Archive for December, 2010
Another Year Over, A New One Just Begun…
As I write, the final hours of 2010 are closing in. I always feel a mixture of wistfulness and excitement on New Year’s Eve. Do you?
I like taking time to reflect on the previous year (even if it did seem to be an annus horribilis), acknowledging all that happened in my world, and giving thanks. Each experience – seemingly good or bad – helped me to grow.
2010 was a fantastic year for me, but a whirlwind. It’s only now, in this post-Christmas lull, that I have given myself the time and space to reflect, putter and renew my energy. I found this to be a year of tremendous personal growth. I’ve also realised something very important; this is, that it’s better for me to ‘travel’ (live life) at a pace that allows me more time to stop and smell the roses.
I started this website this year, and it took a lot of energy and love to have it be the way I wanted it – a site that inspires and beams out beautiful positive energy to the world. I’m grateful for the team that helped me create it – my designer Amy De Wolfe, my programmer Jimmy Gilker, my coach Jenny Duncan, my R&D team, my husband, my children, and the universe. Oh, and I should give credit to my own creativity, persistance and hard work! I do hope you are enjoying the site, and the blog. There’s so much more good stuff to come, so stay posted!
Have you given yourself time to reflect on and appreciate your experiences of 2010? I highly recommend it.
But almost everyone’s focus is, quite rightly, on the year ahead. It feels entirely natural to set fresh yearly goals, to update longer-term goals and to get hugely excited about the possibilities of 12 glorious, unwritten months stretching out before us. How will you create your year?
If you’re subscribed to my free monthly ezine, called Your Abundant Life, you definitely need to keep an eye out for this month’s feature article, and for details of this month’s free teleseminar – let’s just say that if you fancy some guidance and inspiration to make 2011 your best year yet, you won’t want to miss out. Be sure to subscribe by filling in your details in the boxes on the top right of this page (and, of course, you’ll also receive the amazing 7 Ways to Recharge Your Vibration & Attract the Riches of Life e-booklet).
I’m about to go and spend some time at my grandparents’ house, seeing in the New Year with loved ones. I can’t think of a better place to be.
Happy, Happy New Year to you, and thank you for all of your support this year. I can’t wait to help you reach your dreams in 2011!
Gratitude Sunday – 26 December 2010
A subtle twist on the usual theme – Gratitude Sunday instead of Gratitude Friday!
It’s the day after Christmas, and this week I have so much for which to be grateful.
- My mum, dad and nephew travelling safely to Melbourne to spend Christmas with our extended family.
- A fast-moving queue at the post office.
- My girls only waking at 5.55am on Christmas morning (not too bad, for excited little girls?).
- Getting to spend an hour on Christmas morning with my dad and stepmum, via Skype webcam (they’re in England – it was 11pm Christmas Eve there!).
- Having really special, fun time with my extended family on Christmas Day.
- Receiving gorgeous gifts, and seeing the looks on the faces of my family when they opened our gifts to them.
OK, that was six gratefuls, instead of my usual five. Bonus!
I do hope that you’re having a lovely restful Christmas weekend, and that Father Christmas made all your wishes come true.
See you soon!
Giving the Gift of Love
The Christmas season provides us with a great excuse to give love. So, what are some fabulous ways of giving love to others?
For one thing, just bringing a positive outlook and a soothing demeanour can be a real gift at this time of year. People often do get caught up in the drama of delivering on Christmas expectations (often their own expectations, let alone those of family members) – and while this can be pretty exciting and get the old adrenalin pumping, it can also be depleting.
If you notice a friend or family member going ‘off the deep end’ and letting the pressure of Christmas get to them, help them let off steam by making them laugh, and offering to help.
An extension of this is giving the gift of your time, and of your full attention. People really just want to be heard, and appreciated. Especially those who live alone or work at home and don’t receive a lot of personal interaction.
Even on Christmas Day itself, see if you can steal away for a private chat with a family member or friend with whom you haven’t connected in a long time. Ask them gentle, open-ended questions, look into their eyes often, nod, ‘mmm hmm’ when appropriate and keep the conversation two-way by mentioning your own experiences or observations, when relevant. These days, it’s even easier to connect in person with far-away family and friends, with the fabulous Skype webcam experience! Aren’t we fortunate to have this sort of technology available?
When it comes to physical gifts – make them meaningful. Listen out throughout the year for hints, ask people who may be close to them for ideas, and really think about their interests and hobbies (although these can change over the years – make sure you check on these from time to time). I also think that beautiful wrapping makes the recipient feel special.
So, what about gifts for yourself? What about the gift of time off? The gift of a little luxury? The gift of reflection? Aah, I can hear you sigh with pleasure as you read that little list of suggestions. May I also suggest that you consider investing in a very special gift for yourself this year, the gift of an abundant mindset? Check out the Your House of Abundance audio course, and start creating a beautiful year (and beyond!).
This truly is a wonderful time of year, with so many opportunities to give love to others and ourselves. Why not give these gifts at Christmas, and also pepper them throughout your year?
Wishing you a magical Christmas…
Gratitude Friday – 17 December 2010
Happy Gratitude Friday!
My faves from this week:
- Being treated to a special lunch at a cafe with Michelle Mayur (thank you, Michelle) – including a lovely, long, leisurely chat in sunshiney, balmy weather, outside at a table under an umbrella.
- Our cleaners making our house sparkling clean.
- Getting to see my little cousin Mitchell’s three-year-old kindergarten Christmas performance. Sooo cute!
- Relaxing and enjoying my girls’ school Christmas Carols concert, sitting on a picnic rug on a beautiful summer’s evening.
- School finishing for the year – here’s to relaxed morning routines!
I do hope you’ve had a wonderful week, and that you’ve noticed lots for which you’re grateful. Ain’t life just grand?
I love this time of year. Yeah, yeah, I adore Christmas and all, but I also love the freshness of a new year. Oh, and I also love stationery.
These passions combine when it comes to transferring data from one year’s diary to the next. In 2009, I used this luscious pink diary (see photo). In 2010, I’ll be using this sublime lilac diary. In previous years my diaries have been smaller, and full of sumptuous photography or illustrations, but more recently I’ve been liking more business-like diary interiors (but pretty exteriors), with lots of room for planning my days.
I like to make a ritual of transferring information – mostly recording dates of birthdays and special events – by sitting down calmly with a clear desk and a hot cuppa, with pen and highlighters at the ready. It makes me feel very organised, and gives me a real sense of anticipation for the year ahead. Oh, and the universe also looks very favourably on orderliness!
I know I could be using my computer’s diary, but I really love using paper diaries. Do you?
Here’s to a spectacular 2011!
The stately agapanthus plants in our front garden are now coming into bloom. I just love the energy radiating from those purple flowers – and we also have a few bunches of white agapanthus dotted around the garden. I feel so grateful that these were planted many years ago, so that I can now appreciate them!
Focusing on beautiful things (especially ‘things’ from nature) helps lift our vibration, so I make a point of appreciating these every time I come into our garden.
Actually, I positively swoon when I see fresh buds bursting into life.
Do you have a favourite flower that’s in bloom at the moment?
Gratitude Friday – 10 December 2010
Greetings! It’s Gratitude Friday time again.
Here are my fave five for this week:
- Looking into the gorgeous brown eyes of my girls, and really connecting with them.
- Receiving a $60 refund for a service for which I was accidentally overcharged.
- Buying a glam fuschia-pink linen shirt – and finding there was a 25% discount on all shirts, when I went to pay!
- Seeing the purple agapanthus in our garden just starting to open up and bloom (I’ll post a photo this week).
- Having the time last weekend to weed the garden bed that runs along the whole front of our house. It feels so gratifying to look at it!
Hope you have a simply wonderful week.
You know I love beautiful things (and that our attracting vibe shoots sky high when we appreciate those things). Well, I think this photo is beautiful. Look at that ‘certain slant of light’ that England is famous for. The gorgeous green bottle. The pale pink hydrangeas. The glasses of tempting water. All sat on a smooth wooden table that makes me want to run my hands along it.
Taken in London by Vic, over at Lost (thanks, Vic). Obviously snapped when the weather was a tad more summery than it is now in ole London town.
Just wanted to give you a chance to stop in your busy day, and sigh with contentment.
A couple of months ago, I reviewed a book called Flowers by Tricia Guild, which was the second in my trilogy of book reviews that celebrated the completion of my website (well, phase one of my website!).
So now it’s time for book number three. As with the other two books (including the first, French Essence), this book reminds me to seek out and foster beauty in my life. I hope these reviews have inspired you to do the same in your own life, to allow beauty in and to let yourself enjoy all the gorgeous things and experiences that life has to offer. Doing so makes you a vibrational match with experiences that are beautiful to you, and brings more of those into your world. Don’t you just love that?
The theme of Australian Style, by Melissa Penfold and Jenny Tabakoff, is ‘living well’ – but don’t worry, despite the title, you don’t need to be Australian to appreciate this sumptuous book, with its soft-matte pages, classic fonts and judiciously placed, understated photographs.
The authors cover a huge range of topics in this compact hardback, talking about personal style (and how you have to be authentic with this – I couldn’t agree more!), dressing well, being assertive, having beautiful manners, hosting (or, rather, hostessing) with panache, being feminine, having a brilliant career, taking care of your money, shopping for quality, choosing winning gifts, ‘pulling a house together’ (think order, cleanliness etc) and decorating your home.
I love that the focus really is on quality, authenticity and consideration for yourself and others, and that many of the ideas in this book rely on creativity and forethought rather than spending wads of cash. That’s also my philosophy, although I also agree with Melissa and Jenny that sometimes you do need to spend a little more to buy quality – but this always works out to be better value in the long run (think of bath towels, and how much longer good-quality towels last…).
In the ‘How to Decorate’ chapter, I love that they say the following about lighting your home:
Don’t light up your house like a football stadium. The right lighting can make Godzilla look like a raving Delilah, but architects, electricians and designers usually get it wrong. They love sowing in strips of halogen downlights – great for reading the fine print, but they’ll make you feel it’s time for everyone to have a shot of Botox. Lighting is all about creating atmosphere…Choose lights that make everyone look beautiful – seductive even.
I remember reading a great 1960s book from the library many, many years ago that spoke about lighting your home in a way that’s flattering to you and your guests, without harsh downlighting and instead with soft lighting behind, etc. Yes, it sounded a little bit vain, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made – we look after ourselves in other ways, why not create a beautiful, welcoming (and flattering!) home by focusing on details like soft, appropriately placed lighting? God really is in the details, and I love that Australian Style encourages us to slow down, reflect and make conscious choices about how we live.
I don’t always agree with the authors’ opinions in the ‘manners’ chapter, but I guess sometimes these things are subjective! I’d view this book as an inspirational guide rather than feeling that you should slavishly follow its suggestions – but most of the book’s suggestions are very good indeed.
A book like this can give you confidence, if you feel that you need a lift in the style stakes. The universe loves confidence and certainty, and if you foster these traits you’ll also give off a real sense of clarity – if you focus on what you truly love, and on the things, people and experiences that lift your spirits, you’ll be rewarded with more of the same!
If you’d like to purchase this very special book, head here.
Well, my dear friend, this was the final of my website-completion-reward books. Of course, it isn’t the end of my book reviewing – any time I find a gorgeous, uplifting book to share with you, I’ll post a review as soon as I can.
Tell me, have you read this book? If so, what do you think of it? Or, do you have a strong opinion about personal style? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just leave a comment below!
Gratitude Friday – 3 December 2010
Gratitude Friday again!
Here are five of my favourites for this week:
- Receiving some beautiful rain – that’ll keep the garden green!
- My girls having a ball at a schoolfriend’s birthday party, including having their arms beautifully painted (they don’t like face painting) with rainbows and butterflies.
- Seeing Bella perform with all her heart in her ballet production.
- Spending time looking after my grandad while my gran went out.
- Getting a gorgeous, Christmassy Michael Buble CD free with The Age newspaper.
Since starting the gratitude habit many years ago, I now find it so easy to things to be grateful for, every minute of the day. What are you grateful for? Feel free to share with us, or to let yourself smile as you think about your own long list of ‘gratefuls’.