Thursday, 30 October 2014

Do Something That Scares You

No matter how old I get Halloween still holds that special magic for me.  I loved bobbing for apples when I was a child and carving the pumpkins.  My children still enjoy getting dressed up (although it's more teenage zombie than fairy or cute ghost nowadays).  Going out trick-or-treating with friends and dressing the house up with giant spiders and plastic bats holds a giddy fascination.  I have been known to wear purple velour and a pointed hat on occasion!

With Halloween fresh in our minds, I thought it was the perfect time to think about the scary stuff - not headless horsemen or flesh eating gremlins - the day-to-day stuff that stops us from achieving our goals.

Many years ago I set myself a challenge to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  A writing competition to pen 50,000 words in 30 days.  I didn't do it.  Why?  Because I was scared.  Scared of failing, scared of taking part, scared of writing drivel, scared of what people may think. 

How many times have you allowed your fears to stop you from doing something?

Last year I finally took part in NaNoWriMo, of course this was part of my Resolution Challenge, a year full of resolutions that I had to achieve whilst blogging my progress.  It was a fantastic experience and not only did I thoroughly enjoy the event, but I finished with time to spare and the first draft of my debut young adult fantasy novel, Guardians of the Dead.

What had I been so scared of?  After the event I understood how valuable the experience was and realised what I had been missing out on because of my fears.  Before we can achieve we must first face our demons.  My demon looked like me; brown hair, brown eyes, five foot ten with a slight muffin top and laughter lines (I refuse to acknowledge them as wrinkles!)

So how can we do it?  How can we do something that scares us?  During my year of challenges, I faced several demons, all of them were self-made.  Knowing that I was writing my progress here on my blog gave me the strength to get on and do it.  I found the confidence to just write and over time I stopped over-analysing myself and my work and began to enjoy it.  Once this happened I started to receive feedback from people all over the globe.  I'd faced a fear - failure - and came out on the other side unscathed. 

It is one of the hardest things to put yourself out there, be it writing a novel, losing weight, joining a group or learning something new.  Only when we step over that invisible fear barrier do we start to understand our potential.

When I published my non-fiction book, How I Changed My Life in a Year, I faced my biggest fear of all, a fear that I know stems from a childhood memory.  Fear of being laughed at and not being liked.  I'm sure this is a fear that many people hold and it's taken me a long time to learn to live with it.  Self-work and meditation have helped enormously but when it came to promoting my book I had to simply let go.  Let go of fears and put myself out there.  Do you know what I found?  Positive feedback.  Not only was my book received well but the more I promoted, the more I attracted.  My book is still in the top ten of Amazon's self-help bestseller list.  This may not be the NYT list but for me it's validation that I did something that scared me - and survived!

What can you do today that scares you?  Maybe you've done something that scared you and also survived, I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Guest Author Interview - Stephan Myers

Today I am pleased to introduce children's author and illustrator, Stephan Myers. 

The Fun Five:
1.  What part of the world do you come from?
I was actually born in Hull.  A Yorkshire man born, but not bred.  I come from a service family and we moved on a regular basis both in the UK and Europe.
2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wish I could say I had a particular ambition.  I was very much into athletics and it wasn't until later years that I chose a corporate career.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Time Management in 4 Easy Steps

Last week I delivered a course about time management to my Motivate Me workshop ladies.  The response was wonderful, and the evening was a huge success.  As I chatted to the group it became evident that we are prone to reject or forget many self-help tools.   We may see them as yet another chore rather than a way to help ourselves.  Our lives are far too busy to remember all that self-help mojo!

With the festive season screaming towards us it's the perfect time to claim some 'me time' before we all lose ourselves in mince pies and tinsel.  Managing the time we do have means we are more productive.

The term 'time management' is more often associated with the corporate world.  The business masses who fill their day and diary with copious emails, meetings, phone calls and networking events.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  Of course, seven years ago I was one of them.  My diary was full; my social calendar was a jumble of events and the children's sports days, parents evenings and school plays filled in any blank space.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Happy Business Birthday To Me!

This week I celebrated one of my greatest achievements.  The sixth birthday of my holistic health business, Body & Soul Holistics.

So much has changed in six years.  My business has made many twists and turns along the way.  As a newbie entrepreneur, I assumed that I needed to offer as many treatments as I could.  I spent huge sums of money and precious time training in everything from the metamorphic technique to waxing.

I hated waxing!  I have a huge amount of respect for all the therapists out there who rip hairs off people's body parts day and night, but it wasn't for me!  Of course, to drop a treatment after you had paid for the course and dedicated hours to training and case studies was a sin, or so I thought.

The further along my spiritual/business journey I travelled, I began to realise that it was okay to walk away from the parts of my job that weren't working for me.  If they weren't adding benefit to my personal journey then why did I keep them in my life?  I took waxing off my treatment list, along with spray tans and facials.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Better Parenting, Better Kids Blog Tour, Day 7.

I'm incredibly excited to introduce a passionate author to my blog today.  I am honoured to host Nonnie on the final day of her blog tour and so without any further delay, over to Nonnie...
Hello, and welcome to the final day of my BETTER PARENTING, BETTER KIDS Blog Tour!  I'm so happy to be here today with my dear friend, Shelley and all her wonderful guests!  I so appreciate you allowing me to share a bit of me with you!
If you've been following my tour, I have been sharing tidbits of advice to help parents, do this job a little better, if they feel they might be failing.  If this is your first day joining us on the tour, then I'd like to invite you back to visit the other stops.  Here is the line-up.  It is my sincerest goal and mission to ensure that my kids and all kids are brought up in a safer world.  With the behavior of some of the kids we see today, if parenting skills don't change and improve, that may not be soon my reality. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Guest Author Interview - Peter Jones

Today I am joined by Peter Jones author of The Good Guy's Guide To Getting The Girl.

The Fun Five:

1. What part of the world do you come from?

I'm an Essex boy!  Was born and raised in Chelmsford, moved to Southend as soon as I was able (Mum used to take us there on the last day of the summer holidays).  I do have a fondness for London though, living so close.

2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

One of my earliest memories is kneeling on my grandmother's living room carpet 'making books'.  I'd fold as many sheets of A4 paper in half as I could, and then use her stapler to create a spine.  Then I'd start writing a story and drawing the pictures to go along with it.  Other ambitions came and went, but for the longest time this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

15 Ways to Boost Your Well-Being

Writers' block is something I have never had to worry about.  I suffer from the opposite problem of having too much to write and no structure in place to streamline those thoughts.

However, as I was sitting at my laptop ready to type this week's post, I stopped.  I experienced that moment of emptiness with my fingertips hovering over the keys.  Not because I didn't know what to say, but for once in my life, I didn't know quite how to say it.

Allow me to explain.  This week has been a blessing for me, I love my holistic job and facilitated a successful workshop on creating vision boards.  I started my meditation classes up again for the new term and I completed the first edit on my debut fiction novel.  Just this morning I received a beautiful email telling me I had been nominated for another Blogger award (that's two in as many weeks) and a second email asking if I would like to be interviewed for a very prominent blog.  Fantastic!  Last week I checked the sales of my non-fiction book (How I Changed My Life in a Year - and found that I was still in the top 50 of Amazon best sellers for self-help and memoir.  Feedback continues to be positive and reviews have been incredible.