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2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Sick & Tired of feeling Sick & Tired

Why being “over it” is actually a good thing…

Call me crazy but I love hearing when clients or friends are “totally over it”. When they can’t look at another “fat picture” or drag themselves into the office for another soul-destroying day. I know that may seem mean because it means they are miserable, but I think of being over it, really, really over it, as a special kind of breakthrough.

There are two stages.

The early-stage where we just like to just talk about being “over it”. We actually secretly enjoy talking about our awful boss, or our nightmare mother. When people are really, truly over it however, they don’t want to talk about it. They have talked about it to death but that hasn’t made them thinner or their relationship happier or their career more lucrative.

When people are truly over it they can actually hear themselves repeating those same old lines and they are sick of hearing themselves. Moaning no longer cuts the mustard. We are actually boring ourselves.

Being “over it” feels awful. It can feel like despair, it can feel like we have no real options or choices, it can feel like nothing we might do will make a difference. It can feel lonely. It can feel isolating. But in actual fact when you strip this away rock bottom can be fundamentally liberating.

When we are so sick of a situation in our lives the choice has to be change.

Changing either how we choose to think about the situation or changing the situation itself. When we start to open the mind to the fact that there has to be another way then hey presto some solutions will start to present themselves. “Over it” becomes the first step on the pathway to something far better. When we reach rock bottom and are sick to death of a situation it can be just the springboard we need to move to a far brighter future.

Here’s the funny thing about being “over it”. You can’t really get over it, skip it, miss out the pain or the hassle or the scariness of sorting out whatever situation it is you are over. You can’t actually get over it without going through it. The way out is through whatever change is required not over. We are creatures of comfort as a rule so we tend to avoid the tough stuff, the convo with the boss about the payrise or the missed promotion, the meeting with the neighbor about their continually barking dog. But this is the way over to the other side of our pain, to front up and deal with whatever it is. To go through to come out the other side.

Good stuff starts to happen when the pain of being “over it” becomes greater than the perceived fear of changing the situation or our thoughts about it.

Learning not to be afraid of, or to resist “over it”, but to welcome it, can transform how quickly we move forward in life.

As the great Harry Potter author JK Rowling (and let’s face it she’s done okay latest novel notwithstanding!) famously said “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life”.

Action Step: in what area of your life are you ”over it”? An energy-sucking friendship? A tired and outdated kitchen? Being unfit? Identify it and then choose to either change the way you feel about it or change the situation.

Remember the way out isn’t over it is through.

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Communication Emotional Honesty Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Relationships Resilience Self Care and Self Love

The F word that’s the HARDEST one of all

Let’s talk about the biggest F-word there is: Forgiveness.

Easy to say. Hard to do.

We tend to not want to do it for the very good reason, “we don’t want to let them off the hook”. I hear this again and again. And, I get it.

When someone has done something which we perceive to be so boundary transgressing that they require our forgiveness, we easily get all tangled up in the push and pull of “letting them off the hook”.

That by forgiving whatever the betrayal, or series of betrayals (and believe me, in my job I hear it ALL), we are in some way condoning their actions, attitude, choices. Which we absolutely do not want to do!

There is no way we support, approve or condone. Forgiving can feel like we are complicit with the original hurt.

So we hold onto our betrayal, slight or pain. There is nowhere else for it to go.

The thing is, they are not on the hook: you are.

You become stuck in the pain of the original injury through unforgiveness.

Here’s what I want you to know:

  • You can forgive and still choose not to see that person ever again.
  • You can forgive and be absolutely clear you will never put yourself in that position again.
  • You can forgive even if they are not sorry and that apology will never come.
  • You can forgive and absolutely have the strongest boundaries about any future communication or contact.

And why? Why should you forgive them?

They are not dangling on the hook of guilt and shame you imagine them to be.

The forgiveness is not for them, sweet one, it’s for you.

It gives you peace in your heart: and let’s face it, your heart is the one that’s important here.

Forgive, and let yourself off the hook. It’s time.

Categories
Communication Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration

I Made A Mistake…

I want to talk about mistakes today; it’s coming up with a lot of my clients right now.

Mistakes are natural. They are a part of life. We don’t know what we don’t know, after all. Making mistakes is an essential part of learning and progress: it’s the raw material our evolution and growth are fashioned from.  Trying something and getting an unexpected outcome; then adjusting our approach is the positive upside to mistakes. They are how we get to know more. Do better. Be better.

However, one of my favourite authors Paulo Coelho wrote: a mistake repeated more than once is a decision”. I’ve got to say I think there’s a lot of merit in this perspective.

When people get caught out there can be a real tendency to avoid self-reflection, personal growth and taking responsibility by using the one size fits all phrase, “I made a mistake”.

I’ve seen people hiding behind “I made a mistake” like some sort of magical get out of jail free card when that behaviour has been repeated dozens, hundreds of times. Over years. Decades even. It’s a ruse to avoid looking unpalatable behaviour in the eye.

Know this. That is NOT “a mistake”, that is an absolute conscious CHOICE.  If you are big enough / old enough / ugly enough to engage in whatever the inappropriate behaviour is repeatedly…

(and believe me, in my job I get to see it all: Coworkers embezzling. Spouses cheating (with the best friend). Families hiding inheritance money. Partners secretly selling off property to buy drugs. Physical and emotional abuse. And so on.)

…if you are you are big enough / old enough / ugly enough to engage in whatever the behaviour repeatedly is, THEN YOU ARE BIG ENOUGH / OLD ENOUGH / UGLY ENOUGH TO OWN IT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES!

Hiding behind “I made a mistake”, frankly, is BS of the highest order. It attempts to evade the consciousness of the choice that was repeatedly made.

I’m not buying it. You shouldn’t either.

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Happiness Self Care and Self Love

Baby, it’s cold outside: 5 totally unusual tips to move that mood! #4

Winter Wellbeing #4: Intention and Impact

Winter is a great time for reflection. For being rather than doing. Pausing the boxset for an hour to sit by the fire and reflect with intent can be a great way to do a winter reset around your health, happiness and wellbeing.

If you ask some people what he/she “should be” doing for his/her wellbeing you will get hella long list.

Something like…

Must exercise before work every day. At least an hour. Drink a green juice every day. Eat more protein. Make sure drink enough water (in BPA safe bottle obvs). And lift heavy things for bone density (kettlebells?). Rest more. But, er, also do more. Bootcamp. Cook from scratch every meal. More pulses? Get in 5 a day. 7 really. Do squats whilst cleaning teeth. Oh teeth, must get organic toothpaste. And aluminium-free deodorant. Do not get stressed! Yes definitely be less stressed. Meditate. 20 mins a day. Every day….AND SO ON.

PHEW. IT’S FREAKING EXHAUSTING!

This is why we find it so hard to stick to wellbeing habits; total overwhelm. When you see it all written down like that it seems fairly crazy-pants that anyone could ever keep on top of a percentage of that regularly.

Know this: the BEST wellbeing actions you can choose are the ones that you:

a) Actually DO consistently
b) Create maximum IMPACT

You can’t do everything: FACT!

So, let’s stop putting ridiculous pressure and expectations on ourselves and look for IMPACT AND CONSISTENCY, and then focus on FEELING GOOD ABOUT IT! That’s wellbeing, yes?

So, reflect on this: what wellbeing habit (can be small or large) do you wish you HAD STARTED 5 YEARS AGO AND KEPT UP CONSISTENTLY?

Big question! Resist the urge to write 19 answers and batter your self-esteem – start working that DISCERNMENT MUSCLE – what’s the ONE THING that would have been the highest impact choice?

Make that ONE choice TODAY.

Want to read Tip One? Click here. Tip Two is here & Tip Three here.

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Happiness Positive Thought Strategy

Struggling to get ALL your ducks in a row?

An interesting thing I observe:

People often want things to change to happen in their lives without actually wanting to do one of two key things.

Change their situation.

Or change themselves.

They just want things (or other people) to be different. Dadah!

Which is cool. Except it doesn’t work like that.

You can’t have change with nothing changing.

If you are “feeling stuck” then know you are your own solution.

Instead of wanting the people and things around you to change to better suit you.

Look at the courage and action required from you to create change.

This might mean facing a choice that is hard, controversial or inconvenient.

It also might mean you need to sacrifice something you would rather not.

It might mean getting way past your zone of comfort. Way past.

You want more money; then you might need to change jobs, retrain, start a side hustle business in the evenings, ask for a promotion: any matter of boundary pushing moves or sacrifices of time or comfort.

You want more love; then you might need to have a very brave and honest conversation with your partner, or book date nights and actively listen and put time in to plan a little romance, or get past the fear of online dating and get back out there.

You want to be fit; then you might need to sacrifice time running round after everyone else to go running, or say no to food on offer at social events and get past your fear of offending your host, or actually go to Crossfit and not press snooze for the third time.

We are only ever as stuck as we choose to believe we are.

But you want things to change, you have to change some things.

The key word there is you.

You can create the change you are after.

If you want different. You need to do different.

 

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! 

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4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Positive Thought Strategy

The THREE Types Of People In Your Life…

I hear lots of talk on the socials that people are either blessings or lessons. Which I like.

Just because something is a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true. Equally, just because something didn’t unfold the way you thought it might, doesn’t mean it was a waste of time or energy, it can still be a blessing in disguise or a lesson, or sometimes both.

The following 3 questions will help you sort your relationships into Blessings and Lessons – plus, one very important set of people to be clear on at the end!

People Category 1. Who helped you when the chips were down?

These are your blessings. These people stand out a mile and if you can count a handful amongst your nearest and dearest, you are blessed indeed.

If you can unequivocally answer, “Who would you call in the middle of the night and know they would 110% be there for you, no matter what” you have your blessings.

The ones that will stand up and be counted for you and with you. They are there for the good times and you bring out the best in each other, but when your back is up against the wall they stand with you shoulder to shoulder.

Treat these people like the gold they are. They are your blessings.

People Category 2. Who left you when the going got tough?

Possibly not so much left as sort of….drifted quietly away. Probably they still do a few token likes on your Facebook posts or whatever, but they are notable by their absence when you really need them.

They are sooo busy, of course. But then, we are all busy….we make a priority for what and for who is truly important to us. Being ghosted, especially when things are tough, under the guise of busy? I know you deserve better than that. You know it too.

Keep the emotional investment low or have a strategic unfriend of your contacts and clean house with your relationship space. Bless them and release them.

Personally, I choose that if someone can’t step up and be a good friend in times of trouble offline, then I don’t want them sharing the good times either online or off.

The people that are notable by their absence when the chips are down are bite-sized lessons.

People Category 3. Who put you in the tough position in the first place?

These are your biiiiiiig lessons. Thing is, the tough times are usually courtesy of a significant or close connection either personally or professionally, and so there is a whole heap of commitment, history, family, love and so on wrapped up which means we can find it hard to separate that from the cold hard facts.

If someone repeatedly shows you (possibly quite different to what they say to you) that they are willing to repeatedly put you in harm’s way, believe them. Pain is an excellent teacher: don’t be a slow learner. If there is a lesson to learn, learn it the first time and move forward.

It is said that in good times we get to show people who we are and bad times show us who other people really are. I hope your life is filled with a few lessons (that’s how we grow as people, you can’t miss them all out. Every day is a school day.) but that far more blessings fill your social calendar.

Call one of your blessings today, and let them know you are in their corner too.

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

I Will Be My Own Cheerleader.

There is something so beautiful and natural in the way we encourage children, isn’t there? As they learn to walk, ride, swim: the air rings with the sound of “Atta girl! You can do it!” “You are doing so great, I’m so proud of you!” “Keep going, doesn’t matter if you fall baby, just try again, you’ll get the hang of it”. Our communication is clear and bright. Enthusiasm exudes. Expectations of perfection are firmly managed as we keep it positive. It’s a very easy way to communicate. It takes virtually no effort.

We know that emphasising the positive is a faster and more enjoyable route to the desired outcome than continual berating. We want to keep them interested, connected to the process, excited, enthusiastic, so we lead from the front. It’s joyful. And it gets results.

And  – hello, it’s just a nicer way to communicate and live.

If someone has a go at our kids, shouts, screams, judges, criticises: my goodness are we not fast to react and protect? Our boundaries on the quality of words that should enter our children’s ears, and therefore hearts and minds are strong. We are the gatekeepers and we take that very seriously indeed. If someone is to bully our child they will meet with every bit of wrath we can muster. And then some.

And so what happens when we get to adulthood and we talk ourselves? Where does the “Atta Girl!” go then? For every Mum I see cheering her child on, on the sidelines with such unbridled positivity I see the same mum in the gym or in the yoga class giving herself the exact opposite experience. “You are useless at this. Hopeless. What’s the point of even being here? Everyone else is so much better than you. You suck at this, be honest. And. Shelia…those leggings are not fooling anyone…you are looking FAT”.

The Attta Girl has been swiftly replaced by the meanest of mean girls in the school. She undermines. Berates. Criticises, Judges. Expects perfection. We should be faster. Thinner. Younger. Stronger.

It’s mean girl talk. It’s emotionally abusive. It’s the bully in our heads. And we are doing it TO OURSELVES. Then we wonder why we don’t want to go to the gym or try the new boot camp or enjoy book club.

The knock on effect on our mood and motivation is instant.

You wouldn’t allow the mean girl to repeatedly tear down your son, or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter. You know that bullying is wrong. You know those taunts can last a lifetime which is why you protect so hard and so vigilantly against it. You would not stand for it with a child you care about (or even one you don’t!)  so stop allowing it for yourself.

The words you use, to yourself, in your own head, are the most powerful of all. They determine how you feel, and what you do. They govern your mood and your actions. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because no one else can hear them does not mean they carry great weight. They are the most influential of all.

Don’t let a mean girl live in your head when you would not have her at your table. Channel your own encouraging voice that is there is spades for your child. Be kind and encouraging in your own self-talk. You will be blown away by the instant difference in your disposition, what accomplish and what you enjoy. You will appreciate everything more when you kick your inner mean girl into touch and come from your inner Atta Girl instead.

She’s in there; let her talk to you too.

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

When Life Isn’t Fair

Newsflash: Life isn’t fair. We often get told that so we can suck up disappointment. Does it help? Not really. Fate is not even-handed, and we all know that, but somehow we still kinda, sorta, expect that it kinda, totally should be. That if we are good people, keep our noses clean and our rooms tidy that we will be rewarded by benevolence and life will treat us fair. And most of the time it does.

Until it doesn’t.

Unfair things happen every day. Occasionally, we can take a (secretish) smirk of glee when it appears to be some karmic retribution being handed out from on high. “Well, he totally deserved it. You reap what you sow,” we will say. However, much of the time, we see bad things happening to good people, ourselves included (you are indeed a good person, dear reader, I just know it) and we are as saddened and shocked as we are railing against the injustice and unfairness of it all. “How could that happen? She doesn’t deserve that at all. It’s so unfair”.

All of a sudden (and usually just when you think your ducks are nicely in a row), life can end up looking spectacularly sideways of that which you intended for your present or future.  The rug gets pulled out from beneath you; the future you had planned in your head did not include the loss that has blindsided you.

Cue grief and pain and shock and loss. Life, for sure, ain’t fair. Events so catastrophic can happen that life will never be the same again, and hell, we will never be the same again. There is a part of our soul that will be forever marked and our future will not roll out anything like we envisaged. It should not be like this we say. This should never have happened. I should not have to go through this. You should not have to suffer this. You don’t deserve it. It’s so unfair. And it is.

However – disputing fairness holds us in the trauma. It keeps us tethered to the pain. Attaching to the shouldn’t of it holds us in stasis tying us to the past. We cannot rebuild the different life that is waiting for us when we hold so tight to what was. Releasing the alternative and much wanted future we saw for ourselves, but is no longer on the table, is beyond hard – but it is the way forwards. Some losses are so great you cannot change them. You can only transcend them. Releasing the grip on the unfairness of it all will help.

One of my favourite authors, Cheryl Strayed, makes this elegant point:

“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding”.

And so it is. Whatever we have lost, whatever our treasured ace of hearts or pair of aces we thought we would hold ’til the end, we still do have some cards left. They may be way lesser cards. Good health might feel like a 5 of clubs in the wake of devastation but it is still a card of value. A roof over our heads or money in the bank may seem meaningless at the time, but they could be a 6 of spades. A distant but constant spouse might be a 7 of diamonds in the wake of job loss or bankruptcy.  Being mortgage free might feel like a meaningless 3 in the wake of a health crisis, but it’s still a better card to hold than not to have at all. You get the idea. There might be lesser cards in our hand, the supportive friends, an absorbing hobby, an incredible doctor, an amazing financial plan, a loving spouse, a helpful daughter that we can overlook in the worst of times and after suffering an epic loss. But they are what we have left in our hand. It’s even possible someone else might even feel that was a good hand in our place.

And so we can only play on with what we have.

Play harder, smarter and looking at the cards we still hold and those that might make their way into our hand in the next deal. Life isn’t fair. It’s what you do to transcend unfair that counts.

Categories
Emotional Honesty

What If Things DON’T Happen For A Reason?

I am the Queen of Finding The Silver Lining. The Duchess of Making Lemons Outta Lemonade. The High Priestess of Making The Best OF Things. I believe we have so much more room for optimism in our lives than we tend to take day to day.

However, recently a friend lost her husband and so there is also this.

Sometimes you simply can’t put a positive spin on things. Sometimes things really are just crappy. And it’s okay to let them be crappy and not pretend otherwise.

Sometimes there is no hidden meaning for us to wrestle with.

Sometimes people trilling “It will make you stronger!” and “it’s all happened for a reason!” in a well-meaning fashion that totally subverts the scale of your personal tragedy…. it’s okay to want to high five them, in the face, with a chair (don’t actually do it, obvs, just know it’s okay to feel it in your darkest moments).

Sometimes you need to know it’s okay not to have your game face on. It’s okay to find a quiet corner and absorb the blow.

In order to rally, and you will, you need to acknowledge and feel the sides of your loss – the breadth and the depth of it. But what you don’t always need to do is find a hidden meaning.

Sometimes crappy things don’t have a purpose. They are just crappy. And that’s how it is.

Sometimes things don’t make sense in the moment, and they may never do.

There is no hidden meaning or purpose. They just are. And that’s okay too.

You can drive yourself bonkers trying to work out why it happened, or how it will ultimately serve you, or what you inadvertently did to make it happen in the first place or what the hell it’s supposed to mean.

Here’s the thing. Periods of suffering are part of the human experience. Transcending those periods are also part of the human experience. Those that do that with the most speed and grace are those who acknowledge the reality and scale of what’s occurred and don’t bury it in burgers or booze.

It’s okay not to always be strong and to let your game face slip for a time. You don’t have to always be strong. You can drop the mask of hardihood for a time. It’s okay.

Sometimes bad things just happen. They come. You endure. You move on.

There doesn’t need to be a hidden message or for it all to make sense. Maybe it will, ten, twenty years hence. Maybe it was all for a reason. Or maybe, it wasn’t and it won’t.

So you get through. You cry. You eat Ben and Jerry’s. You get seriously unproductive for a while. You drop a few balls. You reach out. You hunker down. You endure. And then you move on.

Sometimes things are just plain bad. That’s life. It happens to us all at some point, in a variety of guises. You don’t need to find a purpose for it; you need to persevere through it.

Be strong: keep going.

 

Categories
Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress

Redefining Failure

Is there anywhere in your life that you feel like you are failing? It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. No one likes to fail, do they? Fear of failure can leave people stuck for years, decades even, in situations that do not serve them because they are too scared to fail so they don’t move at all. Fear of failure is an incredibly common unhappiness trap. And yet, the paradox is that when we observe at uber-successful people they have generally had more “failures” than the average person, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson to name but two. Could failure be an intrinsic part of success?

Here is what I see successful people thinking and doing about failure:

  1. They allow themselves to fail. They are not scared of failure. They know failure is an inevitability of the path of a life well lived. An unavoidable component of a life that contains some risk, adventure, and growth. Not everything will work out, it’s impossible to know in advance, but that shouldn’t stop the journey. They are not scared to fail because failure is not scary. Failure is just a part of life.
  2.  

  3. They do not define themselves by the failure. They don’t make the failure all about them: they keep the failure external. That relationship failed. That business venture failed. It was tough. It hurt. It could have been different or better. There is much to be learned. And things to be changed. This is really different to internalizing the failure and telling yourself “I’ve failed. I’m a failure”. Successful people see failure as a catalyst for change and self-reflection but not self-hate or blame.
  4.  

  5. They don’t get paralyzed by failure. They keep moving, they don’t dwell on it. Learn. Move. Fail. Learn. Move. They take action. They don’t let failure become an excuse to procrastinate and stall. They fail fast so they can keep the momentum going.
Samuel Beckett once wrote: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better”.
The Financial Times said Mark Zuckerberg’s updated version would read: “Try again. Fail faster”.
Samuel Beckett also wrote: “This sums it up perfectly. Successful people do not let failure drain them of momentum or purpose.
     

  1. They see failure as a data collection exercise into what doesn’t work. It’s not failure: it’s an opportunity to learn something. They are curious about why it failed and what can be learned.
  2.  

  3. They look for the positives even in the face of a very negative situation. “That launch did not drive customers like we expected, on the plus side it refined our customer complain process into something more robust going forward”. ”That relationship didn’t work out, it’s been horribly painful. On the plus side I have learned an important boundary around the speed and process with which I would attempt a blended family again”.

 
In short, successful people are not scared of failure because it is not scary. They do not have a rigid idea of what success looks like. They enjoy the ride. They can look at the experience as a whole and find some gratitude in it before moving swiftly on. They are not afraid to talk about their failures. They don’t bury them. They see them as part of the path to their success.

If you have an area of life that is currently failing, that’s an amazing opportunity to learn something profound about yourself and your situation. Redefining “failure” as a stepping-stone on the route to success can be a powerful mindset shift that will bring you results across all facets of your life.

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