Small wins…

Photo by Karina Carvalho on Unsplash

We often forget to celebrate our small wins. Big wins need no reminders yet the small everyday wins often go unnoticed and under-celebrated. Often these small wins could be quite momentous given the situation or lead to the bigger win, which would not occur if the smaller wins weren’t achieved. Each and everyone of us has small wins, sometimes no-one else needs to be aware of them and are purely for our own sense of achievement. Even when no-one else is aware of these small wins, it is important to celebrate them – by a smile, a pat on the back, treating yourself to something special – in any way you feel most appropriate. After all, it is your win and you can celebrate it in the way that feels right for you.

When I coach my clients, I ask how their week has been and celebrate their wins with them. Often at the start of the coaching relationship, people are not even sure what or if they have any wins to celebrate. I often explain, it could be something small but meaningful to them like being able to have a difficult conversation with their Manager or Colleague or recognising complex emotions – becoming aware is the first step to being able to manage them.

What are your wins for this week? What is something you have accomplished which you can celebrate? I’m sure if you think hard enough, there will be something or a few things which may stand out. Remember to celebrate those wins and move onto the next step. Each step brings you closer to your bigger goal(s). It’s not the speed that matters as long as you keep moving forward, however, being consistent and persistent are keys to achieve your success. And it is your success, enjoy and celebrate.

A year of gratitude…

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

What a year it has been, there have been some difficult times and yet I am very grateful for this year as well. This year we moved into our new home and are excited to be spending our first Christmas and New year in our own home. I started my MBA and have successfully completed my first year – two more to go! I removed triggers which contributed to my depression and anxiety, surrounding myself with energy which is supportive, positive and encouraging. It’s been a year of realising that as you get older, your circle of friends become smaller but increase in quality. It’s been a year of realising who are or have always been there for you and are genuinely happy for your successes – big or small. It’s a year of being extremely thankful. Difficult times have made me realise the strength within to juggle competing priorities in my life – work, family and studies.

I hope you have also had a year that you can be thankful for, despite any challenges. As you overcome these challenges, remind yourself that you are awesome, you are enough and can handle anything the universe throws your way. Although, the year has had it’s high points, it’s also been quite an exhausting year so am looking forward to a bit of a break before starting it all over again next year! Onward and upwards! May you find the strength within to overcome all your challenges for the remainder of this year and beyond. Even those who don’t celebrate Christmas, please have a safe and happy time with friends, family and loved ones. I also hope for those who may face this time of year alone, have other people who may be strangers at first, but become friends who can share a meal, some quality time or a laugh during this time of year. My thoughts go out to anyone who have lost loved ones and are facing this time without them for the first year. I found the first year the hardest and that it gets a little easier each year. Our loved ones live in our hearts and memories and they are always near.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read and like my posts, apologies I have not yet had time to return the favour but endeavour to take some time during my break to do so. Take care, look after each other. Peace and blessings – continue to Laugh.Love.Live for this year, through to next year and beyond. Namaste!

A life remembered, a year on…

Gorgeous Grandma

It’s been a year today since you left the physical world,

We remember and miss you in our laughter, tears and sharing of memories.

We shared a meal consisting of one of your favourite foods and invited you to the table.

You blessed us with your presence, we felt your spirit as the meal unfurled,

We felt your love, remembered you with smiles and felt your energy,

We are grateful for your presence and spiritual assistance that has been enabled.

Your spirit is ever present, watching over us, protecting us always,

Feeling your ever present care, kindness and compassion.

We celebrate your life and remember you with fondness.

You live in our hearts, thoughts, words and actions,

As the day comes to an end, we realise you are ever present in our conscious,

Your life is remembered and kept alive in our hearts, minds and words today and everyday.

Mmmm… Cake.

It’s been a while since I posted and apologies, I have been very busy and not had much time for writing on my blog. I appreciate your support, likes and follows! I will make time to do some reading of your blogs, like and follow in return – it may take a little while as I have been doing a different type of writing – academic writing for assessments required for my studies. It has been challenging and rewarding at the same time and I am truly enjoying the journey. In my spare time, I am also doing some creative writing, domestics, family responsibilities, school and extra curricular activities which leaves very little spare time. I do make time when I can so thank you for your patience in advance.

I have been baking due to dietary intolerances and have been making this delicious gluten and dairy free chocolate cake for when I feel like a chocolate treat. I thought I would share it for those of you who may have the same dietary intolerances or may know someone who does and this could be a sweet treat they can try. I tend to use less sugar, however, please adjust to taste. I find this cake is quite quick and easy to make. Here is my take on a gluten and dairy-free alternative to chocolate cake – enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup oil (olive or vegetable)

2 eggs

1/2 cup cocoa powder or 200g dark chocolate, melted

1½ cups of gluten free self-raising flour

1/2 cup gluten free plain flour

1/2 cup of sugar

Ganache:

250g dark chocolate

I teaspoon coconut oil (olive or vegetable oil is fine also)

1 large avocado (or 2 small avocados), mashed well.

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl, add water, eggs and oil. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, add flour cocoa and sugar and mix well. If using melted chocolate, please leave out until after combining the wet and dry ingredients.

Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Add melted chocolate here if using instead of cocoa and combine well.

Pour into greased, round cake tin (20 cm). Place into oven for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Leave cake to cool in tin for 30 minutes, place onto cooling rack to cool further. Make ganache as cake cools.

Method for Ganache:

Mash avocado in a bowl and set aside.

Place a glass bowl over a saucepan of water, add dark chocolate pieces and oil. Bring water to boil, then turn down to low heat. Stir as chocolate melts to ensure no lumps.

Add melted chocolate to mashed avocado and mix well.

Pour over top of cake and spread evenly. Serve with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

I didn’t have any dairy-free ice cream when I baked this – hence no ice cream in my photo – however, it is still very nice without it. You can see my ganache is not very smooth because I like to leave small lumps in my avocado and I find it looks quite rustic and provides a burst of avocado as you eat the cake. You can make it smoother if you prefer. I find the cake is moist and makes for a ‘healthy’ indulgence when you are craving some chocolate cake. I feel food is a universal language – it enables you to share your love of food with others and offers a variety of tastes, flavours and cultures. Food brings people together and sparks conversation. Cooking and baking is an enjoyable past-time for me, especially when shared with family, friends and loved ones. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, there are so many options now that even with food intolerances, I don’t feel like I am missing out! I hope this encourages you to experiment and find what suits your taste in order to Laugh. Love. Live with food – Namaste!

Juggling

It’s been a busy four months since April this year – I’ve been juggling study, moving house, work, family and life in general. It seems when things happen, they happen all at once! The universe has a funny way of delivering things to you when you open yourself to the possibilities. Things can feel uncomfortable at first, however, as it becomes the ‘new normal’ then you forget what it was like before things changed. I read something the other day which resonates and I have shared below:

I started studying my MBA in May this year which is something I have wanted to do for a few years yet never had the courage to pursue it. I’ve bitten the bullet and started, it doesn’t mean I’m no longer scared. Courage is not about NOT being scared – it’s about being scared but doing it anyway – being brave is another way of looking it! As per the quote in Neil Gaiman’s book Coraline:

“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.” 
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

So, in between packing, working and looking after my family, I have been completing assessments, studying, reading, reviewing and sitting a final exam. Leading up to the final exam was more stressful than it needed to be because upon moving, our internet connection (even though we were advised was connected) was unavailable for 5 weeks which included the week I was due to sit my exam.

The situation could not be resolved even though I had been in contact with the service provider several times to advise the situation to assist in the resolution. It also affected my daughter’s studies as homework and school group work is completed online. We were given a temporary solution which meant I could sit my exam on the designated day – phew! Homework and school work could also be completed – yay!? Yes, I am aware internet connection is not essential like say, water and electricity and when speaking to a peer about my situation, he remarked “First world problems” and I agreed. However, when you do not have internet connection for 5 weeks without a remedy in sight, you realise how much you rely on it to do most things!

Given we had no internet for 5 weeks and as my studies are completed online – it also restricted the ability to log on, read and research articles for the final exam. The week I had planned to use for study became reduced to only one day prior to the exam. This exacerbated my stress and anxiety! Once I had completed the exam, I was happy I was able to complete it, it was over and would be happy if I gained a pass grade so that I would not have to redo the subject! I take my hat off to mothers and people in general who work, study and look after a family – it is no easy feat! It definitely makes you prioritise – become better at time management, finding a balance between work and play! We have all heard the saying “All work and no play is not good for the soul” by Felix Sabates.

Even though it has been and will be difficult over the next few years juggling study with work and family, this is something I have wanted to do for a while. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue it and make the decision to complete my studies. As I say to my daughter “When you make a decision, own it”. I’m owning this decision and enjoying the challenge of learning something new. Learning something new keeps you young and that is always welcome – especially as we age!

My mother has always said and continues to say to me “You never stop learning!”. As a result, I also believe and apply this in my life – learning happens throughout your life, there is always something new you can learn. Where and how you learn may also surprise you, but that’s what keeps life interesting. When was the last time you learned something new? How did it make you feel? To me, learning is invigorating yet challenging. It also keeps me busy and out of mischief! I appreciate this opportunity to be able to pursue something I have wanted to do for some time – I feel blessed, loved and ever grateful.

We are still unpacking but most of the important things are unpacked and in it’s proper place. There are pictures to be hung and a few things to be done but things are more settled. Our internet has finally been connected – it took switching providers but it has made things so much easier! Studies can resume, homework and schoolwork can be completed, along with being able to enjoy some entertainment – which certainly helps during school holidays! May you also find something that challenges you, making it possible to learn something new and makes you feel alive! Continue to Laugh.Love.Live – Peace and blessings!

A moment of Gratitude…

This post is a big thank you to the universe, my grandma’s spirit, the positive people who have shown up in my life to provide the support and encouragement when I needed it the most. I am truly grateful for the positive energy that is surrounding me and for the manifestation of many things and those yet to come.

Do you believe you can manifest your heart’s desires or the life you are meant to be living? Once you rid your life of toxic energy and toxic people who have an adverse affect on your outcomes – the things that were just out of your reach seem to become within your grasp. This has been my experience since the passing of my Grandma, sliding into depression and anxiety realising who has been there for me, who turned up when I needed it most and who were never there for me in that capacity.

It’s been a challenging and energising time – detoxing people and things from my life that were no longer serving me. I am very grateful for the people who have shown up and been there during my tough times and not kicked me when I was down. And those that did, helped me to realise who and what I needed and wanted in my life. Positivity, support, love, encouragement, acceptance, tolerance, understanding and compassion – if the people in your life do not provide you with these, then it may be time to reconsider your circle. I read a quote that states “If you look at the people in your circle and don’t get inspired, then you don’t have a circle – you have a cage!”.

Sometimes we become comfortable with the uncomfortable because it’s what we have become accustomed to, however change brings discomfort and with change comes growth. Change is something humans are not comfortable with but once things have changed and become the ‘new normal’, we tend to forget what it was like previously because the new normal becomes the status quo. Remembering that we have the power to choose is often the first step to living your life on your terms. Owning our decisions and making changes that are right for us doesn’t need explanations. People will tend to understand only from their level of perception. My experience is that until you go through the same or similar situation, you cannot begin to understand what choice(s) or change(s) you would make based on what you have to choose from.

I’ve been lucky to have a circle of people who inspired me, supported me and helped me to get back to my usual self, seek the help I required and checked up on me along the way. Some of these people were not always people I had known for a long time, I have found that difficult times often reveal those who ‘show up’ for you don’t always equal the length of time you have known them. Sometimes it does, but not always. I am grateful for my circle, for allowing me time to heal, providing support and enabling me to Laugh.Love.Live again. Peace and blessings!

MIA


Photo by Irina on Unsplash

I’ve been busy with life so have been MIA on WordPress for a while. I am juggling a few commitments – work, study, family and building my business as well as writing a book, amongst other things! I am prioritising my time accordingly and am slowly putting things into place. When I’ve settled into my new routine, I will be able to allocate some time to WordPress and blogging – something I miss at the moment.

Thanks so much for the support with likes and follows, as always I do read and follow back albeit it currently may take me longer to do so. I am always grateful that my writing resonates with those who read my posts. I will be back, however more randomly because I enjoy reading your adventures, creative writing and expressions. I hope to be less MIA in due time. Until then, remember to Laugh.Love.Live! Peace and blessings!

Change


Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

As humans, it is proven that we do not like change. Humans are creatures of habit – think about the many things you do because you have always done it that way and never thought to change eg. the route you drive to work, the day/ time you exercise, what you have for breakfast, etc. Change can be positive and bring about beneficial transformations or be adverse. Either way, in hindsight, change often provide valuable lessons to be learnt from – even if it is a small takeaway, there is something learnt.

However, we often don’t think about the changes that have consistently been occurring in our lives. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” In my experience, this remains true. Think about what has changed in your life – schools, jobs, moving houses, travelling, getting a new car, meeting a special someone and sharing your life with them, having a family, etc. The list goes on, however, most of these changes are usually ones we have chosen, so there is lesser tendency to have negative feelings towards them or resist the change(s). However, when change is thrust upon us, as humans, our first instinct is to resist it. Catalysts of change can often be life altering experiences eg. death of loved ones, near-death experiences, falling in/ out of love, having a family, introduction of something new, etc. In a work situation, the catalyst is usually driven by a change in processes, systems, legislation or all three. Change could also be driven by various catalysts, not limited to just these.

In my career, working on many change related projects – I’ve learnt the change management cycle is akin to the grief cycle. When change is introduced into our lives, according to the Kubler-Ross Change curve, we progress through this cycle, beginning with Shock, Denial, Frustration, Depression – then we Experiment, make a Decision and Integrate the change(s) into our life.

Image Credit: https://www.cleverism.com/understanding-kubler-ross-change-curve/

Below, is the Kubler- Ross Model for grief to provide a comparison. The stages for grief are Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining & Acceptance. As you can see, the stages are very similar to change.

Image Credit: LinkedIn Learning

In each of these cycles, we progress through each stage. The time taken to go through each stage is different for each person but each person will progress through these stages whether or not they like/ want to. This may explain why humans tend not to embrace change readily. There are people who tend to embrace change more readily than others and will go through the stages quicker – this may depend on their life experiences, outlook, attitude and stage of their lives. However, neither is right or wrong – just different. It’s useful to be aware of this when dealing with people in life or within a work environment because often in the work environment, the change(s) are not chosen by the individual. The change may be strategic ie. bigger picture eg. legislation, processes, systems which may change how a job is done, who an individual may work with, who they report to, etc. Change management is a complex beast when managing it within organisations as well as life in general.

Throughout my life and career, I’ve been involved in managing change through project work and, as a result have a tendency to progress through the stages more readily. Attitude, communication & behaviour styles all contribute to how change is accepted (or rejected). What I have found, is when change has not been implemented correctly ie. not obtaining buy-in, little/ no communication – prior, during and post implementation of change and not asking for help when required, the aftermath is often worse then the change that is being implemented. The biggest lesson is that change is a tricky beast and as always, prevention is better than cure.

It is helpful to be aware of where people may be in the change cycle so communication and behaviours can be managed. I have found communication is key – too little can cause mistrust as people feel information is being withheld or don’t know what is happening or about to happen – or both. On the flip-side, when there is too much ie. information overload, the information, although useful can be ignored. Until you communicate, you never know where/ what stage people are at with change. This helps you to help them deal and cope with the change more effectively. When assumptions are made, this may result in applying remedies which may be incorrect or incomplete.

What has been your experience of change? Have you been able to overcome the challenges, accept and implement change or have you resisted the change or still resisting change? Take a moment to reflect how you have managed change in your life, where you are at with the change(s) and what you feel is the best way forward. If you or someone you know would like assistance to manage change – I would be happy to assist. My aim is creating your light bulb moments, enabling you to Laugh.Love.Live!

This is my biggest project to date, my website is a work in progress – it looks great, but if you read my blog titled Under Construction, it mentions a Manager who commented “Aren’t all websites a work in progress?”.

Thanks for all your support thus far and look forward to your continued support! Peace and blessings!

Energy, vibrations matter…

Image credit: Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I would like to write about something we can’t see with the naked eye but we know exists. I read Stephen Hawking’s book – Brief Answers to the Big Questions and it resonated with me on many different levels. One of the things that resonated is the topic of my post today – energy. Do you agree that we are all masses of energy? Everything we see are also masses of energy.

Nikola Tesla is quoted as saying:

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”


The universe is not what we actually see in the physical world. The quote is actually just half of part of the original quote . Nikola Tesla also said that ‘if we want to know the secrets of the universe, we should focus on the non physical aspects than physical aspects, that will speed up the inventions.’ So that’s it the trio – energy, frequency and vibrations are all nonphysical aspects. We can’t see them with eyes. (www.quora.com)

When we talk about feeling someone’s energy, it is something we cannot physically see but we FEEL it. Have you ever walked into a room and felt the energy of the room ie. of the people in the room or if empty, felt the vibe of what had happened there? This is what I feel Tesla refers to as energy, frequency and vibrations – the non physical aspects. Even though we can’t see them with our eyes, we know it is there.

In Stephen Hawking’s book – Brief answers to the Big Questions, he also mentions energy. In one part of his book, he states:

“So what are the three ingredients we need to cook up a universe? The first is matter – stuff that has mass. Matter is all around us, in the ground beneath your feet and out in space. Dust, rock, ice, liquids. Vast clouds of gas, massive spirals of stars, each containing billions of suns, stretching away for incredible distances.

The second thing you need is energy. Even if you’ve never thought about it, we all know what energy is. Something we encounter everyday. Look up at the Sun and you can feel it on your face: energy produced by a star ninety-three million miles away. Energy permeates the universe, driving the processes that keep it a dynamic, endlessly changing place.

So we have matter and energy. the third thing we need to build a universe is space. You can call the universe many things – awesome, beautiful, violent – but one thing you can’t call it is cramped. Wherever we look we see space, more space and even more space. Stretching in all directions. ” 
― Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions

When I read that energy permeates the universe, it just made sense. Passion and emotions are energy, we can’t see them but can certainly feel them. Just because we can’t see this energy with our eyes, does not mean passion or emotions are not valid. There are many things we can’t see with our eyes but they are real, valid or exist ie. a radio frequency, wind, air, oxygen, atoms, ultraviolet light and gravity to mention a few. Science has explained that these all exist.

Science can explain many things but not all. It’s fascinating when you read the findings, but I find equally fascinating when there seems no logical explanation except for a ‘gut feeling’. What has been your experience with this? Research has shown that the gut is like a second brain, I have shared an article below explaining this concept. Please feel free to also do some research of your own. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/the-fallible-mind/201701/the-pit-in-your-stomach-is-actually-your-second-brain

So maybe, its not just a ‘gut feeling’ but the nerve endings in our gut responding as our second brain. The article suggests that our gut bacteria communicates with neurotransmitters throughout our enteric nervous system to send messages which influence the way we feel. So, it seems there is scientific evidence to explain our ‘gut feeling’.

Overall, energy, vibrations & matter are all valid even if we may not be able to see them with the human eye. Science has provided research to prove they all exist.

When you can feel the energy in a room or the energy of other people – embrace and harness it. Be aware of what you can feel and listen to your intuition. How often have you had a gut feeling about something but didn’t heed it? How did it work out for you? In my experience, when I have experienced that gut feeling/ intuition but not listened to it – it has always been correct. The experience played out just as I ‘felt’ it would. Sometimes there were lessons I had to learn so the experience may not have been pleasant but the awareness left me stronger, wiser and more in tune with my intuition.

How do you feel you could be more in tune with your gut instinct or intuition? I find Meditation, mindfulness, awareness and being present may help. You may also find being close to nature, going for a walk to clear the mind or more energetic physical activity are better suited for this. I feel it’s best to find what works for you – each to their own, tune into your own frequency, energy/ vibration to Laugh. Love. Live! Peace and blessings – Namaste!

Image credit: Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

New Year, New energy!

New Year’s Eve – Melbourne

Happy New Year!!!! It’s almost the end of January already and I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but, as they say, it’s better late then never! I feel as though there is a shift in energy this year – it may be due to the full moons, blood moons and lunar eclipses that have happened which influences the energies surrounding us. Can you feel the shift? If you are unable to feel the shift in energy, I’m sure you will soon feel it in different areas of your life. It may manifest slowly for you, but it will.

Thanks for everyone’s support last year and look forward to reading, sharing and exploring more with fellow bloggers this year. It’s an exciting year with new projects in the wings – what projects do you have that you are starting or progressing? What steps are you taking to reach your goal(s) this year? I feel small steps are great steps, as long as you move forward. Remaining stagnant stalls you from becoming who you are – how can you stay true, be authentic and just be you?

It may be to remove toxic people and negative influences from your life that may be holding you back. It could be changing careers, starting study or travelling to a new city or country. Whatever it is, keep moving forward towards your goal – if those small steps move you closer, then it may be beneficial to continue on that path. If they don’t, then you may need to consider changing direction. It’s your journey, you control how, when and what you take on during your journey. Let go of what you can’t control, these are a waste of your energy.

Diversions may occur, which can be fine if they ultimately contribute or lead you to your goal(s). Whatever your goals are this year, ensure you surround yourself with people who have the right energy to support, encourage and guide you – help keep you on track. Remember, your tribe becomes your vibe – I found it’s important to have the right energy and people surrounding you. It’s also important to become aware of what no longer serves you and let them go – be it people, jobs, family members or material possessions. If they no longer bring you joy, it might be time to let them go – we don’t need that type of energy in our life. What we accept in our life sets the tone for how we allow ourselves to be treated or what standard we allow in our life. What is your self worth?

It’s a journey I’ve started to take myself and assisting others to do the same, as a Life Coach. It’s exciting but scary at the same time, which makes it feel as though it is the right direction for me. What steps can you take towards transforming your life? Steps that move you forward and enable you to Laugh. Love.Live. I wish you peace and blessings for 2019 and look forward to more positive energies this year – Namaste!