#lifelessons101 – Remember what you love to do in life and do it! (A little known ingredient of a successful life)

Sitting here very early on Mr T’s birthday drinking coffee with the cats, I can’t help thinking, wow I love my life! The past few days have been a whirl of cleaning, making food and preparing for the 32 friends and family who will be coming here to celebrate with us. I am exhausted (especially after waking up periodically through the night because I was too excited about giving Mr T his birthday presents!),  yet in my exhaustion I can say I am truly happy. I love doing this sort of thing, creating a big experience for lots of people, trying something new (we are going to do bow tag) and sharing good food with awesome people. It’s fun to create something like that, and it’s one of the things I love doing in my life.

And that got me thinking. How often do we think about the things we love to do in life? I mean we talk about it when it’s career related but what about the things we love to do purely for fun? I remember recently I had someone ask me what my interests are I listed a few, writing, harry potter, viking, belly dancing, drawing, gardening,making memories, tattooing as well as my pagan religion, and she looked at me surprised and said “well you have enough hobbies to keep you going full time!” And yes she is right. There are many things I know I love to do in life. And I am in the fortunate position right now where I can dedicate some time to those activities. What about you?

What do you love to do in life? Not just your hobbies, but the other little things, like taking a walk in the park in the autumn or sharing a cheesecake with your best friend. What is it that you love to do? And when did you last stop to ask yourself this question? I believe that these things that we love to do are some of the most important parts of life itself. Without them living would sure as heck be boring. I also believe that healthy people with healthy balanced lives make time to make doing things they love as important as doing all the things they have to do.

If you look at the world’s most successful business people right now they all have hobbies which they dedicate time to. Such as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warran Buffet playing the ukulele, MArk Zukerberg hunting his own food or Meryl Streep’s knitting. Hobbies are ‘cross-training’ when you practise multiple things the benefits of your practice transfers to other areas of your life. Doing things you love gives you a feeling of success which also benefits every area of your life. So people being happy at our party and Mr T having a fantastic birthday will boost my confidence for the next few weeks. (This is not why I do it , it’s just a great bonus!)

So in order for you to make yourself feel great, no matter what is going on for you at the moment, you gotta remember what you love to do in life and make time to do it. It really is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your quality of life and is one we all have a tendency to overlook. Remember being happy is incredibly closely linked to success. So I want you to invest in your successful life by dedicating 10 minutes of your day to making yourself happy today.

First write a list of everything you love to do in life the big and the little things, try and find the ones you weren’t even aware of by probing your memory.

Then grab your diary and book sometime to do one of the bigger things you love to do in the next 14 days

Lastly choose something you love to do that you can do easily today in a short space of time and GO AND DO IT!

It really is that simple and will make your weekend and your life 10 times more wonderful!

Have a happy weekend!You do not finda happy life

 

Lifelessons101 – How to be a positive person in 6 easy steps

We all have that one person in our network. The complainer. The pessimist. The person you can spend 5 minutes around and feel stressed and worn out just by listening to them. There are people in this world who just live in the negative. I have one in my life and recently after a long conversation with them I felt like I was pulling my hair out due to wave after wave of negative stories. Honestly I felt like a washed out dishrag afterwards. And it got me wondering. Why is it that people find it so hard to be positive?

A few hours of google-fu later I found the answer. Apparently it’s a psychological phenomenon called negative bias. It’s a common human trait to fixate on the negative. It dates back to our stone age hunter gatherer days when we  had to constantly be vigilant for danger. Now that makes sense in a world full of predators, but it makes no sense as to why we still do it it today. We are now at the top of the food chain after all. Constant negativity today is harmful to ourselves and to the people round us. However luckily there is a way to override this genetic programming and choose a positive life much more suited and beneficial to our modern lives.

So here is my #101 guide on how to be a positive person, see if after a long week at the office you can implement some of these ideas into your life and see how much better your world can be.

Notice the good

Have you ever realised that it is easier to notice something bad than something good? For example; you might get a stream of compliments from a lover but one little less than perfect remark and that’s what you remember. (I know I have done this, Mr T is very good at pointing out when I do this). Try and notice the good things more. When you get a compliment notice it. Avidly focus on good things for 10 secs for example the sun is shining, you cats are playing. Notice the good and you will see more.

Turn the conversation around

When you can feel like you have been complaining in a conversation for a while or someone else has try and turn the conversation in a positive direction. Sometimes just asking someone if they have something they are looking forward to helps lift the mood. If in doubt try and pull a positive story from somewhere, even the last funny video on Facebook can be a great mood changer. I mean who doesn’t like cat videos right!

Choose your stimulus

What is it that you invest your time and energy on. Choosing where your stimulus and input comes from makes a huge difference in your outlook on life. 10 years ago I was watching the news and I realised how depressed and anxious it made me, the adverts inbetween tv shows bugged me and I decided to quit TV. I now haven’t had a television for 10 years and it is one of the best decisions I ever made. Of course we have Netflix and HBO and if there is something I hear about going on in the world I check it out online. The difference is I now choose what I watch and what I invite into my life. You can do this with your Facebook feed and un-follow negative feeds and yes you can do it with your social circle too. In fact that is probably one of the most important areas where you can choose your input. Surround yourself with positive people and your life will feel nicer. It’s not rocket science it’s just choice.

Slow down and enjoy your life

It’s easy to miss opportunities to be positive when you are rushing around like a headless chicken. In a fast paced world irritation runs rife. So slow down. Plan breaks and be mindful how you use and enjoy your time. Making enjoying your life the most important thing in your life will shift your focus from pessimistic to positive overnight. Don’t wait for your pension to slow down start savoring you life right now. (I mean it right now).

Sing and dance

Music has one of the most uplifting effects on our moods. If you are feeling low find a favorite tune, sing along and bop around in the kitchen. I used to find that listening to happy music on the way to work started my day so much better than just watching the other commuters on the platform. And I am pretty sure that I amused them when I forgot where I was due to the awesome music and danced a bit on the platform too!

Spread it around

Positivity breeds positivity. Think about it if you see someone smiling you smile too. Say hello to strangers, smile at the bus driver, compliment a colleague in the way they look. See if you can do at least five things to spread positivity each day. Making others feel happy makes you feel happy, it’s simply a win win situation.

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Of course there are many ways to be a positive person these are simply a few ideas to get you started. Adopting the attitude of gratitude is another powerful way to be positive which you can read about here. The most important part of being a positive person is choosing to be a positive person. You have to reprogram your genetics a little and take control. You want  positive life then you have to change your attitude to your life. However as you can see the smallest of change in your habits can and will turn you into a positive person. 

Have a happy weekend 🙂

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#Lifelessons101 -A guide to sleeping for your success. You can sleep your way to the top! (2 min read)

It is amazing how many people sleep less and less the older we get. I mean why? Our bodies don’t need less sleep, in fact as we get older we get tireder quicker and we indeed need more sleep. In the 1980s it became de rigueur to show people how little we sleep. Sleep was overrated, a waste of time.  But if you want to see the idiocies of the sleepless just look at Donald Trump who proudly advocates having a few hours and night. It OBVIOUSLY hasn’t helped his intellect.

Luckily today, sleep is back in fashion. Entrepreneurs everywhere are making the time for their zsss. Sleep is now an indication of success. People at the top sleep. In fact when you are properly rested it is possible to sleep your way to the top. And no I don’t mean biblicaly. I mean with the energy from being properly rested, you have the energy to succeed. When we sleep our blood pressure drops, our muscles relax, tissues grows and repairs and energy is restored. What’s not to like?

But where to find the time? Well entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people in the world (and that’s if they are successful or not) how the heck do they do it? Prioritizing and time management. If it’s important you make the time. You are important so you owe it to yourself to take care of you so that you can succeed.

So to make sure reach the top here’s my tip top guide to sleeping your way to success!

Get the right amount of sleep for you

The National Sleep Foundation gives a recommendation for every age group but we all have our own optimal pattern. Mine is 8 hours any less and i feel exhausted and weepy after a couple of days. So figure out what the best amount of sleep is for you. Too little and you are still exhausted, too much and you feel clogged up.

Plan your sleep

Know when you are going to sleep. Plan your bedtimes, Just until you get into the habit of going to bed in good time for you. Plan your lay ins too. We all need them from time to time so give yourself the opportunity to indulge in your duvet. Get into a regular bed and wake up times it helps your body to be in a continuous rhythm.

Get into an  optimal sleep cycle

With sleep becoming fashionable there are many new sleep fads popping up. One of the theories that has been proven to work is using our optimal sleep cycle. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times each night. Most of us need four or five cycles in a 24 hour period. So you need to work out how many sleep cycles you are going to get in a night. Work backwards from your wake up time and make sure you wake up at the end of a cycle. You can feel it if you wake up mid cycle, it’s feels a bit like being hungover.

Prepare yourself for sleep

Give yourself a proper wind down towards sleep. Get into a pre-sleep routine. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Set an alarm 30 mins before bed and get off the computer, telephone or tablet. Find an activity to help you wind down, meditating, reading, drawing, mindfulness. If you head is full of thoughts write them out, on paper. Whatever allows your body to get into a chill zone. These days I make it a priority to not work after dinner in the evenings. It actually makes me more productive and I am much more relaxed.

Cat nap

Spain is known for its siesta. What a great concept. Getting a boost in the middle of the day does wonders for the body, mind and soul.However keeping in mind sleep cycles you should aim for a 40 min cat nap to not wake up feeling groggier than you did before hand.

Plan your day and get into a rhythm

The key to having enough time to sleep and be successful is down to daily planning and getting into a rhythm. When we are in a rhythm it frees us. We form habits and daily tasks become efficient. There are many ways of planning and time management strategies. Here is an article on planning so you can find the strategy that works for you.


Sleep is the best retreat we have.  Arianna Huffington says “By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” Sleep is entirely a world of own and the one place where we can recharge no matter what. Make your sleep important, make entering that private world of yours important. The more you value yourself, the more you will succeed.

Enjoy your journey <3

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#lifelessons101- Being authentically you in the spotlight in just 3 steps! (2 min read)

When was the last time you were naked? (And no I am not talking about physically I mean metaphorically). In this past week I have had the privilege of participating in the Wonderfully Wierd Women’s Branded workshop created by Esther De Charon De Saint Germain

This workshop for me has been a breath of fresh air.

Why? Well because I dared, I committed and I was authentically me. I put myself out there. And everybody liked it! Now that might not sound so difficult, when put like this, yet it is. Let’s take daring. Daring to do something that you are afraid of doing is natural. Especially when you have to end up in the spotlight. And I mean YOU have to out YOU the real YOU in the spotlight. We are all of us petrified of being us and being rejected. And actually that’s ok. It’s normal, almost genetic you could say. Theories say that this feeling comes from the days when we part of a tribe. Then our survival relied on that tribe, so daring to be in the spotlight was risking the tribe rejecting us, or worse killing us. It’s a basic survival instinct in our subconscious, However we don’t need to be scared of rejection anymore. Because the world is actually a smaller place these days. No-one is going to kill you if you stand up at work and dare to be different or present something. The fear of not daring actually causes much more pain to us than actually doing it. So we have to take charge of this fear.

This week I took charge. I dared to tell a bunch of strangers about me on a personal level. I dared listen to feedback on some really vulnerable things. Was I scared? Hell yeah! Did it stop me? No way! I fought that fear and did it anyway. And the result? A bunch of people I never met saw the authentic me as a strong powerful and even inspiring person. They saw the raw me. It was so empowering. I simply employed the power of fuck it and fuck them. (Not the most poetic of names I know but truly descriptive.)  

What I decided was simple. In 3 steps I found a clear path to being authentically me in the spotlight, and I want to share them with you.

Step number 1 : Acceptance

I basically accepted that not everyone would like me or resonate with me. I can’t please everyone and not everyone is going to like me. So what was the point in hiding me away trying to do the impossible and make everyone like me. And the ‘fuck them’ was born!

Step number 2 : Daring and do

Well if you can say ‘fuck them’ and decide to ignore all the people that don’t resonate or appreciate with you then you can say ‘fuck it’. Why ? Well because really if you know you won’t please everyone it stands to reason you will please someone. So ‘fuck it’. And once you have said ‘fuck it’ you have the power to dare, so do it. For me it was turning up at the workshop, doing the challenge and then putting out there for people to see. It might be the presentation, taking the talk with your partner or simply putting on the dress you are hella nervous about wearing (Oh and when it comes to the dress people won’t notice. This happens to me a lot. I debate, worry, take it on, off etc when I think something is too daring, then I wear it anyway and people just act like , well like normal around me! After all my stress it is a little insulting).  Nike is right “Just do it” be bold be brave and step into the spotlight.

Step number three – Enjoying the results.

So if you followed the step one and two thought processes by now you should have already dared and are standing in the spotlight being authentically you. What next? Well stop closing your eyes and waiting for a thunderclap, open them and enjoy it. When you are authentically you, you will find that the right things happen, the right people are attracted to you and equally the right opportunities open up for you.  When we are authentically and honestly ourselves in the spotlight we inspire people. People actually begin to expect us to do it, it becomes our norm so to speak. So quit worriting and enjoy it.  (Celebrate your successes remember!) And if you meet someone who doesn’t like you then authentic you go back to step one and start all over again!

Have a great weekend and be authentically you while you are at it <3

REMEMBER

Have a healthy life by celebrating your success! (2 min read)

I’m sitting here alone on a Monday afternoon, in a cafe on a sunny day in Denmark with relaxing jazz in the background and a tall cold, glass of bubbling wine in my hand. I am celebrating my latest success! It’s lovely. I probably don’t look as chic as I feel but it’s the feeling that is important not the way I look. I feel fantastic. And part of the reason I feel so great is not just because I have been successful. It is because I have taken this hour to celebrate my success.

In our busy lives we actually have many successes be they small or large and yet in the hectic schedule they can often be overlooked and therefore go unnoticed.  All work and no play made jack a dull boy and the same goes for you too. Our successes in life are our high points. If we don’t acknowledge them then life is seriously boring.

In today’s society we are all incredibly focused on what is wrong, what is not working and how can we fix it. I am not saying that is all bad, good growth comes from this form of processing; HOWEVER if we only ever focus on the bad, we will only ever see the bad. And if you are seeing only bad then guess what? You will attract more of it. And that my friends creates a negative mindset and we all know how unhealthy and damaging that can be.

There are many reasons why you should celebrate your successes and when it becomes a habit you will find that life actually becomes EVEN MORE successful for you. Why ? Because as you send out a vibration of success the world around you ripples back a wave of success.

Here are 5 reasons why you should celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small, today

It feels great!

It feels wonderful to celebrate something we have achieved. It energises us. When we achieve something our body releases dopamine the happy chemical into our blood. And as  after all being happy and enjoying our life is what we all want, right? So why miss a perfectly good opportunity to enjoy yourself!

It’s inspiring!

 

Celebrating or success can be inspirational to our future successes. Just as we can learn from something going wrong we can also learn from it going right. Make a note of what you did that helped create your success and look at it when you are aiming for a different star.

It’s motivating!

It’s logical. If you are working towards a goal and it always feels like that goal is slipping away and is un-achieveable then why would you want to keep going. By marking our successes big and small, especially the small, we remember them and we can feel how close we are getting to our goal and that makes us want to keep going. Your success are proof that you can do whatever it is your set your mind to do.

It attracts more success!

Basically the more you celebrate your successes you develop a success mindset. And that is a mindset you need to keep feeding. By noting your successes you are telling yourself “look at what I can do”. Keep looking for opportunities to celebrate your success and you will surprise yourself with how often you have success.

It’s shareable!

Celebrating your success with others is a form of sharing abundance. Think about all of your friends happy pictures and statuses on Facebook that make you feel good. People want to have fun, they like to hear good news so let them join in your fun and make everyone feel great!

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So no matter what successes you have had today, big or small, it could be managing to do the washing up when you are seriously depressed or celebrating your first big movie deal, whatever it is celebrate it. Remember as Osho says “Life should not only be lived it should be celebrated”
Have a wonderful week <3

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What’s your secret Disney Identity? Disney films and characters as a self development and motivational tool (3 min read)

I was recently asked if ‘You were a brand what brand would you be?’ ‘What brand would describe your personality?’ Wow great soul searching questions and the answer? I would be Disney. (And seriously for a natural conscious earth respecting hippie like myself I was shocked at this however the fact remained that I as a brand I would be Disney.) Creative, playful. A Walt Disney quote is even one of my mantras “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

The more I thought about it the more I wondered why is it that I connect so much with Disney? And the answer came to me relatable characters, adversity  and bravery to follow their dreams and stories that connected with me at the right place and time in my life when I needed to hear a particular message.  Honestly the Little Mermaid was me at 11, rash and daring, Belle at 14, desperate to go out into the world and escape my small town life, Mulan the warrior facing and winning against all the odds inspired me in my partially homeless 20s and Tiana now in my 30’s determined to create my dream into reality. I have been a constant Peter Pan all of my days, with the optimism of Winnie the Pooh and lived all of the fears and bravery of Piglet. And not forgetting Up, the film that inspires and epitomises my dream of a true love and partnership.

Most of us have a favourite Disney film and a favourite character. But have you ever thought about what your connection to that story and character is ? (Apart from your tshirts, mugs and cuddly toys either hidden about the home or proudly displayed.) Every story we have heard or seen  and remembered has affected us on a conscious or unconscious level. As we feel drawn to a character we admire them, their personality traits their resilience. I mean who wouldn’t love to have Rapunzel’s effectiveness in housework chores. Seriously though these characters we love display qualities we wish to possess or mimic. For example take my connection with Belle. She didn’t fit in, neither did my 14 year old self. She didn’t seem to care and stayed determinedly herself, my 14 year old self desperately wanted to do that. Belle made sacrifices for her father who she loved and put his needs before her own. Something I have always done (although the latter was not a healthy experience it did teach me a lot). Her story is as much a transformation as the Beast’s and oh didn’t my bespeckled, teeth braced awkward self want the transformation from bookish outsider to a loved and appreciated beauty.

These films, these characters we identify with have messages for us all throughout our lives if we look for them. Recently I re-saw Beauty and the Beast and I was shocked at the power of my emotions. Honestly I was crying and afterwards when I looked at which songs I had been so moved by I realised that my life situation at the moment was reminding me a lot of my teenage gawky school days as I now face my recent Asperger’s diagnosis and living in an entirely new place. The film helped me see the challenge clearly and from that I have now been able to work with it.

Try watching your favourite Disney movie. Make notes of where you feel emotional pulls. Who do you identify with and why? How does this character, plot line relate to you now or in the past. Journal this and see if you can find a teaching in the message the film has given you. (And sorry no I cannot be more specific the message is yours to interpret I can’t guide you there, just keep looking until you find the answer).

Disney characters can also be used as a way of identifying our ideal personalities. Now please don’t get me wrong I am not saying any one Disney character is absolutely perfect, they are not. However as I mentioned before they have qualities we admire that we would like to see in ourselves.

Think about the qualities of your favourite character. What do you admire in them? Write a list. Now look at each quality ask yourself how am I like this? If you cannot see this but would like to then ask yourself ,how can I bring this quality into my life?

Many years ago I found out quite by accident that not only can Disney character’s help us learn about ourselves, they can also act as motivators and inspiration. A girlfriend was in a bad situation. She loved Pocahontas. So I, in my desperation to help ,asked what she though Pocahontas would do. To my surprise her body language took on a different quality. Her head went back and she knew exactly how her favourite character would have handled her situation. So I told her to connect with her inner Pocahontas when she need the bravery to face her problem. A few days later she was on top of the world and the problem was on her way to being solved! I have tried this time and time again and I have always found it works. We just find it easier sometimes to think through another’s perspective and character. Plus when we think of them we smile and feel good, which just goes to show Disney is doing what it does best if it can evoke that feeling even years after we have seen a film.

Or maybe it is as Tinkerbell said “Imagination has no age”. So allow yourself to connect with your inner child and find your secret Disney identity this week. Allow the magical kingdom to open doors and pathways to healing, understanding, bravery, imagination and empowerment whether it’s from a mouse, a fairy, a princess, a stuffed bear or simply a warthog <3

 

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