One Way to Fine-tune Your Day

morning routine

The fastest way to create a new habit or practice is to do it again and again. Painfully simple, right?

The trouble is that occasionally some pesky things get in our way, and we take unnecessary detours, revert back to unwanted behaviours and don’t do what we say we are going to do with ease.

IF you want to get the ball rolling and lock in a new habit or practice, you may need a little prep. I like doing this because to me it is fun. I love writing, visualising, planning and strategising. So if you are in any way the same, you may get a kick out of this too.

Think about habit or practice you would like to have. Make sure it is something you really want to do and feeds into you feeling how you want to feel, being who you need to be, and perhaps ultimately achieving something tangible you have your heart set on.

It may be something like going to the gym every morning. So we will use that as an example. It is also something I have adopted, so I can give you some firsthand insights about the process. It might help you to know that I am not a supermotivated person- at least not in the way I imagine a motivated gym-goer to look. I have to fine tune everything around the process, or else I won’t go. I could get an instant burst of motivation by telling myself that if I don’t keep up this practice I will get so unhealthy and out of shape that I die, but honestly, harsh talk like that kills my morning juju. And it doesn’t always counter the reality that is staring me in the face that day.

Ok, so… gym.

The first thing I do is get clear on why I want to go there. I need to get strong, just for myself. I need to get fit for karate. And I want to keep it tight for my husband. Haha! It’s also the principle of being able to stick with something and do it all alone, although I research personal trainers for hours before beginning this routine.

So now I want to go, I need to imagine it in the context of my morning and do a FULL RUN THROUGH in my head to see how this works. For me, I need to start right at the beginning, when I first wake up. Now if I watch what happens in fast motion, I see me getting up, having breakfast (which I choose not to skip because I am fungry in the morning!), writing a little something in my journal, getting dressed and driving off to the gym.

But, let me tell you, some seriously distracting shit happens along the way. If I slow it right down, almost like a real walk through, this is what really goes on.

I wake up gentle, as always, and contemplate for too long about whether I had enough sleep and whether hitting the gym is truly better than just getting back to sleep. I would normally do some visualisation and breathing here, but it is sullied by the process of resisting bouncing out of bed.

I hear my dog scratching at the door, so get up (either gratefully for the excuse or in a huff cos he won’t let up).

I pee and then walk downstairs to make breakfast. I feed Olly first to get him out of the way. He’ll scratch for more food soon. If something’s cooking I may go upstairs to get dressed in my gym clothes. I throw a handful of dog biscuits outside for him to chase and I shut the door and go back upstairs to eat.

Worried that I will not be able to do the gym and work, I probably eat too fast as I’m writing my gratitude list, describing what would make today amazing and setting an intention. I will leave my tea half finished. Olly scratches at the door again, so I let him back in. He wants to play. He sees me putting my gym shoes on and assumes we are going for a walk, which is heartbreaking. I might pop his harness on and take him for a quick walk around the block.

It’s getting late enough that the thought that it may not be worth going pops into my head. I think about how I could kick start the day with just a bit more… something else.

At this point in the morning, I can’t guarantee anything.

Can you see how messy that is? Especially because I planned none of it. Now, as I do the walk through in my head, I have pen and paper handy and I start taking some kickass notes about what to set up so that the morning flows- even with the dog scratching. There is a side column for stuff I need to set up the night before to ensure I’m not fumbling around.

I’M PRESSING PAUSE FOR A SEC. You could go to the gym every morning, easy peasy, just by doing it and making it a priority. What we are looking at is fine-tuning the stuff around it!

So as you are coming up with your new practice, know exactly what needs to happen before it for it to occur and occur as smoothly as you wish. I now have a really clear physical and mental walkthrough of my mornings that I believe perfectly sets me up for the day. I do need to get up earlier and go to bed earlier, which is exactly what I prefer.

Here as some random notes that came up:

I need a candle snuffer and Windex handy near my office desk.

All my gym clothes need to be in the spare room- with underwear, etc.

The best time to fill up my water bottle is when I make breakfast (not just before the gym)

If I follow what needs to be done, I will only go down the stairs twice. This is problematic because the stairs keep me fit. Lucky I’m going to the gym regularly now!

It was also interesting how my night routine became exactly what I needed to support this one addition to my life.

In order to get this all in place, you need to be able to see yourself doing it and it working. Visualise and you will see where habits need tweaking.

Also, when you run it through in real time as you intend for it to occur, you’ll notice the clunky parts. Make a note of how to eliminate these or smooth them over. Try again the next time you have the opportunity to apply this. Does it work now? Keep refining, visualising it the day before so that eventually it becomes programmed as a routine. Even if you have to consciously think about what is next, it is better than just running around, hoping you get everything just right.

Some succinct steps for creating a new routine/habit:

1.       See what you want

2.       Know what has to come before (and during)

3.       Visualise going through the process until you see it in a way that works for you. Take notes on what you need to refine to make it work.

4.       Give it a real life walk through. You can also visualise again with different circumstances, e.g. going to the gym in summer versus winter, or what would happen if you have an early morning meeting.

5.       Start doing it exactly as you see it.

6.       Keep doing, keep refining.

So can you now think of something you would like to smoothly integrate into your life? Are there blocks of time where you would like to flow easily from one activity to another? Try it with your morning routine. I love this for people who, like me, seem to live in (and be somehow comfortable with) chaos, even though it is probably slowly sucking the life force from us! Haha! Never more.

If you are in NSW, Australia, I am running a series of workshops to help you implement this technique, with a few more advanced strategies for removing unwanted behaviours and installing new ones.

Click here for info on the workshop, including location and pricing.

I believe that everyday can be the start of something special. If you are just looking for the dedicated space to you, I know that this workshop will be the kickstart you need.

Would love you to share what you plan to implement in your life and candidly address how you may smooth over any obstacles or ‘clunks’.

All the best in this endeavour.

We are forever refining.

xx

Relationship Advice to Change Your Life

Best Relationship Advice

Most people can’t believe that I ‘let’ my husband photograph beautiful women without their clothes on. The ‘me’ from 10 years ago would never have believed this either. I remember one day finding a picture of a hot little lady on my boyfriend’s computer and freaking out completely. I instantly felt not good enough. I cried. I’m pretty sure I girl-slapped his arms. I got fixated on all his female friends and obsessed with the idea he was only with me because he couldn’t be with them. I felt lonely all the time, like we were on different planets. I wrote songs about breaking up, and we did, once. I was doing everything wrong. I knew so little about relationships and was living out the same old patterns that saw me break up with my first boyfriend who I had convinced myself was ‘the love of my life’. 10 years later, my husband and I are happier than ever- as individuals and together.

Although we still have more work to do, I really wanted to share some advice that changed the way I saw and experienced my relationship. Try some of these out and you will instantly feel more fulfilled and empowered. These can work in non-romantic relationships too, so please feel free to try these out with a close friend, your child, mother, boss, colleague or anyone really who is a big part of your life. Let me know how these go for you in the comments section, and of course share any of your own beautiful insights and advice. In no particular order...

1. Listen for and Respond to their Values

Aim to notice, acknowledge, act and speak in accordance with what your partner values. Work out what is important to them. Most of the time you can just guess based on what they talk about. For example, if your partner’s favourite topic of conversation is new scientific breakthroughs, you could guess they value science, learning, sharing knowledge or being seen as knowledgeable. If you know this then you can feed that back to them when appropriate. It also makes sense that if you want to gush about feelings or topics your partner is not comfortable with, he or she may either really enjoy the learning, or feel completely uncomfortable not being seen as in-the-know. When you keep your partner’s values in mind, a lot makes sense, and any critical judgment or frustrations quickly melt away.

More important than knowing general values is understanding your partner’s relationship values. A few years back I asked my man, Dan, about what he values in our relationship. We both did our top 5s. As I recall, acceptance, as a value, was right at the top of our lists. Easy peasy. As long as we accept each other, we are aligned with our highest value. Now, I was actually stunned that Dan had that conversation with me. I am gung ho into personal development, but it’s not really his thing in the way I define it (although, damn that boy develops himself!). So I felt privileged to be able to get these straight answers. Again, if your partner would not be into this talk, you can just guess. Communication was on my list, love was on both of ours, loyalty on neither… It was a really interesting exercise. Other values you may consider are sex, time together, openness, mutual growth and fun. You may be wondering whether different values mean conflicting values, but in my experience (my own and working with others), different values are not usually a problem. If they are, values can be shifted and reordered. But simply staying mindful of another’s values really helps me understand behaviour, communicate about the relationship and adjust my actions so my partner feels more fulfilled.

If you just had a brainwave and realised your own or your partner’s values, you can share them in the comments below or just write them down for yourself.

2. Don’t Rely on Your Relationship for Happiness

Relationships make us happy, but don’t make them your only source of joy. It may sound corny, but it’s the holy grail of truths (or up there!) that the happier you are with yourself, the better you feel about other people. The better you can treat people. The less you make one relationship the be-all and end-all. You can bring a real positive energy to the relationship and you will have more clarity about what is going on. It also means that if something feels deeply wrong, you can get out because of your increasing self-value and respect.

Yep. This is but a tame image my hubby shoots. You can imagine that this may make a few girls insecure, but because I've worked on being my best self, this only makes me love my man more. Check out more of his work here if you're interested.

Yep. This is but a tame image my hubby shoots. You can imagine that this may make a few girls insecure, but because I've worked on being my best self, this only makes me love my man more. Check out more of his work here if you're interested.

Like many aspects of our lives, it is easy to see in retrospect how everything fits together. You can see when you are happy exactly what led to that. For me, getting involved in music, seeking and achieving some tangible goals in karate and loving my work meant that I was more fulfilled and that I could easily let go of what might normally having me stewing over my life, including aspects of my relationship. The compound effect of this was that my husband became a kick-arse photographer and the more he felt his value in this arena, the better we could feel about each other. I’m certain of this. We both say and mean that we love each other more than ever. At the same time, I’m pretty sure that I could be just fine without him, but I don’t want to be!

3. Know Your Partner’s Love Language

Now, you may have heard about love languages, so I am gonna explain this with a personal slant. There are different ways to communicate to a person that you love them. And each person has a preference for one or more of these ‘love languages’. Broadly, some people like to be ‘shown’ that they are loved or ‘told’. More specifically, some people like be shown through touch, or gifts, or through time spent together. Even more specifically, we may need to be touched in certain ways to feel especially fulfilled in love. I am particularly into kissing, public and over-the-top displays of affection (like doting Facebook posts) and handwritten notes. I’m also pretty sure that I feel loved when people feed me, only because that is my go-to strategy to show people I love them. You see, the way we want people to show us we love them is usually how we try to show them we love them. The trouble is, they don’t always have the same love strategy. If we feel loved when someone buys us something, chances are we will buy gifts for our love ones assuming that will make them feel loved. What if all they really need is a good conversation with you? What if they really need to have you sitting with them for a couple of hours? The gift may not make them feel loved in the way you would imagine.

If you are feeling unloved in your relationship, try asking your partner how they know that you love them. Here is a paraphrased conversation with my husband that I used to guess his preference.

Me: How do you know that I love you? Like I obviously love you, but how can you tell?

Dan: (says something explicit)

Me: Is that your final answer?

Dan: It’s the affection you show me and the little smiles and hugs and just everything put together that adds up.

So even without mentioning the Love Languages, I can tell that physical touch and signs are more important than the verbal when it comes to my hubby. I could say ‘I love you’ til the cows come home, but it would have the same impact for him as would morning snuggles.

4. Say What You Want

Pretty obvious. Steal some of these starting points if it makes life easier.

  • ‘There’s something important to me that I really want to talk about.’
  • ‘I know you love me- and there is also another way I would like you to show me.’
  • ‘There’s something that makes me feel bad that you probably don’t realise cos I haven’t said anything.’

It doesn’t help to stew on what’s not working or feed all your attention into accommodating your partner without saying what you want. Speak up.

5. Only Judge Your Relationship by Your Relationship

If you look outside your relationship to work out whether you have a good thing going, in my opinion, you are doing it wrong. All sorts of relationships can be healthy, fulfilling and just what we need. Arranged marriages, huge age disparities, high school sweethearts- all valid. Dan and I have pretty much opposite dispositions and approaches to aspects of life, and honestly, this challenges me in a way that makes me GROW. Because growth is so important to me, I see this as a blessing. Dan has taught me patience, to slow down, the value of hard work and the value of down time. Just by being himself. We don’t chat about philosophy or literature, but that’s what I have friends for! Our wedding was the only time we have danced together and I bloody love dancing. Again, I can find people to dance with- no prob. Some couples happily do everything together, and if I thought this was how it is meant to be, I would feel seriously disappointed. But judging by our own relationship, I know I have a good thing going.

6. Know What On-Track Looks Like for You

For me, I feel like my husband and I are on-track when we are resolving issues quickly (we seriously never fight, except I get a bit sooky when I’m hormonal) and when we are happy to see each other and spend time together. I also define my relationship as awesome because I feel FREE- never trapped or over-dependent. You may know you and your partner are on track because you more readily compromise or because the sex is better or because you are talking more. Remember to ask for more of what you want if you are not getting it, and ask in the way your partner needs to hear it.

7. Work it!

When you get two human beings together- two of the most complex creatures, it may not all be effortless. You can have effortless encounters in your life, multiple people who feel like soulmates and past lovers who seemed to fall out of the heavens. But relationships take work. Nurturing. Don’t resist this fact. And, as I choose to believe, work is beautiful.

BONUS BECKY TIPS!

This is our family cuddle time. What little rituals do you have?

This is our family cuddle time. What little rituals do you have?

  • Get cute little rituals going that create intimacy or perpetuate a feeling of love. We do something with our dog called ‘family cuddle time’ where we all get on the bed and cuddle our dog Olly and each other. It’s immediately uplifting and it’s the kind of thing where we just accept it will be done.
  • When the grass seems greener somewhere else, remind yourself why you choose your partner. What is it that they offer you? What do you love about them? Why do you choose him/her everyday? Stay conscious of this to combat any natural doubts that you may have.

Other little sentiments. What do you think of these?

  • Again, choose your partner every day!
  • Don’t stay in a soul-destroying relationship. If someone doesn’t let you shine, get the hell out!
  • Choose commitment over loyalty.
  • Remember that there is more to you than your relationship.
  • One person working on a relationship is better than none!
  • A change in perspective may be all your relationship needs.
  • Don’t even try to own a person! That is just silly. Even if there is a ring on your finger, nobody owns you.

And in the overwhelming spirit of what we do here, trust that when you work on yourself and take responsibility for your life, things absolutely get better. There are plenty of other relationship gems of advice that may be perfect for you, so if there is anything you wish to ask- something specific to your unique situation, get in touch with me. Simply subscribing and replying to any of my emails will get a conversation going.

Do comment with anything that worked for you or any further queries, tips and stories that could help our readers. Relationships are super complex, so speaking openly about them can be really empowering.

Happy lovin’.

Becky x 

Creating Space to LIVE!

I was afraid of my own house.

Every morning I would flee out the door as soon as I possibly could. Not because of the allure of the outdoors, or pressing matters to attend to, but because I actually could not stand being home.

There was nowhere to sit. Nowhere to peacefully eat. Nowhere to write.

Or so I thought.

Now, of course there were plump cushions on available leather seats on which I could rest my tush. At least four tables or desks to plonk my laptop and type away. And pretty things everywhere to inspire me. But there was no room for me.

I had too much stuff. Too much mess. Too much clutter, even in my head. I still do, but this post is really about a journey, not an accomplishment. But oh, how good things are feeling already!

Here is an ancient relic I found in a box in a cupboard in the office. I wanted to keep this so badly, out of curiosity and nostalgia, that I tried charging it in my car. It made no sense to keep it, but thinking about the memories of my first love and life back with my parents, it took a lot of resolve to throw this one in the bin.

Here is an ancient relic I found in a box in a cupboard in the office. I wanted to keep this so badly, out of curiosity and nostalgia, that I tried charging it in my car. It made no sense to keep it, but thinking about the memories of my first love and life back with my parents, it took a lot of resolve to throw this one in the bin.

When you live with another person, the home becomes filled with their stuff as well as your own. In my house, though, I am the main culprit- at least it is more productive for me to think this way!

When I started this process of decluttering the thought of it felt better than actually doing it. For one, it is kinda daunting. I can be super motivated, so I like to do everything well and preferably at once, but such a feat is not attainable in the case of cleaning and decluttering my home.

And it was painful. The stuff I have had to look at, process, and decide whether they bring me joy or good use hold too many limiting emotions. Rather I had too many limiting emotions, but stuff can bring up your stuff.

I just want to acknowledge a few things that felt a little painful, even when I tried to be stone cold about them.

Going through the nitty gritty in the office. This was the most guilt-inducing, cos this is where all my old projects reside. Time to move on.

Going through the nitty gritty in the office. This was the most guilt-inducing, cos this is where all my old projects reside. Time to move on.

Just some of the contents on the top shelf of the guest and 'music' room! This can't be good for the acoustics!

Just some of the contents on the top shelf of the guest and 'music' room! This can't be good for the acoustics!

  •   I have run several workshops I have some handwritten testimonials and excess resources that I had kept. It was a promise that I might use some of the stuff again, but also a reminder that 2016 was the first year I had not run a group workshop of any kind. I know that I always completely remake my resources anyway, so I threw most of it out, but not before that slight twinge of regret for not doing more. Lesson: My mind is my greatest resource.
  •  I have costumes, cables and instruments from old bands and music projects that didn’t work out at all. I know that where I am musically is where I need to be, but there is still an attachment to other collaborations, especially ones that cost a lot of money. Giving away my tutu from the Something Blue clip was a little sad (even though I feel way beyond this!). Lesson: There is always something even better waiting for me.
  • Getting rid of clothes is difficult for me, because most stuff I don’t wear, I don’t wear because I don’t go out to enough events that warrant dressing up. So giving away some of my dresses represented my severe lack of a glamorous social life! I also have a lot of clothes my family love and think are adorable on me, so giving these away made me feel sad for my mum, even though she doesn’t know about it! Lesson: Don’t idealise a lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily align with where or who I am right now.
  • I felt like a thief because in the midst of decluttering, I found stuff that I had borrowed but never returned. Things I had lost for years. And things I ignored for years. Like books I have been leant and clothing I had borrowed to keep me warm. Lesson: Don’t make promises I don’t intend to keep. Say no more often.
  •  I gave away and threw out gifts that may or may not have been chosen especially for me and with love. I know that there is love between me and that giving person, whether or not I keep all their presents, but this gave me a surge of guilt. Lesson: Be a better friend.
  •  I have so many journals, scrap bits of paper and lists filled with brilliant ideas that either I have never done OR seem so outdated that I am embarrassed to read them. Some of these drafts I send out publicly so they made me cringe. Lesson: I am always growing.

 The amount of money I have spent on stuff absolutely blows my mind. From top of the line skin and hair products, to clothes, ornaments, contraptions- it’s just endless. There is nothing really wrong with this, but I am going to adjust my buying strategy. And since decluttering, I have found I have got way more use out of what I do have.

Above all, most of what I found made me think I have to get my shit together. And it was really inspiring to see how stuff can completely dominate our lifestyle. Discovering things I have never seen nor cared about felt like discovering dark secrets, and when they didn’t feel good they were like black spots on the soul of my house. A touch of melodrama.

So in the process of decluttering there has been some immense joy!

1.       Seeing people excited to receive the clothes and jewellery I don’t wear.

2.       A cleaner house and fresher air.

3.       Mental and physical space has seemed to open up and I am far more in sync with what I am meant to be doing.

4.       A real sense of possibility.

I’m excited for what is next now that I am committed to decluttering over the next year. That’s right, taking the pressure off by giving myself a year to get it all done. It is work, but it is energising every step of the way.

The Advice

Here are some tips for going through your own house.

First of all you would want to read or learn about the Konmari method, which is really useful and has the most practical and holistic advice on the process. Then you can apply the following to make the decluttering even more cathartic. This worked for me, but I would say it is a little more confronting than the Konmari method- rather it faces difficult aspects head on. You can just as easily have a single affirmation like ‘I don’t need stuff to make me happy’ and cull away. But this is some advice based on how I approached it.

Really focus on each item by looking at it, picking it up and for the more sentimental stuff, sitting with it for a tad. That way you can gauge how you feel about it. If you somehow feel bad, ask why. If there is an opportunity to be grateful for the item or the moment it represents, go ahead and do that. Immediately seek a lesson from it, or a positive affirmation so that you can keep the learnings and move on from something you may or may not need. Usually if something makes you feel bad, it’s not worth holding onto. Occasionally it may reinvigorate you to use and enjoy the item if you feel bad for not using it, but want to make it a core part of your life from now on. Your past behaviour is typically a good indicator of the future, however, after mindfully going through this process, you could be a whole different person!

And if you live with someone who also has a lot of stuff, I can say now from experience that seeing the space open up just from passing on your stuff makes a huge difference. It also does inspire the other person to be more realistic about what they are holding onto. In the space of a couple of days, I saw my hubby go from caring about a CD rack to being totally ready to give it away. I asked him about keeping model cars about 3 years ago and his response was ‘They’re mine’. But now he wants to give them away. Trust that you taking care of things from your end will make a big difference.

When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and ‘good, orderly direction’ to enter.
— Julia Cameron

Some final thoughts.

I started this because I wanted my home to be a sanctuary, not a place I dread being in! I also did it based on the principle of letting stuff go so that more goodness can come in. I have a tendency to feel full to the point of overwhelm so this is a nice mental trick that encourages me to be and do more- not ‘have’ more.

I am in a fairly conservative Phase One of all of this. It has been time consuming and I have the luxury of a break from work where I can do this without too many pressing or urgent tasks arising. It will truly take about a year to do this well.

Your turn.

If you would like to join me on this Phase One and be rid of stuff that no longer makes you feel good or (almost literally) skeletons in the closet, please leave a comment about what you will be decluttering. Share any insights and feelings that arise along the way.

Oh, and I’m also interested to know about weird things you find!

Let's create more space to LIVE!

Love Becky

xxx

Life Improvement through Stress

I wish I was impervious to stress. It is a biological response, usually stemming from the need to adapt to pressure situations. Our body reacts accordingly, releasing hormones and setting off a chain of responses within us.

But often stress can turn into anxiety, overwhelm and sickness, clouding our thinking and impacting our sense of well-being, even when we are generally happy.

I want to dedicate some space to coping with stress because I know it affects most people. I have collated over ten ways we can use actions and ways of thinking to reduce the impact of stress on our lives.

Even the highest stress periods of your life do not have to be disasters.

The next series of posts will be about managing stress. Hopefully, even if you are feeling well-balanced lately it can still help you enjoy your life even more.

Dealing with Stress Part 1

To borrow from the Apple slogan… Think different.

This is genius. So much of what we accept in our day to day lives does not have to be this way. There are systems in every job and in your home life that are not working for you that you are accepting as the norm. What’s more, you may be accepting the stress of a situation as being normal. You probably brace yourself and hope you don’t implode. When the voice in my head is in freefall and my ‘highest self’ is lost I have said things like ‘I am dreading today’ and when asked how I’m feeling, I’ve jokingly responded with ‘suicidal’. This is not the person I need to be, especially when dealing with young people on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, when under stress, I want to claim I work with unreasonable deadlines, ebb towards doing things when only they have to be done, make excuses, suffer in silence and generally notice and talk about the negative.

This is why I have developed better systems that work for me, even within the framework of my vocation expectations. Read the section below if you are interested in how I cheated my way out of the most stressful period of a teacher’s year.

Report time seems to be worse than the bane of existence to most teachers. It results in a lack of sleep, irritability and unnecessary resentment. Teachers can sometimes do a less than ideal job as we are under the pump. For me, report writing is my pride and joy. Other teachers look at my reports for ideas and as a sample of how to write more personalised and helpful feedback for students. Here is how I can hold my head high during this time period:

·       Instead of waiting for the reporting period to begin, I start early. Like a whole term early! If I pay attention, I can learn plenty about students in the first few weeks of a semester and begin putting comments together on a Word document. I can always add a sentence or two once I have extra data. Then, the process is about getting to know my students rather than just churning out drivel.

·       I prophesise instead of report. Especially for the second semester, I consider what the student cannot do and what I am committed to teaching them. Then, when I write their report, stating the improvements they have made, I am pledging to myself that I will help them in this area. Of course I can make adjustments if necessary, but the point is, I have a solid basis from which to begin.

·       I have the mindset that I love writing reports. It is a chance to show I care and to communicate meaningfully with parents.

Some strategy and a positive outlook goes a long way. I am still looking at ways to make assessment periods more manageable (less stress for me and more autonomy from students is the goal!), which involves shifting the culture I work within, but I know that with a bit of planning this will change too.

My question to you… (reply to this if you like!)

What in-built systems can you flip through your own approach and mindset? What can you execute with pride or learn to love if you take the pressure off?

Could you:

·       Do the bulk of your work at the most productive part of the day for you?

·       Begin early, reuse, recycle, delegate, outsource, etc?

·       Do the same job in batches (like responding to emails)?

·       Set up a template or automate?

·       Make your area of expertise?

·       Do while you’re having a bath or listen to while you’re at the gym?

Let me know any brainwaves you have that could dramatically decrease stress and create a more fun approach to something tedious or unavoidable. You can work towards loving and enjoying most parts of your work. It involves some real creative thinking and flipping a lot of what you know on its head.

Do the work.

Dealing with Stress Part Two: 

Know Your Baseline Health and Happiness Go-Tos… And actually go to them!

When most people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, they let even little important things dwindle. Like hydration, healthy eating, relaxation and those interests that work wonders on our sense of wellbeing. Even talking to other people becomes less important.

Think about the last time you felt a bit off. Were you eating properly, drinking water and uncompromising about bedtime?

Look after yourself! Zero room for negotiation here.

Give your mind, body and spirit some massive love. The more stressed you feel, the more you need to slow down and take care of you.

Even if you think there are more important things to deal with.

Even if you are on a deadline.

Even if you feel pressure from yourself or others.

Always, always treat yourself well.

I have had some seriously messed up days, where stress, anxiety, tears and an impending sense of doom hit me at once. I have even woken up with this feeling. But if I go to one karate class, suddenly I break out of the pattern and can get more done, with less worry. It does not feel entirely natural to do something so good for yourself when you are going 100 miles an hour or feeling depressed or overwhelmed. It can be easy to get stuck in patterns of thinking and behaving.

But change is still super easy and I believe you can act your way into feeling better.

This week (and forever), please be disciplined when it comes to looking after yourself. Don’t neglect fun and leisure and tune in to what your body needs to stay healthy.

What do you need to do to show yourself that no matter what, you value and respect yourself?

Click here to see the list I use to remind myself of what looking after myself actually involves. It is a Word Doc, so you can add to this, edit, replace, tweak and print. No matter what, do what you need to do! These are basics for me- I don’t even have meditation per se on the list, or sex for that matter because they are not the baselines that keep me in check. Have a play with this and feel free to send it my way. I am curious about what you need.

How is this working out for you? Do you notice that during times of stress the simplest healthy practices start to dwindle? What little things make the biggest difference to your sense of wellbeing? 

Share your insights in the comments below and share with anyone who could show themselves a little more love during tough times.

Your mission is to take care of you!!!

All my love,

Becky

What are you Choosing?

You always have a choice.

To me, feeling trapped is the worst possible sensation. Its cousins, 'obligation' and 'commitment' also make me claustrophobic- and this is from a girl who loves squashing into cosy small places.

Perhaps in your life you feel like you are locked in. Like you have signed an invisible contract to people, places and routines that feel less than liberating.

I want to remind you that you always have a choice. And there is probably a darn good reason why you are choosing the life you live.

Why do I choose this?

This is a driving question that will have you feeling better or at least clearer about why you are where you are. Why do you choose this vocation over every other possibility? Frame it positively if you can.

·       I choose this HR role because I have a gift with people and love to see the impact I have on the culture of my company.

·       I choose to have my own business because working at my own pace feels healthy and natural for me.

·       I choose to work in this highly physical job because I love the outdoors and have endless energy to expel.

Hold in your consciousness that you do not need to do today what you did yesterday. So why do you do it? Money? Connections? Comfort? Challenge?

And if you are stuck for answers, maybe it’s time for a change. What else could you choose?

For a little decision making booster, think about whether being where you are facilitates you being the best version of you. Does it bring you closer to your goals? Does it make you happy? What would it mean to not choose it? Is there an alternative that energises you?

Knowing that you ultimately get to choose how you live is so empowering. If you love it then you can appreciate it. If you no longer want it, you can take steps to make a change.

For me, I choose to bite off just a little more than I can chew because everything tastes so good. I choose work with intensive ‘after hours’ because it is worth it for the immense joy I feel seeing young people learn to learn. I choose to pay for a cleaner so I can create space for music, and pay for a recording studio to make sure I get shit done. I choose my husband because of his big heart and strong character.

I know that I always have a choice.

And so do you.

Let’s choose wisely.

 

Love for days…

Becky

What is Holding You Back? Ask your Wildest Dreams!

I discovered a new favourite process.

The language of ‘thinking big’ has become part of the modern vernacular. Typo drink bottles tell us to ‘Never give up on your daydream’ and it is being reinforced in education that the youth of today can do or be anything they want. Vision boarding has become a yearly ritual for those who hope to see the Law of Attraction manifest yachts, mansions and Jaguars, and 5 minutes of fame- or longer- is on the cards for anyone who is social media savvy.

But really allowing ourselves to have big dreams, grounded in achievements or experiences does not come naturally. And whilst we could run off a list of things that would be nice, we rarely allow ourselves to fathom these coming to fruition.

Probably because it is uncomfortable.

Probably because it triggers so many of our underlying beliefs about ourselves and the world.

So, as a personal experiment, not in just setting big goals and working towards them, but rather as a way to elicit underlying feelings, I went through the process you will read about below. It seems run of the mill, in terms of the list of ridiculously huge goals (to my mind anyway), but it fast tracked one of the most important steps in personal growth, which is identifying underlying limiting beliefs. Fortunately, because of my practice and love of a good ol’ reframe, I was able to turn these beliefs into really important and useful questions and affirmations. It is so illuminating and really fun, though at times confronting.

What I adore about this process is the way it fast-tracked the finding and zapping away of what has been holding me back. When we try to work out any ‘issues’ or ‘mental blocks’ in our day to day, often we are too close to the issue or it may feel petty or insignificant, so we keep repeating the same patterns. The negative beliefs are insidious and maybe so subtly present that we never find a reason to work on them. They grate away and result in us not fully showing up with confidence. I would love it if you have a go at doing this process. You just need a pen and two pieces of paper. I used a two page spread of a notebook.

Instructions to find out what is holding you back EVERYWHERE IN LIFE!!

STEP ONE

On one page, write the biggest, craziest dreams, fantasies, wishes that would seem outrageous to you.

It may say things like:

  • Have a best-selling novel that is made into a film.

  • Live in a mansion with an indoor pool.

  • Be best friends with Amy Schumer (Jennifer Lawrence can get stuffed!)

And so on.

STEP TWO (I skipped writing this step and went straight to step three)

For each of the fantasies you write, consider what is stopping you from having them. Keep asking yourself why not until you get to a root belief or problem that would majorly impinge upon you fulfilling these. Remember, this does not mean these dreams are your most important goals. They are meant to be wildly huge to you so you can work out what is keeping you from the next level.

Make a list of any of the issues that came up for you. It may be that you think you ‘aren’t good with people’ or ‘have no time’ or ‘need to be prettier’.

STEP THREE

On the second page, reframe the negative beliefs into empowering statements that show you how

  1. You are already in the process of overcoming what is holding you back.

  2. The issue is a non-issue.

  3. You are able to shift this belief.

You make have a list that says:

  • People from all walks of life can get rich.

  • I am my own kind of genius.

  • I have many rewarding relationships with ‘people’.

THE RESULT

Now you have a bank of statements that really support you and address the beliefs that hold you back more than any other. Whether you need to make a new friend or network like a machine, if it is hard for you, the issue will be the same. Use these statements as daily affirmations. They are what you really need to hear right now!

You may end up with a page like this.

 

See me doing the process on myself as an example in this video.


It can be hard to go through this process alone if you aren’t used to asking why, and why, and why, and why! If you need help with this or any of the stubborn beliefs that pop up, find out how we can work together so I can support you through some big life changes.

Remember, the same limiting beliefs or blockages will come up when you go for little wins or huge goals. It is always worth getting to the icky bottom of these, shaking them up, flushing them out and replacing them with something new and beautiful that will serve you.

Shaking things up with love,

Becky


What is wrong with me?

Every now and then I have a thought I need to shake outta my mind. This same thought deeply affects many people and sometimes the belief runs too deep for ‘shaking out’ to seem possible.

‘There is something wrong with me’.

Maybe that thought is articulated in a different way.

 I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Why am I so f*cked up?

I am alone.

Nobody gets me.

I have spoken to enough people to know that this thought hits everyone at some point. It can be alienating, giving us the sense that there is nobody who understands, relates or has the same experience of self.

The trouble is that often the way we relate to others is not authentic. We have a veneer, and social media amplifies the issue, when we often see people happy or the thought articulated in their status is the final positive statement after much deliberation. We get trapped into thinking that life, happiness & beauty comes so easily to some people, but never to us. In the comparison (that often disempowering & dangerous comparison) that we are left thinking, ‘Something must be missing in me.’

We also taught from a young age to see the world in black and white, using oppositions to define what we are by what we are not. We speak in finites, to avoid complicated thoughts. We constantly use the language of judgment (and sometime self-righteousness). That is so wrong. I don’t do that. No wonder we use that language when we speak about ourselves. No wonder when we detect complexity in ourselves we want to attack. I’m a bad mum. I’m not smart enough. I’m not good enough. Perhaps it is lazy to think we are inherently flawed. When you admit imperfection, it’s like you can blame it for everything. It’s a way of avoiding what is really going on.

When you talk to others…

You may catch yourself explaining out of the ordinary (genius like!) thinking as being abnormal to placate others in the assumption that they don’t or won’t ‘get you’. I don’t know. It’s just how I see it. Maybe I’m weird. Or you don’t share.

We respond to paradigms of morality and avoid real conversation with dismissive comments like ‘She’s just a bitch’ or ‘He is a sleaze’. When we do this, it exacerbates the fear that any of our ‘flaws’ will be harshly judged by our peers. Suddenly, ‘There is something wrong with me’, becomes emotionally loaded and will start to limit how we show up in the world. We shrink because we think it isn’t safe to shine. We recoil, we put up walls and create ‘safe’ alter-egos because we are terrified to be ourselves.

‘There is something seriously wrong with me…’

Reframe this thought!

If you catch yourself thinking this way, have a go at a reframing this into something positive.

There is something unique I have to offer the world.

This quirky thing about me is my ticket to success.

I am a complex and interesting human being.

Every person has felt this way- I am connected with my fellow human.

 

And here are some of my favourite questions to help you get some meaningful answers.

What is really going on here? What underlying thoughts triggered this belief/action?

How does this feeling/thought keep me safe or comfortable? Does it serve me in any way?

What would I say to myself if I were my own best friend? Or what would I tell a good friend who told me they felt totally abnormal?

 

While human beings are essentially the same, our spirits have different energies, our auras different colours, our personality different flavours, varied experiences, gifts, challenges and views…

 and in our ‘hearts’ we have a different calling.

This year, I hope that you are more ‘you’ than ever. That you follow your heart and finally come home to the truth. Heart is where the home is.

That you are exactly as you are meant to be, with endless potential and a shiny light inside of you.

Come home to you.

You are not fucked up.

You are you.

The End.

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3 Ways to Feel Good Right Now

We have become used to feeling bad. 

Sad, but true. People tolerate minor discomforts, ongoing pain and suffer mediocre circumstances that are so easy to turn around. It is also a reality that depression is rife in our society and the accumulative effects of feeling bad make us identify with being 'depressed'. We also have been told 'no pain, no gain' and to 'focus on the big picture' rather than the moment. 

I would like to share three ways you can feel good right now, so you can be conscious of how feeling good is a commitment and a choice.

commit to feeling good.jpg

1. What Feels Good?

Notice what feels good right now. What senses are engaged? What positive thoughts are popping up? What do you notice that feels nice?

It’s a lazy Saturday morning and I haven’t put any pressure on myself to do anything.

Having the entire bed to myself.

Knowing that I will have a cleaner on Monday.

Remembering the wonderful New Years adventure trip.

The birds chirping outside the window.

That feeling of hope.

It is meditative and a form of gratitude to observe lovingly the positive you find in the present moment. In the comments, share what you are noticing that feels right.

2. What Doesn’t Feel Good?

Now it’s time to consider what doesn’t feel good, with the intention of doing something about it. We suffer little discomforts that are unnecessary. Let’s do something about them!

The air is stuffy- so I am going to open windows.

I feel a little dehydrated- so I am getting water.

My neck is tense- so I am adjusting my position & scheduling a massage for this afternoon.

The fleeting thought that my website isn’t updated. There is no rush- I will put it in my diary for Monday.

Whenever you decide not to do something about these niggling sensations, you are choosing to feel bad. Maybe you have another priority, perhaps you cannot justify the trouble of changing, or maybe you have never known another way of living. Why do you choose to feel bad? You will gain some clarity once you answer this. Do share any revelations in the comments.

3. Align.

The third way you can feel good in the ‘now’ is to get clear on your life purpose, your goals and daily intention. When you know what it is you are working towards AND have faith that you will achieve this, even tedious or difficult moments take on a new meaning and start to feel good.

This year, think about what your grand purpose is and begin to align your day to day with this mission.

If this is an area you need some help with, drop me a line, and I will send you some further strategies and resources.

Otherwise, I would love you to share your mission statement, purpose or big goal for this year and beyond in the comments section.

Commit to feeling good.

Love Becky

Slow Start? Set Yourself Straight!

Hello Precious!

Today's post is keeping it real. A real full of advice, so pens and paper people for any brainwaves!

best life coach

If you have met me in person, you probably know I get into some pretty intense conversations about achieving goals, overcoming the past and obliterating limiting mindsets. And in my day to day chitchats of late, I have certainly heard these words being uttered out of the mouths of well-intentioned goal-setters.

'I'm just finding (X,Y,Z) really daunting.'

'I'm busy but not really any closer to what I set out to do.'

'I'm lacking motivation.'

'I've been procrastinating on X, Y, Z.'

I speak to some hella talented people, and understand that while you may feel like superman or wonderwoman, doing what it takes to really make 2015 your year can bring up some resistance.

If you want to skip straight to your relevant scenario and get some answers and strategies, click one of the links below:

It's all a bit too big, scary or daunting!

I'm working hard but getting nowhere!

Motivation factor= ZERO!

Procrastination is the current name of my game.

Otherwise, read on darling! If it repeats itself then it is damn important, so write it down and turn it into an action step!

If you are feeling daunted by your goals, let me tell you what you need to know and then read on for some tools to get you past this point.

  • Remember that you more than likely chose that goal for a reason that is especially important to you. You know that achieving or moving bravely towards that goal will get you closer to the life you want to have and the person you want to be.

  • When a goal gives you that 'Ooooh crap!' feeling AND imagining yourself there feels good, then it is probably exactly what you need to pursue.

  • There are both conscious and subconscious thoughts in our mind that are making us believe that they are either unattainable for us, or the kind of achievement that will bring up both great and potential negative results. In other words, there are consequences of achieving your goals that may be putting you off. Yes, that big, exciting goal may not be sitting snugly with what part of you wants. The mind says things like 'But if I become a stage performer I will miss out on family nights.'

  • There are other scenarios specific to you. 'What could be going on in the back of my mind?' is a worthwhile question to ask. Sometimes it comes down to a lack of self belief. If any insights come to you, share them with me.

    Ok! So here is what you can do about it!

  1. Actually move bravely by doing the single most important action that will lead you to that goal. Schedule in be brave time (#bebrave) and notice that the action you are most avoiding is far more important to getting you that goal. Enjoy the exponential progress in personal growth and real results.

  2. Visualise yourself enjoying the benefits of this goal and backtrack in your mind so you can see the little steps and habits that got you there. The big picture is made up of little 'non-daunting' steps (although, yes, some will be crazy exciting!).

  3. Go the other way by doing three little steps before you write your mega to-do list. (These lists can be a bit of a guilty pleasure, so I like to go ahead and do what I know needs to be done before I ponder next steps.) If you want to win a body-building competition, call a personal trainer, book in a first session, and throw unhealthy food out of your cupboard before you can talk yourself out of going for the win.

  4. Adopt a persona/character who thinks bigger is better. In fact, my alter ego is called 'Big Bec' and she comes out whenever I need to stop playing safe and go for the crazy dreams.

  5. Do an important task for 10 minutes. Notice how continuing is a piece of cake after that!

  6. Fill in the blank and say it with your hand on your heart. 'Even though (perceived negative consequence of getting goal), I am committed to achieving my dream for this year.' For example, 'Even though I will be judged, I am committed to sharing my new book with 1000 people.' It's kind of saying, yeah shit happens- so what? I am doing this!

    I am obviously very interested to hear your thoughts on what you anticipate with me the small negative effect of a very rewarding goal!

Perhaps you are starting slow this year but feel practically burnt out already.

This is what you need to know:

  • You will do anything for a sense of achievement, but immediately feel bummed out when you realise it is just 'busy work'.

  • When your direction is crystal clear, the next best step appears.

  • Our little, consistent actions add up. Faith and patience, lovely.

This is what to do if you find yourself just being busy.

  1. Schedule time to do nothing. Enjoy your leisure time properly.

  2. Say no more than yes. Is this the best use of my time? No. Random person wants to catch up and you haven't even worked out this year? No.

  3. Ask yourself- 'What am I avoiding?' Then do that. In fact, do that within the first two hours of your day if it is logical and possible. Eat that frog!

  4. Limit yourself to one significant task per day. Yes, little habits are important, but don't intend to make amazing progress towards three goals on the same day. (Although cross-over will happen naturally.) If you want to do the splits (ahem, that would be one of my little, hard goals), give that a full day's intention. Then you will spend an hour on it instead of five unfocused minutes. Again, say no to the need to do too much.

  5. Ask this simple question. Is this actually really bringing me closer to my goal? You may think shuffling paper is the key (God knows I swear by throwing out old stuff to make way for the new!) but is it really a clear step in the right direction. Only you know.

  6. And the power of asking 'Why?'. 'Tell me, amazing mind, why do I keep running in circles instead of doing what is most important? You will get answers if you go deep enough! The next best question is 'What do I need right now so I can take care what is most important?' You may need a dose of self-belief or to ditch old 'obligations'. Again, you have the answers, Gorgeous!

If you are feeling unmotivated, know this:

  • Our health affects mood which affects motivation.

  • Motivation can be created in an instant.

  • Motivation is not always the precursor of action. In other words, you can do what needs to be done with a little discipline and mindless robotic pursuit of a predetermined goal.

  • Action can lead to motivation.

  • Lack of motivation may be a sign of depression, but truly, this lack of motivation affects almost everyone.

  • We gotta know why we are going for our goals if we are to ever be motivated!

  • Sometimes our goals are bloody uninspiring, even to us, and we set them for the wrong reasons.

What now?

  1. Get healthy. Sleep more. I am miserable and physically and attitudinally (is that a word!) weak when I don't sleep well. There are plently of health blogs to support you with this.

  2. If you are feeling really down, speak to someone and get help. Talk to me or a doctor, hotline or friend.

  3. Tack your desired disciplines next to already built habits. It is called habit stacking and you can read about it here. Brilliant! Habits don't need motivation.

  4. Write down 101 reasons for achieving your goal to create an undeniable 'Why'. See if that gets a fire in your belly.

  5. Use your intuition to help you decide if this is really the right goal for you or if you feel pressured or actually uninterested in it. No harm scrubbing it off the list and making way for something that is really you.

  6. Give yourself a sweet slap down if needed. What would the world be if nobody acted without motivation? Great leaders may not feel 100% pumped all the time, but they act for the greater good. Can you make a concept of 'duty' the replacement when motivation takes a walk? Lack of motivation is no real excuse. Take care of it with one of the above actions. Yes. Action!

And finally, procrastination.

You can take care of this with any of the other tools listed on this post. But here is what you need to know.

  • We feel soooo good when we actually take care of business.

  • Procrastinating takes up so much mental space that we might as well just 'do the thing'.

  • Procrastination can kill self-esteem and confidence.

  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem lead to procrastination.

  • The part of you that inherently doesn't give a toss and wants to be lazy can have its needs met if you work smarter, not harder.

  • Procrastination can be a clue as to the inner workings of our mind and can be a compass pointing us in the right direction.

Take care of procrastination by:

  1. Habit stacking!

  2. Using affirmations such as 'I live life like a winner' or 'I take care of business' or 'I refuse mediocrity'. You cannot say that to yourself all day and sit on your butt.

  3. Start before you're ready should be your new motto. Stick it on your bathroom door.

  4. Schedule relaxation time and actually relax! Notice how when you feel deprived of chill out time, everything seems better than work, even when you know you want to hit that goal. Be where you at!

  5. Use the 10 minute game. Give yourself 10 minutes to work towards a goal and notice that you are pulled in my the momentum.

  6. Remind yourself of the end game and how amazing it will feel to be proud of yourself this time next year when you can say that your dreams are coming true. Even quickly imagining how crushing it would feel to not make progress can snap you into action. Then deeply visualise how you and the world will look and feel when that dream is reality.

  7. If someone else can do what you are avoiding and do it better than you, get them to do it. This is why I have a cleaner and gardner.

  8. Listen to your intuition and body. Are you avoiding this because it actually is not important? If not, what is?

  9. As soon as you have a hint of motivation, get straight onto what you need to do. We actually achieve more in less time when we are motivated, so capitalise on any feeling of excitement. Advanced yet simple tip- Whenever you feel motivated, click your fingers so that when you want to create motivation, a snap of the fingers can trigger that emotion.

  10. List your 'beating procrastination' wins or 'Dones'. It feels great and builds confidence for future lacklustre moments.

  11. Stop focusing on all the little tasks and do whatever has real impact. No more to-do lists. You know what really counts.

There a tonnes of other ways you can get a wriggle on with your goals. Share them with me in the comments and ask any advice about your particular situation. You are supported.

Above all else, know that if the goal is meaningful and it really lights you up, having utter faith in it happening and acting as if it will happen is vital.

Tell me, are there any other blocks you are having when it comes to your goals? Let's work out what is really going on. Once we do this, real magic begins to happen.

I can't wait.

If this was useful in any way, share it with someone who may be feeling a little lack-lustre about their intentions for the year. We are in this together people!

Xxx

All my love,

Bec

Let it Go...

I have always loved the wisdom of Disney films. Birthed from great stories and great minds, it makes perfect sense that their lessons would resonate so deeply. But like most lessons, we learn them only when we see the immediate relevance to our lives.

Today I have Frozen’s Let it Go stuck in my head. Except I can’t remember any of the other words. (‘I don’t care… something, something, something…’). Basically it is about turning your life around just by letting go. And, oh now is the time to do that!

In recent conversations with people, goals for 2015 are big on the agenda. Everyone wants to discuss them and I sure as heck want to hear them! I have seen lists as long as my arm filled with intended achievements for the year, some tremendous and some little wins that are in fact a big deal.

But with all these goals taking up mental space and physical energy, it may be important to think about what it is you intend to release or let go this year. Some of these releases take place naturally as you ‘crowd out’ with good stuff. Others we need to consciously decide to let go.

What are you ready to let go of this year and forever? What will that mean for your life? How will it support you achieving your goals? Brainstorm.

Whilst we have as much time and space as we think we do, I certainly cannot resist the ‘aaaaah’ relief of creating more time and space for the good stuff. Let’s look at what you can let go of in the physical, mental and emotional realms of our world.

Let go of practices. (Apologising for nothing: DELETE).

Let go of stuff. (Costumes from when I was a teenager: DELETE).

Let go of thoughts. (Good friends are hard to come by: DELETE).

Let go of emotions. (Anger at ex-boyfriend: DELETE).

Let go of an identity. (I am a shy hermit introvert: DELETE)

Isn’t it interesting how much we hold onto? It is even more interesting to reflect on why we hold onto such things for so long.

Letting go is miraculous. Just by choosing what you are releasing, you identify all the other areas of your life that will turn around as a result.

For example, if you choose to let go of eating take-away or fast food, check out what can happen.

let it go

Or what about letting go of procrastination? That has amazing effects on your mental clarity and understanding of what you do and why you do it.

let it go coaching

Here is a (in my opinion) fun activity to get you to understand the balance between having more and letting go. Write down a goal you have in mind for 2015 and then note what you can let go of to support you getting that goal.

Goal: Run a marathon

To let go: Shame of running in public to get myself fit.

 

Goal: Get a promotion or raise at my work.

To let go: Animosity towards my boss.

 

Subscribe to receive a fun little worksheet to help you do this. Simple and satisfying.

 

So how do you actually let go?

  • Affirmations and self-talk. ‘I’m done with that.’
  • Visualisation: Imagine you are rolling up that feeling or belief into a little ball and rolling it away. Or that you are dropping it off a cliff where it flies away and turns into something beautiful in the universe. Even writing it down and crossing it out can be a great start.

If you are struggling to release something you can also send me a line for some more ideas.

Share in the comments what it is you will let go of in 2015 and forever in order to create space for the wonderful. And if you let go of something in the past, tell us, how did it feel and how did it change your life?

Wishing you lightness and lovin’.

Xx

Becky

2014: It's a Wrap!

Hello spunky!

Don’t you just love this time of the year? With Christmas passed, and the holiday season leading us into the New Year, the gratitude for 2014 is overwhelming and we can almost taste the promise of 2015. At least I hope it feels that way for you.

I encourage you to reflect on the little wins you had this year and note those not so great moments that you survived and learned from.

Here are some of my key memories of this year and the events that mattered most to me:

·         I started a blog and created my own website.

·         I went camping with my father.

·         I created an online course in personal development.

·         Went to hospital for the first time, twice in one year. Once for a shoulder operation, the next for a severe migraine that left me dehydrated and unable to stomach water.

·         Found a keyboardist to work with and created demos of over 10 songs. We performed two live gigs and decided to focus on writing.

·         Lived with my closest childhood friend for about a year. Oh, and her sweetheart King Charles cavalier, Milo.

·         Recorded two songs with a producer.

·         Recorded two music videos with a cinematographer plus 4 fun live videos with a guitarist from the UK who lived with me for a few days. Check out my clips here!

·         Clocked over 70 hours of quality life coaching with clients I love with all my heart.

cute aussie baby

·         Spent almost every late Monday night watching downloaded TV series and cuddling Dan.

·         Reveled in my red-headed nephew turning one and growing cuter by the minute.

·         Trained karate when I could, with some pain. Far less than usual, but learnt to be ok with that.

·         Fell absolutely in love with my school students. Such a privilege to teach real people.

·         Had my best friend ‘break up’ with me. Still heart-broken.

·         Was an assistant photographer and faux-model. Got to bond with my man and be a babe!

·         Bought a wedding dress.

·         Had nude photos taken for a publication that condemns the censorship of nudity and the prevalence of violent images in the media.

king charles cavalier

·         Ended the year with a beautiful, intimate workshop and some moving phone calls with people ready to change their experience of life.

·         Got my own puppy, Oliver.

My highest moments were those floaty feelings after a coaching session, listening to a track I had written through the speakers in my car and saying I love you and hearing it back many times. And cuddling cutie pie pets!

This was the first year travel took a backseat. It is on the agenda for next year. My wanderlust, though, was satisfied by all the comfort-zone stretching that has coloured the days of this year.

There were darker times for me this year as well. Most involved convulsive crying at the news. Hating the helplessness I feel when my head is bad. Resenting people who are passive aggressive. Getting in trouble and criticized for not being ‘normal’. Seeing strong people I love get really sick.

And my big lessons that I will take with me forever:

-          I am a mirror to people and can bring up their pain as well as their sense of happiness and personal power. It is important for us to be our best selves so we can attract the right people and know that those who move on, like us, may have some growing to do.

-          Being who I need to be is far more important that getting goals. My most rewarding experiences were not necessarily goals, but by-products of being the kind of girl who thinks big and loves wholly.

-          If I want something, I need to ask. If I don’t want something, I need to say no. Sometimes that dialogue needs to happen within.

I would love for you to share with me how you will remember 2014. What lessons are there for you to wrap up as a gift to yourself and deliver into 2015 and beyond?

And what challenges do you believe are ahead for you? What are your goals? Who do you need to be? Can I help with these? Send me a line, gorgeous. That’s why I am here.

Wishing you a beautiful 2015. I am so happy to be a part of it, however big or small.

I live a fulfilled life, and you, my dear, have made that a fact.

Love always,

Becky

life coaching

My Favourite Way to Deal with Anger

This feels incredibly personal to talk about my struggles with anger, even if these moments are few and far between. For compassionate people like you and I, it does not feel right when this 'shadow' emotion feels so all-encompassing. In fact, I used to advise people to simple 'feel more compassion when anger arises', but have since shifted my approach.

The truth is, when I am angry, I tend fantasise about doing 'bad' or harmful things. Usually wanting to slash tyres, run away or say something nasty. Once, I even made a jazz song that vented how much someone annoyed me! These desires can create a sense of incongruence because I see myself as a 'nice' and tolerant person. If you have felt intense anger, you are obviously not alone. It is a universal secondary emotion (it stems from other feelings) and part of being human.

Today, I want to give you some of my favourite strategies for dealing with anger. I know there are more out there and that you may have other ways that work for you. Please share them here!

Feel it.

Acknowledge that the anger is there and greet like a visitor in your home who will leave eventually.

Wait. The anger will subside.

Often-times, after a day or so I feel pretty much zero emotion about something that made me want to throw a brick through a window.

Take your power back and do something for yourself to take control of any area of your life.

This is the best!

If you are angry that someone owes you money, take a step towards getting another client.

If your boss yells at you for a co-worker's mistake, do something nice for your friend.

This won't solve the problem, but it will help soften the anger. Because anger is so connected to frustration, it is crucial to prove to yourself that you have power in your life and don't just have to be reactive- you are creative.

And something more advanced, and deeply powerful. Ask yourself this one question.

What is this anger really about?

I have found, when I dig beneath the surface, that my anger is never really at another person or situation. Here are some revelations I have had when looking into my anger. Please know that these may be fleeting beliefs or ones that I have worked on eliminating and continue to combat. I want to destigmatise anger and be open to its lessons. Here are my personal thoughts that were only just beyond angry feelings.

  • I am ashamed that I offer my time wholeheartedly and feel obligated when people take advantage of my generosity. Why can't I just say, 'No'? Damn my lack of boundaries!

  • My own disorganisation could be avoided if I value my own time instead of allowing myself to be yanked in different directions til my life is a clusterfuck.

  • I deeply need that person's approval. Can't they see how hard I work? Why am I never good enough?

  • This is my fault and responsibility for being in a place where shit like this happens. I should just suck it up.

  • I am so messed up, no wonder this has happened to me.

  • I want to be special. I wish people would stop copying me!

  • It is hopeless. I am one person. How can I fix war? Am I a hypocrite?

Uncomfortable honesty right there.

What did you notice? A pattern of frustration certainly emerges. Or frustration with my patterns. A sense of not being good enough crops up. Hopelessness, ego, shame, guilt, fear.

Once we delve deeper, we can begin to resolve these beliefs and feelings.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ― Gloria Steinem

Taking responsibility for these feelings and belief is super important. You can then make practical solutions to improve the quality of your life. (Note: Anger is natural, and doesn't have to be fixed, but can certainly transmute into learning.) For me, I can be more rigid with boundaries, have more open conversations and choose to feel like a leader (rather than feeling like a school girl being 'copied').

I want to know now, when have you experienced anger and what did you do about it? What was the anger really about? What have you learnt about yourself? Share in the comments.

I get asked about anger on a weekly basis, so this post is a long time coming. Feel free to ask me any questions here. I would love to answer them with you.

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward

All my love,

Bec

xx

P.S. Get on my mailing list to hear 3 other ways we can utilise and learn from our anger.


Shades of Subconscious

How to tap into subconscious thought

How did I end up reading Fifty Shades of Grey? It was an automatic purchase with an audio reader that I decided to get to make my driving time more productive. I would be lying if I pretended I wasn’t fascinated by the male protagonist and how he became a ‘dominant’. A lot of psychological juiciness there. But my biggest frustration with the book is the misuse of the word ‘subconscious’. The main girl’s subconscious was forever interjecting with comments and her conscious mind replied.

sydney life coach


In reality, our subconscious does not readily make itself known. It influences our behavior and the patterns that emerge in our lives, but its message can be elusive if we are not trained or prepared to hear what it is saying.
Our subconscious holds beliefs and scripts that shape our day to day existence, our feelings and conscious thoughts. There are ways to access our subconscious so we can plant seeds of positivity and heal limiting beliefs.

One way we can tap into our subconscious is to visualise our way there. You can imagine yourself sleeping, dreaming and moving down a stairway into your subconscious realm and from here you can ask yourself important questions or tell yourself something you want to believe.

The next way we can get answers from our subconscious is to ask a question and not settle for the first answer your brain gives you (different from what you feel in your body- intuition). For example, if you ask yourself ‘Why am I sick?’, your first answer may be ‘I don’t eat healthily’. If you keep asking why, why, why, down multiple layers and levels, you not only get to a root cause of a problem, but a subconscious belief that keeps you sick/unhappy/in bad relationships, etc.

We can also tap into our conscious by letting our body answer questions for us. There are many ways to do this, using NLP either alone or with a coach. Here is another interesting way- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHpEqlay4CM.

My challenge for you is to choose a burning question you have about yourself and your life and get a subconscious answer to the question. Once you identify this answer, we can work out whether it is helping or hindering you.

If you need support with this, let me know. I can guide you through meditative processes or help you get to a deeper level. There are some other fascinating ways to not only tap into, but alter your subconscious thinking. I can teach you these too!

Tell me, what answers did you get this week? How has it been enlightening and what ways forwards can you create?

Lots of love,
Becky

Practice of Fulfillment

When it comes to my life, fulfilment is the moment, the reason and the goal.

It is that feeling that matters the most, alongside love, although love can be more easily accessible than the elusive ‘state of being filled and satisfied to the max’. Many people can create instant happiness, but when it comes to utter fulfilment it is a next-level challenge. Thankfully, we can absolutely generate this. Here are 7 ways to feel more fulfilled according to moi!

 

7 Ways to be More Fulfilled

  1. Do something that you are great at. And do it often. There are different ways to work out what you are good at. One is to notice what comes easily to you. What do you generally feel confident doing? Secondly, notice when other people seek your help. What is it you offer them? You can also ask other people what they think you are good at. This can be enlightening. Lastly, you can train yourself up in a skill you would like to have. Again, you don’t need to be in the top 20% of that field/activity. You just need to feel like ‘Yeah. I got this.’ It could be baking, hosting parties, solving computer problems, lifting weights, coordinating outfits, playing an instrument, babysitting, etc. Please note, that this is not a ‘zone of genius’ exercise, where you work out your ‘expert’arena. This is about being able to share little gifts with yourself and others to keep you aware that your talents and skills are not going to waste. Feel like you have too many talents and that is your number one problem? Talk to me about that here.

 

  1. Do what you love doing. How do you work out what you love? What would you spend your time doing for free or if you only had months to live. What would you leave everything to do? What is something you love to do that seems too good to do every day? Even if you can’t do it every day, that is the one thing you should make time for to feel happiness. It is also fun to revisit what you did as a child. Whenever I look back on my childhood, I observe a young curly-haired girl (without adult ‘stress’) living a life that most people do not give themselves permission to enjoy. My favourite childhood activities are still my greatest loves. Here is my list of childhood fun. What is yours?

  • Writing poetry

  • Putting on drama ‘shows’

  • Playing with dirt, making shapes with the clouds and staring at the stars

  • Making up imaginary worlds with my sisters

  • Falling head over heels in love (or so I thought!)

  • Watching great movies and reading fantasy books

  • Writing songs

Now, the truth is that I rarely give myself time to read for pleasure. These days it is all for growth. And time with my sisters is always enchanting, though our get togethers are few and far between. But the rest is still part of my life. The child inside me knows what is best. Make a statement and take back one of your childhood joys! (Nothing terrible like frying ants with magnifying glasses! Seriously, my man used to do that!)

  1. Challenge yourself and dare to be uncomfortable. Growth= fulfillment. When we understand we have the potential for greatness, but aren’t pursuing that, we easily lose motivation and our sense of self can be skewed towards the negative. Focus on the gains of undergoing a challenging experience to combat the natural fear that comes with it. When we see that a great feat will lead to more personal significance and betterment, we already have one foot out of the comfort zone.

  1. Adore what is in your life now. Gratefulness and the act of noticing the good will quickly keep you in check and act as a counter to those moments when you are pursuing ‘more’. You are not lacking. You are simply overfilling the goodie bag of your life. Love everything in your life now and more good will come.

  1. Nurture your relationships. Give and receive love by staying in touch with people who matter to you and communicating how much you care about them. Even when you are busy or have a big vision for yourself and the world, remember to have intimacy and affection for those you cherish. If you desire a new type of relationship, go out and make it happen. If a current relationship isn’t working, seek help or let go with love if that is the only option. Having healthy loving relationships, platonic, familial, romantic or professional can make all the difference in feeling fulfilled as a social being.

  1. Give to others. Receive graciously and in abundance. But especially give. Maybe this is tied to doing what you are good at and what you enjoy, but nonetheless this point deserves its own place on this list. Giving equals happiness. When you contribute, you matter. Where are you already contributing? Where can you give more? How can you reach more people or make more impact in what you do now? This is a conversation you need to have with yourself. Or have it with me if you are stuck.

  1. Be you. Whoever you are now, learn to love and be yourself- a total, unapologetic expression of you. When you are comfortable with that and are not holding back your heart, your gifts and quirkiness, you find belonging and purpose.

There certainly are other ways people feel fulfilled (parenthood, world domination, total honesty etc). Share what makes you feel more alive and valued and loving towards yourself. And choose one action on the list and do it this month. Let me know how it makes you feel.

And I would love if you could complete this quick one question about your own sense of fulfilment.
How would you rate your current level of fulfilment? What is the one thing you believe you need to adore your life?

On a personal note, I would like to express my gratitude for allowing me into your life and for those emails and phone calls we share that make me feel like I am making a real contribution. I cherish you and am always here for you.

Let's fill up!

xx
Bec

Change... like that!

When you sit alone…

When you are walking down the street…

Or into a room full of unfamiliar faces…

Do you feel joyful, loving and confident?

Feeling like a goddess during my latest photo shoot.

Feeling like a goddess during my latest photo shoot.

Happiness and a sense of genuine personal power have become my default emotions. But every now and then, ‘the ‘crap’ clutters this space. And usually that crap has a name. Fear.

I’ll give you a couple of recent examples of when I have noticed happiness-thwarting fear disrupting my normal flow of healthy emotions. (Note: All emotions are normal and it is great to ‘feel’. I just consider love-based emotions healthier than others.)

Sometimes when I think of the music industry I feel enormous fear of not being conventionally beautiful or camera friendly. Yes, I do feel beautiful in the day to day, but in a practical and singer/songwriter sense- not really. I compare myself to other women and despite loving myself as I am, I notice this becoming a very real feeling. I even go so far as to strategise how not having chiselled features could be inspiring or part of my ‘thing’. But the process has a lot of push-pull and is inconsistent with the state of acceptance that does me the world of good.

My go to affirmation is ‘I am perfect as I am. My gift is worthy to be shared and I am worthy to be seen’.

Another time I let fear creep in is before certain social outings where I don’t know what dynamic to expect. (Cerebrally I get that I can control the dynamic if I wish). I find myself nervous and assuming I am different to the majority. In a recent Facebook comment, someone in passing called me ‘the life of the party’. I found this astonishing because before social events I need to psyche myself into going. This involves singing 90s techno songs!

Needless to say, I do have a great time when I go out. And if you are like me- deeply reflective, an analytical (sometimes ‘over’) thinker, then you can imagine how precious it is to have strategies to deal with these emotions.

I’m going to share one of these strategies with you today.

This is a state management strategy you may or may not have heard of, called anchoring.

Anchoring is used to get you into a particular state of mind. And to fire off an anchor, you execute an action that you only associate with that state of mind. In simple terms, you perform an action to make you feel happier, more powerful, confident, etc. And you do it whenever you feel that way and whenever you want to feel that way. This consolidates the association between the action and that feeling.

My example. Whenever I want to focus or remember something I click my fingers near my head and I immediately recall the needed information.

Whenever I want to feel enormously powerful, mentally and physically, I grip my toes in my shoes or to the floor.

To feel excited and happy, I do a little wiggle dance.

And to get prepared for (usually extroverted) fun, I sing 90s techno songs.

So let’s move to you now. What current anchors have you created by habit? When you touch your hand to your heart do you more easily speak genuinely as ‘from the heart’. When you look down for a long period do you become sadder? Tell me in the comments. What is an anchor that you may have created by accident?

Now, pick a feeling that you want to have at will. Confidence, happiness, love. Do what it takes to feel that in your body and really picture yourself having and enjoying the benefits of that feeling.

The next step is to choose an easy action to help you quickly engage that feeling by association. It could be clapping your hands once, a slow nod, stomping one foot, etc. Something you could logically do in a situation you would need this feeling. Practice doing that move and simultaneously experiencing that desired emotion.

Now, the trickiest part. Turning it into a real anchor.

You need to: a) use the anchor at the moment you feel that emotion. So if someone pays you a compliment as you feel your desired feeling (e.g. sexy), you immediately do the action to link the movement with the feeling. B) use the anchor whenever you want to feel this way c) visualize yourself firing off this move in multiple scenarios when it would serve you and really experience in your mind and body the sensations of that emotion.

And repeat.

Once you have mastered this, you will be able to quickly change your mood, state of mind and dominant feeling. There are ways to speed up this process which I do with the people I work with in person and over Skype.

I encourage you to share with me your anchor move and the state of mind/ feeling you wish to generate. I can let you know if it will set you up for success in this area or if your move needs a little tweaking.

There are so many factors that control our emotions and multiple neural pathways we have that can shape our mood and day to day experience. Rather than being happy all the time, the goal is to have the choice to change our state at will. Let me know how you go with this over the next few weeks.

I also want to tell both my local Sydney, interstate and international peeps  that I run a signature workshop that is taking place in December this year, but is also readily available for groups in other states and overseas who are ready for massive shifts in their life.

If you are from Sydney, click here for details.

If you are interested but not from Sydney, click here to find out about these workshops and how you can bring them to you.

Wishing you a wonderful few weeks. As always you have full access to email me at info.beckyshortt.com and chat about what is going on in your world.

Lots of love,

Becky

The Lazy Cure for Nice People

Now I am 100% for self-love. Doing what is best for me, considering the moment plus short and long term happiness and rewards.

But sometimes, I need to call to something bigger when my motivation wears thin. Maybe cerebrally I know I have to do something, but the natural pull of fear, distraction or laziness leaves me a little flat and finding the next episode of 30 Rock too tempting. That’s ok, not just because Tina Fey is a genius, but because procrastination and fluctuating levels of motivation and commitment are bound to happen, be they incremental or seemingly monumental.

life coach becky shortt

So what do I call to? If I catch myself putting off writing the last verse of a song, I say…

What if this song could change someone’s life? What if this was played at a party and lifted everyone’s spirits? What if this song is exactly what the world needs now?

If I feel too tired for conversation with a stranger (yet know it will be fun), I say to myself…

What if we were meant to meet? What if I can help this person with their biggest problem or burning goal? Who am I to be lazy, when we could be soul-mates?

It is ok to step out of the ‘me, me’ attitude and begin wondering how the right choice, won’t just be right for you, but the best possible decision to help the world.

We know that life can never be truly satisfying without caring for and adding value to our fellow man. Our families make us feel deeply fulfilled, and we are far happier at work when we know we are making a positive impact on other people’s lives. There is a beautiful parallel between what your heart truly desires and what will make the world a better place. Inspire, give and love.

Warning: I want to draw a distinction here to make sure this lesson is wholly positive. NEVER justify something that makes you absolutely miserable for other people’s sake, because how can you give your best if you hate your circumstance or the action your considering will do you more harm than good. For example, you wouldn’t stay in an abusive relationship ‘for the sake of the kids’ or quit the job you love and find a ‘real job’ just to make your parents more comfortable.

 You will KNOW the right choice. Doing it for someone else or the big picture will simply add more fuel to the fire and make you follow the little (sometimes less exciting) steps along the way. You move towards your path because others will reap the benefits of your amazing journey.

Keep acting with self-love and notice how being your best self naturally makes the world a better place.

What is it you know you are meant to do but avoid sometimes? How can you reframe this to make it more about others than just you in that moment?

Share with me here in the comments!

As always, I am sending you loads of love and hoping that this small action of writing this post helps those big-hearted readers stay on their goals and fight for their happiness and the needs of the world.

Love Becky,