Setting GoalsTraditionally at this time of year we go hurtling off setting massive goals for 2014.  ‘I’m going to take massive action‘ is the cry across the land.  But isn’t it already a societal joke that we set the goals in January and then by February we’ve forgotten all about them again?  Well perhaps it’s time to think smaller.  Perhaps biggest isn’t always best?

Setting goals is easy (and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise).  Achieving goals is easy, it really is – as long as you can remember the goal, keep it front of mind and act everyday to bring it to fruition.

Isn’t it true that we generally DON’T set a goal and then strive every single day to reach it – only to falter at the last moment?  Our goals don’t crash into the side of a mountain and get lost in the wreckage, it’s more about them getting lost in the jungle of our lives, bit by bit, until they finally slip away and die quietly on their own in a corner.

But why does this happen?  Well there are a number of reasons and these are in no particular order, just a few ideas of what has come to me over the time I’ve been working with business owners.

1.  We are programmed to avoid immediate pain rather work hard to hit a long off reward.

So, for example, depriving yourself of food or treats is an immediate pain which overwhelms the long term pleasure of feeling fab in your jeans.

2. Our goals often don’t take account of our habits.

If we’re already in the groove of a habit then unless we change the routine we are using currently to satisfy the need, then the habit will continue.

3. Here’s a tricky one – you don’t actually want it to happen.

Let me explain. In 2013 I set an income goal and the plan to achieve it depended on me working one to one with clients.  I know I do a good job working one to one; I know I get paid; I know I can find clients and fast.  So why didn’t it work?  Well, I don’t actually want to spend my days working one to one.  I much prefer working with groups – that’s what energises me.  I love working with groups.  Working one to one isn’t sensible either because it depends on my bum being on the seat all the time. What happens when I want a break, get sick or just don’t fancy it that day?

So how can this be resolved?  Well I think it’s about setting smaller goals.  There are key habits which if we change them have a massive knock on effect – a bit like a domino’s track.  You tip the first one and the rest all follow.

Of course the biggest trick is working out what it is we actually want (but that’s for another post) and this can only really be done away from the confines of the life we are already living with the restraints of generating income, looking after kids and countless other responsibilities we gather along the way.  Good grief – we’re going to have to think outside of the box!

Whilst everyone has a different top domino, there are some habits which have been shown to facilitate an improvement for loads of people.  If you’re trying to lose weight, the two habits which will foster success are recording what you eat and drink each day, and banding together with other people to get support.  You don’t actually have to actively change your diet – how cool is that!  If you’re constantly in a panic of disorganisation you may be surprised at what is likely to make the most difference to your productivity.  Is it planning?  What about an Ipad? A business plan?  Nope – it’s making your bed!

 

 

 

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How You Do One Thing Is How You Do EverythingToday one of the speakers (sorry really can’t remember who) reminded me of the saying – ‘How you do one thing is how you do everything’.  Tosh?

If you are saying ‘tosh’ to this statement it could be you’re brilliant at compartmentalising your life and work, kids, home, hobbies etc, are all in their separate little boxes and never will they meet.

Compartmentalising is a fabulous skill in many respects but if we need to make some improvements in one area of our life, we can miss clues from another aspect of our lives which may be a huge help.  Success leaves clues, as the saying goes, but also but I also think that frustrations also have a trail we can follow.

At the risk of boring you to death I’m going to use myself as an example and it’s confession time.  I have a washing monster – a pile of clothes in need of sorting out at various places around the house.  This means that in the morning if I’m in a rush, I can’t find what I want to wear, and so often end up compromising on what I want to wear for that day which means I may not feel great that day.  I’ve wasted precious time looking for stuff and I don’t feel great ‘cos I’m in the wrong clothes for the events which are likely to unfold that day.

But so what you may be saying – it’s only the washing and you can rub through in the wrong trousers for the day.  But when I thought about it I could translate this How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everythingbehaviour into a comparable little area of chaos within my business.  Images!!  I use loads of images, on websites, sales pages, landing pages, presentations, blogs posts, leaflets – images being used everywhere.  I source these from all sorts of places and that’s exactly how I’ve been storing them – all over the place.  There is no naming convention, and no filing system, no order. Because of this, when I get a new image I don’t know where to keep it – so it just gets dumped on the desktop and because it can’t stay there forever, churned over to somewhere else, goodness knows where though.  I don’t know what to call it so I can’t easily find it again.

How does this translate into an everyday impact?  Well I probably need to find around 10 images a day.  I can easily spend around 10 minutes trying to find each image. 100 minutes a day, 500 minutes a week for a 5 day week, 2,000 minutes a month, 24,000 minutes a year.  400 hours a year looking for images on my little laptop!  Wow, I’ve surprised myself here – that’s 50 x 8 hour working days!!!!!

I’m wasting 50 days a year looking for images!!

That’s so outrageous I had to go and check it again, and get someone else to check it as well.  Now I’m damned certain I’m not alone in this and whilst your’s may not be images, isn’t is worthwhile having a think.  If we compound this by how much time I also spend looking for the right underwear to go with an outfit, because it could be hanging on the radiator in the bathroom; on the stool by my dressing table; actually in the bra draw; in my handbag because I took it into the office to change; in the suitcase I haven’t unpacked properly since my last trip.  10 minutes a day looking for knickers ads up to just over 60 hours a year.  That’s one and a half working weeks.  If you put some figures to this just work out what your hourly rate is and do the maths.  My hourly rate is £200 so knicker hunting is costing me £12,166 a year.

Better go and sort out that washing.

 

 

 

 

 

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making decisions with Sian MurphyWell today I’m up at the Inspired Women Event in London and one of the speakers is talking about decisions.  So let’s have a think about that for a while.

If we think about successful people – have you got someone in mind?  Even if you don’t know them personally, can you imagine how they make decisions. Generally they are going to be making decisions FAST!  And here’s the thing, sometimes it doesn’t matter if you make the WRONG decision – as long as you make A decision, there will be action, action brings results and results mean feedback.  If you have made the wrong decision then at least you know and can take more action to put it right.  No decision means no action, no results, no feedback.  Nothing, Nada, Nil Zilch!

Let’s consider how we are making decision now.  Are you making decisions made based on fear?  Are you making decisions based on loads and loads of analysis?  Are you making decisions based on your gut instinct, or your intuition?

Which do you think is the most powerful.  The last one, don’t you think.  The trouble is that when we don’t trust ourselves, how we are running our business, our lives, our relationships then how can we possibly trust our instincts?

Trusting yourself and your instincts is a much bigger issue and will take a while to drill down into so what can you do if you need to start making decisions right now if you’re going to move forward?  I suggest the following:

 

Put a time limit on when the decision has to be made by – and stick to it!

 

Ask yourself, and record the answers to the following questions

What will happen if I do?

What will happen if I don’t?  

Won’t won’t Happen if I do?

What won’t happen if I Don’t

You should now have a little grid of answers, a structure, to work from.  It’s almost like a mini risk assessment.  If you need to, then bring in a second or third party, but remember you have your deadline and stick to it!

Let’s start small with a small decision.  Sometimes it’s failure to make small decision which have such an impact because it keeps popping up all the time.  Here are some example of a piddly decisions that can have a marked effect because they keep churning around?

‘What to put on your business cards, type of card and who’s going to print them’

‘Your logo design’

Which business bank to use

Where to work from – home, office or library.

So the decision here is are you going to do it or not?  If you decide not, then how much time and worry will you save yourself by not revisiting the issue over and over again, which means you can move on and focus on something more productive.

If you decide yes, then get on a damn well do it!!

 

 

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Wealth Dynamics ProfilesI first saw Roger Hamilton speaking in a small room in a Gatwick Hotel around eight years ago.  The meeting was free and well attended and it’s where I first came across the Wealth Dynamics system.  Up until a little while ago I would often try and do things on the cheap and because he’d given away enough information for me to have a bit of a guess at what my profile might be, I thought I’d try and botch it by trying to work it out myself.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the Wealth Dynamics Profile Test shows you what type of personality you have and have that relates to you creating your wealth.  Basically, are you an Oprah Winfrey, a Donald Trump or a Richard Branson?

So eight years later I finally decided to find out for real what my profile is and out it came as a Star Profile with a Creator Profile as my secondary character trait.  So what?  Well after many years hiding my light under the proverbial bushel, I now had a real direction and understood that the secret to my wealth is about having me being out front whilst others making other things happen in the background.  The most important revelation was that other people wanted to be working in the background – in fact didn’t want to be out front and mouthy like me at all.  So we could all do our own thing and be happy.

I finally had to accept, because my profile was telling me, that I do no get stuff finished – and yes – everybody around me knew this and the only person who didn’t realise or sort it out was me – which meant nothing was finished and whilst nothing finished might mean loads of projects started, a pile of half finished projects equals precisely no cash.

Perhaps the most significant break through for me was the understanding that my energy is Dynamo.  This means that I work fast and burn out fast and so taking regular breaks isn’t slacking at all, it’s just me using my energy in the best way.  And it’s true I do run on adrenaline and can give my energy to others, but without understanding this I was beating myself up because I seemed to be flagging by late afternoon whilst others around me plodded on.  This was so different to Mark my husband who has a Tempo Energy.

As the name Tempo suggests he has an even paced energy and he can still be working at midnight without feeling tired.  It’s true he is much slower than me at getting things done in the short term (and to think I used to give him a hard time about dawdling!), he can work at a steady pace for hours and hours, never seeming to tire.

When else does the Wealth Dynamics profile matter?

Perhaps one of the most important times you might want to do a Wealth Dynamics profile is when you are considering collaborating, or entering into a partnership. As a Star, it’s not going to be massively successful for me to be partnered with another star – can you imagine both of us scrabbling for the limelight?  No, Stars need to be partnered with a Deal Maker because what us stars don’t do very well is monetising our stuff.

A dynamo energy and a Tempo energy complement each other well, whilst two dynamo energies in the same office create exhaustion!

If you are a starter like me, then you need a finisher to hand the project over to for completion once you start to flag.

Your life your legacy

As a Star, I’m very much up in the clouds at the strategic level but what about when some attention to detail is needed. Well that’s when I need to bring in an Accumulator to do a bit of nit picking and bring the project home to bed – or profit.

What’s the next stage if you want to find out more?  Well the most obvious is to take the Wealth Dynamics test yourself and at only $97 dollars it’s a rather good investment.  Not only do you get the results of your profile, but you also get a load of information to go with it which means you can start to apply the results straight away.  If you do decide to take the test if would be great if you could use this Wealth Dynamics link – it won’t cost you any more money, but it will help us with a small bit of commission which helps to maintain the SianScribbles Blog.

If you want to know more about all of the profiles then you could always get hold of Roger Hamilton’s book Your Life Your Legacy from all the usual sources including Amazon.

 

 

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Well it’s been a while – almost a year to be exact, and I’m not sure why I stopped blogging.  I guess I started taking it all a bit too seriously and I suppose that’s what happens when you manage blogging for your clients.  You forget it can be fun, fulfilling and helping others (well, I like to think so anyway).

So what made me come back?  As it happens it was the Tamoxifen.  Again.  I found myself sharing with others, one conversation at a time, what I had found that had helped me out – and it just seemed a bit silly doing it one person at a time when I could go get it down on the blog and then let others share it as well.

Well that’s enough of me getting too big for my boots.  Today I’m very tired and decided to take a day out of the office and so whilst sat on the couch with my blanket and watching TV I’m also searching around the internet for help on dealing with the side effects on Tamoxifen – and guess what – most of the real help is coming from people like me who are looking for, have found and are now sharing solutions.  So it’s back to the blogging for me.

Please come and leave comments so we can share

xx

 

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WTJ-Make a Mess - CLEAN it up - pages 98-99 - ...

I think many of us associate something like The Power Of Now with ‘living for the moment‘ and not mithering about the past or fretting about the future.

But it recently dawned on me that much of my disorganisation is actually caused by me not following the Power Of Now – or doing stuff as it comes up.

Let me explain how this has been working, or not working, for me. I realised there are so many things which I don’t do when they should be done, which means I have to go back later and pick up from where I left off and sort it out. Or, the other thing that happens is I end up repeating a task simply because I didn’t do the admin at the time.

Here are a few examples:

Creating a new online account but not recording the new username, password, email address used, paypal account or any other associated admin stuff. Why doesn’t it get recorded?

The goal is wrong…If the end result, or goal is to get the account set up then there is a tendency to whiz on to get the thing set up and going, without including all the organisation as part of the job. If the end goal or task included not only the set up but the recording and administration to create a system to use the new tool efficiently, then we’re in with a chance of getting the job finished.

It could be because there is no designated place to record it. Or, where there is a special place like a notebook, it isn’t immediately to hand so the recording gets left until later. But what happens? Well I usually forget to record the details and then when I come to log on again I’ve forgotten the passwords and usernames I was convinced I would remember and on we go.  If you have something to record or file away and you don’t immediately know where it goes – then it doesn’t have a home and you will never be able to recover the information easily.  So create a home.

The Shove It In There And Sort It Out Later…How about all of those receipts and invoices which come into our handbags, pockets and inbox? Well often they stay where they landed or they get shoved into a box to be sorted out later – by which time it’s become a major job.  But how about if at the end of the week we collected all of the receipts together and just popped them into an envelope labelled up for that month.  It doesn’t take any longer than mashing them all down into a shoe box, but how much time has been saved not having to sort them out at the end of the year?  I reckon about 4 hours at least.  And don’t all those 4 hours mount up!!

I’ve put this post in the ‘How To Be Happy’ category because finally I realised how frustrating this disorganisation was becoming, and how it was affecting not only my productivity but my sense of well being.

How frustrating is it to waste 15 minutes trying to find a forgotten password?

Not as frustrating as doing it all again the next day!

What could be done if we reclaimed that 15 minutes back each day?  Well for starters this blog post took me about 15 minutes to write and publish. What else could be done in those rogue 15 minute time slots we throw away on doing stuff twice.

  • Make a call to a potential business partner
  • Listen or read a chapter of a personal development book
  • Have a sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit and listen to a chapter of the afternoon play
  • Chase an unpaid invoice.

And I’m sure you can think of some more enticing activities!

So what does this mean.  In the slivers of time I spend hunting for passwords in places where they haven’t been written down and racking my sore brains for inspiration on what I could have used THIS TIME  for – I could have grown my business, got some cash, improved my mind or just chilled out.

So the next time I create a new account, I’m going to get up and get the damn book where I record them all!  Instead of shoving this weeks receipts into a box with all the little bits of paper I’ve collected over the year, I”m going to put them into the folder for December receipts.  If you’re going to shoving something somewhere to fester until you need it then it might as well be easy to retrieve.

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As a writer, I just love this book. It’s a fantastic to dip into and it really brings the craft of writing to life. What’s great is that it goes beyond the technical stuff and gives us a bit of him, how he started writing, how it has affected his him and how writing fits into his life.

If ever there was a lesson in perseverance, this is it and that’s not just him as the man, but as the boy as well. He describes how his pile of rejection slips grew so large he could no longer fit it on the spike. What a dose of reality! Plus it also sets the expectation for anyone else who may aspire to publishing their stories.

The second half of the book has some real life examples of his editing process which certainly gave me hope. If Stephen King can write clumsily and sort it out in the editing – then so can I.

What really struck me however, was the large part played by the reader and their own visualisation as a key part of the art of the story telling.

If you are a writer now, or aspiring to be a writer, either fiction or non-fiction I can recommend this book as inspirational and instructional.

You may be surprised to find this book is sometimes available in UK libraries – but if you do decide to buy it now a few pennies will kerplunk into my writing fund.

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Driving to work this morning and listening to the Radio, I started to switch off as the presenter rattled on about the various people who surprised the audience by their performance on Strictly Come Dancing.

Sadly, I am compelled to point out voraciously that I have never actually seen the programme as such, I have gathered up bits of information by osmosis through the news and so on.

As the presenter was going on about the surprising agility of Russel Grant, I almost totally switched off – but not quite. Then it dawned on me – there is a point to Strictly Come Dancing after all. And here it is…

  • It’s about people doing things they’ve never done before
  • You see people getting over themselves and daring to look a bit silly in front of the camera
  • It’s about a shift of beliefs and identity
  • It’s about making a change and expanding the boundaries of your experience and possibilities.

Does this mean that I’m going to start watching it?  Probably not.  But I may be aware of who’s taking part and imagining what changes in values and limiting beliefs they’ve brought into their life to make it possible for them.

 

 

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The Power Of Now The Power Of Now

As long as nothing truly ghastly is happening to you as you read this, then you really don’t have anything to worry about do you?  Before you lash out, what I mean is that if you are fed, watered, warm and pain free, then you really DON’T have anything to worry about right now.

But that’s not how it works for most of us – but if our basic needs are taken care of, then what is it we are fretting about?  Well if it’s not what’s happening RIGHT NOW then it must be something which happened in the past and which is still hanging around like Banquo’s ghost, OR, it is something you are anticipating happening in the future from the loss of a loved one to losing your job, your income or your health.  Even worse, it could be both.

But how much of what you worry about actually comes true?

Sadly, these feelings of harking back to the past and fearing the future is true for so many of us.  Just the sheer weight of quotes by famous people shows us this is a widespread and longstanding problem amongst the general population of humans who don’t have to struggle every single day of their lives just to survive until tomorrow.

Here are just a few of my favourite quotes:

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened”. ~Michel de Montaigne

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened”.  ~Thomas Jefferson

“I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow.  It is the dark menace of the future that makes cowards of us”.  ~Dorothy Day

And my personal best where the author is unknown (so maybe I can claim it) is, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe”.

But to just cease worrying is easier said than done because worry is a rather comforting habit and like all habits it needs to be broken.  A rather good book is The Power Of Now, A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle and he comes up with a rather good technique which I will touch on here.  It all rather harks back to that old stuff I remember hearing about when I first took up Yoga about focusing on what is happening in the pose, so you lose yourself, albeit it temporarily.  Obviously I ignored all that and set up a little competition with myself about how far I could stretch, but focusing on how each muscle is working to keep you in the right posture really is the key.

It works because you can only think of one thing at a time.  Try this out for yourself – think of a tree and think of a horse.  You can’t do it! You can think of a tree and then think of a horse but you can’t think of the both things together unless you think of a horse jumping a tree.

If you are focused upon how something feels, smells or sounds then you really can’t think about anything else and your brain sort of switches off and has a bit of down time.  Peace.  Yes it’s only a temporary reprieve but as you carry on doing this, then the worry habit starts to subside.

Remember also that this is a technique for breaking the habit because it’s easier to move into concentrating about something neutral such as how the floor feels under the ball of your foot, than something positive which could manifest in the future.  Eventually  you are going to be able move your thinking from neutral to positive and powerful area for you.

Amazingly, there is a free copy of The Power Of Now published on www.holybooks.com so you can check it out before you buy.

 



 

 

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JRE-EF65-1029-ORIENT-EXPRESS Image via Wikipedia

We all have the choice to get off one train and step onto another heading for a more beautiful destination.

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excess

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in an attractive and well preserved body…but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay
in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out
and screaming ‘ WOW what a ride! ‘girl dancing

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Think and Grow Rich Think and Grow Rich

There is so so sooo much stuff written about goal setting.  Some may think there’s too much.  But it’s all just peripheral stuff because the key to getting the life you want (and isn’t that what goals should be about) is plain old WYSIWYG. What You See Is What You Get!

There are loads of new programmes and techniques around now to help you set goals, and perhaps you’ve tried a few, but sometimes the best thing to do is to explore the ancient roots of a principle.  Goal setting, or getting what you want, is there in the bible and that’s probably far enough back in time for us.  And this isn’t about religion, so whatever your religious faith, or lack of it, just remove the religious context and consider this is just about a proven technique.

In the bible we have a few choice phrases such as ‘Seek and yea shall find’, and isn’t that just telling us that we find (or get) what we are looking for?

Moving forward in time to the wealth gurus such as Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) and their texts boil down to visioning what you want and conjuring up the feelings you would be experiencing if you really had a million pounds.  The excitement of ‘as is’.

When I chat this through with people so many of them say that this won’t work for them because they can’t visualise – and if that’s you then try this.  Imagine I’m sat with you right now and you’re describing your front door to me.  Ok – done that.  Now in order to describe it, the colour, where the handle is, the step and the frame – you had to get a picture of it in your minds eye.  It may not have been like a photograph (for some it is) but regardless of the sharpness of the image this is still visualisation.  And that’s all there is to it.

So what do you want to create?  What sort of house? How big an income? How will your relationship be?  Whatever you’ve got now has grown out of the pictures and movies you’ve been running to date and if it’s not what you want then perhaps you need to change the movie.

But remember it takes 21 days to break a habit and if you’ve been running a crap movie or picture then you won’t just be able to banish it and replace it with Shangri-la (which is also the name of a Bed and Breakfast in Whistable) in 5 minutes.  So stick with it.

 

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Navel Other Peoples Navel

I was shuffling up and down through the TV channels waiting for Mark to come in with the tea and biscuits before we carried on with our Saturday night film, when I found myself on a programme where the topic of interest was celebrity belly buttons.  Basically these poor muckers had been sat on a beach, letting it all hang out when someone had snapped a shot of them and their oddly shaped innie and outie buttons. Finally Mark came back and sat down ready for the rest of the film, but before we knew it we were hooked and on our third navel.

Now we are fairly discerning about our TV viewing and tend to limit it to films and stuff we’ve recorded, so we don’t waste time watching crappy adverts, and yet here we both sat, sucked in as it were, into unusual shaped belly buttons. It was so smooth we hardly noticed the slide down, and like a drug addicts purging themselves of their addiction we had to pull the plug on the source and go cold turkey back to our film.

But what does it matter you may say.  Well perhaps in our little lives, it doesn’t, but in the grand scheme of the world then yes it does.  That same morning Radio 4 ran a trailer promoting a programme about UN workers in the former Yugoslavia, one of whom had witnessed a starving family trying to survive by consuming a cold horses hoof, and here we were consuming our third navel, so to speak.

It’s not that there must never be down time, a time when you’re just doing nothing, frivolity, it was how slickly we fell, succumbed to the twaddle and were suddenly lost.  If we want to be truly happy and at peace with our place in the world then perhaps it’s about that twaddle time being consciously spent, and consciously ended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anne Hathaway's Cottage from streetside Picture of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

I caught the tail end of a thought provoking report on Radio 4 the other day.

The report was telling us how the sales of downloadable ebooks, was now greatest in those aged over 60. People aged between 20 and 30, who might be expected to be the first to embrace this technology, if only because they can read the text on the weeny screens, were lagging behind in the downloadable books arket.

This surge in downlable reading also coincided with increased sales in the Mills and Boon and Erotica genres. Radio 4 research indicated the two were linked and that people were buying downlable versions of books they wouldn’t buy before, because as hard copies because onlookers couldn’t see what they were reading.

Oh dear!

So people haven’t been reading what they want, maybe even in their own homes, because they are worried about what others may think. Can I remind you that we are only talking about fantasy romance and mild titillation, and not anything that is going to land you on a serious offenders register.

But I’m hardly one to talk because for years I had a secret yearning for those little ornamental whimsy houses and cottages and yet didn’t have any because I thought they looked a bit naff. But that was in the old days when I was for some reason bothered by what people thought, whilst loudly proclaiming the exact opposite, of course.

Today I’m like that proverbial convent girl who’s had her first run in with the grammar school boys and has gone a bit wild – house full of mini cottages and village shoppee’s! And that’s another little lesson – denying who you are and abstaining from activities you enjoy may lead to unhealthy excesses, and so remember that a little of what you fancy really does you good.

I should point out that I am still not reading Millls and Boon books (and I’m saying nothing about the Erotica) but give it another 12 years and I’ll hit the magical 60 years old and then let the downloads roll!

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an old post card Being Happy After Breast Cancer?

I was at the Medway Hospital support group for women dealing with life after breast cancer when two similar incidences struck home.

In both cases, women were talking about their experiences when diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and despite this happening over 6 and 18 years ago respectively, both women immediately welled up with tears and emotion.

Neither were terminally ill and both looked fit and healthy, so why was all this emotion bubbling so close to the surface after so many years?

And I can’t afford to be smug either – I certainly don’t start crying when I think about my diagnosis because I’ve got that one sorted by not thinking about it at all, and if asked, I do a very fine impression of Arnie in Terminator. A fine and healthy attitude!

Quite by coincidence there was a discussion that same evening about ‘Acceptance’, and it became clear there was a general reluctance amongst those present to accept their diagnosis, and this got me considering if the two were linked.

Let’s have a look at what happens if we don’t accept that something like being diagnosed with breast cancer has happened. Without acceptance we are fighting against it, bemoaning our bad luck, feeling cross, berating ourselves and others for what has happened. But it has happened, and without  acceptance the fight will continue, but what is actually being achieved? Well nothing apart from possibly anger, sorrow, sadness and stress.

Acceptance is not about agreeing that it’s ok, that it’s a good thing (although many people say it has changed their life for the better) that you’re tickedy boo about the whole damn thing. It’s acknowledging the indisputable fact that it HAS happened.

With acceptance of a situation comes the possibility of improvement and a chance to build upon what has happened to create the best outcome. For many of us, this could even mean a better life after breast cancer than than the one we were living through before.

Have You Accepted Your Breast Cancer?

Well how do you really know?  I mean if someone asks you about it then even if you decide to cover it up for some reason, you still know the truth.  You have had breast cancer.  In your head you know this is correct.

Lets contrast this with another fact you know to be correct, how about the sun rising every morning.  Do you ever get cross or upset about the fact that the sun rises every morning?  If you do I suggest you have far more issues than can be dealt with in this little blog post!  Do you want to change the fact that the sun rises every morning?

No.

So perhaps a clue to your acceptance, or not, of a situation is the underlying emotion that accompanies your knowledge of that fact.  If you’re feeling angry about what has happened to you then how about thinking through what has happened, reliving the experience of your diagnosis and then firmly nodding you head in agreement and saying ‘yes’ – out loud is even better.

Go back up to that last paragraph – are you talking about what has happened to you?  Is the fact of the sun rising every day something that happens to YOU, or does it just happen?  The sun rising isn’t personal.

Now grab a pen and paper and start recording what is better in your life since your diagnosis.  Perhaps you have spent more time with the children or loved ones?  Have you learned to appreciate nature?  Do you spend more time doing things you enjoy like reading, walking or something arty?

If nothing is better (really?) then start thinking about and recording your intentions about how you will make your life better after breast cancer.  Because this is your chance!

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Drosophila XY sex-determination-HE Image via Wikipedia

What If You Could Have Better Sex After Breast Cancer Treatment?

There isn’t a one-stop shop approach to resolving problems with sex after breast cancer treatment. This is mainly due to the broad range of diagnosis an treatment options for breast cancer. Mainly though we are concerned about a lack of sex after breast cancer!

Sex after breast cancer treatment is not normally raised as an issue by the medical profession who are understandably rather more concerned with saving your life, than you having a good bonk after it’s all done with. Perhaps it’s understandable, and all that really means is that you need to identify and be proactive in resolving the situation for yourself.  The key word here is IDENTIFY.  I’m saying that because the upset (bit of an understatement I know) caused by the diagnosis and treatment tends to throw your life off balance.  One of the effects of this is not recognising when things are still off kilter, and of course if you don’t spot a problem, then you can’t take action to put it right can you.

There are so many different reasons why your sex life can go down the pan after breast cancer, and there are too many to cover in the one article.  So, here we are going to focus on YOUR reduced sex drive and suggest a few ideas for getting it back again.

So, why could you have a reduced sex drive? Here are some possible explanations:

1. Hormone treatments like Tamoxifen, and chemotherapy can reduce your sex drive so you just don’t fancy it.

These drugs illicit a physiological effect much the same as inadequate food or taking sleeping pills. Your overall performance is reduced and your sense of health and well-being suffers.  Interestingly, radiotherapy doesn’t appear to have the same effect.

2. The after effects of surgery, such as numb boob and non functioning nipples, or no nipples and no boob, can mean that a previously sexual part of your body has become a no-go zone because having it touched doesn’t feel nice anymore.

3. Both partners can feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about changes to your body.

You may also have to deal with letting go of the old parts (pun intended here) of your sexual routine. For instance, your partner may have loved nuzzling in the gully created by your breasts and that little comfort zone has now gone.

Sometimes there is more than this physical gap to overcome.

4. Vaginal dryness leading to reduced pleasure or even pain during intercourse. Dryness is often attributed to the after effects of chemotherapy and ongoing treatment by Tamoxifen. Vaginal dryness is also a symptom of the menopause. We cover advice about this in our programme and other articles but the first step is to ask your doctor for help.

Each of the above will have its own set of potential remedies but they can also combine to create the general feeling of not fancying sex or can’t be bothered. Here are a few tactics you can use to get it back again…

1. Much of our sexual desire is based on our visual, auditory and kinetic systems. So, you get a picture in your minds eye of an exciting sexual encounter, you remember sounds, or someone speaking sexy words to you, and finally you recall, and may even rekindle a feeling in your body. This ability to conjure up desire by visualising and remembering pasts events is crucial. And you can try it now by recalling a sexy moment you either experienced personally or watched in a film. Do you get a bit of a tingle in your tummy, or somewhere else? No, well give it time and keep practicing.

If you can’t remember anything right now then you can also induce it by using an outside stimulus. This is where porn is useful and remember, it must work because it’s one of the biggest markets in the world.

Just use the tools you’ve got (not pun intended). Start conjuring up real past experiences, or inventing new ones to induce that state of desire and get going right now. In a few days you could be cooking.

You may find keeping a diary useful. Use it to record any sexual feelings which crop up. Note down the time of day, what you thought about, what you saw in your minds eye, heard or felt, and if anyone was with you. If you review after a month or so, you may see a pattern emerging.

If nothings coming up for you them use porn or erotica. You will be able to find something to suit your personality and that of your partner. Of course you may have to go hunting around.

2. Are you feeling fearful that when you’re having sex your partner will be touching bits you don’t want touched anymore. Perhaps there’s other stuff you just don’t want to do as before such as undressing or hanging from the lampshades. That’s normal if you’re still feeling physically or psychologically sensitive to the changes and these underlying fears could be dampening or seizing up your desire.

You must tell your partner what has changed. What do you want now and what do you not want them to do? You’re reinventing your sex life after breast cancer. Your partner will not just get this stuff by osmosis and you have to spell it out otherwise they will get it wrong. How can they not? If they avoid your boob area then you’re likely to think they no longer want to touch or look at that part of you. On the other hand, if they steam in like before, but this time it’s into your numb, oversensitive and uncomfortable bits, then instead of erotic we have painful. My left boob area has only just rejoined the rest of my body and our sex life, and that’s a whole year after my radiotherapy ended.

Your partner will need proper information to get it right. Going rigid when you’re touched in the wrong place, or grimacing uncomfortably as they start to peel off your nightie really isn’t going to help the cause. Here are three suggestions to help you transition into a new sex life:

Grit your teeth and SAY exactly what it is you want

They will be doing their best to get it right so TRUST them

FORGIVE when they slip back into old habits because sometimes it can take a while (around 30 days) for a new habit to be formed. Get over it and get back on the job!

Your partner is making adjustments as well as you. REMEMBER this.

3. Attend to the small details and make an effort to create the right atmosphere. A sickness or upset can knock us off track and sometimes we seek out the comfortable. I mysteriously started wearing big knickers to go to my radiotherapy. Goodness knows why. The thing is, I was still wearing them months later whilst the skimpy strings I’d been sporting for years had somehow slid to the back of the draw. So, are you still in grannies knickers?

Start relaxing back into your sex life again. Hunt out and rescue those naughty nickers. If you didn’t have any then leave right now and buy some! Light some candles, have a bath, play Marvin Gaye, massage each other – whatever does it for you. You’re getting back into your sex life again by releasing all tension which might be building up around it.

This your chance to introduce new and invigorating elements into the old comfortable stuff of your courtship.

4. Visit a couples sex shop such as Ann Summers and just have a look around.

5. It’s an quirk of nature for many women that the less sex they have, the less sex they want. Once you get back in the saddle then you could be off again. So the final part is to get lubed up and JUST DO IT.

Sex after breast cancer can be as good, if not better, than before. So go for it.

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D with Cake

According to Mike, who works behind the butchery at Waitrose, this is the week in the year where everyone is most miserable, hence the empty Food Hall. The credit card bills are in, the end of the month paycheck hasn’t arrived, and the resolutions which were tripped easily off the tongue whilst the stomach was still queasy from too much turkey and pudding, are dropping by the wayside now that the nausea has subsided.  All of this means that people just arn’t feeling grand right now.

For the last, oh I don’t know, loads of years, I’ve made New Year resolutions and set various goals and made promises about not eating cake.  I’m sure you know the sort of thing.

Until now I mistakenly thought the only difference that breaking that resolution would make is to the size of my bum.  It’s big, (my bum) but it’s not yet HUGE and so the Battenburg usually wins out.   Until now.

I was reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by (Robin Sharma) when the concept of self-discipline sort of lept off the page at me.  I guess that’s what people mean by “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear“,  because I’ve been dipping into this book for a while and not noticed this before.

Here’s the idea – if you can’t stick to what you promise yourself you will do, then how will you have the confidence to tackle anything more challenging? If eating cake makes you so sluggish and podgy and miserable that you resolve to restrict yourself to a small piece as a treat once a week, and then not 30 minutes later there you are tucking into a cream donut because your friend enticed you into the coffee shop – how good will you feel about your ability to achieve anything?

So sticking to your New Year Resolutions reinforces your confidence in your own abilities to do whatever else you might want to achieve.

If there’s something, say in your career, or your business, where you’ve been holding back, not achieving what you hoped and where you are lacking confidence, then perhaps you should look further afield than at more professional personal development or training. Perhaps you should look at what else you set out to achieve and consider if there is another area of your life where you should be getting a grip.

I can’t promise that taking that taking brisk walk before breakfast every morning, or cutting out the chocolate will directly land you a promotion, or make the leap to start up your own business, but sticking to your guns on these small matters can be a great way of getting the balls you need to aim for whatever else you want to achieve.

If you decide to buy The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – it would be great if you could use this link – it won’t cost you any more and SianScribbles get a little smidgen. Thanks so much. UK readers – when you get to the Amazon site, go to the top right hand side and pick the UK and you’ll head straight off there.

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Please not more goal setting, I just can’t take it.Go For No

Yesterday I was at the Kleeneze New Year conference, and as usual much of the day was about personal development and overcoming obstacles. The book stall was there with all the stuff you’d expect to see at a gathering of one of the most successful MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) organisations in Europe…’How To Get 10 Times More Stuff Done And Erect A Garage Before Breakfast; You Too Can Set Humongous Goals Whilst You Change The Nappies; and my favourite – ‘If You Can See It, You Can Eat It‘.

I still haven’t finished eating the chocolate frog and I’ve awoken the giant within by eating too many pies (and if you get that one, then you’re going to know exactly where I’m coming from). If you don’t, then get hold of a copy of ‘Eat That Frog‘ by some bloke and ‘Awaken The Giant Within‘ by Tony Robbins. Excellent books both).

But just for now, I’m feeling fully developed and would rather like to slouch around for a bit. So it was with that mindset that I told Mark (husband) that I was not buying another damned personal development book. And then the rather oddly matched couple Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz did their bit on the stage. No not that. It was a Keynote presentation about ‘Going for No’.

Their basic idea was that some of us, most of us I suppose, spend more time than we appreciate deploying avoidance tactics for being told NO. Procrastinating on sales calls, not seeking an invitation, talking ourselves out of applying for that job, not asking out someone we fancy, and all because we fear rejection or getting it wrong.  We are seeking affirmation, the big YES, and in longing for the Yes, we avoid the action we need to take to get them.

So stop doing that Yes thing and go for a ‘NO’. You won’t die because someone tells you no, and the more No’s you get means the more questions you are asking, and the more actions you’re taking and goals you’re aiming to hit.  Along the way, whether you like it or not, you are going to get the odd ‘yes’ because by the law of averages someone is going to like what you’ve got.

This is big stuff because it’s letting you off the rejection hook. Instead of dreading being told ‘No’, you’re expecting it – hell you’re aiming for it! ‘ No’ is your measure of success for the day. So how does all of this work?

Do you remember when you were a kid and the most unpopular person in the school was often the one that tried the hardest to be liked, to get in with the in-crowd, and instead they just appeared to be crawling. Conversely, the cool relaxed kid who didn’t seem to care how many people were huddled round him in the playground was simply adored by all – even the teachers.

That’s it working.

How about in your love life. Can you imagine being put off by a potential partner who is just desperate to get together with you? Desperation is really not attractive and yet it can be how we come across when we behave like a missile honed in on our goal of getting a ‘Yes’.

If you are in sales, how special do you think your customers feel knowing they are just filling your goals board of orders? Not very, but ‘No’ is so so different. You want them on board, you WANT their business or their friendship, but you don’t NEED it and you respect their decision to say No. And you move on to get the next ‘No’ with the door still open to return and try with them again later and with mutual respect.

Do you need more convincing?  If you don’t have any children of your own then I’m sure you’ve heard kids going on and on and on at their parents to get an ice-cream.  Goodness knows how many times they are told NO, and yet they persist. Even if the flailing arms of their irate guardian suggests they ought to pack it in for the day, you can bet they start up again with the ice-cream whinging as soon as their eye’s crack open the next morning.

Children simply haven’t yet been programmed to interpret NO as the signal to give up and scuttle off never to return.  True they may need to make a tactical retreat, but it’s only a temporary measure to allow regrouping and they’re back soon enough, and with all of their self esteem still intact.  Somewhere along the way in our growing up process 95% of us learned to take a ‘No’ personally and as a signal to give up.  If you want to see the 5% who didn’t sprout up like that then just take a look at the most successful people in the world.  And by success I mean that they have an abundance of the wealth they want.

It doesn’t matter if you want to apply this to your personal or your business life, it will work for both but there is one concept which must be grasped to get the full benefit. It’s about how we react to getting a NO. I don’t know about you but when the sales are good and the team members are flying in – basically, I’m getting loads of yes’s then it’s a wonderful life, the business is fantastic, it is a MARVELOUS day and all is right with the world. Get Real. And then come the ‘No’ days and when there are no orders and every prospective team member tells you to bugger off.

There will always be good days and bad days in business and when you keep your emotional responses steady, then your business will be steady, and I expand upon this concept in this article…’Sky Rocket Your Sales When You Ditch The Bipolar Business Attitude And Learn How To Sulk.

You can apply this stuff right now by just deciding how many ‘NO’s you’re going to get each day.  So if you are selling personal fitness plans, how about setting yourself a target of 50 NO’s a day?  If you want to delve a bit deeper, and I did, then click through on our ‘refer a friend‘ link and there’s also some free stuff for you to do and join. ‘

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Yoghurt
Image via Wikipedia

Yogurt – A Natural and Safe Home Remedy for Vaginal Yeast Infections

By Jonni Good

The most common home remedy for vaginal yeast infections is non-sweetened yogurt that contains active bacteria. Many commercial brands do not contain live acidophilus bacteria, so be sure to read the label. Nancy’s Yogurt, made in Oregon, contains several different types of live cultures and may help you re-establish your yeast/bacteria balance.

If you don’t live in an area that sells this particular brand, check the labels on the yogurt available at your local supermarket – “live cultures” should be prominently noted.

If you add sugar to the yogurt you will cancel out its benefits by feeding your yeast – if you really can’t bear the idea of eating unsweetened yogurt, add a small amount of honey instead of sugar. Honey has been proven to increase the numbers of beneficial bacteria in your gut, while sugar inhibits bacteria and feeds yeast. If you have to choose between sweeteners, always choose honey.

Brown sugar, raw sugar, and other forms of sugar are just sugar – they aren’t any better for you, and they should be avoided like the plague if you have a yeast infection.

Some people put yogurt in the vagina instead of eating it, in order to get the acidophilus down where it’s needed more quickly, but some studies have shown that this is not needed or effective. If you want to try it, you can insert the yogurt directly into the vagina by dipping a tampon (the kind without an applicator, like the OB brand) into unsweetened yogurt and then inserting it into the vagina. Remove the tampon after an hour or so.

You can also freeze yogurt in the fingers of a sterile plastic glove, and then insert the frozen yogurt popsicle in the vagina like a tampon. This can be a bit messy, so you may want to use a sanitary pad for a few hours. Believe it or not, the icy yogurt will feel good against your inflamed vaginal walls.

You can also find  suppositories containing live bacterial cultures at the natural food store and online. These products deliver the beneficial probiotics directly to the affected area. Make sure you select a capsule that contains only live bacterial cultures, and which does not contain herbal remedies such as Pau D’ Arco bark extract or black walnut that may kill the bacteria.

If you use one of these products or put yogurt in the vagina, you should also eat a cup of unsweetened yogurt every day as well. You need a strong population of acidophilus in your intestinal tract to help build up your natural defenses and keep your infection from coming back.

Since yogurt is not an antifungal treatment, there is no risk that it will cause your yeast population to mutate and become drug resistant. Even if you are lactose-intolerant, you may be able to tolerate yogurt, but if not, try one of the acidophilus capsules sold at the natural food store, instead.

If you want to use yogurt as a natural home remedy for your yeast infection, go ahead and experiment to see if it works for you. You may decide to cover all your bases, and use yogurt both as a topical treatment in the vagina or on your genital area, while also including it in your diet. As always, if your yeast infection does not clear up in a few days while using this remedy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. Most home remedies, including yogurt, will only work if you catch your yeast infection while it’s still fairly mild.

Yogurt is just one of the safe and natural home remedies for yeast infections. To learn more about yeast infection cures for both vaginal and male yeast infections, visit the author’s site at http://www.YourYeastInfection.com

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?Yogurt—A-Natural-and-Safe-Home-Remedy-for-Vaginal-Yeast-Infections&id=490056

If you’ve been wondering if there could be a link between your decreasing oestrogen levels (if you’re on a drug like Tamoxifen) and increased incidences of thrush, then you may find the article below on Perimenopause useful.

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Bobby Farrel of Bony M died today (in the same City as Rasputin spookily enough). Check out these fantastic costumes which provide a great backdrop to this peaceful song.

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