Design your life the way you want it

Round 3 MTB race
This story is about design. Designing your life the way you want it. This is a story of a day in a life that I am designing. Some of it I already do and some I am still aspiring to. Go deep within as you read and ask yourself what your ideal day looks like. 

Feeling grateful to be alive, I place my feet on the soft rug beside my bed and take three long breaths, absorbing the sounds around me. I hear the birds singing to the morning glory and our dog wagging his tail, excited like me, to be awake.

I stretch as I stand and sweep my arms above my head, yawning whilst moving into an awakening yoga pose.  Gracefully,  at the thought of the day ahead, I walk down the hallway into the kitchen, dimly lit from the lamp in the lounge and the moonlight shining in through the open windows.

As I turn the kettle on for the first cup of my favourite Japanese tea of the day, I smile again, knowing I will soon be on my mountain bike for a sunrise ride on the fabulous trails that begin only minutes from my door. Sunrise mountain bike rides are so good for my soul. A fabulous way to start another incredible day. 

Sitting for my morning meditation before I embark on the outdoors, I breathe deeply, connecting to the earth. I sit peacefully for five minutes and visualise my day going perfectly. The people I will meet, the connections I will make, the impact I will have. I think about how I want to feel and what I need to do for that to be real.

My mountain bike is set up ready to go, itching to hit the dirt trails just minutes from my door. The cool air increases my wakefulness and I can’t help smiling. Doing what I love. Early mornings and mountain bike riding. I ride the trails as they come in whichever direction my bike takes me. I stop a few times to absorb the view and take in the sunrise. Wondering  could ever tire of a sunrise.

CH sunrise

Meandering home after ninety minutes on the rocky, red dirt trails I arrive home to be greeted by my dog eagerly awaiting his morning walk. We head to the park for a lap and a good run with other dogs out for their morning walk. Breakfast calls. One of my favourite places is in the kitchen. I whip up a storm of poached eggs, mushrooms and spinach on fresh rye sourdough, a pot of French Earl Grey tea to quench my thirst. Y.U.M.

After a shower, much needed to wash the red dust from my legs, I prepare for my morning of creativity. I light a candle, diffuse some calming essential oils and sit down to create. I work to a timer, twenty-five minutes on with a five minute break to stretch, connect to my heart with breath and make a(nother) cup of tea.

My grumbling tummy tells me it’s lunch time and I create a beautiful meal, full of vibrant colours and nourishment. I eat outside in the fresh air, enjoying the warm breeze. I spend some time reading my book before a twenty-minute nap to restore and refresh.

With work done for the day, it’s time to enjoy my afternoon, creating a delicious afternoon tea for my daughters and husband as they arrive home. We sit down together and share the highs of the day, with joy and laughter.

While the girls are at dance class I take thirty minutes for a relaxing, online yoga class in my room with a view over the hills. Time for a long meditation after yoga and then a catch up with a friend, via Skype, I haven’t spoken to in ages.

Meal prep time for dinner, to create food to share and nurture our souls followed by time to relax and enjoy the evening doing whatever I please. Read, create, listen to music, share a cuppa with my husband. Lay on the bed chatting to my teenagers. Cuddle the dog. Star gaze. Do things that give me joy.

Now it’s time for sleep, to regenerate for eight hours of peaceful slumber before dawn arrives. I set up lavender oil to diffuse, do a short meditation for deep sleep and whilst the oil fills the room drink a calming cup of tea, whilst reading another chapter of the novel I am enjoying.

I lay down to sleep feeling peaceful and relaxed, knowing I spent my day combining doing and being. I connected with those that I love and had time to nurture and nourish family, friends and myself. I smile and pause for applause at the life I have created, by design, ready to rest my body and mind for the day ahead. Rinse and repeat.

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I’d love you to share a brief or detailed description of your ideal day. What a world it would be if we all lived the lives we dream of. Let’s work together to make those dreams a reality. Tell me your take on the ideal day in your life.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

What is a ‘freedom lifestyle’ and why would you want one?

tulip-garden
‘Freedom lifestyle’, what does ‘freedom lifestyle’ even mean? This is a term I wasn’t even familiar with until a few years ago but even then I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me. Too many limiting self-beliefs. Freedom lifestyle is for ‘other’ people, braver, smarter, cleverer people who know exactly what they want. ‘Other’ people who know how to do business. I grew up believing I would be successful if I got a University degree. So I did.

A long time ago I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Podiatry) and have always worked for myself solving peoples foot problems. Am I successful? It depends what you think defines success. I draw a weekly wage as a sole trader, live a comfortable lifestyle and work part time. That all sounds rosy and I enjoyed Podiatry for a long time, contributing to peoples happiness by solving their foot and leg pain problems.

Working part time meant I had freedom to some extent. To spend time with my family and see friends inside the normal 9-5 hours. In the last half a decade it has meant I could mountain bike for 2 hours a day and race competitively, when travel allowed it. It didn’t give me an income to do as I would like to and I stopped loving what I did. I still work as Podiatrist and I love helping people. I just know that there is more. That I am here on the planet to help people realise they can have a freedom lifestyle too.

Without awareness I was on the treadmill of life. Week in, week out doing the same thing. Mostly happy but not aware there could be more. A life with less stress and more freedom. I was sick of the stress I felt when every bill arrived or holiday came around and I had to take (unpaid) time off work. Would there be enough money to pay for it all? I never had clarity over where the money was going. That is no way to live and it is a long way from freedom.

Blogging introduced me to another world. A passionate world full of self-belief. People, similar to me, out there doing what they love and enjoying a freedom lifestyle. What a revelation! Attending the Problogger Event conference in Australia, two years running instilled a new level of self-belief.

If ‘they’ could do it, so could I.

So what is the freedom lifestyle, why do I want in and why should you join me?

A freedom lifestyle means living a life that is self-designed. Saying yes to things you love and no to things you don’t. Where you choose what is going to be part of your every day and how you spend the one hundred and sixty-eight hours you have each week.

You have a choice how you spend your time.

Yes, some of it is non-negotiable but you have a choice the majority of it. We are solely responsible for how we fill our days and change is possible. Having a freedom lifestyle means choosing to fit in more recreation in every single day, where ‘work’ is what you love and doesn’t consume your life.

My goal is to live relating to how I want to feel. With a freedom lifestyle I will go to bed every night with a satisfied smile on my face, feeling peaceful and delighted with life.  I want to know that I am fulfilling my purpose on this planet and I am inspiring other people to do the same. I want that for you too. It won’t happen overnight and it’s not a destination like a train station, where you arrive and that’s it. It’s a journey and I’m in for the ride.

What are you going to do so you can join me on the journey to a freedom lifestyle?

I’m starting by designing my week and adding more of the fun stuff that I love doing. I’m also setting a ‘one thing’ I want to achieve each year that’s a BIG thing to help me towards living a freedom lifestyle. You can read about the challenges I face saying yes to more of what I want here. They might be challenges you face too. I’ve thrown is some solutions for you to overcome those challenges and join me on the journey to a freedom lifestyle. Doing this together is going to be fun. It’s going to take both of us outside our comfort zone and it’s ok because it’s where the magic happens.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

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How to feed your creativity

untitled-design-1We all have dreams. We all face challenges that hold us back from achieving those dreams. Avoidance is a human trait many of us are fabulous at but avoidance doesn’t help us achieve our dreams.

Your life will be better if you take action on the things you avoid

There a three challenges I face on a regular basis and I figure if I have these challenges, I’m quite sure you will too.

1. Setting boundaries on creative time

CHALLENGE Setting boundaries on my time has been an eternal problem for me. It’s been a challenge forever. I blame the kids (now I have them) but having always worked for myself, I have been challenged to setting boundaries on my time when I am not with clients. I got in the habit of blaming other people and now I realise the only person to blame is me. How can others know what my boundaries are if I am not clear on them myself? My kids have learnt the toilet is a place where I am not to be interrupted. Now I coach clients from home (via Skype) they are good with my boundaries there. But and it’s a BIG but, setting up boundaries for my creative time is a lot harder. Harder because I don’t give myself permission to hold that space. YET!

SOLUTION Join me in creating a weekly schedule that outlines how I plan to spend my days each week and be clear on boundaries. If I plan to be creative on Monday and Thursday mornings because they are my client free times, I am going to make that happen. I will block out the time in my schedule and tell myself and other people that I am not available for that 2-3 hour period for anything other than creativity. If I am drawn to the laundry to do the washing or someone invites me to the cafe I will clearly state to myself that my creative time is not to be interrupted. It needs to be treated like a specialist appointment that I have waited months for. A non-negotiable.

2. Knowing what to do in my ‘creative time’

CHALLENGE Sometimes I am good at making creative time happen and then find myself staring at my computer resisting the urge to go to social media to avoid the hard stuff. I make an effort to put my phone away and set a timer. Then I realise I don’t have a plan and get frustrated and confused. This is not helpful and stifles my creativity.

SOLUTION Have a plan. In your first session of creative time, when it’s all set up and raring to go, plan how that time will be spent. Get your ‘one thing’, that big hairy audacious goal you are working towards (I’ll talk about goals in my third challenge) and brainstorm. Get out of your head, all the things that you need to do to make that goal happen. Focus on the things needing to be done, not on how you will do them. Then give those things an order. Each night (or morning) when you plan your day ahead, write what you will use that creativity time for and make it happen.

Feed creativity. Create more than you consume. ~Dan Norris

Your brain may challenge you. If you find your thoughts going in all directions and wanting you to change your plans that were so carefully made, resist! Follow your plans as you laid them out and good things will happen.

3. Not having a goal to work towards

CHALLENGE  Without a goal it is difficult to get clear on what to do in your creative time. Having a goal gives purpose and clarity and will make it much easier to set up boundaries. My goal is to build my email list and social media following with The Lilac Lounge so that I can reach as many people as possible to provide value and help them find their awesome. There are so many steps I need to do to make this happen. To create great content in order to provide value to as many people as possible I needto have an editorial calendar, a social media calendar, a schedule to host my first webinar and the list goes on.

SOLUTION Create a goal that you want to achieve by a certain date. Since you (and I) are just starting out your goal could be for the end of 2016 with the plan to set a new goal for the end of 2017. Write it down and put it somewhere you see it every day. Think about it every time you schedule your day, the night before and then again when you sit down to be creative. You’ll be amazed at the change you will see. I have done it before and let it slip so we are both in this together. Believe you can.

There are risks and costs to action…But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.~Kennedy

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1

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Breakfast or no breakfast? And an easy survey

CH sunrise
As a curious person I am intrigued by people. What they eat, how they spend their time and money. How kind they are to themselves. How they treat others. People are so interesting. In my work as a lifestyle coach I am amazed at how different we are. Such individuals!

My question is do you or don’t you eat breakfast regularly.

Preference for me is to breakfast. I am not a particularly pleasant person to be around if I haven’t had breakfast and I believe it sets me up for the day. If I have a nutrient dense breakfast that is delicious and nutritious, I have a better day. I eat bettwer throughout the day, am more focussed and more unlikely to run out of energy before the day ends.

Once upon a time I was a cereal girl. Now I mostly have a cooked breakfast, varying daily dependent on time and taste.

  • Firm boiled eggs broken up, on top of a green salad with roast sweet potato (preprepared) sprinkled with pepitas
  • 2 egg omelette made in 2 batches (just beaten egg cooked in a crepe pan with a smear of coconut oil) filled with spinach, grated carrot sliced mushroom, avocado and smoked salmon (optional)
  • Frittata with every veg I can find (leftovers great for lunch)
  • Sweet potato cakes topped with warmed spinach and 2 poached eggs
  • Mushrooms fried in coconut oil with lemon thyme, spinach, poached eggs on top of roast pumpkin/sweet potato
  • Steamed rice (1/2c) with grated carrot, zucchini, spinach, fresh coriander and 1-2 firm boiled eggs torn on top plus pumpkin seeds

My uncooked breakfast choice is down to three choices

  • LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds blended until fine), chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla essence with fresh/frozen berries and hot water to blend, topped with homemade almond milk
  • smoothie with fresh almond milk, frozen berries, half a banana and some as natural as possible protein powder
  • good bread toast (this is effectively cooked, but still in my uncooked selection) with nut butter and banana or avocado, spinach leaves and smoked salmon

Exercise happens for me in the morning, 6 days a week around 5.30 – 7am. You’ll find me on a road bike or a mountain bike (my favourite), with the trails just 5 minutes from my door (ah the joys of a country town). That makes me hungry and if I miss breakfast I really notice a downhill spiral in my morning that can then leach into my afternoon.

Here’s some questions for you can ask yourself.

  • What is your morning preference?
  • To breakfast or not to breakfast?
  • If you breakfast, how does it make a difference to your day?
  • If you don’t breakfast how does it impact your day?
  • Would you like to have breakfast but can’t fit it into your routine (yet)?

I’d love to know your answers.

Here’s a survey in the meantime that will be done in a few clicks.

Thanks so much!

 

How to give your immune system some love with this easy drink

in the city

We all have a time in our lives where we feel below par. For many reasons our sleep gets compromised, we forget about ourselves and become overly busy. Mostly, we know what to do in these times but doing it is not always easy.

We have the knowledge but we need to turn it into action.

As a lifestyle coach, my job is about creating change in peoples lives and guiding them to turn knowledge into action in easy, manageable ways that are fun and proactive. This takes time and commitment and change does happen but there are times where we need to a quick fix. Our immune system is down and we need to pep it up or face hitting rock bottom. And no one wants to go there. Ewwwww.

Here’s a simple pick me up to boost your immune system when you’re feeling rubbish, people around you are snot-filled and coughing and you need help!

I have most of these ingredients on hand in my fridge or pantry so I can whip this up whenever I need it.

‘Get Me Well Now’ immune booster drink

1 lemon quartered

2-4 cloves garlic flattened with the back of a knife, skin on

4cm piece of ginger sliced 3mm thick

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp raw honey (optional)

1 red chilli  or part of (optional)

Place all ingredients in a large mason jar or similar and cover with hot water, just off the boil. Wrap with a tea towel and shake, making sure the lid is tight. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes and then pour through a tea strainer into a glass and drink all at once or sip slowly.

Keep topping with hot water and adding more turmeric and cinnamon along the way. You can keep the brew going for a number of days.

Garlic has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties and helps boost immunity.

Turmeric helps stimulate the body’s immune system. It has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that also help strengthen the immune system.

Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and said to be one of the most beneficial spices in existence. And how fabulous that it’s delicious too!

There are loads of things out there that claim to be immune boosting. If you have a favourite, I’d love to hear about it.

When you are back to wellness and feeling fabulous you can keep working on your immunity and building resilience.

In the meantime, enjoy your ‘Get Me Well Now’ immune booster drink.