Sunday, 24 August 2014

What Would You Tell Your 16 Year Old Self?

It's been a while since I blogged, and as I type this post I feel like a new student returning to school after the summer break.

I was in a fortunate position to take four weeks off work to enjoy the summer holiday with my kids.  My time off also included a step away from blogging.  This meant I developed a nervous twitch on what would have been blog post day, but on the whole I was able to take my own advice, and switch off, unwind and have an incredible summer.

As with any family holiday we document every tourist hotspot, sunset and sunrise, and every international #selfie on our phone, tablet or with a camera - or is this just me?

16 Year Old Shelley
It was as I uploaded the numerous photographs from my iPhone to my laptop that I spotted an old picture in a frame on my wall.

This was taken on my 16th birthday.  The same day I sat my GCSE maths exam - the same day I failed my GCSE maths exam!

My eldest son collected his own GCSE exam results last week, along with many other 16 year olds across the UK.  He did incredibly well - much better than his mother!

As I sat in my car outside the school gates, waiting for him to come out, I felt physically sick.  I was transported back to my own results day and I experienced all the same sensations I had back then; sweaty palms, butterflies and headache.

I began preparing my best scenario speeches.  The 'OMG A's I'm so proud of you,' and the 'let's draw a line and take a moment to think through our next step.'  Luckily I was able to use the OMG speech (my own parents had to opt for the latter!)

This got me thinking about what I would tell my 16 year old self, about exams, life and growing up, if I could borrow Michael J Fox's Delorean, and pop back to 1988.  This is what I came up with:-
  1. Suck it up! You really should have been revising instead of reading those 'Sweet Dream' books.
  2. They're going to make you re-sit your maths exam - that's an extra year of night school and you'll still never use Pythagoras Theorem.
  3. Boys come and go - the heartbreak ends and the sun comes up again.
  4. Enjoy being skinny, it doesn't last!
  5. Make lots of wrong decisions because you'll learn so much.  Regret nothing.
  6. College is great so enjoy yourself but watch out for student nights' (Southern Comfort is not as nice second time around!)
  7. Learn a foreign language.
  8. Stay true to who you are and never let anyone tell you what to think.
  9. Things might get really bad for a while but stay strong and life will deliver amazing opportunities.
  10. Never give up on your dreams.
  11. Cherish your family.
  12. Embrace the changes in technology as they arrive - you're going to LOVE social media!
  13. An 18-30 Ibiza holiday is okay once, but travel as far and wide as you can because the world is an amazing place.
  14. Johnny Depp will always be gorgeous.
  15. Fear is just false evidence appearing real.  Don't let it control you.
  16. Your love of pizza isn't just a teen thing.
  17. You've got the gift of the gab for a reason - use what you say to help others.
  18. Be a leader, not a sheep.
  19. Chocolate cures EVERYTHING.
  20. Dream It, Live It, Become It.
I'd love to hear what you would tell your 16 year old self, let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Who Said That?

From the old wives tales that our grandparents taught us, to a business mantra that is tossed around the boardroom, we all know one or two quotes that have inspired us.

For me, a motivational quote can be used to boost my own self esteem, or passed on to one of my holistic clients.  Enhancing well-being and inspiring someone to succeed can be as simple as passing on a brief sentence.

We all know that words can harm or heal, I choose to live my life on the healing path and as such I pass on the inspirational quotes and mantras that I've collected over the years.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

How To Live a Life Full of Motivation

Life can swerve in a different direction at any point, sometimes you are ready for it but more often than not it flings you unceremoniously from a moving vehicle.

This is what happened to me, but as I look back I see that it wasn't a sudden swerve, more of a winding road that I didn't realise I could get off.

Getting back on track took a huge amount of patience and dedication but with the support of my family I did it. 
For seven years I was trapped in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage.  I was overweight, exhausted and miserable.  In 2004 I found the courage to leave, packing my two, three and five year old children in the car and driving away.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Could You Do The Water Challenge?

During a normal working day I say 'drink more water' a hundred times over.  As a reflexologist it is plainly evident when a client is suffering from dehydration, however, many people are still unaware of just how beneficial drinking water can be.

I remember reading an article in the Daily Mail back in 2013.  Sarah Smith, a 42 year old mother, had taken on a challenge to increase her water intake for four weeks and written up her findings.  The article was eye-opening - you can read it here.

The before and after photographs were what initially attracted me to the article, I had to check she hadn't been photo shopped! I was intrigued to discover how she had succeeded. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

5 Days of Mayhem

Have you ever had one of those weeks where all your best laid plans get thrown out of the window due to something out of your control?  Welcome to my week!

I am an uber organised individual, I live by the mantra 'if it isn't in the diary, it doesn't happen'.  Then one week comes along that throws life into a spin that would put any tornado to shame, however, if I've learnt anything from this week, it's to go with the flow!

Day 1

Great start to the week as I took part in twitter's #indiebooksbeseen promotion.  All indie authors were given the opportunity to post a photograph of themselves holding a poster of their book/s (or a copy of their book). 

The promotion was very well attended and retweets were phenomenal.  It was so lovely to see such a great variety of indie authors taking part and it was a perfect opportunity to connect with such a supportive community.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What's Your Glastonbury Song?

We all have a favourite band, and more importantly we all have that one song that resonates with whatever is going on in our life.  For me it's 'Gold' by Spandau Ballet (1983).  The words always fill me with a sense of pride at what I've overcome and give me the strength to carry on and be 'indestructible'.

This weekend the UK celebrates the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, with acts including the sensational Dolly Parton, The Black Keys, Lily Allen, Metallica, Blondie, Sam Smith and many, many more. 

Tickets to the Glastonbury Festival have a tendency to sell out within hours of being released so I thought I'd use this post to celebrate the history of Glastonbury Festival and point you in the direction of finding your own unique song or recognising a favourite band.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Read it? Loved it? Then Review It!

The support and feedback I've received this week for the release of my new book How I Changed My Life in a Year has been sensational.  My twitter feed, Facebook page and email account have been inundated with positive comments.

As I basked in my five minutes of fame, I thanked everyone for taking the time to get in touch and let me know how much they enjoyed it, I then asked if they had posted their comments on Amazon.

I was met with a host of glazed expressions, 'what do you mean by post a comment on Amazon?'

Reviews are an authors life line.  We crave the golden stars and words of encouragement as much as a child craves ice-cream.  I was surprised at how many of the people I spoke to didn't know about the importance of reviews.

If you buy a new camera or other expensive piece of equipment, invariably you will log on to 'Which' to find out what other purchasers thought of the product and then you can make your informed choice - books are just the same.