Courage to make mistakes

When did you last do something for the FIRST time? Do you resist the NEW out of FEAR? Do you lack COURAGE to break out of your steady norm of LIFE because you’re afraid of making MISTAKES?

Today I acknowledge the fear I have had about making silly “in the moment” mistakes and feeling like a fool. It’s happened in the past. I have said the wrong word in the wrong place; my mouth has sometimes worked independantly to my mind’s pace; I have tripped in my rush to get somewhere; I had fears about getting proposals wrong with clients; and in my personal life inadvertantly rejected romantic advances, unconsciously fearful of picking the wrong man!

From my Landmark Forum weekend, I have taken up the full courage of my own power. I now set into the new possibility that there no mistakes that aren’t opportunities to amend if they arise; to have fun with my errors as options to resolve; and finally to flow into a romantic relationship knowing he will love me “just the way I am”.

As Bridget Jones realised Mark Darcy did love her so, I too welcome a soulmate to journey with me!

What a fabulous release for me as continue on with my journey from “stuckness” to expansion. I encourage you to face your fears, name them and get to know as they are blessings in disguise. They keep us alive and alert to dangers and pitfalls to avoid. My ability to make mistakes now will fill my calendar with new ideas and solutions for growth.

Thank you to my fellow participants who gave me great feedback today.

Set off random ripples of kindness today

What one small action could you do today that would ripple out to many people? A random act of kindness is the start of a ripple – a smile – a helping hand – and who knows who might enjoy receiving your love. Start by liking yourself and knowing your best. Then you’re ready to ripple!!

Try it … feel the random ripples already coming your way!

Many years ago, in the 90’s I worked with a fabulous woman and together we ran a very successful programme called ‘High Impact Communication’ and the essence of it is still at core what I deliver today as an underpinning to all personal and professional development – making people feel great about themselves… that’s the best way to start a ripple. We worked with men and women, young and old, senior and junior, across all sectors and it was fun and spread happiness as well as buckets of improved performance. It was hugely successful.

At the core was a simple cycle of effects created by each person – the ‘me’ factor. And it sounds egotistic and all that, but it isn’t. It simply knowing yourself, warts and all, loving yourself, body and mind, heart and soul; and taking simple actions to start your ripple. I now call this our ‘value cycle’ i.e me, you and me, us (we). Everybody gains when we ripple our best in a loving way.

In our workshops, we would comment on that fact that the ripples either gently or at speed, spreads your ‘best’ into the pond of (your) life… it sounds trite but it’s not. It’s pure and honest… and we used to say “and when it reaches the banks (of the pond) it ripples back. Now that’s the honest truth of ‘random acts of kindness’. You don’t know where the ripple goes and who it reaches and when it’s going to turn back on you!
So make sure that your ripples are all that you wish back!

So today what random acts of kindness will you ripple… or maybe see these as random ripples of kindness making a river of happiness?

Yesterday I smiled at every person as I walked to the tube, the sun helps and I had a bright spring in my step as I love living where I am now overlooking the river at Richmond. I have landed on my feet having changed what most people would think was a painful stuck process into a glorious process of re birth! This is my garden view, how wonderful is that!

I find myself laughing as things occur. A funny text, a colourful billboard, a fascinating shop window, all things to lift my spirits. The blossom, the trees, the river, my walk to the station, the different routes I take to get to places that are familiar. Using the train to go places I used to drive, all makes me energized and excited. I am like a kid reborn! I find myself being more chatty with strangers, offering more help when needed, being generally more engaged in what’s around me.

Last night, returning home, I witnessed a random ripple of aggression – a verbal attack at the bus stop between two men…one angry because the other pushed past. The ripple was abrasive to my whole persona, my physical body shrunk back. The ripples hit the bus queue out and back. It was a sad punctuation in an otherwise lovely day.

I’ve learned that I am the start of the ripple and if I want everyone to ripple loving actions and thoughts … I have to walk my talk and be loving in every action and thought. This is the choice I make everyday I wake!

What’s your choice today?

Happiness needs a SMILE

Take notice; ‘Action for Happiness’ is having their launch event on Tuesday April 12th, sign up and come along, I’ll be there smiling! At last we’re taking happiness seriously – it isn’t wealth that makes us happier, it is something that comes from within us and through many simple actions and collective mindsets.

Since I was 17 years old I have been writing about smiling and the wonderful benefits it gives us all.

It started in an old exercise book, where I wrote my diaries from a young age. I was naïve; gauche; happy go lucky; a chatterbox, yet shy when it came to ‘going out’ with boys. I sat one night in my bedroom reviewing my teenage looks with despair… yet admiring my SMILE. When I smiled “I felt good – and it seemed to have a good effect on others!”

Simple, effective, logical, I set my stall to be happy. I reflected at the time “I don’t know why some adults don’t smile, as it makes life difficult when they don’t!”

Was I too simple in my early philosophy ? I don’t think so.

My core values in life are harmony (born out of my early smiling), abundance (I learned this as I grew up middle of four, in an essentially happy well-motivated family) and independence (being 3rd/middle child, I learned that to be a bit of a rebel early on and was always encouraged to stand up and be counted)… and the attitude of smiling grew with me into my adult years.

It made it easy to connect with people, even when I felt shy and had to meet with strangers. It helped me to broaden my views now later in life as I work to build healthy happy teams, groups at work, whole communities in the work place and in society.

With the public face of happiness now well researched across the world, the Positive Psychology school of thought and action, and the talk of the BIG SOCIETY, we have more opportunity to embrace smiling in our life. However, I feel many people are too challenged by increasing austerity. How is simple is it to turn our attitudes around?

Let me give you a simple proven example of how smiling works…

I was running a team away-day for a large HR group in major public sector a few years back. We had worked with the individuals in different ways, with profiles, group work, practical and specific assignments, growing their confidence about themselves and each other – and this was their last big day all together.

A review, a learning day, a fun day, a bonding day – and a surprise exercise surprised us all!!!

1. At lunch we spilt then into teams of 4 and sent them out into the daily chaos around Waterloo Bridge/ Southbank, London area.
2. Their task – to take photos of themselves with strangers and those photos to be happy ones!! (Some people looked a wee anxious.)
3. The assignment was that they had to be in the photo as well.
4. So they had to engage with and request in a way that attracted strangers to take part. Only 30 minutes to get this achieved – so no hanging about.
Stunning results returned. All were surprised how much people reacted positively, how much fun they had, how much smiling and laughter emerged. Energy in the team had raised several hundred fold, all felt so proud of their work and shared with ease… and the exercise was remembered for years to come.

How simple is that!

All ages can smile, all different types of people, styles of people, diverse minds and different bodies, can all smiles…. And indeed we can smile in every language. It has to be genuine, a smile that emanates from within and from a place of truth, pure heart and unconditional love; an authentic, totally honest smile!

What do you do to take happiness to heart, do you smile naturally every day and make a difference to someone else’s day?

The perfect TIME is right now

Do we often try too hard to challenge TIME? And then wonder why we are not getting what we believe we deserve? We put TIME under pressure and the more we try, the less TIME we have. We want more, we want it now, we want to speed TIME up. Contrarily, when we don’t want to get old, we want TIME to slow down. The more TIME pressure we exert on ourselves everyday (getting frustrated because we think it’s caused by obstacles outside of us), do we blame the world for all those things that don’t turn up? Do we say there’s just not enough TIME in each day?

When I allow myself to feel that way and am impatient for instance that contracts are not turning up that I have pushed hard on, or emails are not being responded too fast enough, or meetings get pushed back when I have prepared for hours to present my case, who’s stopping the natural flow of time and effort merging into a seamless flow? It’s me.

Having transformed my whole existence in the first quarter of this year, unsticking that which was stuck i.e. my place of residence, my surroundings, my excess baggage, I am now experiencing a whole new view of TIME in my life through being in a different place.

I have allowed TIME to help me slow down and flow. I have made choices that underpin an inner realization that if I am not being my best, doing what I do best and feel honestly in tune with, then nothing will arrive on this path. This is what I teach my clients to value, so I needed to set my own life into the right TIME and motion.

It is when I slowed down to the natural speed of TIME that I saw things differently. I now notice what I had not seen before, and I sense the path beneath my feet, I feel more grounded, I love the breeze on my face, the rhythm of my physical movements as I rise every day, the spring in my walk across my bridge every morning, the ease of smiles with strangers on my journey.

I recognize a shifting sense of the new, still tempered with the past wisdom but fresh now with ideas, insights, patterns, words, and new definitions of potential and future gifts that I can share with my family, friends and clients as I create my successes and grow my desired outcomes.

We can’t argue with TIME (we get the same 24 hours each); we can mis-use it, we can abuse it, we can steal it from others by bad time management; we could nurture and value every moment and use wisely, honouring TIME in our world. Maybe assess TIME as a friend not an enemy, and see what comes to be.

To help us notice TIME in a new way:

T Thinking – use your whole brain; don’t be concerned about what you think; notice what you think; become an observer of your thoughts; know that not all your thoughts are useful; use those which feel good and positive, and let the others go…
I Intuition – sense equilibrium in the swirl of time around you; know that balance is personal, physical, mental, emotional; tune into that inner-sense and innocence within; listen; breathe; exhale as you go with the flow of the day…
M Motivation – be moved by the rhythm of your own body first; observe if you are flowing with others or against; try going with the flow of conversation around you; create energy in your flow like whirl pools in a river, watch for rocks (obstacles) and go around then easily (welcome the thrill!)
E Execution – act on TIME; be on TIME; allow TIME to inform rather than direct your day; we each have the same 24 hours to play with! (DO PLAY!!!)

If time seems evasive, observe why, let go, and thank TIME for helping you to recognize the moment. Stop and breathe. Apply TIME to your business, to your relationships, to your life, and watch the magic that emerges.

Things happen – are you ready?

Are we so busy doing things that we don’t notice what’s really happening? Do we suddenly get a virus and get irritated that it’s stopped us completing on our ‘to do’ list? What if we were suddenly told we had a serious illness and needed to be operated on this week? Would we be ready to switch tracks, apply the brake and get off the train of ‘doing’ and focus on what is really important?

Our health is the most important responsibility we are given since early childhood. Our natural resilience physically, emotionally and mentally are all required, and a natural grounded sense of our immortality is an ongoing daily way of being, so that that any critical attacks on our system can be taken in our stride.

Are you ready? Am I?

I check in on how I am prepared as it seems there is much illness and crisis in so many people’s lives right now, both close to me and afar. There is a churning and groaning in the world as crisis presents itself every day in the news.

Are you ready? Any time, any day, a health or life crisis can happen. That’s not to be in fear of that but to be ready in an enlightened state of being. Stop ‘doing’ at a pace that can kill you, start ‘being’ in your day right now, right here. Let go of what is truly only material baggage and get into the ethereal. What is your essence, your true spirit, your being in the world? Balance the material needs with the essence of your day. Know why you are ‘doing’ so much, make it meaningful. The key to happiness and good health lies with the contentment you can achieve every day deep within your heart and mind. And we’re not alone. Sharing at this time is key to turning any ‘happening’ around.

Let me share a ‘happening’ – my darling girlfriend, Dawn, has a sudden discover, a cancerous growth – a lump, an operation this week. “I’m too busy for this” she reacts at first. Now taking stock, meditating, gathering love and support, healing energy around her, she gets ready for her happening. She is strong, wise, beautiful inside and out and I know that she will flow through this challenge. To support her, we are all gathering to be her circle of healing, sending our thoughts and energies to hold her as a whole and healthy being. This is not the ‘doing’ part – that is the consultant surgeon’s role; our collective intentions to heal are about ‘being with her’ and will aid the success of her recovery. You can help too, even if you don’t know her. This is the way I believe we can heal Dawn and heal our world.

Please send your healing thoughts as we grow a healing circle for Dawn this week. Be aware that your vibrational energy can ripple a long way. Just place her name on your daily thoughts, think of gold and send a golden ray of healing, that’s all we need you to do. Once we gather hundreds of golden rays, we will have a veritable waterfall circle of gold healing flowing around her and protecting and curing her.

If we apply the metaphor of Dawn’s story to our world, we have many ‘things happening’ that are shaking the foundations of our existence. If we see this related to our unhealthy world, we recognise that the major ‘happenings’ are all around us – recessional crisis, new and old wars continue to kill, earthquakes destroy huge areas, tsumani destruction, bitter civil rivalry in many countries, unhappy families, crime rising, marginalisation of women in many countries, and poverty around us even on the streets of London.

The world has been ‘doing’ for so long; it can’t work out how to ‘be’ within in order to transform the outer world we think is so important. Wealth is no good without health. Healthy is not possible without love; love is the only way to grow and heal. We must teach new ways to love each other, to be human ‘beings’, to heal each other with our kindness, respect and sharing. We simply need to know what we are best at, why we are here, and where and when to shine out light on others in order to spread good will.

I see the shifts in consciousness around the world happening so fast and getting faster. Being in tune with your inner essence is far more important than the material world; put together ‘being’ and ‘doing’ in that order and we can turn our world around for the better.

If something serious happens … are you ready?

Shaking hands with the future

Shaking hands with the future

Yesterday I engaged and explored life and the 3Rs with a group of 10 students at Lambeth Academy – these students are 16/17years old and this summer due to go into a work placement for 6 week and experience the world outside of their current world…that of ‘employee status’. An alien world, a strange world, yet to date their learning is only academic. I am here for an hour and a half to share my wisdom and hope to give them ‘ah ha’ moments that may seal their future confidence in those six weeks. I taught them how to shake hands with their future and practice the real 3Rs! “Respect Rapport and Relationships”

A lovely group, boys and girls, eager to learn and curious I suspect of this older woman in front of them. I started, I engaged, I got them thinking about who they are – I went back into my mind of being 17 again, being ‘me’. I encouraged them to just be their BEST:

B – be
E – extraordinary
S – starting
T – today

“Be Extraordinary starting today”…my personal mantra and motto for life – simple – yet how much do we reflect on our ‘self perception’ and know how others see us; how do we know what we do best, how we are best, and whether our best matches others expectations of us! Where as a teenager do we explore the assumptions we may be making about those we meet, and what does the world outside of ‘me’ require ‘me’ to be.

We started with a simple exercise Try it – write down three positive words about how you ‘see’ yourself, share these with your friends and colleagues. Is this how they see you? Can they add more? Can you add more to their list? In this simple exchange we give much more light to our personality as perceived and received! The more we know ourselves and others then the 3 Rs are easy! They roll with the dice of life.

Leading Victorian lecturer, Florence Shovel Shinn writes ‘Many people think life is a battlefield, it is not – it is a game’ and I know now that the ‘game of life’ is where I play and my work in service to my clients and all my friends is to help them ‘play’ too if they wish.

Florence says it is about the square of life- ‘wealth, health, love and perfect self expression’. I believe that our ongoing life mission is to share ‘perfect self expression’ especially in all difficult emotional situations. This is my journey now as I too learn each day how others see the world and how we can transform our world to be BEST for all us regardless of gender, culture, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference and disability.

I know at their age I knew nothing other than what my family and school had showed me. And I was so fortunate to choose the parents and family that I had. I was brought up in a strong, loving, together, Catholic family. There we had loads of together activities, sharing of events and laughter. I was a happy child yet very naïve and gauche. It took me a long lifetime to learn the real 3Rs… as I taught yesterday, as “Respect, Rapport and Relationships”….

And so for my class yesterday it was the first time they were engaged to think and feel about their self-perceptions, how others saw them, how to see themselves as part of the cycle of all life – home, social, family, work, and community. I shared my core model for personal development (and life); my ‘value cycle’ which shows how ‘my best’ is key to all rapport skills, and to all relationships from one-to-one friendships, group pals, work mates, families and social cohesion. I shared with them how to see themselves in pole position in their life.

A key exercise was to shake hands and say they name clearer decisively, friendly and with inner strength. It was a wonderful experience to be in as they laughed and shook each other’s hands enthusiastically and become bold with their name. Simple things make huge differences. Even the teacher present realized no-one had ever taught him how to shake someone’s hands. Too often the most important things are left to chance – yet can make or break a first impression and a rising feeling of confidence.

I showed the students how they merely need to stand into their personal power and see that all responses are their choice; they do require to be in ownership of their body, mind, heart and soul; and take responsibility for all that happens (not blame others); and finally they need to underpin all this their own personal healthy energy. A challenge to their youthful desire to party, drink, smoke and eat fast food!

Simple yet powerful, they all started to see themselves as the driver of their own cycle of confidence not at the mercy of others. They got the point. I will return to meet them again in September and chat about their ‘perceptions’ of the workplace once experienced.

These students are our future employees, our entrepreneurs, our leaders of industry – we need to teach them how to ‘be’ in the workplace not just ‘how to work’.