Boundaries Are Super Important

I used to be a ‘YES’ person and I always put the needs of pretty much everyone else in front of my own.

I don’t know when it started, but when I became a mum it pretty much became second nature and I relegated myself to the bottom of the family pile. I had no boundaries in place and soon became the person who did just about everything because I couldn’t say ‘NO’.

But do you know what constantly being that kind and caring person who helps everyone else does to you if you are not careful? It makes you resentful and bitter and can leave you wondering why no-one else seems to put you first. You feel like you are being walked all over and to be honest you pretty much are being, but only because you have let it happen.

It’s a weird kind of logic and it can well and truly suck you in if you let it. Trust me, I know because that’s exactly where I was heading before I decided to put myself first and practice some real self-care.

So, how did I stop being a doormat and start to find my own inner strength?

Initially I had to get clear on how I wanted to feel and what was important to me. This process was made much simpler by The Desire Map and coming up with a list of my core desired feelings. Once I got clear on HOW I wanted to feel every day, it was easy to filter requests through those feelings and decide whether or not they were right for me.

At the beginning I simply said ‘NO’ a little more. If something felt like it wasn’t in my best interests or the request was just because it had always been easier to ask me to do something than to do it themselves (and don’t we all know people like that!), then I stopped and made a real effort to trust myself and my own feelings.

Surprisingly it changed the way I felt really quickly. By setting boundaries and treating myself the way that I wanted to be treated by others helped me regain my self-esteem. I knew that the things I actually said yes to were because I really wanted to and not because I was worried what other people thought of me.

The knock-on effect of all of this is that I am now inspiring others to review their own boundaries too! Just last week I received a friend request on Facebook from someone I had met in a group but not met in person. I sent a message kindly letting them know that I am happy to connect in groups and via my business page, but that my personal profile is for family and friends, and here’s the response I received:

“No problem at all, Holly. I totally admire and respect your boundaries! Thank you for letting me know. Plus you just helped me redefine some of mine thanks x”

My boundaries are set and I am happy to move and change them as circumstances and people change, but now that I follow my own intuition and filter everything through my core desired feelings and I am happier and healthier for it – and giving my children a much better example of self-care!

I hope this post encourages you to put yourself first and create your own boundaries too… keep-calm-and-set-boundaries-5 Make your own KEEP CALM poster at: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/#create

My Inspirational First Aid Kit

No matter how positive you are, sometimes life will still overwhelm you. This past week has been one of those for me, so I thought I would share one of the ways that I give myself a boost.

I consult my Inspirational First Aid Kit!! These are the people, pages and website that I turn to for inspiration when things start to overwhelm me or get difficult and mean that I always have something to remind me of the amazing world we live in.

My Top 8 Inspirational People

Why eight?? Why not?? Actually eight is my favourite number so it seemed appropriate, and although I have other authors, speakers and inspirational people that I follow, these eight are constantly popping up on my Facebook timeline with just the right thing at just the right time.

1. Danielle LaPorte – of course!!  As a Desire Map devotee and Licensee, Danielle’s work is top of my list when it comes to a quick pick-me-up. You can access her amazing #Truthbombs both electronically and to purchase via her website, pop over to her Facebook page for more wisdom or sign up for your daily Danielle dose via email. Now that I have my own truthbomb deck, one of these cards always makes it onto my Desk Altar too. She has some great Pinterest boards too…

Truthbomb

2. Bryant McGill/Jenni Young – I have paired these two as this real-life couple run Simple Reminders together, matching inspirational quotations with their own amazing photographs. Their Facebook page is one of my favourites or you can subscribe for a daily email and get a boost straight to your inbox. They use their own words but also those of so many other inspirational people that it is impossible not to smile when an image arrives. You can also pre-order the book before it is released in May 2015. You can never have too many books!!!

simple-reminder-believe-something-amazing-happening

3. Dr Steve Maraboli – This bloke is like a breath of fresh air and a true champion of women, amazing relationships and not settling for second best – ever. His quotations are often used by Simple Reminders (above) and you can also find gorgeous images with his words on his Pinterest boards. He is a truly gifted motivational speaker, author and behavioural scientist and watching one of his clips is a sure-fire way of lifting me out of any lull I am having.

beautiful-maraboli

4. Marie Forleo – my B-School hostess, Marie just has to be on my list too. Her motto is “change your life, change the world” and she is living proof that you can do just that. Not only is Marie TV my must watch for Q&A Tuesday but her website is full of great free content too. She’s a little different than the creators of masses of image content, and focuses on videos, but I love that angle too.

Image+by+Marie+Forleo+-+B-School

5. Oriah Mountain Dreamer – the author of my favourite poem, The Invitation, Oriah often posts her thoughts on Facebook. I keep my copy of The Invitation book close at hand and find that reading it along with the words she shares about it can be a great release – and something not online for a change!

oriah-mountain-dreamer-hearts-longing

6. Sophie Bashford – is based here in the UK and I am so inspired by her work as an Intuitive Healer as it is similar to what I do. You can sign up for her Feminine on Fire newsletter at her website and follow Sophie on Facebook for amazing intuitive insights. I can’t wait to have a reading with her – it is definitely on my list!

Sophie Bashford

7. John C. Parkin – best known along with his wife Gaia as the authors of F**k It and F**k It Therapy, their work has helped me so much in the past. You can find lots of F**k It goodies over on their website and regular ramblings on their Facebook page – including the image I used in my last Blog post (with credit given of course).

FuckIt

8. Leonie Dawson – She’s last but definitely not least! I love Leonie’s colourful website and Facebook page, especially the way she shares her behind-the-scenes shots and shows the rest of us that she is just as normal (or not) as we are (or not). I bought Leonie’s 2015 Workbook and loved the clarity it gave me for my life and business for the coming year. If you want to hear some non-sugarcoated truths, then this is the Aussie for you…

LeonieDawson

I also talk to friends and get myself out of my usual routine if things are spiraling downwards, but these online resources are available 24/7 and that makes them so useful.

Try creating your own Inspirational First Aid Kit and see if it can help lift your mood next time you are struggling…

H x

The 5 ‘B’s of Creating a Business with Soul

If you work for yourself, or want to, a huge part of creating a business that you love is to make sure that it mirrors how you feel on the inside, instead of being a copy of what is already ‘out there’ being done by others. Here are my five steps to creating and running a business with soul:

1. Find your BUZZ

THE fundamental part of running a business that you are passionate about is finding your buzz – that thing that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. Something that makes you excited and often doesn’t feel like work. If you have no idea what this is, then you can start by thinking about any recurring themes throughout your working life, or that you are drawn to in hobbies. You can also ask your family and friends to tell you what they think your best qualities are – this really does work and may give you an insight into your talents that you hadn’t even thought about before.  You could also try some online tests like those available at Strength Finder and 16 Personalities. Whatever you do, take note of your buzz and create your business to incorporate it.

2. Be BRAVE

You are going to have to wear your big girl or big boy pants for this one! Being brave about what YOU want to do in your business can actually be pretty tough, especially if you want to do things differently. Everyone will have an opinion about what you ‘should’ do, why your new business may fail or why you should do it their way – being brave is important if you are going to stand up and follow through on your own plans even when family and friends think it unwise. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you is a great way to help you stay strong in the face of skepticism.

3. BE Yourself

According to Marie Forleo, everyone has a UAP – “Unique Awesomeness Potential”! No matter what industry you work in, there are bound to be other people doing something similar to you, but as there is only one you, your business will take on your individual personality and flavour and be something unique. Use your awesomeness to create a business that really feels right for you and brings you the success you want. People buy from people and if they like you then they will stay and you will start to build a loyal customer base.

4. BELIEVE in it

Believe in your business and in yourself and others will start to believe in you too. How much you love what you are doing comes across when you talk about your business. If you hate what you do your customers will see right through you, and likewise you will almost shine if you love it. Everything is energy and believing in your business is the only way to send out positive vibes about what you are doing and also to keep your motivation going when things are less than ideal.

5. Nurture your BUBBLE

Image from The F**k It Way: https://www.facebook.com/thefkitlife

Image from The F**k It Way: https://www.facebook.com/thefkitlife

Although you are now well on the way, protecting your business (and you) from those who would wish you to fail is probably the most important part of creating a business with soul. You’ve done all the hard work setting up your business but are seldom taught how to energetically protect it or yourself. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to start every day by visualising a huge bubble of light surrounding you (and your business too if you like). Its purpose is to act as a filter to stop negative energy getting to you whilst still allowing the positive energy of well-meant advice and inspiration to reach you.

This post was inspired by my recent WiRE Network talk “Creating a Business with Soul” and is an introduction to the work I offer my clients through workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions to find their soul purpose and create a business that nurtures them.

How getting actual shit sorted has helped me get back on track

It’s not something I usually discuss – let alone blog about – but our house has a septic tank. And about once every couple of years it needs to be emptied. Well, ours was left and left and left until a backup in the system caused a wonderful overflow to happen in the back garden every time a tap went on…

I nudged and asked and moaned at my husband that it needed doing, but I seemed to be the only one who was stressed about it. Eventually I realised that it was up to me to sort this shit out – literally!

So today, after weeks of worry, moaning and watching our garden get stinkier and stinkier, two lovely guys and their brown tanker* arrived to sort out the problem. It only took about half an hour and the system was emptied, blockage removed and all was flowing again as it should.

Why am I writing about this? Well, the moment it was complete I knew that there was a whole lot less shit to deal with (again, literally). I felt freer and emptier and it seemed that our septic tank had been showing signs of being full up and fed up just like me!

It was such a relief to tick that one stinky item off my list that it encouraged me to get another couple of long-overdue tasks completed too. So now I am up to date on some accounts that I had been putting off for far too long, I have started clearing out my office and I am making time for myself tonight to do some much needed journalling and planning. I am pretty sure that it is this internal clearing that I am most in need of at the moment.

Often it takes something to smack me in the face before I get the message that I have to get my shit together. Well, this time it was about as literal as it gets…

H x

serious*Serious ** is an amazing waste management company that I can definitely recommend – just the name makes me giggle like a child and the fact that they don’t hide the fact that they carry effluent around all day by painting their trucks brown! Their taglines are pretty catchy too…

Spring Flowers and Nurturing Talent

SpringblossomYou can cut all the flowers, but you cannot stop the Spring from coming. ~ Pablo Neruda

I love this image my 7 year old took yesterday so much that I added a quotation to it and have shared it EVERYWHERE!

He has such a great eye for composition already and is getting more interested in photography every day. Maybe that’s because I encourage him by paying him for any image of his I use!

Spring is here and nurturing the talents of my children is something that I am always proud to do…

What (or who) are you nurturing?