Look Back Only To See How Far You’ve Come

 
 
Look back only to see how far you’ve come
 
 
How much attention do you pay to your timeline? Those of you who know me are only too familiar with how I reminisce about our memories and shared experiences.
 
This morning I was thinking about when and how my transformation was accelerated in the right direction. All because of a long walk and talk in a beautiful Spa Hotel with a mentor I trusted and respected three years ago today.
 
I started to look at life with a different perspective. A lot of my values and deep-rooted beliefs were challenged. But during that walk, I could clearly see a future that was much more aligned with how I wanted to be and how I wanted to impact the world around me. That was day one of a new direction for me 💥
 
Perhaps that’s the reason I love, value and offer outdoor coaching and retreats as part of my offerings 🥰
 
And then Facebook reminded me of my activities this time last year… I started doing the ‘what’s your story’ video series a year ago. I remember how apprehensive I was as I held my phone in front of my face and pressed the record button.
 
We had just entered into a period of uncertainty due to Covid dominating social media and every conversation we had. We were trying to make sense of our stories.
 
And as uncomfortable as it was for me to speak to an object, I listened to the part of me that had a positive intention in spite of my fear of looking unnatural and serious as I spoke. And so, a new journey of personal growth and development started as I stepped out of my comfort zone.
 
It certainly took time to get used to smiling into the camera and being more like the real me on video.
My intentions were to keep connected as we were having to socially distance. I also wanted to inject a bit of calm into the frenzy that took hold of my social media timeline by raising awareness of how the stories we told ourselves impacted our mental health and wellbeing.
 
A year later, I’m more comfortable with speaking in front of a camera. Who knew I’d be recording content in a professional studio a year on?!
 
 
What’s the point of this story you ask? Well… experience shows that:
  • New experiences can seem more scary than they really are. Learning to silence the fear will motivate you into action.
  •  With practice and repetition, you can build new habits.
  •  You can do anything you set your mind to.
  •  Accepting that failure is a part of life increases your bouncebackability.
  •  Having an awareness that the fear you feel is intending to keep you safe, but at times, it’s standing in the way of your fulfilment.
  • Guilt is one of the biggest drivers in keeping you stuck. What will other people think of you if you don’t live according to their expectations may be playing a part in your decision making.
  • Perhaps you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the number of options you’re generating and can’t think of how to move out of the overwhelm?
 
What may help you assess the situation…
  • Accepting that your first responsibility is to yourself and keeping yourself resourceful. Only then you’re in a position to take meaningful action and be the example, help and support you aim to be for others. Your children do what you show them, not what you tell them. What sort of an example do you set if you compromise on your values and demonstrate this to them?
  • Understanding that you will not please everyone, but you will have real impact on a few may give you the courage to stay on track.
  • Believing that you have all the necessary ingredients inside of you to live the life you want. Sometimes, you have blind spots and can’t see the wood for the trees. Working with a coach or mentor will help you see life with a different perspective.
 
Let’s face it; life is for living, not waiting for the circumstances to be right. Because before you know it, life has passed you by and you’re left with a list of ‘if onlys’.
 
What’s your story today? When is a good day to start living life on your terms? In the famous words of Paulo Coelho, are you still saying one day or will today be day one? You decide ✨✨✨
 
Call me when you’re ready to take a literal or a metaphorical walk and work through your limiting beliefs that are causing your blind spots. 
 
 
Love & Strong Coffee
 
Vafa
 
zigzag of handprinted stones in the forest depicting the path of a hero

Zigzag Trail Of Life

 

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell

 

I came across this zigzag trail of beautifully hand painted stones on my walk earlier today.  It depicted the path I’ve travelled on for the last few years.  When I decided to throw myself into being an explorer whole-heartedly, I didn’t realise how many zigzags I’d face!    

There were times when I faced so many obstacles that all I wanted to do was to hibernate like my favourite creatures, the hedgehogs.  But that wasn’t an option.  I had stepped beyond the point of no return and there was no looking back.  And I soon learned that the more challenges I took on, the easier the decision to take more challenges became.  It was as if I was building a new muscle I didn’t know I had!  

Every time I faced another puzzle on my zigzag trail and decided to tackle it like my life depended on it, I found a hidden strength or a forgotten resource I hadn’t thought of before.  Very often, a new mentor appeared on my path; literally from nowhere!  

I persevered until I found my new path.  My current reality.  A reality that’s aligned with who I am, what I stand for and what I won’t tolerate.  A reality that’s congruent to my core values.

And I found myself being the mentor for a younger version of me today.  Someone who described what he was experiencing, and he took me back a few years.  He showed vulnerability in sharing his story and found someone who’d been there.  Exactly what I did back when I became an explorer. Who knows who this young man will inspire and mentor a few years down the line?  

 

When the status quo isn’t leaving you fulfilled, what do you do?

When the call to adventure comes, you have two options: 

💥You either choose courage and follow that call.  When you do, you will connect with who you really are and what you stand for.  You will sense a kind of ease and freedom in living your everyday life.  You will become a better version of yourself and become more attractive inside and out. 

💥Or you choose comfort and conformity and numb the pain by finding distractions in the form of work, food, alcohol and material possessions.  You can be sure that you’re doing exactly as others want you to, and that you’re pleasing everyone else, but yourself.

If you choose courage, be warned!  The path to finding fulfilment is not a straight one!  

Finding this path isn’t for the faint hearted!  Only enter if you’re willing to: 

  • become an explorer
  • have your deep-rooted beliefs challenged
  • step outside your comfort zone
  • let go of certainty
  • trust your intuition
  • get out of your head and reconnect with your body
  • have the courage to let go of your perceived security which in-fact is keeping you stuck! 
  • And most importantly…. Enter this path only if you trust yourself and are willing to trust the process…  

If you’re wondering about the process, reach out and I’ll explain.

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa x 

heart shaped stone with dream etched on

You’re Never Too Old To Dream

 

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”  Walt Disney

 

I Found this beautiful stone amongst hundreds laid out on my walk today and I thought of the e-mail I received from a client recently.
 
“Thank you for helping me give myself permission to dream again” he wrote.
 
The email gave me a warm fuzzy feeling on one level! It reiterated the reasons I love doing what I do.
It also saddened me… At exactly what point in our life, do we remove the permission for ourselves to dream?
 
Have you ever considered how much of a more free and fulfilled life you would lead if you believed in your dreams and took steps towards fulfilling them?
 
What sort of a message are you sending your children when you tolerate a mediocre existence and regularly sacrifice on who you want to be and how you’d like to live?
 
Yes; trust me… they know how you show up! They’re more perceptive than you give them credit for!
Please remember, you’re never too old to dream new dreams…
 
Just imagine… What would it mean to you to live the life of your dreams?
 
Call me if you like my style, and if not, there are plenty more coaches out there whom you may like better.
But please invest time in yourself and pursue your dreams. Because when you do, it’s a different kinda life you’ll be leading. You only get one life and it so deserves to be lived well ✨💫✨

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa x 

Trust the magic of beginnings

Trust The Magic Of Beginnings

 

 

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Meister Eckhart

 

I shared this post on our Mind Superheroes facebook page yesterday. 

I was delighted to receive quite a few private messages.   A few friends and associates texted to say how the post inspired them to start new projects!

It was the first proper day back to work for me yesterday.  I had a few scheduled calls with clients and my business community.

In every conversation, I sensed ‘HOPE’ for a new beginning.  The new year does that to us.  We get a new lease of life!  We get a chance to start over and become WHO WE WANT TO BE.

Although it was the first day of homeschooling for children in England.  There was intent in making this year a brilliant one by their parents.  I love the community I’m a part of.  No matter how tough times get, we still remain optimistic.  We look for what we have and what is in our power to do to thrive.  We support and champion each other.  

This is the beauty of surrounding ourselves with people who inspire us, not those who drain us.  

 

One thing if for sure…

It’s been tough for most of us to have had some of our liberties removed by the events of the recent months.  But our freedom will never be stripped away from us without our consent.  We  

  •  are still in charge of our lives in how we respond to each event.  
  •  have full control over our thoughts and therefore our actions.  
  •  can choose our spoken words carefully.  Because we know they have a direct effect on how we will feel and how we strive for results.  

As always, investing in our physical and emotional well-being is key to keeping a positive mental health. Whatever that looks for you.

 

For me, that will include:

  • Staying connected with my optimistic community.
  • Sharing laughs, cuddles, kindness and loving gestures with mini me and the rest of the family on video calls.
  • Journaling the small, steady actions I’m getting to the habit of owning.
  • Taking my daily walks even more so, when it looks miserable out there and I don’t feel like doing it.
  • Listening to music to lift my mood and mummy dancing around the kitchen
  • Keeping hydrated.
  • Having a healthy diet with a sprinkling of cake to keep me sweet
  • And what never fails me! Read, listen and invest in personal development

 

NOW is a brilliant time to trust the magic of new beginnings 

  • Take stock of what you’ve achieved in the last year and be sure to celebrate your wins.
  • IMAGINE where you would like to be in life and work at the end of 2021.  
  • WRITE a letter to your future self and take yourself through that journey.  
  • MAKE building small, consistent habits your new norm.

You’d be surprised at the magic that’ll unfold at the end of the year.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?  It is your birthright to create a life of your choosing.

Reach out if you’re feeling a little wobbly and need listening ears.

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa x 

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

Do Something That Scares You!

 

“May your choice reflect your hopes and not your fears” Nelson Mandela

 

How often do you do something that scares you?  How often do you make decisions that reflect your hopes, your heart’s desires and your dreams, rather than let the fear of change paralyse your thinking and reasoning powers?

I’ve made so many difficult decisions in the last few years.  Most of which have led to a huge personal & professional development.  Some decisions haven’t been great, but even those have provided ample experiences and lessons without which I wouldn’t be who I am now.

If you don’t try, you won’t know the magic that’s within your reach, and yet so many choose to tolerate the devil they know for the fear of upsetting the status quo which doesn’t serve them well anyway! It’s keeping them stuck, unfulfilled and unhappy. Crazy, right?

Their narrative is: ‘One DAY I’ll get the life I deserve’. To which I reply: ‘would today be a good day to start?’

I love walking alongside people who are brave enough to let go of their fear and embrace change to learn, to grow and to find the magic. Do you know anyone like that?

Fun fact… Going to a music festival by myself was so outside of my comfort zone, but I decided to do it a year ago today & I loved it! I’d be there now if it wasn’t for 2020 throwing us a curved ball!

What are you choosing that reflects your hopes, not your fears?  We only get one life.  Let’s live the life we want and deserve, starting from today

Next time you want to do something that scares you a little, perhaps when you’d like someone to walk alongside you, give me a call

 

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

How Do You Colour?

 

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

Albert Einstein

When was the last time you coloured outside the lines?   I mean, when was the last time you pushed outside of your comfortable boundaries?

I’ve been colouring outside the lines for a number of years now.  It all started when I began to challenge my beliefs and values that were deeply ingrained.

And when lockdown was imposed, I wanted to stay connected with my network.  So I decided to become visible on social media and started doing videos.  Something I had shied away from, partly because of my limiting beliefs of not being able to do a good enough job!

Not only I’ve grown used to sharing my views on video, I’ve been able to help many people who contacted me.   I’ve also been invited on fb and IG lives to share insights.  So, I’d say that I’ve fulfilled my purpose of providing a safe space for my audience to talk and make sense of their stories.   It just goes to show that good stuff happen when you step outside your comfort zone.  

I often challenge my clients on their limiting beliefs by asking them to “imagine” how they would be if they were less afraid?  It’s only by exploring different experiences that we build new habits.  Who knows what great opportunities you may stumble upon if you chose to be different!

So I’m curious; how are you building new habits during these times?

What have you done differently that you couldn’t imagine doing before lockdown, and how have you felt about your new experiences?

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

Say No To Anxiety!

 

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” C Spurgeon

I often ask my clients to make a list of all the negative emotions and actions they have been tolerating when they seek my help to reach their Personal Revolution.

I’m sharing mine with you today.

Anxiety! I tolerated it for such a long time that it almost became a way of life.  I called it paralysis by over-analysis.  until I learned how to collapse the most powerful step in this process and control “it” rather than let it control me.

Don’t get me wrong; a little bit of anxiety is needed to keep us safe, but I’m talking about the kind of anxiety that takes over your mind and body, stunts your growth and stops you from exploring new terrains.  Do you know what I mean?

How do you label your feelings of anxiety?  How much headspace is it taking, and how much of your precious energy are you dedicating to masking it, fighting it and trying to control it?

Would it not be better to learn to combat it and free yourself up of this debilitating emotion?  I did!

As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s have a chat if you’re curious about eliminating the kinda anxiety that’s stopping you from reaching for the stars.

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa

“Life Is An Evolution”​

 

“Life is an evolution, isn’t it mum” asked mini me on one of those bygone days when we used to travel to school.

Yes.  Life is indeed an evolution.  We are the product of the environments we grew up in.  The people we grew up with.  The beliefs and values we adopted.  The sense of connection and belonging we felt and still feel at every step of the way. 

Every new experience and interaction helps shape our reality and the lens we see the world through.  For some people, evolution is a slow process.

For some of us however, certain circumstances arise in our life at the most unexpected time.  They force us to re-evaluate our lives.  

Mine came when I suffered with burnout when I was juggling far too many balls in the air at the same time.  The overwhelm I felt paralysed my logical left thinking brain I so faithfully relied upon until then.  

I clearly remember articulating this as “my amygdala having hijacked my brain” to a friend.  I had averaged 3 hours of sleep each night for the previous 5 months and I was simply incapable of making even the simplest of decisions.

That’s when I was forced to take time out and rethink the path I wanted to travel on.  As difficult as it was to go through that period, it was a blessing in disguise.  It may have seemed like a huge “failure” to have lost the ability to be the old resilient me and keep on ploughing forward regardless.  But it afforded me a great opportunity to get to know myself.  To allow myself to get vulnerable and share “my story”.  That’s when I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who felt like that.

That’s when the real transformation began for me.  To allow myself to believe my own truth.  To start the process of change which wasn’t a walk in the park, but so worth the pain and the discomfort.

Perhaps the period of discomfort we’re experiencing now is also a blessing in disguise.  Not that many would recognise it as that YET!

You see, with change comes growth if you allow the vulnerability out of the box.  And with growth, transformation into an individual who lives a fulfilled life.  A life that’s congruent with one’s core values.  I’m not suggesting it will be a fairytale “happily ever after” life, but a life on your terms.  

It’s only then that you feel a certain amount of peace and gratitude you didn’t know existed when you lived your old life.  And hence, a newfound resilience and resolve which helps you deal with the unhappy times with a different kind of mindset.

And this is what I take my beautiful coachees through.  I encourage them to find themselves and what makes them tick.  What’s truly important to them.  Their truths, and how to reach for them unapologetically.  They learn to evaluate how they communicate their desires to their community.  

The realise what they’ve been tolerating.  The learn how to embrace and emanate their values in every communication they conduct.  I give them the tools to become attractive to themselves first and foremost, and to the people they cross paths with.

Trying to master the unknown we have faced for the last few weeks is yet another unexpected event where many of us have been forced to think and act differently from the time of life we called “normal”.

Isn’t this a brilliant time to redefine that “normal” as you knew it.  Why not make it what you want it to be?  To examine who you are, what you stand for and what you’ve tolerated unquestioningly during the time of life you used to call “normal”.

At this time of national lockdown and media frenzy, various stimuli are embedded in our subconscious on daily basis.  Be it the stories we tell ourselves or the propaganda and the scaremongering the media portray.  

Why not take a conscious effort to be different?  This is the perfect opportunity to switch the negativity off and put your creative, big blue sky thinking hats on and look at life differently.  

Let’s admit it… Many of us haven’t had time to get creative since we were kids; some of us had even forgotten what it was like to be creative till isolation happened.

Many people have lost their vocation, but admit openly how proud and fulfilled (as described by their social media feed) they feel in their new roles as healthcare assistants, supermarket employees and delivery ninjas.

Some business owners have had to think differently and take their businesses online.  Families have had to get creative with budgeting as they’ve faced financial challenges.  Look how many different recipes of bread are going around and the vast population who have attempted to make bread on fancy skillets to keep busy and sane.

I bet there have been many moments of laughter and pure joy as families have succeeded in making bread that’s half edible.  Who had time to bake bread pre CV19?  That’s such a great example of getting creative and living differently by many.

If I was to encourage you to see this period as an opportunity to grow into a better version of you, what would you say?

Would it be a good time to evolve and reinvent yourself, even a little bit?

Why not make a list of all the things you’ve been tolerating in your pre CV19 life as a first step?  Look for what you could eliminate from your new life?  Don’t forget to involve your loved ones and take them on this wonderful journey with you, so you can grow as a family and thrive together.

And please get in touch if you’d like any further exercises in the quest to start your wonderful and exciting personal revolution journey.

Stay connected and stay safe.

 

Love and strong coffee

Vafa