Thursday, 17 April 2014

Top 5 Tips to a More Confident You

Have you ever been on a diet?  You feel determined and inspired for that first week or two, and maybe even a little motivated by the initial 3lb weight loss, but just one small thing can undo all that hard work and you end up heavier than you were before you started.

Confidence is a lot like dieting.  It is a delicate balance to maintain that confident persona and one small thing can tip the scales.

I was an incredibly confident young girl, always eager to volunteer, loudest in my class and life and soul of the party.  I seemed to have an endless supply of confidence and energy.

This was stripped away from me over time by a very clever individual.  My ex-husband didn't go all Rambo on me and break my spirit in one go, he took his time and gradually chipped away at my confidence and self-esteem until there was nothing left of the old me.

He would use a snide comment, a derogatory remark, or pure manipulation, to ensure that I gave up my friends, distanced myself from my family and left my career.  I became a shell of who I had once been.  My children kept me going and I filled my days keeping them safe and dreaming of an escape.

I now understand that regaining confidence is possible with a little time and preparation.  I finally walked away from that abusive marriage, unfortunately it was only after it became violent, but the lessons I learned have shaped who I am today.  My confidence is back, I have a renewed spring in my step and through my holistic health business, I work hard to help other women find their confidence too.

When I began the long journey to become a more confident person once again, I followed these top 5 tips:

  1. I learned to approve of myself.  This was a tough thing to do after being told for seven years how stupid, useless and pathetic I was.  I had to stop listening to the external criticisms as well as my own inner voice that had begun to believe the lies.  I began to tell myself every day, how strong and brave I was.
  2. I had to believe in myself.  I was suddenly on my own with three small children under the age of 5.  I had to trust that I could take control of my life.  I love the film, The Holiday starring Kate Winslet, my favourite line is when the elderly neighbour tells Kate's character to 'stop being a supporting actress in her life and become the leading lady'.  This resonated with me so much and I try to act on those words every day.
  3. Jot it down.  My regular blog readers will know how much I love journals.  I have one for every possible reason - dreams, gratitude, ideas and inspirations.  When I started writing down something positive about myself every evening, I began to believe that these values were true.
  4. Become your own BFF.  Over time I made new friends, some of who are still a huge part of my life today.  I would do anything for them and if they were lacking in confidence I wouldn't hesitate to support them.  It took me a while to realise that I deserved the same respect. 
  5. Alone and lonely aren't the same.  When I was trapped in my abusive marriage I was lonely and frightened.  My lack of confidence fed on my fear of being alone and this was probably one of the reasons I stuck it out for as long as I did.  Only years later did I realise that being alone wasn't a negative thing.  Some people jump from relationship to relationship because of that fear, but if they spent some quality time with themselves, they would reconnect with who they are and what they want in life.  My biggest life lessons came to me when I was on my own.  Only then could I hear my true inner voice and recognise my path.
I still have occasional moments where my confidence wobbles, but I now have the tools to help myself recover and move on.

I hope you found some inspiration in today's post. 

Confidence isn't always about the big stuff in life, it can be the smaller tasks that tip the balance - meeting new people, speaking in public, starting a new job/school, selling yourself in an interview.  If you take a deep breath and follow at least one of the tips above, it should help you to be more confident.  They worked for me!

I would love to hear your top tips for being more confident, what has worked for you?

Photographs courtesy of and

Friday, 11 April 2014

A Picture of Happiness

The school holidays have started for us, and we were greeted this morning with blue skies and sunshine.

Unfortunately I am fighting a viral infection which means I am not at my best and able to enjoy this spring sunshine.  It's on days like this I'm so glad I don't run a YouTube Channel, at least when I write my blog posts I can type in my pyjama's!

So with a week of doctor visits, blood tests, skin rashes and an overflowing pile of tissues, I thought I would share a few pictures with you instead of trying to engage my brain and connect words or sentences.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Importance of Human Contact

Growing up in a tactile family meant I was a compulsive hugger and my three children can testify to that.  I need sufficient hugs on a daily basis to survive! 

As a holistic health practitioner I understand the importance and power of a simple touch.  This kind of healing touch is non-sexual and supportive and is vital for wellbeing.  Think back to when you were a child, you may have fallen and cut your knee, your instinct is to press your hand to the wound and then find your mum who would do the same, with the added benefit of a cuddle.

A simple touch can affect your mood, your wellbeing, your emotions and your confidence.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

How to get Crafty with your Mandalas

As Spring arrived I was feeling very creative and decided to spend an afternoon absorbed in the wonderfully creative art of Zentangle

I did have an ulterior motive and this involved my meditation classes.  I love using a variety of tools to show my class how easy it is to fit meditation in every day life, and mandalas are one of my favourite tools.  Creating my own mandalas using Zentangle designs is a perfect way to meditate.

I wrote an entire blog post about Zentangle during my year of challenges, you can take a look at the post here.  It shows you how to go about creating your own tangles and introduces you to my lovely friend and Zentangle tutor, Alison from Old Hall Crafts.

First of all let's take a quick look at what a Mandala is:-

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

It's a Matter of Perspective

When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I run my own business, 'oh how lovely,' they say, 'what type of business?'  When I tell them it's a holistic health spa for women, I see a faraway look appear and their eyes glaze over.

I'm sure they don't mean to tune out, but when I mention 'holistic' or 'alternative' people seem to automatically jump to the same conclusion.  They believe I spend my weekends running bare foot through a meadow of grass with a crown of wildflowers and a dress made of wheat.

Even my dad thinks I dance naked in my back garden when it's a full moon - I assure you, I don't and I'm more than sure my neighbours are relieved at that.

I recently launched a range of Workshops 4 Women, to be held at a local venue.  This is a huge step forward for my business and one I am very proud of.  Getting bums in seats is the next hurdle I face, but I will take this challenge on with determination. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Why You Should Love Your To-Do List

Ticking off the goals on your resolution list can leave you feeling elated, but what happens when you have that one goal that gets left behind, forgotten or constantly added to the 'do it next year' list.

'Do my ironing' has made every one of my resolution lists since 1998 and guess what?  I never did get it all done!  This year however, I decided enough was enough and that particular goal was going to be scratched from the list.  I then wrote a blog post about Thinking Outside The Box and suddenly I had my answer - I handed over responsibility to an ironing service.  I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt to relinquish that goal.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My Writing Process - Blog Tour
Last week I received an invitation from the very talented Jane Wilby-Palmer, to take part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour.  You can check out Jane's blog post here.
After Jane's glowing introduction at the end of her post I have to say, I was feeling the pressure!  Looking back along the tour route I found an army of multi-talented authors and I was about to add myself to this very exclusive list *gulp*. 

So I decided to pull up my big girl pants and get stuck in...enjoy!

Q.  What am I working on?

Blimey, where do I begin?  I have multiple projects on the go and in true Gemini style, I flit between them depending on my mood and the moon cycle (!!)  I can jump between a non-fiction book about meditation to a YA fantasy, this can cause all kinds of problems when I end up with a demon or two in my meditation books.