Welcome to 2020 free.
Free can take on whatever feels meaningful to you! Free time, free will, feeling free, freedom, untethered … for me it means free from (no, not gluten or sugar) but from beliefs and stories that I no longer want to believe in.
I recently had the opposite of feeling free … I felt really weighed down by the story that everything needs to be perfect and that hard work is rewarded.
I have a personality type that resonates strongly with the archetype of the perfect achiever, I love getting stuff done, doing it perfectly and fast! Living like the Greek warrior Athena is helpful when you have a pressing deadline but it is also exhausting! I continue to work at being more wise sage and balanced rebel.
What archetype do you resonate with?
I started working in the UK, developing a network and friendships, more than a decade ago. Just over five years ago, I made the move to come live in the UK permanently.
I knew that...
Both things and people can creep up on you.
Now, while the idea of a person creeping up on you sounds somewhat more disturbing than a phone or an iPad, I’m beginning to think that Frank from across the road isn’t so bad after all with his silent tiptoeing, impenetrable shades, and large, paisley-patterned upturned collar. Relax! Frank is a fictional character (well, I certainly hope so!). Fictional Frank, some would call him.
But here’s the thing… I think phones may be the real creeps. They look utterly harmless, attractive even, with their cute little rose-gold hues and trend-setting sleek lines. We can even buy them some bling! They have crept into our lives and our societies with such stealth-like prowess it’s like we didn’t see them coming. We have simply become accustomed to their constant presence, like a sort-of security blanket that we bury our nose into while our thumbs are the only thing getting a workout. They are the...
As I gaze through my window, I feel the corners of my mouth turn upwards. Wow. It is as if a magical Elven artist has been tirelessly at work. It is as if this artist has skipped to each and every leaf, lovingly and mindfully painting their unique folds, fine veins, and imperfect edges. The palette is blends of red, rufous, orange, and golden brown, mixed and mixed again to arrive at the perfect shades. Some leaves appear bruised at the tips, patiently awaiting their final brushstrokes. Once fully transformed, it takes just a whisper of wind for them to delicately pirouette to the ground. Sticks remain where leaves once were. The tree appears grey, brittle, and lifeless.
However, the tree and shrubs and flowers are anything but. They are very much alive. But up until this point they have been busy indeed. Spring is like their personal Mardi Gras, and they expend an immense amount of energy bursting into colour and dancing in the wind with their bright makeup. If they are to do this...
What are the words and thoughts that come to your mind when you see a copyright symbol? For me it’s these:
This little sign means that the item it is attached to was valued enough for a person or company to spend a lot of money to make it their own. They know that to do so, will bring them security and wealth. And its uniqueness is what has made it special. So special, in fact, that people may try to replicate it.
You know these three letters well. And just like the copywrite symbol, your DNA is yours and yours alone. It is what makes YOU unique, important and very valuable.
It is also what gave you’re the shadow-casting nose, rather than the perfect, little upturned one. But, hey, on the bright side, nobody else can be you, and nor should they try to be – because we are all our own beautiful selves! And that includes hair texture, lack thereof and uneven skin tone.
Just like the copyright...
I’ve just turned 45 years old. As I absentmindedly applied a splash of morning makeup, I thought about this word: ‘turned’. What exactly does turn mean in the context of turning a new age? I pondered (as I do) if this word had a positive or negative connotation. I had, after all, turned older. I decided that, as with most things in life, it could mean either. It was up to me, and why would anyone choose negative when positivity is equally available?
I am fortunate to have experienced many chapters in my life. Some are nastier than I care to remember, yet their lessons are entwined with the joyous, magical experiences that make me the 45-year-old I am today. And guess what? I quite like what I see. I like who and what I am. This is my turn, my time to shine, my shine to sparkle. Turning a year older and turning the page to a new chapter is something I choose to celebrate! How wonderful to have the opportunity to experience this wiser, happier, more grounded me.
This is not something I’d ordinarily ask you to do, but trust me – you’ll be so glad I asked!
I’ve been on many journeys. The literal and the figurative ones. The literal ones usually involve airports, hard-shelled luggage and a passport with a photo in which I was not allowed to smile. Seriously? Do you not get the giggles when the passport-photo-taker-guy instructs you NOT to smile. I swear everything funny I’ve ever seen or done in my life takes centre stage in my mind and the poor long-suffering passport-photo-taker-person displays admirable patience. Does that happen to you? Anyway, that (believe it or not) is not my reason for asking you to un-zip.
Epigenetics is the reason. And it is a journey that has been both literal and figurative.
It has been such a pivotal moment in my life that I will be discussing it’s impact over several articles. Maybe even more – because there is SO much I relish the opportunity to share.
September always feels like a love filled month to me. Influenced no doubt by the fact that it is my birthday month!
Feeling joy or love can be difficult or seem silly when we are picking up the pace and busy with all of life’s demands.
We often think of expressing love for others, but rarely take a moment to express some self-love to, well, ourselves. But it turns out, taking a moment for some reflective writing has proven benefits like decreasing anxiety and increasing creativity and confidence.
When was the last time you wrote yourself a love letter?
The feeling of finding the letter a few weeks or months later and reading a kind and encouraging note to yourself can really bring a smile to your heart!
There is just something about writing a letter. It evokes romance and nostalgia. It shows dedication and appreciation. And that is exactly what you deserve.
Find a safe place to sit, some writing paper and a pen...
What if your truth came out in staccato? What if the gently flowing words in your head sounded nothing like those that danced in dented circles about your ears? This was me. Far from flowing words, mine came out like a badly put together rusty sprinkler – in uneven, unpredictable bursts.
It took me a long time, over twenty years to conquer a great nemesis – my very own voice. My stutter.
But, you're an award-winning speaker, you might say? Well, yes, I am. But more importantly, I'm a warrior. Why? Because I kept on fighting until I conquered something that would have derailed what I love to do – SPEAK and share wellness whispers to help others live their lives to the fullest. To describe myself as a warrior may sound self-indulgent, but I use this word so that you, too, can feel comfortable describing yourself that way. We can’t talk self-love and then not live it.
I remember sitting in English class. I loved listening to the teacher speak with her eighties...
How are you feeling right now? Start with your jaw. Are you perhaps clenching it? It may even be aching or throbbing from grinding your teeth last night. And your neck? Your shoulders? Are you hunching them up? And that 'gut' feel – are you feeling at peace, or are those butterfly flutterings keeping your heart racing, perhaps even palpitating? If you answered no to these questions, then you’re part of the fortunate minority. The sad reality is most of us are carrying stress with us, even while we sleep. So, very often, if not mostly – it’s subconscious stress.
The good news is that we can retrain ourselves to be more mindful and AWARE of how stress manifests physically in our bodies and minds. That is how we can learn to counteract, or at the very least, minimise the negative impacts whether in the workplace or at home. Below are two mindfulness exercises that can easily be done at your desk. They are just 60 seconds each. So, set your timer (perhaps give...
There are two ways to interpret the headline of this article. Both interpretations are, or indeed can be, true.
The first: being happy, being joyful…these things take work. Being happy starts with a mindful decision and mindful actions that need consistent work. It takes effort to build happy habits like meditating, walking in nature, and exercising rather than giving in to the passive entertainment a phone or television brings. However, this hard work pays well in happiness coins and enriches our lives.
The second: being happy at work. This is the less obvious interpretation because it's not often you hear of people celebrating a day at the office. Monday is blue. Wednesday is Humpday. Friday is friyay. We spend so much of our time resenting work and counting down to the weekend.
Unless you’re in a country that promotes 4 day work week, 5 days are spent working either at home or in the office with just 2 days are allocated to downtime - being...