Firstly I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I hope that you are enjoying the festivities! In my last post I mentioned that I had started reading Tara Bliss’ book, High – A Party Girl’s Guide to Peace. As we approach New Year’s Eve, I thought it would be perfect timing to share what I have learnt from Tara’s amazing book now that I have read it from cover to cover.
Tara’s story truly blew me away and I recommend reading the book no matter whether you happen to be a Party Girl or not. There is a lesson in this book for everyone, and I had so many “ah-ha” moments throughout.
In case you needed any further convincing to grab a copy, here are the five lessons I have learnt from Tara’s gorgeous book. I want to acknowledge that many of these statements are directly quoted from Tara’s book because her words were too beautiful to paraphrase.
1. We need to change our reward system
Do you think letting your hair down after being well-behaved all week is a reward? Do you exercise, drink green smoothies and take vitamins to feel a little better about binging on [insert your vice here]?
Our reward system of winding down the week with lots of drinks and terrible food is nothing but a “vicious cycle of Ego mania” and “a decision to not experience the now”.
Let’s tear down this destructive reward system!
We need to create some space between the distractions that inhibit our psyche (e.g. counting the number of kilometres we have run, the number of squats we can manage, crossing off our to-do list, counting those calories). We need to cut the cord that links “I’m tired and need to relax” with “I need a drink”.
Instead, we should be:
- Combining our most heart-felt aspirations with a thirst for authenticity.
- Choosing our role models and friends wisely.
- Creating rituals that facilitate an internal culture of self-love, not self-destruction.
- Celebrating and rewarding our achievements (and challenges) in a way that nourishes our mind, body and soul – e.g. lighting candles, boiling some beautiful herbal tea, taking a nice shower or bath, reading, meditating, listening to music, practicing yoga…
I absolutely love Tara’s Instagram hashtag – #SelfCentredSundays – a celebration of self-love and self-care. I would encourage you to take part in this initiative to focus on yourself and re-jig your reward system in a way that truly honours your beautiful Self.
2. Radical relationships come from radical self-respect
Despite what we may think from our own experiences with relationships gone wrong (whether they be friendships or partners), there is no such thing as a dysfunctional relationship. As Eckhart Tolle says, “the universe will give you whatever experience necessary in order for you to awaken”.
In order to create amazing relationships with people in our lives, we first need to get the “self-love” part down pat.
Self-love is the creator of a strong sisterhood. Self-love allows you to be the best partner in this world.
Self-love is about “complete and utter acceptance of who you are in this moment” ~ Jess Ainscough.
Self-love is about “letting yourself off the hook, and being kind to yourself” ~ Melissa Ambrosini.
Tired of attracting poor friendships and partners? I truly believe that in order to find that perfect person, you need to be completely and utterly happy with yourself first. So what are you waiting for? Start focussing on your Self today.
3. Address your shadows
The idea of light and shadows is best summed up by this quote from Debbie Ford – “White is not the absence of colour – it’s the combination of all colour. Love is not the absence of hate – it’s the summation of all emotions.”
We cannot easily identify with the darkness in ourselves – it is the interaction between two people that holds up the mirror. If someone’s behaviour is bothering you, it’s a projection of qualities within yourself. If someone expresses a trait that annoys you, then it is a trait within yourself that you are trying to supress.
We need to look our shadows (those parts of us that we disown) in the eye. Embrace who we are as a whole. It certainly doesn’t come without a side-serve of humility. I love that when Tara has judged others, she asks herself the following questions:
- “Where in life am I being unauthentic?”
- “What’s feeling fraudulent here?”
Tara says that “sure enough, I would find [the answers to those questions]. Rather than beat myself up for temporarily detouring to Fake City, I’d evoke such incredible compassion for the two of us, me and the judged, and my focus could quickly shift from what they were doing ‘wrong’ to me, to what an incredible gift they’ve given me. Humility…”
I absolutely love this approach.
We need to acknowledge our shadowy parts and express them, as when we express, we evolve. We must think about the trigger behaviours we see in others – e.g. selfishness, arrogance, aggressiveness. Remember that we must be these things too (whether it has been in the past or the present).
Once we can see those shadows, always remember to say “thank you for showing me what’s real”.
4. Lead by example
Have you ever told your partner to pick up their act in the health department? I have been a perpetrator time and time again.
You can tell someone to be healthier. Or, as Tara says, “you can come home from yoga fresh-faced and bounding, and offer him a green smoothie”. The second option certainly appears to be more successful from my own experience!
The same logic applies to holding onto past wrongs. Instead, lead by example.
Let. It. Go.
You can harbour resentments and hold onto the story, or you can forgive. And once you’ve forgiven, you can let go of that person with love, or simply love. Unconditionally.
5. Be aware of your Ego and choose (gorgeous) presence
I have written about the concept of the Ego before, and Tara’s book doesn’t shy away from the topic. Here are my favourite quotes to describe the Ego:
- The Ego stands for “Edging God Out”.
- It is a “dysfunctional relationship with the present moment” ~ Eckhart Tolle.
- It is about “indulging in the past or future tripping over what may or may not happen”.
- “Fear is to the Ego what love is to the soul.”
- “How fearful you are in life is directly proportional to the extent to which you identify with your Ego.”
- The Ego thrives on separation and comparison. It has a consciousness for poverty or a “lack mindset”. It focusses on limitation and scarcity to create competitiveness with others.
- It Always. Wants. More.
The answer is not to declare war on our Ego – love does not fight. Instead, we need to become aware of it and choose loving, high-vibe, heart-centred thoughts and actions.
The best way to create awareness of the Ego is through meditation and being present, as they both:
- Heighten awareness of our true Self (being the opposite of the Ego).
- Teaches us the importance of stillness and inner peace.
- Reminds us what’s true underneath our crazy ideas and false beliefs about ourselves.
- Keeps us grounded, focussed and steady in times of chaos, resistance and our perceived “failures”.
- “Spiritual practice irons out the creases of separation and helps you to feel the essence of you in every being that you encounter.”
As Tara says so beautifully, presence “is not only the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others, but it is our most potent medicine when our Egos are on a mission to assume control”.
“Presence is the most profound thing we can desire for our lives, because it’s the only space in which we can properly give to and receive from Life. It’s the only place where a miracle can unfold, where guidance can be glimpsed, where questions become answers…”
I have no further words to express how grateful I am to have come across Tara’s book and read such beautiful words. I would love to hear from you if you have also read Tara’s book or if any of the above lessons resonate with you.