3 Good Things that help develop an attitude of gratitude

“I’ve never met a thankful person who is bitter or a bitter person who is thankful”

Today is world Gratitude day but in my opinion every day should be gratitude day. I truly believe in the transformational power of Gratitude. It is about so much more than just saying thank you – it’s about not taking things for granted and having a sense of appreciation and thankfulness for things in life, no matter how small. People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

Practising being grateful can help you cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate. This action is easy to do, and its benefits have been scientifically proven. In tests, people who tried it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed 1, 3 and 6 months later.

https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-happiness-research/


Why do it? From ancient times to today’s most recent science, gratitude is known to be good for us. Science is showing that gratitude is important for how good we feel psychologically and socially. It increases how much positive emotion we feel and decreases negative emotion. It has also been shown to reduce health complaints and help us cope with difficulties. Yet it isn’t always our automatic response. We often take the good things in our lives for granted. We have a natural focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives often going over and over these things in our head. We are quick to notice even the smallest of problems, yet we rarely spend any time at all dwelling on the good things. Things that brought us a quick smile or felt good are all too often forgotten or perhaps not even noticed in the first place. So, we must consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.

So a it is a very simple thing to do with an incredibly powerful impact. It’s about taking the time to notice the good things in our lives and get more from these. So how do i do it…simples
Develop an attitude of gratitude with “3 GOOD THINGS”
Each day write down 3 good things that happened. They can be anything you feel good about or grateful for, big or small. Even on a bad day there are normally some things you can feel good about. It does not mean you are ignoring the bad things; it just helps focus the attention more on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.Then share with friends and family one or more of your good things

Now repeat this activity at the end of each day for a week. Use the sheet below to keep a record of you 3 good things over the course of the week and try to include why you felt these things were good. If for some reason you miss a day or can only think of two, don’t worry, just carry on the next day try telling your family and friends and asking them about theirs too.

If you are ready not only to create a “grateful” life but a great life, then why not pop over to www.inshineout.com and book in for a complimentary discovery call. I will find out how life feels for you right now, how you would like it to feel instead and how my 12 week coaching programme, I Shine Out can help. Imagine what it would feel like to love yourself, every part of your life, knowing you are on your right path and as well having the confidence and resilience to deal with whatever life throws at you. Imagine that. I want you to love your life but you can’t do that if you do not know what it is or wha’ts gettign in your way. One day or day one your choice. I’d love to have a chat.

The Best Way to avoid burnout? Enjoy the climb!

Boom, and just like that summer has gone! Already we are moving on to the next ‘mountain’, let me explain. I’ve been listening to Miley Cyrus, The Climb, this week and all of a sudden the words jumped out at me…

“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move…..


It’s a bit like life for us all at some point. You see we plan to rest and spend quality time with family, friends, doing the things that truly matter. Yet that never quite happens… Does it? The holidays come and go. Summer happens.You’re so busy ‘doing’ and trying to stay on top of it all, you don’t take the rest you waited six months for.

Then along comes another metaphorical mountain, half term, Christmas. And it starts all over again. And those are the ones you can anticipate! The longer you let this go on, the sooner you’ll burn out.
As soon as school is finished…”
“As soon as the holiday starts…”
“As soon as we have a little more money in the bank…
“THEN I’ll rest.
“THEN I’ll enjoy life.”

So we have to learn to enjoy the climb. As the song goes on

“Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”


We need to enjoy ourselves along the way, we need to build it into our climb and stop waiting until we get to the other side.

So how?
2 things: Manage your outlook and Manage your energy

Strategy 1 : Manage your outlook
Enjoy the ‘magical moments’ as Terry Orlick called them. He is the Founder of the Zone of Excellence which helps people live closer to potential AND live with more joy and harmony in their life.(Yes, it is possible)
Magical moments is the expression of that appreciation of enjoying the moment you are in. How often are you physically present and mentally absent – dinner at home but thinking about the email or at work thinking about not having visiited your parents in a while. It is so easy to loose touch but learning to be in the here and now helps refresh and recharge and takes very little time.
These moments are different for everyone but make sure you stop and smell the flowers or the coffee – watch the kids play, walk on the beach, the sunset, the birds singing, find joy in the everyday connections and be self abosorbed.Use the special china cup for your tea break! Make your work area nice, listen to a pod cast in the garden. If you genuinely cannot find some time each day embracing your highlights you will struggle to stop yourself from burning out

Set yourself a goal to consciously experience 2 a day not too much to ask! It reduces stress but fundamentally about controlling your thoughts rather than other way around

Strategy 2: Manage your energy
Do more of the things that energise you and reduce the things that don’t. I’ve have had a great summer and the most energising thing I’ve done is a morning dip in the sea with a few friends. It set me up in every way as we laugh so much, take in the beautiful scenery and feel the therapeutic benefits of the water. I’d thoroughly recommend it.
So before you get ready to ‘move that next mountain’, why not take time to reflect on your summer magical moments. Autumn is a season of transition and preparing for winter. It is about taking stock of all the abundance in your life.
So grab a few moments, with a nice cup of tea( in your favourite china cup of course!), and indulge yourself, revisist your camera roll and spend some time being with the summer experience you have just had


What are my most magical moments of summer?
What, who gave me energy?
What,who drained my energy?
What top 5 things that nourish my wellbeing?
Where am I feeling abdundant, grateful and thankful?
What mantra would I like to create for myself to navigate life and keep me in a resourceful, loving place?


After a chat with a friend over coffee we committed to stop pushing which led to the river comment below! I’m sticking them on my computer because I sure as hell forget the compassion piece a lot and do need to be reminded!

If you are ready for life to change, to move from burnout to balance by shedding the ways that no longer work for you and finding a path, pace and reality that does, then lets chat.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” and action truly is the antidote to fear.

Don’t let yourself get to the end of 2022 still walking the path of good intentions and not making time to do the things that nourish, connect you to yourself and help you perform at your best as a mother, daughter, sister, wife, business women and friend. Do something today that signals the change. Why not pop over to www.inshineout.com and book in for a complimentary discovery call .I will find out how life feels for you, how you would like it to feel instead and how my 12 week coaching programme, I Shine Out can help.

What have you done to make yourself feel proud?

Don’t ever be afraid to show off your true colours

June is the month, every year, for the last 50 years that we celebrate Pride. It is conscious, intentional time to teach tolerance, acceptance and equality throughout the world! Pride is all about love, friendship and creating a safe space for all, no matter how you identify. So this year in the spirit of Pride, I would love to have you join me and celebrate you! What do I have to celebrate, you may be thinking? Well you can choose what you want but I can think of a few things – you, your life journey and experiences, your falldown get back up stories, your gifts, talents, your struggles & challenges, your uniqueness in this world. It’s entirely up to you! I think this month is defintely a time for us all to come out of our “personal closet” and celebrate the authentic you, who you truly are, not who you think you should be.

Does the world see me as I am?

For a moment, lets be honest.I invite you to reflect on how much in life you fully express your true self? Whether that be in language, beliefs, action, dress, if you were being brutally honest, would you admit how much time you spend hiding, playing small or holding back? The times we think I’d better not do that or say that as they might not like me or accept me. It is in our human nature to want to belong but there is a difference between belonging and trying to fit in.

Maybe you don’t truly express yourself more because of expectations: family, society, cultural, religious, even expectations of yourself.

Whatever it might be, I invite you to let this month be your Pride celebration month too. A time for you to share with the world who you truly are, to practise expressing and showing up as your authentic self, in celebration of your amazing uniqueness.

To help may I suggest a few simple questions to ponder, firstly for yourself and then to share with those you choose

What is it time for me to celebrate?

What is unique about me?

What am I a stand for?

And if you want to dive more into learning who you truly are and how to show up more authentically in this world so that you can achieve your heart felt, soul driven dreams and desires, I’d love to chat. Why not pop over to my website www.inshineout.com

Book in for a complimentary discovery call or simple get in touch and lets talk about learning how to live your one and only life in a way that counts and is truly meaningful for you

“To be authentic means expressing who I am in the inside to the utmost and without calculating the risks involved”

The 3 real life superpowers to reduce stress and improve wellbeing

I believe it is time that women owned their “true” superpowers

Is this your typical day – you wake up and your first thought is “so much to do, so little time to do it in”.Then you mentally go over your to do list for the day ahead: kids ready for school; clients; business development (whats that!); dinner; self care (fat chance); ton of email; elderly parents and the list goes on. At this point you may not even have placed your feet on the bedroom floor yet! Then you spend the day chasing your tail, feeling overwhelmed, overworked and over committed. Finally you flop into bed totally exhausted and feeling that you have not achieved anything of importance or significance but got to get up tomorrow and do it all again anyway! Perhaps then you dream of donning a superwoman cape and that way all will be good in the world as you run around after everyone, being all things to all people and ending the day realising you haven’t taken a breath or had a moment to think about yourself. I’ve got news! Life is not a movie and although you may wish and wait for that kind of super power, the truth is there is something you can do. You can activate your true superpowers, not the superman kind but the superwoman kind. And you have everyone of them within your power… all you have to do is know what they are and start using them.

Lets get stuck right in……

#1 THE POWER OF CHOICE

Choice is the most powerful tool we have. Everything boils down to choice…

Okay you might not like me saying this but this is a superpower, consciously making active, intentional choices in your life based on your dreams, desires and what is important to you. We always have choice, even doing nothing is a choice in itself. Life will happen, the question is what would you like to make happen? It doesn’t get handed to you on a plate and sometimes it is so difficult: we choose what we want now in the moment over what we want most in life. Why? Because its tough, it requires discipline, courage and bravery to figure out what you really want and make decisons that align when you are up against the external “should storm”. Yes events do happen to you and you may have had no choice in that matter. Eventually you do though, on how you will respond and what you do next.

That said, I’m mostly referring to those everyday choices we make. If you are buzzing about in your busyness, on autopilot with the inner talk all being about have to…have to do this … have to do that. You might not even notice the choice points you have in your day. So firstly, change the language from have to..to choose to want to or choose not to. You’ll be amazed the difference such a seemingly small thing can have. Next, your are not your thoughts or your feelings. You think your thoughts and you feel your feelings but they are not who you are. You again may not know this running around and reacting to every thought and feeling like a directive. The key is to choose to slow down and pause. I feel rushed I better keep going. What do you do with 10mins of waiting time…scroll on your phone, send a quick email when, in fact, what you most need might be to do nothing or check in with your body and feelings? You do have a choice at that point. How about 2 minutes of mindful breathing, make a nice cup of time, have a mindful moment to check in with yourself ask how am I feeling right now and what do I need? Do not under estimate the power of different choices at points throughout your day to STOP – stop, take a breath, observe and be present. This is not a waste of time, you will actually gain time in your day! Experiment with this every time you go to do something, stop for a moment and think what other choice do I have in this moment and then choose wisely!

# 2 THE POWER OF BREATH

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two breaths”

This is your life force, are you using it to help manage this crazy world? If you are anything like me, my guess is not enough. I’m taking a ‘mindfulness for modern life’ with the wonderful @natalierossiter. Check her out….www.natalierossiterwellbeing.co.uk. The other week our home challenge was to put into practice what we are learning. We were invited to do mindful moment checkins as I mentioned above. This was so revealing for me. I did it throughout my day and became aware that a lot of the time my answer was to simply take a breath. This surprised me and concerned me a bit, to be honest. So currently I am checking in with myself and intentionally stopping and sitting back to just breathe. The breath holds so much power in releasing anxiety, trauma, and stored negative emotions from the body. It drenches the body in oxygen, dislodges anxiety and trauma from the body and neutralises negative charge creating great healing benefits. When you become stressed or anxious your breathing patterns reflect this, becoming shallow and tense. When you open up the breathing, you put your body in a free and empowered state. Think about it , the one thing that is keeping you alive and you mostly do it without thinking at all!! So become more aware of your breath and use this superpower to regulate your nervous system, reduce your anxiety and stress by realising you have absolutely everything you need in that moment.

# 3 THE POWER OF SELF COMPASSION

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it’s incomplete” Buddha

And I mean self compassion. I’ve met many who are able to offer wonderful compassion to those around them but when it comes to themselves, it’s a different matter. So one of the other things about doing a mindful course, you become mindful. Not a surprise ! Recently what I’m noticing and observing is my self talk. It is almost automatic for me to be hard on myself and yet I extend fierce compassion to those around me. When I get something wrong or dont do it fast enough or as well as someone else….., my immediate default it to be so judgemental and critical of myself. “Sharon,you’re a coach,you teach this stuff” I hear you say. You are right I do know this. I’ve got 2 things to say to that. Yes and it is also critical to be intentional about my self practice as it can slip. I spoke with my partner from a circle training programme I’m doing. She agreed. As a yoga teacher she had also noted how in teaching it, she does not do it enough for herself and it can slip. Coaches are human too and have the same struggles of being human as everyone else. Equally when I do it, I notice the massive difference so I can share my real experience with you. The other thing which is true for us all is if we know it but don’t do, then we might as well not know it. Life does get in the way sometimes and when it does just bring yourself gently back on track.

If you want to know more about the power of self compassion, visit Dr Kristen Neffs work www.self-compassion.org .Dr Neff’s work tells us self-compassionate people recognise that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism.  When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional balance is experienced.

So here are some suggestions for you to open up to the possibility of being able to be more self compassionate.

Become more aware of your critical self talk and challenge yourself to come up with a way or saying to reflect being a good friend, be your own best friendUse a light word, a soft touch, comforting hand on your body ◦ ◦Allow yourself to be where you are at and for it to be ok. I’m having a hard time with this right now. Let what you think and feel to have its moment. Don’t give it a microphone or hide it in the corner. Allow it to come and then it will goWhen you make a mistake ask what can I give myself right now to be supportive, how can I learn from thisForgive yourself fast & show others forgiveness, they are human too

So in conclusion you don’t need Kryptonite or a cape, all you need to do is engage your 3 key human superpowers. Start being intentional with your choices, breathe and show self compassion. See where this takes you.

Rate your use of these superpowers currently? Where are you strong and what benefits do you notice? How can you get even better?

Which do you need to activate or reactivate? Start small and think of 1thing you could implement now to get going. I’d love to hear how you get on #activatemysuperpowers

I’m an inner beauty coach I work with women who are feeling disconnected, stuck or have lost their sparkle to fall back in love with themselves and life to become a happier, healthier more empowered version of themselves, inside and out.I help you connect and build your inner courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. Like what you are reading? Would like to read more or perhaps you’d like to explore coaching with me to help you feel the most powerful and fully aligned you’ve ever been?If so pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com or click on this link to book in now https://calendly.com/sharonjamesinshineout/initial-consult

Alternatively, I lead monthly Grit & Grace womens circle where there is a safe space to explore, empower and connect with other women in a judgement free, loving supportive space. Interested simply email [email protected] for more info.

Do you have “M Power” ? The secret ingredient of women’s success

“The most common way people give up power is by thinking they don’t have any” Alice Walker

I decided October was going to be all about empowerment. Autumn had arrived, inspiring me to think of what we, like autumn shedding its leaves, need to let go of to make space for our growth. This word came to mind. Then I started thinking, what do I actually mean by that and what does the word mean? Is it just me or do you use words as a matter of course but when asked what do YOU mean by that, you have not truly reflected on that? If I am honest that’s what happened here, in the sense that I have never truly reflected about what I mean in the context of my coaching business and women’s circles.


Yes I have delivered countless leadership workshops and we talk about empowerment a lot in that space. When I looked up the dictionary definition, it makes sense as to why it is important for leaders. You cannot achieve your results without empowering and enabling the performance of your teams:


1. the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization
2. the giving of an ability; enablement or permission


Here, as the leader, you empower others through delegation, authority levels, skill building and by getting out of the way. A leader can often be a blockage too when it comes to empowering others. Sometimes it truly is about learning how to remove yourself from the equation in a way that gives you comfort that the job is being done and you are not stifling your employees.

I was thinking it more in relation to personal empowerment. To be honest, it’s not really that different.This is still about leadership – being the leader in your own life. You cannot achieve the results you want in life without empowering and enabling yourself. It does not come from someone or the outside world. No, you give it to yourself, it comes from you. It is about removing the obstacles which get in the way of you showing up fully in this world exactly as you are, not who you think you should be. It’s about giving yourself permission to live aligned with and acting from your own values, vision, and integrity. When I ask women in my women’s circles and coaching sessions – what is getting in the way of you feeling fully empowered, the answer is always ME.I’m getting in my own way! Just like the leaders do sometimes!


As I let these words flow from me onto this piece of paper, I actually do not think empowerment is a thing but rather a way of being – actively present and consciously choosing how you are in the world. Owning all your own thoughts, feelings, behaviours and being 100% responsible for yourself. Not easy! It is within us all but often we do not feel empowered or able to empower ourselves. Why not? Because we spend so much time giving it away! We are in our own heads riddled with guilt, doubting, allowing our inner critic way too much space and not taking care of ourselves.


So, here are a few things to think about in relation to your ‘MPower’. You could be giving it away by:


1. Being a people pleaser, trying to please everyone … not possible
2. Being unwilling to be unliked at times… N.B not everyone will like you, no surprise there, you do not like everyone!
3. Not being clear about what your own wants and needs are. How can someone else take care of you, if you do not know how to.
4. Not speaking up for yourself and what you truly believe … what DO I think?
5. Buying into “good girl” syndrome.
6. Letting the stories of not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough play on constant loop in your mind…. Enough … is this really true ask yourself. You may find most of the old narratives you play time and time again in your head were written on the mental chalkboard aged 8 when you didn’t know any better!
7. Not knowing or accepting your gifts,talents and uniqueness
8. Not being able to accept compliments …. Oh, this old thing…. Oh, it wasn’t me I had help from the team
9. Berating yourself for not being perfect …. breaking news.. no-one is. Focusing on what we don’t have or can’t do,not what you do have or can do.
10. And constantly apologising when you’ve done nothing wrong. A personal bug bear. Why because I do it and hate it when I do. Sorry for asking, sorry for disturbing …. Sorry not sorry. Spend a day and note how many times you say sorry …

I’m sure we can all relate or resonate with this, we are after all human. But maybe it is time to claim back some of the power you are giving away. A good start is think about what it truly takes to empower yourself.

Sounds like hard work! As it is not easy to do, is it worth it to work on giving yourself the power to be you? Hell yes!

You get your needs met too; you live the life you want not the one you think you should have. You get to walk into that room and no longer feel the need to compare yourself to anyone. You get to feel good about yourself and all your imperfections too. They are just as much a part of you. You get to enjoy your success and achievements, big and small and celebrate beautiful you. You get to fail because you see it as learning. You get to be a role model for younger women coming behind you. When you speak confidently, take risks, own your accomplishments, take care of yourself and stand up for yourself, you show them a different way, you empower them too. Achieve things you did not even think possible. You get to be the real perfectly imperfect, beautiful you. The outside world becomes a source of inspiration not desperation when you do the inner work.


So, it is worth a little delve into looking at how you could stand even more full in your own power. I think so but it is much easier to do it in the company of others as you explore what do you want your life to be about, who you want to be and what experiences you want to create and how to empower yourself more.


“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description”

If you are looking for a great place to delve deeper into this topic in a supportive, accepting , powerful space way, then join us at Grit and Grace Women’s circle where our one aim is to empower each other.

I’m an inner beauty coach I work with women who are feeling disconnected, stuck or have lost their sparkle to fall back in love with themselves and life to become a happier, healthier more empowered version of themselves, inside and out.I help you connect and build your inner courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. So perhaps you’d like to explore coaching with me to help you feel the most powerful and fully aligned you’ve ever been. Now, not one day when. If so and you’d like to learn more about how I might be able to support you,pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com or click on this link to book in now https://calendly.com/sharonjamesinshineout/initial-consult

The Happiness “Must Haves”

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” Dalai Lama

Are there really happiness “must haves”? I know about fashion trend “must haves” and latest gadget trends but happiness, really? Well science tells us yes and here’s a clue, it might not be what is actually on your list! So what’s on your list – a promotion, a pay increase, new car, new house or weight loss ? I could go on, you fill in your blanks. And yes when you tick that off your list, you might be very glad. I haven’t met anyone who intentionally sets out to get something that will make them unhappy. But it might not bring you the long lasting happiness you’d hoped for. Think about it … every single thing you do is intended to make you happier.  And yet sometimes you get diverted and do things that actually move you away from this goal. Ever heard someone say,”so-and-so is great, but I’m just not happy?” Or have you ever wondered why you just couldn’t seem to find happiness?

The pursuit of happiness is one that we humans have been working on since the beginning of time and yet the concept of “happiness” is often hard to accurately define. There is no gene or DNA marker that determines who will be happy and who will not.

Living the good life, thriving, flourishing, self-actualization, joy, and purpose are words that come to mind. So can we experience these in the middle of a chaotic world and negative circumstances? Can we learn to grow or find skills that lead to this “happy life?” According to prominent psychologist, Martin Seligman, the answer is yes. In his book Flourish https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flourish-Understanding-Happiness-Wellbeing-psychology/, he introduces the PERMA model and in its simplest form, it is the individual elements in life that research has shown, can cultivate greater happiness and wellbeing overall.

This is exactly why most of my coaching clients work with me. They feel stuck, disconnected or a general sense of unhappiness. They come to me to work on THEIR own version : a fulfilled sense of happiness and wellbeing. With no idea where to start, the PERMA model is a fantastic tool for us to begin the process of exploring. I love the simple framework as it brings so much clarity and they identify where they can start making the positive changes immediately.

PERMA is simply the acronym for the 5 elements

P ositive emotions

You need to be able to feel good, hopeful, and inspired by the things you do and the life you live. Think hope, joy, interest and gratitude, to name a few. The more they are present, the better you feel AND you are more equipped to deal with negative setbacks. Just think, during lockdown did you begin to think about what you could do to bring more joy into your life? Did walks in nature,new hobbies, learning a new skill suddenly become very important to you. It is true that our basic needs must be met like having shelter, food and water. When they are in place we can work on exploring what can further fuel us – creative pursuits, relationships and fulfilling work.

Simple suggestions to build positive emotions:

  • Spend time with people who lift and light you up
  • Do activities that you enjoy (hobbies)
  • Listen to uplifting or inspirational music
  • At the end of each day reflect on 3 good things or what went well in your day

E ngagement

Engagement is sometimes also referred to as ‘flow’ (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002). It’s the process of being fully engaged and immersed in the activities, duties, and tasks that fill your life.In other words, it is living in the present moment and focusing entirely on the task at hand.

This is sadly lacking for a lot of people. Pursuing careers that you do not feel any passion for, working on your weaknesses and overlooking the strengths. So stuck in the past or anxious about the future, you forget to stop and connect with the moment you are in. Sound familiar? It does to me.

How can you be more in flow? The more you use your strengths, the more you will experience flow. You can also look to figuring out how to use your signature strengths to help with more difficult tasks. To use them though you must be aware of what they are and acknowledge and accept them .

Simple suggestions to help increase engagement:

  • Engage in activities that you really love, where you lose track of time when you do them
  • Learn mindfulness technques, mditation , yoga
  • Spend time in nature watching, listening and observing what happens around you

R elationships

Relationships are a crucial part of your sense of well-being and happiness and this refers to all the different interactions you have – family, partner, friends, work colleagues, community at large. We are inherently social creatures and this provides a wonderful source of energy for our wellbeing. In fact it is one of the components in living to be a ripe old age. How authentic and the depths of your interactions matter too. This is why you feel uplifted in the right company, you feel seen, heard, understood, supported and listened to which you do in return for others. This all then leads to even more positive emotions.

Suggested ways to build relationships:

  • Share good news and celebrate with family and friends
  • Join a class or group that interests you.
  • Ask questions to get to know people.
  • Create friendships with people you are acquainted with.
  • Get in touch with people you have not spoken to or connected with in a while.

M eaning

Meaning is about more than just what you do; it also includes the ideas and beliefs you hold – about yourself and life in general . It is about your need to feel a sense of value and worth beyond yourself. Having a sense of purpose also helps you focus on what really matters when you are facing adversity.

Again like all of these elements, it is very individual and will be different for everyone. You could pursue meaning through career, a hobby, sprituality, a political cause or in a community. It will no doubt be guided by what you value in life and the perspective you hold

Simple suggestions to build meaning:

  • Get involved in a cause or organization that matters to you.
  • Try new, creative activities to find things you connect with.
  • Think about how you can use your passions to help others.
  • Journal on what gives you meaning in life

A ccomplishment

Accomplishment can also be found through setting feasible goals that you can reach and feel a sense of progress in how you want your life to be. Finding achievement in these ways again helps to encourage further positive emotions, such as confidence and pride. This then adds to your continued sense of happiness and well-being.

Accomplishment in PERMA is also known as achievement, mastery, or competence.

Simple suggestions to build accomplishment:

  • Set highly valued goals
  • Reflect on past successes.
  • Celebrate your achievements along the way as well at the outcomes.

PERMA +

The PLUS has been added in response to other wellbeing research. I’m sure its no surprise to know that physical activity, nutrition, sleep plus a splash of optimism are essential components too. So you have all you need now to reflect on your route to happiness. Are you on it or are you going totally in the wrong direction?

I’m an inner beauty coach I work with women who are feeling disconnected, stuck or have lost their sparkle to fall back in love with themselves and life to become a happier, healthier more empowered version of themselves, inside and out.I help you connect and build your inner confidence, courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. If you’d like to learn more about how I might be able to support you,pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com or click on this link to book in now https://calendly.com/sharonjamesinshineout/initial-consult

Day 1 or 1 day, your choice

My Journey to Life Coaching via The Road Not Taken!

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It’s a cliché but it’s true! Our life is a journey… For me, the Robert Frost poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ always resonated, deep in my soul. I’m not sure I knew why, but I do know now my life has followed a “different” path, not all by choice, but whether it happened to me, for me or I made it happen, I can say now:

“I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference”

But the most important journey of all?

“The only journey is the one within” Rainer Maria Rilke

“Wee me”


So where did it all start ?
Born in Northern Ireland in 1965, I grew up during “the troubles” and despite what was going on in my “wee country” I felt a lot of love. I remember great summers, loving school, loving people and loving life. I’m so grateful for my childhood and the loving family I grew up in. It gave me a solidation foundation.

My teens on the other hand were traumatic. I attended a new school, was separated from my friends and bullied because I was different. I met my first love and things were good until a series of tragic events became defining events in my life and have profoundly shaped who I am and how I show up in the world, even now. Illness and death within my family and a tragic accident meant another loss and I was only 21.

These events left me with a cruel awareness of the fragility of life, but also a deep, deep sense of gratitude and understanding of the power of choice and responsibility.

At 21 it didn’t feel like this – it just felt like a massive pain inside. But the self-development & self-healing journey had begun…

Photo by Arie Wubben on Unsplash

I didn’t know where I was heading, just that I needed to run away! With hindsight my mid-twenties to my mid-thirties were about discovering and defining the professional and personal me! I’d lost my identity and the pain was so much to bear I hid it away. My outer and inner worlds were very different. I soldiered on and my key strategy was ‘just say yes!’ Yes to travelling, yes to jobs, yes to making the most of what life had to offer.

I was out of my comfort zone but it was less painful than staying where I was. It took me to live in a lot of wonderful places;London, Chicago, Spain, France and a few other countries in between. I loved travelling and learning. I started to accept difference as good rather than the painful thing it had been for me.

Professionally, I started to show an ability to help people perform at their best. I found myself in positions of leadership and became very passionate about what being a leader meant. I focused on how I could get people to be at their best, including myself. I was curious and fascinated by untapped potential. I led differently – with emotional intelligence rather than authority. I see it now as a real strong feminine leadership energy. Despite being told I was too soft, to quote Frank Sinatra, I did it my way!

I wanted to have a positive impact on the people I led and to develop the leader in them. Leadership is still a topic of fascination for me to this day and I honestly believe that being the leader in your life is a choice you can make. I became increasingly frustrated by the corporate world’s take on leadership being about leaving out the emotion. That would have been impossible for me! My frustration was that this was always questioned as to whether I could cut it or not! Was I tough enough! And would this limit the levels in the organisation I could aspire to! I was always being told I was a bit of a maverick, aka leading in my way. My teams achieved amazing results, turned around challenging situations.I was connecting with people at an emotional level. I am proud of that period.


Personally, this phase was about letting go of some of my past by facing up to it and processing the grief, learning to love and care for myself. My life wasn’t following the usual path of – get a good job, meet a guy, get married, settle down and then start a family. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it, but it wasn’t happening! I was labelled as a ‘high maintenance career woman’ which did not reflect who I felt I truly was. It was a tough time, my Bridget Jones period! Through inward reflection, I worked on releasing and rewriting some of my old stories and the stories of others that I was unconsciously buying into. I came to accept my path was ‘different’ not wrong! It did not mean there was something wrong with me. From that place of acceptance I began to enjoy what I actually had. It wasn’t long after that I met my husband and the next chapters of my life began.

I took the plunge and set up my own leadership coaching business. To use the term life coach then would be like career suicide even though I knew that’s what we were all working on. I love the quote ‘Sometimes the longest journey we make is the 16 inches from our heads to our hearts’. I helped my clients lead with head and heart, more emphasis on the heart piece. I worked with the whole person and helped them tap into who they truly were. In getting to know, grow and connect with the best version of themselves, they became confident leaders from the inside, flourishing in work and life.

Whilst I was so blessed to have met my amazing husband, we had our challenges too. Circumstances meant that we remained a family of 2 and this presented another identity challenge for me; if I’m not a mother, am I a valid human being? We decided we had a choice to on how we lived our lives so we went on a great journey together creating positive change. I am so grateful to have lived in Spain for 10 years, living the “dream”, feeling happy, healthy and loving life.

Still on the journey of life and in 2016 a breast cancer diagnosis meant life fell apart again. I was now stronger and more resilient but this challenge was physical, mental and emotional. It finally taught me the huge lesson in self-care I wasn’t quite getting until then. On the outside, it looked like I took care of myself but I had been struggling with learning to say no and setting healthy boundaries for myself. I was listening to the inner critical voice too much. I needed to learn it was okay to for me to have needs too and to let go of feeling bad, ashamed or guilty just because I wanted to do something different.
Now five years on and I am determined to live life to the full, not wanting or wondering when the cancer will return. What a waste of a beautiful life that would be.


And so it continues. I’m definitely a work in progress! What I have learned? We are enough, have enough and are smarter, stronger, braver that we can even imagine. No mud, no lotus. Life will life and it is a balance of knowing that and creating what you want to have happen.

I’m finally listening to my own heart. I wanted to let go of the coach mould I was trying to fit into and see if I could create my own. I want to help women fully claim our incredible inner beauty and strength which when you connect with it, it moves you to a different plane.

I want to help women who feel disconnected, stuck in their story, or have lost their sparkle due to life circumstances to fall back in love with themselves and life and shine from the inside out.

I truly believe we are all on the journey and writing the story of our life. Sometimes life happens and the chapter gets written for you, other times you need to go back and re-edit the chapter in a way that empowers you and allows you to move forward. The shadows of some life events never go away, you simply learn to live with them. And you also get to write your own chapters.

If you are ready to think about your story, re-write it and create the next exciting chapter, why not pop over to www.inshineout.com and book in for a complimentary consult or follow me

www.instagram.com/sharonjamesinshineout

www.facebook.com/InShineout and lets journey together

Whether its face to face or via Zoom, I’m here when you are ready .

Here’s to the next chapter.

#1 Essential Habit for Happiness & Success.

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Our total wellbeing is THE most important asset we will ever have in terms of our ability to live a happy and successful life. Yet it is often the asset we invest in the least. So what I am about to share with you helps when things go wrong, in times of challenge, or when you have messed up. Or also if you signed up for the life will go swimmingly until the day I die plan and it hasn’t quite tuned out that way!

It is a habit which is 100% in your control and used by most successful people in life. “What is it?”, I hear you say. My guess is that you actually know what it is but you may not have learnt how to use it effectively for yourself just yet!!

Imagine if you will, a dear friend who is having a hard time, struggling in some way, feeling bad about themselves. Now think about how you would respond to your friend in this situation (especially when you are at your best). Think about what you’d do, the types of words you’d choose, your tone of voice, physically how you’d portray that you are there for them in this challenging time. You’ve got the picture.

Now think about times when you are struggling, have made a mistake or are feeling bad about yourself. How do you typically respond to yourself – tone, words, doing and showing it physcially?

Hands up, metaphorically of course, is there a difference between the 2 for you? When I’m with an audience, almost 100% of hands go up, every time, no matter who the audience is. It’s great news if you would have put your hand up… it means you already know the habit and have the basic skills needed to practice it.

So what is the habit…. showing compassion. However, the real skill is learning to direct this kindness and care towards yourself, instead of only toward others! Showing SELF COMPASSION.

There are 3 simple components:

Photo by Jean-Karim Dangou on Unsplash

Self kindness, Common humanity, Mindfulness

When we learn to apply this to ourselves we reap the benefits of less stress, anxiety, helplessness and depression. We gain more confidence and ability to help ourselves as well as greater life satisfaction.There has been lots of research on this, it’s taught in the U.S army! I am reliably informed they call it strength training, which it is…. inner strength training.

So how can we build our inner strength muscle? Well, first let go of the belief that it is self pity, self indulgent or a weakness. The number 1 block is people think it will undermine their motivation.That isn’t going to happen. In fact as you practise you develop the confidence to try more, go further, step way out of your comfort zone and really go after what you truly want in life. Hence a great habit to develop if you want to be successful, happy or both. In my mind they are different but that is a topic for another day!!

How do I develop my self compassionate response ?

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

*Be open to the possibility of being more self compassionate in your mind

*Become aware of your critical self talk and challenge yourself to be your “own best friend”

*Use a light word, a comforting hand on your body, on your heart

*Take a deep breath

*Allow yourself to be having a hard time with this right now, this too shall pass

*Develop a mantra to support yourself – something Friendly, Understanding, Caring and Kind

“This is tough right now, I’m not alone, others experience this too, may I be kind to myself right now”

With time you will become much more courageous, resilient, may be even bolder and braver. But even if you don’t, life will definitely get easier!

If you like what you are reading here why not pop along to my website and read more

Blog | InShineOut or sign up to my free ” Managing the mental distraction”

I’m an inner beauty coach I work with women who are feeling disconnected, stuck or have lost their sparkle to fall back in love with themselves and life to become a happier, healthier more empowered version of themselves, inside and out.I help you connect and build your inner confidence, courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. If you’d like to learn more about how I might be able to support you,pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com and book in for a complimentary consult.

My day of reflection

Yesterday we took time out to reflect on the year we have just had in a pandemic. A year that no-one imagined ever living through. Like everything in life there are stories of heartache, bravery, courage, and amazing acts of kindness, caring, dedication and resilience. Today is my day of reflection as 5 years ago today, 24 March, 2016, when I thought the world was my oyster, my world came crashing down round me. 3 words you have cancer and life has never been the same since. But it is not all doom and gloom. Although those chemo days are still scarred in my mind and my body shows the scars of the illness too, I try to look on them now as signs of resilience and bravery. I use them to help me to always have hope because as “hope is the only thing stronger than fear” This is something we must hold onto at the moment and not allow ourselves to be consumed by fear.

Here I am, 5 years later and I am so grateful as many did not get that chance. I take joy in the little things in life and do all I possibly can to encourage people to live their one and only life in a way that’s meaningful for them. If you don’t like your situation change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude. Ask for help, know you are not alone and always be kind as you never know what a person is going through. Not all scars are visible.So no matter where you are now, believe you can be in a better place in months or years from now. The people and friends I lost along the way, I’m thinking of all of you today. And in particular my dear friend Becky. I’ll keep trying to follow your advice to “always leave a little sparkle wherever you go”

How rearranging your furniture will give you a renewed outlook!

Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash

I spent a lot of time at the weekend staring out the window as the sun shone in and the evenings stretched that little bit longer and observed how my mood had lifted and I was feeling lighter. Everywhere things were budding and bursting into life. At the same time I started to notice how our home was in need of a real spruce up too. The change in the light was also telling tales of the long winter we’d just come through.

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

So we decided to “burst” into life and go on a major springclean. There was no doubt something extremely therapeutic and uplifting about decluttering, washing tiles and cleaning windows. Believe me, this is NOT normally a chore I enjoy or is EVER top of my list but there was something different and refreshing about the whole thing. I’m wondering if, even though spring is always a time for reemerging, perhaps this year it has taken on a more significant meaning. Coupled with the roadmap out of lockdown perhaps hope really does spring eternal. 

We went a stage further and following a conversation about how we might change the layout out of the room.We got to action and trust me, just moving the furniture around gave us a total new outlook.It felt that we had drawn a line, the same room look completely different, almost “new” and we felt energised.

So my advice would be to get into springclean mode with your life, physically mentally and emotionally. Detox and declutter, it’s all the same thing. In fact “clutter” is derived from a 15th Century English word – clotter – a variant of clot? The word clot has described collections of dead bodies, cats (presumably stray ones), narrow, crooked, dark and dirty lanes and spiders, go figure!! 

Photo by Humairah L. on Unsplash

Clutter is mentally toxic and has a habit of expanding until eventually the whole environment is draining. It then impacts the beauty and comfort of your environment, but also impacting how you feel sucking precious energy as you feel stuck, guilty, disorganised, embarrassed or incompetent. Think about how good you feel when you clear out those dead plants, the outdated files and “useful” notes from the fridge or your office walls, when you clear out your wardrobe, or put your filing away and move the sofa!.

And while clutter is often thought of as physical, things you can see and touch, clutter can also be mental: unresolved conflict, decisions not made, actions not taken, a lack of clarity and ruminating around our goals. A cluttered mind is often physically represented in our lives – but not always…

Spring is the perfect time to review, refocus and get a fresh outlook. As our longer days return and we have more sunshine, it’s a great time to get re-energised. So where are you flagging and where would some inspiration and clarity freshen up your motivation?

Here are 10 Spring Themed Questions and Journal Prompts to Freshen up Life:

  1. What would a “Spring Clean” of your LIFE look like for you?
  2. What are the cobwebs that need sweeping away so that you can appreciate the beauty of your life?
  3. What are you procrastinating over? Where do you need to “freshen up” your attitude?
  4. What needs physically spring cleaning in your life? (eg. your office, filing, wardrobe, hairstyle, kitchen, garden)
  5. What’s cluttering your mind? What needs mentally spring cleaning in your life? (eg. your marketing or business plan, your finances/taxes, your goals, relationships)
  6. What’s zapping your energy (eg. unresolved conflicts, unmade decisions, fears/worries, a lack of clarity)
  7. In what areas of your life do you need to take a breath of fresh air?
  8. What do you need to let go of and clear up so that you can spring forward?
  9. WHO do you need to let go of? Who is draining you?
  10. In your life, what glares accusingly at you? (however big or small, if something glares at you it’s time to do something about it!)

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash

If you like what you are reading here why not pop along to my website and read more

Blog | InShineOut or sign up to my free downlaod on managing the mental ditraction

I’m an inner beauty coach and I work with people who have been riding the “rollercoaster of life” who are ready to do things a different way, to do it their way. I help you connect and build your inner confidence, courage,strength and compassion to live life your way, create a new path forward and let the real you shine through. If you’d like to learn more or how I might be able to support you then pop over to my website, https://www.inshineout.com and book in for a complimentary consult.

8 Nourishing Ways to Celebrate Self Love on Valentine’s day

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Going back as far as primary school when THE big question was how many cards did you get, Valentine’s day has always been a day loaded with meaning. Right? It was important, somehow a statement about you! My birthday is 2 days after so back then I think I would suggest that a few cards had gotten lost in the post and turned up late!! It took on more importance in the teenage years, even more an indication of your loveability, beauty and popularity! And to top it all, as someone who didn’t get married until I was 41, I spent alot of my late 20’s and 30’s in that Bridget Jones space on Valentine’s day, you know the single one. I’d always get asked about ‘the boyfriend’, in fact can you believe, I was actually asked in an interview(by a man) why I wasn’t married as I was a very pretty young woman!!!! People would say things like you’re high maintenance, too fussy, a career woman and you know, I think that at some subconscious level I did buy into that story, the story there was something wrong with me.

I now know how wrong I was and the only way to stop buying into the stories is to do your own inner work and connect with who you truly are from the inside out. As I have gone on this journey this day has now taken on an equally important aspect for me that I think applies to everyone, that of self love. Yes Valentine’s Day is an occasion when couples celebrate romantic love. However, I think it is also important to make it a day for self-love too. After all, didn’t Whitney Houston once sing, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all“?

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

I believe we all have to cultivate self-love, whether you are single or attached. It’s nice to be able to share the day with a loved one but I think you should also allocate a bit of time nurturing your own soul. Part of my own self love journey was enquiring what a romantic relationship would give me that I didn’t have and then being curious about what ways I already had this in my life .The obvious answer was love and then I realised I had that in abundance and in so many different forms. I then thought, well that’s good to know and if it turns up in the shape of a life partner, great, if not I’m still all good. Ironically when I got to this place of acceptance , it wasn’t long after that I met the one! Funny that.

So personally I feel that it is far more helpful to think of February 14 as a great day for self-love and invite you to join in! Make it a day for you to go inwards and cultivate self love, single or married. Loving yourself completely and unconditionally is when your true beauty radiates out into the world. While complete self-love is a life time work and every day affair, February 14 can be a day to remind us all about its importance! There is another upside- no need to fork out for expensive, overpriced flowers and meals. Believe me the more you nurture yourself, the more love you have to give to others! It could well be a day that you do less and be more too!

And so, just for Valentine’s Day, it helps to have some nice nurturing activities planned. Do things that lift you up in the body, mind and spirit! Here’s my top 8 suggestions…

1.Make a Gratitude List.
No matter your relationship status. Remind yourself of all of the good in your life by making a gratitude list. Choose 20 things you love about your life just as it is and reflect on how they fulfill you. Write about why each of the people, places, and things you’ve selected make you feel happy and whole.

2.Create a set of loving affirmations for yourself .Here are some examples:
I choose to love myself and appreciate my inner beauty.I cherish my mind, body and soul.
I choose to always be myself and let that be enough
I am loved and I am loveable.

3.Light some candles, make your room cosy, put on some music and meditate. Spoil yourself with your favourite film or meal.

4.Read a meaningful self-help book such as The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. or Good Vibes Good Life by Vex King

5. Spend the day in aromatherapy. Work on releasing emotions and uplifting your spirit.

6. Pack a picnic, go outdoors and connect with nature .

7.Listen to a podcast of your choice, try Ferne Cotton’s Happy Place. It’s real

8. Dress to Impress… Yourself.
When you look your best, you’re sure to feel your best! This Valentine’s Day, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. Be brave and pull out that dress that makes you feel like the stunner you are, dust off those heels you love, but never wear, and top it all off with your favourite accessories.

” Its not your job to like me, its mine” Bryan Katie

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

If you like what you are reading here why not pop over www.inshineout.com to read some more

If you are ready to boost your self love in a personalised, meaningful way get in touch to learn all about my Self Love Booster Coaching package which moves you from stuck and not feeling the love to positive action, restoration and fulfilment

Email me at [email protected]

The Top 10 Ways To Build Self Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” Lucille Ball

It’s February and all thoughts turn to Valentine’s day and love, yet how many of us are thinking about the relationship we have with ourselves? How many of us are intentional and purposeful about nurturing and appreciating this relationship? This relationship is one of the most, in fact to my mind, THE most important relationship and yet, more often than not, the one we pay the least attention to. Or the one that, if it were possible, we’d ditch ourselves ‘cos there is not a lot of love going on!! Self- love is the number one secret to a happy life because wherever you go there you are

So as cheesy as the term may sound and it might make you screw your face up as it seems just a little bit self indulgent, then think again. Learning to love yourself is one of the most powerful and important things you can do in life. Your heart is your power and when you become the source of your own love in your life, it changes everything. Your relationships, your career, your confidence, your health, your happiness – they all flourish when you start to love yourself.


What do we mean by self love?

It’s about accepting yourself fully and unconditionally, it’s about treating yourself with the kindness and respect you deserve. It is about having high regard for your own well being and happiness. It allows you to nurture your own growth and wellbeing. When you hold yourself in high esteem, from there you are more likely to make healthy choices. And it does not mean you feel positive all the time, it does not mean you don’t mess up, it does not mean you don’t fail. But when you do, you do for yourself exactly what you would with someone you love dearly. We’ve all been angry with someone we love at some stage but the love we have for them informs how we forgive them, consider their feelings, meet their needs and make decisions that supports them,

So what if I don’t learn to love myself – guys it’s not pretty! Without it, you are highly self critical, fall into people pleasing and perfectionism. You tolerate people who mistreat you, you neglect yourself. Self love is the ultimate foundation in a happy and fulfilling life.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

How do I practise it?

Exactly that practise! It can be challenging for many of us, especially when we face serious challenges. It’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about getting in touch with ourselves, our well-being and our happiness. We practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines. It is also individual so figuring out what it means for you, is critical to your wellbeing. A great place to start is reading and here’s a book that has blown me away recently Good Vibes, Good Life

Take action too, do yourself a favour, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and begin to consciously practice some of the following:

1.Start each day by telling yourself something positive about yourself – how you handled a situation, how nice you look, something you are proud of yourself for.

2.Move your body every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself

3.Spend time around people who uplift, support you, encourage you and make you want to show up as your best self

4.You are not your thoughts or feelings so don’t believe everything you think or feel to be fact. We all have an inner critic trying to keep us “safe” but in the process is not being very loving towards us and keeping us small.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kari_romeo_teach_your_inner_critic_a_new_story

5.Stop the comparisons.There is no one like you and that is your superpower

6.Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back for progress and effort along the way

7.Take time for yourself each day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.

8.Learn to say no. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, in fact, sometimes it makes you a smart person.

9.Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.

10.Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always repay the favour, but that’s their problem not yours.

Be patient and persistent with yourself. Self-love is forever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practised daily and can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times. Most of all have fun! Get out there and do the things that make your heart sing. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.

If you liked this blog you may find more inspiration and ideas here The Essential Life Mantra | InShineOut

How the humble brussel sprout taught me a valuable lesson going into 2021!

For those of you repulsed by the brussel sprout, I hate to mention these “little green balls of hell”, at least that’s what my husband thinks they are. I,on the other hand, do like them and this Christmas they taught me a valuable lesson: a lesson about being able to let go and how to approach 2021 open to the possibility of what can emerge when we do.

How I hear you say? Well, like all of us, Covid Christmas 2020 was going to be “different”. In embracing the difference, we decided to have steak for Christmas dinner. I insisted that the brussels would still feature! Now I knew due to childhood trauma of having to eat your greens, Rich absolutely hates them. I also had a fair idea they probably weren’t going to be the most creative enhancement for our alternative Christmas dinner! Still I bought them anyway and yes they ended up being thrown as they rotted away in the veggie drawer.

You see I could not let go of the picture I had of what makes Christmas, even though a brussel sprout free menu was unfolding before my very eyes. Even though it was time to let go of that picture to make way for something new, I struggled. Only when I saw them rotting in the fridge, did I wish I had fully embraced what was happening and let them go with dignity at the time!

So as we all begin a new year creating visions,goals, planning and strategising, can I also encourage you to be able to let go. Remember to allow for life unfolding with unexpected twists and turns: (after all, who would have planned the year we just had):a new idea; an unforeseen opportunity; something off plan. I’m not saying you should not plan, on the contrary. I am all for it. Life will happen, so it is important to plan for what you would like to have happen. However, planning exactly how life should be can get in the way if we do not let go, if we are too rigid to acknowledge what is happening before us. So stay open, allow the sense of the unknown not to be a place of fear but an exciting place, a place of possibility and a place for a different story to emerge. Keep in mind the brussel sprout lesson of the power of letting go, after all there may be greater things waiting fo you. By the way our Christmas dinner was fabulous and washed down with an quality red wine we had a blissful, peaceful, loving, very Christmassy Christmas day.

If you liked reading this you may be interested in reading others by visiting www.inshineout.com/blog/

If you are ready to create a new way and stay open to the possibility of what will be, please get in touch Contact and lets have a chat to get you started on that journey.

Genuine Happiness comes from Within


Life isn’t always the sweetest candy. Sometimes, when you feel like the world is just too heavy, you look around and find people who continue to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into your mind like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably easy? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” This is the time to pause and observe for a while… you’ll figure something out… that maybe they have started to work on a place called “self”.
So, how do you become genuinely happy?

Step 1 is to love yourself.
A theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.” To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections lies the courage to be able to discover ways on how to improve your repertoire to recover from setbacks, obstacles and mistakes.

Genuine happiness also links to contentment. When you are content with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you have NOW – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”

When we discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life like it has never done you any good, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.

I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, winning and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure, in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

How to be genuinely happy in spite all these? I tell you… every time you exert effort to improve the quality of your life and your being, whether it is helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, failing exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.
Imagine life as a big score board like those used in the sporting arenas. Every time you take a step forward, you score points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got points today. I’m glad I gave it a shot.”, instead of looking at it all blank and murmur “Bummer, I didn’t even hit a score today. I wish I had the guts to try. We could have won!” and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life doesn’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best. So, how do you become genuinely happy? Every one has their own definition of “happiness”. What makes you happy may be another’s idea of hell. It is up to you to figure out what brings you true happiness.


So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. It’s about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistakes and telling yourself “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, you carry with you a flame of strong willpower to persevere that may spread like a fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project “how to become genuinely happy”. For as long as you know how to accept others, you will also be accepted. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love ten folds back.

Again, ask me that same question “how to become genuinely happy?”. I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who quoted- “Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life’s aches and pain. But most of us don’t know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over self. Because then you don’t just become happy you become free.”

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