November is the eleventh month of the year and although it feels like the end of autumn, it’s not. Autumn ends on the 22nd of December. The clocks have recently changed and the days are drawing in. Although I love going back to light early mornings, I’m not so keen on the dark evenings. What about you?
It’s the eighth sign of the zodiac. Anyone born under this sign is a Scorpio and we are often warned to look out for the sting in the tail. But what about your passion and intensity? My ascendant is in Scorpio so I always read my horoscope for this sign as well. Which is why transformation is a key theme in my life.
November for me is famous for NaNoWriMo. A month where fiction writers throw caution to the wind and write 50,000 words for their novel. Just a mere 50,000 words in a month… Imagine that.
I did attempt this one year and managed 20,000 and then realised that I needed a plan. I stopped, planned and have left the book ever since. It is on my agenda, just not for this November. Intuitively this is not the month for me.
Famous writers born in November include Mark Twain, who famously said “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.“
And C.S Lewis who wrote more than 30 books and who is quoted as saying “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream“. So what are you waiting for? Connect to your dream and go for it.
November is also very important for men’s health and Movember is an annual event. It involves the growing of moustaches during the month to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer, cancer and men’s suicide.
I invite you to reflect on the past eleven months with eleven wonderful things that have happened to you. If nothing feels that great, reframe and look at your life’s events with a different eye. Witness your growth. There is always something to be thankful for.
November’s intentions will be to connect with our intuition and think about what you want to manifest and create, not just for ourselves, but for the world.
Let’s kick November off with these writing 30 prompts. Writing prompts are a great way to think about where you are and where you would like to go.
Remember, this month the theme is INTUITION. What do you need to do to ensure that you listen to your intuition? What has to happen to ensure that you trust and act on your intuition?
Whatever it is, set an intention which resonates with you as you start each month. It will be interesting to see what comes up for you with these seemingly innocent journaling prompts.
That’s it, November is also the month for reflection on the year and contemplating what you need to let go off so that opportunities can flow in. Write often, enjoy the month and remember to spoil you every day.
If you’d love more of this writing stuff, grab a Love To Journal journal and connect even further with your heart.
What do you notice people who love themselves? I’m not talking about narcissistic behaviour but people who genuinely love who they are and find joy with how their lives are. I bet when you witness them they seem happier, and those who associate with them are happier too.
If you find it hard to see that in you, perhaps it’s time to turn off the inner critic and try this simple journaling exercise.
Be prepared for resistance from your inner critic. Your inner critic may not have been talked back to for years. It usually has the run of things so be aware of that. Flood him or her with love and get your pen to the ready…
101 things I love about myself is a wonderfully simple, yet powerful exercise.
All you need is a set of index cards, some coloured pens and a glass of water.
The water is for you to sip as you ponder…
Get comfortable, take three big deep breaths and let each go with a big sigh. Plant your feet on the ground and imagine roots flowing into Mother Earth. Connect your breath to your heart and flood it with love.
When you are ready write one thing that you love about yourself on each card.
When you have completed the exercise you can shuffle the cards and intuitively pick one for today.
I love that I allow myself to express my emotions
Is the one that I picked for the video below.
When you have chosen the card for the day, think about how you will connect that sentiment and feeling with your heart and embody it through the day.
Journal about what comes up for you as you start your day and at the end of the day reflect on what happened and what you learned about yourself.
If you love to journal I have a range of journaling books that are designed to help you to focus on what you what to create in your life. Each covers four subjects spread over 28 days. These subjects are designed to help you to create a stronger connection with your heart and wisdom.
Conscious decision making is both easy and hard. Easy because some decisions can be made on the spot based on gut instinct. Hard because the decision is harder, it needs more time, more reflection, you may not be good at making decisions for new things, or you are just rubbish (or think you are) at consciously choosing, you may need external validation or there may be some other reason that makes this a hard decision.
There are some simple rules about becoming fully conscious in your decision making and that is to first understand how you do things. If you do not know how you do anything, how can you know how conscious decision making will work for you?
What about decisions like food choices that are traditionally hard to spot?
What I am talking about is making choices about what to eat based on your emotional state. It’s something most of us do on an unconscious level.
In this video, where I chat with Mel Wakeman of Wakeman Nutrition I talk about choosing a Magnum ice cream over the more sensible choice of a banana.
I had been working with a client and we had a fantastic session that went on longer than usual. This made me late for someone I had an appointment with somebody to collect some eco veg. Halfway down the mountain, I got a call from the woman to say she’d got the wrong day. (I did pull over when I heard my WhatsApp call)
Because I was late and I hadn’t eaten I was immediately cross. As I sat in the car I could feel my annoyance grow. Taking a few deep breaths I asked ‘what choices can I make instead’ and ‘how can I make the best of this?’
I did a quick reframe and thought, well that’s okay, I know where I can get a gluten-free sandwich and there’s various errands I can run which will be useful.
However, my luck was out and the cafe was closed, I could feel my energy dip even more, but thought one last errand and I can get home.
When I reached the final shop I was feeling lightheaded and uncomfortable and so when I passed the ice cream freezers I was immediately seduced by a deliciously dark Magnum. Of course, I was and it was very tasty.
In simple terms when we make a decision based on our guts it is usually fast, we just do it, however, we often do not listen to our guts and immediately override it with our heads, missing out that vital ingredient of the heart.
The head is usually best left for slow decisions that need some reflection time. If too much head is given (excuse the picture in your head) then you can risk never making a decision.
The heart is where your divine inner wisdom resides, where you have a knowing based on your values.
Each of these has a rightful place in conscious decision making. The question is how do you know when you make decisions, which of these is right for which situation.
I believe how we form our decisions is progressive. You can use this model to consider how you made decisions through the stages of your life and how you learn.
One way to understand how this works is this.
Stop and think about how you might make a cup of tea. Now write all of the steps down and then teach someone else what you do. Easy?
You might think it’s easy, but I bet you missed loads of things out like you had to pick up the kettle and carry it to the sink, before lifting the lid, placing it under the tap, etc.
What I mean by this is we forget how we make decisions, because we become competent at making them.
The same thing applies when you choose food and drink – you become competent at making your choices.
This model shows us the stages that we go through when acquiring new skills and knowledge. It is really useful to consider this when reviewing our decision making as it reminds us how we become unconsciously competent and serves as a useful reminder of the stages we go through when acquiring new knowledge and to be mindful of this when making choices.
This model is also known as the Learning Stages model was developed by former Gordon Training International employee, Noel Burch in the 1970’s.
Naturally, the more experiences and skills you acquire, the easier it becomes when making a decision.
But as you will know that isn’t always the case, things can come at you and throw you off track when you least expect it.
In my case, eating the Magnum was an aberration and a decision that I would come to regret. Later that night I woke up with horrendous itching from the sugar in the ice cream. Which mean that I didn’t sleep. The knock-on was that my energy was lower and I was a tad ratty that day.
When you are faced with things that you do at an unconscious level which could go on to cause you problems there are a few things that you can do. One is to stop and assess and two is to become aware of what is happening – this is often hard to do in the moment.
Use this exercise to record the event and to then discover what your decision making process is.
Grab your journal and write about the event. This is best done while it is still fresh in your mind. When you have finished stop and reflect, allow your muse to connect the dots.
Just stop. Allow yourself a few moments or minutes to take in what was going on. Breath and assess the situation. You will find all kinds of thoughts going on.
What is coming into your awareness?
What are your unconscious rules that you are playing by? All you need to do is become aware of them. How do you do things – is there a process or a pathyway? What are your criteria for decision making?
Consider, three other similar events. What do you learn? Do you see a pattern?
How awake are you to the effect your decisions have on you, others and your environment? Again go back to the last decisions you wrote about and consider this. Also, look at how connected each was to your beliefs and values. What does this tell you? Consider the outcome and how awake you are to what this means to you.
In my example, my belief was that it would be ok, just this once to eat this ice cream. Of course, I now absolutely believe that it is never ok…
After being very unwell with a fractured spine and other complications I value my health. So why I ask did I eat this ice cream? This goes against all of my values around my health.
The bottom line is I don’t believe it is ok to eat rubbish as I value my health. However, I was hijacked by my low energy and emotions. As I am sure you will be occasionally.
How did your decisions make you feel? What was the core emotion and how does this or these emotions run your life?
Good decision making should make you feel more alive.
This is not in the sense that you are leaping around for joy because sometimes good decisions are gut-wrenching and difficult. This is alive in the sense that they are completely connected to who you are and you believe that they are right in the moment.
No, you cannot turn back the clock. What is done is done. Accept the decision you made and then decide what next, what did I learn and what, if anything will I do differently next time?
There are power and peacefulness in acceptance. This is not about giving up or not taking action, rather it is knowing that pushing against a closed door will always hurt. Whereas finding ways to open the door and walk through it without resistance will deliver far greater rewards.
Acceptance is a choice. You can see the positive or you can fight what is going on. Why would you want to wander around a littered battlefield?
Acceptance is living fully present in the moment. It’s not about the past, while that is a great source of reference for peeling the onion; it’s not where to live. Neither is it about the future because we cannot force it.
We can create visions, make decisions and we can take action, but we already know stuff can happen to throw these visions off course. That is why it is important to understand yourself, just a bit more…
Whatever happens, you need to take action, even if the action is inaction. I know that there have been times when my decision has been to simply let go, to not be attached to the outcome and quite frankly let others get on with it.
My action was to throw the rest of the ice creams in the bin and remind myself to be better prepared. Because of how important my health is to me I know that this will not happen again. The pain of the night long itching is far too good a reminder…
When faced with a decision that right choice will depend on so many things. However, I like to take my choice (if I have time) to my heart.
Typically when I am journalling and I feel that the piece is finished when I stop this is when I place a hand on my heart, connect my breath, ask for guidance and wait. I will feel, see or sense something.
It is always interesting to notice what comes up.
What happens for me I find that I am checking in with my values when connecting with my heart.
I’ll look at how I can reframe something so that I get a better outcome. I like this opportunity for reflection.
My favourite question is do I love myself enough to? If the answer is yes, the decision is also easy.
Another fundamental part of conscious decision making is to also stop and ask ‘what do I think?’ Out loud, not just in your head. That question is not for your conscious mind to analyse, more to ask the question and go deep into yourself – trance-like to allow the answers to surface.
It is not sufficient for you to look at my journey, my healing or my transformation and to say ‘I’ll do the same.’ The same will not work. What works is self-enquiry. What works is considering what I or others have done, trying things on for size if you want.
Most importantly is to always ask your divine inner wisdom what she thinks. You must only take on board what you can. After asking ‘what do I think?’ take action based on your intuition (gut) and divine inner wisdom (heart) – not mine or Betty down the roads – yours.
We make reference to our guts for all kinds of actions and activities that are going on. This is because unbeknownst to us our gut is a powerhouse that serves and supports the rest of the body and as a result our lives.
It’s fascinating to think that science mainly focuses on other aspects of the human body and has mostly relegated the gut to the bottom of the pile. It’s tended to be thought of as a plumbing system that takes in nutrients and sends the waste out – which it does
In 1998 Michael D. Gershon, M.D wrote a book called “The Second Brain. The Scientific Basis of Gut Instinct and a Ground-breaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestine.” I think he could have shortened it!
Professor Gershon’s work describes something called the enteric nervous system (ENS), which controls digestion. The ENS has a complex system of approximately 100 million nerves, all found in the lining of the gut.
He was shocked when the scientific world did not laud him as a genius. Instead, they ignored the fact that the first brain is connected to the second brain (the gut) via something called the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve goes straight from the stomach to the brain. This second brain sends signals to the first brain which advises it of our emotions which naturally affects our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the gut is responsible for a lot of how we feel, our ability to live well and make decisions for our well-being. It’s a bit of a circle, what you eat affects your brain.
What’s going on in your brain affects what you eat, how you eat and why you eat the way that you do and how you think.
What you eat (and drink) affects every cell in your body. In his book The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton talks about how our thoughts affect our cells. If you are living in a perpetually stressed place, imagine what kind of thoughts are being passed to your cells. The cells will respond in the best way that they know-how, which might not be very beneficial.
I certainly feel that the better my diet the better my ability to listen to my gut. Maybe that’s just me?
You may get something different, but I get a funny feeling in my gut and a knowing, which alerts me to be on the lookout. When something is ‘right’ for me, I get the funny feeling in my tummy and all the hairs stand up on my arms.
Check out what happens for you.
Energy has been described by many different cultures, as Chi, Ki, Prana, and a life-force. Scientists describe in a different way by measuring ions and atoms. Both are valid and have a place in our understanding of self and transformation.
Energy for me is everywhere and everything. Our food contains energy, the air that we breathe has energy, and every cell in your body has an energetic impulse.
As you sit quietly and consider you – you are using and harnessing energy. Breathing circulates and connects your energy. Without breath you are dead.
Healers harness energy to heal. People with passion bring energy into everything that they do, and this energy creates action. To transform and grow, you need energy.
Everything you do consumes large quantities of energy. If you cultivate good habits (conscious decisions) and look after your energy, it will stay healthy and provide a powerhouse for your life.
To become physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy, one must have an energy system that is balanced and in harmony.
I believe gut decisions are also based on energy, which is connected to how well you are looking after yourself, your thoughts beliefs and behaviours and your connection to your consciousness.
There is always a moment when you just know, isn’t there?
Ok, massive subject – we’ll look more at intuition, energy and the gut more another time.
Have fun, I’d love to know what you discover…
This week I was pretty mad as the heavens poured forth anger upon me. Another full moon and another round of my emotions in turmoil. I am learning to embrace whatever comes up and witness it from a more positive perspective.
It’s ok to not be ok. I wasn’t ok.
Instead, I was perplexed why this normally peaceful and contented woman should want to vent her spleen at the world.
There was too much animal cruelty. Too many nasty people. There was too much everything, which had me running for the hills, except on Sunday the hunters were in my hills, invading my peace, stopping me walking my dogs and I was mad.
And something that really got my goat was eating a delicious magnum icecream. It wasn’t so much the ice cream, but more how I had got myself into a pickle where I felt it would be ok to eat one instead of a banana.
I had been late for a meeting and so didn’t eat lunch (you know healthy food). Instead, I figured I could get a gluten-free sandwich from a café. I was wrong, and the person I was meeting didn’t even turn up.
Trapped in a sea of emotions, the only life jacket seemed to be ice cream.
In bed that same night I couldn’t sleep because of itching because of the sugar overload. And I was mad at my stupidity.
I felt trapped by this strange feeling. The only two places that felt safe was to go inside to converse with my inner wisdom and to hurl abuse at my journal.
For the few days that followed, something strange to me happened. My normal positive, I can see the good and lessons in everything left me.
Calm disappeared, and I was furious, I had an anger that I had not seen in years. I watched myself get into a tizzy – I became a curiosity to myself. Watching from the outside in.
Strangely I found solace writing about the digestive system and how to craft a diet just for you. I also wrote about checking your poo and urine, along with good questions to ask when your energy dips and your sleep has been overtaken by the dark mistress of unslumber.
Later, when I was no longer engrossed in my writing I sat pondering the anger, the helplessness, the pain and suffering in the world. Anger about the things I couldn’t change. I could only change me and my reaction. So, what was the point of my anger I asked?
I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. Og Mandino
I realised anger was an igniter. What I did next had to be in love. In love, I could achieve anything. To achieve anything, there needs to be tinder – the situation – the igniter for change – anger and the fuel for change – love. Anger is just an emotion that is igniting something bigger. Not necessarily world-shattering, but something greater than me, and that has to be good.
Enjoy the journey. Every day work towards being your best self. Never lose sight of the love that you are.
We may not be able to stop the things that are making us angry. However, it’s well known and well-trodden advice that we can change how we choose to respond.
Think of how much energy it takes to respond with anger. Yeah, loads. We could end up feeling drained of energy and unable to think clearly. If instead (after the first flush of anger) we chose to focus on our hearts and send love to ourselves and the world while affirming that today you choose peace and love – how might that feel?
Anger is a natural emotion. I think because we are taught to not show it or deal with it by suppressing it, that we see it as one of the not so good emotions. But all emotion is good. It just depends on how you view it. Through what lens does this emotion need to be seen?
There are triggers for all emotions. Someone loads up the metaphorical gun and shoots it. It could be a beautiful romantic scene in a film or photos of extreme cruelty.
No matter what the trigger, there will have been a thing which launches a 1000 ships into the neural pathways of your brain.
Learning to become aware of your trigger points is essential. I know quite a few of mine, and they mostly involve animals. I also know that when I do not set good boundaries and allow someone to take advantage of my kind nature – I get cross.
I’ve learned through journaling and reflecting to reframe and walk around my emotions to understand what I need to learn and what I need to do.
Because of writing, I am so much more self-aware.
I used to think that holding anger was good. That anger was ugly and destructive, and in a way, it can be. It can help to destroy something not so great to let the young shoots of hope emerge. Once you acknowledge it and are aware of it and the triggers, you can harness that energy.
What can you learn about you and why this emotion might occasionally highjack you that you can use for something else?
Because you have anger or feel angry, it does not make you a bad person. It makes you human. When the devil dances with your demons, you have choices. Make the first one to not judge yourself. Remember you are feeling anger in the moment, just as you would joy or love.
Be aware of your emotions and experience them without judgement. Avoid adding in tales of why and who you are because you acted or felt a certain way. Simply observe.
I always want to know why I acted or felt a certain way. After all of these years of writing and digging into the muck, I am used to allowing my curiosity to go on an adventure with my past. It’s in the roots of who we are and those things that have moulded us that the answers lie.
I see the past as an encyclopedia to be referenced rather than a place to dwell. But this is only after years of writing and burning my journals and probably jumping on bits of paper with peoples names on.
Write to explore and reflect. Talk it through. Scribble and mind map. The roots will expose themselves for you to explore.
I am a bugger for isolating myself when I get upset. Other people find it easy to tell me all of their woes, and I am a good listener, and I think because I do this for others, I don’t want to inflict myself on them.
The truth is talking and being heard is so helpful. But you must find the right person, and they may not be your friends. When you feel like hiding under the bed and telling the world to eff off, find someone you trust and can pay to listen.
Please stay connected to the world and don’t isolate yourself.
We may not be able to stop the things that are making us angry. However, it’s well known and well-trodden advice that we can change how we choose to respond.
Think of how much energy it takes to respond with anger. Yeah, loads. We could end up feeling drained of energy and unable to think clearly. If instead (after the first flush of anger) we chose to focus on our hearts and send love to ourselves and the world while affirming that today you choose peace and love – how might that feel?
When you feel angry, go and find a mirror. Open your eyes, take a good hard look into them and let it rip. Watch your face contort and be a witness to your rage. Another way to tackle this is to film yourself. Believe you me this is not attractive, but it is eye-opening. And very releasing.
I keep saying it, but this is one of the best ways to find yourself. Sit with your pen and stir the pot of inner stillness once you have released the words onto the page.
A lovely way to view your anger or any emotion from a distance is to write yourself a letter. Put it in an envelope and in a few weeks, send it to yourself. I’m sure you will be tempted to tear it up but do it.
When it arrives, you will be some time away from the event, and it will be curious reading. I wonder how you will feel?
If you think that you will not send it, do it on Moonpig, buy the card and put in a future delivery date.
This is a favourite activity. Take your anger and write a piece of fiction. Be creative. Make it short with a twist at the end. There was a period of my life when I was prolific with these and boy did some people come to a nasty end.
Start sketching out your story with your challenge, what are your choices, and which outcome will you choose?
All you need to do is find a journal entry, connect to your muse and write a short story.
When you look at the last time you were angry or upset at something, ask yourself if you were to die tomorrow, was it worth wasting your time being angry?
Explore the anger, look at it from different perspectives and ask what are you here to teach me?
What could this anger ignite in you instead?
Spell ANGER in a mindmap and explore the words you choose.
Every year World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October. One day to highlight a massive problem. There are often no obvious signs that someone is suffering until their body complains, they are overcome with emotions like fear and then it can feel like it is too late.
For some, it has become too late.
Anxiety and depression can affect anyone.
When I was in the corporate world mental health was not discussed, but as a manager, I was very aware when people around me were not coping. Many a private conversation, a cuppa and a walk in the fresh air have provided someone with the space to be heard and to be empowered to take some other action towards better choices.
This is not always the case when you work alone or you are living with others whose needs come first.
Quite a few years ago, I found myself in front of the doctor complaining that despite the many miles I trudged every day with my dog, I couldn’t breathe. He asked me some questions and suddenly there was my space to be heard.
We talked about who I was living with, what the relationship was like, work and general health. I explained that for the previous two years I’d struggled with sleep and had tried everything I could think of. I remember him laughing at the comprehensive list I handed over. He glanced over it and said quietly ‘you have anxiety and it is no wonder.’
Walking away with a prescription for Prozac felt like the end of the world. Having been a party animal I was used to abusing my body for fun, this felt very different. I felt a failure.
Before long I was sleeping and a calm descended. Deep inside I was ashamed of giving in and although I didn’t want anyone to know, I found myself sharing with two friends.
At the start of taking them I had an exit strategy. Changing my diet and writing in my journal became an essential part of my healing.
I was a bit silly with my diet and cut out practically everything that could possibly be an allergen to anyone, ever. Losing vast quantities of weight did nothing for my skin and my skinny legs looked more matches like every day. I didn’t love me so I couldn’t and didn’t look in the mirror.
By the Christmas of that same year, I stopped taking them. Then the then husbands mother had come to live. She had dementia and he was a bully, I felt trapped and alone so I went back on the pills. It was the only way I could cope.
I poured my heart into my journal and I recall one night when lying awake staring at the ceiling I knew it was time for me to die. While everyone slept I Googled ways of dying. They all looked painful. What the fuck can I do I screamed silently into the slumbering beams?
Held by the most fragile gossamer, I realised I wasn’t meant to die but I was dead inside.
Shortly after his mother’s death, I weaned myself off Prozac (again) and tried to get back to some normality.
Time moves on and in January 2018 several years after I left the bully, my spine fractured and so it seems did my life.
I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. It didn’t surprise me to learn that there is a link between this and depression.
I was scared. But also determined, somewhere under my jumper was a brave soul who was not going backwards into a slump.
The specialist doctor simply handed me a prescription and told me to go to the gym. I was in pain. The fear escalated like nothing before.
I found solace with my pen and knew in a short while that I couldn’t let this new path just lead me astray, I needed to focus. It was then that I decided to pour my energy into a book so that others would be able to understand my reasoning for natural healing, have a basis to work from and create their healing path.
The fear took it’s time to abate. Feel the fear always reminds me of a book called Feel the fear and do it anyway. However, the last thing I wanted was to feel the fear, or do it, whatever ‘it’ was, I wanted answers. I wanted information and knowledge so that I could work through the fear in my way.
How could I take action, if I didn’t know what I was up against? Sure I knew that the medical system that I had just encountered would not support me, but I had to know what this thing was and how you reverse it. Knowledge is power, and without it you are helpless.
In my journal, I asked what was going to come at me next? In some way, I needed to know that I could press a cancel button and this would all go away. It didn’t. At least not straight away.
They say that peak performance equals potential minus interference and that the body’s prime objective is to keep you safe. What then in each of us is causing interference that contributes to this feeling of being unsafe?
If you search on the Internet for fear, you will see a list of names for fear of things. Just as if you search for it internally, you will find it. For me putting a label on to something gives your body permission to embed it.
If you own it, in my opinion, things can only get worse. Yes, you have something to deal with, but do not own the fear beyond your initial reaction to your news. Ok, easier said than done and I understand that.
Some people tell us that the opposite of living in or with fear is to live fearlessly, but these words don’t resonate with me either. I don’t like it because the fear word is part of it. Although I like the idea of being fear-less so that there is less fear. It’s more how you deal with it. This is where lots of other things like faith, trust and courage come into play. These are the friends of fear.
I kept wondering why if the bodies prime objective is to keep you safe, did I hurt so much? This was both physical and emotional pain. I certainly did not feel safe.
Fear is another emotion, like anger, sadness, joy, and love. In this case, the fear was triggered by a perceived threat. I felt threatened by osteoporosis and the system. I knew enough about osteoporosis as my mum has lived with it for years and that scared me too.
Triggers can come at you from anywhere, and this was certainly happening. Think for a moment outside of fear, what might trigger you to become angry or to have a gorgeous belly laugh.
I know that to deal with my anger, I used to have an anchor. So that when I felt it arising I would put four words on my fingers – rage – anger – annoyance – miffed. This was how I, in my head counted down my emotion. If not, I guess there would have been a chance that I could have become aggressive. These days I notice and breathe. And so I tried to breathe love into these feelings.
Please don’t think for a moment I have this off to a fine art, can click my fingers and fear or any other emotion is sorted just like that. What I have developed is a way to relax into what is happening and notice how it feels in my body. I usually write to make sense of it, until whatever it abates.
The trouble was that I am visual and I could see all kinds of devastation coming at me from different angles. Which was crazy. Right at the point of hearing my bad news, I knew that my mind would go into temporary insanity. And that’s ok, I figured that’s normal, and I can deal with it. I kept saying over and over again I can deal with this, I can do it, I can…
I used to teach assertiveness skills, so I knew intellectually that in relation to fear, there were several ways that we typically respond. One is to fight and another is to run away. This is known as the fight or flight response.
When we sense danger, our bodies release hormones to an area of the brain called the amygdala. Depending on your response to the danger you may experience a number of things. For example, you may get a racing heart or a bad tummy. What’s important is that you recognise your typical response.
This response is due to cortisol and adrenaline being released into the body. They, in turn, signal the adrenals (on top of your kidneys) to release hormones. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure and the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream.
Cortisol also releases increased amounts of glucose into the bloodstream, which your brain needs to deal with the perceived threat. Glucose is food for the brain. The brain with an increased supply of food can do its work. When the fear response diminishes everything goes back to normal.
Problems arise when we constantly live in fear. You may have heard people who are newly diagnosed with something saying that they are constantly tired. That’s possibly because unconsciously they are fearful and the adrenals are taking a pounding. Not only was I in pain, but I was also immensely tired. My body was certainly responding to all of the triggers.
The other thing you may do is panic. What the ‘beep’ am I going to do? Panic is normal, and it’s usually our first response. Think for a moment when as you are driving away from home to go on holiday and you ask, did I turn the iron off? What happens? Yes, panic. Then you calm down as you go through those final steps of closing up the house and you can see yourself doing what you always do, and the iron is off. Of course, you can ring a friend and ask them to pop in to check so that you feel reassured.
Fear will attach itself to the memory of the event, and you will code and remember this memory as a time of potential unpleasantness. Then what we often do is future pace our fear, and this becomes anxiety. You start to worry about things that may never happen.
Sometimes this endless worrying does bring about the event, something which is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have through constant mithering have given your body permission to bring you the thing that you fear the most.
Then there is the interference we mentioned earlier. Once you feel fear, it starts to interfere with your rational and conscious thought. The knock-on effect if you let fear take control it can have a longer-term negative impact on your health.
So if you have something like osteoporosis you are sending more signals to your body which will impact your healing. All of these chemicals while having a place in keeping us safe are now contributing and feeding the condition we want to reverse.
So here we are on the playground of chaos. Before order will always be chaos. Some call osteoporosis a dis-order which to me is a system out of order. When you view your emotions and understand that you have a system that is not in order or is in chaos, it’s easier (sort of) to know that order will follow.
All will be revealed. True you cannot be certain of what is going to happen next, but the truth is old perceptions need to die. Chaos must be allowed to roam free to stir things up, so that you can start to make sense of it all
It can seem like time has ground to a halt as you process the news that will change your life. When I was at the chiropractor the day after I had my x-rays done, a few minutes after he delivered his verdict, I was in the bathroom.
My body reacted through the digestive system. It usually does. Years of preparing to go on stage to deliver a talk and needing the bathroom right up to the point of speaking is now a distant memory. I learned to breathe through this and now I actually I love presenting. So over time, I unlearned my response. Because there was nothing to fear, in fact speaking on stage is exciting.
But is it exciting to learn that you have been labelled with a potentially life-changing dis-ease? No, it’s not, but what is exciting is understanding that you can use your knowledge of this response to turning things around for the better.
Before I reached the exciting part I had to deal with the fear, but something else was eating away at me more, and that was trust and betrayal. I started to not trust my mind and was constantly thinking about how my body was betraying me. I was asking crazy questions about whether I could trust it to heal. I knew that it could, but this acid from my past was eating at my intuition and my intellect.
Before I could deal with the osteoporosis, I needed to quell the ghosts from the past. So that’s what I did. I went back and looked at every time I felt betrayed and where I had misplaced my trust, and I wrote letters to each person, burnt them and let them go. When I felt cleansed, I turned to my body and considered what is the opposite. In the case of fear, it might be courage. This helped me to put what was going on in context.
You do not need to push it away, feel into it or embrace it and you certainly do not need to feed it. Noticing fear is creating a deeper connection to the bones of who we are. We create a relationship with it as we might another human, and you learn things such as trust, and faith. You trust the trigger, and you have faith and courage to deal with it. This is not a time to apply intellectual thinking, this is a time for as I have said, faith, trust and courage.
It is also a time to surrender. This is not giving up this is not about waiting for miracles or asking some higher force to step in and take over. This is asking for what is needed for your highest good to be met. I was busy trying to set outcomes such as I want to reverse osteoporosis within six months and I want my fractures to heal by April 2018. We do this don’t we, set outcomes based on business rules or others expectations and based on our fear?
SMART goals are another way that we decide what we want. But in life this approach while sound doesn’t take into account the highest good of all – our highest good. Highest good doesn’t have a deadline because time doesn’t really exist. Highest good focuses on achieving what is right for everyone when conscious choices are made for the good of all – your highest good.
When you surrender remember that the key foundational thing that we need here is self-love. Once I allowed the bile to bite into my fear and faith, I asked myself did I love myself enough to deal with this? So once again I found faith and courage through self-love and went to work on betrayal and trust.
I could see a cycle where I was prejudging myself and others because I didn’t trust that they were doing the best for me and I would not get the outcome that I desired. This leads to fear. And around we go.
When you get into this vicious cycle, a natural reaction is to isolate yourself. This is another aspect of staying safe, but isolation does not create safety. Instead, it sends a message to your cells, and they in their wisdom follow your orders and start to not communicate with the other cells in its community. Without this vital connection, healing cannot take place.
Sense prevailed as I journaled and the more I acknowledged my hurts and opened my eyes to another lesson the grip of terror reduced. I started to view my predicament with grace and love.
But this wasn’t before I had contemplated not being here. I wanted off this planet. Knowing that my dogs would be ok, I had a will and a funeral plan, made it somehow easier for others when this useless life and body were gone.
At night I wrote furiously and in the morning when I was licked (by one of said doggies) I was pleased that the only savagery I committed was with a pen.
How about I asked if I embrace what I have learned and choose what I want instead? What if this detour was actually the route to my salvation? I understood that I was being taught about faith and trust. I considered that rather than feel fear what if I felt excitement at the prospect of turning this around and doing some more letting go of my fractured past?
Fear and excitement trigger similar responses. One can have not so great effects, and one doesn’t. They are both drivers to change. It is up to us to make conscious choices.
One thing that always works for me is this journaling exercise. I use the word fear and find another meaning. As an example
Have a go while you focus on your situation. It’s quite fascinating what comes out when you look at fear this way. It makes it easier to surrender and surrendering, faith and trust are like muscles, like writing, it gets better and easier the more that you practice.
Take a walk once you have written. Take time to reflect. Physical activity can have a positive effect on your mental health.
If hindsight were a currency, I would be rich. If writing in a journal were a paid profession I’d be a mega-billionaire.
I have found that writing in a journal has saved my life many times. It may yours. Have a go, you just may find a safe place to find who you are and heal.
Please look around you, one of your friends could be where I was. You might be there now.
Buy them a journal and be prepared to hug and listen.
Go well today and every day. With love.
When I think of a juicy life I think of vitality, fun and how to relish each moment. The practise of self-love is part of having a juicy life. I also think of simple things like singing, dancing, and having a bit of an adventure. Being with people who bring me joy is a big part of my juicy life plan. Most of all I ask myself how and where can I bring joy into my life?
First of all, you need to look at what experiences leave you feeling dry or dried up and give them a colour red for dry and green for juicy for example.
Look at your day to day experiences and make a list of activities and grade and colour code them. What do you have more of? What needs upgrading, letting go or grabbing more of?
Before you rush out and stop all of the drying or dehydrating experiences ask if there is something that you can do to make them juicy. For example, let’s imagine that you and your partner go out every Saturday evening to the same pub/bar and see the same people. What if, instead, you had a date night somewhere else, just the two of you?
What if like in our house when I was growing up, Friday night was always fish. What if, instead, you picked a random recipe and created a dining in experience?
What does a juicy life look like to you? It’s such a simple question, which when you start to write will unlock so many things. You’ll soon realise that there are so many simple things that you can do.
Write about your juicy life and then start to envision it. What one action can you take right now that will move you one step closer?
People really do enter and leave your life for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes you will feel sad when someone you consider to be a friend does something you don’t understand, and suddenly you are no longer as close as you once were.
Or you meet someone fleetingly who leaves footprints on your heart, never to be seen or heard of again. No matter who you meet, when and for how long they bring something to your life. They are all your reason, season, lifetime lesson people.
This speaks to me and explains this concept beautifully.
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant”.
As the above says some are here to support us, and we, them, some test us, some will use us (our perception and choice to let them), while others are here to teach us. They are all important. But most important are the ones who bring out the best in us, they respect us and accept us for who we are. These are the ones worth keeping around!
Some people come into our lives and quickly go, while others become our friends and stay awhile, leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts, and we’re never quite the same because we have known them and grown with them. Who and where are these people?
Ask yourself who are your reason, season and lifetime lesson people. Why are they? Once you have determined who these are, if there are any that you feel that you would like to thank, pick up the phone, and send an email or a gift. For those that you don’t want to connect with, write a note in your journal or send them a silent prayer of peace. Acknowledging with gratitude is great for the soul.
Write in your journal about each and what you bought to each other’s lives.
This may be a time when many people are moving from your path. Know that this is meant to be. This space will be filled with more reason, season, lifetime people.
To work more on your juicy life grab a copy of the 28 Days To A New You Journal.
PS: I’ll talk about hydration another day…
I wonder what simplicity means to you? To me it’s about getting rid of stuff, saying no to things, not buying stuff that I don’t need and enjoying the simple things in life. Having a simple life is not boring, but sometimes it may seem that way. That is until you start living and enjoying a simplified version of how you are currently living.
Ask yourself – what would happen if I did lead a life of simplicity?
I believe that when you simplify, you’re left with a life filled with meaning, and a life that is lived on your terms. You have the time to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire. How does that feel?
What if when you lived a simple life you were able to find true happiness?
To create a simple life, it pays to consider your needs. You can start this by thinking about what is important to you. Ask what do you really need?
I know when I thought about how I was living, I, for example, found that I didn’t need so many shoes, handbags and clothes. I also discovered by planning my meals properly I no longer bought food that used to end up in the bin.
To live a simpler life, examine what’s important to you, and acknowledge your choices and their impact on your life’s needs.
Do you keep saying yes to doing things that do not feed your soul? What about attending social events that require you to extend your wardrobe beyond your financial capability? What about holidays with friends, doing things you don’t want to do, just because you think you are missing out?
When you start saying no to things you don’t really want or enjoy, you can start saying yes to quality. When there is less, you will have more of what fills your heart. Think about it.
I adore books and it’s been one of the hardest things to say no to them. In another life, I owned six pairs of black boots and the last time I looked, I only had one pair of feet. In my closet, I had rows of shoes and handbags that I rarely wore or used. When I moved home and was forced to downsize, I realised that I did not need all of these.
These days I ask myself if I will make use of and get value out of it before I buy.
Take food, for example, I no longer say yum yum and fill my trolley with things that I don’t need or will eat. When I found myself throwing food away, it made me realise not only what a waste it was, but also how disgraceful it is when some parts of the world can’t get food to throw away.
If you look at how much you have to spend each month, you may find that you have an overspending habit and tend to put things on a credit card. The best thing to do is keep your life simple, build a budget and stick to it faithfully.
You could sell the stuff you don’t need or give it to charity. Then make sure you only buy what you love, will use or need. Consider that this is investing in your future.
Stress can be a killer. Stress can affect so many parts of your life and this is where you take your eye off the self-care ball. Start to focus on keeping things simple and notice how relaxed you start to feel.
If you say no to things that don’t serve you and focus on what’s important, your stress levels will start to lower and your overall health will benefit. When you eat in a simpler way that too has a positive impact on your life. Remember to breathe and slow it down will help you to be in the now.
I am sure you can think of many things that if you took a simpler route you too would notice your stress levels lowering.
I found that when I focused on the important people in my life and chose to cultivate our relationship, I enjoyed my life more. None of us needs 1000’s of friends, despite what the social media platforms say.
You can be more honest and sincere with your true friends. They know you, you do not need to spend time trying to impress them and they will accept you – warts and all.
To enjoy a simpler life, start to think about people who you do not need in your life or at least people that you do not want to spend so much time with.
Choose people who you love to be with. Perhaps you could rank people by love, like, ok and not ok. Get rid of the not ok’s, and then look at the others and ask are they in the right category, can I move ok to like and like to love or the other way around. When you have done that, work out how – in an honest way.
When you spend time with you without the many distractions in your life, you’ll find that there is more space to get to know the most important person in your life. In that space, you can reflect and say thank you for all the great things you have.
You can learn more about you with one of the simplest self-help tools in the world – a journal.
With fewer possessions and commitments you will have less clutter. You won’t need to be in your diary or clearing things away. I wonder what you can do with your free time? And the answer isn’t to fill it with more. More it’s to fill it with less. Does that make sense?
Learn the art of decluttering and constantly question do you need the thing you are about to purchase? Ask if you need to do that thing that you are being asked to do.
When you get used to having less or buying fewer things you will find you desire fewer things. This goes against all the marketing hype which is to torment you with the idea that more things mean happiness and a fulfilled life. Stuff will never make you happy.
When you have free time you will discover that living in the now is pleasurable. You may find at first, it’s hard to relax. Just think about how you felt when you were running around. I know when I do I feel exhausted. Free time is a gift that only a few truly appreciate.
According to Confucius, “Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.”
How do you feel when you read that?
In my free time, I binge on Netflix, read or walk my dogs more. That may not be your idea of fun, but I enjoy these things because they are so simple.
Lots of people find it hard to buy just what they need and making meals from scratch. I used to pop to the supermarket and buy a ready meal because I believed that it saved me time and was good for me.
When I embarked on a natural healing plan, I started to buy fresh and natural food. Each evening I would ask my body what it wants and make my daily meals from what is in my fridge. My body really appreciates this simpler approach to eating.
Think about how you could reduce your health challenges by eating in a simpler way.
These prompts are designed to get you to think about how you could start to bring simplicity into your life.
What else could you do?
Join the journaling club and take this up a notch within a safe and supportive community.