How Does your Garden Grow?

Have you ever noticed how weeds grow particularly quickly at this time of year? I love gardening but I’m not great at it, it’s something that always gets left to the bottom of the list of things to do, I just put it off until it just has to be done! So when the time came for me to tackle it and get out there I found an enormous bramble bush had grown behind our shed which was starting to creep all around the bottom of the garden. As I was tackling it, and it was attacking me (or so it seemed) it made me think that this is a lot like life!! If only I’d done some gardening a bit sooner, I wouldn’t be in this position!
Have you ever had something that you’ve put off, and at the start it wasn’t such a big deal, but you didn’t want to deal with it straight away (for whatever reason) but like that put off bramble, over time, it just seemed to become a bigger and bigger deal? Then when you did get around to dealing with it it had begun to be quite deep rooted and, in your head, became such a big job that you then just didn’t know how you were going to do it?
The strange thing is, is that most people do this, we put something off, that we could easily do there and then, we put it off, then we build it up in our heads to be a bigger job than it was, put it off more and more. Often this then prevents us from doing other things, because we know we have to do this ‘thing’ first! So actually just like that bramble, because we ignore it, we don’t do anything about it and it grows and grows stopping all the other plants from growing.
The silly thing is is that we know this is going to happen, if we don’t tackle the bramble it will grow and then it will be a bigger job when we do get around to it, but if we just do it right when the first shoots are there ~ problem solved, well there isn’t a problem is there!
In reality it’s just a habit, and one that we can change if we choose to. It’s just about tackling things as they occur (if it can be dealt with then of course) and not allowing yourself to get into the habit of ‘putting off!’ but getting into a habit of just ‘doing’.
This can be a bit of a challenge and it’s all about becoming aware of what you are doing and responding. So maybe think of it as a challenge! Challenge yourself for this week to just be aware of when you say ‘I’ll do that tomorrow, later, in a minute’ and then just take a moment to pause and ask yourself ‘why can’t I do it now?’ If there isn’t a reason, then it’s really simple ~ you just get on with it!
You’ll be surprised at how quickly your garden will become more weed free!

 

Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days, her facebook page is www.facebook.com/andreamorrisoncoaching  Discover the Real You, together, today

Little Gifts of Time

Do you feel that some days you just don’t get anywhere fast, every traffic light is red, there are queues of traffic, the car doesn’t start, your child is ill, clients cancel or just don’t turn up, you make calls to people who aren’t there, emails aren’t answered. It is as if today you aren’t just meant to go in the direction you want to go in! These kinds of days can be so very frustrating, especially if they are things you ‘ought’ to be doing, things that you had organised to happen today – and you just aren’t getting them done!

Well you have a choice, you can continue to battle, be stressed about the traffic queue, upset that you are housebound with a sick child, continue to make those calls that repeatedly aren’t answered or you can chose to turn this situation on it’s head and view it as a gift of time. If you think about it, if you can’t do what you want to do, you will have an amount of time available to you to do something else!

I like gifts of time, because they are pockets of time that you didn’t think you were going to get, so you may as well make the most of it! But now because you have no choice, it has been presented to you, there’s nothing you can do – especially if you are stuck in traffic or on a late train – it makes us frustrated and angry like we have no control. Which is on one hand right, we can’t change the situation, but we can change our reaction to it! We can change this situation so that it works in our favour!

If you are in your car, sit back and relax – turn your radio on, enjoy! If you are on the train, read the paper, listen to a podcast you’ve been wanted to hear. If a client doesn’t turn up ~ do something positive with the time, read a journal you’ve wanted to for a while, update your website, it doesn’t really matter as long as you use the time – it’s been given to you so you mayaswell make the most of it! Even if your car won’t start in the morning – such a good opportunity to enjoy a coffee in the morning sun whilst you are waiting for the recovery team!

If you find yourself saying, I wish I just had some time to…..when I have time I will….Well when you are given these pockets of time now is the time to get those things done! Those that know me, know that I always have a notebook on the go and one of the things I jot down is those little things I never have a chance to get done – then when a client rearranges an appointment or something happens and I find myself with a little pocket of time, I know exactly what to do with it, I deliberately look at my list and choose one of those things that I’ve been meaning to do for a while and not something I have down for that day, because I didn’t think I would have that time, so I’m going to use it for something different!

So the next time things don’t go as planned don’t waste time getting stressed, you won’t get this opportunity again!

 

Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days, her facebook page is www.facebook.com/andreamorrisoncoaching  Discover the Real You, together, today

A Little Thank you with a Big Difference

You may wonder what saying thank you has anything to do with you feeling good, it might make the other person feel better, but would it make you feel better too?

Just think for a moment about how much we take in our society. We rush about from place to place interacting with many different people, people that we probably just ignore.  We may interact with teachers, bus drivers, shop assistants, work colleagues and children throughout our day – we ask (‘single to town please’, ‘just this’ and sometimes not even verbally just an eye raise and a nod!), they give (equally with probably just an eye raise or nod), we take (and walk off)! The list is endless! How many times did you say stop for a moment and thank the person you were dealing with? Or if you did how did you say it? Was it a quick ‘thanks’ with no eye contact as you were walking off? Or was it a meaningful thank you?

We can always find time to find fault with what people have done or not done in our opinion, what they should be doing or how they should be doing it! But rarely do we find time to thank them for something that they have done well. We know ourselves that when someone finds fault or criticises us it doesn’t make us feel positive or happy and equally, when someone praises us and thanks us for our work the difference that makes to how we feel ~ chances are it feels pretty good! It really doesn’t matter how small that person’s contribution in our life is, surely, they deserve to be thanked properly for it.

So for today, be thankful for what the people around you have done, however little that may be. We are all human, and when people praise us or appreciate what we do, we react positively and generally want to give more.

At the start of this, I said you may wonder what saying thank you has anything to do with you feeling good well here is the connection. When we interact positively with people, they tend to follow suit and react positively, so when we thank someone meaningfully, the chances are that they will react in a positive way, it may be a smile or a comment, but the chances are you will have made a positive difference to how that person is feeling ~ they may have had ten unappreciative and grumpy people before you, and you take the trouble to thank them, that’s bound to make their day better! That feeling that you did this is a great feeling to have! If you don’t believe me try it out!

Saying thank you takes minutes, so the next time you are in a shop, or restaurant, or your kids or partner help out, say thank you – not just a quick ‘thanks’ but a proper, meaningful, thank you. Then notice the response you get from them, and how it makes you feel to have this interaction, I would guess that 99% of the time you feel pretty good!

How to Curry Favour

Have you ever introduced a child to a new experience? Maybe a different food or a different activity? As parents we do it quite frequently, I know we have over the years. In fact during our Easter Holiday we had an Indian takeaway as a family, as our older children really enjoy curry, but for our youngest this was a totally new experience!

Now you would think that she would be open minded, excited even to have another new experience – but no, her response was one of ‘I don’t like curry!’. Even though she hadn’t had it before! She refused to allow even a crumb pass her lips! Now on one hand it was really interesting because children, up to a certain age, usually will try most things – but she was adamant that she didn’t like it at all! After some enquiry, she explained that she didn’t like curry because she’d had salt and vinegar crisps and she didn’t like spicy food! Fair enough, you might think – but this take away wasn’t that spicy at all – but the lady had made her mind up!

I find that this often happens in our day to day life, not necessarily with our children, but in our everyday lives. We make decisions to do or not to do something – not on the experience of what is in front of us, but of some similar belief or experience that we might have. We might not like going out on a Friday night because it’s always so busy (because it was five years ago just before Christmas!) or the classic ‘I don’t like ‘things like that’’. Or it could be to do with work, we might not like a particular person because of what someone might have said about them – or a particular networking event, because a colleague didn’t enjoy it. We often find ourselves making judgments about opportunities, not based on the facts or the actual experience of those opportunities but our perception of them – what we believe about them instead of what they really are. Usually our perception isn’t even based on an actual similar experience – just one that is ‘similar’ – like the crisps v the curry or sweeping statements ‘I don’t like spicy things!’

The joke with my children, is that quite often when then give a new opportunity i.e. the curry, a chance, they do actually quite like it, which is why our older two children now quite happily eat a curry and I’m sure my youngest will do with time. It’s a bit like olives – I was once told I had to eat 12 before I would like them – now I love them!

We are no different, the trick with all of us is to allow ourselves to be open to new experiences, remember, they haven’t happened yet, so whilst you may think that you won’t enjoy it, or a particular opportunity may not work for you – don’t judge it until you have all the facts in front of you – or even better when you have given it a try so that you can see for yourself. Because it isn’t until you taste the curry that you can truly say whether you like it or not – but be warned, there are many different types of curry, so even if you try it once, you may need to throw caution to the wind and try it again in the future just to make sure!

Andrea Morrison is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days and is a Personal Coach & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) specialising in building a more confident, balanced & motivated YOU!

Power up your Week

This week has been an interesting week for me as it’s it has marked the start of Spring ~ yes, the cricket season is well and truly underway! Now for those of you who aren’t cricket widows this means not only does one’s partner disappear for most of Saturday and sometimes Sunday, there is also junior training (as there is another coming through the cricket ranks) and of course the all important watching to be done!

The hint of sarcasm that you might detect in my tone is just a little tease, however, there was a time when I did resent my husband carving out such a big chunk of time out of our week just for himself, after all when did I get that opportunity with working & looking after three small children? There simply wasn’t time ~ or was it that I just didn’t make time?

Over the past week I had numerous conversations with my clients about making time for themselves to simply recharge, to look after themselves.  So many of us are bad at it. I have to confess I am still not a graduating from this lesson with flying colours, but I am aware that when I don’t, it is my choice not to and that the reasons I don’t are simply excuses, I could, if I really wanted.

So what is stopping us? Well for one I am a firm believer that we approach this in entirely the wrong way. We often talk about ‘non work/family’ activities or the like as ‘me time’ or ‘time out’ as though it’s something that we shouldn’t really be doing, that somehow it is selfish, that other things really ought to come first. It then becomes very difficult to prioritise these ‘events’ over other activities, because they feel non essential, like they are a treat or an indulgence. The second, in my experience of myself and the clients that I work with, is that anything that is linked to looking after ourselves, in whatever way, is the ultimate selfish act, we should be looking after everyone else first, then and only then look after ourselves if there is enough time and energy left for us.

To me, this is completely the wrong way around, a friend of mine once said to me ‘you can’t feed others from your plate, if your own plate is empty’ and that analogy has stuck with me and I have shared it countless times. If we don’t allow ourselves time to recharge, to look after ourselves, then there will come a point where we have nothing left to give and at this point we are of no use to anyone, it becomes impossible to after others then?

My view is that this should be more important than brushing your teeth or eating your 5 a day, you wouldn’t expect your mobile phone to last for a week without recharging it, yet we expect ourselves to get through our busy week running on often 0% with no plans to change it – often starting the following week in exactly the same state. When we look at it like this it becomes a no brainer, of course we need to be fully charged to be raring to go, it simply just makes sense. So this week, think about you having a power pack within you, a power pack that needs to be recharged on a regular basis, and make a commitment to make sure that yours is on full charge before you start each week.  Then just notice the difference it makes.

 

Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days.

Investing in You

I know from bitter experience that when you get stressed and stretched the last person you think about is yourself – because you simply don’t have time, you do anything for anybody else but rarely will you do anything for yourself!

Now you may think I’m talking about ME time, which apparently our parents didn’t have, that selfish indulgent time that ends when you take on responsibilities, it’s part of the deal that you no longer have time for yourself. So it’s not just that you don’t have time, even if you did have time it wouldn’t be a priority, because it’s just not what we do.

But just think about it for a moment…

Think about your car – it needs a clean every now and again, a service, an MOT, oil change, fuel, new brake pads, tyres etc – we do this without batting an eye lid, we wouldn’t dream of driving to the South of France in a car that had been neglected for 10 years and had done 80,000 miles would we? What would happen if we did? The chances are it would break down, leaving us stranded.

But day after day, we expect high output of ourselves with minimal input, maintenance or care. What’s likely to happen if we continue? What would happen if we broke down? How would we meet our responsibilities then?

When we look at it like this, is investing in our physical and emotional self really selfish? Indulgent? Unnecessary?

Do you really think about what you eat, drink, your sleep pattern? What about the outside – good haircut? Clothes? How do you recharge your batteries? When was the last time you went for a massage or another type of relaxing therapy? Go for a run or fitness class? I’m not saying you have to do all of the above, or spend huge amounts of money that you don’t have. But it is important to question what you consider to be an investment – i.e. what makes you feel good, what recharges you?

It’s important also to question, if you don’t do these things, why not? If it is that you simply can’t justify spending that on yourself – think about it – what would you spend this money on? If the dog needed that money would you spend it? Probably yes, without hesitation! Then why aren’t you spending it on yourself. Typically the member of the family (and I use that term broadly) that neglects themselves the most generally is the one that holds it all together – if that is you, what would happen if you broke down like the neglected car? What would you pay to put yourself right or to have avoided it in the first place?

It may be that you don’t feel that you have the time, if that is the case, then you need to become a priority, like all the other people who you find time for, you are not being selfish, it is perfectly acceptable to recharge your batteries and give yourself some time back. If you find it hard, book it in your diary like you would an appointment, except this appointment is for you and it can’t be cancelled!

So for this week, just try it, book some time in for you and recharge, just see how it feels, it probably isn’t as hard as you believe, and it will more than likely make you feel a whole lot better!

Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days, her facebook page is www.facebook.com/andreamorrisoncoaching  Discover the Real You, together, today