Solo travel – how to make your adventure the perfect personal growth opportunity

I love adventures. I love having things to look forward to. For me it keeps life interesting. For me the best kind of adventure is going somewhere I have never been before. Travelling, is one of all of my clients top goals. Now I love to travel with loved ones and friends, it’s great to share memories when we come home. However, the ultimate adventure for me is travelling alone. Going to a new country. Figuring out where to go, what to do, how to get there. It’s exhilarating, exciting and always an opportunity for personal growth.

I took my first alone trip when I was 18, starting with London. Then a day trip to Calais. And then a month travelling South Africa during my divorce, launched my alone pilgrimages around the world. As we speak I am on the train from Denmark taking my first proper trip to Germany. (Somehow up until now I have only ever passed through the country and seen all manner of service stations).  And when I look back all my travels have been at points in my life when I was in need of inner reflection, transition points where in an intense period of time I grew a lot as a person.

Solo travel is the perfect opportunity for personal growth. For one thing it takes us out our comfort zone. Challenging us to be brave. Travelling alone gives us less noise. Our horizons are widen. We don’t have the need to talk to entertain or in some cases perform. As we observe reflect, as we reflect we grow.  As the travel channel says “Travel is not a reward for working it’s education for living.”  And today in world where personal development is such a trend and it’s easier than ever to travel the world we have the good fortune to maximise the personal growth opportunity of solo travel.
Solo travel is the perfect opportunity for personal growth. For one thing it takes us out our comfort zone. Challenging us to be brave. Travelling alone gives us less noise. Our horizons are widen. We don’t have the need to talk to entertain or in some cases perform. As we observe reflect, as we reflect we grow.  As the travel channel says “Travel is not a reward for working it’s education for living.”  And today in world where personal development is such a trend and it’s easier than ever to travel the world we have the good fortune to maximise the personal growth opportunity of solo travel.

So on this mini adventure I am going to do just that. (After all a life coach has to practice what they preach.)  Putting into practice everything I have learnt from my other adventures to see if I can maximise the opportunities on the trip ahead.  If you are lucky enough to have a half term or weekend/ mid week break coming up, try this recipe for your personal growth adventure and don’t forget to let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Set your intention

On a personal growth adventure the location isn’t as important as the intention for travelling. Decide what it is you need from your trip. For me this journey is as much about having some time to write as it is to think about the direction of my career combined with satisfying my wanderlust desires and a need to challenge myself by travelling alone in a new country.

Choose a destination inline with you intention and your instincts

You might decide you want to reconnect with your inner child and go to a beautiful fairytale castle or have some alone time in a solitary cabin in the woods. You might want to challenge yourself and end up zip lining down a mountain in Brazil. Try and align your destination with your intention but at the same time don’t forget to listen to your instincts. If you get the pull to go somewhere check it out.

Schedule alone time

This is really important. I am lucky and have friends all over Europe so I can pretty much stay in any country I like for free. However, it can be tiring to be a guest all the time. So even if you are going to visit friends schedule some time to yourself. Nothing is more healing or more mindful than having a day just going with your own flow and following your own desires.

Don’t overbook your schedule

Make sure you give yourself some time that is free for going with the flow. There is alot to see and do around the world but some of the most enlightening adventures come unplanned and spontaneously. That’s how I found myself drinking champagne outside an igloo on top of an austrian mountain last year enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the snow.

Challenge yourself

Now travelling alone is challenging but try and push the boundaries back a little more on your trip and plan to do something that will challenge you. When we challenge ourselves we grow. And often end up with better stories to tell and a sense of self achievement.  Sometimes the challenge is accidental and its about learning to cope not react to it. (For example I had a conductor read my ticket wrong and that meant I had a two hour delay. No sweat I went to the art gallery, it was a nice trip!)

Immerse yourself in the new culture

Learning about a new culture is widening both of the mind and spirit. Wherever you are in the world on your travels try the local food, go out where the locals go. Find the off beaten track that will show you something new. I find from travelling I have not only learnt to appreciate new things, perspectives, beliefs and yummly, food, I have also learnt a lot about my own culture. Both it’s strengths and weaknesses. Travelling gives you a fresher perspective on your own roots ergo deepening your understanding of yourself.

Remember to Play

When we travel we often do or say things we wouldn’t do at home. I always recommend playing. It is healthy at any age. But I especially advise doing it when you are abroad. Children are much more open to new experiences. Let your inner child guide you into seeing the world with a fresh perspective and allow them to inspire you.

Keep a Journal

With all these new sights, sounds, experiences and thoughts it can be easy to forget all the flashes of insight and clarity you have. I recommend keeping a travel journal. I still have mine from South Africa. Going back and looking at it reminds me how far I have come and reminds me of the lessons and insights I still need to remember now.

Enjoy the journey

Don’t stress about the personal development part of your journey. Be present. Enjoy it. And allow the inspiration to flow naturally.   In my experience the most enlightened thoughts sometimes turn up in the strangest of places!

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What have you learnt from traveling solo? Please share in the comments section below!

Have a wonderfully adventurous week <3

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#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.

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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

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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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Appreciating the moment during your busyness – 2 simple tricks to help

Summer holidays are just around the corner. And if you are like me this month is packed solids with both work and social events. I can feel myself longing for the relative peace of my summer holidays already. Which although is perfectly natural, is also really sad. Just think about how many people are sitting around you at this moment who are wishing they were a month ahead in time and were not where they are right here and now. Thousands of us daydreaming a month of our lives away, every year.  A month of the year where the majority of the collective consciousness of humanity (at least in the western world) does not want to be where they are. Dreaming of the future not living in the present. What kind of unconscious impact does that create in our lives?

Frustration.

Dissatisfaction.

Restlessness.

Disempowerment.

By living in the future not the now we create a negative experience for ourselves in the here and now. Tolstoy said “ There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.”  And he was right. The only moment we can affect and be in control of is the here and now. When we wish for the future to be now we give all of our power away.  ANd our happiness.

Psychologist Matt Killingsworth—a happiness researcher has shown through his work that people who allow themselves to not be present actually report being 10% less happy than they were when they focused on the present—regardless of what they happened to be doing. And happiness begets all sorts of benefits—like improved health, productivity, creativity, and innovation. Who knew that wishing for that summer holiday to be right now was actually so damaging to you!

Not that I am saying don’t look forward to your holiday. Of course, you should. You deserve it. It is simply by keeping your thoughts on longings there you are missing out on the benefits of enjoying the here and now. Such as stronger emotional connections, powerful memories and personal satisfaction.  When we are present we can influence our experience. Life amplifies and strangely enough instead of having less we actually have a sense of having more time as time slows down.

A happier life with more time, peace and satisfaction – sign me up! I mean who doesn’t want that. And who of you reading just thought sounds great. Only I will have to start working on it next week/month/year because I have X, Y and Z to get through first. And that my friends, is the trap. That’s the thought path that will lead you an hour from now to wishing yourself away to July. Again. Being present takes a lot less energy than you would think. Small actions make big differences to your satisfaction.

And I have found two simple tricks to bring you into the present immediately.

Use your senses

The first is learning to work with your natural ally. Your Senses. When you pay attention to your five senses, you can’t listen to your internal reel. Our senses are so powerful that if we ally with them we become instantly focused on the moment we are in. They close down mental chatter by allowing your neurons to connect with what is in front of you rather than what is in your head.  I found that by taking time to connect with my senses t gave me a moment of calm. A feeling of being rooted and strong in myself and gave me the chance to check in with myself and my needs.

Try  it yourself with these simple steps:

  • Designate a specific time in your day to focus on what’s in front of you.
  • Bring your mind back each time it tries to sneak off. Just say, “No, I’m doing that right now. I’ll get back to worrying later.”
  • Ask yourself throughout the phase, “What do I hear, see, taste, feel, and smell?”

Anytime you feel disconnected from yourself and/or your family,  or find yourself wishing a month of your life away simply unplug and tune into what’s surrounds you. You’ll notice a huge difference in your mental energy and happiness.

Do one thing at a time

I was a multitasking junkie. I used to pride myself on my ability to do at least 6 things at once until I realised that multitasking is the real-life soul splitting experience of creating a Horcrux (See Harry Potter). As we divide our attention into so many small pieces we make a shadow copy of ourselves. A weaker and more vulnerable version. We get stretched too thinly. By doing one task well. By focusing on that task alone we gain time. You see time really is just a concept. If we are rushing around like a headless chicken trying to do everything we run ragged always playing catch up. The fact is if you fill your time too much, trying to do it all at once you feel rushed. Your sense of time distorts and becomes limited. Doing just one thing at a time allows you to use the time that is there without panic thus creating the illusion of having more time and at the same time life flows more easily.

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The ground-breaking research by Harvard Psychologist Matt Killingsworth (2010)found that 47% of the time we are not present in our lives. That’s almost half of our lives! Look forward to your holidays yes. But don’t waste your time wishing away your here and now. We all slip out of the moment occasionally. But by connecting with our senses we bring ourselves back to our root and by doing one thing at a time we give ourselves the gift of freeing our minds to enjoy the time that we have, influencing our experiences and empowering our lives.

HAve a beautiful week <3

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Personal development and lifelong learning is an act of self love (4 min read)

Personal growth is easy when we are young, I mean biology is on our side, so is society, As a child we are literally bombarded with opportunities to learn from kindergarden, school, after school clubs, libraries, museums even summer camps. Our physical and cognitive development is constantly challenged to evolve and how fortunate we are in that. But once we reach adulthood learning, growing and developing becomes our own responsibility and that is often where our development stops. Ironic really when you think science with all of it’s ologists (psychologists etc) has proven that lifelong learning and personal development is a necessary part of mental and physical health. Our cognitive skills can keep developing even as we mature. The brain after all is a muscle and we all know the more we use a muscle the stronger it becomes. Personal development and lifelong learning improves our mental well being. It is in fact (although rarely thought of as such) an act of self love

No one I have ever met knew this better than my Grannie. She died at the grand age of 103 with all of her mental capacities in full function many years after her physical body failed her. While she could she travelled, she read, maintained a voluminous correspondence, she went to lectures (and I mean geology and archeology), gardened and loved her documentaries. She improved her brain constantly and consciously. I remember her saying it was important to keep the brain growing, to keep learning in life to maintain a good quality of life. And she really did. I am certain that if she had been my generation personal development would have been something she would have wholeheartedly embraced and participated in. The point being is that my Grannie born in 1912 was onto something important. If we don’t make the time to cultivate ourselves and grow then we and our quality of life will only wither and deteriorate.

I have met people, and been one of those people, who both doesn’t have time to invest in self love and self growth and boy is the deterioration obvious. Personally my brain felt foggy, I felt stupid and I kept making the same mistakes in my life over and over again. Until I invested in myself. Making me important enough to care for by motivating myself to grow and learn. I can feel the benefits. I am turning 40 soon (the point of cognitive decline apparently) yet I know through the self love I give myself of learning and growing as a person I will continue to evolve mentally and reap the benefits of that growth. And the great part is that in today’s world the opportunities for us as adults to learn and grow are both plenty and easily accessible. We just have to make ourselves important enough to grasp those opportunities.

Over the last few years I have really dedicated the time to this journey of self love, lifelong learning and self development. Am I perfect- hell no! Am I learning – everyday. If you want to focus on giving yourself this self love and care opportunity, even with a hectic schedule here are some of the things I do that might help you on your way.

Ted Talks

Oh how I love these. Short enough for those us with limited time, topics for every taste and always a positive experience. I aim to watch one everyday during breakfast or when I have to commute. A great and easy way to learn something new, provoke a new habit or action.

Personal development gurus

There are literally hundreds out there. However again university youtube gives you access to all of them. As do audio books, ebooks and the traditional paperback ( my favourite). Thousands of hours of other people’s lives and learning out there for you to access and grow from. I  read one personal development book for at least 10 minutes everyday. This way  I can read at least 6 personal development books a year. It doesn’t take a huge chunk of my life and yet it gives me so much.

Brain gym

Do you remember the fad for brain training products a few years back? Ok well at least 10 years ago. These guys (although got into law suites for bad advertising campaigns) had a good idea. Now whether or not the health benefits they promised are true, my own opinion is that brain workouts such as sudoku, crosswords puzzles, rubik cube or even mindfulness colouring books all increase the brain’s cognitive activity which will exercise that big old muscle. Again easy to do whilst commuting, in lunch breaks and after the kids are asleep. I like to do colouring when I am watching some netflixs on evenings where I just need to wind down and get re-energised.

Journal

Whenever you can in moments of stress, happiness, or just for 5 mins everyday, write. On a computer or in a notebook. Allow your thoughts to stream out and clear your minds. A clear mind has space for new information so write, write, write.

Get a new or improve an existing skill

Not rocket science to figure out how this works. Applying for cpd training at work (continuous personal development) solves a time issue for studying. Or if you want to go all out there are evening schools, online courses and universities. You don’t even have to go down the education route. Documentaries are a really good way of learning new stuff in a short space of time. I love the Crash Course series on youtube and of course the networks are bursting with options. Wether it’s career orientated, or pleasure oriented there is so much info out there which you can access in a way that fits your life.

And of course you can always learn something new, hobbies are a great way of challenging yourself to grow. These days youtube, google and pin interest not to mention thousands of online forums, make it so much easier to try a new hobby. I have in the last 7 years both learnt a new language and been back to school for a year to do an education in that language, as well as re started my belly dancing. This year I am already signed up for two new courses one career related and one to support my own personal development.

It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, my Grannie is proof of that.  Write a list of the things you always wanted to learn whether it’s waterskiing or patchwork and then choose something that fits your time and your budget and go for it.

Get physical, get outside

Not only does your brain need input and challenges, it also needs oxygen and blood pumping to it. I am the world’s worst at doing exercise or training  (at the moment) however I found gardening helps me to move and get outside. Also going for walks. Or scouring the local area for places to visit. New things, new sights are wonderful for mind body and soul. And if you can’t afford a holiday every year finding fun adventures where ever you live makes life more fun and more active.

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There are many, many ways to give yourself the self love of personal development and lifelong learning. They don’t have to be big major habit changing things, sometimes just a decision to prioritize yourself and one simple action can be the nudge you needed in the right direction to improve your mental health and make your life a better experience.

Remember a good day is a day where you learn something new ……..

Have a great week <3

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Nature as a mirror for our growth – the teachings of autumn

In you live in the world where it is autumn you cannot help but notice the beauty as nature shows us its full glory before the year darkens and hibernates. John Howard Bryant called autumn “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” For me it is a time when the world burst with it’s final boost of energy creating a masterpiece whilst gracefully surrendering to the winter. Autumn reminds me of a grandmother and child walking together through the piles of golden leaves. On the one side is the wisdom of a long life and on the other the playfull bursting energy of youth. Love it or hate it you cannot deny that the autumn is a striking time of year and one I find that has much to teach when we take time to listen.

This weekend I have been hosting two workshops about rerooting with and learning from nature and the wheel of the year (my heart project).Whenever I run these workshops I always learn and grow myself, which of course is a huge part of why I love to hold them. In the last two days I have had the opportunity to observe, reflect and connect with this beautiful time of year and as always in this time of reroot mother earth has given me some insights into my own and other’s life situations.  I would like to share these reflections with you.

The teachings of Autumn

In the last stages of life we are at our strongest and most beautiful. Autumn really shows us that the last stage of life, the last stage of growth is the most beautiful. The winds of change surround the trees but in that turbulence they stand strong and beautiful gracefully surrendering each leaf and the last seeds to the earth. The leaves are brittle as are we in old age however in their frailty they have a core strength which holds them on the trees until the moment when it is right to depart. In a way this can relate not only to the later stages of life but to our own struggles within life. During times of turbulence when we draw on our resources we can even when at our most fragile be strong and beautiful. When we surrender and let go we will fall to the forest floor however this fall is only the beginning of a new journey where the old feeds the new growth in the coming spring.

Letting go and Acceptance with dignity

It is in this process of shedding of leaves and turning to winter autumn is one of the most peaceful times of the year. Take a walk in a forest, park or even a graveyard and you will see that as our human world rushes by when we are with nature this time of year in particular has a special feeling of dignified peace. Autumn teaches us that change is inevitable and that it need not come with drama and struggle, that in fact natural change evolution happens in peace and dignity every year. For me it particularly reminds me that even within our time of dark (or the winter) that even in our shadow we are beautiful, graceful and dignified when we accept without judgement the process we are in.

Letting go does not mean we are weak and not effective

For some autumn represents a time of death and yes I agree with this as obviously all around us the non evergreen plants are dying. Yet I do not completely agree. If you take the time to look you will notice that there is still growth in autumn, it is slowed down, however in this time of peace it is there, the land is still fertile. I had the amazing opportunity to hear the inside of a tree gurgling (just like when you listen to a stomach). I had always thought that the sap within a tree retreats in the winter however what I learnt after (thanks google-fu) is that the sap within a tree slows down in the winter. It is still there hidden within nurturing the tree. Autumn shows that when we let go and slow down we can still be effective. We can still nurture and grow and achieve however it is at a slower pace. Slowing down can be just as beneficial and pushing towards a goal and by surrendering to the process as autumn does we are simply allowing ourselves to be efficient and productive in a different way.

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I believe that each season has a teaching for us if we take the time to look for it. One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to use nature as a mirror and learn how to observe what is happening to nature and compare it to where we are in our life at the moment.  Find some time to go out into the world this November and watch as the world turns from autumn to winter, give yourself the opportunity to reconnect and learn as well as simply enjoying this beautiful time of the year

Enjoy your journey <3

If you would like to find out more about working with nature as a mirror for your personalet growth then the Walking the Wheel of the Year personal development program could be for you – find out here

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How to communicate your self worth in your relationships

Recently a friend who is in a new relationship was having trouble communicating with her new partner. Her problem was something we have all been through. She wanted him to do something differently but was afraid to speak her mind in case it put the relationship in danger. (We have all been there at some point or other.) I gave her some advice and it seemed to work, however this situation got me musing. When not speaking up doesn’t serve us, why is it we are so afraid to communicate ask for what we want in our relationships? Of course there is the obvious answer of the fear of rejection or hurting someone you love, however I felt there might be something deeper at the root of this fear. And there is. It all boils down to self worth.

The paradox is this that in order to communicate openly what we want we actually have to truly believe we deserve whatever it is we want. If we believe wholeheartedly that we deserve something then we are much more likely to stand up for ourselves and ask for what we want. If you have low self worth (or by another name low self esteem) you will have trouble speaking up for yourself. The irony is that in order to improve your self worth you actually have to speak up for yourself. Another paradox – yey! (Sarcasm intended.)

So it’s a double paradox and a situation that usually results in people doing the proverbial impression of an ostrich and burying their heads in the sand, or in you and me terms closing down, not saying anything, until it boils up into a huge problem and a future topic of one hell of a row with your partner. You can get stuck in that pattern forever…

However you don’t have too. You’ll be glad to know there is a way out of this conundrum. It took me awhile to learn it yet it is possible if you are willing to keep on going.  With a little effort you can break down this pattern. Below are my ……. steps to communicating your self worth  in relationships I know if you follow them and stick at it you will find that the bonus is not only will you have happier, healthier relationships you will also have a higher sense of self worth!

I am worth it

L’Oreal’s classic phrase “I am worth it” needs to be your mantra. You are worth it. You are just as important as the other person in your relationship. A healthy relationship is balanced. You need to both treat yourselves, each other and your emotional experiences with equal high worth and importance. Look at yourself every morning in the mirror and say I am worth it!

Bravery

Ok, this can be tough and it is important. Be brave. One of my life’s favorite quotes and motivation is the saying “Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is having a fear and doing it anyway”. If you don’t ask you won’t get. If you don’t try and change a pattern it will never change. If you don’t explain to your partner what you need they can’t automatically fulfill that need. You have to be brave enough to try and brave enough to fail. Because honestly communicating your worth doesn’t always get the result you like or wanted. In that case that person was not right for you. If your partner can’t value you and your needs then they are not MR or Mrs *the one* and you can do better. In which case you have to be brave enough to try again. I cannot stress the importance of the bravery to dare.  In everything it is an essential tool in your life.

Get clear

Get clear around what you want. How many of us have tried to have an important conversation with our partner without defining what we want, identifying our desired outcome or planning the conversation and the whole thing has been a fiasco? I know I have. If you want communication to be clear then you need to get clear. I  use John Gray’s “Love letter technique” ALOT!. I cannot recommend it highly enough as a brilliant blueprint for effective communication with a loved one (and that is with family members or friends as well). But if that doesn’t work for you there are many other strategies around online. A few of them will be on the Re:root Facebook site this week to inspire you.

Boundaries and compromise

Know your boundaries and know where you will compromise. This is both a key element of empowering your self worth and empowering your relationships. There are things we will do and won’t. Things we will accept and things we won’t.  Know what is acceptable for you and know where you will be flexible and your relationship with flourish.

Giving respect

You are not the only person to have a hard time saying what you want. It could be that your partner has it just the same way. When you talk to them give them the chance to tell you about their needs too. Don’t make them feel like you are nagging but you are looking for solutions that work for both of you. Make the opportunity to fulfill their needs as well as yours. Compromise can be absolutely key here. And don’t forget to be grateful for the changes they make for you and appreciate what they do so that they can see you are grateful, gratitude goes a long way.

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Remember if you treat yourself and your partner as though you have a high sense of self worth that is what will resonate back to you. Honestly it doesn’t matter who the relationship is with these steps work equally s well with your boss, your mother as they do with your partner. Only you can vocalize and show the world how much you are worth it. So use your voice to show them how you shine and believe me people will start to treat you with respect and value.

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For more life inspiration check out Re:Root on Facebook. If you are interested in  improving your self worth Re:Root offers life coaching over skype.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a happy weekend!You do not finda happy life

 

You are already living an Abundant Life

You have an abundant life. Didn’t you know? You do. We all do, actually. People tend to treat abundance as a goal, a state to get to. However we are actually born abundant. We are born into a world where the natural law is abundance. There is enough air, enough water, enough trees. Yet we are really good at making ourselves believe that there is a scarcity, that there is not enough. And in our panic we go scrabbling after more.

The “not enough” mindset is one of the by products of a capitalist culture. The whole advertising industry relies on our belief in there not being enough for their income. Because if we actually thought we had enough, who would react to their advertisements, right? It is this type of industry that sets abundance as a goal. But what if just for a minute we did something crazy and started thinking about coming from a place of abundance. If we took abundance as the starting block not the end goal. Now wouldn’t that be a different way to live?

Theoretically when we look at our life situation as abundant we free ourselves from the scrabbling energy of trying to get to an abundant state, and that my friends is the place where we truly are abundant, because we are able to use our energy consciously to enjoy our abundant life.

Now you may be thinking reading this  a big fat “YEAH RIGHT”, you may think your life is not abundant (oh how I am gonna enjoy proving you wrong) and you may also be thinking well if I am so abundant why don’t I have enough…………?  Well my friends that sense of lack you are holding onto right there is part of your problem. Remember the law of vibration. What we send out the universe mirrors. If you are sending the ‘I don’t have enough’ vibe into the universe and guess what you are going to get back. Exactly what you send out, lack.

It may surprise you to know that even multi millionaires can feel the way you do. Even they can feel they don’t have enough. Which tells me that the state of ‘having enough* is not a physical thing, it’s a psychological state of mind. And state of minds as we all know can be changed and improved with a little work.

So let’s take a closer look at this non abundant life you think you are living, because I promise you that if you take this journey here and now, you will start to see how abundant you truly are.

Gratitude

If you want to check in with your abundance the first thing you need to put into action is practicing gratitude. List the things you have that you are most grateful for, people, qualities, material things, it doesn’t matter. Just be grateful for what you have. You can make one big list or simply do a daily gratitude check at the end of the day

Harvest

This is tuly apt for the part of the world where I live right now as the tractors are working night and day to bring in this years harvest. But what about you? Have you ever stopped to look at what you have harvested in your life? What have you done. created or achieved that you are proud of ? Write a list in your journal it can be this years harvest or your life’s harvest and give yourself a pat on the back or a large glass of wine for being so awesome.

What is enough?

Now this is a toughie but  a goodie. Look at your gratitude list and your harvest. Is this enough? I am not asking this question to get you to think of new goals, I am asking you to look at all of the things you are grateful for and proud of and ask yourself if somebody described their life to me would I not believe that they had an abundant life, would I not think that they have enough? It’s power thinking and reverses everything. because the moment you believe you have enough you release yourself from hours of stress and agonizing over how your life could be better.

Great. So now you can see how abundant you truly are (I am now gonna take a moment to say I told you so ;P). That is what you are now sending out into the universe. I am abundant. So the universe will respond by sending abundance back to you. And you can support this energy transaction by a few simple practices that will support your abundant state.

Appreciate the now

Of course the gratitude list is one way of appreciating. By being mindful  of how awesome your life is, taking steps to appreciate and experience it fully radiates your appreciation of life. So log offline and have a picnic with your family, treat your mum to a nice lunch or just pamper your senses by eating your favorite chocolate bar mindfully tasting every last mouthful. Go out (or stay in) and appreciate the now of your life. This minute is precious because you can never have it again so enjoy it.

Respond

Another way that you can enhance your feeling of abundance is to choose how you respond to something. For example the  bills arrive. We all have this. We all hate it. But how about changing that response. Whenever I get a bill I say to myself. I am thankful that I have the money to pay this or I am thankful for the wifi this bill represents which keeps me connected to my family. A small energetic shift makes a huge difference.

Share

Sharing our abundance spreads the joy around. We have managed to end up rent a huge house in the countryside (wow I am so grateful for that!) So whenever we can we invite our city friends over to a weekend of having fun sharing food and drink and being together in a beautiful space. We give away what we don’t need and sometimes we get given things we do need. Doing nice things for people stranger, friends or animals makes life so much nicer for everyone. You can’t help but feel abundant when you make other people smile.

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So how do you feel now? No matter what your situation in life, there is abundance in it. It takes a little altering of your perspective and behavior to appreciate your abundance, yet the results of these changes are immensely powerful and make life much more enjoyable. Rich is not a state of accumulating it is a state of being. You just need to define your own state of rich.  Starting from abundance breeds abundance. So why not dedicate this week to celebrating your abundant life and see if by the end of the seven days you find that you are richer and more abundant than you have ever been

Have a magical and abundant week  <3

 

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A rubbish ‘meh’ day is the point before a break through! (2 min read)

Today has been a meh day. You know the type. Low energy. No motivation. Even if the sun is shining in the windows of your soul it continuously rains. Nothing works. Nothing is good. Meh, meh, meh. The irritating thing is that this particular meh day comes on one of those rare days when i actually have nothing to do apart from write! And so wonderfully my inspiration button has been on an all time low beeeeeeeeeeeep all blooming day.

I have promised Mr T I will do some yoga with him later but my heart is not really in it. However guilty with the knowledge that I am wasting time I have been looking all day for sources of inspiration. I  have, of course visited my ever growing pinterest library of Ted talks. Watched 3 and nothing, nada. I have hit the personal development section of amazon and did some half hearted retail therapy. Did some journaling and ended up even more unmotivated. Watched a film. Even tried to make fudge which although worked has given me a sugar high (which is burning cold with nowhere to put the energy, this is not yoga friendly energy).

It sucks and the more I have been fighting it, the worse it gets. Meh with meh on. Then it struck me, I have been here before. Oh not just the meh day thingy. I have been to this place of frustration before, many times. And if memory serves correctly it was always at the point of most frustration I would succeed. It comes down to my days of spinning Poi and my subsequent Poi theory.

If you don’t know Poi originates from New Zealand. it is the art of spinning balls on string or ropes in intricate patterns whilst dancing. In my case the balls were made of kevla and I used to set them on fire to dance. Fire Poi is now an accepted hippy entertainment at festivals and is even becoming more mainstream.

There was a time in my life where you would have rarely found me in an open space without me using my practice poi to try out new moves. Poi challenges the brain and coordination on every possible level. When trying out something new you get more bruises than you can imagine. It takes dedication, concentration, pain control and ALOT of frustration. Well what I found with the Poi was that after a while I would get into a meh frustrated state as I am in today. The more I battled, the more I would bash myself. The less likely it seemed that I would be able to do my new move. However when it became fever pitch frustration. At the point I most wanted to throw those poi away and give up, it was then I would succeed.

My Poi theory for many years became a mirror to my life. If things weren’t working and getting more frustrating I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to succeed soon. It’s been many years now since I regularly did poi. I had all but forgotten my theory of poi. it reminded me of two very important things about being in the state of meh, as I am today.

One – Accept it –

If you fight it too much you will only make matters worse for yourself. Accept that this is where you are. You are at the annoying point before success.

Two – Don’t give up –

Keep going. Not in the argggh I want to do this but I can’t way. Keep going with the dogged determination that says I am not giving up and I am going to succeed.

In a way not giving up is easy when you know the Poi theory and accept it as truth. Why? Well because you know if you are at the stage of meh then you are so close to success. It just takes a little more effort, a last bit of persistence to get you over the edge to succeeding. And if you don’t believe it works then look at this article, you are reading the proof. I could not in month of Sundays, have written this earlier today until I remembered the poi theory, yet here we are with you reading this. I did it. I succeeded.

So if you are feeling all meh today. Think of what it is you want to succeed at. What is the mountain you need to shift. Know you are almost there and keep going. Just a bit more effort and all the bruises will have been worth it when you , as I do now, look back at your success, great or small; being all the more rewarding for sludging through the quagmire of a meh day.

Have a successful day and enjoy your journey 🙂

 

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