5 steps to reassess your life and live with integrity

 

There are moments in life that make you reassess everything. Moments that throw a spotlight on your reality. A disaster that reminds you that you are alive, This last week I have had one of those moments. 3 days ago I was rushed to hospital suffering from ketoacidosis ( a horrible side effect to diabetes). And now I am sitting here writing to you. Now if you are not initiated in the school of diabetes type 1 ketoacidosis is pretty serious and can be fatal. So for the last couple of days, my medical team and my body have been fighting to keep me out of the danger zone and on this planet.

I feel very lucky and incredibly grateful. Grateful of course to the amazing medical team who have looked after me but also to Mr T, my friends and family who from near and far have sent me so much love and caring. However, I also feel incredibly grateful for my life. When this stuff happens I feel it is a kick from the universe saying “Hey! You! You are alive. What are you doing with this gift?” Bad health, with a reminder of our mortality, is a great lesson, if a somewhat badly wrapped gift. For me, it has shown me what I value. What I am doing in my life that is me really listening to my soul and what I am doing that is me lying to myself. How do I live with integrity? And how do I not? It’s a hella important process. I mean we only have one life in this body, as this person at this time. Wasting this amazing gift is more than criminal, it is arrogant and spoilt. And so many of us to waste this gift by not living with accordance to our own values. So I have welcomed this opportunity to really look into my life and find my truth. What do I value and how am I living that each day? How can I live with more integrity?

Then it struck me. Why has it taken a medical disaster to make me look at this? Why do we only get motivated to check in when things go horribly wrong? Wouldn’t it surely be more beneficial to do this process on a regular basis? Would it not be more respectful to the gift of being alive, not to mention be incredibly beneficial to ourselves, to check in and see if we are living in accordance to our own values on a regular basis. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”. And I agree.

If I had died this week would my soul have been happy with the way I live? Would I have felt that I have lived a life of integrity? That I have walked my talk? To be honest not really. I mean I would be able to acknowledge the efforts I have made but in truth, there are some things in my life that I do that in no way shape or form, fall in line with my values. And there are things I really want to do that I have never done, or put off constantly. What is the point of that?

So I have decided to set some time aside each month to take a 15-minute check in with myself. It’s now scheduled in the diary as my Life integrity check-in. A 15-minute recess to reassess my life*,check in with my values and to make sure I really am living a life of integrity. What about you? When did you last check in with your values? When did you last reassess your life to see if you are prioritising or ignoring the things that are most important to you? Do you know if you are living a life of integrity?

I invite you to try the following process. It will take you 15 mins max and will help you to really see where you are, how you are living and if this really is the way you want to live. Without the bother of having to have a horrible disaster in your life!

Life Integrity check

Step 1: The question to ask yourself is this: What is truly important to me in life?

Brainstorm a list of your values as your answers to this question. Be specific. So some of my list looks like this (In no particular order of importance):

  • Mr T
  • My brother
  • My cats
  • My Parents and family
  • Mother Earth and Paganism
  • Community and friends
  • Creativity- Writing -Drawing and painting – colouring
  • Laughing
  • Dancing
  • Making memories and having adventures
  • Viking
  • Good food and wine
  • Coaching and Teaching
  • Playing and having fun
  • Good health and happiness
  • Me time
  • Reading
  • Gardening
  • Inspiring work
  • Love and being loved
  • Safety
  • Acknowledgement and respect
  • Honesty

There’s no hard rule for how long your list should be, however, a list in the range of 15 – 25 values is easier to work with.

Step 2: Ask your self what is a real priority for you on your list?

The next step is to prioritize your list. This is the most difficult step because it requires some intense thinking.

Identify the top value, then the second highest value, and so on until you’ve rebuilt the whole list in order of priority from the top to the bottom. So you may begin by asking yourself these questions: Which of these values is truly the most important to me in life? If I could only satisfy one of these values, which one would it be? The answer to this question is your number one value. Then move down the list and ask which remaining value is the next most important to you, and so on, until you’ve sorted the whole list in priority order.

Step 3: Now ask the question How much are my values prioritised in my life?

We may have these values but do we prioritise them? Go through your list. Put a smiley 🙂 next to those that are visibly prioritised in your life, an uncertain emoji for values you sort of prioritise and a sad face 🙁 for values that are not prioritised at all.

It’s quite interesting to look at. I found that I was only prioritising 14 of my values in my life. 9 things that were really important to me were only semi prioritised and somethings that I thought very important were not prioritised at all.

Step 4: Now ask yourself How would I like to prioritise my values in my life?

Now you can see what matters to you and what you are and are not prioritising, ask yourself “How would I like to prioritise my  values in my life?” We all do only have 24 hours in a day and of course, we would love to fill every moment of the day as we liked. But this is not always possible. So you have a choice of daily, monthly and weekly. Assign this to each of your values. Basically, you are choosing how you will prioritise your time according to your values.

Once you have assigned Daily, weekly and monthly to each of your values rearrange them in the order of daily, weekly and monthly. This gives you a new and unique perspective on your values and what is important to you.

Step 5: Now ask yourself What can I do to make this a reality in my life?

In the last step, you created a wish list of how you would like to live with integrity. Now you need to plan your action. Make a practical mini goal for each value of how you will prioritise this daily, weekly or monthly in your life. So, for example, I have ‘Making memories and having adventures’ as something I value and wish to do on a monthly basis. So I have to make sure there is a time in my calendar every month for an adventure day with Mr T, or a good friend to have an adventure and make a memory.

For the last time prioritise these goals in the order you would like to start introducing them into this month. Don’t try and do everything at once. Choose a few  (maybe one monthly, one weekly and one daily) and start to create these fantastic new habits that mean you are living a life of integrity.

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Put this month’s goals somewhere you can see them. Now, book in your calendar next month ’s life integrity assessment. Remember your values change. Maybe next month you would like to focus on something else. For example, I know that my health and Me time is high on the list this month as I need to recover. However next month it might be spending time with my Mr T. You may just choose new goals to start to fulfil from the list you make today or you may find that you make new goals. This system is as flexible as you and will change with the ebb and flow of your life keeping you true to yourself always.

Have a wonderful week <3

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind

 

 

 

( *try saying that fast it’s full of s’s!!)

How to fit fun into your busy life

I have a tendency to turn everything into work. Even the things I love to do. Just like posting on this blog. I love to sit and write to you the great and wider world. I love to spill out my thoughts and have people comment and be inspired by my words. Yet if I don’t write it on my to do list I forget to do it and make it important. The catch 22 is that as soon it’s on my list it becomes work. A chore. Now I know this is partly due to my own attitude to the to-do list but I think it is also that in a day where there are many things to do and have to be done life tends to feel like a chore. There is a distinct lack of fun in a busy every day.

I am not alone in feeling like this. There are many of us out there that have busy lives that without considered thought and a little focus can just feel like funless constant work. That is er…. No fun. (Apologies for lack of vocabulary. It is Monday). So what to do about it? Because at the end of the day the reason your days are busy is that there are so many things that have to be done and you want to do. How to find the balance between that and having fun?

Prioritise

Firstly in order to have more fun, we need to decide that fun is equally as important as work, housework and all the other things we have to do/want to do. If we don’t prioritize fun then we won’t get it.

Attitude change

Now as I said my challenge is that I tend to think of everything as work. And to be fair I have a lot of work. However, it’s as  Thomas Edison said “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”  Now that doesn’t mean Mr Edison never worked. He just thought of it as fun. I find the art of thinking something is fun without analysing it difficult. So I have looked at my daily weekly and monthly activities and identified which of these I find fun. Even though its a purely theoretical exercise, it has helped me to see that I do actually have more fun than I thought in my life.

Leave work at work

One of the greatest tricks I have found as an entrepreneur is to leave work at work. I have a signpost on my office door that I turn around for when I am working and when I am done. I have strict office hours and when it is 5 o’clock the day is done. I also do the same thing with household chores if it is not done by 19:00 then it is not getting done that day. The last 3 hours of the day are for fun, however, I need it at that time. Some evenings include no chores (apart from clearing the table). Mentally or even physically leaving your jobs in the jobs time means that you get to fee and experience having more time.

Find ways of making chores fun

Now there are not many people in the world who enjoy household chores (my mother in law is the exception). So a great way to have more fun is to find ways to make boring things fun. A friend once told me that when she scrubs the toilet she scrubs it with love. It always makes me laugh as I do this now. I have an upbeat cleaning music playlist I use to dance around in the house as I clean. Singing whilst driving to work is another great one. Or simply using your commuting time for the game you love on your phone or reading.

Give yourself time for daily fun

Set aside at least 10 minutes to have fun. I like to try and include something fun or silly on my to-do list every day. It helps me keep the fun in my life a priority.

Start your day happy

Starting the day badly can affect every moment of that day.  Make a conscious effort to start the day in a way that makes you feel happy. I use the time to do my gratitude practice and read one chapter of whichever personal development book I am reading at that particular time. It combines two of my favourite activities of writing and reading. Mr T the health nut starts his day with training.

Schedule pleasure

In a 14 day period schedule some pleasure time to do a fun activity that fills at least an hour. You can schedule a free evening if you want just to do something spontaneously fun or you can decide beforehand what would be fun to do.

Create a play box

I love this idea. As a child we have toy boxes so why not have an adult play box. Put in things that are fun activities you like to do. A play box is a go-to resource for those days where you need a fun boost. Another way is making playlists of things you want to watch on youtube or on Netflix.

On a bad day vitto a chore and do something fun

Having a bad day? Then look at your todo list and vitto something not fun for a mood-lifting fun activity. It doesn’t have to take long. 20 mins fun can turn your motivation and mood around so that a rubbish day becomes fantabulous!

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If you feel like you are not having enough fun in your busy life. Choose one of the above and make it important to do in the next 3 days. Actively seeking and having fun will make life more enjoyable not just for you but for the people around. No matter how demotivated you feel, have a go. I promise you that by making yourself have fun, life will start to feel fun once more!

Have fun this week 🙂

 

Have fun todayTrust meIt will be worth it !x.jpg

#lifelessons101 – Frustrated? Try the healing power of whimsy

Under a fair amount of stress at the moment I am finding many things frustrate me. This week I had one particular incident with a company who has provided me with bad products and bad service. Now normally that would annoy me but in my current frame of mind, I exploded with frustration. It was like some hidden cave troll boiled up from the deep recesses of my soul and even with using anger management techniques,I could not let it go.) Until that is I stumbled upon James Veitch’s video “The agony of trying to unsubscribe” and got a great reminder of the perfect tool to stop feeling frustrated.

Whimsy

Seriously whimsy. Jame’s video advocates instead of being frustrated and annoyed with the bane, pointless, or boring points in life, that you find the game. Find the fun and whimsy and focus on that. So I tried. And instead of being p*ssed off I took the Veitchian approach and found the fun. Which actually resulted in me making myself laugh as I delighted in wasting the time of the people at the printer company who had frankly been mucking me about. (I mean who sends a printable return label to a customer you sent dysfunctional ink cartridges)  It felt great. So I thought this whimsy thing. Maybe I can apply it to other annoyances in my life. That led to an exploration of whimsy that is turning both my life and my stress around.

You want to try it? Of course, you do! I mean who wants to be annoyed when you could be smiling and light-hearted right? I adopted what I call the Vetchian Principle which is

Annoyed? Frustrated? Look for the game and bring whimsy back into your life!

Ergo whenever something really annoyed me, I would look for a fun way to turn it around. (Similar to the way the Riddikulus spell works in Harry Potter where you have to turn a fear into something funny.)  It Is BRILLIANT and IT WORKS. Here are a few of the whimsical ways I have been turning around my frustrations this week I hope they inspire you to your own ways of using the healing power of whimsy and basically having a happier existence.

Handling the illogical and frankly stupid bad customer service by turning into the stupid naive and illogical customer wasting their time and giving me a great laugh. (This one is pure Veitch!)

Making a pyramid of finished cardboard toilet rolls that Mr T leaves consistently in the bathroom to remind him of the need to take them out.

Incorporating stupid insults and gestures into arguments. So instead of yelling at each other, an argument became a Monty Python-esque battle of stupid insults and much blowing of raspberries.

Equally starting a pillow fight mid row to break the tension.

When my patience is tried by other people I have been responding to their pure idiocy with nonsensical sentences (Fry and Laurie are great for inspiration here).

Finding random and bizarre gifs to respond to annoying facebook comments.

Working in a pillow fort rather than at my desk to prove I can be both childish and a proper grown up

The ultimate thing with this principle is that it makes you laugh and diffuses tension.And we all know that one of the best stress relievers in the world is laughter. Try a 7-day whimsy challenge. Look for the game in the irritation and you will find that you, your life and your stress load is lighter. In the comments please, please inspire me by telling me how you turned your frustrations around this week by introducing whimsy into the situation.

Have a wonderful whimsical weekend <3

What is life without whimsy_.jpg

Getting your life back on track after Summer

There probably isn’t anyone in the world who doesn’t love the summer holidays. However, if you are like me the end of summer might find you as the late lie in queen, binge-watching Netflix, eating junk and going to bed way later than usual.  It’s no wonder that the thought of the return to normal life and the humdrum rhythm makes me want to hide under the duvet and click the next episode button.

However, all good parties have to come to an end and after a busy summer, I can hear those hum drums calling me back. If you are a regular reader you will know that I LOVE routine.  But for me, those first few weeks back at work after the holidays are always challenging. The rhythm of the every day, so normal and flowing before the break is suddenly exhaustingly hard. It’s tough to focus. And if you, like me, have had such a busy summer that you need a break to get over your holiday, at the end of August I can end up an emotional, unproductive mess. It’s a rhythm I have been stuck in for years.

However, forewarned is forearmed. This year I decided that I am changing the pattern and I have found a way to get my life back on track after Summer. If you need a refocus after the holidays here is a surefire recipe for success that will bring you to the end of August as a productive and perky person!

Don’t beat yourself up:

So you ate 3 tons of ice cream/pizza/carb and drank half the cocktail bar alone on your hols? So what! In the holidays we all have binges be it food, laziness, lie-ins or overspending. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t need to play catch up with something after the holidays. And that’s OK. The important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. It was part of summer you – YeY for summer you!  Summer you has nothing to do with after summer you, so don’t beat yourself up for what you did. It’s time to think about what you are going to do.

Reconnect with yourself:

In the summer we have more interactions with other people, family and friends. We have all been having fun, just as we should. However all these experiences and socialising can take you away from yourself. To get back on track you need to reconnect with yourself. You need some time alone to become aware of what you want and need. So as soon as you can schedule in some Ḿe time. Not the Netflix duvet ‘me time’. Productive me time. Both journaling and meditation are a great way to connect with yourself and your energy.  Even a 1-minute meditation will give your body the opportunity to give you feedback on what it needs. Allow yourself to listen to your body.

Prioritise:

You will have less energy for the normal rhythm after summer. It takes a few weeks to get back into it. So you need to prioritise your energy. Chose 3 areas to focus on in the first week.  I came to a big pile of unforeseen financial poop. So that was my immediate priority. The second priority was the big pile of washing, (it is apparently necessary for Mr T to have clean underpants and he does not speak washing machine!) And the last was to get back into using to do lists after 18 days off. Having a limited number of things to focus on in your first weeks back to normality will slowly retrain you into your normal rhythm. Remember this applies to both home and work life. And keep in mind the mantra. ” It’s ok to put things on hold. It is better to focus and do one thing well”

Keep your battery charged up:

Cut out unnecessary social engagements. Plan your Me time. Take care of your personal energy and keeping it charged up. Back to work normally means the alarm clock comes back on. If you keep summer bedtimes and work getting up times you are going to get sick, quickly. Getting back into a reasonable bedtime, eating good food, drinking water are all the small things you can do to take care of you. Remember you are the most important thing in your life if your body doesn’t work nothing else does.

Planning and structure:

The quicker you can get back into normal routines the better. Personally, I love to have schedules and routines  I like to start the day with my me time, training time and eating healthy. I like to have a shower after dinner and prep clothes and work bag the day before. But this is a lot to throw me back into at once. So I have started back by using my weekly schedule. Now I am focusing on rebuilding my morning routine and have given myself 3 simple health goals. That’s enough for me. When it comes to getting back into the routine after summer I recommend going at a snail’s pace and taking baby steps.

Keep on at it:

Getting back on track is actually harder than starting a completely new habit. You will fail and forget. In my first week back I suddenly got ill and had to have 3 days in bed. All I really wanted to do was my morning routine and be productive at work and I couldn’t. When you don’t do the things you set yourself to do it can be easy to give up altogether. Don’t. So you didn’t do your journaling, meditation or the washing. Accept it. And do it as soon as possible.

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The most important part of getting life back on track is the decision to do it. Only you can say I need to do this and only you can do it. I personally find it an empowering (if albeit tiring to start with) process. I wish you luck with getting back on track. And if you feel so inspired write about your journey in the comments below. I love getting inspired by my readers 🙂

Have an amazing week <3
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How to feel like it’s summer every day on the inside!

Summer can be one of the most unprofitable times to be a life coach. Why? Well because the sun gives us an energy boost and we feel on top of the world. We are off work and therefore need less focus on life balance as we have loads of time for ourselves and what is important to us. Which means often people feel they no longer need a coach. Bad for me. Great for them. Here in Scandinavia, the Summer holiday season is drawing to a close as the schools prepare to reopen in August. The issue with that is that the high of being on summer holidays is also drawing to a close.

Have you ever noticed how in the summer holidays you feel like a different person? Your personality changes with the season. And the end of the summer holidays heralds the entry of your autumn personality. Now, unfortunately, our autumn and winter personalities tend to be less confident and less happy. I see it all the time in my customers. However, I believe there is a way to feel like it’s summer every day on the inside. With a little thought and effort, you can maintain that upbeat summer confident personality all year round.

As you return to work try this recipe to keep your spirits up and the summer sun shining inside you every day!

Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude makes us feel happier. So count your blessings once a day and you will feel an inner glow of contentment.

Blast out a summer playlist while you are working or commuting

Music uplifts the spirits better than anything else. Make a playlist of your favourite summer tunes (I recommend the Beach boys are in there) and play it while you are travelling to work or while you are working.

Reread your summer books

If you want to feel transported back to your holidays put on a beach or nature background music and re-read your summer books.

Play tourist at home

The autumn is a great time to discover your local tourist haunts. A day trip will make you feel like you are on holiday once more and you get the bonus of learning something new about where you live.

Go swimming or hiking

Most holidays in the summer involve a degree of being outside. You can recreate this by taking trips in the woods, having a bonfire in the garden or even just by going to your local swimming pool.

Boost up on Vitamin D and your favourite summer foods

Two of the biggest combis in summer is the sun’s boost of vitamin D and exotic foods. Begin taking your vitamin D in autumn it will help stabilise your mood over the darker months. Combine this with recreating your favourite foods from the summer (and drinks too). Invite your friends over for tapas or midnight margaritas!

Recycle your summer outfits for winter

Take your favourite summer outfit and alter it for winter. The boho gipsy dress lots great with a woolly jumper and high boots. Shorts can be worn with tights and a Hawaiian shirt is going to brighten the office. Wearing bright colours will also lift your mood. Due to the strength of the Scandinavian sun, I tend to wear sunglasses in the winter. But hey you don’t need an excuse!

Make time for bliss and relaxing

In the summer we prioritise doing things we love and relaxing. It’s even more important to do this in the winter. Heck, we often have more time to do it too. So dedicate at least one day or evening a month to blissing out in your favourite way.

Go camping indoors

Pop up your tent inside and have a sleepover in your front room! It’s great fun. The kids (big and small) love it. Put on music in the background, turn off the lights and burn some sausages and you will be right back at your festival experience once more!

Practise self-love

In the summer we do love ourselves more because we are happier in general. In the darker months, we need to boost our self-love more.

Wear a little sunscreen

I know it sounds strange but  smell is a great way to change your mood. Sunscreen is the ultimate summer smell (in my house followed by coconut and aloe vera) so dab a little on for those blue days and feel transported back to your holidays.

Take lots of photos

Our camera gets overused in the summer. Why not do the same in winter? Get snapping and make memories whenever you can!

If all else fails, book a trip

If you can’t hold it out then book a trip to a warm country. Sometimes there’s just no replacement for the sun!

 

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Get a summer confidence boost

As much as we all love summer it can be a time where our self-confidence takes a plummet. Especially if you, like me, have been ignoring those “get you bikini body in 6 weeks” ads. The simple fact of the matter is that we show more of our body off in the summer. And I simply haven’t gotten to that stage where I fully love and accept my buddha belly. ( I am not entirely sure Mr T’s recent complements of you are so soft have helped that complex.)

I am pretty sure you like me don’t want to spend the summer in a spiral of self-doubt, body negativity and self-loathing. So, what we buddahrettes need is a boost of self-confidence to help us shine with the sun.

Here is my guide to giving yourself a summer confidence boost to guide you through the best summer ever, even without the bikini bod!

Be your best you online

We are in the age where we constantly put ourselves on display for others to see. Think about this the next time you post something on social media. Are you showing your best self? Not the physical self, there are filters for that, I mean your mental self. Are you inspiring others? Are you sharing and commenting on the best in someone else? Be conscious and confident in the positive effect you can have on others when you post online.

Compliment. Compliment. Compliment.

It’s easy to compliment others, but what about yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back when you accomplish something. I love to write 3 things down every day I am proud of. Each time I write the full sentence. “ I am proud of myself because……….”

Be Brave

When we step out of comfort zone and try something new we cannot help but feel a glow of achievement and a higher sense of self-confidence. So try something you have always wanted to do but never done. You can do it and you will love it when you do.

Self-love

Practise self-love. You can’t expect anyone else to do it if you don’t. The whole of May I wrote many articles on different self-love practices. Go and flick through them and find something you can try to boost your self-love. If nothing else remember how much your skin needs taking care of in the heat and make a point of pampering it after a day at the beach.

Dress for success

Dress for how you want to feel, not what you want to hide. I have a quote by the mirror in my dressing room. It says “ what thoughts am I wearing today?” What we put on shows the world how we feel about ourselves. Dress for you. Dress for how you want to feel. I have a pair of huge Audrey Hepburn sunglasses that practical do my walking for me. I first wore them on a red carpet at Cannes film festival (I was on holiday not at the festival) and I feel like a catwalk model in them. Find the clothes and accessories that you love and feel great in. Wear them all summer long!

Walk tall

Body posture can make you feel ill, powerful, beautiful or confident. It’s just a question of how you stand. When I am feeling unconfident I imagine how my favourite heroines in movies walk and move. I can channel (well in my head I can) the sensuality of Marilyn Monroe, take on the power walk of Julia Roberts and the Grace of Miss Hepburn by seeing them in my minds eye as I find a place on the beach, try to catch Mr T’s eye across a bonfire on the beach, or dance in the bar.  Watch some of your favourite screen goddesses or gods and see how they move. That way you are ready when you need your inner Clooney, or Angelina.

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Most importantly have fun this summer. Smiling boosts your confidence more than anything else. You keep smiling, walking tall and pushing your comfort zones not only will other people want to spend time with you, you will want to spend time with you. The more fun you have the less you are going to care about how you look and the more you will enjoy how you feel.

You have the sunshine within you.jpgHave a great week!

 

Reinvent yourself this summer

One of the greatest gifts of life is the ability to evolve. Subtly each of our lives makes an impact on the next generation and the next changing humanity as a race. Our lives are the microcosm to that macrocosm. Throughout life, we grow. We adapt. We change. Our cells are replaced over a 7 year cycle. Our body moves through the ageing process. (Whether we like it or not.) Our personalities too evolve depending on our social circles, our jobs and our roles. Consciously, or unconsciously, we are always reinventing ourselves. In fact one of the only constants in life is change. And that means that there will always be times in our lives when we need to reinvent ourselves.

Reinventing yourself isn’t about creating an alternate personality; it’s about expanding and recreating what you already have and who you already are. Reinvention is about adapting and evolving, expressing our fullest potential.  There is no shame in casting off your past and your old self. There is no shame in leaving your old self behind and creating someone completely new.

Often people connect reinventing themselves after a crisis a breakup, a divorce, a career failure, or by a change in external circumstances such as moving, changing schools. However, a reinvention of ourselves can be made at any time in our life. And a summer without the weighty responsibility and the luxury of more time is a perfect time to do a personality MOT.

Reinventing yourself is an empowering process when done consciously. And let me stress that reinventing yourself is a gift from you to you. It is you stepping into your own power. Respecting yourself and generating respect from others. Reinventing yourself is a form of levelling up in your life for you. Reinventing yourself should never be done for someone else. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that the person you are becoming is continually gaining respect.

The druids believed that every 7 years we go through a transformation of mind and spirit. (Interesting when you think that our physical body regenerates every 7 years too). Now this year I am going to be 40. 2 years away from my next mind, body and spirit transformation. So I want to do some groundwork whilst I am in a happy and powerful space to reinvent myself again. Are you with me? Let’s grasp this summertime of opportunity together and take these 5 steps to begin our path to reinventing ourselves in the sun!!

Look at you now

In order to reinvent yourself, you have to start with an acceptance of who you are. With the flaw and your qualities.  Make a list of the strength and abilities you have in your life now. An brainstorm on what kind of person could use those qualities to the max if they were enhanced a little.

New Self image

Now take that brainstorm further and create a new self-image to serve as your guide to your new goal. Concentrate on actually pulling yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles and self-perceptions. It doesn’t mean you have to drop the bits of your life that you love, just tweak you now into a new mental image. A new self-image will always remind you of why you’re trying to change. I love the idea of making a vision board of this new self-image combining the best of the old with the inspiration of the new.

Plan

Now down to the nitty-gritty. How are you going to make this reinvention come about?What actions will you take? What do you need to do? Are there books you might need to read? Or are there habits you need to form. Brainstorm a humongous list of ideas. Now look at this list and choose 2 or 3 that you can begin with straight away. Remember the summer is a great time to begin cultivating new habits. If you have ever read “The happiness project! by Jenna James (and if you haven’t GO NOW and get it -it’s seriously a summer inspiration book), you will know how she dedicated a year of her life to reinventing herself systematically through a yearly plane. Find ways to do this for you. It might be theming each week or following a checklist.

Try new things

Nothing helps reinvention than trying new things. If something challenges me I know I have to do it. I have to take that leap and cross my comfort zone to grow. So do you! It the same with your plans. Sometimes we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out.  So now you are on holidays throw yourself into something new, something challenging to kick-start the launch of the new you!

Remind yourself every day of your commitment.

Write your goals in different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. You have to be your own team coach. It’s okay to fail but you also have to get back on the horse and try again. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it and move on. Remember to acknowledge your successes as much as your failures. Celebrate them. Praise yourself and treat yourself. After all, if you can’t treat you and celebrate you how can you expect anyone else to. So claim your moments of success as you move forward and evolve.

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There is nothing holding you back from being the person you always imagined you could be. There is nothing stopping you but yourself. So, decide who you are going to be, which version of yourself is going to command attention and respect, and mould yourself into that image. Empower yourself with this process. Feel the inspiration of the summer sun and recharge yourself a new this holidays.

Have an amazing week <3

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#lifelessons101- Use your summer to learn to be in the now

 

We all know that either being overly focused on the next thing we have to do or obsessing over past events is bad for our mental health. It makes for a busy mind, a lack of focus, stress and generally makes life less enjoyable for us and our loved ones. There is a lot of talk these days about being in the now, being fully in the present moment as the cure, the ultimate medicine for stress. I have even read on author’s statement that “You can’t reach your full potential until you learn to live your life in the present”.  Being in the now means to live consciously, to fully experience ourselves and our surroundings without redundant thoughts and other distractions. It brings to mind a life of mindful practice, meditation and balanced harmony.

 

Sounds great in principle. However, for me in the busy whirlwind of my life, I have found it increasingly difficult to embrace mindfulness when I am running from meeting to meeting, trying to remember the shopping list and call my mother-in-law simultaneously. I resemble less the peaceful Buddha more the headless chicken on a treadmill. Being in the now centres around habit forming and reprogramming the brain. And despite all of my good intentions, I don’t seem to be able to tune in to that inner calm in the middle of Bilka when I have a train to catch.

But now the summer holidays loom. The usual treadmill of my brain is slowing down and the outside pressures trickle away. This (I believe) is the perfect time for me to truly bring into practice the art of living in the now. It may seem like cheating. After all living in the now is supposed to be most useful in times of inherent stress. But I say balls to that! For me when I am relaxed connecting with the present moment is simply easier. Without the constant pressure of work or school trying out new practices and reflecting becomes 10 times more achievable.

The summer holidays brings ample opportunity to learn new habits and behaviours. And what could be better than returning to work armed with a pocket full of habits that you can draw on whenever you need them. So if you want to return after the summer with a stronger sense of inner peace and equipped to deal with pressure take the chance this summer to appreciate your now. And if you are not sure how here are 5 tips to get you started

Breathing

Taking time to close your eyes and breath is a wonderful way to centre yourself. To notice what is going on both within and around you. There are lots and lots of techniques out there. For example, the ‘mindfulness body scan is a classic. Personally, I prefer The easiest and shortest meditation technique as described by author Sherri Melwani:

Here’s the technique:

“1. Right here, right now, bring all your awareness to your breath. Shift your focus down to the belly and allow the belly to soften as you deepen your breath.

  1. Now mentally repeat to yourself, “Breathing In, I calm myself. Breathing out, I smile.” Say this like a mantra as many times as you need until you feel the shift.
  2. Notice the corners of your mouth begin to curl, even if just a tiny little bit, even if you have to pretend. Notice how your breath becomes a bit more even and deep. The subtle smile brings relaxation and carries the message “all will be OK” to your mind and body.
  3. That’s it! So simple and quick. Try it and feel free.”

Don’t try to quiet your mind

The hardest thing to do when living in the moment is, or trying to simply witness life, is to not have the urge to try to quiet your mind. When we try to quiet the mind, we just disturb it all the more. Witness your thoughts as if they are pure sound. Don’t try to judge your thoughts, there are no good thoughts or bad thoughts. Just notice what is there and what you are thinking.

Walk in nature

Go for a walk in nature and just observe. See, smell, listen. I highly recommend walking in bare feet or simply stopping and sitting. Nothing can be more peaceful than watching the ripples on water or the light dancing between the leaves of a tree’s canopy.

Disconnect for 1 hour a day

Get away from your phone, your computer and immerse yourself in something else. Reading is a great way to be present. As is being creative. Another great way is to have a shower and be conscious of the feeling. Choose an activity and really focus on that experience.

Slow down -actively listen and observe

How often do you truly listen when someone talks to you? How often do you see what is really in front of you? Try to hyper-focus in the moment. Slow down time in your mind. Take a breath before you respond in a conversation. Take a moment to drink in your surroundings. Give yourself the opportunity to feel alive.

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You and ICherish the Moment (1).jpg have this amazing gift called life. The present moment is the only real moment we can experience. Connect with that this summer and you will find not only do you feel more peaceful but your experience of contentment in your life will increase tenfold. Give yourself the gift of experiencing the now this summer

 

HAve an amazing week <3

 

Make your own 7 day Summer  Challenge!

Summer holidays huzzah!! The perfect time to relax, kick back and challenge yourself! I can hear you saying “yes, yes and whhaaat!’ to that sentence. Normally Summer holidays are not associated with challenging yourself. The primary focus is self-care. And I completely agree we need this time to wind down and enjoy yourselves. However, the summer holidays are also the perfect time to try something new. And without the usual outside pressure factors on your schedule such as work or school the summer holidays is the most optimal time to start a new habit.

I love challenges. Especially in the summer as I am more carefree and less busy so I can indulge myself in them. At the same time, I don’t want my summer holidays to turn in to work so I have created the concept of the 7 day Summer Challenge. 7 days is not a long time but it is a time where you can begin something new and indulge in it without it becoming work. I have done all sorts of different 7-day summer challenges. They can be serious or silly. Last year I really wanted to change and expand my diet repertoire at the same time I wanted to sleep in. So I created the 7 days of brunch challenge. Quite simply I had to try a new recipe for brunch every day. Armed with my newly made Pin full of recipe ideas, each day I made my brunch and posted a pic on Fb to celebrate my achievements. It went down a storm and I had so much fun. This small 7-day challenge opened up new taste and culinary experiences and made me feel fantabulous. A wonderful way to celebrate my life and my holidays. (And yes I am doing it again this summer!)

There are billions of small challenges you can make into a 7-day summer challenge. So grab one of these ideas, make your own hashtag and throw yourself into celebrating the moment in a fun and inspiring way!  

 

7 days of brunch

– Seriously this one is so fun here is my Pin to give you some ideas

https://www.pinterest.dk/rerootyourlife/brunch-ideas-detox-and-vegetarian/

7 dates in 7 days

– Take yourself on 7 crazy dates (You can invite other people if you like). You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great date here are some ideas to get you started.

http://stylecaster.com/free-date-ideas/

 

7 days of amazing mornings

– Hal Elrod’s inspiring concept of The Miracle Morning one hour dedicated to your personal growth every day is even easier to start in the holidays. Of course, I recommend to do it every day but as a quick start, boost give yourself the 7-day challenge to start your day amazingly.

www.miraclemorning.com
7 days of something new-

What haven’t you done that you have always wanted to try? NOw is the time to do it. Choose a week and do something new every day

7 days of meditation

– Meditation we know feeds body and soul. Been having trouble keeping up your practice then use the summer downtime to cultivate the habit.

https://www.yogawakeup.com/single-post/2017/04/29/What-you%E2%80%99ll-notice-after-7-days-of-Meditation

7 days of self-care

– Invest in you and do something amazing for yourself every day for 7 days. This is pure pampering and you will feel sooo good and loved by the end of this challenge.

https://awesomealice.com/self-care-challenge/

7 days of a sustainable lifestyle

– Want a greener lifestyle and don’t know where to start? Try this challenge.  Basically for 7 days Eat. Move and Live Sustainably. This idea comes from the sustainability project 7 Days Challenge. Here is some info to inspire you:

http://sevendayschallenge.com/about

7 days of kindness

– Use your 7 days to make the world a nicer place by actively seeking and creating oppertunties to be kind.

https://chopra.com/articles/7-random-acts-of-kindness-in-7-days

7 days of exercise

– Take part in a different type of exercise everyday!

https://www.marieclaire.co.za/lifestyle/health-fitness/mc-tries-7-different-workouts-7-days

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The sky is your limit! What would you love to do for 7 days? Choose it.  Plan it. Do it. And share it! Remember to post your pics here and on the fb group of your #7daysummerchallenge 🙂

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Make sure you have the best summer ever by making Summer Goals !!

Summer holidays are nearly here! In fact, for me, they are only 5 days away! I don’t know about you but this time always feels slightly like torture for me. On the one hand, I want to get stuff wrapped up and yet work is insanely hard to concentrate on because my mind is buzzing with all the things I want to be doing when I am on my holiday. Years ago I would half burn out before the holidays. Sleep for the first week and then end up going back to work having done half of everything I had wanted to do. Which of course meant starting back at work resentful and unhappy. Not a healthy or productive state to be in after a holiday.

Luckily for me (and now for you guys) around 15 ish years ago I met someone who changed all this.  I met a wonderful inspiring woman who will always be known to me as the Blue Faery. This amazing woman was one of the first to introduce me to planning, goal setting and evaluating progress. (You might be thinking what the heck has that got to do with enjoying my summer holidays, just bear with me and I promise it makes sense!) Now all of that is normally considered very focused, concentrated work, in other words, adulting with a capital A. However when it came to holidays the Blue Faery threw all of that grown-up stuff out of the window and used the techniques in a completely different way.

Now you see she had a very Adult job, you know the practically 75- 80 hour a week job. Her five weeks of summer holidays were very precious. She understandably viewed them as the reward for all of her hard work throughout the rest of the year.  So she devised the simple system of the Summer Goals Poster! Every year on the first day of her holidays she would make an A3 poster with her summer goals. The rules are concise. 90% of the things you put up here have to be fun and things you want to do. You can have 10% of have too’s, if you really must. But NO more than 10%. And then you decorate your poster, drawings, glitter you name it. This poster is to focus on fun and you having a good time. In a way a mini bucket list to guide you through and create an amazing summer!

I will never forget the first time the Blue Faery and I made them together. Our posters spread across the floor as we returned to the age of 5 laughing, drawing, cutting, sticking and glueing. With a cold glass of wine and good company, I felt jubilant. The poster went up in my house and I did everything on there that year. When the summer was over I went to work feeling refreshed and satisfied. And I have done it every summer since.

It is amazing how powerful taking the time to focus on our the things we really want to do makes such a powerful shift in our energy. My Summer Goals Poster helps me to really invest in me each year and makes certain I remember to have fun. (Something very important to a self-employed workaholic!) I have never felt I have wasted my summers since the year I began doing this. Making my plans clear in a fun and childish way always sets the tone of a fun and free summer.

As a regular feature of my summer making my Summer Goals Poster marks the start of the holidays. The putting away of grown-up responsibility and signals me stepping into the time where  I decided when and where I do things. I have done this alone, with my family, I believe the Blue Faery makes them with her daughter every year and this year I will be making them with Mr T. I honestly cannot put into words how empowering this process is. I can just recommend you try it. And I know if you do this and make crossing off these goals important you will have the best ever summer every year!

So to make your own summer goals poster

  • Find an A3 piece of paper or card.
  • Gather felt tips, glitter, magazines glue and scissors and anything else you want to decorate your poster with.
  • Find a friend and grab a glass of something that you love.
  • Write SUMMER 2018 at the top of your paper and write out your summer goals.
  • Decorate like crazy
  • Put it up somewhere you will see it every day
  • Follow your goals and tick them off as you go along.
  • Have an amazing summer!!!!

Share pics of your summer goals posters to inspire us all to have the best summer ever <3

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