Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform


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Why you must follow your dreams…

With the New Year looming, it’s usual to start thinking ahead to the things you might want to do.  New projects, holidays, new exercise regimes and diets, or bigger changes you might want to make in your personal life or career?

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Everyday in my work as a psychologist, I get to talk to people about these kind of things.

I get to encourage people to take the time to look at how these things might be achieved in a realistic way and figure out some of the potential stumbling blocks that might occur along the way.  These might be due to circumstances or emotional and deep seated patterns that means we work against ourselves, hindering our own ability to get to where we want to be (we are great at sabotaging ourselves!).

Now, I’m a big, big fan of the practical.  I love to-do lists, goal setting and working within the confines of our physical, tangible reality. In other words, though thinking positively is hugely, hugely important, just sitting on your bum thinking positively aint gonna cut it.  After all, we can’t merely ‘think’ ourselves thin/rich/successful etc. etc….I think you get the picture!

But for a moment, I want to consider how important it is to for a moment to forget our daily reality and go inwards a little more and focus on what really lights us up?  This isn’t thinking, so much as dreaming.

– What are your dreams for 2016? – 

Remember when you were a child.  What did you dream about?  What did you want to do…really?

What kind of things did you sit and imagine or daydream about?  What did you or indeed do you get excited about?  Do you sit dreaming about travelling to different places?  Do you dream about another career or job where everyday you get to go and do something that truly inspires you!  Do you dream about being in a loving relationship or finding more time to devote to your passions?

It is SO very important to not lose sight of our dreams.

Our dreams and what we picture and imagine in minds that make us feel happy, content, excited…all positive emotions, are an insight into what is in your heart and therefore what your heart desires.  Indulging our dreams keeps us in touch with what we want is also hugely important as it can give us access to an understanding of our purpose or what we feel we should be here while we live this ‘one precious life!’.

It is so easy in the throws of every day life, to get bogged down with the day-to-day grind.  Getting up to go to work.  Looking after those around us.  Keeping our homes clean and tidy. Staying on top of the washing/e-mails/chores and life admin.  Sometimes the closest we get to ‘dreaming’ is day-dreaming about having finished the cleaning after dinner and being able to find 5 minutes to have a cup of tea!

Before the New Year gets under way, I invite you to stop for just half an hour and with a notebook and pen to help you solidify/keep note of your thoughts, take a moment to free your mind and go into that place in your head, and hearts, that allow for you to dream for just a moment about the things that you desire.

What is it you dream about?  Has it been a while since you indulged these thoughts?

Do you think, and fantasise about the same things regularly…for example leaving your job and starting your own business?  Or maybe you think about moving to the coast or packing up and travelling?

What fills your heart with joy and gets you feeling excited?

What would your life look like if you indulged this feeling and even dare I say it, pursued some or all of these things now!

Then consider, what is stopping you?…what are you afraid of?…what are your blocks?

Not all dreams are destined to become reality.

Some dreams are designed to be just that; dreams….I mean I dream about flying but let’s face it, that’s not going to happen any time soon!  But my dream about living near the sea is one I’m going to take more seriously over the next year or so, therefore I’m going to focus on figuring out how I could make that happen.

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Dreaming goes you access to your hearts desire and purpose.

With the right focus and planning we can then work on bringing some of those dreams into reality….how exciting!

So as the New Year approached and you think about changes that you might want to make, I encourage you to dream.  Take note f what you dream about and the recurring themes you see. Maybe then you can also look to make some of your dreams a reality…what could be more fun than that.

Til next week!

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If you would like help focusing on planning for next year you may which to take advantage of an hour and half coaching session for the price of one hour if booked before 31st December.  For more details click HERE to be take to the SHOP PAGE.

Also, more discussion, tips, advice and inspiration can be seen over on my Facebook page.


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Why are you holding yourself back?…

I’ll do it when I have enough money.

I’ll start it when I can find the time.

When I have the right job, I’ll feel more relaxed.

When I slim down, I know I’ll be happier.

When I have my own business, I’ll know I’m on the right path.

When I don’t have to take care of my mum/dad/children I will focus on me…

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Lovely pic taken from ‘blonde bronzed twenty something’

I hear these kind of statements everyday in my work as a psychologist.

It is so common to think that your life can only be ‘on track’, or even start (!) when everything is ‘in place’ or how you want it to be.  The feeling is, that if you have certain things in place, from the right job, to a particular income, not having to take care of others to having the right body or finding and creating more time in your day to do more things you love, then your life is somehow complete or that this set of circumstances will now allow you to ‘start’ something that you have been putting off.  That you will now be in the place from which everything can now begin.

– Planning versus wishing and waiting – 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to plan ahead.

It’s great to think about what you want to achieve and if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know how much I advocate ‘planning ‘ as part of your regular practice…I mean stuff doesn’t happen by itself!  We have to be able to define what we want and make goals in order to achieve them. This is a different though.

If you are used to saying these kind of things (possibly just in your head, not out loud), then they often lend themselves to things that feel out of your control.  And certainly having too many ‘I’ll do it when…’ thoughts as your inner dialogue can lead to all sorts things when you maybe realise that you’ve been thinking these things for a long time and in reality, you are no closer to getting there.

This can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, depression to generally feeling like you are not good enough, successful enough or worthy enough to achieve what it is you want to achieve. When will it happen?  Will it ever happen?  Will I ever get to where I want to be?  When will be the ‘right’ time?

There is also that pesky group of course, that like to remain in ignorant bliss about these things.  This groups appear deluded about what ‘may or may not’ happen.  They like living in their mind in that parallel universe where their imaginary life is better, brighter and shiner than the one they are really living.  These people are definitely the ‘one day I will do….’ group.

– We have all done it – 

I have done this throughout my life at various times in various circumstances.  From viewing particularly jobs as being temporary until I got my ‘forever’ job – my how surprised I’ve been when I realise just how long I ‘ended up’ doing something’ – to poor clothes purchases until I got my ‘perfect’ body, to putting up with being over run doing things for other people – because I’ll start saying no when…..you can see the theme here.

Another really good example was when I bought my first house.  I liked my first house, but I didn’t LOVE it.  In other words I didn’t think that it was my ‘forever house’.

I remember when I bought it, thinking that I would live in it for a year or 2 and then go on to buy something that was more my ‘forever home’….my big barn conversion with the obligatory Aga and a couple of acres of land with chickens and few other animals for good measure.  In the meantime, I was just going to be comfortable (make the best of , but not put my heart into the house I was in).  I decided against making any massive decorative changes as it just wasn’t worth it. I hated the yellow walls, but didn’t change them.  I also wanted a proper shower instead of the shower attached to my bath taps, but ‘put up with’ holding the antique shower head over my head instead because ‘I’ll make do until until I get my forever house’.

Well, it wasn’t 2 years by the time I moved, it was nearly 4 years later!

Funnily enough I made the changes I had wanted the whole time just before I sold the house….all just in time for the other person to enjoy.

And so, did I move to my forever home?  No.  Do I have acres of land and an Aga now? No.  Am I happy in the house I am in?  Yes, very.  Have I repeated the same pattern and not made any changes to it based on the fact that the home I’m in now isn’t my forever home?  No…I’ve made lots of changes!  Why? Because my life isn’t going to be better, more fulfilling, easier, lovelier, prettier or more perfect if I get the forever home, than it is now.  Also, in the meantime, I don’t want to live my life in limbo or ‘on hold’ until I get these things I desire.

You can apply the same thinking to any of the situations I have mentioned here.  In my case, every day I try really hard to notice when I have thoughts about, ‘my life will be XXXX when…’ because I’ve learnt that it is really, really important to be happy in this moment because as the saying goes, ‘this moment is all there is’.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we should go off doing things with abandon as if there is no consequence.  It also doesn’t mean that I am not aware of the fact that I, and I’m sure you do actually have responsibilities that require us to be present. It just means that in each moment it is really important to retain, remember and hold on to values, thoughts, beliefs that nurture and fulfil you.  That you are thinking and relating to yourself as the person you truly wish to be…NOW. (and creating some time for it, but that’s another post!).

– Over to you – 

I hope that this idea and the sharing of some of my own recognition and experiences has got you thinking about the things that you may be waiting to do until ‘conditions in your life are perfect’.

In the meantime I encourage you to plan ahead for things that you would love to do.  Plan and dream with abandon!  Enjoy the prospects that lie ahead based on the work you put in now. Things may not be perfect but how important it is to love the life you are living right now!

Til next week.

If you would like some help in looking at these kind of issues, do go over to my SHOP page where you can still purchase an hour and a half 1:1 coaching session for the price of 1 hour, prior to December 31st.

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Why not come over to the Facebook page where much more discussion and chat takes place too!


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Don’t be a sheep…be a leader!

A bit of a contemplative blog for you this week, which I hope you find useful.

I had a lovely weekend away with friends in The Peak District last week.  It was super fun as always and while together we did a big walk which was just lovely, if not a little wet….thank you Abi-gale!

Anyway, while on our walk we went a little off piste and found ourselves on a wet and windy hill, with no path in site….the wind lashing down, people were getting more than a little soaked and the baby of the group was crying.  I couldn’t the blame her, poor wee thing! Anyway, in our wisdom as we stomped through the field we noticed a flock of sheep who then proceeded to run/walk quickly away from us on a well trodden path towards what seemed like a gate at the end of a distant field. We decided that the sheep knew where they were going and so we followed them down the hill towards said gate which is where they seemed to be headed. I wasn’t complaining.  It was a nice change from the mostly uphill we had done until then.

So, we followed the sheep through 3 fields to ‘the gate’ which was……a dead end!

The gate was locked. Aaagghhh!

It was too high to scale and the surrounding stone wall was covered with sharp barbed wire that wasn’t scalable but even more of a death trap in the rain.  Also, interestingly, somewhere along our journey the sheep and our group had switched places.  They were now behind us watching us trapped and trying to figure out our next step which turned out to be walking back uphill through 3 fields and finding a new route back to basecamp. Quite the detour I can tell you!

The picture below is an actual shot of sheep staring us down and I’m sure quietly laughing to themselves.

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So, the motto of this story should be pretty clear.  We did something that everyone knows you shouldn’t do.  We became a sheep and followed the crowd, the result of which was we ended up in a dead end…wet, tired and dazed.

I’m not joking when I say that this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  I’ve been working with a lot of people who I feel seem to be struggling creating work whether that be products, services or writing that is truly their own.  It’s almost like they are creating a version of someone else’s work or product?  They are being more of a sheep and less of a leader.

Now, let’s be clear.  I agree that there are really no new ideas….not really (remember the 1% difference rule). But there is a difference between creating and doing something from the heart, something that you truly love and are good at versus doing something because you have seen someone else do it and you want to recreate their success….otherwise known as copying!

Like I said I see people do it all the time from the poor students who have plagiarised work to those in the world of Coaching where everyone is trying to be Marie Forleo, with everyone copying her business model and creating Q&A Tuesdays!

Another really good illustration of this to me is something you see in any bookshop.  Take the one I was in today in old London Town….

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I took these photos in one of my favourite Popular Psychology/Self Help sections.  Since mindfullness has become a ‘buzz word’ so many people have got on the Mindfullness-bandwagon, there are more books than you shake a stick at in that section.  It’s the same for books about Happiness and the same for adult colouring books…not to mention the books about streetcats called Bob, Sam, Marmaduke & Peter!!!

Well, like us on that hill on that day in the rain…cold, lost and just looking for a direction it’s super easy in a situation where you are lacking ideas and inspiration to fail to think for yourself and just to follow the thing that’s in front of you.  Maybe it’s the thing that inspires you.  Maybe you are confusing your passion or admiration for someone and as the old adage goes ‘copying is the highest form of flattery’.

What we need to remember is that we all have something that we are good at.  I truly, truly believe this.

I believe we all have something that we can do that makes that thing unique to us and if you dig deep enough and do the work, there are things that you’ll realise you do better than anything else you know and that might be your better path to fulfilment.

To find that thing requires time, searching, playing and commitment and yes, by all means look to others for inspiration.  But to think that by copying, by being a sheep that you will find that long term fulfilment, happiness and success is misleading.

And for those that do consciously copy?  Do so at your own peril!

You might just end up in a dead end with no-where to go expect back.  Back to figure out your way out of the mess!

Till next week…

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I would love to know what you think of this conversation starter this week?

Have you ever felt the need to copy someone, or maybe you didn’t realise you were doing it?  Maybe it’s happened TO you, where someone has copied your ideas of business model.  How did it feel and did you tackle it?

Also, for more comments and discussion please do join us over on Facebook…


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Do you want a coach or do you want a friend?

A little while ago, I sat down with a new client for what was going to be our first session.

Louise (not her real name), was seemingly a lovely woman who had opted into Coaching sessions with me, which had been provided by her workplace.  Sessions were offered to staff in order to help figure out things like goal setting, work-life balance (what I call Life-Life balance), progression and leadership opportunities, to name a few things.

Some months earlier I had provided a group workshop to a team of people in the company and Louise had been one of the people in the group.  All the people involved were offered, if they so wished to, 4 individual coaching sessions with me on completion of the workshop, should they want to have some psychological coaching input into their work.

So, here we were face to face in a room a couple of weeks later and I asked Louise what she wanted to get from the sessions? She looked at me blankly, so I repeated the question…

‘Louise, what would you like to focus on in our sessions together over the next few weeks?’

Louise frowned and then said, “Ummmm, to be honest, I’m not really sure’.

‘Ok’ I said.  ‘Is there anything that came to mind during the workshop?  Something that you felt you might benefit from looking at with someone else?  An objective view that might be useful in your role perhaps?’

‘Ummmm, not really’ she said.

‘Well, there will be a reason that you said that you wanted to have sessions with me?’

‘Ummmm, not really’

Finally I asked, after a little more probing and a few more questions…

…’well Louise, why exactly did you want to have sessions with me if there’s nothing that you want to look at?’

‘Oh’ she said.  ‘You just seemed really nice and interesting and I wanted to speak with you.  I thought it would be fun.  I thought that, well, I could get to know you a bit better’.

– Getting clear about what you want – 

Though I’ve clearly changed the name here and also made a few slight alterations to this story, it is actually true.

It’s also not the first time that someone has opted to see me for sessions in the same vein.

It usually happens after someone has seen me give a talk, watched one of my videos or I have come into their workplace to deliver some training.  It has resulted in being sat with someone I think is a client, but is actually a person who seemingly desires more of a friendship.  At the very least it is certainly not an ethical client-practitioner relationship.

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– I see it all around me-

This isn’t new.

It’s something I see all the time. I fact it’s happened to friends and colleagues too, where people have attended their events, networking meetings and training not really because they are all to interested in what they are saying, but more in a desire to get closer to them. Kind of like a pop-star or guru!

Now, I want to be clear here.  It’s great to admire the people that you work with or even wish to work with!

I have been privileged to work with many people I admire.  Over the many years that I have worked with these people, some have turned into genuine friendships.

A good example of this is a fantastic friendship I now have with someone who started off as my Undergraduate Psychology Lecturer while I was at University in New Zealand.  I really admired this lecturer, and what began as standard lecturer-student-relationship, progressed to a peer relationship when I became a postgraduate student and then a lovely friendship. Now some years later I am good friends with him and his family.

Although I certainly admired this persons work prior, this was obviously a natural progression of events and not outside the realms of our given relationship to start with.

Further to this, I also admire and would love to sit down and chew the cud with lots of people that I would say I admire, like the people I  ‘follow’ on Twitter or Facebook, like my favourite authors for instance.  The difference is, that I know and understand my reasons for admiration. More importantly I am also aware of my boundaries…and theirs!

The difficultly occurs when people are unable to see the difference between admiration and therefore wanting to learn from someone or indeed work with them as opposed to just being ‘attracted’ to them as a person and therefore wanting to be near to them in the hope that either some stuff will rub off or you will get to be friends!

– Set your boundaries, and know when to help- 

As a psychologist my boundaries and ethics are clear in this instance.  It would be unethical to befriend my clients so I will stop working with someone if I think this is what they really want or are confused by.

I think it is important as a practitioner to recognise when you have someone come to you for work, and they appear confused by this.

What is it they are really searching for? For example…

Can you help that person see what it is that they really want?

Do they recognise that there is maybe something that they see in you that they want?

Do you portray something that they desire for themselves, like confidence, happiness or contentment.

I did have one client, who after she had said that she came to see me because she ‘liked me’, realised after some discussion that what she really meant was that I seemed confident.  She on the other hand lacked confidence so much, that as someone who seemed to have it, maybe I could help her?

So, it may be appropriate in that first session to go a little deeper and look at a persons reason for ‘liking you’ or ‘wanting to be friends’ with you.

If after discussion it appears that someone really does just want to be friends, I will always refer people on to a colleague or at the very least will refer them to some useful resources like books, blogs and articles (if appropriate to their needs).

So…

We are always going to encounter we admire…how wonderful to find people to look up to or mentor us! But we always have to know the difference and sometimes there is great power in just recognising this.

Til next week!

I’d also love to hear from you about  this topic…

Maybe you are also a Coach or Psychologist and have found yourself in a similar situation.  What did you do? Did you help someone discover something about themselves or did you refer on?

Maybe you are on the other side of the coin…did you admire someone and realised this for yourself.  How did you handle it…what did you learn?

I look forward to reading your comments.


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There is calm in nature…

I’m on holiday as you read this, so a brief post this week in which I would love to share with you the photographs shown here which were taken on the Chatsworth Estate a couple of weeks ago.

A couple of good friends came to stay and it was such a beautiful day that, being only an hour away, it was just too lovely outside to resist not going for a little wander around the grounds of the Chatsworth Estate for a little outdoor fun, so off we went…

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It was a super hot day and after we had had picnic on the lawn at the front of the house, we then wandered up through the woods at the back; up through the trees and towards the waterfall (seen above), which I have to say a couple of the group ended up in!

But why am I telling you about this little outing?

It’s because nature for me, is one of the places I get my strength or maybe to put another way it is where I feel a calm and connectedness that I crave if I have not ‘had it’ for a while.

I try to get out in nature as much as possible to get this ‘fix’ or feeling at being one with nature and the seasons.  It’s something I don’t get from walking around a town or city and I’m fortunate enough to live near some lovely woods which serve well as a running route for me during the week so little mid-weekly trips are possible for me to indulge in.

It’s something I talk about a lot on the pages here on my site, and that is finding your calm.

In this busy world we live in, we need places that we go to to find peace, relax and reconnect with ourselves. And it’s even better if we can build some of those things into our daily practices.

It may not be the woods or nature for you, it may be that you are one of those people that want the buzz of the city or maybe you need to go swimming or maybe you curl up under a duvet?  Maybe for you it’s your daily meditation practice or some form of exercise…the point is, that you have a place that you can ‘go to’ to find your little island of calm.

As the summer holidays are fast approaching, and as you read this I will be sunning myself on a sun-kissed Mediterranean beach, I encourage you to think about where you get your little place of calm and make a plan to go there very soon.

Til next week….where I will be announcing where you can buy tickets for MPWC2015!


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What’s your passion….really?

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Oh, I’m so passionate about reading…

I’m so passionate about interior design…

I couldn’t be more passionate about running…

I’m SO passionate about being a teacher…

I’m super passionate about my yoga business…

Oh, there’s no one more passionate than me about cooking/gardening/dancing/writing/make-up/making my own clothes!  You fill in the blank here.

We’ve all heard people tell us about what their passions are.  I’m sure even as you are reading this, you can think of things that you have said you are passionate about too.  I certainly can, but when I tell people what I’m passionate about, am I really communicating what my passion is?

Digging deep to know what your passion is…

One of the things that used to say I was passionate about, especially in my ‘early days’ straight out of university, was psychology.  As a psychology graduate wanting to be ‘fully understood’ (how deep), about what my passion was, I would tell potential employers/write in my CV/tell friends and family all about how much I loved psychology and how passionate I was about all it could offer in terms of our understanding of human behaviour, and therefore the career I was going in to.

Now I was, and indeed am still passionate about psychology, very much so, but what do I really mean when I say this? After all ‘I’m passionate’ has become a term that is banded around so much that sometimes it feels like the phrase has lost its meaning.

It’s because of this, that I feel we have to dig a little deeper to the heart of what we mean when we say ‘I am passionate’, after all I’m passionate about ice cream, but the two are clearly not the same thing.

When I think about what is beyond the phrase for me, in light of psychology, I can see that I am drawn to any opportunity  to help someone ‘make a change’ or more specifically the chance to aide someone in ‘breaking their routine’.

I notice this as a running theme in both my teaching at University, my private practice with clients, the packages I write, the book I am working on and the courses I am compiling.  Although Psychology is the label or umbrella term if you will, that I work under, I am driven by this greater force and it is THIS, I am truly passionate about.

Keep your passions, whatever guise they come in!

So, what I’m not suggesting any one does is stop using the phrase ‘I am passionate’.  How wonderful it is to be able to say that about something…what a rich and full life you will live when it is full of passion and action that is from your heart.  What I’m saying is, that there is great power in taking time to think about where this descriptive statement comes from for you?

What does it mean when you say you are passionate about cooking for example?  Is it that what you are really drawn to, is putting time and love into something that brings people together around a table, and this is your passion?  When you say you are passionate about exercise, do you really mean that you have a fundamental belief in having a strong healthy body that will carry you through to old age, and this is your passion?

When we realise more deeply where our passions come from, it’s interesting how you may start to notice a pattern in other things that you do in your life because it has the same underlying theme or element that we are drawn to (your deeper meaning for passion)….this can help  things to make sense, and can also help you plan future steps in your life and business as you have a clearer view of the driving force behind your decision making and also enjoyment.

It was like this for me when I started teaching, I couldn’t understand why it felt so addictive, and then I realised that it was the ability to help ‘change’ someone via learning, as it had been when working with patients who were ‘changed’ by therapy, that was the theme for me!

What themes do you notice?

Sometimes, it can be easy to figure out the underlying reason for your passion and sometimes it can take some time to get to the bottom of when the ‘real’ reason is for you.  The fun is in the exploration and as we delve deeper we learn more about ourselves and others.

Now there is something to be passionate about.

Til next week!


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I want IT…whatever IT IS?…….

What is it that you want?

Is it a different career?  Is it a better relationship?  Is it nicer clothes or maybe you want more money and lots of it!

Maybe what you want is much simpler than that?

Do you want space, peace, clarity? To be able to finish a cup of tea or have a pee in peace before someone is banging on the door asking for something?

Maybe you want more time to do the things you enjoy, like gardening, painting, yoga, walking, pottery…maybe you want a holiday?

Maybe you don’t know what you want and there in lies the problem.

Do you want a GOOD LIFE?

Have you ever seen the programme The Good Life?

I happen to love it just a little bit. I watched it as a child and thoroughly enjoyed the fun that Barbara and Tom used to have in the garden with a menagerie of animals not to mention their hilarious relationship with Margot and Jerry.  My love for the programme was only enhanced when I lived in new Zealand as an adult as the true ‘Englishness’ of it all made me feel a little closer to home.

But this isn’t just about my love of this quirky British sitcom and the characters in it (or anything to do with the fact that I own the box-set!).  This is about the premise behind why the characters chose to live the ‘good life’ in the first place and how the reason itself is so closely related to real life, in fact our own lives and how we live on a daily basis.

What are your goals and where do you want to be?

Let me explain, the first episode begins with Tom Good celebrating his 40th birthday.

Tom heads to work that morning and notices his feeling of boredom and apathy about what he is doing.  No one in the office recognises him for his work, he doesn’t feel acknowledged he doesn’t feel inspired by his work and he feels that what he doing is actually a joke.

He also notices that no one recognises his passion for fun or really, even knows his name! You also witness him realising that he wasn’t invited to play cricket with the office as he is considered, wait for it…..too old!

Tom seems to realise quite quickly that he is downright miserable, and so that evening after his birthday dinner with Barbara he starts a conversation about this very issue and how he is missing ‘IT’ in his life.  If he could find ‘IT’, he says he might be able to solve the problem.  After all he says that he doesn’t want to ‘feel the same way when he is 41’.

He decides, after an entire night up writing lists and drawing up plans that IT for him is…

“…breaking the circle.  Going to work, to get money to translate into things, which you use up, which makes you go to work again!”.

And that is how their Good Life begins…

What is it for you?

Not everyone can just sit down with a piece of paper, stay up all night and solve their life problems, therefore figuring out what ‘IT’ is.  But what this programme is a great illustration of (even though it is only made up!), is that if you dig deep and ask yourself some big questions, starting with noticing what you want/desire, then we owe it to our future self to get started on the path that we feel will take us there.

Maybe if you don’t know what ‘IT” is for you, you can try some things to help you rediscover what that might be?

What is it you need to do?

Do you need to take some time out of your daily grind so you actually have a moment to reflect?

Is it to take up an old hobby or activity that will allow you to ‘reconnect with yourself?

Do you need to protect time in your day every day just to sit and write down in a journal about the things you have enjoyed or appreciated that day?

Maybe you want to seek some external help to help you figure out your IT?

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There can be great power in figuring out what “IT’ is for you.

I encourage you to take some tome to reflect this week on what ‘IT’ is for you.  If you already know, then brilliant!  Are you therefore living your own Good Life? if so I’d love to hear about it and maybe you have some tips to share about the things that work for you in allowing you to stay focussed on your path.

For now I’ll just leave you with one last piece of advice from Tom Good…

“What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself”

Fancy that.

Till next week!


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Tell the truth and everyone’s a winner…

I’ve just had a wonderful half term holiday day trip with my nieces.

They are at the lovely ages of 10 and 8, which means that you don’t have to worry about taking bags of ‘supplies’ for them when you go out for the day.  They also like to do cool things and really explore, and that means we can generally do so much more together now that they are older.  We also have very, very funny conversations.

They make me laugh….a lot!

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What was so obvious when I took them out for the day to London, was just how different they are as people.

They have always been different since they were very little.

Jasmine, the older sibling is outgoing, gregarious, loves pink, loves make-up and also (much after my own heart), loves dare-devil activities and adventure.  The day before I saw her, she has spent the day roller-coaster-hopping at Alton Towers!  She talks about travel, singing and will try anything new whether that be food or experiences.

Her sister LiLi is so very different.

Quiet, a little shy and so caring and sensitive, she is happiest colouring in quietly or watching a film.  She likes her head rubbed and hates to wear anything really feminine, preferring her jeans, a hoody and converse trainers.  She is also a creature of habit, a little bit of geek, has the cheekiest laugh you have EVER heard and also in her words is ‘scared of everything Aunty Serena!’.

– ABSOLUTE HONESTY – 

What I loved about LiLi telling me this, was her absolute honesty about how she feels about the things that make her scared.  Don’t get me wrong, hearing that she is scared of everything doesn’t exactly fill my heart with joy.

I’ve known for a long time that she has struggled to do some things because of being wary or a little frightened, and so myself and the rest of the family lovingly and supportively have encouraged her to ‘get involved’ and try new things.  She’s getting better and I think with the same continuous encouragement and the experience of trying new things and ultimately enjoying herself, she is learning slowly to tackle these things head on.

The lesson here though is such an important one, you see I know people, adults, who cannot and do not own up to their feelings of being scared the way this little person can.

What this sometimes results in, is a ‘bending of the truth’ situation where people try and concoct all sorts of stories to get out of doing something.

I’m sure you are familiar with the situation, the friend who can’t come on that run with you because of an ‘ankle injury’, or the mate who can’t try the shellfish because they are ‘allergic’ or the friend who can’t come to your karaoke night because  they they have to help their partner with writing up their new CV?

[…or I have to add, given that I am also an academic, the student who can’t submit their work because of the death of a Grandparent…I’m not being mean! This is a researched and documented phenomenon, in fact an amusing article on the subject can be found HERE with links to scholarly articles). 

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– FEEL THE FEAR – 

In our desire to not look silly.  To not feel weak.  To not feel vulnerable.  To not feel inferior.  To not feel pain or shame or discomfort, we AVOID telling the truth.

We are FEARFUL. We are SCARED.

But here’s the thing.  The first step is in acknowledging what we are scared of, just like  LiLi and in doing so you might actually realise that there are things that you would like to have a go at, but you had already made a decision that you were scared or wouldn’t like it!

To actually say I am scared, out loud to those around you, is the first step towards change.

After all, people close to you can usually see what’s really happening. If you have friends who you are constantly ‘putting off’ doing things with, they may eventually get tired of your strange responses and may even stop asking you to join in or do things altogether?

If you have the ability and the can harness the desire to first acknowledge and tell the truth about what you are afraid of, people who care about you will certainly appreciate your honesty.  They may even have more understanding of your situation and feel sympathy or indeed empathy for what you are experiencing.

In doing this it will also allow you to look at why you don’t want to try something and maybe you can then make some headway towards changing it…if you want to that is, as clearly there are some things that you may never want to do, Karaoke being a good example!

I really encourage you to take a look at things that you feel make you scared?  Why is it that you don’t want to do them? What are you really afraid of?

When is the last time you tried it…maybe its been a long time and you could actually have another go at that thing?

Maybe change happens outside of our comfort zone!

Could you consider opening up to someone about what you are ‘scared’ of? If you did what might this change?  It may not having you bungee jumping next weekend, but it may help you feel freed up of your desire to show yourself in a particular light which can help you towards a more balanced, honest and truthful self.

Till next week!


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Stop your brain being your worst enemy!…

Hello everyone!

How was your week and if you were in the UK, how was your Bank Holiday weekend?

If you glance over at my Twitter feed, you will see that I spent my Bank Holiday on a fabulous camping trip with friends in the Peak District this year…happy times!

So, to todays post which is a short and sweet one today, as I present to you an article that you can find in this months’ Cosmopolitan Magazine (UK), which is a feature all about my advice for getting into action and getting done the projects you are currently working on or would like to work on!

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I’d like to thank Cosmo, for taking the time to interview me for this piece.  It was great to be able to contribute to the mag and I’ve had a great response from readers and also from the staff about the advice given, so thank you Cosmo.

More exciting news to follow about my courses that are coming up over the summer as well as MPWC2015 which, has had to be slightly delayed due to getting the amazing logistics ready for such a glorified, relaxing day. Apologies to those that have registered interest.  You will be the first to know the date and details and will be the first to be given the Early Bird Discount.

You will be updated as soon as I can tell you more….in the meantime to continue to express your interest to attend and if you too would like to receive notification of the Early Bird Discount, then please email me at serena@serenasimmons.com putting MPWC2015 in the subject line.

Till next week!


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Are you ready for a BIG leap outside of your comfort zone?…

I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you!

I’ve been wanting to share this news with you for some time now, but have been waiting until a few more things were in place before I set-to, so here goes…

I would love to present to you a new Programme that I am launching this year called Ape-athy!

Final Ape-athy Logo

I’ve been working on this programme behind the scenes for over a year now.  It is a programme that means an awful lot to me especially as I really consider this a culmination of my life’s work to date.

For me this is the programme that I have looked to do myself that doesn’t exist.

This, and noticing that there was a stark gap in the market for a programme that would help me achieve the change/have the experience I was looking for, is what inspired me to create it.  So here it is in all its glory, but let me first explain what it will do for you…

Ape-athy ist is a completely immersive, experiential programme that is designed to help you achieve a radical change and shift in thinking as well as a new lease for life!

Ape-athy is the programme for you, if you are the kind of person who ever wonders why they are here?  What are you supposed to do with your life, how can you be your best self and peak-perform on a consistent basis.

It’s for people who want to achieve, have success, feel like they are moving forward and also at the same time find an inner peace and calm.  It’s also for people who want to have fun, feel exhilarated, feel connected and learn something new about themselves.

Ape-athy is delivered in way that allows you not just to hear good information, like many of the other types of personal development type programmes that exist…in Ape-athy you will be taken through a series of talks, exercises, group activities, individual activities and other more unusual tasks that will have you experience and kineasthetically acquire the insight via your own experience.

To complete the programme, you have to be over the age of 18.  You will also fill out several batches of psychometrics before completion of the programme so that we know as much about you as we can before you enter.

On day one of this 2 day programme, you begin by handing over your mobile devices, sign your disclaimer stating that you will not discuss the programme on completion and then for the next 2 days you will be taken on a journey that takes you right from the evolution of man, through to your future self.  More than that, when you leave you will know exactly what you need to do in order to get to where you want to be.

During this course of the programme you will be ‘helped’ out of your comfort zone, you will get to know others, you will clearly know what you want from life, you will know what you need to do next, you will know what you need to do to keep evolving so to avoid the stagnation or ‘apathy’ that can oh so easily creep into your life.

Please do take a look at the latest advert for the programme below which gives you a feel for the programme…

Ape-athy is not for the fainthearted, as there will be activities that participants will have to complete that can only be likened to being on a roller-coaster…in more ways than one!

What you can be guaranteed of however, is that you will be taken care of, you will be safe and you WILL leave after 2 days with a new boundless energy, knowledge of who you are, an understanding of what your gift really is and thus how you can apply the knowledge you have gained lead a successful and happy life.

Pheeew!  So there it is.

On this project I am collaborating with leaders from across the globe in many areas, from my own passion of Psychology, to Physiologists, Biologists, Sports and Exercise Scientists, Philosophers, Artists, Economists and I’m getting a little help from Magicians.  As I said, you will taken on an experiential journey so the ride will be informative, challenging, a little scary but also fun.

If you would like to know more please go to the Ape-athy website at www.ape-athy.com

Here you have the opportunity to ‘sign up’, which means that you will be the first to find out about new information, dates for the programme and also other news from the Ape-athy World including Early Bird Discounts.  More information will also be coming to the pages soon, and this will also include details regarding the Ape-athy charity which is part of the business.  In this capacity money from the programmes will go to chosen projects that support the conservation of our planet, including several key animal charities…more about this soon!

I’ll also be talking about this on NOTTS TV next Monday 18th on the 6.30 Show and will be particularly talking about the ‘Pitch to Rich’ that I have made for business mentoring and funding from Richard Branson which you can see here:

(click on the link below):

Apeathy

I felt that this was an amazing opportunity to get the word out about the Programme, learn more, meet new people as well as having access to some of the best business minds in the country.  I would also be so honoured if you would consider voting for me between 9am Monday 18th and Wednesday 20th at 5pm.  All it takes is the click of a button and then verification of your email.  By getting more votes I have a chance to go through to the next round which would be immensely exciting.

Thank you again. I’m so pleased to be offering this course to you and others who are just as passionate about change and our own evolution.

I also look forward to sharing more news on these pages about the programme in the coming months, as well as more about the other events that are taking place for Multi-passionates and my usual goings on.

In the meantime, thank you for reading all about this new exciting project.

Till next week!

DO YOU WANT TO ‘TEST’ APE-ATHY?

I am looking for people for the first ‘test’ audience for Ape-athy later this year.

if you would like to know more about this, then please be in contact with me by sending an email to serena@serenasimmons.com writing ‘Ape-athy TEST’ in the subject line.

I look forward to hearing from you brave souls!