Resistance is caused by a lack of clarity

I was on the phone to a friend of mine having a bit of a chat when her son interrupted her to ask her what she wanted for her tea (note to self – must get one of those!!). I heard her reply ‘Oh I don’t mind, surprise me.’ There was a bit of a silence and he said something else which I didn’t quite catch, and she repeated ‘Just surprise me’. I could feel a bit of confusion in the air at her end as her son digested what she’d said and then went off (presumably to the kitchen to surprise her!).

We finished our conversation and afterwards I got to thinking about this conversation I’d overheard with her son. It’s a situation I have seen often, especially with my coaching clients. ‘Oh whatever you think is best.’ ‘Whatever’s easiest for you.’ ‘I don’t mind, anything will suit me.’ ‘Oh you know me, I’m easy.’

In my experience when we as women say these things, we often find that sadly we’re not getting the best out of life. Things that we really want to experience or to have in our life seem to elude us. We work on our inner selves and find ways to share our knowledge and experience, and yet somehow our financial goals seem to elude us. Clients don’t appear. Or the wrong type of clients appear. Our health isn’t as great as it could be. Our spiritual life seems empty. Family life can be stressful. Business stagnates or limps along unevenly.

Thinking back to the conversation with my friend, I so wished that she’d said something like “3 fish fingers, a pile of chips and half a tin of beans please” instead of ‘surprise me’. One day the surprise could be something she really doesn’t like or want – like a double kebab from the dodgy chippie up the road!!

What I have learned – and I love teaching to my ladies – is the importance of actually asking clearly for what we want. In business, if we want a sale, then it’s our job to ask our potential client if they are ready to buy. If we want to go to Paris for our anniversary, then it’s up to us to tell our other half that’s what we’d like.

In this situation, we have got into 3 bad habits. The habit of being vague. The habit of putting others’ needs ahead of our own. The habit of saying what we think the other person wants to hear. We women are so good at getting the consensus view that we often forget it’s ok to ask for what we actually want!

I’ve been really guilty of this myself in the past – and had to learn to stop doing it! I caught myself saying things like ‘I don’t really know’, when actually I knew exactly what I did want but felt embarrassed/afraid/ nervous about saying it! For example when going out for dinner in a restaurant I could go through the menu, decide what starter, main course and pudding I wanted and then order it from the waitress. However when asked what I wanted for a birthday present I would say something like – oh a voucher for X shop please. Not because I really wanted a voucher, but because I thought it would be easy for the other person to buy. And of course if I asked for something specific, they might not get the exact thing I was picturing in my mind, so rather than face the disappointment, I would ask for something they couldn’t get wrong!

What I also discovered was that once I started to get clear about asking for what I wanted, by asking for small things like this, I felt more comfortable about asking for bigger things. I began to see things differently. I began to see my value to other people and how I could help them. I began to see my life starting to move in the direction I had always wanted. People who could help me move forward began showing up. I began to feel able to ask for a good price for my coaching. Opportunities to speak to networks of women began appearing. Word of mouth began to spread about my services. It was magical! And all because… (no, not The Lady Loves Milk Tray – although come to think of it, a man who would dive off a cliff to deliver me a box of chocolates wouldn’t be a bad thing to have in your life!!). All because I got clear about what I wanted – and asked for it.

So how about you? Do you find yourself saying things you don’t mean in order to try and please other people? Do you find yourself agreeing with someone when really you disagree with them heartily, only you don’t want to upset the boat? Perhaps it’s time to change that habit – and watch the life you love flow into your experience. It’s time for clarity, clear requests and cheers of delight as you start to get what you really wish for. After all, there’s a magic wand hiding in your imagination – wave it and see what happens. You could find yourself living the life you want, not the life you settle for…

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What the squirrel taught me…

While walking my dogs this morning my attention was caught by a squirrel high up in a tree. It was scampering along the branches, as squirrels like to do, when she came to the end of the branch. The squirrel wanted to jump from this branch to the next tree but the gap was too wide to do so safely and the end of the branch was too bendy. So quick as a wink she backed up a little to a stronger part of the branch, ran a couple of steps and just leaped for dear life!

Because the spring leaves haven’t yet opened fully I could see her quite clearly flying through the air, arms and legs flailing everywhere!! Gravity of course began pulling her down towards the ground and she eventually landed on another branch and instantly just scampered along it, like she hadn’t just made a huge leap into space with no clear idea of where she was going to land!

This got me to thinking about life as a whole. When things in life go wrong as they sometimes do, it’s best not see it as something going wrong – instead it’s a reminder from life that we need to take a few steps back again so that we’re standing on much firmer ground. Now we have a better and much stronger place from which to jump off into the unknown – even if we can’t see the destination until after we’ve leapt!

This is a leap of faith – one that takes us flying through the air, arms and legs flailing in circles as we try to control our momentum. And all the time our face is turned towards what we are aiming for – and then when we reach it, grabbing on firmly by both hands and then moving on, all in one smooth action.

This was also about trust. The squirrel had absolutely no idea where exactly she was going to land. Instead she had total faith in her ability to be able to grab the first branch she came into contact with and carry on running, almost as if she hadn’t been flying through the air seconds before. She trusted in her own abilities to keep herself safe – lessons that we could all do with learning!

I’ve noticed that women in particular have a tendency to not trust themselves and to not value what they do, or how they contribute to the lives of others. It’s only through going through the coaching process myself that I’ve been able to overcome this tendency in me.

I’ve had to take that leap of faith quite a few times now and it’s never an easy thing to do – to leap out with no parachute and no guarantee of landing somewhere safe. I call it the Indiana Jones moment – you know the moment in the film where he’s off to get the Cup of Christ to save his father’s life, and he has to walk across the chasm. Except it looks as if there is no bridge there, only a gap that is too far to leap. And so, knowing that he was about to plunge to his death, but praying that somehow he would get across and be able to save his father, he stepped out into the abyss – and landed on solid rock…

For me setting up an author and coach was a massive leap of faith – what if no-one wanted to work with me? Did I really have something of value to say? Could I really make a difference to someone’s life? Would my book actually be read by anybody? Or my blog? I did it anyway – I made that leap and don’t regret it for a single moment.

So what leap of faith are you going take in your business or personal life this week? Are you going to start making sales calls when you’ve never made them before? Are you going to sign up for a charity event to do something that fills you with dread, such as leaping out a plane and skydiving? Are you going to apologise to a person you vowed never to apologise to? Or are you simply going to carry on as before, gingerly navigating your way through the branches instead of running, leaping and landing safely? Either way, the choice is yours….

Foiled! By my own subconscious mind….

Have you ever found yourself setting a goal, working diligently towards it and somehow swerving away from it? Or maybe you’ve found yourself aimlessly doing stuff that doesn’t really move you forwards while thinking about something else you’d really rather be doing (and I’m not talking about daydreaming about blue seas, white sand and palm trees!). Or maybe you find yourself feeling nervous and apprehensive for no reason at all, especially when thinking about making changes in your life.

You have probably heard of the French Resistance movement during World War II whose job it was to disrupt the occupying German forces in whatever way they could. Blowing up railways and bridges, aiding Allied troops caught behind enemy lines, that sort of thing. You probably don’t realise it, but you have similar activities going on inside your head.

Well, I can just hear you saying, I’m sure that if I had the inclination to go around blowing up railway bridges I’d know about it. And I’d certainly notice if I had a couple of British airmen hidden in the attic. Now I’m not saying for one moment that you have these sort of tendencies. No of course not. However each of us has hidden inside our subconscious mind our own internal saboteur. A very cunning, quick to disguise itself, shadowy self destruction expert. And of course, being a master of disguise, we often fail to recognise that we are in fact sabotaging ourself.

Those sales calls that we never quite get to. That recommendation given to us by a friend or networking colleague that we forget to follow up on. The marketing strategy we keep meaning to write and somehow never find the time for. This is the work of our inner saboteur. The part of us that undermines our own stated intentions. The part of us that can’t bear us to start getting ahead of ourselves (or even as it would see it, getting above ourselves). It’s widely recognised in Jungian psychology. Caroline Myss talks about it in her book Sacred Contracts.

So what can we do to help overcome these tendencies, since they are innate and part of our complex subconscious mind? Well like any unwanted habit in our lives, we have to replace these tendencies for failure with tendencies for success. There are 5 steps to doing this:

  1. Recognise this tendency in yourself and acknowledge it
  2. Become aware of the ways in which your saboteur shows up in your life – procrastination, lack of confidence, feeling unsure about something you were previously sure about, delaying meetings, dealing with non-urgent, non-important matters first, and so on.
  3. Decide that you are not going to allow the saboteur free rein over your behaviour anymore
  4. Choose a method to overcome these behaviours
  5. Consistently practice the new method for the next 30 days (minimum) to replace your former bad habit with a good habit.

Methods you can use to overcome these behaviours include journalling, Tapping/EFT, affirmations, sheer determination, mindfulness to become aware of thought patterns, asking your angels and guides for help, coaching and changing your daily routine so that your first actions are directed towards your goals, and subsequent ones are directed at dealing with “stuff”.

You are not alone in this matter, and I am as guilty as everyone else about putting things off which really are more about moving me towards my desired outcome than about staying in a stuck place. So to help us all I have made a little video which you can watch here using Tapping to release my habit of self sabotage.

So, lissen verrry carfully I shall zay zis only wuunce – noooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition do they? Especially in their head! So find a method that appeals to you, work with it diligently over the next 30 days and you’ll soon find yourself making progress at a speed that’s almost dizzying!

Now – I’m off to blow up the railway bridge that leads to my Inner Saboteurs lair – how about you?!

Til next time

Tania

Mind monkeys

Mind monkeys. Inner Mean Girl. The Voice of Unreason. She Who Must Be Obeyed. Miss Hidden Whiplash. Call it what you will, but we all have That Voice inside us. The one that subtly undermines us and our determination. Or not so subtly.

You know the feeling. That feeling of lassitude when there’s something needing to be tackled. That automatic running away from a task you find unpleasant. The rearranging of priorities so that the most important item ends up at the bottom. And stays there. Over and over again.

That Voice is very clever – it disguises itself in many ways. You haven’t had a break in a while, it says (you had one half an hour ago). You need a brain holiday to be a bit more creative, it whispers (you’ve just spent an hour doing something completely different to your usual work). A bit of fresh air will help the ideas flow, it croons seductively (you came back from walking the dogs less than an hour ago). On and on, it suggests alternatives to tackling that job you have been putting off.

That Voice is the one that’s actually making that job you put off seem like a difficult one to tackle. It puts subtle negative slants on it. You know – you want to send a load of follow up emails after a networking event. In the background you can hear this little voice going ‘They’re not interested, otherwise they would have said something at the time’. So you delay sending the emails. And delay. And delay. Then it gets to the point where it’s so far past the networking event that it’s time to go back to the next meeting… You strike up a conversation with a fellow guest and they exclaim “Oh I wish I’d known you do that – I found someone else to do it last week.” A missed opportunity…. another feast for That Voice to chew on.

So what can be done about That Voice? Well the only way That Voice can be overcome, shouted down, made silent is to find ways to boost your self confidence. Not just once in a while, but every single day. So how can you do that? One way is to tackle head on that job you’ve been putting off – send those emails to new contacts; write your biography piece to be read out at the meeting you’re addressing; re-write the front page of your website so it reflects how your customers think; pick up the phone and talk to the person who expressed a genuine interest in you and your business.

Another way is to tackle those subtle energy underminers that are all around you. That pile of filing glaring at you from the corner of your desk – you know that one that takes longer and longer to find anything in. The bit of handwashing that’s been lurking at the bottom of the laundry basket for weeks. That drawer in the kitchen full of bits of crap that takes forever to find anything in. The greasy fingerprints all down the staircase walls where the kids drag their hands every morning as they head off to school. Those horrible little jobs that just need doing, aren’t very complicated to do, but somehow never seem to get done. And then they take up valuable attention units in your brain, subtly undermining your confidence in your abilities.

Yep, That Voice will happily remind you of those little jobs that need doing with a mocking laugh and a sneering tone. You can’t even make the time to clean the muddy patches off the wall from the dogs, so how the hell are you ever going to make time to grow your business? If you can’t even do that simple task, why ever would you be able to do something as complicated as being an entrepreneur? Bad you. Bad, bad you.

That Voice needs switching off – fast!! One of the methods I use in my coaching sessions with clients is called EFT/Tapping and it is perfect for helping to boost your confidence. Tapping works on our subtle energy systems to help us release those negative, pent up, hidden emotions and replace them with positive, energised and rewarding emotions. I have done a little video to accompany this blog post showing you how you can do Tapping yourself. I have been struggling with low self confidence myself over the past week or so and so I have recorded live how Tapping can help take you from being stuck, frustrated and low in confidence to feeling much more able to face the world – and get those important tasks done.

If you have any tricks or tips that you do to put That Voice in its place, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear what works for you!

Til next week,

Tania

…We interrupt this programme to bring you….

As you and I sometimes find, whenever we have something really, really, really important to do – especially in relation to our business – we find a myriad of other things to do instead. We suddenly have to make sure our email inbox is tidy and sorted. Or the washing which has been sadly neglected for oooo, 2 days suddenly needs doing right now. What was that bleep? Yay my friend commented on my Facebook status. Have you seen the state of the coffee machine?!! – Right that needs cleaning PROPERLY for a change.

All the while we’re busy doing these suddenly urgent things, lurking at the back of our mind, taking up important attention units (in the words of Jack Canfield) is the nag, nag, nag of unfinished, unstarted, uncompleted tasks that, if completed, would bring us closer to our goal. So we begin to feel a bit guilty, a bit uncomfy, a bit embarrassed and of course to cover up those feelings we decide to do something about it. Oh sod it, might as well feed the cat now. Must check out who’s responded to my tweet of 5 minutes ago. That flower border needs some serious tlc. Wonder who’s followed me on Twitter today… Huh???? You seriously didn’t think I was going to go and sit and write that email to my main client did you? Or do the follow up calls from last week’s enquiries? Or update the business plan for the 12 months ahead so everyone in the business is clear where we are headed?

Oops – hangs head in shame 🙁 Of course, I know that you, my dear and lovely readers, would never find yourself doing these sorts of things. You know – putting urgent things in front of important things. Putting unimportant things in front of important things.  Procrastinating. Going off into a panic loop. No, you my dear readers are much wiser than that. What’s that you say? You do do that? Oh that’s all right then – you’re being human again…

So what can be done to sort out this problem, this bad habit, this hole in our cashflow? Because, rightly or wrongly, that is exactly what it is. Not spending time on activities that will generate ‘now’ cash or ‘future’ cash is guaranteed to make your ability to increase your sales, your profits and your personal income wither and fade. Instead you become just another entrepreneur twiddling along, making ends meet and surviving.

Of course what you really would like to be is a thriving entrepreneur. An entrepreneur with a booming business, a cash rich business, an automatic money generating machine. So what you and I have learned to do is to not just change our thoughts and elevate them to positive levels (though this of course helps immeasurably). We actively work on creating pattern interrupts to our mind’s devious attempts to keep us in the safe, predictable, slightly-uncomfortable-but-not-uncomfortable-enough-to-move zone. A place that our mind is familiar with. Yup – the comfort zone.

What’s a pattern interrupt? I hear you ask. Well funny you should ask that – it’s finding yourself deliberately doing something different in the middle of all those automatic thoughts. Like getting up from your chair, taking your laptop to a room with no distractions and firing off those emails to key clients (and only those emails). Or deleting Facebook and Twitter from your phone so it doesn’t beep at you every 10 seconds, distracting you from those tasks which take you towards your goals. Or grabbing hold of a voice recorder and dictating into it the vision you have for your business and then sending the file to your VA/PA for typing up. Actions which take you towards the goal you have set for yourself. Actions which make you feel good about yourself. Actions which reward you with more cash, money, dough, moolah for you and your biz. Exciting stuff eh?

So why do we find it so difficult to do these things? Why do our habits, patterns and automatic behaviours need interrupting? Why is the reward for positive action seemingly less exciting than the rewards for reactions? Well it’s all related to our fight or flight systems. The surge of adrenaline you get when you solve a particularly juicy business problem is addictive. Oooo just managed to keep that client by the skin of me teeth – phew! Oh thank God I managed to just pay off our main supplier before they put us on stop again. Managed to just land that deal in spite of missing three appointments with the customer.

This sort of behaviour, while addictive, is actually very energy intense and can leave us drained and exhausted. Which ties in nicely with the perceived wisdom that running a business is hard work, and requires long hours and lots of wheeler-dealing. Whoever heard of a business that was easy to run, could be done in just a few hours a day and had no tricky problems with customers, suppliers or other interested parties?

Well, actually there are businesses like that. Lots of them. They are run by entrepreneurs who have learned (often the hard way, like you and me!) that the only job they have to do is find and keep their customers. What’s more, they have to do this every single day. And what’s even more is that this is their first and main focus of the day. Until they’ve completed those tasks which are solely about finding and keeping customers coming through the door, clicking on the website or phoning the order line, they ignore all those distractions of Facebook, cleaning duties, Twitter, endless emails. Sometimes they even use them as – wait for it – rewards! Yep, their reward for spending their time on proactive, business growing, customer finding tasks is to have a bit of a play on t’internet. Or Facebook. Or sort out the mess that used to be the kitchen… for a limited time. Then they get right back on to the job of growing their business.

I did this myself when I found myself literally paralysed when I was half way through writing my second book. The writing had gone so well, and the ancillary activities I had planned around it were also going well – lots of positive feedback and responses – meant that I was moving quite rapidly towards my goals. And that scared the bejesus out of a part of me. And that part of me suddenly reared up and blotted out the sunlight in me and I found myself mentally and physically unable to continue. So I prayed for help from my angels and my prayers were immediately answered with clear instructions to get out of the house, take my laptop with me and go and work in Central Library in the city centre. My mind tried a few little tricks, like text a friend and ask to go and see her instead (fortunately her phone was broken and she didn’t answer) so I ended up in Central Library, on a private table with a view of the outside world. Just as my angels had told me. So now I was in an unfamiliar place, with no familiar distractions around me – apart from hundreds and hundreds of books!! – in an environment full of the energy of writing.

So I sat down, opened up my laptop and then managed to write, quite easily and fluently another couple of pages of my book. And then a little bit more, just for good measure. At the end of the writing session I felt soooo much better in myself. I had succeeded in interrupting my panic loop of procrastination and had moved into a space that was much nicer. Oh and of course, I now had what every writer needs – more material to share with my audience (that’s you, of course dear reader!).

So I am now going to spend more time at the library writing. Or indeed in other libraries. Occasionally I may be found in a coffee shop or a café – writing. Focusing on the task that will ultimately bring me more customers, more sales, more of everything. Including that priceless commodity that can’t be bought with money – peace of mind.

So go on, I dare you – interrupt your habits and thought patterns, and watch the positive changes grow and flourish in your business, yourself and your money.

Til next time,

Adios amigos!

PS If you share with me what you’ve done, I’ll send a little pressie in the post for the most original way of interrupting your loop-de-loop!!

 

 

Zest for learning

I have always been a student – I love learning new things. As a child and teenager I was an avid reader, and today is no exception. And the best thing about learning new things is being able to pass on that knowledge to other people, as well as implementing that knowledge in my own life.

If you can find a subject that you are passionate about, it will make the studying and learning about it even easier. The most successful people in the world are avid learners, always keen to understand more about themselves, about life and about the career they have chosen. My twin passions are business and spirituality, not two subjects you necessarily associate together. However I have learned that by using my spiritual principles and practices, that I can build a business that has solid foundations and that draws to itself wonderful people and clients. The two businesses that didn’t work out for me were built on spiritual principles, but the subject or topic of the business didn’t reflect my true passion – teaching and writing. So of course, they had to go, leaving in their wake lessons learned and a desire to do better in the future. My studies have helped me to hone and define my message and find the right audience for that message – you, my lovely readers.

If you think that you can’t build a business or develop a high powered career doing something you love and are passionate about, think about some of the most successful people in the world today. Oprah Winfrey loves being with people, finding out about their lives – she seems to have done ok for herself! Tiger Woods loves playing golf. Richard Branson loves shaking up the corporate world. Anita Roddick was passionate about developing quality cosmetics while helping people in other countries build better lives for themselves.

I make time every single day to learn something new, sometimes I learn lots of new things in the same day! I find free webinars to listen to, free ebooks to download, read a library book on the bus or in the bath, watch videos on YouTube. There are so many people and places offering such a high quality of information that it’s almost impossible not to learn something new every day!

Learning keeps your brain fresh and helps you to find opportunities to improve your current situation. It helps you meet new people, exchange ideas and apply that learning to change your thoughts and your lifestyle. It enables you to earn more money, spend time around positive people and make changes that you never thought were possible.

Learning something new helps you feel that you have achieved something. When my first husband and I divorced I was a full time student at University. That routine and structure in my life at that time kept me going (ok I flunked my second year exams, but my tutors were very understanding and gave me a free pass into the final year!). The skills I learned at university for researching, analysing and interpreting information paid dividends when I went into the corporate world and had reports to design and develop, presentations to make and business analysis to prepare. So never underestimate where your passion for learning could take you.

The past few years I have focused my studies on learning about success and wealth creation. I have to admit that the further my studies took me on understanding how wealth is created and how successful people operate, that my life completely fell apart. As Abraham (as in Esther and Jerry Hicks) says – when you are creating with your rockets of desire, that which is unlike always shows up first, that way you know you are on the right trail. Now that I have stabilised my life, I am in a perfect position to apply that learning to my life, and I have done so with gusto. So all I can say to you in return is – find a subject you love, learn as much as you can about it, apply it to your life and watch as your life begins to change and take off in ways you never expected.

It’s written in the stars

If like me you’re finding it hard to keep your mood levels up at the moment, it may be due to some astrological energies that are happening at the moment. I’ve not been well the last couple of weeks with a sinus infection and this has coincided with the planet Mercury going into what is called retrograde. This is when the planet appears to stop and then go backwards in relation to the Earth, even though it is in fact moving forwards.

For many of us sensitive souls here on Earth this can lead to some unexpected side effects such as low energy, low mood levels, increased need to sleep, feeling tearful or emotional for no apparent reason, having a physical illness of some kind, finding unexpected people coming back into your life (often those with whom you have a negative association of some kind) and other strange things. You may find electrical items malfunction, meetings get arranged and rearranged, and things just feel vaguely unsettled and not like normal. Travel plans may be disrupted or altered at the last minute and weather patterns may become quite extreme – lots of additional rain, snow or ice appearing.

Mercury went retrograde on the 6 February and will remain that way until the 28 February. So astrologically speaking, it started during Pisces and will end during Aquarius. Pisces is a water sign and water signs govern our emotions and feelings. Aquarius is an air sign and governs communication. Mercury itself is the planet of communication – Mercury was the messenger for the Roman gods and is depicted as having a winged helmet and wings on his ankles. So you may well find old emotions surfacing that you thought you’d dealt with. You may find old arguments or resentments surfacing. Or you may just generally feel yukky. So Mercury retrograde at the moment is all about communicating clearly what your emotional needs are. It is also about releasing pent up old emotions too – releasing stagnant energy in order to let in fresh new energy; after all Spring is on its way!

Physical illnesses such as the one I have had with sinus problems (and you may also have noticed a lot of colds, throat infections, tickly coughs and flu around) are classic indicators of blocked emotions that need releasing and purifying. Throat infections are signs of blocked communications and coughs are signs of old energy needing to be brought out, examined, lessons acknowledged and then released.

So remember during this time of change not to make any drastic long term decisions when you are feeling overwhelmed emotionally. And also use this time to honestly assess any relationships that feel draining or overwhelming in any way. Then during March decide if you want to continue that relationship or not. Why wait til March? Well by this time Mercury will be “back on course” so to speak, and so you will be able to decide better whether or not to let those people stay in your life. Of course if any unwanted people from your past do do pop up during this time of retrograde energy, ignore them or tell them to go back to where they came from – I did!! After all, you decided when Mercury wasn’t in retrograde to let them go, so just because you’re feeling vulnerable and unsafe, doesn’t mean they are welcome back in your life!

Talk to your angels even more than usual during this time and ask for their guidance and help and follow it – unlike us sensitive human souls they are immune to this kind of energy and can see things clearly and dispassionately. They only want the very best for us, so if they urge you to rest more, sleep more, be more kind to yourself, eat better and so on, follow that guidance to the letter – you will feel better for it. If you feel tearful or emotional in any way, let it come up and release itself and ask your angels to take it away for you and transmute and transform it into something positive.

I have been struggling the last few days to get my energy levels back so that I can keep moving forward with my mission and purpose to help people – I put off writing the script for a video piece I want to do for 3 days because I felt so off colour. I finally managed to do it yesterday 🙂 Today is newsletter day and I have had to ask my angels repeatedly for the courage and energy to sit down and do it, because I don’t want to let you, my readers down. Of course if I let you guys down, then I let myself down even more which only adds to my feelings of overwhelm instead of reducing them. And I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t allow feelings of overwhelm to dictate what I do, so my angels are helping me to keep this promise to myself too.

So I hope this little article has helped you understand yourself a little more – if you want to find out a bit more about Mercury Retrograde (including future dates for the year) just type it into Google and lots of sites will come up with various amounts of information on them. Just find the one that resonates with you.

Til next week – Namaste my friends 🙂

Decluttering my finances

Back in November my angels started encouraging me to declutter my home, a process which is still ongoing here in February! My Lily Rose business was fading fast and I woke up one morning knowing that the shop simply had to close. After that my angels started guiding me to articles about decluttering and so I began the process.

Most people avoid decluttering because they think it’s such a big job and is overwhelming. When approached in the wrong way, it can be. However my angels were quite insistent that all I had to do was one small area of my home at a time. So I started with a corner of my kitchen (which is pretty small in itself!). The corner they showed me to sort out was the one next to the burner where my son likes to cook his daily bacon and egg fry up. Needless to say it was pretty greasy once I started shifting things around! So I moved the microwave into a different corner of the kitchen where it was easier to access, cleaned up the grease from all the other items on the worktop there, cleaned down the tiles and found space in some of the cupboards for some of the items to stop them getting greasy again in the future. The day to day items I left out – the angels were encouraging me to think about what was used daily or very regularly, and anything else should be put away. This meant that there was more space on the worktop and the kitchen began to feel a tiny bit bigger.

Next I sorted out the cupboards (including the one under the sink which was always a mess), getting rid of loads of things. Next was the drawers, cleaning the oven, scrubbing the ingrained dirt off the floor (oh the joys of dogs who love mud!), cleaning the skirting boards, the windows, the curtains and yes of course – the kitchen sink 🙂 This wasn’t all done in a couple of days though. The angels encouraged me to do just one item each day which took around 15 minutes – so lots of little bursts of activity rather than one big one.

As I said this process is ongoing, but I have been through pretty much every room in my home getting rid of things that were broken, things that had negative memories attached to them, duplicated items, clothes that weren’t being worn anymore, old footwear – you name it, I chucked it out. So the bins filled up, the British Red Cross shop has benefited from lots of items in good condition, I used my Ebay account to sell things, and friends and family were the recipients of books, CDs and DVDs which were no longer needed. And slowly my house began to feel clearer, more homely, more welcoming.

And as these things disappeared from my house, I noticed some changes happening in other parts of my life. I won a Facebook giveaway competition for 12 Law of Attraction books (still reading some of them!), small amounts of money appeared in my life, new people started showing up, telesummits and articles about improving your finances spiritually popped up on the internet. On one of the telesummits I listened to from Hay House, their decluttering expert said the best way to start decluttering was by doing one small part of your home (they suggested polishing the kitchen sink) – exactly the advice my angels had given me!!

As I carried on clearing out and releasing the old stuff, my creative energies began to rise, new ideas and inspiration started coming up, I began feeling better and better about myself. My confidence levels rose, I began to sense my life purpose becoming clearer and stronger. My energy levels rose and I began accomplishing more and more each day. I began fine tuning my daily activities, began sorting out long overdue piles of paperwork hanging around. In short, my life began to become clearer and more organised. I was upping my game and increasing my standards.

So what is the link with my finances? As my home became clearer, so my mind became clearer. My angel communications became clearer and my angels began to encourage me to face up to my financial situation. In turn I began to ask them for the courage to do that, and for the courage to carry out whatever actions they showed me. After receiving a rather hefty bank service charge bill for my business account, the angels encouraged me to go and open a new account. They told me to go the bank where I have my business account and apply for a personal account. However when I applied for an account there in the past I had been rejected due to my bankruptcy. Although my confidence levels were higher, I still couldn’t face the thought of the embarrassment of being refused an account due to my credit history. So I applied for an account through my credit union that I thought would be better as no credit check would be made. However until I got the full terms through I didn’t realise how restrictive the account was. So I thought about opening a Post Office account – that would have meant ringing the DWP and I wasn’t ready for any questions about the closure of Lily Rose at that time. So in the end, I went to my bank in desperation. As I sat in the little private office while the lovely lady went through the account application with me, I prepared myself for the total embarrassment of being sent out with no account. You can imagine my complete surprise (not to mention sheer joy) when an account was offered to me with no restrictions and with a proper debit card! On my way out of the bank I thanked the angels profusely and then apologised for not following their advice immediately!

The angels also encouraged me to start keeping a log of the small improvements in my money story so I could see my progress, which I have done. And then one day, I sat down and really began to go through my finances properly. As I said I asked for the courage to face up to it AND the courage to actually go through with it. Then I watched a video from Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association with 6 steps to overcoming financial blocks and I decided that the time was right to face up to one of my biggest “demons”. So in my morning pages I wrote a small list of things that I needed to do that day, all related to my finances. After my morning walk I then got that list and began working on it. I spent all that day working on the tasks I set myself, and by the end of the day had completed around 75% of them. I was a bit disappointed in myself for not achieving all of them – I succumbed to watching BBC iPlayer for a couple of hours instead of continuing my progress. But I wasn’t about to beat myself up over that. The next day I then made finishing the previous day’s tasks my number one priority and then began work on the other tasks that I had also written down. Again I made good progress (and without distractions) so I felt really good when I went to bed that night.

The next part of the written plan was to make a budget for the next few weeks so I could see when money was coming in and out, and any shortfalls that I needed to make up and when by. I have long resisted doing this as it feels really restrictive to me and I value freedom very highly! So for a long time budgeting has been a source of conflict (as Peter Thomson says – resistance comes from a lack of clarity) within me. I knew it had to be useful but I couldn’t see how. After all, most of the business advice you get to help with your cashflow is to “set a budget!”. Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer sets a budget for the country as a whole, so why not me?!

To help me see things in a different light I asked my angels for help. They reminded me of something I had heard in an audio presentation by Jenny Longmore on the subject of creating a consciously guided business. Jenny suggested imagining your business to be a person and to have a heart to heart with that “business person” to see what you can do each day to move things along. So I did. I had a chat with “taniaangelis.com” and was roundly told off! She told me I was inconsistent, only showed up for my business when it suited me, wanted all the jam and none of the bread. Much to my surprise I found myself agreeing with her – I was inconsistent and yes I do love all the fun things that come with running your own business. What I’m not so good at are all the little things that have to be done every day to get things going. So what with the house becoming clearer and less cluttered and the telling off from my business I realised that I needed to finally tackle my last bêtes noirs – budgeting and listing out my debts.

So yesterday I finally sat down and put it all on a spreadsheet – exactly what comes in, and what goes out. Exactly how much I owe and to whom. And yes, it was scary, yes it was difficult to do – but I did it and now I feel so much clearer. I can now be there properly for my business as I can see every single day exactly what I need to do to bring in the money that I need. With my new bank account came internet banking and I can now see at any time exactly how much money is in my account – and more importantly I can now plan my activities around what results are needed and by when they are needed. I can now see what business actions will create the desired outcome, and then carry them out. In short, it feels nothing short of miraculous to me. For the first time in a long time, I am in control of my money, not the other way around. I have also come to realise that I am a very good manager of my money, it’s having the confidence to create a great income that I’ve been lacking – until now. And to think – all this came about because I cleaned that corner of my kitchen.