Role Models

Its super important to ask yourself “who do I Admire?” problems can arise when your authentic self and your conscious self don’t communicate about the new direction you are moving in so you need to use introspective tools like the Daily Dialogue, the Illustrated Discovery Journal and Meditation to avoid ending up feeling confused and disoriented

This seemed like such a strange thing then I saw it included as part of the Life tips for mums that Trinny and Susannah put out in their book, What Your Clothes Say About You. When you look at some of the media aimed at this demographic showing apparently real mums in action like, Toddlers to Tiaras, Dance Mums and any of the Real Housewives franchise. Maybe we do have to stop and put some effort into making conscious decisions as to who our role models are.

In Trinny & Susannah’s What Your Clothes Say About You, How To Look Different, Act Different and Feel Different, they talk about choosing a role model who is roughly your own shape and age who you feel is sexy and desirable. They give some examples: Cate Blanchet, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Nigella Lawson and Helen Mirren. They suggest you study the way your chosen role model dresses and carries herself in order to figure out what is that makes her seem so seductive.

In Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, she suggests that you use a tool could an Illustrated Discovery Journal (scrapbook) in which you begin to keep clippings and make collages of woman whose personal style you admire. She stresses that this is not to be used to imitate but instead as a source of clues to find patterns that will lead you to better understanding of your own authentic personal style.

In Cheryl Richardson’s Life Make Overs: 52 Practical & Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at a Time, She asks you to identify someone who is very successfully doing what you would like to be doing. She then gets you to list three qualities that contribute to their success then to pick from that list the quality that you need to develop most of all. She then gets you to commit to three actions to take over the next week to develop that quality a little more in yourself.


Gleaning Tips From Your Imaginary Self Living Her Secret Life

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy urges you to look within today and have fun thinking about paths not yet taken, the paths of your secret imaginary self. Each of you leads many lives vicariously and often simultaneously. By acknowledging your secret lives and tapping into the wisdom of your alter egos, you can glean tips to help you develop your own personal sense of style. In your Journal answer the following questions:

  • So first divine who you would be if not you, if you had 10 other lives to leave what would you be doing?
  • How do they live?
  • How do they dress?
  • How can you reconcile fantasy with reality & bring more pizzazz into your life?
  • What can you do to bring some of the magic of your imaginary lives into your everyday existence?
  • What are you going to be when you grow up?

Your secret imaginary lives are full of surprises, be open to gleaning their secrets of personal style, so start saving and searching to find them on sale somewhere.


Spring Into Fitness

Cheryl Richardson in her book Life Makeovers: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways To Improve Your Life One Week At A Time wants to share the eight most important things she learnt about creating a healthy lifestyle, in the hopes that it supports you in your quest for a healthier body, mind and spirit.

  1. Remember there’s more to getting fit than eating well & regular exercise, getting fit is an emotional, spiritual, psychological & physical process & that if you don’t consider all 4 areas in your fitness plan, the chances of failure are pretty high.
  2. When you shift your focus from losing weight to creating a daily practice of self-care, your chances of long term success increase dramatically, even though weight loss may be important to you, let that just be a by-product of living a healthy lifestyle.
  3. There are no “one size fits all” eating & exercise plans, learn to eat well for your body type & find the form of exercise that best suits your individual needs & desires.
  4. Remember you don’t need to lose a certain amount of weight to feel good about yourself, you only need to take good care of your body today, focus on eating well & exercising just for today & eliminate negative self-talk which can be the biggest obstacle to getting & staying in shape.
  5. Take a break from the catalogue & magazine subscriptions that contain air-brushed, computer enhanced images, they only create self-loathing.
  6. Engaging in a simple, appropriate free-weight programme is a powerful way to reconnect with your body & burn fat as well as a form of meditation when you focus & move slowly, putting your full attention on the muscle you are strengthening, connecting to your body in a deeper, more spiritual way also allowing you to achieve much better results in significantly less time.
  7. Always remember when you fall off the fitness path throughout your life that getting back on track & feeling good about yourself is just one healthy food choice or one workout away.
  8. Its ok to give yourself a break, an occasional ice cream sundae or a missed week of exercise wont kill you, the quest for perfection on the other hand probably will.

This week consider the obstacles that might be preventing you from achieving your fitness goals. list five obstacles that might prevent you from creating a healthy lifestyle. Then next to each obstacle list a possible solution that will help you to overcome the obstacle so you can move towards a positive change. Once you have listed the five obstacles and solutions, choose one solution and implement the change this week. It only takes one small action over time to produce results.

April Fools Day

Hilda ice creamOne of my favourite sources of women’s wisdom is Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. One of the things that I most love about this book is the lovely inspiration to introduce some good old fashioned traditions back into your life and I truly believe that by punctuating the year with these we can inject our lives with a lot more genuine moments of joy while on this journey in the pursuit of happiness. In her list of Joyful Simplicities for April, she suggests we remind ourselves what it’s like to have fun on April fool’s day. To Turn everything topsy-turvy, to start your day with English muffin pizzas for breakfast, surprise your loved ones and co-workers with whimsy, (Always remember that your jokes should be comical, absurd and amusing surprises never ones designed to embarrass) To meet a light-hearted friend who always makes you laugh for a lunchtime bagel. To pick up your children after school under the guise of attending a dentist appointment only to whisk them off to the ice cream parlour and to have pancakes or waffles for dinner. To finish your day off by carving out some time for yourself to honour the child within. Go play dress up in your own wardrobe just like you did as a little girl on rainy day in your mothers. Experiment with different combinations, explore the possibilities but most importantly, have fun.

April Inspiration

With the start of April here I now have a whole new chance to achieve a few more goals dash suggestions. Which will probably be used as little more than a rough guideline as a direction to take in April and spend the next month of my life exploring. But hey, we all need a little inspiration to get us started. I hope you can gain some inspiration from some of the suggestions below too.

Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project dedicated April to Parenthood: lightening up with the following ideas:

  • Singing in the morning
  • Acknowledging the reality of other peoples feelings
  • Being a treasure house of happy memories
  • Taking time for projects

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests the following joyful simplicities for April to help bring more simplicity to your everyday life:

  • Celebrate April Fools Day on April 1st
  • Die Easter eggs & hide them in the garden for children of all ages to hunt
  • Bake a batch of hot cross buns
  • Eat jelly beans
  • Trim an old fashioned bonnet
  • Take a creative excursion to a hat store to find the perfect new hat, play around with the many different possibilities until you find the one that shows a glimpse of your authentic self in the mirror to purchase.
  • Take a creative excursion to a large record shop to discover all the different types of music available, check out some new albums to enjoy. Flip the dial to a new radio station in the car and enjoy the sound of silence when at home alone.
  • Resume the restorative pastime of weekend roaming & take a creative excursion to an estate sale to look for vintage linens & a farmers market for plants & herbs.
  • Take a Sunday drive in the country to revel in Mother natures Autumn fancy dress, pack a picnic & linger as long as you can.
  • Sort through your lingerie drawer, discard ratty old bras & panties & delight in pretty new undergarments, lay down scented paper & tuck in some lavender scented sachets.
  • Spend a rainy afternoon curled up under a blanket listening to the rain on the roof
  • Pick up a up a copy of Diane Ackerman’s book A Natural History Of The Senses & revel in an exhilarating reading romp that will intrigue & inspire you to become a sensuist
  • Pick up a copy of Liza Nagy’s book Aromatherapy: A Natural Choice & learn all you can about the benefits of aromatherapy.
  • Plant crocus, daffodils & tulips outdoors for next spring.
  • Mull cider & wine on the weekends for an autumn cup of cheer, especially delightful to indulge in after raking leaves.

Trinny & Susannah in their book The Survival Guide: A Woman’s Secret Weapon For Getting Through The Year say that April is the time to take a break and learn how to:

  • Pack like a pro
  • Where to go for a weekend
  • Fab ideas for a few days away
  • Rules for picking the perfect trousers
  • Getting your chimney swept & checking your smoke alarms
  • Booking a dental check-up
  • Having a dying session to renew last summers tired white T-shirts

Kim Carruthers in her book Less is More: How to De-clutter Your Life she says April is the perfect time to:

  • Reset your clocks for daylight savings.
  • Check your smoke alarms.
  • Plan your Autumn/winter wardrobe
  • Stock up for the Easter bunny
  • Sort fans & heaters

Rhonda Hetzel in her book The Simple Home: A Month-by-month Guide To Self-Reliance, Productivity and Contentment says that April is the time for food gardening in containers.

And just for those of you not living in the Southern Hemisphere and celebrating April in Autumn a suggestion from Meik Wiking’s Book The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well which refers to April as the perfect month for hiking and cooking over an open fire and reminds you to pack chocolate eggs if you are heading out over Easter

Projecting Your Authentic Self

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy reminds you that an easy way let your authentic self help you evolve into the woman you were meant to be is to gather different mail order catalogues. Find a quiet moment to yourself, sit down and flip through the catalogues. Cut out the pictures of the women you think are attractive and the clothing you’d love to wear. Don’t even consider whether you can afford anything or whether you can fit into it today. This is a creative brainstorming session. Always remember that dream, your creative visualizations, must come before their physical manifestations. Play with the pictures in your Illustrated Discovery Journal. Create a collage of your ideal woman, find the perfect hairstyle, put together a fantastic wardrobe for home or work. Have fun with this. Pretend you’re ten years old and playing with paper dolls. See what you discover. Does anything in your Illustrated Discovery Journal resemble anything hanging in your wardrobe? Consider this carefully. Now make yourself a promise. Since you have embarked on this adventure to awaken your authenticity and discover your own sense of style, be willing not to buy another item of clothing unless you absolutely cannot live without it. no more settling for something that’s not you or that’s second rate. On the Simple Abundance path you’re going to discover the joy of surrounding yourself only with things you love and the pleasure of wearing only clothes that make you look and feel fabulous and project your authentic sense of style. Let the potent power of simplicity begin to work in your life. If it’s not authentically you, live without it.

Problem Solving

Cheryl Richardson in her book Life Makeovers: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways To Improve Your Life One Week at a Time suggest that this week you might like to try an experiment. She asks you to pick a problem or challenge and instead of ruminating over and over in your mind about what should be done, ask your relaxed brain to solve the problem while you do something else. Set a specific time for the answer too surface and let it go. Create your own mantra to use when your analytical brain tries to take over and when you’re ready, arrive at the intended result time and see what shows up.

Practicing  this simple exercised on a regular basis will not only teach you to access your inner wisdom, but it will also train your brain to use this method of thinking more often. Once you learn to spend more time in the relaxed mode, you’ll find that your imagination runs wild and your ability to access wisdom happens in a snap.

For best results write in your journal

The problem/challenge or idea that I’ll practice with this week is ………………

When my analytical brain kicks in, I’ll simply say ………………….

I’ll check back in for answers on…………. at ……………