How to travel on a whim

It's time to take off...

It’s time to take off…

I recently read an article written by Tresa Erikson in a magazine called Woman here in Central Pennsylvania and it really struck a cord with me. Hubby and I regularly hop on our motorbike and take off for the weekend (we don’t have kids) as the state is full of great winding roads through the countryside that end up in quaint little historic towns. Let me share:

When was the last time you jumped into the car and left town with no real sense of where you were headed? It wasn’t that long ago that anyone looking for an adventure would throw some clothes into a bag, toss the bag into the trunk and take off. Ahh, the freedom of the open road. You can have that feeling again. The trick is to do a lot less planning and have a lot more fun.

Jobs, appointments, family activities – the more responsibilities you have, the less likely you can just take off one day on a road trip. You will have to find a time when everyone can go and you will have to pack all the right stuff, but beyond that, what do you do?

You don’t hop online and map out the daily agenda, down to the finest detail. You select a general area to visit, make sure there are places to stay for the night and find a time when everyone can go. Then, you pack for the weather, gas up the car and head out with some cash or credit cards on hand. It’s that simple. You have a general sense of where you are headed, but you don’t exactly know what you are going to do until you get there. You just choose a road and cruise.

You don’t let your odometer or watch dictate your trip. You drive until you see something of interest and then you stop for a visit. It could be a small- town antique mall, an urban art museum or a zip line tour. It could be something you heard about, like a tasty restaurant, roadside attraction or national park. The key is to keep your eyes open and stop as the opportunity arises. Remember, you have no place you have to get to by a certain time, so you are free to enjoy the open road.

Read the entire article here.

The Habits That Make You Happy

You too can jump for joy!

You too can jump for joy!

I just love this post from Zen Habits. It outlines a few things you can do each day that will increase the happiness in your life. And none of them are hard or take up much time.

Try doing these on a daily basis:

List 3 Good Things.  Tell someone or write down 3 good things that happened to you today. Focus on what you’re grateful for. This can create a mental habit of gratitude that you can use other times in your day (like when you’re focused on the things you don’t like or have). When you feel this, think about something you do have, that you love. Find a way to be grateful, and you’re happier.

  1. Help Someone. When we focus on ourselves, and the woeful state of our lives, we are self-centered. This shrinks the world to one little place with one little unhappy person. But what if we can expand that worldview, and expand our heart to include at least one other person? Maybe even a few others? Then we see that others are suffering too, even if that just means they’re stressed out. Then we can reach out, and do something to reduce their stress, put a smile on their face, make their lives easier. Help at least one person each day, and you’ll find your entire perspective shifted.
  2. Meditate.  Meditate for just 2 minutes a day, and you’ll create a habit that will allow you to notice your thoughts throughout the rest of the day, that will help you to be more present (unhappiness comes from not being present), that will help you notice the source of anxiety and distraction. That’s a lot that can be accomplished in 2 minutes! Sit every morning when you wake, and just notice your body, and then your breath. Notice when your mind wanders, and gently return to your breath. You become the watcher of your mind, and you’ll learn some useful things, I promise.
  3. Exercise. Everyone knows you should exercise, so I’m not going to belabor this point. But it really does make you happier, both in the moment of exercise (I’m exerting myself, I’m alive!) and throughout the rest of the day. Exercise lightly, if you’re not in the habit yet, and just for a few minutes a day to start out. Who doesn’t have a few minutes a day? If you don’t, you need to loosen up your schedule a bit.

There are a number of other habits that also help: mindful eating, drinking tea, doing yoga, socializing with others.

How do you form these habits? One at a time, starting as small as possible, with some social accountability. Set these habits in motion. You’ll notice yourself becoming more present, more grateful, more other-focused. The shift that results is nothing short of a miracle.

Read the entire post here from Zen Habits

A sneak preview of 2013…

Today’s guest post is by the fabulous Rosina Bond from Women 2 Success:

Do you feel energised, tired, lost or inspired?

The strong soul energies of this year brought about the inner and outer change that you have desired and for some there has been little rest. Many have gone through fundamental life changes and saw this year as a way to jump into the unknown and soar… did you?

October is a sneak preview of 2013.

We now move into October and this month gives us a window view of the potential and the pitfalls for 2013. For you to maximize this as an opportunity you simply need to be aware and take note of the following.

What comes up, do you feel energized, tired, lost or inspired?

How are your relationships?

What do you feel emotionally?

Is there anyone pushing your buttons and if so which ones?

How are your earnings and work?

How do you feel physically?

At the months end, take some time and overview how you felt and what you needed. This then allows you to include these insights into your goals for 2013 as you will know what is needed to support yourself next year to maximize your true potential.

This month is all about setting the tone, and you now have 13 weeks to clean, clear and complete 2012 and what this year has made you face to conquer.

Now is not the time to sweep things under the carpet but deal with them face them and do the necessary. If you complete this month with these tools in mind then you have a head start to next year and what an opportunity this is. This month gives you an opportunity to change outcomes by making a positive approach and clear decisions. Energy in means energy out; if you do the work you will reap the rewards.

This month will have a strong focus for money in general including business. The more attention to detail the better as there is a strong cause and effect associated to a 6 for those who ignore what is required will mean along drawn out process and not necessarily good. Don’t ignore instead deal with what you need to as the rewards are worth it.

Magnetism is increased and especially in relationship, there is a lovely undercurrent of sexual attraction and this can be a nice romantic time and especially for those who make the effort for a new relationship or an existing one.

Potential or new relationships – Often openings of the heart are easier and men especially find it easier to talk and I encourage you to make the most of this. if someone is not ready for this, then don’t push them rather go with the flow, use your instincts to feel your way through to gaining more.

Spiritual work and endeavors

This month also brings a stronger connection to spirit and is an ideal time for magic and magic practice for relationships of any kind, love, personal, and business and money matters. The way to connect is by taking the time to meditate or small ritual can be followed to gain insight and strength. Talk with like-minded people and share experience as we enter this amazing new consciousness.

If you need more specific ideas for clearings or enhancement remedies, please email me at rosina@pretoriamay.com

Also I have a few spaces left this month for those keen to work on them

‘Defining You’ is a four week series to help you do this, to help you clear the blocks that limit you from knowing and living. This series helps you reconnect to feel more empowered and stronger but most of all satisfied, even through times of challenge.

Go to http://www.woman2success.com/article/defining_you

Have a great month and remember to always embrace your intuitive self!

How you can build the life you desire…

Today’s post is by the fabulous Rosina Bond from Women 2 Success. This is so true for me right now and no doubt many of my readers will also be able to relate:

Who knows what lies ahead?

How can you build the life you desire, attract a soul mate, build a business and create the financial freedom you deserve?

The startling reality is that, in spite of their dreams, many people are struggling financially, experiencing the pain of debt or bankruptcy, and living a life alone or in neglected relationships.

Why are so many people falling so far short of living the life they desire? What’s missing in them and why cant they find a solution. There are thousands of books to inspire you to gain a life of fulfillment and success but why does success come easy to some, while others struggle and fail?

The truth is, no one is missing anything and every individual has potential to take charge of their lives, no matter your circumstances, level of education, or business experience. Whatever fulfillment means to you, YOU have the innate ability to make your unique visions a reality. When you read this what do you feel, does your inside jump for joy or shrink with fear.

Being driven by a sense of purpose, making a difference in peoples lives reaching goals and targets that you have created from a small seed brings intense satisfaction.

When an opportunity knocks do you even recognise it and know what to do? Successful people grab opportunities and squeeze every drop out to attain more success, are they simply clever or lucky.

Many people do not take up opportunities due to fear of the unknown or fear of failure but moslty because they fear looking bad.

To create a dream you must first create a new mind set. You must develop a willingness to take risks, to find new ways of putting your dreams and desires in motion. The only way to achieve this is to look and find doorways open to success.

How often have you said about someone you know or a celebrity, they are lucky or were in the right place at the right time? Many people attain success, financial wealth and a great life style and called it luck. I know people create their own luck just as they attract negativity into their lives and this is all from their limiting belief or lack of desire to achieve and gain success.

Every cloud has a silver lining, one door closes another opens. We have all heard sayings like these and most of us have experienced them at least once.  How many people have left unhappy job or been made redundant and find the new job more exciting, more money and increased satisfaction, I know I have. So often these new situations were forced on us even though we complained constantly how unhappy we were but were too afraid to move as fear got the better of us. I believe your inner belief can create a negative opportunity to bring about the change you desire.

I have seen people in business become so negative and only see how hard business is, they no longer see any opportunities  and their belief slowly creates a negative door of opportunity and the business goes under. In these situations the initial feeling can be relief but slowly the feeling of failure can immobilise and restict them from jumping forward.

Opportunities are based on an open view and choice. When you get a chance you make choice. You can turn crisis and defeat into success and frustration into fulfilment. To embrace on opportunity you need courage and be willing to move and make sacrifise. It is easy to feel intimidated and ignore adventure and then you can lose out and remain standing where you are now.

You need a creative and adventurous mindset to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Someone comes to you with a business opportunity, it requires time, effort and resources and there is a cost. What is your first response, probably shock or intimidation by the costs! Next you find people who will confirm your worst fears, eventually you will be turned against the idea and again you stand still.

There is no shortage of opportunities in the world, only a shortage of opportunists. Successful people make the most of every circumstance. Opportunities happen at inopportune moments not convenient ones. Don’t get me wrong it is not easy to embrace change and create new; it takes hard work, perseverance and sheer determination to move forward. Don’t do the same as everyone else as you will only achieve the same or even diluted results.

The ways they think and behave literally set them up to fall short, therefore, leading them over and over again into patterns of frustration, helplessness, overwhelm then, ultimately, failure. They are taking the same actions each time expecting a different results which, as we all know by now, is the definition of insanity.

“Entrepreneurship,” says Sir Richard Branson, “is the golden highway to economic freedom, plus It’s an exciting and fun way to make a living.” More than a road to riches, entrepreneurialism is a path to true fulfillment. The experience of putting a great team together, launching a company from the seed of an idea, hitting every goal you set, and building wealth. To be driven by a sense of purpose, ideally, making a positive difference in your life and others.

One Reason people struggle to see how they can embrace change is…they act as if the very thing they aspire for is something outside themselves when in actual fact it has been thee all the time. What life are you aspiring to live now? And how can you get it.

I would love to hear from you and for you to share with me what you feel is blocking you in your quest. I am offering 5 people from Kerri Rodley’s contacts a change to get a free 1-question reading from me. All I need is for you to tell me your date of birth, first name and what you want to achieve and why you feel blocked. I will email you back with anything I pick up on this and what options you have ahead.

To receive this special offer, please email Rosina: roselore@xtra.co.nz

 

 

 

The Paradox Of Our Age – wise words from the Dalai Lama

Downsizing with the Dalai Lama

Although I didn’t get to see the Dalai Lama when he was in Australia recently, a friend of mine gave me a little scroll that she bought at his event called “The Paradox Of Our Age”. I found the words so profound, I thought I would share them with you:

We have bigger houses but smaller families;

more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;

more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, but more problems;

more medicines, but less healthiness;

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies then ever, but have less communication;

We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;

Tall men but short character;

Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Can near enough be good enough?

Power tools not necessary!

I love to read business books on how I can improve my productivity – especially when it comes to saving time. A recent blog from Money Meaning & Beyond highlighted the concept of only putting in the minimum level to achieve the same result – not just at work but in life.

People are creatures of habit. After doing things the same way for so long, it can take a little shock treatment for us to stop.

However it’s important that we do, because far too many of us are chronically tired and overworked, yet are still trying harder to do more with their energy and time.

The old way of thinking and old habits can be very costly – to both the success of your work and your overall happiness.

Do you invest too much energy into tasks that aren’t worth it? Are you using a lot of time on a project that could be done with much less?

If you have a thumb tack in front of you, you wouldn’t use a power tool to put it in, right?  It would be a massive, disproportionately powerful tool to get the result you want.

This can be a difficult one, but try to develop an awareness of how to apply just the right amount of energy and resources to the appropriate tasks.

If you’re used to providing a full-fledged proposal for a client, would a two-page summary work just as well?  Do you send over five possible ideas for how to ‘redo the living room’ when three would be equally delightful to your clients?

When you write emails, do you always proofread and double-check before you send out?  If you’re doing a series of follow-up calls that are administrative in nature, could an assistant do the trick?

You get the picture. Experiment with the minimum level.

Based on experience, we estimate people waste an average of 20-30% on tasks that would be just as complete if they’d leave well enough alone.

Seeking the minimum level definitely goes against the grain at first, because we are used to working hard, and racing to keep up. But give it a go – what have you got to lose? And think of what you can gain…

To learn more go to: http://www.andreajlee.com/blog/archives/2011/01/31/feature-article-seeking-the-minimum-level-excerpted-from-the-money-meaning-and-beyond-book-chapter-18/

 

What does Australia Day mean to you?

You are never too young to celebrate Australia Day!

Today is Australia Day – normally a day most Australians head outdoors to have a BBQ, play a game of cricket (or watch one) and crack open a tinne to celebrate being a true blue, dinky di Aussie. But Beyond the BBQ, beyond the backyard cricket, and beyond the fact that most of us get a day off work, what does Australia Day REALLY mean to us?

(For my international readers, Australia Day is commemorated each year on January 26th, the day The First Fleet (a group of ships from England) landed in Sydney Cove in 1788 to begin forming the Colony of New South Wales).

City Search Sydney (a website that helps people to find out what’s on around town http://sydney.citysearch.com.au/)  asked a few locals to put down their tinnies, and tell us what Australia Day means to them. Here’s what they had to say:
“I think sometimes we’re too busy watching the rest of the world for clues on where we should be heading, and what our identity should be. I believe we have a great culture and sensibility, and that we have a lot to offer the rest of the world. The funny thing is, the rest of the world knows that; we’re just a little too slow and reluctant to realise and admit that. We’re far too good at putting ourselves down, so Australia Day is a chance to really grab hold of our culture, and say, ‘Hey we’re not so bad after all’!” (Tim)

“For me, Australian Day signifies that fact that I’m lucky enough to live in a country not at war with the rest of the world, the individual freedom this offers, and the opportunity to spend time with family & friends enjoying the day.”(Karen)

“I’m patriotic everyday so I don’t get all gushy over Australia Day – but I do enjoy the day off to lie in the sun and actually experience what Australia is about – sun, sand and surf!” (Donna)

“Australia Day is about friends, celebrating our beautiful environment, friends, sport and having a laugh. Things we do everyday, but rolled into one big happy celebration! I’ll always remember Australia Day 1996, travelling on a bus through heavy snow from Cork to Dublin with a bunch of fellow Aussies. We all longed to be with our family and friends back home. We talked of blue sky, the smell of lamb chops on a bbq, cricket on the radio, cold beer, Paul Kelly songs, a game of beach cricket, jokes, lamingtons and even flies! The bus was 5 hours late getting to Dublin so when we arrived for our Irish Australia Day celebration – the pubs were shut!” (David)

“To me Australia Day means a chance to remember how the Australia of today came about. It is also a reminder of the cultural tsunami that white man inflicted on the indigenous population and the lack of progress we have made in terms of reconciliation.” (Gabrielle)

“It makes me feel warm and fuzzy about living in a pretty good country that’s come a long way in a short time. And I will be eating Vegemite on toast for brekkie, having a barbie in the arvo and keeping my stereo an Oz only zone!”(Kelly)

“Having recently established my Aussie citizenship, Australia Day means a lot to me: it’s a celebration of a country (and people) who welcome others with open arms, offering the promise of prosperity for both me and my family. It’s about the freedom to speak your mind, and be heard. And it’s all those other things that we take for granted — but aren’t afforded to those less fortunate. (Oh, and before my brother-in-law punches me in the arm: it’s about beer and backyard cricket).” (Richard)

 

7 Top Tips to Finding the Elusive Work-Life Balance

There has to be more to life than this?

As well as the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I have also joined another Facebook challenge called the 30-Day ‘Tude Challenge!  In this group we have shared our goals for the beginning of the new year and what we can achieve in 30 days, step by step.

My goal was to spend less time in front of my laptop and more time in the “real world”. Unfortunately the horrific floods in Brisbane put a stop to that as I was constantly online researching and sharing information via social media to try and help those affected (while making sure the waters didn’t get to me!)

But then lo and behold in my inbox today came my fix of Zen Habits. He always seems to nail it on the head for whatever situation I happen to be in and today was no different: Finding the elusive work-life balance. Here are the seven tips that were outlined (No. 4 was particularly important for me):

1. Set a time to shut off work. Working all day and night means you are nothing but your job. Your life belongs to your employer (or if you’re the employer then your life belongs to your employees or customers). Take ownership of your life — find variety and ways to burn off stress and find enjoyment in life! Start by setting a time each day when you shut off work. Whether that’s 5 p.m. or 5:30 or 6 or 7 or 9 p.m. Some of you can set it even earlier if you start earlier — say 4 p.m. or something like that. Set that time and make it happen. After that shut-off time you will not do work or check email or think about work.

2. Find something to immerse yourself in after work. What do you love doing besides work? Do you love to read or run or play sports or hang out with friends or play with your kids or build model ships or play games? If you don’t already have a passion then pick something that sounds fun and give it a try. It doesn’t have to be expensive — it could be as simple as hiking around your neighborhood or volunteering at a charity or helping friends with household projects. Schedule it as soon after work as possible. And while you’re doing it try to completely immerse yourself. Don’t think about work — only think about the after-work activity.

3. Learn to be mindful and present. It’s not easy to just switch your mind off work but it’s a skill you can learn over time. The way to learn this isn’t to try to block work from your mind — it’s to learn to bring your mind back to whatever you’re doing after work. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing: it could be household chores or exercise or talking with someone or taking a bath or eating. Whatever it is … that’s all you want to focus on. Your mind will inevitably slip into something else. That’s OK. Bring it back gently and without reprimand. Slowly with practice you will get better at being present. Which means your work won’t always be on your mind.

4. Take breaks at work. Not everyone will have this flexibility but it’s worth doing if you can manage it. Basically if you’re working for 8 or 10 hours you don’t want to do it non-stop. You need to find balance even at work. So at least once an hour get up and walk around. Get outside if you can and take a walk. Stretch and massage your shoulders and get your blood moving. Do some squats or pushups if you want to start getting fit. Talk to someone. Drink water. Eat fruits and vegetables. Your break just needs to be 5-10 minutes but it’s important.

5. Increase your skills while at work — to prepare for leaving work. If you are very skilled at what you do then you become worth more. In fact it’s often possible to quit your job and start your own business if you’re good enough. And it doesn’t take a lot of money to work for yourself — you can start a business with practically no money. I started mine while still working full time: my job funded my startup business. Even if you don’t go into business for yourself you’ll be worth more with a high skill level. So devote your work hours to learning and perfecting your work skills.

6. Find ways to increase your income while decreasing hours. As your skills increase your value increases. Slowly pick jobs or projects that earn more money per hour. This often means changing jobs but it might be a promotion or change in roles. It could mean starting your own business or becoming a consultant. If you already have your own business or work for yourself then you should slowly be picking jobs or business projects that pay more for every hour you spend working on them. By increasing income you can decrease hours and free up more time for yourself.

7. Learn that you are not defined by work. You can be happy without your job. Your value isn’t completely tied to your work. For example: I’m a writer but it’s not the only thing I am. I’m also a father and husband and know that those are my most important roles — not my role as a writer. I am more than that as well: I run and read and learn and help others and am constantly experimenting with life. I can do things other than my job and be fulfilled. So can you. And once you discover this you’ll free yourself to find a life outside of work. Then balance is simply a matter of logistics — you just need to make it happen by taking small steps.

Read more here: http://zenhabits.net/life-balance/

Seeing the world…one bit at a time

The majestic Milford Sound NZ

Seeing that today is Saturday, I thought my post should be more orientated towards pursuits of pleasure. My number one pleasure is travelling – whether that be just a day trip out around my home city of Brisbane Queensland or heading to the other side of the world to discover Turkey like my husband and I did in 2010. Hint: you MUST go to Turkey.

In February I am “jumping the ditch” to New Zealand, firstly for a Professional Organisers conference in Christchurch, then heading off on my own down south to the beautiful Fiordlands to explore Milford Sound. My husband and I were there last year after he returned from six months in Afghanistan (the contrast between brown Afghanistan and green NZ almost blew his mind) but unfortunately a snow storm hit so we couldn’t get in. As an image of Milford Sound is still on my vision board, it is imperative that I make it back.

This time I shall be on my own, travelling by bus, staying at a backpackers in Queenstown, eating two minute noodles – and I can’t wait!  Now…where are my hiking boots?

My laptop rules my life!

My post is a bit late today – the reason being is that my Word Press blog went down because I thought I was smart and put a new name server on it. Turns out I wasn’t so smart so I had to undo everything and $$ down the drain.

But in the instant that I realised my blog was down, my mood plummeted, I was short and snappy with people, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, I didn’t even want to leave my desk to go to the loo until I had resolved it (with the help of a techie in Asia somewhere!)

This made me think, why do we allow our laptops to rule our lives to the extent that we treat the “living” things in our world as second rate citizens? How many times has the dog not gone for a walk because you were working on your website? How many meals have you forgone because you were watching webinars or reading articles on how to improve your life? What other areas of you life have been put on hold or forgotten about because your eyes were glued to the screen and your fingers to the keyboard?

Uncorking new opportunities!

This year, I aim to take a stand against the time I spend on my laptop and not with the people I love. No more “are you coming to bed now?” as I slave away until the wee small hours. No more Saturday mornings or Sunday evenings tapping away when I could be sitting on the verandah with my husband watching the sun go down with some wine and cheese.

In fact, I am going to start right now since the sun is going down. Well, right after I post this blog of course.  Now…where is that bottle opener?