Category Archives: Inspiration

Marie Forleo: How You Can Make Fear Your Secret Weapon For Success

12512463_830632043713734_178200621039760129_n

\\ POWERFUL TRANSFORMATIVE TEACHING ON FEAR from the awe inspiring ‪#‎entrepreneur‬,‪ #‎author‬ and ‪#‎philanthropist‬ Marie Forleo

We’re all riddled with fear to different degrees – at different points on our ‪#‎journeys‬.

Whether:

۩ fear of being alone;
۩
fear of failure; 
۩
fear of disappointment

or otherwise – I know I’ve felt all three at times, as have most of my phenomenal female friends.

But as the lioness, Marie, so eloquently reminds us, we must reframe our fear and activate it as the positive force that it really is.

How Can Fear Be Positive?

tumblr_no46pfQrpu1tfjxdjo1_1280

If you think about it, fear is just a manifestation of uncertainty – the risk of not achieving something that is hugely important to us. And where does that leave our identity?! Nowhere certain. Nowhere concrete. Nowhere fun.

But here’s the thing – fear is also a pretty draining emotion – if not embraced for what it really symbolises – which leaves us stuck worrying about the past or the future rather than harnessing the fun, fruity and pretty darn hopeful – present.

How Can We Convert Fear Into A Force For Good?

overcoming-fear-quotes-1

So embrace your fear today by asking yourself what the positive intention behind your fear really is. Maybe it’s soaring ambition, a gorgeous readiness to love or the inner perfectionist that lights your path?

Now refocus your mind on that – magnify it – tenfold – and watch your fear melt into rock – hard – pumping – power ☼

2015-03-14-1426343081-3027142-fearquote

The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying: Bronnie Ware

maxresdefault-11

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not a life others expected of me” 

Taken from “The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying”

By Bronnie Ware

Death is one of life’s great taboos.

Ironic then, isn’t it, that Bronnie Ware’s book, inspired by the most common regrets of her dying patients, has sold the wide world over – in no less than 27 languages. 

Equally ironic is the conversation stopping effect death has in life when Ware’s findings reveal that death is, in fact, the greatest invigorator out there. Bypassing ego, image and obligation, death sieves through bullshit and cuts straight to point - distilling truth in its purest form.

Five core truths, in fact – which level us all.

And that, Dear Reader, is what many of us are too busy to realise day to day – what really matters in life – and that’s what makes Ware’s book so powerful.

If that all sounds a bit on the heavy side, check out the top five regrets of the dying here and prepare to feel a whole lot lighter.

For as Steve Jobs, the man who ‘had it all’, warned:

“At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless”.

So if you think you’re too busy to read the above article, all the more reason to. 

For as the Dalai Lama so wisely reflected when asked what surprised him most about man:

23f11c8f56c24be991fed36d0f1683ac-2

10 Handy Hints To Get Over Heartbreak Fast

12553042_10153162466600916_3726218789824835883_n-2

“Being single on Valentine’s Day rocks!”
said no one – ever.

Being heartbroken on what’s meant to be the most romantic day of the year is even worse.

Like attending a baby shower when you’re struggling to conceive or going to a hen party when you’ve just been dumped, V-Day can feel more like D-Day if you’re not on the receiving end of roses and rings.

So as an antidote to the lack of relationship guidance we’re given during sex education at school – like what healthy relationships look like and how to deal with a broken heart – this is my tried and tested “Hit List For The Heartbroken“, as featured in The Huffington Post.

Terry Wogan: The Grocer’s Son Who Made History Of A Different Kind

INVESTITURES AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON, BRITAIN - 06 DEC 2005

“A broadcasting legend”Tony Hall

“Britain has lost a huge talent – someone millions came to feel was their own special friend”David Cameron

“Just the most warm-hearted, generous, funny, clever, life-affirming man”Dermot O’Leary

“He was probably the greatest broadcaster since the invention of the microphone”Jeremy Vine

“Part of the fabric of our lives”Simon Mayo

“Nobody’s going to top that act”Ruby Wax

wogan_1468457a

Few deaths move nations like Sir Terry Wogan’s has Britain and Ireland.

Few moments are more poignant than Wogan’s farewell to his Radio 2 listeners.

And his parting words to his Radio 2 listeners, like Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’, seem all the more poignant now:

terrywogan-radio2.jpg?w=748&h=420&crop=1

It’s always been a source of enormous pride to me that you have come together in my name, that you are proud to call yourself my listeners, that you think of me as a friend, someone that you are close enough to laugh with, to poke fun at and occasionally, when the world seemed just a little too cruel, to shed a tear with.

Thank you, thank you for being my friend“.

And while the farcical cluster of legendary deaths this year are powerfully evoked by John Schneider: “It’s truly like God’s put an intern in charge of deaths and he’s going through the list of celebrities people really love“, these losses make Wogan’s no less.

DEMOTIX_Demotix-06_2666017a

Described as a “national treasure“, “a true gentleman” and “one of the greatest broadcasters who ever lived“, I ask you, dear Reader, what was it that made Sir Terry Wogan so very dear to us?

Was it just his Irish charm and velvety voice, was it the fact he helped us through the painful wee hours with his warm and witty weekday breakfast programme, “Wake Up To Wogan” or was it his cuddly resemblance to a much-loved father figure?

Or was it more than that?

I suggest, dear Reader, it was the latter.

For as the snapshot of tributes above show, Wogan’s legacy is rooted in the fantastical – even metaphysical.

From grocer’s son to broadcasting legend – he went from virtual unknown to a friend to millions.

Yes – a friend to millions.

Sir-Terry-Wogan

A rare mix of gravitas allied with a strong sense of the ridiculous gave this unscripted, slick-witted broadcaster an eloquence, wit and warmth that made people feel both enraptured and at ease all at once.

Far more than a just another charming TV personality, Wogan was a deeply empathetic man who, though known as the face of Children In Need, was in fact “the heart of the charity for some 35 years, raising millions to change the lives of children“.

This was a man who, like all the greats of the world, leaves many lessons in his wake.

Here are just a handful:

article-1290595-00DE5ABF00000190-267_634x403

1. Do What You Love
Wogan’s departure from banking couldn’t have been further from the broadcasting world. Giving vent to his flamboyance, TV and radio came naturally to Wogan, allowing him to exploit his flair and charisma on a daily basis. Such was his ease on the radio, he admitted: “I certainly don’t wake up planning my show for the next day. I simply turn up and turn the microphone on without giving it any thought.” So if you’re at a career crossroads, forget the ‘shoulds’ and focus on what truly excites you. There will be less stress, more fun and quite simply – more success.

2. Prioritise Family
Despite Wogan’s success, his wife and children were his priority. “I’ve always taken risks with my career, but never with my family“, he said. “If you want to keep everything about you secure and warm, you don’t risk the things you value“. Wise words from a devilishly handsome Irish man who could have quite easily exploited his wit and charm to more egotistical ends.

3. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
Chris Evans attributes Wogan’s supreme confidence to the fact that: “He never took any of this seriously. Least of all himself. He was the butt of most of his jokes”. Wogan was the ultimate Jackanory. Chris Deerin said he had stories, “Many unrepeatable here, about pretty much anyone I could think up. He loved to talk about his friend, the great Peter Cook, who once asked to bring his pet along to a celebrity golf match and arrived carrying a goldfish in a bowl“. The moral of the tale? “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive“.

4. See Through The Bullshit
When asked by Joanna Lumley, his nervous co-presenter of Children In Need just before going on air in the early days, “Terry, do you ever get nervous”, he replied: “Nervous? No. This is only television“. Wogan was a man who had life in perspective. A perspective no doubt sharpened by the loss of a daughter at 3 weeks’ old. He saw through ego and laughed it off as the illusion that it is. When asked what advice he’d offer his teenage self if he had the chance, he replied: “I would say never get too disappointed if you don’t do as well as expected in your exams. There’s more to life than passing exams, and paper qualifications can only take you so far.” So next time you feel stressed or guilty for not meeting others’ expectations, remember, they may not count for much when all is said and done.

5. Stay Humble
Despite his fame, being knighted in 2005 – the year his radio audience passed the eight million mark – Wogan appreciated his radio listeners to the very end. A king of the airwaves who never lost the common touch, this was a man who had that rare ability to make each of his 9 million listeners feel like the only person in the room. Which, I suppose, is why when questioned how many people listened to his show, he replied: “Only one“.

But most of all, Wogan was a man who appealed to the masses. The rich, the famous, the middle class, the poor and the lowly.

He had that magical ability to make everyone feel special. The rarest of gifts and a prime example of Rudyard Kipling’s words:

How To Get Motivated: Reframe Your Pain And Gain Gain Gain

12540795_10153162469495916_5324372448338188026_n-2

consumer-behaviour-team-motivation-4-638

“Satisfied needs do not motivate. It is only the unfulfilled needs that do so”

Stephen Covey, Bestselling Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

When was the last time a grizzly, sick-to-your-stomach inducing situation turned out to be surprisingly positive and expansive?

How did you feel a few months down the line after that terrible break-up, unfair job loss or frightening health scare? Bitter, angry and stuck or grateful, wiser and surprisingly positive?

This is because of of a GEM OF A SECRET I’ll share with you.

The driving force behind motivation – what impels us to action – is produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfulfilled need

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is why being cut loose from situations which no longer serve us – is actually a blessing in disguise – launching us into positive change with an engine of tension-fuelled motivation beneath us.

So you see, the most difficult experiences in life are actually powerful catalysts for positive change

Whether:

1. Losing a job and starting that business you’d dreamed about;
2. Breaking up with someone and taking up a new hobby that opens up a whole new social circle; or
3. Making a fresh start somewhere new and learning new languages and customs which tickle your soul and inspire you creatively

This is why discomfort can be such a powerful driver for growth

and why imagining how you DON’T want your life to be a year down the line is such an effective driver for achieving your goals.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

10986492_10152539982700916_1154554402500774089_n-4

1. Reframe Your Pain - Remember that discomfort and pain are the great catalysts for growth. If you do one thing today, wee Gazer, try reframing pain and discomfort into the positive motivator that it is and turn your attention to the new and exciting ideas and projects which that tension is releasing within you.

2. Get Inspired - The likes of bestselling authors like Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t get where they are through comfort. Au contraire – they side stepped, jagged, from the grief-stricken wounds of trauma to the high-flying realms of success that see their names in lights today.

Similarly, if you think Steve Jobs and Richard Branson just got lucky, take a look at the challenges they both harnessed to achieve sky-high success. Sackings, imprisonments, betrayals aren’t what you’d expect, are they? If they can do it, why can’t you?

3. Still Struggling? And if you’re not quite there yet, give yourself a breather and remember – those challenges are what make you the person that you are today – and they will be the making of your tomorrow.

The Surprising Legacy David Bowie Gifts Us

12565536_806278652815740_5005560691327508928_n

12540862_806278722815733_5378319604984726043_n

“David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. I never felt like I fitted in growing up in Michigan. I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. Seeing him live set me off on a journey I hope will never end”Madonna

“A master of reinvention who kept getting it right”David Cameron

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art”Tony Visconti 

“Every person, when they’re young, thinks they’re the freak, the outsider, the other, and Bowie, through presenting the freak, the outsider, the other, gave people something to relate to”Paul Gambaccini

12bowielondon_web1-master675

Few deaths make headlines across the globe, inspiring tributes at all levels of society from Prime Ministers and Archbishops to musicians and the masses.

And as the snapshot of tributes above show, Bowie’s legacy hinges on far more than his musical talent.

In the spirit of true legacy, Bowie’s life overshadows his death, sustaining and inspiring with a life-like vividness that transcends physical termination.

And as Bowie makes history, never having had a number 1 in America (until now), I ask you, dear Reader, what does Bowie’s death teach us about living? How will our lives be better for absorbing the magic that he leaves in his wake?

10649804_806278779482394_8609715276514482555_n

1. Dare to be different

Whether gay, bisexual, cross-dressing or suit-wearing, treat negative reactions as the projections of fear that they are and move confidently in the direction of your dreams. You will inspire with your authenticity and leave an indelible mark on others that will always be remembered. ‘If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be‘.

2. Do what you love

Self-actualisation sits at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – that feeling that you have led your life with meaning, value and purpose and have made a real contribution to the lives of others. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, play to your strengths and your passions and watch money and happiness abound. As the lyrics of ‘Quicksand‘ go: ‘I’m not a prophet or a stone age man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman’.

3. Never stop being kind and giving love

These are the words which pervade Bowie’s tributes not his $230 million net worth. No matter how high you climb, remember – ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel‘. So be kind – always – for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

4. You are what you believe

As the great man himself said: ‘Even from 8 or 9 years old, I thought, well, I’ll be the greatest rock star in England. I just made up my mind‘. So next time you feel tempted to let entrenched negative thinking get in your way, remember Bowie’s words: ‘It’s the kiss of death in creating something‘.

5. Death can be beautiful

In the words of Henry Scott Holland, ‘Death is nothing at all‘. Bowie remains just as real now, if not more so, for his magnificent departure from life. His taboo breaking work of art, ‘Lazarus‘, released three weeks before his passing, reminds us that death is far more than a physical end. It can also be life-defining, rule defying and positively transcendental. For as Shakespeare so beautifully reminds us, legacy is a life-force which well and truly trumps mortality: ‘So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee‘.

6. Appreciate the now

Bowie’s wife, Iman, recently tweeted: ‘Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory‘. So next time you’re about to mindlessly flick through social media, put your phone away and savour those real, human moments happening all around you. Those are the ones you’ll miss.

Liz Gilbert: An Ode To A Failed New Year

12465850_803075763136029_340979912374708108_o

“Dear Ones -

Perhaps we should all begin this New Year not with brand new resolutions, but with a giant gesture of self-forgiveness for all the resolutions of the past that we never kept.

Let us forgive ourselves for all the things we ever tried to do, but didn’t finish.

Let us forgive ourselves for the times we sabotaged our own best intentions.

Let us forgive ourselves for the diet that lasted only four days.

Let me forgive myself for that time I joined a really expensive gym that was RIGHT IN THE BASEMENT OF MY BUILDING, because — even though I couldn’t afford the fees — I knew that I would have to go to a gym that was RIGHT IN THE BASEMENT OF MY BUILDING…right?! I mean, what kind of loser can’t go down three flights of stairs to go to an amazing gym that’s right in the basement of her building? Except I only went three times during the entire year. (All three times in the first week of my membership, by the way. I know none of you have ever done something like that.)

Let us forgive ourselves for the pile of manuscript pages sitting in the bottom of our desk drawer, that we never quite figured out how to make into a novel.

Let us forgive ourselves for the daily meditation practice that we still have not cultivated.

Let us forgive ourselves for the forgiveness of others that we still haven’t learned how to manage.

Let us forgive ourselves for not being able to stop fucking swearing in front of kids.

Let us forgive ourselves for gossiping, and for beginning sentences with the phrase, “I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, but…” — and THEN SAYING THE BITCHY THING ANYHOW.

Let us forgive ourselves for letting another year pass in which we did not learn French, or read ULYSSES, or stop eating sugar.

Let us forgive ourselves for all the times we tried to do something of magnitude, but just couldn’t seem to get around to it.

But most of all, let us never let our failures, embarrassments, and shortcomings stop us from TRYING AGAIN.

Are you ashamed of trying again, because you feel like you are nothing but a screw-up?

Do you think you are out of chances in which to try again?

Trust me: You are not out of chances in which to try again.

Do you know how many chances you get to try again?

All of them. All of the chances. Forever.

Today and tomorrow, and this year, and next year, and all the tomorrows to come.

The chances never run out, so long as we are still here.

So let’s all forgive ourselves and then not be afraid to start over.

Remember — we are all just beginners. And we will probably all die beginners. But the only way a beginner can ever have the chance of advancement is by continuing to try.

This is our year, you guys! We can do it!

OR MAYBE THIS ISN’T OUR YEAR!
AND MAYBE WE CAN’T DO IT!
But that’s OK, too.

Let’s just try again, for the hell of it.

Because, seriously — what else are we gonna do with our time?

All of which is to say: I’m really going after it this year, you guys!

AGAIN!
ONWARD”.

Liz Gilbert, Best-selling Author Of Eat Pray Love

How Being More Selfish Is The Best Way To Love

10644842_797221757054763_8890899079088831856_n

6e8ab57f4fce4c601846cdbf18bd8233

How often do you look outwards to others to make you happy? When was the last you felt angry with someone for feeling bad – whether a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or otherwise?

When was the last time you talked in circles to a friend about someone causing you pain or something not being fair – I can think of a fair few examples…

And while it’s very human to look to others to make you happy, the moment that steps into reliance and blame you’re stepping into victim zone and letting someone else determine your happiness – not those powerful inner resources which really determine your sense of peace.

And while making someone else responsible for your happiness is one of the easiest mistakes to make – it’s also one of the slippiest slopes you can go down – creating unhealthy victim-master dynamics in relationships which are just plain bad for everyone.

What Jada Pinkett Teaches Us About Love

0aafe1343f5805904d21467eb046fe95_large

For as Jada Pinkett so beautifully explains in the short clip below, while society may suggest that the best mums sacrifice everything for their children or that the best partners do everything for their spouses – this just ain’t what happiness is made of.

In actual fact, what really happens if you spend too much of your life focusing all of your energies on others?

What happens when your perfectly formed children, your life masterpieces, grow up and take paths of their own – which, by the way – may not make you happy?

The shit hits the fan, that’s what.

**Newsflash**

happiness-is-an-inside-job-quote-1

True happiness and balance is a personal responsibility and it starts from within – whether meditating in the morning, taking time out to plan your next soul-sizzling goal or making yourself the most delicious meal you could possibly imagine – just for you.

And while healthy relationships are a two way street and sometimes require frank communication and accountability, next time you feel unhappy, try to resist pointing that finger of blame outwards.

Instead, ask yourself how you can focus more on project you and let the person who’s taking up so much of your airtime come along for the ride – if they so desire. And watch the balance shift.

10410104_797222673721338_7224646005855262497_n

So if you do one thing this Christmas, wee one, remember this simple formula:

1. You have a right to be happy;
2. Happiness starts from within;
3. Your inner happiness is what determines the rest.

1385519_797222897054649_1017659711299530189_n

So learn to be a little more selfish this Christmas – get practising for next year – and watch the rest fall into line – just as it’s meant to.

And for more where that came from, check out Will Smith’s dynamo of a wife here:

The Uplifting Truth William Blake Teaches Us About Suffering

11201861_784387731671499_8982570060614886132_n

12278669_784387868338152_1212877708579596364_n

Happy Monday, wee one :)

Here’s a magical tool from William Blake to help you traverse life’s challenges, minimise neurosis and maximise calm – no matter what’s going on around you.

“Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.”

Whether relationship breakdown, work stress, ill health or general life uncertainty, remember – we are made for both joy and woe.

It’s the woe that helps us to recognise the joy and the experience of both which enriches wisdom, empathy and love – the greatest gifts of life.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

b5d59f838e9012d1f7d65721f621d3aa

So next time you feel yourself polarising situations or emotions – as the media and social media may have us do – remember this – nobody ever said life would be plain sailing.

So be kind to yourself during the tough times by all means – but take a step back and remember Blake’s words. Remind yourself of the very real benefits of suffering and resist seeing yourself as a victim. That’s a slippery slope to nowhere fast.

Instead – learn how to suffer – remember the bigger picture and remind yourself that realising the lesson in every test is the only thing to focus on – for that’s how we grow, learn and are ultimately rewarded with joy.

10593049_784387971671475_1992776826823990843_n

If You’ve Ever Felt Obsessed By Something, You Need To Read This…

12227062_10153050148800916_2066916106411539889_n
“The root of suffering is attachment”

Buddha

A wise girl once told me – ‘the one piece of advice I’d give you is never lose your head over something or someone’.

I was in a toxic relationship at the time – hanging on to someone who wasn’t right for me at all – and she could see I was doing just that – losing my head – desperately trying to stay attached to something that was just plain unhealthy.

She had struggled herself once upon a time trying to stay attached to someone who wasn’t as committed as she was. Happily, after a spell teaching in Argentina, he came to his senses and they’re now happily married – wise man – but I’ll never forget what she said.

I’d like you to take a few moments now and think of a time when you felt out of control attached to something or someone – maybe bordering on obsessed.

You know the feeling – when your emotions begin to engulf you like rising flames – stifling inner peace and rational thought. When you feel yourself slipping out of control – like you’re losing yourself in something dangerously addictive but inescapable.

What was the focus of your attachment? A ‘bad’ man or woman? A job you were desperate about? Killing yourself to earn more money? Anxiety you weren’t good enough for something or someone? Fear of losing out in someway? Or maybe just worry.

How Did Chasing Make You Feel?

when-you-stop-chasing-the-wrong

How did you feel when you attained it? Better, worse, indifferent, disappointed? Or maybe you never attained it at all. Maybe it slipped away – maybe it was meant to.

Whether chasing money, love or material things, attachment gets us nowhere fast. Take the hedge fund I’ve been working at for the last month. Stamina, performance, back-breaking hours and soaring salaries – off the scale impressive in some ways – but there’s a darker side to attachment which doesn’t make the headlines or dinner party chats.

For overwhelming commercial forces – overwhelming anythings in life – are the very things which can erode what matters most – relationships – friendships – sanity – health – peace – fun – and most of all – our sense of self.

Why We Need To Learn To Let Go

maxresdefault-9

As the momentous Dr Wayne Dyer put it:

“Part of the meaning we gain by letting go is a movement toward real contentment. Most stress in our lives results from hanging on to beliefs that keep us striving for more, because ego stubbornly believes we need it. When we make the shift away from attachment, the influence of our ego fades. We replace attachment with contentment. Chasing and striving—and then becoming attached to what we chased after—is a source of anxiety that feeds Ambition, but it won’t satisfy the need for Meaning at our soul level.”

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

HS-Tollequote1

So work on being less attached to people and things this weekend, wee one. Cultivate an attachment to the self through doing what YOU love, what brings YOU peace and joy and what leaves YOU feeling centred and grounded.

If you’re not sure what that is, take a stroll in nature amongst the autumn leaves. Stop and listen to the wind in the trees and you will start hearing that little voice within – pure as crystal and far removed from the ego. For that, wee one, is where the real stuff resides.

11215873_10153050148595916_7894924073577496809_n

…and as for my friend who is now happily married – maybe it wasn’t just about him coming to his senses – maybe it was also about her coming to hers – learning to become a little less attached – a little less emotional – a little more centred – and just more her.