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Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Year resolutions

 As we are approaching the end of 2011, most of us will write our goals for the coming year. In many cases, when we think of goals, we tend to add more things to accomplish, to do, to deliver. This is precisely why, after a few months, 75% of the resolutions are dropped. Subconsciously, we feel we don't have time to do more things.

If you wish to stop struggling next year, I suggest you write a different kind of list. My challenge to you is to start saying 'NO' to some habits. In so doing, watch how you can be in the flow of attracting the things you want in your life. Here are nine habits that you could drop:

  • Stop craving to be loved by everyone. You can only be the best YOU you can be. Self love is recognising your worth and appreciating who you are.
  • Stop chasing success and wanting to win at all costs. You are not your beauty, not your position or your status. Your inner self is far more valuable than any outer attributes.
  • Stop needing to be different in search of the holy grail. Start seeing beauty in all of life, accept the mundane and allow your authentic self to emerge.
  • Stop your greed for things: for information, for money, for time. When you hoard you become prisoner of those things. Set yourself free, give freely and liberate yourself. Give birth to a life of generosity and abundance.
  • Stop doubting your abilities, being indecisive. Have faith that you can achieve much more by listening to your intuition and seeing possibilities.
  • Stop avoiding pain at all cost, being addicted to having fun and always planning your next thrill. Be silent, feel your emotions. Allow them to guide you to a place of acceptance, peace and serenity.
  • Stop your need to be the boss. This need to always be in charge is a cry for help from your inner child. Take time to play, laugh  and reclaim your innocence.
  • Stop playing small, your voice is important. Be ready to affirm your convictions, overcome your indolence and allow your energy to carry you to heights you have never experienced before.
  • Stop being a perfectionist. Life is not perfect, no one is perfect.  When you raise the bar too high, you set yourself up for disappointment. Your fear of failure paralyses you. Let go and let God, become flexible and have fun. 
Choose at least one of the behaviours from the list; decide to let go of your attatchment to it. Believe in your authentic power, trust your inner wisdom and discover the miracle that you are.

Please feel free to share your resolutions for the new year.

May 2012 be your best year so far.
Life is big. Be passionate.

Sunday, September 25, 2011



By this time of the year, you are probably rejoicing about or dreading the fact that Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. The mere mention of that time of the year most probably brings to your mind images of budgets, last minute shopping, kids screaming, traffic jams and hot weather.
Now that I have paced and led you into this scene, you are most probably wondering how the year has flown by. What, your mind screams, is it already the end of the year? Wow! The time has gone so fast…

Time does seem to be accelerating. That sunrise on the first of January 2000 on a beach in Sydney, bursting with promises and dreams, seems so far away. I wonder what happened to your commitments and your dreams for the new millennium.

 If you are part of the multitude who feels that time is flying by; that the days are merging into the weeks, into the months and into the years, you will concur that this blur into the future may be awakening within you a frustration of incompleteness and feelings of too little too late.
I am moved by the way Henry Longfellow expresses it in the Theologian’s Tale:

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So, on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

One concept to get you more connected to the here and now and stir up feelings of awareness and appreciation is ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the events in your life in a non-judgmental and open way. It is about making contact with yourself and the world around you, including the people in it. Mindfulness is not just about going inside to notice what is there, but also about connecting with where you are and who you are with - right now in the present moment.

Mindfulness allows us to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and behavior just as they are. When we are mindful, we are no longer stuck in our automatic reactions. It helps us accept things we cannot change as well as allowing us greater flexibility and freedom. The paradox is that as we practice watching our thoughts come and go without reacting, they slowly lose control over us. We gently but firmly bring our awareness and focus back to a place of our choice. In so doing, we create a desired state of being.

You don’t need a formal meditation practice to experience mindfulness. In fact, research by Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at UMASS Medical Center in 2005 found that “moments of mindfulness” were highly effective at creating the physiological and psychological benefits of meditation and relaxation. Across your work day you can invoke moments of mindfulness by trying these seemingly simple practices: take a moment and take an easy breath in and an easy breath out - just noticing without judgment your sensations, feelings and thoughts.

Following are some ideas on how you could practice this in your life:

§         When you first put your feet on the floor in the morning. Feel the sensations in the bottom of your feet.
§         Under the shower, feel the water on your body.
§         When putting on your shoes, put on the one you usually put on second, first.
§         When you get in your car, before starting the engine, be aware of your body in your seat; be mindful of fastening your seatbelts and making any adjustments. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out, and let your shoulders settle down. Then start your car.
§         If you commute by bus, be aware of the seat supporting your body and be aware of the vibrations of the vehicle as well as the presence of your fellow travelers.
§         Take a moment when you get to work before going inside. Breathe deeply. Notice what feels tight or loose as you breathe. Notice the weather, the people walking around you, and what thoughts are crossing your mind.
§         Use the walk to your desk to do ‘mindful’ greetings. Be mindful of your hello and smile, and be mindful of the ones you get in return. Take a moment to take in the hellos and smiles you get.
§         Take ‘mindful’ breaks. Get up and walk the length of the hallway, or simply stretch in your office for one minute. Breathe. Ask yourself what you need most to be more effective.
§         Take a moment to notice the key board of your computer and feel your fingers tapping away on each key to form words and create meaningful sentences or figures.
§         Every time you hear a mobile phone ring, use the sound as a reminder to pay attention to your breathing and come back into awareness.
§         Notice… Take a deep breath, notice 5 things you can see, 5 things you can hear and 5 things you can feel (shoes, clothes, watch wristband, hair against forehead)
§         Notice your feelings as you travel back home. Where in your body do you feel them, and what would help you feel taken care of at the end of this day.
§         Be mindful of entering your home at the end of the workday. Feel your hand on the doorknob or handle, notice what you see and hear and smell as you enter.
§         Take a moment for ‘mindful’ conversation with your spouse, children or parents at some point in the evening. Share some of what you noticed about your day. Ask them about their day. This mindful conversation is just about sharing information and is not about problem-solving.
§         Notice what it feels like to lay back down in bed. Scan your body for areas of tension and relaxation. Breathe deeply and easily and bring your breathing to the areas that need some tension relief.

Should you want to be guided into a ‘mindful’ meditation, follow this link:

Mindfulness will help you re-connect, providing more meaning to your actions and the world around you. Time does seem to be going by faster and yet we know that we have the same amount of time within one day or one month that our great-grand parents had. Mindfulness will provide you with a sharp, uncommon focus in your daily activities that will in turn give you a sense of accomplishment and a joy of life that many think is of a foreign domain, that of gurus and mystics.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The power of beliefs

Our beliefs create our reality.

What is a belief? It is an unconscious program that has an energy frequency that draws to itself energies of a similar frequency. The thing that keeps you away from your success; be it becoming more wealthy, healthy or passionate is called a Limiting Belief. Self-limiting beliefs have the power to sabotage the very outcome that you desire. 
What determines what is created is the quality of the belief.

You have unlimited potential to attract abundance in all areas of your life. Your belief is what drives your experiences and results. A thought of love, faith or abundance is differentiated from a thought of hate, lack, scarcity or sickness only by its frequency or vibration.

To change the outcome you simply need to change the belief. 

Margaret had spent most of her adult life struggling with her weight. After years of dieting, exercising and fasting, she could not understand why the weight kept coming back. Following a few sessions Margaret uncovered the unconscious limiting beliefs that sabotaged all her efforts.

Questions that will help you draw out your beliefs.

1.    What causes me to be struggling financially/being overweight?
2.    What is preventing from being healthier/being abundant?

 Just thinking about the questions will not provide you the answer. You must actually grab a pen and a writing pad and start writing all the answers that come up. Soon, you’ll have a list of excuses and justifications like: I have no time to exercise; I am too old; I am not educated enough; It runs in the family; I don’t have enough money.

Ask yourself whether each belief helps or hurts you. Does it move you in the direction of your desires or not. Does it empower you or not?
Since beliefs are not facts, you must question the validity of each one by asking “Is this true?”
If you don’t challenge each of these thoughts, you will remain in your comfort zone and continue to vibrate at the same old energy level, getting the same old results.

Install a new belief.

Nature abhors a vacuum. You must replace your self-limiting beliefs with thoughts that are in alignment with your goals; thoughts of a different frequency from a belief based on faith, abundance, love and success. Create an affirmation for each goal. Visualize yourself enjoying your new experience. Think about and feel what it would be like once you have achieved your desire. Be consistent and watch your actions come in alignment with your desires.

Life is big. Be passionate.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Life and death

I am sitting in an airplane flying back from Sydney to Mauritius having just attended my father’s funeral. Thoughts of life and death cascade through my mind as I review the funeral proceedings and I replay the words we all said at the service.

One of those thoughts is that human beings often wait till the end to say nice things about each other. We get so caught up in life’s intricacies that we tend to overlook the real meaning of life. We tend to forget that kindness, love and recognition are things that all human beings crave for, from cradle to death. Most of us get so caught up in our daily crises, frustrations and ego trips that we give free rein to our basic impulses of wanting and amassing more, winning at all costs and being separate from the rest.

We tend to forget that we came into this life entrusted with a mission and many of us allow life’s challenges to throw us off our path, meandering into the alleys of despair, fear and failure. Many people believe that only the rich, talented and influential have a mission to accomplish. The truth is that each one of us has a talent which, if put to good use, can change the lives of those around us and put us on the path we were each meant to be on. No matter your corporate position or your place in the social ladder, you have an inner talent which makes you unique.

My father’s talent was his generosity. He was generous with his time, with his money and his compassion. He made such good use of this quality that he touched numerous people during his life time and the mourners present at his funeral were unanimous in recognising this legacy.

As you read these lines, I encourage you to wonder about your mission. In what ways could you be utilising your innate talent to help your organisation succeed? How could you empower those around you to help them grow? How could you contribute to making your company, your country and your neighbourhood better places to live in?  How could you play an even more vital role in your family circle to spread kindness, love and recognition?
Because one day, you will also not be here and those left behind will wonder at your legacy, at how well you accomplished your mission.  If you get into the habit of always leaving those you encounter in a better state and always giving your best in every situation, work or family, you will leave a legacy so strong that people will remember you long after you are gone.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Transform your Emotions

In one of our leadership seminars,  we have a module where we facilitate a Circle of Trust. I was concerned recently to hear a manager express that there was no place for emotions in the work place. Unfortunately he is not the only one who thinks this way.

If there is one thing that we humans have in common, it is our emotions. We live with each other, we work together, we build relationships with one another. Most of our decisions are based on emotions. For example we choose our friends because we trust them or because they make us feel good. We reject the ones who do not respect or value us. Trust, feeling good or respected or valued are all emotions that affect us.
Emotions being so critical to our well being, it is imperative that we get to understand the subject a bit more.
The reason we are reluctant to delve deeper is that as children we were taught to judge our emotions and stay away from some of them.

A young boy comes home from school in tears. His mother, when finding out that he was laughed at by his friends, tells him to stop crying because boys just don't. He is also told that those kids are bad and not to play with them anymore. This young boy is now confused. Firstly, his sadness was not acknowledged by mum and above all, he wants to be able to play with his mates again.
Parents teach their children how to look after themselves physically and intellectually but rarely emotionally.

Emotions are simply Energy in Motion, neither good nor bad. Knowing how to take responsibility for our feelings can lead to a life of greatness, full of passion. No one can make us feel anything unless we give them the power to do so. Blaming someone for making you angry is not taking resposibility for the anger that you are harbouring inside. Blaming someone for your angry outburst is akin to pressing an orange and expecting to get apple juice.

Here are 4 steps to transform an emotion:

1. Acknowledge the emotion. Accept it. (I feel sad, angry etc...)
2. Don't judge the emotion, just observe it.
3. Choose to transform it by breathing into it. Visualise it on a cloud and send it away until  it disappears behind you completely.
4. Decide to be aware of your reaction towards this emotion so that next time you are able to respond in a   way that will give you your power back.

In the next post we will talk about beliefs.

Life is big. Stay passionate.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Most of us desire to live a life of freedom, to do the things we love to do, to have a job that we are passionate about, surround ourselves with beautiful things and have enough money to spend on our loved ones.
Why is it then only a few of us can achieve all of this? It has nothing to do with how intelligent, how young or beautiful you are. Luck has nothing to do in the matter. So what is the secret to having everything you desire?
If you don't like the results in your life, you must go to the core of the matter. Our natural instinct is to try and change something on the physical level. Very often we blame the boss, the partner or the situation and we get another job, a new relationship or move away.
The trouble is, we are programmed to use our head. We forget that we are a four part being:
  • We are physical
  • We have an intellect
  • We have emotions
  • We are spiritual.
If we want to make a permanent change in our life, we need to recognize that it starts at the heart level.
When ever we feel fear, doubt or worry we need to get out of our head and into our heart. We need to take action based on our core values. That requires stepping out of our comfort zone, courage to examine the values that are meaningful to us. When we do that, we are in touch with our emotions which in turn will propel us into action based on love and passion. When we are passionate about what we do , we want to share it with others.
To step out of your comfort zone, you need to by pass your filters of "life is hard", "money is evil", "some people are luckier than others". Listen to your heart, take time to discover you true self. Leave your comfort zone, start living the life you desire!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Prayer for Japan

Dear God,

Please comfort the people of Japan in their time of darkness.

Give courage to those who have lost loved ones.

Hope to those who have nothing left so that they find the strength to rebuild their lives.

Wipe away the tears of those who are sad.

Cast your loving embrace on this nation who is suffering.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meditation evening at Mon Choisy

On Friday 11 March 2011, we invited a group of like-minded people to get together at Mon Choisy Beach, Mauritius to meditate on the theme of International Women Day. More than 20 people joined us at sunset and we shared our thoughts and feelings around themes of love, hope, peace and tolerance


It surprised many of us that this year marked the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. It was born out of labour movement activities at the turn of the 20th Century in North America and across Europe. The first International Women's Day was observed in the USA on the 28th of February 1909.
While there has been tremendous strides made in women's rights over the past century, there is still a long way to go before women across the globe have equal access  to education and opportunities. The role of women in the socio-political revolutions across the Arab world and the wider Middle East in the past weeks augurs well. Let us hope it will be a catalyst of change which will get us men to view the women around us not only as wives, daughters, sisters, aunts and mothers but also as individuals who impact our society through their contribution as citizens, workers and leaders.

Hugh Stanley

After the event, some of us stayed back under the pale moonlight with the gentle sounds of the waves lapping the sand...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Inspiring Women

 Over the years, I have had numerous women as role models. I still do...

From Cinderella to Ang San Suu Kyi; I keep drawing lessons on how to be strong, to be focused, to love poetry, and to follow my passion. They have taught me that it is ok to feel sad and to feel happy; to follow my heart. Because of them I know how to love 'me'. I read their books, listen to their music, admire their art. I feel their pain, I ache for them, I rejoice and applaud them. I welcome their tenderness, compassion, their understanding.

I do not need to name them, they know who they are.

I only want to say thank you!
I celebrate you! I am who I am because of you!

 You inspire me through your:

  • Purpose
  • Clarity
  • Determination
  • Intutition
  • Style

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sylvie and Hugh Stanley

Our Mission : We empower, coach, educate and arouse the seeds of passion
within the leaders of today and tomorrow.