It's been a while since I've written a blog. I used to do it every week and send it out in a newsletter. Or, I would write it here. It's like therapy for me. Writing helps me to put everything out and see what makes sense or just be able to let it go once I have sent it. If my blogs help someone else then that's great but that isn't why I do them. This one is a result of the restless energy I've felt over the last week after a rather chaotic 12 months.
Let me give you a little background so it makes sense. I've recently made a massive move from Australia, my home since birth, to Wales in the UK where I have relatives and where my grandfather was born. One of the relatives here has been an important person in my life since I was a teenager. He visited Australia several times and I've been here and in many ways he was more of a father to me than my own father. I had a call from that relative in the middle of last year asking for me to come over and help them. We have always had the agreement that when he needed me to I would come and help him when things became unmanageable. I couldn't get here for several months and eventually arrived in November. What I walked into was worse than I could have imagined.
During Covid my relative and his partner had been isolated from everyone and everything. Both my relative and his partner are in their 80's and have multiple health conditions which also impacted on what they are able to do. I stayed for 7 weeks to engage social services and extra support and then travelled back to Australia. The idea at that time was I would apply for a visa to move here to support them and leave behind my life in Australia.
What actually happened was that I was back 9 days after I left at the end of December. Almost as soon as I left they both became very unwell and I had to return. The day after I returned it was a medical appointment and the day after that a dental appointment. Over the course of the next few months things got better for a while and then worse again and by the end of February both my relative and his partner were admitted into hospital. My relative ended up being in hospital for 108 days and I visited him every day. I also kept working with his care team while holding down full time work in Australia and keeping in touch with my family and my inner circle who were an amazing support during that time.
Fast forward to July and I was finally in a position to fly back to Australia again but only to pack up and return with a visa that allowed me to live and work here. In a whirlwind 4 weeks I sold stuff, gave things away, had a few dinners with friends to say goodbye, quit my job, sold my car and sorted out the visa.
After returning at the end of July I have now been able to take a moment to breathe after the chaos of the last several months. It is almost one year now since I first arrived and now I need to work out what this stage of my life looks like. Queue that restless feeling after a massive change and you feel like you still have landed properly.
I'm sure that you too have had times in life where you go through a period of chaos and when the dust settles you wonder how you got through it. And then you get a restless feeling because now you aren't in that state of running from one thing to the next and dealing with constant chaotic events on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day.
I'm dealing with the restlessness now of 'where to from here'? Now that I'm here what do I do? I actually have heaps to do looking after my relative. But what about me? What do I do in the quiet of night when my friends in Australia are all asleep and I'm left alone with my thoughts and fears? What do I do when I haven't yet found 'my people' here in the UK? What do I do to rebuild my professional career that I had in Australia?
What I've discovered is that in that restlessness I can either distract myself with other things that don't propel me forward towards my goals or I can sit, reflect, plan, execute and keep moving towards where I want to be. While I have different obligations here than I did in Australia and they take up a lot of time, I still have time in my day to do things that improve my life and mental health. Things like scheduling my day to ensure that when I am working I won't be disturbed. Making sure that I walk in nature everyday. Listening to music. Continuing to learn new skills and listen to new ideas related to my work. Sharing those ideas and learning with others. When I do these things I feel a little less restless.
I'm a long way from settled yet but I'm well on my way. I've got some solid plans now. I've made some local contacts. I'm building my professional profile here and I'm, mostly, looking after my health. And on the days when it feels too hard I remember why I'm here. I'm here because of an agreement with a relative that I love and because this decision, no matter how difficult, is easier than living with the pain and regret of turning my back on something my heart needed to do.
Is there something that you feel restless about? What helps you move from that restlessness?
Welcome and Happy New Year. The new year is often a time of renewed hops. People feel inspired and hold hope that this year can make their dreams come true. Many people will set goals they want to achieve. There is a lot of research though that shows that most people will have abandonded those goals by the start of February. So...let's set you up for success and turn your dreams into reality.
What stops some people from starting and stops others from continuing is that many people don’t do something long enough for it to become a habit. To form new habits takes time. Let’s think of an example. You decide that this year you want to get your finances sorted. And then two weeks in you get a catalogue that has some beautiful clothes, or sportwear, or electronic equipment…and it’s all on special. You think you need the thing in the catalogue even though before you got the catalogue you didn’t know that. So…you pause your financial goal to buy the thing.
What you are doing when you buy the thing is looking for a ‘spike of happiness’. You are looking to have a little bit of spontaineity in your world so it feels a bit more exciting by indulging in a little bit of retail therapy. Even the language used to describe shopping for things you don’t need indicates something deeper. When you are considering buying something, before you ever part with your money, you get a little dopamine hit in anticipation of your purchase. Sales and catalogues entice us even more.
And now, we don’t even need to leave home to purchase things. I know that I often get catalogues and special offers in my inbox. Some of them seem to keep turning up even though I unsubscribe from them. I delete most without ever reading them.
One way to combat this is to get into the habit of putting things off. In a world that is screaming at us to ‘have it now’ this can be difficult. In that moment we are thinking about the pleasure we might get from the thing rather than the pain we might feel by indulging. So….what if we could get in the habit of seeing how our decision may cause us pain long term.
Take some time when you see the thing you want and write down the following.
Take a little bit of time and think about the long term impact of what you are about to do. Will this help you in six months time? What about in one year? At the start of 2023 will you be able to look back at this year and be proud of your efforts? Or will you be living in hope that 2023 will be a better year for you and that you will achieve those goals?
I’ve used finances and shopping here as an example but it could be anything. It could be your health and fitness, your relationships or where you live and work. Whatever it is that you want improve in this year, when you are making decisions relating to that part of your life, take time to reflect. It might just change your mind.
#goals #goalsetting #NewYear #resolution #habits #lifecoach
I have had many conversations with people over the years about 'broken families' and 'broken homes'. One conversation recently prompted me to write an article and send it out to my email list. My view is that a home where two people can't get along and that is volatile is the home that is broken. If you can't fix it after trying everything then you leave. Too many people want to stay in a home that is not peaceful because of some ideological view of what a family and a home means. While in a perfect world a family would always stay together and love one another. We don't live in a perfect world though and so we have to move on and we can only do that when we make peace with it and learn to love ourselves again.
Maybe it's because we say we have 'broken up' or been through a 'breakup' that we use similar language about the home that happened in. If you can't renovate the relationship and therefore the home then it might be time to move on. Some things can't be fixed because they aren't broken. They have just got to the end of their lifespan.
I don't have all the answers but I will always ask myself the questions. And I will have the conversations with others who are open to discussing these topics because that's how I learn, how I grow and how I develop a more peaceful mindset. If you want to read the full article you can find it read more here.
#families #relationships #brokenhomes #parenting
Today has been one of those days. I was so excited to have a day at home and work from my home office with the Wonder Dog at my feet and the radio on in the background. After a brisk walk around the block with the Wonder Dog the day started well with a list full of things to get done and a mind full of good intentions. After crossing some things off the list it all kind of went pear shaped. I couldn't concentrate. I kept getting distracted and I thought of several more things to add to my list (at least I wasn't just doing nothing right?). And I still had the remnants of conversations from last night echoing in the back of my mind. When a friend asked about biggest fears I confessed.....I have a book inside me (well, several really) that might never get written and if it does who would read it? It was that conversation running around my already hyperactive brain when I went to sleep. And this morning it was there again. I know what to do....block out time and just write. And still I haven't.
This week is also significant because my marriage, which ended five years ago, will be declared over in the family court on Friday. It's kind of a surreal time. New dreams are screaming to get out of me and old ones are being laid to rest. I also have an upcoming trip to the US in November, which I should be looking forward to but right now I'm kind of wondering if I have the time to go and yet I crave some new experiences, sights, smells and sounds to reinvigorate me. Maybe I'm just tired.
We all have these days from time to time. Days where the best laid plans go astray. And days when the things others say and their belief in your triggers your own inner demon who whispers in your ear about all the things on your list to do but haven't yet done, all the things you want to do in the future and what could go wrong and all the dreams you have and why should anyone else care about them. And the little voice that says maybe you don't deserve a holiday. You know what though? I do deserve a holiday. I do deserve joy. I do deserve to stand at the front of a room full of strangers and share the knowledge and experiences that have bought me here. Every single time I start a training I feel a little pang of that imposter.....maybe telling me that I'm not qualified, that people won't like me or that I'm fooling not only them but also myself by being there. And then my good twin steps up to remind me of all the great things that I have experienced. I'm reminded of all the amazing people I have had the honour to coach, teach and mentor. And then I go and look in my brag box which I keep in my office. It's full of letters, cards, messages and little gifts from those whose lives I have touched.
So....when your imposter rears her head (and her voice) tell her to get stuffed! You deserve this (whatever it is) and by golly you are going to relish it.
And now I'm off to take action on the rest of that list because I deserve the success that comes from crossing those things off. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your overwhelm is take a breath, write out all the stuff that is bothering you and get it out of your head.
While it can seem almost impossible to get rid of stress from your life, some simple steps can make you less susceptible to it. It is important to develop a lifestyle that is in line with your values, beliefs and attitudes. If you value family time, make the time to spend with the family. Likewise, if one of your values is good health, make the time to exercise.
Preventing stress need not be as hard as you think. Here are a few simple strategies that you may like to incorporate into your life. They may just help your life to be a little simpler and less stressful.
Dance – get your body moving. Whether you do a waltz, jive, salsa or contemporary dance, as long as you have comfortable shoes, dancing is a great way to both get fit and reduce stress. Exercise of any kind releases endorphins into the system and these are the feel good friends your body needs to maintain good mental health. So get moving and feel great.
Sing – sing along in the car. Singing like dancing releases built up tension in the body. Let it all out. Sometimes a good sing along is as good as yelling or screaming to release tension.
Learn to say no – only say yes to something after you have considered both options. If you do not consider both options then chances are that you are only saying yes out of fear of the consequences of saying no. next time you are asked something, think before you answer. If you need to get some practice in saying no, why not say ‘Let me think about that, I will get back to you’. This way you can think about it and if you feel like saying yes you can.
Get a life coach – this will help you to set goals and keep you on track to achieve them. A life coach is also a cheerleader, teacher and someone who will hold you accountable to your actions.
Cry if you want to – Tears can help the body to release toxins and tension. Sometimes all we need is a good cry to feel better.
Embrace Change – Look at changes as challenges, opportunities and new experiences. Reframing change into a positive light opens you up to the possibilities available within them.
Plan downtime – schedule time that is not allocated for any activity and use it to do whatever you want. Do not feel guilty if all you want is a sleep. Watch a movie, read a trashy magazine, chat on the phone with a friend. Whatever you want to do is fine.
Try adding just one of these strategies to your life every day and see how it transforms your life.
till next time, stay happy.
I was on a call this morning with a gorgeous, talented business woman. Throughout our call I noticed her language. There was a lot of "I should', 'I have to' and 'I need to' language peppered throughout the conversation. I asked her to substitute the phrases with 'I choose' whenever she catches herself saying them. Let me tell you why.
When we use language that makes us feel guilt or anxiety we take our eyes and our focus on the things that will bring us the success we want. When you tell yourself what you 'should' do you feel guilt that you are not already doing it. When you say 'I have to' it's a message to your brain that you don't want to do this thing and it feels imposed on you, which can cause resentment. And when you say 'I need to..' it causes anxiety because most of us are already busy and when we have a need for something again our focus goes to that thing.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you are a start up business and are procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed by all the things you are learning and doing while you establish yourself in the marketplace. During a conversation with a friend you hear these words come out of your mouth....'I should do some marketing for my business because I have to make it work. I need to the money to come in so I can pay the bills.'
Now all of that may be true....but let me ask you this. While you are having the conversation are you taking any action? Does it make you feel good? Does it get your message, brand and product out to the world? NO, it doesn't. What it does is make you feel even more overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out about what you have not yet done. It also puts the message to your subconscious on the money rather than how your business will benefit your clients. While it's true that we live in a society that uses money as the exchange for the things we use in our own lives it is just that....currency to exchange. So, what do you choose to exchange for the money?
Let's try that conversation again with I choose in there instead.
'Today I will do some marketing for my business because I know how much my (product, service) will benefit people. I know that when I choose to put it out there that the clientele will come pay me well in exchange for what I have to offer.'
Every morning as you get ready to start your day say this or something like this to yourself. Use your words and make it personal. Please feel free to comment below.
So today I went out with a friend for a walk around out town. There are a lot of independent businesses and shops in our main street. In the near future I am going to start hosting events for women in business in this area and wanted to introduce myself and gauge interest. What was interesting was the response. In one store the young women who is the store manager could not have been nicer. She asked if she could have some info to give to some of her clients and was bubbly and happy. The rest of her staff were also cheery and the whole place had a good vibe. In some of the other stores and businesses I went into it just felt like the people did not want to be there and they couldn't wait to leave. Those businesses had an oppressive energy and weren't places you would want to stay in or spend your money in.
It got me thinking about how we are responsible for how we show up. Many years ago I worked in real estate. It's amazing how you could always tell if a home was happy or not. If a couple were going through a breakup or just had an argument you could feel it in the air. In business and at work too we can often sense when something is not right or someone has something going on in their life that they are struggling with.
Jill Bolte Taylor worked in the area of brain science and had a stroke. As a result of that stroke she lost her capacity to speak. What she gained was a heightened sense of feeling people's energy. She wrote a book called 'My Stroke of Insight' which is well worth the read otherwise find her on TED talks and have a listen to her story. We are all responsible for how we show up when we are engaging with others, whether that be at work, with children, partner or friends. Just spend a bit of time reflecting on what sort of impact you want to have and try your best to make sure that your energy matches your intention. If it doesn't then do something to change it. Dance, give yourself a pep talk, put on a smile, listen to some great music that makes you happy or go for a walk. And if you truly feel that today you can't elevate your energy then just understand that will impact on how others respond to you. You might not get the results you want from your interactions.
How good are you at clearing out your stuff before it turns into clutter? It's easy enough to accumulate too many things and not use them. Some things we collect because they are beautiful or inspiring like art and ornaments. Some things we collect because they are a perfect match with something else we have...usually this is the case with clothes. And some things we collect just in case we might need it at some time. Think kitchen utensils, appliances and garden tools. But if you don't need them, love them and use them often then it is just more things to store, clean, insure and some of them even increase your monthly living expenses in the form of electricity and cleaning.
Holding on to stuff might be a symptom of some loneliness or unhappiness in yourself. Sometimes people buy things to fill up that feeling and for a while it might work. This is called a 'spike of happiness' when we get something new and feel good for a while but it wears off then we need to get something else so we can have the feeling again. Try to find ways other than shopping to help you feel great. Exercise, meditation, dance, coffee with friends or just getting out in nature will all help you to feel better. Let's face it most people have everything they need and extra purchases are really just excess. I'm not saying never buy anything again...I'm just saying know why you are buying something. If it is to make yourself feel better chances are that it will be a short lived thing and before you know it you won't enjoy it like you did in the beginning.
Most people have some things they will never use or wear that they could get rid of. It's still spring so now is the perfect time to spring clean. Go through your drawers, wardrobe, shed and cupboards and see what you are ready to let go of. And as you do notice how it makes you feel. If you feel hesitant because you know you will never use something but just can't seem to part with it then take a breath and ponder the reason. Is it of sentimental value? You can still have the memory without having to hold on to the things. Is it because you are afraid that you are decreasing the value of the stuff you have in your life? I'm not sure about what your reasons are but I can share this with you. Every single time that I have let go of things that didn't make me feel great I received in the very near future something even better. It's just how it seems to work.
I'd love to hear your comments and stories about how you decreased the clutter in your life and what the positives are from that. Please comment below. Have a great week.
be in your flow....
the 3 A's of awesome.
The 3 A's of awesome is not my idea. I loved the concept when I heard about it in a TED talk by Neil Pasriche. I love the idea that there is a formula for leading an awesome life and thought I would share it with you. Neil has a blog called 1000 awesome things, which reminds us to be amazed and thankful for all the little things. If you want to see the original TED talk the link is here.
If you want to be awesome, you have to have a great attitude. What does that mean? Well, a great attitude means different things to different people but basically someone who takes responsibility for their life, enjoys themselves, is positive most of the time, does not get into blaming and deception. If you are feeling a bit flat, work every day to put yourself in a better mood. You can find things to be positive about if you just look for them. When things go wrong you can choose to give in to the gloom and doom or you can grieve, let go and learn.
Awesome people are very aware of the world that surrounds them. Embrace your inner child, see the world through young eyes. Kids don't miss much. They notice everything and they are amazed by it. People who are aware know when to speak up, when to shut up and when they are about to learn something very important. Awareness is reconnecting with that inner child that feels like intuition. What would you be aware of if you did that?
Awesome people are authentic. They know who they are, they are comfortable in their own skin, they don't try to pretend they are something that they are not. They live their lives proud of their achievements, proud of who they are and who they are becoming. They are busy being themselves, because they know they can't be someone else. If you are OK with being you, chances are that those around you will also be OK with that and those who aren't will leave.
I challenge you this week to be awesome.
til next time.
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.