Say YES

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Brian Andreas is a talented chap, with the ability to condense an incredible amount of emotion and imagery into just a few short sentences. This one is a recent favourite of mine – and resonates deeply.

 

I love this chap…

And this is a wonderful rant! Talks a lot about the ego… how people are too focussed on themselves.. which makes them BORING. Wholeheartedly agree, look outside, pay attention to other people. You’ll learn, experience new things, move forward. Caution: long, circa 30 minutes, but he does have a lovely voice 🙂

He also touches on travel and reading, and a practise where people read a book, and write their name and message in it, and leave it in a public place for others to find and enjoy. I remember doing this in my travels in 2007 and it was such an amazing thing… it felt so good to be able to share the joy of a great book with others. Most of the books I read these days are e-books so I can’t do this, and I miss it.

 

EDIT: Had the absolute pleasure of seeing Stephen Fry in his ‘telling tales’ one man show at the Civic in Auckland. If you ever get a chance to see him live, go GO! You won’t regret it. 

Sometimes the biggest shifts are the most simple of all..

As I sat here feeling rested, alert, healthy and alive, not remotely hungover, exhausted or grumpy that I was already awake again so early on a Saturday morning, it prompted me to reflect the shifts that have occurred for me thus far in 2014.

At the end of last year, I made the decision that I had become stagnant. I realised that I wasn’t learning, my work was not challenging me, I didn’t feel fulfilled and I just generally felt a little flat. Like the tyres on a cool red bicycle, that had streamers, spokie-dokies, a basket for goodies and a really really cool horn, but that had been left propped against the side of a garage… so the streamers weren’t as shiny, there was a little bit of rust on the basket, the red paint was dull, and worst of all, there was no air in the tyres.. how can you ride a bike with no air in the tyres? Well, you can try but it’s just way harder than it needs to be, and you find you need to put in 3x the effort to get anywhere.

Where was the fun in that?

So I began to think about what it was in life that filled me up, the things that I did, experienced, learned etc that put air in my tyres and made me feel like I was moving forward, not only with momentum, but with awesome streamers waving in the wind, tooting my horn, laughing my a*s off and making a generally loud, hilarious and fun racket as I cruised about my day…

Here’s what I did: I made a list of all of the things I love, that give me energy and make me feel connected, and that give me a sense of self.

Bringing this stuff back into your life is a bit of a process, and when you’re not naturally a super patient person (people think I am, but I have to work really really hard at this!) you have to be sensible about what you can do, how soon you can do it, and make a plan about how you are going to get there. (All the stuff I teach and have taught through coaching, so just tapping into that toolkit again basically)

The three main things I put into play were this:

Nutritional Healthcare: I found a course that I could do, that was reasonably priced, had good timeframes and could give me some solid grounding in this subject which I am incredibly passionate about.

NLP: I had enjoyed learning about this as part of my coaching, but had stepped away from it for the past few years. I wanted to learn more, do a practitioners course and use this fabulous communication tool.

Reiki: this was something that I had been thinking about for years (we’re talking 10+ years here!) But I was a little scared to get this ball rolling, because I knew that when I did, I would bring my spiritual and emotional sides to the fore again, and that meant being honest with myself, and really getting my sh*t together once and for all.

So I am 75% of the way through the Nutritional Healthcare course, enjoying working my way through the NLP Course, and I have completed Reiki First Degree, and am set to complete Reiki Second Degree on Tuesday. (After which time I can practice Reiki)

The Reiki is the part that has bought this all together.. I’ve realised how much I segmented my life over the past 20 years. I wanted to ‘stand on my own two feet’ and ‘not have to rely on anyone’ (I had three part time jobs at the age of 12) I wanted to be taken seriously, and even though I have always been an intensely spiritual person, highly attuned to energy, I was so scared that people wouldn’t take me seriously if they knew this part of me, that I first hid that side, and then almost shut it off completely.

So what made me a highly effective and efficient recruiter and coach – logic, humour, attention to detail, an analytical and logical mind etc – didn’t necessarily make me ME.

I was taught through my coach training that in order to be an effective coach, you must first be coachable yourself. Ie you need to be ready, willing and able to evolve and to grow. Because of the things I am learning, and the changes that I have already put into play, I’m excited again about life. I have a new perspective. A new energy. Air in my tyres. A new shiny paint job coming along nicely, not to mention some sparkly streamers that will soon be attached to my bike….

You are not what you do.

You are not the clothes that you wear, the car you drive, the degree (or lack there of) that you have, how much money you have, or how rich your parents are. 

You are defined by the choices you make, HOW you live your life, your ability to grow, to move past and through the tough bits, and more than anything, your ability to find joy and celebrate it in every way that you can.

 

The things we humans obsess over (Part 2)

So I’ve done 22 days no alcohol now, and I’m feeling pretty good. Previously I’d done 5 weeks in 2013 and that was a monumental exercise in fabulousness. But with this new-ish clarity of thought comes the inevitable reflection on just how utterly obsessed we are with the ‘demon-drink’ …..and I’ve realised how much alcohol is a knee-jerk reaction in modern western society.

 

Had a bad day? A glass of wine will sort that.
Nailed that project at work? You deserve a drink!
Survived the working week with all your limbs intact? Time for a beverage!

 

It’s like drinking is so ingrained into what we do literally day to day that it takes a concerted effort to minimise the ingrained knee-jerk reaction to relax with a drink…..

Think about it:
Oh it’s a beautiful sunny summers night, I’d better make the most of this and go out and have a beer in the sun!
Oh it’s a rainy winters night, freezing out there! I should tuck up with a yummy glass of red wine in front of the fire…

It’s the elixr for the masses, comes in all shapes and sizes, flavours and strengths, colours and packages, it picks you up when you’re down, transforms your face to a smile from a frown, helps lubricate communication all over town, makes you think you can dance and ‘get down’ – it’s what?! ALCOHOL! Yay! *cue mexican wave*

Now I don’t propose to have all the answers to this (or anything for that matter) what I want you to do is simply stop and think for yourself.

To start asking yourself how you feel about drinking…. to see if you resonate with anything I’ve mentioned, and to see if you too could start to challenge the assumptions modern society has placed upon you about drinking. *glug glug*

Could you go a week without drinking? A month? What changes in your social habits would you need to make in order to do this? How would your friends and workmates react?

After almost 10 years in Recruitment (an industry body known for enjoying the ‘odd tipple‘ *cough*) I can hand on heart say that I still enjoy a deep spicy glass of Shiraz, and smooth and velvety Central Otago Pinot Noir, and love the giggly brain-fuzz and silliness from a ridiculously over-priced glass of Champagne…. but my attitude to drinking is slowly changing.

With glorified boozing in adverts tempting me… And bars full of laughing, smiling, beautiful people – waving about their bottles of beer and oh-so-tempting glasses of chilled Pinot Gris as I wander past …I almost feel like I’m ‘sticking it to the man’ some days…. so yeah, fight the power and whatnot, I’m off to pour myself a stiff tea.

 

Growing your own veg….?

So as a result of being stuck in bed for the better part of a week, in between a persistent consistent and insistent headache (!!) I’ve been unable to do much more than sleep & think…. One of the main things I’ve been contemplating is food, and it’s relation to health…. Segué into thinking about what I’ve enjoyed the most at friends places and favourite restaurants – and it’s always been the dishes made with home-grown and/or locally grown veg.

Now being mildly OCD about how things look (read: matchy matchy) M & I have been bandying about on the whole ‘grow your own veg’ thing, wanting fabulous (expensive) planters and the like. What I’ve realised is that we’ve been making this WAAAAAY harder than it needs to be, and therefore created barriers to getting amoungst this goodness.

So today, as M squirrelled away in his office, and I lay in bed, I decided to take matters into my own hands and get this ball rolling… I realised through a bit more research that you can actually grow most veg in planter bags – a very cheap and effective way of getting your garden growing! (Duh, I know right?) so I let my fingers do the walking/index finger do the clicking, and have ordered some essentials to get underway:

 

  • Seedling trays
  • Yates black magic seed raising mix (love that name!)
  • Gardening gloves
  • Potato bags x4 (can grow potatoes, onions, beets, carrot etc)
  • Wide/long planter bags x2 (primarily for tomato, lettuce, carrot etc)

For starters I checked online to see what I should be seeding for planting now, what plants grow best together (companion planting reduces the need for chemical bug sprays – WIN!) and got the following seeds:

  • Chives
  • Cocktail tomatoes (multi coloured goodness)
  • Mesclun lettuce
  • Cut & come again mixed lettuce
  • Marigolds
  • Beetroot
  • Red onion

(Still to get carrot seeds but couldn’t find a good one online)

So these should arrive in the next few days, and I’m going to put my love, energy and time into seeing what I can grow… we have a fabulous deck that’s large & gets all day sun, so I’m cautiously optimistic. I know that apartment living is about as far away from Mother Nature as you can get, and I’m an earth-baby at heart, so hopefully this will have far reaching positive effects on M & I….

And if you don’t try, you’ll never know…… I can’t wait to be making beautiful meals for my friends & family from home grown veggies.

 

Signs you need some ‘me time’

We all experience the ups and downs of daily life, and some days will naturally be tougher than others… but how do you know you’ve really had enough, and it’s time to step back and take some time out for yourself? If you are experiencing two or more of the below, then it might be time to book in some annual leave ASAP and get the hell outta dodge:

 

1. You have no patience
We often feel like we’re rushing around in our busy modern lives, but when you find yourself steaming mad, smoke coming out of your ears because of some niggly little everyday thing that’s taking TOO BLOODY LONG it might be time to step back for a little perspective…

 

2. Everything seems niggly & annoying
Speaking of things that make us mad… actually if most of the things you do and experience during your day wind you up/ really grind your gears… the reality is it’s probably got more to do with you than with the rest of the world..

 

3 You’re tired but you can’t sleep
You find yourself lying awake again, counting the minutes and hours on an imaginary clock, or worse yet picking up your mobile phone to check how long it’s been since you last checked how long you’ve been lying there… and it’s not any one thing that you’re musing over because, well, it’s everything….

 

4. Your body is aching
Phantom aches and pains, sore shoulders, clicking backs…. stomach aches, eye aches, everything aches! It might be a sign of your age but more likely it’s a product of your environment and the pressures you are carrying with you, emotional baggage and little angers are heavy, man.

 

5. Your head is aching
You can’t think straight because you’ve been carrying around a headache that’s barely kept at bay by the magical elixir of Nurofen… but that’s the point, the headache isn’t going away no matter how many pills you pop and it’s not normal to wake up feeling like warmed up dog poo. Just because you’ve gotten used to feeling like crap, doesn’t mean it’s normal or right.

 

6. You can’t muster enthusiasm for catching up with friends or family
Infact, if anyone invites you to another ‘thing’ or talks about how they never see you anymore, you’re going to flush your mobile phone down the loo. Never mind the guilt you’ve created all by yourself for not spending time with your loved ones… you can’t take it if they bring it up too. You don’t know whether you’re mad or teary about this. So many feels.

 

7. Getting out of bed is tough
Leaving the wonder and majesty of a warm and comfy bed is difficult at the best if times, but if you find yourself snoozing till you have no time to bathe and/or brush your teeth before taking off like a bat out of hell for the morning commute… It might be a sign you either A) hate your job, or B) need a break, or C) a little of both.

There are a million reasons you can create to tell yourself you can’t take some time off/time out, but there are equally as many reasons (if not more) to make this happen. Even a short break can reset your batteries, though the longer the better.

(The irony is, about 3/4 of the way through this break you couldn’t take, you’ll lament not arranging just a couple of days more…. )

 

Sometimes we just need a reminder that life is actually pretty bloody fantastic, and if we aren’t getting joy from how we’re living our lives, perhaps it’s time we changed that.

Things that are awesome

I love writing about things that are AWESOME, and I love writing lists. So here is a combination of two of my favourite things, about my favourite things:
1. Sunday mornings. Specifically sleeping in, or even just lying there in the sweet sweet knowledge that you don’t have to get up.

 

2. The moment in the last Harry Potter Movie (deathly hallows) where Harry, Ron & Hermione step out of the portrait & into the room of requirement – and everyone cheers & claps because they know the time for hiding is over, and it’s time to kick some magical butt.

 

3. Minions. These little twistie/ twinkie shaped friends bring me so much joy. I’ve watched Despicable Me and the minion movies so many times I’ve actually lost count. Even saw the second movie in 3D and it was AWESOME. I need me some minions.

 

4. The jelly legs and ‘ping ping ping’ you get after an awesome walk/run.. not to mention the endorphins. I love me some endorphins.

 

5. Ice cold, clear, fresh water.

 

6. Vineyard Lunches. I mean, seriously, is there anything better than this? Slow food, laughter, vino, friends… Magic.

 

7. The sound of birds chattering away. Especially in the mornings, where I imagine they’re either talking about the crazy dreams they had, or the party they were at last night. And especially Tui’s, they are my all time favourite NZ bird and every time I hear them getting down with their bad selves, I just can’t help but smile.

 

8. Spring time. This means daffodils, sunshine, tasty baby lambs (I heart meat) flowers and hope in the air. The world around us is lush and green and fabulous.

 

9. Waiheke Island. This little piece of heaven in the Hauraki Gulf is one of my spiritual homes.

 

10. Queenstown. If I had my way I’d live on the hill above the lake here, writing books, painting, making music and just getting paid for being awesome.

 

11. A good couch, and a great book. Not to mention a nice glass of red wine. Perfect combo on a Sunday afternoon…. Infact, I think I’ll pour a glass now.

 

BOOM!

I constantly remind myself that my happiness is my decision!


…and I’m pretty good at snapping myself out of a bad day or melancholy thoughts… But sometimes (if you listen!) the universe sends you little gifts to remind you of life’s fabulousness as well….

I was rushing from a to b the other day… busy busy busy… thinking on something I’d done, working myself up about things I hadn’t even started yet… when I heard a lady laugh, and looked to my right…. I saw two women walking side by side, smiling and laughing and carrying the first bunch of daffodils of spring.

You know that magic moment in the sharp chill of a winters day, when you’re rugged up with boots, scarf, hat, coat… and you see the first bunch of daffodils, heralding the coming of spring? The promise of warm days to come… sunshine on your face… the glorious-ness of bare feet on green grass…?

Well that’s what those flowers, that laugh and those smiles bought me on that crisp day… And it was just what I needed. That reminder that nothing is permanent.. all things have their cycles.. and even at the busiest of times, where you can’t see the forest for the paperwork… this too shall pass…. and sometimes you just have to stop and smell the flowers.

Regina Brett: 49 life lessons

Stumbled upon another great little piece of writing the other day and it made me smile… link is here.

49 life lessons
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry because God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone, everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
49. Yield.

(recently updated when Regina turned 50)

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

The paradox of our time in history (by Dr George Moorehead)

This seems to ring true more than ever. Something to think about as you decide how you want the next year of your life to pan out….

A wonderful Message by Dr George Moorehead:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our
possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and
hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to

life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but
have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
space but not inner space.

We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air,
but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold
more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less
and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of
two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one
night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer,
to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the
stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time
when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going
to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to
you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your
side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you because that is the only
treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember,
to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all
mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep
inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday
that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak
and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.