New Year…..Its all Good for your business

It was great to interview Cassie Mendoza-Jones for Hay House radio recently, she wrote the  awesome book You are enough, and now her new release is Its all Good How to trust and surrender to the bigger plan.. Cassie is a Sydney based kinesiologist, business alignment coach, naturopath, writer and speaker, who works with women, and with entrepreneurs, healers, coaches and creatives who are driven, devoted and honoring their dreams, and who want to become more powerfully aligned to their bigger vision, clear away perfectionism, procrastination and overwhelm, and create their own version of a beautiful and aligned business and life.

Cassie is keen to remind us, especially those of us in business who so often feel that we have failed, that our failure doesn’t spell the end:  As Cassie says ‘Your perception of your failure is just that—a perception—and with awareness, self-compassion and aligned action, you can clear the disappointment and take aligned action to invite in clarity, and a new beginning’

At the start of a new year it’s easy to set ourselves up for failure, as we determine that next year we will be more focused, more successful, more influential…or whatever our goals for our business might be.

I have a very definite love hate relationship with ‘goals’ and resolutions and I like Cassie’s approach which is to suggest that as business owners we should set intentions rather than goal.  She has a fabulous tip which brings together the concept of intention and manifesting or ‘attracting’ what we desire.  She says we should try setting our intention, preferably in writing, make it something that feels important that we want, whether it’s to attract new clients, be offered a book deal, be invited to be interviewed on a radio show…and then add the words…or something even better…or you may want to add….or another wonderful surprise.

By adding these little phrases we leave the outcome open, we let go of the strong grip we can sometimes have on what we think we want, let’s face it when we look back, some of the things we thought we wanted for our work would have been disastrous if they’d come to fruition at that time!  Similarly it’s a good idea to let go of perfectionism.  Nothing works out perfectly all the time for anyone.  Sometimes it’s important to acknowledge our expectations but be willing to release them

Cassie saysA new you is born through the fire of failure: ‘Our failures and disappointments teach us so much; they help us back ourselves even more as we take steps in the directions of our new dreams. They help us change our mind, deciding where we want to align ourselves, allowing us to open up to a new way of being and thinking’ 

She has a nice calming affirmation –

‘I allow myself to dream and set goals, and also to be open to something even better flowing to me.  I trust that my intentions will manifest in the right time and in the right form for me. I trust that I am on the right path’

We discussed leaning into trust, and how we should trust that our most intense moments of feeling ungrounded may come right before your biggest expansion, so trust the path you’re on.  Cassie says ‘The crumbling down of what you know is paving the way for what’s to come; you simply can’t see the new path because the old mess hasn’t settled into its new beauty yet. The old is becoming the new; be patient, and trust. You’ll see it soon.

We also discussed clearing space just to be. In my own work I sometimes feel so completely overwhelmed and in chaos, my rational mind knows that there simply wouldn’t be space for anything new to come in, however deeply I desire it!  When I feel like that I now realise I must declutter both physically and mentally, I’ve taken to cleaning off a section of my desk, or finding a messy shelf that needs a sort out (they are abundant in my home!) the sense of order that comes from that is amazing,

I also try and lie down for a few moments and mentally close off all the thoughts that are flying around, she suggested I imagine that my mind is like a computer desktop with lots of tabs open (that’s easy to imagine – mine is always like that!) and mentally close them all down, ie the to-do lists, the obligations et al, until there is nothing open and we can do a complete shutdown, we hold that stillness where there is just a dark screen and a little ‘dot’ before it all swirls into action again. Preferably dealing with the ‘projects’ one at a time.

Above all this book reminds us that we can trust in ourselves and know that we are supported in our path, and when we let go of our expectations we can truly receive our dreams…or something even better.

It’s all Good by Cassie Mendoza-Jones is published by Hay House

 The time your dreams take to manifest is needed for your roots to take hold: Trusting in yourself and your path in life allows you to find the strength and courage to show up in life again and again after a disappointment, as your best self. It allows you to let go of your expectations, while still setting goals and intentions, and being more than okay to sit in those spaces in between setting your goals and seeing your dreams manifest.    Cassie Mendoza-Jones

www.cassiemendozajones.com

Live and Die by Your Values

I’ve been to two thought provoking workshops around this, first as an attendee and then another as a keynote speaker, the topics couldn’t have been more different – and yet this definite theme ran through them both.

The first was called ‘Life doesn’t stop after 50’, how to enjoy a fulfilling third act, this was led by the inspirational couple Adrian and Judy Reith who are life coaches who have coined the phrase ‘Act 3’ to describe those years after the kids have left home, or retirement looms, those years when we can sometimes find ourselves searching for purpose and meaning, and a desire to ensure that we have left the legacy we had hoped we would. The second workshop was called ‘Business Breakthrough’ event for Wellness practitioners, I was speaking on the importance of recognising ‘You Are the Brand’ and encouraging therapists and coaches to get clarity on their message in order to attract more media attention and clients. There were other speakers too on ‘money mind-set’ and how to build your niche.

So, what did the talks have in common? Well, Judy and Adrian began by reminding us that we are all going to die, a cheery start, but an important one and they read the ‘Top 5 Regrets of The Dying’, as documented by a nurse working with terminally ill patients. The top regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”.

It seems many people felt their dreams had been unfulfilled, they hadn’t honoured even half of their dreams, and they died accepting that responsibility, knowing it was down to the choices they made.

In my presentation at the business event, I was speaking about the importance of getting clarity in your business, absolute clarity on what your USP is (I sometimes call this your YOU-nique brilliance), clarity on the ideal clients you want to work with, and clarity on the kind of business you want (no point in having a full client list and working 24/7 if that’s going to mean you don’t see your family).

How are these concepts linked? Well, Judy and Adrian spoke about the importance of identifying your values, they reminded us of the concept of a hot air balloon deflating, if you needed to throw out your values, what will be the last one you can let go of? If your life was in peril, what’s the one value you will cling to? They reminded us that goals not consistent with your values won’t bring happiness, we all know the old adage of the guy who strives all his life to ‘reach the top of the ladder’ only to find it had been against the wrong wall all along.

In my talk and in some of the other sessions at the business breakthrough event,  I also spoke about the importance of getting clarity on your values, on how you want your brand to be perceived, the kind of business you want, and who are the clients you want to work with?

If you have a partner or family it’s important to discuss your values with them, and find a way to accommodate theirs, if you have a business, make sure that you are attracting the kind of clients and community who would respect your values, if not necessarily share them.

Start with one of the many lists of values, (a few ideas below to get you started) add to the list if words are missing, circle the 20 most important ones for you, then reduce the list to 10, then to 5, mark them in priority order A-E – tricky, isn’t it?  But it’s critically important, if you discover that you aren’t living your life, (whether before or after 50) or running your business according to those values then you may need a re-think, if your number one value is ‘family’ and you haven’t been home in weeks, take a long hard look at that, if you are in a job you hate and are ‘putting off’ starting your business, or writing your book, ask yourself what you are waiting for? None of us know how long our ‘Act 3’ will last – you may not even make it to your ‘Act 3’! But if you are lucky enough to know your purpose, to have a desire to make a difference and know you need to share your work and your message with a wider audience, then there’s never a better time to start than right now…Remember one of my favourite phrases…” You don’t have to get it right, you DO have to get it going.”

 

Judy and Adrian are working with Inbound to fund and publish their book, you can get involved by pledging an amount (there are different levels and opportunities for coaching et al) and being part of this exciting project from the off, check out the video HERE>>

Janey Lee Grace offers coaching and workshops and is the author of ‘You Are the Brand’ (Filament Publishing) – available here>>

The Legacy of Louise Hay and A Reminder to Look In The Mirror

So sad to hear of the passing of the incredible Louise Hay the founder of Hay House. I had been aware of her amazing work for many years and when I became part of the ‘family’ as a Hay House author I felt privileged to be part of such an inspirational movement. I met Louise several times and of course heard her speak and read her books, when I do my talks / workshops on building confidence for your work and getting your message out there, I always cite Louise and how she insists on the importance of self-love and ‘mirror work’.

She had a great sense of humour and always carried a tiny mirror in her bra so that she could whip it out, look into it and say “looking good kid!”

There’s no doubt that despite not starting her company till she was almost 60, she leaves an incredible legacy, I love being a Hay House author, being a presenter on hayhouseradio.com and I’m also a customer of course, voraciously reading many of the books published by this wonderful company, and savouring her desk diary with wonderful little words of wisdom. R.I.P amazing Louise. Here’s an extract from a statement from Hay House:

Our beloved friend and founder Louise Hay transitioned this morning, August 30, 2017 of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully in her sleep.

Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate. Everyone who had the privilege to meet her, either in person or through her words, felt her passion for serving others.

Considered a founder of the self-help movement, Louise was dubbed ‘the closest thing to a living saint.’ She published her first book ‘Heal Your Body’ in 1976 (at age 50) long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body. In 1984, her second book, ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ was published. In it, Louise explained how our beliefs and ideas about ourselves are often the cause of our emotional problems and physical maladies and how, by using certain tools, we can change our thinking and our lives for the better.

You Can Heal Your Life’ became a New York Times bestseller and spent 16 weeks on the list. More than 50 million copies have been sold throughout the world.

You can read the full legacy here http://www.hayhouse.com/louise-hay-legacy

louise-2

Here’s another chance to read an article I wrote after meeting Louise a few years ago, when she was sharing the stage with the late Wayne Dyer, thinking about it, that will be an awesome reunion in heaven!

Mirror, Mirror, on The Wall  

(First published in the Church Newspaper 2014)

You may have seen the rather odd phenomenon across blogs and documented in the women’s pages of daily newspapers about ‘Mirror Fasting’. It’s a new craze started by a blogger who was concerned she was obsessed with her own appearance. According to the journal of behaviour research and therapy, women look in the mirror 38 times a day, so to counteract this we’re being encouraged to try to resist the urge and not look in the mirror at all.

I’d like to encourage everyone to look in the mirror more oftenbut not in the name of vanity to worry about your wrinkles, commiserate about greying hairs, or pull faces to tighten your jaw. Indeed, I think we should be looking in the mirror in order to be appreciative, to show to love to ourselves as we really are.  

Recently I had the opportunity to hear Louise Hay speak, she has been in the UK for the ‘I Can Do It’ conference in Glasgow and London, with many other bestselling authors including the hugely successful Dr Wayne Dyer. Louise was once dubbed ‘The Queen of New Age’ by the New York times, after writing ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ in 1984, which has sold over 35 million copies.

Louise owns the extremely successful international publishing company, Hay House (I’m proud to be one of their authors) and she believes in affirmations, indeed she is a great advocate of what she calls ‘Mirror Work’ – looking in the mirror several times a day and saying “I love you“ (and add your name).  Just try it a few times (in private is fine) and you’ll realise how tricky it can feel. Most of us are so conditioned from an early age to be self critical, and have low self-esteem because we feel we don’t look ‘attractive’ enough or we’re not in some way ‘good’ enough. Louise by the way is not the flaky type you may expect, she is an extremely energetic 85-year-old who travels all over the world, is bright as a button and has just started taking piano lessons (“there’s many years in me yet” she says).

mirror

If you’re thinking I really have gone all cosmic and new age now, I’d urge you to ask yourself how intact is your self-esteem?  Our children are constantly bombarded with messages of needing to look more ‘cool’ and looking up to size zero models. When there’s an increase of self-harming in teenagers, surely our self loathing has gone too far? I’m not suggesting that we all become vain and arrogant and ‘worship’ ourselves, but we could practice gratitude, a spirit of thankfulness that God has created us just as we are. The next time you look in the mirror and think anything other than “I love you”, remember that as you were made in God’s image you are technically criticising God too!

Genesis 1:27  – ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them’.

Janey Lee Grace is the author of ‘Look Great Naturally Without Ditching the Lipstick’ (Hay House) and regularly presents the spotlight series of radio shows for Hay House Radio.

look-great-naturally-cover

Tell You What I Really Really Want

Are you satisfying your ideal client’s needs?

It seems like an obvious question but if you have a brand or a business, for it to be successful you need clients, a community, supporters and buyers. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who set up a business without first ensuing that their product or service is going to provide a solution to a problem that others are experiencing, or provide education, inspiration et al.

We’ve all seen nervous business owners on Dragons Den explaining just how brilliant their new invention is, whether it’s a widget or a new style of roller skate, we’ve seen lovely people display their tea towels printed with their poetry or offering the high net worth celebrities a teeny share in their distributer brand, when they don’t even own the IP! Obviously, they don’t get the investment… on a much smaller scale I’ve seen people launch into marketing their brand without first checking what ’need’ it provides.

At its most basic this is a case of doing some market research before you launch if possible, if you are intending to open up a sandwich shop in your locality, check first that there isn’t already four similar shops, or at the other extreme check that there is demand, if there are few businesses in the area, there may not be a need for takeaway food…

It seems obvious with the above example but not so clear for those working with their heart centred brand. Therapists, practitioners and life coaches would all do really well to ‘test’ their offerings before they invest in marketing. Ask your ‘followers’ whether they may be interested in a workshop with you BEFORE you invest in the expensive function rooms. Ask your colleagues and your social media network whether they would buy your online course BEFORE you film it and invest in paid marketing.

The big brands are good at this of course; some of the really big companies do extensive market research before a product launch to ensure they are meeting their customer’s needs. Big supermarkets discover that there are more people with allergies and so they introduce ‘Free From’ ranges. Amazon recognise that we want our goods practically instantly, so they offer same day delivery on many items… Apple are especially interesting as they created a whole raft of products that no-one even knew they ‘needed’ or wanted till they had been created… (and now few can live without them!).

You may be aware of Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. It’s a motivational theory in psychology which shows a five-tier model of human needs, usually depicted in the style of a pyramid. Maslow wanted to explore what motivates us, and found that some needs seem to take priority over others. Understandably our basic need for survival is at the bottom of the pyramid and then as the pyramid goes up we move past the basic needs (deficiency needs) into the areas of growth, where we look for self-fulfilment. Of course, we don’t look to ‘higher needs’ until our needs at the most basic level are satisfied.  

It’s really worth asking yourself, what level are my ideal clients at? If you are working in the area of personal development, holistic health and wellbeing or spirituality, it’s likely that you will want to appeal to those people who generally have a satisfactory level of basic needs (apart from when life tips up of course and brings divorce, crisis, bankruptcy et al) and are moving into the territory of becoming ‘self-actualized:

  • They have their biological needs met, so they have food, drink, warmth, shelter, sleep etc.
  • Their safety needs are met, so they have stability, and don’t live in fear.
  • Their need for love and ‘belonging’ are met, they have friendship, intimacy and can give and receive affection, they have a sense of community.
  • Their ‘esteem’ needs are met, so they have self-respect and respect from others, in some cases they have made achievements, and have reached a certain status.

Only then do people move towards the ‘self-actualization’ needs to reach their personal potential, to seek personal growth, spiritual growth, to find meaning in their life etc.

You can read more about this in an excellent article from Simply Psychology.

The image below is from this article.

McLeod, S. A. (2016). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

maslows-pyramid

Image featured on www.simplypsychology.org

 

In this article Saul McLeod states that…

‘Although we are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing, most of us will not do so, or only to a limited degree. Maslow (1970) estimated that only two percent of people would reach the state of self-actualization.’

How fascinating! I’m guessing that if you are reading this via my website you probably consider both yourself and your clients to be at the top of this pyramid, so it’s important to ask yourself where are your ‘ideal clients’?  Who are the people that you are here to serve? How can your product or service best ‘satisfy’ the needs that those people have?

Check out Maslow’s theory in more detail and ensure you know what YOU want and need, and where you are at in the pyramid, and then get clarity on who you can help, who can you motivate? Who needs the skills you are offering to teach, or the treatments you can provide?

When you know, it will easier for you to find out where those people are, ask yourself what they are likely to be reading, where they are likely to be hanging out, then it’s easier to become more visible in the best arena for you.

So, I’ll tell you what I really really want. I want you to get more visibility for the excellent work that you do, don’t hide your light, make sure the people who need you know that you are there. If I can help you get your message out to wider audience, get in touch.

 

Thanks to McLeod, S. A. (2016). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

 

if you want help getting clarity on your ideal clients and what they really want (and how you can best offer it) we have limited slots available for Power Vision Strategy Calls… spend 60 mins of ’1 to 1′ with me to move you and your business forward.

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powervisioning500

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

So Much for Dry January…Now What?

Are you one of the people who is counting the days till the end of dry January? Maybe you identify with Chris Evans who said this week…’I don’t care if I’m two stone lighter, I’m miserable, every day feels the same!’

chrisevans

I work with Chris at Radio 2 and in fact worked with him years ago, when we were both at Virgin Radio as it was then (in fact he owned it for a while!). He was always a guy who could hold his beer and be discerning about a fine wine so it’s probably not surprising that he is finding dry January taxing.

So I wonder how Chris will ‘celebrate’ on Feb 1st and if you have also given up the booze for January what will February and the rest of the year look like for you from a drinking perspective?

Many people fall into a cycle of ‘binge-detox-binge’ which can be bad for us emotionally and physically. Dr Max Pemberton wrote in The Mail

 “I disagree with the underlying premise of dry January – the idea that you can make up for drinking too much over Christmas. It seems that the first month of the year always sends people a bit weird. They tend to forget everything they’ve been told about basic biology and nutrition”

He believes a few weeks of abstaining doesn’t make up for over-indulging the rest of the year. His recommendation is to do a detox only if it will have some meaningful impact on your health, most of us are aware of the damage too much alcohol can do, and there has been campaigns lately to encourage us to ‘love our liver’ but still we are far from being a temperate nation.

The reality is that none of us really know what to believe about alcohol, there are SO many different studies and reports. The Government recommendations of the amount of units we should drink across a week are really just a guess, we read reports that say alcohol in moderation is good for you, then a recent report from the Journal of American College of Cardiology says that drinking just one drink a day can be bad for your heart, they say one glass of wine or beer increased the risk of abnormal heart rhythm by eight per cent.

drinking

One thing is for certain, we live in a drinking society, it’s very social to drink, there are pubs on every corner, it’s part of our culture, and for those of us that do drink it’s not going to go away.  So how would it be if we could drink with confidence, drink if we choose to, but ‘manage’ the alcohol rather than the alcohol ‘managing’ us?  There is a big difference between an addict and someone who has got caught up in a habit, and for most people who drink too much it’s exactly that – a habit.

No human being was born with a taste for the hard stuff, we ‘learned’ to drink, and just as we learnt the habit we can ‘unlearn’ it or at least take control. We drink for many reasons – stress, boredom, anger, loneliness, fear, to communicate, to numb ourselves from sadness or grief, and when we established a habit of drinking, our unconscious mind which acts like a kind of reference library, ‘filed’ that action under …’that made me feel better quickly’.

Come February or any other month when you have woken up wishing you hadn’t tried to handle your drink like a fruit fly (apparently they have an astonishing alcohol threshold due to their genetic makeup), you will no doubt be saying to yourself…’I will have an alcohol free day, or I will drink only one glass of wine or have only one beer’, only to find yourself tapping away on the computer at 9pm astonished at where that bottle of wine went…. Thinking …’What happened to my resolve? ‘

Typically, you then enter into another spiral of waking during the night berating yourself for not having enough willpower and vowing to do better the next day and so it goes on….

How would you feel if I told you that nagging feeling you have that’s it’s all going to go pear shaped again once February comes around, can be changed forever? There’s no magic ‘I don’t like the taste of alcohol anymore’ pill of course, but there absolutely is the most amazing Hypnosis programme created by world renowned hypnotherapist and top selling author Georgia Foster.

georgia

Georgia is also an international speaker and creator of life changing programmes, she uses hypnosis, the window of the ‘between awake and sleep states’, where your mind can absorb at a much faster state, the alpha and theta state to train the unconscious mind, she believes we all have an incredible mind, and whether you want to learn how to drink less alcohol, improve your self-esteem, calm your mind or find love, she believes she can help. She has created the ‘7 Days to Drink Less’ online programme and it’s really effective.  She won’t be trying to convince you to give up alcohol, in fact she says it doesn’t matter how much you are drinking… you can trust your phenomenal mind.

At her workshops, she encourages anyone who had a boozy night planned not to cancel, she believes you can make changes, and with hypnosis you can make these changes so much faster, you can shape your emotional relationship with yourself. Instead of allowing those inner voices – our inner critic to come in and convince us that we really do need our third or fourth drink because last time it obliterated the feeling of what was really going on….she recommends we listen to one of her recordings, a twenty five minute session which can be done anywhere, (but you must be stationary and preferably lying down), and over time (hopefully over seven days) you will have a different attitude, which is not linked to struggle or willpower but to the intuitive healthy confident part of you that recognises that doing irreparable damage to your liver, and embarrassing yourself because you are hungover is probably not the best form of ‘self-care’.

Georgia, who has featured in The Mail, The Times, and on Sky News believes we need to shut off our ‘inner critic’ so instead of the feeling of being ‘radio crazy’ with a constant inner dialogue of…’I must have another drink so I feel brave enough to…. I’d better load up on some Dutch courage before I make that phone call’…  You listen to positive thoughts and suggestions which ‘re-programme’ your unconscious mind to know it’s safe to drink less alcohol.

She suggests we get back in touch with the healthy intuitive confident part of who we are.

This is not a ‘quit the drink for good’ programme, no sir. With my imperfectly natural approach that’s why I love it! – Georgia having once been a heavy drinker, who has ‘been there and got the T shirt’ still drinks now, and she doesn’t suggest you stop either, (unless you really want to). She believes you can train your mind to keep the ‘fun’ bits of choosing to drink alcohol but not the bits that cause you emotional grief, or the sense of...I have a drinking problem,’ – when it starts to impact on your life.

What we now know is that the brain is adaptable to change, Georgia says ‘remember it’s a thinking problem not a drinking problem’. The great thing about Georgia’s 7-day programme is that not only does it impact on your drinking, it makes you feel more calm and confident also.

Georgia and I are going to be doing some work together developing programmes (watch this space) so I love the fact that she believes ‘you need to honour the authentic you’.

If you know intuitively that you are putting a strain on your body, trying just a bit too hard to ‘hold your beer; or keep up with the lads, or drown your sorrows’ now is the time to take back control.

http://www.georgiafoster.com/7-days-to-drink-less-2/

My gift to you (and I hope you will come back to me and tell me how liberating it was for you) is to jack you up a 25 per cent discount on Georgia’s 7-day programme – I’M NOT ON COMMISSION!!  I’m offering this because I can see the benefit so clearly and I know there are people who after just a few days of listening to this hypnosis audio will think differently about their desire and ‘need’ to drink too much.

You can get 25 per cent off Georgia’s ‘7 Days to Drink Less’ online programme HERE>>

Do You Need a Digital Detox?

If you see a piece called ‘New Year Detox’ you probably think I’m about to wax lyrical about dry January, giving up chocolate and carbs, drinking only juice and doing lots of exercise…. while all that sounds very worthy, in fact that’s not my take on the start of a new year at all.

Eminent nutritionists and holistic health experts believe that actually the Autumn is the best time to ‘detox’ by eating only cleansing foods and give our systems a rest from the ‘heavier’ foods, and Winter is the time to eat nurturing foods.  If you crave warming soups and hearty winter casseroles and roasted root veg that’s probably because that’s exactly how we are meant to be nourishing ourselves in the dead of Winter.  So, what do I mean by detox?  Well I believe it’s the other stuff that needs to be eliminated for a while, we need a break from people and things that drain our energy.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying Some people are drains, some are radiators’ …we all have those people in our lives, be they relatives, colleagues or friends who always take the negative view, who dismiss every creative thought we have and make us feel worthless. Of course, I’m not advocating that we have a big falling out with family and friends but we can make the decision to spend more time with those people who ‘radiate’ a good energy, meet with the colleagues and friends who you know support you.

The other thing that you may need is a digital detox.  For some people, it’s become a burning necessity such is their addiction, but for most it’s simply that we know how much more we could actually achieve if we set aside our phones or tablets and got on with the task in hand.  If you know you are one of those people who can’t go five minutes without checking your phone, it’s the first thing you do when you wake up, and the last thing at night, you find yourself surreptitiously sending a text in meetings, in the cinema – a digital detox January could be just the thing for you.   

A recent study in Japan found that if you want to get more work done you need to not only turn off your phone but move it out of sight, the mere presence of a phone is distracting.  The study also found that when in conversation with others, placing a mobile phone in view has a negative effect on the quality of face to face communication.

So, have a digital detox and a ‘negative friend’ detox, just for a couple of weeks…I look forward to seeing just how productive you are!

The Obi-Wan Kenobi Game

‘There is no trying, there’s only do or do not’ Yoda

Quite harsh isn’t it? When most of us are gripped by procrastination and fear especially when it comes to getting our work out to a wider audience. I’ve always been very confident as an interviewer, presenter and journalist, but I have given myself a new challenge recently and written a novel, it’s completely different from any other written work I have ever done and I’m out of my comfort zone.

Until I was reminded of that timely quote, I realised I have been telling people for ages that I am ‘trying’ to find the time to complete the novel’ ‘trying to seek out an agent to represent me’. I was asking everyone I could think of what I should do, when and how. The truth is I have been procrastinating, playing for time, because of the fear of being judged, what if the novel is utter drivel? What if I can’t get a book deal? 

Of course I wouldn’t be the first, many successful authors have faced rejection before they found success but as I am always telling clients, Inertia won’t pull you to success…You don’t have to get it right, you DO have to get it going. The answer lies within you, that’s what we are always told, yet most of us doubt ourselves and look outside of ourselves for answers, advice, validation and assurance.

I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with asking for help, seeking support and sharing with others, it’s critical in fact, but in recent years I’ve come to realise how important it is to trust your gut instinct, not just on the big things, but on the little things too and be willing to step out even if you feel a little afraid.

I love it when you read a book and a line pops out at you, it’s those lightbulb moments that make all the difference, recently I was reminded by Gabrielle Bernstein that ‘Energy flows where your attention goes’ and by Brendan Burchard that most of us are ‘driven by fear not freedom’. In ‘The Motivation Manifesto’ he talks about the ‘worriers’ – those members of your family, friends, teachers, peers, who mean well, they are thoughtful, loving and protective, but they are fearful and anxious so they don’t want us to tread anything other than the well-worn paths they have trodden.

Brendan says ‘We must protect ourselves from being limited by those who care for us, as much as by those who blatantly oppose us’. If you’re a parent you will know about the agonising fear when your toddler first scales the dizzy heights of the climbing frame, you want them to explore but one hand is ready to dial 999 or rush to casualty when they come a-toppling down, as a mum or dad I’m guessing you didn’t ever wave your child off saying…’Have a great day, take lots of risks!’.

On the Hay House writers workshop Julia Cameron gave the participants a fascinating exercise to do. She calls it the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ or ‘Yoda’ exercise, (if you aren’t a Star Wars fan you can call it Glenda the Good Witch). You probably remember scenes in Star Wars with Obi-Wan and Anakin where he expresses dismay that his advice isn’t being heard…

Obi-Wan says to Anakin…’Why do I get the feeling you’re going to be the death of me?’

He replies ‘Don’t say that, master. You’re the closest thing I have to a father’

Obi-Wan says ‘Then why don’t you listen to me?’

The idea of the exercise is to ask questions of your older wiser self, and then – here’s the important bit – actually listen. Write down what comes to mind and you could be amazed at the wisdom and how pertinent it is to what’s going on in your life.

Ask ‘Older wiser self…what do I need to know?
What do I need to do?
What do I need to try?
What do I need to grieve / let go of ?
What do I need to celebrate?

Only give yourself 20 to 30 seconds to answer each question, that way you don’t have time to push away the thoughts and continue with the inner critic, just write down the first answer that pops into your head, the chances are that your older wiser self will know exactly what’s needed and you will find the answer within you. Then you will know that it only takes a small amount of courage to get going on whatever it is that has been holding you back.

I’m contacting agents, I have my first meeting soon, watch this space….May the force be with you!

The Big Fat Lie About Time

I’m still banging on about the experience of working with Julia Cameron at The Hay House Writers workshop and I know she won’t mind if I share one of her ideas with you.

I’ve already written about how important daily writing is, Julia calls it writing morning pages and its imperative to get the creative juices flowing and writing uncensored, longhand for your eyes only.

SEE MY BLOG POST ABOUT IT HERE>>

But Julie dispelled another myth at the workshop and it was literally a light bulb moment for me.  I am so incredibly busy and trying to do an awful lot of things, present, look after kids, run a business and fit in the odd trip to the sea to restore my sense of well-being and charge my batteries, but I often come up against a sense of frustration that I don’t have enough time to write the way I want to. I get very little uninterrupted time, I’m lucky if I can complete a paragraph and then one of the kids needs my help with the homework. My husband who is also a writer gets even more frustrated and can go for months without writing because he just can’t focus and he’s determined he must take a vacation to be able to complete his work.

writing-sentences

I meet many clients who I encourage to blog, or write a book to promote their work, and get their message out to a wider audience and while they feel inspired the line I hear most often is…I don’t have time. Often they commit to writing their book but it’s …when the kids have gone to uni…when their current work project finishes…when they next go on a fortnights holiday…

Of course those ‘when’ days often don’t come… even if the day comes around when the kids have left for university, it’s common to find you are still busy and the minutia of life continues just with a different rhythm. There is still not the luxury of being able to take a week, or even maybe a weekend away to focus on writing, so the project remains unfinished, or in many cases not even started.

Julia believes that we do not need much time to write, it’s a myth.

She believes we don’t even need the plan, the important thing is to just write as it occurs. Of course you allow yourself to create rough drafts – and they are just that, rough drafts, for ‘listening’ to your ideas, not for editing, but – and here’s the big light-bulb moment… she suggests we become a ‘time grabber’.

If you have fifteen minutes on the bus and you think of one sentence, write that, if you are waiting for an appointment and a paragraph comes to mind write it down.

Always keep a notebook or a device to write with and remember that ‘Time can be grabbed’

It may be that you are busy, but you can ‘grab a sentence’.

Remember several sentences = a paragraph

Several paragraphs = a chapter

Several chapters = a book

Julia created her ‘morning pages’ tool when she met a guy she wanted to help ‘unblock’  (it worked – he went on to write hugely successful screenplays and movies) and she believes its okay to ‘set the bar low’. Grab your inspiration where it occurs, and if you just don’t feel like it, remember Julia’s other writing myth – mood is a luxury – if you have something to say as a writer, its non negotiable.

I’ve got exactly ten minutes before I need to pick the kids up, I’m going to ‘grab a sentence’.

Remember …You don’t have to get it right you do have to get it going…

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

It was a joy to speak at the Hay House Writers Workshop 2016. I was offering some insights into the importance of recognising that ‘You’ are the Brand and how to get your message out to a wider audience.

The main act of the weekend alongside Michelle Pilley from Hay House UK, was the wonderful Julia Cameron, the author, artist, poet, playwright, filmmaker, and composer. Apart from being once married to Martin Scorsese she is most famous for her book ‘The Artists Way’ which has sold over 4 million copies and to this day remains a classic on the bookshelves of anyone who wants to expand their creativity.

The Artists Way

Julia is a fantastic workshop leader giving us great insights into how to kick-start our creativity and this is what she believes:

“The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning Pages”

She believes it’s imperative to write what she calls ‘Morning Pages’. It’s literally that –at least 3 pages of longhand every morning, preferably when you first wake up. I’m guessing you had to go back and re-read that – yes, I did say ‘longhand’ i.e. handwriting – remember that? No laptops, tablets or phones, good old fashioned pen, and paper! There’s something unique about letting the words flow onto a page. Julia reminded us that there is no right way or wrong way to do it (and yes you can have a cup of coffee) but you must write everything that comes into your head, don’t think about it, or edit, or assess, just write, and don’t show them to anyone, they are only for you.

Unsure what to write? Just write anyway, it’s a stream of consciousness, it might include…Oops forgot to send a birthday card to Dawn…I’m feeling excited if apprehensive about my next big speaking gig…why did I have that second glass of wine, I haven’t a clue what to wear when it’s this cold…I so don’t want to go to the gym…

You get the idea! It can be about nothing…and everything and interestingly the act of writing it down is very cathartic and brings peace. It’s rather like a creative form of meditation, but where as many of us find meditation ‘difficult’ because we are trying NOT to have thoughts, the idea here is to ‘download’ as many as possible. In fact, Julia says spirituality and creativity are intrinsically linked.

julia-cameron-

If you are a writer, Julia believes you are also a critic and she believes this simple daily practice helps you over time to choose positive attitudes, to let all the thoughts flow you must ask your critic to step aside, and let’s face it in the search for perfection, many of us are literally silenced by our inner voices most of the time.

I’ve lost count of the clients who tell me they know they should write their book, create their online course, blog more regularly, share their story, but procrastination, fear of being judged is holding them back.

Give it a shot, if you are currently trying to make some sense of your life and work it’s one of the best tools I know to fast-track you to clarity and to get those creative juices flowing. Julia often finds that when people start committing to writing their morning pages their other writing, whether that be a book, blog, or essays, flows more effortlessly.

If you are a successful entrepreneur it could help you gain clarity on your authentic message, if you’d like to write a book it’s a great way to start – remember my favourite saying ‘You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going’.

 

www.artistsway.com

 

I can help you move forward, no more holding back! I want to invite you to create success for your life, career or business and learn the secrets for getting SEEN HEARD and SOLD, Join me and my special guest on this one-day inspirational intensive workshop – Janey Lee Grace

 

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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