Category Archives: instincts

4 Secrets My Snowman Showed Me About Having A Positive Spin

 

He was my first snowman.

My cheeks were red with excitement and the cold.  All he needed was a hat and I ran indoors to ask mum if I could use one  of my knitted ones. With great ceremony I put it on his head and then stood back. He was as tall as me! He was smiling, and I’d made him all by myself.

That night, while I was getting ready for bed I heard an ominous sound. I knew what it was, it was the sound of water dripping. The icicles by the back door were melting and the snow looked different somehow. I stared put between my curtains at my snowman in the middle of the garden and tears crept down my cheeks.

Next morning he was gone. Just his blue knitted hat lay on the emerging grass, with his lumps of  coal eyes.

Last week I thought about that snowman.

I thought about the snow we’d just had and how people reacted to it. I realised that my long-ago snowman had started me on the road to having a Positive Spin.

Here are the 4 Snowman Secrets to having a Positive Spin:

1.   It’s  too easy to say ‘No.’

The day is snowed heavily we could have easily said ‘No’ to going out. After all, the house was very cosy, we had stuff we ‘ought’ to have been getting on with. But out we went. What we would have missed if we’d stayed in!

Exquisite beauty, twigs transformed, a silent world, a traffic free road and childlike fun.

I’m going to try to say ‘Yes’ far more in my life. What about you?

It’s so easy to feel wary, scared, afraid of change. But when we say ‘Yes’, we rarely regret it.

2.  We must appreciate people while they’re with us.

I was so sad when my snowman ‘died’. I’d only just met him and he was gone again.

I don’t want to sound morbid, but it’s often not until people leave us that we realise their importance in our lives.We must tell them how much they mean to us, show them we value them and give them hugs, virtual or real.  It never seems to be the right moment. I’m going to try to tell them more often …

3.   We must be proactive.

If I hadn’t built my snowman that day it would have been too late. It didn’t snow again that winter. I would have missed it.

It’s the same with life’s opportunities. If we don’t ‘seize the day’, the day will be gone. When we have the chance to learn something new, travel to a new place, make a new friend, we must take it. Before the opportunity disappears.

4.   Take that risk!

We went to see the children sledging. It was a delight to see them. And then, as you know from this post, I was offered the chance to join in. It would have been so easy to say ‘No’. But I said ‘Yes’ and took the risk. If I’d waited for another day, the snow would have melted, and who knows when another chance would come? When will we next get snow?

Chances to do new things will come your way. Follow your instinct. If it feels right, do it! New course? Learn to dance? Learn to ski? Why not!

I realise that having a Positive Spin is not practical all the time. But once you start to develop the habit, you’ll be surprised, as regular readers will know.

It’s like rolling a snowball. It grows… and grows…

… until it’s a way of life.

I’ve chosen to seize the day and upgrade this blog.

There’ll be a new look very soon! I could have waited until another day, but I decided the time was right. I’ll enjoy developing  and improving it for you, I’m certain of that.

Are you going to miss out on a magical, exciting experience?

Or are you going to say ‘Yes!’ and develop your Positive Spin?

What are you going to say ‘Yes’ to in 2011?

Do tell us. We all need some inspiration…

Header by cursedthing, post pic by theirhistory, on Flickr.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under action, change, confidence, excuses,, fear, goals, happiness, hope, instincts, plans, positive, progress, success, timing

Who Wants to Time Travel With Me?

‘Oh please, dad! Please!’

Dad slowly opens our back door. It’s dark but I can see the flakes in the beam of the outside light.

‘Oh, wow! It is! It is!’

My brother and I squeak and squeak and my face is one enormous grin.

Next morning the snow is really deep. The cat refuses to set paw outside but we can’t wait. Dad gets the wooden sledge he made us, out of the shed and we pull on hats and gloves and scarves. 

Magical. But not just when I was a child.

It was magical today.  

We pulled on our hats, gloves and scarves but this time I had my OH with me, not my brother. We trudged up the lane, stopping every few minutes to exclaim at the beauty around us. Everything seemed to be wearing a ‘hat’, every twig and every fence post. Birds danced and darted, searching for a drink, dogs were up to their tummies in snow and parked cars were shrouded in white fur puffer jackets.

Then came the best bit!

We joined our neighbours and their children who were sledging on an open slope on the edge of the village. Brightly coloured sledges contrasted with the white-out, flasks of coffee steamed and wet gloves were abandoned.

‘Want to have a go, Linda?’

One of our friends was laughing as he offered me his child’s sledge. To his, and my, surprise I heard myself say, ‘Love to!’ and I sat down and grabbed the rope, with the confidence and fearlessness of a child. He gave me a push and I was off, shrieking and squealing down the slope. I was Time Travelling, ten years old again, loving the chill on my cheeks, not a care in the world.

Watch out! There's a child about!

I will remember today because…

  • I re-discovered my inner child
  • I delighted in my sense of fun
  • I took pleasure in the small things
  • I smiled at everyone and they smiled back
  • I noticed every twig, branch, roof top, fence, gate, paw-print
  • I spoke to every one and they spoke back
  • I ignored the slushy stuff in the road
  • I lived every second of this amazing day
  • I marvelled at my world

Hold on a minute!

Why can’t I do all those things every day?

I think I can.

And, I’m sure, so can you.

When did you last Time Travel and re-discover your inner child?

What do you wish you could still enjoy that you enjoyed back then?

9 Comments

Filed under confidence, happiness, instincts, positive, risk, safe

How I Learnt What’s Important

Let’s go to the Caribbean!

It was 7.00 am.

The phone rang.

We’d been sitting up in bed with a coffee, discussing our holiday plans. So many ideas, all sounding enticing, but which to choose?

We’d love to return to the Caribbean. Been before, twice in fact, and absolutely loved it. After all, what’s not to love? Jewell coloured seas, glorious skies we can normally only imagine here,  friendly people, white sand, rainbow fish…. I think you get my drift.

Or we could go over to Ireland. Again, very friendly people, delicious food, fuschia strewn hedges, ribbons of islands strung out in sparkling seas, confectionary-coloured cottages… emmmm.

Mustn’t forget Italy. Tuscan hills disappearing in a misty sky; traffic filled streets in central Rome, and a few steps away, narrow, quiet cobbled alley ways to explore; the Tower of Pisa: Venetian canals…

Or we could go to France. Only a short distance by Eurostar, to Paris. Can’t even begin to describe why we’d love to go to Paris. Eiffel Tower, flea markets, cafes, wine, Sacre Coeur , wine, Champs Elysee shopping, wine…..

As I was saying,… the phone rang. We looked at one another. It was early. Too early. No-one would be ringing at this time. Unless…

What if… my daughter was ill again?

What if… my son was in trouble?

What if… my brother ….

What if…  What if…

I perched on the edge of the bed to answer the call.   My chest thumped, my cheeks burned, my hand shook. I bit my lip as I slowly put the phone to my ear and listened…

Later, over a welcome and very much needed second cup of coffee, we talked about that phone call. It was a cold call. Nothing worrying at all. But we were so glad they rang. What a lesson we both learned. All our holiday plans melted  away as the fears crept in.

 Holidays are fun, exciting sometimes, but they are only 2/3 weeks out of our lives. The important and precious things in our lives are here.  All the time. If we’re lucky. We mustn’t take them for granted. We must give them the importance they deserve. And give them the love they deserve, too.

What’s important to you in your life?

Income?

Car?

Stuff?

How do you know what’s important?

Has that changed, over the years?

Header image by cursedthing, on Flickr. Post image – my own.

4 Comments

Filed under anxiety, fear, happiness, hope, instincts, plans, positive, risk, safe, success

Say No And Take Control

I'll have to get back to you...

The phone rings.

Here it comes:

‘Hi! How are you?’

‘I’m fine thanks, how’re things with you?’

‘Fine. I just wondered what you’re doing on Saturday?’

Stop! Right there! Don’t do it! Don’t admit you’re free!

Just take a deep breath and say this:

I haven’t got my diary with me right now. Why do you ask?’

And she goes on to invite you to babysit her horrendous kids/help her sort out her garage/go to an exercise class (horrors all round.)

This is where you use my

Simple way To Take Control.

Remember, you’re not rejecting the person,

you are simply rejecting the invitation.

And….there’s no need to explain.

Simply say, when you’ve looked in your ‘diary’,

Saturday doesn’t work for me, I’ve made plans.’

No! It’s not a lie!

You have, for sure, made plans-

You want a day to yourself.

  • to sleep
  • eat chocolate cake
  • watch garbage TV
  • read
  • veg out

I repeat: There is absolutely, 100%, no need to explain.

Why?

Because…

  • You have the right to be you.
  • You have the right to choose how to spend your time.
  • You have the right to do exactly what you want to do. Full stop. End of.

You can follow this by suggesting another time to get together, or not, whatever you wish.

Follow your gut feeling on this one.

But…. please…. do not cave in and agree to do whatever it is, if you know you don’t want to.

If you do, you’ll set a precedent and she/he’ll ask you next time and expect another ‘yes’.

Just keep it simple.

Take control.

Say no, with a smile on your face.

Header image courtesy of cursedthing on Flickr

4 Comments

Filed under action, change, confidence, expectation, fear, happiness, instincts, intuition, plans, positive, realistic, success, timing

How To Say ‘Yes’ To Saying No… (As Requested Last Week)

from giarose on Flickr

You know you want to.                         

It’s hard.                                                       

You worry you’ll upset them.                  

You want them to go on liking you.      

You feel guilty.                                               

You ought to say yes…                               

But you want to say no

Saying no is a dilemma for everyone.
No-one wants to rock the boat.
But there comes a time when you’ve had enough …
On Friday I asked you to tell me what you’d like to read about on this blog.
Carsma said she wanted to read about
‘How to say ‘no’ and mean it’.
This week’s  posts are  for her, but you can read them too!
 
Here’s my Positive Spin on…
 
How To Say Yes To Saying No.
 
Step one… Start slowly, with simple, non-threatening situations.
 
If you’re a passive/compliant/non-assertive person, it’s hard to suddenly change.
So start slowly.
It’s like  learning any new skill, you need to practise.
Remember when you learnt to play the recorder/piano/violin/guitar?
  • At first it wasn’t easy.
  • You made loads of mistakes.
  • You wondered whether you’d ever ‘get it’.
  • Sometimes you wanted to give up.
  • Then, next day, you started practising again.

But the key was:

You were motivated.

You wanted to ‘get it’.

And it’s the same with learning to say no.

Think of situations where you want to say no but it’s not that important if you cave in.

You could…

  • say no (with a smile) to the girl in the perfume department trying to sell you a new fragrance
  • say no (with a smile down the phone) to a casual coffee invitation but suggest an alternative date to meet
  • say no (with a smile) when your hairdresser offers you conditioner but you’d rather not have it
  • say no (with a smile) when your friend invites you to the cinema but it’s not a film you want to see
  • say no (with a smile) when your mother asks if she can come shopping with you but you’ve planned a rare and precious day to yourself

These may seem trivial examples but they have the same purpose as practising your scales for the piano: they prepare you for the more important no’s later on.

Take every opportunity to practise.

See how many no’s you can fit in before you come back to read about step two on Wednesday!

Meanwhile, please tell us in the comments, about the times you have found to practise and what you said no to.

I’ll do it too!

I’ll start my list right now. I’ll start by saying no to Mittens… she’s waiting by her bowl.

On the other hand… how can I say no to her!

 

 Header image by cursedthing on Flickr.

2 Comments

Filed under action, anxious, change, expectation, fear, goals, instincts, plans, positive, progress

The Secret Way To Make Things Happen

  

from Kara Allyson on Flickr

 

 It’s all very well having a goal. 

But I’m simply not motivated!’ 

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard that old chestnut, well, I’d have a few more pounds… 

Samuel, one of our Spinners, wrote this in the comments: 

Making the decision is just the first part. Making things happen, it’s different.’ 

He’s right, of course. 

Or perhaps he needs to look at ‘making things happen’ from a new angle: 

  

Making things happen is just like getting ‘turned on’!  

Yes, I know, it sounds like I’ve lost the plot again, but read on and see what you think. 

When you get turned on… 

1.   You get butterflies. 

You’ve just met. She’s drop dead gorgeous. (Remember, I’m writing  this for Samuel…!) You can’t take your eyes off her. 

Your intuition kicks in. 

It shouts at you! 

You want to date this girl! 

You choose her. 

You’re passionate about meeting her again…and again… 

It’s the same with making things happen. 

It’s a new project. 

You like the look of it, in fact it’s what you’ve been looking for all year. 

Your intuition kicks in. 

It shouts at you! 

You want to take on the world… 

and in particular, this project/goal/new job/commission/opportunity! 

You’re passionate about it. 

You can’t wait to start. 

  

2.   You make a plan. 

You find out where she works, 

you take steps to get her number, 

you imagine what she’ll say. 

You ask around to see where she hangs out and decide to be there. 

It’s the same with this new project. 

You make a plan. 

You set yourself some tasks and some dates to complete them. 

You research as much as you can. 

You even type the plan into your phone. 

You’re ready to be the best you can be, to work as hard as you can. 

  

3.   You’re thrown off course. 

You’ve prepared the ground, 

hung out at her places, 

asked her friend for her number and even made that call. 

But she doesn’t call back. Or text. 

 Sh**… 

 Might as well give up now. 

  

You’re finding this new goal tough. 

Not meeting your deadlines. 

You realise you may have taken on too much this time.  

Sh**… 

Might as well give up now… 

  

4.   It’s a new day. 

The sun’s shining on you. 

You talk to her friends. 

 They tell you she’s been unwell, not answering her calls. 

They tell you you’re in with a chance. 

You order some flowers and have them delivered. 

You’re smiling… 

  

You’ve had a good night’s sleep. 

The sun’s shining on you. 

You try a fresh approach. 

You take each new task  more slowly. 

Ask for advice. 

Follow it. 

You know you can do this… 

one step at a time… 

Now write the rest of the story! 

So, Spinners, here’s the Positive Spin. 

It’s all about YOU! 

  • Motivation comes from inside you.
  • You have to be passionate
  • You have to be enthusiastic.
  • You have to believe it’s the right path for you.
  • You have to walk the brambly path one step at a time.
  • You have to listen to you.
  • You may follow some deviations along the way.
  • You might want to give up.

Your eventual success will depend on you and how much passion, belief and confidence you acquire along the way. 

Ready to ‘get turned on’ to making things happen? 

‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’   (Anon, I think.) 

Header image by Abyreed on Flickr 

  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under action, anxious, expectation, fear, goals, hope, instincts, intuition, persistence, plans, positive, realistic, success

The Easy Way To Make 21 Decisions

I talk to myself. 

A lot. 

It helps me work stuff out. 

Stuff like decisions. 

   

Perhaps I need to decide: 

  • Whether to say goodbye to summer and turn up the heating
  • Whether to write that difficult email
  • Whether to have fish for dinner
  • Whether to use fake tan
  • Whether to try online banking
  • Whether to adopt a rescue cat
  • Whether to change my hairstyle (sorry, male Spinners…)

Or I might have to make bigger decisions like: 

  • Whether to make that dentist’s appointment
  • Whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an invitation to a ball
  • Whether to make that awkward phone call
  • Whether to spend a whole day sleeping
  • Whether to re-organise my garden
  • Whether to buy an i-phone
  • Whether to get expensive tickets to see James Taylor in concert

Or… even bigger ones: 

  • Whether to move house
  • Whether to leave my job
  • Whether to change my car
  • Whether to book a solo trip to China
  • Whether to take refresher driving lessons
  • Whether to accept an invitation to visit South Africa
  • Whether to go away for Christmas

Listen to yourself... it works!

 

In all these decisions, and they’re all real ones I’ve had to make, I relied on my gut feeling, my intuition. 

But, I hear you asking, how do you know you made the right decision if you only ‘asked your gut feeling’? 

And  here’s my answer: 

When I’d decided, in every case, I asked myself if I felt relieved. 

If I did, then my instinct was right. If I didn’t, then it was wrong. 

In every case, I felt relieved about the decision I’d made. 

I’ve discovered that my instinct gives me a feeling of calm when I’ve been undecided. 

I know from experience (there had to be one advantage to getting older….) that my instinct is always right. It ‘knows’ what’s best for me. 

It’s a feeling I get. 

A bit spooky, I know, but I suppose another way to put it is, it’s listening with your feelings. 

And the more I use this method of making decisions, the more I know my gut instincts work in my favour. 

Richard Branson said

‘I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics’. 

I don’t know about you, but if it’s good enough for Richard Branson, it’s good enough for me. 

Now… I need to make another decision …what to write about next time… 

  

Do you follow your instincts when making decisions? 

Do you believe it helps? 

Has it ever let you down?

3 Comments

Filed under action, anxiety, change, expectation, fear,, instincts, plans, positive, risk, safe, success