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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Happy People Don't Do

The transformational power of pain

There is a bit of a myth that happy people are naturally lucky and stuff just magically goes their way, that they are treading an easier or shinier path than most. Whilst sometimes there is a grain of truth in this, I have to say I generally observe the opposite.

Happier people, or the deliberately happy, tend to be those who have been through some tremendous suffering or trauma of some sort. Or indeed multiple traumas. The kind of circumstances that change their lives forever.

I have worked with some deliberately happy people who have been through unimaginable horrors. Loss of a child. Father killed in a car accident. Son addicted to P and a course of self-destruction. Bankruptcy. The most vile custody battle imaginable. Falsely imprisoned. Horrendous marital, emotional abuse. Loss of a limb. Rape. Victimised at work to the point of a court case. The list goes on.

Bad stuff happens to good people. All. The. Time.

Yet, after time and support for deep grief and processing, many of these people go on to be the most deliberately happy people I know. They gain a new perspective on happiness from the depths of their suffering. Their happiness becomes the veritable phoenix from the ashes.

When life or God or Fate or The Universe or just other people messing with your life deals you a bad hand, an interesting thing can happen. Either it can be the circumstance that goes on to define your whole life. Or it can be an experience that will always mark you, still be part of you, but that you take that pain and use it as the raw material to craft a more present and happy life.

When there has been significant suffering from monumental life events, there comes a natural release of grip on trying to control the small things in life. We will tend to lighten up and not sweat the small stuff so much. We will realise that happiness is but fleeting, and it can only be felt now, now, now. In this moment right here, here, here. We will get better at appreciating whatever is good in this moment, this moment right now, actively seeking it out and giving silent thanks for it. Knowing that the days may be long but the years are short, so sucking up the joy present in the little things, the small, seemingly insignificant moments that make up each day. Knowing that the small things – the smile shared, the bedtime story, the hand held, really are the big things.

It is not that happy people have not known pain and suffering, it is that they eventually recognise its tremendous perspective shifting power. That they don’t get forever stuck in their grief; they gradually start to transcend it. They know how dark the darkness can be and so they actively seek the light in whatever is presented to them. They see the alternative, and they face forward not back.

Being happy on purpose can be our greatest act of defiance in the face of tremendous pain suffered.

Choosing to be happy despite what’s happened can be our greatest act of resistance against those who would bring us low. Deliberate happiness can be the greatest show of strength there is.

Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

Three Things A Random Stranger Taught Me About Being Happy

Three Things A Random Stranger Taught Me About Being HappyI met an extraordinary young lady last week in a very bizarre encounter. A friend of a colleague of a sort of online friend – to be honest the connection was so tenuous as I sat in the café waiting to meet this stranger I couldn’t remember why I had volunteered at all – had asked for people to meet/house/feed this friend who was travelling round the world. Why? Because she had some cool story as to why she was travelling, which I couldn’t even recall as I sat there with my decaf macchiato. As I waited in the café on a very rainy Saturday I was wondering why on earth I was there when there were so many other things I could be doing? Random girl. Story I couldn’t even remember. Don’t even really know the friend of the friend of the friend. Waste of time.

So, in bounced Janne. A Dutch girl with an infectious smile and an off the wall story. I am so glad she did. She is truly one of a kind, and she has undertaken the most extraordinary project that, for me, demonstrates some really important principles we can all be inspired by and learn from.

Janne has been travelling round the world for 14 months, 24 countries, 3 continents without a penny to her name. She relies on the goodwill of friends of friends and friends and complete strangers. Her mission is to capture moments of every day happiness, and to illustrate how that looks on every continent. Her method of capturing happy moments – asking people to draw (however artistically challenged they may be) a moment that made them happy in the last 7 days on a postcard. She then collates these on her website

Here’s the things that really stood out for me about this crazy-pants project:

1. Janne trusts absolutely in abundant goodness. She trusts that The Universe will provide. That she will have somewhere to sleep tomorrow. That she will have lunch the day after that. When her laptop got nicked that somehow The Universe will get her a new one (which it did, in under 24 hours). That even with no money and no plan that she will be okay. And she is. Over 500 people have helped her on her journey so far.

I asked her what do you need right now? She said “I need a coat, I had no idea how cold and wet New Zealand would be”. I said I had a Katmandu fleece that I had that very morning cleared out and put in the pile to go to charity, that was in good condition and would definitely fit her if she would like it. She expressed gratitude, but not surprise.

Of course I had a coat for her! She needed one, and The Universe always provided. Her trust in the inherent benevolence of the world and it inhabitants was striking. Things work out because of course they will work out. They always do. So she doesn’t worry about it. She is open to the mysterious and random way the things she needs will make their way towards her. She doesn’t stress about it. She trusts.

2. Janne is the ultimate glass half full person. She fills her glass with tiny moment after tiny moment of happiness and surrenders the big picture. A kind of “if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves” kind of approach to happiness.

She started this project during the loss of her mother. Here is what she has to say about it:

“The only thing we had to do was take care of my mother and enjoy each other’s company as much as we possibly could. July 12th 2007, the day she was cremated, was the best day ever. I wrote down more beautiful moments than ever, just in that one day. Everyone was so loving.”

Isn’t that the most interesting perspective?

And so her project – Seize Your Moment – was born, and it illustrates so beautifully a consciously chosen lens through which to view life that I think we can all take a little something from. Her analogy (below) of the bouncing ball is so powerful it’s something I have spent a lot of time reflecting on:

“I realize how much collecting my own beautiful moments means to me. It is my way of making a world – where there are a lot of minuses – feel like a big plus. After all, these small beautiful moments happen every day, Even if you are having a dark day. Because I focus on these moments – I’m very conscious of them. And because I’m conscious, I have a lot more of them. And then I just think: Hey, there’s another one I have to write down in my journal. When I write them down or read them again, I relive the joy of that moment. Beautiful moments are like bouncing balls. Let go of them and they continue bouncing……”

So, here is a picture of Janne and me, with her “new” fleece on as she sets off on the next leg of her crazy-pants adventure. If you want to support her, offer her a couch to stay on or anything else she might need then you can follow her here:

For me I can sum up our meeting in the following three lessons:

1. The Universe is benevolent and good. Trust, keep moving in the direction of your calling and it will all unfold bringing you the people and assistance you need, perhaps in the most unexpected of ways.

2. Beautiful moments are like bouncing balls … they can be found even in the darkest of times if we look hard enough … and their energy can continue on for as long as we relive them.

3. Random is good. Sometimes a bit of randomness, less planning, less control, can bring some really unexpected good stuff our way.

Louise Thompson

Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love Sick & Tired of feeling Sick & Tired Simplicity and Time Management

Wasted Time or Play Time?

There is a common complaint that I notice with many of my coaching clients, especially those who are tired (or suffering from Adrenal Fatigue / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or working through Life/Work Balance issues. They have a real thing about any kind of down time being ‘wasted time’. It’s a concept that comes up again and again. And I think it’s a new and growing phenomenon that’s leading to a whole heap of stress. I must confess to being susceptible to this Cult Of Productivity myself: I notice it when I am stuck in traffic, or when the computer isn’t working as perfectly as I would like it to, or ordering something is taking longer than I thought it would. This stressful thought keeps rearing its ugly head: ‘this is such a waste of time’, usually accompanied by its good friend ‘this should be quicker/easier/more efficient’.

These thoughts lead directly to a place of stress. Bad for the head, bad for the body.

It’s occurred to me that I didn’t use to feel this way. When I was younger I didn’t put this pressure on myself for every thing to have an outcome. Just enjoying or doing something for its own sake was enough. At school and university my friends and I elevated wasting time to an art form in its own right! And those are the bits I look back on with the most fondness. The endless games of cards and pissing about (car surfing anyone?!) And yet I, and so many of my clients, seem to now feel so uncomfortable with even the most limited moments of unproductivity.  What is that about?

As the world has become increasingly immediate and increasingly measureable I think it’s encouraged us to lead our lives in the same way. An expectation that all time and every effort invested should show some sort of meaningful outcome. But, should it?

I think the stress that the concept of ‘wasted time’ generates is due to a perception that time is inherently limited. That leads to a perception that all time needs to count with an outcome. Which generates stress. Is the point of time well spent to get things accomplished, or is it to have fun and experience the maximum amount of joy? As adults in this increasingly technologically enabled, measurable and immediate world I think we have lost the ability to play. Or to see play as an important part of what makes life fun and ourselves happy.

Look at how children play. When children play its as a means to an end in itself, because they see time as unlimited and therefore no outcome is required. So how can it possibly be wasted if it’s unlimited?

I think there is a lot we can learn from that attitude. This is what I have learned around the concept of ‘wasted time’:

  1. Just because it produces some sort of outcome doesn’t mean that it’s important.
  2. Just because its quantifiable doesn’t mean I should do it
  3. If the only joy in the doing is the crossing off on the list when it’s done then I should consider not doing it or getting someone else to do it for me
  4. Some of the best most fun and memorable time in my life had no definable outcome.
  5.  Unproductive time is a fact of life. We are not built to be ON all the time.
  6. Unproductive time is thinking and daydreaming and processing time. That is productive in itself.
  7. Play and fun are important.
  8. Resting and chilling ARE an activity in their own right. The outcome is being chilled. That’s something the body requires for health. It’s really important time.
  9. Enjoyment is just as valid a goal as achievement.
  10. I need to play more.

So I am challenging myself to reconnect with play for the sake of itself: I have joined a mosaic class one morning a week. I am really enjoying it; there is something very satisfying about fitting all the tiny chards of ceramic together for no reason at all other than the simple pleasure of doing it. It’s a bit fiddly and a bit messy. I like that, and the quiet companionship of the other women in the class. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the work I ‘should’ be doing and that it’s ‘wasted time’ then I remember, I’m a life coach, I teach people about life/work balance…this is me Living It to Give It and I relax and focus on the little fiddly tiles again and the couple of hours simply flies by! It’s been good for the mind and the soul.

If you find yourself running mental loops about wasting time it’s my bet that you could do with reintroducing a bit of play to your life too. Try using the time stuck at the grocery checkout and in traffic to daydream about your next holiday or the best one you ever had. It won’t wake the queue go faster but it will make it a more pleasant and positive experience. Think back to something you loved to do as a child to play (baking, playing footie, making things, etc) and try and introduce a related aspect of PLAY into your week with no aspect of outcome attached. Play for it’s own sake, and see that if we are in the moment and enjoying ourselves then no time is ever really wasted.

Louise Thompson | Life Coach, Writer, Speaker

Relationships Uncategorized

How not to let the break up break you: How to live happily ever after

How to live happily ever afterIs it a fairy tale or can we make it fact in our lives? I don’t think we can “make it” fact (we can’t “make” anything be anything really) but I think we can go a long way in terms of creating a fantastic environment for it to flourish long term.

Viewing marriage like a garden I think is a great analogy. For your garden to flourish and look good all year round it needs to be weeded, watered and maintained regularly, not just one big blitz once a year. I think it’s the same with marriage, if we expect one holiday or special weekend away a year to keep it running smoothly we are going to be disappointed. Weeds will have grown in the cracks. Some things will have grown and taken over, sucking up to much water. Other aspects will have died in their wake.

Gardening is a “little and often” activity, and so is marriage. It creates the space and environment for it to grow in a way that is actively nurtured, not just left to it’s own devices. It’s very easy, especially when children enter the equation or work is full-on, for the marriage to be the gardening that always gets put off for another day when the sun shines and there is more time. And that’s where I see couples who have grown apart or taken each other for granted. I did this myself (I got married first time at 23) and it’s bloody easy to do. By consistently prioritising something more fun that gardening (my rapidly accelerating career) we grew so far apart that no machete could clear a way through the jungle that had grown up over the years. And I can look back now and see that was something I (and we) chose each day without realising it. Very sad.

So as I say I think it’s a case of creating an environment, through regular nourishing and maintenance (after the exciting phase of the new garden has worn off!) that you can both grow in together.  Here are some of my gardening tips:

1. Kiss often.

Kiss Good night. Kiss Hello. Kiss for so reason at all. Keep connecting in the way that marks this relationship as different from all others. This is the only person you kiss in THAT way, so do it often!

Question: when was the last time you kissed. Meaningfully not just a peck on the cheek? ___________________________. You know what action to take here!

2Know Your Love Languages.

Different people show love in different ways. Love can come in the form of checking your tyres, oil and water in your car or ironing a shirt. It’s called a “gift of service”. Love can also come in the form of words. Or touch. Or time. In Gary Chapman’s eponymous book “The Five Love Languages” he explores and defines the different languages of love. You can do a very cool little test in fact right here to discover your own profile.

Why is this important? Knowing your style and preference, AND that of your partner, how they are similar and how they are different means for better communication and better prioritization. You recognize love when it is expressed each day, even if it doesn’t look how you thought it might or you wanted it to. Often I see clients who think there is no expression of love in their lives, but actually it is there, it’s just they are speaking a different love language. Highly recommend you BOTH do this work!

Action Step: take the “The Five Love Languages” test or read the book. Find out how your personal languages are similar and different. Learn to speak in the language of your beloved and educate them in yours. 

3.  Sex is marriage glue.

Sex is glue that binds a relationship and that makes it different from all others. It’s a primal drive. It’s important. It’s easy to deprioritize it, and the more we do that the less of it we want so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Respect the natural ebbs and flows of desire but do not underestimate the power of sex as glue to bind something tightly, or to bind something else tightly. Flirt. Kiss. Have sex. Make time. Make effort. Sex is glue.

Action Step: make time, make effort, make love.

4.  Keep listening.

It’s really easy in the vortex of the business that is life to only really connect over the big stuff. To kind of stop listening once agreement on the chores or the school pick up has been agreed. When you know each other so well it’s easy to skip everything else out. Keep looking with fresh eyes, what would someone who had never met your partner before see and hear? What is fascinating about them NOW. Who are they now? How are they growing and evolving. What can you see that’s new or different? Listen with new ears.

Action Step: find out something NEW about your beloved. Ask good and new questions. Be curious and open-minded. 

5.  Prioritise time together, just the two of you.

Whether that’s dinner at home with no phones on, or a regular date night, or a weekend away quarterly, find a rhythm of regular contact that is dedicated time for the two of you to connect, and lock it in the schedule. Get the babysitter block booked a month in advance. Make it a priority. Plan it in. Lock it in. Make it the priority it is.

Action Step: prioritise regular connection (gardening!) time for this week.

6.  Cherish. Cherish. Cherish.

Love is rare. And incredible. And robust. Yet fragile. Cherish it when you find it. You can cherish by making time. You can cherish by making effort. You can cherish with your words. With your actions. By what you DON’T choose to put in your day and well as what you do.  “Love” is a verb as well as a noun. It’s a description of what you have but unless it’s also a consistent action then it will be fragile. Cherishing is the doing of love. Not just being in love, but the doing of it. Cherishing is the journey of a happy partnership. Cherish. Cherish. Cherish.

Action Step: think of three ways right now you can show your beloved that you cherish them. What is something you could say? Do? Create? Little things are just as valuable as big things. Be creative!

And that my darlings is the end of our mini-series on relationships!  Hope you enjoyed, I have loved reading your comments on Facebook.  Want a recap? We covered:

Part One: How not to let the break up break you

Part Two: 7 essentials to think about when they break up with you

Part Three: Should you stay friends after?

Part Four: 7 ways to be happily single

Part Five:  How to know if he/she is the one

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,


How not to let the break up break you: 7 essentials to think about when they break up with you

1.  Lordy this can be very hard, especially if it comes totally out of the blue.

I am so sorry honey-child. I just want you to know though that you are far better out of a relationship if the other person doesn’t actually want to be in it with you. The fact of the matter is, they had a choice: they could have chosen you, but …they didn’t. They didn’t choose you. It’s hard I know but that is the truth. So, why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t choose you? Would you put up with that in a regular friendship? Someone who would rather be on their own or with another friend than you? Hell no. So, accept that a choice has been made, you don’t need to agree with it, but you do need to accept it. They could have chosen you, but, they didn’t. Tough, but true. Acceptance is the first step forward in terms of moving on.

2.  Beware the passive aggressive breakup.

When the other person withdraws or acts in such a way that they almost force you to break up with them because they haven’t got the guts to do it themselves, you can feel it happening. If someone is too cowardly to actually own their own feelings and break up with you then they are not worthy of you! Not worthy do you hear me! Recognise when you are being broken up with without them actually doing the deed. Realise you don’t want to be with someone that weak. Be brave, do the deed and move on.

3.  Happily Single is FAR better than unhappily coupled up.

Please don’t be scared to be “on your own”. You can create a full and fun life and fill it with what suits and pleases you, much much better than slogging on in a relationship you (or they) know is wrong. A period of time on your own can actually be very healthy, empowering and above all clarifying. You get to figure out what you really need, want and desire. What’s essential, what’s negotiable. Pleeeeeease don’t try to stay with someone who treats you badly because you are too scared to go solo for a while.

4.  Someone breaking up with you might be a good thing in disguise.

You won’t be able to see it now but later, down the track, maybe years hence, you might be able to see that it was the right thing. That if it hadn’t happened you wouldn’t be the person you are with the situation you have today. I know this is almost impossible to see when you are in it. But, trust me, it’s the truth. There is a whole post on just this right here: This shouldn’t be happening to me.

5.  We can’t always be saved from a broken heart.

I know it all started so well, with so much promise, but…sometimes feelings do change. It’s a very, very hard part of life but it is life. The fact they have been honest enough to tell you is huge. Would you rather someone was with you faking their feelings? Of course not, right? You deserve better than that, and so do they. Having a broken heart, it seems to me, is a right of passage for us all. It’s a part of a life where we pursue love and we take risks. That’s what makes life the adventure it is. Please don’t get stuck in a victim type mentality. The only person that damages is yourself. I did this once, and wow, well it worked a treat in terms of getting me much sympathy and attention but it sure also kept me really stuck in that story which made it so much harder for me to move on. I am so not proud of that victim-y period of my life. The way out of a broken heart is through cry and scream, let the emotion out, until you reach the point you have no tears left. Then take this as your cue to move on and create a better future. Staying stuck in the role of victim, however badly you may have been treated, does you no favours at all. Do not let this difficult episode in your life define your future.

6.  Throw your energy FORWARDS.

Whatever feels like fun or release for you, do that. Get your friends around you. Go do some fun activities together. Take a few classes. Try something new. Learn something you have always wanted to learn. Mix with some new people. Accept random invitations.  Bring fun and new energy into your life.  I had a client who was stringing out the divorce from her faithless husband because “it’s fun to torment him”. I understand the need for revenge honey I honestly do, but it’s that old adage about it being like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You are the one steeped in that toxic energy. Getting stuck in that revenge story is pouring toxic energy into your life and the only person that affects is YOU. It keeps you trapped in the story and energy of the past. Go find something that is truly fun in the now, whether that’s learning to salsa or taking the kids kayaking.  Get the paperwork done sure. Ensure your rights are being well represented by a professional. Then get clean with your energy and start projecting it forwards.

7.  There is something sparkelicious waiting for you.

A shiny new future. Trust in that. It’s all going to be absolutely okay. I promise.

In case you missed PART 1: 7 essentials to think about when you think you might want to break up with them

Next week: do you stay friends after the break-up? A classic conundrum!  Please do feel free to forward share this article with someone who needs a little inspiration on this topic right now! Make sure you are in the loop for the rest of the series by signing up for “Wellbeing Wednesday” direct to your inbox right here.

Have a delicious week, come join the conversation with me on Facebook. Love you to share the love so please do share this post if it was food for thought for you!

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

Positive Thought Strategy

Who are your five biggest influencers?

Who are your five biggest influencers?Here’s an interesting perspective to consider. The famous motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Whether we admit it or not: we are highly influenced by those around us. We can subtly take on, almost by osmosis, attitudes and characteristics that we mirror from our nearest and sometimes not so dearest.

This can happen in a hugely positive way, for instance joining a new work team that is super supportive and collaborative is likely going to make you a more supportive and collaborative colleague. In the same way if you hang with negative whiners then you are far more likely to become pretty whingy yourself, seeing the downside as a default.

Who you do associate most with undoubtedly makes a big difference to your frame of mind. And it appears to be a small circle of influence. Just 5 people, the 5 you associate with the most. The Circle of Five.

Have a think about who this might be for you, and if it’s the influence you really want at this point in your life or if you have outgrown it or are looking to move your life in a different direction.

Jenny came to see me, feeling stuck because her acting career wasn’t taking off in the way she hoped or the way she expected given the stellar feedback from her coaches and castings. “But” she said “that’s to be expected, hardly anyone makes a living from it, its really hard, almost impossible”. It turned out Jenny was flatting with 4 long term out of work actors, who had long since given up on the dream. Their negative and despondent conversations were her biggest sphere of influence. She started to believe what they believed, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The key for Jenny was to change her immediate circle. To spend more time hanging out with creative people who were making a living through creative means. Who were successful. Who believed it could work for them. Just changing her social circle, and eventually moving out and flatting with a successful freelance writer and full time dancer completely changed Jenny’s outlook, energy and sense of confidence and drive, and the work offers started rolling in.

I see this sort of thing all the time. Maggie was a new mum and devastated about the impact of pregnancy and childbirth on her body. Much as she loved her new baby the extra weight she had gained weighed heavy on her mind, all day, every day. “It’s inevitable though” she said “it’s just so hard to shift it, I don’t have the time or the energy, and once you have children you are pretty much stuck with it”. Turned out Maggie spent a lot of time with her pregnancy coffee group, almost all of whom were struggling with their weight. They met several times a week and it was a regular topic of conversation over the coffee cups. Maggie really wanted to change the situation but she felt doomed to fail. She had absorbed the feeling of powerlessness from the people she associated with the most. We hooked her up with an active mum’s group, where the mutual support and chat was still there but it took place over scheduled walks with the pram, and trips to a spin class at a gym with a crèche. This group of mums was just as nice and supportive, but they were more active and they believed that their weight and body shape was something they could impact, and they prioritised this building in into activity with the children. Maggie’s weight problem started to resolve itself as she subtly started to alter the group of people she spent the most time with.

Know that this isn’t about abdicating all our own responsibility for what we think and choose! That still rests firmly with us. It’s more about supporting the choices we want to make with an environment of people who will help pull us forward. A consciously chosen Circle Of Five. Who have qualities and characteristics that we admire, or want to develop in ourselves. Whether that be positivity about a particular career choice, or about fitting exercise around childcare.

So, if you current status quo is not resonating with you, have a think about this principle. Have a think about who you want to be, and what characteristics you would like to embody. Want to be described as funny? You need to hang with the jokers. Some of it will rub off. Want to be successful in a chosen field? Go hang with the superstars or the up-and-comers. A little shine will radiate your way. Want to be positive and happy-go-lucky? Well you need to hang with other happiness seeking positive peeps to easily mirror that vibe. Want to meet a new partner? You need to hang with fellow singletons who are happy to get out there and believe there is someone for everyone, and are enjoying single life in the meantime, not the “all men are bastards” crowd.

Try these simple exercises:

Who are the 5 people you currently associate with the most?


What characteristics and qualities do these people embody?


Does that resonate with you? Is that a perfect fit for where you are now or would a change be a good thing?


Choose your Circle of Five influencers wisely! Generally it will happen by default, and become a habit. It’s a great exercise to step back, and look at this important circle of influence deliberately and consciously. Choose what’s important to you and then who you need to spend more or less time with in order to support that choice. Also knowing that the more you are moving in the direction of your right, best life, the better energy you BRING to help and inspire others on their way too. Don’t forget you will be part of many people’s Circle Of Five, so looking and what you GIVE as well as what you get can be super enlightening too.

Go well, have a beautiful day,

Louise Thompson | Life Coach, Writer, Speaker


How to neutralise negative nancies


Couple sitting with their backs turned after having an argument isolated on white background

I have a fabulous question here from a “Wellbeing Wednesday” reader – love getting feedback and I love answering your questions.  Here to help, yo! So today’s post is a little different: we are going to do a Q &A!

Here we go, Michelle asks:

“What can you do when your partner (and/or other people close to you) are quite negative in general, about everything (such as about other people, events, movies, anything…)? Like they have a habit of sitting around complaining and mulling in their negativity and when you ask them not to be so negative, they get really mad and say they’re not being negative?

Greeeeat question Michelle, and I am so glad you asked it as I think it’s something that a lot of us encounter. It can be both hard (and seriously annoying!) to get brought down by someone who is forever trying to burst our bubble when we are getting some good mojo going in our life. Whether that’s at home, socially, or at work; a torrent of negativity can really put a dent in our progress towards our happiest life. So, what to do?

Here’s the thing Michelle. Sad to say but some people really like to moan and be negative. It’s how they roll and negativity is kind of their currency. Being negative gets them attention. Or sympathy. Or allows them to avoid rising to a challenge. Or getting out of their comfort zone. They get some sort of psychological payoff from being negative, and they are attached to that benefit. They actually like operating that way and they have no intention of changing! Those people you cannot change. All you can do is lessen the time and influence they have on your life and choose to spend time with people who do resonate with the outlook you have on life.

Some people however have just got a bit stuck in a rut of negativity. It’s become a habit, like a reflex response. They genuinely might not realise how negative they are being and how much of an impact they are having on your life. So, speak up! Be brave. Put them in the picture in a firm but compassionate way. The key is to be ultra specific, and to deliver your message with compassion as well as showing you mean business. Try something like this:

“Honey, I don’t know if you realise but I need to let you know that I am finding many of our conversations overly negative. For example (always be specific) you said you didn’t want to see the movie because it was dumb, you wouldn’t consider either the comedy or the concert because you said they were juvenile and you said my friend Sue was a loser. When you criticise my friends and choices like this without offering positive alternatives I feel hurt (own your feelings) and it brings my mood down. I would like for you to try and be more positive more often, for example suggesting a movie you think we both might enjoy (ask for what you need, be specific) as I love you and I want to spend time with you, but I will not be able to do this if we cannot agree a more uplifting balance of negative versus positive comments in our conversations”.

Follow the formula:

1. Be specific (exact examples, be REALLY specific) .

2. Own your feelings ( “I feel hurt”, not, “you hurt me”).

3. Don’t attack (this is how it is for me, not,  “you are wrong”).

4. Say what you need (I need a balance of positivity with negativity).

5. Say what you will do if the situation doesn’t change (we won’t hang out so much).

So, maybe your loved on has just got stuck in a negativity rut?  Put them in the picture with how things are for you. Give them the choice to change. Then either one of two things is going to happen:

a)    they will

b)    they won’t

If it’s a) then all good. You have inspired a new positive lease of life in them, magic! If not well, then you have the option to choose to either put up with the continuing negativity, or to choose to spend more time elsewhere. It’s hard to make someone else change for you honey, it’s hard enough to effect change in ourselves! All you can really do is lead and inspire them with your own change. Be the happy, vibrant energetic, fun, fascinated and fascinating person you want to be. Embrace that in yourself and your life and lead the way.

Hope that helps Michelle, thanks so much for such a great topic. Any other questions I am here to help, come ask me on Facebook and we will feature it in a forthcoming Wellbeing Wednesday!









Just (Don’t) Do It. How to cure your To Do list addiction.

Personally I love a good list. Actually, if I am honest what I really love is crossing things off my list, rather than the list itself. Frankly the list itself is the devil on my shoulder constantly whispering ‘oh, you haven’t done that yet Louise, and you so totally should have done that already, and you promised that…’ whispering away at my inefficiencies. It’s a lovely way to punish myself for that which is left undone, and yet I persist with the lists because of the sweet high I get each time I cross something off (the angel on the other shoulder whispering sweet nothings about my legendary productivity!). It’s a double edged sword, and after a busy few weeks at the start of term where I feel I have been working really hard but do not seem to have crossed off anything (arrghh!) it got me thinking about the power of The List.

I have come to the conclusion that having a ruthless spring clean of the To Do list is a good idea. In fact I have gone a step further and made a To Don’t list. As  a result I am getting much more done and feeling a whole lot better about things. I have called a truce with my To Do list and realised that I cannot do everything, and there is no such state as finished. Whilst I am breathing there will always be things to be done, stuff that’s outstanding and that’s okay. My To Do list was draining me of both energy and time. It was always making me feel like ‘theres not enough time’ which is an uncomfortable place to be. I am clearer on my priorities and, weirdly, getting a lot more done! Plus…I am enjoying it more.

Ah, enjoyment: that was what I had lost sight of mesmerised by the awesome Power Of The List. When my focus was on just getting the damn thing done so I could cross it off the list and move on to the next thing the enjoyment of the task shrunk to almost nothing. Any enjoyment was deferred to the moment of the grand crossing off of the list. As I would say to my yoga students in class I was entirely ‘in the future’. My focus  was on the completion of the task itself not present with the actual doing of the thing at the time I was actually doing it. The only place that joy truly exists is in the present moment : so I was abdicating my joy to The List. Not cool. By spring cleaning my To Do list I’m enjoying the present so much more, whether that’s writing a blog post, or a new workshop, or clearing the admin or ordering the new mats. I am looking for what could be joyful or intruiging in each moment rather than looking for the short high at completion as I cross it off.

Want to do an audit of your To Do list, (including the secret mental list we all have!)? By cleaning it up you will feel much better about yourself and reduce that nagging feeling that you haven’t quite completed everything. The nagging ‘must do’ is one of our greatest energy drainers…it leaks away our energy and motivation whenever we think of it as well as robbing us of present moment joy. Here’s a few simple steps to make peace with your To Do list:

1.     Review anything you have had on your To Do list for more than a month, write down the mental stuff thats also kicking around, like ‘Paint the House’; ‘Organise 50thBirthday party’ and ‘read that amazing Booker prize novel and impress all and sundry with cultural prowess’.

2.     Have a look at the list…realise you are but one person, with 24 hours in a day. Get real with the fact that, however marvellous you are, however a skilled multitasker, in this age of information overload YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL, AND THATS OKAY!

3.     Breakdown the list into three categories…I like to write all my To Do’s on individual Post It notes (I have a serious stationary addiction)…makes this part much more fun! Divide your post it notes or your list into three columns:

a. I want to do it and I am absolutely going to do it

b. I don’t want to do it but it needs to be done

c. When I really think about this I think the world will keep spinning if this maybe never happens

4.     Magic. What we want is to be spending most of our time on category ‘a’ stuff: stuff you love and feel excited about spending your time on. Life is never quite as easy as that though, and my To Do list certainly spans all three categories…here’s what to do with each:

a.     I want to do it and I am absolutely going to do it. Excellent! Pick up the phone (now), write that email (now) and make it happen (now). If you can’t do it right now then put a time in your diary and block out a time as if it was a meeting that you will dedicate to this. If it’s a big project then break it down into baby steps and commit to taking one baby step each day in 15 minutes or less. Eg. Organising the 50th birthday party. One day baby step: research venues on the web. Day 2 baby step: put together invite list. Day 3 baby step: call venue and get quote. Etc etc. By making your activities just 15 mins or less each day you will find you get to your goal WAY FASTER than just having it on your To Do list for 6 months and not starting it because it looks too big and overwhelming. That’s how people get to the top of Everest…one tiny baby step at a time. Before you know it you will be in your best frock at the party with your bubbles in hand!

b.     It needs to be done, but you don’t want to do it. Fair enough, there is much in life that that falls into this category. Two options here: either BRIBE YOURSELF…make the job more palatable by rewarding yourself heavily after you complete it (yes, yes bribery doesn’t just work on small children to reinforce good behaviour, this is your excuse to appeal to your inner child)…bribe yourself with a half day on the golf course or a massage or whatever flicks your switch enough to get your GST return returned. The other option here is to BARTER IT…can you swap this task or job with someone else for something else? ie. the kids clean the car in return for an afternoon at the beach. Or barter it for money…you have been putting off painting the house for the last 4 summers…honey, clearly it’s not going to happen. Face up to it and exchange the house painting for cold hard cash. As Gordon would say ‘done’. So onto the final category in the To Do list:

c.     Now I really think about it the world will not stop spinning if this thing does not happen. Good to know right? We can have stuff that’s been mentally cluttering our minds for years that we “should” do. And that’s your answer right there…if you haven’t done it in all that time then that says that other stuff has always been a higher priority and likely always will be…so stop torturing yourself, and let go of that To Do. The post it note tasks that are in that pile…well…you can go ahead and…..gaaahhhhhhhhhh…shock and horror….THROW THEM AWAY! Just delete them from your To Do list, not just physically but mentally too ( if this freaks you out you can put them in a pile and put them in a bottom drawer to review in a few months time and then discard). What seems to happen here is a magical thing…by changing the energy one of two things happen…either I forget all about the thing I had been beating myself up to do (sometimes for years), which means it wasn’t so vital anyway…or…somehow the thing will seem to happen all by itself by someone else taking care of it. By releasing my attachment to the To Do, that I was surrounding by all this static Not Doing energy the thing just seems to resolve itself as if by magic. To Don’t lists rock I have found; hand this third category over to The Universe to sort out.

So…Post It Notes at the ready? Give yourself half an hour to make peace with your To Do List and  see how much lighter and easier you feel.

Always love to hear your thoughts…do share below!

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