Gratitude

What am I grateful for? Where do I start? I am on the last day of a trip I took to Thailand. I had planned to be here for 5-6 weeks.

I got the dreaded call, nobody wants to get.

Not quite the middle of the night.

My father had passed away ‘peacefully’ – thankfully.

I will always be grateful for that. And that he passed on the same date as my Mother.

Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s only about 18 months ago. But, for a few years we wondered what was going on with his health. He seemed to age all of a sudden very quickly & looking back he had started to struggle to do things that were once easy. He was a mathematician at heart and in his early days of marriage to my Mum, he trained as an electrician in the evenings. As my Mum tells it, he would physically work hard during the day. But, happily take himself off to night school. He was clever. Always had been. He could have gone to University but, chose to marry my mother instead. Mum was only 17 when she got married, he liked to joke that she left home with only a carrier bag in tow. He had a sharp sense of humour. He worked hard.

His persistence, dedication & focus to achieve the goals he set out for himself and his young family. In 1972, with 2 young children in tow Bobby & Jackie left the Valleys. It was pretty unheard of in those days for people to even go to London. So, to head to the Middle East was incredibly adventurous. I still remember waking up in Saudi Arabia in the middle of the night, hearing some strange noises I had not heard before. I thought it was crickets. Lizards probably. Bob worked for A.R.A.M.C.O – Arabian American Company of Oil. Was & still is a very prestigious company & in those days it was responsible for building a lot of the infrastructure in Saudi. I didn’t know that then of course. I was aged 2, my brother was 1. My days consisted of hard tasks like swimming every day in the glorious sunshine, playing naked outside in our enclosed camp with cockroaches & lizards. It was a lot of fun. My Dad worked away all week in the desert & came home on week-ends. We were part of the ex-pat community. When we travelled around, a lot of times people would rush up to us wanting to touch our hair. Most had never seen hair like that before. Long. & bleached white blonde in those days. On weekends the ex-pats would always get together. Parties galore – everyone taking turns to host. My brother & I loved it when it was at our house as we got to stay up a bit later. Everyone was in good spirits. Literally. Bob was quick to build a distillery to make ‘booze’ in the back of the house. We were given strict instructions not to allow any kids back there. My brother Russell would enjoy ‘standing guard’ telling the kids they weren’t allowed back there. Dad had a friend called Harry who introduced Bob to the world of Sidiki. It wasnt long befor Bob had mastered the tecnique & Harry was always curious about how he could make the alcohol a lot more quickly. The innovator in him had ingeniously thought of a way to speed up the process. He used a washing machine, the old Hoover type – he used this to heat up the the mixture first. It drove Harry mad as he couldn’t work out how Bob was speeding up the process. He would call by ‘on the off chance.’ The ‘monkey’ in Dad loved to play in that way.

I guess it’s ok to tell this story now, as Harry will be well gone himself by now.

Memories. Lovely memories. And immense gratitude for having had such a lovely Dad.

For You Dad

In the end,

there is no You,

In the end, there is no Us,

In the end, it is always the way it was meant to be,

In the end, it just is.

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Life is so incredibly precious. Enjoy!

Writing my way towards success

Last year I attempted to write a book. Two days in, I had put so much pressure on myself to produce the most perfect book. A complete perfectionist.
So here’s the “thing.” What if your fear of failure. Not being THE BEST, kept you immobilized you’re whole life. That’s a long time. Or not.
Right now, I’m in the middle of the countryside in Thailand. It’s 5.30am and I’m tip tapping on an iPhone to write this. Later, I’ll wander around the corner to pick up a friend’s wi-Fi.
I was due to holiday here in two weeks anyway. But, I got the dreaded call in the middle of the night. To say my father had passed away here in Thailand. Peacefully, thankfully. That will be a real blessing in time to come.
Nothing like a death in the family to make you review life. And think about the legacy they have left. Which also gets me thinking about the legacy I would like to leave.

I know I can write. People tell me they enjoy reading my writing.
I am an acupuncturist. I specialise around fertility & infertility. When I moved out of London women would come from miles around to see me. Then slowly but surely the numbers started to go down. I have needed to get creative about attracting more clients into my clinic.
By carving myself out as ‘the expert’ in my field – it will raise my status. I think it’s all in the marketing.
I’m very good at what I do. I just need to get better at telling people that.
Writing an E book would be a great starting place.

Even in the past week, here in Thailand I have a met a couple who are ‘trying’ for a baby. I coached them. Not even any acupuncture needles. The first port of call is to relax around the process.
Babies come out of having fun not stressing about the process.

Whilst sitting with them, I thought if I had written my Ebook I could just hand it to them. Here, here’s a good starting point …

So I have known for a while that I needed to step up my game.

I have been reading James Chartrand’s Men with Pens’ emails for the past 18 months.
Then, there I am in the middle of a dusty Thai street early in the morning picking up somebody else’s wi-Fi… When I see the Damn Fine Words competition… Again!

But this time, I thought I am going for it.

So what would it mean to my business to win this writing scholarship?
• I think I would get more clients
• I’d potentially get more high-end clients
• I’d create more value
• potentially more self worth as more see my value
• I would get guidance and coaching around my writing
• this would give me more direction and focus
• I would be held accountable by somebody I admire and trust
• potentially I could become more effective.
• the ability to promote myself more in the world
• I will get to leave more of a legacy
Fancy that!

Essentially, what I’d like to get out of it is learning how to deliver. Be more effective rather than just thinking about it.

Becoming a better writer could be life-changing as it could put me more centre stage instead of on the side lines.

Not being that confident about my writing skills has kept me more under wraps.

What would it mean to have that swept away?

It would give me more confidence in myself and my skills and I believe it will also give me more ability to promote myself. I need to get better at telling people this is what I do. This is how I can help you. This is what value you can create with me. I have incredibly valuable skills. I know I’m worth it. But unless I tell people I’m
worth it, they won’t know.

Being a more confident writer will enable me to get “out there” more and create a public platform for myself.

So, if I win this scholarship to the writing course it could open up a whole new arena for me in my business and my life.

The closing date is today. I’ll keep you posted ….

Will you dare to dare in #2014

Will you dare to dare in #2014

It’s a BOLD question. I know.

This morning I got really inspired and had a bit of a ‘light bulb’moment.

I got back from a long walk and opened up a new book that I ordered as a Christmas present to myself.

It’s the 8th of January. A little late to be receiving Christmas presents. Ok!

The book by the way is Go For No recommended to me by a friend.

It’s all about facing your fears, not being afraid of rejection etc. The thing that “got me” was …

What would your older self be saying to you, your younger self?

IF you could hop into the future and look back at all the lessons you are learning. What would you say to your younger self?

If you knew what you knew now, what would you say to your teenage/ in your 40’s self…

What are you saying to your kids? What are you teaching them? Or what do you want them to have learned from you. When they look back at all the lessons you have taught them? What will they be thanking you for? Even when you are not here to hear the gratitude in their voices/actions?

I am grateful to my parents for teaching me
• that there is a really big world out there
• to be adventurous
• to be kind, as much as possible
• a whole bunch of other stuff. Not. All good

They weren’t perfect. But, I know this. They always did their best.

Even in the face of adversity.

That’s what really counts.

So, what legacy will YOU leave? How would you like your older self to be looking back going over old memories sitting with the grandchildren.

The time to make a change (IF that’s what you want) is usually now.

Do not be too timid and squeamish in your actions. All life is an experiment! – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Care to share or comment …

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If Your Baby gets colic, what can you do?

What do you do if you’re baby has colic?

When my baby (now 6) had colic. I didn’t know what to do. It was a nightmare to watch her be in pain and not know how to soothe her. We gave her some herbal drops which soothed her… For about 30 seconds.

I am an acupuncturist and am now qualified to work with babies and children (in the Japanese Shonishin therapy). So, I would have a better idea of what to do. But no baby! That’s why I invite those of you who have babies and don’t know what to do to call me up or email me to bring YOUR baby to my clinic so I can show YOU what to do. It’s really easy when you know how.

For those of you that can’t get to me in sunny, old, cold England right now. This is what you can do.

When you’re baby isn’t in pain – stroke your baby’s tummy gently with the tips of your fingers in a downward motion.

If you’re feeling more adventurous you can use the palm of your hand to massage her/his tummy. Use your palm and massage in a clock-wise (this is very important) direction around the stomach. If there are any signs of discomfort it may be that the massage is alleviating fullness in the tummy i.e moving stuck food or wind. If it is too uncomfortable don’t proceed.

You can move on to stroking the outer areas of the legs. Use the pad of your thumb or the tips of your fingertips. Don’t be afraid, you’re baby will let you know if you press too hard. Also, try not to be too light in your touch. It feels tickly.

When you get to the feet, pay particular attention to the base of the big toe. Rub it there. ( For the acupuncturists amongst us, it’s Spleen 3.) It’s important because it helps to tonify the system.

You can stroke the back as well. All over the body. Keep the whole massage to under 10 minutes.

All babies are born with a constitutional weakness, according to the Japanese. When that weakness is sorted out, all of the related symptoms should resolve.

Ok that’s enough for now! If you have a baby with colic and managed to read all of that I’d be very surprised. But if you did, well done!

Back to ‘Being Mum’ for me now ….

Amanda

The Law of Attraction

“What goes around comes around.”

Does that mean anything to you?

You reap what you sow.

We are all creations of our own mind.

What strikes me though is that sometimes others’ perceptions of ‘us’ are often quite different to how ‘we’ view ‘us.’

So if we are all products of our own imagination and we are not happy with our perceived perception. Surely, it’s time to change one’s mindset.

How do you do that?

It could be
• through meditation
• life coaching
• walk in nature
• acupuncture – thought I’d better squeeze that one in there. Ha!
• hypnotherapy
• or something else

I love synchronicity. That really works for me. The beauty… is knowing when something synchronist is happening. If something like that happens – appreciate it. If you didn’t at the time – then go back ( in your mind ) and appreciate it anyway.

I have written about this before in my piece for Entrepreneur Soul.

Truthfully, for lots of reasons it’s been a tough Winter. Imagine my surprise, when my partner gets cold called & actually allows this guy to come show her, his product. Hmmmmm, I thought.

But, fortunately ” I zipped it!”

Say nothing! Often the best course of action!

And how glad am I that I did.

Synchronicity always amazes me.

The timing of this guy calling couldn’t have been more perfect. I appreciate him for that. And her for being creative and open to receiving in that way. It’s enabling us to embark on a venture and hopefully, some adventure.

Importantly, it gives us the opportunity to continue on the path of self development.

Happy Easter kids.

Or as someone nicely reminded me earlier – each day is an opportunity for celebration. Can you appreciate that?

Don’t sweat the small stuff

It’s been a stressful and scary week. My daughter has had a nasty virus that involved 3 days of very high fever. Followed by breaking out in loads of mouth ulcers. She spent today signing and grunting because she literally couldn’t speak as her tongue is too swollen.

If you have kids, its part of the territory. I bumped into a Mum at Tesco’s last week with 3 kids all poorly at the same time. I thought it was tough with just one.

It has been rough for lots of reasons. A big one is that I have felt like a bad Mom, too impatient, not compassionate enough. The reality is that when you are dog tired, have had three sleepless nights in a row you are bound to be a little more cranky than usual.

I found it very frustrating that during the high fever moments I just couldn’t do anything. There are things I know to do to reduce fever as a practitioner. But, what do you do when your child won’t let you practice your expertise? I tried to sneak a plaster (with an even sneakier teensy needle) on her while she slept. Nothing gets past this kid. She woke up straight away!!!!!!

What did I learn this week?

Christ! Whilst doing the ironing I had an almost epiphany. We can spend a lot of time moaning at our kids for all the things you want them to do or do differently.

One of my pet hates is when my daughter wants to dress inappropriately. You can picture the scene. It’s freezing outside and they appear in a dress that you know is clearly meant for summer. It pushes your buttons big time, for the zillionth time as you repeat yourself that its too cold. Blah, blah, blah.

Well as I ironed one of the ‘inappropriate’ items. I actually just yearned to see her running around in it. Even if it is too cold.

It reminded me of a great friend’s advice one time.  Whatever you do, DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

In the moment, it always seems important. In the grand scheme of things, it rarely is. Eat your dinner. Do your coat up. Put your hat on. The list is endless.

Do you sweat the small stuff ? Care to share?

 

 

 

 

Feeling the love

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Ok the cynics amongst us are probably saying. “Another day for Hallmark. It’s just another day to make some money.”

Ok maybe it is. Whether you buy into it or not it’s still there. How to get past all the commercial bull***t and just be true to your own heart.

It’s a funny day for me. We buried my brother on Valentine’s Day. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was.

Valentine’s day. Such a mixed bag of emotions. Even after all this time.

As a kid, I always got a Valentine’s card. Then, over the years I started to recognise the scrawled handwriting as my Mum’s. Bit of a no-no as a teenager.

Toyed with the idea of not buying into it this year. Glad I did though. Love my ‘lil family.

Happy Valentine’s to you all.

Hear hear

Did you ever have an experience that took you to the most unusual of places?

I went on a rollercoaster ride once in Disneyland Paris. It happened so quickly. I screamed with pure fear and sheer delight all rolled into one. I didn’t have time to shout. ” GET ME OFF”

Three years ago I lost my hearing. Just like that. One minute it was there; the next it was gone.

“Shit! Where did it go?”

The power of the mind to throw you in all kinds of directions when something unexpected happens.

It can go to –

Delight

FEAR – yes **** Everything And Run

Wonder -as in the kind of wonder where you wonder whether you are in a dream and will wake up at some point. You know the one where you wake up and go PHEW! Thank God, I was just dreaming.

Well this one wasn’t like that. I would wake up in the morning, scrabbling for my hearing aids wishing I could just go back to sleep.

To say it has been an experience, is an understatement.

At the end of last year, I was offered the opportunity to attend a deafness rehabilitation programme. Now there is something I never thought I would saying this lifetime.

I met an incredible bunch of people.

I came away feeling very inspired and with a sense of gratitude. It was supportive. The trainers were all brilliant. It was actually the first time I had ever met other people in a similar situation i.e adults who have become deafened in adult life.

It was interesting to watch the hearing people’s awareness being raised throughout the week. On the first night my partner actually commented that she felt like an outsider. And just to have the opportunity to have fun with other people in a similar situation.

It’s important to be able to relate to others. To have a sense of belonging. Regardless of who you are, what you want or your aspirations in life. Where do you feel like you belong?

Blo_Dover

More Random Acts of Kindness

As part of a community project before Christmas I took part in sending a shoe box filled with goodies for a teenage Romanian boy.

By the time I saw the message, ALL the teensy girls had been snapped up. Drat I thought knowing my little girl would be disappointed.

The box sat on the window sill for ages. A little empty. And sad. My partner kept on saying ” you know you’ve still got the box to fill.”

I was fully aware.

But what would a teenage boy in Romania like? Or need. More to the point.

Slowly but surely between us – as a family – we filled the box. Hat. Scarf. Long-sleeved top. Am desperately trying to remember what we put in the box now. This isn’t The Generation Game you know. Or is it?

This generation. Our generation of kids get pretty much all they want. New bike. Scooter. You name it. They have it.

The kids that received the shoe boxes. Pretty much have nothing. Very little.

It is really hard for us to grasp that concept and level of poverty.

It isn’t our experience.

We excitedly delivered our shoe box to our neighbour to be sent off to Romania

Phew. I hope he likes it I said to my little person. We put a torch in, I said. Rather absent mindlessly to the lady we delivered it to.

We carried on ticking off “important stuff to do” off our Christmas list. Christmas box delivered. Tick.

Forgot about the box. Forgot about the children in Romania. We carried on with our Christmas. Very nice, thank you. You?

Until this landed in my Face Book inbox late last night….

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It is one of the most moving things I have ever seen.

My neighbour messaged me. Did you see him with the torch? I had to watch it again, of course.

Random Acts of Kindness.

It was an amazing opportunity to be able to have a really small part in touching these children’s lives in this way. The true wonder of Christmas.

Have an incredibly happy, healthy & fortuitous 2013.

Have you Kick Started 2013?

A parent called me on Sunday morning worried about his son’s wheezing.

I got into conversation and found myself saying ‘the key has to be consistency.’ I was talking about treatment for his son.

Motto for 2013. If ever. there was one.

I then found myself attempting to explain ‘consistency’ to my 5 year old. She got it!

Somehow, as adults. We forget. The simple stuff.

It’s quite easy. The Key to any success has to be consistency .

You do it. You do it again. You get better. Or not.

Kick start. Or kicks tarted? No. Kick start your programme. Just do it. Whatever it is. just do it

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If you need assistance with your programme, acupuncture can assist you to get going and keep you on the right track.