Kindness in the midst of disaster

If there’s one thing you can be sure of during any crisis in Australia, it’s the amazing display of human kindness that comes out.

Right now, we are experiencing bushfires like nothing that’s ever been seen before. The fires are wiping out massive areas of land, property, animals, and human life. People are losing everything they’ve worked for and everything they’ve known. Areas that aren’t currently directly impacted by fire are instead impacted by heavy smoke, road closures, and the constant threat that fires could start nearby at any moment. Anyone with TV or internet is exposed to 24 hour coverage of devastating images and stories from the fire grounds.

I have shed many tears over the past days as I empathise with those who have suffered this trauma. But you know what really gets the ugly sobs going for me? It’s the incredible compassion and kindness that is being shown all over the country.

People are opening their homes and businesses to those who have been evacuated. Donations of money and goods have been overwhelming. Individuals and organisations are doing what they can to ease the suffering of the animals that have been affected. Truckies are travelling long distances to deliver donated hay bales to affected farmers. Journalists are offering comfort and compassion during emotional interviews.

The outpouring of compassion is beautiful and touching. But it’s not endless. For in a few weeks when (hopefully) this disaster will have settled down, people will get back to their own lives while others are left to rebuild what is left of theirs. The images and stories will decrease over time and we will begin to forget the high emotions we all felt in the early days of January 2020. We’ll go back to road raging each other and complaining about mundane things.

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

But wouldn’t it be nice if we could all continue to share some of this kindness and compassion throughout the year. We have seen that we all have the capacity for extending our love and generosity beyond our own families. Perhaps now is the time to think about what goodness you can contribute to the community as the year goes on. Join a community group like Rotary? Regular donations to charity? Volunteering? Maybe you just want to put a reminder on your calendar each month to check in with a lonely neighbour and take them a meal. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but lets take this feeling of goodwill and carry it on beyond the current disaster. People who have been directly affected by the fires are going to need support for much longer than the news cameras are on them.

There are big changes that are needed at the Government level in terms of climate change. But instead of only focusing on that, I hope we can all focus on what we can do as individuals to bring more kindness into a world that is suffering. What are you achieving by spewing blame and hate about one Prime Minister from behind your keyboard? Try spreading something positive instead. Do some good in the world, and commit to carrying that beyond this moment of crisis.

Please follow and like us:

Why set a yearly reading goal?

I am obsessed with hearing and reading about people’s goals. I think it’s fascinating to hear about different ways people are striving for change or improvement in their lives. And one of the really common goals I see is a reading target. People seem to like challenging themselves to read a certain amount of books in a year, or simply just to “read more”.

I’ve always been a book worm. But the last few years I decided to jump on the bandwagon and set myself a reading goal. I didn’t even know why… guess I just thought it would be an easy and enjoyable goal to aim for. But then I started discovering some unexpected benefits of setting this type of goal.

Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash
Reading goals can bring unexpected benefits.

How a reading goal can impact your life:

Reading opens your mind.

Whether you’re reading fiction or non-fiction, books can open your mind to new ideas, cultures, and experiences you never would have known about otherwise. Studies have shown that keeping an active mind may help to ward off Alzheimer’s.

You’ll use your time better.

Having a difficult reading goal encouraged me to get the hell off time-wasting social media apps and read books instead. At all those little moments when I’d normally open Facebook and scroll mindlessly, I’d remember my reading target and switch to my Kindle app or BorrowBox instead. I always felt much more satisfied with spending 5 or 10 minutes reading a book than scanning rubbish on Facebook. I even ended up deleting my social media apps so now I only get on Facebook for around 10 minutes a day on my laptop when I’m doing it with purpose.

You’ll take more time for yourself

On days when I arrived to work early, I read. When I was finished my lunch and tempted to end my break early to go back to work, I read. Finding opportunities to have some me-time can feel rare, but only because we are always rushing to the next thing. Having a goal of reading a certain number of books helped me put me-time above donating my time to work or other unnecessary demands.

You might make new friends.

My strong interest in reading has helped me make great connections with new friends who also read. Any reading nerd will understand the excitement they feel when they come across someone who shares the same favourite author! And apps such as Goodreads allows you to connect with others simply over books. No need to see what they ate for dinner or what political crap they’re rabbiting on about… you can just see what they’ve read recently and how they rated it! I’ve found heaps of great new books (and friends) this way!

You’ll experience mental health benefits.

When life gets a bit rough, getting lost in a book for a while can be excellent medicine. At the time of writing this post, there are devastating bushfires raging through Australia, wiping out huge areas of land, wildlife, property, and human life. It’s terrifying, heartbreaking, and as with any kind of crisis or natural disaster, addictive to watch the coverage on TV or social media. We can get hooked on following the live feeds which just repeat traumatic images and stories again and again. Waiting for new information, you are exposed to such extreme emotions and it’s hard to switch off. So today I’ve reminded myself of my reading goal and switched off from the repetitive live feeds for a while, giving my heavy and anxious heart a break from it all.

You’ll increase your intelligence.

I can get totally wrapped up in the story for the whole time I’m reading it. But as soon as I move on to the next one I completely forget the last one I read. Sometimes I can’t even remember if I’ve read the book at all! But every now and then I’ll come out with some little fact or piece of knowledge that shocks myself as much as everyone around me. ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I find myself wondering. In most cases, it was from a book I read. Even the fiction books I’ve read have increased my awareness of stuff that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. This helps me to contribute to conversations, occasionally know an answer at a trivia night, and stay interested in the world around me.

My reading goal for 2020

My goal for 2020 is to read 28 books. These will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, and I’ll be tracking them on Goodreads. Last year my goal was 25 and I reached 28, but it was challenging to get to that number so I thought I’d increase my target to that this year.

Do you have a reading goal for 2020? Even if it’s just 3 books, try setting yourself a goal and see how quickly you can tick it off. You might just find some unexpected benefits like I did!

Please follow and like us:

Reviewing my #19for2019

At the beginning of 2019 I set myself 19 goals rather than one New Year’s Resolution. Now we are almost at the end of the year so it’s time to do a review of how I went!

I was doing great until I stopped tracking my progress. For the first 5 months or so I kept a detailed chart and it helped keep me on track and remind me constantly to keep working at my goals. Once I let that go it was harder to stay focused on those goals. But I still think I went okay.

Here are the results:

  1. Start swimming lessons with Archie – Achieved! He has participated all year and made the most amazing progress. For the first 6 months of lessons I bitched and moaned every week because it was a hassle and he didn’t seem to be enjoying it or getting anywhere. But then he started loving it and making great progress so now I look forward to it every week and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it.
  2. Rejoin Rotary – Achieved! I have joined a Rotary club again and I am enjoying being back in this community organisation where I can help make a positive difference in the world while making good friends at the same time.
  3. Write an e-Book – Not yet. I didn’t get around to this one but it’s still a long-term goal.
  4. Learn & use Pinterest better for my blog – Not really achieved. I dabbled. I’ll get back to it.
  5. Catch up with a friend at least once a month – I think I would have achieved this but I stopped tracking it so I couldn’t be sure. Tracking this one definitely helped me to make social plans when ordinarily it wouldn’t have taken priority in my mind. And I think I’m getting better at doing this now.
  6. Run my first workshop/seminar for Fly Life – Not yet. Maybe 2020! I had big plans, but then life got weird and this got sidelined until I can put all my energy and focus into it.
  7. Get my backyard sorted – Not yet. My backyard still looks like a sad little neglected desert. Maybe 2020. I thought I’d be able to do a lot of this myself but as is always the case when men get involved, it got too complicated and I lost interest. I just wanted to stick a raised garden bed in a corner, but no… first we must install drainage and blah blah blah… too hard.
  8. Get security screens installed – Achieved! Well, my husband really achieved this one but only because I nagged enough so I’m still claiming the victory.
  9. Have a weekend away by myself for writing – Not yet. Still definitely on my list though.
  10. Plan a surprise weekend away for my little family – Achieved! We had a lovely weekend I would like to do something like this more often.
  11. Read 25 books – Overachieved! At the time of writing this post I think I’m up to 28 and now I’m trying to see how close to 30 I can get, but I don’t think I’ll quite get that far.
  12. Declutter my house – Definitely not achieved! Every now and then I would work towards this a little bit but it was a drop in the ocean. Still so much work to do on this one!
  13. Cook a new recipe once a fortnight – I think I would have achieved this one or at least come very close to it. I have been trying heaps of different recipes and really enjoying cooking. It’s a bit harder now that I’m working full time again, but I still try to throw something new together as often as possible.
  14. Attend a blogging/business event – Not yet. This one will remain on my list.
  15. Have my women’s health check up – Achieved. I got this one out of the way early in the year.
  16. Move more – steps, yoga, swimming, SOMETHING – I did pretty well with this one, particularly while I was tracking my progress. I was going for walks most days before I started working full time a couple of months ago. Things have slipped a bit since then so it’s something I want to focus on again in the new year.
  17. Weekly gratitude practice – Not really… tracking this one helped but then I just kept forgetting. It makes such a difference though, so again, one that I will continue to work on in 2020.
  18. Write every day – Nope. I need to identify my barriers to this because I just found it really hard! But it’s still something I would like to be able to do.
  19. Experience something new with Archie every week – tracking this one was helpful because once I stopped tracking it I forgot to keep searching for new things. Also, when I went back to work full time it became much harder to fit new things in every week. But we did pretty well with this one and discovered some new places and fun activities!

Overall I did pretty well with my #19for2019. Focusing on this list for the year truly made me enjoy life more. The year had its challenges but looking back on what I achieved and what I enjoyed showed me that it was a pretty great year overall.

Achievements don’t have to be huge or impressive. Tiny positive tweaks are still life-changing.

Now to start planning my #20for2020!

What were your goals for 2019 and how did you go with them? I really love to hear about other people’s goals, so please share with me in the comments. Are you setting any new goals for 2020?

Please follow and like us:

That jerk is just afraid: a tactic for dealing with difficult people

Difficult people have the power to ruin our day… but only if we let them. Now, I know that’s usually easier said than done. But I recently discovered a way to reclaim my power when dealing with a jerk.

The next time you’re dealing with a difficult person, I want you to think about what they’re afraid of.

The story…

This particular A-hole that I dealt with several months ago was so aggressive, abusive, and intimidating. I lost sleep because of this dude, and anyone who causes me to lose sleep and is NOT my toddler, becomes my number 1 enemy.

Anyway, fast-forward a few months and I have to deal with him again. I got the sweats, the racing heart, the shaky hands. I started trying to think of ways to get out of it. But then I stopped and thought about why he was such a jerk. What was driving his shitty behaviour?

The answer was FEAR. He was advocating for his son, and he was so terrified of what life has in store for his young guy. The fear of losing control of things as his son got older was just too much for him to bear.

Hey, I could relate to fear. I would also feel desperately afraid in his situation. And I’d also probably forget my manners if this fear was overwhelming me. I’ve got no doubt that can be aggressive and intimidating if I feel the need to protect someone I love.

So now I was on the same page as this man. It didn’t make his previous behaviour okay, but I guess it made it a bit more understandable. I could now work with him and try to keep the conversation reasonable, or at least end it with some respect and empathy. Which is what I did in the end.

The common factor

So then I started thinking about some other ‘difficult people’ I’ve come across. Fear was a common factor. There was always something I could identify that they were afraid of and that probably drove their behaviour.

In none of the circumstances did understanding their fear suddenly excuse their behaviour. But it gave me a different perspective, and a new way of approaching them… or walking away from them.

Give it a whirl

If you’re dealing with a difficult person, I’d really encourage you to take a step back and think about what it is they might be afraid of. You don’t have to call them out on it. Just keep that thought to yourself and see if you can approach them a different way. Or… walk away confidently knowing that they may be afraid of something, but they have no right to make you feel afraid of them.

Let me know if you try this exercise and if it helps you deal with a douchebag. If you need some targeted help with conflict management, feel free to get in touch.

Please follow and like us:

Time Management Tweaks to Get Back on Track

Today I found myself wondering, “where is the year going?!” It’s already the middle of April and it feels like Christmas was only last week! The first quarter has just disappeared, and I’m not sure I’ve used my time effectively. Sure, I’ve been ‘busy’ and things have been happening, but am I where I thought I’d be at this time of the year in terms of my goals? Not quite…

So of course I go into self-protection mode and remind myself that I’m a working mum and the toddler makes things tricky. I remind myself of all the things I HAVE achieved so far this year… and there’s actually a bit there to be proud of. But I’m not letting myself completely off the hook.

Time management can make or break us. I know I’ve heard from a lot of readers who have said this is their weakness, so I’d like to focus more on this in coming posts. I have so many thoughts on time management and it’s a bit of a love-hate relationship for me!

Sometimes I’m pretty good with my time management, but at other times it all falls apart and I end up wasting a lot of time or being pretend-busy. The last few months have been a little bit of a blur, so these are the things I’m going to focus on to get myself back on track, and I’ll be back soon with some more specific time management thoughts and tips.

In the meantime, check out 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think if this is something you’re really into!  

Track your time

The best way I’ve found to manage my time better is to actually think about time. Focus on it. Be honest with yourself about how you spend each chunk of time in your day. And the most accurate way of doing this is to track your time in half-hour blocks. It not only helps you to see where you’re losing time, but also helps to keep you accountable and motivate you to do something productive with your time. You don’t really want to write down that you just spent an hour scrolling mindlessly through Facebook.

Make your down-time worthwhile

Using time effectively doesn’t mean you have to be constantly doing something. Rest is important too. But if you don’t feel refreshed or energised after your chill-out time, then you’re doin’ it wrong. If I spend an hour scrolling through Facebook and I come away from it with nothing but a headache and general feeling of annoyance, then I’ve wasted my time. But if I watch a 1-hour episode of a TV series with my husband and we connect over it and laugh about it or chat about it afterwards, then the down-time was worthwhile.  

Relaxation time can still be useful and productive
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Switch to something more productive

When you catch yourself doing something that’s not serving a purpose, switch to something more productive. Think about what you could be doing right now that’s going to get you closer to your goals. Whether it means getting your shoes on and going for a run, Googling a healthy recipe for dinner, putting a load of washing away, or doing some research for a project you’re working on, there’s always something productive that you can fit in right now with the time and the energy that you have. Put down your phone and just do something. One trap I fall into is thinking that I can’t do anything while my toddler is around because he slows me down, gets in my way, wants me to pick him up all the time etc. And sure, I can’t write an essay or clean the whole house while he’s around, but I can probably put a few things away or write up a meal plan for the week.

Time to wrap it up…

Just being conscious of what I’m doing and what my goals are helps me to use my time more effectively. But it takes practice to maintain this consciousness. It’s so easy to get sucked into the busy-ness and exhaustion of everyday life, but then before you know it, the year has slipped away and you haven’t achieved what you set out to achieve.

Increase your awareness of where your time is going. Let’s start thinking about it now so that we can still fit everything we want to do into the rest of the year. Leave me a comment to let me know your best time management tips, or your biggest time management problems!

Please follow and like us:

Learnings from a family weekend getaway

One of my #19for2019 goals was to plan a weekend getaway for me, my husband, our toddler, and our two dogs. Now the reason this was a bit of a challenge for me is that I’m usually a bit resistant to changing my routine or stepping outside my comfort zone. Weekends away just sound like a lot of hard work! All that packing, all the decisions about where to eat, trying to wrangle a toddler in unfamiliar territory… Not to mention the cost involved!

Stressed about planning a family holiday with toddler and dogs. Picture is a woman sitting on a bed with her head down, holding a coffee cup.
The thought of planning a family holiday causes me more stress than excitement.

But my husband loves to go away, and he knows that once I’m there I love it too. So whenever we do go anywhere he’s the one that does all the planning work and I stay right out of it. Which, I think sometimes makes him feel like I’m just not interested in spending time with him. Not true.

So I challenged myself to plan a weekend getaway. And I learnt some interesting things!

What my weekend getaway taught me

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a break.

I found a reasonably priced Air b’n’b which was pet friendly. This meant we could take our two dogs and didn’t have to worry about finding pet sitters or burdening family with the responsibility. Knowing that with the dogs and the toddler it would be tricky to go out for meals, I took our meals with us. I had a curry and a bolognaise in the freezer from a while back when I did a big cook-up. So I took those and some pasta and rice to cook once we were there. Super easy! Some basic essentials got us through breakfast and lunch, and all we bought once we were there was some milk, bread, and some cheese & crackers to have with our wine.

Eating on holidays with a toddler.
Taking food with us cut down on costs and made meal times with the toddler easy.

It doesn’t have to be action packed.

Just being away from home is relaxing, because you don’t have to worry about all the housework you should be doing, or anything else on your to-do list. Getting away from all the clutter in your home gives you breathing space, space to think, space to just be together and enjoy each other’s company.

mum and toddler relaxing on weekend getaway.
Nothing else matters on family weekend getaways except spending time together.

Kids are adaptable.

My toddler has certain routines that I don’t dare mess with. For example, when I get him out of his cot I must kiss his moo cow first, then play peek-a-boo with moo cow, then Archie is ready to get up and moo cow can bugger off. All hell breaks loose if I forget to give moo cow some lovin’. But other than that, the tiny tyrant was totally cool with his new digs. He loved exploring the back yard and was mostly just ecstatic that there were several sliding doors he could play with for hours. He slept well in the portacot, loved sitting outside to eat, and had plenty of space on the deck to practice his new walking skills.

Toddler playing with a door on his weekend getaway.
The toddler loved exploring new places and playing with all the doors!

The housework can wait.

One of the reasons I’m reluctant to go away is because I’ll get so far behind in all the daily routine stuff. I worry about not being able to catch up again and that things will get too far out of control. But it really isn’t the end of the world if we get a little bit behind in this stuff. It can all wait. Making memories with your family is much more fun (and important) than having a clean and tidy house. It may take a little while to catch up and get back into the daily routines, but that’s okay!

A west highland white terrier relaxes by a pot plant on his weekend getaway.
Teddy was glad to have a break from the housework!

So all in all, our weekend getaway was a success. Sure, it was a bit of work to get organised and get us all there, but it was totally worth the lovely memories we have now. We didn’t do a lot, but it was guilt-free chilling. And it was a good warm up for our next holiday… Fiji, here we come!

Get in touch

Am I the only one who stresses about going on holidays? I’d love to hear your tips for making family holidays easier! Leave me a comment or share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

Please follow and like us:

HELLO AGAIN

HELLO AGAIN

Life has really been kicking my butt lately. I’ve been scrambling to keep my head above water, and just between you and me, I’ve been running a lot. Not the kind of running that’ll give me a good butt, either. Just running from that ol’ Black Dog that’s been chasing me for a while. So Fly Life has taken a back seat, allowing me to focus on the essentials of self care and basic life management.

The problem though, is that it’s been so long since I posted a blog (maybe 5 or 6 weeks?) that I have found myself feeling really stuck about what to write about! When I’ve been struggling myself, I start doubting that I’m the right person to be dishing out advice on personal development and positive psychology!

But then I try to remember that when I’m having a hard time being a parent, I’d rather hear advice and stories from other parents than from an ‘expert’ who’s never actually had kids. So maybe in the same vein, I am the right person to share my ideas and learnings, because I’ve actually had to apply them.

I’M BAAACK….

So this is just a post to say, “hello, I’m back”.

While I’ve been gone, I have been thinking about the future of Fly Life and I’m excited about the possibilities. I’m putting together some workshops, thinking about an e-book, and really wanting to get the blog pumping.

I would love to hear from you. Is there something you’d like me to write about? Something you’re struggling with in your own life? What topics of workshops do you think would be useful? It would really boost my motivation and help me to home in on what you’re interested in if you’d get in touch via the comments, Facebook, or a private email.

Please follow and like us:

How to use your energy for the things you value most

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Life gets busy. So busy in fact, that some days you skip breakfast, drink too many coffees just to try and keep your energy up, and snap at your loved ones because they just don’t get it. You probably don’t even mind being a bit busy – it’s better than being bored, right? But you take on more and more… and more… until you’re completely overwhelmed and heading straight to Burnout Boulevarde.

Every now and then you need to remember to stop and reassess your priorities. It can be so easy to get caught up in what’s urgent, what you feel obliged to do, or what other people need from you. When this happens, we tend to forget what actually matters most to us. And what matters most is what we should be spending the majority of our energy on.

For example, my family and my health & wellbeing are two of the top most important things to me. But when life gets busy, I tend to spend LESS energy on those things, and in fact sabotage them! When work gets really busy and stressful, I’m less inclined to spend quality time with my husband and I get frustrated with the baby being so needy. I spend all my energy on work and then I’m too tired to make healthy meals so I eat crap and don’t fit in any exercise.

What makes it so tricky is that my work is important to me too. But is it MORE important than family and health? Nope. So why does it get more energy than those things? It shouldn’t.

How you spend your energy should reflect your values.


Rank your values

Take a few minutes to list all the things that are important to you.

Now rank the top 5.

This can be really hard, but be honest with yourself. No one else needs to see this.

Here’s an example, but your list might contain totally different things, or in a totally different order.

List your top 5 values in order of priority

Rank your energy expenditure

Now you have to be even more honest with yourself… how are you currently spending your time and energy? Again, rank it from highest to lowest, and remember you’re just looking at the top 5 energy consumers in your life.

If it looks like this:

  1. Work
  2. Facebook
  3. Reality TV
  4. Sobbing into my wine glass
  5. Commuting to and from work

… then you’ve got a problem to fix.

Match ‘em up!

Once you’ve identified what’s important to you and how you’re currently spending your time & energy, it’s time to make some changes.

How can you re-structure your time and prioritise the things that are most important to you?

Sometimes just becoming aware of the difference between your priorities and your energy expenditure is enough to start making small changes.

But sometimes you need to make some really big, tough decisions. For example, if your job is sucking the life out of you but doesn’t even rank on your Top 5 values, it’s time to start looking for a new job. If your family is draining all of your energy but they’re not the number one value, you might need to start setting some boundaries and putting other things first.

Wrapping up…

This is a great exercise to do when life is getting busy or overwhelming, or when you just can’t seem to fit in things that are important to you. You might like to do this exercise as part of a regular review of your life and goals.

Remember that the point of the exercise is not to rank things that you think should be important to you. It’s not about ranking what other people value. It’s about what YOU value. If you really value reality TV more than work, GREAT! Make sure it ranks higher and find ways to put more of your energy toward that. This is all about identifying what you value most, and living for those values.

I hope you find this helpful and would love to hear what you think of the exercise.

Please follow and like us:

5 Things my Yoga Teacher Taught Me That Changed My Life

5 things my yoga teacher taught me that changed my life

My first yoga teacher was a gentle, earnest, spiritual, and funny woman. When I started yoga, it was because I had quit smoking and was trying to find some other way to calm my mind and improve my body. I was at the beginning of my path to self-improvement, and Penny, my yoga teacher, was a strong supporter and guide. Without even realising it, she did so much to inspire me.

We became friends and she followed my progress with interest. I was honoured when she asked me to do some early editing of her audiobook, and I was always inspired by her constant search for ways to improve herself and to learn as much as she possibly could. She was in her late sixties, but had so much enthusiasm and zest for life.

I was so sad to learn this past week that she passed away recently. We hadn’t kept in touch these last few years after I moved away, so I wasn’t even aware that she was ill. I regret that I didn’t do more to stay in touch with this wonderful woman. Despite not staying in touch, she frequently pops up in my mind. She was such a positive influence for me, and there are many things she taught me that are always coming up in my day to day life.

5 things my yoga teacher taught me (that aren’t yoga postures):

Never stop learning.

Penny inspired me to complete my degree and then keep on learning.

Penny had such a thirst for knowledge and made me realise how fortunate we are to be able to learn pretty much anything we want. She struggled with technology but there was no way in the world she was ever going to let it beat her! I used to think I’ll just finish my degree and I’ll be done with education. But Penny inspired me to think of all the things I’d love to learn one day, and now I can’t ever imagine not working at learning something. I’ve developed her enthusiasm for constantly learning. Whether it’s through formal education channels, or teaching yourself something through YouTube and online tutorials, the possibilities are endless.

You can control your mind.

There are so many things in the world that are beyond our immediate control. But Penny taught me that no matter what is going on around you, the one thing you have full control over is your mind. With focus and practice, you can take yourself to where you want to be emotionally and spiritually. In times of intense fear and danger, I was able to remain somewhat calm by using this skill.

You don’t have to be the best, but you do have to be better than your previous self.

I’ve always been a bit of a high achiever, but I’ve never been the best at anything. The feeling of total inadequacy has been a constant thing in my life. Penny taught me through yoga that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or achieving. Their experience is different to yours. What matters is that you are working on being better than you were previously. I have taken this and applied it to all areas of my life. Instead of the constant feeling of inadequacy, I now have a frequent feeling of achievement because I know that however far from perfect I might be, I’m still better than I was before. And that’s progress. Penny was always far more excited about progress than she was about complete mastery!

Be true to yourself.

Penny was passionate about a lot of things. A lot of those things were a bit weird. She had some spiritual practices that would raise eyebrows simply because they were out of the ordinary. We would go out for lunch to a café and she would bring out this little gadget and put a tiny portion of her food inside it. The first time this happened I was very confused. Was she taking some home for a pet mouse or something? No, it was an offering to the Gods, she explained nonchalantly, then proceeded to say a prayer and then urged me to eat. While I did not feel the need to take up this practice (mainly because I don’t like to share my food), I loved and respected that it was an important practice to her, and she would not allow others to modify it.

I’ve since learned that this is a pretty common practice in some religions, but it was very rare to see it occurring in a public place in the country town I lived in.

You can teach others even while you are still learning yourself.

Penny had an expansive knowledge of yoga, but she was very open about the fact that she was still learning herself. There were some postures that she could not quite master, but she would still teach them to others and would show great excitement about the fact that we were all learning together. By being open and upfront about what you do and don’t know, and by continuing to learn with your students, you can in fact be a better teacher than one who believes they have mastered the subject and has nothing more to learn.

I will continue to miss Penny and to think of her often, because she truly helped to change my life. The principles I’ve mentioned in this post are some of the main drivers of Fly Life.

A challenge for you:

Think about who has inspired your beliefs, your behaviours, your dreams. Who do you want to be like?

Sometimes it’s not until someone is gone that you realise what a huge influence they have been in your life. So today I challenge you to think about who inspires you, and why. What have they taught you, or how have they changed the way you do things? If you want, you can just do this as a private exercise, but I’d love it if you would share your thoughts in the comments!

Please follow and like us:

Personal Development: ‘Fly Life’ Style

Personal Development: ‘Fly Life’ Style

Personal development is such a huge field and probably means different things to different people. My interest in personal development started at a time when I realised that I couldn’t always change a situation, but I could change how I respond to it. I could change myself. So I started making tiny changes that rapidly built up until I was actually quite a different person to who I started out as.

This doesn’t mean that I’ve reached the end point in my personal development journey. I think it’s a lifelong pursuit to be a better person, to be someone you’re proud of, to live a life that you love and are proud of.

I’m not out to “fix” anyone or tell people what’s right and wrong. I’m just enjoying my own path to self-improvement and I like to share my own experiences and some things I’ve learned along the way through my studies.

My view on personal development, and what I hope to bring you through my blog, is this:

Personal Development Fly Life Style.

Always try to be a little bit better than the person you were yesterday.

Try to make someone else’s day a little bit better than it was before they interacted with you.

Be conscious of what kind of person you want to be, and work toward it.

Make gradual changes, have a go at new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking.

Life is a constant experiment. Have fun testing what works for you and what doesn’t.

If you don’t like something, change it, or at least change how you respond to it.

What it looks like in practice:

Some days you might experiment with developing a small habit, like say for example, making your bed or doing meal prep for the week. Other times you might experiment with something huge like starting a new career, studying a new field, or ending a toxic relationship.

I’m focusing big this year on just trying to always be a little bit better than I was before. Personal development is NOT about being better than someone else. It’s not about proving anything to anyone else. Really, it’s just about being who YOU want to be.

Even when I’ve had a bad day, I feel okay when I can go to bed knowing that at least I tried to do something positive about it.

You with me?

So if this seems like your version of personal development, self-improvement, growth…. whatever you want to call it… come hang out with me. Follow my blog, subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or send me an email now and then. Let me know what you want to read about or talk about. Tell me what you find useful. Share your tips or experiment findings with other readers! Let’s make each day a little better than the one before.

Please follow and like us: