#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  – Make a lovely start to your weekend by randomly making someone else feel appreciated (2 min read)

In the last two weeks I have had 2 completely out of the blue, completely unexpected messages over social media that have made me feel appreciated and wonderful. Two people who don’t know each other wrote to me independently to say how I made their day better by my positivity and that the impact in their lives of knowing me inspired them. WOW! I mean wow! They had no other reason to tell me just they thought I should know. It meant so much to me. Especially as these people are people who I like very much but, as yet are not in my close inner circle or daily life. It took my breath away, it made me feel so lovely.

In fact it made me feel so great that I thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if everyone could feel this way. We all like to feel good. And we know for a fact that by being appreciated we feel great and by  doing something nice for other people we feel awesome. So why not combine the two?

This weekend let’s make a positive bubble around the world together. It will take you only five minutes. Simply to find someone you know (but not too closely) who inspires you, makes your day better or who you simply admire as a person (not attracted to but admire). When you have chosen write this person a short message over Facebook (or your social media platform of choice). Make it honest and simple. Tell them why you think they are so great, inspiring, lovely and tell them you just thought they ought to know. Don’t ask for anything of them. Just tell them how great they are. The chances are that this person has not a clue of the impact they make in your life and probably needed to hear it. I know I did. And a little compliment can go a long way after a busy working week. Then please share this article on Facebook/twitter/your blog and pass the idea on to your friends and family.

After that go and have a wonderful weekend knowing you have made someone else feel happy.  Sometimes it’s simply nice to be nice

Have a lovely weekend <3

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Be the change you want to see – Take 7 days to change your life around, live your truth and attract abundance (4 min read)

We all have something we truly believe in. A personal motto to live our lives by. Be the change you want to see is one of mine. This motto (sorry it’s not a quote by Ghandi although many think it is) reminds me to live my truth no matter what. It guides me away from disharmonies and lack of consistancy in what I say and do. And in doing this it keeps me  conciously living and brings me constant abundance. Yes, I did say abundance. Why? Well when you want to contribute to the world and mirror the changes you wanto see that will be positive for everyone, life provides. Said simply you give and life gives back.

Being the change doesn’t have to be about the big causes, it can be about the small changes. Being the change you want to see is really about living your truth, walking your talk and facing your fears. Often we can be afraid to do things in our lives that are not socially acceptable even though we truly believe in that thing. For example you might want to be a vegetarian but your family business is a chain of Butchers shops and therefore it would be incredibly difficult to be in your family group if they interpreted your actions as judging them, so vegetarianism for you could just be a dream.

Of course this is an exaggeration but if you think deeply there is in all of us, something we want to change in the world, whether that thing is for our own world or the wider world. Allowing ourselves to live that truth and make the change brings our life and dreams into harmony and feels great. But how do you do it?

As always the only thing most of us have the power to change is ourselves. How does that make a change in the world I hear you ask? Just remember what we send out reflects and amplifies in the world around us.

So how to be the change you want to see? Simply said you have to take action into consciously changing your life for the better.

Follow this 7 day plan and see how easily you can adopt being the change you want to see into your life AND see the abundance it brings to you and the world around you.

Day 1 : Be grateful and show it to the world.

Time to start appreciating what you have. When we are grateful we feel more abundance. However when we share that gratitude, such as thanking the bus driver for the trip, we spread the feeling of gratitude and appreciation around you.

Day 2 : Look for good in the world and create it

The world is full of good and kind acts. If you search online there are hundreds of positive news stories about compassionate acts. And why let it be something you just read about, do something kind today and make it a goal to help someone.

Day 3 : Let go of the need to be right

We are not always right. And wouldn’t you rather have a great day then argue with someone about being right. Let go of this need today.

Day 4 : Stop judging

No-one likes to be judged. Whether we judge ourselves or others it is never a pleasant feeling and always creates a negative environment within or without. If you catch yourself judging stop and analyse your actions. Often our judgements come from a place of disharmony in ourselves. So ask yourself why are you judging? Is it actually because this person is doing something, wearing something that you wish you could? Use your empathy instead of judging today.

Day 5: Accepting and pampering

If you can’t accept where you are in your life right now, without judging and/or blaming others, then you are creating a whole heap of unhappiness for yourself. Accepting your current situation is the first step to creating change. And while you’re about it accepting can sometimes be challenging so it’s also a time for being nice to you. Reward yourself for conciously living and taking charge of your life. So while you are accepting things pamper yourself and be kind to you. You deserve it.

Day 6: Connect with your sense of purpose, your dreams and beliefs

Take time out today to ask yourself what is really important to me? What do I truly want? And which of my core beliefs am I not truly living? For example you could be wanting to loose weight, but eating junk food every day or care about the environment and don’t recycle or believe family comes before work but yet you take every bit of overtime even when you don’t need the money.  These things are disharmonies between your inner world and outer world. Once you identify them then you can do something about them.

Day 7 : Action Plan for change

Today look at your brainstorming from yesterday. Choose one of your disharmonies and make an action plan of how you are going to change it. Step by step. Make it simple, logical and measureable. Don’t try and do more than one. Baby steps towards balancing the inner world and outer world. 

So what now? Simple. Steps 1- 5 are easy, things you can do every day for yourself. Continue them after this week and follow your plan. When you feel that you have got a handle on and this disharmony is now harmonious make a new plan for one of the other disharmonies. Slowly and effectively you will feel yourself slipping into a harmonious rhythm in your life and the world around you.

Being the change you want to see is an empowering and enriching experience. It frees you from half assed beliefs, can give your life drive and purpose and has the benefit of a feel good factor when you truly live your truth and walk your talk.  The more honestly and truthfully you live and give, the more you will attract abundance into your life, simply because good attracts good. 

So take the next 7 days to initiate change in your life and start to truly live the life you’ve always dreamed of by being the person you have always wanted to be.

 

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#Lifelessons101 – Positive banks, storing the memories you love (2 min read)

We all have memories that make us happy, Facebook is full of photos testifying to that. But what about the memories you can’t photograph. Life is full of little moments like that. Little things that make us happy and glow. But a few days later they are gone, forever forgotten.

But what if you could keep those memories. Store them up for times when you need the happiness boost the most. Well the good news is you can!

What you need my friends is a Positivity Bank.

You will need a sealable container. (This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A simple jam jar will suffice.) And you will need a lot of paper. The idea is simple. When something good happens that makes you smile, proud or happy, you write it on a slip of paper, fold it up and put it in your bank.  This can be anything small or big.

Once the bank begins to fill up you can take out your positive memories if you need them or like me you can store them until the end of the year and read them all at once. The greatest thing is that when you read the memory you get a sensory memory of how you felt, even what you saw at the moment you have written about.

A positive bank actually provokes stronger memories than all of the pictures on Facebook. Although if you combine them you do get a wonderful energy boost and insight into how fantastic you and your life is.

Positive Banks are a simple and beautiful way to bring a smile to your face and give you a feel good feeling that lasts all day. Start your positive bank today and store away the big and small special moments that make life worth living.3414cc6edfbf287e5b41773b5151e126.jpg

#lifelessons101 – Do you dare take the 7 day laughter challenge? (4 min read)

People say that laughter is the best medicine and last night I got a double dose of it. In our kitchen, totally exhausted and Mr T said something funny (and no I now have no idea what it was) and I cracked up. Seriously I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. I fell on the floor snorting giggling and yes even dribbling. Not entirely my best look. However once I started I couldn’t stop, it was infectious and suddenly there’s the two of us on the floor laughing with our entire bodies. And this went on for half an hour!

Afterwards I was totally drained in a good way. It was an amazing feeling with the bonus of being a fantastic workout for my abs. It got me thinking about laughter. Laughing does things to our body that nothing else does. It is one of the healthiest releases of emotions. Have you any idea how healthy laughing is?

  • Laughter  oxygenates your blood.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Laughter strengthens the immune system.
  • When we laugh our bodies release endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
  • One minute of laughing burns the same number of calories as 6 to 10 minutes on a treadmill.
  • Laughing raises your mood; joyfulness through laughter is the fastest way to create a positive state of mind.
  • Laughing is good for the heart and improves blood circulation.
  • Laughter can reduce pain and aid the healing process.
  • Laughter creates and strengthens human connections.

And if you don’t believe me look up Dr Patch Adams he knows what I mean.

 

It’s amazing that we don’t take the time to laugh more when it is so good for us.

So I am setting us a laughter challenge. For seven days I want you to try some of the following activities and invite laughter into your life. After the seven days write in the comments what difference it makes in your life. (I will also be with you every step of the way.)

Decide to laugh

First you have to decide that you want to laugh more in your life. Set an intention or set it as a goal that you want to laugh more in your life. Remind yourself by pinning laughter quotes around your home and your workplace, on your phone or in your wallet.

Laugh every morning

Choose to laugh every morning. Nothing starts the day better than a hearty laugh and a boost of endorphins. If you are not sure how, choose a technique from below and find what works for you.

Read something funny

It doesn’t matter what and it needs to be short. Check out imgur or the daily cartoons in the paper.

Of course if you want to read a funny book aswell, books are great as it’s an experience thats just for you.

Watch a funny video, series or film

Find something on Youtube that amuses you, watch a funny series or watch a funny film. Pick a comedian and watch them for five minutes every day. Take the time be it 5 mins, 30 mins and hour or two. Whether it’s funny cat videos or Full house whatever works for you to get you giggling and jiggling.

Be silly…I dare you

Do something silly. Put loud music on and dance around the kitchen. Run out and play on a play park. Even jumping in puddles. There are loads of things you did as a child that made you laugh, being silly is fun, so let your imagine carry you away and be silly as you can.

Laughing Yoga

Laughing yoga is a great way to get the chuckles muscles going.  Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Laughter yoga is done in groups, with eye contact and playfulness between participants. Forced laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter. There are many, many videos online so find one and give it a go. (Although I would advise keeping tissues handy and don’t eat before you start).

Surround yourselves with people that make you laugh

Surround yourself with funny friends. I am so lucky as Mr T is one of the funniest people I know, he even laughs in his sleep! Honestly every though the constant humor is sometime so irritating, I spend alot of my days laughing because of him. So find someone who makes you laugh and cackle the night away.

Watch your pet or people

Have you ever spent time watching your pets or other people? Both are hilarious. We do the stupidest things when we think noone is watching.

And if in doubt smile. A smile is infectious, it makes you feel better and makes the world a nicer place.

Take up the laughter 7 day challenge, flex those giggle sinews and grin your way into November!!

Remember to share your funny moments in the comments below

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If at first you don’t succeed…………..inspirational people when you need them the most. Walt Disney’s failure to success story. (4 min read)

 

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” Although I am not comfortable with the word try, this little rhyme has stayed with me all my life. I have a feeling I heard it first when starting to tie my shoelaces, but I digress. It can be challenging to pick yourself up and try again when something you really want or have worked for, doesn’t go your way. When in this situation I know one thing. Whatever we were doing was not the way we should have been doing it. The universe is giving us a sign. However it’s not giving us a sign to give up, just to change tactics.

It’s a times like this when we need inspiration to go on. And who better to inspire us than successful people that have been in the same situation. This article is part of a series about people who inspire me, and I hope will inspire you during the times when you most need it.

Today’s inspiring person is Walt Disney. I recently watched the film Walt before Disney. I can highly recommend it. Before watching it I honestly had no idea how Disney struggled to create the magical empire the Disney family owns today. Here is the Disney story as I understand it. One of  serious dedication and hard work to create a dream and it all eventually paid off….

Walt was actually fired from his first illustration work for “not being creative enough”. Despite this Walt went on and first set up his own animation company in 1921 Laugh-O-Grams the company lasted for 3 years and then went bankrupt at one point Walt couldn’t pay rent and ate dog food to survive. Even with this failure he pooled all the money he had with his brother and they moved to Florida starting the Disney Brother Company. Walt created a character called Oswald the Rabbit and for a short period experienced success until Charles Minz stole not only the rights to Oswald but also Walt’s animators.

Not deterred Walt immediately produced 3 short films. These were the first of the Mickey Mouse animations. But when approaching MGM he was told the idea wouldn’t work as giant mouse on screen would scare women! Somewhere around this point in his life  Walt actually suffered a major breakdown. However he persevered and Steamboat Willie the first of the Mickey’s with a voice (actually Walt’s voice) became huge success.

People often think this was the start of Walt’s success however Disney’s road to success was never a smooth as that. His well known 3 Little Pigs was rejected by distributors because it only had 4 characters. Walt lost a million dollars on Pinocchio. Pollyanna failed at the box office. After WW2 Disney was in debt by $4 million.

Walt still had a dream and that was Disneyland. In order to finance it Walt took Disney to television. Even when Disneyland opened he faced challenges, forged tickets were bringing thousands of people into the park without his knowledge. The newly poured asphalt melted the heels of women, and a plumber’s strike kept drinking fountains from being installed in time.  Walt insisted on creating a high level of customer service despite the costs and eventually he succeeded creating theme parks all over America.  And still holds the record for the most oscars won by one person.

So beyond all that disappointment and learning came fantastic success. Walt would say, “Get a good idea, and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done, and done right.” In picking himself up and in learning from his mistakes and moved on. He said: “To some people, I am kind of a Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances, but rarely makes mistakes. I’ve made some bad ones, but, fortunately, the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes. When you go to bat as many times as I do. you’re bound to get a good average.”

So what can we learn from Walt Disney?

  • Do you allow failure to stop you?
  • Do you learn from your mistakes?
  • When you get knocked down do you get up again?

Walt Disney was just a normal man who had a dream and preserved against all of the odds to make that dream a reality. And so can we if we keep moving forwards, learning and trying and trying until we succeed. After all as Walt himself said “If you can dream it you can do it.”

 

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Do you have life work balance? Time for a life MOT – 9 things you can do to rebalance your life (5 min read)

I love my life, I really do. It feels near perfect,  except for one thing. I don’t always have time to do some of the things I want to do. And I don’t think I am alone in this. Infact when I come to think of it many of my friends feel the same. Actually I don’t think I have ever met anyone who does actually feel that they have enough time in their lives. There’s not enough hours in the day has become an everyday phrase in modern life. The feeling creates frustration. Frustration can cause stress. And at that point you know absolutely that your work and life is not in balance.

However it doesn’t have to be this way,  it really doesn’t. If you want to create a better work life balance,iI you feel that your life is out of sync al it takes is a little work. (I know ironic but true). In order to balance your life it’s time to take charge and give yourself an overhaul. A life M.O.T.

What does work life balance mean to you?

Well what does it mean. The phrase conjours up a picture of bliss for us all. However my bliss is not the same as your bliss. Life work balance means differnet things to different people. Which means you have to define it for you. So get back to the drawing board. In the center of a piece of paper draw you. (Yes a stick figure is perfectly ok). Around you write all of the things you have in your life. Not just the big things like my job, my family, but the smaller things like walking the dog, doing the washing up, cleaning the house. Next to each word or phrase in brackets write how often you do this thing.

The wish list

Often when we do finally get the time to do those things we want to our mind draws a blank on what to do. So you need to know what is it actually you want to do that you are not doing right now? If you had all the time in the world what would you do? Make a wish list. Things you are doing in your life right now can also be included.  And prioritise them with A (I really want to do this or enjoy doing this) to D (it would be nice sometimes)

Compare the two

So how do your wishes relate to your current life? Look at the A wishes. Are they even in your life right now? From these two exercises you now will have a clear idea of how your lifw is and how you want it to be.

Time efficiency.

Part of having more time means using our time efficiently. And no I am not talking about time management in its traditional sense (even though it’s a valid option and really does help). I am talking about using your energy at the right time. It might be that you are trying to do things at a time of day that just doesn’t work for you. For example after breakfast is not the time for me to try and write. I need 30 mins at least for my insulin to kick in. So instead of writing I can clean. Make an energy diary for a week and see where you struggle with tasks, where you don’t.  After week you will already see some patterns of behaviour. You will notice where you have energy, where you don’t and what you can do best at these times.

Begin to change your habits to fit your energy instead of forcing yourself to do things for you when you can’t.  So for example if you find it easier to answer work emails after lunch do that, reschedule your work day, if cleaning during the week is taking energy rather than giving do it on the weekend. It’s your life you control it. (And don’t worry about your boss questioning your actions. When you explain this will make you more efficient, Boss’s love efficiency 😉  )

Cut down on time wasters

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters on the planet. No I am not against it. I love Facebook. I can keep in touch with my friends from home. And I used to use hours and hours on it. It’s one of the best ever procrastination allies. So now I keep my facebook usage down to a minimum and at points in the day where I have to wait (for example at the train station). Now I suddenly have more time and less of a headache from looking at a screen! So cut down on the small things you do that waste your time. It can be easier to change your habits than you think so next time you reach for the phone ask yourself if you have checked your facebook in the last hour. Unless you are waiting for an important message put that phone back in your pocket for another hour.

Can you make your life easier?

Have a look at your energy levels and the things you do every week. Can you make this easier on yourself? For example do you need to wash up every day or can you do it every other day? Can you make larger portions of a meal and the reheat it on days where you will be busier or just days when you want to rest? When you look at it a lot of the things we think we need to do all the time are not actually necessary all of the time. And sometimes we use these things as an excuse as they are actually easier to do than the thing we say we want to do. If that’s the case then investigate the blockage. 

Make time for the things that are important

I know, I know this is tough – but do you want to whine about not having time or do you want to have a better quality of life? I recommend starting small. At first I gave my self the deadline of being finished with work be it house, school or writing by giving myself the 8pm deadline ( iget up stupidly early so bedtime is usually 9:30pm, gods that makes me feel old!) After 8pm it’s me time. Once I had been doing this for a while I asked Mr T if we could make a date night once a week. Now every friday is date night. We actually rarely go out on date night, its just time for us to be together no distractions.

Give yourself a break

I have a friend who showed me her month calendar and each weekend is booked up for the next month. Full time study, one small child and no breaks, sounds like a recipe to a melt down to me. I suggested trying the weekend on, weekend off system. One weekend be social. One weekend stay home. Personally more and more I enjoy the weekends at home (well at least once the house cleaning is done!) Weekend on weekend off gives you a chance to recharge the batteries. Try it for a month and see how rested you begin to feel.

Learn to say No

It’s ok to say no. Trust me it is. When you take on things you don’t have the energy for you wear yourself down. Before you say yes, consider your energy levels, your upcoming week. There is no point in saying yes if you can’t actually give a full energetic commitment.

It has been said (repeatedly) that in order to have a perfect work life balance you need to love your work and therefore your life will be balanced. (And at some point in the future there will be an article about creating the work you love).  Of course this is  partly true. However as I have found when you love what you do it can still take a lot of your time from your personal life, if you don’t keep an eye on it.  So put a little time to good use this week. Give yourself an MOT and you’ll see that by using this time to investigate your life it will give you a lot more time in the future.

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#lifelesson101 – Facing fear after a failure (2 min read)

It’s hard to face a fear. Especially a fear that comes from a failure. And this week I have had my fair share of that. A project I have worked on for a year looks like its not going to happen. A big blow, to both my dreams and my confidence. It happens to the best of us. But when it happens there is only one way to go, forward. But how? When we fail along comes fear and it tells us that we can’t do whatever it is we are trying to do. However really  fear is just our bodies way of telling us we are crossing a comfort zone. Fears arising mean we are challenging ourselves and challenge means growth. But how to overcome those fears?

I know it seems daunting. However it is not impossible. No matter how difficult it is to fail there is always a way back up again. And that way up will make you stronger. No matter how big the fear you can overcome it.

This week I have (and still am) being tested hard. And I have two choices. Listen to my fear and give up. Or carry on in spite of the fears I have. Of course I am going to carry on. And this is how I am doing it.

Release and reach out

At first when a failure or disappointment hits it feels like crap. At this moment it’s ok not to fight. It’s okay to be upset, so be upset. I cried for a whole night. I reached out to the two people in the world I knew could help me Mr T and another man that I truly admire. Between them they comforted me and made me remember that I can create my dreams, even when it feels like I can’t. So call on the people you need to help you when you hit your low. Cry it out and release your frustrations (ofc not on others, that never helps anything). Believe me afterwards you will feel better.

Look for the teaching

Accept the failure and look for the teaching. Everything in life teaches us something, whether we want to learn it or not. Be conscious of this and look at the situation objectively. Why did this happen? Why did you create it? And what is the teaching that life is sending you?

How can you move forward?

Once you have identified the teaching how can you move forward? This failure has opened up other opportunities for you. What are they and how can you embrace them?  Allow what you have learnt to guide you. Once you calm down and move out of the drama of your failure the way forward will become clear.

Identify the fears

Unfortunately (unless you are some kind of superhero or guru) when you have worked out how to move forward the fears will come. Recognise them. Fears are just an idea. They are not real. Unless you make them real by believing in them. Identify what is it you are really afraid of. When you rationalise a fear it is less scary. It becomes tangible and more importantly it becomes something that it is possible to overcome.

Face the fear

When we face our fears they do become less scary. It just takes that first step. Whether it’s a conversation you need to have, or a resignation you have to hand in, the first step will be the hardest. However with every step you take it will get easier. The double bonus with this is that when you have faced your fear you get not only a sense of pride, you  also get a sense of freedom.

Remind yourself it’s ok to struggle

As I sat crying on our porch under the stars earlier this week, I began to talk to me 6 months from now. I asked myself to remember that moment. To remember it so that I will be able to celebrate the journey I will have taken and enjoy my success even more, because I survived what I was feeling then. Even though at that precise moment I wasn’t sure I will succeed it reminded me and reassured me that things will get better. So remind yourself that it’s ok to struggle. Struggle just makes success sweeter.

Trust

Ok this is challenging. And sometimes you have to just trust. The universe knows what it’s doing much better than you do. Remind yourself that the universe is conspiring to lead you along the right path. Be grateful for that.  Tell yourself that this will work out somehow. You might not be able to see it, however it will work out. No matter how bad things seem they will eventually get better. Trust in that. Summon every bit of strength you have and keep moving forward.

Fear is not real, it is not an expert and it is not a truth. The absence of fear is not what bravery is. Bravery is having a fear and doing it anyway. When my Mum got divorced, it was scary for her, a whole new life. The day it came through I sent her a bouquet with the note

“The only way is up and left a bit”

And it is.

Move forward.

Hold yourself tall and move with the flow of events life sends at you.

Failure is just a block in one direction. You can take so many other paths. Fear is just a brainfog trying to stop you from trying something new and expanding your comfort zone. It’s not real so don’t let it become real.
Surf the waves, learn the lessons and see the new possibilities and everything will be alright in the end, because you are brave enough and strong enought to face whatever it is that life sends you <3

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Visualising …. visualising….oh look squirrel!

Visualisation. We have all heard that this is one of the main things to do if you want to achieve a goal. Hands up those of us that find visualisation really easy. Congratulations! If you want to put your tips in the comments that would great. So hands up those of us that find this seriously difficult. Yep that’s me. I am an ‘oh look squirrel’ type. As soon as I sit down with my goal in mind, some calming music in the background I can hold the vision for 0.4 seconds and then my mind starts to wander, everything and anything will distract me, know the feeling?

Well that’s who I was until I had a goal I was really burning for. I wanted to go back to study. (And for those of you who read this blog, you will know I am there now.) I found the school, applied and heard nothing. I was panicking. Every morning I would try and visualise my goal as part of my miracle morning routine (Look up Hal Elrod – you will not regret it) and …nada. I could not hold it. Until I had a brainwave (well a few actually.)

These steps helped me and I hope they will help you.

Get clear

Know what you want exactly. Easy to write, challenging to do, well no. I used a gratitude letter. Basically write yourself a letter thanking the universe for the things you have as though you already have them. Dear universe, I am so happy and grateful that I have completed my education, got the promotion, whatever it is you want. Make the letter detailed. Write every detail of how your life is now you have the life you want. The more you write the vision will get clearer.

Get a picture and concentrate

So now you know what you want find a picture of it. For example I found a picture of the outside of my uni college. Every morning for five minutes I would sit in front of this picture and see myself there. Walking down the stairs I could see on the picture. I still had my quiet space, with the calming music but with the picture physically in front of me I could hold the vision. If you can’t find the picture then make it. Draw it. Copy paste some pictures into a word doc. Just concentrate on this picture for five minutes every day. Don’t get angry with yourself if your attention wanders just bring it back to your picture again. 

Trust

This isone of the more challenging parts, however you can do it. Once you have done your visualisation you have to trust the universe. Trust it will happen. Every time a fear or doubt pops up squash it. “My book won’t get published” says Mr Negative shout back “Bollocks! My book will be published”. Then do something else. Don’t get into dialogue with Mr Negative, he is not worth it. Shrug him off and distract him with something else. The universe is conspiring to bring you your dream.

Do something

As much as you can trust the universe to work with the vibration you send out, you also have to help. Have you ever heard the phrase “the gods help those who help themselves”? Well it’s true. Make sure each day you do something no matter how small to work towards you goal.

Visualisation + trust + action = results

Try these steps this week and see on Sunday how much closer you are to being where you want to be.

Have an amazing, powerfull week. Whatever your dream is, I know you will get there if you truly throw yourself into creating it <3

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