Stay connected to who you are.

Shaun Kay - Founder of Smile Teachers 

I’ve been wanting to share this content for a lifetime, but was waiting for you to be ready to hear it. It’s almost 30 years worth of trial and error, pain and pleasure, success and failure. You’ve been busy, doing lots of things, working on loads of projects and haven’t really been making enough time for yourself. Am I right? Your often in a frenzy, running around like a headless chook, burning the candle at both ends or being on the hamster wheel. TIRED! 2019 feels like it only just started… but HELLO… wake up call we are almost in a whole new decade. JEEPERS! Where did the time go? I can tell you, most of the time you wasted scrolling through social media, binging on Netflix, driving in a car to or from work, talking shit behind people’s backs or at the local bar washing away the week in the form of Rose’ or a few frothies. When did you stop to actually slow down and reconnect?

Energy and Time.

Two of the most abundant resources that we have. Yet two of the most unappreciated and neglected by busy people. Why are you so busy forcing, pushing, grinding, hustling, doing? As the famous philosopher and master of words Alan Watts puts it… “If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” – Alan Watts 

When did you last take a moment?

To do the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result is INSANITY. 

The real reason you don’t value your time is because you don’t value yourself. When you don’t value yourself, you fail to fill your bucket and when your feeling drained our self worth depreciates rapidly. For busy teachers, parents, leaders etc. it can be hard to improve self-worth with limited time. We here it all the time, “I don’t have time to look after myself”. That’s a bit of an oxymoron if you ask me… “I don’t have time to practice self-love” I call BULLSHIT. Do you have time to watch the latest episode of Wentworth? (or even worse re-watching the first season) How often are you plonking on the couch and scrolling through Instagram? When we talk about fatigue, stress and burnout we are looking at an energy deficit between your inner battery and the energy demands your daily tasks are sucking from you? If you don’t value yourself and you fail to put your health and wellbeing first, this leads to major leaks in your inner battery… these can be small or large, but by staying busy and on the treadmill with a leaking battery you're going to end up burnt out. When you want to improve the quality of your own life it’s often best to model yourself from a wise teacher, here at Smile Teacher’s we share the very best from a range of teacher’s! My aim is to open your eyes to new things and make you want to become the best version of yourself.

Where do you start?

Well in 2018 I reconnected with my true essence and from here I created Smile so that together we can learn, love and connect more… check out the journey in this video.  

In this blog, I have compiled 5 essential ways for you to Stay Connected to Who You Are:  

Hit the Pause Button Creating time and space to allow yourself to reconnect is fundamental. When was the last time you spent an extended period of time by yourself, off technology and in stillness? We are so busy DOING, that we forget who we are and how to just BE our best self. Take that mental health day, call in sick, go away for the weekend, come on a Smile Teachers Retreat.  

This comes unnatural to most of us, but you need to be a little SELFISH. Your wellbeing has to come above family, students, work etc. when you do this you have the ability to impact your community far more because you will be operating in overflow, not pouring from an empty cup.  

This highly essential component is critical to reconnecting with yourself to improve self-worth. It is nearly impossible to reconnect with yourself without creating the time and space to allow yourself to slow down. It will feel really unnatural and selfish to do this, but you deserve it and by setting this boundary and owning your wellbeing you will find a whole new sense of self. Take back what’s yours.  

Shift your beliefs about yourself with I am affirmations. My personal coach has had me writing down I am affirmations. These short powerful sentences are repeated back to me morning and night… why? Our subconscious mind is operating 95% of the time, this is like a computer software that is programmed into us from ages 0-8… think about some of the limiting beliefs you may have about yourself, where did these come from? Most likely, that early childhood period. I am affirmations are proven to reconstruct many of these self-limiting beliefs by suggestion. They are reprogramming and moulding our beliefs. You can do these for 5 mins or more. There are plenty available on Youtube or you can write your own, record them onto your phone and play them back in the morning and night. Do this for 21 days and start to watch your mindset shift.  

Yoga This is nothing new for many of you, but I believe too many people do not understand the real benefits of yoga. I have had many conversations with those curious about yoga. A lot of people have a misunderstanding and think that yoga is difficult, painful and self-sabotaging beliefs that stem from a lack of self-worth make you say things like “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga” “I won’t be able to do the poses and I will look like an idiot” Wrong! Yoga is unique for every person. I can say Yoga is the one modality I have been engrossed in for years that has truly allowed me to love myself more. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable, listening to the body and connecting to breath and mind are all quintessential components of yoga. The ancient practice of Yin especially is a soft, gentle and deeply transformational experience where many of my “ah-huh” moments of self-realisation have occurred. If you’re struggling to switch off, find it hard to meditate or really need to work on body image issues, loving yourself and learning to soften then I highly recommend starting with Yoga. Most studios offer a one month introductory offer, sign up for 2-3 classes a week and see how you go. Busy family? Schedule in an at home class with one of the following:  

Bend so you don't break!

Find Your Ikigai Initially I picked up the book in 2017 and was mesmerised…we all have a personal Ikigai, a calling, passion or larger purpose, if we are not in alignment with our true purpose we are going to experience lack of fulfillment, energy leaks and a reduced sense of self-worth. There is no simple, direct translation into English for the Japanese word ikigai. It roughly means the “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you get up in the morning.” In a nutshell, it encompasses the idea that happiness in life is about more than money or a fancy job title. It’s easiest to think about ikigai as an intersection, the common ground between: What you love. What you care about. What the world needs. What you can get paid for. Ikigai has a few essential qualities that make it different in contrast to the “follow your passion” truism as we conceive in Western culture: It’s challenging. Your ikigai should lead to mastery and growth. It’s your choice. You feel a certain degree of autonomy and freedom pursuing your ikigai. It involves a commitment of time and belief, perhaps to a particular cause, skill, trade, or group of people. It boosts your well-being. Ikigai is associated with positive relationships and good health. It gives you more energy than it takes away. Before you think this sounds too airy-fairy, consider what researchers from University of San Diego said: ikigai is often not something grand or extraordinary. It is simple and unique. What better way, then, to discover a sustainable passion than by finding your ikigai?

Set aside some time to get really clear on your Ikigai, we wrote an article this time last year that explores Ikigai in more detail Finding Your Ikigai… you can also download a free Ikigai worksheet here. Fill it out and email it back to shaunhappyteacher@gmail.com for some feedback

Ikigai pronounced eek-eye-guy

Set Boundaries

No matter your circumstances. Parent, teacher, boss, spouse, coach, mentor etc. regardless of the roles you play you MUST… 100%... set clear and non-negotiable boundaries for yourself. This could be setting aside “me time” a period of time each week to be alone so you can connect and nourish yourself. Perhaps it’s booking a massage for every Friday afternoon after work to renew your energy or it could be going out for coffee alone each Saturday morning. You can set your own boundaries, but if we fail to set boundaries we often end up feeling unsupported, neglected and at war with those around us… when we could have stuck up for ourselves and avoided further conflict or struggle by putting our own wellbeing first so that we can show up as our best self. These 5 strategies provide a brief snapshot of How to Reconnect with Yourself and Improve Self-worth. To truly connect with yourself and to cultivate self-love we would love to see you at one of our Australia wide events in 2020. In January 2020 we are hosting our third Bali Self-Love Teacher’s Retreat, which is an immersive retreat experience that leaves teacher’s in a state of overflow and abundance, truly loving who they are and what they stand for.  


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