Liz Gilbert: An Ode To A Failed New Year

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“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

The Secret To Goal Setting Like A Millionaire

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We’re trained to think of New Year and birthdays as milestones – measures of how far we’ve come and how far we haven’t – and how far we may or may not have to go. Black or white – wow or ouch – you got it – they can feel real abrasive and just plain

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But they don’t have to – and here’s why.

Age is but a number and dates are mere rolling stones of time which are constantly ticking along every second of every day. New Year is no different.

It is, however, a powerful and positive time for reflection.

So reflect on this, wee one.

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You, yes you, have a heck of a lot more power to control your destiny than you realise – and to change your future.

And ‘milestones’ like year ends can be truly wonderful yardsticks for setting and committing to your future goals in a big and brilliant way.

Sound boring? Au contraire.. More like the best 10 minute investment you could make in your future, reducing anxiety and increasing certainty ten fold.

Especially With The Help Of These

**3 Powerful Secrets To High-Flying Goal Setting**

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1) The most successful people are goal-orientated. You got it – the Richard Bransons, Steve Jobs’, Venus Williams’ and Oprah Winfreys of the world. You wanna be more successful? In whatever sense whether money, love or career? Get setting goals!

2) What’s the difference between setting a goal and acting on it? Like actually going on the run you plan to go on but never do? Write – it – down. Simples, right? Jot down a positive statement starting with ‘I want’ and include a specific start and end time. Try it – it works!

3) And the best magic trick of all to kick-start your motivational levels? The Rocking Chair Test.

Imagine your life 5 years down the line if you DON’T fulfil your dream (and by dream I mean one you really WANT, not one you think you SHOULD pursue). How bad will you feel? And how will that negatively affect other important areas of your life?

Now imagine how good you’ll feel if your greatest wish comes true? How different does your life feel? How sweet are the sounds, the sights and the resources around you? Breathe that in.

And if you’re still in doubt as to why bother setting goals?

Without goals you are likely to DRIFT and when you drift, you are not in control. You have relinquished your basic right to shape your future. In doing this, you also surrender your freedom of action which restricts your choices and can lead to frustration, anxiety, fear and stress. Who wants those mood-killers eating away at them?

Why Bother?

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So y’see, sitting down for ten minutes this New Years Eve for a dig-deep into your soul session is a one way route to success boomeranging backatcha!

Just one word of warning – when you set an intention and really want it – just be prepared to get it!

 

How Being More Selfish Is The Best Way To Love

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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

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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**

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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.

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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.

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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:

Steve Jobs: What His Deathbed Regrets Teach Us About Happiness

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“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to”

Steve Jobs

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Happy Christmas, wee ones. Christmas isn’t a time of joy for everyone – but however you feel about the impending festivities – excited, romantic, lonely, irritated – cherish your time off the treadmill of life to consider what matters most.

Steve Jobs, the man who seemed to have it all, said it pretty well from his deathbed.

So pour yourself a mug of summit warm and absorb every nugget of wisdom in the words below – for those for whom time is short are the ones who truly see life for what it is, how it should be lived and how it shouldn’t:

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“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 in the face of impending death.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life support machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of death drawing closer…

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…

There should be something that is more important:

Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days.

Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.

Those are the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? The sick bed…

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well.

Cherish others”.

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Liz Gilbert: Why Soulmates Are The Opposite Of What You Think

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“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life” 

Elizabeth Gilbert, International Bestselling Author Of Eat Pray Love

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Elizabeth Gilbert’s musings on what constitutes soul mates resonates with me more than any of the sugary stuff I’ve come across over the years – especially in the wake of a few seemingly wonderful partnerships ending of late – the very ones I’d speculated were some of the most ‘perfect’ of the lot.

While I’ve never been married, I’ve experienced and witnessed a rainbow spectrum of loves in my time – all teaching positive lessons along the way (even if some felt a little more negative at points..)

Confusing and clarifying, deadening and electrifying, stressing and soothing, love is one of the greatest levellers in life, holding a mirror up to who we really are, what we want and also what we need.

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And it’s those unexpected endings I mentioned that got me thinking more about soul mates than any of the picture perfect love stories – what soul mates are, how they feel, how this differs for each of us and how knowing what you want in a soul mate may just be one of the great makers or breakers of longterm love.

And if you’re wondering why Elizabeth should know anything about the game of love, here’s why I think she does.

She had the balls to leave her first marriage and (literally) pick herself up off her bathroom floor – spirit in tatters – to embark on a year-long, soul-peeling pilgrimage to rediscover herself – where she unexpectedly discovered her soul mate (in Brazil).

Here’s a lady who has seen both sides of the coin – the good, bad and the just plain ugly – and blissfully happy though she seems, her view of love seems refreshingly uncanny, candid and striking.

I hope you enjoy xo

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The Uplifting Truth William Blake Teaches Us About Suffering

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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?

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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.

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

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“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?

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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

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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?

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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.

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…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.

4 Wayne Dyer Quotes To Lift Your Soul

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‘You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you’

Wayne Dyer

Happy Friday, gazers.

Here are some soul nourishing quotes from the fabulous Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development.

Enjoy :)

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The Magical Tool To Finding The Right Next Step…

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How Else Do You Know What The Right Path Is?

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Where does your mind wander when you’re sitting at your desk job?

When you’re feeling listless – pretty sure there must be more but maybe unsure where, what or how you get there?

My mind wanders to wide open spaces with mountains, lakes or the crashing sound of waves – and buzzy social hubs nearby – rich in social opportunities as well as the peace that spectacular natural beauty affords.

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Above is me near such a place on the beach at Lacanau near Bordeaux. A day in nature replenishes my soul in a way that’s hard to capture in words. It also brings me professional inspiration on a level far beyond office walls.

So I ask you this today, dear Gazer.

Where is your bliss?

Why Learning Not To Judge Is The Greatest Gift Of All

Which side of the line do you fall, wee one? How empathetic are you? When was the last time you truly listened, suspending your own views of what you’d do in the same situation and resisting judging someone for taking a different approach? When was the last time you truly tried to step into another’s world, thoughts and outlook – entirely?

If coaching has taught me one thing, it’s this. Judging is as easy as breathing in and out but it takes little account of another person’s values, drivers, sensitivities, experiences and ideals. In short, that another may be entirely different to you – on many levels – near and far – and has as much right to a different way of thinking as you do yours.

For even if in little ways, we are all wholly unique beings with different tunes singing in our ears, different visions beaming from our eyes and different feelings weaving in our hearts.

From the different school environments we grow up in to our different families, friends, boyfriends and jobs, we are all shaped in entirely different ways. And these run deep in forging our identities and day to day views.

In other words, we don’t see things as they are – we see them as we are. There is no absolute truth – no right or wrong – we all have different realities – all the time.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So today, dear Gazer, take more time to listen – to really hear what someone is saying to you. Try to resist that inner voice inside judging what you’re hearing – because all that really is is a projection of your world – your thoughts – your ideas – on to someone who comes from quite another – no matter how similar or different.

Even if they look the same as you, sound the same as you, seem the same as you, dig deep and try to respect and honour the beauty of how they see the world.

There really is nothing better than feeling heard. If you’re the listener, you’ll learn more about worlds different to your own and deepen your understanding of another – and from the other side, you’ll feel loved, respected and in the quietness of that interchange, much closer to hearing things as they really are.