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Presents to me

So it’s December and I’ve started my annual “presents to me” ritual. I’m not sure when this ritual started. Sometime in childhood, I think. I saved money to buy my school friends presents and then we would go out on a cold, dark, wet November or December day to purchase these presents and I would inevitably find something I wanted just for me. This thing would, no doubt, take up the majority of my present-buying savings so it started to get called “presents to me” by my Mum and Sister who were amused by my annual quandary.

Over the years, without my really noticing it, this “presents to me” thing became a habit. Last year I decided to celebrate this habit and call it a ritual instead. I did this by dropping any guilt attached to these presents. My most extravagant “present to me” came along with the re-classification to a ritual when I booked my trip to Mexico for a yoga retreat with Sadie Nardini. However, most of my “presents to me” around this time of year are a lot more achievable and include things like a new nail polish or a box of fancy tea (see below).

I now want to share some of this year’s “presents to me” purchases in case you want to begin your own ritual. Happy Christmas to all!

  • I just got this gorgeous yoga t shirt from Sweaty Betty. I love the colour, the lightweight material and the inspiring writing on it. And, best of all, it was reduced in the sale from £45 to only £22! (Click on the photo to go to Sweaty Betty’s site).

KEM Quote Print Boyfriend Tee

  • I also got myself some of my favourite tea – Apple Loves Mint. You can get this from the Suki Tea stall at the Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall. (Good luck with that, by the way!) If you want to avoid the rioters you can get it right here in Lurgan at Love Coffee in High Street.

  • My BIG present to me was my Kindle HD Fire. The thing with this present is that I keep buying more and more things for it so it really has been fun! You’d be safer clicking on the picture to learn more about it than asking me as I am still not actually sure how to use it properly!

  • Finally in this list I want to mention the ‘Create Your Incredible Year’ workbook from Leonie Dawson. I am in the process of printing this out and putting it into my 2013 diary. I just wrote about it in my monthly mailing because I used it last year for the first time and found it very helpful to focus on what I actually wanted from 2012. I am now looking forward to filling in the 2013 Life AND Business versions to help me with my new life in Glasgow.

Enjoy making your own “presents to me” list!



My 21 day commitment

I was just working out that if I start to do something consistently for 21 days from tomorrow then, by February 29th it will be a habit!

I read these tips from Uta Langley, the Right Coach, who helps women to create the Right Business for their personality, lifestyle and situation so they can be happy AND successful:

The 21 day commitment works for the trivial like flossing teeth to the fundamental like doing something every day to bring new prospects to your business.

7 steps to set up your own 21 day commitment

1. Take any area in your life that you want to improve and identify one habit that if done on a daily basis would make a massive difference
2. Commit to doing this one activity for the next 21 consecutive days – it has to be consecutive days (if it is a business activity, you may decide to only do the activity during work days)
3. Make sure you have the equipment/ingredients/gear that you need (flossing picks, running shoes, wholemeal pasta etc.)
4. Start today and do this activity every day for 21 days
5. Monitor your execution of the behaviour – ticks on a sheet, marbles in a jar, stars on a chart and note down your progress if it is something that can be measured (like weight loss, increased subscribers, number of twitter followers)
6. Evaluate your results after 21 days
7. By now you should have formed a new habit that has become automatic behaviour

My 21 day commitment is to do 10 minutes of yoga every morning (step 1). I already try to do this and inevitably fail after about two days as the lure of my bed is too much to get up early or I have a morning appointment that I can’t miss which doesn’t leave me enough time for practice. But this time I am stating my intention publicly on this blog and making the commitment (step 2); I am setting up my yoga mat in the living room each night for me to unroll in the morning and lining up a stockpile of yoga DVDs that I have yet to try or previously tried and loved (step 3). Then, from tomorrow, I am starting my own 21 day commitment (step 4) and will monitor it on Facebook (step 5) so that by the time I get to steps 6 and 7 it will have become as regular a part of my morning routine as eating breakfast or cleaning my teeth!

What about you? Have you any commitments you would like to make into habits? Do you want to state them here and start them tomorrow??


Social Media tips

When I was away in Mexico I took an opportunity to “unplug” from the Internet and Social Media sites. It was SO refreshing!

We talked in class about creating boundaries for your life so that, for example, you don’t always answer the phone every time it rings – instead you let it go to answer phone and this gives you time to listen to the message and work out how you will respond appropriately. This may be by calling the person back or sending them a quick email but it means you are not so reactive all the time. I LOVED this! Sometimes the sound of my mobile ringing fills me with dread. “What now?” I think. “What more do people want from me?” Now I can check my mobile a few times a day and form a proper response to people rather than being so reactive and negative! So, in the future, don’t expect to speak to me every time you call, leave your request and expect an email response…

The other great boundary was to limit internet and social media time each day and never NEVER look at these sites before going to bed! Try to use your Facebook as a way to send messages out to friends and colleagues (and, for me, clients) but try to limit the time spent looking at photographs of old boyfriends or schoolfriends who are your Facebook friend but would walk across the street to avoid speaking to you in real life! Social media inevitably leads to social comparison for me. “Look how well he is doing. He was SO stupid at school and now he has that great job.” I think. “Look at her lovely children. I must be a complete disaster because I forgot to have any.”

Today I received a note from the Brave Girls Club and I thought it was so helpful to get me out of this continuous social comparison.

Dear Important Girl,

Chances are, there’s a part of your heart that feels weary because of all of the things you have read, seen and heard about that are going on in other people’s lives that you know, and even that you don’t know.

We now live in a world of soundbites, dear friend. We seem to only see millions of little sentences telling about the highlights and a-has and victories and vacations and love affairs and awards and latest purchases and latest creations, when we still have the rest of the humdrum details of our own lives to live. It seems as if we might be the only one who is living a tedious reality. (but what is true?)

Friend, beautiful beautiful friend — please do yourself a great act of kindness and do an outside detox and just go inward. Take a look at your own beautiful life, your own beautiful soul, your own beautiful family, your own beautiful blessings, your own beautiful memories, your own beautiful dreams, your own beautiful self. Get back in touch with YOU. Take a few days this weekend and give yourself permission to unplug from the over-stimulation and just sit in the peace of your own life. YOUR LIFE IS ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU DO ENOUGH. YOU HAVE ENOUGH. YOU ARE LOVED ENOUGH. YOU ARE AMAZING ENOUGH.

Take a break, ok?
Be good to you. Please don’t punish yourself with so much outside information and comparing. Have a little detox. You will see the truth of just how wonderful your life really is.


Try it yourself and see what you think…

Victoria X

I received this email today and thought it was so apt to my current situation. Not that I needed validation for gradually reducing and coming off my bipolar medication. But it made me smile and it definitely came at the perfect time, just as I was beginning to doubt my decision.

Dear Wonderful Girl,

You are not a dilemma. You are not a problem to be solved. You are not a mistake. You are not a burden. You are a beautiful soul who is learning, growing and stretching….and learning, growing and stretching come with a lot of bumps in the road.

Often we let ourselves fall into an identity or a belief that we will always be the broken one, the one with all of the problems, the troublemaker or the burden. Please, beautiful friend…cast that old, outdated belief out the window and decide to stop looking at yourself this way. Tell yourself the beautiful truth, that you are a whole beautiful soul who is learning.

The problem with looking at yourself with a broken belief is that you will, without even thinking about it, attract and even seek out situations, relationships and even problems to prove yourself right.

What is beautiful is that when we finally start to see ourselves in the light of the truth….we begin to seek out and attract people and situations and a beautiful life that is meant for us, and life proves itself right.

What a wonderful thing. But it’s all in what we believe.
Please believe the truth.
You are SO LOVED.


A message from your friends at the Brave Girls Club –




5 Easy Tips to Supercharge Your Affirmations by Danea Horn

I found this on the blogsite and thought it was very useful to anyone who does affirmations regularly or who just attempts them now and then, like me.

Check it out,



Affirmation: “I am abundant.”
“Wait, what about all that credit card debt?”

Affirmation: “I am filled with vital energy.”
“I don’t think so. It took a giant cup of coffee to open my eyes this morning.”

Affirmation: “I give and receive love freely.”
“Yeah, right.”

Affirmation: “I am happy.”
“Nope. Not even close.”

Affirmation: “I am fully present in this moment.”
“What is it that I have to do later today?”

Affirmations are touted to be the wonder cure for manifesting dreams. However, sometimes affirmations feel like you are trying to pull one over on yourself. With great conviction you affirm your deepest intentions and immediately hear a nagging internal voice that says, “Nope, I do not think so.” After weeks of trying to desperately convince yourself of something that is not true, you give in, declare that affirmations don’t work for you, and move onto the next self-help technique.

I’ve been there – in debt, lacking energy, searching for purpose and trying to talk myself into a new life that was clearly not part of my current reality. From the depths of that experience, I learned a few tricks to turn on the power of affirmations. It all starts with feeling.

Words are just that – words. They can mean everything or nothing at all. Affirmations become effective when words entice strong feelings. It is the feeling that carries the energy to manifest change. The goal with any affirmation is to feel how you want to feel when the words have become a reality. If your affirmations feel like a lie, then you are creating the opposite effect than you intended.

Determining Belief
Sometimes it can be confusing to know if you really believe in the affirmation that you are using. When you say the affirmation, ask yourself the following two questions to determine how effective your words are.

1. How does my body feel when I make this statement?
Our bodies are a keen feedback mechanism to let us know how we feel. An affirmation that you do not believe will cause your muscles to tighten, or you may feel an uncomfortable sensation in the pit of your stomach.

2. Where do my thoughts go when I say this affirmation?
Do you begin listing all of the reasons that the affirmation is not true for you? Does your mind create barriers to manifesting the affirmation? Your mind will automatically send its reaction to your self-talk into your awareness. By listening to your thoughts, you become clued into what your mind is programmed to believe.
It is important with affirmations to begin by meeting yourself where you are. That means if affirmations feel like a lie, allow that to be your starting point. Personal honesty is the doorway to change.

Finding Truth
The opposite of lying is telling the truth. It is the truth that allows positive feelings to accompany words of affirmation. Use the five techniques below to engage the feelings you want to feel when your affirmations are your reality.

1. Add the words “choose,” “willing,” or “potential” to your affirmations.
“I am abundant” may be hard to believe if you have debt. However, “I choose to be abundant” promotes feelings of empowerment and motivation to create change. Similarly, “willing” and “potential” shift affirmations away from a reality that may not exist and toward an attitude that can be cultivated now.

2. The thing you think you want is not what you truly desire.
Four years ago my goal was to pay off all of my credit cards. I asked myself what I really desired by paying off my debt. The answer was love – nothing to do with money. I wanted a stress-free relationship with my husband. The debt was a dark cloud that lingered in our conversations, and I wanted nothing more than to have the freedom of unconditional love back in our household. Love is what I began affirming, and love is what I felt when I said my affirmations. Over the next six months, our income unexpectedly increased and allowed all of the debt to be paid off. To key up your feelings, ask yourself if you are affirming the thing that you truly desire.

3. Get in the zone.
It is a select few who actually focus themselves when they say affirmations. Affirmations are an afterthought as they move through their day. If you give yourself 10 to 15 minutes each day to relax, breathe and visualize your intentions, you will find that it is easier to transport yourself into the life you dream of. It is in this space where your affirmations are true, even if just for 10 minutes in your mind. Research shows that our subconscious does not know the difference between reality and visualization. Your imagination can be the catalyst to sending out the feelings of the experiences you desire to attract.

4. Smile.
Just as our bodies are adept at letting us know how we already feel, they are also skilled at shifting our feelings. Grinning from ear-to-ear while you say affirmations will put your mind in a state of joy and possibility where your dreams have the potential to come true.

5. Begin with gratitude.

If you are still having a difficult time convincing yourself of a reality that is only in your mind, begin with looking at your life as is. Make a list of all of the things for which you are currently grateful. Sincere gratitude is an affirmation. Start by recognizing and giving thanks now to attract more things to be thankful for in the future.

Say, repeat and feel your affirmations as true now, in this moment, and one morning you will wake up to a reality that once only existed in your mind.

Danea Horn’s life has been about healing. Managing her health has graced her with insights around how vitally important positive thinking is. As a certified life coach and motivational speaker, Danea is an expert at helping people design and implement strategies for a fulfilling life when facing health challenges.

Photo credit: ashley rose