Category Archives: Reinvention

Speak out!!

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If you will live a life of authenticity

If you will truly be yourself, the yourself you were meant to be.

Speak your truth, shout it, sing it, dance it, write it, get it out there.

If you believe you were not destined to rust out, to go gently into that good night.

If you believe you were here for a purpose.

DON’T pipe down, play it small, remain quiet….

Speak out!!!

Why you should go all in on YOU

Usually I do the major life review thing at New Year, but for some reason this year the urge came upon me on my birthday.  It wasn’t even that I’d decided to get all insightful and zen – to be honest I was just downright frustrated and fed up and this was what led to the break through.

I guess I realized that I no longer had anything to lose.  On the surface – large parts of my life had turned to sh**.  Like – living on savings, trying to find some kind of income, laptop blown up – making it really hard to blog, partner with diminished mobility due to failed surgery on his knee, winter, cold house.  BUMMER!  It sucked, and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to gain traction on any of it.  So I gave up.   And that changed everything….

So often we hear from the likes of influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins that we need to be ourselves, be the best that we can be, be honest, be authentic.  And despite writing posts on it here and here I hadn’t realized that I still wasn’t being enough ME. Not nearly enough, not even halfway enough.   Which was weird, because that’s what I THOUGHT I totally was doing.   I wasn’t embracing my weird, my crazy and irreverentness (is that even a word?), my loudness, my colour, my impulsiveness,  all those things that I’d been criticized for all my life.  I looked at myself and realized I’d been playing it small.  Far too small.   And if you ever meet me, you’ll realize that I’m NOT a quiet play-it-small person.

Instead, on that brilliant birthday I made a decision to double down on the loud, the crazy, the irreverence, the weird, and if people didn’t like it…… well zero f**ks given.   Nothing else was working anyway so nothing to lose.   And in some weird the-universe-is-watching-you way it’s worked.  Like, INSTANTLY.

In the past two weeks, I’ve dyed my hair the reddest red I could find, thrown out all the black clothing and put together the most outrageous and colourful combinations I could imagine, turned up the stereo, got an awesome job (never expected that, the over-50 curse has been upon me lately) and figured out how to get around the broken laptop dilemma until I can afford a new one.  All because I decided to say f**k it, even if it meant selling the house, moving, and losing relationships.  Whew, is that a rollercoaster or what?

To all you regular readers, I apologize.  I’ve been a fraud.  This blog is all about living with #heart especially when you’re over 50 and have to start again from scratch, and up till now I realize that I haven’t been doing that honestly.  Even my writing has been measured and careful.   But no more..  Expect more SHOUTING, more rants, more crazy.  More passion too – but what a poor sad word that’s been  debased by the HR departments of big corporates.  Anyone for a self-starter who’s passionate about counting things??? Groan.  Actually I think crazy about covers it.

And the work….driving shuttle buses at the local skifields with an awesome crew of people.  And free skiing.  Did I mention free skiing????  Except not skiing,  this year I’m learning to board so it’s free riding.  AND getting to be in the mountains all day.

So if you’re at that place where I was not so long ago.  Give up, stop trying so hard, DON’T  try to change.  Double down on YOU, wallow in your you-ness and see what it brings you.  It might just be gold.

And if you’re wondering I’m FIFTY SIX YEARS experienced.  That’s the word.  Experience.  Not old.  Never old.  Just crazy!

Bring it on! Live with #heart!  And please read follow and share too!

Rob

PS my bus is the tiny one down the far end….

Personal Brands: Why You Should Have One

adventuresbeforedementia #heart“Happiness is when you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”       Mahatma Gandhi

And the Mahatma should know ’bout that stuff..

I have spent a truck load of time working on my personal brand in the last year or so.  My personal brand is #heart, and that’s my logo up above.   Behind this a credo which is the guts of it all.  For me living with #heart means acting with courage, intuition and love – this is my credo.  I’ve written about it before here, and about being authentic in my previous post here.

Working through all this took a great deal of time and I’ve written about it here but its been the most worthwhile exercise I’ve probably ever done, because it forced me to get to the heart of who I am and what I stand for, and because of this it now enables me to truly live my values. A personal brand says to the world “this is who I am” and more importantly “this is what I stand for”  As an individual it is incredibly important to me to live my values and what’s more its brought far more harmony to my life, and consequently more happiness.   It’s a wonderful feeling when all the parts of you are heading in the same direction.  Does that sound odd?  I used to feel scattered, with bits of me all over the place.  This process has enabled me to metaphorically gather myself back together and progress.  I imagined all those scattered little pieces tied to me with tiny ropes and all pulling in different directions, not a helpful image. But now I’m whole.  Phew!    The Mahatma was spot on with that quote at the beginning of this piece.

Figuring out my personal brand then made it  super easy to design a logo with the help of a professional.  It took about an hour of her time all up.  Instead of messing round with a bunch of random ideas I’d done 90 percent of the thinking before I even got to the designer, so I saved money.

Here’s why you need your own brand.

  1.  Decision making is easier because you filter it through your credo which is values based.
  2. You save money on products because you already know what is going to be in alignment with your values – 90 percent of the hard work is done when you work out your brand.
  3. You can apply your brand to your online presence – it becomes your image to the world.  People immediately know what you’re all about.  It doesn’t take a whole heap of effort on their part.
  4. Being able to stand up for what you believe in gives an amazing sense of self respect.
  5. Life is so much more efficient when you’re not fighting against yourself all the time!

I really really recommend going through this process, most of the work involved is thinking and that costs nothing.

May this be of use to you

Robx

 

On Being Authentic

I had what Oprah calls an “aha” moment this morning during meditation.  It concerned the theme of my life.  You know how we all seem to have one overarching issue in our lives which keeps recurring until we deal with it?   For some it’s addiction,  for others it’s maintaining a long term relationship, or dealing with ill health.  Well for me it’s being true to myself.  And the myself that’s been showing up for a large part of my life has not been authentic.  It’s been the 1960’s white middle class female that I was brought up as.

Which would have been fine if it worked for me, but it didn’t.  All that good girl stuff about not being a tomboy, speaking quietly (well THAT didn’t work out!), being “a lady” whatever-the-hell-that-is.  I realized I’ve spent far too long fitting in, shutting up and shutting down.  Being quiet, not owning my feelings, my voice.  The recurring theme of my childhood was a parent saying ” you just have to be different don’t you?”  Ending up in a very conventional step-family didn’t help.  I seemed to be in trouble without even trying, just because I thought differently.  And being shamed for it.  Sadly, the result was that I tried so hard to fit in when I should have been running the other way.  Fast.  I always felt that there was something wrong with me.  I didn’t measure up and was somehow less worthy than everyone else and full of shame because of it.  And then to top it all off I became a librarian, how much more conventional can you get?    It’s getting harder and harder to stay in that box of conventionality where I’ve been all my life – the sides are bulging and the lid’s about to explode off.

After some fast walking and vigorous housework (always therapeutic!) today I decided game over.  End of. Caput. Fini.  The hell with fitting in.  I’ve finally grown up.

I chose my hashtag heart logo for this site because I wanted to live with heart.  All of my best decisions have been the ones where I’ve followed my heart and I’ve been authentic.  Now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and actually do it.  Be creative, live life to the full and be the real me,  and on the way encourage others to do the same.  Life’s too short for anything else.

May this be of use to you

Rob

How to: Get Unstuck

Move your body, dance

This one is a major for me and I’ve only just discovered it.  Sad but true.  If I’m stuck I now MOVE.  And that means stuck with anything, life, writing, finances, any kind of problem, I move.

Moving means just that – it doesn’t have to be fancy, do whatever floats your boat.  Jiggle in your chair if you can’t do anything else.  If you don’t believe it works watch this video of Jesse Shand and be incredibly inspired.  It’s 21 minutes but worth the time.

Some of the things I do are:

  1.  Dance to music in my head, and not just in the privacy of my own home.  One of the beauties of being over 50 is that you being to not give a sh** about what other people think.  It’s incredibly freeing.
  2. Put some real dance music on and go for it.  LOUDLY!
  3. Short bursts of high intensity exercise – burpees, press-ups, star jumps, anything.
  4. Go for a run or a good long walk.

Whatever happens I come back refreshed and often with a solution, or at the very least I feel a whole heap better about the situation.  My non-scientific explanation for this is that it gets you out of your head and back into your body and for some reason this really WORKS.  Scientists would probably say that it’s something to do with the movement revving up endorphins in the brain.  Who cares.  Just try it.  It really freakin’ works!

May this be of use to you

Robx

 

 

How To: Do The Best You Can With What You Have

ingenuity do what you can with what you have

This image looks like the stuff that gets confiscated at airport security!  The point of this post is that all of us have unused resources and untapped abilities.  We are far deeper and more capable than we ever realize and when we look, really look we have so many more resources at our disposal than we realize.  Loads and loads and loads.

Ask anyone running a social service and I’m sure that the universal response will be that there’s never enough funding to support the level of service that’s required. In an ideal world there are always programmes that should be or could be run to improve outcomes for users.   One of the most meaningful lessons I learned from running a public library was to do the best you can with what you have right now.  It has been one of my most valuable life lessons, and I’ve really taken it to heart.  To quote General Patton:

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”

In this less than ideal world this is so true, having a little pressure put on us brings out our creativity.  We begin to look at the resources we have at our disposal in a different way and often the simple solution we arrive at is frequently the best one anyway.

Not that there’s anything wrong with money but sometimes spending it is taking the easy way out.    Yes many of us need more of the stuff, but until we increase our level of abundance we’re going to have to use our ingenuity to get where we want to go.

Here’s what I do :

  1.  Be organized.  This is crucial – if you don’t know what you’ve got at your disposal then you’re sunk before you start
  2. Store like with like, not all over the house.  Once you’ve done this you’ll realize just how abundant you really are, and if you ever forget just look at the pile of ballpoint pens you’ve accumulated!
  3. Get rid of the real junk – you’ll know what it is and if you don’t then read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and you’ll get the idea.
  4. Now the fun begins – get creative – what can you sell, upcycle or repurpose? If you’re stuck check out Pinterest and tap into a community of ingenuous people.

Once you get the hang of it this approach becomes addictive.  Living on a tight budget is not all bad, it’s definitely brought out my creative side.  Now if I go to buy something I ask myself a) if I really do need it? and b) is there something at home I could use instead?  Nine times out of ten there is.  Recently I needed something to keep kitchen scraps in until they got put out on the compost heap to avoid making ten trips out there a day – especially in a southern winter.  I eventually found a spare stainless steel casserole dish I was no longer using.  It works perfectly – stores  a day’s worth of scraps and the lid keeps the flies off and better still it cost me nothing.  We ALL have these types of solutions at our fingertips.

May this be of use to you

Robx

 

 

Nailed It!

 

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When we first moved into our home nearly 20 years ago, the two goals that I had for this place were to feel as if you were entering into a personal Eden when you walked through the gate and to be able to see and hear the songbirds in the trees close to the windows.  The Eden one has been well and truly achieved for some time, but the songbirds have taken much longer – they’re all around the garden, and occasionally we will see one in a tree close to the house.

As of this morning I’ve nailed both of those goals.  Big Time.  I sat down at the computer to write this post and heard birdsong – I looked up and in the tree outside the window (I’m in a second storey room) was a Tui singing (listen to one here) and looking straight at me.  As he sang two of his friends came and joined him.  I’m sitting here literally crying as I write this.  I’ve done it, I’ve reached my goal and what’s more I’ve blasted right through it.  Oh. My. God.  What is even more incredible, and slightly uncanny was that this morning I was planning on writing a post about reprogramming my life.  It was as if the Universe was telling me.  You’re right Rob – you’ve achieved the stuff you wanted to in the first half, but now it’s time to go for it with the next part.  I’ve got so many ideas about what I want to do with this blog, and other social media accounts that I can’t wait.

I’m off for a celebratory cup of coffee and to plan my next post.  See you tomorrow.

May this be of use to you

Robx