Dale Darley

All Posts by Dale Darley

Journaling Prompts For Juicy June

Juicy June has arrived and it’s hard to believe that almost half a year has whizzed by. And what a year!

My heart has cried so many times at the stories I have heard and read, I’m not quite sure how this year will be presented in the history books, but it has left me both loving and not loving the human race. I’ve shaken my head in wonder and then wondered – what can I do?

I only know how to be my best self and to always work towards being my best self. And I only know how to love.

Yes, of course I have a lot to learn about being human and to navigate this human through life, but I would like to think that I have been and am choosing faith over fear and love over hate.

A few days ago I closed my May journal and started a new month fresh with ideas and anticipation. As I look back over my lockdown months I’m (sort of) amused at what has come up.

Certainly, some old patterns have needed addressing as I have felt occasionally trapped and triggered by the silliest of things. And then there has been the utter delight of solitude and isolation. As much as anyone can be with three furry ones.

I wonder sometimes just how contrary I can be. I know that lockdown is affecting us all in so many ways. Which is why my journal and writing is once again my saviour.

I ended last months monthly journaling prompts blog with a monthly mission and there are no surprises that there is another one for this month. I love monthly missions as they keep me focused on just one area to create change. Which of course naturally flows into other areas of my life.

It will come as no surprise that I have chosen love as our mission.

What do we know about June?

In Roman mythology Juno the wife of Jupiter is the Queen of gods, so a pretty important woman. She is the goddess of marriage, childbirth, and a champion of women.

So in the theme of Juno what would you like to marry this month? Perhaps creativity with inspiration or peace with harmony, love with kindness? And in doing so what would you like to birth?

For me, it’s a book and a course. I’m completing a new Writing To Heal book and course. I’d also like to explore creativity in art some more and marry together wire and wire mesh to see what I can make. My mind is buzzing with ideas and I have a large frame waiting for something to be created within its borders. Watch this space!

Talking about space and not the James T Kirk stuff, Juno also lent her name to NASA who launched her on Aug. 5, 2011, to go on an amazing adventure to Jupiter.

In this video, scientists talk about how citizen scientists (who knew there was such a thing) have contributed to the project. I am inspired and the start of this video certainly calls out to the artist in me.

My blog got delayed because once I arrived at the NASA site, I stayed to explore. Wow!

I don’t know about you, but I would adore exploring space. Aren’t we lucky that projects like this are available for us to discover more and to be able to traipse into the furthest reaches of the galaxy from our sofas?

June brings in…

June is the sixth month, and a month for me that signals that summer is here. The two birth signs are Gemini and Cancer. Gemini always makes me think about the two sides of things and is characterised by the Twins, Castor and Pollux.

Cancer is about home and family. My mum a Cancerian cares deeply about her family and is guided by her emotion and intuition. She often says that she is an artist and not of this world.

I have my moon in Cancer and I am utterly romantic which one of the reasons our June mission is about love.

Before we move on and as a complete aside, I am currently watching Orphan Black on Netflix – it’s my latest fix. In the series (without giving too much away) there are females who are clones of Leda (female) and males who are clones of Castor (male). In mythology, Leda is Castor’s mother. And one of the clones (and I won’t tell you why) keeps seeing swans and Leda was seduced by a god in the guise of a swan. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover the source of the writer’s inspiration – doh! Aside over…

June is a month for love

Your June mission is to bring more loving kindness to your life.

One of the most beautiful meditations for love is the Metta Meditation. This will get your June started in a gorgeous way and enable you to focus on your heart space.

Metta Meditation

The loving-kindness or Metta meditation is a powerful and seemingly simple meditation that enables us to foster love, affection, appreciation and kindness towards ourselves, others and the world. It also helps us to practice forgiveness and to consider the boundaries that are needed to protect our kind hearts.

With this meditation, there are no expectations, it is a process to enjoy, where you let go, let love and let flow. We start with ourselves because if we cannot love ourselves, how can we love others? I am sure that you will find it healing and calming.

The way that I use it is to focus on me first. I start with me so that I reach a place of love and appreciation for me.

When I first started this practice, I was surprised that the husband I left after discovering his double life was easy to pass loving kindness on to. However, a previous partner was a little difficult and brought up some feelings of anger. I stuck at it and slowly and believe me it was slow, I eventually let go.

When it came to people that I had a difficult time with, I chose to reframe. I didn’t need them in my life and go to lunch with them, but I could choose to see them through the lens of love and know that harbouring unkind feelings towards them was hurting me more.

Sending love to the world is far more manageable. Although I did feel helpless because I couldn’t stop all of the cruelty and injustice that I was witness to. What I could do was to send my love out and release it to a higher power who would know where to send it.

Read through the meditation and practice in a way that works for you, always starting with you.

Get ready to Metta

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, with a sigh. Become aware of your body from head to toe, of your weight, and of the heaviness of your limbs. Relax. Scan your body and simply notice. Become aware of any sensations or feelings, but do not judge.

I invite you to imagine that you have roots growing from your feet into Mother Earth. See them flow all the way into the centre of the Earth where there is a pot of grounding and healing energy. Drink this energy in through your roots and into your body. You are now securely anchored into the ground. Feel yourself becoming grounded.

Breathe up and into your heart. Breathe out. Do a few rounds of this.

Directed to yourself

You begin with yourself because without loving yourself, it is difficult to love others.

Metta Meditation
  • May I be filled with loving-kindness
  • May I be held in loving kindness
  • May I accept myself as I am
  • May I be happy
  • May I know the joy of being alive

Repeat this as many times as you feel you need and then move on to the next step.

Directed to someone you like/ love

When you feel you have established some stronger sense of loving-kindness for yourself, you can then expand your meditation to include others. After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved and genuinely cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:

  • May you be filled with loving-kindness
  • May you be held in loving kindness
  • May you accept yourself as you are
  • May you be happy
  • May you know the joy of being alive

Repeat this as many times as you feel you need and then move on to the next step.

After this, you can include others: Spend some time wishing well to a wider circle of friends.

Directed to the world and globally

Then gradually extend your meditation to picture and include community members, neighbours, people everywhere, animals, all beings, the whole earth.

  • May we be filled with loving-kindness
  • May we be held in loving kindness
  • May we accept ourselves as we are
  • May we be happy
  • May we know the joy of being alive

Repeat this as many times as you feel you need and then move on to the next step.

Directed to someone who challenges you

Finally, include the difficult people in your life, even your enemies, wishing that they too may be filled with loving-kindness and peace. This will take practice. But as your heart opens, first to loved ones and friends, you will find that in the end, you won’t want to close it anymore.

  • May you be filled with loving-kindness
  • May you be held in loving kindness
  • May you accept yourself as you are
  • May you be happy
  • May you know the joy of being alive

Repeat this as many times as you feel you need.

That’s it, one of the most powerful meditations I know and one which will I am sure will change your life as well.

Download and print this PDF, keep it by the side of your bed and near the mirror in the bathroom and chant it at least once a day for a month.

Journaling prompts for June

  • Describe what love means to you?
  • How do you know when you are in love?
  • What makes you feel loved?
  • Spell out LOVE and make each letter form a random word. Then write a short reflective piece including these words
  • How can you connect to your inner wisdom on a more regular basis?
  • Name a thing that you love about your body and then a thing you love about your personality
  • What 5 acts of kindness will you do today?
  • Ask your body and heart to talk to you.  What does it want or need?
  • How will I feel at the end of June when I have achieved all I desire for this month?

For more journaling prompts for the heart and creating a heart connection grab a copy of this journal on Amazon.

Click here to get your copy on Amazon

Love to journal? Join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated. This month is all about love.

Resources

https://mythopedia.com/roman-mythology/gods/juno/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_and_Pollux

https://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/zodiac-signs/cancer/

https://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/zodiac-signs/gemini/

101 Positive Affirmations To See You Through The Day – Day #5

It’s day five of positive affirmations to see you through the day.

My day five quote reminds me that being prepared does create opportunity. Though this morning I’m feeling very unprepared as I normally work on Sundays and yesterday I declared Sunday’s to be writing days.

I spent the whole day, apart from doggie walks editing my book Manifesting Magic and I was brutal… The truth is I was already prepared to take lots out and make it more concise and add more stories. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day.

I awoke this morning feeling a bit panic struck, I am not prepared I said to myself. Hold your horses replied my higher and much wiser self, of course you are, you are doing your preparing on Monday’s now… Thank goodness someone knows what they are doing.

The blackboard is empty and waiting for the first chalky strokes.

  • Email to my community
  • Course intro/outro videos
  • Read a clients chapter
  • Get the writing lounge ready (it launches 1st July)
  • Self-love journal for the journaling Club
  • Sort out times and dates for a monthly Q&A and mastermind for The Soul Writers Academy
  • Start recording the video marketing course

It seems to me that I already know what I have to prepare… Well of course I do, most of it is in my planner – doh!!!

So that’s me sorted then.

Preparation creates luck and opportunity

101 Positive Affirmations To See You Through The Day

There is another saying, isn’t there about the more prepared I am, the luckier I get. I start each month reviewing where I am and what I have achieved. I prepare what needs to be done and do what I can. When I go to the doctors, I check my files and prepare what I want to review so that it is easier to formulate a plan. When I visit the town hall, I prepare everything so that they do not have to fuss with things like photocopying. When I go for a doggie walk, I fill my pockets with poo bags and treats. You get the idea.

This morning I found a magical glass of water with lemon, prepared last night. My breakfast seeds and nuts are soaking ready for a post walk breakfast.

It seems to me I am ready for Monday.

And before you think I am over prepared, I have left gaps for walks and cogitating, breaks for tea and cake and tickles with the dogs. It is in these moments that other ideas and clarity comes to me. These are my special moments.

Today I am

Today I am prepared for what is ahead.

  • What things do you have on the horizon and how prepared are you for them?
  • What can you do today so that tomorrow feels like a luckier day?
  • What about the things that you are not prepared for?
  • Make a note of what comes up and consider what needs to be done to get the stuck energy around them moving.

Get more affirmations to see you through the day

101 Positive Affirmations To See You Through The Day are available to you as a complimentary daily email (sign up here) and in The little book of 101 affirmations to get you through the dayavailable on Amazon

Reading Books And Scoffing Chocolate

Yesterday I was nibbling chocolate and reading while thinking about something I wanted to write when the idea to write about reading and chocolate came about. However, it morphed into something else and well, just because I can I decided to go with the flow.

Reading always inspires my creative flow. What I love about other people’s writing is that it takes me to another time and place and makes me think.

Reading makes us better writers – it’s a fact.

Let’s indulge ourselves because it’s Friday in chocolate and winding down for the weekend and maybe finding time to read and write.

I am sure you can think of a million ways that you could be enjoying chocolate – that is of course if you indulge.

And you may be a chocolate expert, indulging in only the finest raw chocolate delights, like my friend Dan from Elements For Life.

Many years ago I stumbled upon his Yummy Scrummy and immediately became a fan.

Following a nasty shingles episode which left me with something called postherpetic neuralgia, I can no longer eat foods high in arginine. So my darling raw chocolate has had to go.

Every once in a while and especially during the lockdown, I start to crave something sweet while reading or writing. To my horror, some deadly milk chocolate somehow finds its way to my mouth.

Of course, as a cake lover (healthy banana bread of course) I soon find myself in a battle – what should I indulge in whilst enjoying two of my favourite pastimes – writing and reading.

My mind as it does wanders off and I wondered what my friends were reading while indulging. It was with great delight I got some great replies back.

I asked my friends three questions for this blog.

  • What book are you reading? What made you choose it?
  • If you were to eat chocolate or cake with that book what would it be?
  • How does the book you are reading inspire you? (it could be beautiful writing that transports you, there may be something you are learning, there might be a message just for today that gets you thinking about change)

“Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”  Jo Brand

My reading and chocolate answers

A few days ago I started to read and listen to Sonia Choquette’s book Ask your guides.

I choose it because I recently joined Sonia’s group and her vibe is delightful and I want to be more inspired by her wisdom.

I’d have a big triangle of dark Toblerone and nibble it slowly. Yes I know I am not meant to eat dark chocolate, but it called my name at the hardware store.

I’ve just started reading this book and already I know that my spirit family is all around me in various guises and soon I’ll start to recognise their signature energy.

What I also know is that my spirit family can’t steal my chocolate… Though of course, now that I have said that they may hide it…

Reading and chocolate with friends

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

Sarah Arrow – I’m currently reading The Way of the Dragon. This book lends to tea cake and sencha. In the perfect world, it would be read with duck and pancakes. You can read what Sarah said back in 2017 here.

Dan Knowlson – I’m reading a few books at the moment.

  • The 1st book in the Dwarves series a bit of light reading tickling my fantasy liking
  • Earth Magic, learning about shamanic practices.
  • Moonology, learning about working the moon cycles
  • The Medicine Way, learning about shamanic practices

Chocolate wise, it’s either gonna be our Yummy Scrummy raw choc brownie, a divine raw choc mousse that I’ve made, or raw choc bars I’ve made. Or the scrumptious keto cheesecake I made last night. You can read what Dan said back in 2017 here

Allison Marlowe is more well behaved than all of us and commented – I’m currently rereading The Body keeps the Score, I’ve not eaten chocolate since February as part of a no-sugar month but cake which I rarely have has suddenly become a new daily favourite.

Currently devouring vegan ginger cake. I’m rereading this book as I saw a quote from the book and couldn’t recall it. So second read, picking up many bits of info that didn’t go in before.

Lianne Wright another 2017 commenter says – I’m reading “How to raise confident multicultural children” it’s the bilingual from the birth part that really interested me! I would eat all of the chocolate buttons but Libby has discovered that they are yummy.

Sarah Farrell who wrote Secret Spain Travel Guide: Visit Alicante’s Myths & Legends says she is reading Angela Carter’s Book Of Fairy Tales. I chose it because I’m falling back in love with fairy tales and these are incredible stories. When allowed out again, I want to explore fairy circles in Ireland and find out about fairies and witches in Spain.

Chocolate or cake would have to be Jaffa Cakes to nibble or my nan’s Victoria sponge cake. These are childhood treats to add to my comfort eating at the mo.

It’s a super inspiring book for the writing, the way the stories unfold and for the ‘moral’ to the tale. These fairy stories are certainly not for children! But I love revisiting children’s books for the way they tell a story simply but powerfully and for the incredible illustrations, such as Beatrix Potter books.

Hilary Stringer is another fairy tales fan shared A Treasury of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales. A birthday gift from my girls. It’s rich, deep and luscious so I will make a dense chocolate fondant cake and eat it sparingly, perhaps with a tot of Black Bush. It takes me into the land of my ancestors, bewitches me with stories of the Fee and reminds me that the human kingdom is not the only one sharing this earth.

Mel Wakeman (my partner in video crime) says – I’m reading How emotions are made, sat right now nibbling on some Cadbury’s fruit n nut. It came recommended (the book not the choc). I’m really keen to learn more about how we can learn to manage our emotions. This book is coming from an entirely different perspective. I’ll have to read more to find which way.

Here’s Mel and I talking about food and mood journals

Barbara Clarke who is enjoying her solitude says I actually just heard the narration of Neale Donald Walsh Little Soul and the Sun. So simple and so movingly inspiring. Forgiveness – it is what we all need. The Universe sends us nothing but angels – if we remember that we’re OK.

Norma Green is reading Victoria Hislop, The Thread. Would never eat anything whilst reading a book, my bedtime reading but if pushed it would be carrot cake, I don’t like chocolate. I read her book The Island and was mesmerised how such an awful situation could be portrayed in such a beautiful and positive way.

I love reading anything that involves Greek islands but I love her style of writing. You immediately feel as though you are part of the family she is writing about and although living through dreadful times, there is always a positive to cling to and I just love happy endings.

I love happy endings too…

Zhanelya Subebayeva – I’m reading Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, sipping a tea with milk and eating a chocolate brownie. The book makes me feel inspired and hopeful for the future and hints that there is a different way.

What about you what you?

“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.”  Rachel Vincent, My Soul to Save

  • What book are you reading? What made you choose it?
  • If you were to eat chocolate or cake with that book what would it be?
  • How does the book you are reading inspire you? (it could be beautiful writing that transports you, there may be something you are learning, there might be a message just for today that gets you thinking about change)

And finally some gluten-free chocolate cake inspiration for you – healthy of course.

Perhaps one of my journaling books could be the perfect companion to your chocolate moment?

How To Write A Memoir – Part 1 – Getting Started

I know so many people who would love to write a memoir or life story, but either don’t feel they can for personal reasons, it might be upsetting, they are not sure of what slice of life, who would read it or where to start.

In how to write a memoir, part one, I’m going to talk about where to start because I think that some of the other questions and thoughts will fall into place once we look at this.

Writing a memoir is quite an experience, I’ve written a few and not published them, but I can tell you after a period of reflection that they will be published. I wrote them for healing reasons, and this is something we’ll address another day.

When you are starting to write your memoir, you need a theme and to consider what the outcome for the reader is.

When I look at my memoirs, what I didn’t realise was that my theme was and is healing. Every book I have written is about healing some aspect of me.

Doh! How could I have not noticed?

Well, that’s not entirely true; I knew that I was writing them for healing reasons, I just didn’t realise how they were all connected. Even the book that I am writing now – Manifesting Magic – is a memoir with a healing theme.

All of my memoirs have a practical element, that is they are self-help books too. The first place to start is:

  • What kind of memoir do you want to write?
  • Why are you writing it?
  • What is the outcome you want for your ideal reader?
  • Who is that ideal reader?

Ok, four simple but very in-depth questions.

What kind of memoir do you want to write?

When I started to write Manifesting Magic, I knew that this book would be self-help and memoir, simply because that is my style and these are the kind of books I love.

Go and look at your bookshelf, Kindle or Audible and check out the books that you enjoy. Understand what you love or don’t love.

When I look at my books, what I love is the stories. Not too long, but powerful enough to move me and strongly linked to the what to do bit.

Why are you writing it?

I write to heal and to inspire others to heal or at least know that they can. Fundamentally, despite the title of coach, I am a healer. Writing is my vehicle for healing because words are so incredibly meaningful. Language can weave spells, and stories can transport you to magical places.

What is the outcome you want for your ideal reader?

This one is always easy for me. I want my reader to know that if it is possible in the world, it is possible for them.

Looking at this with more depth. Again, let’s take Manifesting Magic. I want my readers to believe in magic – their magic – to learn how to manifest (get) the life that they want. But more importantly, to discover who they are on the way to getting what they want.

Often in the pursuit of something we miss the vital ingredients of becoming our best selves.

Who is that ideal reader/customer for your memoir?

Oh dear, this age-old question, who are they? Who is my ideal reader who I’d like to become my ideal client?

Typically they are female, 40+, spiritual, heart-led, conscious, creative, intuitive, have been through trauma and want to use the gifts from this to change the world. They have a story that they feel must be told so that they can inspire others.

They want to find the magic in their story and to be able to share this, so it reaches the right hearts.

They typically have the job title – coach, therapist, counsellor, healer, entrepreneur, nutritionist.

Their location is anywhere where we are on a timeline where we can talk if they have 121 coaching. Otherwise anywhere in the world where they speak English.

The industry is usually healing, mental health, spiritual, metaphysical, personal development

Other interests would include things likes loving and respecting nature and animals, oracle cards, reading, creativity, personal development, journaling and writing and cake…

I’d find them in groups where entrepreneurs hang out, soul and spiritual groups, female-only groups.

So looking at this you would get a great idea of who I wanted to read Manifesting Magic or my journaling books. You’d also know who my soul clients are.

However… Given my background in executive coaching, personal branding and marketing, I also get clients who are male and fall into these categories. I’ve also coached young women on a mission.

What is important to me is that despite this, we click, that there is a resonance, we enjoy working together, and the story that they want to tell alongside the how-to bit resonates with my theme of healing. Conflict in leadership teams, for example, is healing.

It’s meaningful to know who your ideal customer is, and you can have more than one.

Over to you

Grab your journal and explore. This is not a sit down in one session and get it over with. This is something that I would invite you to write and reflect on over a week. To then start to envision your ideal reader coming to you for your memoir and saying what they got from your amazing story.

Here’s a little affirmation for you too…

It’s easy to see why my ideal reader looks for me.

If writing a book is on your do now list…

For private coaching I offer the following if you are unsure which you want and need, please connect with me.

  • Strategy and Intuitive Guidance Coaching Session – 45 minutes (book)
  • Insight and Clarity Session (book)
  • 3-hour plan your book call (book)
  • 121 Coaching Packages available for 3 or 6 months – contact me

Ready to Kick-Start Your Memoir or Write Your Life Story? Both of these courses are available on The Soul Writers Academy, with three levels of prices.

Why Keep A Food Diary?

Or as I like to remind myself and my friends that it’s not just a food diary it’s more of a food, energy, mood, and sleep journal.

We are what we eat, ate and will eat. We are also what we think. Eating goes beyond just food. What we eat is a part of a whole system of nourishing our bodies, minds and souls.

There have been several times when it has been imperative for me to keep a food diary. The first time I did it was when I first studied nutrition back in the 1980’s. When I look at it, my diet was pretty shocking, although I thought it was good.

The next time I did it was when I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. I very cockily told my doctor that I would reverse it in six weeks. I kept a food diary so that I could track all kinds of things and so that I could see where all the connecting pieces were.

And yes, six weeks later it had reversed and stayed that way ever since.

Fast forward 2018

My spine fractured and I had lots of other complications and over a year I tracked all kinds of things so that I could heal my bones.

I’d be lying if I said I kept the journal for just these things. What I did was when I got to a milestone of healing I eased up and then as something else presented I tracked everything again.

Why keep a food diary?

A food diary (food, energy and mood journal) is pretty much what you would expect. It’s a tool for tracking what you eat and when to help lead you towards success with meeting your goals. They are most commonly used when supporting a weight loss plan.

A food, energy and mood journal additionally helps you to track other important things so that you can begin to understand you, can decide where you want to make changes and start to craft a unique plan for you.

They also awaken you to your mental well-being, emotions, connection with your inner self and help you to notice physical symptoms which come about as a result of your lifestyle.

This last point is essential. You are not just tracking food, because there is so much more to you than the food you consume.

Here are some of the benefits of a food diary:

  1. Food diaries can help identify intolerances to certain foods. Recording what you’re eating can help pinpoint foods that might be causing not so great symptoms, like bloating or something that might need further investigation
  2. Tracking your mood can help you reflect on how certain events might trigger changes in your emotions, allowing you to understand your inner processes better
  3. Tracking your energy can help you find patterns in mood, food and emotions and you may also notice how these affect your sleep
  4. Tracking your sleep along with everything else helps you to see where the choices you are making are having an effect on your sleep – which will affect many other things
  5. A food diaries/food, energy and mood journals hold you accountable, which can help keep you on track regardless of what your nutrition goals are. Think about it: you’re much less likely to go off course in your diet or healing plan if you know you’re going to have to write it down
  6. They can ensure that you’re meeting your nutritional and healing needs while getting a balanced diet. You will be able to spot things when you have a log of what you’ve been doing

Here are some of the benefits of a journal:

  1. Keeping a journal allows you to identify any not so great habits and support you to break the cycle
  2. Journals are wonderful for giving you the space to express yourself and enabling you to better cope with your feelings
  3. They can identify potential triggers that are keeping you from making changes and reaching your goals.

The bottom line is that keeping a food diary or a food, energy and mood journal is a fantastic tool to help you take a closer look at your relationship with what you are eating, your energy and mood. You’ll spot how certain things make you feel and figure out what steps you can take to reach your goals.

Do some detective work

After you’ve completed about a week of your recording your food, energy and mood is when the fun really starts. Once you have done the hard work of compiling all that data – it’s then time to reflect on your week it and decide what steps you need to take next to gain traction towards reaching your goals.

Consider how certain foods might have made you feel, if you are overeating in certain social situations, or if you’re actually eating only when you’re hungry. What about how your moods and energy affect the things that you are craving, and that could be craving beyond food. Are there certain times of day that you snack or miss meals? Think about your energy and sleep and certainly take a look at your other bodily bits, like skin, urine and your bowels.

Using your findings, you’re all set to make some healthy changes and take a step in the right direction. Equipped with the power of your food, energy and mood journal, you have everything you need to reach your goals.

What it all means?

Before long, you will realise that health is multifaceted – if one part of the body system suffers, you’re likely to see consequences in other areas of your life. Everything in this journal that you are monitoring and reflecting on will give you a fantastic kick-start for being the best and healthiest you ever.

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and as you make small changes, your life will change too. Keep monitoring and reflecting and simply do what you can.

Remember to ask that all-important question – do I love myself enough to…

I used this question throughout all of my healing. It made me stay on track, because yes, I do love myself enough to do what it takes to attain good health.

To get Mels free food and mood journal – head to www.wakemannutrition.com

To get Dales Food, energy and mood journal head here and you can get your food diary in this journal with the 28 days to a new you journal

Do You Save The Best For Last?

I was sat on the toilet with the latest supply of 3 ply in my hands and thinking this is not the best I have used. In those moments, I was missing the softness of a certain 4 ply, which was currently not only in short supply, but only available in a supermarket out of my allowable driving scope.

However, sat next to me in the wicker basket was six of the finest rolls, hidden from Angel Dog who often likes to destroy paper articles, for reasons only known to her. It was in those moments that I realised that I was indeed saving said loo rolls for best. When would be the best time to use them was unclear. All I knew was I was not going to use them until I could buy more.

In what can you say yes to I wrote about some jewellery that I had recently decided to wear. It had been a gift some twenty years ago. I had the necklace, – white gold intertwined hearts for my birthday and the bracelet for Christmas. It was exquisite, and I was delighted. My partner had purchased them in Las Vegas. Apparently, he had fretted the whole trip about buying just the right present for me. In twenty years, I must have worn them five times.

The trouble was I had been taught to save the best for the best occasions. I admit I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but I did it anyway.

I used to have suits, blouses, shoes and bags that were just for work. There was no way I’d wear my best to work. Although they were lovely things, they were not the best that I owned. Then I had stuff to wear around the house, stuff for going to pubs and clubs and then I had my best for, you know, special occasions.

Special occasions rarely came, and if they did, I would buy something for them and leave the best stuff for an erm special occasion. The charity shops must have loved me, because when these things went out of fashion – hardly worn – that’s where they went.

When I left the last husband (you know the one of the double life), I travelled lightly, only taking precious things, my two dogs, tech, books, sewing machine, pictures, cocktail frocks, jewellery, lovely shoes, bags and my everyday stuff. I didn’t need much. In fact, the charity shop did rather well again.

Another item I took with me was a gorgeous amethyst and peridot necklace. This I purchased more than twenty years ago. I had been at a wedding fayre as an exhibitor, and I spotted this creation. It had to be mine. One day I would get married again and wear it. So I paid £100, which was a lot back then for me and stored it away for that day.

The day did arrive – 2012 – my birthday. I married the man of the double life, resplendent in a gorgeous purple frock and my necklace. I had saved it for the best day of my life. Only it wasn’t. It was pretty awful.

When lockdown arrived, I decided that life was too short to keep things for the best moment, because today is always the best day. Today I am wearing my love heart jewels. There is nowhere to go, and no one to see. Just me, the dogs, hills and wildflowers. It just feels the perfect time and place.

The other necklace will be coming out soon, and I know just the right frock to wear it with. Look out for me on video, it is sure to make an appearance.

Let me ask you, be honest, do you save the best for best, whatever best is? Do you even know why?

What about your food, do you leave the delicious roast potatoes to last with an extra bit of gravy? I do, I scoop the potato out and mash it with said gravy, and then I eat the skin last. I have tried honestly (I have) to not do this, but, well, you know it’s ingrained.

Is saving the best for last a condition or a syndrome?

  • Is it about scarcity or hoarding? Do you keep things just in case?
  • What about the fear of loss? If it breaks then it’s gone forever!
  • Perfectionism? I’ll save my best ideas for last – the trouble is the passion will go – doh!
  • Future focusing? I’ll do my best stuff when I am able to…
  • Idea drain? All of your best ideas will be gone and then what will you do?

What if you embraced your best self, enjoyed your best stuff now, went with your best ideas, and just trusted that today is your best day to be your best self, using your best stuff?

What if you did?

Perhaps none of it matters, as long as you think about the best stuff you are hoarding and just ask yourself, could you say yes to using and enjoying your best things today? Go on, I dare you!

Questions for your best self to answer

Questions for your best self to answer
  • Who am I when I am my best self?
  • What am I keeping for best and why?
  • What if I used my best stuff today – how would that feel?

For other intriguing questions and musings join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated. This month is all about saying yes and starting a gratitude practice.

My Mum And The Stuff She Teaches Me

It’s a few days after Mothers Day, mum and I haven’t been able to be together because of the lockdown.

We tried to execute a video call, but mum couldn’t find how to make her sound turn on her computer and I, already frazzled, didn’t have the patience today to work it out. I did try many things, honestly I did.

Instead, we chatted for a while, but because we are both isolated and bored it was hard to find anything much to talk about. This saddens me, because normally we can gas for ages.

What else I wondered would these strange times bring? What is wrong with me that I lost my sense of humour and just couldn’t find the patience to find the solution?

It makes me sad that I had let someone upset me on Sunday and the one person who has had endless patience with me, didn’t get that back.

However, getting this sorted when I see her will be a priority so that in future there can be no hold ups when we want to video call.

I sat reflecting on some of the things that mum has taught me, Readers of this blog back in 2016 will remember that I regaled you with tales of puberty, periods and menopause. These were, and still are some of my greatest mum lessons.

When I talk with mum later today, we shall have plenty to talk about because we shall reminisce.

So as I sit here, I’d like to share some of my musings.

I will always be her little girl

No matter how old I get, I will always be my mum’s little girl and there have been occasions when I have so needed her cuddles.

There was one evening when I was staying with her and I lay in bed tossing and turning over some stuff that was running around my head. By 2 am I couldn’t stand it any longer. I have no idea how she knew, but she was in my bedroom and arms around me while I sobbed in seconds.

She knows just what her little girl needs

As a young girl, my bedroom walls were adorned with posters, my favourite was the one with all of the words to Free’s Wishing Well. The chest of drawers next to said Free poster was where mum placed my special package. If you are of a similar age to me, you will no doubt remember packets of pads and delightful pink (in my case) belts to hold said pads in place.

Mum provided me with instructions on what to do when the blood arrived. What blood I wondered? It’s all very well to have a well-intentioned mum, but to my young mind, there was a disconnect between her words, the package and my body. To be honest, I had no clue about what she was on about. Until that day.

When that day arrived, as luck would have it I soon learned what that ‘stuff’ was for. Letting myself into the flat, I as usual padded off to the toilet where I was horrified that the blood that mum had previously described was here. I very carefully cleaned myself up and headed to unwrap my package.

Unwrapping and examining the contents again, I proceeded as instructed to place the unattractive belt around my waist and hook the pad on as she had described. Within no time doubts filled my mind.

What if, I speculated, this wasn’t one of them period things, what if, I contemplated I was mistaken and it wasn’t blood it was something else, what I wondered might this really be? The doubts circled like ravenous vultures to the point I removed all of my accoutrements and placed them very carefully back in the drawer and waited for mum to confirm that it was ok to wear my lovely new things.

Fast forward over 45 years and my mum just knows how to make sure I have the things I need. When I come to stay despite her knackered back she bakes me biscuits and cakes. Yum! Thank you, mum.

My Mum and her endless patience

Oh god, I will never forget my mum trying to teach me how to use tampons. This was my second lesson on becoming a woman. What possessed her to use this day for this tortuous experiment will forever elude me. From the comfort of her bed, she opened up the box of white sticks and suggested that I try one. Much more practical she advised. It seemed like a good idea.

I returned to her bed eight times for a practice sit down, only to discover that I hadn’t got it in quite right, and painfully staggered back to the toilet to try again. On my final attempt, it got stuck and mum, by now in fits of hysterical laughter, tried to get me to relax so that she could get it out.

Can you imagine that? Having your mum fish one of them out. Such trust.

I feared it would stay there forever. If you have ever heard or seen my mum laugh, you will know that once it starts, it takes some time to stop. More humiliation, I couldn’t join the grown up girls club just yet. It wasn’t until I lost my virginity that I realised that they would fit!

She always has endless patience, while I… well I don’t. Don’t even ask about the time I chopped up a catsuit I was making because I ran out of patience. She on the other hand would have sorted it with her endless capacity to want to sort things out.

I’m confess that I have learned to be a finisher, because of my mum.

Get to know your body

Another of Mum’s lessons was for me to examine my vagina, inside and out. She said if you don’t know what it feels like how can you tell if something isn’t quite right? I was packed off to the bathroom with a mirror and my instructions.

Seeing my vagina at close quarters was a shock. It was ugly, pink, chubby and wet. Despite the peculiar creature staring at me with disdain, I duly did as instructed. Finger in, soft and smooth, finger out and up to my nose, no smell. So that was the examination over, I was normal or at least I confirmed to myself that my vagina was normal.

This has never left me. No, I do not examine my vagina endlessly, more that I am incredibly in tune with my body and have been able to heal all kinds, just because I know my body.

It’s never too late to learn something new

My mum has always been an artist. I have always written. One Christmas or birthday I gifted mum a journal, pen and a book on how to write a novel and she has not stopped.

Now that her spine hurts so much, painting is harder so she writes. She has written several novels using her amazing imagination. One children’s book and another in the works.

At no time did she say I can’t do this, she just sat down and wrote. Me on the other hand has always been freaked about writing fiction.

What she shows me if it is possible in the world at any age, it is possible for me. I’m slowly losing my fear and have made 2021 the year of the novel.

My greatest cheerleader is championing me all the way.

Have a strong work ethic

By now, you will have guessed that my mum is a super human…

Now this one amazes me. She never gives up and what she starts she finishes. She is currently writing what has the working title of the Tree house and while she just wants it finished and is bored of it, she will get it done.

Me on the other hand would have put it away and found something more exciting.

Yet, these days when I feel like doing that I think of mum and she inspires me.

Of course, my mum isn’t a superhuman

I just happen to think my mum is super special, but there are some things that drive me insane – they do mum – if you are reading this….

It’s not much but it’s her worrying. She catasrophises like a demon. But we do laugh about it.

However, I do thank her for this. Because she worries about the oddest things I do stuff so that she doesn’t worry.

All in all, I am so blessed to have my mum as my mum and as my friend. I like that I can be her friend and still remain her little girl. Everyone needs their mum.

Thank you for being my mum.

14 life lessons that 2020 has taught me so far

2020 started well. I was feeling good and life felt full of promise. I wasn’t expecting do many life lessons to come at me so quickly.

I still had some pain in my spine from the 2018 fractures, but I have learned how to manage my energy. Even better I had it confirmed that my bone density continue to improve.

Then, out of the blue, I then found out that I had something called MGUS (it’s an overproduction of M protein in the bone marrow). At first, my brain flipped and I feared the worse. Once again, after I’d calmed down, I was sent for a full bone scan and yeah – everything was looking great. All I have to do now is have blood tests every 6 months. It is likely that I will take this to the grave.

And… Anyone who knows me knows that I will do whatever it takes to remain healthy. My doctor is always amazed when I come back with better blood results after being presented with something.

For example, I turned around an overactive thyroid in six weeks and lowered high cholesterol in about the same amount of time. You could say I like a challenge!

I started 2020 feeling that this would be my year. Surely after all of the things I’d had to cope with over the previous 5 years, this would be different?

Life lessons 1 to 5

#1 – stop or you will be stopped

I’ve put this one first because the world was stopped just a few weeks ago. Lockdown and social isolation have meant a whole new way of living.

As I sit here this morning, I feel alone. Yet nothing has really changed for me, I live in a remote place and I spend most days alone with my dogs.

Because I have dogs I can go out for short walks. So life as I know it hasn’t stopped, the world around me has slowed down.

I feel that Mother Earth has said enough, she needs to heal, just like I have. She needs to rest.

Today it’s raining and I can feel her feeling refreshed from the flow of unpolluted water.

Where I live you could be forgiven for thinking that she’s doing ok. Here is it still wild and unspoilt. But in so many places that is not the case.

Whatever the reason for the stop on the world, I think it’s a great message for us all. Stop or be stopped. I mean this in the kindest of ways, especially for myself.

I have a tendency to be a workaholic and know only to well what burn out and dreadful illness means.

While I am concerned about what all this means, I also know that to weather the storm, I need to be mindful of my energy.

#2 – journal

Now more than ever I am grateful for this habit. I am so happy that I can spill my guts on the paper and she forgives me. Not only that gratitude journaling really brings into perspective how much I truly have.

#3 – ask for help

Asking for help comes in many forms. From lying on the concrete almost passing out and calling for help, to asking someone to clean, do your shopping, bring in the wood, asking your divine inner wisdom to reveal your inner resources, and asking spirit, the Universe or God to show you what you need to see. Stop struggling and ask was a biggie for me. People love to help. I love to help. So opening my mouth and asking is a great thing to do for me and you to do.

#4 – be open to receiving

So here’s the thing, asking for help is one thing, but being open to receiving is quite another.

The stuff mentioned above was hard for me to do, but I learned that I had to because of my spine, so that made it easier.

Then something happened and I spent a day going around pondering and scribbling in my journal. The answer came slowly, but was rammed home after I asked my mum what I was like to give to.

Oh she said, you are a nightmare, you are such an independent little miss.

Ouch.

After this I started to use affirmations around this and be more graceful in receiving. After all I like to give don’t I?

My first affirmation was I am open to receiving all of the abundance that the Universe has to offer me.

In fact, it’s still my best affirmation.

My next best is – wouldn’t it be nice if…

#5 – breathe

I have worried about all kinds of things. Then I learned to ground and breathe. When you allow panic to invade your body, it changes everything. When you learn to ground yourself, breathe into it and let go, things get much easier.

When I feel that awful feeling rise up through my body, I have a few strategies; one is to walk, two is to practice energy management and three is to write.

Walking clears the mind and you can travel through many stories until you get to the oh what the hell, let’s get on with life part of the story.

Looking after your energy helps you to stay calm, balanced and connects me to Mother Earth, where I feel grounded.

Then when you write, you can declutter the last remnants and make space for inner peace. What I notice now is that I can connect with my breath more naturally.

Life lessons 6 – 10

#6 – connect with your inner muse

Writing has played a huge part in my life and personal growth. From journaling to writing books. When I log in with my inner muse as I have over many years, the downloads I get are incredible. My life has changed in many ways because of writing.

Journaling is something I recommend for all clients. Many feel that they cannot do it, but when they do directed journaling, in conjunction with listening to the muse the results are amazing. Your pen is connected to your unconscious mind, and it will tell you what you need to know.

When I write books, I get disheartened, just as you do, but when I read back what I have written after reflection, I am delighted. Clients books teach me so much and as they write they learn too.

The power of the pen is in the beautiful connection it has to your soul, your inner muse. Get connected to your inner muse she (or he) is indeed very wise.

#7 – tap into your divine inner wisdom

Many of you reading this already know that you have all of the resources inside of you that you will ever need. The problem is that we often switch off the inner wisdom listening. The noise of the outside world confuses and overwhelms us, and so the voice is rarely heard. Then when it speaks we do not trust it.

Right now, like no other time, I have tapped in and wow what a lot I know. You do too.

#8 – listen to spirit

Spirit for me are the team who guide me through life. You may of course call spirit something else.

I have learned that the voices in my head are there to guide me. Now I listen to them. In fact, I listen to all of the signals I receive.

Right now listening to spirit is working for me. I feel like I am surround and supported.

#9 – tell more people to f**k off

This is isn’t about being rude, it is ‘just get rid of the toxic people‘ who take up your space. You are a beautiful soul, and you deserve to be with people who nourish you and not destroy you.

Also, given where we find ourselves, protecting your heart, energy, sanity and space is vital now.

I have experienced wonderful community, but also some completely ignorant and rude people. The world will never be the same again – choose your company wisely.

#10 – invest in your personal growth

Invest in something that enriches your life. You might feel fearful that money is going out and at the moment nothing is coming in. I get it. And my goodness me, right now feels precarious, doesn’t it?

You have to invest in yourself if you expect others to invest in you, but it doesn’t need to be cash it could be some other resource.

What about journaling, walking or meditating?

I know that I have invested in lots of courses and never taken them. Guess what? Yeah. I’m doing them now.

At the beginning of the year, I went back in time and started studying energy medicine and connecting with spirit again. As well as learning things like Instagram. A girl needs variety – right?

I also signed up with Audible and I am loving learning new things this way.

Life lessons 11 to 14

#11 – practice gratitude

As bizarre as it seems. I am grateful for the oddness of this year. I continue to discover more about me, and who I want to become. When I write in my gratitude journal, I follow it with wouldn’t it be nice and a lesson learned. It has added a new dimension to appreciation.

It’s too easy to write the same old stuff every day. When you stop and connect to your divine inner wisdom, she guides you to fully understand a more fulfilling path to gratitude.

I only write three things and do this three times a week. I create a ritual, balance my chakras, connect to my breath and then write.

It’s powerful stuff this writing malarkey.

#12 – do the things you love

In August 2019 I started to create journals. Not just journals with lines in, journals with purpose. I discovered a passion. So far I have produced quite a few…

The ones that I am loving the most are the gratitude ones as they combine my love of healing through the chakras with journaling. I’ve done two so far with another five to do. And the course is being outlined as I go along.

#13 – practice strong boundaries

I’ve always considered myself a nice person. But over the years I have allowed myself to be taken for granted and then I have felt deep resentment. This year, I decided that NO was a complete word. And when someone thought that no didn’t mean no, they soon learned that I do not take prisoners.

This has been a hard, hard lesson and I am so glad that I know that I do not have to put up with ‘stuff’.

In case you are thinking that I must have been a pushover before. Not at all, more that I have practiced open borders, whereas now, I realise that this serves no one.

#14 – Expect the unexpected

Weeeelllllll. That’s an understatement isn’t it? The world on lockdown as we work to find a resolution to the virus.

I’m taking it in my stride and decided to stop the launch of Manifesting Magic. I looked at what content I had that I thought would be useful – things around journaling – this is a great time to heal with writing. And I asked what can I change? That was interesting, I decided to not be in fear. I’d felt it rising and after exploring in my journal decided to breathe and go with the flow.

So for you, what can you stop, start and change?

Other life lessons

  • People will still be dicks, just don’t react. I feel angry (breathing through this) at some people locally who have nine dogs trapped in their house and even with the opportunity to get out – all four humans are still inside. My heart is breaking for those poor babies
  • You don’t need to overstock, I bet like me you always have plenty of food, though I was pleased to find that I did have another foundation (ok not really stockpiling), as I am running out
  • Eat everything (within reason). Remember your parents telling you to clear your plate. There was a reason. Don’t waste your food, there are still many that don’t have that luxury
  • Sometimes rules aren’t for breaking…

Not a life lesson, but get a dog

I love my dogs like nothing else. The power in our unity is incredible. When I wake they are there, so close I am almost out of my kind size bed. In the evening I am reminded that they love me because they make horrible love farty smells – that kill me. They lick me when I least expect it, are at the fridge door before I even know I’m going to open it and know what order the treats come out of the drawer of love.

Best of all during the lockdown they are allowed to walk me.

There are so many abandoned dogs who will give you unconditional love and I am guessing that a lot more poor souls will find themselves homeless soon. Take them in – your life will never be the same again.

There are many more life lessons that have come to me over this last year, and I may be inspired to write some more, but for now, that’s it.

What has life lessons has 2020 taught you so far?

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