How not to die

I’ve  just read this book and I’m completely hooked. It’s written by an American doctor and focuses on the top causes of death in the States and the science around diet to avoid these killers. I appreciate I’m probably not selling it that well but if your interested in not just a long life but a healthy one too and want to take responsibility for yourself then this is a must read by Dr Michael Greger. I’d love to hear your views on it.

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How to have a good clear out.

”Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” William Morris.

So I’m back home after being overseas for nearly 2 years and I’m having a massive clear out. It feels wonderful and liberating to see things anew with a greater perspective having literally physically distanced myself from everything I own.

Now I’ve read many articles and books on how to de-clutter, one of my favourite being ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo and as is often the way I have developed my own way of tackling this massive task, which so many people often struggle with. As always I like to reduce things to the simplest formula I can, so here it is.

If it’s not useful or beautiful get rid of it.

With this in mind pick up everything you own and ask yourself is it useful. Not that ‘one day it might come in handy’excuse but is it actually useful to me now. Or very importantly is it beautiful. Beauty gives pleasure. See it, really appreciate it and if it is useful and beautiful then that’s just perfect.

Suround yourself with loveliness and appreciate it daily, then you will have no room in your life for meaningless possessions that weigh you down.

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I am back.

So I am back in the UK and taking on new clients again. Watch this space for new blogs and a new perspective from my experiences in Africa.

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Take new opportunities

So here I am living in West Africa. I didn’t see this coming. Firstly I’m here because of my husbands work but essentially I view it as an opportunity that presented itself which we grabbed with both hands.

Basically I’ve always been an obsessive collector of new experiences and it has served me well in my life.

Opportunities crop up all the time. They may not always be as big as moving to Africa but they are all too often dismissed without proper consideration. They maybe considered as too scarry, too odd or too inconvenient. New opportunities may simply move us too far out of our comfort zone, so we therefore choose to ignore them and ultimately miss out as a consequence.

Begin to open your eyes and ears to new opportunities now. Next time a new opportunity presents itself before you casually dismiss it as silly or too much hastle STOP, think ‘can I? Could this be a good thing? Let’s try it’ and a whole new world just might open up to you. Maybe not quite as big as living in Africa but every bit as rewarding in its own way.

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Get a Hobbie…Fast

I’ve just bought a new colouring in book. No not for the kids, for me and I can’t tell you how happy it’s making me. It’s a little book of postcards called the Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and it really is quite beautiful. And the best thing of all is how blissfully therapeutic it is. With mindfulness being all the rage this really does put you in the moment and hold you there. Completely.

So my advice to you is get a Hobbie, it may not be a colouring in book but do something today that makes you truly happy, just for the sake of doing it.

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How to beat nerves

Nervousness is a normal response to a stressful situation which can be mild to strong depending on the seriousness of the situation. For example going on a first date may be quite mild, an interview moderate and a shark attack pretty major. The brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland at the kidneys to release an approprivate amount of adrenaline to help our fight, flight response.

Now how to help this. By using mental imagery to practice events the neurons in the brain learn to deal with the pending situation. This way of visualising outcomes is now commonly used by athletes to aid their performance and has scientific backing.

So there you have it, visualisations really do work.

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“The cracked pot”

(from Jim Cyr’s novel)

A water carrier in India had two large clay pots that hung from opposite ends of a pole he carried across his shoulders. One of the carrier’s pots had a crack in it. The other pot was perfect and always arrived after the long walk from the stream to the master’s house full of the precious water. The cracked pot, on the other hand, arrived only half full, and as a result, the water carrier always delivered one full pot and one half pot of water.

The perfect pot was proud of its ability to fulfill the purpose for which it had been made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, and miserable that it could only fulfill part of the purpose it had been made for.

After two years of bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water carrier, saying, “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the water carrier. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I deliver only half my load. The crack in my side lets water leak onto the ground as you carry me to your master’s house. So you don’t get the full value of your efforts because of my flaw.”

The water carrier felt very sorry for the old cracked pot and he said, “As we return to the master’s house today, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Then he trudged up the hill with the two pots across his shoulders. For the first time, the cracked pot noticed the beautiful wildflowers along the path and they cheered it immensely.

When they reached the master’s house, the water carrier said to the pot, “Did you notice the flowers on your side of the path, and how there were none on the perfect pot’s side? I have always known of your flaw, and I took advantage of it by planting flower seeds. I knew that, as we walked back from the stream, you would water them. And, for two years now, I have picked these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.

Without your being just the way you are, he would not have had this beauty to grace his house.”

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5 reasons to start walking today.

1. It’s free exercise, no cost, no time constraints, just free anytime.

2. It’s good for your physical health, exercise doesn’t have to be hard work, just a little bit every day or so is great.

3. It beats depression, it releases endorphins in the brain and lifts your mood.

4. It helps beat stress, unwinding and relaxing you naturally and easily.

5. It’s great for any age or stage of life, from young to old, no matter what your health, from a short stole to a long hike there’s something for everyone.

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It’s good to be bored!

We are taught to resist or fight boredom, that it is bad but what if it’s ok, what if it is even good for you?

Being bored is a busy persons first step to being at peace. When we stop doing and start being it can seem boring because we don’t have a template for doing nothing while still being productive.

Next time you are feeling bored embrace the feeling and know that as you become accustomed to it you will start to feel relaxed and at peace and remember to teach your children too that it is ok to feel bored, they do not have to fill every moment of every day doing, it is good to just be.

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Emotional intelligence

Intelligence isn’t just about how clever you are, it’s about your ability to identify, understand and relate to others. Breaking this down very simply there are 5 factors that will help you enhance your emotional intelligence.
Your ability to deal with your own negative thoughts.
Staying cool under pressure.
Ability to read social cues.
Be assertive and able to express difficult emotions.
Ability to express intimate emotions in close relationships.
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