The Power of Choice

I attended a fascinating parenting talk recently, the theme was Pathways to Addiction but it strayed into many other areas related to parenting including the importance of the choices we make. The speaker was Tessabella Lovemore, (the perfect name!) an education consultant, social scientist and counsellor.  She worked for many years as a teacher in Steiner schools and now focuses on child development.

After explaining that she believes that habits are not the same as addictions she went on to explain the three phases of childhood, as outlined in Rudolf Steiner’s work. It won’t surprise you to know that the formative years are the most critical for just about everything including whether or not the child will be likely to develop addictive behaviours. In these early years, especially between age one and three children want to do what you do, if you’re doing the housework, they want the experience of sweeping too (and she reminded us that a toy broom won’t cut it!). She believes at this tender age babies are like little scientists trying to make sense of the world and it’s hugely important that there is routine and rhythm involved and that everything remains constant.  

She gave the example of a toddler dropping food from a highchair and enjoying the sensation of the substance dropping, then finding out if it does the same thing a second and third time (before the parent swoops in to mop up the mess!). She believes that too much change at this stage is unsettling for them, and she says they don’t need too many choices at this time because this will create anxiety.  Till the age of 7 and especially up to 3, children want to feel that everything is steady, stable and strong, and there shouldn’t be too many decisions needing to be made by them.

Of course in the next phase 7-14 and the final phase 14- 21, things change considerably, the children are interested in their ‘inner world’ too, how they relate to peers, communities, learning the differences between themselves and others and beginning to build trust (or a lack of trust) in others. Between 14 and 21 it’s all about individuality and this is where they need to be given lots of choice, and to be able to notice their own sense of ‘will’.

Tessa suggests that the stronger the fundamental belief in themselves (that stems from that security and stability in those formative years) the less children have the tendency to try to ‘grab back’ what’s missing, to ‘fill that hole’ with some or other substance or behaviour.

Of course all of us know in our rational mind that taking drugs, drinking alcohol, eating too much sugar, or becoming a sex addict, won’t bring back a missing parent, or make us feel any better about ourselves, but the subconscious mind sometimes hasn’t caught up and is trying to numb the ‘lack’, or reach out for more of whatever we didn’t have.  This resonated with me very much because despite my work inspiring others and encouraging them to have more self-love, I often fall foul of my own ideals and catch myself coming out with some pretty terrible ‘inner talk’ and making some poor choices, whether they be around what I do, say or eat.  

Recently, I wanted to lose a few pounds (weight not money), I did a fairly punishing diet (despite knowing intuitively that diets don’t work) and then was gutted at the end of the period – when I hadn’t cheated at all) that I had lost not even one pound.  I went to see my awesome and very wise kinesiologist Miriam (PM me for her details but not too many of you or I won’t get an appointment!) and she commented on the fact that I looked well, ‘sparkling’ in fact…’but hugely fat’ I added ‘I’m SO overweight’.  She pointed out that I was constantly telling my subconscious mind that I am fat and overweight and it was duly supporting my own declaration. She went as far as to say my ‘weight management’ is entirely emotional and not down to an excess of food or lack of exercise.

If you’ve ever seen me speak you know I talk a lot about the power of language, about taming the ‘inner talk’ and replacing those unhelpful comments by asking ‘is this true?’

I encourage people to revel in their YOU-nique brilliance so that they have a treasure trove of self-love to dip into when the doubts come in, before reaching for the cream cake or the poison of their choice. So why wasn’t I doing the same for myself?  My therapist pointed out that I was literally walking around as if with the devil on my shoulder nagging me all day. You should be exercising more, drinking less, you shouldn’t be eating that, you should have a lettuce leaf, you’re so fat…. As I say on my talks, when most of us look in the mirror in the morning, if we spoke out loud our inner talk, and child was nearby we would be had for abuse!

So what to do?  We all know about the power of affirmations but unfortunately some of us are just too damn clever (she boasts!). We practice saying ‘I love you’ to ourselves and we look in the mirror and say ‘I love and accept my body’ and somewhere in that subconscious mind up pops another thought…You’re lying…so the whole cycle starts again.

Miriam gave me another rather brilliant solution and it ties in with Tessa’s talk (if you were wondering where I’m going with this!) she suggests that as adults we want to feel we have choices, many of them and we want to really own our choices.  She asked me to constantly say…’I could choose to’love my body… have a salad instead of chips…get up earlier and go to a class…arrive early…  The word ‘could’ is important, Miriam believes if we try and use Will power and say ‘I WILL get up earlier, I WILL have a salad, I WILL not have a second glass of wine…Then our subconscious mind sees that yet again, like the nagging voice, it’s another way of saying I ‘should’ I ought to’ and often the rebellious child in us will simply say…’blow it,  I may as well have the whole packet of biscuits’.  But by saying I could choose to, we remind ourselves that we can make the choice, any choice, but we don’t have to – we have the power to make our own decisions based on what we really want, not what we feel we ought to want.

So if you have young children your remit is an easy one, let them explore and enjoy the stability of their world, don’t offer too much choice, if you have a teenager – just listen, don’t try to fix them and let them work through their choices and if you are an adult – STILL not getting everything right (who is?) then be kind to yourself and start using the phrase ‘I could choose to…’

If you have a message to share, a book to write, a course to create and you are procrastinating, it’s likely that you are doing a lot of ‘I should-ing’ and telling yourself ‘I ought to be writing…I strongly suggest that you create a vision board, get in touch with want you really want and then say to yourself regularly, I could choose to write my book, create my course…

That way you can give yourself permission to get started – or not. If you want help focusing on your USP, or the creation of your course then you know where I am, you ‘could’ choose to give me a call and see how I can help

 

 

 

 

What Lasting Impression Do You Leave?

What kind of impression do you make on other people?  And I wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself who was the person who made the greatest impression on you?  The person who encouraged you? inspired you – or just made you think differently?  Often people say it was a particularly enthusiastic teacher, or a relative who saw their potential.

We interviewed Jeremy Paxman recently, he has written his memoirs and of course he is both loved and hated in equal measures, he is known for his acerbic wit, he is irascible, grumpy and awkward and of course relentless at getting the answers he wants, even from the most ‘agenda-driven’ politicians and celebrities.

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The boot was on the other foot as we interviewed him and there was lots of joshing. ‘That’s not a question…it’s an assertion’… He responded to several of our questions but we asked him who had been the most impressive person he had ever interviewed? Who had left a lasting impression?

His answer surprised me, “The Dalai Lama” he said “incredible guy” (I’m guessing he meant his energy), but Jeremy said we did the interview and then he left the studio and Jeremy said to his crew ‘What an amazing man’… Just then a little bald head appeared round the door….” I’ve lost my treasures” he said “I must have left them behind…I can’t leave without them” …” Well come in… lets search”. “What do they look like?” Paxo asked. They’re in a tiny purple bag he said – the tall presenter crawled under the table. He found the little drawstring bag and handed it over. The Dalai Lama thanked him, put his hand into the bag and with his fist tightly closed said …” You must have one’ … “no I couldn’t possibly”. Paxo said. “I insist” said the Dalai Lama, he opened his hand and handed him one of the treas

Now what are you thinking at this point (if you didn’t hear the interview). What were his treasures, crystals…diamonds…special stones…coins?

No –  it was a golden wrapped toffee. Paxo has kept it for years.

It’s the little things that can make the biggest impression.

 

See Our Award Winners Here!

Our JANEY LOVES 2016 Platinum Award winners are announced!

 

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VIEW OUR AWARD WINNERS HERE

 

WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM HERE!

 

A huge thank you to our sponsors of the 2016 Platinum Awards:

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AEOS (Active Energised Organic Skincare)

Viridian

UK Health Radio

The Taymount Clinic

AuthorCraft

Health Triangle Magazine

And to our fabulous judges…

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The Top 25 In This Year’s ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty’ – I Made It!

I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the number one spot three years in a row now and this year I’ve slipped down just a bit, but thank you SO much to those who voted for me, some huge congratulations to the winners and I’m super thrilled that Jayn Sterland MD of one of my favourite companies Weleda is topping the bill this year.

The hotlist – voted for by the natural and organic beauty industry is a snapshot of the leading personalities driving the newest trends and best products on the natural and organic market.

Here’s the 2016 top 25 personalities:

1. Jayn Sterland – Weleda
2. Sonia White – Lovelula
3. Luke & Kirstie Sherrif – Pinks Boutique
4. Kim & Alexander Barani – Kinetic Enterprises
5. Graeme Hume – Pravera
6. Ben Wigley – Big Green Smile
7. Tabitha James Kraan – Tabitha James Kraan
8. Sarah Brown – Pai Skincare
9. Francesca Morgante – NATRUE
10. Dr Cristina Llamas-Rey – Naturisimo
11. Fiona Konarides – Beauty Shortlist
12. Janey Lee Grace – broadcaster & journalist
13. Catkin Wemyss-Bodmer – BRYT Skincare
14. Noelle O’Connor – TanOrganic
15. Imelda Burke – Content Beauty
16. Kate Humble – Humble Beauty / broadcaster
17. Amber Felce – AmbersBeautyTalk.com
18. Jo Chidley – Beauty Kitchen
19. Dr Mariano Spiezia – Inlight Organic Skincare
20. Michell Thew – Cruelty Free International
21. Lauren Bartley – Soil Association
22. Rebecca Goodyear – Biteablebeauty.com
23. Sarah Stacey – author and editor
24. Lorraine Dallmeier – Formula Botanica
25. Sascha Layne – Freshious Life & Beauty

 

I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of bringing great natural beauty products into the mainstream.

The Natural Beauty Retail Awards 2016

I love to see natural beauty products being made more available to a wider market and Waitrose, Debenhams, Holland & Barrett, LoveLula, Beauty Kitchen, and Amaranth have all been recognised in the Natural Beauty Retail Awards which highlights the valuable contributions and support of retailers. These Awards celebrate the industry’s dedication and innovations in offering their customers a great retail experience, at the same time as promoting natural and organic beauty for all.

The Natural Beauty Retail Awards 2016 winners are:

Best Supermarket – Waitrose

Best Chain Store – Holland & Barrett

Best Department Store – Debenhams

Best Online Retailer – Lovelula

Best Branded Store – Beauty Kitchen

Best Independent Retailer – Amaranth

 

Formerly The Natural Beauty Yearbook, Natural Beauty News is the definitive trade publication for the natural and organic beauty industry. It covers the best in seasonal trends whilst also retaining the Yearbook’s most popular elements, such as Retailers Choice and the ‘Who’s Who’ in Natural Beauty.

For further information, please visit:

www.naturalbeautynews.co.uk

How Are Your Wheels Rolling?

Have you done a life audit lately?

If you’ve read any books on personal development you will be very familiar with the concept of assessing your life, checking in with your core values, your goals and intentions, and then checking where you are really at on a day to day basis.

I’m sure you know too about the concept of the wheel of life, if you draw a wheel and divide up the spokes into categories – relationships, work, financial, health, physical activity, family etc. then you can honestly say where you are on that spoke. What usually happens is that we feel we’re doing well in a few areas and not so well in others – hence why our ‘wheel’ – our life, doesn’t always roll along as smoothly as we would like.

It’s a really good indicator to look at the big picture and ask how aligned are you. On my workshops I ask people to really look at and assess their core values, it’s the classic exercise where they start by choosing twenty words from a long list that resonate with them, then they need to narrow down to ten and then five and finally the top three. At first it seems impossible because we want to be everything but eventually it’s possible usually to focus on the three values that feel most intrinsic to who we are.  From there, we can clearly see if we are putting our efforts in the right place!

Recently I’ve been reading The Compound Effect, read my blog post HERE. The author Darren Hardy spends a good chunk of the book talking about life assessment, but rather than suggest we mark ourselves between one and ten in each category, i.e. relationships and family, physical, business, financial, spiritual, he goes one step further and suggests we have subsections for each category.  So for example, under the heading Spiritual, you rate between one and five on a series of ‘sub- questions’ such as:

‘I consider myself a spiritual person’

‘I take at least twenty minutes a day to meditate and reflect on my life’

‘I study my spiritual beliefs daily’…and several more

Rating these questions brought on one of those light bulbs for me because I am so often caught up in business and minutia, I don’t think I’d been honest with myself until I’d looked at it and saw just how many things that I say are hugely important to me, are going by the wayside in the name of being too busy.

If I merely had to rate the ‘spirituality’ corner of my wheel I would have rated it about an eight, yet when I really answered those very pertinent questions, I came down to a measly four. 

As I went through each of the questions in the categories I had to be really honest with myself, I DO consider myself ‘spiritual’ but recently I have barely had time to go to the loo let alone carve out regular meditation time, and when I scored so low it was a bit of a wake-up call, as it’s high on my priorities.

In the ‘physical’ section of the wheel it was even more of a revelation, as someone who walks a lot, does regular yoga, Pilates, a fit-steps dance class (if you haven’t tried it DO!!), Nia dance whenever I can and the odd workout with weights when I remember, I usually score myself fairly high but in his life assessment breakdown questions, Darren throws in some curveballs…

Score yourself between one and five…

I do strength training at least 3x a week…(oops)

I do cardiovascular training at least 3x a week (nope)

I do stretching and yoga type exercises at least 3x a week (almost…)

And there was more…now of course all of his suggestions aren’t appropriate for everyone, but it is interesting how when you get down to the detail maybe there’s room for improvement, not in order to meet anyone else’s standards, only your own.

I’m not saying any of this to further beat myself up for what I’m not achieving – I’m self-made ‘imperfectly natural’ – remember – but it did make me question how I spend my time and focus.

So I’d urge you to do your own new wheel of life, include some pertinent sub questions, and be honest, cut yourself some slack though too, as a girlfriend said to me recently ..be gentle with yourself.

Spotlight Show: JANEY LOVES 2016 Platinum Awards

This is the first of a few shows I’ll be doing based around our  2016 JANEY LOVES Platinum Awards.

Get my unique take on natural well-being with my recommendations from the incredible natural health products that have entered our awards, which are being held in association with UK Health Radio.

 

 

 

Listen to my spotlight show HERE>>>

Little Things Mean a Lot, (Small Change, Big Difference)

I’m a sucker for a good personal development book, I’m guessing you are too, I’m literally that person who revels in ‘shelf-development’ and I could probably donate my collection to the British Museum and make an impact, the thing is how much do we really take action on the great tips and advice we read?

There’s no doubt that books are awesome value, people (just like you) who have put potentially thousands of hours into honing their ideas and their craft to present it to you for a mere ten or so quid.

As a writer of motivational stuff, a Hay House author, and someone who runs workshops encouraging people to write their book, take the first steps…et al, you’d think I might have reached a point where I felt I didn’t need the ‘classic’ books around success and wellbeing.  I’m well versed in the classics from Napoleon Hill through Scott Peck, to Hay House hero’s Dr David Hamilton, Pam Griers, Cheryl Richardson et al, not to mention Wayne Dyer.  However, I came across an unassuming paperback at an event recently and something about it resonated. ‘The Compound Effect, Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success’ is by Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success Magazine, it’s been a New York Times best seller and the foreword is written by none other than Anthony Robbins, a must for the library of course, but something about this book actually made me want to read it, properly.  Despite the author being American (and I doff my cap here to my US counterparts across the pond) there was none of the pious ‘get rich quick’ strive for success at all costs’ kind of dialogue, this is one of the most realistic down to earth books about success I have ever read.

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The basic premise is that it’s not the ‘life changing’ massive 360 degree changes that sometimes come along to rock our world that shape most of us (though of course that might be the case) – rather it’s the little things we do (or don’t do) every single day, the small changes that when ‘compounded’ over time make a massive difference. Darren blows away the theory that only ‘lucky people’ are successful, that you have to be ‘naturally’ talented to succeed, instead he drills in the old fashioned traits of hard work, resilience, practice, yes he even goes as far as to say the path to becoming successful can be downright boring, lonely and unsexy.  In our quick fix society we aren’t often used to hearing that and I found it hugely refreshing to read a multi billionaire tell me there is no quick fix.  You, like me, may be exhausted by the stream of emails you get from ‘million dollar marketers’ promising you instant success overnight if you just pay them that six figure sum.

Darren says there is a formula for getting lucky:

Preparation (personal growth) +

Attitude (belief / mindset) +

Opportunity (a good thing comes your way) +

Action (doing something about it) =

Luck

The book is full of his own tales of growing up with a sergeant major style father who cut him no slack but made him the disciplined man he is today, he reminds us of the importance of tracking how we spend our time, analysing our thoughts, practising gratitude (a big one) being aware of our own habits and who is controlling who. I love his suggestion of taking each of your ‘vices’ – be it wine, coffee, chocolate and stopping that habit for 21 days to check that it isn’t controlling you.  He suggests taking a long hard look at your habits, whether that be eating too much, procrastinating over a project you know you need to get started (how many of my clients tell me they know they MUST write their book…, avoiding conflict even though you know you need to ditch toxic relationships in your life and allowing fear to take hold (so that you hold back rather than taking the first steps to starting your business or fulfilling your dreams).  We all think we need huge amounts of ‘willpower’ to change our habits, but as anyone who has ever tried to lose a considerable amount of weight just by giving up the extra calories will know, willpower doesn’t work, what we need is ‘why-power’ – if you want to make significant improvements in your life you have to have a ‘why’.

When I work with heart centred businesses this is usually the core of the problem, many of the people I work with are therapists or practitioners, and they are doing the work they are doing because they want to make a difference, they want to bring light, healing transformation, whatever it might be, but they are not always quite ready to stand in the spotlight and claim their own ‘USP’ their YOU-nique brilliance.  ‘Don’t look at me…look at EFT…or aromatherapy…they say, but we have to see you, and you have to be willing to stand up and be counted. Be visible. A great number of people are nervous of speaking in public, having their photograph at the top of their website, doing a live stream on Facebook, but it’s true that people do business with those they like know and trust, so in order to sense if they can like you they need to see you!

The good news is you don’t need to be transformed overnight from a shy wallflower to Beyonce, as this book shows it’s the compound effect that matters, it’s the little things you do every day. You could start by keeping a notebook and every day write in it 3 things you are grateful for and at least one thing you are proud of about yourself – take note this doesn’t have to be about your work, practice in front of a mirror or a supportive friend, introducing yourself and your work, till you feel confident enough to stand up at a networking event and make your pitch.

The key is to be aware of what you want, what’s currently holding you back and know you can change.  Pay attention to it every day and the ‘compound effect’ means that over time…the little actions add up and you will be on course to achieve your success – no gimmicks, no spin, no quick fix. Old fashioned hard work, knowing what you want and going for it, bit by bit…and then some.

The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – Da Capo Press

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If you’d like help defining your USP and what it is you really want, I offer a Power Visioning Call strategy session. Spend 60 mins of ’1 to 1′ with me to get the clarity you need to move you and your business forward.

Check out the testimonials here and see what it can do for you>>

Spotlight Interview: Dr Brian Halvorsen – Holistic Dentist

In my UK Health Radio ‘Spotlight Show’ I interview some of the world’s most inspiring self-development coaches, gurus and personalities about their health and wellbeing services, products and knowledge.

In this interview I speak with Brian Halvorsen the Holistic Dentist and author of two books – The Natural Dentist and Great Teeth for Life.

Dr. Brian Halvorsen has been a holistic dental practitioner in Buckinghamshire, England, for over thirty years and explains a holistic approach to dental care that focuses on nutrition and healthy eating that will help remove toxins from the body, decrease thinning enamel, and ensure the dental health of the next generation.

 

 

Listen to my interview with Dr Brian Halvorsen HERE>>>

Your Chance to Publish a Book with Hay House UK and Become a Bestselling Author!

I’m thrilled to be speaking at the ‘The Writers Workshop 2016’, sponsored by Hay House in London on 18th -19th November.

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I’ll be speaking alongside the fabulous Julia Cameron author of ‘The Artists Way’ which has sold over 4 million copies and to this day remains a classic, Michelle Pilley, the Publisher and Managing Director of Hay House, UK bestselling author David Hamilton and social media expert Katie Brockhurst.

Join us for a very special two-day workshop where I’ll be sharing my advice on how to handle the media and how to create your best PR strategy as an author.

This is also your chance to publish a book with Hay House UK and become a bestselling author – one participant will be awarded a publishing contract with Hay House and a £5,000 advance!

If you’re a writer with a great book idea and a strong desire to be published and need the inside scoop on how to perfect and publish your book, then this is the workshop for you!

You’ll learn everything you need to know to get your book published, including exclusive videos of leading Hay House authors and as an added bonus, attendees will receive gits worth more than £150! 

All details and tickets can be purchased here>>

I’d love to share this post with you from Julia Cameron – Discover your creative potential with these literary tips from the author of The Artist’s Way.

Julia Cameron

Read ‘Julia Cameron ‘s 5 Rules For Aspiring Writers’ here>>

 

On Our Radar… 10 natural and organic beauty influencers to work with

I’m so proud to be in the top ten (with Gwyneth Paltrow!) as a top organic/natural beauty influencer with Fashion Beauty Monitor. I’m so passionate about the work that I do, bringing natural health and eco products and services into the mainstream and so I’m thrilled to be alongside some really great influencers!

 

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DJ, author, singer and natural beauty advocate Jane Lee Grace pens her tips for living a chemical-free life over on her blog Imperfectly Natural, where she also hosts the Janey Loves Platinum Awards. She has also topped the Natural Beauty Year Book several times.

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You can check out the full article and see who’s with me in the list of 10 HERE>>