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Spark joy in your life by creating more space in your world and in your mind

It’s January!  That month where you pay a 12 months gym membership that you later regret as you don’t have the time or motivation to use it; the month of resolutions that begin to lose momentum, importance and your commitment.   You start on a motivated high which quickly diminishes.

I love Christmas!  Family time! Random smiles and Merry Christmas wishes from people you don’t know!  Although, it’s a busy time of year: buying presents, meeting friends, work nights out, grocery shopping (or here in Scotland we would say “going for the messages”).

This time around I purposefully decided I wasn’t going to make plans with friends over xmas.  Why squeeze them into the tiny wee weeks running up to Christmas?  I want to spend QUALITY time with them.  I’m busy; they are busy!  I said to them, let’s meet when all the madness is over, aye?

So, here we are, near the end of January.  Are you still using that gym you joined?

If not, get your ass down there and get into shape!  😉

Create a positive habit!

Get healthy!  Lose those pounds!  Tone that tummy!

You won’t regret it!  Remember, in the words of 1980’s band YAZZ “the only way is up!

What a tune!  Listen to it!  How the heck does it make you feel?  Frickin awesome, right? Let me know your feel-good tune in the comments!  Add this song to your awesome, jump out of bed, I can take on anything the world throws at me, playlist!

Ok, now I’ve got that out of my system, I wanna ask you a question:

What have you been doing this month?  Have you been taking part in dry January?  Any New Year’s resolutions?  Have you set and created a timeline to achieve your goals for the year ahead?

For me, January has been a month of creating space.  Organisation.  Losing the clutter.   Both in my physical world and in my mind.

Mindfully, I started an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) course (click on the link, can you believe it is completely free?  Wowsers!)

Physically, I’ve been creating space in my home!  I bought a wardrobe to finally organise my study.  Hello Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever (which I’ve had for more than two years and only just paying it the proper attention it deserves!  Ouch!).

So I’ve been uncluttering my world and watching the magic happen.  You should try it!

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I’ve been practicing both mindfulness and creating space for quite some time now and boy, there have been many bags full of clothes that don’t “spark joy” (thanks Marie Kondo) to me over the years and so many days of feeling bad for not getting in at least 10 minutes of mindfulness practice.  But I really needed to start paying proper attention and focus to both areas.

Now it’s your turn.  Ask yourself (and answer honestly):

What no longer serves you or “sparks joy” in your life right now?

How often do you experience stress and anxiety?

Are there changes you can make or things you can lose to make your life easier?

That last point includes people by the way!

I realised that the more “stuff” I cleared: “stuff” I didn’t use or wear; “stuff” that was part of my past from people or experiences I had moved on from; “stuff” that was old or damaged etc, the more I saw and appreciated the belongings I did want to see and wear and use.

It’s therapeutic to have a clear out.  Plus, why do you want to hold onto the stuff that brings you unhappy memories or that old top you’ve had forever? Out with the old, I say.

And be mindful of the new!  Do you really need it?  Do you really want it?  Does your life depend on it?  (ok, a little extreme there).  But being mindful of your buying not only keeps your house uncluttered but saves you money too, win-win!

So start clearing, stop buying (so much) and see the magical shift in your world.

 

 

 

 

 

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Listen to the sounds of the universe – law of attraction

“Listen to the sounds of the universe” might sound like an odd title for a blog post to you.  Listening usually implies hearing sound of some sort.  But I’m not talking about listening to the relaxing waves of the sea, the rain trickling against your window, the laughter of your children or even that song that takes you back to some good old time.
Sounds of the universe - law of attraction

 

No.  I’m talking more of emotion, intuition and belief.

Listening in itself is known to be a bit of an art.

Think about it for a sec.  Do you believe you are a good listener?

To many the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”.  It doesn’t take a lot to listen, does it?

Well, the truth of the matter is it actually takes a lot to be a good listener.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

There are different levels of listening: empathetic, attentive, selective, pretending, ignoring (beginning from the most effective listening to the least effective).

I get it.  It’s hard to pay attention and pick up every little piece someone says.  We are human.  We are designed in such a way that holding our attention for long enough can be difficult.  Even the smallest, unrelated thought can distract us.

So, next time you have a conversation remember the words of Dr Stephen Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

“Seek first to understand then to be understood”

Active listening allows the person speaking to see the listener is attentive and engaged in the conversation.  This involves comprehending, retaining, and responding to the person speaking.

Hearing and understanding is a skill many of us need to improve on.

 

Oops!  I’ve diverged.  See how easy it is to lose attention and focus?

Now, listen up!

You may have heard of, or becoming aware of, a little magical something called the Law of Attraction.  I first heard about the Law of Attraction on the train journey home after a night out with friends.  I met someone I didn’t realise I knew until he told me his name: an old school friend.  I had already recognised subtle, sometimes random, connections and synchronicities in life.  I had this strange feeling of everything really does happen for a reason.  There are no coincidences.

Of course, I had to explore more!

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 Recently, the power of the universe, the law of attraction, has been so strong for me.  So much so that I feel in flow with life.  So much so that I feel I am on the right track.  So much so that I just know in my gut that listening to the direction the universe is taking me in is an absolute must.  Do you ever get that feeling?
 

So I want to introduce you to listening on a whole different level.  That is, listening to the power of the universe.

Recently, I was on retreat in the beautiful grounds around Lendrick Lodge in Scotland.  The first day of the retreat we were asked the question “what to you hope to get out of the retreat?”.  I was there to relax; to switch off from the craziness of city life, of people buzzing around like busy bees to reach their dreams, to pay the bills, to provide for their families (and quite often not looking after oneself properly).

But throughout the weekend I recognised a recurring theme.  It dawned on me I was there to learn more about loving kindness.

This was made easy being in the company of the coolest and kindest people to connect with.

But how did I come to this realisation?

Yes, I’m super sensitive to seeing connections and these connections began within 10 minutes of setting foot in our accomodation.  To give you a bit of background I’m a certified Life Coach.  I have followed Dr David R. Hamilton for some time now but at that point I had only listened to his Quantum Field Healing disc.  I had also been practicing mindfulness regularly for some time.

Lendrick lodge

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw David R. Hamilton’s book “The 5 Effects of Kindness” not long after entering the house.  What’s even more wowsers is how my Life Coach trainer, Ali Campbell, achknowledges David on the very first page.  It’s clear I will one day attend one of his lectures and meet with this inspiring man!

Viktor Frankl was mentioned by both authors and just a few days later mentioned in a Les Brown audio – one thing’s for sure, I must check out Viktor Frankl!

On day 2 I randomly picked a compassionate card on loving kindness.  On day 3 the meditation practice was on loving kindness.  Somehow I was attracted to loving kindness and clearly, again, I had to explore more.

Listening to your soul; what’s right for your soul; pay attention to what direction does the universe seem to pull you.

Know that the universe will give you signs to let you know you are on the right track.

Pay attention, be actively curious and remain open to what comes your way.