Monthly Archives: October 2011

Spice Up Your Life!

I don’t have many vices – I’m pretty clean living – but there is this one thing… chillies.  I love chillies and spice … in fact you might say I’m something of a spice girl …  when I need a little pepping up, spare me the chocolate, put away your cookies, you can keep your coffee, just hand me the pickle jar and a nice pack of crisps and … you know, leave me alone for a while.  I’m such a spice aficionado, that I actually make my own Indian pickle.  On what I have lovingly called ‘Pickle Sunday’- any Sunday I choose to make pickle –  the smell of spicy pickle wafts down the street and has the less hardy of those who call at our house buckling at the knees.

Well, this time around, I’d made a huge batch of mango pickle, fresh and dried, chilli hot and no chilli – for the kids – and our long-suffering cleaning lady walked in the door, just as I was finishing labelling the jars.  “Here, taste this, I just made it!”  I enthusiastically offered and handed her a spoonful of the ‘not hot’ variety – just spice. “Mmm!” she said politely, which was quickly followed by coughing, and spluttering.  Then, still aflame, she managed to gather up her broken English and say “I like water!” which I quickly produced, to put out the fire.  We both laughed, and I quipped “Now you work fast!”  Ok, so I’ve got a mischievous streak.  I used to dare my school chums to taste green chillies – only to have them running for the taps to wash their tongues … I guess some things never change!

It got me thinking though … what lights a fire under you?  It’s different for everybody, and of course there can be more than one thing, depending on the situation.  If you can work out what drives and excites you, and make a habit of bringing it into your life, then you have more fun and you get all the energy in the world to make things happen!  Just like any plain old food can be woken up with the addition of chillies, if you’re having difficulties getting something done, because it doesn’t inspire you, what could you add to it, to give it that spark?

So here’s a challenge for you: Make a list of things you think you ought to be doing, but aren’t.

Now take a good hard look at the list.  Some of those items you aren’t doing because they actually belong on someone else’s list and they just managed to offload them onto you, or guilt you into it.  Strike those out – time is short enough without having to do other people chores as well as your own.  Now of what’s left, some of those items will be things you really don’t know whether you actually need to do or not, or couldn’t much care about. Personally I’d sideline those too – if they’re not important enough to motivate you at all, why bother.  That will leave things that really are important, that you really want to get done, but can’t seem to find the gumption for.

Then you can ask yourself the big question: What could I do to spice this up?

If you find exercising boring but you really want to make it a part of your life, what could make it more enjoyable and fulfilling? Listening to music? A new route to run every day? A variety of different types of exercise to do on different days of the week?  What about housework … would blaring music get you going? Or perhaps getting your kids to compete and see who gets their chores finished first?  What about getting up early to get a good start on the day – would a nice mug of hot chocolate help? Or allowing yourself a 15 minute stint on Facebook before you do anything else? A pair of cosy slippers?  Or perhaps porridge with chillies in it … whatever floats your boat…

Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself things that you like, and lots and lots of reasons to do what’s important to you.  Judge yourself favourably and give yourself every chance to succeed.   You want to get the most out of yourself? Treat yourself well.  It’s often said, when dealing with other people that ‘you catch more flies with honey’ – i.e. that you get further with people by being nice to them.  Well the adage is just as true with regard to yourself.  Figure out what ignites your passion and get more of it – here’s to your success!


Ps: If a spoon of pickle will do the trick, just let me know…


You’re Never Fully Dressed …

You know what I just woke up singing (in my head obviously … and I’m about to betray my age here, not to mention my hitherto taste in movies …)

So Senator, so Janitor so long for a while

Remember you’re never fully dressed without a smile…

Brings back memories?

So as I progressed in a cave womanly fashion down the stairs to write this (having tea, have evolved back to the present!) I was thinking to myself: “Hmm, what’s better, to always put a good face on it and say you’re happy, whether you are or not, or to be honest and say so if you’re not feeling that great?

There are two camps aren’t there? The ‘Cosmetic Smilers’ would say that you smile no matter what, keep a tight hold on your emotions, never tell anyone how you’re actually feeling because it’s not professional, or not socially acceptable and you would bore people …

And then of course there are the ‘honesty bunnies’ that will go on and on telling you about one dreadful situation after another that they are enduring, every single time you see them without fail, so that if you haven’t got 40 minutes to spare you have to make sure not to say ‘hi, how are you’ in greeting, or boy do you get an ear-full!

Decisions, decisions … plasticized chalky smile, or social bore…

Of course there is a 3rd way … BE HAPPY!

Life has its ups and downs, sure, but for most of us, there’s plenty to smile about.  Some times it’s good to remind ourselves of all the things we have to appreciate:

Do you and the people you love have a roof over your head and food to eat?

How many people do you have in your life who love or care about you in some way?

How many people do you love and care about?

Do you get to have fun, relax, see beautiful things and places on occasion?

Do you get to contribute your gift to the world in some way, big or small?

See, there’s plenty to smile about already.  And when you add to that the idea that we all rest in this beautiful soup of energy that is the Universe, that was designed to give us all our needs, and everything we need to succeed, then you begin to understand more and more that we attract challenges to ourselves so that we can grow and master those challenges. That we have on tap everything we need to do well and achieve our desires, we just have to be open to the opportunities and ‘special offers’ that come our way …

The problem is never ‘out there’, always ‘in here’.  It doesn’t matter what comes your way, good or bad, happy or sad, easy or challenging.  It’s what you do with it that counts.  Attitude is everything.  And you know what? That often starts with a smile …

So this week gather your wits, count your blessings and know that if your plans are wholesome and in line with the development of the Universe, you will succeed. It’s as simple as that.  That’s something to smile about!

Feel good 🙂


a re-blog … — Think Differently — Steve Jobs

See Kali’s blog too – great link to an inspiring Apple add:

— Think Differently — Steve Jobs.

The Next Steve Jobs

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.  As you must know by now the co-founder of Apple died last Wednesday 5th October, age 56. I’ve just sat here and watched him delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005 (you can find it on YouTube – The speech is very moving, simple and honest – if you haven’t seen it I’d say it’s worth 15 minutes of your time. 

Don’t you ever find yourself wondering “What’s the difference that makes the difference with people like that?”  There he is up on stage, just another human being talking frankly about his life, and sharing some things he’s learnt for the benefit of the graduating students present. Now he’s dead, the sentence already passed on every living being.  Yet he was different, and in that he lives on.  He was different enough to be instrumental in creating the Apple Mac computer, that has revolutionised computing and thereby the world.  He mentions in his speech that he started Pixar (who pioneered feature length computer animated films). And most lately of course his company is responsible for the ipod/phone/mac.  So a true innovator, and a sad loss for the world. 

I think the thing that most struck me about the man, watching that speech, was that he spoke from the heart.  It’s always refreshing to see someone who is in the public eye just be themselves with no airs and graces. And perhaps that is where the difference lies.  I’m beginning to think that perhaps that’s what sets true geniuses, innovators and trendsetters apart.  Perhaps it isn’t the brilliance of their ideas.  After all we all have mind-blowing ideas from time to time – how often have you seen some new invention come up and said “Hey I thought of that last year!”  Perhaps, just perhaps, it has more to do with the fact that they’re not afraid to be themselves, and to stand up for what they believe in.  Everybody has ideas, THEY follow up on their ideas, and have the guts to offer them to the world.  Look at the big people in our history – Einstein, Van Gogh, Picasso, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte , Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi , Princess Diana, Thomas Edison, Mohamed Ali, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon even J.K. Rowling, to name but a disparate few. Every one of them a striking and unique individual.  Every one of them bold enough to offer their personal gift to the world, without apology.

Steve Jobs himself touches on this idea during said speech:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

So if you truly want to make your mark on the world and share your gift with humanity, isn’t it time you started to live in accordance with your truest beliefs?  Isn’t it time to really be yourself?  I say this as much to myself as anyone.  I think it’s something most of us really struggle with, because being authentic is a risky business. We risk being ostracised or ridiculed.  We risk losing friends. We risk feeling stupid or the odd one out and we risk failure.  Scary isn’t it?  In times gone by if you were chucked out of your community that meant exposure to the elements and predators and almost certainly an early death, so it’s probably programmed into each and every human being to conform, purely for the sake of safety.  It’s actually known that the best ideas usually get laughed out of town before they’re accepted as fact.   I guess you have to weigh up the benefit of being safe and boring or living it large, and taking some risks.

Which leads me to one of my favourite quotes:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, shouting GERONIMO!”   Hunter S. Thompson from Hell’s Angels

Wanna be a trend setter?  Wanna be the next Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling?  The truth is, you can never be them.  You can only be the one and only authentic you.  Starting TODAY.

My wish for you (and for myself!) this week is that we take some time out from the tumult around us, and tune in to the quiet yet persistent inner voice within each of us.  That we listen well and act on those flashes of inspiration that come to us.  The voice gets louder, and the ideas get better the more you listen.  Your inspiration deepens, and the power of your creative though becomes more far reaching, the more you invite it into your life and the more you share it.  Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy.  You’re just tapping in to your own truth, and the deepest wisdom sitting there in the Universe waiting for you, just you, to claim it and proclaim it aloud.  Draw down that gift that’s yours to give, and share it with existence – that’s your birthright, and your obligation.

Wishing you a deeply inspired, authentic week –


Turn Away – My New Mantra for the Year

You know, being a life coach, I practice what I preach, so every year I sit down, reassess the past year, look at my lifelong goals and plan for the year ahead.  The boundaries between one year and the next are a little blurry for me, as being Jewish, I also have a Jewish New Year, so in practice it tends to be a new year ‘period’ that runs from sometime in September until the end of  December!  So unlike many I’m already thinking about my New Year’s resolutions…

I’ve recently started to have a mantra or slogan for the year – something that’s simple yet digs deep and affects everything I do.  Last year it was ‘Compassion, Not Judgement’, which I’ll probably write about at some stage.  This year it’s something out of a Rhonda Byrne book …*shuffles off to go find the book and get the quote right*…

Ok, here it is…

“… with anything you don’t love, simply turn away from it without judgement and you won’t include it in your life”

Rhonda Byrne – The Power

Now I know I’m writing for an educated audience here, most of whom are aware of the Force of Attraction – that the more attention you give something the more of it you bring into your life.  What I used to have a problem with was the other side of things.  It’s all very well focusing on wealth, health and  all the other good stuff, but what do you do when something nasty ups and smacks you in the face?  Life’s not all rosy-sunny all the time is it? And if you then say to yourself ‘this thing is bad and I hate it’ you’re just giving it all the focus it needs to turn into something bigger.  A lot of people will tell you – “focus on the good stuff, don’t focus on the bad stuff”  but how do you ‘not focus’ on something?   When you ‘not focus’, you’re actually focusing on it!

So those two words in the above sentence – ‘turn away’, really solved a problem for me.  When it rains on my parade, or someone disrespects me, or the traffic just won’t move, and it’s a situation I can’t do anything about, I just turn away.  Physically if I can, mentally if I’m bodily stuck there.  I turn away and find something more productive and enjoyable to think about or do. You can’t fight the rain, force someone to respect you or snap your fingers and magic away the traffic, so what’s the point of resisting it?

Which brings me to another point – Acceptance.  I’ve written about this in a previous blog ( ) so I won’t delve into it here, I mention it only to point out that accepting a thing you can’t change allows you to drop your obsession over it, and get on with your life instead. So I think it’s relevant here too.

With that in mind, here’s my new 3 point plan for dealing with what appear to be adverse circumstances, and at the same time keeping a hygienic ‘Force of Attraction’:

1-      If you can do something about it, in whole or part, then Take Action – every little positive action always bears fruit, if not in the situation at hand, then in the future.

2-      For things you are currently powerless to change, practice Acceptance (and do please see  so you understand what I mean here). These things happen, it isn’t personal.  Heavy traffic isn’t personal, and neither is the intention of someone who disrespects you – even if they think it is!  Their disrespect for you is about their journey.  What you do with their disrespect is about your journey and is the only thing you’re responsible for.  Actually I would say practice acceptance of the things you do change too – acceptance always comes first – once you accept something challenging, you remove the negative energy that surrounds it, leaving you free to act with a clear head.

3-      Then once you have accepted and dealt with what you can, Turn Away from the rest – and Turn Towards something positive.  Turn your attention to something creative and constructive.  Think about the people you love, and the people who love you.  Think about your favourite projects and the things you intend to materialise in your life. If you can physically move away from the challenge, go do something fun – take a walk … scare other adults by going on the swings and be sure to balance on a low brick wall on the way! Go spend some time working to bring good things into your life … make some money, send an email to a friend, take your kids out for ice cream.

Well that’s my plan anyway.  Actually it reminds me of The Serenity Prayer (see here for the rest of it )

G-d grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;

With an action point at the end – Go Do Something Cool!

This year I shall Turn Away from all things unchangeably heavy, and so TURN TOWARDS all the beautiful, wonderful, delightful things – and there are so many your heart could positively burst into flowers at the thought of it!!!

I invite you to join me – let’s all harness the Force of Attraction together and make life even more beautiful!

You know what else?  I’d love to hear YOUR mantra for the coming year – come on peeps, give it some thought – and share in the comments section below, so that everyone benefits.

Have a stupendously fantastic week 🙂