Saturday, 19 February 2011

How to love yourself in 17 ways

I came across this list on abundancetapestry which I would highly recommend to everyone. Such an excellent site with fantastic articles. It really made me reflect on how the greatest love of all, is to love yourself but unfortunately many of us seem to depend on others for our own happiness - which is a big mistake.

 Here is the list:

1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about what makes you You. Just like a flower that needs watering to grow, learn to nurture yourself in every way. Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect. This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings; instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your “flaws”. Look in the mirror and fall in love with the reflection that is You.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
Oscar Wilde quotes (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)
2. Eliminate Self Criticism. Do you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing? Is there a little voice inside your head that often tells you that you are no good because you are stupid or make mistakes. If you find that you criticize yourself often, make an effort to stop the self criticism.
“I CAN is 100 times more important than IQ.” — unknown
3. Be Kind And Positive. When you start to think kindly and positively about yourself, the love you have for yourself just grows. Make it a habit to praise yourself everyday, while in the front of the mirror. Because of such thoughts, you naturally undertake empowering actions that support your development.
4. Acknowledge Your Effort. It’s not always about winning or having success in everything that you do. Many times, it is the effort that counts! Acknowledge that you’ve done your best, even if you have failed to produce tangible results.
5. Let Go Of Worry. Loving yourself requires you to let go of your worry. It is a horrible way to live a life filled with constant worrying. I can attest to that! Worry does not help in any way. It cannot, on its own, make things happen. Only wise actions can! So instead of worrying, spend time thinking about what you can do to help in the situation. If the situation is beyond your control, then ask the Universe for your desired outcome and let things work out on their own. Things will come to be, if they are meant to be.
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus quotes (Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)
6. Trust Yourself. Have confidence in your abilities. Know that you have the ability to make important changes for yourself, for as long as you put your heart to it. You can also support yourself by visualizing desired outcomes.
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
Benjamin Spock quotes (American Pediatrician and Author, 1903-1998)
7. Forgive Yourself. If you have made mistakes in the past that had caused you to feel less worthy, then you need to forgive yourself. All of us make mistakes; so there really is no need to beat yourself up over them. Or if you’ve been carrying around a baggage of emotional hurt because of a childhood trauma, learn to forgive yourself.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lewis B. Smedes quotes
8. Be Truthful To Yourself. Loving yourself requires you to be truthful about your own feelings. If you are happy, acknowledge the joy. If you are sad, acknowledge the sorrow. When you are truthful about your feelings, you do not try to lie to yourself or seek to bury your negative emotions. Instead, acknowledging what you feel provides a good guide to what your thoughts are. And as we all know, thoughts can be changed, so that healing and self growth can take place.
9. Grow Spiritually. When you spend time growing spiritually, loving yourself is an automatic thing. You become more peaceful, connected, kind, loving and compassionate. You nurture a mind that grows more beautiful by the day. How to not love yourself in the process?
10. Make Positive Affirmations Everyday. Post affirmations that can help raise your self esteem everyday. For instance, say this to yourself “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.” Read your affirmations out loud several times a day.
11. Express Gratitude. Express gratitude for the person that you are. For instance, cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Also, feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.
12. Nurture Your Dreams. Why deny yourself your dreams? When you nurture your dreams, you would love the life that you are leading. Every moment that you live is a joy because you are expressing yourself fully.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. —Mark Twain
13. Boost Your Self Confidence. Make a deliberate attempt to look for opportunities that can help improve your sense of Self. For instance, if you are particularly good at doing something, set aside more time to indulge and improve your skills on it. Knowing that you have particular gifts can boost your self esteem.
14. Relax. You need to give yourself space to take breaks every now and then. If you spend your time working, without paying attention to your health, it also means that you do not love yourself well enough to take care of your own body. Fill your time with silence, soothing music and visions of beauty; anything that nourishes your Soul.
15. Have Fun. Inject some fun into your life. Life is meant to be an enjoyable. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. If you can think of life in this manner, you automatically relax and quit worrying over things that do not matter.
16. Look After Your Body. It is important that you strengthen yourself with proper nutrition and regular exercise. Your body is a temple and you should treat it with respect, love and care. It has been found that the lack of self love is often the root causes of conditions like eating disorders, obesity or even terminal diseases.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Jim Rohn quotes (American Speaker and Author. He is famous for motivational audio programs for Business and Life. )
17. Learn To See Beauty. When you learn to see beauty in every thing, you will also see beauty in yourself. Hence, stop to smell the flowers. Notice everything. Feel everything. The pink blush of the flowers in your garden, the greenness of the plains, the whisper of the gentle wind, or the myriad hues of an evening sky.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Why I admire Nicole Richie

     Have you ever wanted to make a change in your life? I mean a REAL TRANSFORMATION? At times I wish that I could go back and delete some parts of my life, or simply do things differently. Of course, life doesn’t work out that way and we have to accept that the numerous mistakes which we make are lessons that we learn the hard way.
      Amongst my immediate circle of friends I have seen people who have managed to change their lives, or in essence start over again. I had a friend who was an alcoholic give up her addiction and start her own aromatherapy business. Another got out of an abusive relationship with his girlfriend and start to rebuild self-esteem in himself. He went back to studying, got a law degree and is now studying an MA in International Relations. Whilst another, left the world of crime took up meditation and got back on his feet to earn an honest living.
     In the world of celebrities such changes are usually the reverse in that girls lose themselves and turn into sex objects, or men end up turning to drugs and walking out on their marriage. However, for me a few have been great role models. One such person is Nicole Richie. Here she was, one of the It girls of California and had everything at her disposal, still that didn’t stop her from mixing with the wrong people and getting involved with drugs amongst others. However, much later she DID change and has since got married, had kids, has a successful business and so forth. She did this all under the gaze of the camera, she’s had people been ruthless and cutting about her and yet she manages to retain her dignity and self-pride throughout. She is now a positive, optimistic woman who is at peace with herself. People now respect AND admire her.
People can change, but this change has to come from within. Only YOU have to decide when and how to take this step. How can you change? Here are some steps which have helped me to reflect on my own life:

- Why do you want to change?
- Is this change for you or for someone else?
- What are you hoping to achieve/accomplish in life?
- What makes you happy?
- Are you hanging out with the wrong crowd or people?
- What is holding you back from achieving your dreams?
- Do you have a vision board?

Vision boards are actually something which have really helped me focus on what I want and in essence help me see my end result.

 It really is never too late to change. See every day as a new beginning.

You alone are in charge of your own destiny.

Good luck :-)

Randy Pausch: An inspirational man for the 21st Century

Once in a while, somebody comes and has an enormous influence  on many people. I first came across Randy Pausch when a friend sent me a text saying, ‘Watch Oprah NOW’ . I did and was blown away by the guy...I mean there he was, dying of pancreatic cancer and yet he was instilling in people a tremendous amount of hope for the future, how to live their dreams and fulfil their ambitions in life. Who could resist such inspiring and powerful words?
    Incidentally whilst looking at his natal chart, I saw that he had the moon in Sagittarius, which apparently is the ‘luckiest’ sign of the zodiac. These people have an amazing love of life, and this of course is generated in how they are with others.....I once dated a guy (Pisces with moon in Sagittarius) he was amazing,  fun to be around and I truly loved being in his company, they just know how to make you smile! While Randy’s Mars (planet of anger) is in Cancer, which reveals the sensitive side to him.

May his soul rest in peace.....

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The love list

I was recently inspired to write a ‘love list’ based on an article which I read on Oprah. Am I believer? Of course! A few of my friends have told me that they too had ‘secretly’ written lists of their own. At the end of the day, why settle for second best? I am not saying that we should look for perfection, since that does not exist, but instead we should look for what is best for us.

Enjoy the story....


 Was it coincidence or magic? Alice Gorman wrote 100 things she wanted in a man, burying the list in a closet. And then, oddly enough, a man who matched the list almost exactly strolled into her life. Seriously, people, how did that happen? After you read the story

Our first real disagreement erupted at the kitchen table on a Saturday morning in late May. Aubrey and I hardly knew each other at the time. We had spent a total of three weekends together since we met in early March—the first on a blissful fishing trip in the Ozarks, the other two trading visits between his home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and mine in Memphis. We had both been married before: he, a recent widower; I, married twice, a divorcee and a widow. He was retired. I was the owner of a contemporary art gallery in Memphis and a partner in a gallery on 57th Street in New York City. We'd been introduced by his cousin from Baltimore, a lifelong friend of mine. The attraction was instantaneous, so much so that we spent those six days together in pure enjoyment of our late-in-life pleasures and commonalities, believing that each of us had found perfection in the other. Without warning, during our second cup of coffee after breakfast, we began having a stupid argument.

"You're really a stubborn broad," Aubrey said in response to my refusal to spend the remainder of the morning with him.

"What do you mean?" I asked, shocked by his insulting bluntness. "I told you I had to go to the gallery on Saturday morning. I have an appointment with an artist. You knew that."

"You told me you might have an appointment on Saturday morning, but if I flew down to Memphis for the weekend, you'd change it."

"I did not say that," I said, stiffening my spine and feeling my heart begin to race. "Obviously you didn't listen to me, and now you're calling me a liar."

"You see," he said with a grin. He had a wide smile that generally dispelled the seriousness of any discussion, but he continued to make his point. "You're a stubborn broad. It's your way or the highway."

"Well, what about you?" I felt sickened by waves of prior marital arguments surging up through layers of memory. I'd thought Aubrey would be different. "Aren't you the one being stubborn?"

Aubrey sat back in his chair. "Maybe I'm not the right man for you," he said, half making a statement, half asking a question.

"Maybe you're not!" I crossed my arms, feeling defiant, but in the next second I regretted the whole ridiculous discussion. What were we talking about? I thought I had met the man of my dreams, and we were about to throw the whole thing out the window over an absurd argument. Closing my eyes, I suddenly saw a mental picture of "the list." It had been in the back of my closet for five years. What would Aubrey think of the list?

"I have an idea," I said. I left the kitchen, and several minutes later I came back with the list in my hand. I held the small sheaf of papers out to him. "Read this, and you decide if you are the right man for me." I turned on my heel and marched down the hallway to my room, as if following stage directions.

Five years before meeting Aubrey, I was in despair. Still dealing with the residue of a divorce after 20 years of marriage and the tragic death of my second husband—a shocking result of his manic depression—plus several love affairs and a broken engagement, I was emotionally exhausted. In my off-hours from the demands of the art business in two cities, I found myself sinking into bouts of tears and despondency, trying to dispel the fear that I would never have a true and lasting love in my life. A close friend called one day and suggested that I make an appointment with a clairvoyant who was visiting Memphis. "She's fabulous," my friend said as she proceeded to tell me all the insights and factual information the psychic had revealed to her. Dismissing the voice of doubt, I thought: "Why not? What do I have to lose?"

After speaking with the woman—a cheery voice on the telephone—I drove to an ordinary, small brick house on an ordinary street, nothing spooky. The woman who opened the door had an open face and a mop of curly reddish hair. "Hi there," she said, as if we had known each other before. "I'm Charlene. I'm glad you've come." She showed me into the living room, a sparse space with a rocking chair next to a standing lamp and a straight-back chair across from it. The blinds were drawn, making the room feel like twilight in the middle of the day. "Sit here, my dear," she instructed, pointing to the straight-back chair. She sat down in the rocking chair and lit a candle on a small table under the lamp.

"Now, tell me," she said, "what is it you have come to ask?"

Before I could speak, my throat filled with tears. I felt as if I were a small child desperately trying to stay above water in a pool. I started to gasp.

"Do not worry, my dear," she said in a mossy-soft voice. "You are safe here."

Her voice was a sort of balm. I swallowed several times as if flushing away years of unspoken fears.

"Now, tell me," she said again, "tell me why you're here."

"I want to know if—" I began, but I couldn't finish the sentence. Finally, I blurted out: "I want to know if I am supposed to have a true and lasting love in my life. It's okay if I'm not. It's really okay. I have so much in my life. My family. My friends. My artists. My galleries. I just want to know. I want to stop worrying about it—thinking about it all the time."

"Let us see," she said, and she closed her eyes.

We both sat in stillness for a matter of minutes, then she cocked her head toward the ceiling, and her voice became high-pitched and singsong. "Well, my dear, the real question is: What is it that you truly want for your life?"

I began to feel the tears forming again. "I want to share my life," I said. "I've always wanted to share my life. But it seems that I am destined to be with the wrong person. It always ends in disaster. I don't know. Maybe I am not supposed to share my life."

"My dear," Charlene's lilting voice filled the room, "the spirits say that you should have exactly what you want. They say that of course you should share your life if that is what you want."

I took a deep breath. I could feel the tension leaving my body. "Really?"

"Yes, of course," she said, and as if she were repeating instructions from the spirits, she said,

"Here is what you must do. You must go home and write down 100 qualities you would like this person with whom you will share your life to have."

I felt almost giddy. "A hundred? Wouldn't I be lucky if I got 10?"

"Oh no, my dear," she said. "You must describe the person down to the color of the socks!"

I wanted to laugh. Color of the socks?

"You will make your list, and then you will put the list away for safekeeping. What you are doing is making clear for yourself exactly the person who will be right for you, and then you will be directing the request into the universe to send that person to you. Do you understand?"

I nodded. But I didn't understand at all. The idea that somewhere in the universe was a person just right for me—someone who would respond to all the things that were important to me and with whom I could share my life—seemed impossible. Yet in spite of the painful experiences of the past, I had always lived my life as if all things were possible. Why wouldn't I try making the list?

At home I climbed into my four-poster bed with a yellow legal pad. I was amazed by how easy it was to write the list. I began with the definitive idea that he must be "at peace with himself." Then I listed everything, from good family relationships to intelligence and a sense of humor, to sex, religion, money, music, books, gardening, sailing, dancing, fishing, and on and on—down to dark gray socks.

Satisfied that I had done my part, I put the list in the back of my closet.

After about 15 minutes of waiting for Aubrey's answer, he walked into my room with the list in his hand. He had tears in his soft blue eyes. We looked at each other for several seconds before he spoke.

"I missed two," he said, holding up the list. Then, smiling, he added, "There are many things you have on this list that are true about me that you could not possibly know."

I wanted to laugh out loud. Instead I jumped up and threw my arms around him. I felt jubilant. Whatever doubts I harbored that he might have missed many more than two, I knew that the point was that he thought he missed only two. I had given my list to the universe and the universe had sent me Aubrey.

Addendum: Aubrey and I were married in February of the following year, the beginning of a gloriously happy and trusting time in my life. Of the two qualities on the list he thought he missed—"loves to dance" and "loves to sail"—neither was important. His interests in gardening and architecture, previously unknown to me, led us to build a house and garden in Maine that surpassed either of our dreams. Some of the more intangible qualities on the list provided even greater surprises. We shared 11 wonderful years before he died of lung cancer, many more joyful years than I had ever imagined possible. What happened was beyond all reason. I can only marvel at the mysterious and beneficent universe that brought us together.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Life lessons learnt the hard way

As promised I have compiled a list of things which I have learnt related to life.
-          Always save for a rainy day, you never know when you might need it
-          Be assertive but not aggressive - people will respect you more that way
-          Have goals and follow your dreams
-          Never put off something - just DO it now, no matter how much you hate it.
-          Always clean your house – a cluttered home is a reflection of your state of mind
-          Smile – you never know whose day you will brighten
-          Treat people the way you would like to be treated
-          Always follow your gut instincts
-          There is no such thing as luck – it’s a case of making the most of opportunities that come your way.
-          Always try and broaden your social circle – it’s a great way to meet new people and make friends
-          Any promotions going at your work place? Show initiative and APPLY!
-          Never take part in gossip at your work place
-          Try and socialise with others AS WELL AS your colleagues
-          Go to the gym and exercise
-          Yoga is great for having a peace of mind
-          Respect your parents – they love you more than you will ever know

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Love lessons learnt the hard way....

Having spent some time travelling solo earlier this year, I started writing my own journal on my thoughts and recollections on what has happened to me and my friends (male and female) in the dating world.
§  NEVER get involved with someone before finding out what makes YOU truly happy. Be it mountain climbing, writing or even tapestry making.
§  What kind of person are you looking for? Make a list. Write down everything in detail such as ‘He/she has to have a wacky sense of humour and be able to laugh at and understand my jokes’. Have a vision board up with images/words that relate to this. Have a list of affirmations to read each day.
§  If he/she cancels a date last minute IGNORE THEM for a few days. If they repeatedly call you/text you then give them the benefit of the doubt, but NO MORE than once chance.
§  DON’T sit for hours next to the mobile waiting for them to call/text you. Go out. Keep yourself BUSY. See a movie. Clean the house. Go for a walk. Read a book. Have coffee with friends. Anything!
§  ALWAYS make sure that you have your OWN hobbies outside the relationship that you can do without them.
§  Always TRUST your gut instinct!
§  NEVER cry over spilt milk. The next one that comes along is much better than the previous person.
§  Thought he/she was the ‘the One’ but it didn’t work out? See this as someone up there watching over you....
§  Don’t put your life on hold for someone else. Take that holiday overseas, do your Masters, take up a new sport, learn Japanese, whatever YOU want.
§  Put yourself FIRST. Then YOU. Finally YOU.
§  If you have been dating them for more than six months and you haven’t met their family members, it’s time to RECONSIDER the relationship.
§  You have to be comfortable being happy WITH and WITHOUT your partner.
§  Trust your friend’s judgements. Love can really be blind at times.
§  Don’t look back on past mistakes in love with bitterness. Simply see them as lessons you learnt the hard way. Each and every person who comes into your life comes for a reason. Whether to teach you something new, or to enrich your life in some way.
§  Take your time and don’t be intimate with them so soon. No matter how much ‘chemistry’ you have with them. If they are worth it, they will wait for you.
§  Only see them once or twice a week for the first two months or so of dating.
§  NEVER ditch your friends for a date – remember that your friends will always be there for you and they were there first!
§  If you feel that he/she is disrespecting you. MOVE on. There will be others who will respect you more.

You are unique and special in every single way. Never let anybody take your dignity or self-respect from you.
Take your time and enjoy your life till then...

Monday, 7 February 2011

My Moon in Aries...

I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been going through a period of self reflection or should I say, kicking myself over past mistakes and regrets that I have had - aaagh it’s really killing me now!
I don’t know if it’s my ‘Moon in Aries’ or something else, but well it’s eating me up inside.
I am also feeling really restless about life. I can’t explain it. There is so much that I want to do and achieve. Just don’t know where to start. I feel like there is some kind of wonderful opportunity out there waiting for me, but I just can’t catch it or find it. I’ve done a lot of travelling and have so many friends, but....humm...something is just missing right now. I started writing my own ‘bucket list’ last December – first time I have ever done this and looking at my list now, I have done three of the seven things that I have set out to do, which is good....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Empowering words of wisdom

 A good friend sent me this recently and it made me smile. Hope it brings some sunshine to your day :-)

It’s ok to have a wall built around my heart…just as long as I build a door in it so that the right person can be invited in. -  Gina Marie

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." – Marilyn Monroe

I am not afraid…I was born to do this.
Joan of Arc
The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
Maureen Dowd
If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead
"This life is what you make it. Not matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And babe, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about."
Marilyn Monroe

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
Peace Pilgrim
If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
But my favourite one has to be this:

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best” – Marilyn Monroe

Monday, 31 January 2011

Can you spot a tyrant from his natal chart?

It got me thinking what with the chaos happening in Egypt which is gripping everyone right now. I went on to cafeastrology and put in Hosni Mubarak’s (president of Egypt) date of birth, I discovered that the man (a Taurus) has a square Mars - Saturn.
 It goes on to say that
He is only interested in doing something if there are problems attached: once these are solved, he goes on to something else which has complications. He likes to overcome obstacles, is tough, does not have too many feelings, especially in business. He is egoistic, violent and stubborn. He does not always make friends.
Says it all doesn’t it? I’m not saying that everyone who has a square Mars – Saturn is going to end up being a dictator, but it’s funny how astrology can reveal so much about a person.
To all the Egyptians out there: Freedom of speech and democracy are things that we unfortunately take for granted. Keep up the great work!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Men with Venus in Aquarius

Ouch. A man whose Venus is in Aquarius is very difficult to understand- if you are the type of girl who wants a man to lavish you with attention and treat you like a queen- then you had better run for your life NOW!
I have seen this so many times with friends as well as famous men, and how they deal with their respective partners.  Last week for example, a good friend of mine introduced me to Stephanie (I have changed the name so as to respect the identity of the female in this story), a lovely twenty-something Gemini with her Venus in Leo. She had been dating this guy, two years younger than her – whose Venus is in Aquarius. Can you see where this heading already?
She of course is MAD about him but is confused as to why he is not responding to her the way she would like him to! I sat down with her, told her all about men with Venus in Aquarius, how she had to give him space; to try and play it ‘cool’ with him and not be quite so affectionate, but this of course frustrated her all the more. So, what to do? It breaks my heart to see women like that; crazy about a guy, who can’t seem to see how great the girl is. When I read the book, ‘Why men love bitches’, and the follow up, ‘Why men marry bitches’,  it got me thinking (well, as well as howling with laughter and kicking myself for all of MY past mistakes with men) – are all men born with a hint of Venus in Aquarius? Do they all like to chase as opposed to being chased?