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Creating a self-care positive reminiscing practice

One of my Christmas gifts this year was in a beautiful box and although I loved the gift inside I was very drawn to the box. Have you ever seen a child who wants to play more with the box more than the toy? If you have a cat I bet you know how important boxes are.  I thought about how it can help me with self-care.

Cants practicing their own self-care
Photo by Chris Boyer

I have decided to put this particular beautiful box to good use in a way that allows me to enjoy it every day. I am going to use it as a memory box to store momentoes from 2020. I thought I would share this idea with you as a tip to help in your self-care and well-being practice.

 

This idea is a variation on the positive thoughts jar and is based on noticing the good things as they happen.

Once or twice a week take a few minutes to add items to your memory box. If you spend time with people you love to write a note to yourself about it. Maybe print off a picture. There may be small items that remind you of the experience that are meaningful to you but might mean nothing at all to someone else.

 

I like to put tickets from events, brochures of a show or an acorn picked up on a walk into my memory box.  I think there may be a muddy footprint going in soon from my new dog, Riva. She is very good at producing them.

 

If someone gives you a “thank you” card pop it in the box. If someone is kind to you make a note. If someone gives you a bunch of flowers revive the old art of flower pressing so you can keep one bloom in your box. The things you find meaningful will be very personal to you. If you are a parent you might include a picture drawn by your child or a hand made present. We are all so used to taking pictures on our phones yet there is something special about a photo print. Make sure you select some favourites to include in your self-care Memory Box.

As part of your self care why not start a memory box?
Photo by Roman Kraft

At the end of the year, you can go through your special memory box and reminisce about the year past. Reminiscing is a great way to strengthen your sense of well-being and resilience.

 

What will be the first thing you place in your memory box?  Get in touch on Facebook and let me know.

 

Why do you bother with New Year Resolutions? Isn’t it just a set up to failure?

Photo by Cathryn Lavery

Have you ever found yourself wondering why so many of us feel compelled to set New Year Resolutions? How often have you set them and achieved what you set out to do? Do you “resolutely” refuse to get involved?

 

Whatever your story it is worth recognising that the idea of New Year Resolutions is a part of our culture and there must be a reason they persist.

 

Here is my take on it, you and I are looking for meaning and purpose in life.

The search for meaning and purpose is as old as time but why is it so important?

 

In Positive Psychology the importance of meaning and purpose has been studied a great deal over the last two decades. Finding a sense of meaning and purpose will improve your general well-being and health. As a species we do better when you have a sense of what the point is.

 

Setting new goals each year is part of this search however there is a risk you are setting yourself up in a hope /disillusionment cycle. You start off full of optimism and then run out of steam when life intrudes.

 

So this year I have a suggestion. Instead of looking forward start by look back instead. Review your year and identify the meaning from the experiences of the last twelve months. Many of you will have had a tough 2019, I certainly know I did, so make sure you check which lens you look through as you review. Here is a simple set of steps to follow:

 

  1. Write a list of all the standout moments of 2019 (big and small, positive and negative).
  2. Sort your list into sections; for example, “moments that lifted you up or made you smile” and “moments that challenged or disappointed you”. You might even have a list of things that were painful.
  3. With each item identify what you are grateful for. For example, in the final days of 2019, my Dad died. I am grateful that I was with him at the end and got a chance to tell him I loved him. I also delivered a eulogy at his funeral in January.
  4. With each item make a note of what you learnt. For example, I was reminded that my time is precious and I needed to review where I was spending it. I made some important decisions based on this learning.
  5. How has your perception changed about who you are over the last 12 months?
  6. Finally, what do you want to carry forward with you from these experiences?

 

Is photography one of your New Year Resolutions?
Photo by Paul Skorupskas

These are my musings for today and if I wrote them again I might write them differently. What meaning can I take from that? Life is ever-changing and being flexible and willing to let go brings peace and serenity to me.

What is the most important learning you discovered in 2019?

 

How can you boost well-being in yourself and others?

As we move into the Festive Season I thought you might find it helpful to consider some simple ways to boost well-being both in yourself and in others. Here are five simple tips that you can apply in your life and encourage in others.

  1. Make a point of noticing the small things that, when you focus on them can make you smile. This includes noticing the beauty of a raindrop on a leaf, hearing the laughter of children playing and acknowledging the warmth of a hug from a friend or loved one. By noticing small things you are constantly topping up your inner well of good feelings. Help boost well-being in others by sharing those moments.
  2. Set aside a little time each day as “Me” time. Choose something that nourishes your soul whether it is a soak in the tub, a walk in nature or drinking hot chocolate by the fire. In this way, you are learning to live in the present moment which is a great path to well-being and peace. Support and encourage others to do the same. When you take the time to re-charge your batteries you have more energy to help others.
  3. As you look to the future make a point of planning some great things to look forward to. Make a plan, get excited and share the journey with those you care about.
  4. In a similar way, it is time to get out those rose-tinted glasses. Start a habit of positive reminiscing. Remember fond experiences from your past and share them with others. Storytelling is in our DNA and it is a way of bonding. Playing the “do you remember …” game with those you love can be a beautiful way to strengthen relationships.
  5. Practice the habit of random acts of kindness. If you have not heard of this habit let me explain. Find ways to help others where you have no particular expectation of thanks or recognition. It can be a small thing or you might even decide to start volunteering for a good cause on a regular basis. There is a paradox when we help others with no expectation of thanks we actually do get rewarded by a boost in our sense of well-being. This is because we are satisfying a human need to contribute and make a difference.

practice kindness to boost well-being

 

Some of these tips are drawn from our book The Little Book of Resilience.  To buy your copy for just £8.99 click the link

 

 

Do you ever feel like you are an imposter? Do you worry about people finding out that you are not as confident as you seem?

I speak to a lot of people who feel as if they will be found out, they feel like imposters (hence the term ‘Imposter Syndrome’) including those who are really successful in their careers.

One person with Imposter Syndrome I worked with was a Chief Executive who on the surface was confident, motivated and inspirational. On the inside, she had self-doubt and did not believe she was capable of anything. She doubted her right to lead and was certain that other people could tell that she was an imposter.

Other people looking at her thought she was amazing and of course, she was. She just couldn’t believe it about herself.

I worked with her on a number of levels including one to one in executive coaching sessions and during NLP Practitioner training.

During an executive coaching session, she identified that she had an internal voice that was telling her she didn’t know what she was doing, that she knew nothing about business.

She realised it sounded like her Dad and was repeating generalised beliefs that he had about women in the business world.

You may have noticed similar internal self-talk that may be criticising you or doubting you. Of course, these voices are all part of you and very normal. However, this internal self-talk can really have an impact on how you feel and behave. The phrases your self-talk keep repeating are internalised versions of messages you received during your childhood. These create the beliefs you hold about yourself.

Using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) I coached the CEO in this example, in a simple technique that allowed her to change the qualities of this voice.  She made the voice sound silly so she could no longer take it seriously.

By changing the quality of the voice I was able to help her change the impact of her internal self-talk.  Thus removing her ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Within a month she noticed significant changes in her confidence and her ability to value herself. As an added bonus it also improved her real-time relationship with her Dad as she became better able to filter out his negative opinions and focus on the good part of the bond she had with him.

NLP has a lot of simple immediate applications in both the workplace and your personal life that can help you to make a significant change in how you feel about yourself particularly with issues such as imposter syndrome.

This client also chose to take the full NLP Practitioner training with us so she could develop a set of self-coaching skills that would help her on a day to day basis.Creating change from Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like something is holding you back? Maybe you even recognise that imposter syndrome is something you experience too?

 

If you would like to find out how to develop your own self-coaching tools or to gain some personal coaching

email me at melody@gwiznlp.com to arrange an initial, free discovery phone call.

There must be more to life than this!

Photo by Jannes Jacobs

Have you ever found yourself questioning life in this way?

I was at this point in my life when I was twenty-nine years old. I was depressed, in an abusive marriage and in a job where I was not valued. It was a crisis point for me and I was looking for something to make a difference, to give me purpose and joy.

 

Feeling that there must be more to life than this was what motivated me to begin my personal development journey. When I look back I recognise that I thought I was worthless and my self-esteem was rock bottom. I didn’t trust others and felt isolated and unloved.

 

A friend recommended a workshop that used visualisation and discussion about perceptions and patterns. My friend has attended this training themselves and thought I would find it helpful.

It felt like a risk but I decided to do it anyway.

It was an eye opener for me and I experienced a paradigm shift in my thinking. This is what happens when you experience a sudden shift in perception. I suddenly knew at a deep level that I did have value and worth as a human being. Perhaps just as importantly I also recognised the worth and value in others. I believe this is key for healthy self-esteem.

 

This experience led to me spending two years focusing on my personal development. During that time I left the abusive marriage, I took redundancy and signed up for a University degree in Psychology.

 

A year into my journey I met Joe and in him found a true life partner. We have now been married for twenty-five years and have worked together happily (in all senses) throughout that time.

 

Everything changed and at the time I didn’t fully appreciate what had changed.

 

On reflection I now realise that I had lived the first twenty-nine years of my life with a fixed mindset. That first workshop allowed me to shift to a growth mindset and reappraise my core beliefs about myself and others.

 

There is more to life and I discovered my purpose. I earn my living helping other people make these changes. I get to feel like I am making a significant difference in the lives of others and this is so rewarding.

 

I also get to feel that I have a value and that I don’t have to do anything to earn that. Just as I recognise you have value simply by existing I recognised the same about myself.

 

Do you need to make changes in your life? Do you know how? Do you have the support you need in order to be successful? Happy? Fulfilled?

 

If you would like to have a chat with me about how I can help you make the changes you need contact me by message or email to arrange a time for a phone call.

Photo by Avi Richards

There is more to life and it is time for you to find meaning and purpose in your life. Take the risk, reach out today.

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1 May 2015

I found the book really accessible and easy to read, it combined humour with practical solutions and strategies to use in the workplace! Very useful and informative, I will use many of the solutions in my line of work for the foreseeable future.
Who Stole My Pie? 5 star review
L.Tester

21 April 2015

A simple, witty and effective book on time management. Highly recommended for new managers and individuals who try to please everyone!
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Amazon Customer

13 April 2016

Really easy reading and so simple and helpful.

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Solving Impossible Problems: Working Through Tensions and Paradox in Business

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Danny Udall
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Ronald Cella
Reality is more complex than it seems.Buy this book!Excellent
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When I come across a problem that seems to have no resolution for all concerned I often wonder first what someone else in my position might do. Occasionally that can be helpful but usually the only person who really understands the dilemma from my angle is me. This book delves deeper into paradox and provides some tools to help practically work out a solution but without the heaviness that I would prefer not to add to the problem, instead the gentle humor adds lightness. It is a book that I can see myself returning to now and then to help guide me around, through and out the other side of the conundrums of life.
Solving Impossible Problems Review
NMc
The author discusses complex situations in a simple and clear way and supports with great models and illustrations. Integrates many areas of expertise eg NLP, Transactional Analysis which enhances learning and understanding in a holistic way. Easy to read and dip into! Learnt loads! Thank you!

 

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HOW TO USE THIS BOOK –

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All the ideas in this book can be used ethically and some could probably be used unethically.

The point is: ideas and techniques are simply ideas and techniques! In and of themselves they are not inherently good/bad, positive/negative or helpful/unhelpful. However, the application of them can become ethical or indeed manipulative. Be careful of manipulation! Be careful of trying to meet your own needs without attending to the needs of others.

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Melody shares experiences from her own journey of self-discovery plus tools and ideas she uses in her own practice. The combination of pictures drawn from nature plus simple easy to apply exercises provides the reader with tools to begin transformation

Reviews

Being lucky enough to have had a copy ‘hot off the press’, I can confirm it is both easily accessible and incredibly helpful. The content is in everyday language and is drawn from many sources and the pictures are exquisite.
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Becoming Happy! is an encouraging and affirming self-help book. It flows with short, practical things you can do to influence yourself and your life. The colourful photography throughout adds a mindful focus to each topic and enriches the experience of what you are learning. Whether for yourself or as a gift for another, this book is a lovely, gentle way to feel good about yourself every day.

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What a fantastic book, with lots of ideas and practical suggestions on how to Become Happy. The book flows with a mix of self-reflections, affirmations, stories, ideas and suggested exercises. It is a delight to read and to view the beautiful images. I found myself imagining being happy behind the lens of Melody’s camera … I would recommend anyone to read this book who wants a simple self-help guide to Becoming Happy.

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