Writing coach and Executive Soul Coach

All Posts by Dale Darley

Journaling Prompts For Lovely April

Well hello April and another new month to whet your appetite with journaling prompts, affirmations and setting your intentions.

As I look out of my window I can see that the darkness and rain has given way to the sun. The wet road is drying and the birds are singing. I love to hear them as I am working – always hopeful.

Just recently it has rained almost non stop. Which is wonderful for Mother Earth and while I feel deep appreciation, I’d also welcome some warmth on my bones. It is also a message to remember to hydrate yourself.

I looked back in my diary and one year ago I was away with my mum for Mother’s Day and the year before I had an appointment with my cranial osteopath. That was the year that I discovered who I was and how my body could heal if I gave her the right ingredients.

This year, I wonder what I’ll be recording in my lockdown journal when I head to bed this evening. You have started one – right?

It’s day 18 and we one of the countries hardest hit by the Coronavirus. I can only imagine how people are feeling. My emotions have been up and day and yet I feel so lucky to have the furry ones to keep me entertained and busy. Only this morning Ferdy vomited all over the floor…

What do we know about April?

April is the fourth month and I learn that it is named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite (Venus – Romans), and that the Latin name is Aprilis or Aperit  which means to open. Being open is perfect for our intention setting and creating affirmations as you will see.

Astrologically we have both Aries (fire) and Taurus (earth) signs with birthdays this month. Happy birthday if April is your month. We will be moving from passion to becoming more grounded.

And as for Aphrodite (Venus) – the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.

With all of this going on we have plenty of ideas for intentions, affirmations and journaling prompts for April.

Setting Intentions for April

Thinking of the OPEN theme, what kind of intentions could you set?

Setting an intention means that you are now OPEN to receiving something. When you think of what you want, know that this intention will help to fuel it. This is where you can start to manifest magic.

You intention could be to remain focused on an element of your business that will inspire and support others right now. It could be that your intention is to win new clients. Or it could be that you want more connection time (online) with friends and family.

Write your intentions in your journal on the page where you are going to write you I am OPEN to affirmations.

Say your intention out loud and send it to the Universe. Remember to practice gratitude and say thanks as the things you most desire turn up.

Gratitude is a vital part of setting intentions. You cannot just want and want, you really need to appreciate all that you have and all that you get.

And don’t forget to take action.

April affirmations

  • I am open to all of the abundance that the Universe has to offer me
  • I am open to the guidance of my heart
  • I am open to the perspective of others
  • I am open to increasing my experience of the beauty of Mother Earth
  • I am open to asking for help and receiving wisdom

Your turn. Remember to write these in your journal and around you hand mandala on your new month intentions page.

Keep saying your affirmations and record in your journal what magic turns up for you.

Journaling prompts for April

Journaling prompts to get you through the month:

  • Describe what love means to you?
  • How do you know when you are in love?
  • What makes you feel loved?
  • What 5 acts of kindness will you do this month?
  • What does kindness mean to you, and what has it taught you?
  • What was the kindest thing you have done for someone? Write about how this made you feel!
  • Taking care of the Earth is important to me because
  • You are the guardian of the Earth, how will you save her?
  • What are three ways that you can grounded yourself and why are these important to you?
  • What was your childhood dream and why? What happened to your dream?
  • When do you feel most alive?
  • Think about the things you love doing. Focus on one thing. How can you experience more of that?

To get more out of your journaling grab a book and join The Journaling Club

Grab a journal on Amazon (there are several that are also available on Kindle)

Join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated.

And finally remember to appreciate the rain because April showers bring May’s flowers

Resources

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/months/april.html

Seven Reasons To Start A Lockdown Journal Today

It’s raining. Again. I’ve lost count of what day of the lockdown it is (where I live it began on March 14th). In my what has now been renamed lockdown journal I am remembering to put the dates. For some reason, I don’t want to, but I know that it is important to remember how I felt and how I processed my emotions during this period.

The rain doesn’t stop our short walk. My dogs are lapping up every moment. They are used to four long walks a day. These walks, along with my journal, keep me sane. Right now I am having a few moments of it’s ok to not be ok.

Once again, journaling is saving my life.

This journal – my lockdown journal – feels more meaningful. I’m recording a momentous time in humanities evolution and an incredible time in my life.

A few days ago I noticed I was clenching my jaw and I swear this is not something I have done in many years. Doing a daily body scan enables you to notice tensions easily and then usually you can move the energy on. Right now I am finding this a tad harder, and that’s ok.

I have allowed the emotions to flow. There’s been a range, which started with anger at being bullied – or at least the person attempted to intimidate me. I decided to let it all flow, to become a witness and to enjoy sorting these pieces of the me jigsaw out.

Then I decided to play the appreciation game and to look at how I could count my blessings. Despite said rain when I was out with my three dogs, I did just that.

We live in a beautiful place with loads of space for them to run and explore. For me, every day is different on our walks. The air temperature, smells, sounds, new plants, the sky, cloud formations and simply life. There is a peace that always transcends me when I am in nature which also excites the pants off me.

I’ve also introduced Terrace Time, where I just stop and look around at the beauty of the world, to feel the energy, to say thank you and to do my morning energy routine. I’ve become quite addicted.

This morning as I stopped to wonder at the glory of Mother Nature, a song crept unbidden into my head. ‘What’s the story morning glory?’ the 1995 Oasis album and song of the same title. And then in a thrice, my mind tumbled backwards in time to that era.

1995 and life was very different. I was back in Wales after living in Reading for a few hectic years, working for an IT company, had a motorbike licence (exciting and scary) and a bike mad boyfriend. We used to head out on what I call ‘holidays from hell.’ (It always rains when you go on motorbike holidays. It does I promise you.) However, these are holidays that I will never forget; cold, wet, miserable weather, soaked leathers; yet full of excitement and mystery wondering where we would end up after a day’s ride.

My mind tripped to ten years later, and I was, heading through France to Spain in my motorhome, where again, I was reminded of so many other crazy holidays. On this journey, I remember being whisked back in time as the names of towns whizzed by. I love how my memory does a great job of delving inwards and resurfacing happy times.

There I was dancing in the streets of Cahors. We had happened upon a festival quite by accident. Impromptu, silly, drunken good-natured fun. From there back in time to Bayonne and a camping holiday when I was in my early 20’s. I think it was the world surfing championships. I had my first go on a surfboard – a never to be repeated event. I lost my bikini in the surf and a restaurant flooded in a deluge of rain as we ate one evening.

My walk became a time travelers convention, except, my feet were now very firmly on the ground, and I was in the country with the three dogateers doing their thing during what is currently the strangest period of my life.

Life is no longer as fast or mad, but life is full of adventure, despite being locked down. 

I wonder if you stopped for a moment where your memory will take you?

Fast forward post lockdown

Naturally, I have no idea when this will be over. However, imagine being able to not only process your emotions and thoughts through this but to be able to look back and remember how it was for you.

Your stories could inspire a generation of people looking for meaning in their lives. Your story could provide hope for someone so that they know that around the corner is a rainbow or a pot of gold. Your story can be happy or sad, born of tragedy or joy, about business or life’s adventures, inspired by revolution or evolution. Or maybe it’s a story that just needs to be told.

Start your lockdown journal today

The morning is a perfect time to put pen to paper. What if each morning you let your mind wander? Could you capture the story that you want (or need) to tell? What if you captured your story? How might it inspire others? How might it inspire you?

No one knows what is around the corner, there is no crystal ball. You do have a choice about how you move through this period. I choose to write, to express my deepest emotions and to record what is going on for me.

Reasons to start a lockdown journal

Process your thoughts, feelings and emotions. This is a strange and curious experience for us all. Journaling is a brilliant way to get it out, process and let it go.

Record of your life. You know when someone says, oh you should write a book, well you are now – the book of your life. Just imagine if you are minded to do so, how what you learn about you during this period could strengthen what you have to teach the world.

Learning and growth. Yeah and phew, what an opportunity to listen to your spirit (intuition, inner guide, magical muse) and do the personal growth stuff that your soul has been screaming at you to do.

Clarity and vision. Right now, you need to make sense of your life and the world around you. Writing in your journal will give you clarity, and you can use this to start envisioning how you want to be when this is all over.

Inner peace. I find that once I have splurged it all out, I feel so much more peaceful.

Appreciation. I’ve made gratitude journaling a big part of my life. I write three things, three times a week, along with an affirmation, what did I learn and wouldn’t it be nice. These really do help me to maintain perspective.

Ideas for a book. I love to write and to write books. Journaling is great way to find inspiration for that book you have always promised to write and never did. Want some help with how to do that – check out this course.

If you don’t know how to journal read this blog – How to start journaling when you don’t know how.

Also, take a look at are you ready to spin the wheel of fortune and ask where am I, followed by what do I want to create?

Daily prompts for your lockdown journal

In the evening

  • How did the day begin?
  • What happened as the day progressed?
  • What is today’s story?
  • What is the best thing that happened?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How did the day end?

In the morning

  • How do I feel today, and how would I like to feel?
  • What can I create today?
  • How can I be kind to myself and others today?
  • What am I looking forward to?

What about starting the 101 days of being me journaling adventure?

When I left the horrid husband and started a new life in a new country just six short weeks after discovering his double life, I started 101 days of being me.

Every day I put the camera in my face and talked about how I felt and then later, once in bed, I wrote my heart out. I created these prompts for others to follow and to explore the inner them.

You sign up down there at the bottom of the blog, and these will be delivered to your inbox daily. All you have to do to take action. Read, muse and write.

I’m journaling daily, will you join me?

And finally, we are all in this together, and together we heal and rise. It’s ok to not be ok, and please whatever you do, please do not be alone.

Inner Peace And The Importance Of Shaving Your Legs…

After a weekend of doing not a lot, the desire to get out of bed and resume ‘normal’ life was not strong. I was cosily snuggled with two doglets, despite being pushed to the edge of the bed. I was craving inner peace and space to just forget what was going on in the world.

The first thing I did was reach for my journal and start my usual Monday journaling – the prompt is always – what do I want to create?

What do I want to create as a question is a powerful motivator, and it allows the imagination to roam a while. I find that I start writing rather uninteresting things, then the important things come up and then the ideas.

Today it was about finding calm in both my body and mind. I’d noticed with everything going on how my jaw was tight, my spine aches and how I had the tiniest stirrings of a headache.

As I scribbled, a few things that could restore my inner peace came to mind. One drink even more water, two go and do Terrace Time more often and three, stop and do a short meditation a few times.

Terrace Time is a new activity which started when we were quarantined following a death in a nearby village. We had been told that under no circumstances could anyone, even those with dogs, leave the house.

I headed to the terrace several times with my dogs to try to get them to run around this small area and do their thing. What happened was I was treated to the first glimpses of a new day while I did my energy routine. They spent most of their time with their noses in my foo foo.

What has happened is that Terrace Time has become a habit and such a treat. I’m really enjoying kicking off my day this way.

Back to the journaling.

On Sunday I do a declutter and dump, which was quite funny recalling the days odd moments. Like thinking that there was a helicopter flying over the village and when I looked, it was a tractor disinfecting the area. To be fair, the noise was deafening.

These Sunday evening forays into my imagination are powerful, and I got some great ideas out, which were reflected in my Monday creations.

Finding inner peace in my new normal

After journaling, I knew what I needed was a hot, calming shower, and to wash my hair. I needed to tell myself Monday’s here, and it’s time to get back to ‘normal’.

Normal, that is my new normal, which given how I live is not that different to my old normal, except I am unable to walk my dogs as often and as far as I usually do, which is one of my life-saving inner peace strategies outside of journaling. And I can’t meet friends for yummy food by the sea. However, yay for technology and being able to have tea and cake online.

When all was done, in the shower, I remembered my legs. Well, who cares about them? No one can see them. Who cares if they are hairy?

But that’s the point. If you let things go, they will continue to slide. Sitting around eating cake in your PJ’s watching Judge Rinder and Loose Women is not a strategy. Although I do love a bit of Judge Rinder.

What I have noticed is that when my inner peace feels at risk, I start to feel anxious, which is not something I have experienced for a long time.

This morning I made a decision that I must stay with my inner peace. I don’t have to do or be anything else, I simply need to make a choice that my inner peace is important to me.

What is Inner Peace?

The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence. Norman Vincent Peale

Inner peace is a state of being not doing. We don’t travel there physically, although I believe we do mentally and in our hearts.

It’s not a thing that we do, more that we practice things, like smiling, kindness, compassion, walking, yoga, meditation, and journaling which helps us to maintain the state of inner peace.

When we stop fretting about the future because let’s face it, we do not have a crystal ball and dwelling in the past, we can find a place of peace. And yes I get that we are living in strange times, but we really cannot predict what will happen next.

Which leads me to say that inner peace is about acceptance of the moment we find ourselves in. Take a moment to appreciate where you are and what you have.

Inner peace brings a level of freedom. Of course, you will feel stressed or anxious about things, but hopefully less so than someone who cannot or has not experienced inner peace.

Now more than ever, we need to remember that searching for inner peace is futile. This practice takes time and a desire to turn away from the outer world and come inside where there is a rich abundance of stillness is waiting for you.

Inner peace is like your well of in-tuition, it sits deep within in you. It can be a natural state of being if you choose to let yourself experience it.

I’ve been on a massive healing journey where I have learned to love me and to enjoy being in my company. It can be hard to express what inner peace means to me other than I know I have it, and you will too.

What I notice about people who seem peaceful is that:

  • They smile and laugh more
  • Worry less, don’t play the victim and find solutions
  • Are content and appreciate all that they have, and they probably practice gratitude too
  • They have tools to deal with fearful, and negatives thoughts so usually have less mind mush
  • When it comes to drama they most definitely reserve that for theater shows
  • They have faith and trust that all will be well
  • They appreciate the world around them, especially Mother Nature
  • They are kind to themselves and others
  • They are compassionate and supportive
  • They can sit with themselves and do not need to be entertained
  • They can sit still and simply be

How does inner peace arrive?

It doesn’t come on a pink unicorn. I did ask, but my request from The Universe was denied. It is as I have said a choice. I do understand that it isn’t always that easy. We have a lifetime of baggage to dump – beliefs, fears, judgements, doubts, anxieties, anger, frustration, denial, resentment and regrets to name but a few things.

Inner peace comes when you make choices about how you want to be and to let go of what does not serve you.

If you can find a way to accept who you are, love you and all of your foibles, you will find that you waste less time worrying about what you cannot control and enjoying more of the present moment.

When you do this, you will awaken to the delight that is inner peace and the realisation that you are worthy of this place of being and everything that this life has to offer.

All you have to remember is that the teacher is in you.

I am reminded once again of the serenity prayer.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
Reinhold Niebuhr

There are many things that you simply can’t change. The past, for example, is long gone. We cannot undo things that happened and the choices that we have made, but we can change how we feel about them and the lessons learned. We can also make conscious decisions about the things presented to us now. That brings inner peace.

Today I am

I love affirmations, try this one.

Today I am able to distinguish between what I can control and what I can’t, and I make a conscious decision to experience inner peace

Back to the hairy legs…

Get up and shave your legs. Keep things as normal as possible. Please be at peace with yourself, even if you cannot understand the world right now.

So here I am damp, fully shaved with a head of wet hair that needs taming, wondering ever so slightly – what is normal?

But ha! I have smooth legs.

And finally – What is the one thing that you can do right now that will bring some inner peace to your life?

Come and join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated. This month is all about simplicity, balance, flow and inner peace.

How To Start Journaling When You Don’t Know How

I confess that when it came to journaling last night I felt a tad stuck. Things were not flowing and the reason was I was not ok.

It’s ok to not be ok, but you wouldn’t want to be stuck in that state for long would you?

We had been confined to the house, we were told for ten days. I had visions of me screaming at the walls to get out and eating cardboard. After the village was disinfected the rules were changed to normal lockdown ones as long as we used a mask and gloves when we went out.

And so I grounded and centred, place a massive crystal between my breasts (at least it stays there) and breathed. As soon as I put pen to paper and scribbled anything, the words came.

And the words flowed, balance in the Daleyverse was restored. This morning I was full of beans, did my energy routine on the terrace with my bemused dogs while fighting to keep their noses out of my private place. I’m not sure they have fully grasped the concept of Terrace Time.

I hope that this inspires to go and grab a beautiful journal – no scrappy exercise books in my club please – and write.

Start with your environment

How and where do you like to write? In a crowded café, with hot chocolate and biscuits to dunk, or in a peaceful place with no noise or interruptions?

What about making your space comfortable? What do you need to make yourself a writing den? What about your desk and chair? What about the energy of the space?

If you have read any of my blogs you will know that I am the quiet writing type. And when it comes to journaling it is usually in bed.

Decide where you want to write. Is this in bed, on the sofa or somewhere else? Do you like smells, sounds, silence or something else? TV or radio on in the background? What about people? I find it a pain to be interrupted when I am writing, do you?

Being grounded and centered

When we are grounded, centered, in alignment, working from our heart and listening to the whispers of our soul, the Universe flows to us and through us. That’s when your writing will flow and you can create what you need.

Imagine that you have roots growing from your feet into Mother Earth, breathe that energy in, up into your heart and out through your head. Send it down into Mother Earth, breath the energy up again. Do this a few times.

Just write

Ha! I can hear you say, that’s easy for you. Really? I do have days when I look at my journal and can’t be arsed. These are the days that I need it most. I ground and then start writing rubbish and as that flows and I am engaged what I need to write comes flowing out.

So, yes, just write. Trust me I’m a coach and cake lover.

Other things to try

Mind Mapping

When I am stuck for putting structure around something, I simply create a mind map. A mind map is a collection of thoughts around a central idea. It is quick and simple and serves to ignite my imagination. I also use it for creating plans and developing ideas.

5-word mind-map

This is very simple and is similar to the mind mapping idea, except the word is a word for today.

Write a word in the middle of the page and then allow five other words to come and on each branch five and five more until you run out.

Try this: Put SMILE into a mind map and see what words come up for you.

Then you can write about what comes up for you.

Questions – journaling prompts

Of course, things are so much easier if someone asks us questions. If you struggle with the prompts in each of the sections, scribble them out and try one of these:

  1. How did the day begin?
  2. What happened as the day progressed?
  3. What is today’s story?
  4. What is the best thing that happened?
  5. What am I grateful for today?
  6. How did the day end?

Use prompts from journaling books

  1. When you think of where you are, what or who do you need to forgive or let go of this month so that you make space for new opportunities?
  2. What physical clutter has been complicating your life and diverting you from meaningful life experiences? How can you sort this out? What can you let go of?

Grab a journal on Amazon

Join The Journaling Club – where you will get a monthly journaling book (PDF) and exercises to keep you motivated.

Days Of Gratitude – Nature

Nature is often something that we can take for granted. It’s just there. The trees and flowers simply exist.

But that’s not true. Nature is an incredible ally, here supporting our lives and breathing out love in every moment.

When I am out walking, I’m often caught in surprise by a smell or a tiny flower pushing it’s way up through the rocks.

I remember one day stopping because of the overpowering smell of lavender, when I looked I was in a circle of it. It was quite magical. The smells always get me, perhaps it will be rosemary that seems to grow everywhere, fennel or thyme. Or there is that dank smell of wet earth after the rain. Sometimes I swear I can smell ginger biscuits cooking, but that is impossible.

I adore being in nature. Most days I walk my dogs at least three times and often four. It’s not only for them, but I also get such peace from being outside. Being in nature helps me to clear my mind and it allows whatever ideas and inspiration need to come to me.

I’ll stop to talk with the trees, placing my hand on their strong bodies so that I hear their great wisdom. Or to simply just rest my back against the bark to feel the energy connect and flow through me.

And what about the trees?

Have you ever looked at a tree? I am sure you have. They are fascinating.

Just this morning I noticed that the figs and nispero are starting to bud and the poppies are dying away. Just a few weeks ago there was a sea of poppies as far as the eye could see.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trees stand tall because of their healthy root system and grow towards the sky, where it has space to breathe. The roots on a tree bring nutrients and water to feed and nourish it. Which, in turn, helps it to grow. By creating strong roots, the tree has a robust foundation to help it withstand the storms of life.

Under the roots of all trees is Mother Nature which extends downwards to the centre of the Earth and for us the centre of our Universe. This is the place of beginnings. It is where you begin your journey to discovering you, creating strong roots and foundations to carry you through life.

When your roots are strong, you can anchor yourself, and with the right nourishment reach towards the heavens to be anything you want.

And what about you, where in nature do you find joy?

Most people instinctively head outside when their minds and souls need quieting. Being with the dogs, if you have any is the perfect way to find joy in the moment.

For you it could be:

  • A response to the stress of the day
  • An impulse to get away from a difficult encounter
  • That you just need some time to reflect

Perhaps our urge to merge with nature when feeling out of sorts has something to do with our internal “fight or flight” programming. “Flight” sends us looking for an escape route.

In nature, we are free. The return to freedom as we become one with the natural world makes a soothing balm for our vexed souls. It works for me every time.

Think about what utter delight nature brings to the senses.

There is a sense of homecoming, of finding our rightful place in the world again, when we connect with nature and engage all of our senses. In nature, we are healed. In nature, we can find joy. In nature, we are at one with ourselves.

No matter what spot on the map you call home, or even if there’s a nip in the air, you can always escape to the great outdoors when you’re in need of peaceful moments.

Even in the most bustling town or city, there will be a beautiful park to take a walk and hopefully a wonderful café to rest your bones in and grab a delicious cuppa as you witness the world.

For me, a bit of heaven lives in nature, and this calls to our souls to aid the replenishing process.

Today think of the gratitude you feel for what Mother Nature provides. And get out there (if you can) and enjoy it.

How to bring nature in

There will be times when you can’t get out, but you can bring nature in. I’m not a fan of uproot plants because in a short space of time they will soon be dead. Rather look at other ways.

  • Open the windows and let the fresh air in
  • Sit in the garden, on the terrace or with the window open and listen to the birds
  • Collect some stones, which you can paint
  • Take photos and frame them
  • Hang natural art (take a look at Deb Burrows art)
  • Create an indoor herb garden
  • Add in some house plants (remember to water them)
  • Use natural materials for home decorations, floors, walls, etc.
  • Display crystals – I have them everywhere
  • Make frames or wall hangings with drift wood
  • Craft a mobile made from things that you have found

Whether you can get out or have to stay in, nature can be with you all of the time. So make time for her abundance.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which bring you peace in Mother Nature

Journal Gratitude and Nature Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. At least one visual impression that leaves its mark on your memory (for me it’s when the poppies are alive and there are carpets of red everywhere)
  2. A favourite sound that soothes your spirit (I adore the birds)
  3. An aroma that evokes a special feeling for you (usually lavender or fennel and then holding some to my nose to bring calm)

Grab a journal on Amazon

Gluten Free Banana Bread

This gluten free banana bread is super easy to make and can be amended to suit your diet. So if you are vegan, swap the eggs for soaked linseeds, chia or psyllium husks.

Today when I made this banana bread, I used up lots of left over flours. So I used a mix of rice, quinoa and soya flour.

Ingredients list

  • 300g/2 cups rice flour (or combination of flours – try your own mix) or use almond or coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup / sweet freedom (can replace with Stevia or Xylitol for Candida free) or you can soak a handful of dates and blend them
  • 1 packet baking powder
  • 125g olive oil / coconut oil / butter
  • 2 – 3 eggs*
  • 2 – 3 large ripe bananas – mashed (use Sweet potato for candida free)

*options

1 egg = 1 tablespoon of flax seeds or chia + 3 tablespoons water
1 egg = 3 tablespoons nut butter
1 egg = 1 teaspoon psyllium seed husk + 1/4 cup water (let it stand for 5 minutes; use = binding and moisture)

Other optional ingredients

I will often add . Another yummy ingredient is papaya or try adding raw chocolate and raw grated beetroot.

Directions for your gluten free banana bread

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 (my gas oven mark 3)
  2. Place flours and baking powder in a bowl and mix well
  3. Rub in butter or oil, until it is like fine breadcrumbs
  4. Add honey/maple/sweet freedom syrup
  5. Mix in beaten eggs (or substitute – see above)
  6. Add in banana little by little until you get dropping consistency
  7. Put into a greased bread tin
  8. Cook for approx. 40 minutes or until your knife comes out clean

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the wet ingredients to the food processor and blend for a few minutes
  2. Add all of the dry ingredients and blend until well mixed

Other options to made your gluten free banana bread yummy

  • Cinnamon
  • Raw chocolate
  • Raw chocolate and beetroot
  • Lemon and poppy seeds
  • Chopped up dates (do not use if you want to be candida free)
  • Goji berries (do not use if you don’t eat nightshades)
  • Nuts (obviously do not use if you have a nut allergy)
  • Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

Basically, add in other stuff that you fancy.

Follow Your Arrow. Find Your Happy To Be Me

Being happy to be you has to start with self-acceptance. The bad pixie in your head whispers often whispers I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, tall enough – I’m simply not enough! Our beautiful bodies and minds that work so hard to keep us alive, get a pretty rough ride.

In the spiral downwards you may forget to follow your arrow. In the pursuit of happiness a fundamental fact of life is that we must connect to our hearts and forge a magical arrow that shows the way to the music of our soul.

I know when I haven’t followed my path or done what others have said I should do, I, inevitably sink into the mire.

The more that I have owned who I am and connected with the beauty of my soul the happier I have become.

More than that the I have simply accepted that this is me, the more I am happy to be me.

As I write this my mind is cast back to the last time I ran a writers retreat.

One evening we shared our YouTube favourites whilst supping a few wines. It was one of those indescribable evenings that got sillier and sillier. One of the attendees shared this song, to which I am now addicted. She had us all singing along and it has become one of those motivational songs I listen to before I need to knuckle down to some work.

I invite you to consider the words acceptance and following your arrow. Listen to this song and then get out your journal. Breathe and choose the words that resonate with your soul. How can you choose today to follow your arrow?

Writing uncovers all kinds of things that you may not anticipate. I’ve found myself discovering things that I want to do, but often haven’t dared to follow up on.

Over time as I have change, I have learned to get more connected with what I want. I ask does this speak to my heart? And am I following my arrow or following the crowd?

As Kasey says ‘Follow your arrow, wherever it points’

What I have discovered from writing is that it opens up my heart to what I want to create, have, be and do. It shows me how to bring meaning to my life and what brings me the most inner peace. When I feel blue, writing from the heart brings helps me to find my happy.

What I know is this, you can’t make anyone happy except yourself.

The bottom line is that you need to… follow your arrow wherever it goes.

Find what you love and do it. Simple.

Where does your arrow point?

Days Of Gratitude – Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to a peaceful life. Be grateful for the simple things in life

I wonder what simplicity means to you? To me, it’s about getting rid of stuff, saying no to things, not buying stuff that I don’t need and enjoying the simple things in life. Having a simple life is not dull, but sometimes it may seem that way. That is until you start enjoying a simplified version of how you are currently living.

Ask yourself – what would happen if I did lead a life of simplicity?

Right at the moment, everyone worldwide is being forced to live a simple life. In my country we are on lockdown. For me, not much is different. I live in a remote hamlet, I work from home and apart from walking my dogs, I don’t go far.

I believe that when you simplify, you’re left with a life filled with meaning, and a life that is lived on your terms. You have the time to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire. How does that feel? What if when you lived a simple life, you were able to find true happiness?

To create a simple life, it pays to consider your needs. You can start this by thinking about what is important to you. Ask what do you really need?

I know when I thought about how I was living, I, for example, found that I didn’t need so many shoes, handbags and clothes. I also discovered by planning my meals properly; I no longer bought food that used to end up in the bin.

Again right now, this is highlighted even more as I do not want to visit the supermarket, more than I have to. Last night I found a jar of something in the cupboard. Thinking how convenient it would be to make a massive veggie curry and freeze it, I set about creating some I thought would be yummy.

I was gutted. I reacted badly to the ingredients in sauce and itched all night. I ended up throwing my precious food away.

I am becoming EVEN more conscious of my choices. That has to be good for me and the planet.

To live a simpler life, examine what’s important to you, and acknowledge your choices and their impact on your life’s needs. There is peace to be found in the simplest of pleasures. Think about all of the activities you participate in each day.

My simple pleasures include walking the dogs and I am so grateful that I am still allowed to do this. Being remote I rarely meet a soul and I have worked out how to avoid everyone.

Today think of the gratitude you feel you let things go and enjoy the simple things in life

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which living a simple life brings you

Journal Gratitude and Simplicity Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What does simplicity mean to you?
  2. What could you do today that helps you to live a simple life?
  3. What are the simple things in your life that you are grateful for?

How Did I Get Here And Manifest This Life?

I have often wondered how did I get here, how did I manifest this life?

The day I got expelled changed my life forever. My dad called me mental. Determined to be brave, I acted unconcerned and tried to relish my newfound freedom.

During the day I visited the beach, the pub for games of darts and pool, and trips to Cardiff. At night, I sat in my room and plotted my escape, freedom at last to be me.

Sitting alone in the pub, I was fresh meat for a new friend, an older, troubled woman, who took me under her wing. I soon discovered that this would be another fatal error in my plan to rule the world.

Thinking I was rather clever, I went away one weekend with an odd group of people. Much to my horror, I found myself with the Moonies. In case, you didn’t know the Moonies were a cult.

The next two days were hell on earth, trapped once more in the classroom, with no unescorted time to myself. I was followed everywhere by Richard new best friend. There were lectures from early in the morning to late at night, interspersed with food and lots of catchy little ditties. This was worse than school! The drone of the lecturers’ voice kept sending me into a lull, he was so boring I fell asleep a few times.

Coming around from a doze, I was shocked to hear that Reverend Sun Myung Moon was indeed the second coming of Christ. That’s what we were here for, the extra-terrestrials wanted to turn us into moon children! My heightened senses screamed escape, escape. These people were nuts, they weren’t the spiritual beings I had anticipated. I wanted to go home to face my punishment. My dad was right; I was mental.

With the weekend over, I went home once again to tell my tales of derring do. Home sweet home, angry parents, no money, no job, and no qualifications. Being made an example of seemed so much better than an arranged marriage and a life of walking the streets looking for others to brainwash. I was free.

As Oliver Hardy said in the 1930’s film – Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into. And it wasn’t the only one.

Life can be complicated and confusing, can’t it? Without a ‘how to be human’ handbook, we can only go down the path we think is right.

If you don’t know where you are going

There’s a wonderful saying that says if you don’t know where you are going any path will do.

When it comes to manifesting your desires, I believe that it’s equally important to consider how you got here. We often forget the twists and turns of the journey and all of the amazing or otherwise experiences we have had.

Although you don’t want to be held in the past, knowing what brought you here, can you help you to understand why you want to manifest what you do and what can potentially stand in your way.

What exactly brought you to this moment? An evolution or a revolution?

When you look back over the last 12 months, 3 years, 10 years or even back to childhood, what are those moments that caused a sharp and abrupt change and what are the moments that were slow, calm and filled with love? Did you get bolts from the blue followed by a period of resolution, understanding and then joy?

We rarely have time to ponder how we got here because we are busy working out how to sort out the latest crisis or thing that needs dealing with. When you understand more or how you got here and how you manifested your life, you can begin to perceive it differently.

Life is not one long period of ecstatic peace, love and harmony, it is made up of lessons for us to learn. Each lesson teaching you something amazing about yourself, and if you don’t learn the lesson the first time, it somehow creeps up and bites you on the bum.

Sometimes those dratted lessons keep spinning around until something jolts you awake. Then you often find that after a period of let’s call it grieving, you find a gorgeous peace once again descends, and you have a slow and enchanted growth period.

Life goes in revolutions and evolutions. Neither exists without the other, and both exist because of each other. Every step of your human journey has both revolution and evolution at its core. During this journey, life happened, chaos probably ensued, and often, like me, you had no idea who you were and what the hell was going on. You may have married (several times), had kids, took unsuitable jobs, dabbled at being an entrepreneur and all kinds of human existence and personal development stuff.

Either way, stuff happened, and without the fast rapid jolt that revolution provides, you could not have evolved into the beautiful person that you are today.

I wonder if what you want to manifest today is based on something that happened yesterday? Perhaps something you think needs fixing? Or something you are yearning for?

Grab your journal and take a moment to reflect on what brought you here and the part you played in manifesting the life you have had.

For me this is about acceptance. Accepting that I chose my life and I made the decisions that brought me to this place.

You can’t connect the dots going forward, or can you?

Steve Jobs says that you can only connect the dots backwards. Indeed, you might think that cannot connect them forward. You can learn from the past, accept it and then envision what you desire, set intentions and make more conscious choices.

I don’t believe in regrets. I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I believe that the choices that I made and the actions that were taken were meant to be. Regret is, therefore, a waste of energy. You may, of course, disagree. They could be big things that you regret or have emotions around. But the thing is you cannot change the past. It’s done. It’s gone.

I know that the shadows of the past haunt us and colour our lives. Childhood trauma cuts us life a blunt knife, slowly dragging our flesh through time.

When I look back, I wonder what would have happened if I had innocently picked up a knife and slit the throat of my sexual aggressor when I was a ten-year-old. I didn’t. Instead, I carried the wounds of lack of self-worth until I was able to and chose to love me.

Looking back over the dots for many people will drag up regrets. They will look back and regret the things that they didn’t do more than the great things that they did. It’s probably because as a species we are hard-wired to be away from, rather than towards. That is, we started our existence by running away from big creatures that wanted to eat us. Strange isn’t it to think that humans are naturally wired to move away from something rather than towards?

Do you have regrets? Perhaps about not looking after your health, taking or leaving a job, not seeing someone before they departed, not noticing that someone was in emotional pain…

For me, regret brings up the should word. It’s not a word I like to use. In fact, when I hear it coming off my tongue, I quickly catch it and chuck it back out into the Universe. There is nothing I should do, only what is right for me, my higher self and heart, at this moment.

What about the regrets though of who we think we could have become? I remember as a young, idealist 20-year old telling my mates over one too many strong ciders, that one day, I would be the CEO of a massive company and we would be changing the world.

It never happened. Or did it?

Though when I look at it sideways, I am part of a massive company, we are the people who are working to make a difference to our bit of the world, and I firmly believe that I am the CEO of my life.

If there is a regret about not reaching who you thought you ‘should’ have become or that so far you haven’t reached your full potential, what could you do at this moment to change that?

Or is right where you are where you need to be? And right where you will be in 2 months with a bit more learning under your belt, also perfect?

When I hear someone on TV saying I regret that I said that or did this, it feels like rhetoric. We like to hear that they are sorry and that they will make amends. Let’s hope that they do make amends. But regrets? It’s too late. It’s done.

There are steps you can take to be a better human or create more for you. But before you do that, I think that you need to accept that you are perfect just as you are. Yes, even with your bad temper and sarky ways.

Let’s not be people who regret. Let’s instead, look back with pride about how far you have evolved and choose to make better, more conscious decisions moving forward.

And leave regret behind in the dots, because if you cannot, as far as I know, alter time.

Join me for 8 weeks of Manifesting Magic – it’s a course, a program, a circle and most of all it’s a safe space to explore who you want to become on the way to getting what you want.

Recognising And Celebrating Who You Are

When did you last stop and say I am celebrating who I am? I don’t mean you celebrated a birthday or anniversary, I mean you took a good look at yourself and high fived yourself for just being you.

We are all in the process of evolving and becoming a better version of who we were just a moment ago, even if it doesn’t feel like it – you are. Yet when we get to the end of the day we rarely say ‘Hey you. You did well.’

Maybe it feels strange celebrating the small stuff?

Is it perhaps that because the way that we evolve is barely noticeable that we simply sweep it under the carpet?

Take a moment to consider how you got to this point in your life. I think of it a process where we go through revolution, revelation and into evolution.

Let’s explore…

What is revolution, revelation and evolution?

Revolution is about systems and structures, evolution is about people and genetics. Systems and structures can evolve and people can revolt, but what are they really and how can we use revolution and evolution to change the way in which we lead, love and laugh?

Humans are adaptable, creative and innovative and we have an amazing ability to change and to create change. That can be abrupt and rapid change when faced with something that may be unacceptable, scary, frustrating but equally creative and innovative. Or it can be slow and considered change.

Without revolution, you cannot evolve and without evolution, there is no space to revolt. One begets the other. One is slow, the other fast. One has well placed and considered passion, the other has often has explosive and fiery passion. They are the yin and yang of life.

In the midst of revolution comes revelation which allows the unfurling of evolutionary change.

Revolution

Revolution originally comes from the way in which the planets revolve. Not that I am a scientist, but for me, that means something fairly predictable since we know that all of the planets move in typically fixed ways – they revolve around each other.

Though of course despite the planets moving in a pattern, there will always be other cosmic interruptions which do not form the norm and are therefore not predictable. And so you can imagine that as the disruptions from the skies erupted and disturbed man the word revolution changed (evolved) to mean something else.

Often when I think about revolution, what comes to mind are fights, wars, battles, disorder, governments being overthrown, blurred lines, no winners and certainly nothing remotely predictable.

But I also feel that revolutions can be born out a desire to create change quickly. People who subscribe to revolution want to crush old ways and make way for new order but not necessarily with that associated fear, frustration and anger.

Revolution can be about resolution without obliteration. Revolution can be about innovation, creativity and change for the good but with rapid growth pains.

Revelation (AKA your wake up call)

Imagine receiving a divine message, one that asks you to wake up and to uncover what is already known to you? How annoying to discover that everything was already inside of you but you just didn’t realise it.

Does knowledge accumulate or is it something that is also already known to you, but it needs slowing uncovering through life’s lessons? Consider the knowledge you will have gained as your life progresses. It appears cumulative and in small chunks. Or is it and does it matter how it comes as long as you take an active role in doing something with that knowledge?

Nothing is going to change because of the knowledge you have about a situation. What changes is the insight you gain from reflection? It is the knitting together different strands of knowledge and interweaving them with reflections that give you an epiphany and true insight.

It is through the insight you gain from each revelation that helps you to become a different person. And with your suitcase full of revelations you can start a new journey and evolve into the person you are destined to become and have always been.

Evolution

Evolution is about the gradual change of populations across generations. It is about transformation as people respond to their environment. It is a gradual development of anything. It is expansion into who you are meant to be.

What of your own personal revolution and evolution?

Think for a moment of every revolution in your life. Times of abrupt change, followed by times of quiet consideration. Eruptions, solitude, eruptions, quietude and so your personal world revolves and evolves.

Naturally and sadly your personal revolution could have been violent. Not all of the changes you go through are pleasant. Divorce, redundancy, death are just a few of life’s less fun events, but without them, there would not be an opportunity for change. These short-lived radical outbursts create pivot points for change and a time to breathe. They create opportunities for evolution. They present revelations.

If nothing had happened to me, if I hadn’t travelled this path, I wouldn’t have beautiful gifts to share. You too will receive gifts from your adventures.

And here you are, recognise how you got here

All of your life has been revolution, revelation and evolution and what is often missing is recognising and celebrating who you are. Right now is the time for this to end.

Right now is the time for you to celebrate the small stuff, the everyday stuff, the stuff that goes to make you the person you are.

How can you bring celebrating you into everyday life?

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey

I love to spell words out and use them for journaling ideas. Here’s a few for you.

Celebrating you – journaling ideas

Created

Think about what you have created today? It could be the best peanut butter and jam sandwich, but equally, it could be something that you have done that has contributed to your goals or community.

Evolution

How have you evolved today? What one small step have you taken towards your best self? Today I took the final step in celebration and took some time out to be in the now. I needed to recharge my batteries and it was certainly a gift.

Learned

What have you learned today? I have a journal that I write my lessons in life in. I ask what life lesson have I learned today? One of my lessons in life was ‘do not assume’.

Evolve

In what ways have you evolved today? These are the small things, the ones that you rarely notice.

Brave

Bravery can be about trying something new. Perhaps something that you might not have tackled before like risking being wrong. What about setting boundaries with someone for the first time (I did a few days ago)? What have you done today that is a big step in being brave?

Reflecting

One of the best ways to get clarity when journaling is to go back and read what you have written and reflected on it. It is in reflecting that you will find loads of insight and aha’s.

Adventure

So did you have an adventure today? I think every day is an adventure, even if it seems mundane. There is always something new to embrace. What happened on your adventure today?

Truth

Truth is what frees us.

“The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.” – Eckhart Tolle

Reflect on this quote and consider how you experience who you are, not as things or labels, but more – how you experience life as you.

Intuition

When you don’t listen to your intuition you will miss the good stuff. That little voice in your head is guiding you. Listen. When you listen celebrate that you did. I was driving down the mountain when my inner voice said go slower. I moved from 5th to 3rd and crawled into the next outcrop of houses and what did I see? A mummy Podenco with her baby crossing the road. I celebrated their lives and that I listened.

Now

We hear about being in the now all the time and yet we rarely simply sit and be with the now. Busy, busy seems to be the norm.  A reward and celebration at the end of the day is time with you. I like to end my day with meditation. It’s time to switch off and celebrate another day well-lived.

Goodness

Think of all the goodness in your life. Surely this is worth celebrating. Where did goodness show up today?

And finally a note on self-love

To be able to celebrate you I believe that you must do this from a place of self-love. When you love yourself you can achieve anything. I’ll leave you with this question – do I love myself enough to?

Journaling prompts

Grab your journal, pick one or two and explore.

  • When did you last stop and celebrate who you are?
  • How awake and aware are you, of who you are and your divine wisdom?
  • What is the biggest revelation you have had from your day (week, month, year, life)?
  • In what ways have you evolved today??
  • What did you create today that you want to celebrate?
  • What one small step have you taken towards your best self?
  • What opportunities did you seize today?
  • What have you learned today?
  • What have you done today that is a big step in being brave?
  • What boundaries did you set today?
  • When you listened to your intuition today what did you discover?
  • What have you done to switch off today? How did that work for you?
  • When will you take some time today to be in the now?
  • Where did goodness show up today?

If you love journaling and getting to the heart of who you are, you will love my journaling books

Get a journal for the journey and have fun. I have a selection of gratitude journals on Amazon

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