Things I love Thursday

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DAY 86

The weather is starting to get much cooler in this part of the world. Summer barely hangs on into the late afternoon. Rain is beginning to fall. The moon and stars are often still out as I make my way to work in the early morning. It’s beautiful. There is so much to love and be grateful for this past week: birthday gift shopping for my younger sister; yummy butter chicken; my crazy Gala Darling challenge filled with bubble baths, endless chocolate and sending gifts in the snail mail; the smell of fresh flowers; kisses in the kitchen; hanging out with my sons, just loving them to bits; writing until way past my bedtime; sinking into soft white sheets; experimenting with core desired feelings and their impact on achieving my goals; endless learning and exploring; being surrounded by goddesses; laughing at kooky cat videos online; playing with words; focussing on happy days…and happiness; watching another beautiful anime ~ 5 centimetres per second with Cristian; loving KPop Star and party drinks; digging out my Winter woollies and waking up to morning rain ~ yay!!

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5 quick tiny tips to help you smile

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DAY 84

Some days we all feel sad. Perhaps we’re sick. Perhaps we are overworked and just plain tired. Sometimes shitty stuff can happen. It’s not the end of the world but it feels like everything is going wrong. Or perhaps something major has happened in your world and you are struggling to find the good.

So to help a little here are my 5 tiny tips to help you smile.

  • Call your best friend. The one who always makes you feel a bit better about yourself and the world around you. Even if you only have five minutes – call her.
  • Go for a 3 minute walk around the block or into your own garden. Get yourself outside in the sun or the snow and walk. Remind yourself about what is good in your world. In fact challenge yourself to find 10 things on your walk to make you smile. The next door neighbour’s cat. Little people walking in all their Winter gear. Flowers. Birds making nests. Sunshine on your face.
  • Find your favourite song right now. Pump up the music on your ipod and sing at the top of your lungs. Or just dance. Imagine that you are playing in the band and air-guitar the flip out of it!
  • Eat chocolate. Because there is never a time when chocolate can’t make you smile.
  • Hug it out. Hug your dog, your cat, your pet turtle. Hug your best friend or your partner. Hug your kids and your grandkids. Hug your blanket and your pillow. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to feel a little down. Take a little time to nurture yourself and remind yourself of all of the beautiful people and animals (and fluffy toys) who love you back.

You’re in a good place.

It’s going to be ok.

“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.”
― Paul Simon

 

5 Ways to start with your heart

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DAY 83

24th March, 2014

When Brene Brown talks about being worthy it gives me goose bumps. Like Danielle LaPorte, she doesn’t speak about worth as something you earn or deserve. Being worthy is unconditional. Brene simply states that we are each worthy, even though we are not perfect. Danielle adds that we are all important. Incredible. Loved. Even though we are not perfect. We still deserve to be loved. Our presence is needed here.

Think about it. It’s like looking at your life hanging upside down on the swing while all the blood rushes to your head.

To say that we are worthy even though we are not perfect goes against much of what we are taught as children and adults. How many of us think – if only I am good enough, then I will deserve a good life. If only I am perfect enough, then I will deserve a perfect kind of life. Or if I do this, then I will get that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself thinking “But I was so good!” “But I did the everything right!” while the bubbles disappeared down the drain and my world fell apart around me. I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.”

I’m sure that I am not alone. I have heard plenty of others say, “But I’ve been good, why has my car broken down now?” “Why did my house get broken into, I’ve been good.” “I’m sick again, but I have been so good – I don’t deserve this.” 

Of course our heads know that being good has nothing to do with some of the things that can happen to us or around us. Bad things can sometimes happen to good people. It’s just life.

What’s important though is how we respond to these very same things. Your car breaking down, or the house being burgled, your loved one dying or the relationship you hoped would work but didn’t, isn’t about what you deserve as a human being. And it’s not based on how good or perfect you are. You are a human being.

The nature of being a human being is that we are pretty flawed. Sometimes, no matter how good or lovely we are, we say horrible things or we do stupid things to people we love. Sometimes no matter how good or great we have been, other people can be mean or horrible to us. We know better, but sometimes we make mistakes. Often we fall over. But we are still worthy of being here.You are worthy of being here. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you are no longer worthy of good things happening to you.

Being worthy, also doesn’t mean that you are entitled to everything. There is a difference. We are talking about being worthy in a healthy way.

So, let’s start with your heart.

Here are some questions to think about first:

What is the story you hold deep inside of your heart that you tell yourself? I don’t deserve this because…

I don’t belong here because…

I can only belong here when or if I work really hard, or prove myself in this way…

If you think that you don’t deserve to be here or you are not worthy, then no matter what you do you will always feel empty. You will always be chasing your dream and pushing it further out of your reach at the same time. If you don’t think you deserve something in your life you will be the first one to sabotage yourself. You may just simply give up because it is too hard, or you will make it overwhelming, or perhaps you will stop making time and space for your dream to happen. “I just don’t have the time to attend that class, build that business, create that painting, direct that film…” Sound familiar?

Or perhaps you think the opposite way? I deserve everything no matter what…

I should be given everything because the world owes me….

I only do things for people when they do something for me…why should I go out of my way for someone if they don’t give back…

I only do things to look good, get some mileage….

Both Brene and Danielle would link this kind of story to fear. Shame. And a distinct place of lack. This is a place where you believe that only some people are entitled to the good stuff, and that there us not enough to go around. It’s not a good place to be. Mainly because if you are playing in this sandpit you are likely to be very conflicted and find yourself very lonely and wondering why.

So lets start with your heart. Lets start with loving yourself. Really love yourself – no strings attached!

One of  Garla Darling’s activities is to start with a Radical Self Love Journal! Yep. It’s pretty radical!

You can check out her other self love programs on her website, but I think that this is a great idea to start with, because it makes you create some space for yourself and focus on you; even if it’s just for half and hour.

Her first step for creating your radical journal?

1. Purchase yourself a beautiful notebook and while you are at it, find some good pens, pencils, stickers, magazines, glitter…whatever makes you feel like your five year old creative self. And don’t forget the glue and scissors! You don’t need to have heaps of money to do this either. You can find some beautiful and inspiring stationery supplies in K-Mart or your local $2 shop these days. I bought a gorgeous pack of purple notebooks from K-Mart with inspirational messages on them. I also picked up a great little journal with a red leather cover and completely blank pages in a small news agency. Or you can go all out and head to KiKi or Smiggle. But get something that you love and that you can carry around with you in your bag.Your journal is moving in with you for the next month!

2. Make a promise to yourself. Gala has a number of first steps here, but the one that spoke to me was from her first ever video tutorials from the Radical Self Love project. You can check her out on You tube, but essentially the first thing you are going to do is write a promise to yourself for the month. “I promise to love myself this month.” “I promise to commit myself to my own personal growth.” “I promise to see the good in people.” “I promise to look for the beauty around me.” It can be anything that means something to you.

3. Find a totem. Gala also suggests that here you might like to find yourself a totem. Something that will remind you every day of your promise to yourself for the month. It can be a necklace, or a gem stone in your pocket. Perhaps it’s a scarf or a hat or a special ring? Something that you can preferably wear every day so that when you see it or touch it you will be reminded of your commitment to yourself. I bought a heap of love heart and angel wing necklaces in all shapes and sizes. My sister in law found an awesome website where we could pick up gorgeous heart and wing jewellery for only a few dollars. I haven’t stopped wearing them since. Every day they remind me of my commitment to not only myself but to others. They remind me of what I have to give to this world.

4. Write down every compliment you receive for the next week. Every single one. And when you receive them, say thank you. That’s it. Thank you. Nothing else. “Your hair looks awesome!” ‘Thank you.” ” I love that jacket.” “Thank you.” “You are so funny, you should be a comedian.” Thank you.” And write it down. When I started doing this I realised that I wasn’t too good at graciously accepting compliments. I felt awkward and would generally say something along the lines of “Don’t be silly”, or “you don’t know what you are talking about” I had no idea how offensive I was actually being to the person who was taking the time to compliment me. But I also had no idea how, with every denial, I was sabotaging myself and strengthening my story of not being good enough.

5. Write down all of the things that are amazing about you. Of all of the activities that I love, this is one of the best. I have used this when I am coaching or working with young people and it is an eye opener. Often people start out struggling to come up with just one thing that they think is awesome about themselves. It can be a mix of really not thinking that there is much to like/love. It can also be about feeling like we are being conceited or stuck up if we consider what may be awesome about who we are. I’m not asking you to walk around thinking you are better than everyone else. I am asking you to think about your own uniqueness. Who are you? Because you are beautiful. Special. You are definitely incredible. Important and you deserve to be here. If you get truly stuck with this one, then ask your best friends. What do they think is amazing about you? Perhaps ask your parents? Or your favourite teacher or coach.

That’s just the beginning of the process. It’s a start to realising that you deserve to be loved. That you deserve to be here. Even though you are not perfect; you are worthy.

A letter to 10 year old me

DAY 80

I watched this cute video from the folk at SoulPancake today. They often post things that make you think outside of the box.

So todays video was all about asking people to write a letter to their 10 year old versions of themselves. They didn’t tell them that they would ask them to share the letters after  they had written them, so people were pretty honest. There was a lot of advice about taking risks and not being frightened and plenty of encouragement, especially around making it through difficult times and things getting better.

I got to thinking, what would I have told my 10 year old self?

  • Don’t wish your red hair away, one day the same boys who tease you mercilessly for being a red head will love you.
  • Find what you love doing, and don’t give it up for anything ~ even if someone tells you that you can’t do it! Keep singing, keep dancing and don’t stop writing!

What stood out to me more though was how some of the things that I would tell my 10 year old self may be very similar to what I would still tell myself now.

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just do it! You will learn so much more from riding that bike than just looking at it!
  • Spend time with the people you love. They won’t always be there to hug.
  • People are more important than money. Really.
  • Work is only one part of your life, so don’t spend every hour of your life working ~ unless you are running away from something…

Most of all, I think I would tell us both to choose to be happy. You may think this is easier said than done, but the research tells us that we are the architects of our own happiness. We choose how we react and respond to what happens around us. We choose to be happy or miserable. Every day.

So I thought I might leave you with a video from Nick Vujicic who is both inspirational and chooses to be happy. Every day.

Share It Forward Sunday!

I love Sundays.

Often my Sundays are full precious moments, like sleeping in, reading in bed, chatting over hot cups of tea, giggling on the couch, snuggling my Cuba and MiMi, bubble baths and date night with my husband. I love sharing the extraordinary things I find online as well. So many things touch my heart or inspire me to be part of creating a better world for all of us.

Sometimes though, it’s just about being simply happy…

Garla Darling Challenge Day #1

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DAY #1

100 Things To Do When You’re Upset: The Gala Darling Challenge

<3 ‘Do something good for someone else, even though you may not want to. Do a favour, help them find something, give them an item which will help them in some way. Start the flow of positive energy.’

I may have gotten a little excited about this one!

I sent a small gift containing one of my favourite books to a lady that I haven’t seen in quite a while, and don’t have too much to do with these days. She has been grieving for quite a while, and I hope that my little package will help her to feel a lot better.

The book? I CAN DO IT! by Louise Hay.

I can do it

If you haven’t read it, it’s a pretty straight forward little book that will explain positive affirmations and the impact of your thoughts on your life. I especially love the CD you get with the book. Louise Hay is also pretty awesome to listen to when you are driving to your next meeting or event.

#garladarlingchallenge

100 Things to do when you’re upset: The Gala Darling Challenge

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DAY 78

In case you haven’t realised I really like a challenge.

I love the way they get me out of my own headspace, and basically stop me from being bored or lazy or just feeling sorry for myself. It’s one of the reasons I like training days, or attending workshops, or simply giving things a go. I am slightly addicted to testing myself, and questioning the status quo. My addiction has seen me standing on top of a gigantic tree with a flying fox, in spite of being petrified of heights; running on the sand for hours in the sun competing against another team, in spite of disliking sun and sports equally; taking up challenges like#100happydays and attending events such as otaku cons or Neko Nation just to meet new folk and broaden my world. It’s also a way to breathe some quirky, wild fun into my life!

This week I went back to work and felt like I had been hit with a sledge hammer. Within days I was dealing with last minute reports that had to be written for the Director within absurd timelines, staff issues coming out of my ears, deadlines being demanded and a ridiculous amount of emails to respond to. The hours were long and I struggled to find any joy. Yep, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I had also managed to stress my immune system out again by triggering another dose of chronic uticaria. Fun! I had tried the usual stuff: my favourite pink pyjamas, wine, talking with fiends, sleeping in that extra five minutes. But really I was down in the dumps big time! It happens to the most positive of us. There are times we all struggle to change our mindset, even if we have the tools. So I went back to my heros. The ones that will always give me something that reignites my heart, inspires me or just listens. I have a beautiful friend who brought me my favourite cup cake (red velvet sparkle) and just listened to me for 20 minutes while I sooked. I have a son who just seems to know when I need that extra hug or a text message telling me what a great mum I am. I have another beautiful friend who reminds me every day that I need to look after myself. He’s also very good at giving me books to read. I have a husband who adores me, and when I am flat lining he instinctively brings me hot cups of tea in my favourite mug and strokes my hair.

I also have role models who aren’t physically in my life and some are no longer walking this earth. But they are my go to people when I need a good pep talk: Richard Branson, Gala Darling, Danielle LaPorte, Eleanor Roosevelt, Audrey Hepburn and Brene Brown.

This morning as I hid under the doona feeling like a smacked kitten, I instinctively I looked up Gala’s Radical Self Love section. My mood needed some serious medicine, and she never fails to shift my perspective. While I was reading and journalling I came across one of her famous lists: 100 Things To Do When You’re Upset (The Sad Trombone List). I got to thinking, what would happen if I tried everything on her list? Everything. Even wearing a fake moustache for a day? I have never done or even thought of doing much of what is on her list. Ah, my addiction is piqued! So I have decided to take on the challenge. 

The challenge will be that every Saturday I will try at least one of the tips on Gala’s List. I’ve included the list to her site and list so you can follow along or take up the challenge yourself. I will document the task with photos, a small post or a video through Instagram and it will be posted on my DBM facebook page to follow. Some days I may be brave and try two, or three. But the challenge will be to try at least one!

Perhaps you might like to try it with me. 

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” 
― Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters

Much excite, many joy

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DAY 77

I have a cute and quirky friend, Katey,  who has an equally quirky way of telling the world about how happy she is. She often mixes up her verbs, nouns and adjectives. Instead of saying, “I’m really happy about this.” or ‘I’m having a lot of fun.” She will say “Ohhh much excite right now!” or, “This has given me many joy!” I can’t emulate her cute voice, but just the words being written in the wrong order, or out of context somehow makes me sit up and listen. I can’t even write the sentence without an exclamation mark, it carries so much emotion!

It got me thinking about how we can go about our daily lives and miss the extraordinary. How amazing things can become a bit ‘ho hum’ because we don’t acknowledge it. How we can miss the beauty of our world around us because we have forgotten somehow how to articulate it in a way that has meaning for us.

So how do we renew our passion and inspire ourselves? How do we jump start our hearts to see the richness and extraordinary moments and things in our lives?

Here’s 5 tips that may give you much excite and many joy!

  • Change your daily language to describe your emotions! You don’t have to do what my friend Katey does, but think about your go to words. I spent years saying, “that’s cool”, or “I love that”. Both words ended up loosing all meaning for me. They felt like dried out prunes. So something that really was cool was no longer really touching my heart. It gave me zero joy. Think about how we greet people every day with “How are you?” or “How’re you going?” the automatic answer is “Good thanks, and you?” After years of saying ‘good’ on auto pilot, it just rolls off our tongues like paper; dry and awkward.Try changing both the greeting and your answer. “It’s so good to see/meet you. How has your day been?” might elicit a different response. The other week I asked one of my sons this question and he said “Mum, I’m living the dream!” It’s hard not to have a conversation after this!!
  • Make a list of words that describe your feelings. Check out your words and their meaning on the dictionary online or my new favourite tool: visualthesaurus.com. Make sure that your words reflect who you are and what you feel. They should feel luscious and true when you say them. Put your top 5 words on a post it note and pop them in your diary so you see them every day. At the end of each day, I like to shift my post it note to the next day in my diary, so I see them every morning when I get to work. Or you could put them on your fridge, or bathroom mirror. Change your words up every week, or every month! It’s also a great way to expand your vocabulary.
  • Listen to your most inspirational role models. Who inspires you? Perhaps it is someone physically in your life like your mum or your best friend. A co-worker or a coach. Perhaps it’s someone you don’t know at all, a celebrity, a politician, a world leader? They could be dead or alive, it doesn’t matter. Focus on the things that they describe around them. How do they articulate the journey that they are in? They inspire you with both their words and their actions, so how do they communicate that with you in a way that makes you feel inspired to step up and be a better version of yourself. One of my many inspirational role models is Gala Darling. Her daily posts on both her facebook page and her website always make me think about who I want to be. When I have had a particularly shitty and disheartening day, she always draws me back to a place where I can find my own inner power and an acknowledgement that I am the decision maker in my life; I am the one who decides whether or not to fight. I am the one who chooses to love my self and to be happy.
  • Start with your heart. Your feelings are the most powerful drivers in your life. If your heart isn’t right , then your life will be a mess of spaghetti! If you haven’t already, do some work on your heart and your feelings. Who are you really? What are your go to feelings every day? What story do you tell yourself every day? How do you speak about yourself every day. What do you therefore see every day? If you are feeling like a complete waste of space, because the story in your head is that you were never wanted as a baby and nothing you can do will prove that you deserve to be on this earth, then you are likely to be telling yourself that you are powerless to change yourself and your experience of life. Your words will revolve around a deep inner sadness of abandonment and fear. Your expression of yourself will be full of pain. You will only see the grey mist. But if you can be brave and be honest about that one feeling that is driving your life and foundation story, and courageous enough to step up and change it, then you will change your existence. You might like to start with Gala’s Radical Self Love Project, or if you are feeling particularly brave today, try some Desire Mapping with Danielle LaPorte.
  • Try something different every single day for 30 Days. Write a list of 30 things that you think will bring you many joy. Don’t think big picture, just small every day things. Perhaps putting a bunch of flowers on your bedside table to wake up to every day because they remind you of love and make you feel like a goddess. Or perhaps small bunches of flowers everywhere you sit like your desk, your coffee table, your kitchen bench! Perhaps you could try a different morning drink, like a herbal tea because it makes you feel a little bit daring and adventurous. Maybe you could dress up in your favourite outfit to do the most mundane thing, like supermarket shopping, or going to work, or walking your dog because it makes you feel wicked and cheeky and happy! Put on false eyelashes, just because they make you feel glamorous. Buy a special pen because it feels exotic to write with. Write a card to your friend about how much you love and care for them because it makes you feel like a bloody good person. Eat one of your favourite childhood cereals for breakfast, even if it’s not too good for you because it connects you to your inner child and you feel palyful! What ever you do, think about how it makes you feel inside. Think about the words you are using to describe your experience. Do your words give your experience justice? Do they breathe life into the moment? If not, go on a quest to find that perfect word! Write it down and add it to your flourishing vocabulary!

Just a few of these things will not only change up the way you see and feel your daily experience, they will open up your heart and mind to the richness that is already present in your life. They will also open you up to new possibilities and opportunities.

Ah yes, much excite, many joy!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

The Game Changers in our lives

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DAY 76

‘I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.’ Rosa Parks

What makes a leader?

Who inspires us to be better than we are?

Who calls to our hearts to step forward and be accounted for?

Who captures our imaginations and our strength, compelling us to strive for a new day?

For a long time I thought leaders were special people who stood out from the crowd. The type of people who gave grand speeches, stirring the troops before they marched into an un-winnable battle. I often imagined being a female version of Captain Kirk bravely urging the Enterprise into the far reaches of the galaxy to do what no ‘man’ had ever done before. You can imagine my excitement when Captain Janeway was introduced to the cast of Star Trek: Voyager! It’s true that many of our great leaders are just like this.

Sometimes they are artists who stir in us the passion to rise up and change the world around us. As a little girl I would lay in bed before sleep came for me, thinking of the day I might write a song like ‘I Am Woman’ by Helen Reddy; a song that I sang religiously every day for months on the way home from school and that generations would continue to sing.

At fifteen, my perspective on leadership shifted to lead singers of pop bands; they were the ones that stood up front and led their band to greatness. The ones that were the first to answer the questions while the members of the group nodded silently behind them. My obsession with good looking boys aside, these lead singers often showed us a side of leadership that is perpetuated in much of our culture. The image of a leader who knows it all and the followers who look to them for guidance and support. Our work cultures are often based on this model of leadership. So are our education structures.

I was convinced that leaders were born to be front runners until one day there was a fire at my school. We were sitting in the science lab that had a wall of windows looking over the school courtyard with a view of the triple story building and the newly built gymnasium and sports complex. Giant red orange flames and black plumes of smoke and billowed out of the roof of the gym and smoke was quickly filling the courtyard. The alarm bell rang across the school intercom. We could already heard the terror and mayhem in the corridor outside. Our teacher went a distinct shade of white and into shock. Not realising what she was doing she walked to the classroom door and locked it, essentially locking us into the room to await our fate. She told us to sit at our tables and not to move. In those days, you pretty much did what your teacher told you. In those days we were rarely taught to think for ourselves. So we sat. Quietly. Waiting.

Until one of my class mates got up and walked up to the teacher and held her hand and told her it would be alright. That he would take care of everything. He walked towards the door and calmly unlocked it, still holding our teachers hand. Then he told us all to stay calm and line up in pairs. We didn’t hesitate. Although we were scared of both the fire and our teacher, we lined up holding onto each other. Our eyes focused on the fire and our friend Wayne. Wayne smiled at us and told us it would be alright. Our teacher nodded along with him. Then he asked us to follow him down the hallway and out into the fresh air and safety of the school garden on the other side of the school. Wayne was not just a hero that day, he was an extraordinary leader. He was prepared to stand up for what he knew was right and prepared to challenge what he knew was wrong. He was prepared to risk himself for the sake of others. He was prepared to stand up and show up.

One of my favourite stories to talk about is the one of Rosa Parks. Rosa was a 42 year old African American who worked as a seamstress. One day in December, 1955, she got on a bus to travel home from work. Initially she sat in the ‘blacks only’ section of the bus, right behind the ‘whites only’ section. When the ‘white section’ filled up the bus driver told the  black Americans to move down to the back of the bus to make way for the white people. Rosa refused. She was arrested. But on that day Rosa started a revolution for her community; quest for freedom and equality. She didn’t make a grand speech and rally the troops. She didn’t have a position of power in her own life. She just stood up for what she believed in. In that one single act, she showed up for what she believed was the right thing to do.

Perhaps you have leaders in your life, or leaders from the past who inspire you?

I believe that we are all leaders. We all have the capacity to stand up for what we believe is right, and to act on it. Sometimes it’s a small act, a drop in the ocean. But the consequences of these acts are extraordinary.

Here’s the thing: All of us are game changers.

‘You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.’ Rosa Parks

Things I love Thursday

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20th March, 2014

Yay! It’s things I love Thursday. So much to love this week!

A heartfelt gift of a single fresh red velvet cup cake-my total favourite *sigh*; amazing and inspirational feedback from followers of my blog…completely overwhelmed – thank you; hugging my crazy and beautiful giant sons; late night games of Weiss cards, pizza, movies and loads of laughs with friends; yummy Japanese lunches with my man; another enlightening desire mapping session; kisses in the late afternoon summer heat; butterflies, real and imagined; snuggles with our moosh of a dog, Cuba; building sand castles on the Williamstown beach with the awesome people I get to work with every day; beautiful orange and yellow roses on my desk; #100 happy days! birthday wishes to my gorgeous sister and my best friend…Heathcote and New York are too far away; a shared bottle of Brown Brothers with my love; walking to work under the light of the early morning moon; sinking into my panda slippers and hot pink pyjamas and falling asleep!