…how beautiful it is to bathe in a river of inspiration..
When was the last time you felt inspired? Perhaps it’s a word or phrase that we use too lightly or frequently that it’s meaning becomes somewhat diluted. According to my slightly worse for wear Collins dictionary, to ‘Inspire’ means ‘.. to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon a person etc; animate or invigorate; to arouse with a particular emotion or to a particular action; stir; to prompt or instigate; give rise to..’. Wow, how beautiful it is to bathe in a river of inspiration…..I often tell my Artist how much I love him, and on the last occasion he said ‘ Thank you honey, that inspires me..’ Do we know when we are inspiring others? What would happen if we consciously and intentionally decided to be inspiring everyday? To cause a beneficial effect and to prompt to a particular positive action? Surely that would feel very good indeed.
Inspiration can be Divine, and it can be very human. Our stories; our struggles; how we deal with our limitations, physical or otherwise; how we give and receive love; our vulnerability; our brokenness; our silent companionship; our triumphs over adversity; our journeys.
I was filled with inspiration at a weekend event, where ordinary men and women who now lead extraordinary lives, shared their struggles and successes in the hope that their stories would have a beneficial effect and prompt many others to take action to change their lives. I am changing my life, by changing my actions and my thinking. I am working with others who wish to do the same. I too wish to be inspired and to inspire others. It’s exciting, and it makes me smile. As I continue to consider my purpose in life, this is clearly one of those important signposts that will guide my way.
As I embark upon my new journey as a business owner, coach and mentor, I regularly come across many fears brewing up inside of me. Some of these I am aware of, but others are quite new.
What will other people think of me? What if my friends laugh at me? What if I miss the security of a day J-O-B? What if I can’t find the time to do what I need to? What if I am not consistent in my daily actions? What if I get bored with it? What if I fail? What if I lose all confidence? What if I can’t learn all the new skills? What if I let people get to know the real me and they don’t like me? Will I be less interesting to people and therefore lose friends?
So this is what I tell myself: You are a unique and wonderful creation so do not be afraid. What does it matter what people think of you? Your real friends wouldn’t laugh at you. Be open to learning and creating new habits. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage and support you. Be true to your passion and create the time to do what you enjoy. Find your inner you and connect each day in silence and stillness.
The real you is You!
Discover your gifts and share and be a blessing to others. The confidence will follow. Spend time working on your ‘new self’ and develop a new mindset. Be grateful for everyday and by being yourself you will cultivate new and affirming friendships.
So you feel the fear, and you do it anyway. Do not be afraid to embrace a new direction in life. Life is too precious and short to be stunted by fear.
It’s not cold! I can feel the sun on my face and I have warm knees…..
So we were on our way home from an evening out, and the temperature had dropped so that it was freezing outside. I was warm in my coat but for some reason my knees were cold. ‘Let’s pretend the sun is shining and we can feel the warmth of the sun on our faces and we have warm knees!’ So we repeated this to ourselves, laughing as we quickly walked home.
How many times do we try to convince ourselves that something is true when it isn’t? This is a trivial example but what about something more significant? ‘I’m okay, I feel great!’, when you’re really exhausted and tired, or ‘This is a great bar and great music’, when you really want to be at home in bed at 9.30pm, or ‘It’s not a bad job, and the pay is decent’, when really you hate your job and feel trapped and unfulfilled, or ‘I’ll be fine, I just need a coffee’, when really you have been neglecting your health and your body is telling you that all is not well.
What masks are you wearing today?
It’s one thing to hide the truth from other people, but to hide it from yourself? Well that’s a dangerous game.
I think I have had a number of masks in my time. Hiding physical pain to avoid pity and drawing attention to myself. Remaining in denial about my lack of a work-life balance which was slowly draining away my joy.
Well it’s time to embrace your real and inner you. It’s time to be thankful for your life. It’s time to be bold in the pursuit of happiness and take steps to change your life for the better. It’s time to silence the negative inner voice that says you can’t or you’re not good enough. Be bold. Be courageous. Be you!
Life is a beautiful gift, a gift of love, laughter, joy and happiness. Life is also a gift of pain, challenges, uncertainty and questions. How we view life depends upon us and how we choose to ‘see’. I was in a town centre yesterday and I heard this amazing music flowing through the air. I turned around to find the source of the melody, so that I could move closer and listen in for awhile. I found a young girl, busking, strumming away on her guitar, sounding like a young female version of Eric Clapton (yes I’m a big Eric fan!). But it wasn’t just her talent and music that struck me. It was the contented joyful and happy look on her face. She sat with her legs crossed, toes tapping to the beat, her beat. She had a woolly hat on over her long dark hair and she looked very young and carefree. Her groovy vibe was so attractive and contagious and I found it hard to pull myself away! I left her feeling happy and light and joyful and admiring her entrepreneurial spirit.
Later on that day, I was on a train on my way to a business meeting, and the train was stationary for a long time as the emergency services had been called to an incident involving a person in front of a train. Though nothing further was said, as the train reversed back towards our starting point, it didn’t sound good at all. My heart went out to the person’s family.
Two perspectives, but the same life. How do you choose to view the gift of you? I choose to see the love and the pain, the laughter and the challenges, the joy and the uncertainty, the happiness and the questions, all through the eyes of positivity, gratitude and mission. With a sense of urgency, not to waste a single moment, but to bring light & love and be a blessing to others.
I’m not sure why, but when I think about taking a trip on a plane, I can hear the enchanting voice of Randy Crawford singing ‘One day I’ll fly away…leave that love to yesterday….what more can your love do for me? when will love be through with me…..!’. My sincere apologies Randy, as I’ve probably got half of the words wrong! Well…it was a beautiful song!
Anyway, shortly afterwards I am filled with excitement at the thought of a holiday adventure! So it’s official, we are going to Australia, to Perth and Melbourne, to visit our family. What is it about travel that is so exciting? Is it the thought of a refreshing change to your usual schedule? Or the idea of an adventure and making new acquaintances? Or is it a weird combination of the fear of, and the thrill of the unknown?
Travel can be educational; enlightening; an invitation to open oneself to infinite possibilities; a chance to refresh and be refreshed; a chance to develop a more confident and positive mindset and rest in a strong attitude of gratitude. Travel can be fun and carefree with a chance to connect with your inner child, and breathe a bit deeper, and perhaps see yourself with fresh eyes. Of course one of the best things about travel is coming back home. So what do you love the most about travel?
The company I work with provides rather impressive travel incentives – last year Singapore, this year South Africa, all expenses paid flights, 5 star accommodation AND spending money, for you and a guest. Not bad at all! I do believe I have found an ideal way to travel the world, and I intend on doing just that.
‘Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire’ – St Catherine of Siena
So this is my desire, to radiate light & love. I suppose it’s a sort of mantra, or the beginnings of a personal mission statement. I’ve been thinking about the word ‘mission’. What is my mission? Do you have a mission in life? Perhaps you are searching for your mission in life? I have a sense of being used as an instrument to help others, to be blessed with an abundance from which I can be a blessing to everyone around me.
I think of all the mothers who have given so much of themselves, in love, to the nurturing and development of another human being. I am not a mother (though hopefully… one day), but what a gift, what a blessing, to be able to give in such a way that will forever have a positive impact upon a person’s life. To enable a person to live life to the full, really live it!
So how does the saying go? You can give a man a fish and he will feed his family for a day. You can teach a man how to fish, and he will feed his family and others for a lifetime.
Legacy building. That’s what I’m excited about. I’m on the right track, I can feel it! I suppose the finer details will become clearer in time, but I keep moving forward on this mission. It’s interesting, how I seem to be meeting people who share my idea of mission and are joining me along this journey.
‘No darling. No coffee. No wine. Just deal with it. Come on it’s time for yoga’
So, my husband and I decided to take the 9 day challenge, and complete a cleansing and detox programme called C9. I think I have fallen into the habit of drinking too much coffee, and I do enjoy red wine, so I thought it would be refreshing for my body (and mind) to do without these rather delicious stimulants for a while. My husband is a good sport, and very supportive, so he decided to join me. The foundation of the programme is based upon one of nature’s wonderful secrets, captured in nearly 100% purity by the grower/manufacturer’s patented process, namely Aloe Vera Drinking Gel. We both drink this everyday in any event, as a way of helping our bodies to stay healthy, and we have both received health benefits as a result. So perhaps I was also curious to see how I would feel after the 9 days.
Well I must admit that I missed my morning coffee terribly for the first 2 days, and I’m ashamed to say that I was a bit grumpy to begin with (I didn’t see that coming!) By comparison, my husband (whom I shall now refer to as the Artist) was very cool and calm, raising his hand in front of my face very gently and saying, ‘No darling. No coffee. No wine. Just deal with it. Come on it’s time for yoga’.
Now we have completed the challenge – hooray! The slightly chunky bit around my torso and belly that I had accepted as a natural part of my bodyshape has slimmed down and I now have more of a waist, which gave me the boldness to step out of my comfort zone and buy some incredibly skinny, skinny jeans! I am now strutting around my kitchen thinking I’m Olivia Newton-John in ‘Grease’ singing the words to ‘You better shape up….’. I feel differently about my morning coffee, and now I have a morning hot water and lemon instead, and I’m eating more fruits and vegetables each day than I have in a long time. We are both enjoying more energy and more yoga together. And what did the Artist say in his best Aussie accent ‘Yep. It cleared out all the crap in my system and I’ve got more energy’. Enough said.
I think everyone should try this at least once and I have no hesitation in recommending this to friends and family.
So the last few days have been really exciting and somewhat challenging… I suppose I have been challenging my mind and my body. I’m learning all about the importance of having a strong and positive mindset, for achieving my goals in life and of course in business.
‘By taking responsibility for the pictures in your mind, the things you say to yourself, the tone of voice you say it in, and the feelings you are creating internally, along with the way you use your body, mean that you can now begin to choose how you want to feel, think, act and be….and you choose how others see you in the process…’ Dave O’Connor.
I went along to an amazing day at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel in London on Saturday, led by Dave O’Connor and other great speakers. It is so liberating and inspiring to discover and to learn to love the real me! The positive and self-encouraging me! The Tessa that no longer limits her abilities by her limiting self-beliefs – ‘I couldn’t possibly do that because I’m not clever enough, or pretty enough, or healthy enough, or brave enough!’ We tell ourselves these things all the time, and end up sabotaging our best laid plans or ideas. Why do we do that? Or is it just me? Working on your mindset is clearly a daily work- in -progress, but I think it will be a labour of love and empowerment! I am so happy and grateful that I was able to share this day, and mindset journey with my husband Terry, who is on the journey with me. It’s exciting because I never envisaged us sharing something like this……..perhaps a sign of things to come?
We have also been challenging our bodies to a 9 day detox and cleansing plan called the C9. We are on day 6 – but I think I’ll tell you more about that next time. Wishing you all a positive day!
Opportunities to help others can come along in all manner of ways. I’ve always said that I want to radiate light & love and add value to the lives of others. But how? Perhaps I have done that in the past with people I have met in need of legal representation or advice? Perhaps I have listened to a friend when she needed a shoulder to cry on? Perhaps I have chosen to smile at a stranger on the street who seems so forlorn and haunted by numerous worldly worries? But how can I truly invest in someone, in their families, make a real difference and build a friendship along the way? Well that is exciting, and that is what I’m striving towards. I want to leave a legacy.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to speak to a room full of people about my journey, my challenges, living with Sickle Cell Anaemia, and my excitement at the bright future ahead of me. I was touched by the response from the audience, the comments I received afterwards, and the discussions that followed. I see now that where I find myself, and in the opportunities that my business provides, I have a vehicle to do what I desire. To invest in people, to truly make a difference to the lives of others. To leave a legacy.
So I must get to work. Become the best Tessa I can be. Use my strengths and develop new skills. Help others become the best that they can be. And so it begins….
My life has changed so much within the last year. It’s exciting. I decided to make a decision to change my life. For the better, I hope. What is it about the fear of the unknown? It can be crippling! I’ve learnt that a useful acronym for the word ‘fear’ is false, evidence, appearing, real. But what does that really mean? Well for me, it was the fear of leaving a respectable, well trodden career path with a decent income, with well lit lamps ahead of me to guide my path, to take a different path…one that didn’t appear to be clearly signposted, was a bit foggy, but I could see inviting sunlight ahead, and more fulfilment and excitement and adventure. It felt as though this was the path to the real me, the real Tessa. A wise man said to me, “Well you must ask yourself Tessa, in 5 years time, will you look back to this moment and wish that you had been brave enough to try something new?” I replied, “Yes I probably will!”. “Well you must do it then”, he said. And so I did.
And I’m so happy that I did.
So, barrister and civil servant turned Entrepreneur and Business Owner/Developer and Leader, helping and empowering others to do the same and more…… and who knows what else to come!
We have all been given gifts, and we develop skills along the way. I am choosing to use my gifts and skills in a different way now, and I am learning new skills along the way.
Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire – St Catherine of Siena