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

#Lifelessons101 –  Changing to a positive attitude (inspired by Gretchen Rubin)

Recently I got a wake-up call. And it wasn’t a nice one and kinda scary to admit in public. Ok here goes. I am in reality a pretty negative person. Not in my professional life, where I inspire others to see the bright side of life. Not even my public life, with friends or on social media. But at home behind closed doors, I can be, and regularly am a pessimistic, grumpy stress head. Not a great realisation. However, it is a constructive one as it’s a starting point for change.

I realised this at a recent Lammas workshop where we were talking about sacrifice and the concept that if you want to make something new in your life you have to let something go. (Or sacrifice it, just as the wheat gets cut down to become our bread and brandy) One of this year’s goals for me it to have a healthier, happier relationship with Mr T. Our communication has taken a downwards turn of late so I wanted to improve this. But as the year has gone and stress has been rising if anything my negativity and negative communication with the man I love has got worse. Definitely a glowing neon universal sign that something needs to change.

And of course, that change starts with me. In that workshop, I identified that one of the reasons I was being a snappy cow was because I had too much control and responsibility in our lives and that made me unconsciously resent Mr T (who bless him is sublimely oblivious to this fact). Secondly, I was having trouble letting go of frustrations, little niggling things, like the fact he can’t put the cardboard from a used toilet paper in the bin (WHY??), blind me to all the good and sweet things he does. So letting go was a big key to changing my negativity to positivity. But how? That’s the magic question.

Luckily one of my favourite author’s Gretchen Rubin came to my rescue in her wonderful book “The Happiness Project”. It seems Gretchen had exactly the same issue as me. Always jumping to the negative rather than the positive. In fact, it’s a common issue for many of us. To combat this Gretchen took a whole month to consciously work on her attitude, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I love this idea, it really spoke to my structured loving mindset. So for the next four weeks, I am going to focus on my attitude.

And this is how I am going to do it:

Identify how you want to change

To not make this a sweeping declaration (a la Marshell Eriksen) I have made a plan. Firstly I have identified how I want to change :

  • I want to understand my negative reactions and use that to help me turn them into positivity.
  • I want to use positive language
  • I want to feel less angry and frustrated
  • I want to think positively even under stress

Make resolutions

Following the Gretchen recipe, the first step is to make resolutions. The idea is to find specific areas to focus on to reach your goal. So my 4 resolutions for this month are:

  • React positively
  • Use good manners
  • Let go of things that don’t serve me
  • Find my joy

The surreal thing is that as always the universe is listening. And lo and behold the moment I set these resolutions I began to find ways to keep them.

Catch the negativity, analyze it and find a positive way to react

If you find that like me you often react negatively, the first step to change is catching yourself at it. Ask yourself why you re reacting this way and then find a way you can react positively.

As I have been writing I could hear the annoying piercing scream of the hoover my Mr T is using. Immediately my first reaction was one of frustration. The noise is too loud. I can’t concentrate. Why the heck does he have to do this now! Normally I would let this spiral on until my next interaction with Mr T and then this frustration would be thrown at the poor unsuspecting man. However, in the spirit of reacting positively, I didn’t. Instead, I took myself outside away from the noise, caught my breath. And therein remembered that we have some neon green noise cancelling headphones. So now I am sitting here comfortable in the lack of wailing noise and appreciative that my lovely man has cleaned the house and I don’t have to do it. (Note to self: Be grateful and say thank you.)

Use good manners

Now this one is lifted straight from the book. As I read I could really relate to the fact that I don’t always use good manners in the way I speak to people. Well, correction, in the way I speak to Mr T. One of the curses of a coach is that you use a lot of energy helping others to feel good and grow, which can mean you don’t have much energy left. And often I find that manifests in me being rude to  Mr T. Well they do say “We hurt those we love the most” which is stupidity if ever I heard it. I didn’t want to hurt Mr T. I wanted to treat him best of all persons. So I have started to find ways I can use good manners towards him. Assuming less and asking more. Using please and thank you. Not rolling my eyes when he is annoying (one of his pet hates). Doing actions of love. Basically being nice.

If you want the world to feel nicer you can’t expect it to hand it to you on a plate if you aren’t willing to be nice too. Good manners are something we can all work on in every aspect of life. Ultimately it’s about being kind and the world is always better for a little kindness.

Let go of things that don’t serve me

Mr T is frustratingly good at this. In a situation, I recently found hella frustrating and a bad experience, Mr T simply focused on the positive things and found the same situation as a great experience. He let go of the bits that didn’t serve him and kept the bits that did. Oh to be able to do that in the blink of an eye! I seriously struggle with letting things go. Partly because I have an expectation of how things should be. And partly because it niggles inside me. So my work here is two-fold.

Firstly I need to use the five-minute rule. Give myself 5 minutes alone to be cross, frustrated, sad, whatever I feel. Then ask myself “can I do anything now?” If I can then do something. If I can’t I have to let it go. However in order to do that I have to find the positives from the challenge.

Secondly, I have to let go of my expectation of how something should play out and enjoy the moment. So what if a date night ended up being a discussion about our finances. At least we got that sorted. Simply looking for the positive here is going to help. Also letting Mr T know I have an expectation is a great way to make sure disappointment is avoided.

There are many different ways you can work on letting go of that which does not serve you. Ask Google for inspiration. As always Google knows!

Find my joy

When you are stressed it is easy to lash out at our nearest and dearest. It’s normal. But I hate it. I always feel like I am the worst version of myself when I do this. So to release the pressure I want to focus on finding my joy in the stressful times. Whether I need some time alone, to draw, to write, to have a walk, to dance, to laugh. Basically, instead of lashing out I want to find ways to make me feel good.

pollyannaGretchen had a great suggestion for this the Pollyanna week. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book, Pollyanna plays the glad game. Basically, whatever happens to her she finds a reason to be glad. Gretchen took a whole week of being glad. I used to play this game a lot as a child. As an adult, it has transpired into my golden rule, if you can learn from a situation it was a good situation. But to just be glad seems like a much simpler and joyful way.

Instead of expecting others to give us joy in the down times find ways you can lift your own spirits and connect with your joy. In times of stress connect with yourself and ask you what do I need right now? How can I feel my joy?

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In essence, the recipe to turn your negative attitude into a positive one is quite simple:

  • Identify how you want to change
  • Make resolutions
  • Find ways you can make those resolutions a reality
  • Follow your plan

I hope you find this as helpful as I did writing it. How do you guys turn your negativity into a positive attitude? Let me know in the comments below.

Have an amazing weekend <3

I am in charge of how i feel and today i am choosing happiness.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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#lifelessons101 The 7 day summer self-confidence challenge

As a dedicated follower of the Buddha belly crew I am not feeling particularly body confident. Especially in light of my forthcoming holiday in a circle of my peers who love to gossip! In fact, I am dreading that short moment on the beach, where the t-shirt comes off, and the swimsuit/buddha belly is on full display as I walk to and from the water. It’s the hardest part of any holiday for a buddah belly initiate.

However, I am also an officiado of you feel how you think. And this Summer I am determined to not allow my inner judge ruin my holiday and lower my confidence. So this week I am going to challenge myself for 7 days to take an intense self-confidence booster week to get me feeling great before I go away.  This is the start of my 7 day summer self-confidence challenge.

Here is my 7 day plan. I challenge you to join me and feel fabulous together i

Day one:

I have for a long time wanted to restart my practice of Miracle Morning (See Hal Elrod’s amazing system here). However, with work being so busy and me feeling so tired I haven’t managed it. However, now I am on holiday this is the perfect time to restart. It gives me a great confidence boost as well as inspiring me and motivating me. I start the day with my wonder woman pants on and I can take on the world – HAH!

Day two:

This is going to be a day dedicated to self-love and pampering my body. I have booked a trip to the sauna, an hours massage and manicure. I have pre-stocked with facemasks foot masks and nommy healthy snacks. I plan to start the day by filling out my self-love journal and then following a day of completely pampering myself.

Day three:

Today is positive mental self image day. I am going to make a collage with positive I am statements on it. I am powerful. I am a wild free spirit. This will be placed in front of my bed so it’s the first and last thing I see every day. I am also going to take a photo and have it as my screensaver so when I am on holiday I can carry my mantras with me. To boost my feelings towards my body I am also going to do some yoga to energise my mind and body.

Day four:

A day of loving the rest of the world. Today is going to be the day where I compliment people, post positively on social media and try to do loving kind things for everyone I meet. Being nice makes you feel nice and today I will exude niceness!

Day five:

Dressing to impress is today’s motto. Firstly I am going to plan my holiday wardrobe making sure I have outfits that I feel fabulous in. Then I am going to put on something I love and waft around the house in my most glamorous of outfits. Luckily I have a family function to attend so I will go for gold and put on my most fantastic aren’t I amazing look for the event!

Day six:

This is the day to be daring cos’ I am going to try something new. Right now I am not sure what this will be. That’s why it’s on day six so I have time to plan it. But I am going to choose a fear and challenge myself. So I will be either throwing myself out of a plane, playing paintball or taking a pony trek in the woods. (Horses scare me a lot).

Day seven:

Time to look back over the last week and praise myself. Today is about feeling proud of myself. I will write a list of my accomplishments. Even post them on facebook. And in the evening I will do something fun to celebrate my awesomeness! I am thinking a night on the town, dinner at a restaurant or a trip to the local fun fair. Celebrating our achievements is equally important as actually achieving them. And a fabulous way to boost your confidence.

How will you boost your confidence in your  7 day summer self-confidence challenge ?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have an amazing week!

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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.

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#lifelessons101 The best Summer book list to inspire your personal development

With all of the endless hours on the beach, travelling and time to yourself moments you may want to use these to inspire your personal growth. After all no point in time is better to create powerful new habits when you are feeling relaxed recharged and have time on your hands.

Here is my Summer book list for 2018 to inspire you in the sun:

The Happiness Project

– Gretchen Rubin’s year-long search for happiness. Great tips in an easily relatable emotional journey for anyone who has tried to change their life.

https://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/

Eat Pray Love

Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of emotions, insights, tears and laughter. A beautiful, brave and honest story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19501.Eat_Pray_Love

The Celestine Prophecy

A spiritual quest chasing the 9 insights of the Celestine prophecies before they are destroyed forever. Thought provoking, prepare to think differently afterwards.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13103.The_Celestine_Prophecy

The Magic of Thinking Big

Powerful secrets of success. Accessible and easy to read. Lots of great ideas to take away for you to practice every day

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Thinking-Big-David-Schwartz/dp/0671646788

The Miracle Morning

Hal Elrod created this powerful system which I can personally guarantee will make an insanely powerful difference in your life. What better time than summer to put new habits into practice that will change your life.

https://www.miraclemorning.com/

The Book of Joy

To of the worlds most inspirational me coming together to share stories of finding joy even in the darkest of times.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29496453-the-book-of-joy

Chicken soup for the soul

For feel-good factor, heartwarming inspiration this is the ultimate book. Prepare to love the world more after reading this

http://www.chickensoup.com/

Have a lovely summer <3

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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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