Taking Back your Life

“Live the life you’d be envious of if you saw someone else living it. This is my personal mantra. Whenever I’m going through a difficult time, like a breakup, and I’m wishing to be the person who could get over it and move on, I tell myself to be that person. Instead of waiting to be inspired by someone else and being jealous that they’re living a life I wish I had, I tell myself not to wait for that moment and to start being the person I want to be.” – Olivia Dunn

This is such a great way to deal with disappointment, rejection and failure. Yes, there’s a place for feeling the emotions, and for grieving what could – or should – have been. But that is not where you want to set up camp. You still have that unlived life to live!

So, to help you with the process of rebuilding your life, take time to think about the following questions:

1. Who (or whose life) life inspires you?

2. What it is about their life that you find so inspiring?

3. Is it the kind of personthey are? If so, what is it about them that you find so appealing? Are they warm and friendly? Are they kind, affirming and supportive? Are they inclusive and welcoming? Is it the way they always look for the good? Is it the way they refuse to allow life to bring them down, and keep them down?

4. Is it the way they push themselves to achieve demanding or attractive goals? If so, use this as a springboard to think about the kind of goals you would like to achieve – perhaps goals you think are beyond you right now. Then think about starting off small, and just taking one tiny step in that direction. For example, perhaps you would like to run a half marathon but that seems completely impossible at the moment. But maybe you could start by walking and running for a short 5 or 10 minutes a day. Then, you could slowly increase the time.  You could do that for yourself ….

5. Is it the way they live a rich full life, and seem to have so many interests and friends? This doesn’t happen overnight. Again, it is achieved small step by small step. And it something that’s available to you, too. Believe me when I say: This is possible for you.

To help you here, think about one or two interests you could perhaps experiment with. You don’t have to commit to them yet. This is just the exploration stage. But it can be fun to explore something new and different … And as you do this, you’ll meet new people too.

These are just some thoughts to get you thinking about change, and working to create the life you deserve. Go for it!!! I wish you all the best.

Life is short. Live the Life you Want

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

 We all know life comes with an expiration date. But if you knew what yourdate was, would you live life differently?

We all get stuck in grooves and we do the same old things. We’re all procrastinators, and we don’t get round to ‘change’. Yet, time moves on regardless. Sand still flows through the hour glass. And then, before we know it, it’s to late to make that change.

What does it look like to live the life you want?

Below, are three simple guiding principles:

1. Be true to yourself: This means knowing who you are, knowing want you want, and not living life just to please other people. It is being comfortable with yourself. Being comfortable with your choices and decisions. It is living authentically, and with integrity. It is taking risks, and setting goals … and then pushing through the obstacles until you’ve reached those goals. And those goals will be different for everyone. They may be relational, career-oriented, or fun/ interest-based goals.   

Ask yourself: Do I know who I am? Do I know what I want? Have I somehow lost myself along the way? Also, in what areas of life am I compromising, and being what other people want me to be (perhaps to be accepted, or to feel that I belong)?

2. Focus on the positives: This doesn’t mean burying our heads in the sand and pretending that we don’t face any challenges, or pretending that we haven’t had to deal with a trauma. We need to about what we have been through.  But at the same time, there are still things we can be thankful for – and having this perspective can make a world of difference. Even if it’s something as insignificant as the smell of pastries when we’re out for a run. Don’t under-estimate the power of gratitude in your life. A positive attitude can lower depression; improve your problem-solving, and coping, skills; and can inspire, energize and motivate you.

Ask yourself: What part does gratitude play in my life? Am I getting stuck in a negative rut? Have I allowed myself to fall into negative thought patterns? Do I focus on the bad, or do I look for the good? Do I notice all the times when things actually go well?

3. Choose to prioritize your personal growth: You were born with amazing potential and talents – so, don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. What piques your interest? What are some things that you could try? Don’t be afraid to launch out, or to experiment. There are so many options and opportunities.  

Ask yourself: What does a well-lived life look like to you? What does personal growth look like to you? How do you want your future to play out? Where do your interests and passions lie? How are you consciously investing in these? How can you challenge yourself to grow and become a more fulfilled, and interesting, person? What is the first step you will take to make a change?  

It’s the Little Things that Matter

Remember, today, that it’s the little things that matter.

It’s saying thank you to the sales assistant.

It’s taking the time to listen to your child.

It’s paying an unexpected compliment.

It’s checking in on a hurting friend.

It’s making the decision to do the right thing, even when you’re tired and you really can’t be bothered.

It’s choosing to be thankful when you’re feeling negative.

It’s doing one small thing which shows you’re going to love yourself.

Want to Feel Excited About Life Again?

Sometimes is lasts for a day or two. Sometimes it lasts for weeks, or even months. That dull malaise which kills our motivation. That greyness which hangs over everything. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. When nothing is exciting, or inspiring, any more.

But despite how we feel, there are things that we can do to help us get unstuck, and to love our lives again. These include:

1.Travel, or go somewhere different or new – It’s amazing how a change of scenery can reignite our passion, and our love for life. Somehow, changing our environments shakes up our brain as well. We get in touch with our old self – and we feel re-energized.

2. Get out and meet new people; go and socialize again – We keep thinking the same thoughts, and we get stuck in the same grooves when we do the same things, with the same friends, all the time. 

So, we also need new friends who bring a new outlook on life. They’re ambitious. They have plans. There are things they want to do. And as we spend more time with them, we absorb that energy.

3. Pick up a new hobby, or sign up for a course – This will push you outside your comfort zone. And as we start to learn new skills, we start to feel more confident. Also, you may find you’re inspired to try other things as well.

4. Fill you time with things that add value to your life. Wasting lots of time on empty, pointless, boring things will drain your motivation, and will leave you feeling down.

So, start by saying “yes” to any opportunity that gives you a small boost, and adds value to your life.

 5. Give yourself permission to wave a magic wand – Allow yourself to dream, and to think outside the box. Perhaps the following questions can hep you with this:

If you could wave a magic wand over your life right now, and have the life you would like to have, what would that life look like?

How would you look?

What would you be doing?

How would you be feeling?

How would other people describe you?

What would they see that is different from the way things are today?”

“Darling, you deserve it all. You deserve love and peace and magic and joy dancing in your eyes. You deserve hearty, deep-belly laughter and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil. You deserve freedom and goodness and company and days of bliss and quiet too. You deserve you happy and healed and content and open. So keep going, darling. Keep going. Go realise into being the life you deserve.” – Unknown

What Will You Do with Your One Precious Life?

“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair should be messy, and your eyes sparkling.” -Shanti

We never know how much time we have left. That’s why it’s important to live everyday. And to fill everyday with something meaningful.

To create a life that is kind and beautiful. To invest in people … and to follow our dreams …

And to make sure we have captivating dreams!

For too often we wake up – and we’re stuck in a deep rut. We do “the same old, same old” and we shrivel up inside. We give up on adventure and we let our world grow small.  We find we’re just existing. There’s no passion anymore.

But to really feel alive we must get out there and explore. We need to build new memories, and to live with open eyes. We need to find that courage to step out, and take some risks.

For we only have one life – so, go, and live it to the full.

Quote of the Day

“So do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out. And decide.” – Meredith Grey

A lot of life comes down to decisions.

Decisions we make actively and consciously; or decisions we make passively. By default. By leaving things as they are.

Either because we are too afraid to make a change, or because it costs us too much to make a change.

But not making that decision costs us as well. Maybe not today, but in the long run.

So how do you really want to live your life? What kind of person do you really want to be?

Perhaps it is time to take the bull by the horns and make that decision which could change everything.

Saying Goodbye to my Old Identity

“I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.” – Joan Didion

Old versions of ‘you’ you might need to let go of include:

The you who allowed other people to use and abuse her.

The you who was afraid to stand up for herself.

The you who was afraid to ask for what she wanted.

The you who was afraid to go afterwhat she wanted.

The you who let other people say who she was … and let others choose her identity.

The you who felt she always had to put others first, and who didn’t prioritize self love and self care.

The you who believed she wasn’t worthy of love … and had to take what she could get … or had to take what she was given.

The you who didn’t believe she had the right to succeed, to be noticed and applauded, to be given recognition.

But now it is time to move on from that old you – to take the opportunity to reinvent yourself.

For that is a healthy way to live your life.

Do you have this growth identity?  

Your Growth is a Good Thing

Understand that some people are only able to handle older versions of you. They will turn away from who you currently are because they don’t know what growth looks like. But you are not required to live out older roles in order to make other people comfortable.” – iambrillyant

Just in case you needed to hear this today …

Your growth is a good thing.

It is wholesome and life-giving.

Keep on going after what is best for you.

You only have one life to live, so live it to the full.

How can we Makes our Lives more Meaningful?

How can we make our lives more meaningful?

In the paper, Pursue Meaning Instead of Happiness[1], authors Smith and Aaker say a meaningful life contains 3 crucial ingredients. These are purpose, comprehension and mattering (significance). In summary:

PURPOSE is choosing, and then working to attain, the kinds of life goals which are significant to you.

COMPREHENSION is making sense of what’s happened to you. It is weaving together all the good and the bad to form a coherent narrative.

MATTERING (SIGNIFICANCE) is knowing that you matter, that others value you, and believing that your life has significance.

But how do we go about achieving these? What kinds of things should we focus on? Below are some suggestions that might help with this.

1. It’s important to find some kind of purpose in your life. And our purpose can alter across the lifespan. For example, perhaps you feel your purpose is enhancing others’ lives – through what you do at work, or by volunteering, or by being a great partner, or great parent to your kids.

2. Be careful and selective in your choice of friends. The people we spend time with can have a huge effect on the way we come to see, and feel about, ourselves.

Some questions for you to think through here include: How would you say your friends and family treat you? Do you tend to feel better or worse about yourself after spending time with them? Do they build you up, and enhance your self-esteem or do they tend to criticize and pull you down?

Aim to cultivate friends who affirm and value you, who love you for yourself, and who are there for you.

3. Aim for balance in life. Yes, working hard matters … but so does having fun. Being kind and understanding are crucial qualities … but you also need to rest, and to invest in yourself.

4. When in doubt, choose integrity. In the end, it is better to live with peace of mind than to regret the things we’ve said, or the things that we have done. So seek to live a life that is consistent with your values.

5. Be willing to edit and rewrite your life’s story. Life very rarely goes according to plan. Really awful things will happen that our outside our control. But we can still reframe experiences to highlight personal strengths, our courage, our persistence, and our resiliency. You can tell a better story of how you have survived.

6. Be YOU. Resist the constant pressure to alter and to change to meet the expectations of others in your life. For at the end of the day, you will feel much more fulfilled if you can simply be yourself – in a way that’s true to you.

Don’t ever lose yourself. You are a gift to the world.

7. Don’t overlook the value of small things. The smallest act of kindness can make a massive difference. We don’t need to do great things to change another’s world. A text, a smile, a ‘high 5’ can inspire hope again.    

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life.” – Elsie de Wolfe


[1] https://www.thecut.com/2016/12/in-2017-pursue-meaning-instead-of-happiness.html

10 Things to Give Up

Suddenly, she realized that a fresh start was hers for the taking; that she could be the woman she’d always she’d always seen on the horizon – her future self. One step at a time, starting today.” – Life On Purpose

Some things to consider giving up include:

1. Trying to please, and be acceptable, to others

2. The fear of making a mistake

3. The fear of change

4. A fear of the future

5. Guilt or shame that’s tied to your past

6. Beating yourself up, or putting yourself down

7. Over-thinking

8. Living by your feelings

9. The desire to get even with others

10. The tendency to procrastinate.

How would your life be different if you choose to give up one of these things?

Which one could you choose to start on today?