Tag Archives: changes

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.

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Ditch Your Addiction…And Help Solve A Huge Problem

‘Oh no! It’s absolutely pouring!’

‘I’ve just hung out my washing!’ (Yes, some of us in the UK still do that!)

‘I’ll get soaked, just walking to the car!’

Sound familiar?

It’s a UK habit.

We love to  moan about our weather, especially the rain.

I want to shout, ‘For goodness sake! It’s not life threatening! It’s only water!’

Wrong!

Lack of water, and lack of clean water is life-threatening.

I read this yesterday and I was shocked:

Please make the time to go over to this site and read more about the world’s water problem. You’ll be shocked too.

Today, Friday October 15th, is Blog Action Day.

The world’s bloggers from 125 countries are joining forces and blogging about the same issue on the same day, to promote discussion and action by as many people as possible.

This year’s issue is Water.

When I read about the world’s serious water problems I wondered how I could possibly help when the problem is so huge.

It’s easy to say, ‘How can I make a difference?’ and leave it to the ‘powers that be.’

But the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me, that if everyone thought that way,  no major changes would ever happen.

By joining in with all the thousands of bloggers world-wide and posting about the water problem on the same day, at least I’m doing something, however small.

Tap water, in disguise…

In this ‘Positive Spin’ post for B.A.D. 2010, I will write about the problem of bottled water addiction.

I don’t understand why a bottle of water (the ‘correct’ brand, naturally, or should I say, un-naturally?) has become a fashion accessory.

Whatever next?

Bottled ‘fresh air’?

It’s become an addiction.

Why?

I wish someone would explain it to me…

 Every time I see someone carrying their wretched plastic icon, I want to go up to them and say,

‘Are you dehydrated? It’s not even warm today. Are you about to collapse from thirst?’

But of course I don’t, I simply glare and walk on by.

According to an article on the site above, one third of bottled water comes from exactly the same source as tap water. In fact, the ‘Big Three’ water bottlers in the US use municipal water as the basis for their product, selling it back to us at hundreds of times the cost.

And the majority of the plastic bottles cannot be re-cycled…

Silly, isn’t it.

Here’s How YOU Can Help Solve a Huge Problem.

  • Drink your water from the tap.
  • If you don’t like the taste, use a simple water filter.
  • I find tap water tastes much better with some lemon or lime slices in, and perhaps some ice.
  • If you must carry water with you, re-use a bottle and fill it with tap water or from your  jug in the fridge.
  • If you do buy water in a bottle, check the bottle can be  recycled.
  • Read about the world-wide water problem and look for simple ways that you can make a difference.
  • And finally…Ditch your addiction!

‘The jug fills, drop by drop.

The Buddha’

 

What will you do to help with this huge water problem?

There are lots of ideas on the site I linked to above.

What do you think about our addiction to bottled water?

Do tell us in the comments.

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Header image courtesy of cursedthing.

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Filed under action, change, excuses,, goals, hope, persistence, plans, positive, progress, success

5 Life Lessons I Learnt From Chickens

Chickens pecking at feed
Image via Wikipedia

 

‘Chickens needing a good home. 

Give me a call on ….. ‘ 

I smiled when I read the card in the shop window. 

As I walked up the lane I started thinking about those chickens. I realised that they can teach us some important lessons, about what we all need in our lives.  I’d have to provide for their needs if I wanted to give those chickens the home they seek.  Sadly, I can’t do it, although I’d love to. 

Here are 5 Life Lessons I learnt from those Chickens… 

  

1.   Chickens need the right kind of food. 

Apparently they tend to know what’s OK  to eat and what’s not.  They need the special food you buy in a feed store but they also love kitchen scraps all boiled up. They eat insects and slugs (!) and most kinds of ‘greens’. 

We need the right kind of ‘food’ too. 

We need books, films, conversations: in fact a variety of stimulation to broaden our thinking, to make us stronger, more confident in our opinions and ideas. 

Are you getting the right kind of ‘food’? 

What are you going to do  to get it? 

  

2.   Chickens make a difference. 

One chicken can produce 250 eggs each year! 

Amazing. 

what one little hen can do… 

We can make a difference too. 

Are you a carer, teacher, nurse, librarian, writer, parent, gardener? 

What’s your role? 

And… more to the point, are you fulfilling that role the best way you can? 

Are you making a difference? 

How? 

  

3.   Chickens need a nest-box. 

It must be warm, safe and provide protection for those eggs. 

We need a ‘nest- box’ too. 

A special place – a corner, a room, a seat by a window, where we can simply ‘be’. Where we can think, not think, rest, allow our minds to wander, to create, to absorb, where we feel protected from the world of busi-ness, hassle and noise. 

Where’s your ‘nest- box’? 

  

4.   Chickens get bored! 

You can tell when that happens because they start to peck one another. Not good. 

I read that they need a few logs to perch on to give them a different perspective, some ‘greens’ hanging up to peck at and enjoy. 

We’re just the same. 

We get bored. We become ratty, bad-tempered, irritable. We need variety in our lives, something to aim for, whether it’s a goal, a project, something we can feel proud to achieve. 

We need ‘logs’ to perch on- to give us a different perspective, so we can look at life from a new angle, stand in other people’s shoes for a change. 

‘Same old, same old’ isn’t enough. 

‘If you want different, you must do different.’   Dr Phil Life Strategies 

  

5.   Chickens need to be safe. 

They need to be protected from foxes and rats. Predators can carry diseases and pose a real threat. Tall fences must be  built and electric ones installed. Once the fox gets that electric shock, it’ll give the hens a wide berth. 

We need  protection from the ‘foxes and rats’ in our lives. We must protect ourselves from people who love to criticise, us, discourage us and try to prevent us from making changes or taking risks. 

Unlike the chickens, we don’t need to be fenced in. 

We need to live our lives free from all the ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘can’ts’. 

We need to be free to make the choices and decisions we want to make. 

What’s fencing you in? 

  • What life lessons will you learn from the chickens?
  • Can you think of one more, to add in the comments ?
  • It’s OK,I haven’t lost the plot!

  

Header image by abbyreed on Flickr 

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Is ‘No’ a No-No?

No is one of the hardest words to say.

It’s always a dilemma.

Which way to jump?

 

Why?

  • You feel guilty
  • You want to be popular
  • You nearly always comply
  • You worry that you’ll offend

 

A client of mine was on a Mencap committee.  She’d been on it for a year and now she wanted to stop. But she felt unable to say No when they asked her to stay on.

Why?

  • It would be embarrassing for her
  • She’d feel guilty
  • She believed that no-one else would want to take her place ( so… it was OK for them to say No!)
  • Mencap had done so much for her Down’s Syndrome daughter that she felt she ought to do it – that ‘O’ word again…

 

How do you say No ?

  • Practise with trivial choices where the outcome doesn’t particularly matter.
  • If someone asks you to do something, don’t answer straight away. if you need time.  Say, ‘I’ll get back to you’ or ‘I need to look at my diary.’
  • Perhaps sleep on it if it’s bothering you.
  • Remember, when you say No you are often protecting yourself from overload.
  • Listen to your intuition. How do you really feel about saying Yes to this?
  • Follow your No with a positive alternative. Suggest another time to meet, person to do the task, choice they could make.
  • Don’t immediately apologise for saying No. Simply make it clear that it’s just not possible.

 

Be prepared for –

  • a few ruffled feathers
  • tears or tantrums – yes, even from adults!
  • the person to be surprised

 

The Good News is

most of the time they’ll accept your decision.

And my client?

She chose to say her No on the phone having carefully prepared her script.

To her surprise and delight they accepted her decision, thanked her for all she’d done and went on to find someone to take her place.

Result?

Her confidence soared and she felt able to go on to make further changes in her life.

 

How about you?

What would you like to say No to?

What do you wish you had said No to?

What are you going to say No to today?

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Don’t You Dare Put It Off…

Today I will show you the Third Simple Step To Confidence

3. GO FOR IT!

So… you want to make some changes.

You’ve chosen your Priority Change.

You’ve made a ‘Brainstorm’ of all the actions you will need to take and you’ve put them in order of how simple/practical they are.

 

Here’s my list as an example –

My priority change/goal is –

I want to have my local history book printed by October this year.

DETAILED STEPS

  • Write a time-table
  • Visit library to find list of local publishers.
  • Visit Heritage Centre to locate suitable photos.
  • Put request on village web site for local help
  • Complete every chapter of book
  • Compile index
  • Don’t worry if things don’t always go according to plan

 

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

  • Write down every step, however small
  • Make a timetable and plot all the steps on it
  • List all phone calls/e:mails
  • Start a Journal and record every step you take to remind yourself how you’re progressing
  • Be prepared to miss a day’s steps from time to time. Everyone does. Just move that step to another day!
  • Make sure you reward yourself for every step taken.Yes! A glass of wine is fine!
  • Don’t rush – be a tortoise and not a hare…

Most important of all, you are NOT being selfish by choosing to make changes.

 

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

It’s Your Turn NOW. 

 

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Fresh day- fresh sheet

 

 ‘I’ve gone wrong!  Can I have a new piece of paper, daddy?’

Ruby was painting.  She’d ‘gone wrong’.  She wanted to start again.  We gave her a fresh sheet of paper and she was happy. She could have another go.

You’re all fired up!

You’ve decided on your priority goal. 

You’ve made a list of all the steps you’re going to take to reach it, all the changes you’ll  make.

And then you have a bad day.  You didn’t make it. You feel a failure. 

‘What’s the point?’ you say to yourself.  ‘I’m rubbish. Might as well give up now.’

No! Don’t give up!

Give yourself that fresh piece of paper. Pick up your paint brush and have another try.  You can paint that picture!

Just like Ruby.

What will you ‘have another go’ at today?

What have you persevered with and finally succeeded?

Do tell us in the comments.

Header image courtesy of cursedthing,

post image by GoonSquadSarah,

both on Flickr.

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Reward yourself – ‘Because You’re Worth It!’

  

1,029 viewers and counting… 

I’m so excited! 

 It’s a month since I started this and already people are giving me positive feedback!  (Have a look at my ‘You said…’ page.) 

My initial goal was to start this blog.  I’ve achieved that and I’m thrilled.  

Now I  have a new goal in sight for the next month:  

I want to double the number of readers of this blog.  So I’ll have to work hard and deliver what you’d like to read.  

When you’re working on your goal, remember to give yourself Rewards for every step.  My Reward is exactly what you’ve given me: to be joining in.   That’s it! That’s enough. 

So now it’s Reward Time for you: 

  • You’ve started to leave your Comfort Zone
  • You’ve chosen the easiest, achievable goal
  • You’ve started thinking about making changes

Do it!  Give yourself that Reward.

Because you’re worth it…’ 

 

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