As someone who’s borderline obsessed with happiness and wellbeing, I was intrigued to read about a nationwide survey that measures people’s happiness and how well they live. I’ll link to the actual study at the end, but here are some of the highlights, along with my own observations.
Better sleep is the biggest single contributor to living better. Over 60 percent of the group who came out as living very well felt rested most or all of the time after sleep – but less than five percent of the group who were struggling with life felt this way.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that sleep has the strongest association with how well we feel we are living. My happiness levels absolutely increase or decrease in proportion to my quality of sleep. This study revealed that getting a good night’s sleep would be the equivalent to having four times as much disposable income!
If you’re a sleep deprived mama reading this in despair, hang on – here’s some good news: Perhaps surprisingly, the study found that families with young children are living best. They found a positive impact on wellbeing for parents of children under five years old, when parenting can be at its most intense. The value of parenthood and the stronger social bonds that tend to feature at this life stage outweighed the lack of sleep and financial pressures also associated with having young children, resulting in higher-than-average Living Well scores. There you go! [more]
Okay, I’m going to let you in on a pretty weird secret. Every morning when I wake up, I stimulate my thymus gland while saying positive affirmations.
And you might ask yourself, ‘Where exactly is my thymus gland?’ ‘How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house!’ (Sorry, that one goes out to any other Talking Heads fans out there. I couldn’t resist.)
I know it sounds utterly bonkers, but I learned about morning thymus tapping from an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioner at the very first Project Me Ibiza retreat in 2015 and I’ve been doing it ever since. It wakes me up, no matter how groggy I’m feeling. I then added some beautiful affirmations that my fab friend Suzie gave me, adapting it all into a morning ritual that puts me into a state of positive energy in a few short minutes. (My teenage son also does it on school-mornings.)
I’ve been wanting to share how I do thymus tapping, but it’s hard to explain in writing so I have FINALLY recorded a Vlog (video blog) to show you how it’s done.[more]
How often do you tell yourself that you ‘should’ do something?
I should call my mother.
I should bake something for the bake sale.
I should tackle that mountain of paperwork.
I should turn off my phone and get to sleep.
Notice too how often you ‘must’ be doing something?
I must get to the gym.
I must shave my legs.
I must start dinner.
I must take the dog for a walk.
Obviously you do have responsibilities and obligations and there are plenty things you must and should do. But there’s also a lot of unnecessary ‘musterbating’ and ‘shoulding’ on yourself. You can end up feeling like your whole life is one boooooring obligation after another.
‘Should’ makes you feel guilty, disinterested, bored and possibly even resentful.
How about replacing ‘should’ with a word that feels better:
Notice the subtle shift when ‘must’ and ‘should’ are turned into ‘could’.[more]
I’m beyond excited to announce that my book, Project Me for Busy Mothers: A Practical Guide to Finding a Happier Balance is now available for Amazon pre-sale order!
Without an epidural or morphine, birthing this book has been a looooong, drawn out and somewhat painful process. And the actual due date isn’t until the 25th of January!
But like all newborns, once they’re safety delivered into the world, the labour pains are soon replaced with pride and joy. Of course newborn babies aren’t subject to Amazon reviews, so there could be more pain to come!
I’ve been more heavily involved in the cover art, inside layout, design and graphics than I ever expected. but it’s all coming together beautifully now.
Many of you Project Me mamas have played a BIG part in this book by answering my questionnaires, joining my on-line programmes, attending my live workshops and retreats, working with me one to one, and commenting under blog and social media posts. You’re weaved into the pages of this book, making it yours as much as mine.
My publisher tells me that pre-sale orders are super important and help push the book up the search engine ranks, as well as giving book shops an indication of how many copies to order.
After years of restless monkey mind attempts, I’ve finally cemented a daily meditation habit I wouldn’t want to live without. I owe it all to the free Insight Timer Meditation app.
I wrote about my trial of several meditation apps here. Insight Timer meditations quickly won me over and my app stats show that in the past 12 months I’ve done 412 meditation sessions! I’m kind of a stats geek and not wanting the counter to return to zero is what initially motivated me to keep going. Now I do it because I love the new voice in my head that helps me to be a nicer person to myself and others.
I love to wake up in the morning to ‘beditate’ without even getting out from under the cozy covers.
The best thing about Insight Timer meditations are the vast choice of guided recordings of varying lengths and themes. Rather than one voice – there are males and females in many accents and styles, with or without background music. It’s like reading a few pages from an inspiring personal growth book every single day and becoming a better version of me with each short session. I’m doing a lot less future tripping and past looping as I learn to live more in the present moment.
There’s also a unique sense of community. When you complete a meditation it shows you a map of how many other people were meditating with you all over the world. That number keeps increasing as more people are discovering the app.
I’ve started a Project Me for Busy Mothers group within the app where we share our favourite meditations – there are hundreds of us there now. Come and join in by going to ‘Groups’ then searching for Project Me for Busy Mothers.
Here’s my compiled list of specific meditations that target the emotions we often feel as mothers. Anger, frustration, self-doubt, anxiety, low moods. I’ve also included some wonderful guided visualisations to help you to manifest your dreams and goals.
It was super challenging to narrow it down to 10, but doing the research (or shall I say me-search!) was fun. I do love my ‘job’. Here are the ones that have made the final cut and the reasons why I love them.[more]
You know that little voice in your head that knows the answers? The one that guides you in the right direction and helps you make good decisions? Chances are you don’t.
We all have an internal GPS, otherwise known as intuition, but in our busy lives, we’ve lost touch with it.
Back in caveman days (before smartphones, social media and Netflix), humans relied on their intuition or ‘sixth sense’. They perked up if a predator was within miles. They instinctively knew where to source food and water.
These days our lives are so overstimulated that messages from our intuitive guide are drowned out. A Mother’s Intuition has been sadly replaced by a Google searches engine.
Our sixth sense, now seldom used, is in danger of being evolutionarily phased out. Being able to see into the future or past is a weird and creepy thing that we no longer understand.
What a waste of a really valuable sense, huh? Losing your intuition because you never use it is like [more]
Thank you for reading my blog! I’ve compiled a list with easy links to the top six most popular blog posts written in 2016 in case you missed any of them or want to re-read. The comment threads beneath these posts are worth gold. Thanks to everyone who jumped in with their own words of wisdom or shared their struggles. It helps us to see that we’re not alone and inspires us to take action.
I’m over the moon to hear how Project Me has improved mother’s lives in so many amazing ways. I welled up with tears as I read hundreds of responses to my Autumn survey.
I asked permission to print some, like this one from Lisa:
“I do the Life Wheel tool quarterly, and encourage my girlfriends to do the same. A couple years back when I saw that my work area was very low (as a stay at home mom), I made the decision to get my Master’s in Education. I graduated in May and am now working with English Language Learners. I am so very fulfilled helping and empowering my students.” That put such a HUGE smile on my face! GO LISA!
And this from Lauren:
“I had completely lost my voice – I had no idea who I was as a person. The Project Me Life Wheel was the first tool that actually helped me organize my thoughts and my fears in a way that was empowering rather than overwhelming. It helped me pick one thing to focus on improving. Once a month I plan on doing a check in with the Project Me Life Wheel so I don’t get so anxious again.” Well done Lauren! Monthly check-ins are the key to becoming the expert of yourself so you can learn from what’s not working and do more of what is.
There are too many to include here, but I send a huge FIST PUMP to each and every one of you for all big and small steps in the right direction. YES! Keep going!
Now without further ado – drum roll please…[more]
Is mom guilt / mummy guilt taking up too much of your valuable headspace and eating away at your happiness?
How often do you have thoughts like:
I shouldn’t be working – my kids need more attention.
I should be working so we can afford more for the kids / I can be a better role model for my daughter / I can use my brain.
I didn’t spend enough time playing with my child today.
I didn’t get anything done today because I was playing with my child.
I let my kids eat too much junk / play too many computer games.
I’m too strict / too lenient / too inconsistent.
I didn’t make it to the gym AGAIN.
I haven’t sent out the thank you cards.
I’ve got nothing decent to make for dinner.
I was so moody and mean last night.
It goes on and on and on….
Some guilt is pointless and soul destroying. We ‘should’ all over ourselves, ruminating over small things that don’t really matter or big things we can’t do anything about.
Could some of those guilty feelings be a signal to look at parts of your life and see where you might not be living in alignment with your values? Could uncomfortable pangs help you to pay closer attention and motivate you to make changes? Could guilt be the push you need to do things differently?[more]
Here I am, turning the big 5-OH and I’m excited to ring in a new decade of life. I’m a firm believer that age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!
I’m intrigued to explore what birthday-lovers have that birthday-dreaders don’t.
After all, growing older is inevitable. Getting old is optional.
It’s all about your mindset.
I remember several of my friends getting freaked out about turning 30. Those same friends now look back at photos from that time and can’t get over how young they looked! If only they’d appreciated it at the time.
It’s time to start appreciating the age you are now. When you look in the mirror, take a mental snapshot and imagine looking at it again when you’re 80. You’ll think you looked a million bucks – because you do.
About 10 years ago I read Deepak Chorpra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: A Practical Alternative to Growing Old. He lays down scientific evidence to show the mind-body connection to ageing. When you think old, your cells respond and begin deteriorating faster! Doesn’t that inspire you to change your mindset about ageing? Your thoughts create your reality!
Here are my top 6 tips to hep you feel young and stop dreading your birthday.
Personal Growth is one petal on the Project Me Life Wheel®, yet Project Me as a whole is about your personal development. Life never stands still, it’s constantly evolving and changing. You can either see it as a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride, or you can find ways to make it all less hair-raising.
Focusing on your self-development is far from selfish. When you transform yourself, you transform the world around you including, of course, your immediate family.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘If mama’s happy, everybody’s happy!’ and this is certainly true from my perspective. Just ask my family.
It’s normal to flit back and forth between your Best Version (the one who’s patient, calm, kind, relaxed and lighthearted) and your Poor Version (you know, that other one who’s irritable, impatient, worried or overwhelmed).
Long summer breaks can be a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand there’s sweet freedom from early morning starts, rushing and routines. Eating breakfast in your PJs, lunch and dinner whenever anyone’s hungry. No homework hassles or chauffeuring to after-school clubs and activities.
On the flip-side, you’re on full-time mama duty. Your normal daily schedule’s thrown totally out of whack and you’re missing that vital me time. You get tired of your own nagging voice and by the time school starts again you’re practically burning rubber at the school gates.
A few years ago I decided not to let the summer holidays feel like a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I broke out my notebook and created a strategy for my Best Summer Yet.
And it worked! Getting clear about what I actually wanted was the key to guiding it in the right direction. It’s become an annual ritual and my summers keep getting better and better.[more]
I’m normally a positive and energetic person. I talk and move fast, my brain is filled with a steady flow of non-stop ideas and I rarely feel bored.
So feeling a complete lack of motivation over these past few weeks has been very strange and unusual.
It started with a horrible stomach virus which morphed into a bad cold and cough. But even 10 days later when I ‘should’ have felt back to normal, I couldn’t muster up an ounce of enthusiasm for anything.
I didn’t want to work – which has never happened since starting Project Me. I didn’t want to socialise, I couldn’t be bothered to think about food or cooking. My poor family.
I wasn’t depressed and I didn’t feel hopeless. I just had a drawn-out case of the Blahs. Yes, it’s happened to the Mama Motivator herself![more]