Hey everyone, how has your week been?
As I sit writing today’s blog, the sun is shining in Cumbria. The sky is a beautiful blue, there are no clouds in the sky and I can hear birds singing. It is a wonderful reminder that Spring is on its way.
This is my last blog post for January and therefore we are already 1 month through 2018. Seems like a good time for a quick check in with yourself to see if you are remaining focused on those beautiful intentions you set for this year. Your intentions are the things you most desire and yet it is so easy to allow life to side track us.
Have you moved in the direction of your intentions this week or have you allowed things to throw you off track?
If you were to score yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how positive you feel about the progress you are making on your intentions, what would your score be?
Why am I asking you so many questions? Good question!!
I have been reading the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. In case you don’t know, Shonda Rhimes is the producer of some of the biggest shows in America. She writes and produces Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to commit murder. Her book chronicles her journey as she embarks on what she called ‘The Year of Yes’.
A flippant comment by her sister about 2 years ago set her on her path to YES. Her sister simply said to her “You never say yes to anything”. In that moment, Shonda describes how she realised that she had almost retreated from the world and had started to play safe doing the things she felt most comfortable and confident in. She was a dedicated introvert and had stopped saying yes to anything that pushed her outside her comfort zone. Anything that might have stretched her or caused her to experience fear was an immediate NO.
She made the commitment to say YES to everything for an entire year. Her book shares her story and experiences across the year and beyond. She shares beautiful, funny and poignant stories and insights about what saying YES has done for her life. I don’t want to spoil anything about what she shares as I encourage you to read this book. There are so many gems in there that will resonate with you.
The book has had a profound impact on me because it aligns so beautifully with the core messages and values of No Ordinary Woman. It has really inspired me to think about my daily behaviours and how they align me to my intentions. This reflection has inspired me to get you to consider a very simple question…
What are you a YES for?
When I started down the path of getting clear about my purpose I also became clear about what I am a YES for. At the time, it wasn’t intentional but it has been life changing for me. Ultimately, I am a YES for this…
“Inspiring women who want to be more, do more and have more to get clarity on their purpose, set intentions that inspire them and then take massive action to allow their lives to transform in the direction of their dreams. I am about creating an environment for women to live to their highest potential.”
Here is the thing, when you are clear about your YES it enables you to focus on what is important and it also allows you to say NO to the things that do not serve your intentions.
Let me give you an example…
One of my strongest values is integrity. I share my personal story about the transformation I am making in my own life very openly. I share when I get things right and I share when things don’t go to plan. I do this to let women know that transforming your life is not easy, it takes energy, effort and resilience but the rewards are beautiful. When you live your life in alignment with your purpose there is nothing more empowering.
So, one of my intentions this year (in support of my YES) is to focus on always looking and feeling my best. For me this means making my own health and wellbeing a priority so that I can be my best for others. Part of me ‘feeling at my best’ means having beautiful nails – fingers and toes! So, in early January when I was setting my intentions for the year I decided to focus on growing my nails and I booked an appointment to have a manicure and pedicure with the intention to make this investment monthly.
My appointment was booked for today however, things got really busy for me this week and I had a few big commitments that were starting to put pressure on my time. As the week progressed, I was getting anxious about how to achieve everything and I found myself considering cancelling my beauty appointment to have my nails done.
Here is the thing. It would have been easy to cancel the appointment and buy myself an extra two hours to move forward my projects. I will be honest and say I seriously considered it (that’s integrity for you!). However, reading Shonda’s book made me stop and reflect on how this would serve me and my intentions. When I look at what I am a Yes for and I look at my intentions, cancelling that appointment would not have served either!
- Cancelling would send the message that I don’t value the time I invest in me
- Cancelling would indicate I am not concerned about ‘being more’
- Cancelling would not have taken me in the direction of the intentions I have set
The reality is, that I have looked at my priorities this week, shifted some things around and given myself the message that I am worth investing time in. I feel so good about this because I have acted in alignment with my YES; I have moved in the direction of achieving my intentions and to top it all I have had a beautiful experience at a gorgeous, local spa and my fingernails and toenails look amazing!
I encourage you to take a couple of key actions as we prepare to move in to February…
1 – Read Year of YES, it is a transformational book
2 – Think about what you are a YES for and write it down. Keep it visible. Keep it front and centre. When you know what you are a YES for, it starts to make saying NO a whole lot easier
3 – Look at your intentions and ask yourself if you are really taking consistent action to make them your reality.
I want to thank Polly and Fiona at Beauty in the Barn for giving me such a gorgeous experience today and for making the decision to take two hours to focus on me so worthwhile. I am truly grateful to you. For any local ladies, I highly recommend Beauty in the Barn. It is an experience not to be missed!! You even get luxury coffee and homemade cake. Check it out www.beautyinthebarn.co.uk
I want to leave you with a quote from the Year of Yes…
“I am different, I am an original. And like everyone else, I am here to take up space in the universe. I do so with pride” – Shonda Rhimes
You have your part to play. Find your YES and be extraordinary.
Until next week