Happy Days

HappyDays

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about finding your passion and I’ve had some more thoughts about this. In the entrepreneur and business world we often hear that you should do what you love and while I’ve always gone along with that idea, something came up recently that kind of shifted my thinking.
I watched the incredible Seth Godin interviewed by the equally incredible Marie Forleo and Seth said something that turned my mind upside down!

He said that instead of doing the work you love, you should love the work you do.

I mean, how many of us really get to do the work we love? But if you turn that on its head and choose to love the work you do, it puts a whole new spin on enjoying life.

So how can we love a job that bores us or offers no chance of promotion or significant wage increase?

It has to start in the mind. Our beautiful, complex and sometimes self-sabotaging minds. Our minds want to keep us safe and will repeat familiar thoughts over and over because change triggers unsafe thoughts. Positive thinking is a classic response but telling yourself to have positive thoughts when you’re feeling stressed, worried or fearful is just too far away from the present reality.

There are so many wonderful teachings that can help us through those moments of stress. Energy healing, hypnotherapy and meditation techniques can all help us be more present, and when you feel present in this moment, scary thoughts or frustrations tend to melt away.

One of the best books ever written, in my humble opinion, is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I’ll put a link below, if you haven’t yet read it, I would recommend it as a book that could honestly change your life.

We only have this present moment. The next moment is also the present moment, so when we think thoughts like ‘I’ll be happy when ……(fill in the blank)’ we are confirming that our present moment is unhappy. And we can all probably relate to the fact that it’s the journey that counts, not the result or end goal, because when we get to that end goal, we will always want more. That’s the nature of the beast called ‘human being’. We have to grow and evolve.

So, getting back to loving the work you do, bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you can and give it your best shot. Doing the best you can in any moment makes you feel so much better and ready for the next moment.

If you are doing a boring job or task, give it your best and if you don’t even have to think about the actual task in hand, enjoy the environment. Cleaning the house can give you an incredible sense of achievement, which encourages the mind to find other things to feel good about.

And if the job you are doing requires a lot of focus and concentration, give yourself to the task and create the best possible outcome – not to impress anyone else (although the best work will no doubt get the attention of the boss) but to make yourself feel good.

Even if you are doing a job you love or building your dream business, there are always going to be tasks that aren’t particularly enjoyable. Personally I always put off doing my tax return but when I’ve done it, I feel great! So thank you Seth Godin, the wisdom in those words ‘love the work you do’ will resonate with me and I hope they will help you make a difference to your daily tasks and enjoy as many moments as you can. After all, life isn’t a dress rehearsal and we are supposed to be enjoying it πŸ™‚

Have a great day!
Linda x

powerofnow

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Amazon US , Amazon UK ,

Find Your Passion

FindYourPassion-pinterest

What’s Your Passion?
Did you ever wonder how some people manage to find time for ‘hobbies’ and ‘pastimes’ when you are only just fitting in everything you HAVE to do in the space of each 24 hours? The answer is passion.

It’s been said many times before, but the phrase ‘ if you want something badly enough you’ll get it’ is 110% relevant to our everyday lives.

Are you passionately committed to keeping a clean and tidy house? Then I would hazard a guess that your house is clean and tidy most of the time.

Are you passionately committed to your job and promotion prospects? The chances are you are on your way up that ladder right now.

However, the majority of us live our lives according to the passions and sometimes the whims of everyone around us. Why? Because we never stop to think what we actually WANT, what we actually LOVE or what we are passionate about.

Do you really, deep down in your soul, believe that the world will fall apart and no-one will like you if you don’t keep your house clean? If so, then take a few tiny baby steps out of that box and remember the dust will be there tomorrow… your friends or your dreams may not. Phew.. Now there’s a kick in the teeth.

I often imagine I would like a clean and tidy house fit for a royal visit. But I’m never able to commit myself to the time and energy it requires – Why? Because I’m NOT passionate about housework. Never have been, never will be. I would rather spend time with my family and friends, chatting on the phone, going for long walks or dancing the night away. And guess what – a member of the royal household has yet to turn up on my doorstep un-announced!

Do you really want a clean and tidy house for YOU or is it just so the neighbours won’t say bad things about you when they drop in for coffee? If you are using your precious time to keep on the ‘good’ side of other people, pause for a moment and remember that those other people are definitely NOT perfect. There will be areas of their lives you will not resonate with – guaranteed!

Most of us are committed to spending a certain number of hours every day working, often for someone else, just to earn enough money to get through to the next paycheck. Does this sound like you?

At the end of the working day, we need to find something to make us feel good, to enable us to endure the next day’s hard graft. Governments are wise to this formula and have enabled the average working man/woman to be able to afford entertainment in their homes.

Television helps us wind down – or does it?

I don’t watch television. I’ve always felt, although there are some great programmes and lots of learning to be gained, the television companies are determining WHAT we watch and WHEN we watch it. I want to decide those things for myself.

I had a cold sales call one evening. While trying to sell me a phone package deal, the sales person referred to a TV advert. I told her I was unaware of this advert because I don’t watch TV. She kept me talking for 10 minutes during which time she referred to this particular TV advert a further 4 times, and each time I assured her I had not seen it because I don’t watch television. She didn’t believe me at all.

So everyone in our region watches the same adverts, the same programmes, the same news stories every single day or night? Yep, I guess that’s what’s happening. We are all thinking the same thoughts. Our brainwaves are tuned to the exact same brand of fish fingers being the best thing for our kids since sliced bread – a highly debatable point! And we have no time left for ourselves.

So coming back to passion…

Find your passions in life. Make a list and seriously consider each thing you write down. Is it what you want or is it what you think other people want from you. Remember your life is yours alone.

You may be responsible for the care of others, children, parents, the sick or needy. But ultimately this is YOUR life. You only get one shot at it.

Don’t waste another minute watching those adverts – you can watch the exact same ones tomorrow if you so wish. Believe me they won’t go away! Television is one of the biggest time-consumers. And every moment you are watching, could be spent enjoying one of the passions in your life.

Try this experiment to find time for YOU in your life…

1. Make a list of your passions – remember they must be YOUR passions, no-one else’s

2. Pick one and find time for it.

That’s it!

Many years ago I learned to knit. Knitting has often had a fairly dull press.

-Knitting’s for grannies
-Knitting is boring and time consuming.

But I enjoy the challenge. New yarns and stylish pattern designs make knitting fun and fast, and I can knit even if I am watching a film. Knitting can be picked up during the adverts and worked at for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. The equipment takes up very little space. It’s cheap – often costing nothing – to set up.

Knitting is one of my passions, and over the years I have learned to design my own clothes, toys and many practical household items. And, although at moments in my life I have had to live within an incredibly tight budget, I have always found the materials needed to be able to continue with my hobby.

Knitting is MY passion….what’s yours?

Reading? Writing Poetry? Stamp collecting? Scrapbooking? or maybe your passions lie outside your four walls – Gardening? Tennis? Gym Club?

Find your passion and you WILL find the time AND the resources to carry it through. You may even turn your hobby into a thriving business. Many books have been written on the subject. I am on my way to creating a knitting empire at the moment…. The Ekokids are teenage dolls who were created during a low budget moment and are now gaining a global audience! (Pop over to this page to see the patterns I’m developing Knits-U-Love)

Find time for your passion today – you deserve it!

Linda x

Meditation Made Easy

MeditationmadeEasy

I just realized I’ve written tons of posts relating to healthy living such as growing fruit and veg, healthy foods and recipes and even getting off the grid from time to time. But one thing that I’ve never really touched upon, which is one of the most important things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle, is meditation.

Meditation has been around since the beginning of humankind in one form or another although us western world folk tend to conjure up images of monks sitting cross legged on beautiful mountains for hours on end. And of course that is a reality, but for us to benefit from this amazing practice we do not have to sit for hours on a mountain top, although that kinda sounds appealing sometimes!

In recent years scientists, doctors, philosophers and self development teachers have all begun to share the benefits of ‘quieting your mind’. However, most of us live busy lives and tend to come up with a couple of excuses not to incorporate meditation in our lives.

The first excuse is that we don’t have time to sit and meditate – this I’m afraid to say, is a cop-out excuse. We can ALL find ten or fifteen minutes a day – it’s just a matter of prioritizing.

And the second excuse is, and this one has relevance, that we can’t STOP thinking.

We have thousands upon thousands of thoughts every day and to expect ourselves to be able to magically turn off this powerful stream of thought instantly is frankly absurd. But there are many ways to meditate and it’s also a ‘practice’, so that means if you do it consistently you will get better at it.

So I’m just as guilty as everyone else of making these excuses, especially the second one but having spent the last decade or more studying self development and self help teachings, strategies and philosophies, I’ve come up with a system that works for me and I’d like to share these ideas with you here and now…..

azalea

1. Allocate a time for yourself every day – yep, every day. It honestly doesn’t have to be longer than 15 or 20 minutes. First thing in the morning is perfect but whenever it suits you is important.

2. Decide on a comfortable space to meditate. If your household is forever busy, choose a room and tell the family to NOT disturb you. Don’t just rely on closing the door. We all know that the most reliable way to draw your children to you is to not be paying attention to them. (on the phone, taking a bath ring a bell?!) You may have to rope in the help of your partner or eldest child to help make this happen.

3. Eliminate other distractions. Turn your phone off, or if that’s too painful, leave it in another room where you won’t hear it. Don’t have your laptop with you either, unless you are choosing a guided meditation…

4. A guided meditation may be just what you need to encourage a moment of relaxation. There are literally hundreds of guided meditations online, youtube in particular. Do a little research beforehand and decide on a video that resonates with you. I recently found a very simple guided meditation by Marie Forleo (here) which is less than 15 minutes but really hits the spot – for me anyway. Choose something that suits you. Don’t attempt the hour long videos at first – work up to that if you want to, but honestly 15 minutes once or twice a day is really all you need to get into this.

5. Alternatively you may prefer simply to sit quietly in a quiet room. But if you have trouble with those pesky thoughts, try a simple mantra such as ‘So Hum’ Repeat silently to yourself – ‘So’ on the in breath and ‘hum’ on the exhale

6. Now you’re set up with a space, time and guided meditation if you’re using one, sit in a comfortable position with a straight back. Place your hands in your lap, and if it’s comfortable for you, have your palms facing slightly upwards and touch the tips of your thumbs and index fingers together.

7. Take a deep breath in, feeling the breath go right down to your belly and straighten your spine, then breathe out slowly relaxing your shoulders. Take a few long slow breaths and basically then you’re on your way…

You could focus on relaxing all parts of your body. But if you can just relax your forehead, eyes, jaw and shoulders, you’re probably much more relaxed than you usually are.

And when those thoughts and images drift into your mind, and they will, just be aware of them and gently bring your attention back to your breath or your mantra.

The most important thing here is to NOT beat yourself up about not getting it ‘right’. Sitting quietly is a great start and even if you can find just a few seconds of no-thought, you WILL benefit. Then do it every day. After a week or two you may find a minute or two of ‘no thought’ – the key here is consistency. Make it a daily practice for you.

Meditation is something that costs no money and little time and your resulting good feelings will ripple out to your family, friends and all beings right round the world.

This zen quote says it all really!
“Meditate for 20 minutes a day. If you don’t have time, then you need to meditate for an hour”

I’d love to know how you get on. Share your thoughts on my Facebook page. Otherwise, just share with friends and family who you know will benefit from a daily 15 minutes of ‘me’ time πŸ™‚

Happy Meditating!

Linda x

How Can I Lose Weight?

Losing Weight

‘How Can I Lose Weight’ is Googled around 9 million times a month… phew!

Have you ever wondered why some folk never put on weight and others spend their whole life trying to lose it? There are a few mythical answers to this very popular question:

– willpower
– metabolism
– glands
– various other medical conditions
– time
– money
– lifestyle ….. ah, now this one may not be so mythical!

In fact, how we live our lives in general has a lot to do with how our bodies respond. This wonderful biological miracle we live in responds directly to how we treat it.

“But I eat salad every day and count calories almost religiously and still can’t shift the weight”

Is this you? Counting calories, panicking if you go over your daily quota and generally allowing your ‘diet’ to run your life?

STOP RIGHT THERE!

This isn’t working is it? You’re still not happy with your weight and general health. I was going to mention fitness but that conjures up unpleasant images of push ups and bossy personal trainers.. so we won’t go there – not just yet anyway πŸ™‚

One of the biggest issues most of us have is instant gratification. We live in an instant world. From instant coffee to instant world access through the internet.

How many of us grumble when the connection is a bit slow? A few short years ago it may have taken hours to get through to someone on the other side of the world by phone. Nowadays we complain if we have to wait 10 seconds. Internet marketing experts will tell you if you haven’t grabbed your audience’s attention within about 5 seconds, they’re gone!

But I digress, losing excess weight should not be treated as an internet download. It took a while to install those pounds… it will take a while to uninstall them.

“But what about all those ‘Lose 10lbs in 10 days’ diets?”

Great in theory, but what usually happens is that even if you do lose 10lbs in 10 days, 20 days later you will have 11 or 12lbs to lose. Fast weight loss is not effective because your body doesn’t have time to address the underlying issues about why you were carrying the extra weight in the first place.

Our survival instincts are often to blame. Instinctive behaviour is deeply rooted in our subconscious from days when we lived in caves and fat was essential for survival. Unfortunately our instincts haven’t yet updated to blend with 21st century living.

So it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!!!

Stop beating yourself up about it and take positive action that suits your lifestyle and results in the healthy body you deserve.

Don’t listen to the excuses. None of them are real. One underlying issue is responsible for all our excuses.

Lack of self-love.

Even if you think you’re pretty stable, respect and love yourself and everyone else loves you too; if you’re reading this you probably have a body issue going on.

If you aren’t in shape, something somewhere flipped you into survival mode and left you there. You don’t have to book into therapy to find out what it was, just accept that something occurred and now you’re gonna deal with it!

So the plan is to create;

—a comfort zone that bubbles over with confidence,

—and the healthy gorgeous body you always dreamed of.

Once that’s taken care of, everything else falls neatly into place…

So here’s the challenge:

Decide how many pounds you want to lose and stick to the plan for the same amount of weeks – don’t try to cut corners by trying to lose more than 1lb a week. 1lb may not sound much but go and pick up something that weighs 1lb (500g) and then relate the weight to actually losing it from your body.

Whether you think this is impressive or not, go with it.

Allow 1lb a week weight loss only. It’s tempting to get rid of the first few pounds quickly and this often naturally happens in a diet plan, but it doesn’t really help because we allow thoughts like ‘I lost 3lbs last week so I can eat cake today and tomorrow.’ to take hold.

A dangerous strategy – the point of healthy diets is that you gain a healthy attitude to food and re-educate that survival software.

The best way to see the bigger picture is to know that you won’t be ‘suffering’ on a ‘diet’ for ever more. But will enjoy and feel at ease with your new way of seeing yourself and the world around you.
Processed food does NOT nourish living bodies.

If you look at the number of posh vets and animal surgeries our society supports, it seems clear that by feeding our animals on processed foods they are suffering from the same adverse medical conditions as humans.

Before you start your healthy diet plan, give yourself a little time to think about real food as well as a gentle physical pursuit.

Treat yourself to a walk in the woods and a super healthy meal

Perhaps consider a few of the reasons why you haven’t sorted this out yet – don’t stress though. Remember we all have self-limiting beliefs, and blasts from the past that keep us locked in a revolving door.

And the most important point I’d really like to stress is ‘Take it slowly’ – Any pressure will keep that survival mode firmly switched on. Rushing isn’t a good thing – you miss the details, you sometimes fall over, and most of all you don’t particularly enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the journey – it’s a challenge yes but, as neuro-science proves, if you accept the challenge you’ll release tons of feel-good hormones.

You may also be nervous. One of the biggest obstacles in human society is FEAR. When we decide to do something, we get excited and positive about our upcoming results. Then the fear kicks in…. again our survival instincts … and puts doubts in the way.

Ride those fears because they’re not real – don’t ignore them. Acknowledge, accept, then move on…

Takeaway Checklist:

– Be realistic in your weight-loss plan
– Don’t allow your thoughts to push you into ‘instant gratification’ or get-thin-quick schemes πŸ™‚
– Start enjoying ‘real’ food more than ‘processed’ non-foods
– Decide what you like to do that involves moving around –

if you are physically challenged, there are chair workouts and other pursuits that you can enjoy that will help you get rid of excess pounds. Even knitting burns up a fair few calories an hour.

But most of all … “Love Yourself”

To your good health!

Linda x

I am Worthy

I am Worthy

I am Worthy!

We’re just over half-way through this year and time to create new beginnings, positive changes and really make a difference in our world in the next 12 months.

Even when you think you’re world is tiny, good feelings ripple out indefinitely, reaching more people than you can imagine.

I’ve studied plenty of self-help theories and practices over the past ten years or so, but when it comes right down to it;

**We have a choice.

**We can become master of our thoughts and really make a difference in our world.

Many of us feel we don’t have a choice, and on the surface that may seem likely. This is one of the reasons hypnosis and self-help practices have become so popular – we need to get beyond that surface tension and find the real ‘me’.

Probably the most effective form of getting to know yourself is meditation….

aaaargh .. Yes I hear you!!!

**no time,
**can’t sit still for long enough to understand what I’m supposed to be doing
**constant distractions

yep, I know …. me too … however, I also know that the most successful people in society today practice meditation.

The meaning of meditation is to become familiar – become familiar with yourself so you can identify those self-limiting beliefs that are causing lack in your life – of wealth, health and spiritual fulfillment.

Self-limiting beliefs cause all sorts of havoc – they convince you that

**You don’t have a choice
**It’s genetic, whatever ‘it’ is
**The world doesn’t work that way
**I’m not worthy

The ‘I’m not worthy’ self-limiting belief is probably one of the most common and dis-empowering beliefs in the world today.

Close your eyes for a minute or two at intervals during the day and think (or speak out loud if no-one’s around)

“I am worthy”

This will encourage you into a different state of being. One that empowers you, slowly but surely.

I originally learned this very powerful tip from one of Louise Hay’s books – “You Can Heal Your Life” and since I started practicing it, a boost of self-confidence has allowed me to improve my life in ways I would never have thought possible.

Take Away:

– Start a do-able meditation practice every day – 5 minutes is better than no minutes
– Tell yourself you are worthy.

Repeat the phrase “I am worthy” to yourself all through the day – be consistent and you will be surprised at how fast you start changing those self-limiting beliefs. It feels kind of weird at first but go with it. Nobody knows you’re doing it … this is for you.

Love yourself – you ARE worthy. πŸ™‚

Linda x

P.S. This downloadable has more fun ideas to keep those good feeling ripples flowing…

Healthy Body Hacks

 

 

Healthy Body Hacks – Choose your favourite supplier:

Amazon US , Amazon UK , iTunes , Kobo , Payhip , Barnes & Noble ,

 

To your Good Health!

Linda x

The Secret Addiction

The SecretAddiction

The Secret Addiction

The drug that’s causing world wide health problems, even fatalities in some cases, is and always has been legal. And no, in this case I’m not talking about alcohol or nicotine.

The drug that generations have been addicted to, and is now manifesting itself in over a million new sufferers of diabetic conditions every year is sugar.

Not the natural sugars that occur in fruit and vegetables, but the processed type that turns up in practically every single packaged food we buy.

Even a tin of soup will probably contain sugar, it may be under a different name; dextrose, glucose etc; but it will still be processed sugar.

The problem is that humans are natural beings and when we feed ourselves with processed foods, our bodies have to work overtime to digest them properly.

This can result in insulin levels being corrupted and lead to sugar intolerances as well as any number of medical conditions such as;

IBS,
allergies,
heart problems,
diabetes
obesity.

Percentage of fats should be taken into consideration in a healthy diet, but in fact the human body can digest or eliminate fats easier than it can deal with processed sugar.

If you’ve been trying to lose weight, watching the calories and doing your best but never quite managing the course, it may be that sugar is a huge obstacle between you and your ideal body.

Processed sugars give us a quick rush of energy, that’s why we use them, but the problem is that the rush becomes a ‘come-down’ very quickly, and although the mind doesn’t consider it as a drug come-down, the body feels differently, and will translate that feeling to the brain to get another sugar rush soon. It surely must be impossible for the untrained mind to eat just one chocolate out of a box!

Eliminating processed sugar from our everyday diet is not an easy task. But it is possible. Buying or growing fresh foods and checking packets in the supermarket before you buy is a start, but basically it’s all about mindset.

Make up your mind to get off the drugs and be healthy!

Allow a month to start re-training your taste buds, and during that month, experience as many different tastes as possible.

**Grow some herbs and spice up mealtimes.
**Use dried fruits to satisfy the sweet craving. – Check they haven’t been crystallized though.
**Put a few dried dates in a freezer bag and freeze for an hour or two. They come out like chewy caramels -almost!

Often, when processed sugar is eliminated from the diet, the body feels drawn to fruit. Eat as much fruit as you like, it’s much better than using it as an attractive feature in the lounge before throwing it away because no-one would eat it after a large slice of chocolate cake. Well, who would?

Occasionally a small amount of sugar will sneak into your food without you realizing. Don’t worry but be aware and avoid it the next day. After a few weeks, it’s amazing how you can sense sugar content, before tasting it.

It’s very likely there will be a natural weight-loss by avoiding sugar. Because the body doesn’t experience the ‘come-down’ so regularly, we aren’t tempted by the fridge or larder every five minutes, and so naturally eat less.

Speed up the weight loss:

One other danger drug that needs to be mentioned is white flour. Not in itself particularly harmful maybe, but because of the processing, it doesn’t easily digest in the body. White flour – present in pastries and bread as well as cakes and biscuits, has a very similar effect as processed sugar. Avoiding gluten will help.

Getting hung up on calorie counting or fad diets can be tiresome and time consuming. A simple decision to eat healthy stuff instead of processed food will result in a healthy body not an ailing or overweight one.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Healthy Baby Steps

healthybabysteps-pinterest

“Healthy Baby Steps”

The secret to good health, including your perfect weight is to get the right balance of food, liquids and movement.

** An adult human body needs anything from 1400 calories a day upwards to function properly.
**It also needs a fair amount of vitamins, minerals, sugars and fat

**Our skeleton has joints, indicating we were built to move
**And every one of a trillion or more cells in our bodies is surrounded with water. We need to keep those cells fresh and alert!

Before processed foods were introduced, it was much simpler to work out the right balance. Now we are bombarded with ‘healthy eating’ packaged foods containing ingredients that are a complete mystery to the everyday shopper.

But what’s the alternative if you have a hungry family to feed, little time to spare and are just getting exhausted with the whole food issue thing?

“Baby steps”

There are hundreds of little things we can do every day that will improve our own lifestyles, as well as helping the planet out a little. Sticking to food issues though, here are a few ideas to steer you on the path of healthiness ……

– Herbs: This is a personal passion of mine and a soap box special! Herbs are magical plants and can save you money, time and trips to the doctor…..

Grow an aloe vera plant: it doesn’t need much looking after and will soothe and heal minor burns. Ointments and creams contain various chemicals that you wouldn’t necessarily want to rub into your skin if you knew what they were.

Aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 human required amino acids, and is a perfect treatment for healing skin lesions and burns.

In fact, there are so many claims around the qualities of this plant, that it’s almost impossible to list them all…. some are still just claims, others have been proved. ( Find out more about aloe vera here.)

Replace pasta sauces with a few herbs and tomatoes (home-grown if you can). A bunch of fresh chopped coriander will spice up a tomato base and will hardly take any longer than opening a jar of processed sauce… oh, and it won’t cost you much either!

– Fruit & Veg: You don’t have to have a garden, or an army of willing workers, to grow a few fruits and vegetables.

There are large containers, specially designed strawberry planters, potato barrels and many small hybrid plants you can grow to boost the family’s immune systems and encourage them to enjoy the true taste of ‘real’ food. These containers take up very little space and there’s no digging involved!

Custom made containers could cost a little more initially, although once set up, you’re probably good to go for a few years. There are cheaper ways of doing it. Look out for large pots and containers at markets or thrift shops. Make sure they are well-drained before you start growing. Drill a few holes in the bottom if necessary. Remember to use a drip tray indoors or raise them slightly off the ground if you’re planting outside.

– Water: Lots of controversy about tap water, flouride content etc; Unless you have a good bottled water supply, most of us are kind of stuck with it. Drinking water isn’t that exciting unfortunately, and the taste of chemicals coming through is very off-putting.

If you have the time, boil it first… but otherwise a small squeeze of fruit juice will encourage you to drink more. I’m still not quite sure about the wisdom of drinking 2 litres of water a day when it’s been recycled so many times and contaminated with chemicals…but we’ll go with it for now.

Within these ideas there are hundreds of options, and whatever you decide to do, the healthier option will help you:

*improve your diet and health
*maintain your ideal weight
*and enjoy that magic spark you deserve πŸ™‚

To your good health!
Linda x

New Day Resolutions

newdayresolutions-pin

New Day Resolutions
Seeing as most of us break our new year resolutions by the fifth of January every year, why not start at any point and see how long we can keep it up!

One of the biggest problems we have with ‘resolutions’ is that they are often based on what the rest of the world thinks you ‘should’ do:

– should be a size zero — (aaargh!)
– should be further up the ‘career’ ladder
– should be working out every day

And resolutions can often involve giving up something:

– cutting back on your favourite red wine?
– stopping all chocolate frenzies!
– not watching your favourite soap, cos you gotta go do a run?

It’s time to get on track – not ‘back’ on track, because, after all, the point is that you want to make some changes.And not on ‘any old’ track, because it must come from ‘your’ heart – not someone else’s view of what should or shouldn’t be happening in your life.

In the words of the wonderful Mike Dooley, “Thoughts Become Things!” The Universe, God or whatever else you choose to name the ‘ultimate’ power, makes no judgements or individual choices… YOU choose your life through your thoughts…. so how can the next twelve months be the best year ever?

1. Create a new list of goals and dreams
2. Take steps towards those goals every day.

and most importantly..

1.think the thoughts that serve you
2.be grateful for all you have and will have
3.be happy! – success doesn’t bring happiness – happiness brings success.

Write down your new list of goals and dreams and keep the list where you’ll see it often, or make a point of reading through it every night and morning, feeling the good feelings you’ll have when you achieve each goal and be grateful for them as if you already have them.

if you find it hard to be grateful for something you haven’t actually received yet, start by feeling gratitude for the lap top, phones, job, imagination and opportunities that are in your reach. If you’re reading this on the internet, hi! Isn’t this great? πŸ™‚

There are an infinite number of tools you can use to kick-start your ‘good’ thoughts – AND you don’t have to spend money!

– Vision board: these are becoming more and more popular. If you have a cork notice board where you see it every day, take down all the notes and copy them on to a list – then choose your dream! Put up pictures of your dream home, car, body, holiday resort… anything you desire. Then add inspiring words like ‘Thank you’ (gratitude before receiving) or ‘my dream lifestyle’ – anything that makes you feel good.

– Books and websites galore! As well as ‘The Secret’ website, book and film, there are plenty of self-help and motivational folk out there sharing some wonderful insights to our world, spiritually and physically.

– Yoga: If you think you can’t possibly re-arrange your body into the complex structures that we see in the best yoga exercises, and you’re not alone, start from the beginning! Learn to breathe, sit still for a few minutes, be master of your thoughts.

These are just a few ideas. There are many more. The best way to create your dream lifestyle is to start living it right now. For example:

Losing weight: don’t commit yourself to an impossible diet, just adjust it every day. And get into the mindset of being healthy. Health comes first before being a size zero after all. When you begin to think healthy thoughts, your body will start to crave proper food, rather than processed ‘non-foods’.

A better job: If you are absolutely fed up with your present job and want to move on, the best way is to be happy in your job, grateful you have one, and prepared to do your very best every day. This mindset will put a spark into your ‘moving to a better job’ goal.

Working out: Wow, this must be the number one resolution we all make and break in the first week of a ‘resolution’. Logically, if you’ve over-indulged for a week or year, then thrown yourself into burning up those calories, inevitably there is going to be a slump! Your body just doesn’t know what’s hit it and needs a rest. Then your thoughts have a party at your expense and suddenly workouts become a chore, open to every available excuse under the sun.

Take it slowly. Baby steps will get you to where you want to go. If you only do 10 minutes of yoga every day for a week, that’s okay. Over the week, that adds up to an hour of me-time, more learning about yourself, and also a deeper awareness of your body and its needs.

And one last note: keep the balance right. Baby steps and increasing pleasure and happiness every day, is far better than throwing yourself at something full blast then being disappointed and not starting again for another year.

Make this your year!
Linda x

Grounding

grounding-pin

Apart from all the wonderful fruit, veg and herbs and flowers you can grow in the garden to keep everyone healthy and away from the processed food, gardening is one of the best hobbies you can take up for grounding reasons.

Since I was little, I remember being told that it’s good for you to go outside without shoes, and lately there has been scientific research proving that grounding is one of the best possible things you can do for your health – mentally, physically and spiritually, but notably, at first glance, definitely physically.

The atmosphere is charged with positive electrons and the earth with negative. Because we tend to live in carpeted houses, go to work in insulated offices, and wear rubber soled shoes, many of us are actually carrying a huge amount of positive electrons in our bodies which in turn can put the system out of sync!

As soon as you touch the earth with your bare skin, the positive electrons are released into the earth and neutralized. Wow – nature is amazing isnt it?:-)

Obviously we can’t run around on the beach or the lawn whenever we want to – shame – but we can remember to get in touch with the earth from time to time – it’s good to get about 45 minutes of being in touch with the earth every day – but one minute is better than none!

To your good health

Linda x

Stimulate Your Senses

stimulateyoursensesGazing through the window on a grey, dreary autumn day doesn’t generate a lot of inspiration for a ‘get out there and enjoy the summer sunshine’ type of article. Neither does the need to get out there in the summer sunshine help very much when trying to create a cosy winter scene for your novel.

The imagination and memory are invaluable tools in seasonal creative writing but without the physical senses being stimulated, any creative writing can take on a hard edge.

 

Mellow out and push even more sensual feeling into your writing by stimulating all your senses and fooling them out of season.

Fool Your Sight

Pin up some simple pictures around your office space

*Recreate Spring with spring flowers, sunrises, Easter bunny cartoons, children playing, babies giggling – anything that sparks your spring imagination.

*Recreate summer by pinning up some holiday snaps or those awful summer holiday advertisements seen in all the glossies. It will undoubtedly give you a new angle to your summer writing πŸ™‚

*Recreate autumn with images of pumpkins, withes and black cats and spectacular trees in the red and gold colours of autumn.

*Recreate winter with pictures of winter sports and snow-ball fights. Try and find a good picture of rain falling under a lamppost at night. Truly and hypnotically winter!

Simply sorting out your pictures and hanging them will get the creative juices flowing. And your work space gets a new look every season – out of season.

Draw a seasonal curtain: This works especially well for those who do a lot of writing after dark. Change the curtain at your window to reflect the season you want to create. The change of texture n the material of the curtain gives the whole scene a more three dimensional feel. When choosing a ‘spring’ look in the winter, make sure the material is heavy enough to keep out the cold.

 

Fool Your Hearing

Play the music that makes you buzz with seasonal fever:

The most effective music I’ve found for prompting me into another season is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Give it a go. Ignore the rain against the window. Choose the piece you want to listen to, turn up the volume and allow yourself to float away in the music for a few minutes. Guaranteed to meet the seasonal needs.

Then there are recordings of song birds, summer holiday songs, ghostly Halloween music and ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ assortments. And there will always be personal favourites that prompt memories of summer days, winter evenings, spring lambs or special events. Choose your sounds carefully. You tube and playlists make this a very easy practice.

 

Fool Your Taste

One obvious way to fool your taste buds is to buy fruit and veg out of season, which is okay but could leave you considerably out of pocket, assuming of course you can even find fresh versions of out-of-season produce. There are a few cheaper steps we can take to stimulate our taste buds:

Recreate spring and summer tastes:

*A crisp fresh mixed salad will help create the taste of spring and summer

* A pot of chives or even cutting lettuce on the windowsill will probably survive right through the winter if kept warm and gently watered. Chew a leaf or two for fresh summer tastes.

* Have a barbecue indoors! Simply substitute an indoor grill for the outside fire.

 

Recreate autumn and winter tastes:

* Bake a batch of goodies usually reserved for Halloween or Christmas celebrations. Then hide them before the family finds out!

*In the UK, the sun doesn’t tend to shine all summer, so make the most of those dull days by cooking a warming stew or casserole.

 

Fool Your Touch

Textures aren’t always easy to define as seasonal. But there are a few tricks you can use:

Personal reminders of summer days, such as perhaps that snazzy pair of shorts you wore on the beach last year, can help. If you decide to wear them at your desk in the winter, don’t get cold, and remember not to open the front door to the postman while wearing them. In his hat, gloves, scarf and big coat, he may not be feeling too friendly when he sees you dressed for the sun, or on the other hand … πŸ™‚ Anyway, remember the season you are supposed to be in, when you come back to real lfe!

Fluffy things tend to be reminiscent of spring – Easter chicks? Angular paperweights and desk toys tend to feel sharper and colder when touched and held. They can help recall our touching senses to winter days. Ice from the freezer works as well, although maybe a little too cold?

To get in touch with your sense of touch and experience an awesome spiritual bond with the earth, try hugging a tree! Close your eyes and wrap your arms around the biggest tree you can find. Ignore the rolling eyes from passers-by and conjure up and mood you want and find the season you are searching for.

 

Fool your Sense of Smell

Baking can help jog the smelling sense. From a vanilla pod placed in a slow oven to a roast turkey with all the trimmings, cooking aromas will always get your creative juices flowing. The small of children’s blackcurrant juice always takes me off into the summer days when the kids were small. Every time!

Aside from baking, flowers and herbs are aromatic and can be placed in pots or hung from the ceiling. Renew regularly to refresh the smells. Keep a few sprigs of mint in a little water and rub the leaves occasionally to release the strong minty scent.

If nothing fresh can be found, try burning aromatherapy or Bach flower essential oils in a small burner. There are so many different scents to choose from. Any season can be inspired with a few drops of condensed flower oil, from light spring flowers to heavier woody scents. Almost any ambience is available in a little bottle.

With all your senses stimulated, the extra sensory perception flooding into your creative writing will soon pay off!

Linda x

The ABC

P.S. **Just released** The ABC of Digital Publishing will help you get your wonderful writing out to the world! Listed on The Good Life page.