#Lifelessons101 – Finding your identity after a break up

Breakups are the worst. Not much more to say about that. The healing process after can be really tough if you have spent so long being us that you can’t remember how to be me.

After a break up you can feel a bit lost at first. Over the years, your thoughts and lifestyle patterns have been in unionism with another individual and once that habit breaks, it’s almost feels like you have lost a bit of yourself in the process

We’ve all been there. Finding your identity again after a breakup can be a real challenge. Yet remembering who you are and discovering who you are now, knowing who you are and what you want out of life is one of the most important steps to healing and growing. And is one of the gifts of learning you get from a break-up.

Now I have had my share of failed relationships. Yet through the many trials and tribulations  and I have found a fail safe formula to get back on track and find myself again. Knowing who you are and where you want to be relatively quickly. Sounds unbelievable right? Well it works. It’s worked for me. And it works for every client I have ever had in a breakup situation.

The process has 3 steps. Do them at your own tempo. Moving forward is a process not an on and off switch you can flip. So just take each step when it feels right.

So if you have come out of a relationship and can’t remember who you  are anymore and want to move forward please just try this method and I hope from the bottom of my heart it helps xxx

Step 1: Find your dreams

I discovered this during my divorce. It was a relatively short lived marriage and stopped so abruptly I was still full of the dreams, goals and hopes I had for our future. I couldn’t actually remember what I had wanted before. And I had no idea what I wanted at them time. So I made a list. (If you are regular here you know that I LOVE lists!) This was a special list. PArt bucket list and part goals. I wrote down everything I could thing of I wanted to do, had dreamed of doing, wanted to learn or try. The list included learning to skateboard, getting an education, baking my own bread and travelling alone to a foreign country. Once written I looked at what I could put into action straight away. I grabbed a skateboard and in my suit I skated to the office every day. I went travelling around South Africa. I booked surfing and motorcycle lessons. Now to be fair I was overly trying but it helped. Everytime I felt despondent I looked at my dream list and worked out how to make something happen. Within 3 months I was enjoying life again and felt more empowered than I had done in so many years. In Fact I am still working out of that original list today. Just 20 minutes in one of my hardest of life moments became a total game changer.

So grab some paper and a pen and start to write your dream list. Include both stupid things, practical things and things you think might be unachievable. The sky’s the limit. Once written fulfill one of them. Make it happen.

Step 2 – Find your passion

So a little while after you have started to live out some of your dreams. You might find yourself wanting something more substantial. It’s at this point I recommend finding your passion in life. If you already know it you can choose to either skip this stage or use it to check in that you are on the right path. The 7 strange questions created by Mark Manson is the most effective method I have found to identify what it is that really sparks your passion. Originally created to to find your life purpose these questions are a no bs way of cutting straight to what is important, in an easy and accessible format.

 The 7 strange questions – The questions were invented by Mark Manson however they are slightly adapted.

1. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?

Think about the worst possible life style you could have that you could tolerate and find some happiness in. So not the worst lifestyle you have, but what is your bottom line?

2. WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT YOU TODAY THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF CRY?

We all have a tendency to lose touch with what we loved as a child. Something about the social pressures of adolescence and professional pressures of young adulthood squeezes the passion out of us. We’re taught that the only reason to do something is if we’re somehow rewarded for it. However our 8 year old self didn’t think like that. The did things for the sheer joy of it. What brought you joy then that you don’t do now?

3. WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT AND POOP?

Maybe for you, it’s computer games. Maybe it’s organizing things efficiently, or getting lost in a fantasy world, creativity, sport or teaching somebody something, or solving technical problems. Whatever it is, don’t just look at the activities that keep you up all night, but look at the cognitive principles behind those activities that enthrall you. Because they can easily be applied elsewhere.

4. HOW CAN YOU BETTER EMBARRASS YOURSELF?

Before you are able to be good at something and do something important, you must first suck at something and have no clue what you’re doing. That’s pretty obvious. And in order to suck at something and have no clue what you’re doing, you must embarrass yourself in some shape or form, often repeatedly. And most people try to avoid embarrassing themselves, namely because it sucks.

Right now, there’s something you want to do, something you think about doing, something you fantasize about doing, yet you don’t do it.You have your reasons, no doubt.if your reasons are, “My parents would hate it,” or “My friends would make fun of me,” or “If I failed, I’d look like an idiot,” then chances are, you’re actually avoiding something you truly care about because caring about that thing is what scares the shit out of you, not what mom thinks or what Timmy next door says.

5. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD?

Find a problem you care about and start solving it. Obviously, you’re not going to fix the world’s problems by yourself. But you can contribute and make a difference. And that feeling of making a difference is ultimately what’s most important for your own happiness and fulfillment.

6. GUN TO YOUR HEAD, IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE THE HOUSE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.

So ask yourself, if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day for everything except for sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself? And no, you can’t just go sit in a coffee shop and browse Facebook. You probably already do that. Let’s pretend there are no useless websites, no video games, no TV. You have to be outside of the house all day every day until it’s time to go to bed — where would you go and what would you do?

7. IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DIE ONE YEAR FROM TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO AND HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?

Most of us don’t like thinking about death. It freaks us out. But thinking about our own death surprisingly has a lot of practical advantages. One of those advantages is that it forces us to zero in on what’s actually important in our lives and what’s just frivolous and distracting.

So what would you do if you knew exactly when the end was nigh? What is your legacy going to be? What are the stories people are going to tell when you’re gone? What is your obituary going to say? Is there anything to say at all? If not, what would you like it to say?

Now before moving on to the next step, have a look at your answers and see if you can find reoccuring themes. What words crop up again and again? And once you have looked once, look again.

Step 3: Start to build the life you imagine for you

So now you know your passions and your dreams, it’s time to start thinking about the life you want for you. Grab the biggest piece of paper you can find and create a vision of your ideal life.

Throw out all reality and allow your fantasy to run riot. This is you creating your universal recipe for how you would like your life to be. Every time you think no that’s not possible ask yourself do you want it? If the answer is yes, then it goes on the brain storm.

There are four sections to this brainstorm and I would recommend imaging your life 10 – 15 years from now.

Lifestyle – This includes where you live, what in, do you own it, countryside, city, what style of accomodation, what decorations.  What is your life style like? Your hobbies, do you eat out every week? Do you travel 3 times a year? Do you own a summer house? Do you have a pet? Do you have a car, a motor bike, a boat? And how much money do you have in the bank? Also do you want alot of social or is me time very important to you?

Career – Describe your job, the hours you work, your responsibilities, your working environment, your ideal colleagues and of course your ideal pay.

Achievements – This is basically a bucket list for the next ten years.  Achievements do not need to be just finished university, got married with two kids, it can be something like being an extra on a marvel movie, volunteering in Nepal, riding a bike across the great wall of China or doing a parachute jump. Remember no limits and that fun is a hugely important part of this journey called life

People – This section is about the people and relationships you want in your life. And I don’t mean just names. This is about the quality of your relationships. And this can also be the relationship you have with yourself.

Do this brainstorm on paper, the bigger the better. Follow the order and do each section one at a time.

Then take a step back. This is the life you want. And this is the life you are going to create for yourself. How does it feel to look at it? Are the themes from the 7 questions involved in your plan? If not how can you include them. These are your passions and if you suppress them you won’t feel happy or fulfilled in life.

When you have finished this is the time to start making goals and a plan to create this life for yourself. If you like you could create a vision board or use some of the goal setting techniques here.

———————————————————————

By the time you reach stage 3 you will find that you are starting to feel like you again. There are of course many other parts of healing that need to happen after a break up. Finding yourself is but one of those. However when you know who you are and what you want, it is a heck of a lot easier to move forward and gives you something to keep aiming for when the saddness or memories make that day tough.

Let me know how you get on with the steps and how they helped you in the comments below.

Wherever you are in the world I wish you a beautiful weekend <3

Advertisements

How to create Work / Life balance by taking 5 simple actions

Getting a good work/life balance is one of the eternal questions of all post Yuppie generations in the affluent West. We all want it. We know we all need it. And yet having it is a challenge for most. This weekend my taxi driver was one such hopeful Or rather stressful. Living in a busy city he is in full time education and then works nights and weekends to make the money he needs to live. The poor guy said himself” I am close to burning out” and I could tell that he was close to giving up his education dream. As we talked I asked him about what was it he wanted and how he would like his life to be different. And, because I am that sort of person, I suggested a few strategies that might help him.

Now my driver actually vocalized one of the main issues most people have with achieving a good work/life balance. Our perception. You see my driver told me, “When I do something. I want to do it all in.” So if he wanted train then it had to be full on. Or school. Or work. And this is the major issue people often have with getting things balanced. Simply by aiming for too much all at once.

If you want to really get your life in balance you need to change your perspective and focus on the path to getting there. As I said to my driver. “The goal is not to be in training. The goal is to start”. 10 minutes each day is better than none. Once you have the habit then carve out 5 mins more. Then 5 minutes more. Often it’s not actually that we don’t have enough time it is that we are assuming that we need a lot more time than we really do to do the things we want. And therefore we don’t do them. It feels like an achievable mountain to climb. And honestly becomes an excuse.

So we have this block we need to get past. However if you can be honest with yourself and use (I am sorry to say) a smidgen of realism the way to finding work life balance can be found by taking just 5 simple actions.

Press the STOP button

So if you are also feeling that close to burnout sensation then you have probably spent a lot of time obsessing over the issues and the problems. Well that just makes them even harder to deal with. When that happens imagine you pressing an imaginary big ready STOP button. Put the breaks on. If you concentrate on how hard it is it will be hard. You and only you can pull yourself out of this negative cycle. But when you do it will give you space to think more clearly and thus take the first step to work/life balance, simply because you will have the head space to be able to start addressing the challenge.

Know what you want

So once you have pushed the big stop button it is time to fill your head with new thoughts. Solution thoughts. Take a quite coffee break brainstorm and write out the ways you would like your life to be different. What is it you actually wish you had the time to do? Give yourself an idea of what you would like your balanced life to look like. Here you can dream big. This is the space where you are allowed to describe the mountain of desires you have for your life.
Throw in the realism

The busier your life is and generally the more roles you adopt in your life, Boss, Mum, Volunteer, Team member the less time you have. You have to accept that right now this moment you cannot do it all. You cannot do 3 times a week at the gym for 2 hours at a time, or take that holiday abroad every year when you still have student debts to pay of and you are unemployed is not realistic. Yet. Now I don’t mean to say you can’t have everything you want. I truly believe you can live the life you imagine for yourself. However, part of the fun is the journey. Have a look at what you want and choose 1, 2 or 3 desires to focus upon. Make sure its something your soul really needs and will feel energized from. Remind yourself you are not giving up on the rest just putting them on the back burner for the moment.

Find the first step

So right now you are still looking at the whole mountain. Now you need to work out how you are gonna get there. Look for the first baby step you can take. So for example, if you want to start training again, decide which part of your day you can start to do 10 mins of training a day. Want more you time. Where can you have 15 mins in the week and what exactly will you do in that time? What is the first step you need to take to reduce the never ending to do list. Carve out just a little time each week to take that first baby step. You only have 24 hours a day, you can afford 10- 15 mins. Choose a first step for your desire.

Get going

Now you know what that first step is you have to take it. You have to give this to yourself. If not you can slump back into the woe is me live is so hard hole (sorry to be blunt but that’s the truth). You can either do what you can to solve the issue or you can blame someone else and feel rubbish. What do you choose? Get started on your baby steps and after a period of 4 weeks try and up the time by 5 or 10 mins. The more you carve out the time you need the more of a habit it becomes. It makes the time fly by easier and you not only feel less stressed you will feel empowered by taking charge of your life.

Manage your time

For me the ultimate work/life balance tool, and I suppose step 6, is time management. Managing your time supports you immensely to balance what is important to yourself, create healthy boundaries and maintain both self care and personal growth. There are lots of time management articles on the blog. Try starting here if you want time management tips

—————————————————————————————————————

And just remember the most important thing is to not overestimate what you are capable of doing in the time you have. Rather accepting the first steps, carrying them out, creating habits and then upping the bar. Slowly, slowly working your way to wards re balancing your life.

Have a great week <3

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.png

#lifelessons101 – Tell me something good – How the power of a good story can turn your day around

Yesterday my work life just went FUBAR (And for those you not in the know that means Fucked up beyond all recognition.) Needless to say it was a bad day. It has been a long time since I cried solidly for an hour. However despite how I was feeling I still had a job to do. Which meant clients that were in need of support, empowerment and inspiration. And yet there I was struggling to keep it together. (Remember your life coach is human too and sometime shit just happens). I needed to turn my energy around and get to a place of, if not happy, peaceful.

And that’s when I remembered something my BFF/ accountant / crafting compadre/ mini mom taught me. A line from one of her favorite films Me before you. And it is simply,

“Tell me something good”

I can’t remember the whole plot. As to this day I have never seen it.  (I promise I will mini mom). But for me ‘tell me something good’ up to this point had always been a way of celebrating in circle our achievements. It had always brought a smile to my face and a glow to my heart. Only there I was. In that moment not able to find anything good in my sadness and frustration. So I reached out.

Using the power of Facebook I made a post. Not asking for sympathy. Asking for stories. This is what I wrote.

Having a bad work day today and need some cheering up until I can get to through to the happy place later on tonight. So I am asking you all to “Tell me something good”

I want to hear all your good news and stories.

It always helps me when I am down to know that the people are love are having an awesome time of it “

The response was amazing.

Instead of the usual lovely hearts or hugs people send when you are having bad time. I got over 80 stories and pictures of people sharing with me the good in their lives. There was everything from spending the day with your daughter in the snow, to getting a new job, to loved ones coming home. People sharing lovely moments from their day and the things they were looking forward to. It was beautiful. Every time I checked back in someone else had posted something that made me smile. I saw conversations starting as people began to enjoy the moments everyone had shared. A from that reach out the sadness, the frustration began to transform. The good moments from everyone’s lives transformed both my dark moment and spread a good vibe into their days too.

It was so powerful. By the end of the day I was able to add my own something good story images (7).jpegfrom that day. The frown had been turned upside down and my tears to laughter.

Now I have always been an advocate of the healing and teaching power of stories. But yesterday was the strongest experience I have had of this. The transformation was so subtle and yet so powerful.

The only magic I can compare it with is how you feel when you see a small baby smile or a toddlers face light up with joy at snowdrops and puddles. It was incredibly inspiring.

And it made me want to share this moment with all of you. This is me telling you something good. Now it’s your turn. Transform your day, your mood by asking someone to tell you something good. On social media, or around the dinner table, or even a complete stranger. Let’s take the power of tell me something good around the world this weekend and see how many smiles we can inspire.

So before you go and begin this quest , please just take a moment here to tell me something good. Not because I am down or because you are. Just because sharing a good story is a beautiful thing to do.

Have a lovely weekend <3

Stories are medicine Tell me something good.....png

 

How to Declutter your life – Starting with the art of decluttering your time

In 2010 Francine Jay’s “The Joy of Less” was published and slowly but surely ‘Decluttering’ has become a thing. As Maureen O’Connor said “Decluttering is the new Juice cleanse”. We all love the idea of a minimalist home. A minimalist lifestyle and potential minimal stress the lifestyle promises. However, only a few of us actually manage it.

Personally I am clutter queen. As I sit writing this I am surrounded by a few piles of projects I am working on and I have a bag of donated clothes and belongs to explore on my break. (Kindly donated by someone who is decluttering their own home. There is some irony there). Let’s face it I am a borderline hoarder.

This coming month I have decided to dedicate a month to clearing and decluttering my life. (It’s a part of my happiness project February theme). And I’d like to invite you along for the ride. But before I throw myself into reaching my goals of 50% less stuff, cleansing my diet and clearing my garden. I want to share with you a secret. A secret that I believe is the biggest key to work/life balance and in general a life of minimized stress. The art of decluttering your time

This is one aspect of my life where I am am a master declutterer. My time. For the last 4 years I have become seriously good at not overloading myself and becoming efficient. My work is done and my free time, is mine. No matter how much stuff I have around me, I know what I am doing and when I am doing it. Decluttering my time has given me, well more time. More freedom and funnily enough the ability to accept and let go of things in a way I didn’t think possible. So would you like to know how?

Here is my simple guide to decluttering your time. It takes a little while so don’t expect to have this in the bag overnight. Just keep on going taking baby steps. And eventually you will find that like me you have become the Master of your own time and have time to spare!

Minimize decision stress and create healthy habits

This was the ultimate step for me. There are many mundane things we have to do in a day that take time and energy. Hundreds of decisions about when are we going to wash up, food shop, what am I going to eat, have I remembered to do the washing. I like many of us got so sick of these tasks. I resented them. Procrastinated, which took more of my energy and it all became an unmanageable mess. Until I created a habits schedule. Basically I looked at my skeleton week. And plotted these things in. Empty the dishwasher in the morning. Create a weekly meal plan and then shop one day a week. I minimized the clothes wash down to 3 times a week and allocated a time when I would actually put the clothes away. I also plotted breaks, training and me time in. Now the week doesn’t always run to schedule. However I have this back bone rhythm in my life that I return to as a foundation. It gave me a huge boost of time and things got done. Maybe not in the Disney princess the animals come in and magically clean the house situation. But in a way that I felt as if they had.

So the trick is simple. Look at the mundane tasks you have to do in a week. See how you can dedicate specific times to doing that in your weekly rhythm and then plot them into a weekly schedule. This is my current schedule which you can use as a template for your own.

Screenshot 2019-01-28 at 13.14.06

You will notice I don’t allocate specific times for jobs just an area of the day to do them such as morning, afternoon and evening. I also don’t fill it with the little five minute jobs like emptying the cat trays or getting the post. This schedule is for the big jobs that take chunks of time. And the bonus if you have kids is that they really respond well to this kind of structure too.

Choose an end of day time

This has been another light bulb in decluttering my time. And a light at the end of the tunnel on the more challenging days. An end of the day time is that point in the day where you are doing nothing you have to do. No house work. No work. No calling people. No just have to send that email. Nothing. I am lucky in that we don’t have kids so my end of day time is earlier than most people with a family. Mine is dinner time. I make the food so Mr T does the dishes. 5 days a week after dinner that is it. I am done. That is my time to indulge in my hobbies, relax, take a long bath, read. It means that I have to plan my work day according to the time I have from getting up to 19:30. And as that end of day time is so damn precious to me I get my stuff done. It reminds me to put myself first. And means I have gotten good at saying ‘well I didn’t get that done today but that’s OK. I will rest tonight and make it the most important thing to do tomorrow’. I have more energy and more freedom. My clients who have kids do this too. Even if it is just an hour before bed, having the end of day time allows you to relax, reboot and be ready for the next day.

—————————————–

These are the two most important starting bricks for decluttering your time. There are many other time management strategies out there and you can read some of my articles about them here on the blog. These two are special because they focus on your life. And it’s all well and good having things you want to achieve and tasks to do, but if you don’t have your everyday life in order and know when you are taking some rest you are not going to have the energy to do all that stuff.

Take a step to declutter your time this week and join me next week as I embark on my month of February cleanse and find out which area of my life I am going to declutter next – right after I check out that bag of stuff 😉

Have a great week <3

Make time for what matters.jpg

#lifelessons101 – True Love isn’t meant to be easy – the difference between romantic and real true love

If you follow my blog regularly you will know I have a source of inspiration from my vulcan-esque muse,my stoic partner and love of my life Mr T. He has this innate ability to take some of the biggest topics of debate and simmer them down with logic to an infallible, indisputable sentence. And this morning over breakfast he came with a humdinger, that just blew my mind.

We were, in the most unromantic setting, discussing my snoring. Apparently Mr T had spent half the night waking up due to my snoring and rolling me over to stop it. Now in most households this would probably spark WW3. However, knowing how Mr T already has sleep challenges I was simply truly grateful for his patience. “Bless you darling” I said “ Why is it you love me? I mean, I’m not easy” (Thinking it must be so hard to always be so patient. Mr T simply gazed out of the window saying

“Well I never thought true love would be easy. I guess that’s why so many people don’t have it.”

And of course as always he is right. Now as I said before this blew my mind. And as I pondered his statement I found a source of clarity. My whole life I had been searching for true love. Yearning for the idyllic romantic passion of films and books. And yet it wasn’t until I dropped that ideal that I really did find what I was looking for. (Albeit wrapped in a Cowboy hat, geeky gamer, extremely talented craftsmen with a passion for Vikings, Deadpool and D and D).

I thought about that phrase ‘True love isn’t meant to be easy’. And realized that this media fantasy was so deeply embedded that instantly my mind conjured up images of dramatic events pulling star crossed lovers apart a la Romeo and Juliet. However the truth and reality of real true love is a million miles away from this romantic drama. True love is patient. It is caring and understanding. It is patiently picking up the underpants from the floor beside the washing basket for the 6th time that week and not nagging your partner about it. It is the hand that reaches out and touches your leg as they drive in the car, just because. It is making tea with honey and ginger when they are filled with snot and finding them just as beautiful as when they are all dressed up for a night on the town. Or going to see yet another Marvel or Harry potter film because they love it so much and want to share it with you.

True love not being easy doesn’t always have to be about the big sacrifices. In reality it is the beauty in the smaller sacrifices, compromises and little acts of love that are not easy but make a lasting loving relationship so beautiful and rewarding. The stories tell us of big romantic gestures. And while yes there is definitely a place for those. It is not these moments that nurture true love. I have had those epic romantic relationships (as I am sure we all have) and they were complete and utter disasters. Monumental disappointments, in a few cases life threateningly dangerous and definitely traumatic. And what I have learnt is that the moment you stop looking for that romantic ideal, you become to find romance in the seemingly mundane acts of kindness your lover performs it’s then that you are able to find good honest down to earth romance and true love.

The point I am trying to make is that when you begin to notice and appreciate the things your special person does to show you they care that are not easy, the more space you give to allow true love to blossom. Now I get that I am truly blessed to have found such an amazing person to share my life with. However I can’t help wondering to myself if I hadn’t learnt to look beyond the romantic ideal and appreciate the reality, if this relationship would truly be as powerful or as long lasting as it is? Honestly I don’t think it would. Maybe the secret to finding true love is not so much about finding Mr, or Miss, Right. But rather it is about shifting your perspective to the understanding that true love is not going to be easy. However when you appreciate the effort that is made. Honoring it. You begin to see the real beauty and power, the reality of true love. Maybe if more of us could do that. To value the small moments, deeds, sacrifices and compromises. The world could be filled with more people living their happily ever after. Now wouldn’t that be a lovely thing to see.

Take a moment this weekend to truly appreciate all the not easy things your partner does to show you their love. Be grateful for them. And then do something not easy to show them you love them too.

Have a lovely weekend <3 Never underestimate the small acts of caring.jpg

What’s your Golden Buzzer moment? Making your dreams a reality

I have a guilty secret pleasure. I love to watch golden buzzer moments from Britain’s got talent on you tube. We abstain from television in our home so I never get to see the whole show. However I love these moments where the judges and the audience get surprised, raw talent shines forth and in that moment people realize their wildest dreams. I also love the stories that come with these moments. The stories of normal people overcoming everyday challenges and coming out the other side stronger, more powerful. And in those golden buzzer moments it is as if all they have been through is celebrated and honored.

Now I know that these shows are edited to emphasize this emotional moments. But I am a sucker for them. And that is because for me the essence in those moments, the real story, the real joy, is not something that can be edited. It is simply beautiful. And recently as I indulged in a five minute golden buzzer break I began to wonder, what is my golden buzzer dream? What is the moment that would take all the trials and tribulations and make all of it seem worth it?

During the American civil rights movement Martin Luther King delivered his iconic speech starting with “I have a dream.” It was a big dream. A dream still in creation. However, how do you think Martin Luther King would have felt to see Barack Obama voted into office? Would have that been his Golden Buzzer moment? We will obviously never really know. The important thing is he knew it.

We all have dreams in life. Big. Small. Middle sized. No two dreams are alike. And I believe an important part of achieving our dreams is to know where it is we are shooting that star to. To know what is our Golden Buzzer moment. It is our success criteria. The point where we know we have achieved exactly what we wanted, no matter what. Napoleon Hill said “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. And that doesn’t necessarily mean date deadline. (Although of course it helps). For me the deadline is knowing what your success looks like. Knowing where it is you are heading and what it will feel like when you get there.

If you have read this far I am guessing you have a dream. Something you want. Something you will fight for no matter what. I have a dream. It is getting my first book published. And I know that for me my golden buzzer moment will be when I hold that finished book in my hands. That will be the moment when everything I have been through, everything I have worked towards is realized. No matter if it sells a million copies or not, when it is in my hands in my mind the golden glitter will fall down on the stage and the audience will be going crazy. I know exactly who I want to run on stage to celebrate that moment with me. And even when my fears and doubts try and get the better of me it is this moment that keeps me going.

So today I’d like to invite you to find your golden buzzer moment. Just imagine yourself standing on that stage. Take a deep breath. And look deep inside. What will be the moment when the crowd goes wild?  When the stage lights up in a blaze of gold? What will be the cause of your tears of joy as you see that you have made it and your dream is real? And who will be there to celebrate it with you? See it. Play out the scene in your minds eye. Feel the joy. And when you have found that moment this is the goal for your dream.

It is this golden buzzer moment that will make your dream a reality. From here on in this is the moment you are working for.  Your golden buzzer moment is the foundation of your motivation. The thing that gets you to keep on going despite fear, despite hardship. Remembering of course that  “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”. Knowing where you are going is half the battle to getting there. And knowing your golden buzzer dream moment will make your success all the beautiful when it comes.

So what is your Golden Buzzer moment?

Let’s start today making our dreams a reality by sharing our moments in the comments below. And inspiring each other to success whatever that looks like for each of us.

Have an amazing week <3

If you want to achieve your dream You have to dream it.jpg

#lifelessons101 – Living the dream life? How do you keep on leveling up in happily ever after?

The last five years of my life have been an amazing journey.

I not sure if started at the moment I sat in my apartment after 6 months of homelessness and told myself that I was going to break the repeating destructive cycle that kept leading me through violent relationship to homelessness. Or if it was the point where when faced with the opportunity to start a new potentially toxic relationship, I decided I was worth more than that and said thanks, but no thanks. Or it could have been the decidedly un romantic life clarity moment I had when doing the washing up, where I suddenly knew exactly what is as I wanted to do with my life. It was probably a combination of the above. However these moments lead me to this point in my life now. A moment where I am creating my dream job, living in the home I have always wanted and have a relationship I never before believed could truly exist. There is no doubt about it. I have created an amazing foundation. My life is good.

Sometimes it feels as though I am at that point in the story where the writer says “and they lived happily ever after” and the book closes. You know that point where you wonder well what happened next? Well for me the ‘next’ has been the new challenge. Oh don’t get me wrong I am loving the journey of my life and I am grateful every day for the experiences and opportunities it gives me. It’s just that it can be easy to get comfortable here. In a way to stagnant. Have you ever experienced that? You have this intense period of life changing growth. Then you get to the first level of living your dreams and although delighted, you find it hard to level up.

Some would say this is due to the fact that you no longer have the motivation of getting out of whatever cycle you were in before and that’s why it’s harder to level up. And in my experience that has been true. Adversity can inspire great change. Contentment is simply just a harder place to motivate yourself from. If you look around on the interwebs you will see there is lots and lots of articles about how to start changing your life. There are not so many on how to keep going and evolving once you are living the life of your dreams. Some might ask, do you need to level up once you get there. Yes! Personally I have a belief that the point of existence is to learn, grow and most importantly evolve. If I am not doing these things then for me there is little point. It is one of my keys to life happiness.  

So how do you level up once you are living your happily ever after? How do you get motivated from a place of contentment opposed to starting from adversity. My life lesson this week has been just this, and it’s been a surprising journey. I have found that the answer to leveling up in ever after land lies in 4 very simple things:

  • Redefine your personal view of success
  • Make a plan
  • Find a fear and face it
  • Eat your frogs

Redefine your personal view of success:

When you started your journey to happily ever after you probably had an idea of what success looked like to you. However, as we move through life our view of success changes. If you want to jump higher you need to raise the bar. So take 30 mins, with a cup of tea. (I am British. Tea is an important muse in my life.)  And brainstorm what does success look like to you now. Dig deep and find the dreams that you haven’t realized. You know the ones that scare the heck out of you. Look at what you are grateful for and appreciate in your life now.

By the end of your brainstorm you should end up with a clear view of where you need to get to and what you need to appreciate in order to level up and jump over the next bar. Redefine our success gives you the opportunity to design the next stage of your life.

Make a plan

Anyone that knows me ( or reads this blog regularly) will tell you I love making plans. Plans minimize decision stress. They translate a dream into actions. And they bring clarity. So look at your brainstorm and translate it into actions. How will you reach this next level? What do you have to do and what will you get out of doing it? One friend I know uses a primary school lesson plan concept to this process where she not only creates the actions she also creates a success criteria so she know she is on route to success.

Find a fear and face it

Some of these, if not all of the things you want to achieve will be scary. It is the next level of realizing your dreams. The deeper dreams closer to your heart. And much more frightening. When you are living in your happily ever after you are in a much better place to reach the highest part of your potential. Claiming your potential. Making that a reality and owning it is hella’ scary. For me, this centers around my book I finished writing it 2 years ago and now I want to turn it into an actual published book. The idea of making this a reality challenges every hidden layer of self doubt, fear of rejection and highly strung nerves I have in my body. Yet it is this fear which is creating a similar energy or driving force to the one I had in my place of adversity. It is only by facing it and working on it can I grow and level up again. So find your fear. Acknowledge it. And face it. Remember my favorite phrase, Bravery is not having fear. It is having a fear and doing it anyway.  

Eat your frogs

My favorite time management tool ever. Mark Twain once said “ If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Basically if you have a hard job to do get it done quick and the day will only get better. Bite the bullet. Face those fears and get it done. Every day I eat my frog I get a sense of accomplishment and pride. Mr T and I have got into the habit of giving each other high fives whenever we tell each other about our daily frog eating. And as simple as a high five is, it makes me celebrate my achievements and keeps the journey of leveling up fun.

———————————————————————–

The whole point of leveling up to enjoy and enrich your life’s journey. Happily ever after is an amazing place to reach and you should enjoy it. However it’s not the end of your story. After happily ever after there is another adventure, and another, and another. Looking for new adventures and creating new dreams, new values and learning new lessons is the key to realizing your fullest potential. Being the person you were born to be.

Keep leveling up and enjoying that journey and you cannot help but be the biggest, brightest most beautiful shining version of you. Lighting the way in your own life and inspiring the lives of the people you meet to create their own happily ever after. Now what could be more fulfilling that that.

Have a beautiful weekend <3

Happily Every After is the Beginning of a new  story.jpg

The key to keeping your new year’s resolutions

So here we are already at the beginning of the 3rd week of the year.

How is it going with those new year’s resolutions?

Are you still burning ahead in a blaze of glory smashing your goals? Kudos to you if you are. Or has the shine and glitter of the new you started to fade and your focus or motivation disappeared? Don’t worry you are not alone.

Week three of a year is the traditional point where most people abandon their resolutions, feeling that ‘real life’ is taking over and they don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to their new year, new you dreams. In fact this point in the year traditionally 31% have given up and by February just over half of us are still on track. Kind of depressing really. When you think about it that means that just under half of us ill be suffering will failing resolution remorse by the 3rd week of the year. No wonder January can sometimes feel so grey and bleak

But does it have to be this way?

How is that other half of us manages to keep going when so many of us struggle. Well how long is a piece of string? There are many reasons why we fail to keep our new year’s resolutions. But that is not really the important. What is important here is if you really do want to make the changes you originally decided up how do you get back on the horse and keep to your resolutions when it seems impossible to achieve? In fact is it even possible?

The answer my friends is YES!

It is possible to get back on that horse. Take it from me. In my past I was the expert in letting the new year’s resolutions slide into guilt and doing nothing. It was a regular yearly occurrence and I hated it. I let it lower my self esteem and drag my motivation down so that accepting defeat and giving up seemed like the vicious option. I felt as though I couldn’t trust myself to make agreements or believe that I would keep them Does it sound familiar?  But now after 40 years that girl is gone and I have managed to turn it around. I found the key that unlocked the secret of keeping my new year’s resolutions and since then, well it’s not been plain sailing, I have been achieving my goals and my confidence has soared. And it’s this secret, I should say secrets, that I want to share with you today.

Acknowledge & evaluate your test run

Now whenever there is a new product on the market they have a test run. The new product gets tried out, it’s consumer tested etc. This is what you have been doing with your new year’s resolutions in the last few weeks. Testing them out for size and practicality and most importantly achievability. Now is not the time to stop. It is the time to evaluate your findings and make improvements to the product so when you launch it, it will be successful. In other words make your new year’s resolution something you can achieve. So check out what is working and what is not and tweak your resolution to make it more achievable.

Pick a Year Theme

I cannot recommend this enough. A theme helps you to focus. For me this has been the game changer in my ability to keep my new year’s resolutions. It maintains my focus and my theme becomes a mantra for me to return to throughout the whole year. So for example 2019 is my year of health and happiness. I am focusing on nurturing my body and soul. Which includes doing regular exercise, eating good foods, going out in nature once a week and prioritising time at home with Mr T and the new vegetable garden. The theme refocuses me every time I don’t want to do my yoga practise or want to push myself over my limits with work. I ask myself is this going to benefit my health and happiness and if the answer is no then I don’t do it. Themes need to be simple a keyword or phrase that sums up what you want to get out of your resolutions, basically define the benefit in a word or statement. It helps to write it down somewhere. It can help to put it up somewhere where you will see it and be reminded every day.

Create your benchmarks

It is surprising in an age where there is a wealth of information on the interwebs about goal setting that people still fall into the trap of creating a new year’s resolution statement that is wildly unachievable or completely vague and ambiguous. So I am going to improve my lifestyle in 2019 or I will be abundant in 2019. Sounds great but what the heck will you actually be doing?  Use that sentence as a heading and create some benchmarks that mean you can measure your progress, keep focus and above all give you baby steps on the way to success that will keep you motivated.

So improving your lifestyle bench marks could be for example:

  • Decluttering my home
  • Have a me day once a month
  • Swim twice a week
  • Eat out once a month
  • Redecorate my bedroom

Remember to check in with your bench marks regularly, So yes, write them down. Checking them off the list will give you a dopamine boost and keep moving you forwards.

Assign time in your year planning

For each of your benchmarks assign time in your year planning. Choosing a start and finish date keeps the focus and makes your resolutions achievable. Often we try and do all 10 of our new year’s resolutions at once. And that my friend’s is a recipe for disaster. And a really great way to set yourself up for a fail. Spread your resolutions out across the year. Then you will move from success to success and give yourself the proper time to make the changes you want. So I am focusing this month on my yoga. (So far 12 days in of my 30 day challenge!)  Doing yoga is already nudging me towards wanting to eat more healthily but I am not putting my focus on that until next month when the exercise has become and habit. Slow and steady progress.

——————————————————————————–

So it’s time to grab those resolutions by the ears and give them the overhaul you need to really make the changes you want in your life. These 4 actions are really the key to achieving your new year’s resolutions. There is a 5th and it’s the one you can really plan. And that is simply getting on with it. A new year’s resolution is not a boundary you have imposed on yourself. It is a gift you are giving to your future self. So whenever you do something to achieve your resolutions thank yourself for giving yourself that gift, be awesome and get it done.

What will your theme be in 2019? Share in the comments below.

Having an amazingly awesome week

Enjoy your journey <3

The Journey to success starts with the decisionto take thefirst step.jpg

 

#lifelessons101 – Creating  Happiness- Designing my Happiness Project – an alternative to the New Year’s Resolution.

You do not finda happy life (1)I have made a decision. 2019 is going to be my magical year of happiness. Not that I was unhappy in 2018 in fact I think right now I feel the happiest now  that I have ever been in my life. However, whilst I am growing an business at a rapid rate, designing a new vegetable garden, writing and trying to publish 2 books, running workshops, acting as a combat trainer and of course have my wonderful Mr T and our relationship to enjoy, I am a tad busy. And when one is a tad busy it is so easy to forget to take care of yourself. And as far as I am concerned self- care is one on of the most important ingredients to a happy (not to mention balanced) life.

So I correct my previous statement. 2019 is going to be my magical year of happiness and Self-care. It sounds so good right. However in order to make this statement a reality whilst being so busy I am going to need a plan. And that I have.

I have been inspired by the imaginative (and practical) Gretchen Rubin to create a happiness project. Now for those of you who haven’t read her book The Happiness Project  ( and I seriously recommend you do), it is built on the premise that a happiness project is an approach to changing your life. A Happiness Project is made up of three parts.

Part 1: The Preparation Stage

Part 2:  Making Happiness Resolutions

Part 3 : Keeping the resolutions

Basically instead of setting a couple of resolutions for the whole year you break it down into mini resolutions of (what I call) happiness resolutions for a month that are themed.In an extremely busy life it seems to be a practical and simple system. And  I have been itching to try it out since I read the book!

Sooo I want to invite you on this journey with me. As you know on the Re:root blog the #lifelessons101 are always real examples taken from my life and the lessons I learn as I enjoy my journey. So in 2019 I am going to once a month check in and update you all on progress. Now if you are inspired by this idea of focusing life on your own happiness and want to join. Please do! The more the merrier! And to get you started here is how I approached the planning and resolutions stage of my 2019 Happiness Project.

Part 1: The Preparation Stage

Before deciding what I wanted to do to make me feel happier I followed Gretchen’s lead and created a list of commandments that are made up of my absolute Truths. This is like the Pirate Code. The guidelines for which I live my life and the foundation on which to build happiness. So I included for example

  1. Be you
  2. You are not responsible for everything
  3. Treasure the little moments
  4. Baby steps create dreams.

These might not make much sense to you but for me they are the pearls of wisdom that are the most relevant to who I am, where I am in life and most need to remind myself of.

Time to grab markers, pens and paper and set some time aside for your brainstorming phase. I basically brainstorm all of things I would like to do in 2019 that would make me happy. This included both silly and sensible things, goals I wanted to reach and areas of my life I would like to improve and focus.

Part 2:  Making Happiness Resolutions

So now I  grouped these ideas into themes and tried to make sure there was not too many actionable suggestions to each theme. It meant I had to let go of some of my babies. Very important to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.  So for example One of my themes is Dedicate. The actions I included are:

  • 30 days of Yoga
  • Bullet journalling
  • Follow budget
  • Do morning and evening ritual

Then I looked at the calendar for the year. And made the decision of which themes and actions I could do and when. Again there was some pruning here. With my life it is important to be as realistic as possible. And the end result looked something like this.

Part 3 : Keeping the resolutions

This is supposed to be the hard part. Yet, after all that planning, getting started has been relatively easy. I signed up for the 30 days of Yoga with Adriene and now I have already done 10 days!! (A little proud) I am doing my bullet journal and the habit tracker is based on my happiness project to I am getting to see what is working for rme. I am currently sitting with my accountant as we speak. And I am steadily working towards building a good morning and bedtime routine. Do I do everything every day? No. Well yes to the yoga. However I can feel that by tracking my progress and not trying to do everything at once I am am slowly making baby steps. And yes I do feel happier already!

————————————————————————————————————————————–

So I am going to keep on with my month’s theme of Dedicate and I will see you lovely people at the end of January for the next installment of Creating Happiness 2019.

Keep me informed of your happiness projects for this year and let’s support each other to have a magical happy 2019.

Have a great weekend <3

NEVER underestimate the importance og having fun (1)

 

#lifelessons 101- Shedding light on the joy in our lives – inspiration for creating your own Yuletide/Solstice traditions

Today is a special day. It is the shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice. When the sun sets today the longest night will start and at dawn the summer sun is born as the days gradually get a little bit longer. I love the duality and the magic of this time. The idea and fact that in the middle of the dark grey winter the summer is born.  The days getting longer is truely something to celebrate. And humans have been doing it since the dawn of time.

In many spiritual paths wether its Christmas and the birth of Jesus, or the Winter Solstice and the new born sun, or you celebrate Chanuka the festival of light or Pancha Ganapati in honur of the god of culture and new begingings, in human collective world culture we all agree that this is a time of celebrating joy, light birth and new beginings.  The amount of spiritual tradtions bulit around this time of year goes to show that before the internet,  electricity and indoor toilets and way back beyond the time when you were just a twinkle in your great grandparent’s eyes the winter solstice was important to us as a species.

Today Christmas has become a holiday that many celebrate not out of faith but out of habit, family culture or just simply because they get time off work as it’s a national holiday.  It has become indesputably commecialised and many people feel that the true spirit of Christmas is forgotten about. Now what that is can spark a whole different debate so we are not going to go down that rabbit hole today. And that seems as shame to me as beyond the coca cola red santa or the pre christmas bargin sales, we all have a basic need of celeberating the good in our lives here in the midwinter.

Now I have always loved Christmas ( I am my mother’s daughter). However, the tinsel did start to be a little too guilded as I grew older. Not because I didn’t enjoy the time, I just couldn’t find the sustenance in it and that for me took some of the joy. By shifting my focus to the Winter Solsitice, to celebrating the themes of birth and light and creating my own tradtions I have found a way to shed light on the magic and recconect with the joy in my life as I do at no other time of the year, that I would love to share with you.

So how did I do it? Well I simply took inspiration from the Yuletide traditions that made sense to me.  I kept the parts I love of my childhood christmases, the tree, the presents, the eating lots of good food and combined it with other tradtions that make sense to me based on the themes of light, joy and rebirth.  By refocusing on Winter Solstice and the returning light I feel not only more connected to the world around me I feel it sheds life on all the good I have in my life,  giving me reason to celebrate and at the same time the birth of summer brings my awareness into the work I would like to do in the coming year.  My own personal cocktail of spiritual celebration and personal development work.

So instead of moaning about the commercialisation of Christmas or grumbling and stressing why not take some time this year to create your own tradtions to celebrate the light in your life now and the light to come.

Here are a few of the tradtions that I have adopted, created adn personlised that bring me joy at this time of year. I hope they light a spark of inspiration for you to find your own – Merry Solstice xxxx

Bringing in the Green

Throughout history mankind has decorated both homes and tempels with everygreen plants such as ivy, pine or holly. In some tradtions it was to keep bad spirits away, in others to encourage the return of the summer sun at solstice. To me these plants represent the coming of life and the perseverance we have to survive and evolve. Every year we go out into the forest and collect some everygreens and take them home to create decorations with hot chocolate or mulled wine. There is somthing very primal about this acvity and is a fun way to start the celebrations.

The Yule Log

The custom of burning the Yule Log goes backin time and is thought to be originally a Nordic tradition.  The Yule Log was originally an entire tree or gigantic log, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house  and decorated with ever greens with great ceremony. The log burnt for 12 days (the original 12 days of christmas) and then after the ash would be taken out and spread on the fields to bring abundance and fertility to the crips they would plant in the spring.

Every year I work with seting goals and manifestation of my dreams so I have interpeted the Yule log tradition into this process. Each year I use some of the evergreen I collect to make a sunwheel which I hang in the home all through the year and then burn on winter solstice with my yule log. Then I collect the ashes and spread them on my vegetable garden ready for the new plants and seeds in the spring.

Being grateful for the gifts in life

This time of year has been, and still is, a time of celebrating the living people in our life that we love.   A huge theme that has survived throughout history it the tradition of giving gifts. The people we give gifts  tend to be our nearest and dearest. Giving gifts is in a way a chance to acknowledge the gifts these people bring to our lives. By looking at these gifts consciously we can begin to identify not only why people are important to us but also why we need to learn the teachings their gifts bring to us. At Yule I chose one of the people who are important to me in my life and look at the gifts they bring to me or how they enrich myh life.  I then write them a letter thanking them for the gift they bring to mylife and telling them how much they mean to me.

My light in the world

On solstice night some people like to light candles to wecome back the sun. I have interpreted this in a different way. I light 3 candles but for a very specific purpose. Each year at Winter solstice I look at my personal gifts that I share in the world. And I choose 3 that I want to celebrate. I light each candle say I bring the gift of …….. to the world and I am grateful and proud that I am able to share this gift. This simple ceremony reminds me to be proud and grateful of myself. No matter how up or down life is we all give the people we care about something by being in their lives, this is a great way to celebrate and honour how great you are.

Random Acts of kindness

At this time of year I love to go a little above and beyond to share random acts of kindness around. By looking at the gifts I have in my life I feel so thankful and I want to be able to to spread that feeling of joy  around. So weather its a random donation here or donating your time there it all makes a difference and brings a smile to your lips 🙂

Inner Child day

An important part of my yule time traditions is my inner child day.  Fo me the winter solstice is the perfect time for me to connect with my inner child so I reserve one day that is for her. I do stuff on that day that I always loved to do as a child or always wanted to do. The inner child day is just a day for creating your own kind of fun and spending your time the way you love it best.

Yearly review

As I said before I work alot with goal setting and manifestation in my own life. And I see the birth theme of the wintersolstice deeply connected to this.  I don’t, however, set my goals until febuary. Instead I use the time from Solstice to feb to  prepare and plan. When the solstice dawn has come I find this is perfect time for me to review the previous year and begin to gather my dreams and thoughts for the year ahead.

Solstice night and solstice dawn

I find the solstice a magical time of year and wherenever possible I like to spend the longest night with people I care about eating good food and sharing stories, if possible around a fireplace. And then in the morning I go out to see the dawn. A sunrise is a beautiful thing but for me it is evening more magical when you know that the one you are watching is the first one where the day gets a little longer. I find it gives me hope.

I hope however you spend your holidays you take sometime to enjoy it and spread some of the new coming light into your life this year

Merry Solstice <3

Screenshot 2018-12-16 at 15.45.32.png