Blogs - Dale Darley

Creating your perfect day story and action plan

It’s the start of a new month as I pen this and a time when I write about my perfect day. The first day of the month is a great trigger for thinking about what you want to create.

Already this morning I’ve had a sign from the Universe that something that I want to create is the right thing.

Let me explain… Awaking early as I do, I was called to put on the radio, more specifically radio 2. As I love to write in silence this is something I never do. When I got to the TV to choose a radio station I clicked on Heart and instead, Radio 2 started to play.

I smiled as the guest talked about something he had created, which was similar to a new ‘thing’ I wanted to create.

When you write about perfect days it opens you up to opportunities

The key to writing about your perfect day is to write it as if it were already true and full of the richness of your senses.

Whenever I journal, I learn, as you would expect, something about me. It’s not necessarily something new, more that there is something that needs to come to the surface. When surfaced, acknowledged and worked on.

I can remember going on a yoga retreat and one of the sessions was a Chakra Dance, which I had been looking forward to. What I had not anticipated was to start off loving the exercise and ending up screaming silently in my head stop the f***ing torture. I was engulfed with anger from the throat chakra up. So much so that when we came to draw our mandalas and journal about the experience there was lots of expletives and unexpressed anger.

I was delighted. Better out that in so it can be acknowledged and dealt with.

A few hours later one of my friends asked ‘where is the anger coming from?’ In a flash, I saw several instances where things had happened where I was not in control of what had occurred, where I had been taken advantage of.

In reality, there was nothing that I could have done, primarily because I was a child at the time. I realised that the knock-on effect of being unable to express myself had resulted in feelings of stuck anger at my throat. This sticky treacly anger then like a pack of dominos toppled into my other chakras, leaving me feeling tortured. It wasn’t much fun.

Later alone in my room. I explored the day’s events and in my mind, I asked myself what if I could have expressed myself?

Remembering this reminds me of many times when I didn’t express myself as I might have wished to. This is where journaling becomes so powerful, because you can write what you want and get it out.

When I look back at some of the things that happened I wonder what if I had the tools that I now have and instead of falling backwards into the void I was able to fly forwards to create a ‘perfect day’ in that space?

The reality is that I didn’t have the tools, but what I can do now is to look at the experiences through a new lens.

Instead of thinking of the past, I now concentrate on what I can create in the world.

The As If Mind

The mind likes as if because apparently it is pretty ‘dumb’ and likes to take instructions. As a child, you probably daydreamed a lot. Gazing nonchalantly out of the window into the near distance while conjuring up all kinds of beautiful things. Because you could make it real, and it was fun, it created new neural pathways to your new reality.

I wonder how many of us adults have lost the art of the daydream, and the magic of make-believe?

All is not lost, because when you create a fantasy in your minds-eye with your focus on what you want to create, you are allowing yourself to connect to a deep part of you. An element that allows your imagination to take you on a daydream to the land of creation.

The perfect day not about pretending that everything is wonderful. It is about believing that whatever position you find yourself in, you have the ability to improve your situation by trusting that it is possible to change things. For me, it’s about having faith and of course taking action.

Having faith that all will turn out as it should

Once you have had your wonderful daydream, write about it. Then hold the faith that things will go according to the master plan in the Cosmos. Having blind faith is one thing, however, if you add in some action, then you will be more than halfway there. Of course, things might not go to plan, but that might also be part of the plan. Things do have a habit of changing for all of the right reasons. Where’s the fun if you get what you think you want instead of what you need, eh?

The Universe is such a tease!

Using your imagination to create your perfect day story in daydreams and words

Do this before you go to sleep.

  • Close your eyes and imagine your perfect day as if it were already here
  • The key is to add as many delicious words, pictures, sounds, smells and tastes as possible so that you appeal to all of your senses – go on let go, you are creating a vision
  • When you have finished, sleep on it, or if you want to do it now, go for a walk to reflect
  • In the morning when you wake up, pick up your journal and write about your perfect day, remembering to make it as real as possible
  • A few days later read through and pick out the gems, themes, and keywords. These are the things that you want for your business and life
  • Head over to WordArt (or similar – you do have to pay to download – I capture the screen) and make a visual of your vision (the things you want to create) – play around until it speaks to your heart

WordART heart Feb 2019

  • Create the word cloud image and pop it into Canva and print it out (you can frame it later). You now have a visual word representation of your perfect day for this month. Our minds love visual things, so this will help to cement your vision

Add in the perfect day action plan

Vision ‘boards’ dreams and stories about your perfect day are great, but they lack action. They may trick the mind, but the mind now needs extra instructions to help us get there, wherever there is.

Steps to get from vision to action

  1. Keep your vision image in front of you
  2. Write out your goals (desires or intentions) for this month – no more than five
  3. Pick one (you can do the rest later) write the outcome of achieving this goal
  4. Then work back to the goal with the things that you need to do to make this a reality
  5. Review your 90 day planner – just review at this point
  6. Let’s get this party started
  7. Next, design your 90-day action plan, break it down into three 28-30 day plans if it’s easier.
  8. You can then chunk these into your weekly and daily planner
  9. Want to be more creative, get out your colouring pens and bring it all alive
  10. Be creative. This image is a visual reminder to take action based upon the plan which may change (we get what we need…)  Remember to connect to your intuition
  11. Keep your vision where you can see it – that’s why I love the creative part of this
  12. When you are considering your daily actions keep an eye on your board
  13. Keep taking small steps every day that leads you to your perfect day
  14. Refine and revisit as necessary

Remember to adjust your 90-day planner as needed and redo. As you work through your actions, life will probably throw a few balls at you, catch them, observe what they mean and then reimagine.

Remember to keep your vision and goals where you can see them. This is your now and your potential future. Have fun!

 

The child that stands in the way of my writing

Is there something that stands in the way of your writing? I have a stubborn, curious inner child who pops up into my head unbidden on occasion.

Just when I least expect it, she appears. ‘Why are you writing that?’ She enquires. I don’t always write what I want, sometimes I am writing for other people, but this is not what she is asking. She wants to know why I am exposing my wounds.

She wants to know why I have this desire to uncover the layers and face my uncertainties and fears.

She knows that when I do, she will have to come out of hiding. I ask quietly ‘why are you still hiding?’ She backs away; she is not shy; she shares my wounds, and she is not ready. She stays in the shadows watching me.

What stands in the way of your writing might be pain

She is me. I know that. I know that life caused her pain, not sweet pain, but an unfathomable ache that kept her in a trap of wanting to please, eager for others to like her. She wants approval. She longs for the person she is talking to turn their eyes to her and notice. Not to just see her long red hair or freckles but her soul, her inner beauty, her gifts.

She remembers winning a competition at school, but the winning wasn’t fun. She stood on the stage to receive her prize – a packet of colouring pens. She didn’t see or hear the audience clapping, she felt a fraud, because why did she deserve these congratulations? Didn’t the teacher tell her dad that she would never be good enough to go to University? Implying that she was average and not quite bright enough to go to that elite place. That damning statement stayed with her.

She was smart. She understood the complexities of maths, the nuances of language and the depth of art. She was quick to learn and quick to disrupt. She was bored with school and the uninteresting lessons. When she was called to a presentation from an art college, she wondered why did she get an invitation? Why her? She wasn’t good enough, was she?

Not good enough forced the child to never push her work forward, because it was never perfect enough for others eyes. When it wasn’t perfect, it was never finished. It languished for fear of ridicule. And so the child turned away from her talents and played another game. Pushing herself into corners far away from prying eyes, she became invisible. She thinks that she is standing in my way, but she isn’t. She helps me to understand me.

I am writing this for you’ I reply.

Memories and experiences stand in the way of your writing

This is a long ago memory and long ago feelings. I have written my way through a lot of hard stuff and grown as a person. But none the less there is often a child standing in the way of my writing.

Our memories and experiences stand in the way of our writing. It’s learning how to see the experience through new eyes.

I have learned to push through, that this resistance is a message that this ‘stuff’ needs to be dealt with and dealt with now. These days I embrace exploring these inner depths and stories because I know that I will love the outcome. Well, I will once I have screamed, cried and done whatever else needs to escape.

When it comes to writing for the world that same child can stand in the way of your writing.

So called Writer’s block is not about writing it is always what lays beneath. When you allow yourself to explore that then it does become easier to write and share openly.

You see I have learned that not everyone loves what you write, and that’s ok. I know that it’s hard to let go of perfectionism, but I also know that if I don’t get it out there, then I won’t get feedback and without that, I won’t grow – and neither will you. I make myself focus on one thing, and no matter how boring I find some of this stuff, it helps me get things done. I tell her I have found ways to overcome those irritations that have stood in my way.

Break through what stands in the way

I invite my inner child to sit and write with me. She tentatively takes up her pen and smiles. I love that cheeky smile; she has a wicked streak that isn’t revealed often. She is scared that someone will want to destroy her. Not because she deserves it, just because they can. They have stuff going on which causes them to attack without thinking. I remind her, that is their stuff, and their opinion has nothing to do with us. Send them away with love.

What do you say we have some fun?’ I ask.

My thought process is that if I can support and hold her close to me when she writes, she will know that her writing is safe.

How about we write for us?‘ I continue.

I’ve grown a bit of a tough skin and learned the art of feeling the fear (excitement) and doing it anyway. I know that I can find beauty in whatever she writes. My heart can wrap her in a web of love. Together we can write whatever we want.

She writes. Her words are big and never between the lines. Her eyes are far away as she retrieves messages from her soul. She has started, and we both know there is no going back. I kiss the top of her head, I’m not sure if she notices because her pen is flying.

Ask yourself what stands in the way of your writing?

It’s time for some honest reflection.

I don’t know what stands in the way of your writing. If you have a mischievous inner child or some other inner belief that needs dealing with before you feel confident to write. I have found that over many years of journaling which I call Writing to Heal that my confidence has grown and my layers peeled away. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it has always been rewarding.

My invitation is that if the thought of writing from your soul is a little scary then start with something like my 101 days journaling adventure (see below). Over 101 days you will be sent quotes, some food for thought, an affirmation and an invitation to explore. It’s a start, isn’t it?

10 life lessons that 2018 taught me

2018 started well, I was full of life and looking forward to what this year would bring. I was expecting such a powerful life lesson experience…

Jumping out of the shower and singing to the dogs was how I was starting my days. I was content, and things felt in the flow. We were 19 days into the New Year, and things were certainly going my way. I had new clients and my plans for the coming year were being sorted.

I reached the bedroom and leaned over to move a bag of clothes and heard three loud cracks. Feeling a searing pain rip through my chest, I stared at the ceiling and asked. ‘what the fuck do you want with me now?’

What followed was hot tears, hadn’t I been through enough? I screamed at the same empty ceiling. Why would I expect anyone to be there? It was just a white ceiling devoid of emotion or reason.

To cut a very long story short my spine had fractured and for some freaky reasons. I spent most of the year in agony and extremely exhausted. However, bit by bit I discovered the root cause and put myself back together.

As the year came to an end I reflected that although this had been a tough year, I’d learned a lot and I was still smiling. This in comparison to some people I have spoken to who hated 2018 and enter the new year not feeling great, is a big win.

Life lesson #1 – stop or you will be stopped

In 2017 my dog pulled me over in what was a silly accident. It could have been avoided, but for some strange reason, I had wound her lead around my wrist. I was at the door opening it after a long walk, she spotted a cat and charged after it. In all of the years of her living with me, she had never done this. I equally have never flown without a plane.

I sustained a rib injury, followed by another which meant that 2017 was also fairly painful. I worked at healing that. I now know that the shingles attacks that arrived because of the trauma to the ribs are what raised prolactin, which lowered dopamine, serotonin and estrogen. No estrogen means bad news for your bones.

They call osteoporosis the silent dis-ease and it certainly crept up on me. I was stopped.

What I hadn’t banked on was the pain and changes to my body. Never in my life have I endured so much pain and for so long. Slowly I straightened my body as best I can and sorted out all kinds of other stuff.

When you are a work-a-holic as I have been and don’t heed the messages, it can come as quite a surprise to be completely halted in your tracks.

Life Lesson #2 – journal

After the first four days of being in a stupor, I decided to breathe through the pain and write. I found a brand new journal and I wrote endlessly. My journal became my bible. It was full of research, observations, how I felt and how I thought I would heal.

Life lesson #3 – ask for help

Asking for help comes in many forms. From lying on the concrete almost passing out and calling for help (2017), to asking someone to clean, do your shopping, bring in the wood to asking your divine inner wisdom and asking your Universe or God to show you what you need to see. Stop struggling and ask was a biggie. People love to help. I love to help. So opening my mouth and asking was a great thing to do for me.

Life lesson #4 – work with the right team

I love having treatments, massages, energy healing, reflexology, Bowen, acupuncture and the list goes on. I feel like a junkie because I get a high from being pampered. The results from treatments aren’t always lovely immediately, however, the net effect is usually good.

Over this year with the pain, I worked with one specialist osteopath. He was incredibly gentle and has helped me to straighten my spine and ease my pain. As a nutritionist, I have also been able to discuss my nutritional needs with him.

In addition, I worked with a naturopathic nutritionist. I am trained as one too, but I really needed her wise counsel. Another friend bombed across the mountain on her quad bike to deliver reflexology which was divine.

My doctor was incredible. He listened to my theories, noted my desires, was the voice of reason, ordered tests, read books I took in, but most importantly he believed I could heal myself. Unlike the specialist doctor I saw.

Life lesson #5 – breathe

I have worried about all kinds of things. Then I learned to breathe. When you allow panic to invade your body, it changes everything. When you learn to breathe into it and let go, things get much easier. When I feel that awful rise up through my body, I have two strategies; one is to walk, and two is to write. Walking clears the mind and you can travel through many stories until you get to the oh what the hell story. Then when you write, you can declutter the last remnants and make space for inner peace. What I notice now is that when I feel that familiar creep of panic my ribs hurt. It is a big reminder to breathe.

Life lesson #6 – changing my diet to feed my bones

You do not have to go to the extremes that I have done and studied to become a nutritional healer – again. Over the last 27 years, I have studied many nutrition courses from very scientific ones in the early days to more natural ones as the years have progressed.

Diet affects all aspects of your life. If you are not properly hydrated you are unable to think straight, nor will your body function properly. Water is such an important part of being human and we neglect it like it’s poison. Eating your diet and not one manufactured for the masses is vital. Certain foods are poison for certain people. My diet is gluten, nightshade, and a few other things free. The aim for me is to create a diet that gives me loads of energy, the fuel to repair itself, strengthens the bones, ensures that I am pain-free, hydrated, can eliminate waste efficiently and nourishes my mind, body, soul and spirit. my diet and the way that I eat is brilliant – for me.

If things aren’t working in your life and your body is crying out for some attention, please change your diet, it will change your life.

Life lesson #7 – connect with your inner muse

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

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

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

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

Life lesson #8 – tap into your divine inner wisdom

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

Over this year, like no other time, I have tapped in and wow what a lot I know. You do too. I have learned that the voices in my head are there to guide me. The feelings in my gut are my intuition telling me that something is either right or not so right. Now I listen to them. In fact, I listen to all of the signals I receive.

Life lesson #9 – tell more people to f**k off

This is isn’t about being rude, it is ‘just get rid of the toxic people‘ who take up your space. You are a beautiful soul, and you deserve to be with people who nourish you and not destroy you. This is a great article from Kathy Parker called I no longer need you.

Life lesson #10 – invest

Invest in something that enriches your life. You might feel fearful that money is going out and at the moment nothing is coming in. That is fear talking. You have to invest in yourself if you expect others to invest in you. Of course, it doesn’t need to be cash it could be some other resource.

I used to hate supplements, now I supplement wisely. I’ve read over 30 books across a vast range of subjects for this healing journey. My time has been invested in learning how to heal. When I have needed treatments, I’ve gone for them. I have left no stone unturned in healing myself.

Then as I started to feel better and my energy came back, I invested in things for my business and I feel like a normal life of sorts has resumed.

Life lesson #11 – write a book

Not long after I started to journal I decided that I would write a book about healing osteoporosis. It would be my story and what I did and offer suggestions to others about how to cope, find their root cause and design a unique healing plan. This kept me focused and while I didn’t know all of the answers because I was living it as I wrote, it was an incredible experience.

Gratitude

As bizarre as it seems. I am grateful for a shit year. I learned more about me, I cleared some debris and while all is not 100% I discovered I am a resourceful, resilient, woman of courage.

There are many more life lessons that have come to me over this last year, and I may be inspired to write some more, but for now, that’s it.
What did 2018 teach you?

When you read this and wonder how you can move forward, my best advice would be to journal alongside whatever else is going on or you do. Please join me on 101 days of being me journaling adventure.

How to get connected to your conscious inner planner

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!

Hidden Content

What is conscious planning?

First. let’s consider what a plan is:-

  • A technical drawing
  • Intended actions

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.

  • Awake, aware, alert and to know.

https://en.wiktionary.org/

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.

What about the speed of change and the impact of our plans?

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?

You do not need a crystal ball, and although you have a plan and vision, things can change. Know you and be prepared.

 

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.

What kind of planner are you?

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.

Big picture

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…

Detail lovers

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.

The over planner

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?

Plan, who me, inner planner, who?

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.

Your planning wall

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

  • they are part of a team
  • they can see the bigger picture
  • they can often solve other people’s problems
  • they know how to make the plan work
  • when something needs others resources understand how the business works and how sales come in or not.

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.

Tips for conscious planning and your inner planner

C – connection to your inner knowing

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.

O – own your plan

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.

N – natural

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.

S – senses

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

C – cause

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.

I – intentions

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.

O – observe

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.

U – Universe

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.

We haven’t talked about setting goals

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.

Final thoughts

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.

PS: if you are planning to write a book, developing new products and services, setting strategy, leaving a job then planning and getting to know your inner planner is critical to your success

Memories make memoir and create inner freedom

Memories can be healing, revealing, scary, upsetting, fun and a whole lot of emotions in-between. Every experience creates a memory in the library of your soul. When you come to write a memoir and walk into that vast room, you may not know where or how to start. Personally, I think that when you start the journey into memoir the most important thing is that you allow. What I mean by that is you allow yourself to wander through the library and enjoy the process of connecting your memories with new eyes. Also allowing whatever needs to arise in the moment.

Often I am confronted with something that triggers a memory, it seems at first disconnected to the memoir, personal story, book or blog that I am writing. And then just like that, it starts to make sense. In that sense making process, I believe that we can create a sense of freedom.

Everything starts from within. Our beliefs about something seem so deeply ingrained, yet when we explore with new eyes and open our hearts to the message that lies beneath we start to liberate ourselves from self-imposed tyranny.

Now I am not saying you will be jumping for joy when you are reminded of events. You may be happy and equally, you may cry. The important thing is that you allow, acknowledge, accept and then take some small action.

Let me give you an example.

Last night I went to a party, nothing unusual in that, it was New Year’s Eve and a time when people like to get together and see in the New Year. Of course, some don’t, preferring the peace of a roaring fire and perhaps dinner and a film.

The music played, people danced, and the DJ opened her deck so that anyone could request a personal song.  There were some songs that I wanted to lose myself in, taking me back to a time when I too would have been on the floor dancing all night.

Two years ago I sustained an injury and stuff like dancing hurts and so to protect myself I don’t. But then a very curious thing happened.

Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs and Woolly Bully came on. And that was it.

Suddenly I was transported back in time to my parent’s parties. I wanted to dance. I asked a friend who wrinkled her nose at my suggestion, and then I was surprised by another friend who I’d thought wasn’t into dancing coming on to the empty dance floor with me. It was wonderful. I wasn’t at this party, I was back as a child twisting and laughing to the music.

When we sat down I told him the story of mum and dad’s parties and how this song made me feel. The conversation meandered into how I’d loved to dance and enjoyed the parties on the RAF camp where we lived. I explained how when the guys I’d danced with discovered who my dad was they freaked. I’d never really understood why. Dad was as far as we knew ‘just’ a fireman.

My tale veered off to a discovery I made last year. I had posted a picture of dad on Facebook. Someone privately messaged me about my dad being a rock ape. Firstly I had no idea what a rock ape was and secondly, I (or mum) hadn’t known he was in the RAF Regiment. When mum and I first discovered this we pondered about how little we had known about my dad. Who was this mysterious man who scared my potential suitors away and who might not have been just a fireman?

Dad RAF Regiment

This morning when out walking this all came flooding back, only now there were other connections popping up.

So let me explain.

Today I start to edit my book Rude Awakenings. It opens with my first awakening – discovering that my then husband was and had been for all of our relationship living a double life. How little I knew about who he really was.

The song last night triggered off thoughts of my childhood and the discovery that potentially my dad was not who he seemed either. My ex-husband was not who he seemed and in my journey which I share in my book, I was looking for the ‘real’ me.

I am reminded that when I edit I must look beneath the stories and memories that make this memoir and to let whatever arises. It seems to me as we enter a new year and full moon, that this is another call from my soul to release more.

You may think you are just writing a memoir, but in effect as you work on your book you are creating a pathway to inner freedom.

For you to ponder…

What is the core message of your memoir?

We always come back to the core message. A memoir is not just a story, there is a learning point or points in every chapter, which comes back to the core message.

In Rude Awakenings I am on a journey to self-love and self-discovery, this is my books core message. However, as a writing coach, the bigger message for me is to inspire you to have the courage to write your book.

Hidden Content

What do you still need to let go of?

When you think about your core message as you write and edit, what else can you learn about you? Are there any fragments that you still need to let go of?

No matter how you feel about your story right now, there will always be something that pops up to remind you to take note. What are those things? Your reader will probably experience stirrings of emotions as they read – what might they be? Our experiences may be similar but how we process them is often different and we each need to find our way. Just take a moment to consider how your reader will feel as they read your book?

Which way does freedom lie?

Writing has always been my saviour. When we step beyond the thinking mind and allow whatever needs to arise come forth then I believe we can find freedom.

Freedom comes from inside. When we allow ourselves to write without limitations, we are telling our souls that its ok for it all to be laid bare. In becoming a witness we can learn so much about who we are.

I say write for freedom and edit for your reader. What I mean is write the memories, flow through and with them. Take the time to explore and adventure with what comes up. When you come to edit, you will know what is for you and what is for your reader.

My invitation today is to ask you to reflect on yesterday. What conversations did you have, where do those thoughts take you? Use the full moon to let go of limitations around writing your memoir.

It’s a new year, a new chapter, and if you could give yourself the freedom to write your memoir, what would it be called?

Why you should use journaling and diet to support your wellbeing

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.

Journaling has the power to change lives

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.

Journaling helped me to change my 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.

Journaling helped me to see that I was wound up

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.

Fast forward to today and how journaling and diet has supported my growth

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 osteoporosis stuck so did mental health issues

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.

Journaling can help you to make conscious decisions

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.

Journaling can help you find yourself and help you to inspire others

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.

Resources

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/21/the-drugs-do-work-antidepressants-are-effective-study-shows
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43143889
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.2888/full

Writing to heal – Where is my now?

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.

Pause.

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…

Hidden Content

Writing to heal – Where is my now?

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.

Your now questions part #1

  • What images, sounds, feelings, come to mind as you start this exercise?
  • Ask yourself the question, where am I now in my life?
  • When did my now start?
  • What was the trigger?
  • What has been happening in my now?
  • What are the main characteristics of my now?
  • What projects are you working on? Write down what they are, how they fit into your life and what contribution they make to who you are and where you are going.
  • What is making you happy or sad at this time?
  • How does each day start and end?

Your now questions part #2

  • Who are you having relationships with? Write down the names and what they mean to you.
  • How are your emotions now and as your day progresses? What do you notice about them?
  • What frustrations or tensions are you feeling? Where are you feeling them?
  • How are your health and wellbeing? Focus on your body and make a note of what you notice.
  • What exercise or me time are you having?
  • What is your diet like? Are you eating sensibly, or eating rubbish, are there any cravings?
  • What are your finances like and how are you managing your money?
  • What are you reading/learning that is contributing to your personal growth?
  • What play or creativity are you engaging in?
  • Where are you planning to travel to or explore (in whatever way exploration speaks to you)?
  • What are you doing to contribute to your spiritual wealth? Are you listening to spirit?
  • What contribution are you making to your community?

Your now questions part #3

  • What is my relationship with me like?
  • How much do I love me? Describe that love.
  • What does your soul want you to know about your now?
  • What are your three words for the month ahead?

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.

Write your way out of a rut and into action

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.

You can get out of a rut with writing

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:-

  • Why am I in a rut?
  • How did I get into this rut?
  • What does my rut look like – bring in all of your senses?
  • Why do I like being in this rut?
  • What don’t I like about my rut?
  • How will I get out of this rut?
  • What if my rut didn’t exist?
  • What needs to happen to re-route the rut?
  • How does it feel to leave it behind?
  • How does it feel and what does it look like in my new groove?

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.

How to use the language of more to change limiting self-belief

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?

Identify something that is knocking your self-belief

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.

Specify the opposite of your not so good self-belief by using positive language

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. 🙂

Look at your new self-belief as if this were already true

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.

Clarify what this means to you, others and your 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.

Go on a writers retreat and kick-start your book

One of my fondest memories is going on a fiction writers retreat. So much so it encouraged me to start running writers retreats and up until recently, I ran these in Spain every year. That is until life got in the way. However, as luck would have it, a good friend of my and client who wrote Breathe Better, Sleep Better was chatting to me about her Ayurveda Sleep Retreat.

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Although my sleep is under control, there was a time when it wasn’t and this was because of an undiagnosed overactive thyroid. Which I did sort out. But after having so many years of insomnia I know what it’s like to be menopausal, not sleeping and a complete wreck. When I first spoke with Anandi about her retreat, my prime objective was to find out what she would be doing and if I could use her learning to help me heal osteoporosis, rather than sleep.

Anandi is an Auyerveda specialist and we chatted about ‘types’ and how this retreat could help me to understand myself better, from another perspective. And as is my way, my desire to go on retreat grew.

When I told her that I had planned a writers retreat in Spain, but was concerned with all of the planning and how little energy I currently had, she suggested that I gatecrash hers and invite writers to come and work with me and gain the benefits of her wisdom too.

This means that in the morning we all get to enjoy yoga and connecting with ourselves and in the afternoon you write.

There are many reasons to go on a writers retreat, not least that you get time away from your everyday life and get some peace and head space to get your thoughts down.

You could end up writing over 10,000 words (or more) if you focused.

Back in normal life, just thinking about writing a book, when there’s a job to be done, kids to feed, a partner to please, a car to wash, shopping, cleaning, cooking and whatever else you cram into your day to day life, brings many out in a cold sweat.

I often hear potential authors say if only I could take myself away from it all then I could…

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done. Steven Wright

I get it. When I was living with someone (ok I admit it, I had an annoying husband…)  it was almost impossible to write. There were constant interruptions and I watched my precious writing time disappear into the ether.

The best time I ever had during this stressful part of my life was a week away on a writers retreat, where I was shut off from the world with 15 other potential fiction writers. All I had to concentrate on was writing and the odd cooking session (when it was my turn). I felt like a writer, I lived like a writer, I was a writer and I wrote. It was amazing.

It’s this experience (and better) that we can create on this Ayurveda and Writers Retreat in Tuscany. Have a think about these reasons and then make that all important decision to get away and get writing. Once you have kickstarted your book there is no turning back.

Reasons to come to a writers retreat

Writers retreat. GET AWAY, GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF TIME TO WRITE

  • To find inspiration for your book
  • To turn your ideas into something worth publishing
  • To pull something you are writing into shape
  • To find out how to plan, write, publish and market your book & yourself
  • Find time and space to write (this is my favourite)
  • Share your ideas with like-minded people
  • Get away from your annoying people who don’t get your desire to write…

If you want to get a book kick-started, there is no better way, than getting away. It doesn’t have to be a retreat (I am of course biased), but it does need to be a place where you can work in your way, to achieve your writing outcomes.

You could create your own writers retreat, if getting away is impossible

  • The garden shed – with a big padlock
  • The beach or another quiet location
  • Cafe
  • A hotel
  • Rent an apartment
  • A shepherds hut (chat to Lottie Moore who owns one)

Whichever option you choose, what is important is that you make the time to write and be a writer. Finding your space will enable you to find your flow and your next 10,000 words or more.

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