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Be Inspired

How about a slow start?

In popular culture the term “slow” seems to have a pejorative connotation. Until Carl Honoré and the “slow life” movement started to create a following more than 10 years ago. So how about a slow start for 2018?

I’m a yoga teacher and for some reason people just assume I therefore do yoga every day, seven days a week. Last time I did yoga? December 17th 2017. Yeap, almost a month ago. Do I feel bad about it? Nope. Do I plan on changing this? Yes. But on my own terms. I’m taking it slow.

I am tired of the pressure of constantly delivering. I have stopped thinking that “fast and further” is the best and only way to go. I’m going slower and expanding my horizons instead.

The best tip I can give you is to actually take the time and watch Carl Honoré’s TED talk from 2005 (yes, it’s that old and more true than ever) because no one explains it better than he does. At first I didn’t even want to bother watching the whole thing. I mean, 19 minutes, I don’t have that kind of time! I’m a busy woman. Thankfully I was quick to realise the irony of the situation, so I sat there for 19 + minutes receiving my first life lesson of 2018.

Funny enough, just as he mentions, my vision of time has always been cyclic. I usually visualise the year as a wheel with my birthday always being at the bottom part (end of July) and New Year on top, on the opposite side. But lately, as I grew older, I came to see time more and more linear. A line that is going so fast ahead I can’t keep up with it. Almost like a have been forced on a very fast moving walkway when all I want to do is walk on the side of it.

During my Christmas break I spent five days in an old farm in the middle of no where, with no internet and no access to much more than my own thoughts. And I felt trapped. I felt like I was suffocating thinking of all the things I had to do, all that time I was wasting. Until I got to my sense and decided this was good for me. More than anything I needed to slow down. And with that, rethink my priorities. So bring it on 2018, I have a feeling you and I will have a great ride, but please, let’s take it slow.

By: Mo Oléron / Photo cred: Pinterest 

Be Inspired

We are what we repeatedly do

Old habits are hard to break and new habits difficult to form.

On that note, let’s stay positive. It is possible to implement new habits and get rid of old ones. It just demands focus and determination.

Many people say it takes about 21 days to turn a daily action into a habit. Other research proves it takes much longer, between 66 up to more than 200 days. At the end of the day though, it all depends on the type of action we are trying to implement as well as our own commitment level and character. So there is really no point of comparing yourself to others.

The only thing to consider is your own check list. Here is ours.

Be realistic
We sometimes are full of confidence and with the New Year we have a rush of optimism and start by putting the bar pretty high for ourselves. If you have never run before in your life, avoid setting yourself up for failure by having as a goal to go running for one hour every day. And don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of new habits you want to put into practice, pick one and see how it goes first. Learn from the journey.

Be organised
It’s not enough to just decide with yourself that starting next Monday you’ll meditate daily. What does that entail? How much time is required? Where can you do it? What is the best part of the day for you to squeeze that time in and make sure you will not have to skip it to prioritise something else? Do your research!

Key word: repetition, repetition, repetition.

Be consistent
Let’s get real people: “Habit formation is the process by which a behaviour, through regular repetition, becomes automatic or habitual”.  Key word: repetition, repetition, repetition. There is no other way to put it, if you don’t repeat, it will not turn into a habit. It’s as simple as that.

Be honest with yourself
Some things will stick, some won’t. Be honest: have you given it your all? Have you really committed? Have you tried long enough? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then maybe you need to give it even more time. Maybe you need to re adjust the parameters: the time of day might be off, the way you are doing it might be wrong (if you are practicing yoga on your own for example, and not doing postures properly you might not feel any benefits from your practice). Do not hesitate to talk to people about your struggle and they might come up with great tips!

If the answer to those questions is mostly no on the other hand, then let’s face it: maybe deep down you are just not that committed. Maybe it was just one of those “New Year, New me” resolution that felt right in the spur of the moment. And that’s totally fine. Once you know something is not for you, there’s no need to waste time! The only judge here is you, the only goal is a better understanding of who you are and how you can enhance your life and even if it often does not feel like it, only you have the answers.

By: Mo Oléron 

Be Inspired

Those five little words

“I am happy for you”. The art of rejoicing in someone else’s success and happiness is easier said than done.

It´s easy to feel happy for someone when you find yourself in a good state of mind. It´s also a piece of cake to clap for someone’s success when they accomplished something within a field that is not the same as yours. But cheering for someone who achieved something you wish you had, that is the real challenge.

I grabbed a coffee with an old friend last time I was in Paris and we cheered for her recent success of getting into the best school in the country. I found myself being genuinely proud and happy for her. I recognised her hard work and dedication and felt it was more than deserved. Not an ounce of jealousy or frustration in sight. We shared a lovely moment rejoicing in her little happiness cloud and as we said goodbye I felt I took a little piece of that cloud with me. I had a smile on my face, thinking how lovely it is to see hard work being rewarded and feeling at that very moment that everything was how it should be.

But what if I had been depressed that day? What if I had tried and failed at the same exam? That would have been a very different story. I would probably have received her happiness as an aggression. Seeing it as reflexion of my own failure. I know this because it has happened before. But I also know it is not justified.

Others’ successes or failures are in no way related or proportional to yours.

You are responsible of your actions and life and they are of theirs. It makes absolutely no sense to feel better to see your friends fail where you also failed. On the contrary. To progress and grow you need to surround yourself with people who will challenge you, push you forward, not drag you down.

Again, easier said than done. We know all that, and it looks great on paper, but controlling your feelings is something that demands practice, dedication and awareness, knowing yourself and more importantly being very honest with yourself, admitting and recognising your feelings to then be able to act on them.

Definitely something worth working on though, for ourselves and our entourage, because happiness is contagious. Catch it. Spread it.

By: Mo Oléron 

Be Inspired

Vulnerability: driving force or nemesis?

Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. 

Tempting right? We think not. Who would you want to be put in a position where you could potentially get hurt? Isn’t human nature to survive no matter what?

But then we ponder on Brené Brown’s quote:

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

One can argue that by building walls around you will protect the person you are today, but prevents you from becoming the person you could be tomorrow. By building walls you’re building your own prison. A golden one maybe, but a prison nonetheless. It’s only by letting people in, trying and experiencing that you will learn about who you truly are, tune in with yourself and develop.

But where is the limit? When does vulnerability get in the way of growth, of innovation and creativity?

When focus is lost. When in the scheme of it all you lose your purpose in all the physical and emotional stimulations. When you lose yourself in the whirlpool of the new and the exciting whether it is a project or people.

Like everything else in life, balance is in order.

By: Morgane Oléron 



Be Inspired Mind

Irrational fears: when lucky charms turn into OCD

When irrational fears take over your sanity. Welcome to my world. 

I have always feared flying. While writing this I am sitting on a plane to Paris so obviously, the fear never stopped me from traveling, but it´s still always there. Somehow, I convinced myself that to survive a flight I have to follow a set of rituals involving a necklace I always have on, touching the plane from the outside as we board, and, probably the most time consuming and socially awkward when traveling with people, counting in my head from take off until the seatbelt sign is off.  If anyone from a mental institution is reading this, they are probably on their way to get me right now with a giant butterfly net. (Well I’ll be in Paris!).

I can’t really explain where these rituals come from, but they are there. They have been there for as long as I can remember and clearly, it has always “worked”. And spare me the whole “planes are safer than cars” speech, I’ve heard it many times before. I have also noticed that the bigger the plane the more scared I am, which makes absolutely no sense. Ok, I was terrified and praying for my life in the 10 seats Tara Air flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, but in my defence it’s the most dangerous airline in the world, I am pretty sure everyone peed their trekking pants. But in general, the bigger the plane, the more worried I am.

I am also afraid of very large cruise ships coming into port. Don’t even ask me why and how. I have no problem getting on them, but seeing them from afar makes me very uncomfortable. Then there is the whole hypochondriac issue when each little pain is Googled, each mosquito bite is dengue fever or malaria while traveling in Asia, each little cut can turn into gangrene and each headache into brain tumour.

How do I get anything done you ask? It’s a constant inner struggle between this part of me who’s afraid of everything and the part of me who’s rationalising and relying to facts and common sense. It´s the second part that wants to be able to explore, discover and try new things and thank God, it´s most of the time the part of me that wins, even though the fear is always there lurking in the shadows.

However, lately I started to get tired of this constant struggle between rational and irrational thoughts. I want to be stronger than this. Because I am a sane (yes yes) 31-year-old who is in control of her life (mostly) and because fear does not prevent danger from happening.

Today I did not count during take-off and until the seatbelt sign was switched off. And since you can read this, I made it there alive! First step towards OCD freedom.

By: Morgane Oléron