You are amazing!

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This post is for you. Yes you. Reading my blog right now.

You – who thinks they’re no one special.

I think you’re wonderful.

You, who gets up every morning willing the universe to give them a good day.

I see your potential.

You, the person who tries their best, not matter the odds.

I admire your tenacity.

You, who puts the needs of others first and their own last; despite being so tired they could sleep for a whole year.

I know your strength.

You, the beautiful human being that shies away from compliments as if they were toxic rather than letting them soak into their soul.

I appreciate you.

You, who declines self care and has long forgotten dreams.

I recognise your longings.

You, who has little confidence in their thoughts and decisions.

I notice your successes.

You, who carries worries that aren’t theirs, solves problems they shouldn’t have to and works tirelessly and sometimes anonymously to make someone else’s day easier.

I understand your motivation.

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Deep beneath the layers of incredulous self doubt, unconfidence and heavy insecurities is a wealth of accomplishments and achievements.

And it’s what makes you, you.

That is why I think you’re amazing. And one day you will too.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of your busy day to stop by my little blog.

Sending you good vibes and tight hugs.

Nicky xo

5 quotes to get you through a difficult day

We all have difficult days every now and then – you know the kind where you wished you had stayed in the sanctuary of your warm, cosy bed?

The trick is to see it for what it is – a bad day.

Not a bad life…nor a bad person. Just ‘one of those days’.

Here are 5 quotes to help you put things into perspective and show you that you can be the master of your thoughts.

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When we are stressed we don’t always make the best decisions. Poor judgement, knee jerk reactions and a short temper are all signs of raised stress levels. One thing you can do to help yourself is to pause and just breathe. You cannot make clear judgements and good decisions when you are stressed. Take 5 minutes to pause and  be calm. Not always easy I know, but if you can take just a couple of deep breaths, the calming effect on your nervous system is astonishing. We teach the kids at school to ‘smell the strawberry and blow out the candle’ – a deep breath in through your nose and a long exhale out through your mouth.

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Look for the positives. Keep your spirit focused on the good things in your life. Be grateful for what you have and what you have achieved so far. Don’t get caught up in negative talk or thoughts. You need to talk kindly to yourself. And that includes what you think of yourself in this situation. Keep your thoughts in check. Tell yourself you can do this.

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You’re probably wondering where this fits in – but I’m a firm believer in the power of a little fresh air and change of scenery. Give yourself a break. Literally. 10 minutes outside will help calm your thoughts and may give you the inspiration you were looking for.

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Notice where you made a difference today. Focus not on what you didn’t do today but on what you did. I hear people say, “I haven’t done any work today!” When I know full well they have. You may have made a difference to someone’s day when you asked how they were, paid someone a compliment or tidied up the staff room. Cultivating a friendly workplace is just as important and meeting your deadline.

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We are constantly striving for happiness. “I’ll be happy when…” is fast becoming our mantra. Every now and then we need to just be. Take time to relax and do something that makes your souls sing.

Choose one and let it sink deep into your soul and may your tomorrow be brighter.

Which quotes do you use in tough times to get you through?

 

When will you be happy?

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If I asked you this…could you give me an answer?

Perhaps it would be…when I have the job of my dreams, when I find my Prince Charming, when I lose half a stone, when the kids have grown up, when the house is finished, next week, next month, next year….

When, when, when…

What if we acknowledged that all we have is right now? 

This very minute. Would you be able to find happiness? Could you look at this moment with different eyes?

Happiness – it’s about enjoying where you are, on the way to where you’re going. 

I said that.

Happiness comes from within. It’s a choice…right here, right now, whatever your situation. Stop looking for the ‘when‘ and lean into the ‘now‘.

Be happy with who you are, where you are, with what you have.

Why not be happy now?

What’s the worst that can happen?

P.S  Check out my weekly series It’s the little things  where I share with you all the things that have made me happy.

The busyness barometer

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How are you?

Ask anyone how they are these days and “Busy!” is likely to be the standard answer.

Expectations from work, home and ourselves are increasing along with our stress levels. It’s almost like a badge of honour – if you’re not busy there’s something wrong. Multi tasking – the skill of doing more than one thing at the same time has almost become a national sport. But is it a skill, is it helpful or productive?

Yes sometimes – I like to to fold the washing whilst watching tv or wash up whilst cooking tea. The quicker I do the boring chores the better!

But other times not so much.

How often have you made telephone calls whilst eating lunch or updated your Facebook page whilst talking to your kids? Is this because we are genuinely busy or more because we feel the pressure of always needing to be seen to be busy?

I’m beginning to think it’s ‘de valuing‘ what we spend time doing. I wonder how valued your kids felt when they realised they didn’t have your undivided attention? How valuable did you see time spent eating your lunch when you realised you’d eaten it but not actually tasted any of it because you were so distracted?

Have you ever tidied up and then can’t remember where you have placed things? Lately this has happened to me a lot! I have misplaced things, forgotten where I’ve put stuff and generally felt I’m spending more and more time trying to get organised. I know I’m being less productive because my mind is jumping from one job to another. I think it’s because I’m in “I’m so busy” mode and can’t find a way out!

Our lives are so busy as we struggle to fit everything in and our minds are so busy we forget stuff, compromise our standards and rarely feel the satisfaction for a job well done.

I wonder, how long do you think we can keep this up for?

If our heads are as full as our calendars, where is the time for spontaneous acts of fun, enjoying the feeling of satisfaction after a productive day, self care, rest and relaxation?

I need white space in my calendar – it’s where my best ideas are formed, it’s the place I recharge my battery, it’s where I remember stuff!

Confucius said, Wherever you go, go with all your heart– it’s a good mantra to live by don’t you think? I’d like to add “…and with all of your mind.”

In some Asian countries the word for heart is the same as the word for mind. Coincidence? I think not.

If you’ve read any of my previous stuff, I’m always banging on about slowing down and noticing stuff. If you want to read more on this subject try this post.

I’m challenging you to stop being so busy (or at least stop talking about how busy you are), start giving things your undivided attention, start to slow down. 

Choose one thing today that you can do and give it your full attention. If your mind wanders, it’s okay. Let the thought pass by and bring your focus back to the job at hand without judgement  – that’s mindfulness. Here’s a few easy ideas to try in your everyday routine…

~ eat a meal and truly taste every mouthful ~ go for a walk and really notice stuff ~ give someone your undivided attention ~ in the shower really focus on the water cleansing your body ~ take 5 minutes to just sit in silence ~ brush your teeth and really think about what you’re doing ~

So, let’s set ourselves apart from the crowd – let’s be fully present, mindful and do stuff whilst really thinking about what we’re doing. People will notice (because it’s different to what they’re doing) and you will feel happier and calmer – guaranteed.

Let’s be less busy.

A simple exercise to help in difficult times

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Years ago, I sat at a place called rock bottom and I didn’t know who I was.

I had lost all sense of the person I once was. I was numb for the longest time and wandered aimlessly through my day. I had been stripped bare – the person I once was no longer existed.

Thankfully after some time (the biggest healer), some counselling (difficult but necessary) and a lot of self love (the most important thing you can do for yourself), I started to rebuild a stronger, more authentic version of myself.

As part of this process I questioned  everything I used to know or do. Every day I wondered, who I was and who I was going to become?

I knew I wasn’t the person I used to be – grief had literally changed every element of my life and I needed to find myself again.

So I started to write lists.

It was that simple.

In a (sometimes) desperate attempt to regain control and believe that I hadn’t lost my mind, I compiled list after list of things that I knew to be true; lists of my favourite things, how I wanted to look, my values, things that annoyed me, memories, things that made me smile and so on. 

It seems so simple looking back – yet these exercises helped me rebuild the ‘new’ version of myself and these exercises helped me believe. Believe that I would survive the storm, that deep down I still knew myself even if it was a different version.

So, why do I share this with you?

Because I know I’m not the only person to have ever gone through this. But I went through it alone and I would have given anything for someone to have shared their story with me. If you can identify with what I’m saying, I want you to know you are not alone and I’m sharing my story with you. Even if these exercises aren’t what you need right now, I want you to believe in something.

Believe you can survive one more day.

Believe you will become strong again.

Believe you are still you deep down – even if you’re having trouble seeing it.

So ask yourself today “What do I believe in?”

Make a simple list of your beliefs, things that are true for you right now. Make it as personal as you like, short as you like, colourful as you like, about whatever you like.

Acknowledge what’s going on for you right now and reflect on what comes to the surface. It’s a starting point. And sometimes that’s enough.

All the answers you’ll ever need are waiting to be realised, waiting to be released.

I said that.

I still make lists, you can read about my love of lists here. But today, I can summarise where I’m at in one beautiful list.

I believe

in a thing called love ~ everything is an opportunity for learning ~ I am enough ~ eventually the sun will shine ~ you should unfriend unfriendliness ~ a kind word can change someone’s day ~ in being true to yourself ~ you need to love yourself first before you can love anyone else ~ being afraid can help you grow ~ you need to work on your self esteem every single day ~ I am going to make mistakes and that’s okay ~ life is to be enjoyed ~ sometimes you need to put yourself first ~ in a little extra effort ~ happiness is a choice ~ excitement should be pursued ~ you know more than you think you do ~ in the magic of a new day ~ inspiration is there to be found ~ life lessons are repeated until you learn them ~ tears are healing ~ you don’t need as many friends as you think you do ~ you should listen to your heart ~ in opportunities ~ I am strong enough ~ other people’s opinion of you is none of your business ~ authenticity is more attractive than perfection ~ gratitude is the key to everything ~

I believe these things with all my heart. They are true for me even if they’re not for you.

What do you believe in?