How often do you stop to take in your wonderful life? How often do you make a conscious effort to stop what you are doing and take stock of your life? Do you feel too busy and too tired? Can you see the beauty or only the barriers?

In life, there is only one guarantee … it will eventually end! As morbid as that sounds, as much as I believe in past-lives and our souls journeying through many lifetimes, this particular lifetime will come to an end at some point. Hopefully, it’s a long way off, however, what are doing to cherish the moments in this lifetime? Are you on the treadmill of life? Just letting the days pass you by?

Here are 5 signs you are zooming through life …

1.You don’t have time for family or friends you make excuses not to see people because you feel as if your schedule is already hectic.

2. You feel as if your free-time doesn’t exist – you don’t feel as if you have a minute to yourself and when you do, you’re far too tired to do anything. 

3. You don’t seem to have the motivation to do things – if you’re overtired or overwhelmed by your to-do list it can be hard to motivate yourself to do other things. 

4. Every day is a blur and you can’t wait for Friday – if you’re going through the motions of a 9-5 job, hanging onto your weekends, this is a sure sign that you’re simply existing rather than living.

5. You have nothing to look forward too – this doesn’t have to be a holiday or time away, it could be an evening with friends, a night at the cinema … if you have nothing to look forward to, get something booked in your diary.

What can you do to slow things down

All the above link in together, you are wading through each day, waiting for it to end. But you’re too busy to stop doing what needs to be done, you’re lacking the energy to make the changes. Now, if you’re on, what I call, ‘the treadmill of life’, it’s time to make some changes.

You may need some drastic changes; such as a change of lifestyle. This could be a change of job or a healthy change to your routine. Joining a gym or a club. If you feel you need a complete change, think about the things that would make you happy.

I love this question: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

If you want big changes in your life sometimes we have to put small steps in place to make this happen. We often don’t make those changes because we can’t see the woods for the trees. Start writing a plan and brainstorm some ideas.

Ask yourself: What can I do today to start making changes?

However, you may not need the changes to be so drastic. You may just feel the mundane routine of life is passing you by. You may feel the excitement is just not there. You can put small things into place such as meeting with friends. Organise a night at the cinema or at the local quiz night. Do something with people who make you laugh. This will soon give you something to look forward to. Start filling your diary up with events. Not so much that you stress yourself out, but even if it’s once a month, even better if you can commit to once a week, but even arranging the first event is a step forward. Once you surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy, you will want to make more time to be with them.

Life is too short to be getting up every morning, getting on life’s treadmill and not getting off until it’s time for bed.

Make the changes, make something happen … push yourself to slow down and enjoy the ride.

If you’d like to read about zooming in on life’s possibilities and take part in a therapeutic writing exercise,

to see how you can zoom in on the positives of life,

you can read the previous blog post here

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Is being a ‘yes person’ no good for you?

 

How many times have you said, ‘Yes’ to someone, when you really mean, ‘No’? And how many times has this stressed you out?

When we say, ‘Yes’ too many times, people can start taking advantage. Does this remind you of anyone?

Do you know of someone who says, ‘Yes’, when you know they mean, ‘No’?

This comes down to self-care. When you put others before yourself, you don’t allow yourself to grow. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, we have family commitments, work commitments and other commitments that must be fulfilled. However, there are times when we are asked to do something, and we feel we can’t say, ‘No’.

So we often say, ‘Yes’, and suffer the consequences of it interfering in our own lives. This can lead to resentment. This has a ripple effect that can lead to uncomfortableness within friendship and family groups.

Saying, ‘No’ is about setting personal boundaries. Once you know what your boundaries are, and others know what your boundaries are, they will have to respect this. It’s time to get rid of the guilt. Once you practice self-care, you’ll have more to give other people, and yes, sometimes this means saying, ‘NO!’

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others

Brene Brown

I felt the need to write about this subject, as it has been something I have struggled with myself. I was an all-around yes person! I’d fit people in, change plans for other people and end up in many situations helping others. I would bend over backwards to help anyone even at the detriment of myself. However, I’ve learnt to say ‘No’ – at first it was hard. I felt guilty. I felt I was letting people down, however, as time went on I realised those who care me, truly understand why I was saying no. This didn’t happen overnight … and even now, I can find myself in a situation and I think, am I being tested? Because I am a person who is full of love and I love helping people. However, I have to judge now whether there is too much implication on my own life. If I feel the situation doesn’t suit me, I simply say, no!

I judge the situation because sometimes, I say, ‘Yes’ and I mean it, but I feel happiness at saying yes.

You too, will feel happiness, if the ‘yes’ suits you. Our mind, body and soul, knows if a situation suits us. We know when we say, ‘Yes’ and we mean it! We also know the feeling of that dark cloud that comes over us when we say, ‘Yes’ but we mean, ‘No’: that frustration, irritation and disappointment. When we are experiencing those feelings, it’s time to draw on our boundaries, it’s time to draw a line of what we are willing to accept.

We can say, ‘Yes’ when we mean, ‘No’ for many reasons: we don’t want to appear selfish, we don’t want to let someone down, we don’t want to seem rude, we don’t want the person to feel rejected … but in the process of saying ‘Yes’, you are doing these things to yourself.

If you read my blog posts, you’ll know I always ask you to come from a place of ‘love’ – so you may ask yourself, ‘How can I be showing love if I’m saying no?’ But ask yourself this … ‘If you are feeling resentment, if you are feeling begrudged, how is that coming from a place of love?’ You are not showing love to the person in question and you are not showing love to yourself. So there’s not much love flowing here … and with the rule of the Law of Attraction, you will attract more resentment! It’s amazing how this works.

So this isn’t asking you to say, ‘No’ to everything and everyone, as I said, you will know when you truly mean ‘Yes!’ It feels good. You are then sending love.

So, if you have the courage, which I know you do, to say, ‘No’ and mean, ‘No’, you may feel guilty, you may feel you are letting that person down, but ask yourself what are you gaining from this? Give yourself a hug, be proud of your decision and know that you are sending love to yourself and in turn, this will spread to others … and guess what, you’ll attract more love to yourself.

So, I talked a lot about saying ‘Yes’ when we mean ‘No’ … however, there are times when we should be ‘Yes’ and we don’t!

Read here, how to turn-up & say Yes …

Say YES to yourself!

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Express Yourself Through Creative Therapies

There are many therapies that allow people to express themselves through creativity.

If you read my blog, you’ll know that one of my favourite avenues is writing. Therapeutic writing, automatic writing and self-reflective writing are all amazing avenues to express emotions, feelings and thoughts. Writing therapy has become increasingly popular. But not everyone feels comfortable with expressing themselves through this form.

There are so many ways in which we can connect with our inner selves. There are many creative avenues and many of these avenues are used in a professional capacity.

Let’s take a look at a few, you may find a creative outlet for yourself:

Music therapy

Music can be calming, soothing or upbeat and fun. It’s great for energy release and is often used for meditation. Usually, in music therapy, people work with numerous instruments, they connect with the sounds and this can be accompanied by singing.

You can see, The British Association for Music Therapy, which gives a professional overview of this type of therapy.

However, if you’d like to know more about using music therapy in your home, Education.com, have created a very informative article that includes a range of wonderful Music Therapy Techniques to Try at Home.

Dance Therapy/Movement

Dance/movement therapy in the US, or dance psychotherapy in the UK, uses dance to express emotion.

It is thought to be an awesome avenue for self-expression. It is also a way of keeping fit, but for those who are less mobile, or have chronic illnesses, it can help with muscle flexibility. These, in turn, help to improve self-confidence, which leads to a healthier state of mind.

You can read more on the association of dance movement psychotherapy.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is extremely popular. It is used with children, teenagers, adults and older people. It is used with all kinds of groups from those with physical disabilities, mental health issues and other vulnerable groups.

Again this type of therapy allows an individual to express themselves through, drawing, painting or creating something. It’s a great way to focus on the task at hand, it can improve dexterity, skills and overall well-being.

Either creating something yourself or joining an art therapy group, you will soon use this type of therapy to connect with your soul. A wonderful and renowned way of expressing yourself.

You can read more here about Art Therapy.

Dramatherapy

This is another popular psychological therapy that is used with vulnerable groups. It is a great way to improve emotional well-being. Students can use their own experiences to express their feelings, through stories, role-play, dress-up etc.

You can see more about dramatherapy here. 

Expressing yourself through creativity at home

The therapies above are to give you an indication of the type of therapies that are available.

You can use any of the above and try them at home by yourself, or even ask a group of friends to join you.

You could try colour therapy, sewing, textiles, journaling, painting, crafts … there is so much available to you. It doesn’t have to cost much money. Once you start working on a project of love, you’ll find you have so much to express. Once you start expressing in your chosen form, watch how your mind, body and soul feel better.

If you would like to see more about expressing yourself and how it can help you in life

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To live the life you want and deserve, you must be WILLING to show up!

What do we mean by this?

Put the effort in, make things happen, be willing to do what it takes!

In many of my blog posts, I write about the Law of Attraction: what we think we are … we become. The Universe reflects back to us our key thoughts, whether these are positive or negative.

But there are situations where you have to be willing to put in the effort: you can’t write a book if you don’t start writing … there are many things that are in your own hands. You have to be consistent, you have to show up and be willing.

When you’re willing; when you show up the Universe will have your back. Keep your thoughts positive, don’t begrudge the effort you have to put in. Be pleased with yourself. Pat yourself on the back. If you constantly believe you are not good enough, or you haven’t achieved what you wanted to achieve, you are putting this out to the Universe … and guess what .. the Universe will agree with you. You will feel as if you’re not getting anywhere, that treadmill will just keep going.

Be willing to praise yourself. Be proud that you are getting closer to your goal. Be willing to do what needs to be done.

If it helps, make notes of the things you have achieved and tick things off your to-do list. You’ll be surprised when you start noting down the things you are achieving. The more consistent you are and the less procrastinating you do, you will find you have more energy and fighting spirit.

 

 

Here are some quotes from some very successful people:

Perseverance is failing 19 times & succeeding the 20th …

-Julie Andrews-

I start early, and I stay late, day after day, year after year, it took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.

-Messi-

No matter how talented you are, your talent will fail you, if you’re not skilled. Skill is achieved through practice. Work hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day.

-Will Smith-

The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance — and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.

-Oprah Winfrey-

Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.

-Michael Jordon-

I can look back on my life, where there have been moments where things might have gone the other way. Everything is like stepping stones, and I’ve seen people I admire falter. We’re all vulnerable.

-Hugh Jackman-

You control your own life. Your own will is extremely important …

-J.K Rowling-

Every hero doesn’t do this great big hero thing. They do the simple thing over and over… and they stick to it!

-Matthew McConaughey-

Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.

-Serena Williams-

I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

-Steve Jobs-

Here are 12 ‘BE WILLING TO’ tips:

  • Be willing to say NO!
  • Be willing to say YES!
  • Be willing to go the extra mile
  • Be willing to step out of your comfort zone
  • Be willing to put in the extra work
  • Be willing to make the time that is needed
  • Be willing to put yourself first
  • Be willing to push yourself when needed
  • Be willing to look for the positive in a ‘testing situation’
  • Be willing to open yourself up to new ideas
  • Be willing to forgive
  • Be willing to send love
  • Be willing to get out of bed every morning, show up and make things happen!
  • Simply BE WILLING!

Write down the above tips and read them daily. Do what you need to do to live the life you dream of, and look at the above quotes, write down your favourites and use these as encouragement and inspiration.

Take some therapeutic writing exercises to help increase your willingness to show-up

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When I wrote the previous blog on victory, I was in two minds whether to actually choose V is for Victory on the A-Z Inspirational Blog.

Because here’s the thing … the definition of victory as set-out by Merriam-Webster  (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/victory) : It defines victory as: conquest, and triumph means success in a competition or struggle. Victory is used for a win over an opponent or over difficult problems.

I like to think of the word victory as in competing against yourself. Pushing yourself, beating your own limitations, setting goals and smashing them. Victory is about celebrating your achievements. Concentrating on your successes, no matter how big or small they are. Small steps count. Each step you take today brings you closer to your goal. Those small steps are your biggest victories. Smashing through small victories every day will ensure you reach those big victories.

If you want to see further how you can be celebrating your victories and not focusing on your defeats, see the previous post on V is for Victory here, this also includes a therapeutic writing exercise

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10 Quotes To Help You Embrace Your Uniqueness

Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were all the same? You may enjoy things that other people don’t enjoy, or you may want to live a life that others are not willing to live. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be something you are not! This includes listening to negative naysayers. Don’t listen to people who don’t believe that there is a bigger and better world out there. Believe in yourself, embrace your passions and your uniqueness … and once you embrace this uniqueness you will feel such joy and warmth that you will spread this to others.

Once you become a person of light and love, you will encourage others to embrace their unique selves.

You can see here a variety of downloadable quotes that you can print off.

A great way to remember that you should embrace your uniqueness

If you’d like to read more about how you can let your uniqueness shine,

click here to see quotes & therapeutic writing exercises.

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10 Quotes To Help You Thrive Through Life

Sometimes, we need a reminder to keep going … not to just plod along, but to take life by the horns!

Once we decide to get off the treadmill of life, enjoy the rollercoaster and embrace what is around the corner, you will soon find yourself moving full steam ahead. Thriving in life is about grabbing each day and making the most out of it. This doesn’t just have to be about your work, but your family and friends time, your hobbies … it’s about each day counting. Each day is another opportunity to thrive and make life happen.

As always, I’m here to give you a helping hand …

Here are 10 quotes to help you

not to just sail along and survive,

but to THRIVE!

(You can purchase these quotes as downloadable prints on my online shop. 

A great way to surround yourself with positivity)

If you’d like to find out more about how you can thrive, you can see the previous post here

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Writing can be therapeutic; as Psychology Today bloggers, Randi Kreger and Rochelle Melander point out, “Many psychological and medical studies have shown that writing about difficulties and dreams helps people experience increased happiness, health, and productivity.”

When we have lots of things going around in our mind, we often can’t sort through them. When the mind feels chaotic, it does affect the body and soul. If you can soothe your soul, the rest will follow.

One of the best ways to do this is through writing. Therapeutic and self-reflective writing are excellent ways to express your emotions. There are many therapeutic exercises on my blog. If you click through the A-Z you’ll find exercises for certain subjects. If you feel you have a blockage in an area of your life, have a look through and see if you can relate to any of the subjects. Have fun doing this, don’t put pressure on yourself. My exercises help to give you an avenue to start expressing yourself. You don’t need to show anyone these writings, you can keep them or throw them away.

If you feel like your head is in the middle of a motorway, then letting all this go onto paper is an amazing release. Research has shown that writing down our thoughts does help to clear our thoughts: it can help put things into perspective, see things more clearly and prioritise. The latter isn’t saying some thoughts don’t matter, however, there could be thoughts that are murking the waters.

For example, are you worried about the outcome of a situation? Are you stressing about things that haven’t happened yet? If this is the case, when you’re releasing these thoughts, write about the outcome you desire. Write as if you’ve received this outcome. Imagine the emotions and joy you would feel if you were at peace.

Writing is very powerful, many authors have created fictional stories through their own life experiences. When I was studying for my MA in Creative Writing, the saying, ‘Write what you know’, was used quite often. You can read more about, ‘Writing what you know,’ by Joanna Penn here. (It is one of her older posts, however, it is still very useful in terms of how authors bring personal experiences into their writing). My fiction books draw in life experiences, I love turning real-life into fiction, as it can help the reader, especially if they identify with a situation within my books.

Simply putting pen to paper is amazing for your soul. We need to take care of our inner selves so that our outer selves can shine. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or even if your writing makes sense … just write and get those thoughts, emotions and experiences down on paper.

There is probably a book deep inside of you.

You can see my previous blog post on following your soul here

 

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How To Be Your Most Radiant Self

 

I love the quote above by Jane Seymour. Think about this quote and think about someone you would describe as radiant.

Think about this person and ask yourself, what makes them radiant?

If you are thinking about the way they dress or how they look, then you are missing the point of radiance … because radiance comes from within.

Radiance is the person who smiles, laughs and brings energy with them that is infectious.

Often, radiance can be wiped from us due to everyday life getting in the way (that treadmill I talk about). From the 9-5 mundane job you are stuck in, to the busy schedule of family life. The only thing radiating from many people by the end of the day is tiredness.

So how can you become more radiant and spread that radiance to others?

 

Firstly, think about your life?

Is there something that drags you down?

Can you change this?

Sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we have to take a new perspective on the ‘thing’ that is affecting our radiance. Changing your thoughts to a situation can give you renewed energy.

Here’s a little exercise to get you started:

  1. Write down the things you can change: a quick change, or a change that will happen over a period of time.
  2. Write down a plan to how you can make these changes: writing down your thoughts, emotions and plans is a great way to become focused on the task at hand. If a certain change needs a long time-frame, write down the steps needed to make this change happen.
  3. Now, write down the things you can’t change, as much as you would like to, but you feel these things can’t be changed.
  4. Look at the things you can’t change and write down the positive aspects. Change the way you look at these things, think about how you could embrace them into your life, how can you view these things from a different perspective. This task may be hard, but you will be able to draw something from this. Learning to love whatever life throws at you, helps to release good energy rather than negative dull energy that will affect other areas of your life.

We often wake up on a morning, with all the tasks we’ve got to complete, things we’ve got to do … pulling ourselves from our bed, we then put ourselves on autopilot and make our way through the day. Sound familiar?

One of the best ways to start your day is with gratitude …

Before you get out of bed on a morning, think about the things you are grateful for in your life. Say thank-you aloud. If you can jump out of bed shouting ‘thank-you’ you’ll soon notice a difference in your mood … and people will soon notice your radiance.

Here are a few more tips on how you can become more radiant:

1. Practise mindfulness: You can practise mindfulness through meditation, or simply look through my blog, there are several blog posts that will help you practise mindfulness. From finding your quiet, to soothing your soul, plus there are plenty of therapeutic writing exercises.

2. Rise above your troubles: Life sometimes throws us a curveball, but often situations arise because they have a deeper meaning. The best way to do this, is to ask yourself: what am I learning from this situation? What can I be grateful for? How will this situation affect me in a year’s time? What can you do to make the situation better? Challenge yourself, fight your way through … get up every morning with a smile and a grateful heart and your radiance will shine through. 

3. Connect with others: When you’re out and about smile at others. A smile, a friendly hello or a small interaction with someone who crosses your path during the day, can give you an energetic boost. Don’t underestimate the power of connecting with others to increase your mood, this will inevitably lead to you becoming more radiant.

Making a conscious effort to be more radiant by bringing all of the above together. This is sure to bring out a radiance that will shine onto others.

You can read the previous blog post on the A-Z Inspirational Blog; R is for Radiance:

BECOME A MORE RADIANT YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Embracing your time alone is good for the mind, soul and heart. Solitude is a great way to recharge your internal batteries. The world can often be busy and chaotic, we can be running from one place to another and not really taking concentrated time to be quiet; to just sit and breathe.

Research has shown that quiet-time relieves stress, tension and helps to boost a person’s mental state. Too much time alone can have an opposite effect, however, on a day-to-day basis when life is full of schedules, deadlines, places to be, things to do, it’s very important to find time to be and relish in quiet.

As a parent, I understand the limited ‘quiet time’ available, however, I have to ensure I do have quiet time, whether this is just 5-10 minutes before bed, or before the craziness starts on a morning, but I know it makes me a better parent. I know it gives me time to focus, re-adjust and feel gratitude.

Researchers have said that meditation is so important, however, many people find it hard to connect with their inner selves. There are many meditation downloads you can choose from that will help you find your inner peace, however, if you prefer to be a bit more active here are 5 ways to enjoy some quiet time and switch off from your hectic world:

1. Bath with candles – either quietly or listening to some soft music

I love baths. A hot soak with bubbles, candles and some soft music can be just the thing to soothe the soul. Being mum, it isn’t always possible to have a bath without the interruptions of children. If you have children who go to bed and sleep, that’s awesome, ‘us mums’ who didn’t succeed in that department praise you. However, those who have children who don’t sleep, need to find their quiet time, dare I say, probably even more so …

I’ve known myself to get in the bath at 1.am and onwards … just to feel the soak of the water and relax from a hectic day. I find water relaxing, although, I’m not a lover of swimming. I love stepping into the heat of the bath and just knowing that calmness surrounds me. I can’t use my laptop in the bath, I can’t run errands, I can’t be sorting the house out. It stops you from doing the tasks that can feel mundane and can relax your mind so that you can recharge and feel in control again.

2. Go walking

By going out walking, we all know it’s a great way to keep fit and healthy, but this is a great way to also find your quiet.

I reiterate this throughout my blog posts, walking in the fresh air is a natural and free way to lift your mood. Research has shown that exposing ourselves to fresh air can relieve stress and anxiety. It can affect the serotonin levels released in our bodies, which then leads to feeling happy and relaxed.

Researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) found that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain. (See science daily)

So whether you walk in silence, or with your headphones on, you will feel immensely better after. You can listen to music or, like myself, listen to an audiobook (I use audible, I absolutely love it, a fab product if you love listening to stories).

3. Read

This is another of my favourites. I love reading all kinds of books, from losing myself in someone else’s fictional drama, learning more about the world of spirituality to being inspired by others who have achieved their goals. Whatever your hobbies and interest, you will find a book that will grab your attention.

 

 

 

4. Jigsaw Puzzles

There have been several studies to show that jigsaws are great for improving both mindfulness and brain activity. You can see more about this on Memory Jogging Puzzles.

Jigsaws have been around for centuries, so it’s not something new, but it may be something that someone hasn’t thought to partake in. Especially in the hustle and bustle of adulthood, the last thing we may consider doing is sitting down to put together a jigsaw.

We all know the world is now full of technology; phones, i-pads, tablets etc. but that isn’t finding our quiet time. Set-up a place in your house; kitchen, bedroom, office etc. where you know you can sit down, focus on a jigsaw and relish in some quiet time.

5. Colour Therapy

Colouring has always been popular for children, but when the colouring books came out for adults, I was in my element. I would colour with my girls when they were younger and found it so relaxing. Therefore having our own designs that are created especially for relaxation, I believe, is just one of the best ideas ever.

Natural Health Courses Website say … colour is just light of varying wavelengths and frequencies. Electromagnetic waves constantly surround us, and colour is part of those waves. Every single cell in the body needs light energy. Our cells absorb colour, and this affects us on every level, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As above, when doing a jigsaw, find a quiet place to sit, chill and colour.

Why not visit my previous blog post on

‘ The Key to a Peaceful Life is a Quiet Mind’

and have a go at the therapeutic writing exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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