The busy-ness epidemic and how to beat it

Modern life can be crazy….really crazy! What can we do to change our part in it? Get off the bandwagon. Learn to listen to our intuition. Stop being a sheep and following the crowd. It is possible and the effort is worth it.

We we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Make time to be in the moment. To pause between activities and allow yourself to chill. Running from one thing to the to the next achieves nothing but exhaustion.You’ve heard it all before. When I hear you say ‘I don’t have to time’, is it true that you don’t have time or is it that you don’t ‘make’ time? If you surf the Internet, use Facebook and or watch TV – you have time!

The most successful people use their time wisely. They have good habits and stick with them. It’s a learning process but it is possible, for anyone.

Next time you hear yourself say ‘I don’t have time’, really question yourself. Is it true or is it that you don’t ‘make’ time. Don’t wait, create a new habit today. ‘I don’t have time’  is an excuse, for not doing the hard things. When was the last time you read a book? Sat in the sun (or shade) and just chilled out?

There is time in everyone’s 24 hours to do the fun stuff. Take time to plan your hour/day/week.

Find a tool that works for you, whether it’s a funky planner from Kikki K, a piece of scrap paper or an on-line planner. Set aside an hour to do a weekly plan at the same time each week and make the fun stuff happen! NOW. We can’t wait to be happy. We need to find happiness now. Not when we get that pay rise or find our dream job or when the kids grow up or we have more money.

Planning doesn’t mean we can’t live in the moment. It actually frees up time TO live in the moment.

Just do it. You’ll be amazed at how much freedom it gives you. You will have time to read that book, to have a cuppa with a friend, to get stuff done. Stop running from one thing to the next and going to bed exhausted every day. The ‘to do’ list will always be there but it is manageable.

It’s time to make time NOW.

Take 5 minutes after reading this blog to plan the rest of your day, allowing time for doing the fun stuff. It’s liberating. Make it a habit and reward yourself for your efforts. Create your own freedom, it’s possible for everyone, including you.

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The ripple effect and it’s power

What an amazing impact we can have on other people’s lives (and our own), in such a positive way. Ever thought about the ripple effect? It’s such an unknown. We can’t know the effect we create and how far those ripples will go but we can know it exists and believe in it. It changes lives, for the better.

Only recently did I become consciously aware of ‘The Ripple Effect’ at a fabulous talk by Christine McKee, author of ‘How I be is up to me’ and founder of ‘The Be Institute’. As Christine says, when talking of the ripple effect, we need to understand that everything we do affects the bigger picture.

Think of this in a small way, such as how we respond when someone greets us. ‘How are you?’; the impact of our response can be profound and have a negative or a positive impact that can stay with the person who asked the question in the first place, for hours. If we respond with ‘ I’m really great thanks’, despite the fact that we may have had a crap nights sleep and moved mountains to get out the door that day, it will be uplifting for you and the receiver. That simple response can have a profound impact. If we respond with  something negative and go on into a speel about how terrible things are, we deflate ourselves, let alone others.

Sharing happiness and laughter, even if that’s not what we’re feeling like inside can change the moment. That moment can change the day and everyone we cross paths with.

Quiet words of encouragement to someone can have a flow on effect that can be really powerful. Sharing knowledge is also extremely powerful in it’s ability to improve lives.

Hang out with people who inflate you, who make you feel good. People that deflate you are not fun to be around and that’s not your responsibility! Notice your body posture when you’re feeling deflated, even your tone of voice changes. The ripple effect then impacts in a negative way and it’s not much fun.  We can only change ourselves, as frustrating as that may be.

Staying in our comfort zone is very cosy. It’s ‘comfortable’ and easy but it doesn’t help us grow and improve our lives.

Become conscious of ‘The Ripple Effect’ and the impact that everything we do and say can have, not just on others but also within us.

Tell someone close to you how wonderful they are and what they mean to you, today. Try a different response when greeting someone. Notice how you feel with the people around you. Be a part of the ripple effect and help change lives, including yours.

‘If you think you are too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito’

Share a story in the comments, below, of a time where the ripple effect has had an impact on your life.

The tyranny of the ‘shoulds’!

How many times in conversation do you hear the word should? ‘I know I should exercise more’; I should  eat better; I should spend less; I should go to bed earlier. Have you heard yourself say should today? If not you, then definitely a friend or colleague.

‘There is nothing so trying in life as the tyranny of the shoulds’

I’m trying to drop the word should from my vocabulary. To think consciously and replace it with could . To realise that I am doing enough and if I find myself wanting to use the word should,  to recognise it. To be in the present moment and realise I am enough. 

 Our modern lives are busy. We push ourselves to do so much. Why are we constantly expecting more of ourselves? I’m blown away when I hear statistics of how many times a day we put ourselves down internally.

The incessant chatter in our heads can be relentless.

Awareness of negative self talk is a huge milestone in achieving a happier life and a calmer, more complete YOU. If you find yourself saying ‘I should go to the gym more often’, stop and ask yourself why. Is it achievable? How much do you want to change? Try altering the wording to ‘I could go to the gym more often if I wanted to, it’s not a priority at the moment’.

Catch yourself whenever you hear the word should come into your vocab, whether it’s verbally or internally.

Self expectations have a lot to answer for! Take the pressure off. You are enough, right here, right now.


Birthdays, bereavements and being

Life is all about phases. Sometimes we want the phases to last forever and other times we are thankful that the phase is about to end!

It’s a year since my Mum died. Six weeks since one of my oldest best friends died. My husband has had a Birthday, of which we’ve celebrated 25 together and we went camping over Easter. Our girls are 10 and 12, the phase where they both love camping is sadly coming to an end. How grateful I am that they had the experience to camp.

‘Being’ is rare in our busy lives.

Camping is a fabulous escape and a wonderful way to facilitate living in the moment. A great place to be when it’s the first anniversary of one of the saddest days of my life. To heal from losing a beautiful friend.

Sharing time with family and friends with no distraction is deluxe.

My favourite type of camping is without power and out of mobile range. No temptations! Where I can talk and listen without distraction. Where I can swim when I’m hot and sit by the campfire when I’m cold. Where there are no shops.

At Easter, watching the full moon rise is beautiful.  The star gazing is incredulous. The conversations around the campfire are invigorating.

This kind of camping energises my soul.

My 12 year old daughter says she ‘hates’ camping, it’s boring, she says. Oh to be bored! She survived and no doubt when she’s an adult she will be grateful for the experience that she had to ‘suffer’ through.

It’s a mission to pack for camping. To set up, to pack up. For me that effort is totally worth it. We don’t rough it when we camp, aside from no power.

We eat beautiful food at a table with a tablecloth and candles. I drink champagne. We toast absent friends.

I am forever grateful for my parents sharing the phase in their life where they took their 3 daughters camping. Trips to the middle of nowhere to experience amazing things.

Through my childhood and into adulthood, I thought everyone went camping. Or at least had experienced it once or twice. Today, I dropped my 10 year old daughters friend home and she asked me how our camping trip was. Fabulous, I shared and then asked her if she had been camping. No, never, she replied! Oh my goodness. NEVER? I now feel compelled to take her with us on our next trip.

Camping is an experience everyone should try, at least once. No power, no internet, no mobiles. The opportunity to ‘be’ without distraction.

To experience nature first hand. To learn patience and tolerance. To star gaze whilst sitting by a camp fire.

Above all, my recent camping trip helped me slow down. To embrace life and take time to reflect on the loss of two really important people. To celebrate the moments we are so blessed to have and to remind ourselves of the importance to live in the here and now.




Embracing Fear on a Mountain Bike

Fear, we need it, but boy it can be challenging!

The first race of our local mountain bike club’s winter championship series was held yesterday afternoon.  The chatter in my head that went on in the lead up to the race and even now, post race, was incessant.

I‘m learning to embrace the fear. It takes you to amazing places.

Mountain biking is a new sport to me and I’ve been racing at a local club level for about 18 months. I’ve participated in a 4 day mountain bike event and been part of a trio in a 12 hour overnight event outside the local club stuff. Fear is always there and it’s mostly a result of comparison to others and worrying about what other people think, you can read about that here.

As a female mountain biker, I am part of a  minority. At yesterday’s race there was 16 ladies in a field of 65. In the 4 day event I entered, there were 150 ladies in a field of 1200! The men can be intimidating, if you let them, but it’s all in our heads. There must be so many people who don’t attempt to do something different, because they are afraid.

You can have changes or excuses, but not both!

My mantra continues to be ‘moving outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens’. It is so true. If I had never challenged myself to get on a mountain bike and then face the fear and try a club race, I would not have experienced the wonderful things I have. Improved fitness, time alone with nature, time with friends surrounded by nature, travel to beautiful places to race a mountain bike, new friends and the exhilaration of racing.

Excuses are plentiful and once, last season, I found an excuse not to race because I was scared. It was a technical course and I felt intimated (in my head). I used the excuse of not feeling well and didn’t even go to the race to watch and socialise.

My conclusion is, it really is ‘mind over matter’.

This season, the ladies don’t have an individual category as they have done in the past. Ladies are a sub-category in 4 levels of racing that have a set number of laps in a course that changes every race. I chose to ride in the elite category, as the length of the race is longer and I enjoy the endurance. Making this decision was a big challenge! The what-if’s were prevalent in my thoughts. What if you get lapped? What if you’re the last in? What will other people think? Am I good enough? Can I do it?

I raced and I didn’t come last, but who cares if I had? I was out there, challenging myself and riding as hard I possibly could at the time.

I had fun (despite the hard work) and the sense of accomplishment at the end was fantastic.

This morning when I woke up, I smiled at my achievements and thought of everyone in that race that pushed boundaries and faced their fears (more on facing fears here).

A friend of ours raced for the first time, we’d tried to talk him into it for the past year. His comment after the race; “I enjoyed it alot more than I thought I would. I didn’t get passed by loads of people and I had fun’. His excuse for not racing sooner was that he wasn’t fit enough. I am so impressed that he found the courage to face his fears and just did it!

Managing the ‘self-talk’ is possible and it makes life much more enjoyable. I am so grateful I discovered mountain biking and the journey it has taken me on, in less than two years, has been remarkable. Physically and emotionally. I’ve made some fantastic friends and seen some awesome sunrises and sunsets. I’m in awe of nature; kangaroos, lizards, snakes, birds and stunning flowers too.

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