#100 Be at Peace with Yourself

So this is it – the 100th ‘Be’ post. When I started this project, the very heart of it was to connect less with doing; lists, goals, achievements, and more with being; character qualities, values, soul. I’ve come to see that even focusing on ‘being’ comes with risks. You can still beat yourself up for not being kind enough, being present enough, being open minded enough. You can still miss the point of the whole exercise. And the point is, that you’re already enough. You can already live at peace with yourself, whatever stage you’re at in your journey. You can breathe deep. You can relax. You can sleep at ease. Because you, you’re made of the same stuff as stars. You’ve already arrived. You’re already magical. You’re a miracle, exactly how you are today.  You don’t need to analyse yourself to the umpteenth degree, you don’t need to have it all worked out, all your scars healed, all your imperfections concealed. Because they’re not really scars, they’re you. They’re not imperfections, they’re you. We are ALL of it. Good, bad, unsightly – they’re just labels. Meaningless. You, you are full of meaning. You’re here, you exist, you are life itself. You’re part of something bigger and grander and more infinite than we’ll ever understand. And that’s enough. You. Are. Enough. It’s time to put all those lists away. (yes, including this one!) Before you know it, without even trying, you will finally, beautifully, gracefully … Be at Peace with Yourself FollowShare...

#99 Be Decisive

In a recent episode of ‘Shark Tank’ – where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a wealthy panel of judges in the hope of investment – a pair of American-dream hopefuls were faced with a decision. Three of the judges had said no to their pitch. The last two each put an offer on the […]

In a recent episode of ‘Shark Tank’ – where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a wealthy panel of judges in the hope of investment – a pair of American-dream hopefuls were faced with a decision. Three of the judges had said no to their pitch. The last two each put an offer on the table; one offered $250k for 15% ownership but wanted to license the product, the other $250k for 20% ownership with the aim to grow the business and release new products. Both were potentially good deals. Both came with exciting new possibilities. The entrepreneurs clearly had a gut feeling about which one to choose, but they didn’t act on it. They deliberated, they stood there um-ing and ah-ring, and finally the two investors pulled their offers off the table, one of them saying – ‘If you can’t make decisions, we can’t have a partnership’. It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to run a business, choose what to study or pick a new hobby, the game of life requires decisions to be made at every turn. Many prefer to procrastinate, to pull an Ostrich maneuver and wedge their heads firmly in the sand until they’re forced to come up for air. But you can spare yourself all the agonising and hiding from reality by learning how to be decisive. Here’s three steps to make this easier:  Narrow down your options, then pick one. It doesn’t have to be perfect, (nothing is), it doesn’t have to come with a sign from God attached, it just has to be a course of action. Once you’ve chosen, stick with...

#98 Be Pink

Sometimes, I think the world is out to get me. A dark cloud hovers above my head, threatening an unexpected down-pour at any time. I feel like nothing works, no-one cares, and things are just too hard. I was in this state the other day, all curled up in bed in my fluffy pink dressing […]

Sometimes, I think the world is out to get me. A dark cloud hovers above my head, threatening an unexpected down-pour at any time. I feel like nothing works, no-one cares, and things are just too hard. I was in this state the other day, all curled up in bed in my fluffy pink dressing gown. My partner came over and sat on the bed, staring at me for awhile. He asked me, ‘What’s wrong?’. I replied with, ‘Everything’s wrong! I’m going to let my sister down by not going on the holiday we’ve planned and can’t tell her because she’ll be so upset with me, I snapped at Mum the other day and haven’t apologised, I’m late on a deadline and my client is going to be furious with me …’ I sigh. ‘Everything is black and miserable.’ ‘Hmm, I see,’ he said nodding. ‘Everything is black.’ We both sat silently a little longer in the cloud of my misery. Then suddenly he pushed back the fold of fluffy pink dressing gown covering my face, and said – ‘How about we make everything pink?’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I mean, tell me the pink version. What’s the pink version of all these problems you’re facing?’ This was starting to sound like a game. And I love a good game. I couldn’t help myself starting to think of how I’d make things pink. ‘Well,’ I slowly began, ‘I guess the pink version with my sister is that she’ll understand the reasons that I can’t go on our trip, and maybe we’ll be able to do it another time.’ He...

#97 Be Respectful

Have you ever noticed how the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to be respectful? We’re polite to strangers, and new friends – remembering our manners and not interrupting when they speak. We acknowledge and pay heed to their boundaries. We respect others opinions when shared at dinner parties. But the people […]

Have you ever noticed how the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to be respectful? We’re polite to strangers, and new friends – remembering our manners and not interrupting when they speak. We acknowledge and pay heed to their boundaries. We respect others opinions when shared at dinner parties. But the people close to us – our mothers, partners, siblings, best friends … they get the sharp side of our tongues. They get questioned, accused, smothered, coerced. We tell them that they’re wrong. We don’t give them enough space. We sigh and roll our eyes when they tell the same old story for the hundredth time. Respect comes from the understanding that others are separate from you. They are their own beings, entitled to freedom of thought, word, opinion, action and values. They are not yours to change or boss around. People can only thrive when given enough space to express themselves in the way that they want. When they’re treated with respect that says, ‘You’re important, you’re smart, and you’re strong enough to find your own way.’ I’m learning how to give those closest to me, the ones I love so dearly, enough room to breathe. Kind, respectful words. Time alone when they need it. Space to share their opinions. Restraining myself from the familiarity of closeness which can, if unchecked, breed contempt. Practice with me. Be Respectful FollowShare...

#96 Be Perseverant

I’m watching a spider. She’s hard at work in the corner of our bedroom behind the door, creating a masterpiece. I’ve just opened my eyes after sleep, and observe from the bed as the fine, silvery strands are woven – stretching from the door to the wall. I admire her work, but I know something […]

I’m watching a spider. She’s hard at work in the corner of our bedroom behind the door, creating a masterpiece. I’ve just opened my eyes after sleep, and observe from the bed as the fine, silvery strands are woven – stretching from the door to the wall. I admire her work, but I know something she doesn’t. Soon, very soon, I’m going to get up and open the bedroom door to begin the day. And due to an unfortunate choice of location, this cobwebby masterpiece will be destroyed. I lay there pondering the spider’s reaction to this sort of unexpected crisis. Then I realise – there won’t be any reaction. The spider won’t shake her spindly legs in fury, cursing the gods and her bad luck. She won’t fall into a deep despondency, relying on comfort food and mind-numbing movies to ease the regret of losing something that cost a lot of effort. Nope. I know exactly what the spider is going to do. She’s going to take a long-legged wander over to another corner of the room, and start again. Strand by strand, persevering until the web is finally complete. It’s the same with everything you observe in nature – nature doesn’t know how to give up. Ants keep marching, trees keep finding a route to the sun, moss continues slowly climbing over rocks until it creates a carpet of green. I’m going to remember that spider next time something doesn’t go how I planned, or life throws me a curve ball. If the spot I’ve chosen to build a web doesn’t work out, I’ll simply pick a different one...

#95 Be Personal

You know that feeling when you can’t speak to a real person? Machines greet you, automated voices tell you, ‘Sorry, that ____ is not valid, please try again’, and dealing with big companies feels like trying to hack your way through an overgrown forest of paperwork and red tape with a blunt pencil. Our huge, […]

You know that feeling when you can’t speak to a real person? Machines greet you, automated voices tell you, ‘Sorry, that ____ is not valid, please try again’, and dealing with big companies feels like trying to hack your way through an overgrown forest of paperwork and red tape with a blunt pencil. Our huge, technologically connected world can sometimes be very lonely. We’re cut off from our food and how it ends up in pretty packages at the supermarket, sectioned away from nature into identical apartments, and even our friends give the little blip sounds on their phone priority over us. Today, more than ever, it matters to be personal. Find ways to show others that you’re human, you realise they’re human, and you care. Christmas is a fantastic time to practice this. Instead of buying plastic-wrapped rubbish from China for your family, make them something. Make it mean something. Put love into each detail, wrap it in recycled paper with affirmations scrawled all over it. Say no to the standard bottle of wine and box of Cadbury chocolates for your clients. Write personal messages to each one, rather than delegating the ‘We hope you have happy holidays!’ Hallmark greetings to Judy in the admin department. We’ve been having fun putting this into practice … last Christmas we made candles in recycled jars and tea-cups. This year we’ve made our clients soaps, with lavender cut fresh from our garden and sand collected at the beach. Each one has a plantable gift tag that will grow delicious basil or rocket. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes effort. But...