K is for Kindness


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Last week I signed up to Michael Neill’s ‘Creating The Impossible’ 2017, a programme where you approach a project that you think has less than 20% of success within 90 days. I started work on a book 18 months ago and decided it would be a challenge to see if I could complete it within the 90 days. Initially, I was excited then I spent a few days overthinking it, which led to pretty much zero productivity. Yesterday I was feeling low about the project and wondering how I could continue. I knew I needed to get out of my own way, let it go somehow and then see what happens. Somehow, when I woke this morning there was a shift in energy and my perspective on it all. I stopped beating myself up and put the metaphorical hammer down.

Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is to let ourselves off the hook, knowing that we are all doing our best in any given moment. In letting go of expectations of ourselves, there is more space for creativity, new inspiration and fresh ideas to emerge out of that space.

So here’s to being kind to others, but first and foremost here’s to being kind to ourselves first.

It really does start here …

With love,

Amanda

Beyond Thought

Clear sky - Beyond Thought

I am on the first day of a 5 day retreat through Innate Wellbeing and I have to say IT’S BLISS!!!

The lead up to it was DEFINITELY NOT!

It’s the first time myself and my partner have both been away from our daughter in the 7 years she has been around.

I was frantically trying to think of all the things I would need to think about for her whilst being away.

The day before I came my daughter actually said “you don’t need to worry about me Mum.”

How insightful, I thought.

During training this morning I literally bathed in the words of Dr. Dicken Bettinger as he talked about how we attach so much to our thinking. So much so that our beliefs are built up around that and our personality + if we react to our thinking = behaviour.

He conjured this lovely image to explain how our minds work. Your mind is like a blank sky and all the thoughts that run through it are like birds that float across the sky. Sometimes there’s loads of birds when there’s a “thought storm”, sometimes it’s clearer and maybe there’s just one bird in the sky.

Whatever the picture. We are not our thoughts. And once we can get beyond that. Under Stand That then we can stand under our thoughts and appreciate ourselves and our lives more.

This is the paradox of life. It’s all an illusion. Yet we attach SO much to it. Our ego can take over all the time.

So, as Rudi Kennard succinctly put it … Once you get past that: by ignoring your experience of your thoughts, by getting past your personality of whatever that is for you…

Whether you think you are insecure, not good enough, a good artist, a not so good writer, an angry person sometimes… Whatever it is for YOU….

It allows for more peace of mind, more open heartedness and more best bits. Or at least you can enjoy the not so good bits. Realise that it will pass and make room for something else.

We attach so much to our personal thinking. It defines who we are. Who we think we are. Therein lies the paradox.

Letting go of our personal thinking creates space for a recharge. A restart.

Love that! Hit the refresh button.

Have a great week,

Amanda

Love what you do

I love what I do. I am an acupuncturist. And have been for 10 years now.

I wasn’t one of those kids that knew what I wanted to do when I was younger. I didn’t even know what acupuncture was until I was in my 20’s.

I left home at aged 19. And never looked back. I did a degree that was completely useless to me. All the jobs I had after that did not require a degree. But it was my ticket out of Wales and The Valleys. Most youngsters either got married or went away to University, or Polytechnic.

At school, I was really good at English, Maths and Art. The teachers kept on trying to encourage me to do subjects that went together more. I resisted that. Stuck to what I was good at.

Then when I left school, I had a mean A level teacher who held up my art work one day announcing to the class,

“This is an example of how not to do it.”

I was mortified and unfortunately, it put me off doing any art for 20 years.

Imagine that… Shelving one of your passions for all that time! It happens.

Looking back, I realise that that teacher had given up on her dreams. The impact, call it whatever you like rippled out.

20 years later, I went on a quest to learn to tattoo after my love of art and passion for the Far East in Thailand was sparked. I trained with an ex Monk in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, practising most days on pig skin brought from the market. The closest thing to human skin. When I came back to the UK I searched for an apprenticeship in tattooing. A tattooist in South London told me to go away and tattoo myself as much as possible for practice. I didn’t do that!

One visit to an acupuncturist, whilst I was looking to change my career.  Was all it took. I was really curious about this strange practice that I hadn’t experience before. I asked the acupuncturist lots of questions. He said it wasn’t easy to learn. That got my curiosity even more. I remember walking back through North London really noticing all the trees an d being really in touch with nature and the elements.

I went on a couple of Open Days at Acupuncture Schools. Susannah Dowie the Principal of the School I eventually went to gave me a treatment on the open day. She was spot on. On point as they say. Ha! It didn’t matter what she said. I knew the school was for me. I was on a complete high that evening. The same feeling I had  after doing my first tattoo. Completely EXHILIRATED!

From tattooing to acupuncture. Same or different? It’s similar in that it takes an enormous amount of trust to allow some one to tattoo you, more than to acupuncture needle you.

Both of them are very healing. I know some people use tattoos to mark special occasions like births of their babies or death of their loved ones. Acupuncture is very balancing on an internal level. You can’t see the effect but the person knows how they feel. They always feel better.

I was TOTALLY BLOWN away this year, when I visited Chiang Mai again. We met up with some friends and as we were leaving the restaurant. I said to my partner,

“I would really love to show you the tattoo shop that I used to go to.”

We meandered along the road.

My daughter announced she wanted to get a tuk tuk, one of her favourite activities in Thailand.

My partner hailed one.

I sat in the back looking at snippets of the tuk tuk drivers profile in his side view rear mirror. All the time I’m thinking it can’t be him. The first guy I ever tattooed. But somewhere, all the fibers of my being knew it was him.

Love that. What are the chances? The synchronicity. Serendipity. Wonderful.

I know in lots of ways I have been tremendously fortunate to be able to pursue my dreams and explore different avenues of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

athomas Family, Inspiration

Am I good enough yet?

So, I’m already nearly a third of the way through my Damn Fine Words writing course.

What am I learning?

I have learned that I can be committed and disciplined. 10 days of writing every day. Big pat on the back. One day it even just fell into my schedule. No chore. Not even on my “to do” list.

Without telling you too much about the course as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone wanting to do it in the future. If you do want to  improve your writing, attitude towards writing or have a writing project that you want to complete – I would highly recommend the course. James Chartrand is brilliant. Ok, plug over ..

I had to DIG DEEP on Lesson 3. Spent a whole day mulling it over. It’s all about limiting beliefs – all those things we tell ourselves that keep us in a state of mediocrity.

EVERYONE has that voice inside their head.

What is it telling you?

For a lot of us, however the limiting belief is dressed up …

It can have an undercurrent of :

“I am not good enough.”

I mean, where do these ideas come from?

We can all be so self-critical. This can stop us from starting things ( what’s the point, I am not going to succeed anyway) or from completing projects ( as soon as it’s finished, it can be up for being judged in some way).

James Chartrand gave some great feedback about shifting the context of the ‘critical voice.’

A technique that can be used when you notice that self critical voice is changing the voice to sound like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy or any of your favourite cartoon characters. It just has to change the context of the voice.

Notice it’s ridiculousness. This is what has power over us!

I tried it, this morning whilst wrestling with demons getting in the way of writing this blog post. It worked. And as soon as I press publish on this post, I’ll know it’s really worked.

And for today at least, I’ll know I’m winning.

Have a great week,

Amanda

Wheel Keeps Turning

Ever felt like a hamster on a wheel? You know you’re moving. Fast at times. But there’s a sense of not really getting anywhere. Or at least the scenery looks not dissimilar to when you looked previously.

I had a great conversation with a client about this very thing this week. She is in a high powered job as an area manager for a big company. She has worked for them for 14 years but isn’t enhanced by her job. As I pointed out she could easily be with the firm for another 30 years. Would she be thanked any more or less for staying with the company for all those years. I very much doubt it.

The same scenario can resonate whether we are working “for somebody else” or seemingly have all the autonomy in the world because we work for ourselves. As a great mentor of mine said once. “I gave up my job and then realised I was working for the biggest asshole I had ever come across” ” Me.”

If you step off the wheel. the wheel will still keep turning, if only for  a while. Before another hamster comes along to take your place.

This week I signed up to a writing course with Damn Fine Words.For those following the blog you’ll remember that I entered a competition to win a place back in January this year. Not a bad entry, unfortunately I missed the deadline due to mixing up the time zones when I was in Southern Thailand.

The course starts tomorrow. There is a ‘no editing challenge ‘ so just to publish warts and all. The perfectionists amongst us will realise how much of a challenge that is.

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Dare to step off the wheel? Do something different. Even if it means choosing a different wheel.

Let me know your thoughts on this one.

have a great week

Amanda

Are you thriving or just surviving?

 

Are you thriving?

It’s a great word isn’t it. Thrive – to flourish, grow vigoursly.  As a Mum pointed out this week after I posted this on Social Networking site Face Book.

“Start telling a better feeling story about the things that are important to you. Do not write your story like a factual documentary, weighing all the pros and cons of your experience, but instead tell the uplifting  magical, fanciful story of the wonder of your own life and watch what happens. It will feel like magic as your life starts to transform before your very eyes, but it is not by magic. It is by the Power of the Laws of the Universe and your deliberate alignment with those laws.”

-Abraham

What does it take for you to thrive? I don’t just mean ‘doing ok’ but really really singing from the rooftops (inside so you know not that you really have to be up there singing.)

Some people call it a ‘state of ok-ness.’ But I would argue that most people want to feel more than just ok. At best, to be ok when the non-ok ness comes around.

To really thrive is going to mean different things to different people. We are unique after all!

For me to really thrive, I found out this week that getting a new pair of hearing aids would at least help me to thrive. No more struggling to hear the most unimportant of things, but you didn’t really know if they were or not, hanging on every word, desperately trying to catch all the things that little people say whilst distracted & not really looking at you And speaking in an immature pitch that you can’t really catch at the best of the times anyway… The list goes on.

It’s exhausting. Upsetting. Alienating. Lonely even at times. We all have those moments. I know we do. We all do. Does it help, knowing that we all think those thoughts and feel those thoughts. No not really.

So, ‘reaching for the better feeling’ actually worked for me this week. I made a conscious intentional effort (i.e deliberate alignment with) to really reach for the better feeling. It worked.

And today is another day.

Reach for the ‘better feeling.’ Let’s try that again.

What do you do that really helps to give you that feeling that you’re thriving?

It could be something as simple as

  • going for a run or swim
  • walking/ cycling to school
  • going for a drink with a friend
  • making plans for the future

The only person that knows what’s good for you is you.

Keep reaching.

 

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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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?

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.