Learning to swim & overcoming my fear of water using EFT.

If I were to list some of my fears, water would be in my top 3!

Before my first holiday abroad I decided that I wanted to regain control of this area of my life.

I enrolled onto swimming classes and was really nervous about the whole process. I hated being in the pool, I felt stupid and embarrassed that I was a grown woman in the children’s pool!! I later realised how much these thoughts were affecting my progress. Initially I didn’t try at all, and I knew it. It was a mixture of being scared and deciding that it was a fear that I wouldn’t ever resolve. There was so much resistance, even though there was an excellent teacher who was very supportive I didn’t try because I felt that my fear was lifelong. This was my real stumbling block – my belief that being scared of water was part of who I am.

One evening at my usual weekly class I became frustrated at my lack of progress and I knew it was entirely down to my mindset, I mean there was no way I would ever drown in that pool – when I stood up the water barely reached my navel! Whilst doing the backstroke I can sometimes feel the bottom of the pool! So there wasn’t any real risks.

It was only when I made a mental shift that I really began to see real progress, I started to tell myself that I’m safe in the water and in that moment everything changed. It was that simple. I used the EFT technique, which involves tapping on meridian points whilst telling myself that I was safe. Yes, I might have seemed slightly crazy tapping on myself in the pool – but I had faith that it would work and guess what? It did – now I can swim. I use EFT every time I’m in the pool.

If you haven’t heard of EFT, I would recommend Brad Yates on Youtube he has an abundance of free resources that you can use.

My next post will be about EFT.

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Tips on buying a gift

How to be a good gift buyer

The key to buying an amazing gift is – change your usual shopping approach and think from the perspective of the person you are buying for. We often look for things WE think the person should own or what we’d like to receive as a gift.

So I suggest when spending time with the person you’re buying for, you practice active listening and take notes! They will give you hints about what they like and dislike. This isn’t necessarily verbal or very obvious, you’ll need to use your skills of observation and keep your ears open for those clues.

Some of the things I look out for are:
Food they like
What are their values & beliefs?
Favourite brands?
Introvert or extrovert?
What do they find difficult? (buy something to make this task easier!)
Hobbies?
Experience person (rather spend money on a day out or a holiday) or Product junkie (Enjoys physical item)?

I try to think about what life looks like for this person, and this really guides me to find something that they’d love to receive.

If you can’t think of one big gift, I have to say a group of little gifts is a great idea too.

The most important aspect is to plan in advance, buying at the last minute can not only be stressful but you might end up panic buying something which is out of your budget and isn’t actually a true reflection of what that person likes.

Giving someone a gift and watching the excitement on their face as they realise what it is, is priceless. Gift’s do not need to be expensive or extravagant, just thoughtful. In order to achieve this, all you need to do is be thoughtful!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

With Love,
Create Happy Thoughts

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Marie Kondo – The Life Changing magic of tidying

Marie Kondo Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Living amongst clutter can be excruciatingly painful. In the past I have felt overwhelmed by all the things that I owned, I would often dream of walking into my room and feeling calm rather than the usual feelings of stress.

This book has helped me understand how I can achieve the environment that I dream of, most importantly it was a reminder that I am completely in control of making any dream a reality.

I will break it down into the three keys areas that I found to be the most helpful.

1.Establish your why! – Why do you want to begin this process? That’s truly what it is a ‘process’. If you’re expecting an overnight miracle this is not the book for you, in order to get results you need to find a reason as to why de-cluttering and creating space in your home will help you. What is your goal? What do you want to achieve? Do you have an idea as to how you would like your space to look? For me the most important question is – how do you want to feel when you walk into your home or your bedroom? Any change that I’ve made in the past has always been driven by my emotions, your feelings determine your actions. So, take some time and reflect on how you are currently feeling, and the ways in which your environment is affecting you mentally and physically. Marie specifies in the book that you need to establish ‘why do I want to tidy’ when you find the answer you can move on to the next stage of your de-cluttering journey.

2.Only keep what gives you joy – your possessions should be things that evoke a sense of happiness. You need to pick up each item individually you cannot just open you makeup bag and decide that you love makeup therefor you love all of your makeup items. It is crucial that you focus on an item at a time. Feel it and ask yourself – does this spark joy? Yes, you might feel silly but I assure you that done correctly this is an effective way to decide which items to keep and what to discard. This step has had a significant affect on shopping habits, when I see something I like I run through some questions in my mind ‘do I really love this?’ being one of them. An even more significant change since reading this book is that I am now beginning to hate clutter, so when I’m shopping if I think something will create clutter in my space I am immediately put off!

3.Deal with a category at a time. Marie specifies the categories to be tackled in this order – Clothes, Books, Miscellaneous items, Sentimental items & keepsakes. Marie’s advises that you collect all the items belonging to that category and pile it up in one space so you can visually see how much you have and also what you are dealing with. Although some of Marie’s advice I had come across before, this was completely new to me. Prior to this discovery I would work on a room at a time, there would be some results but short lived which was not only disheartening but really frustrating. working on a category at a time opened my eyes to the things that I own, in particular I realised that I stored a large amount of clothes in a wardrobe in another room which I’d forgotten about. A positive that came out of this process, I could see that I had an obsession with white clothing! I had enough white clothing to last me a few years!

Marie Kondo has done a great job at teaching you a skill which is often overlooked. It is simple, easy to follow and concise. Follow the guidance and you will see amazing results.

Think about it, have you ever come across anyone who has regretted de-cluttering? Give it a try, it’ll be one of the best things you ever do. Trust me on this one!

Let me know how it goes!

With love,
Create Happy Thoughts

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Question of the day – Do you like yourself?

Do you like yourself?

I love asking this question, and when I do the most common response is ‘I don’t know’ followed by a long awkward silence. Last week I was shocked when I asked a very successful business owner this exact question to find that the response was the same. So, today I invite you to explore this question as a way of reflecting on yourself.

What do you like about yourself? I mean really like. On my building confidence course this is the first question we ask participants to consider, it is often the hardest to answer but the most powerful in making a shift in your self esteem.

If you can think of a million things you like, that’s great! How many of those things do you truly believe to be true? We can run a long list of our favourite characteristics about ourselves but is there an emotional connection to those words? What meaning do they have to us?

Last week I met a woman who thought she loved herself but then realised she couldn’t say the words ‘I love myself’ out loud. Sounds easy right? Try it and see if you feel it’s true. Out of 10, how true does it feel for you? If you can’t even bring yourself to say the words and you’re at a 0, what can we do to get you to a 2? I’m a realist so I understand there will be no miracles over night but progress is always possible.

Right now I challenge you make a list of what you like about yourself, I guarantee you it’ll be an interesting experience. Try it and share your experiences with me in the comments.

With love,
Create Happy Thoughts.

What makes a good friend?

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I recently experienced a very unpleasant interaction with someone I referred to as a ‘friend’ however deep down I always knew this person did not have my best interests at heart, but for some bizarre reason continued the friendship.

During a phone conversation one day her true feelings towards me were revealed, she was nasty and just plain rude. This is when I realised that I had allowed this toxic relationship to continue for far too long, and felt proud that I was able to stand up for myself something which I have found difficult in the past. From this experience I began to think about what I really wanted from a friend.

So I’ve compiled an initial list of traits I think a good friend should have, this is all based on my personal experience.  For me the following are really important.

1. Accept your friend as they are.

We take our friends as they are, we are not trying to change them or mould them into what we want them to be like. Let’s face it no two people are the same  and our differences make our relationships interesting. As friends we should feel comfortable to express ourselves, our weaknesses as well as our strengths without the fear that our friend will reject us.

2. Be happy for their happiness

Even though your life might be at a standstill you want your friend to fulfil their potential. Take for instance, you are unemployed and your friend gets a promotion and a pay rise, be happy for them – It’s as simple as that. This is so important in a friendship, we want to help our friends become better and support them to achieve their dreams. I feel as a society we are very good at commiserating with people. There is an unlimited amount of sympathy  which is handed out freely, however when someone is doing well acknowledging this seems harder. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me?  When there is a problem in your life you can discuss it for hours with people who will affirm all your feelings about the world being a horrible place. Weirdly, if you have achieved something amazing or overcome a huge personal barrier the support isn’t as forthcoming. An ex-manager once shared with me a lesson she’d learnt and felt it was something I should know, she said ‘true friends are those who are happy for your happiness’ so when your friends find happiness, please celebrate with them! Whether you send them a heartfelt note congratulating them, or give them a call your friend will appreciate the support. You’ll also see that once you begin to acknowledge happy moments, there will be an abundance of them. Friendship should always encourage happiness.

3. Become part of their life.

I have friends who I keep in touch with but they don’t feel like they are part of my life, it’s hard to explain but I love for my friends to pop over to my house for tea, or do spontaneous shopping trips. I guess what I’m saying is – I want my friends to know what is happening in my life rather than just being part of snippets of it.

4. Acknowledge & Celebrate birthdays

Up until recently, I was not very birthday friendly. However reading an article about the importance of acknowledging your own birthday and the fact that you have reached a new milestone in your life my perspective changed.  I’ve always been touched by the gifts that I’ve received or the messages people would send to me,  the gestures always made me feel really special.  I decided that I will celebrate every birthday from now on, and I will make an effort with every person in my life to ensure they feel special on their birthday. Whether you do something small or enormous, please do something! Especially if people do not make an effort for this persons birthday that is an even bigger reason why you should, it will be a gesture that they will never forget. Trust me on this one.

That’s all I can think of for now, I would like to add that most importantly from now on I will practice all the things on my list, because in order to attract the things we want we must become what we want.  So, I want a good friend, I must become a good friend.

I would love to hear your thoughts about friends, what traits are on your list?  Positive and negative experiences?  Friendship is such an interesting topic, I will definitely post more about it in the future.

With love,

Create Happy Thoughts

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Advice for young kids

This post is dedicated to my niece, I am so fortunate to know her.  She is truly beautiful on the outside and inside, wherever she goes happiness follows.

As she is getting older, I’ve been thinking about the advice I would give a young person who is beginning to negotiate her way through life.

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So here are some of my thoughts..

1.Love yourself first.

So what does this mean? You hear this term being flung around often without any explanation which would always leave me confused. My definition is – realising that you are complete as yourself and that is enough. You are whole as you are, and do not need anyone else’s approval to feel validated. Remembering that you are valuable and what YOU want is just as important as what everyone else wants. Also part of loving yourself is expressing how you feel, if you’re sad or happy allow yourself to feel these emotions.  When I’m in situations where I feel stuck  I ask myself some questions – What do I want?  Will my decision make me happy?  Am I doing this out of fear or do I really want this? In the society we live in, we are often punished for being ‘selfish’ but to take care of yourself first is not selfish, it’s self care. There’s a big difference. If you set a high standard for how you treat yourself when no one else is around, you’ll be very clear about what you expect from those people who enter your life.

2. Keep a list of your favourite qualities about yourself and read it every single day.

I do this all the time! It’s best to have a notebook and write down all the things you love about yourself. The key is to write down the attribute and then next to it, specify a time when you saw this characteristic in action. For example, ‘I am a nice person, a time when I was nice was……….’  It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or over the top, just start with something simple.

3. Take care of your body

This is a huge one, whether you are 10 years old or 100 years old taking care of your body is very basic. However, sometimes the basics are neglected. Exercise, drink water, eat food that nourishes your body, believe me it’ll make all the difference. Also, remember to always make an effort with your appearance, clean clothes and personal hygiene is so important as it has such a huge effect on our self esteem and confidence.

4. Use your protective shield to protect yourself.

Now this is a concept I’ve only really understood in the last few years. I believe that the majority of human beings are nice people, and they are doing the best they can however it is inevitable that you will encounter unpleasant interactions with people. Nice people can be horrible and horrible people can be nice, it all depends on the state you find them in. Whether it’s your school friend, your teacher or your family – we need a way of protecting ourselves from what is being said. This could be in the form of an outright verbal attack or someones subtle comments which are negative. Every time this happens, visualise a shield coming up – you know the ones that the knights of the round table would carry and used during battles. The purpose of this should be to deflect those comments away, so they do not enter your personal space or more importantly your mind.

I’m 30 years old and I feel like I haven’t even reached my best, my perspective on life is – you are constantly growing and progressing. When you’re in your teens, it is a great time to enjoy everything about life. The little things like walking in the park, reading, spending time with friends, whatever it is – do it. The aim is to nurture your natural self. Be curious about things, there so much out there to experience.

Most importantly I would like to emphasise that challenges are a natural part of life, you will have times where you are hurt and upset. This happens to everyone, regardless of who you are but if you are able to accept the challenges and deal with them you will see that in fact these difficult times helped you develop your strength and become stronger. I have had some unbelievably upsetting times in my life, as has every single human being living on this earth. However  those moments of utter despair have been my biggest learning experiences. I am stronger and wiser for the experiences I have had. I’m pretty happy with the person I’m becoming, I know there will be challenges in the future but with time I am growing in confidence and trust that I have the ability to overcome any storm. In time you’ll also see that those things that have upset you have also helped you in your journey to becoming the best version of yourself.

Most of all remember that we are not defined by the clothes we wear, or the place we live or even the friends we keep. It’s nice to have nice things, but happiness comes from accepting ourselves as we are,  there is no other person walking this earth who is like you – you are the way you are meant to be and you are perfect as you are.

With love,

Create Happy Thoughts

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