Lists aren’t just for organising..

Everyone has heard the phrase: ‘count your blessings’ – that’s a crude way of saying that what you focus on becomes bigger. Thoughts become things. But how do you get into that mindset? How do you shift your focus so that you see all of the goodness in your life, and stop focusing on the negative things?

 

One of the tools I love for this is making a list of THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME. This is a simple thing that takes just a couple of minutes of your day, and can leave you feeling absolutely marvellous.

 

Heres my list for today:

Things that are awesome: vogels toast with avocado and marmite * reading a book with an amazing storyline that you keep thinking about * snuggling up in white linen on a lazy Sunday morning * well organised closets * singing in the shower  * discovering new tv shows several years after everyone else and getting to binge-watch * getting the urge to write and paint again  * making holiday plans * making winter dinner party plans and the thought of busting out the slow cooker again * Sunday baking sessions * making lists about things that are awesome…

 

10 Easy Steps To Change Your Life…

So much of media these days focuses on ‘bite sized chunks’ of self-help advice… like we can’t stomach a book or something longer than a few paragraphs for the nourishment that our hearts and minds actually need. I’ve always felt that we spend a lifetime learning…. that some of our grandest revelations come when we least expect it, and that we should be open to change.

A friend posted one of those awesome and slightly cheesy motivational quotes to facebook this morning, and it got me thinking about how I would summarise the important first steps to manifesting change.. So here it is: my bite sized instructions for changing your life. (And honestly, really, this stuff is easy and free, but I’d be willng to bet you aren’t doing this yet…)

 

27 Life Changing Lessons from Ekhart Tolle

I stumbled across this post today, and it’s simply too important to be ignored. I’ve copied and pasted it below, and the link to the original post is here.

1. THE PRESENT MOMENT IS THE MOST PRECIOUS THING THERE IS.

“People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”

“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”

“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

2. WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE TOTALLY.

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”

3. ALWAYS SAY “YES” TO THE PRESENT MOMENT.

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

4. LIFE WILL GIVE YOU WHATEVER EXPERIENCE IS MOST HELPFUL FOR THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

5. DON’T TAKE LIFE SO SERIOUSLY.

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”

6. LOVE IS NOT TO BE FOUND OUTSIDE OF YOU.

“Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.”

7. THE MORE YOU DWELL ON THE NEGATIVE, THE MORE OBSESSED WITH NEGATIVE THINGS YOUR MIND BECOMES.

“People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on.”

8. WHEN YOU COMPLAIN, YOU MAKE YOURSELF INTO A VICTIM. 

“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”

9. THERE IS A FINE BALANCE BETWEEN HONORING THE PAST AND LOSING YOURSELF IN IT.

“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.”

10. LETTING GO REQUIRES STRENGTH AND A LOT OF COURAGE.

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

11. YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING NOT A HUMAN DOING.

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”

12. GIVE UP DEFINING YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

“Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.”

“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”

“Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.”

13. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR MIND.

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a joyous energy behind what you do.”

“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation.”

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”

“Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.”

“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”

14. WHERE THERE IS TRUE LOVE, THERE IS NO EGO.

“A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”

15. WHATEVER YOU FIGHT, YOU STRENGTHEN, AND WHAT YOU RESIST, PERSISTS.

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”

“What you react to in others, you strengthen in yourself.”

“Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you.”

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

16. POWER OVER OTHERS IS WEAKNESS DISGUISED AS STRENGTH.

“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.True power if within, and it is available to you now.”

17. EVERY ADDICTION STARTS WITH PAIN AND ENDS WITH PAIN.

“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.”

18. EXCLUSIVITY IS NOT THE LOVE OF GOD BUT THE “LOVE” OF EGO.

“Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.”

19. SEEK TO LIVE AUTHENTICALLY.

“Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”

“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”

20. WE DON’T “SEE” GOD AS HE IS, WE SEE GOD AS WE ARE.

“Man made God in his own image…”

21. SEEKING IS THE ANTITHESIS OF HAPPINESS.

“Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.”

“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”

22. WHAT YOU GIVE IS WHAT YOU GET.

“For what you do to others, you do to yourself.”

23. ANY ACTION IS OFTEN BETTER THAN NO ACTION.

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”

24. IF YOU MAKE THE FOUNTAIN PURE, ALL WILL BE PURE.

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”

25. THE MIND IS A SUPERB INSTRUMENT IF USED RIGHTLY.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly — you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.”

26. WORRY IS A WASTE OF TIME.

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”

27. IF THE STRUCTURES OF THE HUMAN MIND REMAIN UNCHANGED, WE WILL ALWAYS END UP RE-CREATING THE SAME WORLD.

“Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.”

 

 

 

 

Every day matters.

It’s so easy isn’t? Getting caught up in the rhythms, pressures, habits, routines and perpetual motion of our every day lives…

And then one day you wake up, you’re clear headed, you stretch, take a deep breath and look around you – and you think to yourself: “wow, most of the year has gone already… so what have I done for myself with this time?”

Because thats what happens when we aren’t conscious and present each day – life passes us by, half the time we’re so busy thinking about the past, or worrying about the future and things that haven’t even happened yet, that we don’t see, feel, hear, taste or experience what is unfolding in this present moment.

We’re in a constant state of either ‘previewing’ or ‘reviewing’ our lives, instead of experiencing and enjoying this present moment. (as my fabulous friends often say!)

Sometimes its good to imagine – to look ahead and to visualise the life and the experiences that we want – this is part of the manifestation process after all – but before we do that, and before we can start to change our lives to what we’ve always dreamed – we need to be able to STOP, BREATHE and BE PRESENT in this moment.

A great way to cultivate this awareness is through taking a moment each day to think about all the things you are grateful for, for example:

  • I am able to enjoy sleeping in a comfortable, warm bed, put a roof over my head, create a home that I appreciate coming back to each day.
  • I appreciate my mind, my intellect – that I am able to listen to others, appreciate their points of view and have the ability to keep learning.
  • I have a strong body that carries me throughout the day, eyes that allow me to see beauty and appreciate my surroundings, and ears that allow me to hear music in every day life.
  • I have the most amazing group of people in my life and they truly inspire me in their unique ways.

 

This type of process is like exercising a muscle – the more you consciously do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.
In time you start to see the world through a different lens – not ‘rose tinted hippy glasses‘ as some people would have you believe – but with a new appreciation and wonder for everyday things. You start to realise how much you’ve missed over the years reminiscing/ ruminating – previewing/ reviewing – instead of just being… you come to a place where you can truly appreciate the goodness in your life.

The funny thing about the power of the human brain – whatever we focus on increases. So if you see and appreciate the goodness in your life – this is what you experience and draw to you.

 

Why does every day matter?
Theres a very famous quote that tells us “what you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it” and this is true no matter what sort of day you are having. Lets face it – we aren’t always going to have magical days where we find a pet unicorn, the barista sees us coming and has our favourite coffee ready to go, the lights are all green and the parking spot just outside the door suddenly appears…

In fact – some days are there to test us, to fray on our very last nerve – sometimes people are just rude, obstinate and aggressive – and there’s nothing we can do about how they choose to live their lives – but we can do everything about how we choose to live ours.

 

Exercise your positivity muscles – every day. 
When you climb into bed at night, do whatever you can to ensure you are in the right mental state to support and nourish you.

Even if you’ve had a sh*t day, holding on to that anger or worry only does you damage – and does nothing to change your situation.

Try writing down how you feel – letting the emotions out. If you can quieten your mind try meditating – or use a meditation app to guide you through if necessary. Escape into a book. Watch funny cat videos until your current state is laughter – you have the power to choose what you focus on. Use the force.

 

You have all the power in the world to change how you experience your life. 
And every day of your life is important – every day matters – because you have not only the ability, but the right to live the kind of life you want. It’s up to you.

 

Taking a break…

What a concept… for someone who took 5.5 years to take  ‘proper’ holiday (just because, rather than at Christmas) the concept of just stopping, literally not doing anything, or having anywhere to be, is just bizarre.

A few things I have noticed this week:

My phone isn’t important. OK, well to be honest, I had my phone in my handbag all weekend, on silent, and over the course of that time I ran out the battery, and couldn’t find the charger. And I didn’t even notice. I did have a few calls I needed to make, but I was so relaxed, so in the moment, enjoying my break and doing my thing that I forgot. And guess what? The world didn’t end.

I love reading. I guess I have mentioned this before, but the fact is I read 5 books over the weekend until now, and I am halfway through the 6th. Being transported into new worlds with every turn of the page is a kind of everyday magic. NB: The amount of books I have read may be a direct cause of completely forgetting my phone. 

I love feeling good. If I had tried to take some time out ten years ago, I would be spending my time doing VERY different things. (involving a large quantity of vino, no doubt) but this week has been made up of early nights and sleeping well (waking up without an alarm, letting my body tell me when I’m ready)  drinking a lot of herbal tea, yoga, Reiki, studying my herbalism course, and just generally doing awesome healthy stuff.

I’m not ready to commit to anything just yet. Symptomatic of 6 years in one place no doubt, but after one week of no commitments, I’ve realised that this is exactly what I need to be doing in this present moment. I’m doing exactly what I need to get myself wherever the heck I am going to end up. For a super-organised, methodical, slightly OCD (or rather OCT as my workmates told me!) this is a strange concept – and part of letting go, and being in the moment.

I am excited. And some days I’m not really sure what I am excited about – but I have laughter bubbling away just below the surface, a smile never far from my face, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the life I am living. I sat in the sun the other day, engrossed in my book, and a sun-shower passed by – somewhere along the line I’d just forgotten the feel of raindrops caressing my skin, and I felt so blessed in that moment that I could just stop and experience this.

 

So as I round out the week, I’m left with a feeling of profound gratitude, and the realisation that I am living what I have been coaching people all these many years: we control our destiny. We have the wonderful ability to choose – to make decisions about our life every single day.

 

Today I am Grateful for….

This is an exercise I try to do often, it helps me to be present in the moment, to appreciate my blessings and to be truly grateful for the goodness in my life – even if I am in the midst of the stresses of daily life….

today I am grateful for wonderful memories, deep/meaningful & gloriously silly conversations, for dancing around the house, walking along the beach, for shared bottles of wine, savoured meals, favourite songs, moments when nothing needs to be said to be understood, and moments where you feel you might explode for all the things you want to say/ share/ do.. I am grateful for those that challenge me, cherish me and chill with me. But most of all I am excited about creating even more moments to be grateful about.

Breathe

Today I decided I was going to be happy.

Infact that’s a decision I make every day, and it’s one of the most empowering realisations of my adult life: You choose happiness.

Happiness isn’t about having a big house, flash car, or your bangin’ bod dripping with diamonds, it’s about being present in your own life and being thankful for the many blessings you already have.

So this morning, as I rocked around my kitchen in my unicorn pjs, I chose my first song of the day as Pharrells “happy” and made a delicious brunch:

Mini bagels with wilted spinach, a hollandaise/cream cheese hybrid, scrambled eggs, and fresh spring onion.. Served with lavazza coffee and grapefruit juice…..

Because I’m HAPPY.

 

Change: and the important business of being AUTHENTIC

‘Death & Taxes are the only constant in life’ – or so the saying goes.. I’d disagree a little and say that change is the true constant.

Even though I haven’t felt like I have grown/been challenged in a professional sense for some time, theres certainly been a evolution of my spirit and my outlook on life.

I remember back to when I first undertook Coach training, born out of an incredibly deep-seated desire to help people – yet I was so afraid that people wouldn’t take me seriously, or value what I had to offer, that I became so focussed on people perceiving me as professional, and that overtook my real aspects of value:

The ability to empathise

My intuition

My spirituality 

Genuine desire to connect and to help

My (very) cheeky sense of humour

This spilled into my ‘day job’ too, and for so long I was focussed on proving myself, being ‘outcome focussed’ – ‘committed to delivery’ and all those typical phrases we throw around in HR. I wasn’t true to myself and being so utterly focussed on one aspect of your personality is stifling.

A couple of years ago, I got a new boss.. this woman was everything that had been lacking up till that point, she was warm, honest, genuinely looked out for my team and I, had my back, and not to mention had a wicked sense of humour to boot! So for the first time in a long time, I felt as though I could in turn be myself.. and my sense of humour and enjoyment of my job increased exponentially as a result.

When people are genuine and authentic – it encourages others to be authentic in return.

Women in the workplace can feel threatened by other women, they often feel like they need to overcompensate, or even put others down and bully them to make themselves look better.. and it’s damaging. A lot of the behaviour is false, two-faced and downright mean.

We are not robots. We have emotions, feelings – and more often than not, when we are in tune with these aspects of ourselves, and being our full, true, authentic selves – we thrive.

I’ve realised that I have very little energy, time or interest in collaborating with people who insist on playing this game. And through that realisation, and my ongoing desire to be authentic in what I do, I’ve bought authentic people into my life – we can’t avoid the bullies all the time at work, but we can decide how much energy and thought we spend on them.

So as I continue to move towards my passions with greater velocity, I look back with an increasingly clear head about where I am in my life – professionally, personally, mentally, emotionally and spirituality – and I’m proud to say that its been my hard work and determination, combined with an attitude of gratitude for some pretty special people in my life, that has allowed this change… 10 years ago I would have never shared my thoughts and emotions in such a public way, but if by sharing myself and being authentic allows others the grace to do this to, then that will be the most rewarding part of all.