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Systems Save Time

All of us have routines. 

Human beings crave control and predictability because it helps us to feel safe.  When we have experience of a situation our fear is lessened, which helps to give us greater peace of mind.

However, routines that serve us and save us time can work really well, as long as we remain flexible in our approach.

In my house during the week, the children are not allowed to come down for breakfast without dressing first.  Hunger is a powerful motivator and I find that if I let them eat breakfast in their pyjamas, trying to get them to get dressed after breakfast, when they are engrossed in playing, is stressful for everyone involved.

Having them get dressed first, then make their beds and fold their pyjamas on their pillows, means that one job is finished before the next is started.

In what areas of your life could your routine be tweaked to save time?  Could you change your morning routine to get up ten minutes earlier to shower and make your bed before the kids get up?  How much could you prepare the night before, so it is sitting, ready to go in the morning?

Personally, I usually empty the dishwasher and lay out the breakfast things before I go to bed.  This way I always have time to make myself a welcome cup of coffee, and actually sit at the kitchen table and drink it hot.  This is my one morning indulgence, and it helps me to mentally prepare for my day.

When you start the day as if on purpose, you take control and more often than not, remain in control.

Remember, systems save time.

Live Each Day As If It Was Your Last

It’s been a week now since a good friend of ours passed away, with his dad and brother ,in a very sad and tragic accident.  This week I have been thinking a lot about my own life and how I choose to live it in each moment.

Every time my husband and kids have walked out the door, I have thought about never seeing them again.  I made a promise to myself, never to leave them in anger; to always say goodbye properly.

Every time I have practiced yoga, I have thought about it being my last every practice, and have given myself permission to immerse myself fully, and empty my mind of nothing but the flow of my body.

Every time I have had an interaction with someone I care about, I have thought about making it more meaningful.  I have practiced really listening to what they are saying without allowing myself to become distracted.

Every time I have had the slightest opportunity, I have held my children close and loved them as much as I could.

The result of all this introspection?

Strangely enough, instead of feeling more melancholy, I have felt more joy.  I have rejoiced in the depth of my feelings and the closeness of my relationships, and I have nurtured myself and others, in a completely different way.

I have tried to live each day, as if it were my last.

Remember, all we have is this moment; this very moment.  Nothing else exists.

The past is gone and the future has not yet happened.

Don’t waste your moment; live it as if it were your last.

( P.S. Please feel free to share your moments with me and the other followers of this blog.  You matter to me.)

What Makes You Happy?

I spend a lot of time figuring out what makes people happy.  

To do this of course, I start with myself and this is what I have come up with:

Happiness begins with developing an understanding of true sources of happiness (family, love, connection, effort strategies and self-esteem) and then setting our priorities in life, based on promoting and nurturing these sources.

Being happy also involves an inner discipline.  

It is a persistent process of actively looking for destructive mental states such as anger, suppression, guilt and envy, and trying to replace them with positive ones, such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love.

When my behaviour matches my beliefs (when I act as my highest self), I feel content, sated and happy.

To achieve true happiness, I always look for what is good and what is right and strive to be the best I can be in every moment.

What are your happy places?  When do you feel at your happiest?

Life Is Precious – How Are You Spending Yours?

On the weekend we had a tragedy in our close family circle, where a close friend, his brother and his dad all passed away in a horrific farming accident.

It really got me thinking about life and how precious it is, and I renewed my commitment to myself to savour each moment, and live each day as if it was my last.

So with this in mind, I have devised a list of my top ten tips for life, love and happiness.

1.  Live life fully and joyfully while you are here.  To live it any other way is pointless.

2.  Take care of your family and friends, for it is these people who matter the most.

3.  Be eccentric and give people something worth talking about.  Brighten up a few lives with your craziness.

4.  Never not try for fear of screwing up.  Try everything that takes your fancy, for it is the trying, not the success that is important.

5.  Learn from your mistakes: find out what caused the mistake and fix it, so that you may try for success again next time.

6.  Don’t try to be perfect – you are perfectly imperfect so embrace it with your whole heart.

7.  Never leave a loved one in anger for you do not know if you will ever see them again.

8.  Never ever miss an opportunity to give or receive a hug.

9.  Try to understand that money does not cause happiness. You can choose to be happy right now, and really,why would you not?

10.  Remember that the things that bring the most joy are the simple things in life.  Focus on creating more of those.

 

Why Perfection Is The Lowest Standard You Can Have

“Perfection is the lowest standard any human can have.”

Heather Forbes

How many times have you read the above quote since you opened this blog post?  Can your brain compute it?

How can perfection be the lowest standard any human can have?  Surely reaching for perfection is why we are here?  Why we exist?

Consider for a moment when you were a child.  Do you remember it being okay for you to make mistakes?  When you seriously messed up and did something that caused destruction, did your parents just give you a loving hug and say, “Aw well dear, never mind”?

Probably not.

When we’re children we don’t understand why the big people get cross.

We don’t understand that they’re maybe having a bad day, or feeling a little sick, or worried about being late, or nervous in a new situation, or fearful of what people will think.

We have absolutely no way of understanding any of this.

So when they get mad and yell at us, we think it is because we have done something bad.  We think it’s because we are bad, and that there is some standard that we were supposed to achieve, or some way we were supposed to behave, that we failed to meet.

We very quickly learn that failure is bad: it makes mommy cross and feels very bad for me, so therefore should be avoided at all costs.

But guess what?

You aren’t perfect and you never will be.  

If perfection is your goal, then it’s absolutely the lowest standard you will ever have, because it’s not possible.  You’re striving for something you will never achieve, and are setting yourself up for permanent failure.

Stop striving for perfection.

Recognise that you are the best you can be, in this very moment.  Embrace your failures and use them as guidance for areas where you need to improve.

This is what makes a good person; a better person.  Recognition will bring you closer to where you want to be.

Girl Power: Ability + Strategy = Self Sufficiency

Recently I had the honour of being included as an expert author on a blog called Girl Re-Imagined.

The concept for Girl Re-Imagined began as an experiential journey for the site’s founder, Sorilbran Stone. A mother, serial entrepreneur and information professional, Sorilbran has worked as a consultant for a wide range of micro-business owners and found that in business, much like in life, it is not the absence of ability and potential that keeps people from accomplishing their respective goals. 

Rather, it is the absence of strategies, resources and confidence that poses the greatest threat to success.

Particularly for women, the trap of even temporary poverty can quickly go from being situational to mental to permanent.  Girl Re-Imagined was designed to combat that threat.

Girl Re-Imagined helps women to attain self-sufficiency through the use of their own natural abilities and the implementation of intuitive, actionable strategies.  I am honoured to be part of such an amazing mission.

If you want to know more, you can visit the site here.

Or view my post here.

Time Management For Mums: How To Take Control And Lose The Guilt

One of the biggest excuses we use for not having more of the things we want in life, is that we don’t have the time.  

In the past my life was extremely busy; being a stay at home mum with three young kids.  But even that wasn’t uncomfortable enough to make me act in a different way.  I finally decided to change when my fourth baby was born and I simply couldn’t continue the way I was.  

I felt guilty because I wasn’t spending enough time with the older kids, because every spare minute I had was spent tending to Jack.

I felt guilty that all I could do was bitch at my husband when he came in from work, cause I thought blaming him for my situation would make me feel better.

I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to work enough on Rainbow and bring in more customers.

I felt guilty that I never got to see my sisters and my parents and that every time they called me to say hello, I was distracted and preoccupied.

Quite simply, I felt like a total and utter failure.

The funny thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is only one way you can go from there: UP.  I decided to take control of my life, implement systems, take a step back and evaluate what is important.  

I set simple, measurable goals for my relationship, work and family that didn’t involve a massive amount of action or planning, but that started things moving in the right direction.

And do you know what happened?  Dramatic improvement.  You see, when I gave myself the luxury of more time, I actually knew how to spend it because I had a small, doable action list that included all the things that were important to me.  I now have purpose, direction and peace.  

Am I perfect?  Absolutely not.  But life certainly feels a million times more enjoyable.

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