Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Your life changes the moment...

I have just come across this quote that has so resonated with me that I simply had to share my story.
In April 2012, I took the leap of faith and started my own business to get away from the most difficult and challenging set of circumstances (that have been ongoing since 2009) I have faced in my personal life in a long time. This was the beginning of an exciting journey for me and I finally felt happy and contented for the first time in a long time.

However, in July 2012 yet another unexpected event pulled the rug from under my feet and left me feeling completely bewildered and unable to focus on anything good or positive in my life. From July through to December, I was fighting a constant battle with the “mind gremlins” who were telling me “what are you doing this all for”, no-one cares whether you succeed or not” “just give up”. I have never come so close to listening to them and simply just quitting. However, giving up is simply not in my nature or in my vocabulary so I wasn’t prepared to give anyone the satisfaction of giving in and quitting what I had worked so hard to achieve - this was simply not an option or solution.
Fortunately for me I have always had a very strong and supportive network of family and friends around me who stand by me no matter what - for which I remain eternally grateful. I began to realise towards the end of December 2012 that I had spent an unnecessary amount of time focusing my valuable time and energy on aspects of my life that I really have no control over. This “light bulb” moment about how I had allowed certain people – who no longer had any significance in my life - to clutter my mind with negativity was for me life changing.  It was then that my outlook changed and what better time than just before the start of a new year. Yes, I may have carried over some unfinished business into 2013 but I no longer allow it to dominate my time or energies and give it any credence with which to influence my life.

January has so far been an amazing month for me. I have changed as a person and I no longer take for granted anything or anyone who matters dearly to me – the rest of them can take a hike quite honestly. I have so much to be grateful for and so many positive aspects of my life that truly deserve 100% of my focus and energy that I have no room for any of the negative “monkey chatter” that I have allowed to dominate my life. I have never felt so focussed, determined, positive and full of excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead. I am working on the confidence issue and I am sure it is only a matter of time for that to be fully restored also.

April 2013 will be the first anniversary of my business and I am determined to have made a real success of it in order to celebrate in style. If someone had said to me a year ago that I would have fulfilled a life-long ambition of having my own business, I would not have believed them. So, now that I am in this position, nothing or no-one is going to stop me from reaching my goals and fulfilling all my life ambitions and dreams. I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences and met some truly inspiring ladies who I am privileged to call my friends that the incentive to succeed in business is massive. I most definitely would not give it all up now. Bring it on, I am ready!
I love what I do as a massage therapist and am passionate about health and wellbeing. I love working with clients to try and alleviate pain related issues due to back ache, tension, stresses and strains.

Hold onto your dreams and don’t ever give up. Don’t ever let anyone make you think you are not capable of achieving whatever your heart desires.
As you can see, I do love my quotes and the following are also very close to my heart:

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. Alexander Graham Bell

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Do you suffer from square peg syndrome? - GUEST BLOG BY PAULA JONES

I believe wholeheartedly in stepping outside of our comfort levels. In fact, I believe that comfort zone, when seen as a dot in the distance, is a great marker of how much we’re willing to push ourselves towards the shiny stuff we want. However, there’s also the issue of being a square peg in a round hole and in trying to batter ourselves into shape to fit, we have a tendency to knock our confidence levels.

Let me give you an example.

I have a client who knows that for her business to be a success, she must network. And let me tell you, she loathes it. Now, I’m not the biggest fan myself, but I do it and I’ve found networking formats that suit me really well. My client, however; we will call her Sue, and you guessed it, her name has been changed to protect her confidentiality; Sue made appointments for networking and signed up to tons of events, because they would seem like a good idea at the time, and then she’d torture herself over them.

Here are some of Sue’s old thought processes:
“I really have to go.”
“I should go, I’ll feel terrible if I don’t.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“If I don’t go it will look really bad.”
“I’ll feel like a failure if I don’t go.”

So, not a healthy set of thoughts, and thoughts that are guaranteed to make us instinctively form the “loser” gesture once we start beating ourselves up about them. What a shame.
Sue and I discussed her reasons behind these thoughts and I asked her what she did enjoy; and she enjoyed the social type of networking where she didn’t have to stand, quaking in her shoes with all eyes upon her while she stumbled through an introduction. So, I asked what was stopping her from choosing the networking events she could get along with and ditching the others.
Her eyes were like saucers. “I don’t have to go to the ones I don’t want?”

No, of course not.

Now; this may seem like a no brainer. However, if you run a business and your mojo is running on empty, the temptation is to think that in order to get yourself “out there” you must attend every event going. I don’t believe that’s a useful or viable option. If you are mojo – less, forcing a square peg into a round hole is a pointless and painful exercise, and your discomfort will show. You may as well carry a sign that says, “I don’t belong here!” Trying to keep up and act of being someone other than yourself is tiring and self identity is central to confidence.

This is true of so many situations. Push your boundaries, leave your comfort zone in the distance while you speed away in a cloud of dust; just remember you don’t have to put yourself into situations that leave you thinking, “well, I’m not going there again.” Network like mad, in a format you love. Get into social situations that you wouldn’t normally attend, just making sure you are likely to enjoy it.

You don’t have to force a square peg into a round hole.

Paula Jones is a qualified life coach at She dedicates her time to helping women who have been in a toxic relationship to recover their mojo and get back the confidence and self-esteem they left behind. She is now happily married to a fabby man who makes her laugh every day and reminds her of what it’s like to feel valued and respected and gently made fun of. Life is good again...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Travel ethic and chic!

Travel Ethic AND Chic

For those who are passionate about the environment and love to holiday, we have the perfect guest blog for you... 
I don’t know where you stand ladies but I like to pay a little attention to ethic matters. I am a travel PA and thus I have been thinking lately about ethical and sustainable travelling.
Of course, you can always go backpacking and showering once a week with cold water… But that is just not for me. I like a bit of comfort and chic now and then. Although I do give in to the yearly camping expedition once a year to please the hubby and doggy, but that’s not the subject.

Anyhow, how can we travel chic and ethic ? Well if the joy of camping is just not for you, follow your bespoke travel PA.
Start on paying attention to the housing you choose. You might want to go for High Environmental Quality labeled places. This sustainable label is a lot more common in France than in the rest of the world, but it is used worldwide, and even if it is not strictly the HEG label that you are looking for, the goals need to be the same : build and run sustainable facilities through eco-construction, eco management and a great concern about comfort and health priorities. This label was first used by office buildings and facilities but is now also used by the hotel and housing industry. The first HEQ hotel in Europe opened its doors in 2011, in Lyon, France: The Golden Tulip Millénaire. It has now been followed by a few others.

If you are more of a B &B traveller, you can chose to stay in B & Bs whose owners pay attention to sustainability : shop and cook local products, use eco- friendly washing products… You will usually find them on Google.
And then it’s all about adopting a green attitude. First of all, do not drive around too much. Use public transportation, bike or electric vehicles to get around and allow yourself to discover one area, instead of taking a busy busy full touristy tour of one country. No, you won’t get to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mont Saint Michel, the Châteaux de la Loire, the Bordeaux Vineyards and the French Riviera… But you will get to know one region really well and take time to discover the off-track activities and places, get to know the locals and share some fabulous time with them. You will get that lovely feeling of belonging a little to the place.

Last but not least when you are away, shop local, eat local, live local. Find restaurants and activity providers who share your mindset.
Finally, traveling ethic and chic is all about lowering your impact on earth resources and pollution, but keeping that comfort and chic you are used to and having a positive impact on the local economy. You will find all the addresses and brands name that have an earth friendly policy on the web.

I agree that it might be a lot more work to plan such a trip, carefully choosing your housing, activities, restaurants… Spotting all the off tracks “must do and must see” places, the open markets, the sustainable shops…But I can guarantee it will be worth the pain as you will get a fabulous ethic once in a lifetime travel experience you will be able to brag about for long.
And if you really want this fabulous vacation but on the no-brainer style, I am here to plan it to the very last detail for you. That is what I do with and all my clients leave either with a private guide or a tailor-made booklet of what will suit you on their destination. My bespoke exclusive services are just an email away!"

Our guest blogger, Gwen, taught for 4 years after graduating from anthropology. Then decided it was time to do what she really loved; travel. She recently became a Personal Travel Agent, mostly selling France and Europe to foreigners, but she also works on other destinations. She specializes in bespoke travel and events, making sure that her clients get the best experiences with no worries. This new job allows her to travel as much as she wants with her hubby and doggy and still be available for her privileged clients. Her office fits in a hand luggage : a Mac book, an iPhone, her notebook and a pen, and a few SensationnElle gift cards ready to be sent! Get in touch if you would like to know more information!