It wasn’t all bad….

So we’re into a new year, and over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of commentary about the year just finished. So can I make a suggestion? When you look back over 2016, take a moment to step back and remember all of it.

It is so easy to decide it was a good or a bad year based on how you feel now, or have felt for the last few weeks. It seems like the whole world decided 2016 was a bad year.

When in fact there were good things, I’ll guarantee you. If you look you will see and remember them.

Nothing is ever all bad, so forget the hype and the media. Forget the celebrities who died and the polling results. None of that stuff affects you personally, (unless its someone genuinely close to you)

Take a step back and realise its all perspective

I can remember when I was young having a time when I was quite down, possibly even a bit depressed. And it was down to so much going on, and me taking it all personally, yet in hindsight it wasn’t my stuff. It was about other peoples’ lives and events, that I had got caught up in and built up into “life” being sad and awful.

When I look back at 2016 myself, on the surface I don’t appear to have done much, I feel great, I am in a good space feeling positive about what is next.

Yet I had some ’bad’ times, I had phases when it felt like everything was against me, I was dealing with multiple high stress situations at the same time, with zero support. And have been there more than once this year.

But it passed, I dealt with it, I knew I would, it was just annoying having to manage all that stuff at once.

The difference between the me now and the younger me is the confidence and inner knowing, and the awareness and knowledge, I have grown a lot over the years! Now I can let things go, not take them personally, especially when its not my stuff, leave the world to get on with it, and judge how good my own world is, based on me, and how I really feel, and what really happened.

Maybe you could say I was lucky, I ended the year in a good place, feeling good, so my view was tinted with happiness, others were the opposite. Yet we all had lots happening through the year. and I will also add, my high spirits had plenty to do with my plans for the year ahead, so its focus too!

Where is your perspective and focus, looking back and looking forward?

Time To Stop This Craziness

Sometimes, when its all getting too much, you just have to STOP!Are you enjoying the summer? Its school holidays now and for many an excuse to rest a bit more and work a bit less.

Not for everyone though, to some the nice weather just makes them feel guilty because they want to be out in it but feel under pressure to get on with other things.

 

Time for me
At this time of year the first thing I do once I’m up is take the dog to the beach, and we stay there for between one and two hours. I don’t check the time, we come back when we’re ready. That’s me time. I mostly don’t book appointments too early in the morning, and I only ever check the time on the rare occasion I do have a commitment.

Yet among the entrepreneurs I know, not many do things like this.

Too many folks are too “busy”

All too often I see people running around way too much, if you talk to them they keep on about how busy they are and don’t have time for things. Yet they are still keep adding more to the diary. And at the same time they are constantly making excuses for not doing things.

Typically these people are not hermits, 9 times out of 10 they’re at all the social events you can imagine as well, and all the business events and conferences.

Take a break

You don’t have to go to every social event, catch up with every friend and acquaintance every time. You don’t have to do it all

You do need to take a break, give yourself day off, quietly, on your own, or an evening off. On your own, not with the pressure of social and fitting in with others

Or you might be forced into it
If you don’t rest your body is eventually going to make you, and you very likely won’t like the way it does it!
Here’s the thing, if you’re feeling stressed, for whatever reason, you need time out. You’re already making excuses for the things you don’t deem to be a priority, yet what is left is still too much.

And its not just you
Plus the people you are turning down are seeing you doing the other things and out and about all the time, and they are noticing, if they are switched on they are noticing that you’re not making them priority. Particularly if you post your every move on social media!
Your clients can see it, your friends can see it

So not only are you slowly making yourself ill, you are also unconsciously upsetting people around you or undermining their faith in you.

Too much inspiration?
And then there’s the other side, the entrepreneurs blessing and nightmare. You just keep getting more ideas. You do, don’t you? It’s normal.

What’s not normal is trying to implement every idea as soon as it comes to you. Where did you suddenly get time and energy? Either you put off something else, because this is exciting and in the now, or you’re trying to do it all, which means you’ve added even more to the “to do” pile!


Actions you can take

If you already promised to do something, don’t just say you can’t do it now, or you don’t have time, ask someone else to take over. Or delegate if you have someone you can hand over to.

If you get all these ideas and you want to do them all, write them down, keep an ideas book with you, and then do one at a time

If your feeling stressed, stop. Take time out. Really the world won’t end if you have a breather, nobody will die if it’s not all done today, honestly.

Be responsible
At the end of the day you have to take responsibility for what’s going on in your life. You can change things and you can make choices. Step back, breathe, and ask yourself what is the right next step for you. And do that.

If you feel that your life is a bit crazy and you’re looking for more balance why not check out my new workshop? How to Get Back to Balance: Know What You Want, Create More Time, And Get Back in Control of Your Life and Your Business read more here

First published by Authentic Edge, August 2015 © Julia Mcdaid

Its All In The Choices You Make

You know the answers, really you doI wanted to write about choices today. Mainly because I have been reflecting on this following a couple of recent conversations.

I’m sure you have heard & read about life being a result of the choices you make? And whilst that may sometimes seem harsh, or difficult to fathom, in realty if you look at smaller things you can see how your choices impact you

For example, today I am feeling tired. Yet it is entirely self-inflicted. I had a late night and got up early! I didn’t get enough sleep, end of story. End result is tired, need more sleep. I could have gone to bed earlier or got up later, I had a choice.

Take it back one step, well actually easier said than done. Where I am its hot in summer and I have a dog, so I need to be up and out and walked by about 9am. OK I don’t have to, but it’s more comfortable for both of us if it happens.

Plus last night I was hosting an event, I could have left much earlier and gone home. Fact is, I was the host, it’s my group, I don’t like to leave until it’s down to the last few people, and I was having a lot of fun! Was I worried about getting up in the morning? At the time, of course not.

Where am I going with this?

Well, here’s the thing. I could have slept in, I didn’t because of the dog, I chose to have dog, I chose to live here , I chose to walk when it’s comfortable, I chose to get up even though I felt tired..

I chose to run a social group, I chose to have the event, and I chose to stay til the end. I didn’t have to do any of those things.
Do you see? Lots of choices but my feeling tired today is nothing to do with anyone else, the Universe, the weather or whatever.

These things are cumulative and build up over time, lifestyle is affected by the choices you make. Whilst you may not see the path or the many choices you made over time, in the end you did choose the things that led you to where you are, whatever that may be.

And you can now choose how you deal with it, how you feel about it, and what you do about it

If you do nothing you’re still choosing, even though you may choosing to let others decide by not actively deciding something yourself.
I guess there are two things to take away from this.

One, to be aware of your choices as far as you can, even though you may not be able to see the future cumulative effect

And two, to take responsibility, by acknowledging that yes you did make choices that led you here, even if you didn’t realise at the time

What do you think?

Wednesday Inspiration

A lovely poem to share today What is your response?

A SUMMER DAY
– Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

coolidge“Persistence. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press on,’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
—Calvin Coolidge (President USA)

 
Well worth taking note of. If you really want something stick at it. And if you have genius or talent or education, then why waste it because you thought you couldn’t, or you couldn’t be bothered.

We all have more to offer than we think, so choose what you want and go for it! 🙂

Listen to the Inner Voice

voice insiude
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you listen to your intuition? It can be a huge help both in business and other aspects of life. Fabulous when making decisions.

Church Is The Best Place To Pray

Do you need to be somewhere special to pray? - Julia Mcdaid“If you want to pray, the best place to do it is in church”
This is what someone close to me said recently.

And of course, me being me, I disagreed. – Nothing to do with religion for the record.

I don’t agree with the statement though, why do you have to be in church to pray? what difference does it make?

I mean what is praying anyway? In the main as I understand it praying is asking for something you want, asking for help for you or someone else, or asking for guidance. Is it not? And sometimes a way to be thankful or express fears and emotions. In most religions it is traditionally about connecting to/speaking to their “God”/”Spirit” etc.

So why do you need to be somewhere special to do that? Surely wherever you are it is about the connection , the intent and the actual asking.

I really do think too much emphasis is put on institutionalising things like this. Going to church on a Sunday does not make you a good person, not on its own. Being a “good” person is about how you live your life and how you are with other people, living things and the environment. It’s not about showing up in a certain place for an hour a week.

I have known, as I’m sure you have, churchgoers who do nothing for anyone else , do not live in what might be deemed a “Christian” way, yet because they go to church on Sunday they think they are better than anyone else. Whilst I have also known many people, who never set foot in a church, or mosque, or temple or any official building, yet who are the most generous, compassionate, helpful people around.

I firmly believe that the way you are, and the way you live your life, says a whole lot more about you that where you go to practice your beliefs officially be that religious, political, spiritual or whatever.

And that said, back to praying. Different people will use different words, some say pray, others might say ask for divine guidance, others might say asking forgiveness or sending healing.

It is a word used originally within religion but now more widely. And the bottom line is if you are asking for help or guidance what you really want is something outside of you to help you, or show you the way, or maybe help someone else.

And why ask someone/something external? Why not take responsibility and ask yourself?

So isn’t that really just checking in with your intuition? If you want to know what to do, ask yourself, check in with your heart – because you know best, and deep down you will have an answer. Whether you believe that is coming from your heart or soul, or from someone/thing “out there” it doesn’t really matter.

And it certainly doesn’t matter where you are, you can be on the train, in the car, by the sea or in the countryside. You can still ask questions and still get answers.

And if you want to help someone else you can send healing or ask for guidance on what to do.

Yes you can! Really.

So there you have it. I believe you can pray anywhere and I think praying and checking your intuition are so closely linked it’s all about perception. You may use different words to me, but underneath it all we are referring to the same thing. We can all go our own way, pray in church, or the temple or ask for intuitive guidance by the sea, or driving in the car. We are all asking for help or guidance, and will all get an answer.
If we listen.

Disclaimer: The view expressed in this article are my own. It is not intended to have any religious opinion, comments made are merely for illustration.

Who Says Weekdays Are Good?

Don't waste your life wishing it awayAre you on Facebook? Most people I know are, even if they don’t use it much. In fact where I live it is necessary to know what is going on as locally they don’t seem to use real websites much, just Facebook pages.

Anyway, I digress. I am on Facebook, and on the whole I quite like it, its nice to dip in for a few minutes and see what is happening.

What I wanted to write about though is the frequency of those picture posts with things like “Hurrah, its the weekend!”, “Thank God Its Friday”, ” Happy Hump Day” and “Boo, its Monday” and similar phrases.

What is the obsession with days of the week, and the weekend being good and the weekdays being bad?

Isn’t this just a classic example of perception?

Who says Saturday or Sunday is better than Tuesday or Thursday?

Do you really want to wish your life away hoping for it to be a different day of the week?

I know this stems from employees and the work week but even so. If things are that bad, isn’t it time to look for a new job?

Seriously, this obsession with the weekend and wishing your life away amazes and saddens me.

Every day is what you make it, if you decide Monday is a good day I bet you it will be better.

A day is a day, no different to any other day. In this century more so than any, it is not even as though shopping hours vary much, you can access everything you want virtually every day and many things 24/7.

And if you are self employed where does one day end and the next begin? Really? If you work for yourself you have already created more choice, and you choose when you work.

Who says you have to work 9-5, Monday – Friday? And do you anyway? I suspect not.

In many ways this is conditioning. Yet who wants to live their life based on someone else’s thinking from years ago? Not me that’s for sure!

In my view every day is a day, filled with as much or as little possibility and opportunity as you want to attach to it. A work day isn’t “bad” and a non work day isn’t “good”.

Instead of worrying about where in the week you are, why not focus on choosing what you would love to create and enjoy it for what it is.

Think Yourself Happy

Think yourself happy - Authentic EdgeSome posts I saw on Facebook got me wondering. How often are we thinking ourselves out of happiness?

You have no doubt heard the phrase focus creates reality. And we’ve all seen people who are constantly moaning, never happy with life, and what happens? they get more of the same, maybe because they don’t see the opportunities when in that mindset, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter.

Equally we all know people who are successful who have a very high opinion of themselves, they are no better than anyone else, they just think they are, and it is this belief that brings their success, failure literally isn’t an option to them.

So just how much does our thinking affect our happiness?

I believe a lot.

It saddens me that there are people I know who are denying themselves joy because they don’t do the things they love. It was hearing various snippets of conversation that prompted this blog,

If you have a hobby you love, are you pursuing it, or are you telling yourself you can’t because of whatever circumstances you find yourself in?

Do you remember the paralympics a couple of years back? Perfect examples in front of us of people who can show us that there is no such word as cant. We see runners with artificial limbs, why? Because they want to run.

So why are you not doing the things you enjoy? If you like to dance, dance, if you want to play saxophone, play saxophone, if you like photography , get out and take photos, whatever it is do it.

You know that when you are in the middle of it you hit a zone where you lose yourself. There is true happiness here. The brains stops thinking.

And you know what else, that is when you are in your heart, and here’s a bonus tip, if you have decisions that need to be made or you don’t know what to do next with something, make the decision when you’re in this space. All the outside influences are gone and you make the decision that is true to you and your heart.

Coaching Cold Feet

CoachingAre you thinking of taking the big step of getting a coach or mentor?

Yes it’s scary, yes it seems expensive – I’ve been there, a few times!

The point is, you are choosing to invest in you and your business. What is more important than that?

It’s very likely you will get cold feet the next day, very likely. In fact I can almost guarantee it!

This is your ego kicking in, your ego likes to maintain the status quo, it doesn’t want you to grow and change and do things differently. Your ego likes safety and security, the comfort zone of same old , same old.

And that is the whole point, you are making changes because you are not listening to your ego, to the niggling doubts and fears, you have made the choice to listen to what your heart and soul is drawing you towards, your gut instinct is strong, if it felt right at the time it is. This is when it time to honour who you are and stick to your guns.

Believe me, I have committed around $9k for a coaching programme, I know the questions will come up, yet I also knew it felt right and I needed to make some changes. The reason I wanted to talk to someone and thought about taking on a coach at that time was because I knew I wanted to do more, and I also knew the benefits of having that accountability.

Because in all honesty very few of us are motivated enough when left to our own devices, are we? If I’m honest with myself I know I work better and more effectively with a coach, which is why I use them.

So the bottom line to me is, Just Do It. Trust your initial feeling. I know it works, and I know I will have doubts at first. Mainly I know I and my business do better as a result. Its an essential tool in the box.

Choice

” I radiate and attract whatever I choose to accept. I now choose to accept the highest and best in life. I now choose and receive the best health, success and happiness. I now choose to accept lavish abundance for myself and all. This is a rich friendly Universe and I choose to accept its riches, hospitality and enjoy them now.”
Catherine Ponder

This is a great quote. We all have a choice about what we do, how we live, how we deal with situations. We get to choose everything about our lives.

And I know some of you will be saying “yes but…” or “but what about…” at this point. It’s worth considering that whatever happens, you can choose how you respond to it, and how you respond will determine where you go in life.

Are going to choose to accept the things you don’t like? Or are you going to go out and find something better?

Will you choose to be happy when you get up in the morning?

Live your life for you

Live your life for you - Julia McdaidI have been reminded several times over the last month or so of the importance of living life to the full. Several people in my circles have either lost someone or discovered illness unexpectedly.

Unfortunately it is at times like this that most of us feel reminded to get on with life and do the things we always wanted to do, be with the people we want to be with and get out and make the most of things
Yet really they should always be our priority, why would you not make the most of your life? Why waste time with people you don’t like being around or who don’t inspire you, or doing things that you don’t enjoy?

And even worse if you find yourself in circumstances not of your choosing why keep the pain and hurt inside?
Yet it happens so often.

The natural response when circumstances around us become painful or uncomfortable is to shut down, often we are either conditioned not to show feelings and emotions or we are scared to or we feel uncomfortable letting it all out.

So what happens? It gets bottled up inside. We take refuge in keeping busy, using other activities to distract us. Some people become health freaks, always exercising, others become workaholics, all in an attempt to keep busy to keep the pain and hurt at bay.

And to what result? Usually this bottled up pain, hurt or resentment finds a way out somehow. And all too often it is through illness.

So then you have to stop, your body has forced you to. Those who are wise, or aware, listen and rest and look at how they came to be here.

Those who are not, or don’t want to face it may still carry on, trying to push through.

I have known people who always bottle up feelings and emotions and who always put a brave face on things, never showing how they really feel. And usually they are angry, there is bitterness underneath. And it is fake too, I have noticed how it feels fake when someone is always pretending, and I’m sure you have too.

I know it can require vulnerability to share pain or hurt, and many find this too hard. Yet being vulnerable is such an amazing strength. Sometimes we just need to change our perception to feel more comfortable.

So I guess my call to you today is to focus on what is important to you. And if necessary take steps to move things you don’t like out of your life, or at least away from you on a day to day basis. Whatever you can do to take your attention away from the things that get you down, annoy you, worry you etc has to be a good thing.

And also look at being more open, ask for help if you need it. Share how you feel, especially when something is getting to you. Be honest with yourself even if you don’t feel up to telling others.

I know I was brought up in a family that kept feelings and emotions hidden. I didn’t have role models who talked things out, it was all British “stiff upper lip” way of coping!

I have learned myself as life has gone by and I have grown as a person. And I feel very lucky to have been exposed to the people and situations that helped me become more aware and change into a much more open person. I know who I am now is a million miles away from who I was 30 years ago.

And one of the main things that has changed is that I do choose to do things for me, I generally don’t care what other people think, and I don’t let stuff get to me. It doesn’t mean nothing ever annoys me, or gets to me, of course it does. I just decide not to hang out there for too long.

Life is too short, and the most important person in your life is YOU.