Do you celebrate special birthdays? I recently had a round number birthday, and for the first time in 20 years, I decided to have a proper party. You know the kind – invitations, food, music, and entertainment at a place other than home where I would do all the work.
One of the most wonderful parts of my birthday was reading the cards I received and the messages they conveyed. I received a card from a relative I don’t see very often who lives far away and is a member of my former husband’s family. Despite all that, we get on well.
She wrote a beautiful card outlining why she valued our friendship and I will treasure it always. It also included this wonderful quote and I sought her permission to share it with you.
It is from a book from James Kavanaugh called, “There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves”.
I included the quote here:
“Some people do not have to search, they find their niche early in life and rest there, seemingly contented and resigned. They do not seem to ask much of life, sometimes they do not seem to take it seriously. At times I envy them, but I usually do not understand them. Seldom do they understand me.
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand.
We like to walk long the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mastery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well.
Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we want to love and be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wanderings, not prevent our search, not lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or to compete for love.
We are wanderers, dreamers and lovers, we are lonely men and women who dare ask of life everything good and beautiful. We are too gentle to live among wolves.”
As I read this quote, I realised she had recognised me. It describes ME.
For me, it is essential to keep searching, not from a restless never satisfied kind of way, but from an always wanting to learn and better myself motivation.
Who are you? A searcher, or content with how you are right now? I suspect if you have read this far, you are a searcher. Be proud of your search, because life is an adventure to be explored and discovered. You can only grow from the experience.
It is an unusual day when I don’t think about the things I have on my bucket list or how I could ramp things up in my life to do them better, more easily or with greater satisfaction. Only this morning, I have been thinking about how to get my knee working better to enable me to travel more easily to explore the world. After all, travel is my passion.
Quite often, we dismiss this thinking as day dreaming; but should we be so quick to dismiss these things that could bring joy and meaning to our lives?
Change is a constant in my life and rather than shy away from it, I try to embrace it.
Many times I have encouraged clients to reflect, dream and embrace the possibility of change and reinvention. Not for the sake of change, but to enhance their lives through fulfilment and participation.
Do you dream of travelling to New York or Brazil (or wherever is on YOUR bucket list)? Have you toyed with idea of walking away from that job you hate and writing a book? Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint, but someone laughed at your efforts twenty years ago and have denied yourself this pleasure ever since. You may even feel desperate to get out of a negative relationship that’s been holding you back for far too long.
Midlife; that time in your forties and fifties (or even beyond) is a time of change and transition. We so often hear about the “midlife crisis” which seems to herald loss and decline, but for many women it is not so much a crisis as a time of transition where roles and relationships change. There can be grief at the loss of what was and trepidation as to what will be.
This realization may be a gradual awakening that life could be more than what it currently is or it can be the result of a particular event, such as a separation, children leaving the family home or caring for an aging parent.
I reframe this transition phase as an opportunity for Midlife Reinvention, and I’ve been actively engaged in the process for almost 20 years! For me it was prompted by the unexpected and shattering end of my marriage – while painful, the process has been ultimately very positive and empowering. I would not be the woman I am today if I was still in that marriage.
Yes, transition and reinvention can be daunting, but also, ultimately, empowering and incredibly liberating. It can be much harder on your own, so if possible, having a support team around you cushions the ride and can spur you on to greater things. You don’t need to resign from your job, move to France or leave your marriage to reinvent yourself, but some action is required.
If you would like to embrace midlife with a group of like-minded women, then consider joining me from 5-10 June when I will be hosting a retreat in beautiful Bali which I have titled “Relax, Restore, Renew and Reinvent”.
In this serene, natural environment, there will be opportunities to re-evaluate your life choices, identify your passions, embrace your dreams and emerge with a new vision filled with excitement and possibility.
If you have been asking yourself, is this all there is, my answer is a resounding “NO!”
Find meaning in your life, and unlock the doors of possibility.
More information here: www.andreafisher.com.au/bali
In this serene, natural environment, there will be opportunities to re-evaluate your life choices, identify your passions and embrace your dreams.
Welcome to 2017!
It’s great to know we all transitioned safely into the New Year, either with a bang, or slithering quietly, in a manner with a little less fanfare. No matter how you entered 2017, we are now fully into the year and possibly back into our responsibilities and routines.
So, are you doing anything different this year? Did you set resolutions? Lots of people say to me that they don’t set resolutions because they are a waste of time. By 5 January they have had another cigarette, stopped going to the gym (if they even started), or eat that food they swore never to pass their lips again!
I agree! Resolutions are a waste of breath. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t determine to do things differently. After all most of us want to become better versions of ourselves, but the challenge is knowing how to do it successfully. There are lots of theories: Danielle La Porte talks about setting goals in alignment with how you want to feel. Others mention SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time linked) while still others including me prioritise the 3 most important things for the day.
If you want to make change, and often associate big change with the New Year, then there are a few key steps:
1. Recognise that you want change because you are not satisfied with how things are now and that you can be a better version of yourself.
2. Identify your big WHY. Why do you want to make change? Do you want to give up smoking so that you will be around to enjoy your grandchildren? Lose 10 kilos so you have more energy to complete that bushwalk you have always wanted to do? Change for change’s sake rarely lasts. Link it to an important reason and you are less likely to fall by the wayside as you have a strong motivator.
3. How do you want to feel? Identify the feeling you want to achieve and link your goal to that. Achieving your goal becomes the means of creating the feeling. (Danielle La Porte)
4. Make sure your goals are in alignment with your values. If somethings is not in line with what you values, or is in contradiction with your values – you are guaranteed to sabotage it!
5. Make a plan. Work out HOW you will go about making the change. Thinking you will do it and taking the steps are 2 very different things. Baby steps are usually more successful – regular consistent action, just like the hare and the tortoise story normally gets you to where you want to be.
6. Enlist a buddy. Mutual support works wonders! Accountability is fantastic! Doing things alone is always harder than with the support and encouragement of another person.
7. If you have a backwards slip, don’t give up! Up and downward slides are part of the deal and totally normal. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. When you have made some progress, look back and see how far you have come – and congratulate yourself. Positive reinforcement is vital.
If you want to make change, then try these steps today to move closer to meaningful change that is likely to last.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Join my One Day Retreat on 5 February about How to Create Soul Goals that will give your Purpose and Meaning for 2017. More information click here:
Are you sitting on the fence?
When looking at new information or committing to new activities, it’s easy to sit back and watch a while before you decide. Hence the saying, “I’m sitting on the fence”. This is used in the context that you are watching until you gather enough information to decide, choose or follow-up on an opportunity. While that can be good and may avoid hasty decisions and mistakes, some people get stuck on the fence despite a plethora of information and simply can’t decide.
Are you sitting on the fence?
Fence sitters sit back and watch.
Fence sitters wait for definitive information to decide.
Fence sitters sometimes expect other people to provide all they need to act.
Fence sitters can fear making a mistake.
Fence sitters like everything to be perfect and have all their ducks lined up before they move.
There are lots disadvantages of staying on the fence. What if your ducks never line up? You may never decide and your procrastination usually leads to increased anxiety and a sense of a lack of achievement. There is little reward in getting nowhere. The fear of getting things wrong can mean you never start and if you never start, you can never finish or achieve. Oh, and finally, sitting on the fence can become very uncomfortable!
It is important to take action and even to get it wrong occasionally. That’s how YOU learn and gain experience. If you have led a sheltered life and never made a mistake, how do you learn what to do in a new situation? Making mistakes is incredibly valuable because you can understand more clearly what doesn’t work in a particular situation, adjust your response and do it better next time. Coming back from mistakes and trying again builds resilience and resilience keeps you going when the going gets tough.
If you’re scared about making mistakes here are a few clues on how to decide and be satisfied with it:
1. Be aware of what your priorities are and how they fit with your values. If you don’t make a decision that is in alignment with what you values then you will never feel satisfied with the choice you make.
2. Know what you want. What outcome are you expecting or hoping for? Does your choice take you closer to your desired outcome or further away? If it takes you closer say yes, if not decline gracefully.
3. Get specific about your options. Write down exactly what your choices are and remember there are always more choices than you think, so be creative.
4. Stop “shoulding” yourself! Deciding on the basis of “I should do XYZ” is never a good idea. Choose what is right for you and not what someone else says you should do.
5. Decide which option lines up best with your priorities and values. Make a conscious choice rather than a default choice.
6. Checking with yourself and ask, “if I’d make this choice and act on it how will I feel? How will I feel about not doing the other?”
7. Decide, then act! In the words of that famous book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!
8. Afterwards, evaluate your decision and congratulate yourself for getting off the fence!
The 10 Advantages of Taking Time out for Yourself to Reboot Your Brain
1. Time out simply gives you a chance to slow down and relax. It is impossible to keep going at the frenetic pace that society seems to demand and keep your well-being in good shape. Relaxation is essential. After all that’s why we have holidays.
2. Timeout allows you to de-clutter mentally. You can let go of some of the stress and clear your mind.
3. Taking time away from the normal routine of life allows you to develop a better understanding of yourself. Focusing on yourself may feel like a luxury, when in fact it is a necessity to continue to perform at high levels. Time alone may even allow you to discover your new best friend.
4. You may rediscover your creativity. When people are stressed, creativity often goes out the window, but creativity is essential in any area of life. It enables you to nurture yourself, creatively solve problems, and discover new possibilities.
5. Having found your creativity, time out can help you sort through problems. When you have time to consider things fully and carefully, away from the stresses of everyday life, things do not feel as overwhelming.
6. Increase productivity is often an advantage of taking time out. Many people attest to having new ideas, more efficient use of time and achieving things they never expected through decluttering. Decluttering can be both physical in your environment and as well as mentally and emotionally in your brain. Create space and there is room for wonderful new things.
7. Time out helps give you a sense of renewal and refreshment. This revives enthusiasm and allows you to refocus.
8. Now is the time, with a clear body mind and spirit, for you to reset priorities.
9. Some people, with the advantage of time out are able to take advantage of totally reinventing themselves and creating enormous change in their lives. This has been the advantage for some of the participants in my retreats and mastermind group. Taking time out from their everyday lives enabled them to let go of enough to find space to visualise how they really want their lives to look.
10. The summary is that you can reboot your brain and life through taking time out, relaxing, nurturing and refocusing.
How do you take time out?
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
1. Disconnect. Turn off the phone, TV and all electronic media including social media that makes demands on your time with a sense of immediacy. Try for a couple of hours a day, or a day a week.
2. Get up 30 or 60 minutes earlier each day and take some time just be yourself before the busyness of the day arrives. Use the time to meditate, reflect or journal. Set your brain in the mindset you wish for the day.
3. Close the door. If you are able to do this work it can be amazing for your productivity. There are very few situations where you need to be constantly available 24 hours a day, and if it is incredibly urgent somewhat will interrupt you anyway. Tell people when you will next be available, and asked them to hold their queries until then.
At home, teach your family or those you live with that a closed-door meet you do not wish to be disturbed right now. If you can’t get time alone at home, go out to somewhere peaceful and quiet such as a park or by the water at a lake, river or beach.
4. Go away. Timeout away from your usual environment often encourages faster change. That is why we go away on holidays.
I seriously urge you to consider coming on one of my retreats.
I have a weekend retreat coming up in Torquay Victoria from 18 to 20 November 2016. Places are filling fast but there are room for just a few more ladies who want to move from Surviving to Thriving
Here Is the Link: www.andreafisher.com.au/torquay
or you may like to consider taking time out in exotic Bali next year at my
Relax Renew and Reinvent Bali Retreat: www.andreafisher.com.au/bali
Regardless, I want you to take some time out to take care of yourself. By taking care of yourself you have so much more to give to others.
Money, money, money.
It evokes a strong response in most of us. It even prompted Abba to write a song about it! Either it’s yes I want or need more, so send it my way, or it makes you cringe and recoil because you carry bad thoughts and feelings about it.
What do some of these words or comments make you feel?
“Money is the root of all evil” “I just won the lottery!” “He’s a dole bludger” “Did you know she earns $250,000 per year?”
If you had a response to any of those comments, then it’s likely you hold some thoughts and attitudes around money that you may be unaware of and that have been there for a long time.
If you had any response to any of those comments, then it’s likely you hold some thoughts and attitudes around money that you held for a long time.
Lots of these thoughts and attitudes come from your own early experiences and you learn a lot of your money attitudes from your own family. Maybe you have chosen to continue them, or perhaps consciously discarded them and replace them with something else. Regardless, everybody has emotional and psychological attitudes towards money.
It is important to acknowledge that money in itself is neither good nor bad. Money is simply a means of exchange. It is what you use to buy or sell goods or services, the things you need for our everyday lives and/or, a special treat.
What creates the emotional response is your attitude towards money? Money can create freedom, or imprison you depending on how you feel about it and what you then choose to do with it. Money attitudes can make you generous or a miser, trapped or enabled.
It is not my job to tell you what your attitude should be, but It is useful to know what your money attitudes are, because consciously or subconsciously they influence so many choices you make every day.
Some things that can help you work that out, include answering these questions:
What was the first message you remember receiving about money? (For example, if you wanted a new toy as a young child, were you told “we can’t afford that”?)
Where did your family place their priorities about how they spent money? Was it on possessions, experiences, education, or gambling in the hope of a better future?
What attitudes were expressed in your family about people who appear to have plenty of money? Did they praise them or put them down? What were their attitudes towards people who ran their own businesses; large companies; the role government and the management of money?
Answering these questions for yourself will give you a clearer view of how your money story influences your life now.
I want to share a new FREE resource with you from my friend and mentor, Denise Duffield-Thomas. It’s her very easy and practical Manifesting Formula.
Denise is an incredible money mindset mentor, AKA “The Lucky Bitch” whose best-selling books and courses have helped thousands of entrepreneurs step-up to create success and abundance.
Denise will share her process that will take you from “personal development junkie” into a manifesting MACHINE and money magnet.
She makes it easy, fun and totally chilled. There’s a free cheat sheet so you can play along.
You don’t need to be perfect, meditate five hours a day or chant naked under a full moon to manifest your ideal life!
But you DO need to CLEAR your mind of any blocks, get CRYSTAL clear on your goals, infuse every part of your day with positivity, take inspired ACTION and learn to RECEIVE (yes, it’s a learned process - women really struggle with that part).
For your Manifesting Formula and Cheat Sheet, just sign up here (it’s free):
P.S. I’m a proud affiliate of Denise’s work. If you purchase something from her now or in the future, I may receive a commission but you can be assured that there will be no extra cost to you.
Women in particular seem to be really good at meeting everybody else’s needs and ignoring their own. Who has never cancelled a doctor’s appointment, because someone else in their family is sick? Now that check up has to wait until you can find another time, but when will that be? That peaceful time you planned to read a book, work in the garden, have a coffee with a friend, suddenly disappears when somebody else has an urgent problem that only you can fix. Of course you say yes!
So you end up with a feeling of having no time for yourself, which can lead to resentment, frustration and never getting the important things (to you) done. What can you do?
1. Firstly acknowledge you can’t do everything. You need to focus on your priorities not everybody else’s and you need to acknowledge it’s okay to put yourself first.
2. It is not selfish to put yourself first. Imagine you are like a car. Would you drive your car and never put petrol in it? Do you expect your car to run for ever without being maintained? As humans we need to fill our car with petrol on a regular basis - this is your own self-care. We need our routine maintenance regularly - this is time out, a holiday or doing something entirely for you. By doing so, your car runs much better and you know you can rely on it. Put yourself first and you are much better able to meet others’ needs. As they say on the aeroplane, put your own mask on first before helping others.
3. You can’t please everyone so don’t even try. In trying to please everyone else you won’t please yourself and that’s where the frustration and resentment comes in.
4. Think of all the things that you say yes to when you really want to say no. What if you starting saying yes to your priorities, rather than others? Saying yes to having my time, saying yes to self-care, saying yes to a more balanced healthy life, saying yes to maintaining your own self-esteem and sanity.
5. There are lots of tactics that people use to get you to say yes to their priorities which rob you of your time. Learn about these and you will have a way to deal with it before it even happens.
· People use bullying, getting you to do what they want to do through being aggressive or threatening;
· Others whine and whinge and because you can’t stand it any longer you say yes to shut them up;
· Still others try to make you feel guilty because you are not meeting their needs and are not being a good friend, worker, mother or partner;
· And finally the sneakiest of all, is the person who complements you. They start by telling you how amazing you are at something and then ask you for help with the task. Falling for flattery and praise, then giving into their priorities, simply means you have given away your power.
6. Learn to say NO. Lots of people have trouble with this because of the above points. However practising makes it much easier. Try:
· Use a calm voice and be firm and clear. If you are emotional or upset, the other person will sense your weakness and try to exploit you.
· Be assertive in your body language. Stand up tall, make eye contact, and don’t fidget
· Never apologise. Saying I’m sorry too much makes you sound much less assertive. Try saying “thank you for asking and I am unable to help you on this occasion” using and rather than but is often easier.
· Don’t make excuses and don’t tell stories about why you can’t help them. You will get caught out every time!
· Offer the person some other choices. “I can’t help you today, however I have some time on Monday” or “ I know Bill is interested in that topic, have you asked him?”
Remember, only you claim your time and step into your own power! Enjoy your time and make the most of it.