I Used to be Decisive – But Now I’m Not so Sure!

15 02 2011

“Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.” ~Ida Scott Taylor

I used to be decisive – but now I’m not so sure!

When I was younger, I was very impulsive. If something fired up my imagination I would just go for it…with no thought of any possible consequences of my actions.

I always had a great time and never regretted any of my decisions. With hindsight, they weren’t always the best decisions…but hey…at least I’d had a ball and learnt a few lessons along the way.

Now I’m rapidly heading towards my big 50, I just can’t seem to make the simplest of decisions without procrastinating for days…or weeks…before finally taking action.

What happened to the girl who always followed her heart wherever it may lead?

Now every choice is examined from every conceivable angle. Pros and cons are weighed up. Friends and family are consulted for their opinion and needless to say, their opinions vary hugely – resulting in more confusion than ever!

The incessant chatter inside my head goes round in circles until I am unable to think straight…let alone make any important decisions.

Eventually I will decide on a course of action – only to start worrying about whether this really was the right decision – before checking to see if there is a ‘get out clause’ in case I change my mind!

All this procrastination is very tiring…and so I usually end up doing nothing and putting off making decisions until tomorrow – always tomorrow – and one day there will be no tomorrow.

What happened to the trusting girl who had such faith in the universe that even if she made a mistake – it didn’t really matter – as she knew that everything would always work out for the best?

As I get older, I worry more about becoming the proverbial ‘bag lady’ – living on the streets if all my ventures fail and I can no longer afford to pay the rent.

This prospect scares me more now than it did in my younger days when all things seemed possible and I felt immortal.

Maybe it is because there is now more time behind me than there is in front of me – and less time for my mistakes to work themselves out…so I try to avoid making mistakes…by avoiding making decisions in the first place!

I recognise this pattern of procrastination in my mother who is the Queen of Worry. I used to listen to her talk herself into something one minute…and talk herself out of it the next. I understand her fear of failure and the frustration of not finding the courage to ‘feel the fear – and do it anyway’.

For many years I was determined not to be like my mother – so frozen with fear and worry that she chose to walk away from so many of life’s wonderful opportunities. I became the explorer of the family-  always chasing after the next exciting adventure.

I am a firm believer than we teach what we most need to learn. And when I started writing this blog at the beginning of the year, I talked about our DASH  (the line between our date of birth and date of passing from this world)…and how we owe it to ourselves to make our DASH count.

I have a neighbour whose mantra is…‘Yeah…whatever’…

ExactlyWhatever…! 

Life is a risky business and whatever our choices…we will all end up at the same destination!

So thank you dear neighbour – for reminding me to stop worrying about the future…to live in the ‘Now’…and focus on making every day a cause of celebration!

Day 46 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by making the decisions I keep putting off and trusting that there is no such thing as a ‘wrong decision’.

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Shadows and Light

30 01 2011

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done for the children

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments

Extracts from The InvitationOriah Mountain Dreamer

I often remember these beautiful words during the times when I have to introduce myself to new people, as I really struggle with the challenge of condensing all that I am into a few short sentences.

In a business context, we are encouraged to produce an ‘elevator’ speech – a short up-beat summary of who we are; what we stand for; and what we can offer the other person.

A personal introduction is very similar; except we might not include the ‘offer the other person’ bit …after all…we’ve only just met!

It is something we have to do though if we want to capture the other person’s attention, as social – or business events – do not usually call for a complete unveiling of our life’s history!

And yet part of me wants others to really ‘see’ me…and for me to ‘see’ them.

I yearn for someone to gaze into my eyes… beyond the ‘me’ I present to the world…and to see into the depths of my soul – where my heart lies.

We are like precious diamonds presenting a few polished and gleaming facets of ourselves to our audience, whilst the greater part of who we are remains in the shadows.

And therein lies the gift…for where there is shadow…there will always be light!

Day 30 -365 Days of Celebration

Today I will be celebrating by looking in the mirror and truly ‘seeing’ myself for the first time.





Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

26 01 2011

In the words of the great Elton John…’sorry seems to be the hardest word’.

Yet sorry seems to be a very easy word for those who use it as a regular excuse for their behaviour.

Sorry is one of those words that some people use automatically in an attempt to keep the peace – without really considering the true meaning of the word.

I know people who are so unreliable that sorry is usually the first word out of their mouths…long before they even know what you want to say to them!

They have become so used to being berated for letting others down; that sorry has become their mantra and often they have no idea what they are saying sorry for!

In some cases, the other person is totally unaware that their words or behaviour have hurt us in some way. At times like this, we owe it to ourselves and to the perpetrator to be honest about how we feel.

Rather than blindly accuse them of doing us wrong, we need to gently explain the effect their words or actions have had on us. We need to own our hurt instead of blaming them. This way they will less defensive and will be far more prepared to listen to our point of view.

Whether or not an apology is forthcoming, we are ultimately responsible for the way we feel. Perceived hurts often result when our expectations have been dashed for some reason.

In many instances, the other person has no idea what our expectations are, and it would be very unfair to expect someone to live up to ideals of which they are totally unaware.

If someone has unwittingly caused us pain, we cannot always expect an apology as it may well have been a misunderstanding on our part. Sometimes, just by listening to another’s point of view we are able to release any hurt or resentment we may have been holding onto.

Sorry often goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness.

 

Firstly, we need to forgive ourselves for allowing someone to hurt us in this way. Only then we can forgive the other person. And by doing so, we are able to free ourselves from holding a grievance that would eventually hurt us far more than the other person.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”…Gandhi

Insincere apologies can always be detected and when we say sorry, we need to ensure that we really mean it. A heartfelt apology can melt away all grievances, anger and hatred…and can heal a million hurts.

Day 26 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate the honesty and courage of those who find it in their hearts to make a sincere apology for any hurt they may have caused another.

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Attitude of Gratitude

22 01 2011

“It’s not that beauty doesn’t exist in our world, it’s that we seldom seem to notice” – Susan Jeffers

 

The wonderful metaphysical teacher Susan Jeffers Phd, talks about the positive effects of developing an Attitude of Gratitude.

She suggests that we create an Abundance Journal to record all the things that we are grateful for in our lives. The idea is to list 50 reasons to be thankful for on a daily basis.

Initially this sounds like a huge undertaking and when you first begin this exercise it can be a bit of a struggle to come up with 10 reasons, let alone 50!

After a few days practice we begin to live with more awareness and we learn to take mental notes of just how much we have to be grateful for.

Until Focal Dystonia stole away my ability to hold a pen, and with it the pleasure of writing my journals, I used to do this exercise religiously before I retired for the night.

I’d forgotten just how much I used to enjoy the process until I came across some old journals this morning. Reading through my notes, I realised that I have begun to take a lot more for granted since I stopped writing my lists.

So, in honour of those bygone days of journal writing, I offer my grateful thanks to the universe for 50 things that I am grateful for in my life right now…

  1. My beautiful daughter – for bringing such joy into my life
  2. My family – for finally accepting me for who I am!
  3. My wonderful friends – for always being there for me
  4. My earth angels – and my heavenly angels – for reminding me that we are never alone
  5. Rejoicing in a friend’s good news that her cancer markers are all clear
  6. My little riverside house – for becoming my home
  7. My laptop and the internet – for giving me the freedom to write (in a different way) and to connect with people all over the world
  8. My neighbours – for helping to create a supportive community
  9. The ever changing view of the River Thames flowing outside my window
  10. Swans – my beautiful ‘angels of the river’
  11. My book collection – for the inspiration contained within their pages
  12. TV – for entertainment & knowledge – and background noise!
  13. My passport – for giving me the freedom to travel and for opening the gateway to so many adventures – past and future
  14. My little sports car – for bringing me many pleasurable years of driving along open roads with the roof down, the music turned up and the wind in my hair!
  15. My central heating – for keep me warm and snug throughout the cold winter months
  16. My digital camera – for kindly capturing some wonderful memories
  17. My dining table – for providing a comfortable place for friends to gather to share good food and great times
  18. The gift of a membership at my local spa – which has become my retreat and place of well-being
  19. The vase of beautiful scented pink lilies on my dining table
  20. The excitement of looking forward to a special a ‘girlie’ get together this weekend with my precious daughter and some close girl friends
  21. My mobile phone – for enabling me to stay connected with my loved ones
  22. My fridge full of healthy ingredients to turn into tasty meals
  23. Having the gift of time to be creative
  24. My sturdy collection of herbs – for having survived the cold winter
  25. My landlord – for saying nice things to the local press about the renovation work I had carried out on his property
  26. The vineyards of Portugal – for providing the grapes for the rather nice glass of red wine I am enjoying during the writing of this post!
  27. My cookery books – for inspiring me to create some adventurous dishes
  28. Being able to type – now I can no longer write
  29. My blog readers – for subscribing and for your lovely comments – bless you all
  30. My pretty display of candles – for giving my home a cosy glow
  31. My carved Balinese fisherman – for representing the love of the carver and for expressing the exquisite essence of Bali
  32. My treasured photos – for reminding me of such wonderful times
  33. For the privilege of living in such exciting times of change
  34. My beautiful collection of orchids – for your beauty and grace
  35. Freedom – to be able to choose what I want do – when I want to do it
  36. For all my ‘light worker’ friends working toward the creation of a better world
  37.  My Buddha’s – for bringing an energy of calm into my home
  38. Having enough food to eat, clothes to wear and a safe place to live – anything extra is a bonus for which I am truly grateful
  39. Today’s sunshine – for lifting my spirits and putting a smile on people’s faces
  40. The mist rising over the river in the early morning
  41. A healing massage – given freely by a beautiful soul whom I love dearly
  42. Finding the courage to admit – ‘I know nothing’
  43. My mother and father – for giving me the gift of life
  44. My eclectic music collection – for providing just the right background to support my ‘mood of the moment
  45. For the people who’ve served me today – your smiles have made my day
  46. For all the love and support that arrives from unexpected sources
  47. The beautiful bronze Pegasus that gracing my living room – for reminding me of the love of a friend who carried you all the way (by hand) from the Far East
  48. All the teachers who continue to appear in my life – for the lessons you have taught me – and for the reminder of how little I know!
  49. The Universe – for bringing me just what I need – just when I need it
  50. Mother Earth – for continuing to nurture and sustain us even though we have treated you so badly 

 What 50 things are you grateful for today?

Warning…be prepared to be overwhelmed by the abundance in your life!!!

 

“I’ve never a suffering neurotic person who was filled with gratitude –  David Reynolds

 

Day 22 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate the abundance of all the wonderful things I have in my life

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Mud and Stars

21 01 2011

“Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars”

Anonymous

A friend quoted these words to me this evening, serving as a timely reminder that our experience of life is totally dependant upon our perspective.

It isn’t what happens to us that is important…it is our attitude towards what happens that will define our experience.

I had just spent the entire day preparing an important business proposal to present at a meeting tomorrow.

As gaining the support of this particular company is integral to the future success of my business, I had created a strong emotional attachment to a positive outcome.

So when I received an email earlier this evening saying that the meeting would have to be postponed for the next few weeks, my spirits immediately sank and negative thoughts began creeping in.

After investing so much effort and emotion into the creation of my business proposal, I allowed my disappointment to begin affecting my sense of well-being as I ran through a mental list of ‘what ifs’…

What if they don’t re-schedule our meeting?

What if they don’t ultimately like my proposal?

What if they change their minds about working with me?

What if?…    What if?…    What if?…

Even as I was thinking these negative thoughts, I knew that I had to change them… and quickly…as this kind of thinking wasn’t very supportive.

As I began to look out through the bars (of my negativity) and see the stars instead of mud, I began to see some of the positive benefits resulting from the change to my plans.

I realised that have gained a wonderful gift of some much-needed time as I’d been feeling under a lot of pressure to fit many different tasks into a short space of time.

Looking at what I have now gained…

● I can now relax and enjoy preparing for a friend’s visit this weekend.

● I can enjoy having the satisfaction of crossing a load more things off my ever-expanding ‘to do’ list!

● I can treat myself to a yoga class, or a visit to the cinema.

● I can even write my weekend blogs in advance and have the whole weekend off!

Most importantly, I have gained another few weeks to fine tune my business proposal and to get my new company on a stronger footing before our next meeting, thereby increasing the potential for a successful outcome!

It is amazing just how different everything looks since the stars have returned to my eyes!

Day 21 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by enjoying the gift of time to spend in ways that will bring me great pleasure and joy.

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Enough is Enough

15 01 2011

In today’s world we all seem to live such busy and overcrowded lives. 

And with so much information available at our fingertips we can easily begin to suffer from information overload.

This feeling of being over burdened can expand into all areas of our lives as we chase after ‘more…more….more’ – and our desire for – ‘bigger…better…best’.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made some wonderful contacts and formed relationships with folks who until a short time ago were complete strangers to me. I’ve connected with some lovely people to whom I want to remain connected.

If someone has taken the time to read my blog, leave a comment, share my link with their friends, or to offer their support in some way, I feel a huge sense of responsibility towards honouring this person and giving them my time and support in return.

On the other hand, it feels as though I have created so many more commitments towards other people, that I am struggling with how best to let everyone know how much I care and how much I value their support; even though I’ve yet to have the opportunity to reciprocate with a level of support of my own. I hope that for now at least, offering my grateful thanks through this blog will suffice.

Why do we choose to create such complicated and overcrowded lives?

We seem to crave more toys, more luxuries, more friends, more experiences, and more ‘things’…to the point that we can no longer cope with these self-imposed burdens and responsibilities.

So we resort to taking more pills; drinking more alcohol; watching more TV; eating more junk food; taking more drugs; or spending more time surfing the net in an attempt to escape for a while from the stressful and overburdened lives that we have created for ourselves.

At what point do we say…enough is enough!

During my previous work as a House Doctor I was always intrigued to know why my clients’ had decided to move house. Invariably they wanted to move to a bigger place as they felt that their homes had become too small and overcrowded.

Apart from those who needed the extra space for their growing families; the main reason they believed that they needed a bigger house was because they had accumulated so much ‘stuff’, they had run out of space to store it all!

They seemed to be happier with the idea of taking on an increased mortgage and putting themselves through the stress and expense of moving rather than having to face getting rid of any of their ‘stuff’! 

I recognise that there is a natural hoarder lurking inside most of us. When we come from a place of fear and lack of trust in the universe to provide for our needs, we squirrel things away…’just in case’…to the point where our homes and lives are bursting at the seams and we are forced to move to a larger house in order to create more space around us.

And once we’ve moved, no matter how large the new house may be…we will soon fill it full of stuff. Just like many of us girls when it comes to our handbags…no matter how big or small…we still will manage to fill them!

A Moving Story

●        We accumulate so much stuff that we are forced to move to a bigger house

●        We are forced to borrow loads more money in order to pay for our new house

●        We have to work harder and/or longer hours in order to meet the mortgage   payments

●        To compensate for working longer and/or harder, we buy ourselves more new toys, or more new ‘stuff’ in an effort to help us relax and to make ourselves feel good

●        In a few short years, we have filled our homes to the brim and we are forced to yet again to move to a bigger place

●          And so it goes on…until we cry ‘enough’!

And I totally understand this desire to build and feather our nests as last year I was delighted to have a home of my own for the first time in years. Starting over again with no possessions, I was in the fortunate position to be able to furnish my home with items that either have a practical use, or with objects that give me pleasure to look at.

I thought…and still believe…that I’ve managed to get the balance right; particularly as I’ve had to fit my whole life into 36 sq metres. However, in the words of one of my fellow contestants on May the Best House Win;  ‘Less is More’!

(ITV Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 2pm)

So where has the simplicity gone?

At what point do we begin clearing out our lives to make space for ourselves?

How bad do things have to get before we learn to say ‘enough is enough’?

 

Enough

I may not be perfect

Perfect would not be enough

I am enough

Anonymous

 

Day 15 – A Year of Celebration

 

Today I celebrate connecting with so many lovely new people. Thank you for your continued love and support. We can never have enough positive strokes! Bless you all and I wish you a great weekend. x





The Power of One

14 01 2011

Only 14 days into the PostaDay 2011 Challenge and  blogging seems to have practically taken over my life!

These days I’m either thinking or dreaming about what I’m going to write; jotting down new ideas; getting carried with the writing of my blog, or searching for suitable graphics and videos to illustrate my post!  

I’ve given myself the gift of ‘hibernating’ for the month of January to focus on planting the seeds of success for 2011 and it’s been great fun planning lots of wonderful treats and exciting ventures to be launched in this special year.

However, my diary is now beginning to fill up for the months ahead and I have been wondering how I am going to meet this blogging challenge whilst juggling my other commitments.

I toyed with the idea of reverting to the PostaWeek 2011 Challenge, but that would have defeated the object of my 365 Days of Celebration!

52 Weeks of Celebration doesn’t sound quite the same somehow.

Dali – Persistence of Time

Please don’t get me wrong, I’d love to spend my days waxing lyrical about my thoughts on love, life and the universe.

But that wouldn’t leave much time for actually living my life.  

After much soul-searching, I’ve decided that I am going to more disciplined in my

approach. I will now give myself an hour a day to create my blog and each post will be shorter and quicker to read; no doubt to the relief of some my readers!  

I recognise that we all have very busy lives and I feel very humbled that you lovely people are taking time out in your busy schedules to read my daily postings. Time is such a valuable gift and we must learn to use it wisely.

So as from tomorrow, I will be working to The Power of One 

●          One hour to write and produce my daily post

●          One graphic or video

●          One daily ‘Cause for Celebration’

●          One Inspirational ‘Word of the Day’

●          One minute to read!

So in the (completely adapted) words of one of my greatest teachers, the truly inspirational Joel Roberts:-

The Power of One

Give me one minute

And I’ll give you an hour

Give me one minute

And I’ll give you my heart

Joel’s actual words were:-

Give me three days

And I’ll give you three minutes

Give me three minutes

And I’ll give you the world

Intrigued about Joel’s teachings?…then check out this video clip:-

Day 14 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate the precious gift of time and learning to value every joyful minute!