Yesterday ended in a slightly wobbly way for me, and in waking this morning I asked the Universe ‘How I can let go and move forwards positively?’.
The answer came in the form of a beautiful meditation that showed up in my inbox by the very beautiful Luminita (aka The Purpose Fairy). It is one of the most wonderful guided meditations I have listened to in a long time, so I wanted to share it with you all.
If there is anything that happened yesterday that is even slightly unsatisfactory, this is the perfect meditation to help you let go of it, so you can enjoy today in a peaceful, calm and harmonious way.
“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.”
– Mother Teresa –
I came across this delightful TED talk entitled ‘The Hidden Power of Smiling‘ by a very sweet guy called Ron Gutman and I wanted to share it with you. It also follows on quite nicely from the post that I wrote yesterday ‘Lighten Up.’
In his talk, Ron emphasises the importance of smiling more.
He also highlights a stack of research that provides evidence that smiling can have a really positive effect on your life. Not only can one smile create the same amount of positive brain stimulation that 2000 bars of chocolate could create, but smiling is as stimulating as receiving 1600 pounds Sterling in cash.
Smiling also makes you healthier by reducing levels of stress enhancing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, and also increases mood enhancing hormones such as endorphins, which in turn help to reduce blood pressure.
Smiling also makes you look good in the eyes of others, as when we smile people perceive us to be more confident and competent.
He also talks about how we’re smiling when we’re born, we smile when we’re little and we’re smiling even when we’re in the womb.
Children can smile up to 400 times a day, whereas only a third of adults smile more than 20 times a day.
And he also highlights a study that was done on images of people (smiling and not smiling) and how they indicate how long you’re going to live. According to the study, the span of your smile can predict the span of your life.
So, want to feel happier, healthier and live a longer life? Smile more.
Sometimes we take ourselves, others, our lives, whatever else, way too seriously.
Believe it or not, life is not that complicated or difficult. In fact it’s as easy or as hard as you choose to make it. And you have the choice in every given moment to decide how things are going to go.
The important thing is realising that you need to cut loose and let go. Realising that perhaps a furrowed brow isn’t the best look for you.
And most importantly, no matter how tough you think you have it, there is more than likely someone else in the world having a slightly trickier time that you right now.
After all, sometimes life can be as simple as looking around us and seeing what there is to be joyful about. Looking for things to make us smile and laugh.
What can you do right now to lighten up? Can you remind yourself of a rubbish Dad joke that someone once told you? Can you just look in the mirror and give yourself a beautiful smile, or perhaps smile at a stranger on the street (I’ve been doing this all day, I get on average one beaming smile back for every two smiles I give out, which I think is a pretty good ratio). If there was one thing you could do today in order to take your life slightly less seriously, what would it be?
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a secret gig of Mark Wilkinson‘s deep in the heart of Sydney’s Surry Hills, at a very beautiful night held by the lovely people at High Tea.
The inconspicuous building of 342 Elizabeth St could quite easily have been missed, and once inside, you needed to navigate a host of staircases and corridors which took you through a maze of concrete graffiti emblazoned walls. However, what was waiting for us, was something quite different.
When we got to the second floor, we were met by a candlelit doorway and greeted by our lovely host for the evening.
After having our names signed off on the guest list, we then found a table full of different sized antique teapots with a myriad of different teas on offer to us. Chai, Peppermint, Camomile . . . It was perfect, as I have decided of late, that I’m really not that fussed about drinking anymore.
Once our teacups were filled with delicious hot tea, my friend Kerry and I, had a chat with Mark and his manager and then found a comfortable spot on the floor and settled down to enjoy his dulcet tones.
The setting was beautiful. It felt as if we were in someone’s living room. We were surrounded by about 100 other like-minded people, sitting on a rug covered wooden floor, with candles in front of us fairy lights to our right and lanterns hanging above us. Utter bliss, for a fan of Mark’s music. The most wonderfully intimate venue, in which to enjoy his music. He opened with the delicately beautiful ‘For the first time in years‘.
I had been invited by Mark’s Manager to review the gig for the blog Timber and Steel to help spread the love for Mark’s forthcoming new album and Australian Tour ‘Let The River Run‘. I’m super excited for the launch on 9th August.
He played a few songs from the new album, and a few older songs, including my personal favourite All I Ever Wanted. It is a song that I have already written a blog post about, I’m Alive. And is a song that was one of my anthems for 2012. It kept me going when I had doubts about having left the Corporate World in order to follow my heart and dream of starting my own business.
And the sentiment of the song seems to be so very timeless for me. He sings ‘All I ever wanted was to be someone, more than just a shadow from a fading sun. And you tell me I’m here, and you say I’ll survive, but I’m searching for more, to know that I’m alive.’
And it isn’t so much the fact that I wanted to necessarily be someone, but I wanted to do something worthwhile with my life. And the funny thing is, that when you focus on doing something worthwhile, you inadvertently become someone.
I write this blog to share the spiritual and life learnings that I am gathering as I continue on my journey of enlightenment, conscious growth and awakening. I also write it to inspire people to live a life full of love. To fill it with love for yourself, love for others, love for what you do and love for where you are. Because love is the highest vibration that we can emit as human beings, and when we are emitting love, only good can come of it.
And so, the thought for the day is ‘Be Someone.’ But in order to be someone, all you need to do is follow your heart. I put of starting a blog for so long, it isn’t funny. I was so frightened that no one would want to read it, worried that what I wrote wouldn’t be of any value or noteworthy, how wrong I could have been.
When I got over all of my fears and just felt the fear and did it anyway, only amazing things have come of it since.
I choose to write about things that I love, things that inspire me, things that hold me to a higher standard and vibration. I write my blog to help me be the best person that I can possibly be. And by doing so, I hope that I inspire others to do the same, by being the example myself.
I have always loved music. I had a radio show at University and I wrote for our University magazine, reviewing albums, gigs and interviewing bands. I loved it, and I was good at it. I never followed that career path, because I didn’t think I was good enough or knew enough. I always thought that there were people out there better suited to that than me. Once again, how wrong I could have been.
Within 4 months of starting my blog and writing about things that I love, I have been invited to write a gig review. Some would say that is a coincidence, I would say that is the magic of the Universe. This is how the Universe rewards us for following our hearts and doing what we love. In turn, the Universe has come to know me as someone who writes and blogs, and someone who loves music, and in particular Mark, which is how the invite came around.
So, my question for you today is this, if you wanted to be someone, be known as someone, who would you like to be known as? A writer, a painter, a photographer, a teacher, a philanthropist, a social entrepreneur, a coach, a mentor, because you can decide. You can decide who you want to be and how you would like to be known.
And the thing I have learnt is this, it is better to decide who you would like to be, rather than allow others to decide that for you.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
– Charles R. Swindoll –
I have two of my beautiful friends to thank for the inspiration for my blog post today. Firstly, Sasha for sharing such an inspirational post on Facebook this morning, which is sitting just above these few sentences.
And my wonderful friend Pia, for sharing the video that you can watch below. It has just the most lovely sentiment and sweetly and succinctly communicates a very simple message, and one that I live by, every day.
I spent a lot of my life in a very cynical space. I sometimes struggled to see the good in people, things and situations. Sometimes I was fearful that something bad was going to happen or someone was going to screw me over. Of course, I wasn’t always in this space, and when I wasn’t, I was occupied by how fantastic life was, and how brilliant and amazing people are.
In the last 12 months though, I have decided that I want to occupy my time, thoughts, feelings and energy on the positives in life. I have decided to see the good in everything in everyone, and that change has needed to start with myself and come from within.
When we learn to stop judging ourselves, we can stop judging others. When we understand that there is no right or wrong, nor good or bad, we can allow things just to simply be. When we decide to concern ourselves with living our own lives from a place of love and truth, it no longer matters what other people think or say.
So, my question for you today is, what would you like to experience more of in your life, and therefore what do you need to start to look for more of?
For me? I choose peace, love, truth, wisdom and abundance.
“Belief Makes things real Makes things feel Feel alright”
– Gavin DeGraw –
As promised, here is the fourth (and at the moment) final part of my Anything is possible blog post series. Yesterday in Part 3, I showed you how Darren and I have made friends with the cockatoos who live in the tree opposite our flat.
Today I will show you what happened when my beautiful friends Sasha came to visit us for the weekend from London. . . . .
After meeting him from the ferry and grabbing a green tea and having a chat on the beach in Manly we walked back to my flat. On the way we came across about 20 of the cockatoos all eating seeds from the trees on the ground close to our flat. He got super excited to see them and went over to take a photo and they flew away. I told him not to worry and that we would be able to feed them later, because they come to visit our balcony. I think he thought I was a little crazy, but I didn’t mind, because I knew the truth.
Sure enough a few hours after he had arrived and we had been drinking more tea in my living room and catching up, one cockatoo arrived on my balcony. We went outside with our container of organic almonds for them, and then an entire flock flew over to our balcony. There must have been about 14 birds with us and about another 7 sitting on the telephone wire next to our flat, eagerly watching.
Sasha got super excited (again) and happily fed them nuts. I told him that if he was calm, quiet and peaceful, and put a nut in his hand and outstretched his hand, one would sit on his arm. He did this immediately and sure enough, after a few minutes one came to sit on him. It was magical. Further proof that anything is possible if you desire it enough, if you believe, if you expect it to happen, if you visualise it, trust your imagination, you take the relevant action and you are congruent with the thing you desire to happen.
Here are the photos of what happened. . .
And here is some video footage too. He even managed to follow through on something Darren and I had set an intention to manifest. . . . he got to stroke one of them! So amazing. Considering they are wild birds.
And here is a video of a wonderful man called Kevin Richardson in South Africa who has made friends with lions and has been accepted into their pride as one of them.
So the final thought for this group of posts is. Anything is possible IF these 7 things occur –
You desire the thing to happen – without desire nothing happens.
You believe the thing will happen – you need to connect with a deep feeling of knowing.
You expect the thing to happen – you need to know that the thing you desire to happen WILL happen.
You visualise the thing happening before it does
You use your imagination – be creative with your thoughts
You take action – you must follow through with what you say you’re going to do
You are congruent with your desire – you actions and behaviours must be congruent with what you think and say. They must all go hand in hand.
So, as with the cockatoo example. I desired for us to feed them. I believed it would happen. I expected it to happen. I visualised it happening in my head before it happened. I used my imagination to create the idea of it happening. I took the relevant action when the bird appeared by taking nuts outside to the balcony and I was 100% congruent with my thoughts, words, actions and behaviour. And this people, is how you manifest.
So, the question today is, what you would like to manifest? Write your comments on this below, share your thoughts, goals, dreams and wishes and let us know how you get on with your manifesting.
Back in May I wrote a blog post called ‘Enjoy the Ride‘ and I wanted to write a follow up to it today. That post used a board game as a metaphor for life. And this one is going to use a motorcycle ride.
Today I needed to drive into the city to drop Darren’s car off to get it fixed after the accident that we were in a month or so ago. See yesterday’s post ‘Don’t get sucked into the drama‘ to learn more about that.
After not having driven much during the 7 years I lived in London, and then not much over the last year or so since being in Sydney, I’m still getting used to driving in a big city. I grew up in the country, and I’m better accustomed to tinkling around country lanes and in and out of small towns and villages.
After getting across the city to drop the car off, I met Darren and jumped on the back of his new Aprilia motorcycle to head home. A few years ago, this is something I would definitely have thought twice about. However, since travelling through South East Asia in 2011 and opening my heart and mind to new things, I had discovered that I actually really quite liked being on the back of motorcycles.
Whether it was hurtling down the back streets of Hue for a morning with a local tour guide before heading on via bus to Hoi An, or travelling on the back of my friend Sophach’s bike every day to school when I taught in Cambodia last July, I have always felt happy and free on the back of a bike.
And it’s no coincidence that, I have manifested a boyfriend who owns one.
That doesn’t stop me getting a little scared every now and then though.
Darren’s bike is big and powerful, and fast. When you’re on the back of it, you need to be completely and utterly present and paying attention. But I actually love how calming and centering it is. I’ve always been one to love a good car conversation, but when you’re on the back of the bike, you’re just alone with your thoughts.
I remember the first few times I was on the back of his bike, it was a mixture of excitement, exhilaration and slight terror, especially every time we turned a corner. The mini control freak in me struggled to begin with, knowing that I needed to just let go and trust that everything would be OK, but still wanting to freak out a little every time I got on the back of the bike.
Now, I almost feel like I’m on the back of a metal horse, and we’re galloping through the streets of Sydney on it, weaving in and out of the other animals.
When we left the car fixing place (I forget what the official name for it is), it was raining. In my old life I would have worried about this, decided that it was dangerous and that I’d get wet and cold and be slightly miserable. In my new life, I decided that it was going to be a fun ride no matter what. I decided that I’d enjoy every moment of it. That I’d enjoy wrapping my arms around Darren, locking my knees around his bum, snuggling down into the seat, feel the wind and rain on my body and enjoy the ride as we skipped across Sydney towards our homestead in Manly.
So the thought for the day is, more of a reminder I guess. In any moment you have the opportunity to make it whatever you would like it to be. I choose the silver lining, I choose the glass so full it’s overflowing with water, I choose the present, I choose joy, I choose to enjoy the ride.
It’s interesting how drama get’s created in our lives. Sometimes we create it ourselves, and other times, it comes through another person’s drama, or an event.
It is important to realise, that this drama is not real. It is in fact an illusion that our ego has created. And when you become conscious of the drama, and rather than being sucked into it, you observe it and step away from it, the drama then magically disappears. It is only when you acknowledge the drama and engage with it, that you give energy to it and permission for it to prolong.
So, if you are someone who regularly experiences a lot of drama in your life, the news is, you’re creating it. And just as easily as you create it, you can make it disappear too.
Here are 6 simple steps to ensure that you don’t get sucked into the drama in your life
1. Whenever a dramatic event occurs, before engaging in it, become conscious of it.
2. Then acknowledge that you have created the drama, even if it is an event that is seemingly not related to you (for example it could be something you have read about on Facebook, or a friend who has called you about an event that has happened).
3. Understand that you have a choice as to whether to get sucked into the drama.
4. Decide not to give energy to it.
5. Choose to give energy to something more positive in your life instead and know that the drama will dissipate, as soon as you focus your energy on something else.
6. Be grateful of the things you have in your life, and focus on the present moment.
A good example is that Darren and I were in a small car accident recently. Now an older, less conscious version of me (and my ego) would have loved a story like this a few years ago. It would have been a perfect opportunity to play the victim, plaster it all over Facebook, call friends to discuss the drama and gain sympathy.
However, knowing what I know now, as soon as the accident happened, I became very conscious of the fact that I had created the accident in my reality (subconsciously) and that there was an opportunity to get sucked into the drama.
I decided in that moment to stay calm, relaxed and not allow myself to become emotionally involved with the incident. And, after we had got out of the car to check it for damage (which was luckily only slight), we swapped details with the girl driving behind, who had hit us, and carried on with our journey to meet our friends for a pub quiz.
I also gave thanks to the Universe that Darren and I were both unharmed and safe and that the accident wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
As it turns out, a guy swerved out of his lane towards us, which meant that Darren had to swerve out of our lane to avoid being hit and injured, which meant that we were hit from behind by someone who didn’t have enough time to brake. If he hadn’t swerved, there almost definitely would have been injuries and much more serious damage to both cars. As it was, the guy who caused the accident drove away.
Rather than dwelling on the accident, we took it in our stride, were grateful that we were both OK, enjoyed our evening with our friends at the quiz and then the next day Darren took steps to make an insurance claim and for his car to be fixed.
Of course it was an unfortunate event, of course it is a shame that cars were damaged and yes there was a potential for us to get sucked into the drama of the incident and be emotional about the fact that the guy caused the accident and drove off. However we decided to stay neutral to the situation, and because we did that we didn’t allow the situation to have a negative effect on our evening or our lives.
So, the next time a drama comes up in your life, you have the choice to become conscious of it, accept that you have created it as part of your reality and understand that you have the power to make that drama disappear as quickly as you created it.
“The moment you concentrate the focus of your mind on a singular purpose, extraordinary gifts will appear within your life.”
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S. Sharma
I’m reading a couple of really great books at the moment and there is a common theme that is coming through both of them. If you seek abundance in life, it starts on the inside, and with your mind.
I have known for a while that your thoughts create your reality, and what you think, you become. This is why, I now know that it is so very important to think positive thoughts and focus on the things that you would like to have happen in your life, rather than thinking in the opposite way.
In T. Harv Eker’s book ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – Think Rich to Get Rich‘ he talks about the fact that ‘your inner world reflects your outer world’ and ‘what you focus on expands’. And therefore if you want to get rich you need to focus on making, keeping and investing your money. If you place daily attention on your objective of becoming financially abundant and free, it is much easier for the Universe to help you achieve this. Of course, there are lots of other things that need to be in place for your to be able to manifest money, one important piece of the puzzle is being able to receive. However, it remains that if you want an abundant life, you need to have an abundant mind and abundant thoughts.
This sentiment is echoed in ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma, another fantastic book that I’m reading at the moment. In the story, a character called Julian Mantel (a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance-life) shares the wisdom and lessons that he has learnt from spending time with a group of Sages in the Himalayas.
He talks about how ‘mind management is the essence of life management’ and that ‘the way you think stems from habit.’ He explains that ‘most people don’t realise the enormous power of their minds’ and that ‘your mind is nature’s greatest gift.’
He goes on to say that ‘mental mastery comes through conditioning and when you dedicate yourself to transforming your inner world, your life quickly shifts from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.’
And this is something I am definitely experiencing in my life at the moment. The more control I am gaining over my conscious mind, the more I’m connecting with my intuition, the more I’m learning to turn the volume down on any negative thoughts or feelings and replace them with those that are positive, optimistic and helpful, the more amazing things are happening to me in my life.
The biggest project that I have on my plate at the moment is a trip to LA at the beginning of August. I have no idea why, but the feeling of needing to go to LA has been coming to me for a few weeks now. I recently started to take action and put my feelers out to friends who have connections there and live there, and I’m getting a lot of positive feedback that I should go. So, despite the fact that at this stage I’m not entirely sure why I’m going, what will happen when I’m there, where I will be staying, where I will find the money for the flight. One thing I know is certain, I will be in LA between 5th and 15th August, to talk to people about my company Thought Cloud and the book I’m writing at the moment on Conscious Branding (A Brand New World – 25 ways conscious brands are changing the world for good).
And I’m trusting that the Universe will help and support me along the way and give me all of the things, people and resources I will need to make the trip a success.
And so on that note, what would you like to create in your life to make it more abundant? And what beliefs might you need to let go of, or flip on their heads in order to think more abundantly? After all, an abundant mind = an abundant life. What we think we become.
And it got me thinking. We spend so much of our lives learning, reading books, studying for courses, taking on other people’s views and opinions, that sometimes we forget to think for ourselves. Sometimes we forget that our own unique take on something, could actually be valuable.
I am currently writing a book on Conscious Branding and I have been researching it for the last month or so. However, every book that I read, doesn’t really satisfy what I’m looking for. There aren’t any useful quotes or references out there to inspire me. So I have actually stopped writing for a few weeks.
After watching this video, I have realised that I need to stop learning and start creating. And as Jacob concludes. I need to be the field, rather than keep looking for it.
Sometimes we just need permission to create. We are brought up in a society that tells us we need to be constantly learning, studying, reading. We have to go to school, we’re encouraged to go to college or university and gain further knowledge, higher education. When in actual fact, perhaps we already know all we need to know and we have everything we could possibly need to create, inside of us.
So my thought for today is, stop learning and start creating. Whatever thing you’re passionate about in life, whether it’s writing, painting, photography, nature . . . . start creating something amazing. Something that is unique. Something that is special.