Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 61


We are all very quick to say "I'm just stressed at the moment". It seems like there are more people though that live in a 'stessed' state nearly all the time. I did an assignment for dog training, where I researched what stress was and how to minimise it in kennelled dogs. Now years later I am thinking about that assignment and the information I learnt and realised again how many similarities there are! 

There is an amount of stress that is actually productive, it makes you get out of bed to go to work and will give you motivation to complete tasks (this is referred to as eustress) and is needed. What is worrying though, is prolonged stress with no hope of it easing or improving. This is known to create ongoing health problems, heart related conditions, chronic illnesses, bad skin and can be linked to anxiety / depression. 

But I'm not writing a fact sheet. What I really wanted to write about was how frequently you hear someone say "I'm stressed out" or "I wish there were more hours in the day" or the fact that we put so much pressure on ourselves to be more or do more that we end up living in a  crazy stress-filled state. My accident gave me a 'shake up' in regards what is important and the fact that I was living in a state of high stress, which was leading to anxiety and associated health problems. 

When I start to get in that heightened anxious or stressed state now, I stop and have a breath, maybe meditate or sing along to a song. Reflecting about the accident and the fact I may not even been here had things gone differently and by looking at the future holds. What do I want? Where do I want to be? Because I am lucky to be here. Does what I'm anxious or stressed about really matter? And is it a good productive stress? Or is it unproductive? 

By identifying with my stressors I am able to sit with it and then most of the time continue less stressed in the day. Generally stress comes from being overwhelmed, having a giant to do list and not knowing where to start and feeling like you are being pulled in many directions. I have a habit of starting something, getting distracted and starting something else, then getting stressed about not finishing anything. So it seems to be an easy fix doesn't it? Focus on one thing at a time, complete it before moving on… 


My new habit is just this. To focus on something until it is completed before moving on. It may be breaking it down into steps…if my aim for the day is to complete a handout on 'stay' for my dog training business, tasks may look like: research, rough draft, final draft. So I may do some research go away and do something else, come back right a rough draft etc. Seems so simple but continuing to have the discipline to do so is the challenge.

If you are stressed, have a practice at identifying what it is, and then see if you can break it down. You will be able to accomplish more because you're giving each task your full attention. 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 60

I almost forgot to write today! Do you ever have those days where you are vague and a bit out of it. And everyone seems to notice? I got a few comments today "You're in a funny mood" and "Are you ok?!" 

I know when there is a full moon ours and other animals behaviour can change. And dogs are very good at picking up when there is a severe weather change coming and their behaviour gets ratty. It's very fascinating!! Today has been very windy. That is the only thing I can put it down to. My crazy, scattered behaviour was due to the wind. 

I was talking to a friend today about my story telling. Often when I am telling a story, I'll get halfway through and forget the punchline, or get distracted and think of a better story to tell you, or be distracted by a 'shiny object', or jump to the best bit of the story before I get to it - then go back to the start. Or the best yet, ALL of them!! Hehe. It makes me smile! Some people get confused or loose track or simply tune out when I embark on story telling. 

I always thought it wasn't my 'strongest skill', but I can teach you the fine art of Megs' story telling...Other people may not find it as amusing, but I'll guarantee that you will have a laugh, and you will learn to see the beauty in everything - and share that with whomever you are talking to!! 

Sometimes it's best not to be a stickler to start to finish with no variance, but to get distracted and have adventures along the way!!! Including when you are telling a story!! :)

"Be brave and loose your way."

...Until Tomorrow xox

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 59

Today was an eventful one. I went for the longest drive since my accident (and hour one way and back again) AND I drove past the site of my accident!! I am proud of myself - very exhausted though and sore / stiff. But I did it and feel like I'm getting more confidence, moving forward and starting to let go.

"Letting go" it's a hard concept. One that I know I struggle to do, especially when it comes to people. So I spent some of my time today thinking about people that come into your life. And realised that people do cross your path at different times for different reasons, but any relationship you have with someone will teach you something.

Figuring out what that is, can be the hardest thing. And also it may not be til many years later that you realise why someone came into your life or what lesson was learnt. The impact one person can have on your life journey is huge. Letting it happen is something that I am working on, and I'm sure we've all been there. When you want a friendship / relationship (in whatever form) work so badly that  we loose sight of ourselves and push to make something happen, when the reason they are in your life is finished for this time. Be open to bring them back into your life, if that is meant to be. 

This is not something to be sad, angry or even happy about. It's something to accept and know that if someone is meant to be in your life, they will be. You won't need to beg or put yourself in an awkward position. Accepting that saying "what will be will be" and things come into your life when you least expect it.

Be thankful to all of the people that cross your path, whether for 5 minutes, 5 weeks, 5 years or a lifetime. You will learn something from each of them, and all of them will have an impact on the person you are today. 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 58 - Small Daily Changes

I just read an article about what we should "STOP" doing. ( Really interesting and a good read. However what caught me the most was the word choices in it...STOP. I think we underestimate the power of our word choices. I know I am extremely careful in how I phrase things, both to myself and to others. 

So where can we "Start" doing? And what are good word choices. Because what you say to yourself over and over you will believe and achieve (whether negative or positive). It is also the first impression that you make to others. The other thing that is probably good to mention here is that age old...

So after 58 days of writing this, and being conscious of being happy and finding joy in little things, I have worked out that reading, writing and saying good, positive quotes and mantras is fantastic. But it's the belief and action that truly let things fall into place and fully make sense. And achieving this is much easier said than done. (Especially when you realise there is SO much we "shouldn't" do).  

Lets start small. Small daily changes will add up to big changes, and eventually it will feel 'normal' to be positive, let things go more easily, be happy - or whatever the many things in life to achieve you decide to embark on. It can start with the words you use. Instead of always saying "I can't" figure out a way to say it in a more productive or positive light. Such as "I can't run a marathon" into "I will work towards running a marathon". Where you are right now and where you want to be are two different points and are always within grasp. 

To use the marathon example (as I think about this often at the moment, as I am physically unable to run..) when you decide to run a marathon, do you go out that day and run 42km? Or do you break it down into small daily steps such as 2 short runs, a long run and a swim er week? And build up to a marathon? That's how I would do it. 

Making life changes such as the ones we're talking about today are like a marathon. Unfortunately you won't wake up tomorrow and be all of the things you want - less judgmental, more accepting and loving etc. But you can wake up with a different attitude, and make one small change - which could be to smile at yourself in the mirror, or spend the first five minutes of the day thinking about what you have (your 'gratefuls') and then praise yourself for completing it. "I'm proud of the change I have made today" - realising that if you continue to work at it, your end goal will move closer and become more and more a reality. 

Be kind and gentle to yourself, some days will be fantastic and others will be harder. And that's ok.

...Until Tomorrow xox

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 57 - Karma

Karma. What is it? What does it mean? I use to think that by being a good, kind giving person that you would receive good, kind things in return. That was my definition of karma. For some reason we all use karma as a negative thing...that if a not nice person experiences something bad it was 'karma' that they got that.

"Karma means action. So things change by action, not by prayer, not by wish. " Dalai Lama

But then how does 'bad things happen to good people' work? Does karma work on a larger scale? How does it all fit in? I have just started learning about Karma in the book I'm reading at the moment. Which was interesting. All of your behaviour and actions both now and in previous existences decides the fate of our future existences. So your actions today, may not in fact make an impact on this life, but a future one. 

An interesting concept. One I am only just starting to learn about and am only a little baby in trying to understand it all. How fascinating a concept too. What I think is so amazing, is that once you start thinking about it, it opens a HUGE discussion about philosophy - what is and isn't in our control.

Realistically you can only live for today and control your actions and thoughts in this very moment. What are you doing right now? Are you being mindful, living in what you are doing right now? Are you reading this and actually thinking about it, or are you also watching tv, thinking about the next thing? Being mindful and enjoying what you have right now.

It's funny, I live right near a caravan park and was watching a family laughing and going for a walk to the lake. I was thinking - how much fun is it when you are on holiday, how relaxed and happy you are, and I wanted to be on holidays right away! But why can't you feel like you are on holidays everyday? If we adopt the ability to live mindfully in the moment, we would be able to be happy living in our day-to-day life. 

More to practice I think!! 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 56 - Good Habits

"A positively reinforced behaviour is more likely to occur again" - my favorite saying in dog training. But like the 'four c's' it can be applied to all of our beahviours. If we reinforce the good behaviours that we do, and nuture them, they will be more likely to become ingrained and stay with us. 

And when we think about this, I think that is why 'bad habits' become so ingrained. We reinforce them so often, that they become us. They say it takes 2 weeks to form a habit, and a lifetime to get rid of it. I believe that you CAN change your behaviour and positivity form habits that make us feel good and are proud. 

I say this, not just for the habits we all tend to focus on - eating healthy, exercising, holding down a job, making an income etc. But more for the thoughts and what we say to ourselves around these things. The habits of out thoughts. What do you tell yourself every day? Remember the more you tell yourself something, the more you'll believe it AND the more they will be ingrained. 

So we should tell ouselves nice, positive, gentle things. We are our own worst critic. We are so hard on ourselves. I know that is the most common thing said to me. That I should stop being so hard on myself. Especially when it comes to exercise. This has been a big challenge for me - not exercising, or exercising a little and getting exhausted. Very frustrating when I use to be able to exercise 2-3hours a day without thinking about it. 

Which leads me onto comparisons. We all compare - whether it's to other people, how we want to be, how we use to be etc. We should live for today, where we are in this present moment, be proud of ourselves and accept where we are on our journey. There was a saying that I heard recently "The only person you should be better than, was who you were yesterday". 

Easier said than done sometimes, but by practicing we can get better at treating ourselves kindly and with love and respect. Because the more we practice and positively reinforce the behaviour the more likely we will continue to do it on a regular basis. 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 55 - The four 'Cs'!

"It may be a simple concept, but it takes practice and dedication to succeed" This was a quote from a book about an introduction to Buddism concepts that I'm reading at the moment. 

It's interesting and so applicable, not just to meditation, but to all areas of our life. What I thought I would share tonight, are 4 of the key points I focus on in dog training, as the more I think about life and journeys and dreams and goals, the more I realise it can be applied not just to dogs, but to us! And all areas of our lives too!

The four 'c's': 

Consistency - Choose what you are working on, make rules around this and stick to them. If it is something that affects your family, make sure you are all on the same page. And do the same thing every time. For example, if you choose to work on meditation, put aside time each day to practice. Small achievable steps. 

Calmness - Be calm with yourself, when you are learning something new. Be gentle and allow yourself a chance to learn, and not beat yourself up if you get it 'wrong'. If you get it 'wrong' stop, take a deep breath and try again. 

Confidence - Believe in yourself and do it with confidence. Self doubt will only lead to self sabotage and eventually you will give up. If you act with confidence, and determination, you will succeed purely because you will be able to cope with any hiccups or problemsyou occur on the way. 

Clarity - be clear with what you set out to achieve. I say write it down. Set a big goal, then break it down into small achievable steps are important. i.e. Today with my meditation I want to achieve a calm mind. Sometimes this will be possible, other times you may take a step back before you move forward. 

Any progress when you are learning something should be treated as a huge success! You will coast along sometimes learning so much and feel like you are progressing…then you'll hit a wall and feel like you are back at square one. But then if you remain consistent and keep plodding along, you will find that you will be back on the right path and continue to move forward. "A shuffle in the right direction is still morning forward"!

It's important when you hit a wall…or two…or three, that you remain focus on what you want to achieve. You will get there, and like I said "It may be simple, but it's not easy". 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 54

We all know the 'cliched' sayings that are meant to motivate us, or make things easier for us, but sometimes they just frustrate us more than they help us! The interesting thing about this is that they are sayings for a reason, and most of the time no matter how frustrating it is there is wisdom and a reason that they exist. 

What are these sayings?!

" Things happen for a reason"

"All good things come to an end" 

"Time heals all wounds" 

"A squeeky wheel gets the grease"

"Good things come to those that wait"

There are then sayings that have a much better scue on the 'norm'....

" The grass is greener where you water it." 

And some my favorite sayings of all time...

" A positive attitude may not save all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth your while!"

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got"

"If you think you are too small to be effective you have never been in the dark with one mosquito."

"Live, Laugh, Love"

"A good life is is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realised how blessed you are for what you have."

There are many many many more sayings that always help me through things and I think I'll dedicate another day to sharing some more. 

What are your favourites? Or the ones that are so unbelievably cliched but fit? Put them up around the house - remind yourself to smile and laugh!! :) Sayings can be a strong reminder of how to get through tough times, and reminds us how to live the good ones with grace and enjoyment. 

...Until Tomorrow xox

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 53

"There are only two times in life: Now and Too Late". A fantastic book and a must read. 

The progress of accepting that we are mortal and so is everyone around you, is a challenging one. This book talks about not putting off the things that you want to do in life, because there really is only now or too late. We worry about what people think and there always seems to be something that holds us back from truly doing what we want to. 


Why? Why wait? If you knew that tomorrow was going to be 'too late' for everything what would you do / say / how would you act? I touched on this topic shortly after my accident. I don't say any of this to be morbid or to draw attention to the fact that we could die tomorrow. I say this because we are forever putting things off - I'll Call 'Mary' tomorrow, I'll arrange to visit my family in Scotland sometime, one day I'll move somewhere warm, I'll get there eventually... But we never seem to do it do we?!


I know that if it's not in my diary - it doesn't happen. My diary is colour coded. Pink= personal (appointments, birthdays, family time etc), Green = Nutrimetics, Orange = Playful Paws, Blue = Disability work etc. I have really started to abide by this - at the beginning of the week I reevaluate - what needs to be done, where can I do it etc. 

There are 6 aspects of your life that you need to consider:
1. Family & Home
2. Financial & Career
3. Spiritual & ethical
4. Physical & Health
5. Social & Cultural
6. Mental & Educational

No one can do any one thing 100%. What you can do though is apply yourself 100% at the time you are completing the task (whatever that may be). What is important to reflect on each area of your life. There is inevitably at least one area that is suffering. When I sat down (I actually just found them) 12 months ago to reflect on these areas, I noticed that 3. and 1. were lacking the most. I was driven, applied myself to training, to self-paced learning, to furthering my career & visiting friends but what I really lacked, was the downtime and spending quality time with family. 


I recommend sitting down and looking at the different areas of your life and working out which ones lack and working out how you can boost it up. I'm not saying cram more into the day, but be aware of where you are at and where you want to be. Perhaps this is writing individual goals for each of them. I know a lot of my friends are mothers and the comment so often said is "I don't have any time for myself" my answer would simply be to "find time" what good are you if you are not able to look after yourself. 


To have time for yourself may be to have a shower and sing along to your favourite song. Make a permanent lunch date with your grandma, have a family movie night, have a cooking day, read a self-help book, and DREAM! And put an action plan in place. :) Good Luck!

...Until Tomorrow xox

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 52 - Disappointed and Active Listening

What makes disappointment easier? When do we learn somewhere along the way that it's not ok to be disappointed? That "she'll be right" or "it wasn't meant to be" or "maybe next time" or "it'll all work out"? 

I know I have spoke about this previously, but being disappointed is ok and a part of life. You know really what being disappointed means? Is that you wanted something so so so bad. And that's a good thing! Remember what I talked about yesterday? About success? If you focus on what you really want, you will have disappointments along the way, before you get there. 

How are we allowed to feel disappointed without being judged or forced to focus on the positive? The only way I can see that works is to sit with it. Be ok with feeling disappointed. Tell the people around you that "I'm disappointed, I know that everything will turn out ok, but right now I just need to be disappointed". How would you react if someone asked that of you? Probably affronted. We all have our 'go to' saying..."don't worry" or "you're ok". Which for the most part are said with love and are ok to hear in most cases. But sometimes it's all too much. You really need someone to say "that's crap" or better yet, pat you on the shoulder so you know they are there and then be quiet. 

How hard is it to do that when someone you love is hurting, or disappointed? Active listening is a fantastic skill, that unfortunately most people don't have it. What is active listening? It is listening to what someone is saying actively - of course!! Paying attention to what someone is really telling you, providing eye contact, and open body language, and a non-judgemental ear. When you are really truly listening to someone you can repeat what they are talking about directly back. Not thinking about a response, how you may have been or going through something similar or simply on whats for dinner. 

You can tell when someone is not really listening to you - the glazed eyes, or looking past you or on a tv or watching someone else, fidgeting, or interrupting you. The other thing a lot of people do is nod! They nod as a sign that they are listening - but in my experience if you asked them what you were saying and how you actually feel they wouldn't grasp it. If they are awesome at multi-tasking, they may be able to repeat what you said - but not understand the reason behind what you are saying. 

Does this all make sense? If you want someone to actively listen, set both of you up for a win - do it at a time when there are less distraction, tell them that you just want to talk and are not asking for any opinions and go in with an open mind - if you want someone to actively listen to you - you need to be prepared to do it back. If after your chat you don't think you can - say can we talk tomorrow. It is better for both of you for you to be fresh and be able to actively listen, rather than thinking about how your chat went etc. 

Now it's time to practice. Catch yourself when you are talking to someone - do you randomly nod at them while thinking about what you need to get at the shops? Do you stare at them vaguely and not really hear what they are saying? Do you jump in with your personal experiences in a similar situation? 

Phew, big topic!

...Until Tomorrow xox

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 51

Do you know what's really interesting?! Recently I have started adding a topic name to my day, ie Day 50 - a reminder to myself of what I have written about previously..but people have stopped reading it!! Not that I am writing this purely for other people, but it just goes to show that we all skim over things...if it doesn't initially grab our eye, why bother right?! But how do you ever know that what you open and read may change your life or have relevance to someone in your life at some point? 

Don't let anyone dull your sparkle..

As a writer of a blog now, I know that I need to be a bit more conscious of what I put in my title..or perhaps I should keep the mystery and not write it, I mean it's not going to be a "bad" thing if I repeat myself is it?  My favourite saying in dog training is... "A positively reinforced behaviour is more likely to occur again." and the more you reinforce a behaviour, the more it will occur... SO... if I repeat myself, it's purely for your benefit in changing your habits to better ones!! :) 

Your state of mind hugely affects how you enjoy life and how successful and productive you are. If you are positive, and motivated and determined you will achieve all of your dreams and goals and not let life's little hurdles deter you or set you back. Someone who is successful knows that you do not get that way without set backs, and it is in these set backs that you find your true strength and determine whether you will succeed. 

"Success seems to be connected with action. 
Successful people keep moving
They make mistakes, 
But they keep moving."

Success is relative and it's important to remember that your success may be very different to the person sitting next to you or your family or friends. Some people determine their success by physical items, some my monetary, others by personal fulfilment. Regardless of how someone determines their success, you can tell that someone is "successful" because of how they hold themselves, they have that air about them. They walk into a room and everyone turns to them, and wants to hear how they 'did it'. 

Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

I believe that everybody has the capacity to be successful in whatever they choose to be. I think the big key is not to loose the ability to dream. If you have a dream, you can do anything - and chances are WILL do anything to achieve it. All you need is the ability to deal with the set backs, determination, listening to your "good" thoughts and not letting others drag you down. People who want to be involved in your life will be, all you need to do is be strong and not loose sight of what and why you are doing what you do so well!!

"Success isn't how much money you make. It's the difference you make in people's lives" Michelle Obama

So...set yourself up to be successful! What do you want? What life do you want to lead? Only you can answer these and make it happen! Good LucK!

...Until Tomorrow xox

*Sorry about the lack of images...Trying to work out how to put images on with my iPad! (any suggestions welcomed!!)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 50 - Driving

Driving. Something most of us do without thinking. We fall into bad or naughty habits and as a result can put other people at risk. 

I was thinking a lot about this the other day. I am slowly building up my confidence behind the wheel again, and feel like I did when I was 18. You know…hands at 10 and 2, thumbs not wrapped around the wheel, mirror checks every 3 seconds, speedo check…etc But what it has made me is a better driver. Although I am still driving around 80 (100kmh is just too much of a push at the moment) I feel as though I am safer and more controlled on the road. 

But…driving at 80 makes other people frustrated…they sit right on my tail, they flash their lights and beep their horns. I'm not sure what they think that will achieve…I don't take any notice…other than to take a deep breath and ignore them. I also use to get a bit frustrated when people didn't drive the speed limit, but I would always keep a safe distance. 

When you are that person, who is frustrated…just remember that if I were to stop suddenly…you would most likely crash into the back of me, endangering both of us. Will getting to where you are going 1minute earlier help you on your journey? Probably not. If it will, YOU haven't allowed yourself enough time to get there. So YOU need to leave earlier to allow for any minor delays. 

I want to make you aware that you have no idea what someone has been through or is going through. Not just in regards to driving, but that's what my example is tonight. I drive at 80kmh because I had a high speed car accident where I was told that I could of died and am still physically recovering from. You aren't meant to know what everyone is going through, but have some empathy and respect for other people. 

Next time someone is driving more slowly than you like, or has pulled over in an awkward position, or needs to stop suddenly - stop and ask yourself why. They may be having a terrible day or are unwell or…(the options are endless) But it will make you less grumpy at the fact AND make you a more curtious and safe driver. 

An accident can happen to anyone - that's why they are called an accident. But if you can lessen your chances by driving safely, respectfully and by knowing the road rules - why wouldn't you? Something I have learnt is that saying "it won't happen to me" is ludicrous, and whilst something like this may not affect you directly, chances of it affecting a family member or close friend are quite high. 

Be the person that you want to see on the road. If we all drive this way, hopefully we will see less accidents. Stay off your phone, focus on driving not on what you need to cook for dinner and remember that there are other people on the road who may be affected by your unsafe driving. 

A heavy topic for tonight, but hopefully worthwhile. 

…Until Tomorrow xox

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 49 - reliving positive moments

There are times in life that you want or need to repeat over and over. I am a hopeless romantic (as discussed previously) and just had to rewatch a scene in greys anatomy where a guy had a flash mob to propose to his girlfriend. It was really cute and sweet. And a feel good moment (some may roll their eyes and say it's "mushy" - but we all see these moments in something…could be watching romantic moments, laughing hard at a comedy, watching animal documentaries, or car renos…)

We often waste the time replaying the 'not positive' scenes in our own live. You all know the ones…where you worry about whether you should of said something differently, or did you say something that offended someone, or was your behaviour terrible, or did you remember  to do everything correctly, or that part of the speech you missed, or the fact you said 'um' 50 times in a sentence, or that you didn't do something that you said you would, or the time in the race you entered was no where near your best…the list goes on. Yes we are very good at being our own worst critics, not so good at reliving the positive, fun moments. 

Why is it that the positive moments are replayed fleetingly, the negative ones are marathons? Played over and over? Just what would happen if we reversed that? Instead of wasting our time on what went wrong or what we could of done differently and on what went right and how awesome we were? :) 

I like to think of our memories as movie reels..we should access and rewatch them…or we'll forget them. If we only focus on the negative ones, we'll only remember those ones. A bit like everything else in life, if we practice enough we will see the positives in every moment.

I had the best day / night today. Spent time with mum and dad. Then tonight made pizzas, watched a movie and had facials with my sister, niece and nephew. These are one of the moments I want to relive. The fun ones, the ones that will make you giggle and smile when you think of them!

So I hope you have all made some of those memories this weekend and can practice reliving them! :)

…Until Tomorrow xox