Breaking the Habit, Making the Habit

Motivation gets you started, habit makes it stick

It is so easy to fall into a routine and habit what we don’t even notice that we are doing it, most of the time.  We get stuck in a groove and seem to just carry on rolling along it with no idea that we are there.

Does this sound familiar?  Habits can be good, but often we find that we have developed bad habits (ones that don’t add value to our lives or actually take value from our lives) which are hard to shake as they become part of our beliefs and we look on them as normal or as a crutch.

They say that it takes 30 days to create a new habit. So when did we take the thirty days to build bad habits and negative beliefs?  Surely we didn’t consciously choose to stop going to the gym or having a snack at 11 am with a large latte?

It is without realising that we build these habits into our daily lives.  Sometimes they start as treats (think the muffin and large latte at 11 am) which then become routine and subsequently habit.  It is by not really paying attention to what you are doing when things can, an do, get out of control.  I am not saying that the occasional muffin and coffee will do you harm, but when it becomes habit and you stop noticing it as a treat and the pounds pile on because of it, then that is when it is not so nice.

I remember myself building a bad habit of having an espresso on my way to work in the mornings just to avoid a crazy lady (seriously, she would phone me while on holiday and all sorts…another story in itself!) that would attach to me on the bus journey.  Even when she wasn’t at the stop, I would grab a coffee, then I might go for a second. I suddenly realised that I had developed a habit to buy coffee on my way to work.  I had never needed an espresso to get me going in the morning (tea is more than sufficient) and I wasn’t particularly enjoying it or looking forward to it.  Plus, I was spending money that I could have better used elsewhere and I ended up rather wired most mornings from the caffeine buzz!

Being able to identify when things are habits is an important first step in working out which ones you want to keep and which you want to kick to the curb.

Think about the habits that you have, you may be able to identify some of them very quickly such as biting your nails or cracking your knuckles (*cringe*) which I am sure you will realise are not benefiting you in the slightest. Other habits you may have to look out for during the day as they may come at times that you don’t expect and as I mentioned, many go undetected.

Keep a note of the habits, both bad and good, that you notice. Which of them benefit you and make you feel good, confident, happy, fulfilled and which drain you or take something away that you would really like to retain?  Remember that habits aren’t necessarily visible, thoughts can become big habits too.  Saying things to yourself like ‘I’m too stupid to be able to get a promotion’ etc. are also bad habits, so make sure that they get included in your list.

You now know the habits that you already have.  Are there any that you would like to add?  Perhaps taking more time to look after yourself, to meditate or to go walking during the work day?  Add these to your list.

Now you need to work on building your new habits and removing the old ones.  When getting rid of the old ones remember that you are not giving anything up, you are gaining from removing them.  This way you won’t feel like you are going to be missing out on something, but you have something wonderful to get back and to enjoy in your life.

Building new habits can be as simple as choosing a certain time and place that you will do something, e.g. setting an reminder alarm in your phone to go for a 10 minute walk at lunch time (this is something that I am doing since starting to work from home – it is so easy to get sucked into my work and end up sat still at my desk all day!)  You have to remember that you will need to be sure that you want the new habit otherwise you will just turn off the alarm and say to yourself ‘Ah, I’ll do it tomorrow’.

Make sure that the habits are both something you really want, benefit you and are good for those around you – you don’t want to create a new habit that will cause grief in your life somewhere else!

With thought habits, you can find a replacement for them which will help to remove them and fill the thought void with something that will bring you cheer, joy and (let’s face it) a better outlook on yourself.  For example, if you think to yourself that you ‘will never get a pay rise’, replace it with ‘I can get a pay rise’ which will get you thinking in a productive positive way, which will become a positive habit and way of thinking.  Positive thinking has a huge affect on life’s direction.

To make sure that you stay on track, why not tell trusted friends and family to keep you motivated and accountable? Comment below or over on Facebook and I will help keep you motivated by reminding you and giving you support.

There is an app called Lift that you can download into your phone to help you log your new habitual behaviours and gain support from the community also creating change in their lives.

What habits will you grow today?

 

 

Making the right choice

Make your own deisions

Everyday we are face with choices.  In every part of our lives there are choices to be made; what to wear that day, what to eat, when to cross the road etc.  How do you know that you are making the right choice?

Well, you can never be completely sure that you are making the right choice, but you can make sure that you make the choice that fits with you in that moment. Choices are dependent on how we are feeling, what situation we are in and many other factors that can come into play at that moment.

For example, you are feeling tired and a bit grumpy from getting up late and having to miss your morning coffee to make sure you got to work on time.  Your best friend sends you a text message to see if you fancy going out for lunch on the weekend. You have the choice to say yes or no.  Because you are feeling grumpy at that moment, you may well say no because you are stuck in a grump and can’t see anything positive at that very moment.

Because of the earlier scenario making you feel grumpy, it affected the choice that you made concerning the weekend, even though you probably know that they feeling of grumpiness is only temporary and you will feel fine by the weekend.

You see, there are internal and external factors that affect every choice and decision that we make. So how can we make sure that it is the right one for us at that moment? Gut instinct.

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you are thinking about a decision that you need to make and you instinctively seem to know what the answer or direction should be? That is your gut instinct that helps you to make decisions that are right for you, both in that moment and that matches up with your values and beliefs.

This feeling can be greatly beneficial to our choices as it can bypass any temporary feelings of emotional input – like being grumpy because of the situation you are currently in.

Listening instinctively to how you react to a question or choice can help you make the right decision for you. It doesn’t need input from other people and you are free to go against it if you are wanting to challenge yourself.  The right choice is personal and only you have the answers to them.

If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. If it feels right then go for it.  Those who love you will support you when they realise that you have made the best choices and decisions for yourself.

You will know when it is right!

Meditation’s what you need

Find your inner island.

No doubt you have heard of meditation and perhaps have the view that it is for Buddhist monks sitting in loin cloths on the top of a mountain somewhere is a meditative trance.

You might think that mediation isn’t for you because you don’t want to have to give away all your worldly possessions, give up alcohol, quit using money and spend your time contemplating life in ways that you couldn’t even imagine…how will you pay the mortgage?! *and back in the room*

Yes, meditation has strong roots in Buddhism and there is a way of life associated with it but you don’t have to become a monk to be able to take in all the benefits of meditation! (unless that is the path that you feel drawn to) Seriously, you can keep your things (although you may find that you look at ‘stuff’ differently when you do get into meditation, but that is another blog post in itself!) You can even enjoy a glass of wine or two and chocolate and take-away! It is entirely possible to meditate in the modern world.

If you are a regular reader of Your Happy Life, you may very well be giving mindfulness a try… for the newbies, here’s the link. Mindfulness is meditation in itself and brings you to a state of being in the present and noticing the things around you.  I am not going to go into that again, being that you can follow the steps in my previous post.

Meditation has many forms and many various benefits and can be a huge help when coming to understanding your own mind and the positive and negative thoughts going on inside. This helps you to become more relaxed, less stressed and more confident in yourself. And, by making time for meditation you become clearer and are more productive which in turn gives you time back.

I have personally found that meditation and mindfulness has played a HUGE role in my life helping me to overcome depression and anxiety without the use of medication (I am not saying that this works for everyone, but I can guarantee that it can add to any of the other interventions that you might be undertaking)  It helped me to become clear in my own mind what was happening with my thoughts and enabled me to recognise them when they came into view.  By understanding your own mind patterns in meditation, you are able to see them in your conscious life and take effect on them quickly.

Even if you don’t feel like you need meditation, it is worth trying as you might be pleasantly surprised!

If you are new to meditation, the first thing that I want you to do is get rid of any association that it may be boring or that you can’t do it or that you don’t have time. OK?

Right, now you are open to the idea you can give it a go.  Read through all the instructions before starting so that you have the space to really take in the meditation.

Let’s start with a basic breathing meditation.

Find a space where you feel comfortable and won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes, somewhere where you will feel comfortably warm and your body will be supported.

You can sit up or lie down, it is entirely up to you which feels most comfortable. Lying on your bed might cause you to drop off to sleep though, so bear that in mind! You might want to set yourself a gentle alarm to alert you when ten minutes are up, just in case you get carried away (you can get soothing bell chimes on iTunes and Google Play)

In your comfortable position, close your eyes.

Breath in deeply through your nose and and out through your mouth.

Focus on the breath going in and out, your chest inflating and deflating, your diaphragm moving with the breath.

If your mind wanders, gently give the thought a smile of acknowledgement and bring your attention back to your breathing.

Each breath will make you feel more and more relaxed.

Let each breath fill your body with warm light, releasing any tension and stress, letting any negative feelings flow from your with every out breath.

Carry on with concentrating on your breathing and smiling at your thoughts for the remaining time.

When the alarm goes off, slowly begin to bring yourself back into awareness. Wiggle your toes, roll your eyes with the lids shut, feel your feet on the ground and gently bring yourself back into the room. Familiarise yourself back to the room by looking around, feeling your body on the chair or floor and raising your awareness to everything around you.

How do you feel?  How was the experience for you? What have you learnt from the process?

Don’t worry if you found that your mind was filled with flitting thoughts, it is absolutely normal. With practice you will get better at freeing yourself from the thoughts and be able to be in the meditative moment.  Nothing comes without practice!

Now all you have to do is make the time to try it every day!

 

Don’t like the life you have? Then change it!

If you don't like it, change it

Have you been wondering what you are doing with your life? Comparing yourself to others and thinking that there must be more out there, something more satisfying, rewarding and just downright enjoyable?

You are not alone!  IT wasn’t long ago that I was feeling exactly like that. Yes I loved the organisation that was working for, but the joy of my job had dropped and I was just plodding away each day waiting to find another job that would make things better. You know what, I was applying for other jobs and getting interviews, but I kept getting turned down afterwards. It was demoralising and I began to believe that I was going to be stuck forever!

That was until I realised that:

a) I was applying for the same job in a different organisation

Why would the same job somewhere else be better?!

b) I was coming across as desperate to get out of the place that I was.

Who would employ someone who had no real love for the organisation they would be coming to when they are essentially running away from something else?

I was not looking for what was actually important to making me happy and fulfilled. I was stuck in the rut of ‘this is what I should be doing’, ‘this is the experience I have’, ‘these are the jobs available right now’. Sound familiar?

It is realising that you are not on the right path that starts to send you in the right direction. I had to step away from the job and the job hunt and work out exactly what I was looking for and what I needed to do to get there.

So I quit my job.

I went to do a voluntary construction course, (it was free and I was hoping to attend the conservation course afterwards. I am very practical as it is, so really interested me to boost my skills and abilities) volunteered to help out teaching it and gained a teaching qualification. I was doing something completely different that I was finally able to be clear on the direction that I was travelling.  This is when I trained to be a coach and take the path that (to be honest) I should have realised YEARS ago, but was too blinkered by the job I was in.

The moral of this story is to realise when you don’t like the life that you have and to actually do something about it!  It is so easy to get stuck thinking that what you have is all you can have and that in turn makes you take on a short-sighted view of the world and what you can do.

You need to be able to take that leap of faith into the unknown and grab the world by the balls. My experience has shown me that by taking chances and trying new things, you can open up so many new possibilities and opportunities which you may never have had offered to you had you stuck with what you had.

If you don’t like the life you have, change it!

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Getting Stuff Done

The beginning is half of every action

Wouldn’t it be great to have more free time to do the things that you want to do? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to get your chores, jobs and other bits and bobs done more quickly and efficiently? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to no longer procrastinate over the things that you’re putting off?

It is entirely possible and easy to do too. Just by creating some new habits, integrating some planning and by getting tasks done as they come up, you can create the free time that you crave!

I bet you have a to-do list with things that have been passed from day-to-day, month to month and so on. Yep, been there!  Both in work and at home!  To the point that I still need to finish my decking from 6 years ago! (blah!)

It is so easy to procrastinate over the jobs that you least enjoy doing which is why you need to get them out-of-the-way first.  That way you will feel great for having completed them and will have the drive to get more things done.

The best way to start this process is to grab all the to-do lists, post-its, envelopes with scrawled tasks or information, calendars, paper diaries and any other item that has things that need doing. Bring them together and place them in front of you. Overwhelming, huh? Don’t let it put you off though and don’t be tempted to fall into procrastination again (I know you were about to click onto the Facebook tab!) as it is part of the process that will start to free up you time and have you working smoother and slicker than you ever even imagined!

Now grab some paper and a pen and write down any of the things that you need to do that are floating around your head. Pop these into the pile of to-dos. Dump everything that you need to do into this pile so that it can be sorted out.  You may find that a lot of them don’t even really need doing or are things that you can delegate to someone else (how great does that sound?) See, I told you things would get better!

Set yourself up with four piles and a bin (or boxes which are even better if you have some) and go through each piece of paper/note/scrawl etc and answer the following question.

Label each pile or box with the following:

DO IT

DELEGATE IT

DEFER IT

FILE IT

and of course DUMP IT for the bin.

Is there an action to be taken there?

If the answer is ‘NO‘ then work out whether you actually need the momo or note and if not, bin it! Be ruthless here, you don’t want hings lingering over you that are of no use!  If you do need it, work out whether it is something that is reference or will be actioned later and pop it into the right box.

To help you to decide which pile each needs to go into, here are some examples:

DO IT

If it is something that will take less than 5 minutes to complete, pop it in the DO IT pile.  These can be things like tidy up the kitchen before going to bed or put the books back on the shelf before leaving the house for example.

DELEGATE IT

If it is something that someone else can realistically do for you. For example, getting the children to put away their own books before they go to bed or asking your other half to wash up the dishes after you have eaten your evening meal. (this is not the place to put everything that you don’t want to do and want to pass onto someone else!  Just be realistic!)

DEFER IT

This is for things that are non-urgent that you can always add to your calendar to do later on or that can be fitted in when you have some free time. For example, painting the garage doors.

FILE IT

Things that you do need to keep like bank statements (if you still get paper) or pay slips.  You might even use this file for items that you might need to reference in the future or that you might want to review the next time you repeat this session. (you will separate these off later, but for now pop them into this pile)

DUMP IT

For anything that is of no use e.g. an old shopping list or a magazine that you have been meaning to read for the past three months or a phone message that you forgot to pass on.

Now that you have your piles done, you can begin turning them into actions.  Go through your DO IT pile first and pop them onto a to-do list, breaking down the tasks if they are quite chunky e.g. tidy lounge, dust lounge etc. Write every action onto the paper.

Next go onto your DELEGATE IT pile and write down the actions that you will need to take for each of the items there e.g. ask Helene to pick up the children on Thursday.

Do the same for the DEFER IT pile and the FILE IT pile so you can see exactly what you have to do to move forward with your tasks.

Review the tasks and pop a deadline next to the items.  You might want to start with the DEFER IT items as they are jobs for the future or to review later on, then work back tothe top of the list working out when you will do the items.

Right, you have a definitive list of things that need to get done.  What are you going to do now? Well get on with it of course.

Yes, other things and new things are gong to crop up as that is life.  So you will need to hold reviews of the list and to tweak it occasionally. I would recommend blocking off some time to hold a weekly review so that you can plan your time wisely and make sure that the necessary things get done.

Don’t beat yourself up if things get pushed on, just remember to ask yourself whether it is a necessary task or whether it would be better suited being delegated to someone else?

Start each day by doing the horrible tasks, that way it will get the yuck out-of-the-way and (hopefully) prevent you from procrastinating.  Notice you don’t procrastinate over the jobs you don’t mind doing…!

See how you get on and how much free time you can create for yourself.  I’d love to hear how you get on!

Appreciation is the Key to Joy

Look at your world with appreciation - Your Happy Life

Everyone seems so busy these days. Always running around, trying to steal time, working every hour available and losing the time to rest or take recreation.

Why? Surely there is the same amount of time available as when people didn’t used to run around like headless chickens!

As I write this, I am reflecting on how busy people seemed to be while I was on my trip to London the other week.  People would even fit in a run in the lunch break or to and from work, just to pack enough into their daily lives. (don’t get me wrong, that is a productive idea…IF they aren’t just going to run home only to start working again)  On returning to Manchester, which generally seems very metropolitan, busy and rushed, I was faced with the realisation that it is WAY calmer than London. People will take time to help out or have a chat. The world was moving at such a slower pace! I felt as though I could breathe again and take time to look around me without being carried off in a group of business workers moving from one building to the next.

The reason I think this concept applies to appreciation is that if we pack out time to tightly with work, exercise and all the other stuff, when do we have time to appreciate what we actually have.  To appreciate what is going on around us, the joy that we might be skimming past on our run or missing while we refresh the emails in our phones.

I understand that everyone has a lot that they need to fit into their daily lives, but every minute needn’t be filled. In fact, you need to have free minutes to breathe, to digest information and to take stock.

Appreciation can be make a HUGE difference to your life and it may actually create the need for space in your hectic world.  You don’t need to cut out the things that you need to do or enjoy doing, but you can prioritise and become more productive in your planning and living.

Take a look at your everyday routine. Is every single hour filled with activity or do you have time to spare? (If you have time to spare, don’t immediately let you brain go into a spin about what you can fill it with, block it off – use a marker or highlighter and make it a sacred space in time.  Look at tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.  When can you block off time to just be? I am sure that there will be moments in between these blocks, but if you are able to make sure that you have some time out from the hubbub, then you will be able to develop good habits.

What can you appreciate from making some time to appreciate? Think about it, how do you feel?  What will it mean to you to have some space in your days?  What will you do to enjoy that time?

Even the process of noticing time is an act of appreciation. You realise that even when you say to yourself ‘I don’t have the time’ you realise that in fact, you do. There is always time to be appreciative of what you have and you are lucky to have time.

Appreciation can be as simple as realising what you have; love, a roof over your head, food, clean water and clothes and can also be the purr of your pet cat sitting next to you or the giggle of your child as you try to get them to sleep.  It is about seeing the positive even in times of adversity.  It can really help to put a spin on a situation e.g. my cats are eating the leaves of my houseplants and proceeding to throw it up on the carpet, stairs, from the top of the seven foot cat tree.  No, I am not feeling hugely appreciative right now. But I realise that I am lucky to be able to have such wonderful animals in my life, that I can care for them and that they are healthy and loved. They don’t do it on purpose (I don’t think!) ;-) and they will be there with my while I clean the mess.  It is a much better way of thinking than getting annoyed or angry.  Try it, when you are in a situation that makes you feel rather flustered.

The challenge for you is to appreciate what you have and to take time to enjoy the moments. If you like, record what you feel and notice in a notebook and come back to it when you feel that you need a boost.

Yes, time is precious. But it needs to be used wisely not blindly. Time passes fast so take time to slow down and enjoy it.

 

Life without Limits

Reach for the sky create a life without limits - Your Happy Life

What if you really could live a life without limits?  A life where you choose what to do, when to do it and how you will go about doing it.

What would you do to have the opportunity to live your life in such an exciting and fulfilling way, meeting your every need and moving you along your journey at the pace to which you choose.

I would imagine that you would say anything! I would love life like that…but…

The truth is that you have this opportunity lying right within you. It is there for the taking. So why, you may be asking yourself, have you not been living this way?

Well, you are conditioned as you grow; from parents, teachers, friends, the media, your own perceptions and you begin to build an understanding of the world around you and what is expected of you and what you are capable of doing. It is during this process (and a huge part is played by puberty) that you begin to set limits on yourself. You focus on times that things didn’t go right and decide that to prevent the pain of failure you won’t do it again.

Essentially you create limits on what you will allow yourself to do.  You manifest false beliefs that you shouldn’t or can’t do things when in reality there is nothing that says that you can’t. So living life without limits is entirely possible and thousands of people live this way every day and you can too.

There are a few rules to living a life without limits and that is to shake off any negative beliefs and feelings that you have about living without limits. Believe with your whole being that it is possible and that YOU can do whatever it is that you set your mind to.  Now that those negatives are being squashed by positives and drive, you can begin exploring the things that you previously thought were off-limits or out of your reach.

A good way to look at this is with the 5 Truths from Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (well worth a read or listen if you can multitask!)

FEAR TRUTH #1

The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!

Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There is no point in saying, “When I am no longer afraid, then I will do it.” You’ll be waiting for a long time. The fear is part of the package.

FEAR TRUTH #2

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!

When you do it often enough, you will no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will have faced the unknown and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which certainly add to the excitement in living.

FEAR TRUTH #3

The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!

With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.

FEAR TRUTH #4

Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!

This should be a relief. You are not the only one out there feeling fear. Everyone feels fear when taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they have wanted to do in life have felt the fear – and did it anyway. So can you!

FEAR TRUTH #5

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!

This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You will wonder why you did not take action sooner. You will become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you.

Yes, it will feel very strange as you begin to grow and look at life as a GIGANTIC realm of amazing possibilities but you will develop the necessary skills and excitement about each new challenge.  Remember, everything you try will make you grow and change you in ways you could never even dream of (good ways, of course!)

To really live your life without limits you must practice your self-love and appreciation, believe that you can and take action to make things happen.  Reading about change won’t make a difference, taking action on the information you receive will.

Go and design your life without limits and take hold of your happy life!

Honesty really is the best policy – 10 reasons why you are not being honest with yourself

Don't hide behind excuses

Ignoring something or pretending it doesn’t exist or isn’t an issue is no way to move your life forward.  Yes, you may have those times when something is best forgotten, but if it prevents you from moving on then there is something vastly wrong there.

You know that by not being honest with yourself you won’t move on, so why do you keep doing it? Here are ten reasons why you are not being honest with yourself.

1. You are afraid that you will discover something you don’t want to about yourself – like that you’re not perfect!

2. You are hung up on the ‘should’ things that other people put onto you which make you think that you are doing what you want when in reality you are lying to yourself.

3. You don’t have time…

4. You worry that it will be a lot of work to be honest and to get things moving.

5. You over think what other people might say if you actually start doing the things that YOU want to do.

6. You criticise yourself rather than stay open to the possibilities.

7. It is easier to live a made up life than to face what is actually happening.

8. You don’t really know what being honest with yourself actually means anyway…

9. You see what other people are doing and believe that it is what you want to be doing.

10. You have no drive to be honest with yourself because “things are fine the way they are now”

You may have found yourself nodding to one or more of those and thinking ‘yes!’. They are excuses and they are part of the problem that is holding you back. You can live in the way that you are now, but if you were totally honest with yourself is it everything that it could be? Or are there things that would make your life a whole lot better?

To be honest with yourself is to enhance your life and the life of those you choose to share it with.  Being honest and open creates great trust and shared aims and objectives.  Hiding behind excuses will get you nowhere!

Challenge yourself to be more honest with yourself.  What would make you happier in life? What could you change? What could you get rid of?

Good luck and remember it doesn’t have to be difficult!

Let’s make this week AWESOME!

Happy Monday - Let's make this week AWESOME! Your Happy Life

Every day is your chance to make a difference in your life.  To make a change, to do something new.

If you start this week with one thing in mind, let it be that it will be AWESOME!

If you aim for an awesome week and you choose to do the things that will work towards making that happen, you will move closer to having the best week you could possibly have. You can’t argue with than, now, can you?

How can you make sure that you have a great week?

Well, for a start you can work out what it is that you would like to achieve. It could be clearing off the to-do list or applying for a new job or even making a start at clearing out your wardrobe. Anything that will make you feel great and AWESOME at the end of this week.

Plan, plan, plan.  Yes, planning can seem boring, but if you plan effectively you will be able to get a lot done in a short space of time enabling you to find time to do things that you enjoy or to create the space in your life that you didn’t think you had to do something new like take singing lessons!

Whatever you do, make sure that it is fulfilling to you. It must be something that you want to do otherwise you are creating someone else’s awesome!

Go get those dreams, go free that time and make this the week of AWESOME!

Taking a Break: Exploring the City

London Baby!

I really enjoy taking time out to be by myself (I ADORE being with and around people, but feel it is equally important to be able to enjoy your own company and to explore the world that you are in) and my trip to London last week proved to be the perfect time to do exactly that. I was there with my boyfriend who was on a course for 3 of the days that we were there, so I had plenty of time to play, explore and to re-acquaint myself with my own feelings and needs.

I though that as I am going through my photos and remembering my experience, I would share some of the journey with you.  Perhaps it ill inspire you to explore a  new place, to spend some time alone or to explore the lesser trodden areas where you live. Every experience enriched your life, so get out there and get collecting!

London Sunset over the Thames(just in case you haven’t realised, I am a keen photographer too! There are many strings to my bow!)

Stillness of London at night

On my explorations, I was able to walk the streets and discover things that I may never have seen before while learning the rich history of the city in which I found myself. I was able to choose what I did, when I did it and how I did it. I love spending time with me, I am SO obedient! ;-)

I even made sure that I had time to eat my lunch and read (for as long as I could before getting sun burn!) by the side of the Thames.

Lunch by the Thames

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time alone to explore, but nothing was quite as lovely as being able to share my experiences with my boyfriend at the end of the day. Being able to share your learning and development is important too – it helps those around you understand you better and be able to share in your enjoyment.

How often do you take time out from your daily life to take a break and spend some time on your own?

Do you find that doing things alone stretches you out of your comfort zone?

What could you do to find your centre?

Where will you explore on your next adventure?

When you spend time alone in a new place, you are able to choose your own journey and the things that you want to do. Like in life, you need to follow your own needs and wants before letting others choose your route for you. Spending time alone lets you understand yourself and the way in which you work and make decisions. Make sure you take the time to explore yourself and your world – it really is a wonderful place to be!