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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Breathing

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

Here’s the technique:

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

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

Don’t try to quiet your mind

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

Walk in nature

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

Disconnect for 1 hour a day

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

Slow down -actively listen and observe

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

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

 

HAve an amazing week <3

 

Make your own 7 day Summer  Challenge!

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

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

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

 

7 days of brunch

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

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

7 dates in 7 days

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

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

 

7 days of amazing mornings

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

www.miraclemorning.com
7 days of something new-

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

7 days of meditation

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

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

7 days of self-care

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

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

7 days of a sustainable lifestyle

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

http://sevendayschallenge.com/about

7 days of kindness

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

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

7 days of exercise

– Take part in a different type of exercise everyday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So to make your own summer goals poster

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

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

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Why when things are going well do we focus on the bad stuff?  (And how to stop doing it!)

Last week was actually amazing, all things considering. I had 10 amazing success stories from my clients that I am working with. I ran a brilliant training. My Hedwig arrived in the post. Lead some powerful workshops and a few new exciting business opportunities are opening up for me. And yet here I am sitting amidst all of this success feeling all negative. Why? Because of a negative incident in a meeting.  In reality, the meeting wasn’t actually that bad. Only 10 % was negative, 10 % didn’t go the way I wanted it to, the rest was amazingly positive. So how can I in all of this success and abundance feel negative?

You must have felt this before. The negative remark of a friend about your clothes followed with the but you look perfect in anything, or the performance review where you boss makes just one suggestion for an improvement, or even the perfect evening in the restaurant interrupted by the loud, annoying couple sitting next to you. In these situations what do we remember? The negative.

It used to make me wonder and worry if I was just incapable of appreciating the good in life when this happened. However, throughout the years I discovered I am not alone. Everyone experiences this at some point, if not often in their life. Feeling negative, despite all of the positive good things around us or in our lives, is a relatively common experience. And the reason why we all have these experiences is simple. It is because we are human. We are designed that way.

If you have a tendency for detecting and dwelling on the negative, it’s no cause for alarm. In fact, you are simply a product of intelligent human design. (Or come from Jutland) Humans were designed to be keenly aware of negative circumstances and consequences as it helped our ancestors survive. It is part of our internal system that identifies danger and tries to protect us. Our biology tells us instinctively it is safer to be negative. Bad memories stick harder than good to protect us from creating the same situation again.  Which also makes it easier to understand why we tend to believe negative personal criticism above positive reinforcement. It is our bodies way of eliminating risks and keeping us alive.

Understandable albeit not always helpful. Over-focusing on negativity is as we all know destructive and often depressing. Ironically this self-preservation method can become really destructive if left to its own devices. And who wants to be negative. I would much rather be sitting here feeling the glow of my successes than wallowing in the other stuff.  So the challenge is how to stop doing it? Well, my opinion here differs from the traditional here. You can read hundreds, if not thousands of articles out there on how to stop being negative and be more positive. The majority of them are effective, but they also suppress the body’s natural, instinctual survival system that causes the negative emotions in the first place. Not healthy in my opinion. A bit like putting a handkerchief on a wound that needs stitches. A quick and not long lasting fix. I personally believe that we need this system our bodies have created to identify and survive danger. The trick I have found to stop being caught in the negativity spiral is to control it and consciously have it work for you. Instead of it controlling you and ultimately working against you.

If you like me have suddenly found yourself caught up focusing on the negative despite all the good going on around you try my method of working with your body’s survival system to find your way back to feeling positive again.

Identify:

Whatever caused the negative feeling is provoking one of you internal dramas. An internal drama is a behavioural response to a situation based on previous experience. It might be that you know exactly which drama is being set off. Or you may be responding unconsciously. In order to learn from your body’s auto survival system, you need to know why this particular situation sets of your internal drama. What is it that you feel unsafe about in this situation? Why does it affect you so strongly? In the example of the restaurant, it could be that the annoying couple sets off a drama related to a situation where peoples intrusive behaviour has affected you negatively in the past. Identifying how you feel “threatened” is half of the battle.

Perspective:

Now you need to step back and find out what is the teaching in this situation. What is your body trying to protect you from? How can you make sure you feel safe? It may be that you need to work with the internal drama.  It could simply be that you need to work out a strategy which allows you to feel comfortable in the situation.

For example in my meeting one of my observations made a person in a higher authority react explosively in anger.  Hours later I was still focusing on that rather than the other positive experiences in the same meeting. Unconsciously this was caused by an internal drama related to a previous job where I was fired and left in a financial mess. In essence, this meeting has in my unconscious threatened my ability to survive. The teaching was to recognised that the anger was not actually directed at me and my observations. Basically to not take on the responsibility of blame for someone else’s emotional. And to really realise that this was not threatening my existence. In Fact, I realised that the explosive emotion was showing the other person’s passion and commitment to solving the problem observed.

Action:

The next step is action. Our biological self- preservation response is actually calling us to action. Do something about this. Now if we immediately respond without processing we will be working from our fight or flight system. In the case of my meeting, I could have emailed the person after the meeting looking for positive reinforcement that they were not angry with me and apologising for making them angry. Putting myself into a position when I accepted blame. Making myself, in fact, more vulnerable. After identifying and gaining perspective I realised that the best course of action was to handle the problem at hand. To take responsibility for the solution, not the anger. I felt instantly safe. In control. Consequently, I felt happier.

Identifying your action and taking that action is one of the best ways to calm down your biological self- preservation system. Of course, when dealing with internal personal drams the actions may take longer than in my example. It may be that you need to process and accept previous traumas. This is itself a teaching of the situation.

Positivity boost

So once you have made yourself feel safe you will need a positivity boost to get you back on track. For me, gratitude practice works well. Writing a list of my blessings and the things I am grateful for immediately turns my thoughts to a positive cycle. Other people dance to music, meditate, train, play computer games, indulge in self-care or simply complete a simple task like washing up to get a feeling of success. Do something that will shift your thoughts into positive again.

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Your biological self- preservation system makes you focus on the negative for a reason. Just like a malware warning on your pc. By acknowledging its presence, identifying the issue. Then by processing, taking action and rebooting the pc of your mind you will function at optimal capacity. The more often you do this the less the negative will take over and deny you the peace, contentment and safety of recognising the positive in your life.

Have a great week <3

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Lifelessons101 – Are you stuck in a personal development burnout?

I love my life, I really do. I love my job, my home, my man. So it came as a shock when I realised I wasn’t feeling entirely satisfied with the way things are. Not only unsatisfied I felt drained of all energy and constantly tired, even though I am living close to my perfect life. I was perplexed! How could I not be feeling satisfied? Why am I so exhausted? My life is great. It simply didn’t make sense. I needed some objective perspective. So I contacted my amazing coach and mentor for help, and he came with a mind-blowing perspective. I am suffering from personal development burnout. And by burnout, I am not referring to the psychological condition caused by years of stress. I mean burned out by the effort of overworking yourself on the personal development path.

Apparently, personal development burnout is a thing and actually quite common. (Phew good to know I’m normal). Just as with any hobby its possible to go too far over the edge. Or worse make your development into a chore, which then initiates the shame cycle when you don’t do it. For me, my dissatisfaction was coming from a universal classic. I am not yet exactly where I want to be. The exhaustion is simply that in my quest to improve myself I have been pushing myself to my limits and beating myself up for not being where I want to be right now. That cycle of self-blame took my energy and because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted all had become a chore.

Personal development burnout seems to be an integral part of the journey. As my coach said life can’t be perfect and blissful all the time. The burnout comes when you need to shift. To create a balance. To grow in a different way. It’s a level up on a computer game. The frustration before the prize. However, unlike in a computer game instead of pushing ourselves harder, personal development burnout creates the opportunity to let go.

If you relate to this, you’re not alone. I and many others get you.

While personal development can provide valuable resources to get you through some challenging times, if you find yourself falling into the impatient, frustration trap and cycle of guilt as I did then it’s time to recoup, reassess and change what you are doing so it works for you. After this is your personal growth no-one else’s. So it has to work for you.

Recovering from a burnout at it’s worst can take a long, long time. However, with the kind of personal development level up burnout, I am talking about it is possible to recover quickly if you consciously take actions. Here are the phases and actions I am working through to get me back on top in a healthy path of natural growth.

Phase 1: Stop reaching for whatever you have been reaching for

The first order of business is to interrupt the pattern. Once you stop the pattern of thoughts and feelings that got you to burn out, that’s when recovery begins.

Ask yourself:

  • What have I been obsessed with that feels unreachable?
  • What is my biggest fear if I stop reaching?
  • What would it look like to surrender?

The scariest thing about letting go is that you don’t know how the world will look afterwards. Allow this process to calm your nerves to letting go.

Phase 2: Acknowledge how far you have come

If you have got into this burnout you will have grown. Although you are feeling worn out there has been progression. Look at when you started your journey and write a list of your achievements since that time. Sometimes just seeing what you have done already will help to boost your energy levels.

Phase 3: Take a break

Now stop take a break. As soon as you can. Book a holiday or a few weeks off. Make your health priority number 1. You need to refuel and do some serious TLC work. Cancel social arrangements. I don’t give a damn about how people may feel let down you need a break. Getting into the guilt cycle is all about your ego. It’s your ego that wants to be recognised to get the prize. Right now you need to feed your soul not your ego Step away from social media. Read a book. Get a massage. Sit in your garden. Sleep. Train. Swim. Do what gives you energy and peace. At this stage you need to make your health your priority. Without you nothing works. Your body is your team and support system. So take care of you and your health.

And for at least 14 days do not think about your personal development or your goals. Just be you for a change. You are perfect as you are.

Phase 4: Clear out

One of the things that feeds the guilt factor is the constant bombardment of social media and in our inbox of all the things we could be doing to be better or have greater lives. I have found it incredibly refreshing to unsubscribe from 90% of the personal development newsletters I belonged to. My inbox is clearer and it is surprising how less pressured I feel. Have an electronic clear out and choose what influences you want in your life and what is suepurpulus. Do the same with the books. (All of us personal development junkies have a pile we haven’t read yet). Choose one. Just one and put the rest away.  Have a look at your daily and weekly habits. Which ones make you feel good. Which don’t. Guess what you are gonna do? That’s right get rid of all the ones that don’t make you feel good. Clearing out makes everything feel better and less pressured.

Phase 5: Appreciate your abundance

Gratitude is one of the simplest and most powerful tools we have. Being grateful makes us appreciate our here and now. And if you like me have been focusing on the end post, then you have forgotten to enjoy your journey here and now. Practise gratitude for your life at least once a week and appreciate the abundance of your now.

Phase 6: Listen to your inside voice

Make sure you are listening to you inside voice. It is there to guide you. One of the reasons burnout happens is because we don’t act on the signals our body is giving us. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Follow your gut feelings before you say yes. Your gut knows what you want better than your mind does. So for once let it lead you.

Phase 7: Refocus

As you begin to have more energy (as a constant presence, not just on intermittent days) you are ready to refocus your personal development ideas. Look at what you were doing. Remove anything that was either setting off your guilt complex, you I should be doing this voice and especially anything that drained you energetically. Be HONEST with yourself. Don’t keep practices because other people have told you they work or you need to do. Keep what works for you.

Now choose one, (Yes I said one), area of your personal development you would like to work on and honestly feel energetically able to commit to. (Again listen to your gut). Make this the priority for the next 6 months.  I would also recommend here trying something new. It can be an energy boost to use a new technique for personal growth after burnout.

Phase 8: Take baby steps forwards

You cannot jump from burnout back to full power. It doesn’t work like that. If you try and throw yourself into a massive lifestyle change all at once you will end right back at burnout. So take baby steps. Do one little thing each week, Then each day. Build up slowly and you will find it becomes manageable. Baby steps make us stronger.

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Give yourself time to recover from personal development burnout. At least 6- 8 months to work through the phases Burnout is a sign of not listening to yourself. It is the most important lesson we gain from this experience is to centralise and make ourselves important. There’s a fine line between self-improvement and personal development burnout. Allow your burnout to show you where that line is and learn how to keep your balance for healthier and stronger growth.

Have a happy weekend <3

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