I Wish It Wasn’t So

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img_5304The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. My friend passed away suddenly and it is the most painful experience of my adulthood.

I am not ready to start losing friends yet, we’re in our early 30’s, you die of old age not abruptly.

Franklin was the sweetest, gentlest and caring person and I miss him incredibly. I wish he were still here.

Writing a post has been especially difficult, because as I write I am filled with the memory of his encouraging words and particular appreciation for my writing. He read my posts without being asked and always gave me positive feedback, and that meant everything to me.
Being a writer is an isolating process and whilst I love it, you do write to be read, but that does not always happen, least of all from your family and friends. To have him continuously care and show support not only in this, but in my life as a whole was so appreciated and special to me.

I did have a little bit of change in perspective yesterday, and that was to be grateful to have known him at all, and I was. I valued him when he was here and will forever cherish the moments we had.

There are so many things that I feel and haven’t been able to articulate yet and probably won’t for some time. This is about as much as I can manage writing about him for now.

Through this, I have made a commitment to make sure that his life continues to be meaningful in mine.

Xo

P.s I don’t know if I’ll be posting regularly for now, please bear with.

Ask the Right Questions

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img_4754A few friends of mine would make fun of me saying I asked too many questions.  ‘Questionnaire’ is what they’d call me.

I don’t always need to have the full information but enough for me make an informed decision; after all my brain works, why should I leave all the decision making to someone else especially when it impacts me?

I made a decision to do things completely different and set a goal for completion at end of 2019.  To achieve it will require a different version of who I have been to date.

So I started asking myself questions, questions about what I would need to do, the knowledge I need to have, the places I need to be in, the people I need to talk to, the time frame it needs to be done in, the money I’d need to invest, what I’d need to invest in, the mind set I need to have, the practices I need to change, the ones I have to adopt, what I have to cut, and so on. And then I answered them.

I pushed myself to think past the confines that I am used to and this process has put me in a completely different headspace, and for the things I did (do) not know, I research, I study, I apply it.

Too often we think others know so much more than we do and completely undervalue the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience we do have or have access to. Don’t.

Ask questions, don’t be a zombie that follows the status quo. Challenge yourself and it might surprise you in realising what you know or even what you don’t know and now know that you need to.

If you want to live a life that is completely debt free, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to live on a beach in a tropical country, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to have £100,000 in 1 year, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to buy your first property, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want peace, ask the questions, do the work.

You get my drift.

It’s not about knowing everything, it’s starting with what you know that gets you closer to where you want to be; whether it’s dealing with heartbreak, making a large purchase, starting a business or having a healthy relationship with your partner.

Xo

Am I Qualified?

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facetune_29-10-2018-17-17-37-1.jpgEver had a new goal that you were super excited about?

You’re filled with the possibilities of what achieving this goal will do for you and you cannot wait to get started.

You plan and establish the actions you need to take and then unexpectedly your insecurities surface.

What if I’m not qualified?

Who said I am qualified?

What if someone thinks I’m not up for the job?

Doubts here and before you know it, it starts to feel like a pipe dream. Within moments, you have convinced yourself that you’re definitely not up for the job and resign that goal to the ‘do not attempt’ pile.

Why are we the very first to sap the life out of something? Our own worst enemy.

Do you know what qualifies those that do vs those that do not? Their belief. That’s it. Those that achieve the most, do not allow their past, failures or circumstances to dictate what they can and cannot do. In spite of it, they move full steam ahead.

You will always be better off for doing something even when it does not work out as envisioned. The trade-off is the wealth of experience, applied knowledge and skills gained, that not doing anything could never provide you with. It is also a stepping stone.

I bumped into someone I knew online through a mutual friend. I had not met them in person until this morning. We started talking about various things and he asked me whether an online series I was a part of was well thought out or improvised. What do you think I said? We winged that bad boy!

None of us really knew what we were doing, we just showed up and figured it out as we went along. In that same year of doing the series, I wrote, directed and produced my first short play. I won 2 awards for the play and a little bulb went off in my head ‘I’m a writer’, and always had been, but it wasn’t until that point, did I acknowledge myself. That was almost six years ago.

Do you think how I write now is how I have always written? Absolutely not! In the beginning, it was trash. I cringe every time I see something from the past, but I had to start somewhere, as terrible as it was.

So trust me when I say, you can do this. Little by little, step by step, piece by piece.

Xo

Gratitude

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img_1716Wait till it’s taken away from you, maybe you’ll remember to be grateful for what you have in future.

It’s so easily done isn’t it? Things are good, every area of your life is booming as you’ve always wanted, ‘you’ve got it like that’…until you don’t, and all hell breaks loose.

Part of the pain we experience when times are rough, is guilt. We experience guilt for not being appreciative of what we had, we reminisce and regret the haughtiness we had in thinking that this will be forever. Still, in those hard times, we should be grateful because there is always something to be thankful for.

I often experience an uncomfortable ease when a terrible thing happens and suddenly there’s an urgent call to love your loved ones as it’s short lived. It does not cultivate the solid essence of being grateful because it stems from fear. And yes I’m definitely a culprit.

Being grateful is to do so irrespective of what you do or don’t have. The benefits are clear.
From the simplest, most mundane and normal things to the major changes and transitions, have gratitude, for the love of it, not for the fear of it, even when it’s tough.

Xo

Chasing Waterfalls

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TLC said it best.

It can be a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in pursuit of something that doesn’t want you back. No matter how much you do it simply does not want to materialise or work out how you’ve envisioned.

In that there’s a lesson; don’t force it, let it go.

It means there’s another area in your life that requires your attention, what is it? If you don’t know, look a bit closer, it’s there, screaming pick me.

Once you discover it, direct your attention to that thing. Nurture it, learn from it, grow from it. Before you know it, like a boys summer growth sprout, what you were in hot pursuit of is here.

Sometimes it’s like that. There are certain things we have to experience first and learn from before we are equipped enough to handle our other desires. In fact it’s crucial that we do, so we have less of a chance to totally screw it up!

It’s sucks, I know, but something greater is possible if you allow it to be.

xo

Thoughts Become Things

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facetune_22-10-2018-19-30-58My contract is ending soon. The nature of the job means expecting it to terminate at any moment. I know this and had been mentally preparing myself for what could happen next. Out of nowhere I started to think about finances, could I manage if I didn’t get another contract for a little while? Will all my hard work of having everything in order go in the toilet? I could feel the fear beginning to surge through me from my stomach into my head and back down.

I caught it. I reaffirmed that I will be good no matter what and dismissed any other thoughts that contradicted it.

Being able to do that is years of self-awareness and practice. Not all thoughts that travel in and through our minds are our own or ones we want to cultivate and it’s crucial to be able to consciously filter them out.

You might think it’s just one thought, a mere sentence, but it’s bigger than that, it’s a seed. A seed that has the power to create something greater and permanent. Think about it, a tree didn’t always look like a tree.

If we allow ourselves to be consumed with thoughts and things that we do not like nor want, it limits the space we have to receive more of what we do want.

This week, become conscious of what you’re thinking because your mind is fertile ground for what happens next.

xo

Don’t Forget to Exhale 

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img_3353Hey. Psst. Don’t run off to start your weekend just yet, read me, it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

I love a Friday night just like anyone else except I prefer to stay in to unwind and decompress.

If you’re a Londoner like me or live in a city where the pace is fast, it’s very easy to be always on the go, even when there’s no reason to be. Over time you can become so overwhelmed and bogged down with it all, that you just want to run away.

For some of us, a break means leaving the country, but that isn’t always necessary, you don’t have to run away. You can stay and get the peace of mind that you want right where you live.

You might have lots of ‘busy’ plans this weekend, you know the ones I’m talking about, doing something for doing something sake. Stop. Slow it down and exhale.

When I want a time out from everything (so I don’t lose my entire marbles), there are a few things that I do and I’ll share one, okay maybe two with you.

1. Be in silence

With technology being a huge part of our lives, we’re constantly plugged in from the moment we wake up to the time we lay our heads to rest.

Tonight when you get in after work or over the weekend, lay on your bed, do nothing, listen to nothing, let it be quiet so that all you can hear is white noise or the clock ticking. Don’t have your lights or anything that uses electrical energy on. Allow yourself to recharge whilst you’re awake.

In this stillness you’ll find the chatter in your head will amplify. Notice what you think about and if it’s not harmonious with your wants, gently steer it in the direction you want it go.

You can do this as regularly as you want, for as long as you want. Just be still.

2. Explore your area or an area of your choice, alone.

I do this all the time. I love exploring the places I go to, I find so many gems and have wonderful and enlightening experiences by doing so. Doing things like encourages self-sufficiency and reaffirms that I am enough and don’t require any extra’s.

img_4111Lastly (okay that’s three), eat good. You can buy or make it just as long as you enjoy it. Let it be a moment. There’s something truly humbling about being able to eat what you want. I’m sure most of us can recall being too broke to afford anything but the basics so when you eat, do not forget to be grateful.

This is one of my favourite meals from Leon’s.

Have a fabulous weekend, till next week ciao! xo

As If By Magic

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On Monday I asked you to get imaginative, write it down, make it plain and then dispose of it somewhere. Did you do it? Tut, the insolence! I should turn you all into salt, well if I could and maybe if I was God or Medusa but I’m not, so, erm, anyway…There are many different beliefs about manifesting and the law of attraction, and whilst they work, it really isn’t a one size fits all, at least not in my case.

I have tried the “intentional focus on something” and all that happens is me becoming increasingly stressed with little to no results. From memory, everything I deeply wanted and or became “obsessed” with I did not get, whereas the things I’d give very little thought to, voila!

This had always perplexed me until I wrote down my manifestation system earlier on this year. I had to see in writing what I had known worked for me and not focus on what had worked for others. Turns out I have used this system since I were a small child, and can recall many occasions where things materialised in a swift fashion. Maybe you’re like me where the other methods simply don’t work, and if so, here’s a few things I have learned.

1. You have to be relaxed about your want. Any kind of worry, stress, excessive attention will not work.

2. Do not be attached to the outcome. It is very easy to miss what is for you by clinging onto an ideal.

3. You can absolutely act on your desire, but again you must employ point 1 & 2 (see example below).

4. You mustn’t obsess about it.

5. Be open. Not everything we think we want do we actually want.

6. Continue on with your daily life.

In November 2014 a friend and I walked into the Audi dealership to look at the cars. I wanted a new car but didn’t have the means to purchase it, I simply went to look. I test drove the Audi A3, liked it and that was that.

I mentioned to another friend on the 20th December 2014 that I wanted to get a BMW 1 Series. Again, no means, just putting it out there.

On the 27th December 2014 (window shopping again, I’m great at that), I left a dealership with a BMW 1 series without having spent any of my own money, ha! I had gone there with a credit card, my fair credit score, my mother, boyfriend, courage and hope.

My mother put a substantial amount of money down and the rest would be on me for the next 2 years. Huh?! How? I said I. Did. Not. Have. The. Means?!

I wasn’t expecting her to be involved, I had just turned 27, I’m grown, I can do bad all by myself, I wasn’t asking for a thing! She and my boyfriend at the time were only accompanying me as people do with things like this, and yet here I was leaving with a car that I hadn’t paid for.

Looking back, what I did was;

i) knew I wanted a new car ii) didn’t know how I’d get it, iii) put myself in a position to see me driving the car iv) didn’t stress myself about it, v) the vehicle in which I would receive it showed up vi) drove off into the sunset…okay it was night time and during the winter, same difference (lol).

I have plenty other examples where I have practiced as above and it happens, and a number of instances where I was super focused and very little happened.

I want to be clear here, manifesting isn’t solely about material things, its everything; mindset, people, healing, and so on. Also, it does not discriminate, it can work for both positive and negative things, so be mindful.

img_2991Give it a go. I might do a series on this because there’s levels to it. Maybe the next one will be on how I jumped out of a plane.

Yup, this is me on the 17th December 2016 (my birthday), I screamed like a lil’ bitch for the first few seconds ha! but that’s a story for another time.

Xo

Make Believe

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Welcome to class folks. Today’s assignment is to make believe again. 

As kids we were encouraged to write stories, be creative and imagine, fast forward to being adults its “be serious, stop fooling around, you’re not a kid anymore”. Huh? How? Why?

Make believe is in my opinion a very necessary part of creating life itself. Everything we see was once a part of someone’s imagination.

I think about planes flying, watching images on TV or listening to sound on the radio and it blows my mind. These were things once unseen and unheard of, which have now become a part of our everyday life. I want us to get back to that, that space of make believe first before anything else.

And we can do this from where we are and at any time. You can imagine whatever you like, whether it exists or not, and then write it down and make it plain, even if it is only to be witnessed by you. Look past your current circumstances and freely create. Once you have, let it go. Yup, you heard me, let it go, forget about it, put it somewhere you won’t necessarily come across it every day.

Yes I know it sounds a little batty but humour me, and on Wednesday I’ll go into further details and give you my personal manifestation system (I sound like a wizard, I’m not, but it works).

Speak to you then xo

 

Why I’m No Longer Sharing

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img_0985From this day forward I am no sharing with friends.

Whenever I find out something new, useful or potentially life changing, I am quick to share it with the people close to me. I want them to do good too, I want them to know what’s possible, I want them to believe in themselves more. I share so they can know what’s happening in the hopes that they’ll concede but alas they do not.

Of course, I don’t know everything, however, I do know a thing or two about certain subject matters and with that I always want to give.

But after a few failed attempts at ‘helping’, I have decided to stop. I am no longer sharing and instead have opted to just show them.

As the saying goes the proof is the pudding and sometimes there is nothing more effective than others being able to see the results for themselves.

So if you, like me, have found yourself in the position where your words are falling by the wayside, stop talking, just do it and do it well.

Xo

Pursue Your Goals

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I went running on Tuesday

I nearly died

Bye.

Just kidding. About the bye that is, not about the dying because I honestly feel like every week I’m close to saying ‘God is that you?’ after a training session.

It’s brutal.

 

 

Here’s another confession:

I’m shit at running

No, sorry, slow at running

But not for long

I started running 5 weeks ago. I had this genius idea that said “yes do it”. Not a genius idea.

In my teens I would be in 100m races and do quite well, always maintaining between 1st and 3rd except for that one time. Let’s not talk about that one time as that one time was the last time I took running seriously. Okay let’s talk about it; I came in 5th, wtf?! Which I’m sure was actually last and that was it for me “I’m out!” literally and figuratively.

Can you tell I’m a sore loser? (and also very competitive.)

Anyway, winter season training has started, which means we train every Tuesday and Thursday. The group is a mixture of both men and women who are pretty seasoned runners/athletes and I hate them all. Okay I don’t hate them hate them, they just leave me behind *cries in self-pity*. Some of them are quite supportive including the coach, which helps, a lot.

facetune_11-10-2018-10-29-46My goal is to eventually keep up with the fastest out of the group, then beat them *laughs an evil laugh*. I have no idea how I will, but I’ll let you know how I’m faring over the next few months.

What goals are you in pursuit of?

Xo

P.s Tuesday’s training consisted of 3 x 500m, 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, brutal I tell ya!

Bounce Back

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If you have ever loved someone or something, there’s a high chance that you’ll experience a deep pain at some point. And when it happens, boy does it suck.
Pain is one of the things you cannot avoid and yet is one of life’s best teachers.

How do you bounce back from a painful experience?

We have been conditioned to do the things that are the exact opposite of what we need. Things like oversharing and reliving the experience over and over again as if it’s still happening.

Think about it, if someone pinched you on Monday and you i) spoke about it with various people ii) spoke about it every day for the next two weeks, what do you suppose the situation would feel like for you by the end of those two weeks? I can bet good money you’ll be worse off than when it initially happened.

This is because you would have used much of your energy to not only expand a situation by repeatedly talking/thinking about it, but simultaneously you would have made it even harder for you to move past it.

Nowadays when things happen to me, I am particular about who I go to for counsel and I do my best to not talk/think about it much as I have seen the results of me doing the opposite. I still on occasion get it wrong.

I’ll give you an example. I had previously discussed my career woes with a multitude of people from various backgrounds, hoping to get sound advice and clarity. They all, wanting to be helpful, gave me advice from their perspective and guess what? It didn’t help. It only made me feel even more clueless and helpless than before. I got to the point where I’d get irritated by people constantly asking me what’s going on, that I started to shut the same people out (cheeky I know), but I had to, for my own sanity.

I had to take responsibility for what I had created by the actions I had taken. Too many cooks…

So rather than do the above, here are a few learned tips:

  • Remember that whatever happened is not happening. It’s in the past. Deal with the feelings at hand separate from anything. Write it out of you if need be (this is the best way for me). Don’t try to rush past it, let it take its natural course, but do encourage/help yourself to move forward.
  • Be picky with who you tell your gripes to. Don’t go to someone who will be your hype woman or man. Speak to someone who will give you sound counsel.
  • Limit the amount of people you talk to about it as well as the amount of times you talk about it
  • Trust yourself to know what to do.
  • And I say this with love, get over yourself. As someone who has a really hard time getting over mistakes and pains, having this be a driving force for moving forward is a great help.

I have in various instances used the above method to aid in quicker recovery for disappointment and pain, it works. It might sound simple, but give it a go, what do you have to lose?

Xo

Don’t Miss This Moment

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Don’t you just love Sunday’s? I love them because I get to really relax, and the pace always seems slower so I enjoy things even more. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, speaking of which, how are you enjoying your Sunday?

A lot of us spend way too much time looking forward to what’s next, forgetting that this present moment, we had once wished for it.

We’re wanting more, bigger, better, and whilst it’s good to have aspirations, we run the risk of not appreciating the now.

I remember being a university student and how I couldn’t wait to graduate, as I was not enjoying the experience. Flash forward a few years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reflected on those moments, and wished I had done it a little differently or that I could go back and do it again.

This has taught me that I don’t want to ignore my present in favour an already lived past or a imagined future. I want to relish my now irrespective of what may be happening, because there are always things to be grateful for, always.

So as you hopefully enjoy this beautiful day and you plan your week ahead, always remember #MyNow has treasures in and it matters just as much as the next moment.

Xo

‘Bad Energy Stay Far Away’

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🗣 It’s Friday, Whoomp there it is!

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When you think about it, it’s a terrible way to think about Friday, because what does that say about your life in general?

Anyway we’re working on creating the life we want whilst appreciating the one we have aren’t we?

The other day I spoke about disengaging and in the few days of doing so, it has immensely improved my energy levels and morale.

You see now that I’m not easily exposed and available to things and people, my interactions are much more purposeful and intentional. There isn’t that unnecessary noise that comes my way just because it can and removing this has been vital. The perspective I want to have has been fortified by simply clearing the crap.

I think that’s something I’ve learnt from my parents, that’s it not always about reinventing the wheel, but working with what you have. You don’t have to wait for ‘something’, the something is here, it’s now, it’s in your face.                 

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Side note: I’m writing this on my way into a work and this is my current position. In my attempt to take a picture to show you, my flash was on. LOL how embarrassing! Dummy.

Effectively, immediately, take control over the things that are no longer serving you well and cut them out, even if it’s temporary, so that you can make room for the things that will.

You’ll most likely feel anxious about it and second guess your decision, do it anyway. You’ll thank yourself and me (hopefully lol).

Xo

P.s The things I cut out are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

A Little Me Time

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Recently I have felt like my interactions with those close to me have become a bit stale, and it seemed to have happened ever so rapidly.

We’re just not gelling like we used to, and with life evolving so quickly, our paths are diverging in a way that’s challenging and causing me to really reassess my relationships.

And so I made a decision to limit my engagement and take some time out to figure out what’s going on and in the meantime redirect my focus on other things.

It’s important to evaluate what’s going in your life from time to time, especially if it doesn’t feel right- The whole elevation requires separation bit.

Now I’m not sure if my game plan is to elevate, although as I think about it, I suppose it is. To mentally elevate.

Maybe you’re in similar place to me, having to figure things out and that’s okay. For your own self development, it is sometimes necessary.

There are a few things I’m doing more of in this period:

  • Gratitude
  • Positive affirmations
  • Reading a minimum of a chapter a day (currently, Crushing it by Gary V)
  • Investing in my goals
  • Meditating
  • Journaling

I don’t know how long I’ll be disengaged for, it could be a week, two weeks or a month, I’ll know once I feel different.

I’ll still be here though, on the blog that is.

Xo

90 Days

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Pinch Punch its the First of the Month!

Can you believe it’s October already? How??

It must be a getting older thing, because I don’t remember time flying by like this when I was a child, but then again what did I know?

With that being said, what’s the plan for the rest of the year? Or have you given up on it? Please don’t, there is still time for you to change things around.

I get it, for some of you it has been a tough year and you just want a do over, and you can have that, but only if you want to.

It’s about choice. You get to choose how you respond to the things happening in your life, and your choices are a catalyst for what you experience next.

Having this in mind, what could you do differently to get a different result? Make it drastic, let it be so unusual for you, that it makes you feel uncomfortable and scares you a little bit.

One of the quickest ways to get better at anything is by doing more, faster. Don’t drag it out, even if it makes your stomach churn as mine is doing right now (I have a big decision to make), you’ll be better for it.

You have 90 days left till the end of year, you’ve got this!

Xo

This Is the Life We Spoke Of

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This is the life we spoke of. Don’t believe me?

How many times have you said I’m broke?

How many times have you said I hate my job?

How many times have you said My life is shit?

How many times have you said No one loves me?

How many times have you said I’ll never make it?

How many times have you said I don’t like my body?

How many times have you said I’m not good enough?

How many times have you said I don’t believe in myself?

How many times have you said I can’t do_________?

Still think you’re not living the life you spoke of?

Think of your words as your Sat Nav; the course of your life can only go where you tell it to.

Xo

 

Born With It

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A blog post could take me a day or two, maybe more before I actually post it. I’ll fuss over the details like ‘does it make sense? Am I chatting shit? Will a reader relate? For flip sake I missed a word, this doesn’t flow…’ and the conversation continues. It’s annoying. Honestly.

But that’s the price of producing work you can be proud of.

Being great at anything isn’t an overnight job. It can take years. When I look back at my work from 10 years ago, I wonder how I ever made it through university. It was terrible. I almost never proof read anything. What the hell for? ‘You said 3000 words, take it and leave me alone’. And I’m not exaggerating, it was a total mess.

It took me looking at my work to really see the quality that I was producing and make changes. Doing so made me realise I missed words a lot, and that I could read a sentence 5 times and still not notice it’s not there. Oh, and that’s another thing, I HAVE to reread my writing out loud several times, even when I don’t feel like it, because what you see matters to me. It’s the difference between a good read and a read that barely makes sense. It can be tiresome, but do you want to be just okay? Or great at what you do?

It’s so easy to look at someone doing brilliantly and think they’ve got it like that. They don’t. What they do have is a commitment to their life and work continuously to do better, to beat themselves over and over and over again.

So don’t be blind sighted by the appearance of things as all great things are always worked for.

xo

Life On Your Terms

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I just feel like you NEED to see my face lol. Vain much? Maybe…

Good morning!

I really hope you’re doing well.

I wanted to drop a quick note and ask a question: are you living life on your own terms? To elaborate a little more, is the life you’re living yours by design or other peoples design? And really think about that answer.

Over the past few months, I have been steadily unlearning a lot of ideals and thoughts that have been ingrained in me through the various paradigms I operate in, to sift out one that is actually authentically me, and doing so has made me happier and freer. I am now consciously making my own mind up about things and the (self)inflicted pressure has significantly reduced.

I realised that when I strip away everything, I already have everything that is truly important to me like a roof over my head, my family is alive and very well, a means to earn money to sustain my life, a life that I am falling more in love with, and the list goes on…all because I decided to detach myself from what is supposed to be.

You can experience this new level of freedom which will empower you to actually do more of what you love by simply asking yourself, is this really me? And if you discover that it isn’t, work through that to find what is.

Everyone’s mission in life is different and to think we should all be doing and have the same things by a set time is utterly absurd.

I’ll give you an example and I use this one because there is a huge obsession with it in this society, love.

For as long as I can remember women have been conditioned to be reliant on a man for love and value, which is damaging on so many levels.

I am constantly asked by people I know and don’t know about having a partner, which for a long period made me feel a certain way. Almost as if my life could not be fulfilling if I didn’t have one and that this was the pinnacle for a woman. They often inferred and sometimes said ‘that there must be something wrong with me’. At a point I believed them and took a long hard look at myself and altered my behaviour so I could fit. Ha. It didn’t work.

The plan for me was never to fit in, but because of the words I kept hearing (which builds faith, faith comes by hearing), I believed them over myself and what I felt. Big mistake and it cost me.

Through detaching myself from this conditioning, I have been able to replace it with one that gives to myself over and over and over again. By me for me.

Now I’m not saying burn everything and move to a remote area and don’t want or need anyone, not at all, we need connections, they help us thrive, my suggestion is simply that when you make decisions about your life, make sure it is by you for you.

Xo

You Sow, You Reap.

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Just like yourself I need reminders all the time about the things I should be thinking about and working on and I received one this morning.

Whatever you’re living in now, is your harvest. Marinate on that for a moment.

Whilst it’s great to be living in the now as you should, we do need to consider how we are setting up for our future.

I needed this reminder today because too often we become complacent and abandon the responsibility we have in creating the circumstances we live in. No one is going to do the work for you, you have to get up and show up.

Spend some time today thinking about the state of your affairs. Realise the decisions, choices, thought processes and actions that you made to lead you to this point.

If you acknowledge that there is something you would like to create or change for your imminent or distant future, think about what that looks, take action and be consistent.

Remember you are manifesting as we speak (read- you know what I mean)…

And just so you know that I am doing the work too, I’ll share a recent experience with you.

I was reading the ES magazine last week Thursday and it had a story on Dina Asher-Smith. She is a British sprinter and her story motivated me to return to something I once loved, running. Reading the article conjured up old feelings and I decided that I would get back to it after 15 years and I would not give reasons (excuses) for not doing it.

Fortunately for me, I have a friend Cynthia who is a track athlete, sprinter and inspiration. I met her through a mutual friend of mine a little over 2 years ago. She turned up to my shambles of a 28th birthday soiree (that’s a story for another time), not long after giving birth to her second child.

The transformation from when I first met her to now is like day and night and solely down to her sheer will, discipline and commitment to her fitness and health even with a very active household to support. Not all hero’s wear capes, some of them live and work right next to you.

Anyway, I contacted Cynthia on Friday, was on the track on Tuesday and is currently suffering from the pain of having ran 5 x 200m with 1 minute recovery time between each (I took longer breaks lol). She, Emma and Eliza did 10 x 200m with a 1 minute recovery time, I personally could not…yet but I’m positive with more training and their encouragement I’ll be able to do it.

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This was just after our session on Tuesday. I’m smiling but I nearly died.

The point is when you make a decision, get the ball rolling and take action. Trust me, I didn’t want to turn up on Tuesday as I was tired AF, but I did and although I am in pain now my future body and health will thank me for it.

Xo

The Value of One

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I recently came across a lady called Karin Bohn who is awesome!

She is an interior designer, business owner and entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada. I discovered her about 2 weeks ago and haven’t stopped watching her videos. She gives real day to day insight into her wins, challenges and losses of all the different roles she plays, which I find incredibly invaluable.

Through watching her videos it reignited a fire in me that had been dormant and I am grateful for that.

The thought that keeps running through my mind is what if she gave up? What if she said no one is watching or enjoying my content? What if she had decided to close up shop one day and shut it all down? The business, designing, YouTube? I shudder.

This was a good reminder for myself that one person finding value in what you do can be such a difference maker in their lives and how important it is to keep being you, in all the spaces you occupy.  Yes, you may not always see it or feel like what you are doing is purposeful but it is.  Karin doesn’t even know I exist and yet here I am writing about her, case in point. 

Do not take for granted the difference you can make to your life and the lives of others simply by existing.

Xo

Keep That Same Energy

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It’s 8:20 am and I’m scheduled to be on time for work- woop! I’m hosting interviewees and the first person is set to arrive at 9:00 am so I can’t do my usual ‘stroll into work at late o’clock’.

Seeing as I should make it in slightly before 9’o clock, a thought crossed my mind as I walked briskly down the escalators that “I could take my time, there is no need to rush”.

I know better. It would just be my luck that as soon as I decide to relax, something happens. There’d be hordes of people trying to get on the train or it would suddenly be delayed by 10 minutes.

For a split second I did consider it but decided against it and continued to make haste, just in case. I was right to as there were delays…

A little random detail about my morning but it led me to think of this life hack. When you are making strides and you have built some momentum, that is not the time to take your foot off the accelerator, you do the opposite, floor it.

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It’s easy to become complacent once we experience a little bit of success. It gets to our heads and we think “ahh yes I can relax”, when really that window of opportunity is the time to push, go harder and do more. The aim is to firmly make your stamp in whatever it is you’re doing, not to do it just a little bit and the only way to do that is to generate enough traction that it lasts.

Remember when Beyonce took that year long career break? She could do that because she’s worked hard enough that her work speaks for itself whether she is present or not. Now I don’t advise you do what she does as I am sure its not entirely healthy, what I am saying is; if something is working, pursue it and pursue it well, strike whilst the iron is hot.

Life is full of peaks and troughs and you want to make the best of what you have, whilst you still have it.

Xo

P.s I made it on time 🙂

“I Woke Up Like This”

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709d80aa-886d-48f8-945a-e13d48d6479fLast week I was a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. It was beautiful, a true blessing.

In the midst of celebrations I had reflective moments as I usually do in these situations. I thought about how wonderful all the different relationships (friends, relatives, couples) were, however, I was quickly reminded that things were not always so and getting here was in short, a real conscious effort…But here we all were celebrating, reaping the work of our hands in more ways than one.

Isn’t it how we look at all good things? That they just are, that there wasn’t a process, growing pains, or a lot of challenging work involved to make it what it is.

We often forget or choose to ignore the behind the scenes and just glorify the highlights. Those highlights are nothing without the graft. It could not would not exist without an individual/s choosing to show up and participate in ALL the parts required to achieve a goal.

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If you want something you cannot pick and choose the bits you want to deal with and avoid the ones you don’t. You’re either all in or out, straddling the fence isn’t permitted.

Usain Bolt pre-retirement would train all year round for possibly a 10 second race a few times a year. Let that sink in. A 10 second race.

Beautiful, wonderful things are sometimes cultivated.

So the next time you see something great, think about what it might have taken to get there and let that reinforce what you do. Don’t ever get twisted thinking that anyone has it easy, everyone pays a price, the question is whether you want to?

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Xo

Greatness Over Time

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Last week Thursday I was looking back on the things I have done to date and I have to be honest, I was pretty impressed with myself, like really impressed. I love what I have been able to do so far and I didn’t think I would ever say that at this point.

As a perfectionist, it could always be better, yet here I was, looking at my work and saying to myself ‘I’m dope af’.

Side note:The lack of acknowledgement or praise for your gift and contribution does not exclude the existence of it.  

Now that may be my inflated ego talking, but as I sat there and mulled over why I hadn’t seen myself in this way before, it came to me. Time, work and effort was why.

Becoming great at anything requires time, not only that but work, repeated effort and consistency. You cannot become great at anything if you do not put the hours in. There is absolutely no conning your way into it and most people start at the bottom and by bottom I mean you’re usually shit…at first. 

Think Serena and Beyonce. When you look at their success, its awe-inspiring, but truthfully what you are looking at is decades of hard work, failure, repeated action, consistency and a whole lot more.

They started as kids whose talents had to be cultivated. An overnight success they are not, not by a long shot, and if we ever sat down to converse with them about their journey, I am not sure many of us could stomach it.

Want to be great at anything? Give yourself time, be religious with doing the work, learn from it, take risks, fail, celebrate- do whatever it takes and you will surely become it, in time.

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And this could be for anything. A great relationship, apply the above, a great career apply the above, a great body, apply the above, creating the life you want to lead, apply the above, great health, apply the above… you get my drift. The work must be done and there’s no shirking the responsibility that is required to be great.

So, if you want it, it yours, but its not free.

Xo

Plastic Surgery: Should I do it?

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img_6198It’s Sunday and I’m lazing around looking on social media and I see someone who I hadn’t seen in a while, something was different.
Her breasts were huge and quite tender looking, snap! She’s had work done. I noticed her friends too, all their bodies looked exactly the same.  It was clear they shared similar values in that respect.

I was a little bit saddened by it because part of what made each of them physically unique had been lost under the knife, probably in a foreign country somewhere. That isn’t shade, just the reality.

This individual used to stick up for her what others would call saggy breasts and show them like a badge of honour, seemingly not giving AF which I quite admired, so it was a shock to see that she had done it. It’s safe to say that under the heavy scrutiny she bulked.

The pressure to be and look amazing today is ever increasing, I mean who doesn’t want to be admired? I do, in fact worship me (I kid…sort of).

I get it, it’s hard to be the only one not doing something especially under the constant gaze of negative, miserable gremlins or on the flip side the constant feed of ‘perfect’ bodies. Your resolve has to be impenetrable because by simply being around it, you tap into that consciousness.

That consciousness is something that’s palpable, you feel it but can’t quite hold it. Even your favourite love to hate rapper Kanye West had lipo’ as he ‘didn’t want you to call me fat like you did Rob’. The Kanye West. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind, especially whilst working out- its a bitch.

Plastic surgery used to be a secret and something only the rich and famous could afford. You didn’t come across people with augmentations often. On the rare occasions that I did, in hushed tones I’d gesticulate at my friend towards the muse in question, looking on in awe at how we are able to cut ourselves up and make something we weren’t born with bigger. My young naïveté couldn’t quite fathom it. And anyway weren’t we supposed to love what God gave us?

I have fought with this particular subject matter as whilst I firmly believe that people should do whatever makes them happy, I haven’t entirely reconciled that with the risks that plastic surgery holds physically, emotionally and mentally, but I suppose high risk, high reward?

Another part of my concern is in the pseudo-confidence it provides a lot of women and men and what will happen when once again what’s on trend changes, not to mention that the enhancements still don’t exclude you from having insecurities like everyone else. In some cases, a few people go on to develop greater insecurities because they never want to lose that feeling of being desirable to themselves and to others. Then there’s the lack of sound judgment and the carelessness at which some people make these decisions that end up having permanent unwanted effects including death. Undoing some of the negative effects can be a hard journey and K Michelle’s story is a testament to that.

It certainly has it benefits which I have personally witnessed amongst the people I know, I don’t dispute that at all. They seem…happier

A friend and I joke that we’ll be the only ones holding on for dear life not succumbing to the demand to carve ourselves out to perfection although now that I think about it, my friend does talk about shaving down her jaw, reducing her forehead and getting under eye fillers so maybe it’ll just be me, maybe.

Perhaps there’ll be a revolution with the likes of Kylie and K Michelle undoing their plastic surgery decisions and that it will encourage people to give it a bit more thought before going under.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t acknowledge that we all have some type of enhancement whether it’s our nails, hair, teeth, gym, filters and so on. We too subscribe to wanting bigger and better, and whilst the gravity of it can be less severe, the principle is the same.

With that said, this is much more of an inside job than it is an outside one. It’s what’s taking place upstairs that impacts everything around you and what you experience. That is the real power and once we begin to master this, the lives we lead will be further enriched. And no, it’s not easy to work on you,  it’s constant effort and often times a struggle too but worth it in the long run.

If you choose to have surgery, make sure that you’re not making these changes so others can feel better about you so you can feel better about yourself, as to put it plainly, that’s backwards. Do due diligence with taking that step as your life truly depends on it.

Most importantly don’t forget the you underneath all of that. You spend the most time with that person, love them, accept them because in acceptance there is freedom.

Xo

Call It Quits?

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img_0874You set a goal and start to execute your plans to see it materialise. You’re excited and more determined than ever, nothing will stop you, you can do it.

Months and years have passed and you can’t see the finish line, your energy starts to wane. You wonder if there is any point because nothing seems to be changing. You want to stop but you haven’t…yet.

Will it ever happen? Should I give up? Did I make a mistake going down this path? Can I fix it? Should I fix it? What did I do wrong?
It’s not going happen, I should give up, I never should have embarked on this journey, there’s nothing more I can do, I should have done this instead…

The constant noise, the incessant chatter of shoulda woulda couldas engulfs you. You can’t think straight.

Too overwhelmed to do much, yet too far gone to give it all up.

I know the feeling, it’s tempting to call it quits especially on days where it doesn’t make sense.
Truth is, when you made the decision to pursue your desires, there were no guarantees that it would happen, you only believed in it enough to do something about it, kudos to you.

In times like these, you must reconnect to your why. Stop the static by getting out of your normal environment and purge yourself of your thoughts.

Sounds simple, almost too simple yet it works.

I was having a nightmare of a time yesterday with a decision I had made months ago and I was so close to going back on my word. I had re-enacted what I felt like doing in that moment a trillion times but deep down I knew I’d regret it.

I wanted to stay on course but was struggling to. I called on my friends to keep me motivated; they helped, however it didn’t immediately ease my feelings. My thoughts were doing over time.

I decided to go to a small park around where I work. I opened notes on my phone, wrote two lines about how I was feeling and that was it. My sound mind was restored.

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Seeing the words was a visual reminder of why I was doing it and that the possibility of something better was worth the effort and indeed valuable to me.

Try it out. If you feel uncertain about your direction, get into nature. Spend time there, meditate, write or even talk to someone. It’s the best free therapy there is. And when you’re done, pat yourself on the back for everything you have accomplished so far, appreciate the moment you’re in now, stay connected to your why and never give up.

If it doesn’t happen on the first try, keep doing it, clarity will come.

“Anything worth having, is worth waiting (working) for”…apparently (lol)

xo

Being 30

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At 22 I made a video with my then boyfriend (not that kind of video, ya nasty) about what I wanted to accomplish by 30. Unfortunately I do not have the video to refer back to as he deleted it when we broke up- salty.

Anyway, I remember having such grand plans of what I wanted my life to look like and the accomplishments I should have by the time I turned 30.

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My life is nothing like I had envisioned. It’s great just different.

For years leading up to it, I was incredibly conscious of that target to the point of sometimes crippling anxiety. I’d think about turning 30, and palpitations would follow with a sense of foreboding ‘I am not going to do everything am I?, I’m failure if  I don’t make my goals, all my peers are getting along nicely, there must be something wrong with me…’ and the constant head chatter would regurgitate itself every so often.

Then there were the advice from those in their 30’s, talking about how amazing it will be and how much you’d enjoy it. Their opinions were met with my dubious side eye, raised left eyebrow and pursed lips “sure”.

But here I am 6 months into being 30 not having achieved all of my previous goals and thinking what was the big deal? Life hasn’t come to a halt because things didn’t go according to my plan and it also did not require me to stop working towards them just because I’m 30, in fact quite the opposite.

I have opted to continuously recommit myself to, well, me, in every aspect and there’s no age limit on that-it’s entirely up to you.

Don’t limit yourself. If things don’t work out as planned, oh well, it’s not the end of the world. Keep going, take a step back if you need to, but simply don’t quit.

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Xo

Not About This Life!

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I do contract work, so that means every few months I change jobs and for the most part I like it. I don’t get stuck anywhere especially if I am not that keen on it (I may or may not have commitment issues, but that’s for another post).

Of course there are pitfalls such as lack of job security/stability, having to look for a new role every few months (which is like pulling teeth) and the restrictions in career progression, however I’m at a point where for my own personal goals I need to secure a permanent role. Thing is there isn’t a role that makes me want to jump out of bed and therein lies part of the problem. Whilst there are positions that pique my interest and would provide some sense of purpose, but its still just so blah.

Earlier today whilst discussing career opportunities with a friend, in jest I said that I resign from the search and I am just going to sell hair. We laughed till tears came out of my eyes.

Needless to say, I am not about to sell hair or am I? I’m creative being and I need the license to, well, create and not be restricted.

The goal would be to sufficiently excessively sustain myself from doing the things that I love (one of them being writing) and that’s a work in progress.

This stage of my life is aptly called ‘Winging it’, but that’s part of adulting isn’t it? figuring shit out.

When I do get some semblance of what/where the hell I am doing or going next, I’ll be sure to let you know.

If you don’t have a clue what to do, keep moving, be proactive in trying out new things, don’t restrict yourself and certainly do not give up, persevere.

XO

P.s Just proof that we all have moments where we don’t know what we’re doing, you’re not alone 🙂

 

Where’s Your Head At?

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A few months back there was a big boxing match that I wanted to watch and for the life of me I can’t recall who was fighting now because it was so so dry.

Usually when big boxing matches are coming up, my friends and I look for a venue to watch it at, however we can never quite get it together and it’s always by some stroke of luck that we find somewhere at the very last minute.

Anyway this fight was coming up and I was completely over the palaver of trying find somewhere. Nope, not doing it. I am not looking for a place, a vibe, a nothing, but, I still had the issue of wanting to watch the fight, so what do I do? Then it hit me, ‘Irene, pay for it and watch it at home DURH!’. That’s what anyone with common sense would do, right? Except I was so used to having the mind frame of watching it with others, in their space and on their dollar that it never ever occurred to me that I could just pay for it myself and watch it in the comfort of my own home, without the hassle. Genius idea.

It might sound minute to you, but it shocked the hell out of me because I hadn’t realised that even in something as small as this I had become conditioned to think about some things in a way that was limiting my experiences. Needless to say I paid for it, watched it in bed and after the boring fight was over, fell right asleep, perfect.

It took me making a different choice to encourage me to have a different experience.

What old ways do you have that is limiting your experiences? What could you take responsibility for? What different choice could you make that might lead to a different experience?

The people who get uncommon results do uncommon things. Break your mould and do something you wouldn’t normally and yes sometimes doing that will be difficult and challenges will arise, push through anyway and do it.

I did a presentation last week in front of a whole directorate and I was shitting myself. They couldn’t tell though but I was so sure I was making an arse of myself. It was my first time doing something of that kind and trust me when I say all sorts of challenges cropped up in the lead up to it but I expected that because that’s what happens when you want soemthing. I seriously considered dropping out at the last minute and said to myself, ‘Irene why did you say you’d do it?’. But guess what? It was well received and my colleague and I had lots of positive, reaffirming feedback.

It was also a huge learning curve and built my character and skills, yet if I had quit, I’d never have that.

Its a new week, do something different and see how it goes. Whether you win or lose, you learn from it- you still win.

The Danger of Expectations

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Do you always get what you want?

Some time back I wrote in my notes that my expectations are making me depressed.

They’re such a weird thing, like you’re “meant” to have them, but then having them makes you prone to disappointment. On the other hand not having them can mean that you accept much less or that in some cases you receive much more, so what exactly are we supposed to do? How do we get the balance right?

At one point in my life I was the person with little to no expectations of things and people and without realising it received everything. I have also been the person with high expectations and intentions and consistently seen it fall through in epic proportions and consequently been gravely disappointed. For this reason I have spent some time really ruminating over ‘expectations’ and I think I have it figured out.

When I think about it, a lot of the times that I’ve had a clear vision of what I want, it typically doesn’t materialise in that way. I still get it, it just looks a bit different.

Lots of motivational speakers talk much about belief, faith, setting intentions and so on, but what they don’t tell you is how to do these things; and believe it or not I do think there is a method to it. Not one that suits everything of course, but one that produces a healthier balance for your life (subjectively speaking).

Follow me for a moment. Ever watched a film adaptation of one of your favourite books and after watching it you thought ‘this was shit’. Well of course it was! It is NEVER going to match up to the imagery that your intricate and unique mind conceived.

Now using that same analogy, apply it to other situations, a job, a friendship, a lover, money, children. Can you see how you could live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and disappointment? How will you or anyone make it when your thoughts have determined what EVERY action and outcome should be? You have left no room for deviation, no room for creativity, no room for life to do its thing and with this way of thinking not even God will make the cut.

So many people are walking around depressed because things didn’t work out how they thought it would and then spend a considerable amount of time focusing on the results that didn’t happen. In doing this you miss out on what did happen, the blessings in that and also what you could do to make it better.

When we create and cement the outcome down to a T and refuse to be open, we deprive ourselves of being able to witness and appreciate the beauty in what IS happening. We stunt its growth and ultimately our growth. The happiest people as we know are those that make the best of what is there not of what isn’t.

The most successful people are successful because they keep moving. They didn’t get stuck on what didn’t happen, they focused on what did and made it better.

So do be expectant, continue to visualise, but refrain from becoming overly attached to it and restricting what it should be. Okay, you might say that’s settling. It’s not. We have to remember that we are not the only ones involved in the makings of something. There are so many other factors involved, ones that we can see and ones that we can’t and we need to consider that too.

Allow life to happen because whether we like it or not, it will happen with or without you so you might as well roll with it.

Xo

P.s My sister took my pictures and I was obviously pretending to be cool or whatever.

My First Time

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I was in love once. You never forget your first time.

I remember feeling so raw, so fresh, so fragile. What the hell is this feeling? And why can’t I get rid of it?! For someone who likes to be in control, I was way out of my depth.

…And with first loves comes first heartbreak and mine was one of the worst experiences to date, I’d never wish it upon my enemy. My mind convinced me that I will not get over it and be the same. Part of that is true, I was never the same but I certainly did get over it.

Although the pain of it is long forgotten, the effects still remain and I am continuously working on undoing it all. I have not been “in love” since, as I inadvertently made it conditional. The ones after him didn’t stand a chance, the bar was set stupidly high.

Now that isn’t to say I consistently made good decisions, I definitely did not. I did become fiercely protective over how close you could get and mastered the skill of not showing much emotion. To me, showing emotion was a sign of weakness and being vulnerable a terrible thing, but as we can see here my beliefs on that is changing slowly but surely.

Between figuring out who I was, childhood trauma, growing through adolescence, university, volatile relationships and friendships, I was a complete and utter mess. No word of a lie, you could see the struggle, pain and hardness on my face. It was a lot, but there is better. Those who knew me then to now will tell you that I’m a far cry from the young woman they first met.

Years later I can laugh at how dramatic, naive and emotional I was, I’m grateful for that valuable lesson. It’s a contributing factor to who I am today, both good and bad.

My advice for healing? I can’t put it down to one thing, it’s a combination of things. I’ll list a few practices that helped me and still do (and I use this for all things):

  1. Don’t rush the process by acting as if it didn’t happen or that you don’t feel anything. You’ll do yourself a disservice by being in denial and it will only manifest in other areas of your life in a greater way including disease. It’s that deep. Give it the space to breathe and go through the motions, it’s the only way to come out on the other side. It’s perfectly okay to admit that you’re hurt.
  2. Do be proactive in your healing. Get around your loved ones, do the things you enjoy doing, find a worthy project to direct your energy towards, write down your feelings, or get help if you need to. The aforementioned will help immensely but it won’t exclude you from forgetting or feeling the pain, it’ll be very present. You could be in the midst of doing the most exciting thing and boom, your mind thinks of them and it throws you off, keep going. With each passing day, it’ll get better.
  3. Practice self-love. Unfortunately this isn’t something we’re often taught, but the best way I can describe it is to love yourself how you would want the love of your life to love you. For example, you would want them to speak to you kindly, to encourage you, to support your dreams and help make them a reality, to treat you to nice things, to have once in lifetime experiences, to show compassion, to see you as your best self…all of that and more, do for yourself.
  4. Invest in yourself.
  5. Whether you’re a person of faith or not, pray, meditate or journal.

We should do these things irrespective of a significant other but for some reason we find it difficult to be committed to another and ourselves simultaneously. If we learn how to do this we can never lose our way, at least not for long.

Some days won’t be great and other days you’ll feel the progress, during both keep pushing forward.

This journey is full of highs and lows, respect them and they will make you a better person.

Xo

How Does It Feel?

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How Does It Feel?

The words of a different Angelou, Dr Maya ‘People will never forget the way you made them feel’ have never rang more true for me than now.

I understood what she meant then, but having connected those words with a recent experience I have a deeper appreciation for it.

I found myself in a little bit of a predicament where I was really struggling to let something go. I sat there and thought about it, ‘What really is the issue here? why can’t you just let go and move on?’ and then it dawned on me, it was the way they made me feel.

It had been quite a long time since I was stirred (ew don’t be a freak) and in all honesty I liked it and had difficulty detaching myself when it turned out to be a bad fit. Even with the things said and done, it wasn’t enough to easily cut loose, the feelings kept it afloat.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all endured a lot of crap from someone we shouldn’t, but because of how we felt about them or how they made us feel we quickly forgave their transgressions.

Isn’t that how a lot of relationships between people are formed, based on feelings which then become attachments? Some relationships are easy to sever and others not so much for this very reason. We’re blinded by their ability to make us feel good, alive or whatever the positive impact we feel they have and in short, it’s addictive.

It’s a powerful drug, as everything we do is about how we feel. Coincidentally, what we get back is often a response to that. And this isn’t strictly between people, it’s everything! Money, family, jobs, health, food… how we feel about these things govern how we treat them.

So the next time you’re having difficulty understanding what’s happening in your life, ask yourself,’how does it make me feel?’and you should soon discover the root and hopefully the solution to your dilemma.

Knowing this, is both a gift and a curse, use it wisely, as just as others have the power to affect you, you have the power to affect others.

Xo

I Just Want To Be Successful

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I had an epiphany the other day that is reshaping how I think about myself now and I am hoping it will help you too.

Ever since I can remember, I have never considered myself as a success or that the things I have done have been successful because my view point is I can always do better and more. There has always been a new goal to work towards and I realise now that I could have achieved the most amazing thing and I’d never consider it good enough for that very reason.

I was in the shower when the thought came to me ‘I am a success’. I don’t know whose thought in the ether I picked up, but for some strange reason that statement permeated every part of me as the absolute truth. I AM a success.

All the ways I was/am a success came to mind, even the most unlikely of things like my job, which although doesn’t set my soul on fire, I have one. You think it’s easy maintaining a job with all its nuances that you don’t love, but still go to because it funds your real love? Sounds like a success to me- A shift in perspective.

It made me think, if I do not see myself as successful now with all the things I have done to date and who I am, what difference will it make when I achieve more and greater? When will that turning point come?

We too often qualify success on other people’s terms and find it difficult to see ourselves and all the things we have overcome and accomplished.

Give yourself some credit and spend a few minutes meditating on your achievements, especially the ones you overlook every day. You don’t need anyone but yourself to do that.

Start seeing yourself as a success now and watch you attract more of it because we attract what we are, not what we want to be.

Xo

The Finish Line

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We all know the story of the Tortoise and Hare and if you don’t you can read about it here.

It’s almost impossible to ignore what people are doing, how they’re doing it and who they’re doing it with (ew get your mind out of the gutter). There are images and videos everywhere you turn! Suddenly, you start to feel inadequate and a small irritating voice says ‘why aren’t you doing better?, you should have been doing this by now, you’re such a flop, you’ll never make it if you’ve not made it by now, give up, you started out together but look at what s/he has done and you’re STILL struggling, just pack it all in’. Ugh, shoot me now.

So what do you do?

Focus.

The Tortoise is slow by nature and in this instance he was well aware of his capabilities. He didn’t try and be like the Hare because the way his body is set up it’d never cope. Could you imagine seeing him sprint with a heavy ass shell around his body, itty bitty chunky legs and a small head with beady eyes? Comical. Even if he managed it for some parts of the race, his whole body at some point will betray him. Instead, he ran his own race at his own pace and won.

Ultimately it was his focus on what he was doing and an awareness of his abilities that got him across the finish line to win. When the Tortoise didn’t see the Hare in the race, he didn’t suddenly decide ‘you know what let me just chill seeing as the Hare is sleeping, I have time’, he chose to continue on. Coincidentally it was the Hare’s lack of focus that made him lose.

The Hare overestimated his abilities and underestimated his opponents. Rather than give his attention to the task at hand which was to win the race, he was mocking what the Tortoise was doing and how he was doing it. It was at this point that he didn’t know he f**ked messed up.

‘But Irene I don’t know what to focus on?’ Well what’s in front of you? Focus on that. What opportunity is looking at you dead in your eye that you’re missing? Okay it might be heavily disguised and not quite look like what you expect but once you discover it, work on it anyway.

‘How?’  It’s not your business to spend time going over the how just DO. Do it whichever way you know and continue to do and do and do and do and before you know it you’re mastering the how and how not to, make sense? BUT, if you don’t make a move, it’ll never happen.

To sum this up, do your best at minding your business.

Xo

Are You Sure You Want This?

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Sunday night I say my prayers, set my intentions, I feel good and I go to sleep.

Before 8 am this morning, I had 2 unexpected things pop up with a promise to throw me off track.

I say to myself ‘It’ll be fine, I’ll handle it’.

I jump in the shower and as I scrub myself I suddenly remember one of the intentions I had set the night before: ‘I want to strengthen my mind (positively)…’. It dawns on me that those 2 “pop ups” were a part of my “mind strengthening training”. I laugh at the physical representations of it and mentally accept the challenge.

What is the challenge? Don’t lose my shit, maintain a good attitude and alter the way I do and respond to things to further develop my character.

Anyway, I have work to get to and I must be there for 9 am. One of the managers is up my crack and onto me and I’m never one to fall back from a challenge and I like to prove points, so like I said I must be on time.

I leave out and I’m doing okay for time. I arrive at the closest underground station to me and there’s 100’s of people at the top of the escalators. The Jubilee Line has a fault. Now if you know me, you know commuting is one of my least favourite things. I think I vocally complain about it at least once a week so this is not good and like I said I HAVE A POINT TO PROVE (wtf is the universe ignoring me?). We’re all hanging around waiting to be told that service will resume. It doesn’t. Instead they tell us the line has been suspended both ways. Feck.

By this point I am teetering on resorting back to my usual reaction to situations like this. I can feel the urge coming up from my stomach creeping up on me, but I utter no words for fear of undoing my efforts. I won’t go out like that. I plan another route to get to work.

Upon arriving at the alternative route, I walk down the stairs looking towards the platform to see if the train has arrived as it’s due now. I see the train is there, but it hasn’t quite pulled up to the full length of the platform yet. That’s odd. I overhear a bystander tell someone something about the train but I only caught bits of it, so I asked her what she had just said.

‘A person has jumped in front of the train’. What?! Okay, this is too much mental strength training for me in one morning. You mean to tell me a likely dead body is somewhere underneath this very train I am looking at? It deeply saddens me and my eyes well. Whoever they were, was in so much mental turmoil and pain that they couldn’t bear the thought of living another day. If you’ve ever been depressed or suicidal you know just how much of a battle it is.

I attempt to say a prayer for them ‘I hope they have peac…’. I don’t quite finish the sentence or really know what to say. Can a person who took their own life have peace in death? What about the afterlife? Is there really an afterlife? Too much to think about. There goes my morale.

I eventually make it into work 2 hours and 50 minutes after I left my house, for what usually is a 1 hour journey door to door. Time: 10:50 am. Oh, have I mentioned I’m a contractor so every hour counts…fun.

Don’t get me wrong I know some of the above pales in comparison to things others have to deal with, but this is what’s mine.

I share of all of that to say this: Be aware of what you are asking for and what you want.

You usually hear be careful what you ask for, but I think it’s equally important to be aware of it, because whatever you want or ask for, you will be tested by it and if you are unable to recognise it when it comes, you’ll abuse and lose it.

Being aware puts you in a better position to readily succeed at, improve and appreciate the thing that you have asked for. It also helps to manage your expectations. For example, some women want husbands that are rich. Nothing wrong with that right? Except the reality of that might look like him working long hours, travelling the world, being available to his work responsibilities 24/7, missing important dates, forgetting important dates, and so on. Being wealthy usually comes with huge responsibilities and yes the payoff is nice but at what price?

You want to be a world class athlete? That’ll mean changing your diet, knowing every single ingredient in your food and its properties, being disciplined, limiting social outings, training every single day, and the list goes on.

Get my drift?

I wanted to reinforce my mind to be steadily positive and what I have been faced with are things to build more of a resistance to negativity or things not going as planned and because I am aware of this, I can effectively adjust to meet this need. Will I always do right? Um no. But I can always do better.

So, what have you asked for? Is it here? And how are you rising to the occasion?

Xo

For anyone who’s in need, please help yourself here.

In All Honesty…

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I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m shit at keeping up.

I am not a routine person at all and need free reign to, well, freely reign over whatever I so wish. I like to hibernate from time to time and ruminate over my issues and thoughts in perfect peace and having to be visible disrupts that. Schedules to me are a constriction and only further incite the rebel in me. But, as my mother would say, man cannot live by bread alone and in this instance I cannot be without discipline and consistency as those are the springboards to success.

My relationship with posting is shoddy to say the least. I go through many peaks and troughs with it that I can only imagine for you is meh. *Whispers* If truth be told it’s an absolute miracle that I have been “blogging” for nearly 4 years!

So here is what I am going to ask of you, hold me accountable. No man is an island and no matter who it is, everyone needs someone to encourage or in my case push them to act. On my part I will do my best to continue cultivating discipline and be more consistent.

If there is something in your life that you know needs to improve, put the energy into doing just that. You will have good days where the progress is evident and palpable, but know that there will also be ‘bad days’ where you will want to throw the towel, bucket and sponge in, don’t. I more than anyone understands how an obstacle can come along and give you a swift kick in the shin, but continue to practice. Practice being better than you were yesterday, practice encouraging yourself, practice being disciplined in the small things so you can handle with more ease the big things, practice doing things out of your comfort zone so you can do more things out of your comfort zone, whatever it is, practice and don’t give up!

Xo

P.s How are we in March already?!

 

The Signs

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Dare I say it I am excited that it’s Monday and the start of a new week! Everything that happened last week is now in the past and we have new opportunities to make good on, so go forth and prosper!

The Signs 

Energy doesn’t lie, it can’t, it just is.

I, like a lot of people am big on energy. If their energy is off, there’s a high possibility that you’ll be off too.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been MIA because something else has held my attention. By something I mean someone. They held my attention in a way that it distracted me from the things I was supposed to do. I chose to allow their presence consume a lot of my energy and not in a good way.

During this period it became crystal clear to me how important it is to align yourself with people who encourage, support and want the best for you. If this is lacking in your relationships, run. I realised that I was dealing with someone who did not have the best intentions and although it was a difficult pill to swallow, it was absolutely necessary that I realised this now than later.

One person is enough to completely change the course of your life for the better or worse, so do not ignore the signs as they are always present and there to guide you onto a better path. Will it be pain free? No. In fact you’ll probably find it a struggle to detach yourself from them, but the pain you’ll experience from that is less than what you’ll experience in the long run if you continue to entertain and have this person influence your life.

Don’t know how to gauge if this person is right or not? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

  1. How do they regularly make you feel, uplifted or in low spirits?
  2. Are they helping you grow or making you stagnant?
  3. How have you changed since having them around, is it positive or negative?
  4. Do they care about your general wellbeing?
  5. Do they support your ambitions with love and careful consideration?

Asking those questions will paint a better picture of the quality of the relationships you have and if it’s not good, you’re one step closer to figuring out how to change that. The one thing you mustn’t do, is attempt to change them. It’s a futile exercise that no one has the power to do except the individual in question.

Your life is your responsibility and it’s up to you to filter out the people and things that do not cultivate the life you want to lead. Make it your business to protect your space.

Xo

The Dreams Free, Hustle Sold Separately

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I love dreaming, day dreaming to be exact. I can set the place, time, event, who’s there and make it as big and as wonderful as I want it to be. The best part is that you can do it anywhere and at any time.

You may feel elevated after the quick or not so quick fantasising session and then you’re reminded of the reality of your surroundings as it doesn’t quite match up to what you have envisioned.

Making that dream a reality requires an entirely different set of skills and irrespective of how easy someone makes it look, the truth is, it’s not. Blood, sweat and tears are a few things that go into bringing forth the things of your dreams. It inevitably will demand that you make sacrifices and some of them quite painful in order to attain what you desire.

Be under no illusion that things just work like magic because they often don’t. Let’s take a wonderful, healthy and flourishing relationship. You have two people from different backgrounds, upbringings, perspectives, behaviours and so on, coming together to build and nurture a relationship, does that sound like something that would just ‘work’? Absolutely not! There’s bound to be clashes, disagreements, tension, working together, laying aside your pride, apologising, compromising, selflessness, consideration, affection, effort, the list is endless of the things you will have to do to make your relationship wonderful, healthy and flourish. It’s no easy task and certainly will not feel magical; it’s work and lots of it.

So, as you go into this week, think about what it is you want and what you are prepared to give and also release to make it happen. Once you have a clearer picture, write down three things you will do to transmute your dream into your reality in the next week. And no, it won’t happen overnight, but over time you will start to see the evidence of your good work.

Dream big, but work even harder.

Xo

It Doesn’t Work If You Don’t

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I’d love to tell you that some things just work like magic, that you can say a few words and the thing you want magically appears, unfortunately it is not always so.  The “magic” is however in the work.

There isn’t much we can enjoy in this life if we don’t use discipline to attain and maintain it. Discipline is “the ability to control yourself or other people, even in difficult situations”.

Want a great relationship with your partner? You need discipline to do the work to make it great. What this might look like is developing your communication skills, learning when to speak and when to just let things go, lifting your partner up even when they’re driving you nuts and doing things you wouldn’t normally do but know they love-discipline.

Want a thriving career? You need discipline in order to consistently do the work required so that it thrives. This might mean delivering a high standard of service or work and you cannot do that without being disciplined.

Want your body to be the best it’s ever been? You need discipline to regularly go to the gym and maintain a good nutritional diet.

Saving money for a big purchase? You need discipline to stick to the plan that you’ve set up to buy it. This could mean learning to effectively manage your finances and denying yourself certain pleasures for the sake of reaching the goal- discipline.

One of the greatest of all time, THE Michael Jackson couldn’t grant us all of his musical genius without exercising a huge amount of discipline. He used it to write songs, record them, produce them, dance and to do every other amazing thing that we witnessed.

We’ve seen the effects that a lack discipline has on our lives and that of others, for example, unruly kids turn into delinquent teenagers and lazy adults. Not having discipline has the power to affect our lives in such a negative way that we’d be ignorant to not exercise it to draw into our lives the things we desire.

If you don’t have much discipline, practice and yes it is a learned behaviour for some, myself included. Don’t allow a lack of discipline be the reason you don’t prosper how you want to as that is most certainly in your hands.

Xo

SShhh Don’t Talk About It

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I just got back from a solo trip to Malta. If you have ever tried to organise a trip away with others you’ll know how incredibly frustrating it can be. After months of trying to get it together with others, I scrapped those efforts and said right I’m going alone! I didn’t tell anyone until it was all booked. It was exactly what I needed. It enhanced my confidence in myself, that I can do it alone and although it’d be nice to have a companion, I am certainly enough.

Want to do something? Do it. Don’t allow the perfect time, thing or person prevent you from making that move. I have learnt then when you go ahead, the people that are for you will come to you in due time. Whilst in Malta, a friend in London told me he used to live there and that he can put me in contact with a friend of his to take me out and that’s exactly what happened. Within a few hours I was out exploring their night life.

Another thing to do or not do in this case, is talk about it. We all know what it feels like to talk about something and it not materialise, it’s embarrassing. I’m now operating on a strictly need to know basis, not purely because of the embarrassment, but what it does is allow me to work in private without the influence of others that ‘don’t get it’. A lot of the time all talking about it does is waste energy that you really could be using to actually do it. If you have to talk about it, speak about it to people who have done it or are doing it. You have to constantly keep yourself in alignment with the thing that you’re doing. You cannot afford to speak to those who are on a completely different path, because believe it or not they have the power to derail you. Would an architect speak to yoga instructor about their project? No, unless it’s about how to practice mediation with exercise then Bobs your uncle. Now, that’s not to say they can’t provide great insights, it’s just a ground you have to tread VERY lightly-assess them by their fruits.

So, nurture your goals in private and diligently, protect your mind, get in alignment and surround yourself with people doing the work and watch your life change.

Xo

Food For Thought: The Grind

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I am starting a new thing called ‘Food For Thought’ where once a week, I write a sentence or two for personal rumination. I do think less is more and rather than constantly bombard you with an essay every couple of days (I’ll still do this), I thought it’d be good to give a few words instead. Of course whatever is written is up for your interpretation but I do hope it resonates in some respect.

Here’s the first one:

You cannot put a little bit of effort in and expect a massive return. That my friend, is theft.

Xo

P.s This may very well be laziness, only time will tell, but above is my story and I am sticking to it.

It’s Not You, It’s Me.

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Whenever we take up issue with something or someone else, it is usually an indication of a greater issue that we have going on internally. For example, if you’re jealous of someone else’s looks or life, what that might be saying is that you have low self-esteem and do not see yourself as valuable. There may already be a feeling of inadequacy in existence, which seeing another person further aggravates.  

I recently had a situation where I felt like someone wasn’t as attentive as I would have liked. I worked myself up for days going over the details, but I knew that the issue didn’t really lie with them, it was me. I didn’t feel good enough, I didn’t have great confidence in myself, I didn’t believe I was worthy. During that period I acknowledged that I had some work to do on myself. And no it’s not easy nor does it happen overnight.

You see the problem isn’t always about the other person and what they did, in many instances it’s about us and how we truly feel about ourselves. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to focus on ourselves, because when we shift it onto something or someone else to avoid dealing with the problem, we do ourselves and the people around us a disservice. It’s a disservice because we’re not able to tap into the crux of what is happening, which ultimately shapes our world and the experiences we have. We cannot live at or give our best if we do this. If we don’t address it internally, we can never change it externally. 

So the next time someone’s actions or presence evokes a negative reaction or feeling in you, think about what it is really saying about you, is there something for you to work on? And if so don’t be afraid of it. Broach it with care and take your time, but whatever you do, do not ignore it. 

 Xo

S/He is “Goals”

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I think we all can admit that we have looked at someones else’s life and admired them, possibly been jealous even at one point, but as I have learnt there’s only one life you should be concerned about, yours.

Its great that we can draw inspiration and learn from others, but we have to be careful how closely we focus on them lest we fall deep down the rabbit hole. Sometimes we look at someone’s life and think they’ve got it made until you hear about their woes, suddenly your life doesn’t seem so bad.

Learn to value where you are and have faith in where you’re going. Everyone’s journey is different as are the blessings and obstacles. Don’t look at anyone else and believe they’re “goals”, be your own goals.

Want to know how to do that? Set weekly, monthly, yearly real and practical goals and smash the shit out of them. Honestly, it works. It builds confidence and sharpens your tools. It will turn the focus back to you and on improving the quality of your life. Trust me, there’s so much living to do and if you’re doing it right, you won’t have time to inspect what the other person is doing. Granted, you can learn from them, however never hold their life in higher esteem than yours, ever.

Have a great weekend! And see you next week 🙂

Xo

3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis

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I planned to write on something completely different, but after a brief conversation with an old friend in which she sent me an article, I thought maybe this article would be useful to others like me.

The 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.

If you’re affected by one P, you’ll be affected by two and likely the third P too. Works like a pendulum going back and forth. If you do suffer from any of the above, then you understand how truly crippling this can be for your any area of your life.

Reading the article that I am about to share was like having a mirror to look into and you can only improve upon what you know. I hope it’s insightful.

“Do you set your standards high, but always feel like you’ve failed? Learn about the 3 “P’s” and end the vicious cycle that keeps you stuck and ineffective.

THE VICIOUS CYCLE

Perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis – one often leads to the next, in a vicious cycle, especially on large, long-term projects with no clear deadlines. Let’s look at each part of this cycle, and explore some concrete steps that you can take to disrupt the cycle.

PERFECTIONISM

Although most of my coaching clients don’t contact me until they are suffering from the second or third “P,” I will start with the first, one: perfectionism. This trait can be defined as striving towards impossibly high goals. The perfectionist is caught in a trap – he or she can never be good enough. Usually a perfectionist engages in a rigid, black or white kind of thinking about his own performance – if it isn’t perfect, it’s horrible.

I see perfectionism as existing on one end of a continuum. Up to a certain point, aiming high can help you become successful. Most academics who have made it to graduate school have set high standards for themselves and have met those high standards. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to attain excellence. It only becomes a problem when the goal is always set beyond your reach.

The Mediocre Perfectionist?

Ironically, the perfectionist often achieves a product that is far less than perfect. In contrast, those who aim at more realistic goals can outperform the perfectionist. How could that be? The procrastination and paralysis that result from overly high standards causes the perfectionist to wait until it’s too late, then rush to do something; anything. The more relaxed realist, in the meantime, is able to put an effort in earlier, over a more prolonged period of time, with more chance to let time and subsequent editing improve the final product…”

You can read the rest here

Xo

 

It’s None of My Business

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The title was inspired by Mr Hotspot on Instagram, I love this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6FkK5i6AY

It took me a while to learn how to not be so concerned with what someone else thought of me and my life and in all honesty I am still learning.

A couple of current truths about me are that I’m a perfectionist and critical which sort of means the same thing. So with anything that I do, it’s usually well thought out. The flip side to this is that I can be incredibly self-conscious and pedantic about everything!

‘What will they say? Will they judge me? What if they don’t like it? What if no one cares? They are going to hate it’

Pause…Okay, what if all your worst nightmares happen? And? Then what?

If there’s something I’ve learnt about people is that whether you’re bloody amazing or not they’re going to talk about you. Period. The only way to avoid that is to do nothing and be nothing and who wants to live like that? No one. And even still, no matter what it is, someone will find value in what you do and who you are. Social media is proof of this. The amount of times I’ve come across something I thought was absolutely insane, someone else was loving it.

So if they’re going to talk about you anyway, why not do the thing that you love to do, that you’re proud of, that makes you happy, that gives you purpose, that adds value that way you can stand by what you have chosen to do with your life, rather than feel like a fool for changing who you are and what you were doing to please others who couldn’t care less and are insistent on bringing you down regardless.

It’s not your business to worry about what others say about you and your life but it IS your business to be concerned your life and how you live it for you.

Surround yourself with those that will support and edify you and also be sure to BE the person you want to have in your life (Like attracts like).

Last thing, if there is one thing to consistently do in 2018 is to live your bestest (yes I said bestest) life!

Xo

Photo by Whole Magazine

Make Room

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I have an iPhone and it feels like every few seconds it tells me ‘Storage almost full’. Seeing this message has become the absolute bane of my life. I then start the process of looking for things to delete in order to create space and what I usually find tends to surprise me. ‘How did this get there?, erm this is useless, I’d never use this again, I have no interest in that, ergh delete’ are the thoughts I have when doing this.

It’s amazing how quickly things take form and become staples in our lives without us even realising it.

It’s crucial that we declutter on a regular basis so that we can make room for the things we really want and need in our lives now. This could be physically in terms of our possessions or mentally in respect of the way we think that no longer serves us and has now unknowingly become a hindrance or the time we afford others, it could be anything. Unfortunately we don’t have a message that pops up to tell us when we’re reaching our capacity and need to offload, but there are other tell tale signs that we can use to our advantage.

Lighten your load by decluttering and make room for what you want.

Xo

I Wish It Wasn’t So

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img_5304The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. My friend passed away suddenly and it is the most painful experience of my adulthood.

I am not ready to start losing friends yet, we’re in our early 30’s, you die of old age not abruptly.

Franklin was the sweetest, gentlest and caring person and I miss him incredibly. I wish he were still here.

Writing a post has been especially difficult, because as I write I am filled with the memory of his encouraging words and particular appreciation for my writing. He read my posts without being asked and always gave me positive feedback, and that meant everything to me.
Being a writer is an isolating process and whilst I love it, you do write to be read, but that does not always happen, least of all from your family and friends. To have him continuously care and show support not only in this, but in my life as a whole was so appreciated and special to me.

I did have a little bit of change in perspective yesterday, and that was to be grateful to have known him at all, and I was. I valued him when he was here and will forever cherish the moments we had.

There are so many things that I feel and haven’t been able to articulate yet and probably won’t for some time. This is about as much as I can manage writing about him for now.

Through this, I have made a commitment to make sure that his life continues to be meaningful in mine.

Xo

P.s I don’t know if I’ll be posting regularly for now, please bear with.

Ask the Right Questions

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img_4754A few friends of mine would make fun of me saying I asked too many questions.  ‘Questionnaire’ is what they’d call me.

I don’t always need to have the full information but enough for me make an informed decision; after all my brain works, why should I leave all the decision making to someone else especially when it impacts me?

I made a decision to do things completely different and set a goal for completion at end of 2019.  To achieve it will require a different version of who I have been to date.

So I started asking myself questions, questions about what I would need to do, the knowledge I need to have, the places I need to be in, the people I need to talk to, the time frame it needs to be done in, the money I’d need to invest, what I’d need to invest in, the mind set I need to have, the practices I need to change, the ones I have to adopt, what I have to cut, and so on. And then I answered them.

I pushed myself to think past the confines that I am used to and this process has put me in a completely different headspace, and for the things I did (do) not know, I research, I study, I apply it.

Too often we think others know so much more than we do and completely undervalue the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience we do have or have access to. Don’t.

Ask questions, don’t be a zombie that follows the status quo. Challenge yourself and it might surprise you in realising what you know or even what you don’t know and now know that you need to.

If you want to live a life that is completely debt free, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to live on a beach in a tropical country, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to have £100,000 in 1 year, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want to buy your first property, ask the questions, do the work.

If you want peace, ask the questions, do the work.

You get my drift.

It’s not about knowing everything, it’s starting with what you know that gets you closer to where you want to be; whether it’s dealing with heartbreak, making a large purchase, starting a business or having a healthy relationship with your partner.

Xo

Am I Qualified?

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facetune_29-10-2018-17-17-37-1.jpgEver had a new goal that you were super excited about?

You’re filled with the possibilities of what achieving this goal will do for you and you cannot wait to get started.

You plan and establish the actions you need to take and then unexpectedly your insecurities surface.

What if I’m not qualified?

Who said I am qualified?

What if someone thinks I’m not up for the job?

Doubts here and before you know it, it starts to feel like a pipe dream. Within moments, you have convinced yourself that you’re definitely not up for the job and resign that goal to the ‘do not attempt’ pile.

Why are we the very first to sap the life out of something? Our own worst enemy.

Do you know what qualifies those that do vs those that do not? Their belief. That’s it. Those that achieve the most, do not allow their past, failures or circumstances to dictate what they can and cannot do. In spite of it, they move full steam ahead.

You will always be better off for doing something even when it does not work out as envisioned. The trade-off is the wealth of experience, applied knowledge and skills gained, that not doing anything could never provide you with. It is also a stepping stone.

I bumped into someone I knew online through a mutual friend. I had not met them in person until this morning. We started talking about various things and he asked me whether an online series I was a part of was well thought out or improvised. What do you think I said? We winged that bad boy!

None of us really knew what we were doing, we just showed up and figured it out as we went along. In that same year of doing the series, I wrote, directed and produced my first short play. I won 2 awards for the play and a little bulb went off in my head ‘I’m a writer’, and always had been, but it wasn’t until that point, did I acknowledge myself. That was almost six years ago.

Do you think how I write now is how I have always written? Absolutely not! In the beginning, it was trash. I cringe every time I see something from the past, but I had to start somewhere, as terrible as it was.

So trust me when I say, you can do this. Little by little, step by step, piece by piece.

Xo

Gratitude

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img_1716Wait till it’s taken away from you, maybe you’ll remember to be grateful for what you have in future.

It’s so easily done isn’t it? Things are good, every area of your life is booming as you’ve always wanted, ‘you’ve got it like that’…until you don’t, and all hell breaks loose.

Part of the pain we experience when times are rough, is guilt. We experience guilt for not being appreciative of what we had, we reminisce and regret the haughtiness we had in thinking that this will be forever. Still, in those hard times, we should be grateful because there is always something to be thankful for.

I often experience an uncomfortable ease when a terrible thing happens and suddenly there’s an urgent call to love your loved ones as it’s short lived. It does not cultivate the solid essence of being grateful because it stems from fear. And yes I’m definitely a culprit.

Being grateful is to do so irrespective of what you do or don’t have. The benefits are clear.
From the simplest, most mundane and normal things to the major changes and transitions, have gratitude, for the love of it, not for the fear of it, even when it’s tough.

Xo

Chasing Waterfalls

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TLC said it best.

It can be a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in pursuit of something that doesn’t want you back. No matter how much you do it simply does not want to materialise or work out how you’ve envisioned.

In that there’s a lesson; don’t force it, let it go.

It means there’s another area in your life that requires your attention, what is it? If you don’t know, look a bit closer, it’s there, screaming pick me.

Once you discover it, direct your attention to that thing. Nurture it, learn from it, grow from it. Before you know it, like a boys summer growth sprout, what you were in hot pursuit of is here.

Sometimes it’s like that. There are certain things we have to experience first and learn from before we are equipped enough to handle our other desires. In fact it’s crucial that we do, so we have less of a chance to totally screw it up!

It’s sucks, I know, but something greater is possible if you allow it to be.

xo

Thoughts Become Things

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facetune_22-10-2018-19-30-58My contract is ending soon. The nature of the job means expecting it to terminate at any moment. I know this and had been mentally preparing myself for what could happen next. Out of nowhere I started to think about finances, could I manage if I didn’t get another contract for a little while? Will all my hard work of having everything in order go in the toilet? I could feel the fear beginning to surge through me from my stomach into my head and back down.

I caught it. I reaffirmed that I will be good no matter what and dismissed any other thoughts that contradicted it.

Being able to do that is years of self-awareness and practice. Not all thoughts that travel in and through our minds are our own or ones we want to cultivate and it’s crucial to be able to consciously filter them out.

You might think it’s just one thought, a mere sentence, but it’s bigger than that, it’s a seed. A seed that has the power to create something greater and permanent. Think about it, a tree didn’t always look like a tree.

If we allow ourselves to be consumed with thoughts and things that we do not like nor want, it limits the space we have to receive more of what we do want.

This week, become conscious of what you’re thinking because your mind is fertile ground for what happens next.

xo

Don’t Forget to Exhale 

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img_3353Hey. Psst. Don’t run off to start your weekend just yet, read me, it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

I love a Friday night just like anyone else except I prefer to stay in to unwind and decompress.

If you’re a Londoner like me or live in a city where the pace is fast, it’s very easy to be always on the go, even when there’s no reason to be. Over time you can become so overwhelmed and bogged down with it all, that you just want to run away.

For some of us, a break means leaving the country, but that isn’t always necessary, you don’t have to run away. You can stay and get the peace of mind that you want right where you live.

You might have lots of ‘busy’ plans this weekend, you know the ones I’m talking about, doing something for doing something sake. Stop. Slow it down and exhale.

When I want a time out from everything (so I don’t lose my entire marbles), there are a few things that I do and I’ll share one, okay maybe two with you.

1. Be in silence

With technology being a huge part of our lives, we’re constantly plugged in from the moment we wake up to the time we lay our heads to rest.

Tonight when you get in after work or over the weekend, lay on your bed, do nothing, listen to nothing, let it be quiet so that all you can hear is white noise or the clock ticking. Don’t have your lights or anything that uses electrical energy on. Allow yourself to recharge whilst you’re awake.

In this stillness you’ll find the chatter in your head will amplify. Notice what you think about and if it’s not harmonious with your wants, gently steer it in the direction you want it go.

You can do this as regularly as you want, for as long as you want. Just be still.

2. Explore your area or an area of your choice, alone.

I do this all the time. I love exploring the places I go to, I find so many gems and have wonderful and enlightening experiences by doing so. Doing things like encourages self-sufficiency and reaffirms that I am enough and don’t require any extra’s.

img_4111Lastly (okay that’s three), eat good. You can buy or make it just as long as you enjoy it. Let it be a moment. There’s something truly humbling about being able to eat what you want. I’m sure most of us can recall being too broke to afford anything but the basics so when you eat, do not forget to be grateful.

This is one of my favourite meals from Leon’s.

Have a fabulous weekend, till next week ciao! xo

As If By Magic

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On Monday I asked you to get imaginative, write it down, make it plain and then dispose of it somewhere. Did you do it? Tut, the insolence! I should turn you all into salt, well if I could and maybe if I was God or Medusa but I’m not, so, erm, anyway…There are many different beliefs about manifesting and the law of attraction, and whilst they work, it really isn’t a one size fits all, at least not in my case.

I have tried the “intentional focus on something” and all that happens is me becoming increasingly stressed with little to no results. From memory, everything I deeply wanted and or became “obsessed” with I did not get, whereas the things I’d give very little thought to, voila!

This had always perplexed me until I wrote down my manifestation system earlier on this year. I had to see in writing what I had known worked for me and not focus on what had worked for others. Turns out I have used this system since I were a small child, and can recall many occasions where things materialised in a swift fashion. Maybe you’re like me where the other methods simply don’t work, and if so, here’s a few things I have learned.

1. You have to be relaxed about your want. Any kind of worry, stress, excessive attention will not work.

2. Do not be attached to the outcome. It is very easy to miss what is for you by clinging onto an ideal.

3. You can absolutely act on your desire, but again you must employ point 1 & 2 (see example below).

4. You mustn’t obsess about it.

5. Be open. Not everything we think we want do we actually want.

6. Continue on with your daily life.

In November 2014 a friend and I walked into the Audi dealership to look at the cars. I wanted a new car but didn’t have the means to purchase it, I simply went to look. I test drove the Audi A3, liked it and that was that.

I mentioned to another friend on the 20th December 2014 that I wanted to get a BMW 1 Series. Again, no means, just putting it out there.

On the 27th December 2014 (window shopping again, I’m great at that), I left a dealership with a BMW 1 series without having spent any of my own money, ha! I had gone there with a credit card, my fair credit score, my mother, boyfriend, courage and hope.

My mother put a substantial amount of money down and the rest would be on me for the next 2 years. Huh?! How? I said I. Did. Not. Have. The. Means?!

I wasn’t expecting her to be involved, I had just turned 27, I’m grown, I can do bad all by myself, I wasn’t asking for a thing! She and my boyfriend at the time were only accompanying me as people do with things like this, and yet here I was leaving with a car that I hadn’t paid for.

Looking back, what I did was;

i) knew I wanted a new car ii) didn’t know how I’d get it, iii) put myself in a position to see me driving the car iv) didn’t stress myself about it, v) the vehicle in which I would receive it showed up vi) drove off into the sunset…okay it was night time and during the winter, same difference (lol).

I have plenty other examples where I have practiced as above and it happens, and a number of instances where I was super focused and very little happened.

I want to be clear here, manifesting isn’t solely about material things, its everything; mindset, people, healing, and so on. Also, it does not discriminate, it can work for both positive and negative things, so be mindful.

img_2991Give it a go. I might do a series on this because there’s levels to it. Maybe the next one will be on how I jumped out of a plane.

Yup, this is me on the 17th December 2016 (my birthday), I screamed like a lil’ bitch for the first few seconds ha! but that’s a story for another time.

Xo

Make Believe

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Welcome to class folks. Today’s assignment is to make believe again. 

As kids we were encouraged to write stories, be creative and imagine, fast forward to being adults its “be serious, stop fooling around, you’re not a kid anymore”. Huh? How? Why?

Make believe is in my opinion a very necessary part of creating life itself. Everything we see was once a part of someone’s imagination.

I think about planes flying, watching images on TV or listening to sound on the radio and it blows my mind. These were things once unseen and unheard of, which have now become a part of our everyday life. I want us to get back to that, that space of make believe first before anything else.

And we can do this from where we are and at any time. You can imagine whatever you like, whether it exists or not, and then write it down and make it plain, even if it is only to be witnessed by you. Look past your current circumstances and freely create. Once you have, let it go. Yup, you heard me, let it go, forget about it, put it somewhere you won’t necessarily come across it every day.

Yes I know it sounds a little batty but humour me, and on Wednesday I’ll go into further details and give you my personal manifestation system (I sound like a wizard, I’m not, but it works).

Speak to you then xo

 

Why I’m No Longer Sharing

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img_0985From this day forward I am no sharing with friends.

Whenever I find out something new, useful or potentially life changing, I am quick to share it with the people close to me. I want them to do good too, I want them to know what’s possible, I want them to believe in themselves more. I share so they can know what’s happening in the hopes that they’ll concede but alas they do not.

Of course, I don’t know everything, however, I do know a thing or two about certain subject matters and with that I always want to give.

But after a few failed attempts at ‘helping’, I have decided to stop. I am no longer sharing and instead have opted to just show them.

As the saying goes the proof is the pudding and sometimes there is nothing more effective than others being able to see the results for themselves.

So if you, like me, have found yourself in the position where your words are falling by the wayside, stop talking, just do it and do it well.

Xo

Pursue Your Goals

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I went running on Tuesday

I nearly died

Bye.

Just kidding. About the bye that is, not about the dying because I honestly feel like every week I’m close to saying ‘God is that you?’ after a training session.

It’s brutal.

 

 

Here’s another confession:

I’m shit at running

No, sorry, slow at running

But not for long

I started running 5 weeks ago. I had this genius idea that said “yes do it”. Not a genius idea.

In my teens I would be in 100m races and do quite well, always maintaining between 1st and 3rd except for that one time. Let’s not talk about that one time as that one time was the last time I took running seriously. Okay let’s talk about it; I came in 5th, wtf?! Which I’m sure was actually last and that was it for me “I’m out!” literally and figuratively.

Can you tell I’m a sore loser? (and also very competitive.)

Anyway, winter season training has started, which means we train every Tuesday and Thursday. The group is a mixture of both men and women who are pretty seasoned runners/athletes and I hate them all. Okay I don’t hate them hate them, they just leave me behind *cries in self-pity*. Some of them are quite supportive including the coach, which helps, a lot.

facetune_11-10-2018-10-29-46My goal is to eventually keep up with the fastest out of the group, then beat them *laughs an evil laugh*. I have no idea how I will, but I’ll let you know how I’m faring over the next few months.

What goals are you in pursuit of?

Xo

P.s Tuesday’s training consisted of 3 x 500m, 4 x 200m, 6 x 100m, brutal I tell ya!

Bounce Back

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If you have ever loved someone or something, there’s a high chance that you’ll experience a deep pain at some point. And when it happens, boy does it suck.
Pain is one of the things you cannot avoid and yet is one of life’s best teachers.

How do you bounce back from a painful experience?

We have been conditioned to do the things that are the exact opposite of what we need. Things like oversharing and reliving the experience over and over again as if it’s still happening.

Think about it, if someone pinched you on Monday and you i) spoke about it with various people ii) spoke about it every day for the next two weeks, what do you suppose the situation would feel like for you by the end of those two weeks? I can bet good money you’ll be worse off than when it initially happened.

This is because you would have used much of your energy to not only expand a situation by repeatedly talking/thinking about it, but simultaneously you would have made it even harder for you to move past it.

Nowadays when things happen to me, I am particular about who I go to for counsel and I do my best to not talk/think about it much as I have seen the results of me doing the opposite. I still on occasion get it wrong.

I’ll give you an example. I had previously discussed my career woes with a multitude of people from various backgrounds, hoping to get sound advice and clarity. They all, wanting to be helpful, gave me advice from their perspective and guess what? It didn’t help. It only made me feel even more clueless and helpless than before. I got to the point where I’d get irritated by people constantly asking me what’s going on, that I started to shut the same people out (cheeky I know), but I had to, for my own sanity.

I had to take responsibility for what I had created by the actions I had taken. Too many cooks…

So rather than do the above, here are a few learned tips:

  • Remember that whatever happened is not happening. It’s in the past. Deal with the feelings at hand separate from anything. Write it out of you if need be (this is the best way for me). Don’t try to rush past it, let it take its natural course, but do encourage/help yourself to move forward.
  • Be picky with who you tell your gripes to. Don’t go to someone who will be your hype woman or man. Speak to someone who will give you sound counsel.
  • Limit the amount of people you talk to about it as well as the amount of times you talk about it
  • Trust yourself to know what to do.
  • And I say this with love, get over yourself. As someone who has a really hard time getting over mistakes and pains, having this be a driving force for moving forward is a great help.

I have in various instances used the above method to aid in quicker recovery for disappointment and pain, it works. It might sound simple, but give it a go, what do you have to lose?

Xo

Don’t Miss This Moment

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Don’t you just love Sunday’s? I love them because I get to really relax, and the pace always seems slower so I enjoy things even more. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, speaking of which, how are you enjoying your Sunday?

A lot of us spend way too much time looking forward to what’s next, forgetting that this present moment, we had once wished for it.

We’re wanting more, bigger, better, and whilst it’s good to have aspirations, we run the risk of not appreciating the now.

I remember being a university student and how I couldn’t wait to graduate, as I was not enjoying the experience. Flash forward a few years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reflected on those moments, and wished I had done it a little differently or that I could go back and do it again.

This has taught me that I don’t want to ignore my present in favour an already lived past or a imagined future. I want to relish my now irrespective of what may be happening, because there are always things to be grateful for, always.

So as you hopefully enjoy this beautiful day and you plan your week ahead, always remember #MyNow has treasures in and it matters just as much as the next moment.

Xo

‘Bad Energy Stay Far Away’

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🗣 It’s Friday, Whoomp there it is!

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When you think about it, it’s a terrible way to think about Friday, because what does that say about your life in general?

Anyway we’re working on creating the life we want whilst appreciating the one we have aren’t we?

The other day I spoke about disengaging and in the few days of doing so, it has immensely improved my energy levels and morale.

You see now that I’m not easily exposed and available to things and people, my interactions are much more purposeful and intentional. There isn’t that unnecessary noise that comes my way just because it can and removing this has been vital. The perspective I want to have has been fortified by simply clearing the crap.

I think that’s something I’ve learnt from my parents, that’s it not always about reinventing the wheel, but working with what you have. You don’t have to wait for ‘something’, the something is here, it’s now, it’s in your face.                 

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Side note: I’m writing this on my way into a work and this is my current position. In my attempt to take a picture to show you, my flash was on. LOL how embarrassing! Dummy.

Effectively, immediately, take control over the things that are no longer serving you well and cut them out, even if it’s temporary, so that you can make room for the things that will.

You’ll most likely feel anxious about it and second guess your decision, do it anyway. You’ll thank yourself and me (hopefully lol).

Xo

P.s The things I cut out are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

A Little Me Time

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Recently I have felt like my interactions with those close to me have become a bit stale, and it seemed to have happened ever so rapidly.

We’re just not gelling like we used to, and with life evolving so quickly, our paths are diverging in a way that’s challenging and causing me to really reassess my relationships.

And so I made a decision to limit my engagement and take some time out to figure out what’s going on and in the meantime redirect my focus on other things.

It’s important to evaluate what’s going in your life from time to time, especially if it doesn’t feel right- The whole elevation requires separation bit.

Now I’m not sure if my game plan is to elevate, although as I think about it, I suppose it is. To mentally elevate.

Maybe you’re in similar place to me, having to figure things out and that’s okay. For your own self development, it is sometimes necessary.

There are a few things I’m doing more of in this period:

  • Gratitude
  • Positive affirmations
  • Reading a minimum of a chapter a day (currently, Crushing it by Gary V)
  • Investing in my goals
  • Meditating
  • Journaling

I don’t know how long I’ll be disengaged for, it could be a week, two weeks or a month, I’ll know once I feel different.

I’ll still be here though, on the blog that is.

Xo

90 Days

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Pinch Punch its the First of the Month!

Can you believe it’s October already? How??

It must be a getting older thing, because I don’t remember time flying by like this when I was a child, but then again what did I know?

With that being said, what’s the plan for the rest of the year? Or have you given up on it? Please don’t, there is still time for you to change things around.

I get it, for some of you it has been a tough year and you just want a do over, and you can have that, but only if you want to.

It’s about choice. You get to choose how you respond to the things happening in your life, and your choices are a catalyst for what you experience next.

Having this in mind, what could you do differently to get a different result? Make it drastic, let it be so unusual for you, that it makes you feel uncomfortable and scares you a little bit.

One of the quickest ways to get better at anything is by doing more, faster. Don’t drag it out, even if it makes your stomach churn as mine is doing right now (I have a big decision to make), you’ll be better for it.

You have 90 days left till the end of year, you’ve got this!

Xo

This Is the Life We Spoke Of

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This is the life we spoke of. Don’t believe me?

How many times have you said I’m broke?

How many times have you said I hate my job?

How many times have you said My life is shit?

How many times have you said No one loves me?

How many times have you said I’ll never make it?

How many times have you said I don’t like my body?

How many times have you said I’m not good enough?

How many times have you said I don’t believe in myself?

How many times have you said I can’t do_________?

Still think you’re not living the life you spoke of?

Think of your words as your Sat Nav; the course of your life can only go where you tell it to.

Xo

 

Born With It

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A blog post could take me a day or two, maybe more before I actually post it. I’ll fuss over the details like ‘does it make sense? Am I chatting shit? Will a reader relate? For flip sake I missed a word, this doesn’t flow…’ and the conversation continues. It’s annoying. Honestly.

But that’s the price of producing work you can be proud of.

Being great at anything isn’t an overnight job. It can take years. When I look back at my work from 10 years ago, I wonder how I ever made it through university. It was terrible. I almost never proof read anything. What the hell for? ‘You said 3000 words, take it and leave me alone’. And I’m not exaggerating, it was a total mess.

It took me looking at my work to really see the quality that I was producing and make changes. Doing so made me realise I missed words a lot, and that I could read a sentence 5 times and still not notice it’s not there. Oh, and that’s another thing, I HAVE to reread my writing out loud several times, even when I don’t feel like it, because what you see matters to me. It’s the difference between a good read and a read that barely makes sense. It can be tiresome, but do you want to be just okay? Or great at what you do?

It’s so easy to look at someone doing brilliantly and think they’ve got it like that. They don’t. What they do have is a commitment to their life and work continuously to do better, to beat themselves over and over and over again.

So don’t be blind sighted by the appearance of things as all great things are always worked for.

xo

Life On Your Terms

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I just feel like you NEED to see my face lol. Vain much? Maybe…

Good morning!

I really hope you’re doing well.

I wanted to drop a quick note and ask a question: are you living life on your own terms? To elaborate a little more, is the life you’re living yours by design or other peoples design? And really think about that answer.

Over the past few months, I have been steadily unlearning a lot of ideals and thoughts that have been ingrained in me through the various paradigms I operate in, to sift out one that is actually authentically me, and doing so has made me happier and freer. I am now consciously making my own mind up about things and the (self)inflicted pressure has significantly reduced.

I realised that when I strip away everything, I already have everything that is truly important to me like a roof over my head, my family is alive and very well, a means to earn money to sustain my life, a life that I am falling more in love with, and the list goes on…all because I decided to detach myself from what is supposed to be.

You can experience this new level of freedom which will empower you to actually do more of what you love by simply asking yourself, is this really me? And if you discover that it isn’t, work through that to find what is.

Everyone’s mission in life is different and to think we should all be doing and have the same things by a set time is utterly absurd.

I’ll give you an example and I use this one because there is a huge obsession with it in this society, love.

For as long as I can remember women have been conditioned to be reliant on a man for love and value, which is damaging on so many levels.

I am constantly asked by people I know and don’t know about having a partner, which for a long period made me feel a certain way. Almost as if my life could not be fulfilling if I didn’t have one and that this was the pinnacle for a woman. They often inferred and sometimes said ‘that there must be something wrong with me’. At a point I believed them and took a long hard look at myself and altered my behaviour so I could fit. Ha. It didn’t work.

The plan for me was never to fit in, but because of the words I kept hearing (which builds faith, faith comes by hearing), I believed them over myself and what I felt. Big mistake and it cost me.

Through detaching myself from this conditioning, I have been able to replace it with one that gives to myself over and over and over again. By me for me.

Now I’m not saying burn everything and move to a remote area and don’t want or need anyone, not at all, we need connections, they help us thrive, my suggestion is simply that when you make decisions about your life, make sure it is by you for you.

Xo

You Sow, You Reap.

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Just like yourself I need reminders all the time about the things I should be thinking about and working on and I received one this morning.

Whatever you’re living in now, is your harvest. Marinate on that for a moment.

Whilst it’s great to be living in the now as you should, we do need to consider how we are setting up for our future.

I needed this reminder today because too often we become complacent and abandon the responsibility we have in creating the circumstances we live in. No one is going to do the work for you, you have to get up and show up.

Spend some time today thinking about the state of your affairs. Realise the decisions, choices, thought processes and actions that you made to lead you to this point.

If you acknowledge that there is something you would like to create or change for your imminent or distant future, think about what that looks, take action and be consistent.

Remember you are manifesting as we speak (read- you know what I mean)…

And just so you know that I am doing the work too, I’ll share a recent experience with you.

I was reading the ES magazine last week Thursday and it had a story on Dina Asher-Smith. She is a British sprinter and her story motivated me to return to something I once loved, running. Reading the article conjured up old feelings and I decided that I would get back to it after 15 years and I would not give reasons (excuses) for not doing it.

Fortunately for me, I have a friend Cynthia who is a track athlete, sprinter and inspiration. I met her through a mutual friend of mine a little over 2 years ago. She turned up to my shambles of a 28th birthday soiree (that’s a story for another time), not long after giving birth to her second child.

The transformation from when I first met her to now is like day and night and solely down to her sheer will, discipline and commitment to her fitness and health even with a very active household to support. Not all hero’s wear capes, some of them live and work right next to you.

Anyway, I contacted Cynthia on Friday, was on the track on Tuesday and is currently suffering from the pain of having ran 5 x 200m with 1 minute recovery time between each (I took longer breaks lol). She, Emma and Eliza did 10 x 200m with a 1 minute recovery time, I personally could not…yet but I’m positive with more training and their encouragement I’ll be able to do it.

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This was just after our session on Tuesday. I’m smiling but I nearly died.

The point is when you make a decision, get the ball rolling and take action. Trust me, I didn’t want to turn up on Tuesday as I was tired AF, but I did and although I am in pain now my future body and health will thank me for it.

Xo

The Value of One

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I recently came across a lady called Karin Bohn who is awesome!

She is an interior designer, business owner and entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada. I discovered her about 2 weeks ago and haven’t stopped watching her videos. She gives real day to day insight into her wins, challenges and losses of all the different roles she plays, which I find incredibly invaluable.

Through watching her videos it reignited a fire in me that had been dormant and I am grateful for that.

The thought that keeps running through my mind is what if she gave up? What if she said no one is watching or enjoying my content? What if she had decided to close up shop one day and shut it all down? The business, designing, YouTube? I shudder.

This was a good reminder for myself that one person finding value in what you do can be such a difference maker in their lives and how important it is to keep being you, in all the spaces you occupy.  Yes, you may not always see it or feel like what you are doing is purposeful but it is.  Karin doesn’t even know I exist and yet here I am writing about her, case in point. 

Do not take for granted the difference you can make to your life and the lives of others simply by existing.

Xo

Keep That Same Energy

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It’s 8:20 am and I’m scheduled to be on time for work- woop! I’m hosting interviewees and the first person is set to arrive at 9:00 am so I can’t do my usual ‘stroll into work at late o’clock’.

Seeing as I should make it in slightly before 9’o clock, a thought crossed my mind as I walked briskly down the escalators that “I could take my time, there is no need to rush”.

I know better. It would just be my luck that as soon as I decide to relax, something happens. There’d be hordes of people trying to get on the train or it would suddenly be delayed by 10 minutes.

For a split second I did consider it but decided against it and continued to make haste, just in case. I was right to as there were delays…

A little random detail about my morning but it led me to think of this life hack. When you are making strides and you have built some momentum, that is not the time to take your foot off the accelerator, you do the opposite, floor it.

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It’s easy to become complacent once we experience a little bit of success. It gets to our heads and we think “ahh yes I can relax”, when really that window of opportunity is the time to push, go harder and do more. The aim is to firmly make your stamp in whatever it is you’re doing, not to do it just a little bit and the only way to do that is to generate enough traction that it lasts.

Remember when Beyonce took that year long career break? She could do that because she’s worked hard enough that her work speaks for itself whether she is present or not. Now I don’t advise you do what she does as I am sure its not entirely healthy, what I am saying is; if something is working, pursue it and pursue it well, strike whilst the iron is hot.

Life is full of peaks and troughs and you want to make the best of what you have, whilst you still have it.

Xo

P.s I made it on time 🙂

“I Woke Up Like This”

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709d80aa-886d-48f8-945a-e13d48d6479fLast week I was a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. It was beautiful, a true blessing.

In the midst of celebrations I had reflective moments as I usually do in these situations. I thought about how wonderful all the different relationships (friends, relatives, couples) were, however, I was quickly reminded that things were not always so and getting here was in short, a real conscious effort…But here we all were celebrating, reaping the work of our hands in more ways than one.

Isn’t it how we look at all good things? That they just are, that there wasn’t a process, growing pains, or a lot of challenging work involved to make it what it is.

We often forget or choose to ignore the behind the scenes and just glorify the highlights. Those highlights are nothing without the graft. It could not would not exist without an individual/s choosing to show up and participate in ALL the parts required to achieve a goal.

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If you want something you cannot pick and choose the bits you want to deal with and avoid the ones you don’t. You’re either all in or out, straddling the fence isn’t permitted.

Usain Bolt pre-retirement would train all year round for possibly a 10 second race a few times a year. Let that sink in. A 10 second race.

Beautiful, wonderful things are sometimes cultivated.

So the next time you see something great, think about what it might have taken to get there and let that reinforce what you do. Don’t ever get twisted thinking that anyone has it easy, everyone pays a price, the question is whether you want to?

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Xo

Greatness Over Time

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Last week Thursday I was looking back on the things I have done to date and I have to be honest, I was pretty impressed with myself, like really impressed. I love what I have been able to do so far and I didn’t think I would ever say that at this point.

As a perfectionist, it could always be better, yet here I was, looking at my work and saying to myself ‘I’m dope af’.

Side note:The lack of acknowledgement or praise for your gift and contribution does not exclude the existence of it.  

Now that may be my inflated ego talking, but as I sat there and mulled over why I hadn’t seen myself in this way before, it came to me. Time, work and effort was why.

Becoming great at anything requires time, not only that but work, repeated effort and consistency. You cannot become great at anything if you do not put the hours in. There is absolutely no conning your way into it and most people start at the bottom and by bottom I mean you’re usually shit…at first. 

Think Serena and Beyonce. When you look at their success, its awe-inspiring, but truthfully what you are looking at is decades of hard work, failure, repeated action, consistency and a whole lot more.

They started as kids whose talents had to be cultivated. An overnight success they are not, not by a long shot, and if we ever sat down to converse with them about their journey, I am not sure many of us could stomach it.

Want to be great at anything? Give yourself time, be religious with doing the work, learn from it, take risks, fail, celebrate- do whatever it takes and you will surely become it, in time.

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And this could be for anything. A great relationship, apply the above, a great career apply the above, a great body, apply the above, creating the life you want to lead, apply the above, great health, apply the above… you get my drift. The work must be done and there’s no shirking the responsibility that is required to be great.

So, if you want it, it yours, but its not free.

Xo

Plastic Surgery: Should I do it?

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img_6198It’s Sunday and I’m lazing around looking on social media and I see someone who I hadn’t seen in a while, something was different.
Her breasts were huge and quite tender looking, snap! She’s had work done. I noticed her friends too, all their bodies looked exactly the same.  It was clear they shared similar values in that respect.

I was a little bit saddened by it because part of what made each of them physically unique had been lost under the knife, probably in a foreign country somewhere. That isn’t shade, just the reality.

This individual used to stick up for her what others would call saggy breasts and show them like a badge of honour, seemingly not giving AF which I quite admired, so it was a shock to see that she had done it. It’s safe to say that under the heavy scrutiny she bulked.

The pressure to be and look amazing today is ever increasing, I mean who doesn’t want to be admired? I do, in fact worship me (I kid…sort of).

I get it, it’s hard to be the only one not doing something especially under the constant gaze of negative, miserable gremlins or on the flip side the constant feed of ‘perfect’ bodies. Your resolve has to be impenetrable because by simply being around it, you tap into that consciousness.

That consciousness is something that’s palpable, you feel it but can’t quite hold it. Even your favourite love to hate rapper Kanye West had lipo’ as he ‘didn’t want you to call me fat like you did Rob’. The Kanye West. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind, especially whilst working out- its a bitch.

Plastic surgery used to be a secret and something only the rich and famous could afford. You didn’t come across people with augmentations often. On the rare occasions that I did, in hushed tones I’d gesticulate at my friend towards the muse in question, looking on in awe at how we are able to cut ourselves up and make something we weren’t born with bigger. My young naïveté couldn’t quite fathom it. And anyway weren’t we supposed to love what God gave us?

I have fought with this particular subject matter as whilst I firmly believe that people should do whatever makes them happy, I haven’t entirely reconciled that with the risks that plastic surgery holds physically, emotionally and mentally, but I suppose high risk, high reward?

Another part of my concern is in the pseudo-confidence it provides a lot of women and men and what will happen when once again what’s on trend changes, not to mention that the enhancements still don’t exclude you from having insecurities like everyone else. In some cases, a few people go on to develop greater insecurities because they never want to lose that feeling of being desirable to themselves and to others. Then there’s the lack of sound judgment and the carelessness at which some people make these decisions that end up having permanent unwanted effects including death. Undoing some of the negative effects can be a hard journey and K Michelle’s story is a testament to that.

It certainly has it benefits which I have personally witnessed amongst the people I know, I don’t dispute that at all. They seem…happier

A friend and I joke that we’ll be the only ones holding on for dear life not succumbing to the demand to carve ourselves out to perfection although now that I think about it, my friend does talk about shaving down her jaw, reducing her forehead and getting under eye fillers so maybe it’ll just be me, maybe.

Perhaps there’ll be a revolution with the likes of Kylie and K Michelle undoing their plastic surgery decisions and that it will encourage people to give it a bit more thought before going under.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t acknowledge that we all have some type of enhancement whether it’s our nails, hair, teeth, gym, filters and so on. We too subscribe to wanting bigger and better, and whilst the gravity of it can be less severe, the principle is the same.

With that said, this is much more of an inside job than it is an outside one. It’s what’s taking place upstairs that impacts everything around you and what you experience. That is the real power and once we begin to master this, the lives we lead will be further enriched. And no, it’s not easy to work on you,  it’s constant effort and often times a struggle too but worth it in the long run.

If you choose to have surgery, make sure that you’re not making these changes so others can feel better about you so you can feel better about yourself, as to put it plainly, that’s backwards. Do due diligence with taking that step as your life truly depends on it.

Most importantly don’t forget the you underneath all of that. You spend the most time with that person, love them, accept them because in acceptance there is freedom.

Xo

Call It Quits?

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img_0874You set a goal and start to execute your plans to see it materialise. You’re excited and more determined than ever, nothing will stop you, you can do it.

Months and years have passed and you can’t see the finish line, your energy starts to wane. You wonder if there is any point because nothing seems to be changing. You want to stop but you haven’t…yet.

Will it ever happen? Should I give up? Did I make a mistake going down this path? Can I fix it? Should I fix it? What did I do wrong?
It’s not going happen, I should give up, I never should have embarked on this journey, there’s nothing more I can do, I should have done this instead…

The constant noise, the incessant chatter of shoulda woulda couldas engulfs you. You can’t think straight.

Too overwhelmed to do much, yet too far gone to give it all up.

I know the feeling, it’s tempting to call it quits especially on days where it doesn’t make sense.
Truth is, when you made the decision to pursue your desires, there were no guarantees that it would happen, you only believed in it enough to do something about it, kudos to you.

In times like these, you must reconnect to your why. Stop the static by getting out of your normal environment and purge yourself of your thoughts.

Sounds simple, almost too simple yet it works.

I was having a nightmare of a time yesterday with a decision I had made months ago and I was so close to going back on my word. I had re-enacted what I felt like doing in that moment a trillion times but deep down I knew I’d regret it.

I wanted to stay on course but was struggling to. I called on my friends to keep me motivated; they helped, however it didn’t immediately ease my feelings. My thoughts were doing over time.

I decided to go to a small park around where I work. I opened notes on my phone, wrote two lines about how I was feeling and that was it. My sound mind was restored.

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Seeing the words was a visual reminder of why I was doing it and that the possibility of something better was worth the effort and indeed valuable to me.

Try it out. If you feel uncertain about your direction, get into nature. Spend time there, meditate, write or even talk to someone. It’s the best free therapy there is. And when you’re done, pat yourself on the back for everything you have accomplished so far, appreciate the moment you’re in now, stay connected to your why and never give up.

If it doesn’t happen on the first try, keep doing it, clarity will come.

“Anything worth having, is worth waiting (working) for”…apparently (lol)

xo

Being 30

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At 22 I made a video with my then boyfriend (not that kind of video, ya nasty) about what I wanted to accomplish by 30. Unfortunately I do not have the video to refer back to as he deleted it when we broke up- salty.

Anyway, I remember having such grand plans of what I wanted my life to look like and the accomplishments I should have by the time I turned 30.

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My life is nothing like I had envisioned. It’s great just different.

For years leading up to it, I was incredibly conscious of that target to the point of sometimes crippling anxiety. I’d think about turning 30, and palpitations would follow with a sense of foreboding ‘I am not going to do everything am I?, I’m failure if  I don’t make my goals, all my peers are getting along nicely, there must be something wrong with me…’ and the constant head chatter would regurgitate itself every so often.

Then there were the advice from those in their 30’s, talking about how amazing it will be and how much you’d enjoy it. Their opinions were met with my dubious side eye, raised left eyebrow and pursed lips “sure”.

But here I am 6 months into being 30 not having achieved all of my previous goals and thinking what was the big deal? Life hasn’t come to a halt because things didn’t go according to my plan and it also did not require me to stop working towards them just because I’m 30, in fact quite the opposite.

I have opted to continuously recommit myself to, well, me, in every aspect and there’s no age limit on that-it’s entirely up to you.

Don’t limit yourself. If things don’t work out as planned, oh well, it’s not the end of the world. Keep going, take a step back if you need to, but simply don’t quit.

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Xo

Not About This Life!

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I do contract work, so that means every few months I change jobs and for the most part I like it. I don’t get stuck anywhere especially if I am not that keen on it (I may or may not have commitment issues, but that’s for another post).

Of course there are pitfalls such as lack of job security/stability, having to look for a new role every few months (which is like pulling teeth) and the restrictions in career progression, however I’m at a point where for my own personal goals I need to secure a permanent role. Thing is there isn’t a role that makes me want to jump out of bed and therein lies part of the problem. Whilst there are positions that pique my interest and would provide some sense of purpose, but its still just so blah.

Earlier today whilst discussing career opportunities with a friend, in jest I said that I resign from the search and I am just going to sell hair. We laughed till tears came out of my eyes.

Needless to say, I am not about to sell hair or am I? I’m creative being and I need the license to, well, create and not be restricted.

The goal would be to sufficiently excessively sustain myself from doing the things that I love (one of them being writing) and that’s a work in progress.

This stage of my life is aptly called ‘Winging it’, but that’s part of adulting isn’t it? figuring shit out.

When I do get some semblance of what/where the hell I am doing or going next, I’ll be sure to let you know.

If you don’t have a clue what to do, keep moving, be proactive in trying out new things, don’t restrict yourself and certainly do not give up, persevere.

XO

P.s Just proof that we all have moments where we don’t know what we’re doing, you’re not alone 🙂

 

Where’s Your Head At?

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A few months back there was a big boxing match that I wanted to watch and for the life of me I can’t recall who was fighting now because it was so so dry.

Usually when big boxing matches are coming up, my friends and I look for a venue to watch it at, however we can never quite get it together and it’s always by some stroke of luck that we find somewhere at the very last minute.

Anyway this fight was coming up and I was completely over the palaver of trying find somewhere. Nope, not doing it. I am not looking for a place, a vibe, a nothing, but, I still had the issue of wanting to watch the fight, so what do I do? Then it hit me, ‘Irene, pay for it and watch it at home DURH!’. That’s what anyone with common sense would do, right? Except I was so used to having the mind frame of watching it with others, in their space and on their dollar that it never ever occurred to me that I could just pay for it myself and watch it in the comfort of my own home, without the hassle. Genius idea.

It might sound minute to you, but it shocked the hell out of me because I hadn’t realised that even in something as small as this I had become conditioned to think about some things in a way that was limiting my experiences. Needless to say I paid for it, watched it in bed and after the boring fight was over, fell right asleep, perfect.

It took me making a different choice to encourage me to have a different experience.

What old ways do you have that is limiting your experiences? What could you take responsibility for? What different choice could you make that might lead to a different experience?

The people who get uncommon results do uncommon things. Break your mould and do something you wouldn’t normally and yes sometimes doing that will be difficult and challenges will arise, push through anyway and do it.

I did a presentation last week in front of a whole directorate and I was shitting myself. They couldn’t tell though but I was so sure I was making an arse of myself. It was my first time doing something of that kind and trust me when I say all sorts of challenges cropped up in the lead up to it but I expected that because that’s what happens when you want soemthing. I seriously considered dropping out at the last minute and said to myself, ‘Irene why did you say you’d do it?’. But guess what? It was well received and my colleague and I had lots of positive, reaffirming feedback.

It was also a huge learning curve and built my character and skills, yet if I had quit, I’d never have that.

Its a new week, do something different and see how it goes. Whether you win or lose, you learn from it- you still win.

The Danger of Expectations

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Do you always get what you want?

Some time back I wrote in my notes that my expectations are making me depressed.

They’re such a weird thing, like you’re “meant” to have them, but then having them makes you prone to disappointment. On the other hand not having them can mean that you accept much less or that in some cases you receive much more, so what exactly are we supposed to do? How do we get the balance right?

At one point in my life I was the person with little to no expectations of things and people and without realising it received everything. I have also been the person with high expectations and intentions and consistently seen it fall through in epic proportions and consequently been gravely disappointed. For this reason I have spent some time really ruminating over ‘expectations’ and I think I have it figured out.

When I think about it, a lot of the times that I’ve had a clear vision of what I want, it typically doesn’t materialise in that way. I still get it, it just looks a bit different.

Lots of motivational speakers talk much about belief, faith, setting intentions and so on, but what they don’t tell you is how to do these things; and believe it or not I do think there is a method to it. Not one that suits everything of course, but one that produces a healthier balance for your life (subjectively speaking).

Follow me for a moment. Ever watched a film adaptation of one of your favourite books and after watching it you thought ‘this was shit’. Well of course it was! It is NEVER going to match up to the imagery that your intricate and unique mind conceived.

Now using that same analogy, apply it to other situations, a job, a friendship, a lover, money, children. Can you see how you could live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and disappointment? How will you or anyone make it when your thoughts have determined what EVERY action and outcome should be? You have left no room for deviation, no room for creativity, no room for life to do its thing and with this way of thinking not even God will make the cut.

So many people are walking around depressed because things didn’t work out how they thought it would and then spend a considerable amount of time focusing on the results that didn’t happen. In doing this you miss out on what did happen, the blessings in that and also what you could do to make it better.

When we create and cement the outcome down to a T and refuse to be open, we deprive ourselves of being able to witness and appreciate the beauty in what IS happening. We stunt its growth and ultimately our growth. The happiest people as we know are those that make the best of what is there not of what isn’t.

The most successful people are successful because they keep moving. They didn’t get stuck on what didn’t happen, they focused on what did and made it better.

So do be expectant, continue to visualise, but refrain from becoming overly attached to it and restricting what it should be. Okay, you might say that’s settling. It’s not. We have to remember that we are not the only ones involved in the makings of something. There are so many other factors involved, ones that we can see and ones that we can’t and we need to consider that too.

Allow life to happen because whether we like it or not, it will happen with or without you so you might as well roll with it.

Xo

P.s My sister took my pictures and I was obviously pretending to be cool or whatever.

My First Time

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I was in love once. You never forget your first time.

I remember feeling so raw, so fresh, so fragile. What the hell is this feeling? And why can’t I get rid of it?! For someone who likes to be in control, I was way out of my depth.

…And with first loves comes first heartbreak and mine was one of the worst experiences to date, I’d never wish it upon my enemy. My mind convinced me that I will not get over it and be the same. Part of that is true, I was never the same but I certainly did get over it.

Although the pain of it is long forgotten, the effects still remain and I am continuously working on undoing it all. I have not been “in love” since, as I inadvertently made it conditional. The ones after him didn’t stand a chance, the bar was set stupidly high.

Now that isn’t to say I consistently made good decisions, I definitely did not. I did become fiercely protective over how close you could get and mastered the skill of not showing much emotion. To me, showing emotion was a sign of weakness and being vulnerable a terrible thing, but as we can see here my beliefs on that is changing slowly but surely.

Between figuring out who I was, childhood trauma, growing through adolescence, university, volatile relationships and friendships, I was a complete and utter mess. No word of a lie, you could see the struggle, pain and hardness on my face. It was a lot, but there is better. Those who knew me then to now will tell you that I’m a far cry from the young woman they first met.

Years later I can laugh at how dramatic, naive and emotional I was, I’m grateful for that valuable lesson. It’s a contributing factor to who I am today, both good and bad.

My advice for healing? I can’t put it down to one thing, it’s a combination of things. I’ll list a few practices that helped me and still do (and I use this for all things):

  1. Don’t rush the process by acting as if it didn’t happen or that you don’t feel anything. You’ll do yourself a disservice by being in denial and it will only manifest in other areas of your life in a greater way including disease. It’s that deep. Give it the space to breathe and go through the motions, it’s the only way to come out on the other side. It’s perfectly okay to admit that you’re hurt.
  2. Do be proactive in your healing. Get around your loved ones, do the things you enjoy doing, find a worthy project to direct your energy towards, write down your feelings, or get help if you need to. The aforementioned will help immensely but it won’t exclude you from forgetting or feeling the pain, it’ll be very present. You could be in the midst of doing the most exciting thing and boom, your mind thinks of them and it throws you off, keep going. With each passing day, it’ll get better.
  3. Practice self-love. Unfortunately this isn’t something we’re often taught, but the best way I can describe it is to love yourself how you would want the love of your life to love you. For example, you would want them to speak to you kindly, to encourage you, to support your dreams and help make them a reality, to treat you to nice things, to have once in lifetime experiences, to show compassion, to see you as your best self…all of that and more, do for yourself.
  4. Invest in yourself.
  5. Whether you’re a person of faith or not, pray, meditate or journal.

We should do these things irrespective of a significant other but for some reason we find it difficult to be committed to another and ourselves simultaneously. If we learn how to do this we can never lose our way, at least not for long.

Some days won’t be great and other days you’ll feel the progress, during both keep pushing forward.

This journey is full of highs and lows, respect them and they will make you a better person.

Xo

How Does It Feel?

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How Does It Feel?

The words of a different Angelou, Dr Maya ‘People will never forget the way you made them feel’ have never rang more true for me than now.

I understood what she meant then, but having connected those words with a recent experience I have a deeper appreciation for it.

I found myself in a little bit of a predicament where I was really struggling to let something go. I sat there and thought about it, ‘What really is the issue here? why can’t you just let go and move on?’ and then it dawned on me, it was the way they made me feel.

It had been quite a long time since I was stirred (ew don’t be a freak) and in all honesty I liked it and had difficulty detaching myself when it turned out to be a bad fit. Even with the things said and done, it wasn’t enough to easily cut loose, the feelings kept it afloat.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all endured a lot of crap from someone we shouldn’t, but because of how we felt about them or how they made us feel we quickly forgave their transgressions.

Isn’t that how a lot of relationships between people are formed, based on feelings which then become attachments? Some relationships are easy to sever and others not so much for this very reason. We’re blinded by their ability to make us feel good, alive or whatever the positive impact we feel they have and in short, it’s addictive.

It’s a powerful drug, as everything we do is about how we feel. Coincidentally, what we get back is often a response to that. And this isn’t strictly between people, it’s everything! Money, family, jobs, health, food… how we feel about these things govern how we treat them.

So the next time you’re having difficulty understanding what’s happening in your life, ask yourself,’how does it make me feel?’and you should soon discover the root and hopefully the solution to your dilemma.

Knowing this, is both a gift and a curse, use it wisely, as just as others have the power to affect you, you have the power to affect others.

Xo

I Just Want To Be Successful

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I had an epiphany the other day that is reshaping how I think about myself now and I am hoping it will help you too.

Ever since I can remember, I have never considered myself as a success or that the things I have done have been successful because my view point is I can always do better and more. There has always been a new goal to work towards and I realise now that I could have achieved the most amazing thing and I’d never consider it good enough for that very reason.

I was in the shower when the thought came to me ‘I am a success’. I don’t know whose thought in the ether I picked up, but for some strange reason that statement permeated every part of me as the absolute truth. I AM a success.

All the ways I was/am a success came to mind, even the most unlikely of things like my job, which although doesn’t set my soul on fire, I have one. You think it’s easy maintaining a job with all its nuances that you don’t love, but still go to because it funds your real love? Sounds like a success to me- A shift in perspective.

It made me think, if I do not see myself as successful now with all the things I have done to date and who I am, what difference will it make when I achieve more and greater? When will that turning point come?

We too often qualify success on other people’s terms and find it difficult to see ourselves and all the things we have overcome and accomplished.

Give yourself some credit and spend a few minutes meditating on your achievements, especially the ones you overlook every day. You don’t need anyone but yourself to do that.

Start seeing yourself as a success now and watch you attract more of it because we attract what we are, not what we want to be.

Xo

The Finish Line

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We all know the story of the Tortoise and Hare and if you don’t you can read about it here.

It’s almost impossible to ignore what people are doing, how they’re doing it and who they’re doing it with (ew get your mind out of the gutter). There are images and videos everywhere you turn! Suddenly, you start to feel inadequate and a small irritating voice says ‘why aren’t you doing better?, you should have been doing this by now, you’re such a flop, you’ll never make it if you’ve not made it by now, give up, you started out together but look at what s/he has done and you’re STILL struggling, just pack it all in’. Ugh, shoot me now.

So what do you do?

Focus.

The Tortoise is slow by nature and in this instance he was well aware of his capabilities. He didn’t try and be like the Hare because the way his body is set up it’d never cope. Could you imagine seeing him sprint with a heavy ass shell around his body, itty bitty chunky legs and a small head with beady eyes? Comical. Even if he managed it for some parts of the race, his whole body at some point will betray him. Instead, he ran his own race at his own pace and won.

Ultimately it was his focus on what he was doing and an awareness of his abilities that got him across the finish line to win. When the Tortoise didn’t see the Hare in the race, he didn’t suddenly decide ‘you know what let me just chill seeing as the Hare is sleeping, I have time’, he chose to continue on. Coincidentally it was the Hare’s lack of focus that made him lose.

The Hare overestimated his abilities and underestimated his opponents. Rather than give his attention to the task at hand which was to win the race, he was mocking what the Tortoise was doing and how he was doing it. It was at this point that he didn’t know he f**ked messed up.

‘But Irene I don’t know what to focus on?’ Well what’s in front of you? Focus on that. What opportunity is looking at you dead in your eye that you’re missing? Okay it might be heavily disguised and not quite look like what you expect but once you discover it, work on it anyway.

‘How?’  It’s not your business to spend time going over the how just DO. Do it whichever way you know and continue to do and do and do and do and before you know it you’re mastering the how and how not to, make sense? BUT, if you don’t make a move, it’ll never happen.

To sum this up, do your best at minding your business.

Xo

Are You Sure You Want This?

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Sunday night I say my prayers, set my intentions, I feel good and I go to sleep.

Before 8 am this morning, I had 2 unexpected things pop up with a promise to throw me off track.

I say to myself ‘It’ll be fine, I’ll handle it’.

I jump in the shower and as I scrub myself I suddenly remember one of the intentions I had set the night before: ‘I want to strengthen my mind (positively)…’. It dawns on me that those 2 “pop ups” were a part of my “mind strengthening training”. I laugh at the physical representations of it and mentally accept the challenge.

What is the challenge? Don’t lose my shit, maintain a good attitude and alter the way I do and respond to things to further develop my character.

Anyway, I have work to get to and I must be there for 9 am. One of the managers is up my crack and onto me and I’m never one to fall back from a challenge and I like to prove points, so like I said I must be on time.

I leave out and I’m doing okay for time. I arrive at the closest underground station to me and there’s 100’s of people at the top of the escalators. The Jubilee Line has a fault. Now if you know me, you know commuting is one of my least favourite things. I think I vocally complain about it at least once a week so this is not good and like I said I HAVE A POINT TO PROVE (wtf is the universe ignoring me?). We’re all hanging around waiting to be told that service will resume. It doesn’t. Instead they tell us the line has been suspended both ways. Feck.

By this point I am teetering on resorting back to my usual reaction to situations like this. I can feel the urge coming up from my stomach creeping up on me, but I utter no words for fear of undoing my efforts. I won’t go out like that. I plan another route to get to work.

Upon arriving at the alternative route, I walk down the stairs looking towards the platform to see if the train has arrived as it’s due now. I see the train is there, but it hasn’t quite pulled up to the full length of the platform yet. That’s odd. I overhear a bystander tell someone something about the train but I only caught bits of it, so I asked her what she had just said.

‘A person has jumped in front of the train’. What?! Okay, this is too much mental strength training for me in one morning. You mean to tell me a likely dead body is somewhere underneath this very train I am looking at? It deeply saddens me and my eyes well. Whoever they were, was in so much mental turmoil and pain that they couldn’t bear the thought of living another day. If you’ve ever been depressed or suicidal you know just how much of a battle it is.

I attempt to say a prayer for them ‘I hope they have peac…’. I don’t quite finish the sentence or really know what to say. Can a person who took their own life have peace in death? What about the afterlife? Is there really an afterlife? Too much to think about. There goes my morale.

I eventually make it into work 2 hours and 50 minutes after I left my house, for what usually is a 1 hour journey door to door. Time: 10:50 am. Oh, have I mentioned I’m a contractor so every hour counts…fun.

Don’t get me wrong I know some of the above pales in comparison to things others have to deal with, but this is what’s mine.

I share of all of that to say this: Be aware of what you are asking for and what you want.

You usually hear be careful what you ask for, but I think it’s equally important to be aware of it, because whatever you want or ask for, you will be tested by it and if you are unable to recognise it when it comes, you’ll abuse and lose it.

Being aware puts you in a better position to readily succeed at, improve and appreciate the thing that you have asked for. It also helps to manage your expectations. For example, some women want husbands that are rich. Nothing wrong with that right? Except the reality of that might look like him working long hours, travelling the world, being available to his work responsibilities 24/7, missing important dates, forgetting important dates, and so on. Being wealthy usually comes with huge responsibilities and yes the payoff is nice but at what price?

You want to be a world class athlete? That’ll mean changing your diet, knowing every single ingredient in your food and its properties, being disciplined, limiting social outings, training every single day, and the list goes on.

Get my drift?

I wanted to reinforce my mind to be steadily positive and what I have been faced with are things to build more of a resistance to negativity or things not going as planned and because I am aware of this, I can effectively adjust to meet this need. Will I always do right? Um no. But I can always do better.

So, what have you asked for? Is it here? And how are you rising to the occasion?

Xo

For anyone who’s in need, please help yourself here.

In All Honesty…

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I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m shit at keeping up.

I am not a routine person at all and need free reign to, well, freely reign over whatever I so wish. I like to hibernate from time to time and ruminate over my issues and thoughts in perfect peace and having to be visible disrupts that. Schedules to me are a constriction and only further incite the rebel in me. But, as my mother would say, man cannot live by bread alone and in this instance I cannot be without discipline and consistency as those are the springboards to success.

My relationship with posting is shoddy to say the least. I go through many peaks and troughs with it that I can only imagine for you is meh. *Whispers* If truth be told it’s an absolute miracle that I have been “blogging” for nearly 4 years!

So here is what I am going to ask of you, hold me accountable. No man is an island and no matter who it is, everyone needs someone to encourage or in my case push them to act. On my part I will do my best to continue cultivating discipline and be more consistent.

If there is something in your life that you know needs to improve, put the energy into doing just that. You will have good days where the progress is evident and palpable, but know that there will also be ‘bad days’ where you will want to throw the towel, bucket and sponge in, don’t. I more than anyone understands how an obstacle can come along and give you a swift kick in the shin, but continue to practice. Practice being better than you were yesterday, practice encouraging yourself, practice being disciplined in the small things so you can handle with more ease the big things, practice doing things out of your comfort zone so you can do more things out of your comfort zone, whatever it is, practice and don’t give up!

Xo

P.s How are we in March already?!

 

The Signs

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Dare I say it I am excited that it’s Monday and the start of a new week! Everything that happened last week is now in the past and we have new opportunities to make good on, so go forth and prosper!

The Signs 

Energy doesn’t lie, it can’t, it just is.

I, like a lot of people am big on energy. If their energy is off, there’s a high possibility that you’ll be off too.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been MIA because something else has held my attention. By something I mean someone. They held my attention in a way that it distracted me from the things I was supposed to do. I chose to allow their presence consume a lot of my energy and not in a good way.

During this period it became crystal clear to me how important it is to align yourself with people who encourage, support and want the best for you. If this is lacking in your relationships, run. I realised that I was dealing with someone who did not have the best intentions and although it was a difficult pill to swallow, it was absolutely necessary that I realised this now than later.

One person is enough to completely change the course of your life for the better or worse, so do not ignore the signs as they are always present and there to guide you onto a better path. Will it be pain free? No. In fact you’ll probably find it a struggle to detach yourself from them, but the pain you’ll experience from that is less than what you’ll experience in the long run if you continue to entertain and have this person influence your life.

Don’t know how to gauge if this person is right or not? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

  1. How do they regularly make you feel, uplifted or in low spirits?
  2. Are they helping you grow or making you stagnant?
  3. How have you changed since having them around, is it positive or negative?
  4. Do they care about your general wellbeing?
  5. Do they support your ambitions with love and careful consideration?

Asking those questions will paint a better picture of the quality of the relationships you have and if it’s not good, you’re one step closer to figuring out how to change that. The one thing you mustn’t do, is attempt to change them. It’s a futile exercise that no one has the power to do except the individual in question.

Your life is your responsibility and it’s up to you to filter out the people and things that do not cultivate the life you want to lead. Make it your business to protect your space.

Xo

The Dreams Free, Hustle Sold Separately

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I love dreaming, day dreaming to be exact. I can set the place, time, event, who’s there and make it as big and as wonderful as I want it to be. The best part is that you can do it anywhere and at any time.

You may feel elevated after the quick or not so quick fantasising session and then you’re reminded of the reality of your surroundings as it doesn’t quite match up to what you have envisioned.

Making that dream a reality requires an entirely different set of skills and irrespective of how easy someone makes it look, the truth is, it’s not. Blood, sweat and tears are a few things that go into bringing forth the things of your dreams. It inevitably will demand that you make sacrifices and some of them quite painful in order to attain what you desire.

Be under no illusion that things just work like magic because they often don’t. Let’s take a wonderful, healthy and flourishing relationship. You have two people from different backgrounds, upbringings, perspectives, behaviours and so on, coming together to build and nurture a relationship, does that sound like something that would just ‘work’? Absolutely not! There’s bound to be clashes, disagreements, tension, working together, laying aside your pride, apologising, compromising, selflessness, consideration, affection, effort, the list is endless of the things you will have to do to make your relationship wonderful, healthy and flourish. It’s no easy task and certainly will not feel magical; it’s work and lots of it.

So, as you go into this week, think about what it is you want and what you are prepared to give and also release to make it happen. Once you have a clearer picture, write down three things you will do to transmute your dream into your reality in the next week. And no, it won’t happen overnight, but over time you will start to see the evidence of your good work.

Dream big, but work even harder.

Xo

It Doesn’t Work If You Don’t

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I’d love to tell you that some things just work like magic, that you can say a few words and the thing you want magically appears, unfortunately it is not always so.  The “magic” is however in the work.

There isn’t much we can enjoy in this life if we don’t use discipline to attain and maintain it. Discipline is “the ability to control yourself or other people, even in difficult situations”.

Want a great relationship with your partner? You need discipline to do the work to make it great. What this might look like is developing your communication skills, learning when to speak and when to just let things go, lifting your partner up even when they’re driving you nuts and doing things you wouldn’t normally do but know they love-discipline.

Want a thriving career? You need discipline in order to consistently do the work required so that it thrives. This might mean delivering a high standard of service or work and you cannot do that without being disciplined.

Want your body to be the best it’s ever been? You need discipline to regularly go to the gym and maintain a good nutritional diet.

Saving money for a big purchase? You need discipline to stick to the plan that you’ve set up to buy it. This could mean learning to effectively manage your finances and denying yourself certain pleasures for the sake of reaching the goal- discipline.

One of the greatest of all time, THE Michael Jackson couldn’t grant us all of his musical genius without exercising a huge amount of discipline. He used it to write songs, record them, produce them, dance and to do every other amazing thing that we witnessed.

We’ve seen the effects that a lack discipline has on our lives and that of others, for example, unruly kids turn into delinquent teenagers and lazy adults. Not having discipline has the power to affect our lives in such a negative way that we’d be ignorant to not exercise it to draw into our lives the things we desire.

If you don’t have much discipline, practice and yes it is a learned behaviour for some, myself included. Don’t allow a lack of discipline be the reason you don’t prosper how you want to as that is most certainly in your hands.

Xo

SShhh Don’t Talk About It

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I just got back from a solo trip to Malta. If you have ever tried to organise a trip away with others you’ll know how incredibly frustrating it can be. After months of trying to get it together with others, I scrapped those efforts and said right I’m going alone! I didn’t tell anyone until it was all booked. It was exactly what I needed. It enhanced my confidence in myself, that I can do it alone and although it’d be nice to have a companion, I am certainly enough.

Want to do something? Do it. Don’t allow the perfect time, thing or person prevent you from making that move. I have learnt then when you go ahead, the people that are for you will come to you in due time. Whilst in Malta, a friend in London told me he used to live there and that he can put me in contact with a friend of his to take me out and that’s exactly what happened. Within a few hours I was out exploring their night life.

Another thing to do or not do in this case, is talk about it. We all know what it feels like to talk about something and it not materialise, it’s embarrassing. I’m now operating on a strictly need to know basis, not purely because of the embarrassment, but what it does is allow me to work in private without the influence of others that ‘don’t get it’. A lot of the time all talking about it does is waste energy that you really could be using to actually do it. If you have to talk about it, speak about it to people who have done it or are doing it. You have to constantly keep yourself in alignment with the thing that you’re doing. You cannot afford to speak to those who are on a completely different path, because believe it or not they have the power to derail you. Would an architect speak to yoga instructor about their project? No, unless it’s about how to practice mediation with exercise then Bobs your uncle. Now, that’s not to say they can’t provide great insights, it’s just a ground you have to tread VERY lightly-assess them by their fruits.

So, nurture your goals in private and diligently, protect your mind, get in alignment and surround yourself with people doing the work and watch your life change.

Xo

Food For Thought: The Grind

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I am starting a new thing called ‘Food For Thought’ where once a week, I write a sentence or two for personal rumination. I do think less is more and rather than constantly bombard you with an essay every couple of days (I’ll still do this), I thought it’d be good to give a few words instead. Of course whatever is written is up for your interpretation but I do hope it resonates in some respect.

Here’s the first one:

You cannot put a little bit of effort in and expect a massive return. That my friend, is theft.

Xo

P.s This may very well be laziness, only time will tell, but above is my story and I am sticking to it.

It’s Not You, It’s Me.

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Whenever we take up issue with something or someone else, it is usually an indication of a greater issue that we have going on internally. For example, if you’re jealous of someone else’s looks or life, what that might be saying is that you have low self-esteem and do not see yourself as valuable. There may already be a feeling of inadequacy in existence, which seeing another person further aggravates.  

I recently had a situation where I felt like someone wasn’t as attentive as I would have liked. I worked myself up for days going over the details, but I knew that the issue didn’t really lie with them, it was me. I didn’t feel good enough, I didn’t have great confidence in myself, I didn’t believe I was worthy. During that period I acknowledged that I had some work to do on myself. And no it’s not easy nor does it happen overnight.

You see the problem isn’t always about the other person and what they did, in many instances it’s about us and how we truly feel about ourselves. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to focus on ourselves, because when we shift it onto something or someone else to avoid dealing with the problem, we do ourselves and the people around us a disservice. It’s a disservice because we’re not able to tap into the crux of what is happening, which ultimately shapes our world and the experiences we have. We cannot live at or give our best if we do this. If we don’t address it internally, we can never change it externally. 

So the next time someone’s actions or presence evokes a negative reaction or feeling in you, think about what it is really saying about you, is there something for you to work on? And if so don’t be afraid of it. Broach it with care and take your time, but whatever you do, do not ignore it. 

 Xo

S/He is “Goals”

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I think we all can admit that we have looked at someones else’s life and admired them, possibly been jealous even at one point, but as I have learnt there’s only one life you should be concerned about, yours.

Its great that we can draw inspiration and learn from others, but we have to be careful how closely we focus on them lest we fall deep down the rabbit hole. Sometimes we look at someone’s life and think they’ve got it made until you hear about their woes, suddenly your life doesn’t seem so bad.

Learn to value where you are and have faith in where you’re going. Everyone’s journey is different as are the blessings and obstacles. Don’t look at anyone else and believe they’re “goals”, be your own goals.

Want to know how to do that? Set weekly, monthly, yearly real and practical goals and smash the shit out of them. Honestly, it works. It builds confidence and sharpens your tools. It will turn the focus back to you and on improving the quality of your life. Trust me, there’s so much living to do and if you’re doing it right, you won’t have time to inspect what the other person is doing. Granted, you can learn from them, however never hold their life in higher esteem than yours, ever.

Have a great weekend! And see you next week 🙂

Xo

3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis

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I planned to write on something completely different, but after a brief conversation with an old friend in which she sent me an article, I thought maybe this article would be useful to others like me.

The 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.

If you’re affected by one P, you’ll be affected by two and likely the third P too. Works like a pendulum going back and forth. If you do suffer from any of the above, then you understand how truly crippling this can be for your any area of your life.

Reading the article that I am about to share was like having a mirror to look into and you can only improve upon what you know. I hope it’s insightful.

“Do you set your standards high, but always feel like you’ve failed? Learn about the 3 “P’s” and end the vicious cycle that keeps you stuck and ineffective.

THE VICIOUS CYCLE

Perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis – one often leads to the next, in a vicious cycle, especially on large, long-term projects with no clear deadlines. Let’s look at each part of this cycle, and explore some concrete steps that you can take to disrupt the cycle.

PERFECTIONISM

Although most of my coaching clients don’t contact me until they are suffering from the second or third “P,” I will start with the first, one: perfectionism. This trait can be defined as striving towards impossibly high goals. The perfectionist is caught in a trap – he or she can never be good enough. Usually a perfectionist engages in a rigid, black or white kind of thinking about his own performance – if it isn’t perfect, it’s horrible.

I see perfectionism as existing on one end of a continuum. Up to a certain point, aiming high can help you become successful. Most academics who have made it to graduate school have set high standards for themselves and have met those high standards. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to attain excellence. It only becomes a problem when the goal is always set beyond your reach.

The Mediocre Perfectionist?

Ironically, the perfectionist often achieves a product that is far less than perfect. In contrast, those who aim at more realistic goals can outperform the perfectionist. How could that be? The procrastination and paralysis that result from overly high standards causes the perfectionist to wait until it’s too late, then rush to do something; anything. The more relaxed realist, in the meantime, is able to put an effort in earlier, over a more prolonged period of time, with more chance to let time and subsequent editing improve the final product…”

You can read the rest here

Xo

 

It’s None of My Business

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The title was inspired by Mr Hotspot on Instagram, I love this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6FkK5i6AY

It took me a while to learn how to not be so concerned with what someone else thought of me and my life and in all honesty I am still learning.

A couple of current truths about me are that I’m a perfectionist and critical which sort of means the same thing. So with anything that I do, it’s usually well thought out. The flip side to this is that I can be incredibly self-conscious and pedantic about everything!

‘What will they say? Will they judge me? What if they don’t like it? What if no one cares? They are going to hate it’

Pause…Okay, what if all your worst nightmares happen? And? Then what?

If there’s something I’ve learnt about people is that whether you’re bloody amazing or not they’re going to talk about you. Period. The only way to avoid that is to do nothing and be nothing and who wants to live like that? No one. And even still, no matter what it is, someone will find value in what you do and who you are. Social media is proof of this. The amount of times I’ve come across something I thought was absolutely insane, someone else was loving it.

So if they’re going to talk about you anyway, why not do the thing that you love to do, that you’re proud of, that makes you happy, that gives you purpose, that adds value that way you can stand by what you have chosen to do with your life, rather than feel like a fool for changing who you are and what you were doing to please others who couldn’t care less and are insistent on bringing you down regardless.

It’s not your business to worry about what others say about you and your life but it IS your business to be concerned your life and how you live it for you.

Surround yourself with those that will support and edify you and also be sure to BE the person you want to have in your life (Like attracts like).

Last thing, if there is one thing to consistently do in 2018 is to live your bestest (yes I said bestest) life!

Xo

Photo by Whole Magazine

Make Room

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I have an iPhone and it feels like every few seconds it tells me ‘Storage almost full’. Seeing this message has become the absolute bane of my life. I then start the process of looking for things to delete in order to create space and what I usually find tends to surprise me. ‘How did this get there?, erm this is useless, I’d never use this again, I have no interest in that, ergh delete’ are the thoughts I have when doing this.

It’s amazing how quickly things take form and become staples in our lives without us even realising it.

It’s crucial that we declutter on a regular basis so that we can make room for the things we really want and need in our lives now. This could be physically in terms of our possessions or mentally in respect of the way we think that no longer serves us and has now unknowingly become a hindrance or the time we afford others, it could be anything. Unfortunately we don’t have a message that pops up to tell us when we’re reaching our capacity and need to offload, but there are other tell tale signs that we can use to our advantage.

Lighten your load by decluttering and make room for what you want.

Xo