Winter Blues – 5 things I do to keep the Black Dog at bay

 

  1. I get outside. I take little breaks, a walk around the garden, finding a sunny spot to stand in. Being outdoors even for short periods of time keeps me energized.
  2. I change my eating habits. I eat to keep warm and feed my body to fight off any winter bugs. Colds and flu can bring down my mood very quickly. If I am eating right, I minimize my risks of getting ill as my body is fuelled to fight these baddies.
  3. Remain impeccable with my hygiene. This might sound silly, but how often do we quickly grab a bite to eat without washing our hands. I am extra vigilant with my hygiene this time of the year.
  4. Sleep, lots of it. I go to bed a little earlier and sleep in a little later. I take naps at lunch time if I feel sluggish. Cold rainy weekend days you will find me in bed either fast asleep or with a good book.
  5. Exercise – The dreaded winter exercise. I must admit that I do struggle with this one, but I have saved the best for last. Exercise boosts not only the mood but also the immune system. Keep the blood pumping, keep the winter blues away.

If you or anyone you know are currently experiencing Winter Blues, please reach out and speak to someone. You do not have to walk this road alone. If you have no-one to talk to then drop me a message and I will respond personally.

 

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Knock Knock

Who is there? Who listen’s when you call out?

My youngest daughter is busy with a school project at the moment which involves researching three different religions. This weekend we spend time discussing the merits of some of these religions, and the possibility that there could be more than one right way to salvation. We discussed the possibility that the way that we were brought up could be the incorrect way and then pondered the consequences of that. Deep meaningful conversations with young children often make one think like a child again.

The absolute faith of a child is wonderful. This can be seen in the way that little kids seem to be perfectly at ease as their dads toss them high into the air on playgrounds. The same can be said for religion, by 10 years of age the programming is so instilled that even given the assignment to consider other possibilities the so-called “fact” is that there is only one God.

However, showing maturing far beyond their years (or far greater than many adults) my son and daughter came to the conclusion that there is a single creator, who goes by different names but is essentially the same person who has the same message for everyone and everything.

For us, that (he) is called “God”. That is who will answer when we knock. He doesn’t mind who we are or what we do, he made us and he will care for us.

Then the subject of the afterlife came up. The threat of eternal condemnation really terrifies them, however, in their mind it does not make sense. How would any loving caring parent condemn their own child?

The question then arose:

“Why would adults teach children about eternal condemnation, when there is no concrete proof?

Why would the same God reincarnate one group of people but give everlasting life to another?

Who makes all these rules up and speaks on behalf of God, should he not speak to each of us directly?”

I guess the assignment worked and they are starting to think a little wider about other possibilities. Given my lack of knowledge of that which is unknown and unknowable, I could not answer any of their questions honestly. I did smile as I recalled some of my very own questions along those lines. I cannot answer that which I do not know, however, I have faith that they too, as I have, will find their own way, and when they knock the door will be opened.

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Does your anchor stop you drifting off course or hold you back?

Today in our morning meeting someone described a role as that of an anchor for our group. The anchor of our group, the team member who provides stability and stops us from drifting. When one is facing an uncertain path the anchor can provide grounding and help keep one in the space to focus on the task at hand.

An anchor, on the other hand, can also hold one back, it can get snagged and hinder your progress. An anchor is a heavy weight to carry around and it can be both useful and a hindrance.

Are you mindful of what your anchors are and how they serve you? By practicing daily mindful exercises you will be able to become far more aware of what anchors you have and whether or not they are serving you.

For tips on mindfulness exercises follow myeverydayisaholiday

 

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Full Moon Friday…

Another week has silently slipped by. Our journey towards the inevitable continues unabated. The old saying, something along the lines of days slipping into weeks, weeks into months, months into years holds true if we do not pause on occasion to be mindful.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse, in ancient times this would have been a major event. Today however it is just another Friday; if it were not for the news and all the social media many of us might not even be aware of the eclipse tonight. That said, there are groups of people who are preparing to celebrate, pray, or perform rituals tonight as they believe that the energy of the moon has some impact on all of us.

This has got me thinking, have we lost touch with our innate wisdom? Has modern society swapped science for religion / spirituality? I am reading a book called The Field: The Quest For The Secret Force Of The Universe by Lynne McTaggart. This book really connects the dots,for me, marrying hard science with ancient understanding of the universe. Some of the really far out concepts that are not readily taught in a Christian upbringing (or worse labeled as the work of the Devil) are now starting to be understood through one of our most trusted sources: Modern Science and Pure Mathematics. For many years now I have sought to understand the so called hidden mysteries of the world. I am no closer than I was when I started, in fact the only thing that my search has brought me are more questions. Well that is not entirley true; I have learnt to be far more accepting of people who are different from me. I have learnt that there is no one single way, and that anyone who says they know for certain that they know the only way should be avoided. I have learnt that learning is part of the journey and knowing possibly only comes once this journey is over, or not. Worrying about what happens next is fruitless. Living this life to try build rewards for the afterlife is akin to trying to empty the ocean with a tea strainer. I could have this all wrong and pay dearly for it one day. I am willing to take my chance.

Well I digress, back to the moon. Tonight I am going to watch the moon rise and give thanks for my life. I will watch as the earth casts its shadow across the face of the moon and I will ponder. I will just be in the moment and enjoy the spectacle. Maybe I will feel something maybe I wont. I am not expecting anything but I am open to experience. Maybe there is magic out there and most of us have lost touch of it. Books like The Field remind me that all is not as it seems.

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Generosity

I often think of generosity as something that requires giving to another. However this morning during my meditation I was invited to consider how I could be more generous to myself. That was a real mind shift for me. I do often take time to care for myself, physically, mentally and emotionally, but being generous to myself was a concept that I have never really considered. So that is what I decided to do today. I am attempting to be mindful of the fact that I need to be generous with myself. What this looks like today is allowing myself a little more time to get things done. Drink my tea a little slower, take more time to write, take time to plant healthy seeds in my mind. Spend a little longer visualizing my dreams, I do all this often but not through the filter of generosity.

So I now invite you to go out and be generous with yourself today. Spoil yourself, read the book, have the coffee, phone a friend, buy the sports car, go and book that exotic island holiday, compliment yourself on something. Whatever works for you, just be sure to be generous to yourself for a moment today. Tonight have a check-in and see if being generous to yourself has had an impact on how you feel.

Follow me on Instagram to see how you too can make every day a holiday.

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How do you value yourself?

Since my last post, I have had a rather interesting response from people. It seems that very often we do not value our gifts or at least there are some of us out there who do not value our gifts.

For example: Why would the passionate artist feel bad about charging people for the work he creates out of love? Why would the photographer do a photoshoot at a price that barely covers the costs of his time, let alone contributes to the cost of equipment? Why does the witty person who attracts people with nothing more than his outgoing personality hide himself away behind a job that is unfulfilling?

When did our society decide that it is wrong or unjustified for us to charge a fee for doing something that we are passionate about? Why do we feel justified to accept payment for doing something that we do not enjoy, yet hesitate when someone offers us payment for doing something that we love doing?

Long ago I learnt to accept gifts from people. If someone offered to pay the lunch bill I would gladly accept. When people offered to contribute to fuel, I would gladly accept. I did not need the money, but who am I to rob another of the gift of giving? I love giving as much as I love receiving, but if people will not let me give, then I do not get that experience.

So back to my original pondering. Why is it that we are afraid to charge for the things we truly enjoy?

Are you one of the fortunate ones who is following your dreams and getting paid to play? If so please comment below, I would love to send more people your way and support where you if I can.

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My best investment

Before I got my first real paycheck, my dad had already set up an appointment for me with a financial advisor. The idea was to encourage me to develop a habit of saving and investing so that I could one day retire “comfortably”. So it began, a small retirement annuity fund that got 10% of my paycheck every month. I was on to something here,  I thought. As time went on I found myself in the privileged and fortunate position of having excess money at the end of each month, so I invested what I had. By my mid 30’s I had a unit trust fund, a small share portfolio, a couple of bonds, two retirement annuities and an emergency cash fund for those unexpected expenses. Long-term growth was the buzzword. Save hard and make your money work for you. We have all been told about the magic of compound interest and how wonderful it is provided you leave your money in a little longer. Some investments did well, others not so well. They have each helped me along the way, but the best investment that I ever made was investing in myself.

What does it mean to invest in yourself? For me, it meant spending time and money learning. I read books, attended seminars, took online courses and distance studies. I found successful business people to spend time with and I picked their brains. I dabbled in network marketing (which is a wonderful learning tool. I just never found success with the product that I was involved with) I engaged with a life coach and most importantly I backed myself.

Then 2017 happened. A proper case of Burn-Out, a Nervous Breakdown, Major Depressive episode, call it what you want, it snuck up and took the wind out of my sales. None of my financial investments would be sufficient to carry me through. I guess I could have liquidated all my assets and limped along looking for a job. However, there was one investment which was still paying out huge dividends, the investment that kept on showing returns regardless of the markets and anything else that was happening in the world. My investment in growing myself into the person I am today has kept me going, even through the darkest hours. Now that my eyes can see the light again and I am inspired to change the world and make a difference, I have realized the importance of that investment.

If there was one thing that I would like you, the reader to take away it would be this. Have a sound financial plan for yourself and engage with a professional financial advisor (I can recommend 3 brilliant ones if you need) but most importantly invest in yourself. Don’t spend another day thinking about it, as Nike says: “Just Do It!”. Spend money on yourself to grow, Hire a Coach and find out what drives you, then keep investing and growing and learning and before you know it you too will be reaping the rewards of the best investment you ever made. All that is required is for you to decide and then get moving. If you need help getting started, leave a comment and I will contact you and talk you through the process.

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