to go, here are some of Adelaide’s best florists to spoil your mum this Mother’s Day.

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Chocolates

Only the best for your mum. We’re talking Haighs (obviously!) and Koko Black. Reliable favourites and a guaranteed winner.

Day Spa Gift Vouchers

Every mum deserves a little pampering. Why not buy a voucher to one of Adelaide’s best Day Spa’s.

Pyjamas 

Everyone loves new pyjama’s and with winter coming, here’s some of the best sleepwear to treat your mum this Mother’s Day (daggy flannelettes not included!).

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Slippers

Time to treat your mum’s feet with some luxurious slippers this Mother’s Day.

A bit of bling…

What better day to spoil mum with something special. Check out these fabulous pieces, sure to impress.

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Perfume

Thinking perfume, but can’t make a choice? Here are some of the latest perfumes, sure to WOW your mum this Mother’s Day.

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Gift Packs

Still undecided? Let’s look at some of the amazing gift packs available in Adelaide and online.

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Need some style/gift advice? Contact Anthea on anthea@theadelaidestylist.com.au or follow on Instagram: @theadelaidestylist / Facebook: @theadelaidestylist

 

THE ADELAIDE STYLIST – Autumn / Winter Trends 2018

Whilst we wait for the “real” Autumn/Winter weather to hit Adelaide, retail stores have already stocked Autumn/Winter 2018 clothing over a few months ago. Despite the weather being as warm as it is, it’s time to stock the wardrobe with the hottest winter trends for 2018, so we are totally prepped for when the cold weather actually decides to hit!

The Power Suit

The 80’s revival is not showing any signs of slowing down, and the return of the power suit for women shows it is here to stay. Purchase in bright pastels or moody colours to make the pieces ‘on trend’ or purchase in neutrals for classic pieces that you will be able to wear for years to come.

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Winter Florals

Not so ground breaking for Spring, but for winter they take on a new dark and moody personality.

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Tartan/ Tweed/ Plaid

Just in time for the royal wedding Tartan/ Tweed is back! This is something that is classic and always comes in and out of fashion. If you choose wisely, you will have something that you can keep and bring in and out of your outfits for a lifetime to come!

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White Boots

Another nod to the 80’s – we are thrilled to see white boots are back!

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Need some style advice? Contact Anthea on anthea@theadelaidestylist.com.au or follow on Instagram: @theadelaidestylist / Facebook: @theadelaidestylist

Written by The Adelaide Stylist – Anthea Cluse

What’s Hot and What’s Not about the honeymoon period  

So you’ve scored yourself a significant other. Things are going well and you find yourself in uninterrupted romantic bliss. The honeymoon period, which typically lasts 6-12 months, can be the most exciting. You’re getting to know one another, you’re spending quality time together and you may be pinching yourself to believe that it is actually real. But, the honeymoon period can turn your world upside down. Keeping the vibe alive can be hard work. Let’s look at what’s hot and what’s not about the honeymoon period. 

Maintaining the goddess

He’s just phoned to surprise you and announces he will be at your house in 10 minutes! You haven’t washed your hair in four days, you’ve just eaten a garlic infused yiros, and you’ve been cleaning the bathroom in your 10 year old sweatpants. Time is ticking and you have moments to transform into a goddess (heaven forbid he sees you just as you are!) You run to the shower, wash your hair whilst frantically maintaining ‘Nut Bush City’. Your stress levels have peaked. You throw on a dress, chuck on some bronzer and scrounge through your washing basket for your sexiest knickers. Knock on the door, he’s here, you take a deep breath and greet him with an adoring kiss. He compliments you and you’re like “Oh this old thing, I’m sorry I’m a little daggy”. Little does he know the rapid effort you have expelled to look ‘effortlessly beautiful’.

Toilet dilemmas

You’ve been out for dinner and mistakenly eaten that amazing green curry that you know definitely doesn’t agree with you. You’re freaking out knowing that he’s going to want to come back to your place. You get home, passionately kissing, and then your stomach starts to twist. Oh no, not now! You dash to the bathroom and search for some Imodium but it’s too late. Even worse you forgot to buy air freshener this week. You need him out. Stat. It’s too soon for such exposure. You think of an excuse for him to leave as your intestines contract uncontrollably. He’s left, you close the door and run to the loo. You sit there, you just make it. Phew! Close call.

Just a salad, thanks

Your former single self would order Uber Eats a couple of times a week. Why not? You are the only one seeing yourself in your birthday suit. But now it’s different. Your stomach is full of butterflies and you know there is a likely chance that someone else is going to see you naked. You both go out for dinner and you pick at a salad. You want to be a skinny minny for the big event. You’ve starved yourself for days, living off crackers and water. You wonder if he can notice? Suddenly it’s time, you’re about to do the deed. And then, overcome with complete malnutrition….you faint.

What’s sleep?

You’re staying over at your new boo’s house. It’s exciting, no more nights alone. Finally. But, you can’t sleep. You’re used to sleeping alone. He seems to have drifted off quickly. He’s even orchestrated a slight, rhythmic snore. You’re wrapped up in each other’s arms. Yes, it feels nice. But, you usually sleep on your side! You eventually make a move to the other side of the bed; he wakes and thinks you want to do the deed again, so you do. Then he drifts off within moments and you have to start the whole process again.

The honeymoon period can be the best time in your relationship. But, after this stage can be even better. You feel comfortable, at ease and can just be you… sweatpants, no make up, eating takeaway and bingeing on Netflix. The right person will love you for you (yes, even if you do ‘number twos’) so relax, be authentic and enjoy the ride!

Life Interrupted | Life in a psychiatric facility #1

I remember the day my brain broke. It was sudden, explosive, and just like a teacup falling onto a hard, stone floor, I shattered hitting the ground. I came to, now lying on my bathroom floor, staring at the ceiling, fragments of my former self, comatose.

My mind waved its tired white flag and I decided it was time to check out of life.

January 22nd, I was admitted into a psychiatric facility. Pillow under one arm; I wheeled my little purple suitcase through the front door. I looked around; beige walls, a dead plant to my left and people slouched, shuffling past the nurse’s station. Everyone looked so sick. I caught my reflection in the window.

Oh, that’s right, so am I.

I was shown to my room. Ward 28. No TV, small windows, starch white sheets, hard hospital beds. A room full of nothingness. It was perfect; a place to swallow me whole.

I stared at my case on the bed. I would only unpack a pencil, some paper and a toothbrush. I decided not to unpack too much. Perhaps I just needed one night. Perhaps I would leave tomorrow.

Nurse ‘Perky’ sprung into the room and handed me a ‘Next steps to returning home’ brochure. I had only just made it here! I looked at her bemused, took it from her and said thanks. Then she left, with what felt like knee kicks and jazz hands, singing ‘Here if you need sunshine!’

Sunshine.

I sat on the bed, turned my pencil, aimed it at the door and then with perfect trajectory, I threw it at life.

I am currently working on a book regarding this topic. Any comments on this piece would be greatly appreciated. I’d love to hear from you.