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21 Days Of Gratitude – Failure

Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things. – Rhonda Byrne

Day 8 of 21 days of Gratitude – Failure, feedback and being fabulous

What happens to you when you see or hear something about you which screams FAILURE?

Your first reaction, go there, feel it, now!

I ask you to do that because in feeling it you will know when those physical feelings come at you again because in a nanosecond thoughts will come tumbling into your head.

“How *bleep* dare they!”

“Who the *bleep* do they think they are!”

“Right I am going to tell them what I think.”

“No one will speak to me again when they see how useless I am.”

“I am a failure, I might as well give up.”

And on and on and on and on…

It becomes a never-ending mantra and unless you change your mindset you will be the failure that you perceive others to believe.

What is the benchmark for success?

The sins of the teacher visited on the children

In the playground, the teacher touched my father’s arm and said: “I am sorry but she will never go to university.” I wasn’t sure at the time what that was, but I knew that wherever we were being channelled I wasn’t good enough or clever enough to go there. The playground swirled around me and my head throbbed, I can still recall the blur whipping around me. In that instance, that teacher had condemned and labelled me a FAILURE.

Not long after, my year ran a competition, I don’t remember what the point of it was, but there were 50 questions that we had to answer, some we knew and some required that you use your initiative, undertake research or ask your mum and dad. Something in me said I will win this and I did. But getting on stage to receive my prize of a packet of felt pens was not a success, I felt that everyone was looking at the girl who wasn’t going to university and thinking, she must have cheated.

At 16 I was expelled, I was bored, classes were too slow, and why would anyone want to spend time helping a disruptive child? Just before getting expelled one teacher took me under her wing and I adored her, she really made a difference, but it was too late and not long after I was out on my ear.

I lurched from crap job to crap job and ended up in the civil service, mind-numbing work, and people whose job title dictated who they would talk to and I hated it. And there, in the midst of it all was Mrs Glover, she saw a spark and set me free. I was allowed to go to college to study, and I loved to learn again.

Later in my 30’s, I went to university, and I got an MBA.

But you see that wasn’t good enough and I just kept on taking courses and always hard ones, I had to prove that I could and I was not a FAILURE. In 2009 I took my last two courses, at the same time – ILM level 7 executive coaching and mentoring certificate and an NLP practitioners certificate – I passed – of course, I did, I worked hard… And then I saw two more masters courses that I fancied one in therapeutic writing and one in business psychology and these I thought would make me more successful.

I don’t know what stopped me, perhaps it was the FEEDBACK I was getting from my peers, customers and friends, perhaps I had stopped for a moment and smelt the coffee, perhaps I was starting to believe in me?

What do you do when you get feedback?

Again take a moment to think about this?

Did you hear, wow what you did there was amazing and when you do x, y and z it will be perfect? Yay just a bit more and my work is done, ooo I feel great!


Did you hear, wow what you did there was amazing, and when you do x, y and z it will be blaaaaar  – fail, failure, doomed?

How we give and receive feedback is so important, and I am going to stick my neck out and tell you that how you receive feedback, is the most important thing and it is your responsibility to choose your response, to ask what does this really mean to me, how can learn from this, what needs to change (or not) or to simply acknowledge that someone else didn’t like what you did, in their opinion.

I know it takes a brave person to suck it in, let it settle and to then see the learning to be gained and that this is an opportunity.

When someone slated an early book of mine, out in the open, on the internet for all to see.  In that moment I wanted to die, runaway, join a circus, change my name, anything but to be reading their sarcastic rude comments, and in the next moment I smiled, yes I smiled. I said it doesn’t matter why and what they said what matters now is what I do with it.

The book was course material that I put together to give my students – and print on demand was an easy way to get copies and so I put it out there, changed it a few times and forgot about it. Life got in the way. I know foolish, but hey, we all do stuff that comes back to bite us on the bum.

I have learnt from this, of course, I have and I want to thank everyone who has ever given me feedback, positive and negative because you have helped me to:

  • Become who I am
  • Feel comfortable with mistakes
  • Accept that being imperfect is ok
  • Learn my craft better
  • Help my clients in ways I could never have dreamt of because I can put my hand on my heart and say ‘yes me too, been there done that and got the T-shirt’

Hold this in your heart, turn hearing FAILURE into FEEDBACK and you will be even more FABULOUS.

With love, enjoy being fabulous.

Today think of the gratitude you feel when you consider what you have learned through apparent failure (which is only feedback).

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which the tough lessons have taught you.

Journal Gratitude and Being Fabulous Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What has been the biggest thing you have learned about an apparent failure?
  2. If you could go back what would you tell yourself?
  3. How will you use this learning going forward?

21 Days Of Gratitude – Music

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. – Cynthia Ozick

Day 7 of 21 days of Gratitude – Music

Where do you find your memories? Music is one of the most evocative ways, at least for me. I can often find myself in floods of tears or up dancing as soon as I hear something that pulls me back through time.

Recently I started to listen to music while I work again. This is something I haven’t done in a long time because I like to write to silence, a clean desk and some nice smells. But right now it is energising me. Though I have to be careful if I have set up a Zoom call to have the video and sound off – that’s not good for my street cred.

Music has the power to take you on amazing trips, along lanes, roads, highways and byways to destinations once lived and now forgotten.

As a child, I sat in class, and the teacher played music from the Grand Canyon Suite. In the far right corner of the room were pictures of the Grand Canyon and we were invited to write stories about what we saw, felt and heard. I don’t know what I wrote, but in that moment I was lost, and it became a dream to visit this wondrous place.

One Christmas my then partner and I went to Las Vegas for a relatives 60th birthday, and on Christmas Day I flew over the Grand Canyon in an epic and exhilarating helicopter flight with music blaring. The music this time was more rock than classic all designed to fire up your emotions and connect you to the movement of the helicopter, the vast ocean of red rock, floors of bobbly green brush and striated skies of turquoise and pale blue. A veritable feast of pleasure.

By contrast in my party days, my most gorgeous friend and DJ Leroy would play my favourite songs – he would know, it was always Wonderland first, then during the night Whole Lotta Rosie, Come Up and See Me and Carwash. Sadly, he committed suicide and they played Imagine at his grave. In my memory, he is forever Wonderland and Imagine and they both make me cry.

Silly songs like Haircut One Hundred – Fantastic day remind me of my first husband. He thought it was hilarious to come back into the bedroom to find me lying in bed somehow dancing to this.

What about throwing the curtains wide to Elbow – One day like this, whilst singing

“So throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right
Throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right”

If you are looking for inspiration for your writing and journaling and want to be taken back to another time period, compile a playlist, get up and dance, scribble down whatever words come into your head, have fun, laugh, cry, scream,  but most of all capture what it was like to be you then.  Please do share your golden musical memories with us.

Be inspired and have a beautiful day.

Journal Gratitude and Music Prompts

Listen to one of your favourite songs before you start to write. One of mine is Nirvana and the David Bowie classic – The man who sold the world. When you get your journal write 9 things that you feel gratitude for which are inspired by the song. Ask the following questions and finally, say thank you for what you have…

  • Where does this song take you?
  • What feelings does it evoke?
  • Who does it remind you of?

I hope this brings some joy to your say. Music takes me to some incredible places.

21 Days Of Gratitude – Memories

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. – Lionel Hampton

Day 6of 21 days of Gratitude – Memories

When faced with what we perceive as the impossible, we can break the rules or buckle under. Keep moving forward, shining your light. If it is possible in the world, it is possible for you. The process of self-transformation is to lose your entire being to the emerging light, letting the rays of your soul cascading over the world breathing life, love and sunshine, into your personal brand. When you connect to your inspirational message, rock the hell out of it!

A date with Giles and unravelling the mystery of me

I have a sweet photo of my brother and me on a rather fetching sofa, behind us is a copy of Giles, and it looks like I am holding something in my hand. Mum often said that I would have to be bribed with a lighter or similar to sit still for a photograph.

I have often stared at the photo and wondered what was going on the mind of the cheeky monkey who keeps looking back at me. As I stared at the photo, I tried to work out how old I was, it was my intention to try and remember what life was like at that time.  I wanted to step back into the faded black and white photo and be that younger me, trying to imagine what I would be saying or what games I was playing. Where did I go, who were my friends, what fascinated me, and what was it about this time went on to shape who I am today?

I have no idea why I have never really looked at it or tried to find the cover so that I could date the photo.

In less than a Googling minute, there was my cover, the 18th series which contained cartoons that ran from August 1963 to October 1964. It cost five shillings and was published by Daily Express Publications.

But then I wondered why was there a snowy scene when it looked like I was in summer clothes, does this mean that it was winter yet warm in the flat or that this was still hanging around the following summer?

So what does this tell me? My parents read the Daily Express and loved the cartoons, or was the annual a present?  Did it belong to the photographer?

It doesn’t tell me anything, except a vague date. This makes me curious about my five-year-old self. I want to remember my childhood, yet I can’t recall this memory. I can remember throwing stones at large windows and weeing on the path outside the flats.

Memories can be wonderful and I certainly grateful that I don’t have the urge to wee in the open any more and throw stones at windows. This I can only conclude was attention seeking. Which naturally makes me smile, as today I work hard to draw attention to myself, only now with more formal methods After some further rumination I wondered if I was more of a daredevil, catch me if you can attitude. I don’t need memories to know that cheeky monkey was always into things and generally and often up to no good, in a high spirited child way. I have my mum to tell me what a little minx I was.

As I sit here, smiling to myself, I realise that the cheeky monkey who became the rebel, was only ever rebelling against herself, because everyone else was too wrapped up in the theatre of their life to care.

In order to survive, we behave a certain way, and I bet if you look back at your younger self, you will see patterns emerging and similarities to beliefs and behaviours you now have.

And the psychologists amongst you are probably saying and yeah what’s new? But for me, Giles sparked off a whole train of thought and contemplation that I hadn’t expected when I put my fingers to the keyboard tonight.

I am grateful for the fun exploration into a time long past. What about you?

Journal Gratitude and Memories Prompts

When you get your journal out, muse for a while, perhaps find an old photo and lose yourself in that time. Then ask the following questions and finally, say thank you for what you have…

  • What feelings does this memory bring up for you?
  • What is the happiest memory you have of this time?
  • What aspect of yourself still resonates with the person in the photo?

Have fun, keep this positive and bring to mind the great stuff of this time.

21 Days Of Gratitude – Affirmations

An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so. – Shakti Gawain

An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.  Shakti Gawain

Day 5 of 21 days of Gratitude – Vision

The mind is a powerful thing, and what we tell it becomes our truth. Imagine that we can tell ourselves stuff and it becomes true. The main problem is as you already know is that we often tell ourselves rubbish things. Things like I have fat knees, my arms are ugly, who would love someone like me, people are judging me, I am unlovable and many, many more.

I know how harmful these things are because I hated my body for years. I thought I was fat and ugly and my arms they were horrendous. None of it was true, but I believed and so it was.

After many years of living like this, I was woken up. Stuff had happened, and I realised that I needed to learn to love myself before I could change my life. I embarked on a massive self-love journey which supported me when my spine fractured, and I needed to heal myself.

I used daily affirmations in a range of ways. One year later, I created 101 days of being me which used daily affirmations to help me and now countless others to get better connected to who they are and to enjoy being their beautiful, wonderful selves.

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations are things that you affirm to be true, in other words, positive statements. These statements describe something positive that you want to achieve. They are usually short sentences and are something that you can easily repeat during the day.

What they do is to tell your unconscious mind that something is true. Your unconscious mind will see these positive statements, and it will be triggered into action. Try this – I have a beautiful smile. With any luck, you immediately smiled and forgot that perhaps you didn’t like your teeth for example. It’s that simple and so infectious.

When you repeat affirmations, your mind finds these motivating and inspiring and trots off to obey you. Like the good computer that it is, it will embed these programs into its every day ‘you’ code, and it becomes true.

Affirmations are wonderful for designing and building new habits and for healing the body. Two of my big affirmations or mantras as they are also called when I was healing my spine was, I have strong, healthy bones, and my bones are healed. I still have these written on my fridge with magnetic letters.

Surprisingly people use affirmations every day without realising it. Usually, these are the not so useful ones. You may have heard others talk about limiting beliefs? That’s what these are. You tell yourself that you are can’t do or be something often enough your mind says oke doke, I’ll add that to the program, and it will be true, and before you know it you can’t do those things, or you procrastinate.

Now that you know that you can choose to do something about it. Ok, I know that years of negative programming can mean that you have a bit more work to do. But here’s the secret sauce, while you may struggle to start off with, guess what, it won’t take long before you are smiling to yourself as you catch those words daring to come out. Soon you will find yourself looking in the mirror and saying yes, I know I did it again, here’s what I meant to say.

When I worked in an office and found myself in a situation that meant I was repeating negative stuff, I’d head off the bathroom and look myself in the eye and say something positive. I’d also pull faces, as long as no one else was around. The face pulling was to make me laugh and then I could say an affirmation, anchor it in and go back to face the day.

When you notice your affirmations coming alive, the next positive step is to say thank you for your blessings.

Today I am affirmations

  • Today I am healthy and happy
  • Today my body is strong and powerful
  • Today I am calm and balanced
  • Today I am love
  • Today I have the perfect [insert] for me
  • Today I attract happiness and peace
  • Today I am inspirational

Journal Gratitude and Vision Prompts

When you get your journal out write 5 powerful affirmations, then ask the following questions and finally, say thank you for what you have…

  • What do you want?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What do you want to create for your life?

Big questions, aren’t they? If you focus on them and ask them each month, the answers will become clearer, and you will gain more clarity of your desires for this life.

21 Days Of Gratitude – Vision

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

Day 4 of 21 days of Gratitude – Vision

Vision drives your direction; it is future-based and relies on you taking action to get you there. Your vision, then, is something that will propel you towards things that you want to achieve in the future. Your personal vision statement is a written description of your future desired life as seen in your mind’s eye. There is no right format or length. However the more detailed and specific your vision is, the more connected to you it will be and the easier it will be to set your outcomes or goals.

It belongs to you and sounds easy to do, but for some takes years of trial and error to discover.  For others, they have a very clear image of what they want to achieve both in their personal and working lives.

A personal vision is based on your emotional aspirations, representing a picture of the future – your future. The difficulty is that we do not have full control of the future. Which means that your vision can often creep from being something that is galvanising and motivational to an aspirational picture that is sketchy, and difficult to achieve. The challenge is to identify how to convert the aspiration into reality.

In Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, the second habit is begin with the end in mind which provides focus on where you want to be and becomes a guiding principle for your daily work and personal life.

A clear picture of your personal vision enables you to understand your core values, allows you to internalize what you believe in and what you are not prepared to change or sacrifice.  It helps shape your decision-making process and ascertain to what extent it fits in with the needs of the organization.  It will direct you and shape your leadership approach in both the short and long term. 

Consider your vision as a passport. It is transportable and transferable, can be used in existing and future roles, creating choices and guiding opportunities for you. 

Your vision is personal to you and should act as a motivator on a daily basis.  The vision if not enacted is pointless, so periodically reflecting on whether you are moving towards to your vision is useful.  If your vision needs to be adapted or changed, then do not be afraid and be decisive, else you will continue to operate against what feels right. 

Your vision represents a journey that you will travel on.  It sets a clear path and creating that vision is dependent on a complete understanding of your aspirations and goals.  To formulate your vision, you need to initially identify your values, and where you are currently, in relation to your vision. 

I’m a great fan of vision boards and having them where you can see them. But more importantly, placed where you can walk towards them. In my office my vision board is on a cabinet next to my desk, as I walk into my office, I see it, and I walk towards it.

Another way to create your vision is to keep a vision journal which is much more private. You can also create a collage of images, words, or affirmations. So, like on a vision board, you cut the words and images out of magazines and use glue to stick them down. You can also add your own photos and artwork.

When you look at your vision board, what do you feel gratitude for? Future pace yourself and say thank you for what is on there, although you don’t currently have it. This is a powerful way to bring your vision closer to you.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which enable you to bring your vision to life

Journal Gratitude and Vision Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  • What is the vision you desire for your life?
  • What would it mean to you to have your vision come alive? How would you be living and what would you be doing?
  • If you were to create a vision board or journal, what key things would it contain and why?

21 Days Of Gratitude – Nature

“The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.” Plautus

Day 2 of 21 days of Gratitude – Nature

I adore being in nature. Most days I walk my dogs at least three times and often four. It’s not only for them, but I also get such peach from being outside. Being in nature helps me to clear my mind and it allows whatever ideas come to me.

Most people instinctively head outside when their minds and souls need quieting. Being with the dogs is the perfect way to find joy in the moment.

For you it could be:

  • A response to the stress of the day.
  • An impulse to get away from a difficult encounter.
  • That you just need some time to reflect.

Perhaps our urge to merge with nature when feeling out of sorts has something to do with our internal “fight or flight” programming. “Flight” sends us looking for an escape route.

In nature, we are free. The return to freedom as we become one with the natural world makes a soothing balm for our vexed souls. It works for me every time.

Think about what utter delight nature brings to the senses.

There is a sense of homecoming, of finding our rightful place in the world again, when we connect with nature and engage all of our senses. In nature, we are healed. In nature, we can find joy. In nature, we are at one with ourselves.

No matter what spot on the map you call home, or even if there’s a nip in the air, you can always escape to the great outdoors when you’re in need of peaceful moments.

Even in the most bustling town or city, there will be a beautiful park to take a walk and hopefully a wonderful café to rest your bones in and grab a delicious cuppa as you witness the world.

For me, a bit of heaven lives in nature, and this calls to our souls to aid the replenishing process.

Today think of the gratitude you feel for what Mother Nature provides. And get out there and enjoy it.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which bring you peace in Mother Nature

Journal Gratitude and Nature Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. At least one visual impression that leaves its mark on your memory (for me it’s when the poppies are alive and there are carpets of red everywhere)
  2. A favourite sound that soothes your spirit (I adore the birds)
  3. An aroma that evokes a special feeling for you (usually lavender or fennel and then holding some to my nose to bring calm)

21 Days Of Gratitude – Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to a peaceful life. Be grateful for the simple things in life

Day 3 of 21 days of Gratitude – Simplicity

I wonder what simplicity means to you? To me, it’s about getting rid of stuff, saying no to things, not buying stuff that I don’t need and enjoying the simple things in life. Having a simple life is not dull, but sometimes it may seem that way. That is until you start enjoying a simplified version of how you are currently living. Ask yourself – what would happen if I did lead a life of simplicity?

I believe that when you simplify, you’re left with a life filled with meaning, and a life that is lived on your terms. You have the time to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire. How does that feel? What if when you lived a simple life, you were able to find true happiness?

To create a simple life, it pays to consider your needs. You can start this by thinking about what is important to you. Ask what do you really need?

I know when I thought about how I was living, I, for example, found that I didn’t need so many shoes, handbags and clothes. I also discovered by planning my meals properly; I no longer bought food that used to end up in the bin.

To live a simpler life, examine what’s important to you, and acknowledge your choices and their impact on your life’s needs. There is peace to be found in the simplest of pleasures. Think about all of the activities you participate in each day.

Today think of the gratitude you feel you let things go and enjoy the simple things in life

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which living a simple life brings you

Journal Gratitude and Simplicity Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What does simplicity mean to you?
  2. What could you do today that helps you to live a simple life?
  3. What are the simple things in your life that you are grateful for?

21 Days Of Gratitude – Joy

Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette

Day 1 of 21 days of Gratitude – Joy

Starting your day thinking of what you are grateful for creates openness for more things to come into your life. When I think of the dogs and the adventures that each new day brings, I can feel joy rising up in me.

My days begin with a smile. Begin yours with a smile and it will make all of the difference. Allow the joy of the day to infuse your heart and the rest of the day should, despite whatever gets thrown up, go smoothly.

When things don’t go quite to plan, think of how you can reframe what comes up. Take a few breaths, look at what is going on from another perspective and ask what do I learn and what do I want instead.

Focus on your breath, bring gratitude to mind. Think of what you appreciate about being you right now.

Keep focused on your joyful day and you will find your answer.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which bring you joy.

Journal Gratitude and Joy Prompts

  1. How can you bring more joy into your life today?
  2. 3 things that bring me joy are…
  3. A life without joy is…