acknowledgement party!

Our words have more power than you will ever know.

There have been two specific acknowledgement exercises in my life that I will never forget – one of which happened today.

They both involve expressing gratitude and celebrating each other for who we are.  I have found them so powerful and inspiring, the effects have been profound.

Both exercises have been with my wonderful teams at lululemon athletica. I wanted to share them with you in the hope that you can experience the deep sense of gratitude that comes from them. You could get together with your colleagues, friends, family or community group.

2 WAYS TO ROCK OUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

1) The ‘Love Note’ Exercise

Create a small card for each person with the heading “I like (person X) because . . .   “.  Write down the reasons why you like that person (*tip – make sure it’s authentic to you!). Pass the note around the group so that everyone has input on each individual card. It can be a word or a sentence, anything that springs to mind when you think of why you like that person – big or small. Present the card to the recipient & voila! Stand back and watch the look on their face, it’s absolutely priceless.

Below is the love note I received today, something I will cherish forever –

lovenote

2) The ‘Acknowledgement Circle’ 

Gather into small groups of 3-5 people. Pick someone to begin with, and start by going around the group and saying the following “(Person X), who you are for me is . . . ” ie/ “Dave, who you are for me is an inspiring cheerleader who always supports my growth.” Then follow this with the statement “What I wish for you is . . .”. Look into their eyes as you tell them, and share generously from your own experience of them. Once everyone has said their part, move onto the next person until everyone in the group has been acknowledged.

Now these exercises aren’t difficult, or timely, or expensive – but the result? It’s huge –

The biggest sense of sincere gratitude, love and genuine celebration of who were are.

As Mother Teresa once said –

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the beautiful words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.

There is such power in sharing our appreciation and gratitude for others. Maybe because it’s such a rare occurrence. We often think positive things about others, but rarely communicate it. Whether you are hesitant to be vulnerable, or worried about what the other person may think of you, or simply just forget to – there’s something that holds us back.

My experience has been, if I am thinking it – I should say it. Don’t be stingy with expressing your feelings for others, be a generous giver that shares without hesitation.

We are our harshest critics, and we often focus on the things we would like to change about ourselves, the parts of our personality we are dissatisfied with, we beat ourselves up over ‘bad’ decisions, our physical looks, we compare ourselves to others – when in all honesty, those around us only ever see our truest beauty.

These exercises made that so abundantly clear to me.

The people closest to us are the best witness to our soul, and it’s so important to get that outside perspective on ourselves once in a while.

This only reinforces what I am such an advocate for – TO JUST BE YOURSELF!

live your passions they have more power than you know.

Embrace your uniqueness – because trying to be anything other than the magical being you are is just futile. We all have a unique gift to offer this world, what is yours?

So accept the praise and the acknowledgement you will receive with these exercises – take the upgrade!

It’s time to celebrate who you are.

fabulous

clarity through loss

My cousin passed away today.

After a courageous battle with a brain tumour, he is now resting peacefully.

He was far too young to go, a newly wed man in his early thirties. He had his whole life ahead of him.

I found this out while eating my breakfast this morning. Oceans away from my family, I just wanted to be near them, to talk to one of them, to hug them tight. I couldn’t help the tears fall as I tried to digest the news. I thought of his wife and family, and the loss they must be feeling. I thought of how unfair this was and tried to make sense of why this happened.

Then it hit me. It felt like a jolt to my system, like a physical and mental reboot –

LIFE IS SHORT.

It really brought things home for me. I could choose to question the meaning of life and how he could be taken from us so young. OR I could realise the deeper message that this loss brings – just how precious our lives are.

The choice was made. I picked myself up and decided that I would live today to the fullest in dedication of my cousin. I would be grateful to live this day, and not take for granted the fact that I am here, and he is not. I made a commitment to myself that I would appreciate every moment.

I walked into work along the valley trail and breathed in the fresh mountain air. I passed beautiful old fir trees, I watched the sun peaking over the mountain tops – getting ready to begin a brand new day. I heard the birds singing their morning songs, smelt the pine needles, and watched the clouds float elegantly across the sky.

I smiled at strangers, I said hello to everyone (all the people I passed, not just those that I chose to speak to) I consciously didn’t get flustered or stressed throughout the day at work (at things that only yesterday affected me greatly) – instead I just laughed. I didn’t sweat the small stuff, because in the scheme of things, the small stuff doesn’t really matter. I took slower, deeper breaths. I consoled people, I hugged more, I told people I love them.

I smiled today through sad eyes, and recognised the power of compassion. That everyone we come across probably has their own battles of some kind.

It’s amazing how shifting your perspective can open up a whole new experience for you. I decided to be grateful, and it bought more joy into my day.

As i strolled on home, I realised how lucky I was to have had another day in this beautiful world. I started thinking of all the things I want to do for others, how I can contribute, how I can express my love. I got completely out of my own head, stopped navel gazing, and saw my life truly for what it is – a blank canvas that I can choose to create meaning with.

Every moment is all we ever have. Yesterday is gone, and the future is not yet promised.

All we have is right NOW.

And in this moment we have the power of choice.

We have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to our loved ones, to our community, to this world – to live with zest, to contribute, and most importantly – to love unconditionally.

It’s a shame that sometimes it takes such tragedy to trigger this innate knowledge. We have all heard it before, we all know it – yet we don’t always act on it. Why does such an important message slip from our focus in our day-to-day living?

Stress, anxiety, worry, overwhelm, greed – a toxic mix of emotion that clouds our vision. They fog up the lens that would usually show us how short and precious life is. Sometimes we fill our lives with so much busy-ness that we don’t make time to stop and really smell the roses – to appreciate every day we have.

Then day’s like today roll around to wake us from our slumber, to jolt some clarity back into our existence.

Death always has this effect on people.

It really hit home when my uncle passed away. We lost him to the most aggressive form of cancer – melanoma. It took his life within months. Again, another young man with so much life ahead of him, or so we thought. Him and his partner had so many dreams, so many plans, so many things they were looking forward to. But they didn’t get the luxury of time that we all seem to believe is promised to us in life.

The experience really made me think – why are we here? what do I want my life to contribute to? What legacy do I want to leave behind?

I decided in that moment to stop taking my life for granted. To stop waiting for some grand day in the future when everything will be perfect and happiness will finally reign over me.

Shortly after this loss I decided to take the plunge, to live my life to the fullest. I moved overseas, as I knew I couldn’t count on having the luxury of time in the future.

Somehow by realising my own mortality, and how fleeting life can be – it took away the fear, the doubt, the deliberation – and forced me follow my heart.

“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world.” ― Henry David Thoreau

I will be forever grateful for these realisations – what an incredible parting gift they left behind.

I hope they are resting in peace with the knowledge that they have had such a profound effect on the lives of others.

buddha

 

ditch plan B

“Ditch plan B. Go all in on plan A, plan B is a distraction from your dreams. When you go in all in on plan A, not only will plan A happen, it will be better, because what the divine has in store for you is so much greater than you could possibly imagine, and it’s mot going to look anything like what you want. Please ditch plan B. That would be my only advice”     – Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love.

WOW.

This statement has literally just stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was just about to curl up in bed, but instead I’m now writing to you in response to reading this.

I have always had a plan B. I have never imagined my life without a plan B. I never even thought for a second that having a plan B could be a negative thing! (That’s the planner in me, I like to have an element of control).

Could having another option to fall back on actually be an enormous distraction from my true dreams?

My dream is to grow my business, coaching people on how to live a life they love. I want to continue my one on one coaching sessions, and also expand out into group workshops, business development days, youth workshops, programs for the underprivileged, school and university sessions and more!

My vision is to create a ripple effect of people who are actively creating their lives, authoring their own destiny, doing what lights them up and makes their heart sing. (Not being a passive observer of their life that hopes for the best and then gets disappointed with the result).

People who are willing to do the work to authentically define who they are and what they want. And then have the courage to go out and make it happen, to bring their dreams to life. I encourage people to live from a place of possibility. To step outside the self-imposed restraints, and consider – what if anything was possible?

My 10 year BHAG (big, scary, audacious goal) is to have a vision and goals program on the curriculum of Australian primary and secondary schools. Yup, it certainly is big.

I want to make a difference in the world.

That is my plan A.

Plan B on the other hand puts this dream on hold.

Plan B belittles me and tells me I’m not yet ready for that yet, that I should continue my day job and slowly, very slowly, build towards plan A. The practical, logical (probably fearful) voice in my head tells me that is the right thing to do.

Hmmm . . .  that seemed like a good idea up until 10 minutes ago.

Now I’ve hit the pause button. I’m forced to reassess, and to review my thought process. Isn’t it amazing the power inspiring words can have on us?

The questions I am now pondering:

  • What if went all out and put everything I had into plan A?
  • What if i backed my dreams with the same encouragement, positivity and certainty that I back other people’s dreams?
  • What would be possible for me then?

** Note to self – I NEED TO BE MY OWN CHEER LEADER.

I’m not proclaiming we should all quit our day jobs tomorrow and blindly chase our dreams. However, check in with yourself – do you have some big aspirations, lofty dreams that you keep putting off? Waiting for that perfect moment, the perfect time – when everything in your life is aligned, then and only then, can you can finally pursue those dreams?

Why do we impose these restricting guidelines on ourselves?

If that is what we truly desire, why would we put it off? Why are we choosing to restrain our velocity –  to walk when really we could run?

Perhaps it’s time to bring some of those big goals forward . . .

Maybe it’s time to ditch Plan B.

waittillready

power from passion

I am high on life.

It sounds corny I know, but it’s true.

I feel alive. My heart feels bigger and is brimming with gratitude.

All because I truly LOVE what I do.

I have just finished a group vision and goal coaching session. This is one of my biggest passions, and when expressed, a powerful energy flows through me. I feel like I can accomplish anything! (To read my post on living your passion click here)

I haven’t always felt this way. In fact, this is probably the first time in my life. And it’s solely the result of consistently focusing on what I love:

communication. inspiration. personal growth.

By focusing on these things, I have brought more of what I love into my life. It’s the law of attraction working.

For me, the barrier between work and play has been removed. I don’t live for the weekends, I no longer dread Monday or celebrate Friday. I have a true balance in my life. My time ebbs and flows effortlessly between my personal, professional and social lives.

To tell the truth, I never really believed it was possible to feel this way. A few years ago I thought that stress, anxiety and the pressure of the daily grind were just part of life. Nope, turns out it was just part of the wrong life for me.

I yearned for something more. I made some big changes. And with those changes opened up new possibilities.

I now know my purpose.

I know what I was put on this earth to do. I have found my happiness through teaching happiness.

Its taken many years for me to stand in this place, and I’m forever grateful for the winding journey. I dedicated a lot of time towards self exploration and enquiry. It was frustrating at times, wanting to know all the answers right NOW! I tried to remain patient, as I knew that with time what I was searching for would come organically.

I now know more about myself, and as a result feel more connected to who I truly am. To what’s authentically me.

So my advice to you – get out of your head, and listen to what your heart is saying.

Listen again .  .  .  listen harder.

Your body intrinsically knows what it truly desires.

What do you LOVE to do? The more you pay attention to your heart – to your passions, to what excites you – the clearer the message will become.

It will become so loud that you can no longer ignore it, or push it aside for a rainy day.

It will force you to act upon it, and your life will never be the same again.

passion

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There is so much beauty to be found in the perceived flawed, the unravelled, the imperfect, the raw & the crumbling. If we could see this within ourselves as well as we can appreciate it in the outside world, oh what a joy it would be! 🙌🏼
How much self love & appreciation there would be, along with a total disregard for comparison. 💕
YOU are perfect!
👌🏼 Missing the heat, the bright blue skies & the beautiful madness that is Morocco. (But most of all missing my twin & travel buddy! 😢) What an adventure we had 🙌🏼 😂 those Sunday feels . . . ✌🏼If I could leave the house wrapped in my doona,
I would. Brrr ❄️ Oh how I've missed the food from home! Such fresh, healthy, delicious goodness 😍 🌱
This is a Buddha Bowl from my local vegan cafe - quinoa, Kim chi, satay tofu, beetroot relish, roasted pumpkin & rocket. SO GOOD! 😋(My Nan even had her first vegan meal & loved it - she wants to buy cashew cheese 😂!) "It feels good to be lost in the right direction" ✌🏼💙 Wandering the lanes in one of my favourite places in Morocco, a blue city built into the mountain side. The secret tonic to creativity. To living a life of freedom, vitality, exploration & adventure 🙌🏼
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