I’m not a writer. So why am I doing a 30 day writing challenge?

I’m not a writer. So why am I doing a 30 day writing challenge?

“Everyone has a book in them…” 

Great. Let’s do this!

“…but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”

Oh.

I’m not even entirely sure that I want to write a book. Definitely not fiction. I use up enough time and energy managing my own life without creating and guiding multiple characters through theirs.

But I read so much and learn so much. I enjoy sharing that with my coaching clients so I’d love to be able to capture and share it further with anyone it might help. Life lessons with meaningful anecdotes from my own life. Maybe that’s it. But not just yet. 

In the meantime, I have a course to write, an eBook to finish and a blog that I should be posting on more regularly


Why do it?

We’ve already established that I’m not a writer and I’m not even sure that I want to be. So why put myself through this?

Find my writing style

I worked in Human Resources for 20 years. Everything I wrote was ‘professional’, often legal, in strategy and report formats to global boards and directors. Dry.

Writing that way is all I know. So when I try to write now, I immediately disappear back up my own corporate backside. I bore myself! 

Although I did once rebrand an employee handbook with a new tone of voice by recording content exactly as I would speak. So do I have to ‘be more me’?

The advice on finding your tone of voice is to write like you’re talking to your best friend. I can tell you now, she would NOT enjoy being bombarded with my musings and doubts for 30 days. But maybe I can secretly write to her and never share. 


I love reading 

Imagine if someone, anyone, might enjoy reading something I’ve written. I know that’s going to take more than a month, but I have to start somewhere. And why not try. Have no regrets.


Learning and improving

Now that I’ve decided to do this, I’ve been reading tips from other writers. I’m enjoying that. I’d like to put tips immediately into practice and that means writing every day.

And on my quest to learn and improve, maybe this will help. But what’s an expository style? Be original. Efficient syntax? Oh heck. Maybe I should study all these tips today and start again tomorrow…. *see procrastination

 

Earn money

I’ve got to be honest here. My work depends on it. I’m self employed, always on the lookout for new clients and I need to be active and visible online. No matter what platform or format that takes, I’ll need written content.  

 

Why not?

Oh, this part is easy! I have lots of reasons not to write. That’s why I’ve shared so little on my website so far. And why I procrastinate like feck.


Writing should be fun

It’s not. 


I am the Queen of Procrastination

I only enjoy writing when I should be doing something else. When I should be writing, I can find about a million other things to do instead.


Write about something you love

Lots of experts recommend that you write about something you love. I worry that if I force myself to write about something I love, I’ll very quickly lose the love. 


It’s not starting, it’s finishing

Au contraire. I’m great with a blank page! Give me a blank page and I’ll fill it with ideas and ask for another page. But once I’ve done that brain-dump, I find it almost impossible to put those scattered thoughts into order. In fact, I struggle to go back and look at it again, nevermind start reworking it. So writing takes me FOREVER.  


Too many ideas

Can’t think of anything to write about? Not me! I’ve so many ideas I can’t choose. And when I do make a choice, I’ll change my mind halfway through writing then decide to start another topic and finish the first another day. I’ve lost count of how many blog posts I’ve started and abandoned. Maybe the challenge could be to finish 30 of those started-but-abandoned-posts?


Confidence

Of course, what I mean here is lack of confidence. Enough said.


Visibility

This is my biggest challenge. I’m very private. I don’t like social media. I worry what other people will think. And I’m sensitive to criticism. But all of that has held me back for over 3 years now. That’s how long I haven’t actively promoted and shared my business. Time to put on my big girl pants and do it!

 

 

How?

Now that I’ve publicly committed to this, how do I make it happen?

 

Be organised

I’ll have a set time to write each day. First thing in the morning. With a nice coffee. Just don’t want it to ruin a good cup of coffee. And it’s already 11:43am today. Need to get more organised.


Habit is better than discipline

Habit is something you do daily without thinking. You just do it. Or build it into each day until you eventually get to the point where it’s a habit. That’s going to need a whole lot of discipline for me.


Write for yourself

Nope. That one isn’t working for me. I have a laptop full to bursting with half-written posts. I need the commitment and accountability of writing for other people. Even if that’s just the public accountability of committing to do this.


Take baby steps

Hhhmmmm… I’m not sure a 30 day public challenge ticks this box. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. That might be a better approach.


Just
do it

This is my year of growth. Maybe I will learn to love the page rather than fear it. 

I’ll be brave enough to start badly and publicly improve my writing. I can share my learnings. Share my failures. Share how life has knocked me down and I picked myself back up again.

So this is my month of doing something badly. Bravely.

Tune in tomorrow for more. Or maybe the next day…

 

I won’t share every daily post here but check out my Medium Stories if you’d like to see how I do in the challenge.

In the post I mentioned that I’m creating courses. Check out Burnout to Balance, it’s launching very soon!

*Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

My Burnout Reading list

My Burnout Reading list

I’ve been on quite a journey of transformation myself over the last three years. These are the books that helped me learn, grow, let things go and turn my life around. Some were new reads and others are books I’ve read over time and time again or dip into when I need a reminder or a burst of inspiration.

* Please note: this page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission but doesn’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

Self-help & Personal Development

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Rising Strong, Brené Brown

The Rules Of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life, Richard Templar 

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, Shel Silverstein

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, Sarah Knight

Spirituality

The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

The Universe Has Your Back: How to Feel Safe and Trust Your Life No Matter What, Gabrielle Bernstein

Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Daily Meditations For Practicing The Course, Karen Casey

You Can Heal Your Life, Louise L. Hay

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche, Bill Plotkin

Embracing Our Selves: The Voice Dialogue Manual, Hal Stone, Ph.D. and Sidra L. Stone, Ph.D.

Psychology

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl

Sane New World: Taming the Mind, Ruby Wax

The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Personal Effectiveness

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek

Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done Today, Brian Tracy

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

Manage Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide, Gillian Butler and Tony Hope

Philosophy

Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting The Power Of The Wild Woman, Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

Yoga

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Saraswati Satyananda Swami

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, William J. Broad

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: An Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners, H. David Coulter

Bhagavad Gita – Text and Commentary, Sivananda Swami

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live – Watch Here


Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Passion & Purpose


What is Love The Life You Live?

Love The Life You Life is a programme I developed after working with clients and recognising a strong repeating pattern in the processes that helped them.

The Roadmap is a step-by-step guide to assessing your life, finding purpose, making plans and how to take steps to achieve them.

Here’s a video talking you through the  exact process to help you to Love The Life You Live. 

You can also download a FREE copy of the Roadmap, and the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework (below). 

 I’d love if you could share your comments, particularly about anything you’d like to see more of. Happy to share anything that can help right now…🙏🌈💕

    FREE Downloads

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul – A Holistic Framework

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul Holistic Framework

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live
    Burnout to Breakdown to Breakthrough…

    Burnout to Breakdown to Breakthrough…

    I remember the moment when I realised that I was really stuck and living a life that just wasn’t working for me anymore.

    I was crazy busy on all the wrong things and it was draining me physically and emotionally.

    I was 45 at the time and figured I was already at least halfway through my life. I couldn’t let the other half be the same.

    It can be hard to see that there really is a way to find your way out when:

    * You’re overwhelmed
    * Burnt out
    * Feeling like life is passing you by
    * You want to change, but what and how? 
    * You don’t have time to stop and figure it out. You’ve things to do and bills to pay. 
    * You’re bursting with ideas for changing career or setting up your own business but that means leaving the career you worked so hard to build.
    * Everyone else thinks you’re crazy. Your life looks so good from the outside. 

    I eventually found my way…and my WHY. So I KNOW you can do this, because I’ve been there too.

    My own journey of discovering a way to balance a career I love with a much healthier lifestyle helped me discover a formula that really works.

    That’s when I knew. I have to share this!

    That’s what inspired me to leave my career in HR to start coaching women who also feel they’re stuck. 

    But way before I got to that point, my burn out became a breakdown. TWICE! But I overcame that and you can too.

    Once I realised my life wasn’t working for me, I started to make changes, Even though these changes were positive, my burnout became a full-blown breakdown.
     

    How did I recover?

     

    1. I got off the hamster wheel. I LEFT MY JOB.
    That’s when the breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t a Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening, it was a breakdown. I’d been running on adrenaline for years and once that wasn’t needed to maintain the pace of life I’d been hammering through, it switched off completely and I was left in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

    2. I decided to take some TIME OUT to get a proper break.
    I know taking time out of work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford but in my case I sold my house, which gave me the financial freedom to take some time out. I knew I was giving up my financial security/pension but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything and I chose to prioritise that over money.

    3. I found YOGA
    Eventually. Initially I raced my way even through that, doing high intensity yoga shred workouts. It wasn’t until I almost broke my toe doing burpees – yeah, don’t worry, I get it. Burpees in yoga! – that I realised that what I needed to do was slow the feck down. Epiphany.

    4. I SLOWED DOWN.
    Properly. For first time ever.
    I took breaks away on my own in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales where I walked, wrote, read and rested. I booked a week away to Turkey in a location where there was absolutely nothing of interest to do or see so that it would force me to sit and lie still.

    5. I set BOUNDARIES
    I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I don’t do things I don’t want to (where possible). And when I waiver, I remember that I made huge changes to my life to protect my mental and physical health and it’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have difficult conversations. I explain to people how I feel, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.

    6. I discovered SPIRITUALITY
    Or I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, possibly trying to find something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. But an Ayurvedic consultation led me to a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling. I decided to go to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka and immersed myself in yoga and spirituality. Those of you who have been through a Spiritual Awakening will understand how I found myself stuck in the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a dark, empty period of personal growth and transition that made me want to turn the clocks back and make it all stop! That led to breakdown number two. This one really was more of a Breakdown Spiritual Awakening but I didn’t know that at the time. I had five months where I experienced suicidal thoughts. But underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But when I had a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts and so I faced right into it and I reached out for medical support and counselling to try to finally uncover my thoughts, habits, behaviours, addictive personality and any other demons that were lurking. Medical support was poor but the counselling was transformative.

    7. READING
    I read and read and read and read and read. I read about spirituality, personal growth, the law of attraction, psychology, how the brain works. I also studied – Nutrition, Mindfulness, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Purpose – I just couldn’t get enough information.

    8. JOURNALLING
    I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.
    It’s why I’m still such an advocate for journaling. It clears your head, helps prioritise, helps recognise patterns of thought and behaviour. 

    9. I let go of my PERFECTIONISM
    I tried, okay I’m still trying, to let go of perfectionism. I put enormous pressure on myself for things to be ‘just so’ or how I think other people expect them. I’m trying to recognise when the perfectionist takes over and let her go pronto. It’s a work in progress.

    10. I distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE
    Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.
    My way is with optimism and positivity, once I’ve allowed myself to deal with and process the emotions. Personally, I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people exceptionally draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

    11. I spent time in NATURE
    I spent a lot of time in nature. I walked along a local river, drove to the mountains, stayed by the sea. Nature is grounding and I found stillness and balance when I inhaled fresh air.

    12. I dealt with an unhealthy relationship with ALCOHOL
    Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink that much. But it wasn’t the amount that I was drinking, I recognised that it was the ‘why’ I drank that was the problem. I was trying to numb things or take the edge off, escape from life or sometimes escape from me.

    13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island
    I’ve always had a very clear vision of how I imagined my life someday. I imagined living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors. I always believed that vision would be achieved when I reached retirement, but suddenly I realised, why wait until retirement? Why not live that vision now when I’m young enough (ish), fit enough (ish) and strong enough to deal with a big move?

    So this February I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

    It’s too big for me but I wanted space for friends and family to visit, to feel like they have a home here.

    I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local market, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. I don’t have a car. I don’t buy much stuff (I already have too much stuff and I don’t want to clutter my lovely space) and I’ve adopted a little dog. I work from home and I get out into co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company.

    My favourite social events are coffees and brunches. Okay, okay, I also love a glass of Verdejo in the sunshine but I’ve no interest in nights out, or even fancy dinners. I became vegetarian during my time in India so even my food choices are more simple now. Every morning I enjoy coffee, writing and reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

    I’m living the lifestyle I dreamed of. And I get to help other people find the lifestyle they dream of too. So really I guess I’m a lifestyle coach. Because I believe in a holistic approach to Mind, Body, Life and Soul. If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance. 

    How long did it take? 

    At the risk of sounding like an absolute cop out I really don’t know.

    The perimenopause hit me at the same time as the burnout. And perimenopause is the gift that just keeps on giving. It can last for up to 10 years, symptoms fluctuate and come and go and I still have days where I feel low or anxious.

    The major difference is that any changes in mood now usually last only a day or two. And surely that’s to be expected in life?

    The books that got me through this difficult time

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    I know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything here so here’s a link to my reading list.

    But if I had to select just a few, these are the books that had the most profound impact on me were:

    The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

    Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

    Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

    Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

    The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

    Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

    Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

    Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

    8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

    8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

    It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

    It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

    Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

    1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
    Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

    2. Walking improves your cognitive function
    A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

    3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
    Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

    4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
    Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

    5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
    A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

    6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
    Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

    7. Walking Improves Creativity
    Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

    8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
    Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

    What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

    I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

    Right, I’m off for a walk…

     

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    You might have heard this called a Life Purpose Statement. Both serve the same brilliant purpose…helping you discover your dreams and creating a personal statement that supercharges you towards living it.

    1. List two of your unique personal qualities, such as enthusiasm and creativity.

    2. List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others, such as to support and inspire.

    3. What are your greatest strengths/abilities/traits/things you do best?

    4. What motivates you or brings you joy and satisfaction?

    5. Write down at least two things you can start doing more often that use your strengths and bring you joy.

    6. Combine your previous answers into a single paragraph or statement.

    Example:
    My purpose is using my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others as I freely express my talent in happiness and love.

    My personal vision statement:

     

     

     

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Why do I need a life plan? I’ve managed without it all this time, why do I need one now?

    A life plan is like a map that helps guide us towards a more meaningful and fulfilled life. It’s one that we’ve considered and envisioned for our future. Without a clear life plan we can find ourselves drifting or meandering along with no real direction, vision or purpose.

      So how do I do it?

       

      Let’s look at some simple ways to begin developing your perfect life plan.

      Step 1:  Take stock of where you are now

      List the key areas of your life that you want to review and plan for. If you’ve watched the Masterclass you’ll already have started to consider these. 

      As a guiding example, when I’m doing my life plan review, I list my key areas under my holistic mind, body, life, soul framework. So for instance, in my case these key areas are:

      – Mental health (mind)
      – Personal growth (mind)
      – Emotional wellbeing (mind)
      – Physical health (body)
      – Physical fitness (body)
      – Nutrition (body)
      – Personal style & brand (body)
      – Career (life)
      – Finances (life)
      – Connection & belonging (life)
      – Where I live (life)
      – Spirituality (soul)
      – Life purpose (soul)
      – Personal life plan (soul)
      – Daily practice (soul)

      Everyone’s key areas are different, so it’s important that you choose what’s relevant and meaningful to you.

      • Rate each of these areas how they currently are on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best possible life.
      • Consider how you would like them to be. What would a 10 look like?
      • List the realities of your life such as your responsibilities, available finances, things that really make you happy or things that make you unhappy.

      Step 2:  Create a snapshot in your mind of your ideal life

      • Remember to dream big!  The sky’s the limit so don’t be afraid to be bold.
      • Use your list from Step 1 as a starting point then add anything and everything that gets you excited about your life like hobbies, early retirement, family time, charity work etc…
        Details are good here as it will help you visualise later.
      • Think about those things that you really love to do and notice any themes that might be recurring.

       

      Step 3: Take an inventory of your skills and talents, listing all of your professional and personal accomplishments, achievements and strengths.

      My blog post 15 ways to discover your natural skills and talents for tips on how to do this.


      Step 4: 
      Create a manifesto or personal vision statement, so you can boldly proclaim your wants, needs and desires

      This personal vision statement post shows you how to really get creative with this.

      Take into consideration your snapshot of your life (Step 2) and what you’ve discovered is important to you.

      This statement should be all encompassing and it should include everything you have already discovered about yourself and your dreams, bringing it all together in one clear statement.

      This enables you to make commitments to yourself and stand for something. It should capture the value you create and who you’re creating for, including yourself!

      As an example, here is my personal vision statement:
      “Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Be the best I can be. Use my enthusiasm and optimism to inspire growth and bring out the best in people. Have fun in my journey, keep learning. Open up, let people in, be brave enough to wear my scars on the outside. Maintain a sense of wellbeing and calm, be kind to myself and believe I deserve it.

      I review my statement every 6 months or so to make sure it still aligns but after tweaking my first few drafts, it hasn’t changed in almost two years, which shows that the initial time I spent in contemplation really got me thinking deeply and helped me create my personal guiding roadmap.


      Step 5:
        Hold this vision in your mind by contemplating it for a few moments, each and every day

      This is a vital step in the process because you are essentially reprogramming your mind towards this new way of life. The more you imprint this image in your mind, the more your mind will guide you towards it.


      Step 6:  Take small, actionable steps so you can begin moving towards this new goal

      If you take time to focus on your new way of life every day, your mind (and the Universe) will begin to create ways for you to get there.

      A bit more about me…

      A bit more about me…

      My previous life & career

      For most of my career I was an HR Director. I moved from Belfast to Manchester, UK in 2013 and even back then I had hoped to change careers but I kept getting offers of HR roles which were difficult to turn down.

      By early 2018 I was in total burnout, working 65-70 hours a week in a career I no longer wanted to do and the dissatisfaction with my job was affecting all parts of my life. I was investing all of my energy into work and, with my tank on empty, I didn’t have the energy to make a change. My “aha” moment was when I realised that it wasn’t organisations I was invested in, but the individual people at the core of the business. Although I was very successful, I wasn’t particularly suited to an HR Director role because I care so deeply about people and I was lacking the same level of commitment to the organisational strategy and success. I’d reached a point where it was financially rewarding but not in any way emotionally rewarding.

      Mental Health

      I have navigated anxiety and depression throughout my entire adult life however the heaviness and panic that swept over me at this period in my life started to take me under. I pushed through the panic attacks until I felt out of control and couldn’t take any more. Everything was failing in my wellbeing and, even when I left work to prioritise my health, I actually became even more unwell.

      The entire time I was navigating this burnout, an entrepreneurial itch had been sitting with me. I’d worked for my entire life, from the age of 16, and had been involved in the glorification of busy for over 20 years! While my life looked beautiful and full from the outside, I was lost and wasn’t enjoying or appreciating with presence, any moments of here and now. My mind was always onto the next thing.

      I was halfway through my life and I realised I couldn’t let the next half be the same. I needed to discover where I wanted to be which was difficult for me as I was passionate about so many topics.

      Breakdown to breakthrough

      My breakdown became my breakthrough. I quit my job and found the space and time that I needed to get better. I knew I needed to stop, to slow down and approach my entire life at a different pace. I stopped for six months and shed the items that didn’t serve me, my house, big car, so many clothes with labels still on that I didn’t even remember owning. My entire lifestyle shifted. I travelled to India for yoga teacher training and it was the next step in my spiritual journey. I started using my mindfulness practice to shift my awareness in how I approached everything in my life.

      Five years before I had completed a coaching qualification, introduced a coaching programme in work and had always really enjoyed coaching people. I’m intrigued by their stories and goals and I’m passionate about helping them achieve them.

      In trying to find my way out of my own burnout and mid-life crisis, I leaned on tools I’d trusted while coaching others and also sought additional resources online. None of them quite ‘fit’ so I developed my own toolkit and system to help others transform their lives too. My holistic approach to life coaching is combined with spiritual practices to help shift your mindset, shed your old practices and beliefs and create the life of your dreams.

      I shed my old mindset, rooted into my spirituality, healed my heart and started coaching other women how to do the same. I watched them recover from burnout, feeling stuck in careers, lost in life’s path and helped them to develop a spiritual practice, adopt a self-care itinerary and start to prioritise themselves in their day-to-day lives.

      In the past two years, I’ve ‘lost’ or released my job, career, home, relationship, income, lifestyle, limiting beliefs and a few bad habits. I’ve gained health, time, balance, happiness, fulfilment, appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, stronger friendships, a spiritual practice, a lust for life and an understanding of who I am and how I want my ‘new’ life to be. I’m not perfect but I’m learning how to be myself and the best part was discovering that my purpose is to dedicate my professional life to empower, motivate and inspire women to look at their lives from a different perspective.

      Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, while earning an income on my online business and I have created the Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Purpose & Passion system, a series of important life evaluation and design steps that every woman who wants to get unstuck and design a fulfilling new life needs to apply to rewrite their stories and embrace more joy, freedom and wellbeing in their everyday lives.

      In February 2020, I relocated to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and I’m living my dream life in a bright, light rooftop apartment with a little white foster dog for company. Everyone’s dreams are different. I can help you find and live yours.

      Why is a life purpose important?

      Why is a life purpose important?

      Why is a life purpose so important anyway?

      It’s who you are.

      Who you are and why you’re here.

      Your life purpose normally uses your natural talents, skills and abilities and is tied to that one thing that you absolutely love to do. Once you tap into those gifts you can start sharing them with the world, living your purpose.

      When you align your choices and actions with your life purpose, life flows in a more successful, meaningful, fulfilling way.

      You might be thinking that by your age you should have it all worked out by now but that’s not the case. Your life purpose can evolve as you mature and that’s possibly the reason you’re feeling stuck. What once satisfied you no longer does, and you need to rediscover what your purpose is now.

      Plan how to turn your dreams into reality and design a live a better life with direction and focus that be will filled with more passion, joy and aliveness.

      “The meaning of life is to find your gift.
      The purpose of life is to give it away.”

      Download this fab free workbook to help you discover your passion and purpose. 

      Find your gift, find your meaning, find your purpose.

      Rising Ritual: The Importance of a Spiritual Morning Routine

      Rising Ritual: The Importance of a Spiritual Morning Routine

      Good morning sunshine! 🌞

       

      Whatever we do first thing in the morning sets the tone for our entire day. So it’s important to start off in a positive way.

      Not only that but establishing good morning habits means you’re more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day.

      Win the morning, win the day,” Tim Ferris

      If having a morning routine is an essential for the most successful 1% of people in the planet then why not give it a try?

      Imagine this. You get up in the morning knowing that you’re going to step straight into your morning routine. That means you don’t need to make a single decision first thing. Not only does that help ease you into the day, but you can save that brain power for when you need it later in the day.

      Each day we only have a certain amount of willpower. That willpower is strongest when we waken and lessens as the day goes on. Ah… so that’s why I’m more inclined to demolish the family size chocolate bar at night-time. It’s because my willpower reserves are depleted! 🍫😋

      When I follow my full routine, it takes less than an hour. Under an hour and I feel more grounded, focused, centred and it clears my mind for the day ahead.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always do all of it. But I always do some of it. When I first waken, I list three things I’m grateful for before I get out of bed. Even if one of those is just being thankful for my warm, comfy bed.

      The most important thing is that you choose to introduce what will suit you. That way you’re more likely to stick to practice long term and reap the benefits. So here are some of the options you might choose from to start your day as you mean to continue.

       

       Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash


      Rising Ritual Daily Practice Options

      🙏🏼 Silence

      Silence allows your body to wake up slowly and naturally, easing you into the day. It helps you to centre emotionally and brings you a sense of calm. You don’t have to sit and do absolutely nothing while you’re silent. Sometimes my silent time is my walking time. I try to avoid thinking about the day ahead while I’m walking each morning. In fact, I try to avoid thinking too much at all. I allow myself to be fully present and enjoy the sights and sounds.

      Sometimes I’ll have my moments of silence back on the balcony with my coffee.

      🙏🏼Meditation

      Meditation helps focus, concentration, mental health.

      Sitting in meditation has never been very achievable or enjoyable for me. I’m a chronic overthinker, my mind is always racing. I spend most of the time wondering when it will be over or making lists and plans for the day ahead!

      For me, daily pranayama (breathing exercises) and yoga practice are my best forms of meditation. And walking meditation is the best! I practice being fully present on my morning walks.

      🙏🏼Gratitude

      Gratitude and appreciation is the key to happiness.

      Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

      Many people are on a lifelong search for happiness.

      When I get this, have that, reach that destination or key moment in my life, I will be happy. But when you get there, you will start searching for the next thing. I believe that happiness is now, that there is happiness to be found in small moments. Gratitude is a choice to start the day with a positive mindset and recognition of the good things that are already in our lives. Practicing gratitude helps you replace negative thoughts with good thoughts and stops you living in a place of ‘lack’ and move into a zone of abundance.

      Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to be grateful or we can allow ourselves to be ungrateful. It’s choosing to recognise the value that’s already in your life.

      🙏🏼Affirmations

      Positive affirmations are statements that help you overcome or steer away from negative thoughts. Positive Psychology explains the psychological theory and neuroscience behind this powerful practice. 🙏🏼Visualisation Visualisation is a technique to manifest your goals and desired outcomes.

      If it’s a new concept to you, I know it sounds wacky but it’s widely practiced by super successful people. Jack Canfield explains it brilliantly here.

      🙏🏼Intentions

      Take a moment to set an intention for the day ahead. Intentions can be whatever you want them to be. Think of them as a roadmap for your day. Try to focus on the positive and make it uplifting. For example, if you’ve been feeling stressed, rather than setting an intention of “I will overcome this stress today”, instead use “Today I will find peace and calm”. Using the negative word will have the opposite of the desired effect, reminding you throughout the day that you’re stressed. Once you’re practiced at this, it’s good to stop at several points during the day to remind yourself of the daily intention.

      🙏🏼Pranayama

      Pranayama is a yoga practice of focussing on your breath, essentially some breathing exercises. The goal is to connect your body and mind, boosting physical and mental wellness.

      I light a scented candle or burn oils and warm a few drops of essential oils in my palms to inhale while breathing. Gorgeous start to the day.

      🙏🏼Reading

      Spiritual reading was recommended to me by my ayurvedic therapist as part of my daily practice.

      Reading just a page or a chapter each day helps me pick up a ‘thought for the day’, giving me something new to consider and lots to learn. Sometimes I open a book randomly and see where it opens, believing it will guide me to what I need to know that day.

      🙏🏼Journaling

      My journaling encompasses almost all of these practices. It’s a daily checklist that guides me through each step.

      I also practice free writing, letting the pen flow wherever it takes me. If something is troubling me, I write through it. If good things are happening, I like to capture those too.

      Journaling helps clear my mind, organise my thoughts, capture ideas, reflect, make decisions, prioritise, plan and gain new perspectives.

      🙏🏼Yoga

      Yoga gently wakens up your body and muscles. It’s good to relax your mind and nervous system, prepare your body for digestion and gently rouse your circulation immune system for the day ahead.

      🙏🏼A walk in nature

      If I only did one thing each day this would be it. I can have my silence, be grateful for everything around me and be inspired by nature. It’s good exercise, great to breathe fresh air and I find nature grounding.

      🙏🏼Keeping it a tech free / email free zone until a certain time

      We spend so much time on our screens. As soon as you check the news, or messages or emails, your mind is racing into the day ahead. Give yourself some time before entering the busyness of the day. It’s good to have a set cut-off time to switch these off at night too.

      🙏🏼Mindful coffee / tea / juice / smoothie / lemon water

      Sometimes this is when I sit in silence. Sometimes I have a coffee when I journal. But I do it mindfully. Taste it. Smell it. Be present. I literally do wake up and smell the coffee ☕

      🐶 Cuddles with the dog

      Or is that just me?

       

      MY DAILY PRACTICE ESSENTIALS


      Journal 

      I always journal in a LEUCHTTURM1917 and I’ve been using these notebooks for years. 

      I like the size and it has a hard cover which helps it keep its shape. I carry my journal everywhere and the cover stops the corners of the pages getting dogeared and battered while the notebook is being bounced around in my  handbag. It has an elastic fastener, numbered pages and a blank table of contents to help you organise whatever way you like.

      These LEUCHTTURM1917 come in every colour under the sun, many different sizes and with plain, ruled, dotted or squared pages. They also have a great range of planners.

      I tend to switch between this fancy Metallic Edition Medium (A5) in Silver and I’ve just bought my third A5 Lemon Dotted journal. They may call it lemon but it’s a vibrant yellow which always makes me smile and is never hard to find!

      I personally never use journals with ruled pages as my writing is enormous and I find that plain pages allow me to creatively use the pages however I want. Planning, writing, journaling, mind mapping, lists….


      Pens

      I’ve got very distinctive handwriting, which is impossible for anyone but me to read – maybe a good way to keep my musings private if anyone finds my journal.

      I’m hooked on these Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens. I’ve been using them for years, always stock up on a pack of 12 and keep them stashed everywhere!

       

      Candles

      For me, it’s really important to create the right environment for my Daily Practice of yoga, pranayama (breathing) and journaling.

      Before I start, I always light a few tealights and a scented candle.

      My absolute favourites are these St Eval Tin Candles. They have a wonderful, lasting fragrance but aren’t overpowering. They have some quirky fragrance combinations and come in tealightspillar candles and diffusers. The diffusers are great, they really seem to last forever.

      I love so many of their scents, but if pushed for my Top 3, they would be (in no particular order) SandalwoodTranquility and Sensuality.

      I first got one of these candles as a gift.

      A gift to the senses! Beautiful fragrance, I light it morning, noon and night. Perfect for inspiring my journaling.

      LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

      LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

      *This post may contain affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

      LSW Mind Cards might just be my new favourite thing.

      They’re beautifully designed cards created to help you to become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, take back control of your happiness, focus on the present and spread positivity throughout your life.

      You get 45 gorgeous individually designed cards presented in a beautiful box.

      The cards cover 5 inspiring, thought provoking categories:

      * Kindness
      * Ritual
      * Gratitude
      * Journal
      * Reflection

      I’ve written about all of these categories before, raving about the benefits of developing a daily practice incorporating all these elements. These beautiful, inspiring LSW Mind Cards give you the tools to guide you through that practice.

      Each day, you select one of the LSW Mind Cards at random and take the action stated on the card. Building the habit of making positive choices each day will help you lead a more fulfilling and happier life.

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