The Power of the Hug

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This week I will be carrying out a hugging experiment. I will hug as many people as I can and as many times as I can. My hugs will be more meaningful and close than my normal ‘closed’ hugs. Currently, I give side hugs with no initial eye contact, hardly any touching and I have now been told after many years that my hugs are boring and feel superficial!

This week I will learn to appreciate the power of the hug.

It would seem that hugging is beneficial in many ways, especially proper hugs where the hearts press together. Hugging should make you feel close to the other, builds trust and helps with communication when maybe words fail you. Not only do we share and care for the other, we connect with ourselves and appreciate and acknowledge ourselves. Apparently, hugging can also lower stress levels, lower blood pressure and boost self-esteem.

A hug should be like a hand in a glove. No tension and no friction. You simply breath together.

Virginia Satir, a family therapist once said “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”.

This week I will hug with my heart pressing against the other. My hugs will be meaningful, close and grateful. I will take time to appreciate the exchange of love; I will let myself go and remain in that present moment.

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Things I love about my mum

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Mum has maintained her authenticity.

Mum is caring. She shows her love through the food she makes and feeds us.

Mum would endure hardship for her children if it simplifies their lives.

Mum prays for us all the time.

Mum is always there for us.

Mum never strays.

Mum has a routine which we are familiar with.

Mum’s faith in god is insurmountable.

Mum always makes me breakfast when I stay over even though I never ask her too.

Mum has never asked me for money.

Mum always see the best in people.

Mum will always give people a second chance.

Mum is reliable.

Mum is strong and keeps it together.

Mum always tries to keep the family together.

Mum is pretty.

Mum has fair skin with no spots, blemishes or wrinkles.

Mum has never cut her hair.

Mum’s passion for singing hymns is encouraging.

Mum has a number of good friends.

Mum is a constant in my life. I know where she is most of the time and she is never far from reach.

Mum is trusting of everyone.

Mum is naturally completely hair free!

Happy Mother’s Day Mum. I know I have never told you this but I love you loads.

What is it that you want to accomplish in life?

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Do you ever wonder what people would remember about you when you leave this world? I hope that my obituary will describe all of my life’s accomplishments and my major successes.

I am keeping the end in mind and working backwards. I am not going to change my life out of FEAR or DESPERATION, I am going to make changes to my life out of INSPIRATION.

A goal is something you aim to achieve and accomplish in your life. The first step towards this is to ensure the right techniques are in place to achieve your goal. An important question you should ask yourself is what your reason is for achieving this goal.

Here are 10 steps you should be aware of to help you achieve your goal:

HAVE AN ACTION PLAN – It is important to have an action plan for the achievement of your goal. Your action plan should be written in the present tense. You can then chunk down your action plan into separate priority action steps which need to be completed in order for you to achieve your final goal. Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

RESEARCH – Do your own research about the achievement of your goal. Do not rely on other people.

IMPLEMENTATION – Your goal will not be achieved if your action plan remains in your head, in your drawer or on your computer. You will only be motivated to spend time on your plan if your goal is consistent with your values.

SHARE – Share your action plan with others. When you share, opportunities come your way. Remember to be strong as others may discourage you or criticise your ideas.

MINDSET – Have the right mindset. It helps when you surround yourself with achievers and you have the right support network in place.

BE FLEXIBLE – Think about the end result and the things that will happen if you achieve your goal. Do not have an unrealistic expectation that your end result will be in perfect harmony with your action plan. You have to be flexible around the results and expect the unexpected. You will have challenges along the way, but you will have the support to balance this out. Any setbacks or failures are learning curves and you should be resilient to this.

BE GRATEFUL – Reward yourself for making progress in your goal. Be grateful when you complete each priority action step as each step brings you closer to the achievement of your goal.

RECORD YOUR PROGRESS – It is important that you write down your action plan, write down the details of your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Writing a list keeps your mind clear, focused on your action steps and keeps you inspired. There is nothing more motivating when you can tick things of your list. You could keep a journal or even create a blog!

BE ACCOUNTABLE – You are accountable for the accomplishment of your goal, no one else.

PERSEVERE – Do not stop until you get to where you need to be. This is why it is important to have contingency plans in place. You may find that your end result does not look like you imagined it to me. Be ready to adjust and do not be disheartened if this happens.

The key is to start somewhere, anywhere.

Living Life on your Terms – Freedom through Finance

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I am currently working on becoming financially free.  For me, being financially free means being able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities in life that are out of my current reach and living life on my terms.    

I have a four stage plan which is work in progress but I wanted to share:

Stage 1 – Getting out of debt.  Paying off all loans and credit cards and closing all credit card accounts (except one!).  Streamlining accounts and using a budget planner regularly. 

Stage 2 – To save at least 10% of my salary with a view to increasing the amount saved every few months. 

Stage 3 – Create enough passive income to exceed my current monthly income through property investment, setting up a business, dealing in shares etc.

Stage 4 – To give up my 9-5 job and look for something more creative that I love to do.*

* Notes on Stage 4 – I immerse myself into my current job and I am grateful for its existence.  It keeps me grounded, focused on what I want to achieve and it is helping me to attract more opportunities and allowing me to do more of what I love.  It is a powerful stepping stone. 

Writing down what you achieve as you move forwards is essential.  Be detailed in your writings.  Take photographs and cut-outs of magazines and newspapers of the things you want to own or the places you want to visit as inspiration.  It is called MANIFESTATION.

Remember: 

  • Value the money that comes into your life.
  • Having money has nothing to do with how much money you make. It is to do with how you manage the money that comes your way.
  • Think of why saving money and building your finances is important to you and how it is making a significant contribution to your life.

Monday morning inspiration!

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This weekend I achieved the following:

1. I saved 10% of my salary. The more you have, the more you can attract.
2. I de-cluttered my bedroom cupboards removing all clothing that I had not worn for more than five years. It is amazing how we attach to items of clothing. I recently discovered that going shopping for clothes gives me heart palpitations so this is definitely an area I need to empower my life in!
3. I sat on the couch and did nothing but I found my mind wandering. I decided to put pen to paper and wrote down all of the things I love about my beautiful mum. It was much easier than I thought. It was my take on writing a letter of gratitude just in time for Mother’s day.
4. I met with girlfriends for dinner. Questions I came back with related to some of the unreasonable expectations which are put on us. We are expected to want to be married, women are expected to want to have children and there is an expectation that all women want to complain about their partners! Empower your life and live it according to your own values and not anyone else’s. It is your life.

Take the time today to write down 7 small things you can do this week to empower any of the following areas of your life: Money, Mind, Physical well being, Family, Career, Spiritual and Social.

Sharing is Caring

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I have a huge desire to lead an amazing life.  I want to enjoy as many grateful experiences as I can fit into my lifetime.

I have created this blog to provide my readers (and myself) with my take on living an inspired life.  Living an inspired life is a continuous journey…the world is forever changing and so are our thoughts and aspirations.  I would love to share my journey with you all.  My main purpose is to get to a point of extreme gratitude for my life and everything and everyone in it. 

I would also love to hear about how you are achieving your successes.  Sharing is caring and that is what I love to do.

Here is a list of what I will be doing this weekend:

  1. I will save 10% of my salary.
  2. I will de-clutter a selection of my bedroom cupboards to remove any items of clothing I have not worn in the last 5 years.
  3. I will steam my face, put a face and hair mask on and sit on the couch for an hour and do nothing.
  4. I will take my parents shopping.
  5. I will think about the benefits of working a 9-5 job and how this is helping me achieve my mission in life.
  6. I will write a thank you letter to my mum to show my gratitude towards her. 
  7. I will meet with girlfriends for dinner.

Each item on the list above corresponds to key areas of my life which I am in the process of empowering. 

The key areas of my life are:

  1. Money
  2. Mind
  3. Physical well being
  4. Family
  5. Career
  6. Spiritual
  7. Social

We need to take small steps to get us to where we need to be.  It all adds up and leads us towards our ultimate mission in life.  

How will you be spending your weekend?

Being GRATEFUL doesn’t cost a penny…

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I was in Perth, Australia last weekend sitting on the grass by The Bell Tower.  It was a hot day and I was enjoying every moment as it went by.   My enjoyment of doing nothing reminded me to be grateful ….

Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness for the blessings we have received.  Sometimes, we take for granted many precious and wonderful aspects of our lives.  We forget that true gratitude creates a foundation for our courage, contentment, fulfillment, happiness, love and well-being.  It can strengthen our relationships, improve our health and reduce stress. 

A lack of gratitude can lead to self-destructive behavior such as envy, lethargy, lack of creativity and reduced motivation. 

It is easy to be thankful for the good things which are happening to us.  But remember, a life of fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks and hardships in their lives.

There are many ways in which you can express your gratitude.  In what ways do you express your feelings of gratitude? 

I have a gratitude list which I add to every day.  Here is an extract of my gratitude list from 2011.  I hope this encourages you to create your own gratitude list as a grateful heart is the beginning of greatness.

”23 May 2011 – I am grateful to X for being so kind to me today.  I felt so special.  He dropped me off to work and was genuinely caring and attentive.  Made me laugh, cooked dinner.  We then both went for a walk. 

25 May 2011 – I am grateful for having X in my life.  It gives me motivation and energy at work to have a good friend who I can talk to and share my thoughts.  Having thought about it, it would seem that she knows more about my life than most of my other friends.  She is kind and considerate.  Thank you.

26 May 2011 – I am grateful to my garden.  It gives me the space to grow my vegetables and I feel free to experiment.”

Reach for the Sky

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I am sitting at the Observatory Deck at Sydney Airport in Australia waiting for my flight back to London.  I watch the aeroplanes leave one by one. 

At first, the plane moves slowly on the runway, ensuring the safety of those on the ground.  When the time is right, the plane gathers speed and momentum.  The passengers keep their seat belts fastened until any present dangers are cleared.  When it is safe to do so, the plane’s altitude rises, it enters deeper and higher into the air until it is at the right speed and right altitude.  When it is safe to do so, the passengers are allowed to unfasten their seat belts.  The pilot is in complete control of the plane and is certain of the plane’s final destination.  The pilot has a co-pilot to assist in times of turbulence and other potential obstacles.  The air stewards ensure the journey is a pleasant one, although turbulence is always possible.

I find this similar to accomplishing your goals.  The plane is akin to your goal, purpose and/or mission.  You are the pilot.  The air stewards and the passengers are your support network; a mixture of close family, friends and acquaintances.  They are there with you on your journey. 

The engines on the plane are your Plans to accomplish your goals.  If one engine fails, you still have the second engine.  If Plan A does not work, Plan B kicks in.  If you are flying an airbus A380, you will have Plan C and Plan D!

You have a clear vision of your goals, obstacles are overcome and you start to accomplish and achieve. 

Do not limit your destination because you feel it is too far or too difficult to reach.  Simply chunk your goals into smaller action steps and begin to take the priority action steps. 

The key is to VISUALISE YOUR SUCCESS.    

p.s. Long-term and lifetime goals require more preparation and are akin to long-haul flights with possible re-fueling stops along the journey!

Be S.M.A.R.T

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It is time to get your GOALS in order!  Get yourself a pen and piece of paper and jot down words, ideas and draw pictures which intrinsically motivate you.  Don’t get too bogged down in the detail.  Have a brain storming session with yourself.  It’s easy-peasy!