1. Own at least two bubble machines. There is nothing more fun than turning on a bubble machine in my front yard — friends, neighbours, even strangers stop and want to play. One time, a mother and her two young children walked by my house. They couldn't see me, but I overheard the mom say to her kids, "Oh, look! This is the house of the lady who has a bubble machine. That lady is so cool!"
2. Create your own traditions. We have got into some great family traditions that keeps the children happy and excited throughout the entire day. Because Monday can be a hump it's our movie night, Wednesday is our candle-lit evening and Friday is for home-made pizza, sushi or fish n' chips. What could your new family traditions be?
3. Do some baking with the children and then give it to a previously unknown neighbour. The moment when the neighbours face lights up as they open the door can become some of the most precious memories your children will remember.
4. Don't take yourself too seriously. It happens to the best of us so next time something embarrassing happens, smile or even better laugh at yourself. Its the mark of a great character.
5. Shout your own praises- Don't be afraid to say what you're good at, it gives people confidence in your abilities.
6. Banish the boogyman. Whenever you find yourself thinking "what if?" replace it with a "I'll deal with that when it happens." Curiously you'll rarely have too. Most things we fear never eventuate.
7. Reduce clutter. Those boxes under the bed, the children's disused toys, the 'when I've lost 10kg jeans?' they're all heavy, old energy. If you're ready to let in some new-ness into your life let those things go. 15 mins everyday and, before you know it (and a few trips to the op=shop later) your home will feel clean and clear.
8. Be yourself, unabashedly. Yeah, I know you're a bit weird. I am too but, lets be honest here - vanilla ice-cream, plain, unremarkable and a little boring is simply no fun at parties. Its when we strut ourselves about and allow our quirks, idiosyncricies and opinions to be heard that we can attract people who adore us for who we really are. Its a very lonely world if we aren't surrounded in a tribe of raving fans so be yourself, and for goodness sake once someone loves you, take care of them. They're more precious than gold.
9. Write it down. When you catch yourself thinking of someone - let them know. Send them an email with the subject heading 'thinking of you' and, as you tell them about what you were thinking, their inbox (the modern day equivalent to stroll to the letterbox hoping for some handwritten love), is suddenly a much nicer place to be.
10. Read. It'll make you a more interesting person. People who don't read, don't travel, don't push their own parameters tend to be reasonably small-minded human and dare-I-say-it, pretty darn boring human beings. Sure, they might be sweet, they probably won't be interesting. Book those tickets, visit the library, push those boundaries.
Once there was a woman.
She was prettier than some, smarter than others and more courageous than most however she was still on the breadline.
No matter how hard she worked, no matter how hard she hoped, every week she’d be rummaging around for the loose change necessary to get through another week of paying the bills.
One day she saw an old school friend, it was one of those cower, hope you won’t be seen moments.
Unfortunately, she was seen.
“How ‘are’ you?!" her old friend gushed, looking impeccable.
“I’m okay” she replied, feeling cagey.
“Shall we meet for a coffee? Catch-up properly?” Her friend asked.
She wondered what on earth she would wear.
“Sure” she replied.
As it turned out, life was as peachy for her friend as she’d initially assumed. She had a wildly successful marriage, healthy, happy children and a flourishing business.
When pressed how her friend had gone from ’that’ girl. The one down the back of the rugby field smoking cigarettes, her friend replied heartadly:
"I know! I used to ask myself that same question! How can I turn my life around? At the time I was recently divorced, completely broke with three children to feed. I’d wonder, late into the night, how some women succeed and other, equally as fabulous women, do not.”
“So, what did you come up with?” She asked, leaning forward slightly in her chair.
“I started to interview women and ask them the same question. The results were unanimous. The women who succeeded, really succeeded, had one thing in common:
They had created a life the brought them joy.
They had a career that enabled them to share joy
They had a lover who brought them joy
They had homes steeped in joy
Basically, they’d learned the truly miraculous habit of never letting life wear them down.
They had taken control of their destiny through expecting, no, demanding, that their life was a good one. They had learned to smile through the rain. They had learned to bounce like a ball when the going-got-tough and to become the mistress of her own destiny. I vowed to learn how to become like that too. I had learned the secret to success. It took just 3 letters:
“So if joy is the key then where did you start when you were rebuilding your life?" she asked, starting to hope….
“I started at the beginning” her friend replied with a smile. “Are you ready…?”
“I don’t think I can ever change’ she wailed.
“You’re right.” I replied sagely “You’re so old now, you’ve lost all your marbles and clearly knocking at deaths door”.
That did the trick.
We roared in laughter.
Psychologists used to think that an adult mind was like computer hardware.
You’re either a Mac or a PC
You’re anxious or you're indecisive.
And you’re stuck with what you’ve got.
Science tells us that is not true.
We are not who we’ve been.
Our minds are not hardware,
We can update or remove files to become someone new.
Are there any habits you’d like to change?
30 Days to Change baby, 30 Days to Change.
So, I asked her -
‘What is one thing you’d like to do less of?’
‘Complaining and criticising,’ she replied.
‘Do-able?’ I asked. ‘For just a month?’ No complaining or criticising for 30-whole-days?’
"OMG. Like, no criticising or complaining.... ever?!"
She shuffled her feet dubiously.
‘Here!’ I replied, handing her a document
’Fill this out’.
Thats the thing, you see.
We are what we do.
If we want to become someone new,
We simply need to change what we’ve been doing.
Their relationship hadn't been good for quite some time, maybe forever.
Desperate and realising that if she continued down this road she was going to become another divorce statistic she wondered what to do.
She asked herself a question:
"What is one thing I can do that will improve things?"
The answer was simple.
Yes, they’d stopped making love.
Or, more appropriately, she'd stopped making love.
With a new baby in tow it was the last thing she felt like doing.
She knew she needed to change that.
The following day, in a slightly quavering voice she proposed, ‘how bout we make love everyday for a whole month?’. His jaw fell open. ‘Hell yeah!’ he gushed.
She smiled shyly, he smiled back.
The decision was made.
So they did.
Things changed after that.
When we sit down every month and consider:
Its not about what we do with our lives, its about who we become.
Your life will change as you do.
I might be feeling progressive in some areas of my life but if I”m honest, there are some areas where I could be doing better.
Where is your old chestnut?
Is it the fear of being honest with your husband about that thing he does (or doesn't do) in bed?
Is it getting those tax returns completed?
Is it throwing away the dusty clobber from the garage?
Its been recently suggested that we start our day with the one thing that Frightens You First (FYF).
Because when we take on the tiger in our lives we build in self confidence.
As we build our self confidence we grow in character.
As we grow in character we become more courageous
As we become more courageous we set bigger goals
As we set bigger goals we become more successful...
You get the drift.
What is the thing that frightens you?
Do that first.
"Some women fear the fire, other women become it."
Today is the first day of my new “Millionaire Mind.” I’ve been reading a book by the same title and its inspiring me to a bigger, brighter and more enticing future.
My future, curiously, starts at 5am tomorrow as a result of another book I read today called “The Miracle Morning”. Its based on the premise that ‘as we start, so shall we continue’. So, starting the day with a whizz and a bang will, theoretically, create more whizz and bang and who, quite frankly, would ‘ever’ say no to more “whizz and bang” in their life? Not me said the flea.
So it begins.
My miracle morning will look like this:
Alarm clock is located on the opposite side of the room (so I’ll ‘have’ to lumber out of bed to shut the thing up.
Lurch to the bathroom to splash miserably at my face with cool water and brush my grimy teeth
Massive glass of H2o
Meditate for 20 minutes.
Write for 20 minutes - I call this my ‘brain drain’
Set My Goals - Make them realistic, give them a timeframe and write them as though they’ve already been accomplished…
Exercise - Tomorrow I’m starting my new yogic inspired day with 6 minutes of yoga, best not to over-do it, by a white woman called Dashama. She comes recommend and who can argue with a curly haired white woman with an Indian name dressed in comfy trousers and with a salt lamp as her primary home furnishing?
And so there we have it, my own miracle morning. I’ll keep you posted on the whizz and bang.
Children look toward adults as though grown-up’s have the answers; why else would adults spend so much of their time advising their young on how to behave, how to think and what to wear? Unfortunately adults don’t always know the answers and the truth is that sometimes we have absolutely no idea what to do. Sure, you can tie your own shoe laces, create a meal, hold a conversation or do your job but life is a new frontier and almost everyday there are many situations in life that are new to us.
It’s a sunny Sunday in paradise and her tells her that he has a job to do that will take an hour. Three hours later she calls him concerned. He doesn’t answer. Five minutes later he returns the call angry that he’s being disturbed - she doesn’t know what to do.
A 10 year old boy is ruling the conversations of a small community with his bullying. Everyone is talking about him; the parents, the teachers, the school principal, the board of trustee’s. This is the first time the community have seen a bully of this magnitude and no one knows quite what to do.
Life is a series of firsts. Yes, we may have seen the house in which we live and the characters that feature in our life story are familiar but our daily scripts are often ‘firsts’ and can often feel new to us.
A mother of three was searching for a delicious meal she’d found online the week before and got something less tasty to chew on; her darling husband had been perusing teenage pornography. What should she do? She’d hit a ‘first’.
A man loses his job, his younger wife is pregnant and his job prospects at 49 years of age are dismal. This is a ‘first’ for him.
Firsts can come in small packages too: The frustrated wife snaps at him over dinner. Their son is caught lying. We’re betrayed by a dear friend.
Next time we encounter confusion or uncertainty in life then call it what it is - a first. Everywhere, everyone, no matter how cool, calm and collected they may appear, is having them every-single-day. What to do? Grab a pen. Write out the first in the centre of a blank piece of paper and write idea’s on what you could do, around it. One of these idea’s will feel right, look right or sound right - Do that. Assess the results and if successful, repeat. If unsuccessful, try another option.
1. Lift the corners of your mouth in traffic
39. If feeling gloomy, look up
40. Give up sugar - the sweet poison.
We've all read the fairy tales, we all know the facts. The poor, unappreciated girl - who is secretly a princess, suffers as she waits for her handsome prince. Until one marvelous day, they meet and he whisks her off to his castle where they live happily ever after. Right? Wrong. In fact, those grizzly fairy tales always stop a few paragraphs short of the really gripping tale! Lets take Cinderella for example. She and her handsome Prince certainly lived happily ever after, for about a month. Late one night, Cindy catches her Prince oggling another maidens bosom. Now, the fact actually is, that Princey was momentarily blinded by the dazzle of her brooch but how was Cindy to know that? Cindy rallied her war cry and pulled out her most powerful weapon of all; the silent treatment. Her bewildered Prince spent the next three days miserably cooped in the dog-box. Eventually, in an effort to resurrect things Princey suggested a "fun night out" to which Cindy snapped "Quite frankly I'd rather spend the evening alone!". Believing her (silly, silly man) Princey downed a few coldies at the local tavern. When he eventually swayed home, smelling like a wet dog his odorous advances were... Denied. After a sobering sleep and dry-mouthed awakening Princey storms off to the office "where I'll get some bloody appreciation!" Ah yes, the hairy ole' fairy tale of our lives as we realise, the challenge is not finding our happily-ever-after, its maintaining it.
Make a list entitled: When The Suckies Strike and consider 5 things you can do instead of your old faves of sulking, raging or suppressing your negative emotions.
Walking up a hill
Playing with children
Doing something nice for someone