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smell your roses – gratitude for what you’ve got

Over the last few weeks, lots of people around me in person and online are talking about gratitude. It’s catching – I’ve been at it too; with clients, friends and even posting photos on my Facebook timelines about it.

What I’ve noticed is when they do it a big fat grin spreads across their face. They seem more alive, more in the moment and more radiant.

How’s it work? One of my favourite people taught me this “energy flows, where attention goes” – thank you Carol x. By recognising what you have to be grateful for in your life, the people around you, inside you and so on turns your attention to these small, but significant pieces of happiness in your life. And small things when brought together make a huge, ginormous collection of wonderful things.

Your energy gets poured into enjoying and cherishing the positives in your life, rather than dwelling on the negatives. The head and the heart take pleasure in this; your mood improves, your energy levels increase to tackle the next thing.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in my collection right now:

  • Opportunity to learn with likeminded people
  • Collaborating with inspiring people on great client projects
  • A big bunch of my favourite bluey purple hydrangeas

my favourites

  • Having my dinner made for me after a hard, long day
  • My new business cards looking so cute
  • Finding our new wall calendar for 2014 on etsy
  • Enormous smiles on whatsapp from our goddaughter
  • Giving my sister an a-ha moment
  • Oh and how could I forget my sneakers – love, love, love them, but guess you already know that 🙂


Wow even writing that list has made me feel more awake than any coffee or green smoothie could. Why don’t you try it? Take a couple of minutes each day and ask yourself what are you grateful for right now?

Help yourself over that mid-afternoon slump, build momentum to complete a daunting task or person and for moving towards that life stretch you desire.

Create a visual prompt – like this beautiful desktop wallpaper – each time you close down your docs, spread sheets and email, take a split second to count one rose. (This is by the lovely Nicole Wise Sturt) Or use a journal by your bedside to jot your gems down. Why not make a pinterest board?

And to get you rolling, why not share yours in the comments or on the Facebook page?

PS 2 more for my list – I’m grateful to share my b-mails with you and your reading them xx

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back to work tension – keep that summer feeling!

Boooo the end of the summer is round the corner and most of us will be back into the office, until our next break. Can you feel the work tension rising? From your lower back, between your shoulders, up your neck until your head is being squished. Not great. Terrible, in fact. Let’s stop it now.

Are you sitting properly? Both feet on the floor? Bum back in the seat pad? Hands and wrists supported on your desk or chair arms? These 3 things can help you protect your lower back and neck from tension, stiffness and that horrid tightness. I’ll ask again, are you sitting properly? Move it buster.

Take regular breaks – get up, move around, trot up and down the stairs, make a brew for your colleagues, look out a window, breath deeply. Just don’t be that annoying person who interrupts me cos they’re on a break 🙂

Frame your desk with memories of good times. A snapshot or postcard, a stone off your beach, theatre tickets, menu of a fab meal. No office is so uptight, you can’t keep these somewhere to look at to boost your mood and energy (desk drawer, inside your note book, screensaver, scanned document, be creative!)

And with my Pilates hat on, try these simple neck stretches:

1)   D-shape cycles: Look straight ahead, turn your head to the left, roll your gaze down in an arc to look at your knees/toes, keep rolling up until you’re looking to the right. Turn to the front and go again. Repeat in both directions. You’re effectively drawing a D on its tummy, a horizontal straight line and a semi-circle.

2)   Neck side stretch: put your finger on your chin, this is the unmovable, absolute centre of a circle. Then rotate about this point with your nose drawing an arc, as you lower your ear to your shoulder. You’ll get a lovely stretch from the opposite ear to the point of your opposite shoulder. Hold for a few breaths and come back up to the start. Repeat both sides.

Keep going, recognise when you’re getting stressed, the earlier you tackle it, the less likely you’re gonna get it bad.  Our next holidays will be here before we know it!

If you’d like to change your reaction – physical or emotional – to tension and stress, I’d be delighted to help. I’ve successfully worked with clients to change their reactions to triggers and develop new practices, so get in touch.

How do you stop tension in its tracks? Do tell me below how you are going to prolong your summer feeling.


comfortably uncomfortable – your brain’s reaction to change

This was a phrase I’ve picked up from an innovation trainer. He said, “to unlearn old ways of thinking and learn new ones, you need to get comfortably uncomfortable.” I had to ponder this one. We’ve all heard the statement about when you step outside your comfort zone, that’s where you really grow. Yet we rarely hear about how that can make us feel. Somehow this new description really grabs me – doing something new or different to your norms can really make you feel a touch anxious or scared.

Why does this happen? The part of your brain for complex thinking is called the prefrontal cortex and sits just behind your forehead. It is accessed via the amygdala, the emotional centre. Let’s look at an example – you decide to try a new fitness plan or start a new course or take a new job (that’s the complex thinking bit of the brain working) and you feel really chuffed to have made a decision, but then you get that uncomfortable feeling about getting started, the energy required to succeed or what you have to sacrifice along the road (that’s the emotional centre getting heard!).

Hang in there. I’ve got a brain-friendly fix to help your amygdala feel heard and help you move forward with being comfortably uncomfortable.

Take 2 minutes out from whatever you’re doing and just be still. Now focus your attention on your feelings. List them out one by one, either in your head, out loud or jot them down – whatever suits you. Simply acknowledge each of them like the face of an old friend passing by the window. You’ll notice how you can now concentrate on the action or task in hand, without further energy going to dealing with your emotions.

Getting comfortably uncomfortable is a key skill to acquire if you are going to make the shift you want in your life.  Try this technique out whenever you need to move past your emotions, to focus on whatever you’re doing.

Right before you go, answer these 2 for me in the comments:

  1. What’s your way to deal with feeling uncomfortable? (Biscuits or chocolate? Long runs? Call a mate?)
  2. How did your brain react to this acknowledgement technique?

If you’d like to try out more brain-friendly techniques to help you explore and achieve real change in your life, book a coaching session with me.

  • Grace

    1. Unnecessary banter/chat/noise. 2. Uh-oh…

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