Thursday, 31 December 2015

What Blogging Taught Me About Myself

As we start a New Year the smell of possibility and new challenges are in the air.  It’s amazing to think that three years ago, I wrote my first blog post.  A post that was to be the beginning of a new chapter in my life and one that would be the catalyst for a life-changing experience.

I have learned so much over the past three years, not just about how to blog, but about myself and who I want to be, and it all began with a list of New Year Resolutions.

What is a resolution? 

The English Oxford Dictionary describes it as, 'a firm decision and the quality of being determined.'

It was on New Year's Eve 2012 when I set myself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions - one for each month of the year.

This list included the usual suspects - lose weight, get fit, iron less and laugh more but I also wanted to challenge myself.  I included things like, 'do something new', 'give up alcohol', 'give up Facebook (that one was tough!) and many more.

Having never blogged before I thought it would be a fun way to keep me motivated.  It also forced me to be accountable for my actions – a bit like having a diet buddy.  But I knew that I wanted to keep it real and blog the lows as well as the highs throughout the year.  

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Organised Life Series - Reduce Stress by Prioritising Tasks

Welcome to 'My Organised Life Series', a feature where we will be looking at various ways to organise yourself and streamline your life.  By the time January 1st rolls around, you will be ready and raring to take on the New Year.

Week 3: Reduce Stress by Prioritising Your Tasks

You can read the first article HERE – Creating a Home Workspace

You can read the second article HERE – Time Management

I have a confession.  I am so unorganised this year that my gift buying, wrapping, and writing of Christmas cards is still incomplete.  Deep down I know that I’m creating a false stress because if I just got on with it, then I would be able to enjoy the festive season.

The stack of unwritten cards sitting on my desk taunts me daily.  I sit at my computer and plough through my to-do list, but at the end of every day I still haven’t written the cards, and I end up adding this task to tomorrow’s list.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

My Organised Life Series - Time Management

Welcome to 'My Organised Life Series', a feature where we will be looking at various ways to organise yourself and streamline your life.  By the time January 1st rolls around, you will be ready and raring to take on the New Year.

Week 2: Time Management

(You can read the first article HERE – Creating a Home Workspace)

One of the topics I cover in my Motivate Me workshops is ‘Time Management’.  We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, but it’s what we do with them that matter.  I often refer to Stephen Covey’s approach, using the Time Matrix.  This is the process of putting your tasks or to-do list into one of four boxes.
  • Important and urgent
  • Important and not urgent
  • Not important and urgent
  • Not important and not urgent
Here’s an example for you:

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My Organised Life Series - Creating a Home Workspace

Welcome to 'My Organised Life Series'.  Over the next four weeks I will be looking at various ways to organise yourself and streamline your life.  By the time January 1st rolls around, you will be ready and raring to take on the New Year.

Week 1: Creating a Home Workspace

As a writer, I have developed a knack for writing anytime, anywhere.  It can be in a coffee shop a la J.K. Rowling, or on the train during a commute.  I’ve even been known to take a pad and pen into the bath with me!  But, nothing compares to having a desk for my creative pursuits.

Most office workers will have a desk that they call their own, and they can become highly territorial about it.  It’s a place to house your potted plant, family photo, folders, files, a collection of coffee mugs, and somewhere under the mess, a laptop or computer.

Having a desk at home is vital to your wellbeing and sanity.  This is where you can plan, organise and streamline your life.  A dedicated workspace allows you to stay prepared, and be on top of the household comings and goings.

So how can we use our home workspace? 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Getting Help With Anxiety from Harry Potter

As I type this post I should be hanging my head in shame, I have been MIA for several weeks and neglected my beloved motivational blog.  However, instead of the shame, I feel slightly exhilarated and refreshed.

Many of you know that November is a crazy writing month for me, as I partake in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  This year I chose to write the first draft of the final book in my young adult trilogy.  On November 17th, I wrote my 52,000th word and declared myself a winner!  I adore this competition; it is the perfect platform to keep me one hundred per cent motivated on my writing projects.  If only I could be this motivated all year round!

So as I uploaded my manuscript and watched as my word count was validated, I began to think about my blog content and the topics I want to look at over the coming months.  Confidence, organising your life and looking after yourself are the themes I will be exploring over December and into the New Year.  But, to write about confidence, and being organised, and before I can attempt to look after myself, I needed to do it, live it and become it.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Using Colour Me Beautiful to Boost Wellbeing

If you were to take a look at my wardrobe, you would see a plethora of black fabric.  Skirts, trousers, dresses and tops; all of them are black.  I don’t use my black clothing as a ‘think thin’ statement, and, fortunately, it isn’t because I attend a multitude of funerals, I just like wearing black.  I believe it may have something to do with my passion for the Gothic genre.  I do have the occasional flutter of blue, red and green, but I have to be in the right mood.

During my Resolution Challenge back in 2013, one of the hardest weeks for me was when, at my daughter’s request, I had to give up wearing black for an entire week.  Suffice to say it was highly entertaining and one of my hardest challenges.  You can read the post I wrote about it HERE.

So, when I signed up for a Colour Me Beautiful session with my mum, I was worried that black would be on my no-no list.  Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones who can get away with it (phew!), but I was surprised at how much colour can change your total appearance.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Will It Be Third Time Lucky?

#NaNoWriMo.  Will it be third time lucky?

In 2013, as part of my resolution challenge, I took part in my first NaNoWriMo competition.  NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is a writing challenge open to anyone, and it entices entries from across the globe.  The task is to pen a 50,000-word novel in 30 days – no pressure!

The 50,000-word target works out to 1667 words per day, every day, for the thirty days of November.  Of course, when you throw in work, family and lifestyle it isn’t always possible to squeeze in 1667 words.  This is where dedication and dumb pride come in. 

When I did NaNo for the first time, I announced it to the world via my blog.  The reason for this was so I couldn’t back out.  It worked, and I hit the 50,000 point by the second week.  I did the same last year, hitting my target in the third week.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Are you a victim or a survivor?

Over the past six weeks, I’ve shared my Positive Thinking Series.  Last week we talked about how failure was a good thing, you can read that post HERE. 

In the final post of this series, I want to discuss ways of moving forward and not letting your past hold you back.

We’ve all experienced a setback or two in our lives.  Sometimes they are small inconveniences, and other times they are life altering situations.  How you react to these events frames the way your future self copes with other circumstances.

Have you ever listened to someone as they grumble about a physical ailment, knowing that you, or a friend, suffer from the same problem?  We all learn to cope with our setbacks in different ways. However, some people are unable to do this and live a ‘victims’ life instead.  Which would you rather be, a victim or a survivor?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Failure is a Good thing

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared my Positive Thinking Series.  We’ve looked at how not to feel alone, learning to believe in yourself, and taking things one step at a time.  Last week we talked about how to have a good day, and you can read that post HERE. 

Today I want to talk about failure.  An odd topic to discuss on a motivational site, however, failing is part of life, and it’s how we deal with this aspect that shapes how we cope with future events and situations.

Many of us shy away from even saying the word ‘failure’.  If you are a parent then failing is a taboo subject, even sports day has changed to accommodate all the physical needs of a child to ensure no-one ‘fails’.  I could argue that a bit of healthy competition is good for the soul, but I think that’s a whole post on its own!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Positive Thinking Series - How to Have a Good Day

Last week I talked about not having to be perfect, you can read that post HERE.  It leads me on quite nicely to this week’s post; how to have a good day. 

Not having to worry about being perfect 24-7 helps us to go with the flow and relax our outlook on life.  I attend a creative writing class every Monday evening, where I have to read out my work to the group.  When I first started, I was terrified that my writing wasn’t perfect, and I would be laughed out of the class.  What I failed to realise, my fellow students are in the same position, we all want to improve on technique and find new ideas.  I relaxed, and suddenly my writing improved and I even got a few belly laughs from my homework piece – it was a good day!

We very often forget to remind ourselves of all the good stuff in our life.  It’s human nature to dwell on the negative rather than focus on the positive.  Of course, when we linger on the negative talk this only increases the negativity we attract into our daily life.  My favourite quote is ‘thoughts become things, pick good ones’.  I try to live by this mantra.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Positive Thinking Series - You Don't Have to be Perfect!

Last week I talked about taking things one step at a time, you can read that post HERE. 

It’s a wise idea to break any goal down into smaller chunks, but this doesn’t automatically make us exempt from sabotaging ourselves further along the path.

To succeed, we not only need a plan, or structure, but we need to be attentive to our needs.  If we don’t nourish our ideas, and indeed ourselves, then we can trip up at the first hurdle.

Being diligent and planning ahead, or putting in the effort when it’s needed, can be the difference between success and failure.

However, being determined could be mistaken as perfectionism.  Could you cope with a setback?  Would you fall apart when faced with a failure?  If you can’t accept that it’s okay not to be perfect, then you may risk creating a huge barrier to achieving your goals.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Taking it one step at a time

When I started this blog, it was to record the weekly activities of my yearlong challenge.  Fifty two challenges in fact; from weight loss to de-cluttering, and zip wires to novel writing competitions. 
Setting such a challenge would make anyone feel overwhelmed, I know I was!  Coping with any change in our life can also feel overpowering, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, redundancy or health issues. They all set up a mammoth task that can feel like it’s too much to handle.

To enable me to succeed in my fifty two challenges, I had to break this huge goal into small chunks.  I took it one month at a time.  January was all about weight loss.  In February, I concentrated on fitness.  March was a creative month, and so on.  Adopting this principle helped me see my goal as more achievable.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Believe in Yourself

The way we think has a powerful impact on our day-to-day lives.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking at alternative thought patterns to inject a little positivity into your lives, and help achieve your goals.

Last week I talked about not being alone and having a cheerleading squad to help you.  You can read that post HERE.

Believe in Yourself

Self-doubt is a huge problem for many women, myself included.  As soon as you begin to achieve or follow a life-long dream, that little voice inside your head speaks up.  Normally it says something like ‘you’re not good enough’, or ‘everyone will laugh at you’. 
When we hear it we have two options; we can give in, listen to it and hide away, or we can believe in ourselves.  As Susan Jeffers would say, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Positive Thinking Series - You Are Not Alone

The way we think has a powerful impact on our day-to-day lives.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking at alternative thought patterns to inject a little positivity into your lives, and help achieve your goals.

You are not alone.

I’ve written about finding your cheerleading squad before, and you can read that post HERE, but I must stress what an important factor it is for our positive outlook – we are not alone.  It can relate to any issue/event we are facing; divorce, weight-loss, depression, self-employment, becoming a parent/carer, grief. 

You may have found like-minded people who can support you already, if not, then prepare yourself.  All of the events I faced throughout my life enabled me to attract people in the same position.  Think about conversations you’ve had with strangers, you may have chatted with a fellow mother as you wait for your children’s swimming class to finish.  You briefly mention that you have anxiety and find out that your stories are very similar.

When I started my holistic health business back in 2008, I was amazed at how many single mothers I had on my client books.  It was like we all gathered in the same spot.  These ladies have become firm friends, and we have supported one another through divorce, life as a single parent, and getting back out there.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Eight things that being a single parent has taught me

It’s the start of the new academic year, and I’ve spent the last couple weeks stocking up on pens and pencils.  We’ve purchased the new uniforms, shoes and bags, and I’ve tried to muster some enthusiasm from my three children.  It happens every year to millions of families across the world.  Dragging unwilling children from their beds on the first day of school would surely be much easier if you had a tag team. 
Imagine the scene: Dad takes the first shift, opening the curtains and coaxing the initial groan, and then mum slides in for the second wave with the promise of cookie crisp in their favourite bowl.  The third round involves both parents, one to whip the duvet back and the other to physically extract the child from their warm, cosy bed.  Bringing back any memories?  But how does it differ if you’re a single parent?  It doesn’t, we just have to multi-task!
The prospect of being a single mum never crossed my mind as I drove away from my abusive husband, leaving my home and life behind.  We subsequently divorced, and he saw the children every other weekend if work permitted. 

I believed that, although our marriage had broken down, we could still co-parent and be the supportive focus our children needed as they grew up.  As it happens, this rose-coloured ideal wilted faster than an ice-cream in a tropical climate.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How to find the quiet space you crave. #meditation

The school holidays are almost over, and if you are like me, you’ll have a mountain of holiday washing and grey, rain clouds to thwart any attempt to get it done.

My three children are ready to see their friends, and get back to the scheduled lifestyle we know and trust.  As much as I love the school holidays; the getting up late and pleasing ourselves, after six weeks I begin to crave normal. 

There is something strangely reassuring about a six-thirty alarm call, the scrum for the bathroom, and chatting with my kids over breakfast.  I chase them all out of the door at eight and turn my mind to the jobs I have to do before three o’clock, and the evening routine.

There is one thing I’ve noticed more this summer, and that is the inability to find any quiet space.  I hadn’t realised just how much I craved it.  I was lucky enough to go to Italy this year where we trekked around Lake Garda.  We rushed from ancient building to medieval castle, and then ‘relaxed’ with a crazy hour or two in the pool, followed by a beautiful meal in a bustling Italian piazza.  It was a fabulous week, but it wasn’t quiet. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Recharging Your Mind, Body and Soul

When I was a child, I longed for the endless summer that held the promise of water fights, sleeping under the stars, and picnics on the lawn.  I don’t remember there being as much rain as we get nowadays, or maybe I’ve repressed that memory over the years.

I’m happy to say that my three children also enjoy the outdoorsy summer activities, and don’t spend six weeks attached to the various electrical gizmos that we have dotted around the house.

The school holidays always felt like an epic adventure, waiting to happen.  Maybe that’s the writer in me, or maybe the innocence of a child’s mind.  Whatever it was, I’ve tried for many years to recreate it, without any luck.

It appears that with the arrival of a mortgage, bills, job and children of my own, any childlike glee over the summer holidays packed its bags and went away.  Until now.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Visualisation techniques for a happy life

Way back in the depths of winter I decided to cheer myself up by pre-booking a summer holiday.  It gave me something to look forward to when the weather was grey, and my mood was even darker. 

As I chomped my way through the mince pies and turkey leftovers, I believed that the extra weight I was carrying would be a distant memory by the time my holiday arrived.  Fast forward seven months and my stomach still wobbles when I walk, my boobs get in the way when I bend over to tie my shoelaces and don’t get me started on bat wings!

There is a personal development tool that I should have used to motivate myself toward that bikini fit body.  A technique that can show you what your hopes and wishes will look like, and guide you to make the right choices to manifest them.  That technique is Vision Boarding.

I’ve written about vision boards before as they are one of my favourite personal development tools.  I love the simplicity and the creativity. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Guest blog: The Ghost of Anxiety by Gloria McBreen

I am honoured to introduce my guest blogger, Gloria McBreen, who is a freelance article writer, blogger and teacher.  You can find Gloria on her website or via Twitter @GloriaMcB
10 days in The Valley of Chamonix with my family. A spacious two bedroom apartment overlooking an array of snow capped peaks and a child friendly balcony with a breathtaking view of the magnificent Mont Blanc – poetically described by Percy Shelley as ‘The Mountain that Holds the Spirit of Nature’. Wow!

For my family, hiking in the Alps is the most desirable holiday. We’re not keen on spending our quality time lying on a baking hot crowded beach. The hiking boots and a picnic in a backpack is what give us pleasure. Our time for complete relaxation, absorb a mega boost of vitamin D and an opportunity to rejuvenate the soul.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

5 Tips For Releasing Anxiety

After having my daughter, thirteen years ago, I haemorrhaged and had to have a blood transfusion.  It was during this time I discovered I was in the A+ blood group.  Over the years that followed, I began to understand how much my blood type impacted on my life. 

According to the research of Dr. Peter J.D’Adamo, for his book Eat Right For Your Type, the ability to reverse stress and its negative effects lies in our blood type.  For me, this means that I react to the first ‘alarm’ stage of stress.  My adrenals become super-charged, producing anxiety, irritability and hyperactivity.  My immune system gets weaker, and my nervous system becomes more sensitive.  I then become unable to fight infections.  As a Type A I have a more tightly wired system – in blunt, I bottle up all my anxiety! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

How To Find The Laughter In Your Life

When it comes to self-help, there are a plethora of treatments to choose.  Acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, massage, crystals, meditation, art therapy, homeopathic remedies - the list is endless.

Some of these therapies will cost you money, and others can be done with little or no cash.  Meditating, for example, is free, and one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  Another activity that will cost you nothing but boost your wellbeing is laughter.

I am fortunate to be a half-full personality type and together with my positive attitude I also have a tendency to see the funny side of life.  Think about Peter Kaye for a moment, he uses everyday activities and stresses to build up his act, with hilarious results.  Sarah Millican uses her own weight issues to reduce her audience into fits of giggles.  Learning to laugh at yourself can help you to view life with less negativity and emotion.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How Crafting Can Help With Wellbeing

A hobby, good book, or even a jigsaw can all soothe the soul when we are searching for a little calm in the swell of our day.

Crafting has, for a long time, been one of the go-to interests for creating the balance we crave.  Just look at the rise in popularity of the adult colouring books on the market.  I subscribe to Art Therapy, a weekly magazine packed with images waiting to be coloured in and displayed around the home.  As an avid meditator, this activity is perfect for me.  I can lose myself in the attention to detail and any disorder in my mind is replaced with a quietness that I can’t find anywhere else.

It’s not just colouring-in that can give you this release.  Take a look at the Stitch Links website, the home of therapeutic knitting since 2005.  They advocate the ‘use it or lose it’ strategy.  A belief that our brain, as well as our muscles, needs to learn something new to stay active.  When we learn a new skill we increase connections within our brain and this in turn can help strengthen our brain against such diseases as Alzheimer’s, depression or chronic pain.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Why We All Need A Cheerleading Squad

As an outgoing and fairly confident woman, I have recently found myself hiding away and sulking – yes, sulking – over a health issue that has taken me by surprise.  I thought only kids had the sulky genes but apparently not.  It appears that I can sulk with the best of them. 

Any health problem can cause anxiety to arise.  Even a common cold will make everything you do seem that much harder. When your body begins to tell you to slow down, you need to listen – I didn’t. 

I have always taken on any task, challenge and goal with enthusiasm, but I’ve also taken them on alone.  It’s a trait that gets me into trouble with my friends and family, as they are so eager to help, and yet we all do it.  Asking for help can sometimes be harder than the actual challenge itself.  Why is that?

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Unlocking Your Creativity

Back in February I released my debut fiction book, you may think it strange to hear, but I was slightly nervous about my friends and family grabbing a copy.  As an author, I should be over the moon at the sales, but the majority of my friends aren’t my typical audience.  You see, I write young adult fantasy fiction.  Supernatural stories about sixteen-year-old protagonists who go on a demon hunt with a bunch of faeries and witches.  As it happens, the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelming.  I may have converted a few die-hard historical romance readers over to the dark side.
When I receive reviews from my young readers, they gush over the plot and tell me who their favourite character is.  When I ask for feedback from my adult friends, nine times out of ten I get, ‘Oh I wish I was creative, how magical to be born with this talent.’

Monday, 25 May 2015

Does a Tee-Total Life Mean No More Fun?

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reinvented myself.  I’m like a brunette version of Madonna but with less muscle, droopier boobs and a non-existent toy boy.

Reinvention is not always a bad thing.  We may wish to alter our health and wellbeing following an illness.  Perhaps a change in career direction may become necessary due to redundancy, or we might want to grow into a more mature mentality after hitting a respectable age.

As I look back over my life and its many trials and tribulations I realise that instead of reinventing myself I should have been happy with who I was.  I had an insane belief that I needed to bend my character to fit other people.  Maybe I was a chameleon in another life?  Whatever the reason, I’ve spent the last ten years trying to find out who I truly am.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Using a Dropbox to Release Worry, Fear and Anxiety

Ever thought of using a Dropbox to help with anxiety, worry or fear?  Before you all rush off to your laptops and sign up for this service - although who wouldn’t want a place to stash a gazillion photos, doc, videos and files and have instant access? - I’m not referring to the technical Dropbox.  I’m talking about a physical one – a jar, shoebox, or even an envelope, where you can drop off your worries.

I know some of my friends use a gratitude jar.  To use this, they jot down anything they are grateful for during that day or week.  The idea is to empty the jar at the end of the year and have a host of happy and grateful memories to remind yourself of how blessed you are.

The drop off box works in a similar way.  Had a bad day? Jot down why it was bad, who upset you and how you feel about it.  Screw up the piece of paper and drop it in the jar.  Add every worry, fear or anxious thought you have into it.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Coping With Email Overload

My life has taken an unexpected detour over the past couple of weeks. In fact this detour is more of a sharp swerve around a hairpin bend on two wheels, however, as I’m always up for a challenge, I am trying to take everything in my stride.

The house is in need of a damn good clean, and the ironing pile is so high I think I spotted a mountain goat teetering on the top.  As well as this, my inbox is bulging at its electronic seams.

My kids have been incredibly helpful and have occasionally thrown the vacuum around in a haphazard motion.  They have also flicked the yellow duster lightly over the furniture – regardless of if it was wooden or not – they are ‘helping’ I must not complain!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Taking Comfort from an Inspirational Quote

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  It’s a quote we have all heard a million times over but when your life has truly given you lemons, it can be quite comforting to read.

Last week I shared '7 Inspirational Reads' with you.  For this week’s post, I’m going to share some of the most amazing quotes and affirmations that have got me through some of the worst days. 

Feel free to share your favourites in the comments below.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

7 Books To Inspire You

Reading is not, in my opinion, a luxury, but a necessity.  When we are young, it is our gateway to everything we are about to learn during our school days.  As we reach our teens, it often becomes an escape from the schedules and demands.  Then we ‘grow up’ and time takes over, life becomes so busy and reading slides down the to-do list faster than that first glass of Chardonnay on a Friday night.
For many people, this isn’t the case, and reading is still a huge part of their lives.  I am one of these people.  Not having a book in my hand is unthinkable.  But a few years ago I couldn’t find any comfort in reading.  Stress and anxiety had its hold over me, and I couldn’t sit still long enough to focus on the words. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Interview with Peter Jones, author of How To Do Everything And Be Happy.

Last week I spoke about using self-help tools to heal yourself, and in particular the use of motivational and inspirational books.

On occasion you will come across a book that has the potential to change your life.  I have a shelf full of self-help books, but there are the odd one or two that I recommend to everyone I know.  Why?  Because these books changed me at my core and made me think about how I live and what I can do to improve my environment/life/career.

Today I am joined by Peter Jones, author of How To Do Everything And Be Happy - one of the outstanding books that changed my life.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Helping Yourself To Heal

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post about Numerology and Lucky Charms; you can read that here

I am a great believer in reading the signs around you.  Of course, this may be my inner writer looking for a new story arc, either way we are sent messages on a regular basis.  It’s up to us to tune in and hear them or carry on regardless.

When I host my vision board workshops, I help students tap into those messages to create a vision of how they would like their life to be.  If you are interested in learning more about Vision Boards you can read about them here

At the start of each year, I prepare a board for all the exciting things I want to achieve, be, have or work on during the next twelve months.  I’ve done this for years, and I continue to be astounded at how varied my boards are from year to year. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Find a Little Me Time With Lava Shell Massage

Hands up who does everything for everyone and leaves themselves until last.  Go on, put your hand up, you know who you are.

I run a holistic health practice and offer numerous feel good therapies to my clients, I also offer them advice on what they can do for themselves in-between sessions.  So you would think I was able to take my words literally – apparently not. 

In my day-to-day work/life balance I momentarily forgot the fundamental goal; make time for me.

This lack of self-care has manifested into a physical ailment.  I am kicking myself for not taking care of my health sooner.  However, feeling very much like I’ve just closed the stable after the horse has bolted, I am taking time out for some self-help.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Looking at Numerology and Lucky Charms

Do you have a lucky pair of pants, carry a charm with you at all times to inspire good fortune, or consult the astrological gurus before you set foot outside your front door?

I believe that we can make our luck, and I am also a huge advocate for the affirmation ‘thoughts become things, pick good ones’.  However, lately I have started to question if there may be a higher force at work.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen the number 2222 everywhere.  I’ve seen it on receipts when I’ve done my food shopping (in the code NOT in the price tag – I don’t eat that much!).  Every time I glance at my alarm clock or check the time on my phone it reads 22:22.  It happened so often that I decided to investigate.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

I'm Enjoying Not Living In The Now

My topic for this week was going to be about living in the now.  However, I can’t stop thinking about at an exciting future event, or the past event that allowed this future event to happen – you still with me?  To summarise - I haven’t got a hope in hell of living in the moment, at the moment.

Is that a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  When time allows, I enjoy nothing more than being silent, or absorbing myself in a task such as walking, drawing, crafts or my writing.  Each of these activities enables me to be in the now, and I feel so much better for it. 

For today though I am somewhere else!

The reason for my abandonment of all things meditative is, in my opinion, a just and valid cause.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Do-It-Yourself Meditation

Back in 2011 I began teaching meditation classes for those of my clients who kept asking me how to do it.

I think they initially believed it was a mystical practice for the spiritually initiated.  Did I have to roll up my one trouser leg and levitate over the coffee table?  Had I attended a secret club hosted by Yoda and the Dalai Lama?  The answer, of course, was no…I just sat still for a couple of minutes and listened to my breathing.  No secret club.  No initiation.

I knew then that I wanted to show people how easy it was to meditate.

In 2013, I published a simple pocket guide.  Meditation: A beginner’s guide.

Here is an excerpt:

If you don’t know a chakra from a chorizo, prefer a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes over walking barefoot on dew-covered grass, and the only labyrinth you’ve heard of was a 2006 Del Toro film, then you’ve come to the right place.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Create A Monthly Care Plan To Achieve Success

Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at using a Daily Practice and Weekly Intentions to achieve our goals and stay motivated.

If you’ve been following my series of posts about staying on track with your resolutions, goals or challenges, then you will be well on your way to success.  Your daily practices will be as routine as brushing your teeth, and the list of weekly intentions will be driving your goal forward.  This week I am going to share tips on creating a Monthly Care Plan. 

When I started my blog in 2013 – and subsequently wrote my book, How I Changed MyLife in a Year – I had to create a monthly plan to inspire me to succeed, month-after-month.

As with any goal, you will only achieve success if you are 100% committed.  Alongside the commitment comes planning.

Let me ask you a question – what have you achieved in your life that made you felt great?  Big or small, it doesn’t matter, just remember the feeling that washed over you and settled in your stomach; it’s called pride.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Making Weekly Intentions Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Last week we looked at the advantages of including a ‘Daily Practice’ into our routine to help us achieve our goals.  You can read that post here.  Today I’m talking about ‘Weekly Intentions’.

We used 'running a marathon' as our example for last week so this week we'll look at another type of goal.  I know so many people who wanted to 'learn something new' as part of their resolution list.  It’s an admirable goal!  Keeping our brain active has huge benefits for our mind, body and soul.

So where do we start?  Let’s ask ourselves those all important questions:

1.      Why am I doing this?

2.      When am I doing this?

3.      What do I need to do to achieve success?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to Stay on Track with Your Goals by Using a Daily Practice.

The majority of our New Year Resolutions, goals and aspirations fail because of a number of reasons; a lack of planning, not being fully committed or setting ourselves unattainable challenges.

It’s like we purposefully set ourselves up for a fall.  We don’t have to operate in this way.  Setting a challenge that may test us can be liberating and life changing.  Writing my book, How I Changed My Life in a Year taught me that.

Yes, we all scribble down a list of changes we want to make each year, and yes, be the end of the third week many of us have abandoned them.  I heard on the news this morning that today is the day our weight loss ambitions are discarded and we attack the biscuit tin!  If we looked at that list for a moment, we might see the reason:

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What's Your Power Word of the Day?

Last week I talked about leaving behind the rigidity of goal setting to allow for the relaxed beauty of ‘flow setting’.  You can read that post here.

Today I want to introduce you to a new motivational past time that I stumbled upon whilst writing up last week’s post. 

It’s no secret that I adore journaling.  My home and office are full to the rafters with pretty notebooks, matching pens and folders.  ‘My name is Shelley and I am addicted to Stationery!’

So, as I spent a luxurious hour on Pinterest, my ‘super-stationery-senses’ were activated when I found a link to the seaweedkisses blog.  Michelle’s beautiful page is dedicated to her passion for journaling.  As well as sharing her tips, she invites us to take a sneak peek into the notebooks, journals and organisers from people all over the world.

Before I go on, I want to set the scene of just how excited I was to find this site.  First of all, let me ask you a question.  Who has watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)?  That’s the one with Sean Connery in it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

No Need For Goal Setting - Try 'Flow' Setting Instead

Normality has returned to the Wilson household (well, as normal as you can get with three teenagers under one roof!)

We all shuffled back to school, college and work this week with as much enthusiasm as a wet mop.  I’m not surprised about the kids – that comes with the territory, but I’m a different story.  I love my job very much and yet I returned with a melancholy aura.
My evenings aren’t much better.  At the end of last year, I would finish work to do my household chores.  I’d feed the kids, clean the fish and then settle down in front of my laptop to bash out a chapter or two and tackle an article or blog post.
Instead, I find myself staring at the wall with a bewildered expression plastered to my face.  It’s not writers block.  I know this because my head is crammed full of story and blog post ideas that scream at me with every waking moment (thank goodness for post-it notes!). 
It finally hit me at 2am the other morning as I tossed and turned in bed and eventually turned the light on to empty my thoughts onto paper.  I’ve been so busy organising my blog content to help motivate my readers that I forgot all about setting my goals!
I feel like a balloon let loose in the sky and is floating aimlessly.  That perfect quote, ‘a dream without a plan is just a wish’ is on repeat in my brain.