Organising with a computer

Five Tips For Working Out How To Change What You Are Doing With Your Life

Radio Verulam's Drive Time With Danny SmithI was over at Radio Verulam with the gorgeous Dapper Danny Smith last month – sorry but I forgot to download the audio, so no dulcet tones this time!

Loads of people have been asking me about making a big life change, so I thought I would give some tips.  It could be any big change job, relationship, house, country, anything.

I’ve made several BIG job changes in my life.  I spent 13yrs working in IT.  When I say ‘IT’, I’m not talking doing a little bit of light computing stuff.  I’m talking proper full on programming and heavy duty stuff.  I was even a ‘software engineer’ at one point – this requires wearing sandals and being REALLY geeky!

But then I started thinking I wanted to do something ‘more important’ with my life and eventually made the crazy decision to give up an extremely well paid job to be a tree hugging hippy and heal people.  When I got more ambitious in the problems I wanted to heal, I moved towards more complicated therapy type techniques.

Suddenly I fell pregnant – as you know this was a big shock at 36, having spent 16 years thinking I was barren.  After Little Dimples I found it harder to work, and wanted to shift my focus to just mums, and so was born ‘The Mummy Whisperer’ and this blog.  Within a year, I was pretty much more of a writer than a therapist and loving it.  (Don’t forget 2nd edition of my book ‘Six steps to a sparkling you’ is out now).

Of course now I’m going into very new waters with the opening of my hairdressing salon and spa in Battlers Green Farm, Radlett in October!  This is not as random as you may think …. so read the hints below to see how I got here …

 

TIP 1 – Nature Never Throws Anything Away

Organising with a computer
Start them young!

So you want to make a change, but don’t know where to start?  Look back.  There are clues in your past.

Look for what you enjoyed, what you were good at, projects you did, qualifications, experiences, adventures.

If you are looking to move, think about all the places you have lived, or visited, or dreamed of.  Where did you feel energised?  Where did you feel calm?  Where did you feel suffocated?

For example, I’m Bristol born and bred, and must admit to missing it sometimes.  When we bought our house in St Albans, the view from my window is very similar to the view of the downs that I had as a child, so it was very comforting.

Draw a big squiggly line and plot all the big events and your ages, and look for patterns and clues.

Think about what you never thought there was enough of, or what you always felt was missing?  That’s probably a clue to a passion of yours.

I was a ‘young carer’, so I was pretty much always going to work as a nurse/healer.  My escape came from books, hence the writing.  With older parents, I was often a bit lonely and watched people for hours from our balcony, hence being fascinated by human behaviour.  My mum was a bit of a witch …. ;o)

Here you can have a bit of a reality check.  Yes, there are people who are suddenly discovered at 25 to have the voice of an angel – but I don’t trust most of those stories!  You actually do have to have an ability in what it is that you would love to do.  So just because you sang a lot as a 3yo, doesn’t mean that you are going to be the next success story on the X-factor.

I’m not a hairdresser (although I clearly see the link between hairdressers and therapists), but our business partner is, and between us we have all the skills needed.

 

TIP 2 – There’s a pattern in your ideas

notebook
I love a notebook

I got this tip from Oprah Winfrey 20yrs ago.

Get a notebook (I like pretty ones!).  Whenever you get an idea you fancy write it in the book, then write all the Pro’s and Con’s – there should be as many pro’s as con’s if you have researched it properly.

Eventually you will see that there is a pattern in the things that you are looking at.

For example, maybe you are always looking at careers that are creative, or something with a bigger challenge?  Perhaps all the houses you look at have big gardens and no neighbours, or do you love the idea of being surrounded by a community?

I chose to become a Reiki Master, because I didn’t want to go back to do a degree, but I wanted something with the potential to keep learning, teach others and work on animals too.  I chose Resonance Repatterning (Kinesiology based therapy) because I needed something stronger when I started to specialise in mental health issues.  Then I chose the Demartini Method because I felt fragmented and needed to bring my scientific side in to help with my tree hugging side.  Now I’m embracing my more feminine, intuitive, creative side.

 

 

Tip 3 – Once you are enroute you can settle down

Family gap year
Travelling the world in a motorhome

It’s horrid being unhappy.  I totally get that.  But DO NOT just jump out of it.  That’s not the way to leave (apart from in extreme circumstances obviously).

Now that you are doing something about it, you know you are enroute, so something will definitely change.

Once you are looking, does it really matter if it takes 1yr, 5yrs or 10yrs?

Normally it is better to work through your issues with a situation, and come to terms with it before leaving.  It means you are less likely to jump out of the frying pan into the fire!

Try not to jump to conclusions.

Just because you learn’t Reiki doesn’t mean you are going to become a healer – it could just be that you are going to use it to de-stress yourself and find something else.  Plus there are all sorts of ways of incorporating your ideas.  For example, I will be able to bring ‘healing’ to thousands of people with the hairdressing salon – I don’t have to actually heal each person personally.  Just because you just bought a sewing machine, doesn’t mean you need to start up a business making stuff.  Just because you write a blog, doesn’t mean you have to make money from it or sell a book.

Remember, some things in life are purely for your enjoyment, not to be turned into a career.

It’s frustrating when you know you are going but you don’t know when it will happen.  But give the universe a chance to help you out, rather than pushing it – I missed out on a very helpful redundancy package because I pushed!

 

Tip 4 – Vision Board

content
content

I’ve been ‘revising’ all the stuff I learnt 13yrs ago and one of the most fun things has been creating a vision board with Melanie at Therap Healing.  These are great for inspiring you with ideas, and then focussing you on getting them.

Basically, I spent a couple of weeks printing off pretty pictures of things and quotes that interested/inspired me.  I knew it was likely to be something to do with my book/work, kids and getting healthier.  So that was where I focussed.

Then it was off to Mel’s.  We did a little meditation to help us connect to our wiser intuitive side (logic will only get you so far).

Then it’s time to stick pictures on our vision board, eat cake, and gossip!  FUN!

Stick the vision board up somewhere for you to keep reminding yourself about.

This helps you to focus on what you want to achieve and can give some really amazing insights – like the fact that somehow or other I would like to have a place by the sea one day.

I remember 8yrs ago doing one of these to help me finish my weight loss off.  I drew a picture of boots (you know how you can’t fit into normal boots when you are over weight) and also a pole, because I really fancied learning to pole dance.  SIX WEEKS LATER a pole dancing class started up at my gym.  Maybe not that spooky, but if I hadn’t put it on my board I might not have had the courage to try it (btw I believe all women should do a 12 week pole dancing class – it’s fabulous for the spirit!).

 

Tip 5 – Cosmic Ordering

Full moon is magic
Full moon is magic

Action is important.  But sometimes worrying about HOW on earth you are going to achieve something, will just get in the way.

When you are clear what it is that you would love, you can literally ‘order’ it from the universe.

There is a great book by Barbara Mohr on Cosmic Ordering, which was made famous by ‘Noel Tidy Beard’ as my friend calls him (Edmonds) in his book ‘Positively happy’.

There are some thoughts which when I have them feel really ‘heavy’, they sort of bounce – I know those ones are automatically ‘ordered’.  But you can make up any method you like to ‘order’ stuff.

You could write a letter to the universe and post it.  Or ask the new moon for it.

No, I don’t think that ordering £1million or a Ferrari will work.  It’s got to be something heart-felt.

 

But remember to enjoy today

Change is stressful.

Not changing is stressful.

Remember, it’s not about where you were, or where you will be, but the fact that it is all one long journey.  Don’t miss today because you are worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.

What’s your favourite tip for making a change in your life?

 

 

 

Feather Bowers at Just So

Go on try something new – a festival or camping?

Life’s still hard with the recession and we all need some fun and adventure in our lives, so for this month’s Lifestyle feature over on Radio Verulam with the lovely Danny smith on his Drivetime show, I talked about festivals and camping.

I first decided to got to a festival when Little Dimples was 18months (two years ago) and Curly Headed Boy was 5.  I’d NEVER been to a festival and felt a bit mortified by it.  I decided if we started now with the kids, they might TAKE ME when they go to Glastonbury in 15yrs time!

Since then I’ve actually become a fan of camping too.  We started glamping, but due to the cost my practical side chose camping with a touch of glamp last year.

Listen here to me chatting with Danny here:

 

Why Go?

Music is good for the soul, it feeds our spirit and gives us a much needed lift.  One thing you can be sure about is that the quality of the music will be MUCH better than anything you see on Xfactor.

It’s great for kids because they learn to sit and listen to music, and the festivals I go to they tend to get to chill, run around and dance.  If you go to a family festival there will be all sorts of lovely things for the kids to do as well.  CHB says that a 3day festival is like going on holiday for 10days!

If you are brave enough to go for several days and try camping it is even better.  There is something about camping and it’s closeness to nature which is relaxing and healing at the same time.  We tried a motorhome at the beginning of this year, but despite being more practical it just didn’t have the same benefits for me.

my son and me in a motorhome
Top bunk is always best

 

 

Tips and Concerns

I know it can be intimidating, so I’ve put together my top tips for you to get you inspired to go!

The biggest reason to go is if you haven’t done it before, then NOW is the time to try it.  Be ADVENTUROUS.  Make memories to look back on and say ‘I did that’!

 

1) Start Small and Local

The key is not to go to Glastonbury on your first year (although they do have a family area)!  Go for small ones (5000 and under).  Look for local one day festivals so that you don’t have to camp.

Local to me in hertfordshire are:

St Albans Folk Festival Sorry I didn’t manage to publish in time –  (22-23rd June) – terrible website btw guys!

Folk by the Oak – Hatfield House – Sunday 21st July – I’m really looking forward to this festival.  Check out this youtube of Kate Rusby:

Folk Stock – Aldenham country park – 21st September –

Here is a fab way of hearing all their artists on a sound cloud.

They have got my FAVE artist coming – JonPaul Palombo

Celtic Harmony do a Beltane (See my video review here) and Samhain Festival each year.

Plus we had loads of fun at Hoo Bookfest, so I really recommend that for next year.

 

2) Planning

Feather Bowers at Just So
You are never too old for a feather bower or hair garland!

Plan ahead so that you know what is on BUT also go with the flow as it can be too stressful to keep to a schedule.

Go with friends.

Explain to your kids about safety, and make sure that you have one of those wristbands with your mobile number on it.  Or this weekend at Britmumslive I was given a Kattoo which looks brilliant (tattoo for your mobile no).

Bring Ear defenders for the kids and a picnic blanket to sit on.

3) Family Festivals

It really helps your sense of safety if you go to a family festival.

Lollibop – This is a London festival with a big kids TV orientation.  I’ve never been, but I’ve heard that it is great.  It would probably be a bit too commercial for me.

Camp Bestival – This is in Dorset and looks to me to be incredibly well organised.  Again there is a bit of a Cbeebies theme going on.  It feels to me like they try to make sure that all the practicalities that a ‘middle class’ family would worry about are covered.

Just So – This is a magical, more artsy festival with a hugely magical vibe.  Here’s my mammoth review from 2012 (same location as this year, so you might like last year’s planning post too) and my review from 2011.

 

4) Weather and what to wear

An example of what I wore
Festival style from the back!

Remember this is all part of the adventure!  We went to the Penn Festival (eighties music) last year, which was more of a mudfest.  The kids LOVED it.  All you need to make sure is that they are covered from head to toe in water proofs.  We also had a small pop up tent, that we used near the stage.

Bring lots of layers so that you can take stuff on and off.

What to wear – Leggings or skinny jeans are the easiest, with a pretty dress or long top over them.  No heals, instead go for daps/wellies.  A flower garland is essential (BE BRAVE!).

Check out my what to wear to festivals post with lots of ideas for you and links to my Pinterest boards.

 

Money

I don’t like the ones with lots of things to spend money on like the Herts County Show, buy, or things that kids will want to do that cost a fortune; so we tend to avoid those ones.

What you can also do is give the kids a budget, so that they know they just have £x and that is all.

Food can be expensive, so make sure you take water, squash, snacks and fruit.  Check if breakfast is provided if you are camping otherwise brioche is fab.

 

Loos and Showers

Actually again because I go to small ones or family ones they aren’t too bad.  But always take LOO PAPER and anti-bacterial spray.

Some actually have great showers BUT you can get away with a day of showering with wet wipes (it’s not as bad as it sounds!).

 

Camping

How to make your tent look Glam
Camping with glamp

Take ear plugs (just incase you are near someone having too much fun or kids that wont sleep), a wooly hat, socks, and extra jumper for night time.

Bring something to put mudding shoes in, so that they don’t come in the tent.

If there are just a couple of you then you can get a festival kit ever so cheaply with everything that you need.  There is nothing wrong with going for ‘cheap’ shops like argos etc.

If you have a little more money to spend then check out the pop up tents (a bit tricky to put away) or the Vango blow up tent we have.

The best beds are the mats that puff up; air beds are actually cold.

Bunting is a MUST!

Here is my ultimate camping list (you don’t need it all!).

 

Finding

Festivals for all – great site for all types of festival

Festival Kidz – specifically for taking kids

Forestry Commission – I’m an ambassador for the FC and was gutted to realise too late that they do concerts.  How gorgeous to see someone like Olly Murs AND be in a forest.

 

At the end of the day

Go on, try it.  It’s fun.  It’s simple.  It’s pretty cheap in comparison to a package holiday.

And you’ll have something to tell your grandchildren that will give them the impression that you didn’t wash up all day long!

Have you started camping in the last few years?  What do you reckon?

Have I inspired you to try a festival this year?