The Middle-Aged Spread

A Year to the day!

Today is exactly a year to the day that my life changed and I have started this blog to document the good, the bad and the ugly in hope that it will not only prove to be therapeutic for me but go someway to help other people move forward in their lives.

First let me start by telling you a little bit about me.

A year ago today, Bank Holiday Monday in the UK, I set my alarm for 6.15am.  The time the sun rose above Southampton to signal the first day of the rest of my life.
I put on my gym gear, grabbed my iPhone, opened Napster and headed out…straight out into this wonderful world we live in – to walk, run and experience some mindfulness.

I had always been a ‘snooze’ kind of guy, choosing a night owl over early bird mentality but after my journey of self discovery it was time to change…time to start my day right.  Exercise, plan and eat well.
As we go on I will share my tips for starting your day right.  I believe that by finding the right start to our day it gives us momentum to carry a positive attitude right through the day which leads to more happiness and focus.
Planning the day and week helps focus the mind on the important things and minimises the distractions which take us off track.

I am a 43 year old father of two from the South of England. My passion in life was football…..that was until I became too old to play at the standard I was used to.
It became too much of an effort and took too long for my ageing body to recover so I had to give it up. I would find that playing on a Saturday would wipe out the rest of my weekend and by the end of my playing days usually Monday and Tuesday too. Where was all that energy that afforded me the pleasure of playing Saturday, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon for so many years? Age is a bitch huh….at least that used to be my view.

Those of you out there of a similar age will get what I mean, it takes a little longer to get up the stairs – no more taking two at a time!
That reminds me, anyone else make a weird exhale of breath as you sit down on a chair or sofa? How about having to muster enough energy to actually manage to stand back up again?
Those of you who have the current pleasure of being younger will probably believe you will always feel as good as you do now and that your forties are soooo far away. It happens to us all so make the most of it while you can 🙂

I remember winding my Dad up about his receding hair line, lack of fitness and his expanding waist line…..”All bought and paid for Son” he used to say – proud that he had purchased his beer belly outright like it was equivalent to owning his own home!
Now, of course, it’s my hair line and ‘Middle-Aged Spread” that I have to contend with.
I’m pleased to say my Dad is still around, he’s built an extension on that ‘asset’ of his but I don’t rib him about it anymore….not since acquiring my own!
We play Golf together regularly which is great but unfortunately it wasn’t always like that…more about that particular relationship over the coming weeks.

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Growing up I used to think I was invincible, a strange knowing that nothing bad was ever going to happen to me – kind of like I was being protected.
I was naturally fit from years of sport, fast which gave me an edge and according to some people talented at my passion.
I had an issue with that, a very big issue. Adjusting my behaviour so that people didn’t feel inferior to me. I would care for people, even those who I didn’t take to.
I would want to please my parents (later my partners too) and not want to impose myself on others at the fear that they would think I was cocky, arrogant or worse still a dick.
It was a balance I tried daily to master – Confidence vs Arrogance.
So scared of being perceived as arrogant that I wouldn’t allow my confidence to shine. Seems ridiculous now but growing up you don’t know everything despite feeling like you do.
Wait…..What?…..What do you mean we don’t know everything growing up?
Hate to break it to you peeps but whether you are 15, 21, 30 or even 43 it’s a fact.

It’s a good life lesson to learn, being humble and listening to other people’s opinions and advice.
Even if your Ego tells you to resist just take some time to actually listen, you may not like what is said or even follow the advice but doesn’t it make sense to learn from other people’s mistakes rather than wait until you experience it for yourself?
The saying “no point reinventing the wheel” is right, why waste time making the same mistake?
Some people say there are no mistakes only lessons and I like that although the amount of lessons I have experienced should mean I have a doctorate by now!

I’ve learned that our parents were doing the best they could. There is no right or wrong, no school or university course on parenting – you learn on the job.
No matter how prepared you think you are you are not.
Don’t worry though, if you are at the stage in life where you are thinking about having kids you are in for the most wonderful experience of your life.
The love you feel for yourself, your parents, a sibling, a friend or partner is nothing to what you experience the moment you first lay eyes on your child. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that experience twice and that feeling has not waivered since.
10 years ago this year was the first time, a beautiful baby girl who has grown to be the most caring, wonderful young woman a father could ever hope for. I say young woman because that’s what she would have me believe she is. She has been a premature teenager for a number of years already, scary for sure but lovely all the same.
The second time was 7 years ago, a bouncy baby boy this time. We felt very lucky to have a natural balance in the household. I remember holding him in my arms after he was born…how long before I experienced the difference between a girl and a boy?
All of 2 minutes before he decided to use my arms as a toilet and crapped all over my favourite number 9 Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt!  Now aged seven he finds this rather hilarious.

I have learned that all of the resentment I have built up was actually all about me and not anyone else. Such a hard lesson to learn and one that I recommend everyone takes the time to understand. Seriously life changing that one and much, much more about that soon.

To summarise for those of you still awake I had a great upbringing, a very fortunate start to this life.
Two loving, supportive parents and plenty of family and friends around me all of which contributed to make me the happy, loving little boy I became.

So what changed…

Sunday February 22nd 2008. ‘Knock, knock’ at the door. It was my Dad.

“I’m leaving your Mum” he said.
WTF? Where has this come from? I was 33 and it made me feel like I was 13 again.
The range of emotions were strange for me, a bit like going through puberty. Nobody wants that experience twice do they!
Selfishly I questioned if my life…this life I held in such high regard…was actually just a farce.
The confidence I had built through my life disappeared and I couldn’t reason with myself that it would all be ok.
Add to that other life ‘challenges’ that followed – a work disciplinary and a back operation (to name just two) made this time feel like nothing I had ever experienced before and I struggled…big time.

The Negative Wolf had woken up…stretched out his claws…eaten his fill of prey…put on his best suit and was well and truly ready to go to work on me.

So that’s a little about me, enough to introduce myself and set the scene on what’s to come. As the weeks go on I’ll share more experiences, elaborate on some of the above and explain how I turned it all around with a little help from my friends and an amazing Earth Angel.

In exactly one year I have managed to tame that Wolf, become even more confident than I was before, let my light shine, help other people and still have time to get my Golf Handicap down to 14.
Football will always be a passion and an important part of my life but Golf comes a close second nowadays and serves as a multi-purpose hobby.

As a Sport – a life skill that will serve me both now and in the future.
Social – a common interest that I can enjoy with my Dad and the Golf Society I joined.
Meditation – when I’m on the course my Ego lies still, leaving me to live in the moment and make the most of being outside in this beautiful world we are so fortunate to be part of.

I will endeavour to write this blog twice a week.
On a Monday covering the topics below.

  1. More on what happened in my life prior to a year ago that led me to the realisation that things needed to change
  2. The changes I put in place to move from a mostly negative mindset to a life changing (mostly) positive one
  3. Experiences I have had in the last year from the changes I put in place
  4. Tools and techniques so you can implement the ones you resonate with into changing your life for the better
  5. Kaizen – The Japanese word for constant improvement. I will share how I see this working for everybody in their daily life
  6. My weekly focus areas so you can understand how these practices can be used in everyday life

On a Friday to update you on my experiences of these so I can share any lessons learned to save you time on your own journey.

There will be tears, laughter and some great self help information so I hope you all enjoy reading it and stick around long enough to find out the full story.

Please comment if you wish so I know there is at least one person listening as I believe that if this helps just one person then all of my lessons will have been worth while.
If reading this you feel you are ready to ask for help then please contact me on the website (www.mj3coaching.com) and I will do all I can to help get you on the right path for you so you have the chance to experience growth in your life too.

Happy Bank Holiday!

Speak soon
Mark

Focus Areas w/c August, 28th 2017

  • Maintain a morning routine when back at work
  • Speaking my truth
  • Eat healthily 
Featured post

Happiness is a choice…

Happiness is a choice we all have, believe it or not.

Yes life is hard sometimes.  It can creep up behind us and smack us over the head with a baseball bat or it can walk right up to our face and abuse us but we all have a choice to react or respond.

Choosing to respond in our own authentic way shows we are growing to be the people we want to be.

Reacting comes from fear, based on our subconscious belief patterns created from past experiences.  Learned behaviour put there by our family, friends, teachers & society.

So choose happiness at every opportunity.  Even if your head tells you that you do not deserve to be happy – YOU DO!
We all deserve to be happy, it’s our right from the moment we are born.  Spend time doing the things that make you happy, spend time with the people who help you feel happy, forgive yourself for your past mis-takes CHOOSE HAPPINESS!

New Year, New You

I love the way each day gives us a new opportunity to create the life we want and to achieve everything we have set out to do.
The fact that a New Year gives us a heightened version of that opportunity is something that has always motivated me.

2017 was an amazing year by all accounts, my outward experiences matched my positive mindset and the few negative experiences I witnessed were fears and anxiety already deep inside me. This proves that by keeping my mindset positive and starting my day right I can shape the life I want and minimise the negative experiences further still.

My Coaching business is picking up nicely, I have seen some lovely people recently who have all provided positive feedback. It’s amazing to be able to give people a different perspective on situations and see them actively choose to change that situation for the better. Thank you all for being part of that last year.
January sees a number of Goal Setting Sessions booked in and I can’t wait for everyone to experience the same focus & growth that I have had since using this method.

My website has been updated with 2018 prices and offers so take a look and sign up for the free 30 minute taster session if you want to find out more.

So, as I sit here in complete silence my thoughts are turning again to 2018, what will it hold. I used to wonder that on New Years Day in the past, what is around the corner, what will happen to me next. This time it’s a different perspective on that.
What do I want to happen to me next, What do I want to experience next.
So for 2018 I will grow my Coaching business, I will fine tune my Morning Routine to ensure momentum builds from the moment I wake. I will eat healthier, exercise more regularly, spend more quality time with my children and generally have fun.

Fun includes chilling the F out, we are all often too uptight to enjoy every moment. The journey is the fun bit, setting goals and dreaming is the fun bit. We have to learn to chill out and trust that these things we want will come to us. If we stop having fun and doubt them….then they won’t. Why would they?

So lets start 2018 and make it the best yet.

Focus areas:

Morning Routine – write it down, tweak it, change it, just do it and commit to it
Daily planning – Plan your week and month and check it daily. Make sure you allow time for you too.
Task list – write down all of those tasks you have been meaning to do. Prioritise it and pick one a day to action. Eat the Frog and choose the difficult ones first. Lets get this stuff done this year.
It’s important not to overload yourself – just one a day will see most people make more progress than they did in the previous year. That’s growth right there.
Personal Development – take a class, a trip, read. Anything that you have always wanted to do/learn. Last year this was Golf for me. This year it will be Golf + something new. If you have just thought “I don’t have time” you are right. You never will until you look at it and see it as important. Then time will appear.

I am here to help you all make sense of this. If you are ready to make 2018 your best year yet – give me a call or email me.

Happy New Year to you all

Mark
07384 708069
mj3coaching@virginmedia.com

Understanding the Mind

It was Mental Health Week recently and I want to take the opportunity to share more of my story with you.

One of the things that used to annoy me most was the word Depression.
He’s depressed, she’s depressed, “YOU are depressed”. That was the one that really got to me.
I hit rock bottom a while back, I would sit on the sofa and end up in a space that was unfamiliar to me…a negative mindset.
A feeling of not having the energy, motivation or desire to even move some days, a lack of interest in anything especially going out or being around people.

A few things happened that drove that situation, all happening over a sustained period of time.
A back operation, parental break up, work disciplinary and a second back operation which sent me over the edge.
The fact that I was no longer living with my children everyday was the main issue for me.  I had spent the first 8 years of being a parent doing pretty much everything each morning. Get the kids up and dressed, feed them breakfast, prepare lunches, drop them off at nursery, pre-school & school. Now I was alone (my own doing) and it hurt.

One day I had a bit of a breakdown, the point where everything got too much and my brain didn’t know how to cope. It actually shut down on me – it was a horrible moment but one that I am now eternally grateful for.

Since then everything has changed and for the better…

I called out for help and ended up going to see my doctor. I think I had been to the doctor twice in 20 years, both for the same reason – my back. Illness with the lower back is said to be due to a feeling of lack of support and that was certainly something I had been feeling all those years. Now though, I know it was all in my head and it was only me who was making myself ill.
I went to the doctor and after a consultation he wrote on his screen in big, bold, capital letters “DEPRESSED”. I was horrified, how dare he.
I immediately got defensive about it (which is what we do when our Ego is bruised) but after a while I relaxed and had a moment of clarity, the doctor was only acting off the information I was giving him. It’s easy nowadays to moan about how work is stressful, how money is tight, how everyone else is to blame…we all do it.

If I go back to what was coming out of my mouth no wonder that’s what he diagnosed me with. I had said that I used to be a positive person but now I just sit on the sofa each night moping, moaning about how I’m unhappy, how I don’t have this or that.
As he was telling me that he thought I was depressed my mood changed, kind of an acceptance that if I’m depressed then that’s ok it’s not my fault.
As soon as I acknowledged the feeling it lifted and my inner wisdom kicked in and said “ok, now you are aware you can choose how you deal with it”
The doctor (and people around me) had suggested tablets to correct the chemical imbalance that was going on in my head. A pick-me-up to help me get through the day. It would have been so easy to say yes to that but those days would have quickly turned into weeks and months…possibly even years.

He said he would prescribe me a course of tablets to help take the edge off and we could see how they went and adjust if needed.
My inner wisdom kicked in again. “No thank you” I said. I believe that all I need in life is to eat right, get some exercise and laugh a lot.
He was taken back but smiled and agreed.
I left with the phone number for Relate, a way to get some help by finding somebody to talk to. The next challenge was to take action and call.

Finding the energy to communicate with friends, family and colleagues was draining so most of the time I would choose not to and just retreat to my personal space which in turn led to more thoughts about how I was doing the wrong thing. My mind had me right where it wanted me.
For everyone around me this was a particularly difficult time, loved ones tried to interact with me but it was impossible. I saw any attempt to do that as further confirmation that I was ruining their lives.
Instead of sharing my thoughts with them I would attack them by saying things like “you make me feel like I’m worthless”. In truth nobody could make me feel like that apart from myself, it’s difficult to see that clarity through the grey clouds that constantly follow you around when you are in this situation.

At work I had no choice but to admit to my manager that I was struggling, this was difficult because you consider things like “how will this impact my career”, “what will they think of me”, “is this showing weakness”.
It was hard to hold back the tears, further proof that I was in need of help.
Fortunately he was great, took the time to listen and then suggested I contact the occupational health resources available to me.

For the next few weeks I went to a converted house in Southampton and met with a lovely woman called Jo. It was the only place that I managed to get peace and quiet from my mind. When I walked into the room it was like there was a universal understanding that the voices had to wait outside. It was great and once I got over the initial uncomfortable feeling of actually opening up it really did help.
Sure enough though, waiting outside for me when I was done were the voices. Each week we would walk out together and head back to the sofa…I knew I needed something different and I was determined to find out what it was.

There is a buzz around Life Coaching, even people off the TV are turning to it. The more you look into it the more you realise it makes perfect sense.
Counselling is ok and serves it’s purpose but it’s not going to get you a new life, for that you need someone who can help you improve your relationship with your mind and help you focus on creating the life you want. That’s when Carolyne appeared in my life…so, so grateful.

Mental Health issues do not all lead to suicidal thoughts, something as simple as not wanting to get out of bed in the morning can be a sign that things aren’t right.
Being aware of this feeling and taking action to prevent it growing into something more serious is key to maintaining a healthy mind which will support you to achieve all the things you want to achieve.
Nobody wants to live feeling like that and the good news is you don’t have to.
The feeling is temporary and with a little help you can learn to focus on the present moment and remove those thoughts that keep us trapped in the mind storm that is negativity.

Just like with real storms, mind storms can be beautiful too if you can become aware that it’s happening. Channelling the feelings to work for you will see you make major steps in growing yourself and lead to great achievements. This is possible, believe me.

I posted a video on twitter recently “Living with a Black Dog” it’s about depression and well worth a look to understand this illness a little more. Whether you feel like this or someone around you is affected it’s worth taking the time to watch.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in a lot of cases depression is an opportunity, an opportunity to learn to open up and share which in turn builds stronger relationships. An opportunity to say out loud “I want to change” The very thing that traps us in depression is the same thing trying to protect us. Listen to the Negative Wolf story Carolyne and I talk about in this show

Soul Shift Radio
Legendary Cherokee story of the Two Wolves

I am a strong believer that it’s our mind and how we choose to believe what it tells us that shapes our experiences in this lifetime.
We have a daily battle to live in the Now, a constant battle of positive vs negative but if we take the time to understand our Black Dog, Negative Wolf, Naughty Monkey, Ego – whatever name you have for it – we can take control of our mind and therefore our life.

If any of this resonates with you…you know where I am, just reach out.

Mark

Reconnect

It’s been a while since my last blog, no excuse other than life getting in the way.

Life has a habit of showing up like that doesn’t it, getting in the way and stopping us from doing the things we say we want to do.
In reality we have just let things slip, don’t beat yourself up just accept it and reconnect.

If this, in some way, resonates with you then here are my tips to help you reconnect.

Before you go to bed spend 5 mins looking back at your day and highlighting anything positive. Could be one thing or as many as you can think of.
It can be hard at times to think of even one thing, especially when the day has been a write off so I suggest looking around.
Being grateful for a loved one (even if they have pissed you off), your children, friends, a pet, the food you ate, the clothes you own or the warmth you feel.
If you are still struggling then say to yourself “I am ready to receive things into my life that I can see and be grateful for”

Another idea is to sit down with a journal or even a scrap of paper, close your eyes and think about tomorrow as if it was a movie. In an ideal movie what would you choose to do, who would you be, which people would you choose to be in it and what would they say and do.
Dream big on this one, it’s just for fun.

When done open your eyes and just write it all down like the blurb for a movie.
If nothing else you will have some nice thoughts to go to sleep on which can’t be bad huh!

Take a book to bed and read a chapter, preferably something uplifting to continue the theme but if you have a good book you are into then that works too.
Make sure you get to sleep earlier than normal and set an alarm for earlier than it’s normally set for. This will set the intention that you are in the right frame of mind to get up and start the day right. Every day is a chance to start again so why sleep through it.

When you wake up in the morning use the extra time to start your morning routine, if you don’t have one then take a look back at my Law of Attraction blog and create one for yourself.

I’m confident that by following these steps you will start feeling happier and notice more positivity coming into your day.
A weekend is a great time to implement this as most people generally have more time available.

Give it a go and let me know how it goes.

Enjoy your weekend

Mark

The Experiment

I didn’t get time to finish this Blog on Friday so here it is to kick start the week with a little positivity.

The meeting for Soul Shift on Tuesday was a good one, we discussed how we could do more and reach more people. Look out for more from us as we move forward.
If you haven’t yet heard the show head on over there now using this link Soul Shift Radio and either listen to an episode or use the orange button top right to subscribe to the show.  Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday went well, my aim was to spend some time last week visualising a positive result for Tottenham (nickname Spurs). So each day I spent some time imagining myself walking out of Wembley Stadium chatting to Dan about how great the game was and how we deserved the 3 points from the win.
Something else I had spent time thinking about was the journey home, I love going to these events but in the past getting home has been a dread of mine. For days before an event it would creep into my mind about how much of a pain it would be getting back.
This time any thought that wasn’t about walking out celebrating the win or getting home in a reasonable amount of time then I shut it down. Pulling my attention back to whatever task I was completing. This enabled me to choose the thoughts I wanted, visualising the walk from the stadium to the station. Smiling, laughing, talking about the great result and just taking one step at a time to get home without any hassle.

So here’s what happened…

I met Dan at Wembley Stadium around 5pm. We decided to get some food and have a drink before the game which was great as it gave us a chance to catch up. Dan had been on an amazing holiday to Florida and I was looking forward to hearing all about it.
We went for the classic pre-match meal of Burger and Chips, Dan loves a bit of spice so went for the Piri-Piri topped Chips which were hot enough to make my eyes water when the waiter brought them out.
We chatted about holiday and football, work and golf.  Usual guy stuff – which was great for me as it’s been a while since I have had guy time. Sounds a bit dodgy but you know what I mean.

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We took our seats early to soak up the atmosphere which was created totally by the Dortmund fans who had flags and drums, they were signing and jumping and there was still an hour to go before kick off. Amazing when you consider there is no alcohol served inside the stadium. They kept this up for the entire game by the way – maybe it’s because they are so happy at their season ticket prices.
If you want to stand during the games (which most appear happy with) you would pay 235 Euros for 17 home games + 3 Champions League games.
Dan and I paid the equivalent of 85 Euros just for the three Champions League games.
The cheapest season ticket for Tottenham this year is 760 Euros.
So 845 Euros vs 235 Euros at Dortmund. German football have it right.

Back to the experiment…

The game started at 7.45 after listening to the spine-tingling Champions League anthem. If you are into football or sport in any way then experiencing this from inside a great stadium at least once is a must do.
Instantly I notice my Ego trying to share its nerves with me, bringing in past experiences like last season when Tottenham didn’t win a single game at Wembley or the fact that Dortmund are so much more comfortable on the ball and seem to know exactly where each other are going to be when they look for a pass.
I pull my attention back to the amazing stadium, the atmosphere and how much I love football and this experience. The Universe works fast when you are having fun…4 minutes into the game and Tottenham score from a ridiculous angle. 1-0 Spurs.
OK I’m a little more settled now and parking any negative thoughts becomes a little easier…until the 11th minute when Dortmund score a brilliant goal.
I smile to myself thinking this is a good test and continue to think positively and enjoy the occasion…15 minutes 2-1 Spurs, an almost identical finish to the first…and breathe!

Half time comes and Spurs are 2-1 up despite Dortmund having 67% possession.
I spend the break taking in the surroundings and pulling my attention back to being in the NOW. My Ego is working overtime thinking about the journey home, how 67% possession is massive and if that continues it will be hard for Tottenham to stay ahead. My comeback rate was improving, no sooner had the thought come into my head that I had been able to re-focus my eyes and mind on something that was real rather than something that I was making up or worrying about in my head.

The second half starts and it’s clear Tottenham had finally got the message, they were hustling more, keeping the ball better and were much more aligned with my visualisation!
Dortmund had two disallowed goals in the second half so it was a little hairy at times but in the end Spurs increased their lead to win 3-1.
What happened next? Dan and I left the stadium energised by the result talking about how great a result it was.

Hold on, wasn’t that the vision?

I saw this quote from a Dortmund player after the game and it made me smile “They probably don‘t know themselves how they have scored two goals in that first half.” Well maybe I do 😉
We are the dreamer of our dream, I dreamt Tottenham won and they did.
Surely that’s just a coincidence…well yes it could be but true or not I had fun with my Law of Attraction experiment and the result was exactly what I was looking for.

The other area I was going to visualise last week was the weather for my Golf match on Friday. Calm, clear skies was the plan. Below is a photo from sunny England on Friday.
I visualised the weather, a win and a good time with new friends. The result…exactly that including a new trophy.

This may have legs…

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After the fun I had last week I am looking forward to learning more about the Law of Attraction on Wednesday evening and using it in all areas of my life.

Focus Areas w/c September, 18th 2017

  • Spend an hour a day on my coaching courses
  • Include my Ego in my life so it feels part of the journey

Have a great week everyone

Mark

The Universe Has Your Back

WOW…What an Inspiring woman Gabby Bernstein is.

I had become aware of Gabby through listening to Hay House Radio last Summer which had been recommended to me by Carolyne in one of our sessions.

Being curious about this new way (for me) of thinking about happiness I searched for more. Gabby had just released her new book The Universe Has Your Back so her face was everywhere and lets be honest who wouldn’t want to see more of her!
I read the book last year and loved her stories and how real she sounded, not happy clappy but real life situations, real life ‘shit’ to deal with. It was easy to connect to her even just through her words.

Listen to the show Thursday on Soul Shift (Soul Shift Radio) as I’m certain Carolyne and I will be discussing some amazing things that happened Saturday but I will just touch on a couple here now.

Future Tripping

I was so happy to hear Gabby talk about this as it was in complete alignment with a the topic I have been teaching.
On Friday I wrote about the need to focus on what you have and not what you don’t have, to live in the now and not in the past or future. I loved that she went one step further and gave part of it a cool name like Future Tripping.

It’s that moment when you realise your thoughts have wandered off to a place in the future that hasn’t happened yet but your Ego is so clever at showing you visions that you start to believe it has happened already.
It tells you things like “my husband won’t like the fact I am coming home from shopping with three bags of clothes” he will say “what about all of the clothes you haven’t worn in your wardrobe” “how much was it all”. Then you will continue the conversation in your head deciding how much you will tell him you spent, how the clothes you do have don’t fit or look right.
Before you know it you have prepared for a full blown argument, figured out your excuses, justified the spend, have ten different scenarios from the past about him wasting money just in case you need to fight back and you send yourself into a negative, low vibrational spin.
You have even watched the movie of it all playing out in your head – Future Tripping.

The Universe doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what isn’t so if we are thinking thoughts like that and visualising that happening then it’s going to happen!

My Mum does it a lot, “What about this?” “What if that happens?” “What will you do if…”
You get what I mean right?
Don’t worry Mum, we all do it. It can be hard to relax and trust that everything will be ok but just pull your attention back to now and make a cup of tea!

The other area I will touch on is Judgement.

I like to think that I do not judge other people, I am kind and respectful of everyone I meet from all walks of life. However, being honest with myself and allowing myself some time to observe my thoughts I would grade myself ‘could do better’.
That in itself is a Judgement and this is my area to work on. I judge myself all the time.
I talked about it before, I should be doing this or that, shouldn’t be doing this or that. Time to give myself a break and be kind, stop judging myself for things I have done in the past. Nothing I have ever done has been to deliberately hurt anybody so why beat myself up.

When observing myself I would find that I still judged people for silly little things like a guy punching above his weight or somebody having piercings or tattoos. Who am I to judge because I genuinely do not see those people as any different.
It’s learned behaviour again, things we observe from everyone around us as we grow up – it shapes us.
So I’m not going to beat myself up for it, just observe when it happens and stop – both internally and externally.
Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on.

So this week is a busy week.
Tuesday – Carolyne, Erica and I have a planning session for Soul Shift. We have some great ideas of how we can grow to help more people and after Saturday all three of us are working hard to remove the shackles of FEAR so that we can come together and let our lights shine. After all, Gabby did say “the moment you accept that we are not in this for ourselves everything changes”. We are here to help raise the vibration of the world and that is what we will continue to work towards. One person at a time.

Wednesday – I am off to see Tottenham v Dortmund at Wembley with my friend Dan. This will be a good test of my Law of Attraction skills huh, visualise walking out of Wembley having watched Tottenham dominate the game and win comfortably.

Friday – I have a Golf competition with the Hursley Golf Society which will be great. The weather is changing in England so I’m visualising calm, clear skies.

Whatever you are up to this week I hope you are kind to yourself and spend your time and energy on the things you want to be doing as you can’t get that time back.
Most of all I hope you have FUN.  “The Universe works fast when you are having fun!”

Focus Areas w/c September, 11th 2017

  • Judgement – observe and stop judging
  • Visualise – ONLY focus on the life I want to create
  • Live in the now – stop feeling guilty about the past and no Future Tripping

Mark

 

Living in the Now

It’s been a tough week for the morning routine, I haven’t felt as motivated as I normally am. Maybe it’s the change in weather, maybe it’s fatigue from being back at work after the summer or maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me.
Getting up has been harder which has delayed my getting out into the world.
I’ve been doing more planning and thinking which is both a good and bad thing.
Good in that I know what I am doing each day, Bad in that there have been far too many thoughts to get clarity on certain areas.

I added something back into my routine this week. The five-minute journal.
It’s great to spend 5 minutes thinking about gratitude and writing down on paper some positive things you want to happen that day.
At the beginning of the page there is a quote, this week one of them said “Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance”.
I’m going to break this down a little more.

Acknowledging the good – sometimes it can be hard to focus on what we have rather than what we do not have. On the positive attributes instead of the negative.
I used to wake up and focus on not having my kids with me, every…single…day. Multiple times in a day actually.
I used to focus on the things I hadn’t done. Allow thoughts in my head about what I had done wrong in the past or was fearful about for the future.
All normal right?
Acknowledging the good means to me, wake up and remember that I have two kind, funny, beautiful children who bring happiness to not only me but everyone they come in contact with.
Choosing to focus on the things I have achieved, no matter how small. I helped that person or I cleaned that room. Anything that is positive.
Allowing only positive thoughts is a tough one and something that I have become so much better at. I still catch myself sometimes believing the hype that my Ego tells me to keep me contained in the past or future.
I would say at my lowest point I had about 80% negative thoughts, now its only 5%.
Making myself smile there as I was originally going to put “I think now it’s 5%” but stopped because it could have just been my Ego tricking me into thinking it was low so that I stopped working on taming the little bugger!
It is about 5% though. Very few negative thoughts come into my head and when they do I can move quicker to a place of positivity.
If you are feeling that this sounds familiar and is difficult for you to move from negative to positive give me a shout, I can help.

So back to the quote…

You already have in your life – Focussing on what you do have rather than what you don’t is the key to remaining positive.
I have my kids in my life, they are there. Believing any thought in my head that they are not is a complete lie – so I stopped listening and stopped believing it.
We focus on not having friends, family, money, time, health – anything and everything.
We have the ability to choose to focus on what we don’t have or what we do have. Focus on something nice you have in your life – a friend, an item of clothing you like, an element of your job you enjoy, the last time you had a great night out or conversation with someone close to you. Even the last film you watched that made you laugh.
If you are still struggling go and watch that “Charlie bit my finger” video on YouTube, guaranteed to make you smile at least!

Write a list of all of the things you are grateful for, this is a great way to remove the negative thoughts and bring attention back to positive things you do have.

Is the foundation for all abundance – this bit I see as the confirmation that if you want to be happy and attract all of the things you desire in this world then focussing on what you do have (living in a positive state of NOW) will do two things;

  1. Move your general state of mind from a mostly negative one to a mostly positive one. JB says that all we need to do is to get from 49% positive & 51% negative to a 51% positive & 49% negative. That is a good start but I suspect most people at times feel like it’s 80%-100% negative so the effort required to move to a mostly positive mindset is much more difficult. That’s where you need techniques to help you get started, techniques and people around you to combat the cheeky little bugger that keeps you in that mostly negative mindset. More on the Ego in a future blog.
  2. Attract more of the same into your life. If most of our thoughts are negative we vibrate at a lower level, what do we expect other than to attract more of the same. If we stand in front of someone and shout at them what do we get back? A person shouting back at us. If we stand in front of someone and smile they smile back (in England this happens only after they have finished feeling uneasy and wondering what the hell is going on).

Abundance will come depending on the vibration you are operating at – create a foundation that is built on being appreciative for all you have in your life and you will be much happier and be in a positive state of mind to attract more of the same.

I didn’t even get chance to tell you about the Law of Attraction course that started this week. I will share more as the weeks go on but I can’t wait to practice some of the techniques.
Parking spaces, fountain pens & money – all things we heard stories about being ‘attracted’ into lives when following the simple techniques.

Holly Willoughby, Holly Willoughby, Holly Willoughby…sorry I’ll finish the blog before practicing.

Enough for now, off to speak the weekend with Gabby Bernstein.

Mark

Law of Attraction

I didn’t get chance to update on my focus areas during the blog on Friday after going off on a tangent so here we go.

I went back to work on Tuesday after 2 weeks out but instead of following the standard practice of drowning in a sea of red (email) I moved everything to a folder for safe keeping – after all I did have people covering me while I was out and if anything wasn’t handled I’d soon hear about it right?

My typical morning routine consists of the following, I have adapted it as time has gone on – adding things when required and taking out anything that didn’t feel it belonged.

6.15am Get up
6.30am Walk/Run/Meditate/Mindfullness
7.00am Plan for the day & week
7.15am Learn Spanish on Duolingo App
7.30am Breakfast
8.00am Shower
8.30am Read

Sometimes I’ll move things around but these are all things I try to achieve before starting work at 9am.
I am currently focussing on Coaching courses as much as I can and ensuring I allow for one hour a day to research coaching methodologies or attending courses I am working through.

Right now it’s JB Glossinger’s Sacred Six course. I subscribed to MorningCoach.com recently just before he closed it to new members. With the membership comes access to his courses online, which will have to do for now as he’s based in Miami and, as much as I would like to be attending his courses in person, I can’t quite create that much time in my day and week…just yet!
Not sure it’s everyone’s cup of tea as the latest exercise was about visualising your own funeral and written your own eulogy. It was weird at first but lets face it, there is something to be said for living each day as if it’s your last. After all, one day you will be right.
It was strangely satisfying, it gives you the opportunity to think about what you want people to be saying about you, the things you want to be remembered for.

Try it right now, think about what you want to be known for. Is it that you were rich, that you worked hard for the same company all your life or that you made a difference? Be it raising children, doing charity work, creating a company and providing jobs for one or more people. Whatever it is by completing this exercise it affords you the luxury of making it happen before it’s too late.

So for me…I know people will be saying what a nice guy I was. I’m not being conceited but unless you are one of the (very) few people I have crossed in this lifetime it’s a fact.
They will be saying what a great Dad I was, what a good Footballer I was, that I smiled a lot, made people laugh and feel good.
I want more though, I want to leave a legacy. I have plans which I’ll keep to myself right now, one step at a time remember and my next step, my next experience, is to grow my Coaching business. I have first hand experience of the positive changes the right Coach can make and I appear to have some of the same abilities.

This has been something that has followed me through my life. Teachers used to say how caring I was to other children, I remember protecting the younger children at school especially.
In team sports I would lead and encourage the other players to lift their heads and keep going.
As an adult I have helped many people sort their finances, something that comes natural. Now I understand how our mind works I can help with that too, already am in fact with a number of people right now.

So my morning routine has been mostly the same despite being back at work, one day I got up later as I felt I needed the rest. Two mornings I didn’t run but did some form of exercise at other times of the day, being flexible is important too but having a plan to come back to works. See if you can create one for yourself.

Speaking my truth – ok, this one has been interesting. It’s always been a struggle for me. Let me make this clear though, I’m not talking about lying just avoiding conversations to avoid conflict or saying things just to please people over myself.
So this is work in progress. I had some very honest conversations with people close to me last week, the fact that I had to have them is due to how I have handled those relationships in the past. To those people, you know who you are, I will continue to improve in this area and you can help by asking direct questions – to which, I will give a direct answer.

Eating healthy – well the fact I demolished a couple of handfuls of Minstrels just now will tell you I haven’t quite managed this but everything in moderation is good enough for me.  (It is Sunday evening btw, in case you were wondering if I had Minstrels for breakfast!)
Carolyne and I held a discussion on our show the other week about the benefits of being Vegan. I’m not ready for that as I love Steak, Chicken and Fish too much but I am more aware of things now and equipped to make better choices.
Eggs for breakfast & Chicken salad for lunch is a vast improvement for me so definitely calling Kaizen on that one.

Just on that…two of the strongest animals in the world are Gorillas and Elephants – both live off a diet of vegetation. Must be something in it!

This weekend my daughter (Olivia) had a sleepover, she’s 10 but as with most children nowadays (oh no, I did it. Almost as bad as saying “when I was your age”) acts far older. She amazed us this weekend with a lovely film she had made about her brother (Matthew 7).
I’ll put it on the website later as I was so impressed that she did it all by herself, further proof that having access to technology isn’t all bad for kids. I believe you need to educate them and then trust them, we can’t control them when they are not with us so we have to try not to control them when they are.
As I said before there is no right or wrong, no manual just learning on the job and this is one of those areas that our approach seems to work so we will stick with it.

This week sees the kids finally go back to school…that is if the school is open tomorrow, apparently it’s a building site still from all the work they have been doing over the summer.
I start a Law of Attraction course on Wednesday so I’m looking forward to sharing that with you over the coming 8 weeks.
It’s impossible to prove or disprove this law but I have had some positive experiences and I’ll leave you with my favourite – a Jim Carrey story.

Appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1997 Jim Carrey revealed that when he was struggling to get Acting work he would visualise being successful. He wrote himself a cheque for $10 million dollars for “Acting services rendered”, post-dated it 3 years to Thanksgiving Day 1995 and placed it in his wallet. He visualised this regularly and always kept it with him.

He was broke and started visualising originally to make himself feel better, driving to the affluent neighbourhoods in LA and visualising conversations with people who told him how much they liked his work.

Just before Thanksgiving day 1995 he was offered a role in Dumb and Dumber…his pay…$10 million dollars!

Watch the video here Jim Carrey on Oprah

Focus Areas w/c September, 4th 2017

  • Morning routine – bring in some visualisation
  • Speak my truth

Have a good week

Mark

Remaining Focussed

After a great start to the week on Monday with my very first blog I nearly fell at the first hurdle via a crash on Tuesday.  Emotional crash, not physical fortunately. Something that happens to every single person in this world on a regular basis.  Tuesday morning I chose not to get up and out as per my usual morning routine, rather than beat myself up about it by saying “I should have got up and out” I chose instead to reason with myself that “I could have got up and out but chose not to”.
A cop out? Maybe…but with the view of being kind to ourselves I think that’s an easy give.

I was writing some of this on Wednesday morning and I think it’s worth leaving in.

“been two mornings of not getting out. I say two mornings but it’s only 6.45am on Wednesday so nothing stopping me still heading out.

Nothing except the voices in my head telling me that I “should” be doing something else.  They are, of course, lying.  I know that a morning routine is good for me and I know the benefits I get from it so I have to find a way to stick to it.

Should is a word that I have been advised to remove from my vocabulary, a bit like saying sorry. Problem is they are both so well ingrained in our lives that it’s hard.
I ‘should’ have got up and put my gym clothes on, that’s the first step in my morning routine and we all know if we take things one step at a time we will end up where we planned to be – just one step at a time. That is the advice I have been preaching weekly on my radio show with my wonderful Coach Carolyne. (details on my website)

Sorry for this, sorry for that. I have tried to say sorry less too – not that easy given my learned behaviour to say sorry for the slightest thing.
Sorry if I made a pass that didn’t go where it was intended, sorry for being even a minute late, sorry if I needed someone to repeat what they just said or sorry for making you feel bad…..done that one a lot over the last couple of years to everyone around me!

My voices tell me anyone who gets near me gets hurt but I know that isn’t real either, acknowledging the thoughts and reasoning with them is the way to go.
I understand why they would say everyone gets hurt given all that has happened but a lot of good happens around me too.  We all have a choice on which thoughts we allow in our heads and I’m choosing to focus on the good.

So practice what you preach, I’m going to get changed and head out – it’s never too late to salvage the situation and follow your plan…back soon

———————————————————————————-

Wow – ok. Proof that the words that comes out of my mouth are real. That was exactly what I needed.
The music made me feel good, quieting my mind in an instant. The fresh summer air (this is England so grey clouds and a chill) welcomed me.
My thoughts shifted from negative ones to positive ones – planning my day and week to include all of the things I actually wanted to choose to do rather than what I felt like I ‘should’ be doing.
On my warm down (walk back home!) I decided to listen to The Morning Coach Podcast (details on my website), so glad I did as it was about how, by chasing things, we can actually force them further away from us. He told the following story. Warning for all the ladies out there – cute puppy story coming.

Chasing the tail – a small puppy is running around in circles chasing his tail when along comes a big dog who asks “What are you doing?”
The little dog looks up and him and says “I’ve solved the problems of the universe, the best thing for dogs is happiness and happiness is in my tail. When I catch it I will have true happiness”
The Big dog looks at him and says “I too have paid attention to the problems of the universe, I too have judged that happiness is in my tail, I have noticed that when I chase it my tail keeps running away from me but when I go about my business it comes after me.”

Love that story as often we can focus too much on the ‘want’ and ‘need’ of something.  Choosing to have a goal or a plan in place and being focussed on each step you need to take to get you there means you go about your business with structure and because you are doing the things you want to do and are focussed onm them you are naturally happier.

Take Golf, something I had wanted to improve at for years.  By finally putting that as a goal of mine and focussing on the small steps in my plan I have drastically improved.
Step One was to get a coach and I found the most amazing person in Peter Dawson at my local Golf Academy (details on my website).  Peter is extremely good at looking at different ways to get the same message across to many people, understanding that not everyone hears and learns the same way.  Another important lesson I have learned over the last year, just because I learn a particular way doesn’t mean it works the same for everyone.  Different strokes for different folks as Carolyne puts it.

Step Two on the Golf goal was to commit to practice.  I would be on the course at 7am through the winter practicing the teachings of Peter.  -4 degrees in mid winter and there I would be.  Now you need to understand something…I am a guy who gets cold indoors in Summer, I hate being cold.  The goal of improving at Golf was important enough to me to focus and when I focussed on the goal I felt passionate about it didn’t matter that I was cold.  The photo below was taken from one of those mornings, although it was cold it was amazing too.  By using the Mindfulness techniques that I had learned on one of Carolyne’s courses I was able to focus on the amazing opportunity the new day brought rather than the freezing weather that accompanied it.  Another massive mindset shift for me.

IMG_0012

So by focussing on each individual step in my goal I was able to go from a Golf Handicap of 21 to 14.  In addition to that I hit two major milestones in Amateur Golf.

  • I broke 80 (78) for a round – for non golfers that means it took me less than 80 shots to complete 18 holes.  Something I had written down as a target in my morning journal (more about that another time)
  • I managed a hole in one – taking one shot to get the ball in the hole.  Perfectly achievable in adventure golf we all play but not so common on an actual golf course.  I will come back to this one another time when we all get a little more comfortable with the Law of Attraction!

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Right I’ve rambled enough, this is far longer than I planned but I guess I’m new to this so that’s cool.

I’ll continue with the focus areas over the weekend and update on Monday.

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing.

Mark

 

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