Smiling is infectious..

In these “trying times” it is SUPER Important that we STOP judging.
We have no idea what another person’s story is.
Let us treat those around us with KINDNESS and COMPASSION.
It is challenging to smile with a face mask covering your mouth – but you can smile with your eyes and with your body language. You can smile with your words and with your tone.
Be aware of the judgement calls you are making.
You get what you focus on.

Focus on KINDNESS and COMPASSION.

When I got back in the car at the end of my shift today, I pulled my mask down. After four and a bit hours I wanted it OFF! I got home, reversed around 10 metres down the drive and grabbed my stuff. As I was about to get out of the car a woman walked past, clearly saw I didn’t have a mask on and shot me a terrible look combined with defensive body language. My initial reaction was a flare of anger – but that doesn’t help my mental health.

The next time I see her I will wave and smile. She doesn’t know my story – but I do, so I will do what I can to turn her frown upside down 😊

This poem was one my Nana’s. Even though it’s at least 30 years old it’s still valid 😀

We had her back…

My baby gal is 5 today!
She came for a sleepover with us on 14 Feb 2015 and never went home. The first 5 weeks were a NIGHTMARE! Funny enough she finally bonded with Elly and I after she was attacked at the dog park. Curious by nature, she had gone up to a dog (who was on a lead) and the dog had bitten her nose and was literally swinging Daisy backward and forwards. She was 5.8kg’s and had no paws on the ground. I swooped to the ground (on my stomach!) and literally pulled her from the other dog’s jaw. Elly went ballistic barking at the dog and the owner, while some of my dog friends had a crack at the owner.
Shaken, we stumbled home with me trying super hard not to cry. This little dog that had kept us awake nearly every night for 5 weeks, was using the lounge as a toilet, wouldn’t eat, was being walked 4 times a day and still seemed to have boundless energy – had not bonded with us in any way. She had just been in a terrifying position and wouldn’t let me hold her close. I remember sitting on the couch and Elly laid down beside me. Daisy was on the floor, in what had become her usual aloof position. At that point, I started crying wondering what on earth I was going to do. She then jumped up on my lap and started nuzzling Elly and then me.
She hasn’t stopped loving us since. She is a dog that has so much love to give, a joy to be around and is always searching for fun. Love my Daisy Girl!

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends. 

 

Please be security conscious when using FB.

Yesterday we had a ‘situation’. It was one of those times when one thing led to another which led to another. Thankfully there was no nasty outcome but there could have been….

Before bed we lock the door, close windows, lock the car, know where our keys and purse/wallet are – subconsciously we are making ourselves and our family safe.

FB is public – and the scope of the public is millions. It’s a game of numbers so there are going to be people who are trying to scam you. The obvious FB scam is your identity.

  • Regularly check your security settings.

FB changes all the time. It is constantly growing and evolving and with that our security may be compromised. Personally, I go in and check it out every other month and update my settings. There is always something that has changed, and then I change it back.  Go to the arrow on the top right of your screen and in the drop down box you will see Privacy Settings.

  • Be aware of the information you are broadcasting to the FB world.

We don’t tend to stand on street corners and call out our date of birth, the name of our first teacher/pet/car, our mums maiden name. These are all security questions used by other companies and institutions we do business with. Those posts that ask questions about your history were not designed by your friends to know more about you. That’s what coffee catch ups, and dinner nights are for. Those posts were designed by hackers – it’s a trap…..

  • Before accepting any friend request have a look at the profile.

How long have they been on FB? How many posts are there? How many friends do they have? How many mutual friends do they have?

A good hacker will use the name of one of your friends and may already have your friends on their friend list. No one sets up a new profile – EVER!

If someone came to your front door and looked like a friend but was dressed differently, walked differently, had a different voice you wouldn’t let them in, would you? Check out the profile and if it doesn’t look right delete the request.

  • Never give away your personal information via FB messenger.

Sounds pretty obvious but hackers are good at what they do and what they want to do is steal your identity. The will pretend to be your friend and have ways to get you to hand over details. Things like “Do you mind if I have a parcel dropped off at your place? I just need your Driver’s Licence number, so they can check.” Of course, you want to help your friend. Instead pick up the phone and call the person who is asking you.

  • We need to be vigilant.

Put together a security plan. Just like you do before you go to bed. Before long, it will become second nature. If you see something suspicious on a ‘friends’ FB profile or have a strange request let the real FB friend know. There is every chance someone is using their FB page. It’s the same scenario if you knew that there was someone inside your friend’s house. You wouldn’t walk on by. You would sound the alarm, make some noise, turn the lights on. Frighten the burglar off – they will run if they think they will be caught.

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends.

 

More care, less plastic

I was 14 years old – it was 1984 – I asked mum if we could find another option and stop using plastic bags for grocery shopping. I haven’t used them since.

I don’t say this to gloat, pump my ego, or to make you feel bad – it’s just the way it has always been for me.  It’s so deeply ingrained in the way I think – to not only recycle and reuse but whenever possible, to not use in the first place. I always had a deep mistrust of recycling…..hmmmpf – with good reason it seems.

One thing I have never done is judge how the people around me use plastic.

I have always believed passionately that MY impact can make a difference.

However, now I think that it is time to please ask EVERYONE to find an option and not use single use plastic water bottles.

Please do not use them.

Ultimately, they are not kind to the environment, your health or your purse.

Approximately 22 BILLION plastic water bottles end up in landfill every single year. How do we even estimate how many end up in our precious lakes, rivers and oceans? They may be convenient to use but for the environment, the impact is forever…that’s not very convenient….

Reusing single use water bottles is not the answer. They are manufactured to be used once and once only. To use repeatedly is risking your health.

With regards to your health, water bottles used to be made with BPA. BPA was found to be linked with pretty much every human disease known! There is now another evil found in plastics which is called Phthalates. It makes plastic durable, transparent, flexible and ironically gives it longevity.  The impact on our health may be even more catastrophic than BPA…..

Another reason I have never used single use water bottles is I calculated the cost of a litre of water and just refused to pay that much for something I can get for free from the tap. Bottled water costs between $10 and $15 a litre – exorbitant!

Now you may be thinking that if bottled water was really that bad for our health than the manufacturers and the government wouldn’t allow it right? Well, I don’t think they actually care. It comes down to profit and winning the next election. When you look at sponsorships for many of our sporting competitions you will see that the companies that make single use water bottles are involved.  It’s big business and your health is just not that important to them.

At times it can seem overwhelming. At times I have thought that all my efforts have no impact. It only lasts a moment…..

We have a choice.

Every day we can get up and stand up for what we believe in OR we get up and give in.

When it comes to my health, when it comes to the environment, when it comes to YOUR health I am NEVER GIVING UP!

So, let’s work together here – together we CAN make a difference.

Be well, stay well.

Over the years I have talked to many members about how to feel better when they have a cold.

As a child, I suffered dreadfully with colds. These days I am rarely sick.

I use the following tips when I feel a cold coming on.

The best tip of all is to think “Be well, stay well.” I believe that you get more of what you focus on – so focus on being well.

Embrace the cold, embrace the Winter – there is nothing you can do about the seasonal cycle. Focus on what you can have an impact on and enjoy the seasonal changes.

The seasons will roll along and life will continue and before we know it Spring will be here.

You have a sore throat and can feel a cold coming!

Drink honey and lemon tea.

In a cup of boiling water add the juice of half a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of honey. This may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s been around a long time because it is simple and effective. The honey will help soothe your sore throat, while the lemon helps to clear up a blocked nose.

 Manuka Honey is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Pick one that has at least 10 UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). It tastes delicious and instantly soothes the throat. Don’t be put off by the high price tag of a high UMF. A little bit goes a long way and a jar will last you a long time.

 Gargle with warm salty water and baking soda.

Gargling salt water helps to moisten the throat and fight infection, as salt is a natural antiseptic. Try adding a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and stir to dissolve. You can add a little baking soda to help take the “zing” from the salt away.

 Stay warm.

It is important to stay warm during your illness, as a cold can leave you feeling weak and shivery. Wear plenty of layers during the day and cover up with extra blankets when sleeping or resting in bed or on the couch.

 Turn on a Nature Direct Breathe Easy.

Nature Direct’s Breathe Easy cleans the air by removing pollutants and allergens. It uses a completely plant based natural formula that will cleanse and purify the air helping you to breathe a little easier.  Shout out if you would like to try mine.

Drink up but stay off the coffee

Staying hydrated will reduce the effects of many symptoms such as headaches and sore throat, while also preventing dehydration. Hot teas and soups are a good way to increase your liquids whilst also helping to relieve sinus congestion. The caffeine in coffee will not help your cold symptoms. Have you noticed that when you are really sick the coffee craving disappears?

 Blow your nose only when it is necessary and use soft, good quality tissues and moisturiser.

Constantly and forcefully blowing your nose can lead to a build-up of pressure and trapped mucus in your sinuses, which may become infected. Blowing your nose helps rid the body of mucus helping you to decongest and it is certainly better then sniffling – especially for those around you! So be gentle – don’t force it.

 FESS is a fantastic nasal decongestant.

It’s non-medicated so can be used as often as you like.

An alternative which has become very popular in recent years is flushing out the sinuses with a Neti pot. The Neti pot contains a saline solution which is poured in one nostril and out the other. This thins the mucus in the nasal passages, allowing it to be flushed away. I have never been brave enough to use this but if I was ever seriously congested I would give it a go!

Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil can help clear the nasal passages and make breathing easier.

Add a couple of drops to a bowl of warm water and then soak a face cloth in the water, wring it out, then use it to cover your face and let it sit there for a couple of minutes while you inhale deeply.

Make up an oil with a good carrier oil and rub it on your chest and feet before bed.

Put a few drops in the bottom of the shower and inhale the steam.

Take some time off work – your health is worth it.

Your work colleagues will not thank you for sharing your germs.  When I give this advice I often hear that it is easier for me as I am self-employed. Well in a way it is. When I get tired I lay down for an hour or so and I feel much better afterwards. The reason I will head for a power nap as soon as I feel unwell is because I really cannot afford to be sick – as I’m self-employed in an owner-operated business!

I believe that a few hours of rest (or a luxurious day) prevents a few days or weeks of not being able to do my job.  It makes me much more productive and effective which has meant that I have been able to continue to run the business over many winters.

Get to bed early.

Your body needs all its resources to fight the cold virus so get to bed early and get as much sleep as possible. Try to keep your head raised while sleeping, as this will assist with the drainage of your nasal passages. If you do not give your body the rest it needs, you will continue to feel unwell.

Change your pillow case every day while you are feeling unwell.

One snotty night on your pillow case is enough.

 Usually a cold will go away within 3-7 days. If it is over 7 days, visit your Doctor.

Clinics are filled with sick people this time of year and there is very little that a Doctor can do for you. Of course, if symptoms persist…….

How often do you have a cold and just as you are feeling better you are sick again? Having a cold will compromise your immune system – so do everything you can to protect and support your immune system.

Take a Multi-Vitamin supplement.

Taking a supplement packed with essential vitamins and minerals is an easy way to boost your immune system. (If you are interested in trying the Youngevity power packed BTT then just shout!)

 Eat garlic.

Garlic helps to protect the immune system with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.

Zinc up.

I first started taking Zinc when I lived in the UK. Over there it is a very popular choice as it not only prevents colds but if you do end up with one you will probably recover sooner and experience less severe symptoms.

 Get lots of vitamin C.

Although the effectiveness of vitamin C in stopping colds is widely disputed, I certainly feel that it shortens the duration and severity. I tend to take a fairly large dose in a short period of time and I’m totally ok if it is a placebo!

 Echinacea – placebo or real?

Echinacea has also been widely disputed by experts although some studies claim that Echinacea can both decrease the likelihood of developing a cold, while also reducing the duration of a cold. The key is to take Echinacea as soon as you feel the first symptoms of a cold coming on. I have also found that a supplement derived from the bulb of the plant seems to be more effective. Blackmores do a liquid Echinacea – disgusting yet effective.

Olive Leaf Extract – one of my favourites

Pick a high-quality extract as the taste does improve with quality. Olive Leaf extract works so well because it is packed full of antioxidants and supports your immune system. It is ideal for sore throats and nasty chest coughs.

 Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

Sneezing into your elbow is a way to stop the spread of germs – even more effective if you have long sleeves…….eeeewwww!!! It sounds obvious but head to Southland and check out how many sick people there are out and about. How many do you think washed their hands after sneezing into them?

Throughout the germ season wash your hands often and wash them well with warm water and soap. Pay attention to this during all stages of a cold as the cold virus can easily be shared. Sharing is nice – sharing your cold is not so nice.

Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

You get more of what you focus on – so be well and stay well.

 

 

Listen to your gut….

“What does your gut tell you?”  “What’s your gut reaction?”

Typical questions you hear when you make a decision.  Unfortunately, the belief is that if it doesn’t feel right than it’s not a good decision. Or is it?

As a child, I would always have an upset stomach before I did just about anything! First day of school every single year and every single term and I would feel sick. If by some miracle, I was actually invited to a birthday party or any other social event I would feel sick. Thankfully my mother is not the nurturing type and she would yell at me and push me out the door. Looking back that was the response I needed. It taught me that my action or behaviour wasn’t governed by my gut as my gut was always upset! It was not an indicator to be trusted!!

Three years ago, I had the privilege of attending a weekend seminar with Dr Joe Dispenza. I walked away from that seminar embracing my gut instinct. An upset stomach may be a symptom when you create change. It’s not that it’s a bad decision – it’s just stepping into the unknown.

“Crossing the river of change requires that you leave the same familiar predictable self – connected to the same thoughts, same choices, same behaviours, and same feelings – and step into a void or the unknown. The gap between the old self and the new self is the biological death of your old personality. If the old self must die, then you have to create a new self with new thoughts, new choices, new behaviours, and new emotions. Entering this river is stepping toward a new unpredictable, unfamiliar self. The unknown is the only place where you can create – you cannot create anything new from the known.” Page 64 ‘You are the Placebo’

So, next time you make a decision and decide to stay as you are because of your gut instinct. Think again – is the gut upset by the decision or is it excited about creating something new?

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

 

I love this book! I first read it around 2002/2003 and it was EPIC!  I lent it to someone and never got it back – cannot remember who! When that happens I always just think that the other person needed it more than I did.

Up to that point a lot of what I was reading was talking about banishing fear. That fear was not an emotion you wanted as it would only be debilitating. That courage was all about being brave and moving forward and that was what you wanted.  So how come I was still feeling fearful? Was the fear I felt really that bad? In 2004 when I started Step Cheltenham the fear that I felt was enormous! However – as this book shows you – fear can be a good thing and it was certainly what I discovered.

Fear is quite a natural emotion to have. The more you care about something the more fear you will probably have. HOWEVER you can use that fear to halt what you are doing or you can harness that fear to propel you forward. A good bit of fear can take you out of your comfort zone and take you to places you never thought possible. In 2004/2005 I harnessed the fear of business failure and used it in a positive way to propel me forward.

Courage is about knowing what you fear and moving forward regardless, planning the fear into your decision and using it in a positive way.

Think about how many times you have not done something because of fear. Perhaps next time you can feel the fear and do it anyway?

You attract into your life what you focus on

You attract into your life what you focus on.

This week there has been a lot of stress, anxiety, disbelief and fear. 

All generated by a presidential election on the other side of the planet. 

Focus on what you can control and forget about the rest. 

The sun will rise and we will be blessed with another day. 

Treat your body with respect and kindness. 

Practice gratitude. 

Have love in your heart. 

Learn something new. 

Make someone laugh.

If we can live in our global community from this place our world will be filled with joy, happiness and abundance. 

Have a beautiful day xx

 

Just did it…..

Motivation – to provide someone for a reason for doing something 

 Not motivated to exercise? Don’t feel like it? Too busy, cold, tired? 

 So often I hear “I don’t feel motivated to exercise”. The definition of motivation does not even mention feelings. So why do we need to feel motivated to exercise? Moving is one of the best things that we can do for our bodies, yet only a quarter of the Australian population regularly exercise. It just doesn’t make sense…. Or does it? 

 Somewhere along the line our reason to exercise has become emotional and our reason to continue regularly exercising has also become emotional. The problem with exercising for emotional reasons is that it’s difficult to make that last for years on end. Emotions come and go. Feelings change. Emotion alone cannot give a big enough reason to support a regular life time exercise habit. Do a Google search on “Not motivated to exercise” and you will see just how many people have tried to fix this issue AND the motivation tactics are mostly about feelings and emotion. Feeling good in a new pair of jeans just won’t do it long term – those jeans will only be new once and then where does the motivation go?

 So how do I motivate myself? In the same way that my long-term members motivate themselves. I never question whether I will exercise – I just get on with it. There’s no feeling involved – like brushing my teeth a couple of times a day. It just happens – it’s a habit that serves me well, so I keep doing it. 

If I do think about its for toned and strong muscles, for bone density to resist osteoporosis, for good balance and coordination, for a strong heart muscle, to reduce stress, decrease the chance of mental illness, to sleep better, to have more energy during the day. These are all great reasons – logical reasons that aren’t based on feelings or emotion. 

 Sure, feelings come into it. The flow of exercise endorphins feels fantastic, the sense of achievement after a session feels awesome, feeling good in my favourite jeans is amazing. They are all feelings and motivation to exercise but they are not long lasting and on a cold winters morning they don’t provide a good enough reason to get out of bed and get moving. Knowing that when I get home I have achieved something good for my health, combined with a 30 plus year habit is enough to keep me motivated. 

 So next time you are thinking of hitting the snooze button or sting on the couch think about some REAL reasons as to why you exercise. And after its done you can say I Just Did It

 

Adventure

Had a surprise adventure on the weekend. You know those times when you say yes to going somewhere but you just don’t think it’s going to be fun – maybe it will even be a bit boring?

Dad was visiting and asked if I was interested in going to the Moorabbin Aviation Museum. One of his goals for this year is to have an adventure every month. He usually has some kind of goal similar to this each year which is pretty cool!

I am never one to turn down an invite so off we went. Couldn’t tell you how many times I have driven down Centre-Dandenong Road and noticed the sign for the museum – heap sand heaps!  Have also driven past the museum and judged it (incorrectly, as so many of our judgements are!) as a boring junk yard for airplanes.

Once inside though we discovered that the museum is an amazing experience put together by a lot of volunteer’s who are clearly very passionate about their hobby – it was so refreshing to see their enthusiasm!  There are quite a lot of planes that you can go on board and lots of cockpits that you can sit in. I took the Captains seat and gave Dad the Co-Pilot seat. Our imaginations ran wild – pushing buttons and role playing different scenarios! It was great fun and very funny!

How many interesting places are there to see in our local neighbourhood that we don’t know about?

Maybe that we do know about but judge them as boring?

How many times are we asked along to things and say “no” thinking it might be boring?

Maybe it won’t be boring after all?

I’m glad Dad asked me to join him on his first adventure for 2016 and I look forward to saying YES to a few more!