getting unstuck

getting-unstuck-mycreative

This has been an interesting year. Exactly a year ago I arrived in Trieste full of optimism and excitement (and joy at seeing my fiance for the first time in two months). But I quickly fell into what I retrospectively call my ‘period of stuckness’. I kind of panicked. In London I had been building towards something in my career but I now felt that I had turned a page and suddenly had to start a new chapter. I had a blank page staring at me and I suddenly had writer’s block, except it was for my life.

Don’t get me wrong things were happening, I was planning a wedding, I was exploring my new city but I felt stuck in what my ‘career’ was going to be. You know that all important part of your ‘you’ which makes you a worthwhile person and a provider to society?

So a little while ago I received an email from Marie of Kit and Caboodle Coaching offering a coaching session. I pondered it for a while and as the month moved on I realised that this ‘gift from the universe’ was something that I could really use. A little bit of guidance and steerage to help me see my stuckness from a different viewpoint. What better way to act like I love myself then giving myself time to work out what is going on in my head.

I had met Marie a few years ago and knew already that she was super approachable and easy to talk to. I practically ran home after dropping my mom at the train station after her visit because I was so excited about our session. Obviously as I don’t live nearby we had a skype chat which we both found worked really well. We were both able to sit down with a cup of tea, pens and paper and get into a very comfortable ‘chatting zone’.

We started off the session by clarifying what I wanted to achieve by the end (something I should perhaps do more in my everyday life) and then moved on to some activities. Over our conversation, Marie was able to pull out things that I was saying and highlight what I was saying back to myself. She turned my ‘stuck period’ into a time of ‘incubation’, a time that I had needed to nest and feel safe. Plus she helped provide some clarity for me now that I was ready to start ‘writing my life’ again.

Our conversation revolved mostly about work because at the moment that is the area I feel I need to concentrate on. Sitting down and having someone asking questions, some easy but some quite hard, and helping you breakdown the answers is really useful. Having that someone be a professional who has done this for a good many years makes it even better because she isn’t your best friend nodding and agreeing with you but someone who will dig down.

The point of coaching isn’t to provide you with the answer or the paths. It is to help steer you towards your answer. I suppose I kind of knew the answers before starting, but perhaps hadn’t been thinking about the questions in the right way. Marie was like the ‘ghost of Christmas present’ helping me to see things a bit more clearly.

I came to some pretty big realisations from the conversation. Like what I need a ‘job’ to provide me with. And that the idea of a ‘career’ doesn’t really fit into my picture of what I want my life to be. And helping me figure out some next steps. Pretty impressive for 90 minutes right!?

Well do you know what is even better, Marie is being a lovely human being and offering you some special discounted sessions. So you know what, you should head over to her site and make that happen! Also you probably want to follow Marie on instagram because she is a creative genius.

kit and caboodle coaching offer

too kind?

Croatia-i-don't-live-here-anymore-mycreative

I have a couple thoughts rolling around in my head this week and I thought I would share. It is about to get honest around here.

On the internet you came across the idea of being kind to yourself and I have mentioned it myself here, more precisely on loving yourself. I think the hardest person in the world to have a good and healthy relationship with is potentially yourself. And after some life pondering this week I think I have been too kind to myself. More precisely, I have been using ‘being kind’ to myself as an excuse for inactivity and as a cover for fear and doubt.

Despite working on my habits to eat better and exercise I am obviously not doing a good job because after months of losing a pound gaining a pound I have managed to put weight on (maybe an almost daily gelato isn’t a good idea). I can tell you taking a ‘before’ selfie can be a mind blowing wake up call. Plus despite having an ’employment break’ there are few things I can say that I have achieved in this time; until yesterday I hadn’t worked on my dissertation for about three months, I have done very little in terms of my photography or building a career in it and I have put the bare minimum into learning Italian.

Fear and doubt have lead me into a ‘state of stuck’. I might talk about this more on another day when I have figured it out more.

Kindness comes in not beating myself up about my actions (or lack thereof) in the past (though that is a hard task in itself). Kindness comes in making a change. It is definitely time for a bit of tough love. I feel like I have been so ‘gentle’ with myself I have let myself get away with the proverbial murder. I am like the lazy teenager who wastes their summer holiday playing computer games, eating junk food and sleeping until noon (metaphor here, my computer games are pinterest and twitter). In reality that teenager would have benefitted from some stricter rules, a holiday job and a bit of routine. I don’t have a strict parent looming over me to make sure I get the most out of my life, so I have to do that myself. Another hard task.

My first thought was that I needed a plan, but really sometimes it is just time to do!

This morning I have had an egg and veggie breakfast, once that is settled I will work out, then I will go for a walk with my camera, buy an Italian magazine so I can start doing something in addition to my regular duolingo practise, and perhaps get a few more hundred words down for my dissertation. I’ll make a meal plan for the rest of the week and go to the shop without buying myself a treat (note to self: going to the shop is a very manageable chore and I do not need to treat myself for buying my family healthy and nourishing food).

That is all for now, but what do you think? Have you been too kind to yourself? How do you work on your get up and go!

building better habits

building better habits like I love myself

I’ve been thinking of how I behave day to day and how I can go about building better habits so that I eat, move and act like I love myself.

It is very easy for me to be lazy and procrastinate and not get the things done that I want (or need) to get done. Being currently job free for the most part (I don’t think four hours a week of looking after and teaching kids English counts) means that my days have become progressively more amorphous. I am not a very disciplined person and the lack of structure that I have always hated seems to have been, in hindsight, at least a little bit useful. So instead of using all my free time wisely I have not touched my dissertation, put on weight (!!!), and spent a many hour on pinterest. I go through good patches but generally I am pretty terrible. But I am not going to be mean to myself because that is likely to lead to only more ‘bad’ behaviour. Instead I am going to make a plan.

The last week Tim and I started using a new app called Chorma. It is a household chore app which you share with other people in your household. You create a list of chores that need to be done, allocate points and away you go. We have decided that whoever gets the most points every two weeks gets to pay for date night. I’ve found the accountability to someone else of seeing what I get up to everyday, the slight competitive-ness, the reminders and the reward mean that I don’t leave sweeping the floors until tomorrow. (It is pretty good you should check it out if you share chores with others. I imagine this would have saved a lot of heartache over the years living with friends.)

So how do I bring these factors into creating better habits? Well until the developers of Chorma come up with a habit app I have made a little chart inspired by Creature Comforts. I have written the four main habits that I want to work on and allocated points for levels of achievement (so for example working out for under  30 minutes gets me 2 points and for more than 30 minutes gets me 3 points, etc). I am sticking it up in the kitchen so I see it everyday.

I’m keeping it simple and I am hoping this will work. I think I will post an update here on how I am doing regularly so I am accountable.

building better habits

Now I am just thinking of the ‘reward’ system. It is quite a tough one as I normally reward myself with food (oh oh). I also only make a little bit extra each week so can’t go buy myself a spa weekend every month. That said, let’s be honest if I really want a magazine I am going to buy it (just love my Kinfolk and Cereal too much). That said I have been surprisingly good with money lately by sticking to a modest budget every week for household spending and not really buying things for myself that I normally wouldn’t have hesitated to buy. I thought this month I might add up my points (I am hoping if I am good I should get between 300 and 400 points), knock off the last digit and spend that amount at the antiques market or maybe an antiques shop if I can find something in the budget. Some research suggests that it doesn’t matter what the reward is as long as you ‘get something’. Let’s hope that is true for me!

building better habits - reward

I’ve made a printable to share with you, with one for March and some blank ones with options for both four or five blocks for habits. Let me know if you find it useful or if you have suggestions for changes.

How do you reward yourself when you achieve something? 

p.s. I’ve linked to some useful articles/posts on creating habits before if you are interested.

like you love yourself

like you love yourself

I came across this quote last week and it spoke so much to me that I thought I would write it out and put it on my wall. It is not an easy task to love yourself. I struggle with it. I am critical, put myself down, judge myself and then get into a feeling sorry for myself state of mind, eat a bag of crispy M&Ms and feel bad all over again. I am hoping this will give me some motivation to be kinder to myself emotionally but also be kinder to my body by eating healthy food and exercising. Helping myself in working towards feeling luminous.

How do you eat, move, speak and act like you love yourself?