The Essential Life Mantra

Life is tough for everyone at the moment in so many different ways. We are having a common experience and also a personal experience. One of the things this pandemic has made us all aware of, simultaneously, is the suffering and challenges in “living” life. The fact is, with or without a pandemic, there is always someone going through a tough time or facing a tough day. Tough might be an understatement but you get my drift.

Life does not always go swimmingly or according to plan. Sometimes it just does not pan out the way you hoped at all. I don’t mean to be a pessimist but, in life, there is inevitable suffering. There are amazing highs and the equal and opposite lows. I’m sure you all can relate to personal setbacks, loss, heartbreak, illness or pain you or your loved ones have or are going through. So if there is one mantra I would love everyone in this world to embrace and perhaps even believe, it is this…


“You have everything you need within you”


“Me? ” ……. “Yes, you!” Deep within us all is a well, a well where you can lower the bucket and scoop up what you need to create the life you want or to cope with whatever life throws at you. A well full of strength, courage, compassion, trust, love, ability to face the world. It is true that sometimes you have to lower the bucket quite far to access it. This is because life will life. At times it seems it’s not there, that the source has dried up, It might not be easy to access it, but it is there. You see we get cut off sometimes from our true essence and source by layers of fear and ego.

The answers are within you. Turn and look inwards, tune into your deep intuition, wisdom and knowing. There you will find all the guidance, belief and confidence you need to take you forwards in life. Let go of the need to look outside for the answers, they are not your answers. “Really they might know better”, I hear you say. “No” because they are not you, nor living your life. You don’t need anyone’s validation or approval, you can find it in you. Sure, look to others as sources of inspiration to fill the well but do not let it be a comparison to prove that you are not enough or to beat yourself up with. You are enough. And when you do let go and trust in yourself, it is surprising that within your grasp is calm, peace and serenity.


You can get access your intuition, your gut feeling and learn to recognise its power. In the tuning in and in the silence through reflection, meditation, journalling, listening, feeling, you can get in touch with how you really feel. You can hear your heart and soul speak about your heartfelt wants and desires. You can even find the answers to most of your problems or challenges in life.

Use this mantra as if it is your inner self giving you some important life advice –

“Everything you need is already within you”

And in the wise words of life guru, Winnie the Pooh, believe that…

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If you are ready to turn inwards and would like a partner by your side as you tap into that inner well or resource and start shining inside and out then, please get in touch Contact. I offer complimentary consults to see if I am the right coach to take you on the journey.

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

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.