Realignment

universe

Ok, it’s time to cut the crap. If you know me, follow me on social media, or have read some of the entries in this blog, then you’ll know what I’m about.

Positivity.

For the past month or so I’ve been somewhat off-kilter. I had an operation (I’m OK) and during my ongoing recovery, I fell off the positivity wagon. It’s my own fault and I’m clambering aboard again, but it’s been tough. I had WAY too much time on my hands – time in which I was forced to rest, and lost any sense of motion and productivity I had going on. For someone who’s default setting is ‘full pelt’ it was an adjustment I didn’t take to awfully well.

Unfortunately, when I’m not pouring every ounce of my energy into following my dreams and making things happen, I find it very easy to lose my focus and step out of alignment with those things, and what I found myself starting to do was the one thing I don’t accept – making excuses. I was making them left, right and centre.

“I’ll sort that when I’m back at work”

“When I’m back to normal I’ll….”

“There’s no point even trying until…”

That’s right, I wasn’t putting the effort in, which makes me a hypocrite. How can I expect it in return if I’m not willing to put it in myself?

If you read my last post, I was hardly sweetness and light. I was full of bitterness, blame and bad attitude. I’ve had conversations since that have challenged my way of thinking about it, and although I haven’t entirely changed my tune about some of the points I made, I realise that there are two sides to everything, and it’s not only my opinion that matters.

I wrote that post when I wasn’t in the best of moods, and as much as it was a release, I’ll never do it again. This blog isn’t about me sounding off and trying to make myself out to be a victim, it’s about how I am getting to the place I am supposed to be, and my journey along the way. So, although it would be unrealistic to ALWAYS post positive shit, I know I can use my words more wisely. I never want anyone to read this and be hurt or offended by it. You don’t have to agree with me, but spitefulness is not what I’m about.

I made a decision after said conversations to stop, take stock and take the blinkers off. Different people have different ways of behaving and being. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes them different, and differences are what keep things interesting. I can only take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions, and as they are vastly important attributes to the way I conduct myself, I figure I better get them right.

Mindset = Back on Track.

In the past two weeks since I’ve been back at work, it’s like I found my mojo again. I’ve been getting stuff ticked off, I’ve managed to get a website from concept to launch in just over 3 months (alongside a team of brilliant, like-minded people) and I’ve fallen more in love with my job and career than ever before. I can see a great future where I am, and it’s up to me to carve it out.

Career Focus & Hustle = Back on Track.

I’ve also come to terms (somewhat begrudgingly) with the fact that I’m not allowed to exercise for the rest of the month (I’m counting down the days believe me), which has also had a knock-on effect. You don’t realise how much you miss something until you’re not allowed to do it! Alas, I know it’s for the best and I have to do as I’m told, so I’m looking at it as giving my body the break it needs in order to get back to its best. I also know that I can’t go in all guns blazing upon my return, and that I have to ease back in gently. That’s OK, if there is one thing I’ve learned throughout all this, is that I have a never-ending pot of patience. I will get to where I want to be, a: because I’ve done it before and b: because anything worth having is worth both waiting and working for. It will come, because I have no doubt that it will.

Health & Body Image = Back on Track

Now this last area of my life is a little trickier, and it ties in perfectly with my last blog about guys and making effort. I had a short, sharp shock from a number of people after I wrote that, and it’s because everything that people said to me in regards to it was absolutely right.

One conversation was an expression of hurt, one conversation made me re-think my judgement and attitude towards guys (they’re not all complete write-offs FYI), one conversation reminded me to be honest with myself, and one of those conversations happened today – with one of my best friends. It was a conversation that reduced me to tears, because she knows me SO bloody well it’s like she’s climbed inside my mind, scooped out the thoughts I was trying to deny and spoon-fed them back to me in order for me to swallow them whole.

My last blog, although it was written whilst in a bad mood, was also written from a heart that was hurting, so let me try it again here with a fresh outlook.

I know what I want in life. In every single aspect of it. I know what I want because a: I’m a dreamer and b: because I’ve thought long and hard about the direction I take for everything. I know where I want my career to go, I know what I want to look like, I know where I want to live and you know what – I’ll get it all, because the outcome is solely dependent on me. If I want it, I make it happen. I don’t know how, where or when, but I know that I will because the ball is in my court.

How the fuck do you do that when it comes to a relationship? That’s where my hurt came from in my last post – the fact that I would have to DEPEND ON SOMEONE ELSE to match my effort. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not depending on someone else to make me happy – I’ve got that nailed all by myself thank you very much. I just mean that it’s the one thing in my life I don’t have any control over, and as much as that excites me, it also drives me mad. I don’t do limbo, and normally when I find myself floating around in there I bail. Fast.

It’s not that simple though is it? That aspect of your life is not supposed to be controlled or planned out. In the past, I’ve made a habit of over-analysing and over-thinking every little thing, and it’s exhausting! I had dinner with a friend last week who told me that when she met her husband, he told her one thing that has stuck with her for almost 25 years of marriage:

“You don’t have to have all the answers”

Isn’t that one of the most beautiful things about relationships? Meeting someone with the same end goal and just figuring it out together as you go along? I’ve come to realise that things are only difficult, confusing or hurtful when the end goals of those involved don’t match up – and they are not honest about it from the jump. As much as the journey along the road with these people can be fun and exciting, eventually you’ll come to an inevitable crossroads.

But what about if you KNOW that you’re heading in different directions?

Does that mean you shouldn’t get in the car in the first place? Does it mean that you follow the road with your eyes open but your heart closed, wondering if every next junction is where you get off? Or do you throw yourself all in, knowing that the journey will be an adventure, enjoy every second of it for what it is and know that when you do come to that crossroads, whether it be a re-route or a stop sign – you’ll be ok no matter what?

I prefer the latter.

HOWEVER, this contradicts everything that I think and believe in – and so you see my dilemma? Do I trust that The Universe will deliver me what I want, like it’s doing with everything else – regardless of the actions I’m taking along the way? Or do I focus only on that end goal and not get in that car with anyone that throws a spanner in the works?

Here’s the thing about planning and being focused on outcomes – you forget to live your life while you’re on your way to achieving them! With everything I have read, I know that you have to strongly put what you want in life ‘out there’ with no confusion, but it also says that in order to achieve anything, you have to be happy NOW.

What if your end goal is SO focused, that you dismiss people along the way who could fit the bill perfectly, because something about the situation doesn’t fit in with the plan? I’ve done that all my life and it’s gotten me precisely nowhere, so I’m going to try a new tactic: ‘going with the flow’.  If someone comes along that ‘doesn’t fit the bill’ – perhaps I’ve gotten some of the bill wrong. I will say this until I’m blue in the face, but there are no coincidences. I truly believe that anyone that steps onto my path now is supposed to, and I don’t need to know the reason why straight away.

GULP.

So how do I re-align myself? As you’ve probably gathered, I haven’t got a fucking clue! But it’s not by bitching and blaming that’s for damn sure! I know what I want, and I know that one day I’ll get it. I also know that what I’ve been doing so far hasn’t worked, and so perhaps the only solution I can put forward today is to do what I do with every other aspect of my life, and what I’ve failed to do with relationships – trust that it will come to me, and just be happy now. Positivity and patience have brought me a long way, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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I am not an egotistical person in the slightest, if you’ve read past blogs of mine you’ll know that my form of humour lies in self-depreciation and that a large portion of my life was dedicated solely to crippling insecurities. I’m not going to re-hash them, I’m just making my point. So when I say I am ‘Destined For Greatness’, I don’t mean I think I’m the bee’s knees and that everything should just fall in my lap, I mean that I know I am capable of achieving monumental fucking things.

I have felt it in my heart and soul for my entire existence. I am not meant to have a hum-drum, ‘normal’ life because I am not hum-drum and normal! It has taken me almost 33 years to realise that the reason I have spent so many of my years suffering and in turmoil is because I was trying to conform. I was trying to fit in – and I’m not meant to fit in, so of course I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being myself.

The ‘habits of your lifetime’ are formed between the ages of 0 – 4. During this time period your brain gathers all the information it needs to shape your beliefs and your values. I’ll tell you what, I’m really glad that I’m a Daddy’s Girl, as 100% of my core strengths formed at this age came from him. Furthermore, I’m really glad I met Jane, my amazing mom at the tender age of 8, and that together – they taught me how to be a great person.

I have a birth mother, although she is far from worthy of the name, and I won’t spend more time on her than I need to, but she was useless. Her main ‘gift’ to me? Bulimia. I grew up listening to her wretch into the bathroom after every meal, and so that became my ‘norm’.

My parents split when I was 8 and I lasted a meagre 6 months in the house alone with that woman before making the decision (yes – at 8 years old) to get the fuck away from her. We had about 15 years of a turbulent relationship and one of the tactics she used to ‘bond’ with me during that time was to tell me how alike we were because we both made ourselves sick, and how good it was to be able to eat whatever you want and just throw it all back up again. This is not a drill – this is the enormity of her complete ineptitude to be not just a mother, but a decent human being.

In 2008 I had a phone call with her that cemented me on the path that I have since followed – staying true to myself, and using my self-awareness to know what it good for me, and what is not.

I told her to fuck off, and I meant it. I haven’t spoken to her since.

This isn’t my X Factor sob story, no-one here is crying anymore. I’m over it. My point is the negative habits and beliefs that she instilled in me outweighed all the great things by a million to one – because she made me believe I wasn’t worthy. That I wasn’t destined for the mediocre, never mind greatness! She made me believe I wasn’t enough, and because that became my core belief – I applied it to everything. I was an overachiever at school, leading to my descent into illness over GCSE stress. I overcompensated in all of my relationships and ran them into the ground before they even had a chance to get started, and when I inevitably went off the rails, I even managed to screw that up.

I believed I wasn’t good enough – and the contrast between that and the belief in my gut that I was capable of amazing things sent me a little bit mad!

With the help of my amazing parents and lots of therapy, I was able to re-wire my brain and become the person I am today.

My true self.

It’s no mean feat. It’s the hardest thing I have ever had to do – but having control over your mind, understanding how it works and why it works in that way is the most powerful lesson I have ever learned. My Mom (acquired) has a catchphrase – she says ‘Knowledge is Power’. Can you understand now how she was incremental in me becoming who I am today?

Enter the Law of Attraction. I have spoken a lot about this, and I don’t want to preach – but this made me level up when it came to understanding the power of my mind, and it’s how I’ve lived for the past 5 years. I am aligned, I am in a great place in my life and things are appearing before my eyes.

I now KNOW that I am enough – not for the guys that come and go, the bosses that treated me like a Stepford Wife or the people whose social media feeds I fleetingly appear on… I am enough for myself, and with that realisation, the notion that I am, indeed ‘Destined For Greatness’ has grown into something that I know in my heart to be the truth.

So where do I go from here?

A few months ago, my friend (and boss) Jenni and I were talking about a conference down in London that had Marketing Guru Gary Vaynerchuk as one of its speakers (I’ll give you a second to Google him). After that conversation, I got a picture of the exhibition advert (Expert Empires) and I stuck it on my vision board, and a few weeks later Jenni told me she had booked herself a ticket. I was chuffed because I thought it was a sign that one of us was supposed to be there. Now normally, when something on my board appears, I take it off, but with this I couldn’t. I knew that it was supposed to be me that was going. I didn’t know how or why, I just knew I had to be there.

The day before the exhibition I got an email from Jenni, asking me to go in her place because something had come up. My jaw hit my desk and the first words I typed back were “SHUT UP!“ I leapt into action – changing my name on the ticket, sorting out care for Willow & Wednesday, looking up train times, and the whole time my hands were shaking and my heart was beating hard in my chest. I was excited, but my excitement was overshadowed by the realisation that this was a MONUMENTAL thing that I had brought to myself. I had made this happen in a matter of weeks. I was SUPPOSED to be there and something significant was about to happen.

Hurried arrangements were made, and at 5.30am the next morning I found myself at New St Station waiting for the train that would take me to the event that has made me level up once more. Not just to the next step – but up the fucking precipice of my life’s path!

Expert Empires – two days out of my life that have changed it forever. For real. I sat and listened to some of the world’s most influential people speak about how they achieved their greatness, all hugely successful, all of them millionaires and all of them with one singular message: “Stay true to yourself.” Then one guy – Ryan Pinnick came on the stage.

I had seen him across the room the day before, and instantly dismissed him as a ‘Topknot Twat’ (you know the type), and when he came on stage I said to the girl next to me “like I’m going to be able to take anything this guy says seriously”.

I was wrong. I was fundamentally and catastrophically W R O N G! This guy spoke to my soul. He explained life in the way I have been looking for these past few months. He took The Law of Attraction as I know it and he made it look like child’s play! This shit was NEXT LEVEL. He kept asking how far down the rabbit hole we wanted him to take us. There was only one logical response: “all the way!” I’ve been waiting for the nudge to let me know that it’s time to take that leap, and this was it. He got it. He got ME.

Things happen for a fucking reason! The Universe gives you the things you need to keep you on your path. Being asked to go to Expert Empires at the last minute was no accident! I have found answers to how further my career in Digital Marketing, I have learned about business and money, and I have sat and understood things that I didn’t think my brain was capable of. ‘Inspired’ is not even the tip of the iceberg to how I felt over those two days – but being introduced to the idea of unleashing my ‘Super Genius’ during Ryan’s talk had a more profound effect on me than anything that has ever happened.

Now, I realise that I sound like a nutter to most. Or like I’ve been brainwashed by some hippie cult – but when you see things happening before your eyes that cannot be dismissed as coincidence – it’s kind of hard to argue.  I have attracted some really important people into my life this past year, three of which had been estranged for years. Is it an accident that they have come back to me now I am living as my true self? Is it a coincidence?

There are no accidents. There are no coincidences.

As I type this I actually have goose bumps and chills – because I feel the power and enormity of it all. I am in the zone. I am making things happen and I feel like I am unstoppable. Hearing all those speakers echo my thoughts, and finding more and more people who are bound to The Universe as I am only cements the reality of it all to me. These people are at the very top of their game – and they all made it happen because they stayed authentic and true to themselves, they knew their vision and they hustled like motherfuckers on their way up.

These people have no time for the mediocre. They all made a point of surrounding themselves with positive, like-minded people. People who had vision, ambition and fire in their bellies. So I’m going to join them – and I’m taking my inner circle with me, because they are all on their way there too.

I know my genius lies in my creativity and my writing. It lies in reaching out to people and speaking as a common voice and in staying true to myself. I have found my focus, and now I know where I am headed I have no time for anything that is going to defer me on the way there. No time for doubts, or anyone that makes me feel like I am not enough. No time for procrastination and bullshit. No time for anything but the end goal, and my inner circle.

I am not destined for normal or hum drum. I am not destined to simply exist day-to-day until I land in a grave. I am not destined for a life that was mapped out for me by others. I am Destined For Greatness.

Watch this space.

Practising what I preach…

live-life-for-now

This is actually a re-write of a post I drafted the other day. I wrote it, posted it, shut my laptop and went and got in the bath, but there was a niggling feeling that I couldn’t put my finger on, and then suddenly it hit me. I had sat and written about something, and in the words I had put down, I had completely contradicted everything that I stand for and believe to be true.

I immediately got out of the bath and deleted it, giving me some time to think about what I actually want to say. Thoughts are powerful, and when put down in black and white they became even more so. It didn’t sit right with me that I had put something out there that didn’t reflect me properly, maybe I was having a bad day?!

I had seen a quote, and it had struck a nerve within me.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

~ Joseph Campbell

I based my entire post around this one quote, wittering on about how some things just aren’t meant to be, and you need to rewrite your story if the things you want don’t appear.

I can’t believe that I actually did that. The whole time I was writing I was thinking “this blog is shit”, but it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised why – it was because I wasn’t writing the truth. I wasn’t writing MY truth.

And so I shall try again, from the heart this time…

I am 33 this year, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a traditional life – to get married, start a family and live happily ever after. I think a part of me thought that this is what I was born for – the only thing that I could mark down as a true achievement in my life, but over the past few months, I’ve had such a life overhaul that I’m now re-evaluating this in a major way. Not the fairy-tale, I still want that, but I’m finally realising exactly what I am capable of achieving when I put my mind to it, and it’s blown me away.

For the past few years I have struggled with the fact that I don’t have this yet. There have even been times when it’s come close to breaking my heart. The reason why I was struggling, was because in every other aspect of my life, I MAKE SHIT HAPPEN. How was I supposed to apply this in this instance? A single resounding and devastating thought has been lurking in the back of my mind for years, pushing me to rush into relationships and give chances where I shouldn’t have done.

I thought I didn’t have time.

Let that sink in, and resonate, because I’m sure a LOT of you reading this will be nodding your heads in agreement, knowing exactly where I am coming from with this. Society has embedded this notion so deeply in my psyche that I have simply always taken it as fact without pausing for a second to question it. You hit 30 and your window of fertility flies out the window faster than a middle-aged woman’s knickers at a Barry Manilow concert. With every year that has passed it’s like I’ve been expecting a big slab of concrete to come crashing down in front of me, and a little man with a pocket watch to come scurrying round the corner going “sorry you’re too late, you had your chance when you were young,” before whipping a MIB-esque laser gun out of his back pocket and blasting away my chances of motherhood.

I’ve had this conversation more times than I can count, and I’ve always reeled out my well-rehearsed response of “maybe it isn’t my story”, and it choked me to say it every time. Now I know why – because it IS my story, it’s just that that part hasn’t been written yet. It’s my story because I believe with everything that I am that we create our own lives. There is no ‘luck’, no ‘fate’ and no ‘destiny’ – why should I just let the cards lie where they fall when I have the chance to pick them up, reshuffle them and get a better hand?

So what now? Patience, that’s what. Patience and the unwavering knowledge that it is coming my way. It has to – I’m far too fucking awesome to be a barren spinster, so there’s no way I’ll be one.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the past couple of years (and without sounding like a Hippie), it is that The Universe gives you the things that are supposed to be in your life, and you have to put your dreams in its hands and trust that it will bring them to you when the time is right.

It has brought my first home to me, my beautiful kittens, and a job that I love at a time when I was in danger of spiralling back into the abyss. It has brought the most wonderful people to me – most of them back into my lives after I had left them behind on my journey to a darker place. It brings me things every single day, and the more it does, the more I know is coming to me, because I am finally in alignment. I am finally completely happy, and only by being truly happy in the here and now, can you open the doors to more joy and great things to come.

In the blog, I talk a lot about taking chances, acting on opportunities and going after what you want in life. However, there are a lot of things that I have been ‘putting off’. Waiting for Pay Day, for the weekend, for the summer. Waiting until I have a family, waiting until I have done this or that.

STOP.

By waiting and putting things off all I am doing is affirming that I don’t believe they can happen. Why not now? What the fuck is stopping me? I MAKE SHIT HAPPEN. Every day. I work hard, I exercise like a bitch, I save and budget… what am I doing all of this for? For ‘one day’ to suddenly come strolling round the corner? ‘One Day’ will never come if I don’t live life to the fullest right now. How can it?

Patience is not my strong point, never has been, but I’ve honed it into one of my most important life skills because I understand how vital it is. Things have not happened in my life yet because they are not supposed to have happened yet. They will come when I am ready, open to it and loving everything in my life just the way it is. I know, I know – this sounds like superficial bullshit, and I’m guilty myself of not believing those who say they are happy as they are (aka 30+, single and ‘plodding through life’), but that’s because I wasn’t happy doing that. So I changed my attitude and started living for today.

Now I get it. I get that you can ‘be without’ the things that you are ‘supposed to have’, but live a life that makes you bounce out of bed in the morning excited for the day ahead. I get that you can be perfectly content as you are and with how your life is playing out. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to find love and start a family – it just means it’s not the single-most definition of my future anymore, as I am so much more than someone’s prospective wifey and baby momma, and I’m proving it to myself every day.

That being said, I have recently made a HUGE life decision, and put the plans into motion for something I have wanted to do for the past 6 or 7 years. I won’t divulge it now, as there are some things I need to keep to myself. I have been making excuses and saying “I’ll do it when…” since 2011.

Why? Yet again I have been putting out the wrong message. By ‘waiting until’ I have powerfully been putting out the notion that I don’t believe it can happen. Well guess what? That’s right – I MAKE SHIT HAPPEN! Phone calls have been made, meetings set up, time set aside in my diary for it to take place… everything I need to do to bring it into my life.

I am living for now. I am living the life I am supposed to be living RIGHT NOW, and why? Because it is the life I have made for myself. It is the life I have built. It is the life I have fought for. I’m a woman that loves a plan and a to-do list, and there is no greater feeling for me than ticking things off that I have achieved, created and earned all because I made them happen.

THIS is my story, right here, right now. I know what I want in life, I believe with all of my heart that it will all happen and so for now, I am happy to sit back, full of gratitude for all I am and all I have, and let the pages of my story write themselves the way they should be.

I’ll end it on a quote that is much more in-keeping with who I am, and one I’ll be happy to leave behind on here:

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Frankie Says Relax…

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It’s Sunday evening at 7.46pm, I’ve not gotten changed out of my PJ’s and the most I’ve achieved today is moving from my bed to the sofa. I literally cannot remember the last time I did this. Largely because ‘relaxing’ is not something that comes easily to me. Sitting and doing nothing but watch the TV leaves me feeling like I should be doing something else. (I’ve actually made breakfast, cleaned the litter trays, put a load of washing on and sorted my recycling out – I had to. I was getting twitchy.)

I’m a natural worrier. I always have been and realistically speaking I know I always will be – but it’s something that I’m working on by forcing myself to do things and trusting that things will work out. My motto in life is literally ‘everything will be fine’. When anxiety about the little things hit I repeat it like a mantra and you know what? Everything always is. There is always a solution, things always work out and nothing is the end of the world.

One of the main things (like most people reading this I should imagine) that I worry about is money. I can’t help it, I’m a homeowner and I like looking good and having nice things. As I have talked about a lot in this blog, Gratitude, the Law of Attraction and the Power of Positivity basically govern my life. I apply it to everything and money is no different. I wanted to share a few examples of how this works perfectly for me. Every Single Time. Recently it’s been on my mind a lot, and I wanted to remind myself more than anything.

I started a new job last month – faster than I expected to as I came to an agreement with my old company to leave work 3 weeks early. It worked out well as I was able to start at my new place faster, but I had a week to fill and I would miss out on a fair chunk of my wages. I could just about cover my bills. Instant panic set in as soon as I saw my bank balance. Yes, I have savings and a credit card, but in my view, the credit card is for emergencies and I don’t like dipping into my savings because it took me a long time to acquire them. Here’s the thing – I didn’t have to rely on them.

I spent that week off working my arse off from home for my new company to get myself ready to start as there was a lot of preparation to be done. I did this for me – because I wanted to. My new boss had discussed this with me, and she’d really kindly suggested that I charge the company for getting little bits and bobs done around my flat as a payment for what I’d been doing (I know right? Landed on my feet in so many ways with this role – but that’s for another blog.) My reduced pay day came on the Monday that I started, and instead of launching into my new role with the gusto I knew I had in me, I spent the first few hours at my desk worrying about what I was going to do.

Then I remembered who I am and how I think, and I gave my head a fucking wobble. After speaking to my Dad at lunchtime, I realised that this is what savings were for. As much as it pained me to see the numbers deplete, I transferred the amount I needed to make up what I was missing. I found a way forward, did what I had to do and stopped worrying about it (ish). Then the magic started happening. I got an email from my new Director saying that they had decided to pay me for the work I had done in my spare time, and it would be transferred that afternoon as a Thank You. I had told Jenni (the CEO and my friend) what had happened because she is my friend. Never for a second did I think they would do that for me. I was overwhelmed by gratitude! Next, a few weeks later when the ‘panic’ started setting in again I opened my cupboard at home, looked up and saw a row of jars and tins that I throw all my change into. The next day I was able to stick another £60.00 in my bank in coins. Again – a solution was presented to me and once again I felt a lot better about money and my situation.

When I got back to my desk after going to the bank, my phone pinged with a notification from Quidco – a cashback site that I use. Pretty much all of the major purchases I had made online for my new flat had been confirmed all at once. I was able to withdraw £122.00 there and then.

From starting the month worrying about money, there were 3 ways in which actual cash had presented itself to me – because I reminded myself every single time I felt a twinge, that I would be ok.

“I am thankful for the money that I have”

“I have plenty”

“Money comes to me freely and easily”

“I can pay all my bills – everything else is extra, the important things are paid for”

“There is always more coming to me”

I cannot stress enough here how much you have to FEEL positive about things. If you say the words to yourself but don’t actually believe it then they are empty words. This is where the pushing myself part comes in. You have to take what is known as ‘Inspired Action’. This means doing things and trusting that The Universe has your back. Trusting without a shadow of a doubt that everything will work out.

Come to my new pay day this month and the fear set in again. I am VERY organised, I have an app that tracks my spending, a spreadsheet (yes really) of all my bills and when pay day comes around I’m always up early to put aside all of my outgoings and work out what I am left with for the month. It many sound anal and OCD – but in the few years I’ve been doing this I’ve not gone a penny into my overdraft, I’ve been able to do everything that I’ve wanted to do AND I saved up my deposit to purchase my first home. So frankly I couldn’t give a shit if it’s anal – it works, and when everything adds up and I see in front of my eyes that I actually DO have plenty- I instantly feel better about money again – which means it continues to come. Do you see a pattern emerging here?

In the week running up to pay day I had sat and made a list of all the things I needed to buy, and the night before I sat at my computer and created 3 different shopping baskets on 3 different sites, and saved them ready to hit ‘check out’ at lunchtime when I had been paid. En route to work I checked my balance – and hadn’t been paid. PANIC. I sat on the train and went through my mantra. There was no reason to panic, I knew this in my heart, but in the back of my head and the pit of my stomach there was a feeling that I had to work hard to override. The fear. I checked with my boss and all had been sorted, but our account team manually pay us throughout the day so it could go in any time up to 5pm.

This didn’t sit well with my routine!

Then it hit me – by having things ‘saved’ ready for when the money hit my bank – I didn’t trust that it would. I was literally blocking it from coming to me. So I set up an alert with my bank to send me a text when it went in, and I sat at my desk at lunchtime and bought everything I needed to, booked appointments for the next day that I knew needed to be paid for, and I sat and made a list of everything I had already paid for so that I could add it up later. I hazarded a guess at what I thought I might be paid and worked out roughly what I would have to work with. I changed my routine and, once again I created a solution to make me feel better about money.

I had just received the order confirmation for the 4th site I had bought things from, when the text from the bank came through. I had put my faith in the fact it was coming, and by taking Inspired Action and trusting that it was mine by actually buying things before the money was in my bank, I set into motion all the chains of events that brought it to me.

Everything will always be ok.

I went onto my app and when I saw what had come to me, I had severely under-estimated. My eyes actually bulged and a huge smile spread across my face. I had never before had that much come to me in my monthly wages in my life. I’m by no means a billionaire (give it time) but you know what – I won’t be worrying about money anymore, and if I do – I’ll carry on doing what works and stay positive about it.

 

“Tell me why – you don’t like Mondays…” *Bob Geldof voice*

monday

Here’s the thing, Monday’s get a bad rap. Pre-9am on the first day back to work after the weekend, my (and no doubt yours too) Social Media feed is filled with mock despair about ‘the worst day of the week’.

I used to hate Mondays too, when I hated my job, my life, and the fact that I had to drag my ass out of bed and leave the house in the morning to go and spend my day being miserable. I remember one job a few years ago, where the commute was substantial. I was so worn down by the atmosphere, lack of respect and appreciation, restrictions on my growth and overall stress levels that a few weeks before I was signed off sick for 4 months, I found myself standing at the top of the stairs down to the platform at New Street Station and thinking: “If I tripped now and broke my leg, I wouldn’t have to go in today…” I am not for a second joking. I knew I had to leave. So I did.

I have a theory – and do correct me if I’m wrong here. But you don’t hate Monday’s, you hate going back to the routine of your working week that you are unhappy with, the same reason you love 5pm on a Friday right? We’d all love to spend our days swanning around to exotic locations on a yacht drinking Prosecco on tap (no – just me?), but the reality is we have to earn a living to live, and so if you’re going to be spending a minimum of 7 hours a day, 5 days a week doing something – it may as well be something you enjoy. (Side note – stay at home moms and dads I totally don’t include you in this!)

This is where the power of positivity comes in. Now, I LOVE Mondays. For me, they symbolise another fresh start, a time to set good intentions for the week ahead and go into it full gusto. It helps that I love my job, and it took me a long time to find what I was supposed to do, going from being a Graphic Designer, a Holiday Rep, a Recruitment Consultant (very briefly), a Chef, a Marketing Assistant, an Administrator and an Office Manager before becoming the Digital Marketing Manager I am today. My job enables me to communicate, write, promote, work with social media, websites and analytics, learn, organise and create. It is literally all of my strengths rolled into one, and I finally have a place where I can deploy them all. I also work with an amazing bunch of like-minded people.

I’m a right jammy bitch, aren’t I? Well actually, no, I’m not. All of this has come to me BECAUSE of my positive attitude towards it. It didn’t fall in my lap! One valuable thing I have learned, especially in this most recent change of role, is that even if you are not where you want to be, or doing what you want to do right now – make the most of it. Find the positive elements, and relish the bits that you enjoy. See what a difference it makes to your day, your work and your relationships with your colleagues. It’s easier said than done, but it can be done. Appreciate your job and your work, even if it’s only for the fact that it allows you to pay your bills and gives you a reason to get up in the morning – if you go into your day focusing on the good things you can achieve and receive, then I promise you Monday’s won’t seem so bad after all, and the change that you want will come to you.

Day Nine: “Coming Clean – Cloud 9, and how I got here…”

4 years

For the past 9 days I’ve blogged about my journey doing the Clean 9 cleanse, and I’ve mainly made light of it all and spoke about it with undertones of humour and nonchalance. Today’s blog is going to be a little bit different, because I’m going to tell you the real reason why I started it in the first place.

I did it to test and challenge myself, and to put a marker on a journey with food that has lasted a hell of a lot longer than a week and a bit.

Today – Tuesday the 21st March 2017 – marks my 4 year official recovery from a thirteen year-long battle with both Anorexia and Bulimia (I had to go the whole hog, I couldn’t just have one.) I didn’t plan on completing Clean 9 on my anniversary – that was genuinely a happy accident.

I’m telling you this, because I think it’s really important that anyone planning on doing Clean 9 – or any other cleanse, does it for the right reasons. Please, if you’re reading this and you think it’s a fast track to skinny then keep reading and I hope I make you see sense.

It started when I was 15 and stressed the fuck out about my GCSE’s. The only way I felt in control was to restrict what I was eating. It gave me a sense of calm. It didn’t help that I’d just had my belly button pierced, and was worried about showing my stomach to people or wearing little crop tops to display my cool new accessory. I’m not going to go into the whole backlog of my illness, not because it’s irrelevant, because it totally is, but because it’s something I’ve put behind me, and am now comfortable being completely open and honest about it.

This was nothing to do with food – because I fucking love food. All of the food. I was a chef for 3 years which only went on to further deepen my love of the stuff. So the fact that I thought of it as ‘the enemy’ for over a third of my existence is completely baffling to me now – but the enemy is what it was. To recover from that I had to change my mind-set, my thoughts and my habits… forever.

I first started seeing a therapist in 2008, when I got back from gallivanting around the globe as a Holiday Rep, and as soon as I landed back in the UK – and into reality, the inevitable re-lapse happened. I’d had good years and bad years interspersed throughout my adolescence and early adulthood, but fuck me this was rock bottom.

I weighed just over 6 stone, my periods stopped (that was huge motivation to get my shit together), my hair, skin, nails and teeth were awful and I was working out for about 3 hours a day, fuelled by basically no food at all. I remember having a job at the time where I was given a mini bag of Haribo Tangfastics. It took me all morning to summon up the courage to put one of the tiny cherry sweets into my mouth, and within minutes I was hunched over the staff toilet, fingers down my throat and crying my eyes out. Nowadays I can inhale a bag of Haribo Tangfastics in one sitting without giving a single shit – and it’s one of the reasons why they’re my favourites.

I was desperately unhappy, and having cooked in Chalets in France during my time abroad I had decided I wanted to work with food – so I started applying for jobs in professional kitchens – with no experience and a crippling eating disorder. Logic at finest.

I walked into Hotel du Vin, spent the morning making breakfasts, bar snacks and food for a conference that was happening that day, and was offered a job on the spot. My dad thought I was nuts, but I knew that if I was going to overcome this, and stop likening food to Satan, I had to throw myself in at the deep end and surround myself by it. It was the best thing I ever did, and within 2 years I was recovered, the heaviest I’ve ever been (at a meagre 8 ½ stone) and living with my first love.

Then we split up.

To say I went off the rails would be the very definition of the word ‘understatement’, and I quickly spiralled back into old habits by returning to the only coping mechanism I knew. I was living on my own and barely affording basic living expenses  – so food went out the window, with any money that I did have spare being spent going out on a Saturday night and getting smashed. It was during this time that I hit my lowest. I thought I had hit rock bottom before, but this time round I had plummeted through the floor of rock bottom, landed in the basement and was busy digging the floor up to get to the equator of ‘bottom’. This did not go unnoticed, and so my parents (who were SPECTACULARLY supportive throughout) asked me to move back home temporarily until I got back on my feet. I stayed for 5 and a half years.

Therapist number two was fantastic, I’d been signed off work for four months and put on happy pills for a mixture of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, OCD and stress (yes I just had to go back and put those in alphabetical order) – and I had to wait a good 4 months before I could see a specialist equipped to deal with my level of needs. They work in a pyramid system, with the most ‘typical’ at the bottom, and getting more and more bespoke as it went up. They told me I was at the very top.

Then, on a summer afternoon in 2012, I was sitting on my bed, with my computer on in the corner. It was a day I’ll never forget, because it was the day that changed, and ultimately saved my life. I was sat, on my bed, with the packet of sleeping pills that I’d been prescribed and told I could only have half, a maximum of 3 times a week.  There were about 17 left and as I counted, I wondered – would it be enough? At that very second, my computer pinged with a Skype message from my good friend Tamsin. She had sent across an audio book and simply said “Babe – you need to listen to this.”

That book was called ‘The Secret’.

Some of you reading this may have heard of it or even read it – and if you have you will know how the power of The Universe works – and how that one moment in time was meant to happen – right at that very second.  I downloaded it and listened to it all in one go – all 4 hours of it (not like I had anything else to do) and suddenly, EVERYTHING. MADE. SENSE.

Everything that I had been through, I had brought on myself, it wasn’t an accident, or a fluke – it was because I was so unbelievably negative about everything and everyone – and it came back round full circle. Today I have a gratitude journal, and every single day I find ten things that I am thankful for.  Do you know how difficult it is to remain in a negative frame of mind when you make a point of searching for even the tiniest thing that makes you smile?

My eating started to improve almost immediately – yes it took a while, habits are hard to break, but now I realised that the vessel I was walking around in was mine – and I had to love it and bloody well look after it if I was going to get anywhere in life. It was going to carry me to my dreams.

On March 21st 2013, I took my very last happy pill, sat in my very last session with my therapist and listened as she told me how impressed she was with my progress, and how happy she was with my turnaround. I walked out of that office with my head held high and a huge smile on my face.

These days, I continue to treat my body as the precious vessel that it is. I love working out hard and pushing myself to see what I’m capable of. I’m continually amazed by the things it does – without my even thinking about it – like healing, letting me know what it needs, functioning perfectly to keep me alive and healthy. How could I ever have abused it? How could I ever have hated it so much? The notion is, today, one that is completely beyond me.

When I decided to do this Clean 9 cleanse, it was more than a little daunting because there was a huge part of me that knew that I’d be a dab hand at starving myself for 2 days then restricting my calorie intake for a week. It would be an absolute piece of piss – and I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want it to be at all. It took me 3 days to tell me parents that I was doing it, and as they exchanged worried glances, I knew they were thinking the same as me: “It never goes away.”

We were right, it doesn’t ever go away. Ever. There are still days when I look at myself and see the parts of myself I don’t like. I’ll pinch at the flesh on my stomach and thighs and grimace… but that’s because I’m a 21st Century woman, it’s what we’ve been programmed to think. It’s because I’m a 21st Century woman – not a woman with an eating disorder.

In the first few days of Clean 9, aka ‘the fasting days’ that sense of starved autopilot overcame me once again, and where to me it used to feel like euphoria, now it felt like what it is supposed to feel like – my body needed fuel to function. This is the feeling that can take over and become addictive. This is the feeling that leads you down that dark path. I worked very very fucking hard for four solid years to find my inner strength, and once you have those tools in your head that make you listen to reason, calm yourself down and make yourself see sense, you use them for the rest of your life and apply them to everything.

Negativity almost killed me during my twenties, then last year I got called both ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘the most optimistic person I have ever met’. You’ll never grasp how happy that made me – it showed me just how far I have come. It all boils down to gratitude. All of it. Everything.

I am grateful that I have completed Clean 9. I am grateful that my skin is glowing, my hair and nails are stronger and growing. I am grateful for my soaring energy levels, my restful sleep and my focused mind. I am grateful that I have rid my body of toxins and lost my dependency to alcohol, sugar and caffeine. I am grateful for the amazing results that are exactly what I hoped to achieve by doing this, but most of all, I am grateful for the fact that it has taught me how much I have come to love and cherish my body over the past few years, for my full recovery, and for The Universe showing me – once again, that I am capable of achieving absolutely anything I set my mind to.