Why it’s Not all About Me

We live in a world today surrounded by an egotistical, selfish way of thinking.  It’s me first.  My wants are most important.  What are my needs?  What suits me best? We open the latest glamour magazine on the rack and imprinted on it’s glossy pages are ways to make myself more beautiful, how to make sure my needs are met first.  Me.  Me. Me is the center focus.

What happened to the countless lives around us?  Letting others go first.  Being generous with your time.  Being kind to the elderly. Going the extra mile for someone.  Considering others needs, wants, desires and pleasures before your own.

We live in the age of the Power Woman – a trail-blazing, passionate, strong, determined, with a if-I-want-it-I-get-it attitude.  Although being purposeful and passionate are fine qualities to have in a Lady do we in our quest for success forget those whom we are surrounded by?

Why not be that strong, determined, powerful woman that is also considerate, kind, friendly and filled with compassion for those who she meets?   Don’t forget your lonely neighbour, the helpful shop assistant, the cheery gas-station manager or the paper boy.  Remember their day.  Give them a moment.  Share your joy and double it.

My Top 5 (not-so-secret) Secrets to Weight Control

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.
– Hippocrates

For the majority of women our image is a constant reminder of who we are as a woman.   Both obesity and anorexia effect many women of all ages.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics obesity has become a world-wide concern upon reaching epidemic proportions.  From the common image projected in mainstream media outlets our minds are confused and bewildered as to what is a “healthy” weight?  Some famous individual is either stick thin or piling on the pounds in the celebrity culture.  Have we actually forgotten what a healthy weight looks like?

I personally believe that weight control is over-complicated with a million diet plans that boggle the mind instantly and  an over-abundance of exercise regimes all promising quick, fast, easy results.  No wonder people get daunted and discouraged at even the prospect of attempting weight control!  I don’t think attaining a healthy weight should cost you excess money or time.  Although, the amount of effort and dedication you commit to your goal will equally determine the results.  Today I’m sharing 5 hints which won’t cost you a cent and the only requirements are a desire to obtain and maintain a healthy body weight.

Out of Sight – Out of Mind
Practically speaking, this phase turned into reality can make such a difference.  Stop the temptation.  Remove it.  Don’t let it hide in your fridge waiting for that weak moment where you loose all self-control and give into impulse.  Remove it totally.  (i.e. bin it!) There is less chance of you not thinking about it if you can’t see it.

Replace the Bad with the Good
We can be so eager and quick to remove the unhealthy, bad substances from our diet but all too soon we find they are weaving their way back in… Why and how does this happen?  We have removed the bad but never given it a replacement.  If you’re having trouble kicking an unhealthy substance, remove it but be sure to replace it with a healthier alternative.

Write a Shopping List
I think I’ve mentioned my love of lists before, right?  Ah, well there is even more benefits than just minimizing food waste and time management!  Shopping lists also allows to you to re-focus when you’re purposely skipping the confectionery aisle and guide you to better, healthier eating habits.

Cut the Carbs
If there was one, just one suggestion I would give to anyone wishing to regain control of their weight it would be to delete carbohydrates (i.e. sweets, soft drinks, breads and pastas)Try it temporarily.  3 weeks maybe?  You’ll feel much lighter, healthier and skinnier!  In reality, it’s not like you’re never going to eat bread or pasta again, but you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel when these highly processed items are minimized.

If You’re Really Serious. . .
All the above points are nice.  They can easily be slipped into your lifestyle as it is.  But for real weight-loss that can guarantee (oh, did I just say that?) the weight to slip off. Here is my secret…you need to make your choices a lifestyle.  Not just a fade that suits when it feels convenient but a way of life.  Continually, consciously making healthy eating choices everyday.  Eating healthy and well can and will become incredibly enjoyable and the mental and physical benefits will astound you.

Happiness – it’s Your Responsibility

If we were to take a poll of what made people happy in today’s society, the answers would be many and varied.  For some, it depends on a sought-after dream being fulfilled, wealth and popularity or finding the perfect soulmate.  For others happiness is drawn from more simplistic forms such as a giggle from a child they love or the dawn of a bright, new day.

It’s true that so many women today tie their happiness to things that are temporary.  As they meander their way through life they find they are continually let down.  Why?  Well, to be completely honest. . . Friends change.  Dreams sometimes crumble.  A lifestyle can be fleeting.  A relationship may ebb and flow.  A once successful career may collapse.  Even a pair of Louboutin shoes will eventually wear out.

“Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with man’s outward circumstance…A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.”
– William Barclay

But does this really mean that happiness too has to fade and vanish? Absolutely not!  There is no reason why your happiness can’t be elevated by uplifting relationships, achievements, and events for they are so often the greatest sources of joy.  But there must be a foundation stronger and more stable for your own contentment.

The Choice is Yours

“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
– Corrie Ten Boom

Ultimately, happiness is a choice.  You can choose to let things, people, emotions and feelings elate your joy or disturb it.  All the happiness that you can ever dream of belongs to you.  It’s in your hands.  You can choose to mold it, shape it, fashion it and multiply it.  Or on the other hand you can hide it, stow it, put it in a dark corner and blow it out.
Whatever your present situation you decide if the outcome is either positive or negative.

Cherish the Simple Pleasures

Life continually gives. Look around you – wherever you are and see how truly blessed you are!   At home?  You have a roof over your head that provides sufficient protection.  In a cafe?  You have a delicious selection of fresh food at your convenience.  At work?  You’re so lucky to have a regular paycheck coming through each week.

I know so many of us (including myself!) take the simple joys and pleasures in life for granted.  Things that come naturally everyday without invitation.

  • Waking up to a fresh, new day alive and breathing! No matter what happens in the hours ahead, you can come back to your breath for a sense of peace and presence
  • Freedom for faith, religion, beliefs and values of our own choice
  • Language to communicate, ideas, plans, dreams
  • Your future is completely open, ready to be seized and enjoyed
  • Wisdom to open opportunities for us to grow as a person and gain greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and world around us
  • A sense of safety that makes it possible to experience love, pleasure, and trust
  • Health.  Even if you don’t have perfect health right now be encouraged that our bodies are made to heal.  Learn to cherish your health, preserve it, and when you get sick feel blessed that you will get better.
  • You have a purpose!  When our true purpose is discovered we awake with renewed vigor and resolve

The list is endless. . . Really you don’t need much to realise just how blessed we really are from this statistic.

This week rests in your hands.  Yes, challenges will try to steal away your happiness and joy.  Take a hold of it and don’t let it go!  Share it and double the joy!

Have a beautiful week . . .

The Art of Poise

One of my biggest hits in my blog stats is the Google search how to have poise or how to develop poise. So in response to the ladies out there I would like to share an in-depth article that will directly answer you question.

Firstly, let’s take a moment to actually define poise as such. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines this beautiful characteristic as “graceful and elegant bearing in a person“; “composure and dignity of manner“; and the last definition is “balance“.

Poise is not something that one can demand of you. It must be your willingness and your choice. It’s an attribute that will flow from your heart – coming from your inward thoughts and transcending into your actions. I believe the most essential element to perfect composure is for one to have the control over her emotions. Take the most elegant, sophisticated woman endowed with grace and dignity but who’s emotions are not restrained? I’m afraid all the former attributes are wasted.

Every decision and every action a poised woman makes shouldn’t be hasty and based purely on emotions rather part of a plan and given thorough thought. If a negative decision has not been given enough consideration in the past and the effects are visible she will take this opportunity to learn and grow. Whatever life throws at her she reminds herself that there is a purpose behind every challenge and a equal measure of strength to overcome it.

This woman should also have a defined purpose in life. She doesn’t meander her way through life aimlessly. She’s focused. She’s on a mission; if not several. Does that mean life’s perfect? Most probably quite the opposite. But it doesn’t phase her. Opportunities and offers may be graciously rejected if they are not within the plan. Although highly focused, this lady doesn’t just have a Plan A. She holds the blueprints for Plan B, Plan C, Plan D right through to Plan Z. Life always won’t go as planned. She may adjust and reschedule accordingly. If she follows an avenue that leads to a dead end – is there time to fret and complain? No way – life’s way to short! Why not try the next street?

One’s outlook on life incredibly effects her poise. How do you view the future? With hope, joy and excitement or does it hold a fear over you? Do you take on challenges with calmness and thought or does it cause you to doubt yourself?

Although, confidence plays a large role in a graceful, poised woman it’s not the ultimate ingredient. Many people will tell you confidence is the first ingredient to a graceful, poised lady. It’s true. If you have confidence you can gracefully hold yourself with strangers and in new situations much more ease. But can you still be elegant with a touch of shyness? My answer is a definite yes. How so?

I’ll let you in on a secret…From personal experience – I’m naturally a shy, quiet individual. My innate desire is to withdraw from big crowds and unknown places. For years I really struggled with building my confidence but I one day realized that confidence wouldn’t just show up on my doorstep one day. Confidence has to be pursued and chased and that’s exactly what I did! I forced myself out of my hometown, traveled across Europe, meeting strangers, working with people who didn’t speak my language, creating new friendships. At 19 years of age I moved myself to a new state, started a brand new circle of friends, attended a new Church, got myself a new job and started studying in a new school. Did I do it all at once? No. Bit by bit, step by step. For example, at school I didn’t start a group discussion in class; I only talked to one new person at a time. I only attended one job interview at a time. Gradually the confidence arose. I was successful at the last attempt why wouldn’t I be at the next one? Remember that “success comes in cans, not cant’s”.

Posture is another essential. People who exercise regularly have much better posture than those who don’t. Here’s a nifty idea of how to strengthen your posture.

If you don’t have great posture, stand up right now. Now imagine that there is a balloon on a string extending from the crown of your head. Imagine that this balloon is pulling your head upwards towards the sky. You’ll automatically stand upright with your spine elongated. Doesn’t this little mind trick work great? If you keep doing this for a few weeks, the habit will stick and you’ll have corrected your posture. Try it! It actually works!

In conclusion, don’t be surprised if you’re noticed. Poise is a rare quality these days and there is nothing more striking than a woman who knows how to hold herself with dignity and ease. Remember the words of Simone de Beauvoir when she stated “One is not born a woman; rather one becomes a woman.”

What Makes a Woman – a Lady: An Introduction

Over the years I’ve discovered that there are some integral characteristics that are an integral part of making a woman become a lady.  Of course there are many, many attributes that we can reflect on but on the upcoming posts we will be highlighting five in particular.

Here’s the sneak peak:

1.  Manners, manners, manners

2. Embrace your femininity!