Unleash your hero within and be extraordinary

16 Mar

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“Inside every ordinary person there is extraordinary potential”

Many of us struggle to reach our true potential, largely due to the fact we under estimate just what that is. We feel we might just be too ordinary to achieve great things yet even those that reach great heights begin as just ordinary people, the difference is they realise their potential, the potential that is within all of us because nobody is really just ordinary.

I speak to many beautiful, talented, special people who have no idea how great they can be. This is hardly surprising when we look at the expectations placed on us and the ideals we are presented at just about every turn. The media in particular can leave us feeling like we’re falling short. But we also have a role to play! Many of us are guilty of falling short of our own unrealistic expectations of ourselves or lacking the self belief that allows us to fulfil this potential.

So how can we reach our true potential, and how do we even convince ourselves that we’re capable of not falling short in the first place or just being ordinary?

First, we need to know what we want and then don’t ever let anyone tell us that we won’t make it. Know that there is an infinite power that lies within that makes anything possible. Every ordinary person has extra ordinary potential, especially you!

Yes things can get tough and sometimes we fail, but we also achieve so much, never forget this. We are capable of more than we know but to tap into this we must believe it is possible and back ourselves.

Don’t be disheartened if life is not perfect in every area, we are human, no-one’s is. No-one is perfect, so stop trying to be. Someone loves us just the way we are, so stop trying to be someone else. Remember beauty does not lie in what can be seen, it is in our vulnerability, our courage and our authenticity. When we are comfortable in our own skin, our beauty radiates.

Read the full article at elephant journal here and watch the video blog here

Uncover your inner wisdom & live a life that feels great

13 Mar

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5 ways to hear what your heart’s saying

For a long time I never even knew my heart had a voice. I’d make logical ‘head’ decisions but was always wondering why I never felt fulfilled. I would pursue promotions up the corporate ladder even though my true passion was in health and wellness. I thought earning more money would make up for the lack of life I was able to lead. I chose to work late in stead of go to the gym, I slept in at weekends in stead of spending time with my partner and I worried about what people would think if for one minute I doubted that this norm was in fact anything but!

I was too busy to spend time in stillness and life was too noisy for me to be able to hear and if I could hear I was sure I’d have listened. I preferred distracts, entertainment and anything really that kept me from being alone with my thoughts. The way my thoughts would haunt me when I paid them any attention made me think this was not a nice place to be, so for a long time I avoided it.

It’s only since a regular meditation practice and many retreats later that I’ve adjusted to stillness, silence and being alone with myself and it’s now I can see the benefits this has brought. In the stillness I began to hear things, either I was going mad or I’d found my inner voice!

I guess it’d been there the whole time, probably saying the same stuff, it’s just that I’d never given myself the opportunity to hear it, much less listen to its wisdom. Our inner voice, our intuition, it knows stuff. Decisions that come from the heart and the very core of who you are and what you want rather than the logic and expectation that can preside in our heads; what will people think, what if it’s wrong, what if I can’t do it? All those lenses that we so often put across our thoughts suddenly are replaced with an inner knowing, beyond thought, beyond logic. It feels so right it can’t be wrong and if it’s in sync with our deepest desires and comes from our hearts then generally it’s not wrong.

Read the rest of the article and the top 5 tips here

How life feels is more important than how it looks

I’d built a life around what success should look like and I’d got my house by the beach, the promotion and settled down with my partner but whilst life looked great from the outside inside was a different story. I wanted more from life so I let go of everything that didn’t make me happy and went in search of what would.

It takes courage to make sweeping changes and transform our life and often it’s not until things get too bad to bare that we’re forced into the required transformational steps. Whilst I’d put myself on the right track, it wasn’t all a bed of roses. Sometimes it has to get worse before it can get better.

Within a year I was single, jobless and homeless at 32, life couldn’t have been more different but for the first time it felt good. It probably looked like a complete disaster from the outside though! Queuing up at the job centre, cleaning toilets in an ashram, house sitting because I couldn’t afford rent. But at the same time teaching yoga, spending time with family, taking walks on the beach, writing a book and getting to do what I loved everyday.

I thought once you followed your calling the universe had it covered, wasn’t this supposed to be easy. I was doing what I loved but it felt like such hard work. I didn’t get much support because most people thought I was crazy, I sometimes wondered myself! Some days I’d be consumed by fear and self doubt, this was new territory, the unknown and I wasn’t sure if I was really up to it.

Then came by biggest lesson; it’s not about how life looks, it about how it feels. Everything happens for our greater good and where we are is where we’re meant to be, the tough times were my lessons. Without failure I could never have learned what I needed to know for success. I learned a lot of lessons from that time.

So often in todays society our focus is on how life looks. What car we drive, what street we live in, our job title, if we can get a promotion, sending our kids to the right school or just simply the clothes we wear and the supermarket we shop at. And this is further fuelled by comparison to what other people’s lives look like, when we try and keep up with the Joneses. It’s too easy to get carried away living a life according to what looks good, but what use is this unless it also feels good. If we are working more hours so that we can take five star holidays and shop at the designers stores but we’d rather be finishing work early to spend time with our kids aren’t we missing the point?

Read the full article here

And for when times do get tough, how do we continue to strive and not give up on our dreams?  Read the latest blog the answers that here

A masterpiece or a work in progress? Inspiration for March

28 Feb

March’s newsletter is now available to view here; Newsletter March 2016

March 2016 – A Work in Progress

I talk a lot about creating a life we love and having to make changes, facing our fears and growing into the people we are capable of being. But I also talk about authenticity, about being true to ourselves and not trying to change who we are to please others or fit in. I was recently asked how these things fit together? Change is necessary if we want something different and is a part of life as we learn and grow, this is part of becoming who we are, a work in progress. Yet throughout this there is our essence, our authenticity and this is something to be proud of, that makes us all a masterpiece.

I am happy to be back in New Zealand and for the next year will be based in the coolest little capital, Wellington.  Thanks for all the feedback about the book. It’d be great to get some reviews on amazon click here

Have an amazing March.

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Recent Inspiration

Top 5 inspirational vlogs playlist [watch now]

It’s not about how life looks, it’s about how it feels [read now]

6 things to remember to help recover from a breakup [read now]

Video blog: Finding meaning and purpose [click to view]

The Zen of colouring: 7 lessons on living a happy, mindful life [read now]

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Learn how to create a life you love with my first book: http://amzn.com/1504343816

Video blogs designed to inspire

11 Feb

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Some of us prefer to read, others would rather watch something so I try and mix it up with articles and video blogs and love to share with you some of the beautiful places I visit.

This week I’ve been in Raglan, New Zealand, a tiny surf town on the west coast.  Check out the video blog just filmed on meaning and purpose, how do we find it and how to avoid getting lost in the ‘search’ at the expense of living our life. Watch it here

I’ve also created a playlist of my top 5 video blogs, all under 8 minutes long and designed to help you create a life you love.  Including 7 steps to happiness, the power of positive thinking, how to achieve your potential and finding joy in every day  Playlist

Enjoy and if it resonates with you, please share it for others to benefit.

Have a great day 🙂

Motivation & Inspiration for February 2016

29 Jan

View the full newsletter as PDF here

Time Flies

So we are one month into 2016, it goes so fast doesn’t it. It only feels like 5 minutes since we were setting our intentions and considering what this clean slate, New Year will hold.  How are those resolutions going?

Time can go so quick it’s easy to get side tracked with the busyness of daily life and forget about our goals and dreams (until the next New Year comes around). Life can happen whilst we’re busy making other plans, but only if we let it. Check out my video blog to help keep us on track and ensure we’re always taking steps to create a life we love despite the busyness of daily life.

It’s hard to believe that my six months in England has passed in the blink of an eye. I had a lovely time with family and friends and even managed to see some snow before leaving. I am now back in my resident New Zealand and enjoying catching up on all the things I missed.

Best wishes for a fabulous February!

Jess

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Recent Inspiration

NEW! 5 things you can do to make life better [read full blog here]

Life is our greatest teacher [read full blog here]

Video blog: Equanimity: How to stay sane in a crazy world [click to view]

If you’ve not picked up a copy of the book yet, click here to find paperback and e-book versions

Info & Events

Thanks to all those who came out to support the launch of the book last month.

For anyone who missed the events. A special online launch was recorded and can be viewed here

I was recently interviewed by BBC radio on the journey that lead to me writing the book, for those who missed it listen again here

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5 things to do to create a life you love

26 Jan

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Have you ever thought “it shouldn’t be this hard” or “there must be more to life than this”? What do those who are happy and fulfilled do differently and how can we get a piece of the action?

Start by asking yourself these questions; When do you feel most alive, what inspires you and makes your heart sing?

Life often feels harder than it should be, we’re left thinking, what’s it about, how do I change things and how can I find a way off this wheel? It doesn’t have to be this way, we should not be so busy making a living that we forget to make a life.

We can be rich and ‘successful’ (and many of us would like to be) but this does not necessarily leave us feeling fulfilled. Being happy and living with purpose is very different from society’s model of ‘success’ we’ve been led to believe holds the key to our happiness.

Try these 5 simple tips to create a life you deserve;

 1.  Learn something new

Continuous growth is important, we all like to have something to aim for. Our ambitions and goals gives us a sense of direction and satisfaction when we achieve what we set out to do. Whether it’s a dance class you’ve wanted to start, learning to draw or a language you want to learn it stimulates your mind and soul and stretches you to challenge yourself and achieve.

2.  Let go  

Lao Tzu said “To become learned each day add something, to become enlightened each day drop something”. Clearing clutter, removing blocks makes room in your life for the things that matter. When you clean your house it feels more orderly and balanced, in the same way, letting go of what no longer serves you makes room for things that do.

We live in a world where we feel we have to have things to be happy, it leads us on an endless pursuit of material possessions, upgrading the car, extending the house, buying more accessories. We feel we have to ‘have’ things to be free when it’s the opposite, our struggle to hold onto things brings the very pain we are trying to avoid, we are terrified of letting go for fear we’ll have nothing but this is the true path to living.

If you have been hurt by someone and you still hold anger and resentment because of it, you are letting them hurt you again. Forgiveness sets you free, let go of resentment. “Holding onto anger is like holding a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else, you are the one that gets burned” Buddhist saying.

3.  Give  

It gives us a sense of purpose and that warm feeling that we’ve helped someone in need. It doesn’t have to be big money donations to charity, helping an old lady across the road with her shopping or letting a car in front of you in a traffic queue and other small random acts of kindness are equally important

The root of all happiness comes from giving to others and wanting them to be happy. Studies show that giving to others makes us happier, when groups of people were given the same amount of money to spend on themselves or on others it was those who spent it on others that reported feeling happier. Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School analysed data from 40 published studies and found evidence that volunteers had a 20 percent lower risk of death than their peers who do not volunteer.

4.  Find your purpose

Finding your purpose, why are you here, what’s it all about, what makes your life worth living. What’s important to you, what would you do and who would you be if money and other barriers were no object, what sort of person would you be, how would you like to be remembered?

We often get our sense of self from what we do (eg. I’m a mother, a lawyer, a widow). You are more than your job title or your social status, this should not define you or be who you are, it is just what you do.

Work is something we spend so much of our time doing we should ensure for a happy life that we enjoy it and it brings us a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Yet so many of us leave our souls behind when we go to work. Don’t ask ‘what do I want to do’ ask ‘what kind of life do I want to have?’

5.  Do what you love

It can be the small things like a walk along the beach, playing with the dog, visiting your favourite coffee shop, sitting down to read a good book or bigger things like travelling the world, skydiving or simply a night in with the family. Think about what makes your heart sing and incorporate things you love into every day. If you do what you love you will be successful.

Read more in my new book; A Rough Guide to a Smooth Life

Happy New Year: What’s your goal for 2016?

1 Jan

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View the full newsletter as a PDF by clicking here; Newsletter January 2016

I have been reflecting on my first year in business, as we tend to do at this time of year. This time a year ago I was teaching myself how to build a website and writing my first blog. I’ve achieved a lot since then but it’s easy to forget.

There’s still part of me that looks at the success of those who’ve been before and I think; why don’t I have thousands of followers or media appearances yet! We often feel we should be further along than we are. It stops us realising how far we’ve come and celebrating the successes along the way.

We are often left thinking, why can’t tomorrow be today! The impatience of wanting it all now and feeling we should be more successful than we are. I am often reminding myself it’s not an overnight thing. It’s important that we celebrate small successes along the way and appreciate the journey.

Remember your successes from 2015 and have a great start to 2016

 

Recent Inspiration

Meaning and Purpose: Call off the search [read blog here] 

Redefining success based on what matters [read blog here]

Video blog; 10 ways to make 2016 great [click to view] 

Tis the season to be grateful, guest blog [read] 

Video blog: Celebrating Success [click to view]

If you’ve not yet accessed the free resource on making 2016 great [click here]

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Book Launch Info & Events

View the official book trailer here and find out how you can support the launch [click here]

There are a series of events to celebrate the launch of my first book, including an online event on launch day accessible all over the world

Tuesday 5th January 2016 – Latest Music Bar, Brighton, UK

Wednesday 6th January 2016 – Launch Day Event – ONLINE

Tuesday 12th January 2016 – Bottesford Library, Leicestershire

Thursday 14th January 2016 – Guildhall, Grantham, UK

 

Download the event flyer

Support the launch with a thunderclap here

#RoughGuideSmoothLife

 

 

The Power of Intentions

28 Dec

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The power of intentions 

I’ve been reviewing 2015 and having a look at my goals list that I set at the beginning of this year. At that time I was still writing my book and one of my goals was to give a copy to my parents for Christmas 2015.

As the year has gone on and the publishing process has evolved it was clear the book would not be ready in time. The publishers advised a launch date in the New Year and the final approvals were only just complete a few days before Christmas.

As I took the train up to my Mum and Dads on Christmas Eve I was surprised to find on my arrival 150 copies of my book delivered to the door. It had been printed and was ready for distribution prior to Christmas. So this is a picture of me (a little weary following a massively delayed train trip to my parents) on Christmas Eve holding my book in my hand for the first time.  I also got to share the experience with my parents and what’s more they got a copy of the book for Christmas after all.

When we set our goals at the beginning of the year we are setting an intention which providing we continue to focus on it and work towards it over the year just may materialise as we planned.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

 

If you’d like help setting your goals for 2016 or reviewing those of 2015 my 2 recent short video blogs may help; see them on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt9EbBAOAuh3J2MkJo9m1sg

The book, A Rough Guide to a Smooth Life is out now and available from the likes of Amazon etc.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rough-Guide-Smooth-Life-Living/dp/1504343816/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450794349&sr=8-1&keywords=a+rough+guide+to+a+smooth+life

I am also trying to raise awareness through this Thunderclap and grateful for any support over the next few days; https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/36036-a-rough-guide-to-a-smooth-life

A Rough Guide to a Smooth Life

22 Dec

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As we approach the end of the year the last 12 months I’ve spent trying to get my book published finally pays off and it is now available to buy!

You can click on the link to view the official trailer.  Full details are here; www.inspireyourlife.org/book

A practical self improvement guide on surviving modern life. Rediscover the art of happiness, find meaning and purpose and create a life you love. 

Jess uncovers the key to creating a happier life and leads by example. Her perspective shines a bright light at a much needed time. Let her guide you this book will help.  Shannon Kaiser, Coach & Best Selling Author of Find your Happy & Adventures for your Soul

For those who read the book, please leave a review on amazon and I’d love to hear your thoughts.  You can use the hashtag #RoughGuideSmoothLife when posting about the book.

To see how you can get involved and help support the launch click the link; How you can help or click here to support the launch through thunderclap

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Don’t forget to check out the new resources section on the website for free stuff I’ve posted for you.

Keep an eye out for events and give aways as I launch the book officially in the New Year.

All the best for 2016

Jess 🙂

Meaning and purpose; call off the search

17 Dec

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It’s one of the biggest questions we ask ourselves; what is the meaning of life? And why am I here, what is my purpose? Finding meaning and purpose in life is critical to our happiness but sometimes the pursuit can take us further away from the goal. Without it life can feel dull, we struggle to see the point and it leaves us feeling empty and lost.

I spent many years searching for meaning and purpose in my jobs, relationships and places I lived and each time that didn’t work I’d move on the next one hoping that my meaning and purpose would be just around the corner and my life would transform. Recently I’ve learned that meaning and purpose can mean many different things and in my case the search was in fact taking me further away from the goal.

Through this journey my life did transform but not in the way I’d imagined. I found my meaning and purpose in the everyday things in my life, that things that mattered and as my perspective shifted I realised it had been there all along, within yet I’d been so busy searching for it outside of myself that I’d not really noticed. I was waiting for this epiphany of the soul to come and sweep me off my feet and take me to a place where I fitted in and everything worked out for me!

I’ve seen and heard a few different takes on this from experts in the field. Some talk about finding our passion and having our world set alight, whilst others argue not everybody knows what their purpose is and that we shouldn’t feel the need to have one. This in itself can lead to us spending a life time searching for this elusive something that inevitably takes us away from living our lives.

Yes there are some who’ve known right from when they were young children what they want to do with their lives. There are some who have a passion that makes their heart sing, that absorbs 100% of their concentration and brings infinite joy into their lives. Many artists speak about this and the feeling their art gives them when they are in flow. But then there are some who seem to have a void, a gap, a nothingness where this meaning and purpose should be. Perhaps they’ve spent their whole life searching for it and are desperate to bring passion into their life but how if you’re not sure where that passion comes from? Many will argue that there’s passion in all of us it’s just finding something to ignite the spark but then as we occupy ourselves in this search our life passes us by. Some people never do find that spark and the one big thing they are ‘meant to do with their lives’.

I’d like to suggest that meaning and purpose is vital to our happiness and that it is something that everyone needs but it is not something we should need to search for. It is not always this big extraordinary amazing thing that lights up our life, it can be a lot more subtle and show up in the smallest of things.

I recently read some research about the deterioration of the elderly when they move into a nursing home and lose their independence. Researchers found that if some of these elderly people were given the responsibility of a plant to look after, this slowed their deterioration down. The conclusion was that by having a sense of purpose and bringing back some independence contributed to an improvement in their health and wellbeing. But it’s something so small and so often we believe meaning and purpose to big this big all encompassing ‘life’s work’.

I believe we find meaning and purpose in our everyday lives; it’s when we have our first child and become a parent, when we help an elderly neighbour. It’s when we share our knowledge or skills with others. It’s when we play sport alongside our team members, or take care of a sick pet. Meaning and purpose can be providing for our family, exploring new places, growing our own food or simply just clearing litter from the road. When our actions match our values and beliefs we find peace of mind, this is finding meaning and purpose in our lives.

I like to travel, I am a nomad, I enjoy writing and I enjoy many other things. Sometimes I can get absorbed in what I do and much of what I do brings me joy but this is more about how I do it rather than what I do. This applies to if I’m writing a book, an email to my mum or a letter to the bank! What makes my heart sing and what brings meaning and purpose into my life is the way I live it; the people I help, the personal values I am able to uphold and the amount of times I make myself smile throughout the day.

Life is for living and that in itself is meaning and purpose, how we live our life! We only get one shot so rather than spend it pursuing, searching and wondering. Remember that it’s the journey not the destination and it’s more about how we do it rather than what we do.

We all have meaning and purpose and we don’t need to go on a massive pursuit in search of it. It is already here in our lives, in the everyday moments of joy, the things that mean something to us, that we cherish, that are important.

The meaning of life is simple; to live it. Our purpose is to live it the best way we know how.