This morning I am up early and feeling like a very motivated and annoyingly energetic creature. Motivation I have found is a rather curious creature. What motivates me won’t necessarily float your boat and why should it?
Some days like today it seems I woke up with the motivation bug firmly placed in a place we won’t discuss and I feel irrationally happy.
The reason is this…
There are days when I make a personal discovery and my life changes. These discoveries do not need to be big, but they are always hiding in plain sight. Gone are the days when I could kick myself for not realising. Instead, I jump up and down and give the dogs extra kisses for their support and encouragement.
The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
I was on a group call about limiting beliefs, you know those things we have but can’t see or can but can’t get to the root cause. A comment was made that sparked something in me, and as usual, I put it in my journal. As is also the way I left it so that I could reflect.
Last night I was on another group call about something different but full of great ideas and tips that were a boost to my motivation and understanding.
I made a comment. It was a comment about how I had done something. In those few words, I made a connection between a limiting belief, how to get to the root cause and most importantly I discovered my secret sauce. The way that I would use the power of my motivation to solve the problem.
Ok so far?
You see the answer is always within.
I made the greatest discovery when I was journaling this morning.
Journaling, connecting to your inner muse and inner leader is one of the most powerful ways I know to unlock the secrets to becoming a better human. Alchemy is made in the connection between our hearts and the paper.
Write, reflect and write some more. You will if you are open find answers.
I always start my quarter doing 45 goals, desires and wants. It’s just a big list of stuff which contains the frivolous to the very important. At the beginning of each month (and at a full moon), I review my list and create a short what shall I focus on this month list. I then have one thing to do. Now that might be one thing for my business, one thing for my writing and one for my health, but there is never more than one thing in a category.
Choose three areas and select your one thing for each.
You choose which it is time or pages. What matters is that each day you read something. Why? Well, you will learn something, and you will relax. I just read the latest John Marrs book, and I wanted to do nothing but read, but I forced myself to close my Kindle after my allotted time and carried on with my day. The killer was when I was almost at the end, and I wanted to know…
What are you reading, do please share?
Your new word can be in any language. My new word is Spanish. I’ve started a new journal just for this, and it starts today.
My word is frondoso. Apparently, it means lush and abundant. What is your word for today? I’m already laughing at how I shall slip this into the conversation.
Me days are so important. Tomorrow is a me day, I’m meeting a friend for lunch by the sea, and we are going to an art exhibition. On Thursdays, I go to an art class for relaxation and to tap into my creativity. My teacher Rose, who is amazing, is exhibiting and we are going to support her.
What will you do for you me day?
I started meditating for a minute at the beginning of the year and slowly I have been increasing the minutes. Starting with just a minute gets you into the habit.
Get the Insight Timer App and start your day with a minute just for you.
Get stuff off your list. Mine is cleaning the terrace. The winter has made a mess of it. So it needs a good sorting out so that when I am eating breakfast and lunch, I feel that I am in a beautiful space.
Go do it. What is your one thing?
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Ask your inner leader what is the next step for today. Listen and watch because the answer is not always obvious, but the answer will come when you believe in yourself.
Hold that thought that you have a very powerful leader lurking in your heart and today he/she will speak to you.
That’s it for March. Spring will be here soon. For me right now, the day is coming alive, and there are three dogs who don’t care about my writing, they just want a walk.
Getting connected to your inner planner means that you will understand why your strategy is working or not. Consider this… If you like fresh, new and exciting why would you add a year-long business club to your product portfolio? If you do, you may find that after a while you are bored and not able to deliver what you promised your clients.
Instead by understanding your inner planner you may find that running a series of short programs excite and motivate you more. Which means you will love what you do and deliver great value to your clients.
If you consider how conscious planning fits into your life and business and get connected to your inner planner, then you will know what to effectively focus on. The first thing to consider is that planning isn’t an extension of the past. Yes we can learn from the past, and that feedback can be relevant and useful, however, we want to focus on who we are in the now and what we want.
Not what we think we want, more the deep down scary thing we desire with all of our hearts and souls.
I get that achieving your big scary hairy thing right now might not be appropriate. You may, for example, have a job which pays the bills while your heart is in an entrepreneurial business venture. That’s ok because at least you know what you want and you can lay the foundations. You can plan for it. You may want to build an build an online course, retreat and coaching process after exploring options.
The other scenario could be that you have a vague idea of what you want, something is pulling at you; something is lurking in your subconscious. That’s ok too because you can explore and experiment and use that feedback to feed into your plan.
There is never one size fits all, and there is not one way of planning. There is your way, as I have discovered. The more I analyse how I do things, and I mean in an honest way, the more I scare myself with what I discover. That is, scare me in a good way. The realisation of why, what and how I honestly do things and owning that is powerful. It also means that when I am aware, awake and alive to me and my stuff, I can accept my flaws and take action to change and to make conscious decisions. Do I stay doing what doesn’t work or do I get off my backside and change my habits and rethink my strategy?
So what do you think I am going to do? Damn right – change!
First. let’s consider what a plan is:-
Let’s pull that apart – a drawing. Mmmm I like that. As a mostly visual person, I like to see a picture of what my plan is.
Intended as in intention. Once I have my drawing I can set my intention about what I do with it. Yep, I like that too.
Next, think about conscious.
Together then I am looking at creating a drawing, from which I will set some intentions to take actions of which I am fully awake and aware of. Plus, I am going to tap into a knowing to enable me to make decisions about this plan. So far so good.
When I consider what my technology looked like when I entered the IT industry in 1981 to what I have today, I can see the rate of change has been immense. Will that continue? I don’t know, but technology plays an important part in how we all work today. It can seem that to get what we want we have to embrace all of this ‘stuff’. We don’t. There are some tools that will work for us and some that would be nice to have and others that are complete time wasters. Pick your technology wisely and don’t rely on it, as I have learned to my cost.
What about the resources that Mother Earth has taken millions of years to create? It appears that humans can deplete them in what seems a nanosecond. What then? Our conscious planning must then take into account the environment that we find ourselves in and the available resources. What can we do to ensure no harm when we develop our plans? That is no harm to all and the environment.
People change. The way that people buy is changing, or at least I’ve noticed how I feel about sales techniques changing. With social media comes a clumsiness and I often feel bombarded with crass messaging and approaches. Sometimes I think I must be overly sensitive. Many approaches appear to still be fear-based marketing and formulaic, and yes you need a process and a map, but it doesn’t need to be automated to death and lifeless.
What I see and I guess that is because of the kinds of people I surround myself with is, the rapid change to people wanting a deeper more personal connection, they want to feel the pull of someone’s energy rather than have products and services pushed at them.
What do you notice about how you feel when you are being sold to?
That will tell you about how your inner planner needs to develop your sales and marketing strategy.
Many businesses have their eye on a cause and include something cause related in their planning model. Cause can also mean purpose, your big why in this world.
My cause is being heard, especially around healing. In January 2018 my spine fractured and I was poured into a sausage factory and I was not listened to. I fought to find the root cause of my osteoporosis and from there I knew that I had to help other people heal naturally. My inner planner knows how to develop and deliver my message around this cause.
As we consider these aspects then how about considering how these impact your approach to planning and the impact your plan and actions have on the people around you and globally?
Remember you do not have a crystal ball, and although you have a vision and a plan, things can change. Be prepared in the best way that you can.
I use a tool for my clients called what kind of planner are you. It provides insights for both of us when working out how to get the best out of our relationship. Naturally, I also become a witness to them and soon learn how to support them. However, it’s one thing being good at spotting how others plan and another understanding how I plan. You will probably have discovered the same.
I have a pattern to how I plan and there are areas I struggle with. In becoming more conscious of this, I have been able to put actions into place that excites me. We all have patterns, typical ways of doing things.
To be more productive and effective, we need to understand ourselves and the habits or patterns we have formed.
It is vital that when you begin to plan you understand your preferences, as this will help you not only to get started, but also to finish.
How we think, feels like a ‘natural’ part of us. You may be unaware of these non-conscious patterns until you learn to recognise them. Become a witness, and you will soon learn to identify them through your language and behaviour. This is often why projects fail – people simply do not know why they may become overwhelmed or lose interest or motivation. It’s all down to your preferences.
Having a preference for a particular pattern of behaviour can be very beneficial when that pattern is useful in a particular context. On the other hand, you might find it difficult to adapt your behaviour, even when that way of doing something could be more beneficial.
Consider how being more flexible with your thinking and behaviour may lead to more productive outcomes.
There are many types of planner. You may recognise yourself in some of these descriptions. I would invite you to take a good look at how you plan, consider what excites you, where you usually stop or pause and why, what keeps you motivated, what overwhelms you or what makes you want to not plan at all.
The type that loves post-it notes and big rolls of brown paper or expanses of white walls to put post-its on.
Slow it down. Take time to reflect, but not much, organise around three core projects (this reduces overwhelm), reflect, craft a strategy for each and keep everything in achievable chunks. Look for connecting patterns in your three core projects. Go back to your wall quarterly (or monthly if you must) and do a refresher based on what happened and what you learned. This will keep your excitement and motivation high. Take one project at a time and apply detail. Yes, ouch detail…
Not necessarily a fan of the big picture. You use planning tools and like to know what is happening now. You like to see your whole day planned out to within an inch of its life. You may be a daily, weekly or a monthly detail person. Whichever you are everything in your life and business is planned out.
You might not like to see the big picture; I would still encourage a planning with your outline plan on it and review it daily, then, go to your daily planner. You can put as much detail on as is necessary for you. Maybe do this quarterly so that you don’t get big picture sickness.
You might do post-it notes, but more than likely you have a set of planning tools, and you just keep planning. You might even use planning to procrastinate. I’m going to suggest that you create a planning wall, from which you apply your planning tools, map out the big picture, apply detail and set a timer.
Break your year up into monthly chunks and then divide into quarters. Using your planner outline your strategy for each month and create links between activities, outcomes and the next month and quarter. Add in feedback loops. Step back and review. Then if you feel inclined, update your planner, and do it. Now take one thing and implement it. Feed it back into your plan. What was it like to stop planning and start doing?
Ok, so you never plan, and things rarely get finished.
Have a go at the brown paper or white wall and post it notes, then try a planning tool, and give yourself one hour at each. Then ask which did you get the most out of. Stick with that for one week and work on one thing. How did it go, what did you learn, did you get anything done? If yes, why, what worked and if no, why not. Adapt what you learn and make it work for you. Ask someone to hold you accountable and dig deep to make the relationship and what you want to achieve work.
There are many more planning types and variations on these themes. My point is that you will have a style, understand it, know you and then flex it and you so that things get done.
Regardless of what kind of a planner you are, if you can see your plan and you reflect on it each day, you will do things. How do I know? This is something that I have implemented in many businesses when I worked as a marketing consultant. While some of the team members kick and scream to start with, eventually they can see that
Every day go to your planning wall and review for 15 minutes, get deeply connected. Then you can move stuff onto your weekly and/or daily planner. Make time daily to craft a to-do list. I like to see chunks of my projects in time slots and other things I have to do as a list. I play Focus@Will for 60 minutes and then take a break. That is usually a walk in the rambla with my furry companions. This gives me time to reflect and recharge. Then it’s back home top up my water and grab a cuppa and back to my next thing.
Know how you like to plan, your preferences and how to keep yourself motivated. Sort out your back up – your accountability buddy, one that knows you and will hold you and hold you accountable. At all times check in with your inner wisdom. If it doesn’t feel right, find out why and always make conscious decisions.
If you don’t own it how can you execute it? It has to feel good and exciting, achievable and something you want to celebrate doing.
Never force yourself to follow someone else’s planning methodology. Review how others do things and learn. Find your natural way. Look at things that could do with changing and work out how so that they too become natural to you.
Keep your senses aware, awake and alive. Tap into your intuition and ask what is working and what isn’t. Your senses are designed to support you and your decision-making process and your ability to stay motivated and on track
Find your purpose, a what, a why and a cause. There is something very special about adding something to your plan where you can give back.
Set your intention to carry out your plans. Remember plans are not set in concrete, they are fluid and can change in a thrice. Set your intention to go with the flow and to change as appropriate based on feedback.
Always be a witness to what is happening to you as you execute your plan. Observe your feelings, your physiological state as you do things related to the plan. Notice what happens around you when you do things. Use observation as a feedback tool.
Put it out to the Universe. Create your plan, own it, place it in your heart and send its vibration out. Your energy and intentions need to reach the people that need what you offer the most. Notice what comes back and again use this as a feedback tool.
S – system and strategy
Create a system and startegy that works for you. Know you. Change what doesn’t work so that you create better habits. Know why your system and strategy works or doesn’t and tweak it. Systems and strategy only work, at least for me, when I know why they work. When I know why I do what I do, I can plan to ensure that I stick to it.
No, I haven’t, and the reason is that I would like to invite you first to consider your planning style we will look at conscious goal setting another day.
In corporate life, I would never have let a plan slip. My marketing plan was fundamental to how my team and I would support the sales team and the business in achieving our turnover and profit figures as well as aligning with corporate social responsibility. As a solepreneur, there is only me, and I have to wear many hats. I get overwhelmed and scared and want to run away. This is only natural. What I have learned is that without that big picture and my daily review I am lost. I use a Business Planner. What works for me is visuals, daily to do, journaling and regular reflection. I’m lucky in that I know me, warts and all, and I make myself do things because when I start I know I am going to enjoy it and I am working towards my goals and dreams. But also that I do not want to let myself down.
My accountability buddy/coach is fabulous, and I am in a support group and a mastermind. I need people to bounce off and hold me to account. Otherwise, I’d write all day interspersed with doggy walks and some cake baking. A girl needs cake for her planning review sessions.
I love to know how you plan, what works for you and what you have had to make yourself do to make your planning work.
As a long-term fan of journaling as a way to improve wellbeing, I was intrigued to read the BBC report that antidepressants have been proven to work in a trial of 116,477 people against a placebo. The report (which was published earlier in 2018) goes onto say that more people would benefit from taking the drugs.
I carried on reading with trepidation. What else would this report conclude I wondered?
At the beginning of this year, I was told that I had osteoporosis, I’ve become acutely aware of the drug pushers (natural and pharma) who peddle their wares to stop this disease. What has been heartbreaking for me is the utter confusion, overwhelm and despair I have seen in the forums. People are beyond hope. They have tried the drugs, and their bodies continue to fail. Not all bodies but enough to scare me. And that’s the point people are trying things, without an assessment and overall plan.
We need to find the root cause and journaling can support that.
In this case, I’ve read reports from some of the medical profession who do not like that people are taking matters into their own hands and are looking at more natural methods.
I keep reading that osteoporosis cannot be cured and this makes me angry because you are already setting people up for failure. We need hope, not despair at times like this.
This mentality goes across the board.
Don’t get me wrong I adore science, and the way that medicine has progressed is incredible. We are discovering amazing things every day, but are we creating a world of dependency on being fixed?
Antidepressants like the osteoporosis drugs have their place. I’ve taken Prozac, and it was a tough decision, but I felt as if I’d explored every avenue.
Depression, anxiety and smacks in the face can affect anyone.
Back in my late 40’s, I found myself in the doctor office complaining that despite the many miles I walked every day with my dog, I couldn’t breathe. He gave me space to pour out my worries.
In our discussion, we covered the past, who I was living with, what the relationship was like, work and my health.
For two years I’d struggled with sleep and had tried everything I could think of – you name it, I’d tried it. I handed over a long list of things, he laughed and then more solemnly said, it is no wonder you have anxiety given the life experiences you have had. He handed me a prescription for antidepressants, and I felt a failure.
Not long after, I began to sleep, and I felt less wound up. Inside I felt shame that I had given in. Then through journaling, it became clear that a) I wasn’t a failure and b) this was an opportunity to get on track and c) I needed a strategy for using them and an exit strategy.
It felt as is my journal had a new lease of life. Journaling has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It has saved my life on many occasions, and I saw this as something that needed urgent and special attention.
In my journaling, I became acutely aware of what I was eating and how that was making me feel. I’d started monitoring the anti-depressants and noticed a switch to focus on my heart, soul, body and diet.
Antidepressants made me feel foolish, but they kicked me into action. I enrolled in a naturopathic nutrition course and made big changes. At this time I was a BIG action taker, but not a right action taker. I took everything out of my diet, lost masses of weight – far too much, and that was not clever. However, as I took the course and learned a new way to eat, I amended my diet, and I started to feel good. Life suddenly felt brighter, and I was getting good quality sleep.
What was also apparent was that I didn’t love me and I couldn’t look in the mirror. It would be in my mid 50’s when I learned to love me and when journaling and writing a book supported me in finding myself and that long overdue self-love.
The more that I explored myself, diet and life, I could see how I had become so wound up, and the relationship I was in was not supporting me. But I felt trapped, so I stayed. To support me I worked with a cranial osteopath, and she helped me to unwind my system. As she treated me, my writing flowed and so did my body. After a while, I was able to start the planned exit strategy.
All was well until…
Sometime later, we moved in my husband’s almost 90-year old mother who had dementia. It was hard living with a bully and a woman who hated me. I reached for the anti-depressants again. I couldn’t cope, he couldn’t care less, and I wanted to be coshed. I hated my life.
One Christmas we took his mum to Spain, or I should say I got the job of taking an old woman with dementia and poor toilet habits in a wheelchair on an aeroplane. I coped because that’s what I do. To make matters worse, my house was not suitable for her. I wanted to kill myself. I figured I was already dead inside and who would care.
One night I knew it was the end, I Googled how to kill yourself painlessly. That scared me. Instead, I found myself staring at a journal and I wrote as if my life depended on it. Sense prevailed. I still felt hollow, but now I could see a bit more clearly.
After her death, I weaned myself off and tried to get back to some normality.
Something came out of the writing; it was like I was divinely nudged. I headed to the doctors to discover that all along the reason I wasn’t sleeping was that I’d had an overactive thyroid and through dietary changes, I had resolved it.
Thank you diet and journaling.
Looking back through the journals I could see how I’d become controlled and how unknown, unresolved health and lifestyle issues had eroded my ability to fully function.
I left the husband a few years ago now. Life has been quite tough on my own, but with each challenge, I’ve used two primary tools, lifestyle changes and journaling.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid again. I’d taken my eye off the ball, but due to my good diet, I wasn’t feeling the effects. I’d just got a message through my journaling to get a well woman check up – so I obeyed the great pen.
When in 2018 I suffered compression fractures (and a lot of pain) which led to a discovery of osteoporosis I leant into my journal and reached out for help. I’ve changed my diet and lifestyle again, and yes you guessed it, I have a dedicated journal for this journey. This is the subject of my next book – Healing Osteoporosis Naturally.
The root cause of my osteoporosis it transpired was bizarre. A trauma to the ribs kicked off a shingles attack. This raised prolactin which lowered dopamine, estrogen and serotonin. No motivation and thrown into the depths of despair is how I would describe where I found myself. Journaling once again saved my life.
I won’t be reaching for antidepressants and believe you me; I feel angry that I have this. I could use drugs to take away these feelings, but I know that although they are great for temporary support (other peoples may experience vary), I can deal with this through diet, meditation, exercise and journaling. I believe that I have the power to create personal change. I love myself enough to make the requisite changes, however tough they may be.
I also feel angry that I am being pushed through the sausage factory approach to osteoporosis. But I will not be driven by medical research that while amazing I believe does not wholly serve me right now. The statistics and methodologies are not always based in reality and wholeness.
The BBC report goes on to show that there is compelling evidence. Every drug has persuasive proof until it is withdrawn because it causes more deaths or illnesses, doesn’t it? Or is that me being cynical?
This compelling evidence means that doctors can prescribe the right drug because at least 1million other people could benefit. Ka-ching! You do the numbers. Or is that me being cynical again?
Of course, they conclude anti-depressants shouldn’t be the first form of treatment; they should consider other psychological therapies.
We are missing the point, aren’t we?
We are not just our minds, we are bodies and souls and couldn’t a more holistic approach be considered? One that combines science with natural methods?
Diet, lifestyle, exercise, meditation, visualisation, asking for help, learning to love yourself and understanding how you got to this point so that you can move through it with things like journaling. These are what I consider to be a better way – a harder way, possibly, but in the longer term a way that works for me.
Of course, we want to be fixed. I want my spine to be mended. However, I want to do it in the way described above, and I am willing with every fibre of my body to do it. Yes, I am taking supplements, alongside dietary changes under advisement from a naturopathic nutritionist. I know that these too are drugs in the wrong hands, but I will not take prescription drugs unless I have explored every other avenue and they are my last hope.
I am not against anti-depressants or any other drug, but what I’d like to see, as I have said is a holistic approach, so that they are used as a temporary intervention. I know it’s hard to change diet and lifestyle. However, it can be exciting as you explore new ways of being.
I am constantly exploring new recipes; yesterday I made a healthy banana bread using only things I can eat. I even caught my dogs liking the bowl behind my back and later when I was sampling it one of them nicked a piece. Along with the bread, I also made a delicious lentil shepherds pie thing accompanied by masses of green stuff. Trying out new green juices is exciting – do not have celery on its own – ug! It is delightful to come through the detox stage and start to feel human, for the pain to naturally subside as you deal with inflammation naturally and not with anti-inflammatory drugs.
The body is incredible, and it can heal – if you support it and believe that it can.
I started a new journal as soon as this latest thing happened. Why? I knew that I was in for an adventure and that I would discover more about me. I knew that what I learned as I went along would help others. This is what you can do. Use your journaling to find you, get clarity and use it to store your feelings, action and wisdom.
Your story could help save someone else’s life. Think about that. Imagine what it would be like to inspire someone else to embrace change?
You may not feel like it now. You may be at your wits end; you may want to reach for whatever drug is available. It doesn’t matter what you do. Do what is right for you at this moment. But please consider some of what I have said and while you go through these experiences write, capture everything and use it to help others. Use journaling to find you and to get some clarity so that you can work with the professionals that you choose to make good choices.
Journaling and writing is a journey with your soul; writing can help you to heal. Everyone who writes at some level moves on. Your pen has a deep connection with you and if you allow the words to flow you will discover alchemy.
Writing in a journal can help you to escape and face this passage into a new life and the next part of your soul’s journey.
Start today, get a journal, get lots of journals and put them beside your bed. Journal when you go to bed and when you wake up. You don’t have to write reams, just let it come as it wants to.
Let me leave you with some final thoughts. We are in this together; please look around you, one of your friends could be where I was. You might be there now. Please reach out, lend an ear and give them the gift of a journal.
If you have a story that you need to tell and a book you want to write, please do connect with me and lets chat.
Stop for a moment and ask where is my now? Writing to heal starts with a reflection of where you are now, not where you have been, although we will get to that.
The birds are singing, Ferdy dog is by my side, the girls are outside, my computer whirrs, my head feels fuzzy and my spine aches.
This isn’t where I am, or at least it is physically, it’s not where I am emotionally or spiritually. This is the dot that I exist in the vast Universe without connection to anything.
Close your eyes. Where are you now?
You can probably still hear sounds. What if you were to extend your listening further? I am 40 minutes from the motorway, I can’t hear it, yet I can – in my imagination.
It’s dark isn’t when you close your eyes? Dark and strangely peaceful, as if nothing else exists.
Do you find your mind wandering or perhaps you are travelling around your body, enquiring about your aches and pains? Perhaps what calls you for your day ahead? Or maybe the things that have been causing you consternation are zigzagging through the inner peace that you desire?
When we start a writing to heal journey, this is to my mind one of the simplest and most powerful questions – where is my now?
My now is days of pain both emotional and physical as I work to heal my body. I cry often, but not for long as a curious doggy nuzzles me and demands a biscuit or a walk and then my mood changes and their needs surpass mine. My body is healing, it is getting stronger, I can feel it and I just know.
In January 2018 my spine fractured. When I think of my now, I realise my life fractured. The foundation of me shattered. That isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, it’s not like I am jelly on the floor and have to slither to my nearest dark chocolate bar. More of a questioning about every part of who I am and how I got here.
I’m a researcher, a questioner and often an annoying git because I want to know how things work. If this happens, then what happens next and why would that happen if you did this?
Currently, I am writing a book You, me and osteoporosis and as I start to write what I think is a simple chapter, I invariably end up with more enquiries than answers. Luckily, through my writing to heal experiences I have learned to ask, write and then reflect.
I know that once I ‘put it out there’ the answers will come. Everything will fall into place and make sense.
And if it doesn’t, well does it really matter in the scheme of things? The answer to that is – it depends…
Everyone’s perception of time is different. Use this exercise to put your journaling and writing into a timeframe and into context, so that when you reflect you are able to consider more clearly how events that surround your life are affecting you and how things fit together.
Your now will have been triggered by an event, this may be an event that happened a year, a month, a week, a day, or even just an hour ago.
I find it best to get comfortable, relax and to let my mind wander (connect to your muse) as I ask each question. It may be that you need to run through the list of questions, then go and do something else and come back to write and reflect.
Write quickly, briefly, and write unconsciously. Leave this for a few days and come back to reflect. What do you learn in this writing to heal journey?
Exploring who you are with words is my gift. No matter where you are or what is going on, having a sounding board can support you and your wellbeing. Writing is healing, it brings clarity and purpose. You may start journaling, end up writing a book and changing the world – how cool is that? Please connect with me, chatting costs nothing and it could bring a smile to your face.
I feel that I am in a rut. It’s not a well-worn groove and I’m certainly not in the groove, or at least it doesn’t feel that way. I feel tired, weary to my bones and I know that to get out of my rut I need to write.
It is deeper than that. This rut is a line in the sand, something has to change and the only person who can do this is me and the time to do it is now.
Last Friday evening the choice on TV was Sport Relief or Football. Neither stirred me and instead I subscribed to Netflix. It occurred to me that in the past I had gorged myself on Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad and indeed one period of my life was highlighted with Soprano Sundays. When I wondered had I lost this urge to indulge in the life of a TV box set? To allow me the pleasure of doing nothing.
I chose Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable), a Spanish series full of love and betrayal. That was it, once I’d watched one I wanted more and given that I didn’t have a diary full of dates, dancing and bands, I indulged.
12.30 and moving into the early hours of Sunday and I decided it was time for bed. I’d seen enough for one day. My emotions caught me unawares and I burst into tears. Looking at the ceiling, for where else do you find God, The Universe, Spirit or some Higher Power, I cried out ‘I’ve had enough, I have had a shit life and it ends here.’
The following morning I realised that I was well and truly in a rut, a downward spiral of sadness as I tried to process my life.
Earlier in the week, I’d been journaling and from the depths of my soul, she whispered trust and betrayal. Just when you think this is it, I’ve sorted my stuff out, something else comes up. What next I ask with a smile? Why do they leave the darkest tar to last? Is the hardest stuff left towards the end so that you have more resources to deal with it?
The program was a reminder of how destructive trust and betrayal can be and this sadness didn’t leave me all weekend. Especially as after I’d gorged myself on one box series I found Reign which went on to cover the same issues love and betrayal but in an altogether different setting.
My rut has set in because I am a little immobilised by spinal fractures and pain. I have to heal and healing takes time and I admit to being a tad impatient. Dealing daily with pain is no fun. Yet I do not wallow in it. As I lie in bed I do exercises, when I get up I do exercises and I keep moving so that my body doesn’t grind to a halt.
My diet is of utmost importance, but I am tired of eating well, sick of green at every meal and I want to break free. Only I can do that. Only I have the power and the gumption to change what I eat and more importantly my life.
Patience they say is a virtue. Well, right now you can shove virtue where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve had enough of waiting. Yet even as I write that, I know and I am smiling that I need this virtue to heal. It would be foolhardy to trek into the hills and risk a fall.
Risk a fall. It seems that all I have ever done is fall, but falling and fracturing again in this healing phase is not a clever move and so I look instead for reduced risk options, that still give me some semblance of normality. Normality within four walls is so hard for a person like me. This is a tough lesson. The truth is I don’t have four walls, my house is full of quirky rooms and I can move from space to space as I need. But still, I am caught in a brick box that does not seem ready to release me just yet.
Over the weekend I realised that I hadn’t written any words for my book. Instead, I journaled as I usually do. I needed to capture the essence of this breakthrough.
It is a breakthrough despite the tears and screaming at empty emotionless ceilings. In the silence, I was greeted with the stark reality that there is only one person to get me out of my rut and that is me.
Nobody is going to reach in and pull me out, because they are all in the rut that is their life.
It struck me that I needed to get back to work on my book and a course and I had to make myself. Ruts don’t divert unless we are prepared to get out of the safety of pain and trudge through the uneven ground to create a groove elsewhere.
Go and get your journal and pen, find a comfy space and write RUT in big letters in the middle of the page. The ask yourself these questions:-
Now pick an action and go and do it.
I’m off to my office to outline two chapters of my book (Osteoporosis and Me) and to write one. After which I shall start to outline a course – Write your life story – turn memories into memoir (avail May 2018).
The heavy driving winds from the last few days have dropped and I shall be out walking again this week. It’s been hard to walk with pain, but it feels time.
A few days ago I wrote in my diary how fed up I was and started to question my lack of self-trust and self-belief. Could I turn this around? Could I reverse osteoporosis naturally? Me? The trust issues go much deeper than can I trust my body to heal, this goes back through generations.
Trust keeps popping up to bite me on the bum and whatever your issue is will do the same for you, unless you deal with it. But how?
The first step is to identify what it is. It may be many things, or it could be one. Choose the priority. How will you know it is a priority? Well, it will come as no surprise to you that I will suggest you journal. Play with words until one bites.
When I played with my words this morning the word was once again TRUST. What fascinates me is that right now while I ‘trust’ my body to heal the spinal fractures, my dog is surrendering to healing his broken leg. He doesn’t know he can’t heal; he just trusts that I will look after him and love him and all will be well.
The last few days have seen me cry a lot. I’ve felt tense and frustrated. You would wouldn’t you, if you thought that you couldn’t support a sick animal because of your injuries and pain?
But here is the thing. I watched him this morning as we went for a little walk and already he is tentatively putting his paw on the ground. When I saw that I was inspired by how he trusted that it would be ok. Plus he trusts me to look after him to enable that to happen.
This is what I wrote in my diary. I am not going to write reams about how I arrived at this, but know it’s been a lifetime of not setting boundaries among other things.
Trust. I don’t trust men to support me without an agenda. I think that it’s not just men and before I set boundaries around other people, it was not trusting people to respect me and allowing them to devalue me. Also, with all of the physical pain, I am trying hard to trust my body to heal.
Every day since this journey has started I have been writing positive affirmations in my journal. Not once have I used don’t, less or not. What do I mean by this? I could have written that I am frightened and the opposite is I am not frightened, rather than I am courageous. I feel full of fear and might have written I am fearless. It means the same.
Have a play with the self-belief that you think are holding you back and write the opposite using better more productive language. Pick one to work on and repeat to yourself like a mantra for the day.
I trust that my body knows how to heal and has all of the resources it needs
I trust others to support me without an agenda
I trust that I will always be surrounded by loving and supportive people
I trust that I will always have all the resources I need for life
I have lots of support from family and friends, and it has amazed me how I am surrounded by such love. All I had to do was ask. 🙂
We know the power of visualisation and stating things in the now. What you now need to do is create a new self-belief as if it were already true. Again watching your language and not use words like in the future or I am going to.
In my new version of life, being surrounded by only those people for whom we had mutual love and respect. I am in a loving fun relationship with a partner. The only connections I have are with those that feed my soul and I theirs.
My body is strong and healthy. It supports me and will continue to do so until my time is done. I have lots of energy, and I know when to take time out to refresh my soul.
I am working with courageous people who have an inspiring message for the world.
Take a few moments to think what it would mean to you and for others when this is true.
For me: I am more at peace with myself. Great health means that I enjoy life and have the energy to do things that are meaningful to me. It means that I know that I have all of the tools and resources to be able to achieve anything.
For others: It brings us closer together. I can show how anything is possible. I allow other space and give them support for doing it their way. I can receive, and I am open to their love which means that they feel appreciated.
For the world: It shows what is possible. It inspires others to know that they can also overcome anything.
And finally, I wrote.
My gift is to inspire others to take control, find themselves and to have the courage to share their story so that they can inspire others.
The language of more is exciting because we tend to use the same kinds of words and phrases and not noticing what they are saying to us. This is where journaling can support you. Once you see it in black and white, it is so apparent. Go to your journal and highlight the language you want to change.
This takes my journaling further because it all comes back to your core message and to do that we have to move into our source of wisdom and love. We have to open up the spaces that hurt and allow healing to begin.
I hope that this inspires you to take a closer look at what is niggling you and that you find the courage to spill the beans into your journal. It won’t tell anyone, and this learning may lead you to write a book about your experiences.
Today is International Women’s Day. A day to join with your sisters to celebrate how far we have come and what we have achieved. A day to consider our values and the impact we want to make in the world. My call is for more awareness for natural treatments for osteoporosis.
What and how do your values enable you to create an impact? What does that impact look like?
Your voice carries a lot of power and so today, and every day it is essential to share your inspirational message, in some way.
In some countries, International Women’s Day is about women in the working world, mainly corporate and often around leadership issues, equality and diversity and in others countries, it is a celebration of women.
It’s 2018, and by now, you would think that we wouldn’t need to keep reminding the world that women need to be heard. That every one of us needs our voice to be heard, no matter where. However, we do and International Women’s Day is an excellent time to grab your journal and reflect. What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? What does it mean to have your voice heard?
What I like is that every year, this is a day to celebrate how much has been achieved by women for women. It is also a day to remind everyone to keep up the pressure. This year’s International Women’s Day message is #pressforprogress.
What does press for progress mean to you? Where would you like to see progress?
Women want equality, diversity, respect and for our voices and message to be heard. All around the world, we want our sisters (and brothers) to live well. We desire and demand to live in a world where everyone regardless of many discriminating factors lives in love, peace and harmony. I may not see that in my lifetime, but none the less, I want with all of my heart for every living being and Mother Earth to be respected, loved and cared for. I am sure you do too?
Regardless of this one day, there are many things we can do for each other, but before we do that we need to respect other peoples personal choices
We know that to be the change we want to see in the world is often easier said than done. Life is rarely easy, and if and when we are diagnosed with something, we end up being a number or a statistic, and we get labelled.
Right at this moment, I’d like to press for progress in the way that we are treated and heard in our doctor’s surgeries. Recently my spine fractured. If this has ever happened, you will know that this is painful. Not only that it probably heralds the start of a journey that you were not expecting – the discovery of osteoporosis.
Until this happened to me, I had an understanding of it, but what I didn’t appreciate was how set in their ways some doctors are. I wanted six months to try a natural naturopathic approach. So that my doctor would understand I prepared two documents, which she ignored as she swiftly wrote out my prescription for drugs.
I hasten to add that my doctor is a charming woman, who has expressed her desire to provide natural remedies where she can. For example, because she tells me I also have arthritis, she suggests a supplement which is not a pharmaceutical drug. However, she questions how I eat and has not been trained in nutrition, so how could she understand that natural works.
What I desire is for my voice to be heard and to be supported. However, we shall work together so that I can get the best that science has to offer, which I implement the best that nature has to offer.
Back in 2016, I turned around an overactive thyroid with a natural approach. To this day it is still normal. I know that a natural approach works.
Then and now my decision is to do whatever I can to do to heal without the drugs but utilising medical services, such as blood tests and bone density tests. The problem is I do not yet fully understand if bone density tests actually show me anything valuable. The debate is open as to whether these show anything to support a natural approach.
Currently, I am in the camp that says I would like to be able to measure something so that I can see how I am progressing. Tests are one way. Other ways include how my body feels, my ability to move, the condition of my spine (it is currently curved), energy levels, ability to exercise, the level of pain, the efficiency of my digestive system (this has to work for the nutrition to work)
However, why should I have to work within a system that seems to me to be brainwashed and not open to other approaches?
It’s a little like the cannabis debate. A drug which has shown tremendous efficacy in many treatments, which however is classed as dangerous. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, eating rubbish food are all fatal and create many problems within our society. Yet they are all legal. It doesn’t make sense to me.
We live in a society that pushes svelte slim models. It’s not all about weight loss, what about focusing on gaining great health?
We need to start looking at each of us as a whole person and not made up of parts that don’t work. Let’s work on getting the fundamentals right and then like a domino the rest of the systems will work more efficiently.
This is interesting. No, I am not. However, I am against them being used as the first approach. I absolutely respect anyone who wants to take them. We have to make the right choice for us. And the natural path is not easy until it becomes a part of who you are. People will always comment on what you can or can’t eat and how you live your life.
In her early 70’s my mum discovered five fractures in her spine. We went into action and got books on natural approaches and mum looked at the drug options. She tried many things until her doctor prescribed a drug called Proteus. After five years her bone density (my mum and her doctor’s measure of success) showed an improvement. She was delighted. But after five years she couldn’t have the drug anymore and was given something else which has left her feeling many months later very unwell. She wishes that she had never agreed to this one. But it is too late. It is an annual injection, and it is now in her body.
My mum, however, has also changed her diet. As a mother, she feels guilty that I have this thing, but she also supports and honours my decisions about how I will treat it. This is not her fault. No one is to blame. This is as a result of life. I have this wake-up call because there are imbalances in my body and soul. Imbalances that I believe that drugs at this point cannot rebalance.
If after six months the way that I do it does not work, I’ll explore my options again.
Ok. I’ll get off my soapbox, but I will not give up my right to a healthy drug-free life.
Before I close, osteoporosis is a threat for men too. It is a threat for young people. We all need better educating. We must not exclude anyone.
And finally, although I will probably think of many more things to add, for this to be taught alongside natural fertility planning and nutrition in schools.
I’m working on my book Osteoporosis and Me. You can register to find out about when it is ready. Alongside the book, I will be making available other things that I learn.
I’d like to leave you with this. This is not a disease or a disorder; this means that your body is not at ease and is not in harmony. You are a whole human, and there is never one thing that causes imbalance, it is as a result of many things. What I do to solve my problems may not be what you do – this is because we are all individuals and have to look at ourselves to find root causes and work to rectify them in a way that is right for us. I cannot offer you advice, but I can tell you what I do.
Please share this post and the memes so that we can work together to create change.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. A day to join with your sisters to celebrate how far we have come and what we have achieved. A day to consider our values and the impact we want to make in the world.
To be able to create the change we want to see, we have to take time out to honour who we are.
Unless we learn to honour who we are and learn to love ourselves enough, we will not have firm foundations from which to move forward. Here are a few simple ideas that you can implement.
Write a letter from your heart to your soul and body. Explain in simple terms why you love you. Put pen to paper and trust that what is meant to be written will emerge. Think of what International Women’s Day and press for progress mean to you.
One of the more fun things that I do when I am feeling down is to write a letter about what I’d like to come into my life. I am mindful of how I write it because the mind is a powerful thing. So for example, if you have had a tough time with a past relationship, consider what good things have come from it; I certainly say thank you to three relationships for allowing me to live the life I do today.
Say thank you and then ask how is it possible for me too, for example, have a beautiful relationship, where we are equal, and I am loved and respected for who I am? Your words, your way. Then when you have written what you need to positively, burn your letter. As you watch the flames flicker, give thanks and send love to the past.
Make and eat something delicious and nutritious and do it mindfully. I adore my Nutribullet and making gorgeous smoothies. I also have reflexology regularly and if you can make some time in your diary to feel the healing touch of another. Even if you can’t get to see a masseur, run a luscious bath, put on some meditation music, light some candles, choose a calming oil, smother your face with avocado and drift off.
If you currently reward yourself with something high fat or full of processed sugar, consider swapping it out for something healthier. This doesn’t mean eating a carrot, although you could make some delicious homemade hummus; one of my favourites. Another idea might be to dip some of your favourite fruit in raw chocolate – oh yes!!!
You don’t have to be a ‘trained’ healer to do this; anyone can heal. Close your eyes and take some deep relaxing breaths. Place one hand at your heart and one under your breasts (solar plexus). Open your heart to healing and be open to what comes. Focus on drawing in energy to create inner peace, balance and harmony. Another idea could be to massage your tummy – the womb of your femininity. Use some lovely oils, maybe something like neroli to encourage creativity.
As a mum to three rescues, I would say this, wouldn’t I? I feel blessed to have them as a part of my life. Not a day goes by where they don’t make me laugh. With dogs, I can’t make any excuses for not getting out as they need to run around and sniff. The benefits include getting a lung full of fresh air and some exercise, I am experiencing Mother Nature, and getting an opportunity to reflect.
Write a blog or a book, paint a picture or make something. I write most days, but for relaxation, I knit strange dolls. What about a bit of adult colouring in? Creativity opens you up to opportunities.
Given where I live up in the hills, I usually wear something practical as I need to get out and walk my dogs. When I get the chance, I like to choose something more feminine outfit and ignore how my walking shoes might look… What could you put on that makes you feel like great?
Place your flowers in a gorgeous vase where you can see them throughout the day. As you look at them, remind yourself of your inner beauty. If you don’t want to buy cut flowers what could you collect from nature? Around me is loads of lavender and rosemary – bliss.
Don’t wait for someone to buy you flowers, buy them for yourself
Say thank you for who you are, whether physical or spiritual.
Giving back is a wonderful way to feel great as you do good. It doesn’t have to be costly or take too much of your time. Try some of these:-
You have incredible knowledge, skills and experience, who might benefit from a Skype call or a cuppa with you? That hour could change both of your lives.
Make a small monthly donation to someone who is less fortunate than you.
Leave your footprints in someone’s heart. Create your legacy today. If you have a book or an online course, consider giving a gift to another woman. I often give coupons to my courses away, which I hope will inspire someone to write a book.
Open the conversation with your ‘brothers’ and fellow humans and ask them what they think and how they can help to create balance and harmony. Consider how you can work together to create inclusive education, awareness and action.
If you are self-employed, consider how you can flex your day. As an early riser, I often write early, then head out for a walk (although not right at the moment) and do whatever I want to, ensuring that I get done what needs to be actioned. I am mindful that clients may need to talk on the weekend or evenings, which is often the case with writing a book. If that is the case, I make space, providing I have the energy and no other commitments. Being flexible means that you can achieve so much more. Try it. It may feel strange if you are not long into self-employment.
I am not suggesting that you creep stealth like and unpick someone’s pocket, but you could leave some cash (doesn’t have to be much) with a note in the ladies toilet for some unsuspecting sister. Tell her to have a cuppa on you.
Is there a woman who you consider to be a leader? Tell her what an excellent job she is doing.
Thank someone for something that they have done for you.
Whoever you are reading this, from wherever, celebrate being you and give thanks to the women in your life.
Let’s kick March off with these writing prompts. Writing prompts are a great way to think about where you are and where you would like to go. Do you have a planner? Or do you perhaps set intentions for the month?
March intentions will put a spring into your writing. It’s considered the first month of Spring and a time for some fresh thinking. It’s a new season and a new start. We’ve just had a powerful full moon which is always a wonderful time to let go of things. Just in case you didn’t there is no time like the present to release what does not serve you.
This month the theme is BEGINNINGS. That can be beginning again, it could be beginning something entirely new. Whatever it is, do or be it with an intention to find something that resonates with you. For me, my focus this month is beginning to focus on strengthening my body, albeit slowly.
That’s it, March is the month of new beginnings. Find something new to start that will fill your heart and soul. Write often, enjoy the month and remember to spoil you every day.
If you’d love more of this writing stuff, if you have things you want to get out of you, find your writers voice and maybe even write a book, connect with me or get on The Writing Zone waiting list. Once you enter the Writer’s Lounge your pen will never be the same again…
Recently while contemplating things that are going on in my life I have been watching various videos and reading some fairly technical books. The books have helped me to make intellectual sense of what is happening inside my body. The videos have set me thinking about other things.
Neither has given answers, to my why, but they have provided tools and insights which have set me on a course of looking deeper.
Lying here in the early hours the word trust came to me again. It’s a word that I was exploring in my journal before I closed my eyes and in fact, it’s a word that has been coming to me on a regular basis. I just haven’t been able to find my way to what it wants to say to me.
Yes, I have been journaling, but what has come up has been more fear-based thoughts around trusting my body to heal. I know it can, but my old friend fear taps me on the shoulder and says ‘are you sure?’’ Yes, I am, but something has still niggled me. Like it niggles me about trusting that I will find love again after the Dickie Quick episode.
This morning I sat with pen poised and was writing about something which I thought was unrelated to trust when I found myself on a journey. I wrote a few things down and then let myself slip into a meditative state. During this state, the word Grandad came to me. Allowing whatever else to arrive, I was witnessing his life where there was a considerable lack of trust. His mother by all accounts had been unfaithful, she had children by other men, left and I think at some point he’d been put in a children’s home.
Later when he married he carried this with him into his relationship, where he was soon to be disappointed when his wife gave all of their savings to her father. Again I believe he’d got himself into trouble financially and asked his daughter to bail him out. She did so without consultation; again I think not once but twice.
Imagine how this must have translated to his three daughters, one of which is my mum?
Mum married a man whom she thought was nothing like my Granddad. My dad was outgoing, handsome and a charmer. She fell deeply in love with him, little knowing that beneath his exterior was another damaged and fragmented soul. My dad and I say this with no malice was a gambler, smoker, drinker and womaniser… Although this didn’t become evident until later life, mum had married a man she could not trust.
When I was born I carried with me the resonance of all of these people and in the simplicity of journaling and meditating I have been made aware of something that has never crossed my mind before in search of why.
We often think we know why or how we arrived at the life and body that we now inhabit, but the truth is that unless we switch off the noise and explore, we can never trace the pathways to the root of something.
Journaling by hand in a warm and safe environment where you can switch off and allow what needs to be said to come out is powerful. Find a space and time that suits you and just allow for a moment a word to come to you.
Set an intention that you want your journaling to explore the matter at hand. In my case, I wanted to explore the generational link to this word – trust.
Write five other words around it and then sit with it. One of these words will be the one that you will want to explore. Write and allow the words to come. It doesn’t matter how you start or what you write, trust that what needs to come out will.
Once you have written and feel that there is nothing more to come, close your eyes and connect with some part of you. This might be your heart or your third eye. From out of nowhere a word, picture, a song will come to you. Just wait, do not try to force anything. Allow it to speak to you and just observe. In my example this morning it was Granddad and flashes of his life.
Once you come out of meditation, start your journaling again with the new information you have received. What happens is enlightening.
For me, there was a definite generational link with trust. I wondered to what extent my cells have been damaged by this vibrational resonance. I say ‘damaged’ not in the context that I have been smacked around the head with a brick. More that I am curious about how these fragments from across generations could be so deeply embedded in my psyche. It’s curious isn’t?
We know from Masaru Emoto’s water experiments that water responds to various stimuli and can change shape when introduced to both beauty and horror. If water can be so affected by its environment and ‘conditioning’, it makes sense that we too can, given how much water we have in our bodies.
Water is in every cell. Every cell, therefore, must carry, I believe a generational resonance. If that is the case then exploring our issues through another lens could be helpful in understanding where we find ourselves today.
When you have some understanding of why, then you have an opportunity to change, just like Emoto did with the resonance in the water cells. You can do this with journaling, meditation, being in nature, speaking to yourself with kindness and love, listening to beautiful music, connecting with friends and a whole myriad of feel-good things.
Does this resonate with you? Is there something that you have been trying to get to the root of that could be a lightly held vibration from across time in your cells?
Put pen to paper and explore. Drift into meditation and allow.
I use journaling to not only unlock hidden pathways to me but to help me make sense of all sorts of things. Currently, I am journaling about my osteoporosis journey as this is the subject of a book that I am writing. Journaling supports me by helping me to pull together ideas such as this so that I can encourage others to find their (in this case) potential cause for dis-ease or ways to support healing pathways.
If you have a book that you want to write, please get in touch. Your story can be something you have already lived or one you are living. Either way, you will be able to write it with new eyes and understanding. Let’s connect and explore.