A Look In The Mirror

That’s all it takes to change the world. Take a long hard look in the mirror and really notice who you are.

We’re all screaming for peace right now – not just world peace – but peace in our towns and cities, in our workplaces, in our homes and in our minds. There has to be a better way to deal with this madness.

We need a new way of doing things. Yet we seem to be stuck in outdated modes of thought that have not been working. For if they did, we wouldn’t be in the predicaments we are in now. The past will keep repeating itself until we make a conscious choice to go in a new direction.

Going in a new direction begins inside of you, of me, and of us as individuals. Until we change as individuals, only then can the world change.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi – ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’ So to have world peace we have to look in the mirror. Take a look and try to find the peace you’re searching for in your heart.

If you can’t find it ask yourself why. It’s not missing – it’s been there with you all along waiting for you to begin your search within. Peace isn’t hard to find at all. You just have to dig from underneath all of the rubble – fear and anger. Once you push the fear and anger to the side peace will be in plain view.

When you find the peace in your heart you start to exude it. It becomes infectious. Joy soon follows and a sense of calm is not too far behind. All of this from one good look in the mirror. One hard look at who you really are. That’s all it takes to get the ball rolling.

And it’s easy to pass it on. Remind your loved ones to find their peace within. They’ll know it can be done because they would have seen the transformation in you. Be a walking example of peace and watch how it spreads.

When others come to you full of fear and anger remember the peace within yourself and gently remind them that no matter how bad it gets it will eventually work itself out for the best.

We get what we dwell upon so if we keep our thoughts based on fear and anger that’s what we’ll continue to get. Instead let’s focus on peace – peace within ourselves and let these thoughts multiply. Remember, be the change you want to see – so be peaceful within your heart and watch your world begin to mirror that.

Sharon James

www.InShineOut.com

The new normal!

Life May Never Be the Same, But Could This Actually Be a Good Thing For YOU?

Why you should get ready to move to your NOW normal.

The words “new normal” are being bandied about with as much frequency as “unprecedented times” were at the beginning of lockdown. To be honest, it is as good a time as any to think about how you want your new norm to be.

Of course, we still don’t know for certain how things are going to pan out, but taking control is still the best strategy for personal success and wellbeing. Now is the time to give some thought to creating a better, more positive, and sustainable future. You should do this not only for yourself, but for your family, your community and even the planet, too. Particularly if you find yourself reflecting on how a lot of things that have been better lately!

Let’s be honest, many of us knew we could not keep up the pace we were going at; burnout, disconnect and exhaustion were accepted as the norm.

Busyness was worn like a badge of honour.

“How are you?” someone would ask and all too often the reply would be;

“Busy”

It was an ingrained way of being for far too many of us. So being forced into lockdown allowed us to do things differently; some things we stopped doing, some we started and some we continued with. A lot of us took on new hobbies in order to cope with lockdown in a way they would not have thought possible, as there was no space to squeeze it in!

Baking, Pilates, quizzes, family meals, singing, flower arranging, daily exercise- as it was a chance to get out, talking and getting to know our neighbours, helping each other out. All of these suddenly filled our days. There is a plethora of hobbies, interests and new ways being cultivated right now and many of them are having a positive impact on our self-care and wellbeing.

So, is it possible to integrate any of what is really working for you into your now norm?

I think so. I would suggest that in order not to fall back into old ways that really did not serve you well, you will need to engage in a bit of intentional reflection on your part. Think about how you could integrate the above into how you wish life to be moving forward.

You will need to spend some time considering the routines and rituals that truly contribute to your overall wellbeing (mental, emotional, spiritual, physical) which power you to be a better version of yourself, and dare I say allow you to be much happier.

I mentioned that some of my clients are loving how lockdown had freed them mentally from some of the assumptions and constraints they had prior to Covid. These clients equally had a fear that it would lift and then would go back to how it was before Covid. It doesn’t have to be this way!

The process of change.

William Bridges in his book ‘Transitions; Making Sense of Life’s Changes’ discusses a 3-stage process which happens when we are going through change. In fact, he calls the ‘change’ the external event, whereas the ‘transition’ is the internal processing that we go through. The three phases are; endings, neutral zone, new beginnings.

“What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from” T.S. Eliot.

Lockdown certainly ended a lot of things very quickly. Lockdown was the external event, but in fact the beginning of the transition. We are well immersed in the neutral zone and starting to see new beginnings, but the neutral zone has felt anything but neutral!

I’m sure you can relate to the feelings of uncertainty, confusion, discomfort, weirdness, strangeness and possibly even distress as we know the old way no longer works. However, the new beginning has not yet emerged. In Bridges’ words he describes this phase “Deep do do for the next 750 miles.”

It’s quite comforting to know that there is a structure to what we are experiencing right now, I guess what’s different is there is no one we can turn to to guide us as every country, government, leader, parent, teacher is in uncharted waters. As human beings we like to hurry through transitions taking them too seriously or not seriously enough. The lexicon around it is always about moving on.

The only person who can truly guide you is you.  

There is no one who knows better than you about what is right for you and the life you want to move towards and what aligns with it. So, reflect and consciously choose your own new beginnings, that serve and support the life you want to have. This is the link between the usual and not yet. Using this time to reflect and integrate as you go forward IS the silver lining.

We have a chance to turn the crisis into an opportunity!

Consider all aspects of your life in lockdown.  

Maybe for you it was getting to bed earlier and quality sleep that you are benefiting from. I know home schooling is a challenge I have heard enough people say it, but perhaps it has made you realise how quickly children grow up and how you want to keep having good quality family time together or to be there to put them to bed. Or you may even have realised how much you have enjoyed leading your team through this time and would love to go for the promotion you always thought you were not capable of. Maybe you started planning and preparing healthy meals and found yourself with so much energy and looking and feeling better much better.

Maybe you were someone who spent hours of your day on trains, planes or automobiles and you now realise how much you hate it. What choices do you have now? How can you keep that up? Change your working approach in a way that works for you and your clients? Or perhaps it has just reinforced your workaholic tendencies as even in lock down you still don’t find YOU time! Personally, time to incorporate yoga and meditation into my day has been so uplifting, calming and energising. So why not click below to download my free worksheet to help reflect on how it has been for you and the lessons you want to take with you and how you will implement the now normal.

“In school you get the lesson and then take the test…In life you take the test and then get the lesson.” Unknown

What are the lessons you want to take away from this crisis and weirdness? And what will you do with them? I hope you find this exercise helpful and please stay calm and centred.

Self-care Permission Slip Required? Granted.

If you Google the term self-care, you’ll get about 3,750,000,000 results.

What you will also see is this definition “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety”

There are many more definitions, I know. I’d go even further and claim it is vital for the wellbeing and happiness of each and every one of us. How we all do it may be different, but nonetheless it is essential as we are all human beings; not human doings, not robots.

Let my experiences shine a light on self-care for you

I want to have a serious chat about this, it’s not going to go away. Yet some people are still struggling to find time to do what they need to do to take care of themselves, to give themselves a break, literally and/or metaphorically, so that they can show up with energy. We have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of each other.

Did you know your energy is what introduces you when you enter a room? I’ve had the tough life lesson in self-care when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to really reflect on what self-care was about for me, what I needed, not only to bring myself back to full health, but to be the happiest, healthiest, most fulfilled version of myself. What did I need to say yes to, no to, stop doing, start doing, prioritise, who and what drained me and how could I reduce toxicity in my life? I finally really got that it was my responsibility. Ineeded to prioritise my wellbeing and get it on my action list.

The fact was if I didn’t make it happen, there wasn’t going to be a knight in shining armour turn up. So, love or loathe the term, but you need to be finding ways to integrate this into your life. It doesn’t matter if you are a busy mum, a carer, teacher, business owner. Why? Because simply it is “The route of feeling whole, healthy, happy and your best you”

What can Covid teach us about self-care?

Now there is a lesson about this in COVID! Despite the downsides of COVID, some clients are telling me life has been better since lockdown. That is after they got over the guilt of thinking that was a bad thing to say! They had finallyrealised they were on the hamster wheel, waiting for some event to stop it so they could get off. This universal pause has certainly stopped the wheel! These clients realised they were running on empty. Saying yes all the time, eating on the go, always on email, office in hand all the time in the format of their mobile, long commutes, giving up what they knew they needed most i.e. a rest, a chance to breathe, in order to do another email, just get this thing done.

Doing, doing, doing! 

There is always something to be done.

Now some clients are figuring out what they really need to be the best for themselves, their business, their job and their loved ones, their fulfilment. They have appreciated and gained from the value of reflecting on what is working and what is not and really appreciating that rest and recovery makes them more productive in the long run.

Having that morning routine where you exercise, meditate, take time for breakfast, whatever their thing is helps set people up for success and a truly productive day. And it is amazing the regular impact of merely five or ten minutes can have! Don’t underestimate the power of many tiny noticeable things like starting the day with setting your intention, moving away from your desk for 5 minutes, taking regular breaks, shutting the laptop down, eating lunch away from desk. The list goes on. My clients have told me that their challenge now is how to stop themselves jumping back on when we move on to our new norm, (we will talk about that in another blog.)
The fact is there is never the perfect time. 

For some people COVID hasn’t meant less, just more. Self-care is just not something you can store up and fit in one day when your life miraculously changes to accommodate it! If you can’t fit it in now, it’s highly unlikely something will happen in 6 months from now that permits it. The more you ignore it the more likely you are to get a wakeup call you don’t necessarily want. So, what I want to tell you is that it is not an external event that you need, more an internal decision. And like everything, it begins in the mind and it starts with you knowing this:
YOU ARE WORTH LOOKING AFTER.

Repeat after me as many times as you need to hear it and then set the intention to become aware of the healthy, positive ways you can take care of yourself. Learn what nourishes you, revives you, helps you rest, replenishes your energy. It’s a priority not a luxury.

The 7 secrets to self-care

  1. Self-care isn’t selfish
    2. We all need permission to take timeout
    3. Make regular appointments with yourself
    4. Plan your me time
    5. Enjoy it
    6. Observe the improvement
    7. Repeat cycle

So, take one small step today and why not just give some thought to these questions:

  • What nourishes me, what drains me, what things do I look forward to?
    • How do I feel when I do these things?
    • How can I increase my nourishers and reduce my drainers?
    • What do I need more of or less of in my life?

Please get in touch if you would like a special self-care permission coaching session to help you get started. Get in touch [email protected] and we will figure out where you are, where you would like to be and identify some simple steps and habits to get you going. You know the answer, I am here to give you the permission slip. Let’s not forget, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

www.InShineOut.com

2030 Vision!!

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Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings. Always pictured with two faces – one looking toward the future, the other back at the past — Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year. As we step through the doorway from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: lookback and ahead. It is also predicted that 2020’s quitter day will be Sunday 19th January, the day most people will give up on their new year’s resolutions. In my opinion this is because they have not created a compelling enough vision of a future reality they want to aim for. So I’m inviting you this year, instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions to break, why not consider using this first part of the year to look beyond, beyond the horizon and create that compelling, heart thumping vision for the next decade for yourself and those you want to take with you. Whether it is a vision for your business, your leadership, your life, whatever it might be, you need to know what you really want to aim for, otherwise you just might end up somewhere else!

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Why? Well from a business perspective this should go without saying: Leaders are only leaders if they are leading somewhere. Unfortunately, there are many people in positions of leadership who want people to passionately and fully devote themselves to their business and yet they themselves have no clear sense of where they are going or taking people. Sometimes, what’s missing is the ability to inspire a shared vision. This is a core leadership capability in today’s world. Kouzes & Posner, 2 academics turned business leaders conducted extensive research in this area by asking followers: what matters most in your leaders? The ability to inspire a shared vision was the number 1 attribute that most distinguishes leaders from non-leaders. And yet it continues to be the practise where leaders score least effectively, both according to themselves and their followers. You can take the concept of leadership into your own life too and have a vision for an integrated, flourishing and well-balanced life. After all you are the leader of your own life!
It’s not the notion of climbing some mountain and assuming the lotus position waiting for revelation then going and announcing or being a clairvoyant. Done well it’s how positive change occurs, people coming together united for a common cause and greater good. It generates energy, excitement and passion.
Done well everyone has a sense of where things are going and their part in it, smart choices are being made with the end in mind. Done well there is much to be gained

So how do we do it? According to Gainpiero Petriglieri and his wife, INSEAD professors who have done extensive work in this area they found 2 things to be present and essential for greatness in this area:
• Painting a vivid picture of a future day that is better than today
• Articulating a clear plan and show signs of progress no matter how small

Sounds simple right so how come it is not common practise? Well 2 key mistakes;
Some are getting on with it, but no one knows where they are headed but the number one reason for failure is, we are not dreaming of a future that is big, bold enough, audacious enough to excite and inspire

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo Buonarroti

 
The key is to take time to uncover, connect, communicate, execute and review your vision for business and life. Vision provides direction and helps your business prepare for the future, Vision provides guidance for decision-making, it shapes strategy, Vision guides the types of people you hire and promote. Vision defines what you will and what you will not do, in business and life. Vision helps set priorities and guides planning. Vision aligns people and activities. Vision provides purpose and a source of inspiration Vision reflects a person or business’ core values and beliefs. Vision empowers people and helps focus their efforts. Vision brings change and hope for the future.

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Let’s start 2020 a different way. It takes effort to distil big ideas and hopes into a simple picture of the future but it’s worth the effort. Too often we say we’re too busy, but more likely to be busy in our business not on the business and other times that is simply an avoidance strategy. It is not easy to do. As a leadership coach, one of my passions is to partner with you through this and propel you to greatness, running thriving business and flourishing lives.

To a wonderful New Year, in fact New Decade!

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It is by no means a new thing to consider reflecting as the end of one year approaches and a new one begins, however, we should take some time to think about why this is such a critical activity to engage in.

So the value of reflecting? With the pace and demands of life nowadays, I’m inclined to agree with this quote from Dale Dauten:

“Just because we increase the speed of information doesn’t mean we can increase the speed of decisions. Pondering, reflecting and ruminating are undervalued skills in our culture.” Dale Dauten

Reflection time is not just important – it’s VITAL. It gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our professional and personal successes, challenges and difficulties. It helps us see where we have grown and what directions we would like to take next. It brings learning to life, increases our insights, makes lessons stick more and allows us to grow and change.  More and more, in business and life, reflection is being scarified for doing. I see people acting like machines, running from one thing to the next ,whether it is a meeting or an event, with no time to process. We are addicted to do lists and in the habit of doing without adequate reflection: what’s my desired outcome; why is this important to me?; what am I  prepared to do to have it and make it happen; what happened; what have I learnt about myself, others from this lesson and how can I apply this learning? The quality of our results will be determined by our action, I agree, but the quality of the action is often determined by the quality of our thinking and reflecting, so I encourage you and teams to do more of this.

And what better time than the end of December – a quieter time for many of us. As 2019 draws to an end, we are at the end of another decade! Where does time go? It seems like only yesterday we were getting all worried about Y2K , that’s now 20 years ago!!! So take this opportunity to think about who you value in your life, where you are on your spiritual or life journey, what you’ve achieved over the past decade and last year, in all areas of importance to you – career, business, health, relationships, growth, contribution etc. I’d also recommend thinking about what you might want to leave behind from last year or this decade – unhelpful patterns, unhealthy choices, old version of yourself or anything toxic from your life. Life will happen, fact, but perhaps with this reflecting, you can decide what you want to have happen. What is important to you in the upcoming year, what do you believe you deserve and what are you willing /want to do to create the year you want? Armed with this information, it is not always about making huge unrealistic promises to ourselves and others and falling at the first hurdle! Sometimes we do want to create change and other times it is simply about preserving the existing. This decade was definitely full of turbulence for me and yet despite a lot of tough times I have so many fun and wonderful memories to cherish. I’m looking forward with gratitude, appreciation for all the love in my life and a determination to make every day count. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

 

Be Your Own Best Friend!

20190827_160554_0000 (002)Are you the kind of person who is always there showing kindness, empathy and affection to friends and family when they have made a mistake, not lived up to some expectation, or when they are going through a really tough time? Are you the one full of compassion, asking them what they need right now to help them through it, offering encouraging words, reminding them they are only human or helping them see the positive lesson in the failure?

Next question – when it is you who has made the mistake, not lived up to an expectation (probably your own!) or going through a tough time, are you there offering the same support, words of encouragement, compassion? My guess is not!  It’s more likely to sound like this “you are a failure, you look awful today, how could you  do that, how could be so stupid” Things you are quite happy to say to yourself but you would never dream of saying to a close friend or family member.

So I am on a quest to encourage you to practice being there for yourself, just as a friend would be, to learn how to show self compassion.  Why? Because mental health research has shown us it can relieve pain and free us from anxiety, eliminate insecurities and even depression. No matter what happens on the outside, it’s about treating yourself with care and compassion on the inside.

Fact – everybody has something about themselves that they don’t like; something that causes them to feel inadequate, to feel insecure, or not “good enough.” It’s all part of life.  I’ve been working on this myself. as sometimes I get really tired and exhausted in a way that I know is a result of medical treatment. I used to beat myself up a lot , not literally of course, just berating myself for needing to rest when some people can run marathons going though treatment. I would never say that to a friend or family member. I’d be there suggesting that they might go easy on themselves and perhaps listen to what their body is asking for right now. Like everything some days I find it easier than others but at least I’m getting better and don’t compare myself to what others can do. I learn how to look after my own needs and nourish myself.

So self-compassion is about acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself, as you would a best friend. Instead of expecting yourself to deal with a “get over it , stiff upper lip” mentality, it’s about stopping and acknowledging “this is really difficult right now and asking “how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?

Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I suggest this as it is far way from the usual judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings. Some people even believe they would drop their standards if they went easy on themselves! Self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? It doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve or get better but you do it to be better, healthier, happier not because you are worthless. Things do not always go the way you want them to and even the best laid plans fail. You will face disappointments, let downs,  you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your own ideals. This is called being human, something we all share . So please befriend yourself, pay attention to the words you say and most of all be compassionate and forgiving with yourself whenever the proverbial hits the fan.  Beating yourself up when you feel like you are already on the ropes, I don’t think so. This is the time to be your most loving and forgiving of yourself – be your own best friend.

Life lessons

lifeisprecious.

On Wednesday I got my year 3 test results and I’m thankful to say all is looking normal. Understandably people were encouraging me to celebrate and yet, although naturally I was delighted to hear that, I was surprised I  didn’t want to “celebrate”. I don’t think Rich, my husband, felt like it either. You see at the very moment  I hear the results, I also realise I will never go back to the person I was before being diagnosed with breast cancer . We will never be totally free from the fear of it returning. I may look the same on the outside  but I am different. It’s not bad but every now and again that cancer word  gets a hold of me physically and emotionally and I can’t get away from it. I want to be able to hear the word without flinching. I would also like to be free of some of the hormone therapy side effects!! The fact is, like grief, you don’t move on from a diagnosis of cancer, you move forward with it. Anyway I just leant into the feeling and let it be. I had read a quote the other day which said something like “The best thing to do when it is raining, is let it rain!”

Thursday and I am in a totally different place, thankful, grateful and looking forward and ready to celebrate life. I’m just thinking about what life throws at us and how there are so many lessons.

#1 No matter how you are feeling, let it be,  this too shall pass. Acknowledge it, don’t plaster a no entry sign over it or try to put your positive head on . Just let it be, it just needs some time and another wave will come, hopefully a better one.

#2 You will receive a body … you may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period you’re around so I suggest you get to love it and take care of it, outside and in.

#3 You will learn lessons… You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them too hard , irrelevant and stupid.

#4 There are no mistakes, only lessons… Growth is a process of trial and error, obstacles and set backs. No matter what your circumstances you can learn to thrive again.The “Failures and Setbacks ” are as much a part of the process as things that work and go well. Like a lotus flower we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.

#5 A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson. It took me a while to really learn the lesson of self care. I knew it but maybe didn’t practice it.

#6 Learning lessons does not end… There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

#7 “THERE” is no better than  “HERE”… When your “There” has become a “Here”, you will simply obtain another “There” that will, again, look better than “Here”. Be happy where you are NOW.

#8 What you make of your life is up to you. No-one else is going to waken up and dedicate their life to your happiness. The good news … You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

#9 Your answers lie inside you .  You are enough. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

#10 You will forget all this … unless you figure out how you want to live your one and only life in a way that counts for you. Happiness is an inside job! So if between getting up in the morning and going to bed you are living how you want, then that’s success.

#11 And one final lesson, I’m mostly thinking Life is precious, live it and cherish every moment!

Lotions, Potions and Emotions

 


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Isn’t it funny how life pans out and you come full circle to know something that you have always known, just in a different way? What am I on about, you might ask? Let me explain. Aged 16, making my “A” level choices, I recall a conversation with my careers teacher: “I want to be a beautician” I proudly claimed to which he replied: “Sharon, girls who go to the Academy do not become beauticians!”. I knew he had missed the point (clearly, as it is now a multi billion pound industry) but I couldn’t explain what I meant so I went off on a different path. Fast forward almost 40years & I have figured it out! I wanted to run a beauty business with a difference – inner and outer beauty. At InShineOut we focus on the inside helping people feel happy, confident, fulfilled, thriving from the inside out. We believe happiness is an inside job! And now I’ve found the outside piece! I have become an independent ambassador for Tropic skincare, one of the U.K’s fastest growing natural skincare companies. What we put on our skin matters. The products are pure, honest and effective, good your skin and the environment.

Why do I believe you need both? The highs and lows of my life have taught me this. At the lowest points in my life (and there have been a few) I would do my best to get made up, dress up and show up. I would take time to care for myself on the outside with skincare, make up and how I dressed. I thought at least if I tried to take care of myself on the outside, I’d feel better on the inside.

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To an extent this works and that’s how I came across Tropic. I started using the products as a customer when I was diagnosed with cancer. It gave me something to focus on during treatment when everything else felt like it was out on my control. I desperately did not want to look like that cancer patient that everyone would stare at. The products were so natural and improved my skin so much.They felt and smelt great, reminding me of the Tropics and sandy white beaches! But I also know that if you do not go inwards and get to know yourself, who you are, what and who matters to you, what makes you happy and above all how to be happy in your own skin, then no amount of skincare or makeup, natural or not, will give you that feeling. You need to pay attention to your emotions and triggers and deal with “the good, the bad and the ugly” And you should not wait for a crisis to get to know yourself. It is important to go inward and pay attention to how you feel, our emotions are messages about what we need. They are such powerful things and can raise you up or tear you down at any moment. According to Brene Brown “we cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions we also numb the positive emotions” So many people appear to have it all but are very unhappy inside. Others appear to have very little but are extremely happy. I have a passion and it is life. I want to help people figure out how to live their one and only life in a way that counts for them, shining on the inside and out. To do this you have to examine your thinking and your thoughts, your choices, conscious and unconscious, understand and manage your emotions. You must figure out what makes your heart sing. We all have a desire to belong, feel valued, love and be loved.

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I believe this starts with the relationship with yourself. “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for you worthiness” Another Brene Brown quote. Self-care is the route to feeling whole, healthy, happy and the best you. It is your right and responsibility to take care of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s a priority not a luxury and starts with you. I help you step out of the busyness of your life, to look beyond the “to do list” and connect to your inner self, not just sometimes but as a way of being. Life throws curve balls so it is not a guarantee that life will be easier, but I guarantee it will be worth it and maybe even enjoyable! You need to get out of the trap of being “busy”. It’s an avoidance strategy, wasting your valuable time or at worst just being lazy.  But most of all it stops you feeling like you are living. I’m looking forward to sharing more of our inner and outer beauty lessons to help you thrive no matter what your circumstances -spa sessions for the body, mind and soul to help you be the best you for yourself and others. “In a society that tells us to put yourself last self love and self acceptance is almost revolutionary”

Be your best you

If you want to hear more then please contact at [email protected] or visit www.InShineOut.com

Don’t get ” stuffed” this Christmas

I’ve been doing a lot of sorting out at home recently and I do not know how we come to have so much “stuff” that we don’t really need. There are only 2 of us but we seem to have enough dinnerware just in case about 24  people descend upon us for dinner all at once! We don’t have the space for 24 but we have the plates, glasses and cutlery!

Then I started thinking, as I’m getting “my stuff” ready for charity that it’s the time of year when we buy each other morestuff “ we don’t need! And on top of that, we stress ourselves to the high heavens thinking about what that might be!

Now,  I am not being all bah humbug and suggesting we don’t show our love to each other. No. But here at InShineOut we always believe there is another way, a better way. All it requires is a little bit of thought. I’m opting for quality time together with family and friends. Doing something that we all love but don’t get a chance to do because we lead such busy lives. It could be a visit to a favourite restaurant, a trip to the theatre or spa, a walk in the forest or by the sea, whatever we fancy. It could just be our time and presence. We spend so much of our time glued to the mobile phone and not truly “present” with each other  The great thing about it is we won’t have to look for any space to store the “stuff” and it will be the gift that keeps on giving as we can recall the time in the years to come. So go on, give it a go and hopefully the only thing stuffed this Christmas is the turkey!!

Are you sitting(too)comfortably, then I shall begin

You may recall the children’s programme, Jackanory, where they would read stories and the starting point was to make sure you were sitting comfortably. Well I’m not about to read you a fairy story! I am going to use Goldilocks and the 3 bears to ask you whether you are sitting too comfortably or too uncomfortably in your life right now. Consider the impact on your current level of contentment and satisfaction.

Discomfort is a necessary part for your growth but too much or too little and you end up with the same feelings – burn out or rust out. You might need to slow down and do less or speed up and take action. This is where the Goldilocks formula comes in – not too much, not too little, just right.

So how do you know your “just right” amount? During my NLP accreditation, I came across Karl Rohnke’s comfort, stretch, panic model which can help you identify your “just right”. The comfort zone is the realm of predictability. It’s where we tend to operate on autopilot. It is a great place to rest and rebuild, but overstay your welcome here and your world begins to rust. The stretch zone is the zone of variety, new experiences and adventure. It’s where you learn and grow – mentally, physically and emotionally. How do you know you are in it? Well, the heart rate is up and you can imagine yourself doing it and enjoying it. It’s good to spend time here to build your skills and overcome your fears which ultimately grows your confidence. Finally, the panic zone, this is the realm of too much stress, distress. You can’t think straight and are gripped with overwhelming terror and heading towards burn-out.  You can get pushed or nudged into your panic zone which does not feel good. Others deliberately put themselves there as they thrive living on the edge. Having the choice is very different to being forced in there.

There is no good, bad, right or wrong. One person’s panic is another’s comfort. Speaking up in a meeting could set a person into panic while another would not even think twice about it. For some of you being busy could be comfortable while learning to relax and reflect could ironically be the stretch. It really is a very personal and dynamic thing. The key is to challenge yourself, choose to try new things to stretch yourself personally and professionally. Try asking yourself these questions to help you find your “just right” to increase your fulfilment levels

Where are you on the comfort continuum in your life right now and is this where you want to be? We all need some time in our comfort zone to rest, but are you recharging or heading towards rust out or burn out? What can you do to rebalance things?

I have spent the last 3 months setting stretch fitness goals to restore and rebuild myself back from illness. Just a few weeks ago, I managed a 15km hike in the mountains in Southern Spain. It was a lovely feeling of achievement and satisfaction. It was by no means a walk in the park, however, at Christmas if someone had suggested this it would have been firmly in my panic zone. Climbing a set of stairs was the stretch then!