#lifelessons101- 4 things to help you back on the personal development horse (3 min read)

When you start out on a new personal development regime everything goes buzzing along in a cloud of motivation and positivity, that is until you fall off the horse. Motivation levels go down and it often seems easier to give up and fall back into the old familiar habits we know and feel comfortable in. The irony is that when we are at this point it is one of the most important stages of our personal development journey. If of course we can just keep a view on the bigger picture, block out our negative inner dialogue and keep going the breakthrough comes and it’s worth it. Hurrah!

I know. It’s not that easy right.

In fact not easy at all.  And I know this all too well. This week in particular for me has been a tough one. After a short pear shaped period in my life I have been attempting to get back into my personal development routines again and pick up the good habits I had before. Should have been straightforward. I did it before I can do it again! Right ? Well yes and then no.

The challenge has been it’s just not that easy to get the same focus and drive I had before.  

Those of you that also follow the path of development know this too well. Falling off the personal development horse happens to us all. Getting on the horse again is not easy and staying on it after a fall can at first seem impossible. Added to which if you have an internal dialogue like mine (who loves to put me down) it can be fodder to add to your I can’t stick at anything, I am useless, worms, worms, worms personal narrative.  

It’s a vicious cycle and can if allowed hold you down forever, if you want it too. I don’t want it too. So I turned to my second favourite library of reference, me (the first is always a combination of Google and Mr T); and sifted through my files of life experience to figure out how to boost my motivation and let me get to the place of my next break through.

Guess what I found??  It is so much  easier than I thought  to get back on the personal development horse and ride into the future without superhuman strength. It was just a question of changing my mental approach to the process and applying these for A star guidelines. 

The 4 A star guidelines to getting back on the personal development horse:

Acceptance:

Sounds like a cliche right? However it’s not. If you don’t accept things as they are you cannot move forward because you are coming from a place of untruth. In accepting you also forgive.

You have to accept three things:

1: You fell off the horse (probably for a good reason if you analyse  it and look for the teachings) people do. But you are not going to be able to move forward if you don’t forgive yourself for that.

2: You are not unflawed. Every human is a perfect imperfection including you. If you look at two of my personal heros personal development heros Lousie Hay and Hal Elrod both of their stories tell very honestly about a human experience of growth. Both of them are perfect imperfections who are constantly working on improving their imperfections in the best way they can. None of us can do any more than our best. Have a look at your heros and role models I bet you will see that they too are just as frail and as human as you. If personal development gurus can be flawed so can you so stop beating yourself up for it.

3: It is gonna be tougher second time round because you will unconsciously compare your results to the first time you tried a routine change. This comparison is just your minds way of fighting the  changes you are trying to make because it likes to be in its comfort zone, it’s probably why you fell off in the first place.

Attention:

“Constant vigilance!” as  Professor Moody used to say (from HArry Potter. Yes I am a potter fan and a personal development junkie!). What do I mean by that. I mean pay attention to what is going on with you. If you get excuses popping up then notice them and try and work out why your mind is fighting against you. For example if you keep pushing your affirmation ritual away because you are too tired or too busy, or hit the snooze button instead of jumping out of bed to do you Miracle Morning routine then sit down with pen and paper to ask yourself why?  Why aren’t you doing it? Then find a way to work through your block instead of succumbing to it. Google is a wonderful tool here, ask and you will find inspiration if you can’t figure out how to work with your block alone. (99% of the time it is as said above your internal unconscious self rebelling because you are outside its comfort zone. In time you will feel better with the changes, you just need to keep going until your new habits become comfortable.) 

Acknowledgement:

As I always say one of the most important things you can do to motivate yourself is to acknowledge your achievements. I cannot stress how important this is. We often when ‘working’ with ourselves forget to notice and be proud of our progress and efforts. Of course the reward of personal development are the bonuses of our positive personal growth. But if you don’t take the time out to notice and acknowledge the journey you are taking and  your accomplishments, then you can get demotivated again. Make an achievement list where you list what you proud of yourself for having achieved once a week. Or if you prefer a gratitude list that focuses  on gratitude to yourself for what you have been doing to make life better for you.

Allies:

Allies is just another word for friends or people, or even strangers in the form of authors or online communities, who you can call on for help in your commitment to getting back on the personal development horse. It can be hard as hell to make life changes alone so call in your team. Right now I am finding myself surrounded by people who like to make excuses for themselves rather than take responsibility (unfortunately moving into a completely new area can have this effect). At first I found this draining and allowed it to affect me but once I realized it I have now started to call into my life people who also are dedicated to growing positively in both my friendship circle and through reading and watching personal development videos that inspire me.  It helps me keep focused and reminds me I am not alone. Writing this blog and having you guys read it helps amazingly too because when you read and like my articles I know that we are all out there working on ourselves to become better people in our way and that is immensely inspiring. For which I am truly grateful to you all lovely readers. So reach out to the universe and create the allies you need to keep you on that horse and keep going. We can achieve far more together than we ever can alone.

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Remember wherever you are in your personal development process that the times that seem the hardest are always before the enlightening positive breakthroughs. So keep on going. So what if you fell off the horse, you got back on it and you are moving forward. And by accepting that, paying attention to yourself, acknowledging your progress and calling in your allies you will keep on riding that horse  onwards growing more and more grounded, beautiful, abundant and successful every single day.

I believe in you  all ❤dream-it-do-it

Making New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep! – Time to get started! (2 min read)

This is the last part of a series of guides to help you make New Year’s resolutions that you can keep throughout the whole year. Don’t worry if you haven’t been following up until now. New Year’s resolutions can be made throughout the new year. Personally I prefer to do it as the land turns from Winter to Spring so that my journey follows nature’s cycle around me. However if you want to follow this guide you need to go and have a look at the part one (identifying your goals), part two (setting your goals) and part three (Making your plan) of this system otherwise it simply won’t make sense.

If you have been following the system you should by now have got your vision clear and made a plan for each goal. After all this fantastic work you are now absolutely clear on what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. So what’s left? Actually not much. However there is one last thing that is vitally important. Preparation. Any good plan is carried out best when you prepare.

Don’t worry you don’t have to prepare for every goal at once. It would be too unrealistic and set you up for a fail. Take a look at your plans. One of these goals is going to be something that you really need to do right away. It might be the one you are really inspired to do. Choose that. Look over your plan and decide how to prepare.

One of my goals is to improve my lifestyle and focus on my holistic health. In a nutshell I want to do more yoga and eat healthy. And as we all know this is not as simple as it sounds- So I have been making preparations. This weekend I researched some yummy looking healthy snacks (snacking is my thing ever since I quit smoking) and I’ve been finding out how much time I have to exercise. So slowly I am starting to make preparations.

The important thing here is to go slowly and remember baby steps. This week I am going to start exercising 5 mins a day and have salad every day., oh and this weekend I have eaten all the junk food in the house . Maybe counterproductive but it means temptation is gone.  It may seem strange to start with such a little commitment in the beginning however with doing 5 mins a day it gets me into a habit that will grow each week until I have reached my daily exercising to my goal target. Little by little my life is going to improve and change.

This last month the thought processes you have been through have laid the foundations , the roots of a path of growth you start this year towards your dreams your life changes. Because of this groundwork you and your life will continue to evolve into the life you have imagined for yourself.

So identify the preparations you need to make and get going!

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Making New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep! – Making your plan (4 min read)

This is the third part of a series of guides to help you make New Year’s resolutions that you can keep throughout the whole year. Don’t worry if you haven’t been following up until now. New Year’s resolutions can be made throughout the new year. Personally I prefer to do it as the land turns from Winter to Spring so that my journey follows nature’s cycle around me. However if you want to follow this guide you need to go and have a look at the part one (Get inspired) and part two (Creating the vision) of this series, otherwise what you are about to read simply won’t make sense.

To those of you who have been following the steps you are hopefully raring to start working on your dreams and goals for this year and after this last week you will have a crystal clear vision of the changes you wish to make.

Holding the vision is important and will make your dreams easier to manifest. However a vision is not enough. If you don’t know what you need to work on and how to do that then you vision remains a dream, a nice picture in your mind and an unfulfilled goal.  So what next? How can you make your vision become a reality. The answer is really, really simple. Make a plan.

You may have heard the 5 P’s Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Now I do in part agree with this, on the other hand I find it a stressful and demanding. In my book proper planning gets stuff done.

But what do I mean by planning? There are many ways to do this. The simplest I have found is to take each goal and define the steps you have to take to create this. This week you have two steps to follow.  Give yourself good time to think this through and record your ideas. This is the foundation, the roots of the work you will be fullfill this year. Make strong roots adn you will have a strong plant. If you make a strong plan you will have better results.

Make a plan

Now say for example your goal this year is to travel a country for three months. In this case you have some very clear decisions to make and steps to follow.

Choose which country you want to go to

  1. Research the ways you wish to travel, hotels, youth hostels, work away and what you want to see.
  2. Research the cost of your trip.
  3. Save money.
  4. Book time off work.
  5. Book your holiday
  6. Go.

In this case it’s very simple. You can even set target dates on each of the steps. But what if your goal is not a clear to create for example to improve your self confidence.  In this case you need to do a lot of background thinking to achieve this goal. Also you have to be realistic. Can you do this in one year? Or will you have to spread this over a few years? In which case what do you want to achieve in this year? With goals such as this you can still make a plan in the same way as for travel. You just need to think it through more. One of my life coaching clients made this plan for improving one part of her self confidence over one year, by focusing on self love.

  1. Identify what it is I don’t like about myself.
  2. Talk about this with my life coach.
  3. Find a strategy for each issue with my life coach.
  4. Begin one strategy each month.
  5. Write a gratitude list every morning or evening.
  6. Use a self love affirmation every morning in the mirror while I brush my hair.

One year one my client is more confident and happier within herself. Together we have identified and implemented 3 strategies in her life to improve her relationship with herself. Her self confidence isn’t completely in place, however it is beginning to be less of a hinderance in her daily life and her life quality is improving.

The steps to take are easy when making your plan.

  • Choose one goal.
  • Clearly define it.
  • Write a list of the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal.
  • Set a start date.
  • Set a completion date
  • Do the same with all of your goals.

Evaluate and adapt your goals:

Making a plan is also a great way to evaluate your goals and dreams for this year. Are they realistic. When you break it down into bite size chunks and there are too many steps or impossible tasks then you need to redefine your goals.

 

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Enjoy this process. Make it simple. Make your plans realistic. And remember to make it fun. The whole point for me in life is about enjoying the journey. Life does not have to always be hard work. Keep this in focus as you are planning. After all the resolutions you make and want to keep should be improving your own life quality other wise there is not much point in making them!
Have a fantastic and motivating week. Next week is the last part of this series so tune in again on monday to begin making the changes you dream of in your life and to begin living the life you have dreamt of.

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#Lifelessons101 – What to do after a storm hits your life (2 min read)

Storms come quickly, bringing chaos. Life is swimming along at a normal and even comfortable tempo then suddenly from nowhere BAM! Something happens that in a minor or major way uproots your life. And the weatherman didn’t even tell you it was coming.

Yesterday we had a storm hit us. Our landlord dropped by to tell us there would be a  4000kr increase in our rent starting in February. My reaction process started with f……………….k!!!

Amazingly I then went through a series of reactions that by the end of the day I was feeling happy about this challenge and determined to overcome it.

First reaction : survival mode. I looked at the budget, can we pay?(We could but only just from now on until we generate more income we are living the way I hate counting every kroner and have no opportunity to save).

Second reaction: shock. I cried. A lot. I talked my frustration out (in a snotty and garbled way). Mr T was wonderful and comforting he tried to get me to say it would be ok. But right at that moment  I couldn’t. I was overwhelmed so I cried until I could cry no more. It was cathartic and released me from the drama of my fears.

Third reaction: Success experience. I knew I couldn’t do anything more about the problem right then and there. What I needed was a success experience. So I did the washing. Something small but easy to do (well it would have been if the cat hadn’t removed the waterpipe and therefore also flooded the bathroom! However I cleaned it all up and solved that problem so ha ha success!) For the rest of the day I gave myself small manageable tasks that made me feel successful.

Fourth reaction: Finding the positive. As I spent the day making small achievements, I realised that this financial pressure was actually a blessing in disguise. Life has been very comfortable of late, too comfortable. Not that I am saying being comfortable is wrong. My experience has simply been that comfortable without a little challenge makes boredom.As soon as this was realised my energy shifted. Now I could see we have been given an opportunity.

Fifth reaction: Energised and determined. Having proved to myself I can succeed all day, and after brainstorming, I could now see that the things I had been thinking of doing to increase our income and not yet done I now have an immediate motivation for. A kick up the butt to get my plans and dreams realised. Suddenly I am raring to go!

So who knew that a rent increase would actually be an inspiration and motivational factor!

Of course it might not have been. If I had chosen to sit down and stay at reaction number one, then this storm could have been crippling both mentally and financially.  Storms are crap. We all know that. We have all been there. But the important thing about the storms that hit us is not how we are hit, but how we survive afterwards. Storms bring change and peace after them if we choose to respond in a healthy way. Next time a storm  hits, slowly and in your own time try these five steps and you will turn your problems into opportunities.

Survival mode: Batten down the hatches and do the minimal things you need to do to survive.

Shock: Allow your emotions to come out. Do Not repress them. Allow yourself to get to the emotional state where you feel like a wrung out dishcloth. It empties the sadness, frustration and anger out of you.

Success experiences: Do some very simple things that you can succeed at. Wash the dishes. Do the washing. Feed the dog. Nothing you have to think about, just something you can do. MAke yourself do this. It’s actually the most important step as it transitions you to a positive space.

Find the positive: How? Look for it. There is always a positive side. A lover leaving does allow you to do things you didn’t do because of the relationship. A broken washing machine brings with it the opportunity to really deep clean the bathroom which you have been putting off for months. What opportunity did this storm bring?

Energised and determined. Find ways to overcome the challenge life has thrown at you. You don’t have to start then and there (unless you want to). Look at the opportunity this challenge has brought you and work towards to achieving whatever it is that opportunity brings you.

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This process took me one day unfortunately (or fortunately) I have had a lot of practise. It might take you longer. You may need two days in shock and a week of small successful experiences before you can find the opportunities. You will find them when you look. The way you respond to a storm creates the next step in your journey, only you can decide how that journey will be. 

 

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The unseen gifts that light up our lives – (3 min read)

The Yuletide season is almost here, Christmas is so close, the Winter Solstice is even closer. And hopefully you are enjoying a relaxing wind down or start to your Yule holidays. In our house, bulging out under the christmas tree are many, many christmas presents. Yule has and still is a time of celebrating the living people in our life that we love. In fact even today Yule is one of the only times families gather together and one of the only times we consciously make it important to show the people we care about that they are special to us. And as we learn from childhood we do this by giving and receiving gifts. However we actually give and receive gifts every day of our lives, often unnoticed. Yuletide is perfect for taking time out to learn more about these gifts, to learn more about ourselves and to be even more grateful for those people that make our lives special and our own ability to light up the world.

The gifts we receive in our lives

The tradition of giving gifts is one that has grown and stayed with us for centuries. The people we give gifts to over Yule tend to be our nearest and dearest and often people who we share the same dna with. Giving gifts is in a way a chance to acknowledge the gifts these people bring to our lives. And I don’t mean the physical gifts we get, I am talking about the gifts of life lessons, support and characteristics that shape and guide our lives. The unseen gifts that are there everyday.

By looking at these gifts consciously we can begin to identify not only why people are important to us but also we can earn why we need to learn the teachings their gifts bring to us. At the same time we get the oppertunity to value more the gift givers of our lives. I mean how often do we take time to appreciate the gifts people bring?

Is it hard? Not at all. You just need to really look. For example although I had a challenging relationship with my Mother (who hasn’t) when I looked for the gifts she has given me I discovered that she has an overwhelming sense of empathy and kindness. She has an amazing ability to love and a huge heart. She would give a beggar her last 20p and still buys christmas presents for all the children in the family even though she doesn’t see them.  Meditating on this I can see how first this gift has influenced me in nearly every human interaction I have had in my life, and these gifts make me so much better at my chosen path as both teacher and healer. I am incredibly grateful for these gifts

Finding the gifts of others

Look at the people on your Yule gift list and brain storm the following:

  • Who are these people ?
  • What is their relationship to you?
  • What gifts have they brought to your life? ( This can be stability, lessons, love)
  • For each gift think about your life and why is this teaching necessary to you life today.

Choose one of these people and write them a letter thanking them for the gift they bring to your life and telling them how much they mean to you.

If possible spend time with them over the holidays. Get to know them on a  deeper level and you may find that you have only just scratched the surface in your understanding of the gifts they bring to your life.

The gifts you bring

Gifts do not only travel one way. As we receive from people in our lives we also give gifts from our own heart. It can often be a challenge to recognise our strengths we bring to others lives.  However your gifts are as unique as you are and they light up the world in their own way. By acknowledging and naming them you will get a wonderful sense of how amazing you truly are.

Finding your gifts

What gifts do you give to others? (If it’s hard to think of you can ask your family and friends to help you here.)

On a piece of paper draw three candles and  on each candle write the gifts that you give to people and the world.  If you like you can light three candles to represent these gifts. Toast yourself with a large glass of wine and spend an evening being good to yourself.

 

Identifying the gifts we receive in our lives and the gifts we give brings an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the greatest gift, the gift of life. At Winter Solstice after the longest night the summer is born as the days start to get a little bit longer. What could be a more perfect time to be thankful for our lives and the people we love.

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#lifelessons101 – Escape the social media vampire with THE SOCIAL MEDIA FREE CHALLENGE!! (2 min read)

Recently I have been trying to take more time out for myself. I have identified stress factors, planned rest days in between social activities and re-started a hobby that gives me so much energy. However I am still tired. Of course a lot of that is to do with winter , low sunlight (here in DK there is not much at all) as well as the busy pre christmas break schedule we all have. But there is something else. Something else that really drains me and until today I couldn’t work out what it was.

At the moment I am studying (amongst other things) digital culture. Today we were talking about the positive and negative effects of social media. We learnt that here in Denmark 7% of 15 year old girls don’t spend time physically socialising with their friends after school, they do it over social media. In fact 80% people actually interact with social media before getting out of bed or brushing their teeth. To me the message is clear.

We are all being sucked in by the vampire of social media -fact.

And the worst part is we are all addicted to it. As I look around the train I am currently travelling on 15 of the 19 passengers in my carriage are on social media. (They are also giving me very strange looks as I have been standing up and counting them all!)

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t dislike social media. I live in another country to my family, I have friends world wide. Social media helps me to keep in touch with the people I love over a distance. I even run my business and my study groups over social media. It opens a world of possibilities and keeps us all connected. However the addiction of staring into a screen, scrolling through pictures, comments and videos at every possible oppertunity , is physically and mentally draining. These days we receive the same amount of information in a year as a person 200 years ago received in their entire lives!! That’s insane and is sending us all into a mental overdrive. At the same time constant use of a computer, tablet or smart phone is physically draining on our eyes. If you think about it it’s a bit of a  mystery as to why we are addicted to something that drains us both physically and mentally.

So what to do? Well it’s simple.  We need to give ourselves a break and start to use our social media accounts in a healthy way.  Here is the 3 step plan to escaping the social media vampire and giving yourself some much needed rest and energy. I challenge you to try it with me this weekend and in the coming week to see how much of a difference it makes in your life.

Step 1 – Take a weekend break

Take a weekend off. Let your friends, colleagues and family know that if they want to contact you over a weekend then it’s sms and phone call only. Put the phone on charge and do something else. Give yourself a break and connect with people in person instead of over media.

Step 2 – Plan when to use your social media

For the first day just note down how many times you check your social media accounts in a day. Then have a look at your day and see when you can choose two periods of time that you can use on your social media account. (Three if you have a  work or business through social media.)

Step 3 – No, no and NO!

When you feel the itch to check into your social media outside of your planned times don’t. Tell yourself no and do something else. Get some support, tell people what you are up to and why. There are some great free programs on the tinterwebs that allow you to block certain web pages for a period of time and this really, really helps.

So I invite you to join me this week in the Social media free challenge. As soon as this article is up I will be telling all friends and family not to contact me on fb until sunday. And then I will be enjoying a weekend of hygge with Mr T with films and Yule markets.

Let me know how your challenge goes – I’ll check in with you on Sunday night

Have an awesome social media free weekend 🙂

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Improving your relationships : Part 3 – 8 tips for improving exsisting relationships, you get what you give (5 min read)

This is the final part in the 3 part series about how to improve your relationships. In part one we looked at the seed of any healthy relationship, the relationship with yourself. Last week we looked at the roots of growing a healthy relationship and this week we are going to talk about  how to create relationships that grow and blossom.

Starting a relationship is for the most part relatively easy. Whether with a lover, a friend or even a family member; there is an underlying attraction that draws people together. At the beginning. Often after the initial excitement the relationships energy trickles away.

Imagine two children on the playground they meet, find something in common, become best friends, the bestest ever best friends, two days later one of them meets another child and has a new best friend.

As adults our relationships often can and do follow a similar pattern (albeit over a longer period of time.) And after a while you may find yourself wondering where are these people who were once so special in your lives or why do your relationships start out with such promise and then turn into nothing. This is the point where you need to take action and get out of some destructive habits.

Someone once told me it takes more energy to work at having a healthy relationship than it does to make a successful business. And it’s true .However work does not need to be difficult, it can be easy when kept simple. You basically get what you give. With a little effort, patience and sometimes compromise your relationships will blossom. At the same time you will be able to identify if a relationship is good for you or not.

Here are 8 guidelines to having a healthy, happy relationship with anyone in your life – try them and enjoy the blossoming of beautiful relationships. For best results do this conciously with the person who you want to improve your relationship with, so you have the best chance.

(Remember these tips don’t just have to be for people you have an unhealthy relationship with, you can also use them to improve healthy relationships too !)

  1. Make time

In a busy daily life it’s easy to miss spending time with the people who matter to us. We often take the attitude that they know us so well that they will understand. However as I said in my previous article assumption is the mother of all fuckups. People do get fed up of being ignored and naturally drift away to find relationships where they are important to someone.  Mr T and I have increasingly busy lives, in fact some days we will only see each other for half an hour in the whole day. So we make a point of sitting down and eating dinner together every evening we are home, even if that is only for 15 minutes. It makes the opportunity for us to check in with each other. Another solution we have found is five minutes cuddle before sleep. And my favourite is date night. One evening a week just for us.

Of course not everyone can have the luxury of a whole evening together. For example my Mum and I live in different countries and our weekly time tables do not sync at all. However we make the effort to write to each other over facebook and skype once a month. So make time for your relationships, 5 minutes, fifteen minutes, an evening or once a month, it will make a massive difference with a minimum of effort.

2. Don’t expect – talk

Ugh Expectation. One of the major issues in every relationship. Have you ever planned an evening for you and someone special that was completely not how you wanted it to be and you ended up disappointed. Of course you have, we all have.

The challenge is that we all have our own expectations, they way we expect things to be. And we also have the expectation that those who know us  will automatically know and fulfill our expectations. Unfortunately they can’t. And at the same time they are expecting you to know and fulfill their expectations. A destructive catch 22. Or is it?

Of course its not break that cycle and tell them what you want. And ask them what they want. It’s really that simple. If you are going on a date or a holiday explain your expectations. I have an arrangement with Mr T that when I get upset about something he has to ask me do I want a ‘fix’ (a solution to the problem) or a ‘hug’ (comforting and listening). It saves the traditional “you’re not listening to me” conversation as a man tries to fix the problem while a woman pours her heart out.

Direct honest communication is a foundation to any relationship, explaining and discovering expectations takes communication to a healthier level.

3. Agreements

And this naturally brings us to agreements. Making an agreement and sticking to it goes a long way in any relationship. And I don’t just mean the we agree to meet at a certain time and place kind of agreements. I am talking about small agreements we can make to show others that they are important to us and that we are important to them. For example it could be that you like the bed to be made and your partner is the last person up so he does that and at the same time he loves smoothies so you make him one for breakfast and leave it in the fridge for him. Making an agreement is different to doing little random things to make people smile. It’s an agreement between two people that says I love you and I appreciate you, so even though I don’t care about the bed being made every day I do it to make you happy.

4. Compromise

Compromise. An oldie but a goodie. We are not all the same no matter how similar we might seem. Compromise is a nutrient to our relationships. It is a question of how important is it to be right or get our own way if this damages our relationship and hurts someone we care about. Suggesting a compromise solves arguments and discord. It is giving a little to create something stronger and more beautiful. However it is a two way thing, Both of you need to make compromises to balance the relationship.

5. Treat people how you want to be treated

It actually as straight forward as it sounds. Send out a loving vibration and it will get mirrored back to you. Fun Surprises, stupid notes in hidden places, an unexpected present or even a funny meme sent on facebook shows someone you care. The more you do it, the more they will do it for you. (And if they don’t then reconsider that relationship)

6. Sorry  and Forgiveness

We all argue. We all say hurtful things. We all hurt the people we love the most. For some reason it’s in our nature. Saying sorry should be the easiest thing in the world however sometimes it isn’t. You have to learn to let things go, it’s in a way the same as compromise. If you have done something to hurt someone, even if unintended say you are sorry.

At the same time if we hold on to something that hurts us we actually only hurt ourselves. If you want a person in your life that has hurt  you then you have to truely forgive them and tell them.

The best part about saying sorry and forgiving is the making up! Make sure you make up and create the happy energy between you, even if it’s just a tickle fight. Shifting the energy will make everything alright again.

7. Have fun, share experiences and make memories!

Not only is it important to spend time together, it is equally important to share experiences and make memories together. Of course this often happens naturally, however if you feel as though your relationship with someone is getting stuck in a rut then liven it up by making a memory together. I love this part. I especially like to do it on birthdays. They happen every year so if you try something new or do something lovely you will remember them all and make people happy.  Also try doing something you really want to do together. Last summer I invited my Mum and Brother Rob to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter tour. It had been years since we had last done something together as a family. Now we have had a day we will never forget. So shake things up and do something different together, it makes a memory that will keep you both smiling long after the actual day.

8. Check in with the status of your relationship

Throughout this series I have been using the metaphor of a plant to represent the healthy growth of a relationship. However there is one other important time to take into consideration, the time when the plant dies.  This does not necessarily mean that the relationship will die. After say 6 months  I use this as a metaphor for evaluation. What have my efforts manifested? It could be some of the things I have tried didn’t actually improve the relationship so I can drop those. Or it can be celebrating how my relationships have grown and blossomed in which cas it’s definitely a good idea to do this together.

However by conciously trying to improve your relationship with someone you may also have noticed that they are not putting in the same energy as you. It’s at this time you have to ask yourself is this reelationship healthy for me? Do I want this relationship in my life? Can this relationship be saved? (if so talk to the person and use some of the advice above) Or is this time to walk away from a relationship where I am not valued and find a relationship where I am. This is going to be a whole another topic for another article in the new year so if you need some help with this then keep your eyes peeled.

Give your relationship an evaluation after 6 months of using all the tips and advice in this series and see where the relationships in your life are going.

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So that’s the end  (for now)  of my series on improving relationships in 2016, more tips and advice will be coming your way in 2017.  Rememeber the basic road to improving your relationships are easy to remember just think of a plant’s cycle  the seed, the roots, the growth and the letting go.

Let me know how it’s going using these tools to grow a healthy relationship in your life and especially what you found the most useful in the comments below, or on the Re:root facebook page. And if you find something that works that isn’t on here, then please please share it so we can all benefit from your experience.

Have a lovely and loving week and just remember you give what you get, it’s that simple ❤

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Improving your relationships – The roots of a healthy relationship in 6 easy steps (3 min read)

This is part 2 of the three part series on Improving your relationships. Last week was about you, this week it’s about other people.

The roots of a great relationship

People need other people. It’s the way we are made. We need each other to create, to support and to love. We need to connect and to be important to someone. Baumeister and Leary claim that human beings are “naturally driven toward establishing and sustaining belongingness.” As we all know relationships can be some of the most fantastic experiences in the world and some of the worst. It’s up to us to make them wonderful!

Last week we looked at your relationship with yourself, the most important of all. The seed from which every other relationship comes. But now it’s time to look further to grow the roots of your relationships. A relationship isn’t just between lovers, it’s between every one you are close to. If you grow deep healthy roots in your relationships you will be stronger and happier in your life. It’s as simple as that!

I know, I know  it sounds hellishly complicated, however I promise you it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact in 6 easy steps you can grow the roots of healthy relationships with anyone in your life.

Know your boundaries

In any relationship you will have to make compromises so it’s important to know your boundaries, to know what you want, how you want to be treated. To know what you will and won’t accept. By loving yourself you know that you deserve to be respected. 

Remember this doesn’t just go one way. Other people have different boundaries and these also need to be respected. You may have heard the saying we hurt the people we love the most. Unfortunately it is true so you need to think about how you would like to treat them.

Think of a relationship you already have or one you want to have .Write a description of that relationship describing how it will be in the future. How can it be a healthy, respectful and caring relationship.

Don’t assume

An ex taught me the phrase “Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups”. It’s true. We know our internal world so well,that we often forget that people can’t read our internal dialogue. We know  exactly how we want to be loved and yet we forget that this is not always obvious. Stop assuming and start explaining. Instead of taking offence, ask if the person meant to offend. Explain to a loved one how you would like them to help you when you are having a hard time. And yes this does work with children and colleagues too. (Obviously with a change in how you use your language). However remember that this goes both ways so invite the other person to explain their inner world. It is a new habit to train, but once in place makes life sooo much easier.

Forget about perfection

In any relationship there will be challenges. People are different and we can’t always get along. So don’t expect otherwise. What you can do is choose how to respond to these situations. Do you react or respond? Can you agree to disagree? And most importantly can you take the move to communicate and heal the situation. In a healthy relationship our egos have to be put aside for them to work.

If this is not possible you then have to ask yourself how important is this relationship in my life, does it serve me and the other person. If not you know what to do..

Be honest

Healthy relationships just don’t work without honesty. If something is bugging you about the other person and they ask you what is wrong, don’t answer “nothing”. How is that supposed to help? The problem can’t be fixed if you don’t explain what it is. And obviously lying is a complete NO GO!

Be kind and loving

It sounds stupid to mention it but be kind and loving. We often forget to be kind to those we love or are close to. Kindness with no thought of a return goes a long way. After all it’s the little things in life that count after all. Mr T for example today posted on Facebook how proud he is that I passed and exam. It meant so much to me and has made me feel happy all day 😀

And laugh!

Laughing, taking time for each other and making it important to have fun with the people in your lives is what makes wonderful memories and  relationship so worthwhile. So arrange to have some fun with someone you care about and be as silly as you can!

Find someone who you want to improve or build a relationship this week and try the six steps. It’s amazing how our relationships can be enriched with a little effort.

Tune in next week to find out how to grow and blossom your relationships until then have a wonderful week getting closer to the people you love.

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Improving your relationships part 1 – start with yourself (3 min read)

This is the first of a 3 part series looking at how you can improve your relationships. This week is …

Improving your relationship with yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. And unlike any other relationship this one is lifelong, you can’t go away from yourself. Now, as you all know; I love nature. Especially because it can be used to mirror our own personal development. So if you imagine that you are the seed of your relationships. The central part from which everything else grows from. If you are a gardener you will know that it is impossible to get a healthy plant from a rotten seed. Likewise it is impossible to create great and healthy relationships,  if you don’t have a healthy loving relationship with yourself.

What does a healthy relationship with yourself look like? It is loving yourself, accepting yourself and truly respecting yourself. With this comes a sense of contentment and empowerment that without a doubt makes you a strong, powerful and happy individual. And when you feel like that you’ll know that you have a healthy relationship with you.

Now that’s easy for me to say, but how easy is it to do? Actually  it’s easy peasy. Like any seed needs to be constantly nurtured, fed and watered, so too does our relationship with our self need constant nutiuring.

But this doesn’t have to be a hard and time consuming process. Loving yourself is a fun experience. It makes life more joyful and enjoyable.

Follow the guidelines below, give yourself a week of love and be amazed at the feel good results by Sunday!

Know your strengths :

It can be challenging to identify your strengths and good points, however it is possible. You need to be objective and even a little bit clinical. Fold a piece of paper in two. Make a pros list on one side  and cons list on the other side, remember this list is  all about you. What are your pros, what are your cons? Once you have written tear the two lists apart and throw away the cons list. Put the pros list where you can see it every day. Read this list once a day and remind yourself how awesome you are!

Look after your machine and get some air:

I know I say it alot (and it is to remind myself as much as to remind you guys) a body and spirit can not function at it’s best if you don’t give it the proper fuel. Eat healthily, drink water, exercise and get plenty of fresh air. Getting outside is seriously important for improving your health. Not only does it get you away from the computer, it actually improves the body’s digestion system, blood pressure and makes you feel happier and more energetic.

Respect you:

Make choices that show yourself you respect yourself. Hold to your personal beliefs and make choices  that support those choices. Also be acting in a way that shows you respect such as taking pride in your appearance and asking yourself what thoughts am I wearing today? Not eating Macdonalds when you want to because you want to loose weight. All of these things increase your self pride and self respect. And that makes it easier to love yourself.

Look for the beautiful in you:

Ok we all have those bits of us we hate, but when our numbers up how much time will we have wasted criticising our appearances. The negative and judging voices in your head are loud and it’s up to you to silence them. Look in the mirror and instead of instantly finding the bits you dislike, find the bits you like. Say something like I don’t like my hips and I do love my eyes”. Find at least 5 things and do this every day. Mirror experiences will become more fun and you’ll feel great and loved.

Show you that you love you and take yourself on a date!

We love creating a wonderful experiences for other people and showing them we appreciate them,  but what about doing it for ourselves. That we are not so good at. Why? because it’s easy to put others first. Plan a date for yourself. Go out somewhere, have dinner, see a film go for a sauna and a swim. Do something that makes you feel loved and lovely. Try and make 10 mins a day where it’s you time. Read a book. Give yourself a hand massage. Be luxuriously loving to yourself. You deserve it.

Have a wonderful week getting to know and love you (and doesn’t just have to be one week, reminder you are there for you for life.) Tune in next week to find out how this loving seed grows into the roots of stabil, healthy and loving relationships.

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#Lifelessons101- Little acts of kindness go a long, long way; also known as the Punk and the Doll’s knickers ( 2 min read)

In childhood there are events that shape us, change us and are often the first flutter of our life beliefs forming. One of the most profound moments in my childhood actually came about because of a pair of dolls knickers and has taught me life lesson I have never ever forgotten.

At a very short age (not sure of the numerical age, I can just remember my world perspective as being surrounded with legs), my Mother and I were walking along a very busy pavement in a local market town. Mum had a firm grip on my hand and in the other hand, was my beloved rag doll Jemima, dangling in the traditional way a small child can hold a toy.  She was my pride and joy, a copy of the Play School rag doll that my Mum had made for me. She had a blue and white spotted dress and knickers to match.

If any of you remember the doll she had long arms and legs, with not so much in the way of hips. Which unfortunately meant she had a habit of losing her knickers. Who knew that a child’s toy could be such a jezabelle!

Now as I said before it was really busy. In the rush, and being so small I got knocked about a bit in the bustle. I can remember clearly seeing a man in a blue suit striding towards me. He of course hadn’t noticed me, bashed into me and I went flying. So did Jemima. So did the knickers. The suited man looked down at me, made a frustrated tch sound and walked on his way.

A kind voice beside me helped me up and handed me Jemima. The voice was accompanied by the biggest pink Mohawk I have seen to this day (it was the 80s) , a smiling face full of piercings and a leather jacket covered in patches and safety pins. Scary looking but smiley. He popped me on my feet, dusted me off and gave me to my Mum. We walked off only a few minutes later to have said punk running after me holding Jemima’s lost knickers. (He too was obviously a Play School fan too.)

I don’t remember this part but my Mum has told me (countless times) that I turned to her and said “Isn’t it funny Mummy. The man that looked nice was nasty. And the man that looked nasty was nice.” In that moment I learnt two of the most important lessons in my life. That kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, and that people’s appearance doesn’t always reflect their inner personality.

According to my Mum this was around 36 years ago and yet I can remember it as though it was yesterday. (I still own Jemima and her knickers too. )It’s amazing the impact these moments can make in our lives. A moment of truly seeing the inner person. An act of kindness,no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the world.

So I challenge you this weekend. Go out and do one small act of kindness for a stranger. Make an impact and send a ripple of positive kindness out into the world.

You never know whose life you may change, even if  you are punk holding a pair of dolls knickers…

 

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