Hardships vs blissful encounters. Which are you most grateful for?

I read this at the weekend – and it rang true for me. I loved it <3 
“I would never trade my hardships – past, present, or future – for blissful encounters.  These very tribulations have revealed what true happiness is. 

The darkest nights yield the most luminous dawns. If everything always went your way, you would be denied the precious opportunities to grow, surrender,  trust, evolve. 

Without fear, you would never learn to be courageous. Without anger, you would never learn forgiveness. Without heartbreak, you would never open your heart to true love.”
Sara Avant Stover 

Live Life Large by Sydney Philip

So many of us want to make a difference and so few of us believe that we can. But as human beings we were designed to dream, to create, to imagine, to express ourselves to share ideas, to progress. We don’t try because we don’t believe we can and we fear failure, we fear looking foolish, we fear the brutal consequences we imagine must lie in wait for the brave and adventurous. There are those who inspire us, those who teach us, those whom we can aspire to follow. And we can follow, we can be as brave and adventurous as anyone we know or have heard of. First we must shatter the myth that these brave and adventurous people know no fear. The fact is that those who ‘dare to do’ fear all of the same things that you do. The difference is that they don’t allow these fears to prevent them from pursuing their dreams and they fear other things more.

They fear dying without ever having truly lived, they fear being left with too many what ifs, they fear finding themselves at the end of their lives with a list of ‘dreams to do’ that have all been left undone. They choose to live “yes I can” not “no I couldn’t”. They choose to live LARGE.”

Sydney Philips


What IS courage?

I love these words of encouragement from Caroline Kent.

Courage is admitting that you’re afraid and facing that fear directly. It’s being strong enough to ask for help and humble enough to accept it.

Courage is standing up for what you believe in without worrying about the opinions of others. It’s following your own heart, living your own life, and settling for nothing less than the best for yourself.

Courage is daring to take a first step, a big leap, or a different path. It’s attempting to do something that no one has done before and all others thought impossible.

Courage is keeping heart in the face of disappointment and looking at defeat not as an end but as a new beginning. It’s believing that things will ultimately get better even as they get worse.

Courage is being responsible for your own actions and admitting your own mistakes without placing blame on others. It’s relying not on others for your success, but on your own skills and efforts.

Courage is refusing to quit even when you’re intimidated by impossibility. It’s choosing a goal, sticking with it, and finding solutions to the problems.

Courage is thinking big, aiming high, and shooting far. It’s taking a dream and doing anything, risking everything, and stopping at nothing to it make it a reality.
~ Caroline Kent


Project Me – 15/101 Billy Goats Gruff

As a child, I adored fairy stories and read all the books we had in our local library. I fell in love with the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and the Arabian Nights. And then I grew up, and moved to the real world, and forgot about these stories – but stories are amazing tools for change. Modern workplaces are discovering this (check out The Ugly Duckling Goes To Work!). In 2007, I took part in an amazing NLP Storytelling course run by one of my “team”, the amazing Jane Talbot of Humans Resourced http://www.facebook.com/HumansResourced – and I fell in love all over again with the stories, as I understood the layers of any story….

So this week, in my stuck week, I was asked along to Spiral Heart’s http://www.spiralheart.co.uk/ story telling event in Glasgow, I decided to go. Leslie had done the same course – and is also part of Team Caroline. The course is about using stories for change, using Milton-esque language skills and guided relaxation.

Going up to this event was a BIG THING for me to do on a Wednesday night, a day I don’t otherwise have to travel to Glasgow. I went for lunch with Emma, and she decided to join me, as I explained that Andrew and Leslie were shamans and that storytelling is a vital part of their beliefs, but that this would be a chance to experience how stories had layers, and something she might be able to use in teaching.

The story was Billy Goats Gruff; and the first stage was simply telling the story we all know. Yet even through that, and I realised some very important truths! Andthen some other lessons appeared when we came at the story from different angles. It proved to be a special time – sometimes these unexpected things are, in ways we don’t expect at all, as well as an opportunity to escape from life.

This week, I learned again how the Law of Attraction Works, and I learned it’s time to deal with my fears about debt – and wealth. I was worried about debt (even though we are nearly at the end of paying all of our debt off), and I got myself very down about this, forgetting absolutely to take responsibility for where I was now, or to be grateful for what I had. So the Universe stepped in to remind me – three times.

First of all, my current account was hacked – but thankfully the RBS systems stepped in, and I was contacted and lost no money, but my card was cancelled, and I am still waiting on getting my account back up and running. Then I lost my pin number for another account, so couldn’t get money from there either. Then I got a letter from our mortgage provider to tell me that the bank had told them there was no instruction from my bank to pay the mortgage – the bank and the mortgage provider both blamed each other. I also almost nearly forgot my password to talk to the bank in the first place.

At this stage, I didn’t know I had three events – but I made the link through the Billy Goats Gruff story, a story of threes! AndI had the grace to laugh when I realised I had to be told to listen three times.. so I’m working on changing my beliefs in these areas, starting by being willing to change..

Because the stories are heard in a relaxed state, your unconscious mind can access the learning you all-ready know and bring it forward so you can see what you couldn’t before – so for me, there were also lessons about fear (being afraid to walk over the bridge, fearing the troll), to just feel the fear and do it, because the treasure is on the OTHER side…. that once over the bridge, I didn’t need to be fearful anyway, as I was never going to go back over that way, to lighten up and have more fun, to keep moving, and that I can actually do things NOW to make a real difference to other people, I don’t have to wait until I’m wealthier, I just need to step back and think about other options. (Emma had told me earlier that day about a film on this subject, called Paying It Forward that is all about this, where each person does something for three other people that they couldn’t do for themselves – and thus effects massive change in that community).

So you can see why I still love stories! And I have a feeling that Andrew and Leslie could have found their way to make a difference to the world; they made a difference to mine.

An Extraordinary Life

Jack Canfield says “if you make a commitment to read one book a week, review what you have read, and apply at least one thing you learn from each book, you will be miles ahead of everyone else in creating an extraordinary life.”

I probably read two or three books s week. Not all are personal development but I love how such books stretch my mind, give me an alternative view and options or give me at least one thing to learn from them. If you’ve not tried reading personal development books before, here are 52 I would recommend, in no particular order. Some people call this self help, some people hate that phrase. My view is that I don’t have all the answers, and that personally I can do with all the help I can get even if that includes helping myself 😉

1. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
3. Success Principles by Jack Canfield
4. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
6. How to Have Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
7. How To Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
8. Your Best Year Yet by Jinny S. Ditzler
9. Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch
10. Screw it, let’s do it by Richard Branson
11. How To Read Body Language by Barbara and Allan Pease
12. Eat that Frog! by Brian Tracey
13. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
14. Stand Up For Your Life by Cheryl Richardson
15. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
16. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
17. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley
18. The Jelly Effect by Andy Bounds
19. Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson
20. The Charisma Effect by Andrew Leigh
21. The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
22. Self Esteem by Gael Lindenfield
23. If This is a Game, Then These Are the Rules by Cherie Carter Scott
24. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
25. Fulfilled by Deirdre Bounds
26. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
27. Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Ramen MD
28. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
29. Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson
30. The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne
31. Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley
32. The Key by Joe Vitale
33. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
34. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
35. You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt
36. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
37. Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton
38. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
39. Zest for Life by Dawn Breslin
40. The 7 Rules for Success by Fiona Harrold
41. Use Your Head by Tony Buzan
42. Spiritual Intelligence by Danah Zohar
43. One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
44. Fish! By Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen
45. Chicken Soup for the Soul series
46. The Power of Now by Erkard Tolle
47. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
48. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
49. The Road Less Travelled by Scott Peck
50. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach
51. Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom
52. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff