Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best MedicineWhen it comes to self-help, there are a plethora of treatments to choose from.  There’s Acupuncture, reflexology, Reiki, massage, crystals, meditation, art therapy, homeopathic remedies – the list is endless.

Some of these therapies will cost you money, and others can be done with little or no cash.  Meditating, for example, is free, and one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  Another activity that will cost you nothing but boost your wellbeing is laughter.

I am fortunate to have a glass is half-full personality type and together with my positive attitude I also have a tendency to see the funny side of life.  Think about Peter Kaye for a moment, he uses everyday activities and stresses to build up his act, with hilarious results.  Sarah Millican uses her own weight issues to reduce her audience into fits of giggles.  Learning to lasarah-millicanugh at yourself can help you to view life with less negativity. Read more

5 Things I’m Grateful For #FridayFive #Gratitude

5 Things I'm Grateful for This WeekI spotted this link on Lauren’s beautiful blog, Milly’s Guide and thought it was a fabulous idea. I write in my gratitude journal most nights but to do a weekly review certainly helps put your week into perspective.

Lauren encourages everyone to join in so I thought I’d give it a go.

Here are the five things that I am grateful for this week (Fri 21st – Fri 28th July):

  1. The school summer holidays have arrived. My middle son left secondary school this year which just leaves my youngest who will start her final year in September. This means school holidays aren’t going to be around for much longer as my teens grow up, get jobs, and carve out a spot in their own corner of the universe. I’ve always loved the school summer holidays; no alarms, lazy days, a house full of friends and laughter, paddling pool parties (yeah, we do occasionally get sunshine in summer!). I’m grateful for the holidays and spending time with my kids.
  2. Catching up with friends. Since getting back from my trip to America, I’ve tried to catch up with as many pals as possible in between attacking the to-do list and sorting through the gazillion emails that mounted up during my break. Being able to find time to meet a friend for a coffee is something I’m very grateful for.
  3. My blog stats were booming! Anyone who reads my author blog will know how excited I was about my recent trip. When I returned to the UK, it seemed like a good idea to blog about all the activities we’d done and places we’d seen. When I published the post Magical Mystery Tour: Part I over on my author blog I got a ‘ping’ from WordPress to say my stats were booming! Yay, I’m so grateful to everyone who popped over to read, like, share, and comment.
  4. Writing goals. My latest YA fiction novel, Oath Breaker, was released at the start of June and I’ve had some incredible feedback from readers. I’m currently working on the sequel and am grateful to find the words flowing, the plot twisting, and the positive vibes keeping me afloat.
  5. A little bit of self-care. After a couple of long-haul flights, my neck and shoulders were in a bit of a state, so I’m grateful to Jaki from Mind Spa for the wonderful lava shell massage she gave me to unwind my knots and leave me floating on air.

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6 Tips for a Perfect Summer Holiday

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer holidayThere’s a Billy Crystal film called City Slickers that was a firm favourite of mine back in the 90s. The basic plot was about three friends who take an annual trip together without their wives. Each year the trips get wackier. In City Slickers they travel to the Southwest to drive cattle on a supervised vacation. The legendary Jack Palance plays the tough cowboy, Curly Washburn and Billy Crystal plays Mitch, the man on the edge of a midlife crisis.

It’s a fun film to watch, but it also has a few valuable lessons mixed in amongst the humour. One of my favourite parts is when Curly explains ‘vacation’ to Mitch. ‘Y’all spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then expect to come up here and unwind them in two weeks.’ This pretty much sums up the basic work/life balance of the twentieth century. We work long hours sometimes risking our family time and leisure activities and then expect to fully relax when herded onto bus, plane, and coach on an all-inclusive trip to Spain! Read more

Trek to the Top Challenge #Fitness

Trek to the TopAll of my friends appear to be taking part in a fitness regime these days.  The hugely popular 30 Day Abs Challenge, created by mum of eight, Robyn Mendenhall Gardner, has changed my sedentary pals into crunchers, plankers and leg lifters.  If I knew how to crunch I may have joined them.

Not to be outdone by my toned up, trimmed down friends, I decided that action was needed to be taken if I wanted to get that summer body I craved.

I may have hung up my running shoes after completing my half marathon back in 2012, but there is nothing stopping me from dusting them off and putting them to good use once more.  Running is out of the question as my knees creak louder than my floorboards these days, so I wanted to keep it simple-ish! Read more

How Planning and Organisational Skills are a Vital Tool in our Lives

How to Plan and Stay OrganisedWhen working with my female clients, I always made sure to maintain direct eye contact. I found it interesting how varied eye contact could be from client to client, but by keeping my own gaze level and my posture upright, it often calmed my ladies enough to get them to open up about any physical or emotional issues they wanted to work on during our therapy sessions.

I’ve attended numerous workshops and training sessions over the years where I’ve had to correct myself when I realised I had crossed my arms and/or legs. Notably, it was often when the topic was a difficult one to cope with. Folding in on myself was something I started to do long before I left my abusive marriage. Over time, I’ve learned how to open up my body language and slow my speech, although this is still a work in progress. By being responsive to the lessons all around me, I maintain my interest in the people I meet and the subjects I learn and teach. Read more

Embracing Personal Development to Lead a Happier Life

‘When the student is ready the teacher appears.’ Buddha.

Embracing PDThat quotation became a guiding light through dark times for me. Instead of shaping my life as a victim of emotional and physical domestic abuse, I was guided down the pathway of a survivor by numerous mentors. It wasn’t on overnight revelation by any means. Before I tuned into the right vibrations, I lost my way, abusing my body and mind with alcohol and a poor diet. I developed hyperhidrosis and eczema brought on by the stress of divorce and coping as a single mum to three children under the age of six. I lost my job and my home, as well as an entire family unit in the way of mother and father-in-law, sister, brother, nieces, and nephew. I felt very alone.

When my Reiki Master Teacher appeared in my life following a series of events and meetings that I later learned to be synchronicity at work. I realised that ‘I’ the student, was ready. By studying the principles of Reiki, I was able to utilise these lessons and adopt the techniques for self-work. Understanding, finally, that it’s impossible to help others if you are broken. Working on my issues, became a priority and from a more grounded base, I was able to support my children and embrace a solid, happy, and healthy family life. Read more

The Book Lovers Tag #AmReading

Book Lovers TagThe Book Lovers Tag

I spotted this tag on the fabulous Mint Tea and Elephants blog and thought it would be fun to join in.

Do you have a specific place for reading?

I have a few favourite spots. One is curled up on a comfy chair in my writing cave as it overlooks the garden. I can have a wistful glance at the shrubbery when I come across an incredible piece of prose I wished I’d written! The next is my bed where I’ll happily retire as early as nine o’clock if a new chapter or three is calling. My last favourite spot is in the garden languishing on a sun lounger with a glass of something cold. Of course, I live in the UK so this is a rare occurrence, but I can dream!

Bookmarks or random pieces of paper? Read more