Thursday, 28 July 2011

{Take action} Dream with your eyes open

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
- Larry Elder -

Do you dream with your eyes open?  Dream of a different life - maybe a different home, new job, altered image?  What is it for you?  I'll put my hands up and say I'm a dreamer.  But I'd like to believe that I do a little bit more.... I hope I do something to make my dreams happen.

I've said before that vision boards are one of the many ways that I try to dream a little (and sometimes BIG) dream, but there comes a point where dreaming has to turn to action.  Today I thought I'd share a few top tips to taking action:

Get a clear line of vision:
What is it you really want?  Is it a new home?  If so, describe it.  Close your eyes and imagine the front door, walk in and soak in everything you see - make it come alive in your mind.  Dream BIG.  Once you have a clear and vivid picture, make note of it in whatever way suits you (words, pictures, sound).

Break down:
How far away from your dream are you?  If you can imagine time passing as a movie, see yourself in your gorgeous new home and press rewind.  What do you see as the home before?  And the one before that?  Get clear on the steps that will get you there .... without a lottery win, that is.

Speak up:
How many times have you made a commitment to yourself and done absolutely zilch about it?  (Hmm, new year's resolutions spring to mind!)  You need to make yourself accountable.  Seek out a friend or family member that you can share your wild imaginings with.  Often making a commitment verbally to someone we love and respect can be just the conscience prick we need to get off our bottoms and start making things happen.

Now, over to you ....

Photo: One

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

{Take action} Look to the future

It's payday tomorrow and so I'll be indulging in my guilty pleasure - buying a stash of magazines that I'm unlikely to read. Well, not cover-to-cover at least.  And before the Eco Warriors out there have me in front of the firing squad in defence of the trees that were sacrificed to create the sweet-smelling, glossy loveliness, let me assure you that they don't go to waste.  No no, I'll rip them to pieces.  

For years now, my friend Jane and I have created mood-boards to mark the new year and all we want to achieve in it.  It's cool now to look back over the years and see how these goals have evolved ... and frustrating to see the ones still making an appearance.  (Will I ever get my finances in check?!)  So I was intrigued to read Andrea Baxter's post on Design Sponge today about how she's used a vision board to clarify her business goals, even favouring it as a tool to a traditional business plan.  While I've enjoyed creating these over the years as a fun way of altering and charting my course, it's encouraging to see someone so successful reap professional rewards from the exercise.... and it gives me an excuse to do more!

In the spirit of putting my goals 'out there', I thought I'd share with you all my latest creation....

Do you have a vision board you'd like to share?

Monday, 25 July 2011

{Take action} Be of service #1

Before: are we going to transform this in one day?
 The gorgeous butterfly focal point of the garden
My handiwork: the 4ft butterfly that will adorn the trellis of the garden
So near but yet so far....

What a difference a day makes!  I was one of 20 volunteers that worked on a very worthy Be Involved project in inner city Bradford this weekend.  Greeted with a patch of grass, we all braved the elements and grafted to create a gorgeous Butterfly Garden for the neighbouring school children.  The pictures show the almost-finished result before the rain beat us!

Aside from working alongside fabulous people all day, the project gave me a real feel-good high.  I was doing things I've never attempted before that tested my personal boundaries (nope, never used a jigsaw before and would unlikely be called 'green-fingered' by those that know me!), yet it was the anticipation of the children getting use out of it that put the biggest smile on my face.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

{Take action} Quality time

I'm a doodler.  A list-writer.  I permanently carry a notebook with me - sometimes, not just one.  In fact, I have a stash of notebooks beside my bed - one for every 'focus area'.  I have so many thoughts whirling around my head that I need somewhere to channel them.  Of late, it has been 'Wedding Notebook' that's been seeing all the action, getting all the quality time, while 'Project Freedom' notebook has been positively neglected, unloved and working an inferiority complex.  And here's the science bit - the health warning of being a girl on a mission to live her very best life is that I get a little impatient when things plateau, when I'm not creating and adding to my Project Freedom pages - the doing nothing zaps my energy.

So, I'm planning a date for me and the old notebook.  Me and you, and a hazlenut latte on Saturday afternoon?  It's a date.

Monday, 18 July 2011

{Take action} Seize the day

‎"Dream as if you have forever. Live as if you have only today." James Dean.

I was being my usual, impatient self before, checking to see if the new issue of Rue Magazine had been published (sadly, no) but, while I was visiting, I did find this fantastic quote by the inimitable James Dean.

The dreamer bit I can pull off with ease now, it's the 'live for today' mentality I struggle with.  If I had only today:
- I'd have bounced out of bed when the alarm went off, rather than pulling the duvet up around my ears
- I'd have worn my beautiful, impractical shoes rather than saving them 'for best'
- I'd have been singing in the rain, rather than cursing my soggy clothes

What would you do differently? ...

Photo: One

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

{Inspiration} Italian#1

So, I'm not sure I've shared before that I'm a smitten kitten for all things Italian - the food, the wine, the culture, the (swoon) language. It's the place I want to holiday, the style I want to emulate, the vivaciousness I aspire to... So today, I plan to bring a little Italian into my life with a little time for il dolce far niente - the sweetness of doing nothing. I feel relaxed already ...

Photo: One

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

{Take action} Put your back into it...

"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be" - Clementine Paddleford

The word of the day for my sister and I yesterday .... "sludge". If you put my sister and me (and a bottle of wine!) in a room, we can spend hours motivating each other, writing lists and dreaming BIG .... and it's guaranteed I'll come away with a renewed fire in my belly.  But, somewhere along the way, that fire fizzles a little and we end up back in 'the sludge'.  Something stops me - both of us - from taking a daring leap.  Why is that?  

Part of me thinks maybe we've spent too long being 'good girls' and wanting to do the sensible thing, set a good example (you get the picture) .... Or maybe that's just a big, fat excuse and the pair of us just need to grow a backbone. It's time to get out of the sludge Lol, are you with me?  

Photo: weheartit

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

To my friend and her Mr Right ahead of their wedding day x

This poem seems very apt for the Mr & Mrs L-to-be.  Wishing you a wonderful day x
I belong in your arms
Finally, I have found a place
Into which I fit perfectly, safely
And securely with no doubts,
No fears, no sadness, no tears.

This place is filled with happiness and laughter
Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me
The freedom to move around,
To live my life and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found finally
Inside your arms, inside your heart, inside your love

Photo: Megan Gillory Poem: Deborah Bridea

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

{Inspiration} My big-little bro

There are some people that see life in technicolour.  Do you know what I mean? They see life as one big canvas and are the first to step up and start throwing a load of colourful paint at it - the more colour the merrier.  My brother Andrew is one of those people.

He's always been the creative type - one of my clearest memories of him is as a little 3 or 4-year-old, sat drawing and colouring with his tongue out (sorry Anj!) - and so it doesn't surprise me that he's developed the most amazing talent in photography many years later.  He has a natural instinct to capture the most beautiful and individual pictures that you can't help but feel drawn into.

I'm so proud that he's established a platform to showcase this talent - check out BoxBroadie on flickr.  

Photo: "Brick art" by BoxBroadie

Monday, 4 July 2011

{Take action} Ready to play? What's the day?

Are you young/old enough to remember BBC's Playschool? As well as my fond memories of 'Humpty', my favourite bit was where the presenter would choose a 'magic window' and it would open wide to reveal the theme of the day's programme. At that point, depending on if they picked my favourite window (square), I'd either be gripped or in a sulk.

Well, I'm now 33 years old (old enough to know better) yet sometimes I still have a tendency to default to sulk-mode if the day doesn't get off to an ideal start. (What, they picked the round window? There's no flippin' milk for my morning coffee? Do I really have to get up?) But my new morning regime of a little meditation has had yet another bonus - I'm starting the day looking at things the right way, happier. The things that had irrationally got my heckles up before really don't bother me in the same way and, on the flip side, I'm noticing more to be happy about. Sounds like I'm onto a winner, right? Maybe the penny's dropping - maybe I was choosing to look through the wrong window.  I'm not sure how long it will last but it turns out the square window's not that bad ....


Friday, 1 July 2011

{Quality time} Spend wisely

This time last week I had the good fortune of meeting the inspirational Liggy Webb - something she said really struck a chord with me.  There are 86,400 seconds in a day - if those 86,400 seconds were money, so £86,400, how would you spend your day?  Would you spent it more wisely?  Would you be more protective of your time?  I'm sure, like me, you'll be fiercely nodding yes!

So how are you going to spend your 86,400 today and over the weekend?  I will be
... enjoying this glorious sunshine.  Summer dresses at the ready.
... partying with my laugh-a-minute nephew at his 2nd birthday party, animal-themed no less
... cherishing some time with my family - let the giddiness commence
... absorbing myself in my new stash of books.

Happy spending x

Photo: pinterest


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