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2022 Happiness Self Care and Self Love Self Care Sunday

It’s controversial but I think it’s 100% true

Much is made (by wellbeingey, feelgoodery people like me!) of “Being Present”. That we will all be healthier and happier if we are more connected to “the now” and present with who and what we are doing, when we are actually doing it.

 

There is however another equally important, yet far less discussed perspective to the “Be Present” position.

 

I also think it’s important to know:

 

*It’s TOTALLY okay not to be “on” 24/7 and engaged in every single convo going on around you.

 

* It’s TOTALLY okay to have an enjoyable, meandering, noodle on Instagram on your phone.

 

* It’s TOTALLY okay not to listen to every single word someone wants to share with you.

 

AS LONG AS YOU OWN YOUR ABSENCE.

 

If you can be present, and you choose to be present: BE ALL THERE.

 

If you don’t have the capacity, the time, the attention, or the mind space: LET THEM KNOW.

 

OWN YOUR ABSENCE.

 

It’s yours. You can do that. It belongs to you.

 

Be clear. Be unambiguous.

 

Say “I can see you have something on your mind you want to share but I just cannot give you my full attention right now. Can we talk properly over dinner?”

 

or

 

“Hon, I adore you, I’ve loved chatting with you over coffee – but I just need to check my email. I’d like to take 10 minutes and then resume the chats! – is that cool with you?”

 

or

 

Turn your phone on silent, go lay on the bed, and play on Instagram to your heart’s content with no one else expecting anything from you in that moment. Immerse yourself and enjoy.

 

If you are not going to be present (which is fine, no one can be all the time) OWN YOUR ABSENCE with clarity and intent.

 

Make sense? What a relief, eh? No-one can be present all the time, let’s stop beating ourselves up for it.

 

PS. Want a book that will change your life? Of course you do.

It’s here.

It’s beautiful.

Original.

Satisfyingly tickable

Make it yours ✅

Categories
2022 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Happiness Live Happy Inspiration

Breaking through from burnout: When “I’m fine” is really a secret cry for help

Prisha is a busy mum and step-mum, who works part-time AND is an exceptional surveyor in the office. She juggles a lot, mostly with a smile, and is THAT FRIEND. You know, the one you go to who always helps you feel better and knows what to say. 

Prisha had a problem and that was – she was veeeerrry burned out. And that a lot of her “I’m fine!”’s were in fact covering up the fact she was utterly overwhelmed and feeling like she was a hamster on a wheel from the moment she woke up to the moment she closed her eyes at night. 

AND because she was already so busy, she absolutely did NOT have time for yet another spendy wellbeing programme or gym membership that would be gathering dust after the first week. She didn’t need more in her life, she was already up to her limit. 

Prisha joined the Coaching Academy as a bit of a cry for help, really. And she spent the first few weeks just checking in with the daily challenges, as she dipped into the Packing Light module that helped her dial down her tendency to overthink. 

Her big breakthrough came in one of the weekly Coach Spot LIVE sessions. It was a question another Academy member had asked about overwhelm in terms of extended family obligations, and as she listened to the advice and tools given on the live Prisha picked up a HUGE ‘AHA!’ moment for herself that changed the way she had been viewing her responsibilities and her boundaries. 

The other woman’s question unlocked her exact dilemma. Putting it into practice with a simple 5-step conversation (in the Better Boundaries module) changed SO MUCH in her office life and at home to create that breathing space she needed. It was suddenly so CLEAR when it wasn’t her wrestling with her own problem in her own head, but hearing someone get coached on something similar just unlocked that situation for her. 

That’s why we do a new LIVE Coach Spot every week inside the WW Academy. 

Those sorts of live conversations and interactions are BAKED INTO THE ACADEMY. I know it’s not just about the tools and resources in the module that month (and they are awesome!), it’s also about the opportunity to have your personal life issues coached.

One new perspective can be all it takes to unlock an issue that you have been wrestling with for YEARS.

I will never cease to be delighted by how much each weekly Coach Spot session helps SO many other members. There is a universality to what bothers us… and being able to see the nuggets of your own solution hidden in someone else’s question and answer is THE COOLEST THING. 

You might be surprised by how much you’ll get out of these weekly LIVE sessions. You don’t need to join me live (although great if you can!) all the coaching sessions are available for replay in a very tidy and indexed hub where you can go listen as you are out walking the dog or driving to work! 

If the LIVE Coach Spot sessions sound interesting to you, they are WEEKLY, and INCLUDED in your Wellbeing Warriors membership, and you can jump in now and enjoy AND beat the price rise?!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COACHING ACADEMY, SIGN UP BEFORE 31ST JULY TO BEAT THE PRICE RISE

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2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

The Smile Jar

As we kick start 2020 I would love to set you up for your best, most brilliant year with a simple tool.

I’d like to think you have a year of grace and goodness in store!

In my experience of coaching thousands of people to health and happiness I have found that that much as we seek magic silver bullet solutions that change the wellbeing game (eg. starting a fantastic new job; leaving a hideous old relationship) the fabric of health and happiness really is woven from micro-moments of happy, than elusive silver-bullet game-changers.

By consciously putting more micro-moments of happy and well into life…life becomes elevated one tiny bite at a time.

There is a lovely technique called The Smile Jar, and you are in perfect time to get yourself set up for it right now for 2020.

All you need to do is buy/find/repurpose/beg/borrow or steal a pleasing-looking jar, and a bunch of post-it notes.

Each day you add one post-it note or scrap of paper that contained a moment that was pleasing, happy or successful.

It might be the compliment from the boss on that presentation you sweated over, the fact that your teen picked up their own towels off the bathroom floor without nagging, the unexpected message from a friend overseas, or finding that super cute dress you wanted 75% off in the sales. Maybe it was picking lemons off your own tree in the sunshine and making the most perfect gin and tonic, or getting a personal best on your morning run. The smile your granddaughter gave you after her ballet class or running into an old friend at the beach.

It can be anything.

The only criteria is that it made you smile!

Pick a happy moment, scribble it down, pop it in the jar.

You are filing a jar full of smiles.

This is a lovely one to do for the whole family.

I have had clients get a jar for each member of the family and it’s become part of the bedtime ritual for each child to add a moment of positivity or happiness to their jar at the end of each day as a gorgeous, positive family ritual that has endured for years.

At the end of the year, perhaps the day after Boxing Day each year when things have gone a little quiet you can sit and pull out each memory one by one.

Reconnect with what made you happy and all the moments that you have forgotten from your jar of smiles.

If you are having a bad day it’s also great to be able to dip into anytime, and remind you that life ain’t all bad.

Get yourself a Smile Jar for 2020, because, y’know, the small things in life…in the end, they ARE the big things.

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Live Happy Inspiration Love your body Self Care and Self Love

Baby, it’s cold outside: 5 totally unusual tips to move that mood! #5

Winter Wellbeing #5: Cook Up A Storm

According to various studies, people are hungrier and do eat more in the winter months (you are not imagining it – good to know!).

There are a few potential factors that may contribute to this increased hunger. Most people would agree that winter is the season for hearty foods. Heavy, carb-laden dishes, sugary treats, and rich sauces are all cultural staples of the winter diet. Many people also report being hungrier in winter, with stronger cravings and an increased urge to snack.

So – given that biologically we are going to crave more food (for energy, to keep warm) and culturally (it’s the season for comfort food) – what can we do to avoid packing on a little winter padding?

A few tips are to fill up on healthy soups, stews and other low-calorie dishes that contain plenty of fibre-rich vegetables and other healthy ingredients, along with protein to keep you feeling satisfied, and to find healthier versions of your favourite comfort foods so you can indulge without blowing out on your calorie intake.

My healthy go-to option in the winter is the good ‘ole crockpot. It is amazing for creating nutrient-dense, hearty, warming dishes with minimum fuss (always a big motivator in my world!) like stews, chillies, and soups. PLUS – the added bonus of making me feel like FREAKING SUPERWOMAN by having dinner all sorted and bubbling away BY BREAKFAST TIME!

The key is to WORK WITH WINTER and the push towards hearty meals –and create ones that are guilt-free and hassle-free for you.  Nutrient-dense, healthy and comforting is the way to go.

PS: My recipe for my “CROCKPOT OF GOODNESS” – aka, my vegetarian chilli, is below ?

~ Vegetarian Chilli – aka The Crockpot of Goodness ~

I have a MASSIVE crockpot, so this makes enough for at least a dozen meals! Not bad for 15 minutes prep!

Ingredients:
Diced:

• 1 onion
• A few cloves peeled fresh garlic

A couple of handfuls of the following, all roughly chopped:

• Carrots
• Courgettes/ zucchini
• Cauliflower
• Leek
• Celery
• Capsicum/ Pepper – try to get a few different colours
• Mushrooms
• Any other vegetable that you have in the house that you want to throw in

Cans/ Tins of the following:
Five cans of the pulses in total in whatever combination works or is available:

• Chopped tomatoes x 3
• Lentils x2
• Black beans x1
• Four bean mix (inc chickpeas) x 2 – or alternatively, choose single beans or chickpeas

A variety of liquid ingredients that can include the following:

• 1 cup red wine
• Splash of Worcester sauce
• Splurt or tablespoon of tomato paste
• A spoon of crushed garlic from a jar (if fresh not available)
• Pasta sauce mixed with water (optional)
• Tube of fresh hot chilli sauce (optional, adjust for spice)
• Salt and pepper

How to make it:

1. Place diced onion, leek and garlic in a frying pan and gently fry (‘sweat’) for a few minutes.
2. Place all the roughly chopped vegetables and the cooked onion mix in the crockpot and mix around with a big spoon.
3. Add 3x cans of chopped tomatoes to crockpot, mix again.
4. Drain and rinse cans of pulses using a sieve in the sink and then add to crockpot, mix with the big spoon again.
5. In a separate bowl or jug add all the liquid ingredients together, including the salt and pepper, and mix well with a whisk or spoon, then pour liquid mixture into crockpot and mix the whole crockpot well with spoon again.
6. Put lid on crockpot and cook on low all day or on high for the afternoon.

Serve it up with nachos, tacos, brown rice, quinoa, gnocchi, pasta, jacket potato or kumara: super versatile!

Top tip:
– Batch up and freeze for an easy meal later.

Want to read Tip One? Click here. Tip Two is here, Tip Three here, and Tip Four here.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Bring Your Brave.

I will decide not to be scared.

I have nearly half a dozen very sweet and very smart nieces; I am truly blessed with abundance in the niece department. I went to pick Anna up from school the other day; she is 6 and a proper poppet. As we set off for ice-cream, the park and a wander around the 2-dollar shop (yes yes, so I spoil her, sue me!), she was chattering on about her day in that way only 6-year-olds can. She was talking about how she had volunteered to stand up and talk the following week in front of the whole class about this project she was doing. She was very serious and earnest about it and how she wanted to do a good job in front of everyone. “That’s very brave,” I said.

“Well…it’s not brave”, Anna slurped thoughtfully through her hokey pokey. “You don’t need to be brave…if you decide not to be scared”.

Well BOOM, little girl. Good one. That is indeed true. You don’t need to be brave if you decide not to be scared. If you decide something is not inherently scary then no courage or bravery is required. You just do it. Maybe even relish and enjoy it.  You‘ve gotta love the irrefutable logic that comes out of the mouths of babes.

It’s a fabulous lesson to ponder, is it not?

How we define a situation dictates what we need to bring to it.

If we define a situation as boring, then we are going to need to bring persistence.

If we define a situation as hard, then we are required to pack our willpower.

If we define someone or something as scary, we need to muster our courage.

It gave me pause for thought and I hope it does for you today. I had a piece of Boomerang Admin I had been putting off (Boomerang Admin, you know the sort, you think you have sorted it, it’s DONE, you have thrown the task away forever but it keeps coming back. Form tick box is not ticked right. Payment has not gone through. Query on fulfilment. Code not selected. Yada Yada Yada. Boomerang Admin.) I’d filed this task mentally under the helpful category of TEDIOUS RED TAPE I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WASTE MY TIME ON REPEATEDLY. It was requiring every drop of willpower, persistence and tenacity I could possibly marshal to overcome the overwhelming inertia to actually get it fixed.

Realising that if I stopped defining it as tedious I wouldn’t need to bring any of my willpower reserves was a game-changer. If I decide not to be bored then I don’t need to force myself to pay attention. Redefining the situation from tedious to an opportunity to get clarity and completion meant no persistence needed. Plus, I have to say I got it done in about a tenth of the time I thought I would.

We tend to have well-ingrained habits of definition around certain situations in our life.  Have a think. There is bound to be something or someone who is scaring or boring the pants off you requiring you to bring your willpower or bring your brave.

Have a look if a change of definition might help you; because you don’t need to be brave, if you decide not to be scared.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Fact or Fake News?

I will be mindful of the stories I tell myself.

Quick quiz. Who is happiest?

Meet Tina. I ask her how her week was. “Good thanks. It’s a busy time at work; we had a strategy away day thing down in The Tron. It went pretty good, good to be out of the office for a change. Put me a little out of routine, but I still made it to spin twice this week. I’ve been dating you will be pleased to hear! I’m investing a bit of time in the online dating thing, and I’ve had a couple of nice dates already…”

Meet Toni. She tells me about her week. “It’s okay. Super full on at work, and we had this away day thing in The Tron. Those three days out of the office got me so out of routine and now I’m really behind at work. And it meant I only got to spin twice. I’ve been online dating, and that’s such a time suck…I’ve seen a couple of guys but that’s just taking time out of my week too, and neither of them were right…”

Now obviously Tina and Toni are one and the same smart and gorgeous girl. I knew you spotted that little trick question a mile off (you are astute, and a deep thinker, I can see that from here). The message with my little ruse is this:

Our emotional state is defined by the story we tell ourselves. Perception is reality.  Like in politics. That’s why they work so hard on the spin. The story you tell yourself defines how you feel about your day/work/body/life.

Let me be clear, this is not a case of doing Fake News with yourself. The fact of the matter is you went to spin twice. Two sessions in a week = fact. The point is you can either feel good about that fact. Or, you can feel bad about it. You can either use it as positive fuel to plan differently next time you are away, or you can use it as negative confirmation that you have let yourself down and to feel bad about yourself.

One will make you feel happier and more motivated, and one will make you feel like you have failed yourself. You can’t change the fact, but you can decide how you want to feel about it and the story you will tell yourself about it.

What is that phrase about there are three versions of the truth? What he said. What she said. And what really happened. It’s kind of the same game we play with ourselves in our own heads. There is what happened, and then there is what we tell ourselves about it. Our emotional reality is defined far more by what we tell ourselves about what happened, than by what actually happened.

So, we are all kind of a mix. No one is all good headspace. Or all bad headspace. 

But being more mindful of the story you tell yourself about different life circumstances will massively and speedily alter your mood.

Our brains are story-telling machines. They are always going to create a story about what goes on; that’s how they work. Something happens and we ascribe meaning to it. It’s up to you if it’s more fairytale than nightmare. You get to decide the lens through which that story is told. The stories we tell ourselves are the most important ones of all, so be mindful of how you spin it if you want to feel good more often.

Rose tinted will always feel better than shades of grey.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

You Do You.

Let them do them. You do you.

“It’s just not my bag.”

Easily one of the most freeing and empowering phrases in the English Language.

Whenever these words march out of a client’s lips I am overjoyed.

It means they have stopped the struggle. Given up fighting the good fight. They have surrendered the implicit “shoulds” they have been carrying for way too long.

When they declare “It’s just not my bag!” they are accepting the magnificence of who they really are and relinquishing who they “should” be.

It means instant additional capacity and focus to pour into what IS their bag. To be more of who they are. Doing what they are intrinsically talented at. Serving the world in the way that they innately do best. That they have turned their face to the sun.

I saw this recently with a fantastic homemaker of 4 who always felt inadequate compared to her spouse’s massive all-singing-all-dancing captain of industry career. She kept feeling “less than” because she couldn’t make any of her big business ideas real. She would find excuse after excuse. Procrastinate endlessly. Continual start-stop.

The truth of the matter was that the venture capital meetings and having a” board” was just not her bag. At all. She relished looking after people. Organising small touches that bring immense joy to others.  Taking the small everyday elements of life and elevating them to excellence. Making others feel valued and appreciated. Creating huge family parties and cooking up a storm for three days before with immaculate presentation and elegant personal touches.

That was HER bag.

Embracing that fully, and monetising a clever small scale homespun sideline, brought her amazing satisfaction and a raving fan base.

Another client was always feeling under pressure to create amazing, lavish, complicated family meals with hours of prep. Just like her mother-in-law loves doing with such aplomb. Except, she would much rather be creating the amazing new physiotherapy course she had authored, and feed the family quick, easy healthy meals that are prepped and cleared in minutes.

The big foodie fest thing? Just not her bag. Someone else’s bag. Dropping that expectation and embracing her own thing, has meant she has got her product to market in half the time and is resentment-free when she is in the kitchen, and guilt-free when she is at the laptop.

It’s one of the most liberating decisions of your life to joyfully surrender the stuff that is not your bag.

Let it be done with more brilliance, efficiency and enjoyment by those whose bag it is.

Whether that’s creating 5-star gourmet dinner parties or running the tech side of a website.

Focus on whatever YOUR bag is.

Connecting people and making them laugh. Delivering a killer training programme. Whatever.

The amount of FREEDOM to be found in acknowledging when it’s just not your bag will take your breath away.

It will FREE you for greatness in what IS your bag.

There is no point trying to be the Princess of the thing someone else does so much better, when you can be the Queen of your own thing.

There are more than enough bags to go round.

It’s not a competition.

It’s just life.

Some stuff is our bag. A lot of stuff (with the best will in the world) just ain’t!

So, what if you don’t put together the most perfect lunchbox with all the little compartment thingies? You rock backing that trailer like no one else’s business. You can magic up a whole new brand colour scheme to die for.

Let them do them. You do you.

No one can do it better.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships

A Smart Man With A Dumb Phone.

Last year I stayed with some treasured old friends from uni in the English countryside. They live in this fantastical house. It has a turret! It has a moat! It has one of those amazing freestanding roll top baths like the Cadbury’s Flake advert! It is a testament to the wisdom of the best piece of financial advice being to marry the right person in the first place, and stay married to them.

Now then, he is a big city lawyer, partner of a London law firm. Top level, big cheese, commercial lawyer…but….he is also easily one of the most laid back and chilled guys to be around. I was wondering how he pulled this off given the pressures of his role and a pretty epic commute…and then I saw him put his phone on to charge. It was a fully old-skool style Nokia 3310. The unsmartest of phones. It looked like it belonged in a 1990’s museum exhibition.

“Er….is that your phone?” I said incredulously.

“Yup”.

“But you have a work phone too, right?”.

“Nope”.

“That can’t be your only phone?” I persisted, my brain struggling to compute.

“Yes. It’s my only phone. It’s all I need”.

“But…but…you don’t have a smart phone? With a screen? With internet? At all? Anywhere?” I’m scanning the room as if to see a top of the range iPhone or Samsung magically appearing out of thin air.

“Nope. This phone is it.”

Huh.

I don’t mind telling you I took a few quiet minutes to let that sink in. This is a man with a seriously massive job, running his life off a Nokia 3310. This is in great contrast to me and his missus who had had a fab day shopping and pottering but between us had used Google maps to find our way around a diversion, MyFitnessPal to compare protein consumption, Facebook to look up what country another old friend was living in (Denmark), IMBD to settle the score on who was the actor in a thing we couldn’t’ remember (Mathew Broderick), and Pinterest for a twist on a mojito recipe (raspberry and cucumber).

If you are dumbfounded by this dumb phone revelation, consider that one 2017 study found that Americans spend an average of 5 hours a DAY on their phones, another that some teenagers are spending up to NINE hours a day across assorted social media platforms.

A term has been coined to describe that mild (to (be honest now) extreme) panic that sets in when you can’t find your phone or it’s out of charge:

Nomophobia (No Mobile phobia, geddit??).

No wonder France led the way last year by passing legislation to reduce pressure to respond to work queries out of hours calling it the “right to disconnect”.

It’s a modern-day paradox that we are increasingly disconnected in an uber-connected world. That with some people if we don’t get an instant reply, we wonder if they have, in fact, been kidnapped. Is all of this connectivity good? No. Is all of it bad? No. It is, as it usually is, all about finding the optimal balance. Spending that weekend with someone in a huge job incongruously twinned with a Nokia 3310 did however make me consider that the belief, “I have to be connected and contactable for work”, might not be as true as I thought. Perhaps for many of us, “I need it for work” is an excuse for smartphone addiction and that comforting dopamine rush of being needed or liked with each ding or red flag notification.

Being over-connected to our phone dramatically reduces our capacity to be present. The perfect example of this is watching the telly with two screens. If you have ever sat in front of a show and been scrolling through Instagram at the same time, you will know for sure the impact that has on your comprehension of the show. You have missed key bits, only have the gist of what’s important, and the amount of empathetic connection you have whether that is crying at the sad bits, or being scared at the scary bits, or laughing at the banana skin fall will be significantly reduced.

Two screens equals a massively reduced emotional connection. It’s not just like this with the TV, of course, it’s the same with the person you are with if your attention is split between them and your (or their) phone. You miss the full emotional impact of the share about their mother’s dementia, or the child sharing their delight at bringing you the dandelion, or they miss your natural enthusiasm for the raspberry cucumber mojito recipe.

The present moment is where our joy, happiness and purpose live.

We cannot experience them anywhere other than the present moment. If you want to set your 2019 on fire then one way is to tweak your digital boundaries and balance. Thing is, for me, there have been a number of times where having a smartphone with Google maps, or a receipt in my email, has absolutely saved not just my bacon but the whole pig.

So, you also might not want to go the whole hog and ditch your iPhone for a retro Nokia, but you might want to think about the following:

 

  1. Can you take your email off your phone? Delete it completely? Do you really need it there? Really? Think about it: if your office knows you do not have email on your phone you reduce all expectation that you will check it or answer it out of hours.

 

  1. Do you want to delete your social media off your phone? What will you do when you would otherwise be mindfully scrolling? Hmmm…that’s food for thought isn’t it?

 

  1. There are a huge array of apps that have been developed to stop you using your other apps so much. Ah, the irony. So, you can download an app like Offtime which helps users unplug by blocking distracting apps like Facebook and games and filtering communications. It also includes some fairly alarming information on how much you actually use your smartphone and on what.

 

  1. Curfews and boundaries can be very effective. Studies have shown that the blue light from our screens affects our natural sleep response, so a no phones in the bedroom or a phone curfew an hour before bed might work well or you.

 

  1. A no 2-screen rule might work for you too. So if you are watching TV, do that, be fully present and enjoy it. When you are checking Facebook, do that and do the same. Split focus means reduced enjoyment.

 

  1. Choose to be present when you are with people. Be fully all there. Phone away and preferably on silent so the notifications don’t take your attention from the person you have decided to actually spend time with. Focus deliberately on real-world, real-time connection. Maximise your attention and reap the emotional rewards from that choice.

 

A smart man with a dumb phone? Just maybe he is onto something.

 

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

Categories
Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Relationships Self Care and Self Love

Radical Unsupport

I coach a lot of strong, smart, independent women. And there is something I want you to know.

Just because they are strong and smart and independent, doesn’t mean that stuff isn’t affecting them.

It doesn’t mean that currently being partnerless or financially under pressure or a single mum or childless isn’t totally killing them inside.

It just means they are very good at not showing it.

Just because they get on and they deal doesn’t mean some days are not super hard.

It just means they are not asking for help.

I see so many, TOO FREAKING MANY, smart, independent women who are RADICALLY UNSUPPORTED.

Unsupported because THEY DON’T FIT INTO A PARTICULAR BOX.

Because they don’t fit at the school gates. Or at the dinner parties that are all partnered up. Or the camping trip of big family fun. Or the fancy restaurant where avo on toast is twenty bucks.

So, they are excluded. Not deliberately, not at all, but by oversight. But excluded they are.

And they can feel alone. And like they are a bother. And that no one sees them.

And so they just put their game face on with a cheery “I’m fine!” and rock on.

But underneath they are RADICALLY UNSUPPORTED.

I don’t think any of us want that and I honestly think we can do better.

I think smart, independent women who are hurting can get FAR better at reaching out – saying – “Y’know, I need a hand or a hug here” – without it compromising their identity of being smart or independent – which is, by the way, the main quality of self definition that gets them through the inadvertent exclusion.

I think societally we can be better at supporting those who look like they don’t need support but actually do.

Look up. Listen Up. What’s NOT being said?

That friend of yours, who always looks like she permanently has her shit together and her game face on, and doesn’t need your help or invitation: I bet you she needs it more than you can imagine.

I am seeing more smart, independent women – who don’t fit the box – being radically under supported than ever. By accident, not by design. It’s a trend. It’s increasing. I don’t like it.

All it needs is a little more thought and attention to her, and less attention to the box.

I’d love you today to contact two girlfriends and let them know you are there for them in any way they need. The one who you think needs you right now – and – the one who you think doesn’t because she is so strong.

She might appreciate it a lot more than you imagine.

And if it’s you, if you are the smart, independent woman who is feeling unsupported, it doesn’t make you weak to reach out and ask for what you need. It’s a show of strength. Speak up. Lean harder.

We are all in this together.

Categories
High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Make A Joy List

By way of a pub quiz, a seriously startling fact has just come to my attention. It appears that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the movie, came out in 1986. Nineteen. Eighty. Freaking. Six!  Whaaaaat? Feel free to take a moment to mop your fevered brow and wonder where on earth the last 30 years just went. How can that be? Anyone?  Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?

It makes the immortal quote from Ferris himself even more poignant, Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Well, we don’t want that. We want to pack it with as many joyful and happy moments as possible. So, I thought a Joy List could be in order today.

We want our lives to be defined by as much light, love, laughter, and joy as possible. The more of that we have the more resilience we have to weather the inevitable squally patches we will all encounter. The thing is, when we are head down, bum up, absorbed in busy-ness and getting things done, actively seeing joy can be something we defer to later. Let’s not shall we? Let’s take a moment today to stop and look around at what brings us joy so we can deliberately sprinkle more of that stuff everywhere.

Make your own Joy List right here:

3 places that make me happy:

How much time do you spend there? How regular is it? Can you find a way to increase that? What do you need to do to make that happen? Or, if it’s somewhere far afield – like Mexico, say – can you bring a bit of a feel good Mexico vibe to you? Taco night. Hang that Mexican rug on the wall that you promised you would when you bought it in that dusty market. Get some special tequila. Can you bring the essence of that joyful place to you?

3 people who bring me joy and uplift me when I spend time with them:

Note: it might not be the people you feel you “should” be putting down there. That’s okay. It’s your Joy List, no one has to see it but you. How much time do you spend with the people who spark joy for you? If it’s your cousin but you only see each other once every few months, it’s time to up the priority. Maybe you can FaceTime more or maybe it’s a great excuse to organise a girls’ trip to Melbourne. Subtly realign the way you spend your time to get more of the people who lift you up.

3 times I laughed out loud in the last week:

Studies show kids laugh hundreds of times a day. Pure spontaneous joy. Adults – not so much. Half a dozen at best. Our lol score is pitiful. Who or what makes you laugh? Genuine joyful laughter? Make deliberate plans to tickle your funny bone more often.

3 activities that light me up

Where do you lose track of time? Get so absorbed that the minutes or hours fly by. Surfing? Knitting? Cooking? DIY-ing? Hiking? How much time do you actually spend doing that stuff? As a percentage of your week or month? What can you gently let go of in order to allow a little more joy time in?

We all have the same 10,080 minutes in a week. The same 8,769 hours in a year. We can’t change that. What we spend them on, where we spend them, and who with – we can. Cramming as much joy into each seems like a good plan to me. Life does indeed move pretty fast. Look around once in a while, don’t miss it.

 

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