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The Real Work Begins

We returned from our honeymoon just over a week ago and it feels very surreal to be getting back into our normal routine after such a life-changing event!

The high we experienced on our wedding day lasted for ages and then the excitement of continuing our honeymoon around Italy took over. When we landed back in Manchester, I started to wonder what had really changed… In reality, the answer is that not very much has changed at all, and yet, absolutely everything has changed at the same time.

As a little girl, you dream about your wedding day and being lucky enough to marry your Prince Charming. I got to do that and exchanging our wedding vows is a memory I will cherish forever, but I also know that I need to cherish the sense of happiness and contentment that sits with me every day now.

Alex and I made an important commitment to one another in front of our friends and family, but now that the day is over, the real work begins. We’re incredibly lucky to have met theone person that we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and although I’m dreading the day it happens, I know the newlywed joy will start to fade and the grind of daily life will start to take its toll once again. When that inevitably happens, we’ll need to make sure we remember to love each other, each and every day, in the same way as we have up until now. We must remember to never take one another for granted and to treat each other with the love and respect we have shared so that we continue to grow together.

There’s no getting away from the fact that relationships take work but the rewards definitely make it all worthwhile. With this in mind, can you honestly say you have been giving the relationships, romantic or otherwise, in your life the care and attention they deserve? If the answer is no, what can you do to rectify this?

Everything is as it should be

When was the last time you ranted to a friend or family member about how something was unfair or just downright wrong?

Sometimes it can be really hard to remember that everything is just as it should be.

When we’re much further down the line, we can find ourselves looking back and realising that we wouldn’t be where we are without that particular event taking place. For me, times were hard in the run up to my decision to leave London, but I know now that everything needed to play out in that exact way. If it hadn’t, I might have been happy plodding along down South and I wouldn’t have moved to Newcastle. If I hadn’t moved to Newcastle when I did, I might not have got the job that I got, and if that hadn’t happened I might not have met Alex.

At the time, things can appear to be annoying or upsetting, but time allows us to look back with a more objective pair of eyes.

If you’re struggling with how something is right now, remember that the pain will ease as time goes on, and if you can, look for ways in which you can start to quietly accept what is right now.

You Have A Choice

No matter the situation, you always have a choice because you are in control of how you react. I know this is easier said than done when you’re in the thick of some drama or another, but as I write this in advance of my wedding and honeymoon, I know that by the time this is published, all of the drama associated with the wedding will (hopefully) be over.

Everyone has drama and it’s really hard not to allow yourself to be pulled into it, but you do have a choice. You can choose not to be pulled in, and if you choose to do this, it will automatically change the energy of the situation. You can help to move the situation from a negative and into a positive by controlling your reaction. 

If you had done this in a recent tense situation, how do you think it would’ve changed the outcome?

Next time you find someone pushing your buttons, choose not to be pulled in and instead think about how you could redirect the conversation towards the positive.  

Positive Pick-Me-Ups

As I leave the house every morning, I see a postcard on my mirror which says ‘Darling, you’ve got this.’ On my bedroom mirror, I have a post-it note which says ‘Life has bigger plans for you.’ On my fridge, I have a note which says ‘You know you can so go ahead and do it.’

I love leaving positive notes for myself dotted around the house because you never know when you might need a word of encouragement and what that might spark in you.

Where in your house can you strategically place positive quotes and affirmations to give yourself a little pick-me-up?

Winners vs. Whiners

I read an article by Ramit Sethi recently which talked about the difference between winners and whiners. He explained that whiners have excuse after excuse at hand to explain why certain things aren’t possible for them, while winners tend to just crack on and adapt to the circumstances around them.

Hands up if anyone else has found themselves arguing for their limitations… I know I do this when I feel backed into a corner and I’d much rather stay in the safety of my comfort zone instead of pushing myself out of it.

We’re all guilty of allowing ourselves to stay stuck from time-to-time and whining about our circumstances can provide temporary relief and help us to feel better about our current situation, but I find that it’s short lived. Soon enough, I’m feeling frustrated once again and wanting to strive for more. Anyone else feel this way? If so, how could you change your approach to something that’s frustrating you in your life and adapt to your circumstances like a winner would?

Remember, if you’re arguing and making a strong case to stay where you are right now, you’re never going to evolve past your current circumstances.

Square Peg, Round Hole

Sometimes my daily calendar really does make me smile and a recent entry did just that. It read:

‘You can’t get prune juice from an orange, no matter how hard you squeeze it.’ Wayne Dyer.

There are so many times in life when we try to force and force something – no matter how much push back we get. The old adage, ‘square peg, round hole’ comes to mind, but the refreshing analogy used here helped me to view it from a different angle.

Have you found yourself banging your head against a brick wall recently?

I know that my stubbornness can be a hinderance rather than a help sometimes, and I often need someone else to tell me when it’s time to call it quits and either approach something in a different way or leave it behind altogether.

Even though it’s often someone else who makes it clear I need to make this decision, deep down inside I’m always aware of what I should really be doing. So right now, I’m here to ask you, what should you be getting ready to leave behind or approach in a different way?

Forced to Feel Grateful

I haven’t been feeling that well in myself of late and now that I can feel my body on the mend, I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have my body back at full capacity. It feels heavenly to go about my day and not be in pain of any description. 

Quite often, we forget to be grateful for things because we take them for granted until they’re taken away. In my case, I’m usually a very healthy person and as I lay in bed feeling terrible, I longed for the days when I’d felt 100%.

When was the last time you were given a forcible reminder to feel grateful because something you usually take for granted was temporarily taken away?

I know that there’s an extra spring in my step as I acknowledge how good I feel when I wake up in the mornings, and it got me thinking about what else in my life I could be taking for granted. I also wondered if the same might be true for you, so, what is there in your life that you need to remember to be grateful for?

Judging Someone

There’s a billboard that I drive past on my way to work each morning and the latest advert to appear there is for Amazon Prime. While I like the premise of the campaign with the strapline ‘great shows stay with you’, I have to admit that I’m not keen on this particular iteration. It shows three women doing their make-up in a public bathroom and two of the women are looking both shocked and disgusted as another woman puts on heavy eye make-up to make herself look like one of the characters in the TV show, Vikings.

When was the last time you judged someone for their appearance?

In my eyes, the advert seemed to reinforce the fact that, as women, we’re often our own worst enemy and are more critical of one another than the opposite sex are. It also highlighted that, as a society, we prevent people from expressing themselves fully because it doesn’t tie in with expected societal norms.  

I know we’re all guilty of judging one another and that’s why it works well as an advert, but in what ways do you think you could try to be less judgemental as you go about your routine today?

Sunset Yoga

My hen do was last weekend and while every moment was completely perfect, one of the stand out highlights was definitely sunset yoga on the beach. I’ve never taken a yoga class in that kind of setting before and it was absolutely amazing. Our teacher, Johanna Hellinger, was delightful and she effortlessly designed a class which catered for my friends who had never sat on a yoga mat before, as well as those of us who were a little more experienced.

Johanna mentioned gratitude throughout the class and I have to say that sharing that wonderful experience with my closest friends is something that’s still making me smile now. I have never felt so grounded and at peace as I did hearing the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore, breathing in the fresh sea air and feeling the sand under my hands and feet.

It got me thinking because yoga is something I do a lot, but I’m often just following along to a YouTube video on my living room floor. A change in scenery really helped me to connect more deeply to my practice and it was a completely different experience to what I’m used to. Is there an activity that is part of your usual routine that would also benefit from a change in setting? How could you mix things up a little to help you reconnect to it more fully?

An Entrepreneurial Trait

On Monday I attended Newcastle Startup Week and the theme for the day was inspiration. A variety of speakers, all of whom are successful entrepreneurs, talked about their journey to success, their failures along the way, and how to stay positive and focused on your goals during the inevitable ups and downs.

No matter the business owner, the business sector, or the speaking topic, a common theme emerged in each speech and that was the inherent need to believe in yourself even when others don’t.

Who here is guilty of caring a little bit too much about what people think? I know I am.

As I listened to each speaker share their story, it became very clear that each and every one of them had ignored the opinions of others at some point in their career. Whether it was a parent, a friend or a spouse, the speakers explained that they had chosen to disregard any concerns those close to them had raised and they carried on regardless.

Entrepreneurs by their very nature take bold risks and are willing to move outside of societal norms and take a chance on themselves. Is there anything in your life that you’re not pursuing because someone close to you thinks it’s a bad idea? How would you approach it if you had the mindset of an entrepreneur. What would you do if you were the type of person that takes risks?