Vafa expressing joy gratitude and freedom infant of Donnington castle in Newbury, UK

Create Opportunities

 

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”  Bruce Lee

 

I love this quote.  I heard it and it resonated so deeply I had to share it!

When you start dreaming about a better future, hold onto that dream; make it bigger, better and brighter and walk towards it.

Don’t look for excuses to stop making progress and blame circumstances when the going gets tough. YES! Change isn’t easy, but well worth the discomfort in the long run.

Your unconscious mind is constantly looking for evidence to support your thoughts, your words and your feelings. It wants to ‘keep you safe’ by getting you to repeat the same unresourceful behaviour, and instead, it’s sabotaging your growth.

Your words become your world, and your thoughts become your actions. So, be mindful of creating excuses that are responsible for YOU standing in your own way of success, happiness and fulfilment.

When thinking about a better future, look for opportunities, not obstacles and laugh in the face of fear to keep the momentum going.

Does this quote resonate with anyone else? What’s your story?

This is a picture of me looking for opportunities of growth in every conversation.

Call me when you wish to create more opportunities

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

Vafa opening a bottle of champagne celebrating graduation obtaining NLP coaching diploma from UKCPD

Get The Life You Wish For

“Get The Life You Wish For”…  I so often heard the voice inside my head say this phrase.  Especially when I came face to face with situations that put me at a cross roads where my values were being tested.  Then I came across this passage from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

 

 “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasures you seek.  Own the fear, find the cave and write a new inning for yourself. For the people you’re meant to serve and support and for your culture.  Choose courage over comfort, choose whole hearts over armour and choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid at the exact same time.” 

 

If you’re looking for what’s missing in your life or in need of new direction, if you’re defined by the measures of success that someone else has imposed on you or if you’re feeling guilty for wanting more, then please know you’re one of many who think and feel this way.

What are you doing to get the life you wish for?

I was reflecting on the time I used to wish for a better life during a graduation ceremony with a difference and congratulated myself for stepping inside the cave even though it was scary, unknown and uncomfortable.

For choosing whole hearts instead of armour, even though it deprived me from aspects of my old, secure world; and for choosing courage over comfort which scares me and makes me feel very alive every day!

Are you feeling stuck or are you living a life that makes you feel alive?

We only get one life; let’s live it on our terms

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

Do You Choose Courage Or Conformity? handcuffed man freed and reaching out into the sky for lfreedom

Do You Choose Courage Or Conformity?

 

“Do you choose courage or conformity?”  I asked myself again after another difficult conversation that left me demotivated to strive for my best.  Then I remembered this passage and exhaled, attempting to calm my distressed nervous system.

 

 “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly” T Roosevelt

 

This quote has been such a driver for me.  Every time I thought of choosing comfort and conformity over courage in my journey of Personal Revolution…

I chose courage over comfort though; Every – Single –  Day!

You know how the other quote goes.  “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”  And it was by sharing stories and insights with some great minds that I was inspired to push through the pain and get the life I wished for.

So now, I’m on a mission to spread the nuggets of wisdom that changed my life.  I’ll be doing this by chatting to some truly inspirational people.  

 

What’s my main purpose for starting this adventure?

To help my clients of course.  They often think they’re the only ones experiencing the negative emotions and feel unfulfilled.  They believe they have no other choice but to carry on as they are.

With the help of my beautiful guests, I plan to inspire you to get the courage and clarity to live life on your terms.  Because I think that’s key to families and workplaces becoming happier, more connected places.

So watch out for my “Inspiring Courage” video series next week.  I’m so looking forward to hearing my guests’ favourite quotes and the lessons they’ve learnt.  And what the success factors were in them  moving forward when they faced the same question I did time and again; “Do You Choose Courage Or Conformity?” 

If you know of anyone who’d like to share their inspirational nuggets of wisdom, please drop me a line

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

A Trip Down Memory Lane

 

Imagination and memory follow the same neural path.

Have you ever considered how easy it is to snap out of the loop of negative thoughts you may be experiencing?  All you need to do in that moment is to CHOOSE to be different.  Stand up if you’re sitting down.  Look up if you have your head down.  Close your eyes and bring back memories of a beautiful event.

In fact, next time you’re looking at a site that’s taking your breath away, make a picture memory.  You may be at the seaside, or the mountains, or your favourite restaurant, or a friend’s wedding.

Notice what you see, hear and feel.  Notice the colours, the sounds and the textures.  Notice the scents and the tastes.  Then when you’re in need of cheering up, recall the picture memory and the sensations associated with it.  It’s magical, it really works!

Mini me and I were in Venice this time last year and fb keeps on teasing me with memories of a year ago.

Looking at the crowds in this featured picture, I’m wondering…

About how silent, even eerie the side streets and the canals in the enchanted sunken city of Venice must be, feel and look today.

How relieved the locals must feel on one hand to have their beautiful city to themselves.  And yet how much of an economic struggle this must be for them on the other hand.

I’m also thinking about how I took life as I knew it for granted.  The wonders of the world I was lucky enough to explore.  The touch of my loved ones which I miss incredibly.  The ability to jump in the car and enjoy a day at the beach.  A short train ride to London to immerse myself in a few hours of culture.  Even the simple pleasure of taking a trip to the local drugstore to buy hair colour and a new shade of nail polish just because…  All of these and more that I had at my fingertips, I took for granted.  We all did!

So today, instead of finding ourselves in another beautiful European city, mini me and I are going to look at old pictures.  We will use the power of our imagination to reminisce about a life we once knew and the precious memories we made at every location.  A life I hope we get back sometime soon in the future, albeit I cannot think for sure what that would look like anymore.  Because I know the world we knew has changed for good, as have the people in it.

If nothing else, I’ve learnt to be more present, to look for pleasure in the pain I face and to say thank you more often… There are lessons in every adversity we face.

Happy Easter everyone

 

Much love, Easter eggs and strong coffee

Vafa

How Do You Cope In Times Of Adversity?

 

Happy New Year ✨🥂✨

2019 threw me so many curved balls that I now feel, I can rise in the face of adversity and win hands down.  No matter what cards I’m dealt!

EVERY TIME I thought things were going my way, the universe tested my patience and resilience.  But you know something?  The universe forgot I was a war child and I’ve faced what many of my peers couldn’t even imagine as their worst nightmare.

I’m not saying I was ready to attack the challenges face on immediately.  And I’m not saying I didn’t feel scared, hurt and angry at times.  And there were times I crawled back into my shell and wished I could hibernate for a season like my favourite nocturnal creatures, the hedgehogs.   But my beautiful and emotionally intelligent boy, and the undying support of my very close network of friends and family got me going.  Not forgetting my gorgeous and incredibly talented accountability buddies who guided me out of the potholes I found myself in.

I decided to acknowledge the pain, rather than bury and ignore it like I used to.  I found strategies around dealing with the unrest and the uncertainty.  For me, this was in the form of taking long walks, reading, and having pow wows with my buddies to check my sanity.  Until I found solutions to the many challenges I faced.  ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME…

I’m curious…. How do you deal with the serious, surprise life challenges that are thrown your way?  Are you aware of the immense guilt and the shame you feel in those situations as I did?  And do they stop you from reaching out and seeking different perspectives?

Here’s to believing in ourselves and the hidden powers within us more… In the famous words of one of my favourite poets, Hafez:

“You have in your soul, every ingredient necessary to turn your existence into joy.  All you have to do is to mix your ingredients”

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

“Find Your IKIGAI…”

 

“Find Your IKIGAI…”

That’s what I kept being reminded by my mentor during our 1-2-1 sessions.  Back when I was trying to find a new path in the exciting playground of business ownership.  I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny and gain the work life balance I wanted.

I had met him years ago during my “explorer” years.  He’d been a part of my journey of Personal Revolution from the early days.  I presented new business ideas to him every time we met; usually once every six months or so when I visited yet another business show.

So, what is this IKIGAI my mentor kept asking me to find? According to the fountain of all knowledge, aka Wikipedia:

IKIGAI is a Japanese concept that means a reason for being. The word IKIGAIis usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word translated to English roughly means, things that you live for or the reason for which you wake up in the morning

My quest to find a new vocation was to gain personal freedom.  To spend quality time with my son during his long school holidays.  To return some much needed passion and vitality back into my life. 

I had spent a quarter of a century in a career that had been rewarding for many years, but had recently plateaued.  It wasn’t leaving me fulfilled anymore (I can’t believe I’m that old!).  The aspects of the job I had most loved were training and mentoring students and young professionals.  

I had all the essential ingredients for a start-up business owner.  I was passionate, resilient, determined and open minded about all opportunities that presented themselves to me.  I knew my strength was in building human connections and I adored investing in my personal development.  

I’d been a fan of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and a follower of Tony Robins since the early 90s, and I was passionate about helping people achieve the best version of themselves.  So when an opportunity presented itself to obtain a diploma in NLP and coaching, I didn’t hesitate.  I knew I’d have the best tools to help people in realising their own journeys of personal revolution.

 

 

I love how Tim Tamashiro likens IKIGAI to a “treasure map with four directions” in his TEDx talk. It’s basically a cross section of 4 simple questions:

  • What you LOVE doing

  • What you’re GOOD at doing

  • What the WORLD NEEDS

  • What you can get PAID FOR

It’s more about finding a vocation that yields results than finding a job that pays the mortgage.  It’s about fulfilling your heart’s desires.  Your life’s purpose and discovering a more meaningful you, where you do the things that really matter to you.  It’s about feeling useful and therefore having a reason to live for.

One interesting fact I came across in my research was that there are more centurions in Okinawa where the concept of IKIGAI stemmed from, than anywhere else in the world.  That’s partly due to their diet, and partly due to the fact that they have a sense of purpose in their lives.  A feeling of being valuable in society due to their adopted roles and responsibilities.

Do you want to know something interesting?  It just happens that I was looking for my IKIGAI when I became an explorer and started my wonderful journey of Personal Revolution.  Except I didn’t yet know that the Japanese had summed it up with this one beautiful word… IKIGAI.  

Have you started the search for your IKIGAI and your own Personal Revolution? If not, what are you waiting for? Call me and let’s start exploring what your life’s purpose is and how to get you there… ✨✨✨

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa