All posts filed under: Personal Growth

How the Danish ‘Hygge’ can help us through a Stormy Summer

In the United Nation’s World Happiness Report for 2013, 2014 and 2016, Denmark took the hot spot (and came third in the 2015 report). Despite cold weather, almost non-existent summers and depressingly short and dark winter days, what is it about Danish people that make them amongst the happiest in the world? Could the Danish word ‘Hygge’ (pronounced “HUE-gah”) be the key to their success? In its simplest form, Hygge means appreciating the little things in life – like tea, friends and family. It means creating a nice, cosy atmosphere and taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life with the people you love around you. It’s connection and intimacy, with a whole heap of gratitude. Hygge is something Danes crave and they make sure they get it at all costs. It’s integral to their wellbeing and provides food for their souls. And the proof’s in the pudding! How can you create your own Hygge this weekend? It might be rainy outside, but light a fire, invite some mates over and take the time to enjoy the simple …

How Smooth is your Wheel of Life?

There’s a very useful coaching tool called the Wheel of Life, used to take a snap shot of our lives at any given moment and help us assess the areas that need improvement. Completing the wheel allows time for reflection; for us to pause and take stock of the areas that use up most of our time and energy. These areas include Money, Career, Friends and Family, Significant Other, Fun and Recreation, Health, Physical Environment and Personal Development. To complete the wheel you must give each area a mark out of 10 for how satisfied you are with them currently – the centre represents 0 and the outer perimeter a 10. You then draw a line or curve at that point to create a new outer edge. Looking at your completed wheel, what do you notice? How balanced is the Wheel? How smooth or bumpy is the ride? Which mark would you like to be giving in 6 months time? What are some steps you could take to reach those goals?        

Poetry Friday

One for a (hopefully) sunny Bank Holiday! Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle …

Who’s been to the School of Love?

From a young age we’re inundated with ideas about love. From the perfection of Hollywood movies to the romance of classic novels, like sponges we absorb ideals of what the perfect relationship should look like. It is rich with red-hot desire and passion, holds the patience of a saint and the utmost respect. But best of all no matter who or what we are, we all deserve it. In fact, isn’t it our basic human right to experience the ultimate romantic love? True love doesn’t require effort or patience, or a compromise of ourselves. True love just happens, regardless of our own imperfections and selfishness. If it takes work, surely it’s not real? Then at some point along the path to adulthood, a sharp prick bursts our bubble and reality is revealed. Love isn’t easy. It does require effort. A great deal of effort at times. In fact it’s an ongoing balancing act that requires active participation and very clear and concise levels of communication. Like a garden requires nurturing, a loving relationship needs feeding, pruning and …

Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust – Why Every Adult Needs to see the New Pixar Animation

Pixar’s new animation Inside Out is about an 11 year old girl named Riley and five of her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. These emotions live in headquarters in her mind influencing her actions, guarding her personality and storing memories. The story sees Riley’s family relocating from Minnesota to San Francisco after her father gets a new job, and the trials and tribulations her emotions go through as she settles into a new home and school life. From Director Peter Docter (Monsters Inc, Up) , “the idea was to portray what happens in the human mind as emotions set in, and depict it through animation.” The subtext is rich with wisdom and repeatedly expresses the rich repercussions determination and positive thinking produce. Yet it also explores the power of sadness and inevitability of growing up. Leaving your childhood self behind and embracing change to allow personal growth and renewal to happen. Inside Out is a poignant, smart and uplifting emotional roller coaster that will make you laugh and cry. An exhilarating battle between Joy and …

Poetry Friday

IF you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never …