My Gratitude Journal is Published…

My Gratitude Journal is Published…

Woohoo – My Gratitude Journal is Published…

I could never have imagined the feedback I have received the past few days on my first solo publication. For many years now, gratitude has been close to my heart for many, many reasons.

As a child, I remember my parents reminding me to say thank you when I received something.

As a young person, I remember my grandma reminding me to continue to say thank you to the people who show support towards me along my adventure of life (I also came to realise I am grateful for the people who did not, but that is another story).

Then as a young tennis player, I remember when Barry Masters the then CEO of Tennis NSW said thank you to me for writing to him and sharing my gratitude towards him for the support he gave me as a country tennis player.

Fast forward a few years, when I was a student doing my Masters and working in a National Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative and was reading the research behind gratitude and how it can support mental health and wellbeing. So, I started to focus and cultivate it again deliberately in my life and with many clients in Habits for Wellbeing.

Now I am pleased to share one of the habits that has helped me be here today – gratitude. Gratitude really has been a gift to me and you just never know, it may also be a gift to you.

Thank You…

Thanks mum for your support over the past few days of editing – you are a gem and I am so lucky to have you as my mum.

To the clients who have walked this adventure with me over the many years, thank you for the courage you have shown. I never thought the 365 Days of Gratitude and 100 Days of Gratitude experiences would transform in to this journal and my first solo publication.

So thank you if you have read this far and for those people who have asked, this is the link to find out more where you can purchase it or find out more here.

Do You Have a Power Word for the Year?

Do You Have a Power Word for the Year?

As we move towards the end of the year, I wonder how you are going with vision for next year?

Is your vision becoming clearer or do you feel stuck?

If you feel stuck, you might like to try discovering your power word!

 

What is a Power Word?

A power word is a word relates to the theme of your year or current focus in your life. The word resonates with your being and reminds you that you have the power to change! When you have found it, the power word helps you to feel expanded, inspired and empowered.

 

What are Examples of Power Words?

Some examples of power words are –

  • love
  • creativity
  • joy
  • abundance
  • family
  • happy
  • gratitude
  • relax
  • breathe
  • energetic

For 2014, my word was responsibility. It may not resonate with you, but that is OK, that is why you need to find your power word! In 2015, my power word was courage, 2016 it was connection, 2017 back to responsibility, 2018 was healing, 2019 empowerment and 2020 & 2021 acceptance 🙂

How Do You Find Your Power Word?

Your power word arrives to you easily, you don’t have to think too much about it. You will know when you have your word as it will sit well with you, inspire you and resonate with your energy. Also, when you say the word to yourself, it can remind you about your dreams, goals and intentions for the year or focus for the present time in your life  so it can keep you on track!

 

I Have My Power Word, What Now?

Now you have your power word, you can use it! How? There are a number of ways and you could start with the following questions –

  1. If you lived and breathed your power word for the next 3, 6  or 12 months, what would be different for you?
  2. What activities, relationships, routines, habits, emotions or thoughts don’t currently resonate with my power word? Do you want to integrate any of these in to my life? If so, what ones?
  3. Identify the activities, relationships, routines, habits, emotions or thoughts you are currently doing that resonate with your power word. Do you want to tweak any of these in your life life? If so, what ones?
  4. How can you transform the areas of your life that currently do not currently resonate with your power word? Where will you start?
  5. How can you BE more by using your power word in your personal and professional life? For example – I can be more courageous (i.e. your power word) in my professional life by knowing my boundaries.

 

Over to You…

Congratulations if you have made it this far, you have identified your power word and ways you can use it in your personal and professional life! You may even like to put it as a screensaver on your phone to keep reminding yourself of it.

If you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below. And remember…

“Words are powerful. The words you use and think of, may have impact on your life. May you enrich your life with positive thoughts.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

 

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

Is It Time to Start Measuring or Tracking within Your Career and Life?

Is It Time to Start Measuring or Tracking within Your Career and Life?

Change can be challenging (or maybe it is just me?). One thing I am doing more and more over time is measuring and tracking the changes I am making in my personal life, not just in my business / career. Subsequently, today I wanted to share –

  • What is Measuring and Tracking?
  • Why Measure and Track within Your Career and Life?
  • What Can You Measure and Track in Your Career and Life?
  • Is It Time to Start Measuring or Tracking within Your Career and Life?

Let’s get started…

 

What is Measuring and Tracking?

Before I go in to more details about measuring and tracking, I am doing to discuss what it actually is. If you choose to, you can measure and track data and information within your career and life. There is some crossover here in relation to definitions, so I have included both, so you can decide for yourself –

  • Data – “a fact given or granted” and “transmittable and storable information by which computer operations are performed” ~ Etymonline
  • Information – “act of informing, communication of news” and “knowledge communicated concerning a particular topic” ~ Etymonline
  • Data – “facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Information – “knowledge that you get about someone or somethingfacts or details about a subject” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • Data – “information, especially facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered and used to help decision-making, or information in an electronic form that can be stored and used by a computer” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • Information – “facts about a situation, person, event, etc” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • Data – Facts that can be analyzed or used in an effort to gain knowledge or make decisions” ~ Free Dictionary
  • Information – Knowledge or facts learned, especially about a certain subject or event” ~ Free Dictionary

Do you have other definitions or insights in relation to the meanings data and information? If so, feel free to share them below!

Why Measure and Track within Your Career and Life?

Yes this may be obvious, however for clarity I am going to say it. If we do not measure and track information and data in relation to our feelings, actions and behaviours, how do we know if we are on the right path or master life?

“People without information cannot act. People with information, cannot help but act.” ~ Ken Blanchard. 

Measuring and tracking helps to –

  • make better decisions and take action,
  • guide changes and continuous improvement,
  • promote accountability and take responsibility for choices and decisions,
  • measure success and effectiveness (what ever that means for us),
  • look at current processes and systems meet your needs and make adjustments if required,
  • understand the causes of challenges within your career and/or life (if you have them),
  • know how well changes are going in relation to your plans, and
  • identify gaps between the results you are getting and where you want to and/or who you want to be.

As Victoria Bernhardt (2004) indicated –

“It takes strong leadership to inspire a shared vision and to ensure its implementation. It also takes a strong leader to ensure the analysis and use of data.” (p.5).

Even though the above statement is written in relation to schools, I see that it also relates to the individuals that work within schools and the greater community as well as in our wholistic lives.

 

What Can You Measure and Track in Your Career and Life?

There are many things you can measure in your career and life, however like most things it goes back to the intention or why behind tracking. Why do you want to track? Once you know the why, you can then decide the what you are going to track and then the how. You can measure and track –

  • Systems and processes (i.e. for tax preparation, planning processes) ,
  • Progression towards developing a habit (i.e. aiming for 8 hours of sleep per night, moving your body 5 times per week, stopping to check-in with how you are feeling before you reach for that extra piece of chocolate cake),
  • Results you are experiencing (i.e. running that half marathon or how long it take to find an important document),
  • Changes in beliefs and perceptions (i.e. how you are currently feeling about your life and how much control you feel you have of it),
  • Demographics (i.e. age, gender),
  • (Un)Learning and / or wisdom you are living (i.e. doing the things you know support your overall focus and wholistic life).

 

Is It Time to Start Measuring or Tracking within Your Career and Life?

Do you see the benefits of measuring and tracking for your life? If so, let’s get to the fun part and share some ways to measure and track. Following are how some of my clients are measuring and tracking within their career and life, including –

  • Money – for example: tracking income and expenses, looking at credit card statements to see how much they eat out.
  • Health – for example: tracking the number of hours of sleep they have, the food they eat or the number of steps taken across the week.
  • Time – for example: their calendar shows where they invest their time and energy each week and/or month.
  • Feelings / emotions – for example: using a feelings / emotions tracker to identify different patterns that are occurring so they can start to untangle from them if they choose to.

Until it is a habit, tracking and measuring can be challenging. However, I have found doing it really useful for feedback. One thing I encourage though is to be really clear about why you are tracking (i.e the purpose and meaning), not just track for the sake of it. This relates back to Goodhart’s Law

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” (Strathern, 1997). 

And this is where we can bring it back to the SMART acronym. The SMART acronym for goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based). As you can see the M is measurable.

Over to You…

Do you see the benefits of measuring and tracking for your life? If so, what is one way you can start today? Feel free to share your insights or questions below. Personally I will continue to measure and track as it really helps me see how my whole life ebbs and flows –

“A system is not the sum of its parts, but rather, the product of the interaction of the parts.” ~ Russell Ackoff

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

 

References –

Bernhardt, V. L., (2004). Continuous improvement: It takes more than test scores. ACSA Leadership. November/December 2004, 16-19.

Strathern, Marilyn (1997). Improving ratings’: audit in the British University system”European Review. John Wiley & Sons. 5 (3): 305–321. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1234-981X(199707)5:3<305::AID-EURO184>3.0.CO;2-4.

Are You Abandoning Yourself?

Are You Abandoning Yourself?

You know that moment, when you develop deep insight? As if something within you has shone so deeply that there is no more hiding? For me, I had one of those experiences on the weekend when I was having a conversation with a friend on my birthday. After the conversation, the following quote came across my path and again it resonated so deeply with me.

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard

Subsequently, today I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on abandonment, including 3 ways we can abandon ourselves. Let’s get started…

 

What is Abandonment?

So we are on the same page about abandonment, I went back to the dictionary and found some definitions. These definitions of abandonment include –

  • “the act of abandoning something or someone” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “an act or instance of leaving a person or thing permanently and completely” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “the act of leaving someone or something or of ending or stopping something, usually forever” ~ Cambridge Dictionary

And these are the couple I found on abandon, which links to the above –

  • “to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • To withdraw one’s support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert” and “To give up by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, especially as a result of danger or other impending threat” ~ The Free Dictionary

As I was writing those definitions, I thought abandonment relating to ourselves and created the following from the above.

 

What is Self-Abandonment?

The definitions of self-abandonment created from the above –

  • the act of abandoning our selves,
  • an act or instance of leaving our selves permanently and completely, 
  • the act of leaving our selves or of ending or stopping something, usually forever, 
  • to give up to the control or influence of our selves
  • withdraw our own support or help, and
  • give up on our selves by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, especially as a result of danger or other impending threat.

Are there any other additions you would make to the above on self-abandonment?

 

3 Ways We Can Abandon Ourselves

Over the years, I have discovered many ways I have abandoned my self, including –

  • Wanting other people’s approval,
  • Getting a good idea, however not following thought on it, and
  • Saying ‘yes’ to something, when I would have preferred to say ‘no’.

1. Wanting Other People’s Approval

Now if you have been around here for a while, you might know I spent many years untangling my own approval addiction. This became very draining for me personally and I needed to learn another way. Fortunately, I did and continue to practise trusting myself. I like how Susan Jeffers referred to self-trust –

“Remember that underlying all our fears is a lack of trust in ourselves.”

2. Getting a Good Idea

Ever had a good idea or a dream and not follow through on it? Yep – I have been there as well 🙂 However, I have learnt to honour those ideas and now have a process in place to honour them. This process helps me to decide if I want to follow through on them or not. Oprah said it this way –

“There is nothing worse than betraying yourself.”

3. Saying ‘Yes’ When You Want to Say ‘No’

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something, when you would have preferred to say ‘no’. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Yes, I know saying ‘no’ can be changing, however what I have realised is that I needed to learn to say ‘no’ to some opportunities as they were taking away from the time and energy I could invest following my own dreams. As Paulo Coelho so eloquently said,

“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself!”

Other Ways We Can Abandon Ourselves…

There are also other ways we can abandon ourselves, including –

  • Purchasing items that you know you don’t have the money for,
  • Avoiding challenging feelings and emotions (i.e. loneliness),
  • Looking for people to ‘complete you’,
  • Not taking care of your needs,
  • Comparing ourselves to other people,
  • Being friends with people who hurt you, and
  • Not being present in the moment.

 

Why Does Self-Abandonment Matter?

For me, self-abandonment matters because you matter. Yes, truly! Your feelings, your dreams, your health, your voice. your relationships. they all matter as they are part of you and you have a gift to bring in to the world that only you can deliver:)

 

4 Quotes to Remember that Relate to Self-Abandonment…

Following are 5 of my favourite quotes to remember around self-abandonment that might help or inspire you to start listening to your self –

  1. “If love is universal, no one can be left out.” ~ Deepak Chopra
  2. “When you abandon making choices, you enter the vast world of excuses.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
  3. “To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.” ~ David Whyte
  4. “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ~ Mary Oliver

Do you have any other quotes that inspire you to start listening to your Self? If so, feel free to share them below!

 

Over to You…

I hope this has given you some insight in to the ways we can abandon ourselves. Are you abandoning yourself, if so are you ready to stop and start listening to yourself instead?

Remember – life is an adventure and we are here to grown and evolve. So be kind to yourself 🙂

 

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

The Gift of BEing Authentically YOU!

The Gift of BEing Authentically YOU!

I came across this story a little while back from my previous training as a telephone counsellor. There was no author, however I like the meaning behind the story and serves as a good reminder about the gift of BEing authentically YOU!

 

The Gift of BEing Authentically YOU!

“Every moment of every day we have conscious choices. We can be happy or unhappy. We can dread getting older or aspire to wisdom through new experiences. We can believe we know or be open to new discovery. We can look for approval from others or give approval as never before – and so it is with love. 

Explore the freedom that comes from forgiveness. It is time to acknowledge our resentments and non-forgiveness and move through them.

Our limitations are reputations of past patterns, and every pattern of thought that is challenged can be the doorway to miracles.

Each of us has feelings and each of us has the right to perceive as we do. Become a good listener, not a judge, and thus experience a panoramic view of life through many eyes.

We all long to be heard, and most of us have cried out for this since childhood. To hear ourselves and be heard by others, we need to practise listening at every opportunity, rather than contradicting others.

Remember that the future only exists in our minds at this moment. If we fear it, our minds are full of fear. If we look forward to it, then our minds are full of hope. 

Behind everything there is a purpose. Chaos only exists in our minds if we allow it to. With the stilling of the mind will come peace, understanding, wonder and a new awareness of our inter-connectedness with all life.

Whatever our physical circumstances, we can know excitement, ecstasy and awe. We are so much more than our physical bodies alone.

Revel in every moment given to you. Time never runs out on us – we run out on time. Each moment contains such abundance and overwhelming quality.

The past is gone – let it go. The future is not born. The present is the greatest present you could ever be given. 

Try to waste as few moments as possible with regret, guilt or self-attack. You are loved more deeply than you realise.

Never forget that you are a human being. Your imagination can take you into worry whirls. You can lock away your creativity and suppress your feelings. You can have a totally false concept of the perfect person you should be, and despise yourself for falling short of the ideal. You are a human being who has become very complex. Relax and become more simple. 

Be patient with you. Be loving with you. You deserve it. As a child learns to walk, it stumbles and falls many times. As you move through the physical seasons of life, as you aspire to grow in wisdom rather than grow old, you will need to pick yourself up over and over again.

Take small, consistent steps. Enjoy your uniqueness and never imagine for one moment that life has been unkind to you.

Welcome every day. Laugh with yourself and chuckle deeply.

Know that every day in every way you are becoming wiser, wiser and wiser, and enjoy the journey over the hills and through the valleys of life. 

Whether you can see it or not, your being brings colour, opportunity and meaning to more people than you will ever know. Thank you for being you and please thank yourself – for me!”

~ Author Unknown (if you know who it is can you please let me know so I can give credit? Thanks heaps).

Over to You…

What did you think of this poem? Feel free to share any insights, questions or comments below!

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and be happy by connecting with your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?

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