Monday Mojo – Break It Down

Who are you today? It might sound like an odd question but I’m talking about hats. Not the hat you’d wear to a wedding or on holiday (obvs), but the labels you identify with:
Daughter.
Friend.
Spouse.
Employee.
They all matter. 

The problem can be that with each of those comes its own demands which become difficult to manage. In this video, Esther Perel explains the case of a woman during the pandemic who was wearing so many hats – just sat at her dining room table – that the only boundary she had was the “mute” button.

In normal crises, there is a period of warning, planning, onslaught and post recovery. With the pandemic though, we had very little of the first two but a lot of the rest.  Perel describes this as a phase of “ambiguous grief”; it has so many emotions – all of which feel a lot like stress. Where before we could create space for surprise, mystery and spontaneity, we now navigate a “new normal” without really knowing what’s going to happen next. 

So with so many pressures from every direction, what can we do?

This week, maybe set the intention to Break it Down. Grab a piece of paper and put your name or “Me” in the middle. Then draw a line out from the centre for each of the roles you carry. Then score on a scale of one to 10, how fulfilling each of those roles are right now (1 – not very; 10 – amazing). Then (if you want to), you can score out of 10 for how stressful it is (1 – not very; 10 – painfully so); note, life can be both equally amazing and painful at the same time. Then pick one (use the score if it’s helpful) to focus on. What feels most important right now, feeling fulfilled, or reducing stress? There’s no wrong answer. Then maybe use this to design a plan that enables you to make or break routines, create rituals and establish boundaries that help you get where you want to be.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Plan for Overload

How good are you at “reading” people?

If you follow me on social media you’ll know that sometimes I share the work of Joe Navarro, an FBI agent who is an expert in body language. Joe’s fascinating insights span a 25 year career, meaning he can share “cues” and “tells” that enable us to ascertain if someone is genuine (or not). The rest of us, without the skills of a seasoned law enforcement agent, rely on something else.

I mentioned in a recent Mojo that Jamil Zaki says empathy is a skill, it’s something we can learn. It enables us to “pick up” when someone’s not ok, reach in to their experience and respond helpfully with kindness and compassion.  But what about when that’s more a hindrance than a help?

This article explains that for some, the level of empathy felt can be intense. Often known as “empaths”, you may feel truly affected by other people’s emotions or the constant news cycle, to a point where it becomes disruptive, even painful. While empaths are often deeply caring and form strong connections, it can be challenging to maintain well-being when you often feel overwhelmed.

Whether you identify as an empath or not, empathy fatigue is real. If you’re always there for others and the day often leaves you drained, here’s something that might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Plan for Overload.  As the restrictions ease you may well find those around you want to share their sense of dread or  excitement, neither of which you may be ready for. They may try and put on you their thoughts, feelings and worries when they’re not yours to own or manage.  You may even feel overwhelmed or tired at times yourself, as more and more “unlocks”.

Handling some of this will involve boundary work, others will need a recovery plan, such as keeping the day after an event free for rest and self-care. Visualising yourself in a calm and peaceful place can also help manage difficult moments. Mindfulness can be useful, alongside keeping a note of your thoughts and fears, maybe in a journal. And knowing when you’re “triggered” by others can help you plan your exit to a safe space when the time is right.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Turn the Wheel

How are you feeling? I’m asking because it’s a big day. Today, in the U.K. we take another step along the “road map” out of lockdown, which some might say feels like it has lasted forever. As many will be feeling excited, there will be those feeling more than a bit nervous.

I recently asked a group of people their biggest concern about lockdown ending. Half were worried it would happen again, whilst others were worried about “going back to ‘normal’ too soon”. There is space for both.

In the Pagan tradition (as there is in Buddhism), there is reference to the “Turning of the Wheel”, the idea that everything we experience is cyclic. Those of us born with a 28 (ish) day cycle understand this, because we pass through the seasons of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring each month. In essence, we can view any life changing event the same way.

When a relationship is healthy, we feel vibrant and alive. When it ends we can see places of darkness that mark a painful part of the journey. But grief – as life itself – isn’t linear. It’s a process, not a single event. The “end” is not the end, more often a new beginning.

So what might help?

This week, maybe set the intention to Turn the Wheel. Just as each season is a passing phase, we can recognise that everything – whether a source of pleasure or pain – is temporary. Sometimes we can affect change, sometimes we can’t – the key then, is knowing what’s in our control.

Take some time to think about what your fears and frustrations are right now as well as what brings you joy. Be cautious yes, but don’t avoid making plans “just in case”. You can “prepare for the worst” in such a way that doesn’t hinder your progress. Do “check ins” with friends or family if it helps to see how far ahead you should go.

Remember that things – and people – rarely adapt overnight; each season has its timeline and change does too. Find ways to be patient, so that you’re not pushing yourself or others too hard; remember we’re all in this together. Change what you can. Untangle from what you can’t. And try not to withdraw, unless it’s to reset and recharge. Where flowers bloom, so does hope. We can prepare for the darkness because we know the sun will return. And even the moon takes its time to return to full.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Heal the Gap

Do you ever have days when you feel like you just don’t have the bandwidth to deal with someone else?

It’s a tricky business, navigating difficult times. We want to be there for others, but all the while know we need to take care of ourselves.

I often talk about the fact that we know self-care is important. But when our personal rule book says we “should” keep busy or that having a rest is “lazy”, taking care of ourselves becomes secondary to everything else.

It’s one of the reasons why, we start to lose patience with people. Why you might snap at someone you didn’t mean to, or act like you don’t care when someone else is struggling. We are all born compassionate, so when our empathy for others starts eroding or we’re on the receiving end of someone else’s lack of it, it can be a warning sign. It’s a measure of resilience and a sign of burn out. 

Jamil Zaki explains that empathy is not a trait (a characteristic you either have or you don’t), it’s a skill. We know this because researchers found if they paid people to show more empathy, they could do it. However, Zaki also warns that collectively there is an empathy shortage; we have significantly less empathy as a society than we did fifty years ago; it’s the very medicine the world needs right now.

The good news is empathy is not just a precious resource, it’s also a renewable one.

So how can we protect it?

This week, maybe set the intention to Heal the Gap. If you suspect you may be on the way to burnout (e.g. you’re feeling negative, cynical or exhausted) then self-care becomes almost mandatory. This article offers 10 simple ways to start putting your well-being first. It includes building in “breathing space” and setting healthy boundaries.

If someone else’s lack of empathy has caused you pain or stoked feelings of unworthiness, remind yourself that you matter and you’re worthy of love and belonging. You could ask them, if it’s unlike them, if they’re alright because they may not be ok. 

Consider also talking about your feelings in a way that’s helpful to you, especially if someone else’s actions have taken their toll. And remember that you are always worthy of kindness and respect from others; to be gifted time and space to be heard and to be you. Every. Single. Day.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Push it Back

Monday Mojo™ is about helping you find your mojo and getting your sparkle back. The reason I do this blog each week is to let you know:
• that you matter
• you have a right to be heard
• you have a right to be here.

This blog is here to let you know, that you don’t need to apologise for being sad – or happy. You don’t need to say sorry when you cry or laugh out loud. You don’t need to make your self small so that others feel more comfortable. You don’t need to fake big when you’re not ok inside.

You don’t need to stay silent when you want to be heard. You don’t need to speak your truth until you are ready.  

You don’t need to be “more than”. You don’t need to feel “less than”. And to let you know that not everything we take on in life is ours to carry. You can give back to others what they try to put on you.

So this week, maybe set the intention to Push It Back. When people try to shut the conversation down, or say you’re “over-thinking it”, it’s ok to let them know that you feel what you feel. When people feel too judge-y (about what you wear or what you like) if you want to, you can say that you have a right to be you. As Robin Sharma says below you can say anything you want so long as you say it with respect – even if your voice shakes.

If you prefer to stay quiet for a while that’s ok too. Maybe treat yourself to a Stay at Home Spa Day that helps you align back to centre. The most important thing right now is to take care of yourself. To open the curtains and let the light in. To keep your face towards the sunshine, and let the shadows fall behind you.

Pause. Breathe. Continue.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

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