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.

Outfitting A Comfort Drawer

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy reminds you that life requires you prepare yourself for the inevitable times that try your soul. This is achieved with a comfort drawer. Comfort drawers are for those nights when you feel as though you would like to pull the covers over your head and never come out.  Your refuge should be a drawer in your dresser where you stockpile small indulgences throughout the year. Many of your comforts may have originally been gifts that you have simply saved for whenever a home-grown unhappiness remedy might be required. She recommends the following:

  • A box of chocolate truffles
  • One serving size fruit cordials
  • Miniature after dinner drinks
  • An aromatherapy bath treatment to promote serenity
  • Various British decorating magazines
  • A small vial of Bach’s Rescue Remedy
  • A velvet herbal sleeping pillow
  • A satin eye mask
  • Rose scented bubble bath & talc
  • Old love letters tied wit a silk ribbon
  • A scrapbook of personal mementos
  • A tin of fancy biscuits
  • An assorted gift sampler of assorted teas
  • The soundtrack to Boys On The Side

Notice the simply abundant pattern of pleasure? Here is all that is required for the spoiling and pampering of a world weary woman:

  • A fabulous bath
  • Something scrumptious to nibble
  • Something sentimental to conjure up happy memories
  • Something lovely to sip
  • Something delightful to read

Now change your sheets, plump up your pillow and assemble half-dozen votive candles on a tray. Place the tray on your dressing table in front of the mirror, strike a match and ceremoniously create your own northern lights. Play some soothing music and put on your favourite pyjamas or nightgown. Get into bed and luxuriate. If this doesn’t work take two aspirins and sleep till the morning.

When outfitting your comfort drawer, be sure to line it be sure to line it with a lovely floral shelf paper and tuck in some scented sachets so that the drawer will delight your senses. Wrap your comforts in pretty jewel coloured tissue paper and tie them with beautiful ribbons This way when you open your drawer, you’ll see a dazzling array of wonderful presents, gifts of the heart for the most deserving person you know.

Iyanla Vanzant in her book Don’t give It Away: A Workbook of Self-Awareness and Self-Affirmations for Young Women says that there are some things a girl must have if she is to survive being a girl. The following is a list of items you will find helpful on the days when things aren’t going so great. Ask friends and relatives to contribute to the things you need . Keep your survival kit in a safe place. Use your survival kit when you don’t know what else to do to feel better.

A Girls Survival Kit

  • Rose scented bath salts & bubble bath
  • Lavender scented bath salts
  • Peppermint scented bath salts
  • A bag of Hershey’s Kisses
  • A fuzzy teddy bear
  • A Barbie doll with two changes of clothes
  • A journal or personal notebook
  • A colouring book & crayons
  • A purple & blue ink pen
  • A box of tissues
  • A bag of peppermint candy
  • your favourite colour nail polish
  • A pink cotton nightgown & pair of pyjamas
  • A white cotton nightgown & pair of pyjamas
  • A pair of pink sheets for your bed
  • A framed baby picture of yourself
  • A tree

When you feel angry:

  • Take a twenty minute rose bubble bath
  • Put on your pink nightgown or Pyjamas
  • Colour 3 pages of your colouring book, & colour everything blue & green
  • Write out exactly what you are feeling in your journal with your blue pen
  • Put the pink sheets on your bed, lie down & curl up with your teddy bear

When you feel sad:

  • Take a lavender bath
  • put on your best outfit
  • Have 3 Hershey’s kisses
  • Colour 3 pages in your colouring book
  • Write out what you feel in your journal (be sure to have your tissues near by)
  • Talk to your baby picture, tell the baby all the things you want to hear

When you feel confused:

  • Take a peppermint bath
  • Suck on a peppermint
  • Put on your white nightgown or pyjamas
  • Polish your toenails
  • Comb Barbie’s hair & change her clothes
  • Colour three pages in your colouring book
  • Write out what you feel in your journal

When you feel frightened:

  • Talk to your tree, tell the tree exactly what you feel & ask it to help you be strong
  • Take a rose & lavender bath
  • Have a peppermint candy
  • Put on your white nightgown or pyjamas
  • Paint your finger & toenails
  • Talk to your baby picture, tell the baby all the things you need to hear
  • Colour 5 pages in your colouring book, use as much pink as you can

When you feel lonely:

  • Take a rose bath
  • Put on your pink nightgown or pyjamas
  • Have 3 Hershey’s kisses
  • Write a letter to yourself in your journal with your purple pen, explaining why you feel what you feel
  • Read the letter to your teddy bear
  • Do 10 jumping jacks
  • Colour 3 pages in your colouring book

Creating A Glory Box

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance recommends creating a Glory Box that differs from the traditional version. She recommends that you use a wicker picnic hamper and fill it with projects you hope to do in the future. For example, fabric you’d like to make into a table cloth or napkins, set aside and stored in your glory box until you have time to sew them or embroidered squares from a thrift shop you’d like to use to recover your dinning chairs some rainy Saturday afternoon. Get the idea? Remember not everyone of your desires can be immediately gratified, you’ve got to learn to wait patiently for your dreams to come true, especially on the path you’ve chosen and remember that faith should be the first thing you pack in your glory box.

If you still want to do a glory box for your daughter, try filling one with your favourite books and giving it to her on her 18th birthday.

Fulfil Your Goals

Cheryl Richardson in her book Life Makeovers: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at a Time challenges you to take action to discover how you might need to develop yourself in order to achieve your goal, by trying the following four step process:

  1. Identify someone who is very successfully doing what you’d like to do & write it in your Journal ” One person I admire is ………..”
  2. List three qualities that contribute to this persons success by writing in your Journal “The three qualities I admire most are ……..”
  3. Pick the one quality the one quality you know you need to develop most of all, its the one that causes you to feel excited & scared at the same time. Commit to this by writing in your Journal “The one quality I need to develop is….”
  4. Look for practical ways to develop this quality everyday and write in your Journal “To develop this quality, I will take the following three actions …..”

Meditation

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggest that today you retreat to a quiet place where you can sit or even lie down in a comfortable position so that you can relax your body. Now close your eyes and let your breathing become slow and steady. Get in touch with the silence within.

Remember there are many different ways to meditate after all it is just intentional concentration on one thing, which can be either secular or spiritual. Perhaps you have become so absorbed in gardening, reading or even balancing your chequebook that your breathing has slowed and you become as single pointed as a panther stalking her dinner. She suggests the following different ways of meditating depending on your inner needs:

  • The Golden Mirror Meditation
  • Writing your Daily Dialogue Pages
  • Gazing into the flame of a candle
  • Concentrating on a sacred word in a centring prayer
  • Focusing on a poetic phrase to find a deeper personal meaning
  • Setting out on a Walking Mediation
  • Baking Meditation
  • Eating a small, moist piece of chocolate cake with exquisite attention & tremendous gratitude.

Trinny & Susannah in their book The Survival Guide: A Woman’s Secret Weapon For Getting Through The Year say that it is the time to think about the art of not looking your age by learning ways to meditate.

  • Media: First they recommend you try going without newspapers and TV for a week. They say that they fill our brains with a relentless diet of drama and chaos. Don’t fret, if world war three breaks out you can be sure someone will tell you. Use the free time to listen to music and read books. Observe how calm and free thinking you become after just a few days.
  • Rhythmic walking: Then instead of pounding away in front of a workout video try going for a long walk. Rhythmic walking is a great form of meditation.
  • A long bath: A long bath with no radio or television allows the brain to unwind as well as the body. Giving freedom to the mind allows it to be creative. Often leading to one of those eureka moments.
  • Light a candle: Focus on a candle flame & notice all the colours & the way it moves. This will help you empty your mind. Thoughts will intrude, just let them float away. Start with a few minutes & slowly build it up. You don’t have to do this every night but you will find the more you do it the easier it gets
  • Prayer: They also recommend trying the following prayer;

Please help me to love and forgive myself.

Help me to forgive everyone who has hurt me and let them go in peace.

Ask for forgiveness from everyone that I have hurt consciously or unconsciously.

Help me to accept myself as I am.

I am part of your world.

I feel your light within me.

I am free.

Consider how you might be able to carve out twenty minutes a day to meditate.