I’m a few months late really for a mid-year review but I’ve just spotted my gratitude/good- things-happening jar is 3/4 full. Without looking through it (that’s a treat for between Christmas and New Year) I’ve been thinking about the last 8 months.
Work – It’s been a roller coaster year. Some days I love my job and some days I just want to hide under the duvet and pretend it’s not there. Pretty standard with most people I guess. I’m just a Geminian drama queen so when the horrible days happen I’m telling everyone I want to quite and having mini-meltdowns (as I did about 6 weeks ago). However I’ve recently taken on the role of well being advocate so I get to put together events such as our team walking challenge. Events like that make me happy enough to push through on days when it’s not so great
Self employment – I had a push to re-start this in 2017. It’s also had it’s ups and downs to the point where I decided to take a step back to see if it’s really what I want to do with my life. Turns out I’m passionate about these things but not so hot on working for myself. I’m just not business minded. There are so many things I could be doing besides updating websites, pushing the business, and doing all that annoying paperwork. As I have a day job guess what – the boring admin jobs don’t get done. The task now then is to find ways to utilise the things I love but maybe not on a self employment basis. Or just plod along and see what the universe has in store.
House – This is an area with lots of success this year. Tomorrow I get a new hall carpet after it twice suffered through a burst boiler. I’ve talked in previous blogs about having a debt plan and little spare cash so this is a big deal for me at the minute. I’ve also repainted all the rooms. Still a little bummed that my lovely coloured walls are all pale magnolia/barest peach but if I follow through on my plans to sell up in 2 years these are the colours buyers want. If I decide to stay then Oh I m going to have so much fun repainting everything red/orange and yellow! I’ve also replaced lots of little things like lampshades, kitchen utensils, pots and pans and so on. By the end of the year the last few rooms (kitchen and cupboards) will have been repainted. I may have to give in to the idea of pale walls but I’m getting my colour in my accessories.
Health – My diet blogs are ongoing. 6lbs so far and I’m keeping up to the diet. I’ve a walking challenge on this month but I’ve been pushing the number of steps for a while now. One thing about being a wellbeing advocate. It means I have to practise what I’m preaching so less pizza more health. I’ve reconnected with a dentist and currently saving for some cosmetic dental treatments. I finally started having the money to get my hair styled and coloured on a regular basis. The second half of 2017 is all about me and these small things are going some way to not finding myself but rediscovering myself.
Fun/Life – Oh this needs work. I’ve been to a few events this year. First music concerts in a couple of years and some drinking nights out. What I’ve discovered though is that I miss being out and about. I’m a sociable person but the debt plan is killing that. Me and my friend who lives in a different city had a heart to heart about this with the plan that we will take turns visiting each others houses per month and go out on the town. That’s one thing to look forward to. I then made a list of who I am and what I like to see how I can use it to start reconnecting with people. How do I get out without much financial investment. I’ve started at a couple of book clubs which are ok. It’s early days yet. One of the things I thought of was a night class. Instead I decided to re-start my open university degree/ I have 2 (part time) years left. That will give me the opportunity to go to some study days and connect with people on Facebook forums. I’ve a little list of some other bits to look at too.
Money – This is a biggie. I am now half way through my debt plan. I’ve managed to reduce the end date by 3 months and most importantly I have cleared 50% of my debt. Seeing the figures last month was one such a happy moment and one I didn’t think I’d see
So when I have a bad work day or a day when my mood is low I can actually look back and see actually this year has been pretty amazing. They’re all small steps but they’re adding up to one great year.
I haven’t updated this page in 3 months. I’ve been so busy trying to start up my holistic business. Talk about hard work and I’m only aiming for part time alongside my day job (for now).
Anyway just a short post – I’ve got a bunch of posts on my various blogs to do over the next few days but I wanted to share my newest one. This is my business one. I’m really proud of it. It covers the type of things I offer as well as (to me) a fab new book club. It’s based in Leeds but feel free to read the book and leave some comments on the post.
I heard a story the other day about a relative who always has the latest technology, a nice house and car and doesn’t ever seem to worry about money. I wondered how I can learn from this so asked him how he does it. The answer I got was that he ”doesn’t let money rule me. If I want it I buy it. If it needs replacing I replace it. I just do it and don’t worry”.
At first this seems amazing. I should just let go. But then how do you let go when you have a debt plan and a limited monthly budget of what money is left after the debt money and bills have gone. Debt plans don’t take into account the need to upgrade a washing machine because it’s 10 years old and not the most economical. Or to save the cash to move house to a nicer area (which I would love to do). So how do you not let it rule you but still cope within the confines of having no cash.
It’s not easy and is going to be a work in process for me. I’ve gone back to the envelope system of diving my money up into weeks. I fell out of the habit and have noticed if I pay by card I spend without thinking and have a tendency to go overdrawn a lot. If I divide my cash into weeks and accept that I can only spend that I pay more attention. For me I worry less – if it isn’t there I can’t do anything about it. It also helps clarify just what you spend your money on. Take out drinks and coffee shops seem to be my downfall. But also going to the supermarket for a loaf of bread and coming out having spent £5 on sweets, fizzy pop and other random things I didn’t need.
What it doesn’t take into account is emergency trips to the vet. So on the one hand I stopped worrying as I was spending within my means and not letting having limited funds bother me…then the cat got sick and I had to borrow from future weeks. Now I know though my spending habits I can learn to cut down on certain things. Do I need a take out drink daily or can I just treat myself on a Monday when I have a late start at work? If I do that I save £6 a week. Not enough to pay the vet but it’s better than nothing to start an emergency fund.
The other theory is does this relative have an emergency fund? Or is it just leftover money at the end of the pay period? If they’ve never worried about money and have been lucky enough to have never struggled and got into financial trouble do they actually know the value of money? Are they then actually in a better position than me? Is it better to have had a struggle and learned lessons than never having to worry or be ruled by money at all? Interesting thoughts from a throwaway comment.
I think then by having my debt plan, leaving the cash in the bank for direct debit bills and then the rest as cash in the envelopes I am starting to let go of being ruled by my bank balance but I think my struggles will make me stronger overall.
A while ago I wrote about how I needed to get out more and the things I’d been doing and what the term could mean. Are my travel trips enough – should I spend more time in a bar?
I made a list of the things I could do to get out more so thought I’d give a little update.
One of the things I’ve noticed is how over the last 2 years I have developed a bit of social anxiety. It started as being worried about money and how going out would mean spending and as someone trying to pay off debts should that money be spent paying off bills? I was going to start small and go to some coffee shops. My original post mentioned upgrading from the supermarket to an actual coffee shop but I seem to have without thinking stayed exactly where I am – in the cheaper options. Today I tried a new place and really enjoyed it so much make a conscious effort to get my feet walking to somewhere that is designed for a relaxed experience rather than the get ‘em in, chuck ‘em out fast experience of Maccy D’s.
I also attempted a few other things. Firstly was my first music gig in about 4 years. And because my plans to start small went out of the window I ended up at a festival. Thankfully an indoor one as February isn’t the warmest month! I spent the run up to the event in a state of stress. My anxiety levels were sky high, I hated everyone, I was quite prepared to fall out with all my friends. Somehow I got there and guess what? I loved it. We did have a VIP tickets so we could sit upstairs overlooking the barriers rather than be in the crowd and looking down at the moshers that was probably a good idea. But I had a brilliant time so much so that we have tickets for next year already and I’ve also paid to see Green Day later in the year. So major result despite the initial panic.
The next event was the pub. I’m really not into the whole going into the city centre and clubbing to the really hours any more and neither are my friends. So we decided that we would go local. The actual plan went completely wrong but in a funny way and we still ended up having a nice time. Possibly because I wasn’t involved in the planning of the night I was happy to go along with whatever happened.
And the last stresser was a wedding! I knew the bride. I’d met her best friend for 10 minutes the month earlier and that was it. This time I took my anxiety out on my wardrobe. I bought 2 dresses which I hated as soon as I’d paid for them, I had nothing to wear, everything made me look fat. My end choice was a dress I’ve had for years that I used to really love but for some reason had stuck at the back of the wardrobe. Again I had a lovely time and once there had no anxiety at all.
So it seems the build up is the worrying part rather than the event. I need to work on how I can learn to enjoy a build up and actively look forward to things. Easier said than done and when I figure it out I’ll let you know!
It’s funny how we make decisions and offers without ever looking at the impact on other people. There’s so much negativity around at the minute that I thought I’d concentrate on the positive ways we can do this.
For example a few months ago I had the opportunity for a long weekend away at a discount price. I looked at my friends and whipped off an email asking if one of them would like to go. I based this simply on the fact that like me she liked Disney.
What I didn’t know is this friend has never been abroad and rather than just a fun few days away from home, it’s a much bigger deal – her first holiday in another country, buying a passport and all the excitement that first time brings. No wonder she responded in seconds!
I have without thinking offered her an amazing opportunity.
In my day job I work with people on state benefits. They have to attend appointments on the same day every fortnight. On this occasion my customer asked if he could come in a day late. Why? So he could get married and spend two days at a hotel nearby. He was prepared to rush back if I said no. There’s a whole other article that could be written on the idea and fear that someone wouldn’t be granted this but it’s a positive blog. Anyway, of course I arranged for him to come in a day later. It’s no big deal for me just like the email about a holiday was no big deal.
But if course it was for them. They were getting married! They had their two days away and when he came in to see me I was given a little gift of bath salts with a lovely proverb on and message. Absolutely lovely present but on both occasions I don’t think I did anything special.
So I guess the message is to think before you act. These were positive actions and if I’d never asked my friend about a trip she may not have been any the wiser but so easily a throw away comment or declining a request can have devastating impacts while you go on your merry way. If we all gave thought to how our actions impact on others we may be quite surprised by the results
The other week I attended a number of spiritual workshops over in Shepley, Huddersfield. Lots of crystals, angelic meditation and interesting results.
First up we had aura sprays. This is something I’ve never given much thought to in the past. We started with a meditation in which we were invited to meet our angel. My first thought was of Gabriel simply because I like the guy who plays him in Supernatural (me? shallow? sometimes…) but during the meditation I started thinking about Uriel instead. Not one I remember knowing about (my angel knowledge is a bit rubbish something I should probably work on) but he stands for new ideas and knowledge and helps heal resentments and forgive people. All things I need as I go along my own journey.
Afterwards we were then given a pendulum, some essential oils, small crystals and water and got playing. I managed three sprays in the end – one to attract love, one to guide me on my path and one to attract the home I would like to live in (ideally in a place surrounded by like-minded people).
After the break we then moved onto manifestation. I loved this the most. Whether you want to be spiritual and do this with crystals and meditation or you have different beliefs and choose to skips those parts it’s a pretty fun way to think about what you want in life. In its simplest terms – it’s cutting up pictures of what you want and sticking them to a cork board. Me and a friend couldn’t get over how enjoyable it was to simply sit for a few hours playing with scissors and glue like we did as children.
Our final part of the day will appeal to some and not others as we had a talk about Atlantis, angels and crystal skulls. More meditation including an attempt at a past life followed by some healing. It’s an area I know little about but was fascinated with and want to explore more of. I’ve picked up a couple of Diana Cooper books so that’s my reading for the next few weeks
One thing I asked for was abundance. Ideally an abundance of love and money (who doesn’t). What I’ve noticed is that this is happening but not as I may have thought it. It may be my body language is changing as I welcome positive changes but I’ve noticed an increase in strangers talking to me, I’ve felt lighter in myself so this may be projecting outwards towards others. People keep giving me small gifts. Even though my monthly food group has a no birthday gift policy (there’s 8 of us it’s too expensive) last week I was given a few pressies. I’ve been invited to join in new groups forming and the funniest was during a time of great trauma (I ran out of teabags! For anyone who knows me this is bad). the next day a friend arrived complete with tim of tea. Whether these things happen all the time and I’m only just noticing I don;t know but even love in small doses lifts the spirit
I’m also finding coppers and 5 pence pieces everywhere. At the workshop I was told Tigers Eye crystal is good financial luck and if you carry some in your purse it will never be empty. This is certainly true as these small coins are currently everywhere! Hopefully the small love will manifest into a larger one and mr Right will turn up and the pennies will turn into pounds but what I am receiving at the minute fills me with joy.
I will be attending a crystal healing course at the end of July to be able to do more of this for other people as part of moving towards being a (spiritual) life coach. maybe I’ll see some of you soon for to play with the scissors and glue 🙂
This is a comprehensive look at chakras: what they are, how they affect the body, how to use meditation and physical practice to heal a blocked one. I found this a fantastic book to start my journey on learning some healing roles and hopefully becoming a holistic practioner. As well as all the information I found a few quotes that inspired me and I’d like to share:
(Time for yourself) This is your special time. Explain to children. It’s good for young children to see their parents take special time.
Perceive, believe, achieve
Meditation can relieve stress
I can… (characteristic of Sacral chakra)
I love… (heart chakra)
Some yogis live on prana (energy). You may not want to live on prana. I personally prefer the occasional meal
If you believe in failure, failure will hold you in its grip
Walk in love and light
And finally she ends with a quote from John Lennon whose words sum up what she says is ‘that moment of release when we step off the treadmill and start to simply be…’
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go
round and round.
I really love to watch them roll,
no longer riding on the merry go round
I just had to let it gooooooo!
This is what I aim to do going forward. Time to step off the merry go round and follow my dreams