life coach

Happy Monday! Yep you read that right, Monday

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Happy Monday! Yes, you read that right.  Monday and not Friday.  Why wait 5 freaking long days to be celebrating!  Let's start right now, today, Monday! This morning might have been a struggle.  Maybe you had to roll out of bed, maybe you're still hungover or maybe you're just dreading walking into that same office, to see the same faces, to sit in the same chair and stare at the same damn computer screen.

Oh man, I used to feel ya!  Seriously, I'd roll out of bed after hitting snooze a couple of times and think "here we go again, ugh..".  But then things changed.. and they changed a lot.  They had to.  I was miserable.

I took control of how I felt.  I accepted that it was my responsibility to change my life.  It wasn't my parents' job, it wasn't my colleagues job and it certainly wasn't Tattslotto's job to miraculously show up.  Actually, ummm.. Tatts.. my bank deets are: BSB 063...

But in all seriousness, our life is OUR responsibility and it can be a hard pill to swallow at times.  It's sooo much easier to blame the traffic, the weather, your partner, the kids etc.. than it is to take ownership of our feelings.. the very feelings that determine all of the decisions that we make and end up shaping our entire life.

YOU need to be making decisions that empower and inspire YOU.  What is YOUR soul calling you to do?  Start that dream job, join that sports team, reach out to a long lost friend, or maybe you need to say sorry (or I love you).

Once we learn the art to tuning in and listening to our true heart's desires, we start making heart-centred choices, which lead to living a more empowered and fulfilling life.

So this week, simply tune in.  Where is your heart guiding you? What messages does your soul have for you?  Once we start to pay attention to these answers, life becomes magical.

Love,

Sam x

P.S.  If you haven't downloaded your FREE copy of my Gratitude Workbook, you can get it here.  I use it daily!

Is Your Phone More Recharged Than You Are? 8 Ways to Get Your Missing Energy Back

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If I were to ask you how often you recharged your phone, you'd probably reply with "twice a day" (if you're an iPhone user).  But, if I were to ask you how often you recharged yourself, you'd most likely reply with "does sleep count?". Recharging ourselves isn't something we tend to think much about.  We're not taught about it as kids and no one really talks about it.  It's not something that we had to think even half as much about just 10 years ago.  If we were tired, we rested.  Tiredness and exhaustion were mostly just physical.  Now, it's primarily mental, and in a lot of cases, emotional.  With technology and a direct connection to the world in our hands, there's no time to really switch off to allow our mind and nervous system to quieten.

Somewhere along the line, we started to value our techs to be more recharged than our bodies.  Tirdness is now a bit of an inconvenience.  We've become more tuned into the outside world than ourselves.  We're tuned into the alerts on our phones more than the alerts of our bodies.  Now, I'm not saying to bin the devices all together, no, not at all.  I love my phone, and these days we need them.  I'm just trying to convey the need to put the phone down every now and then, and truly take the break our mind and body need.

I had to learn the above the hard way.  Stressed and anxious from my corporate job (amongst other things), denying my dream career aspirations and, quite frankly, wasting hours a day on 'the scroll'.  My anxiety was so bad that every day was a struggle that I tried so hard to hide!  Things had to dramatically change.  So, I set out to recharge, learnt to put my health first and developed a kick-ass self-care/love routine.

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook Here

So, here's my (tried and tested) top 8 ways to fully recharge and start to get that missing energy back:

Sleep:

To answer your hypothetical response above.  Yes, sleep does count, and a lot!  But only if you're getting the right kind of sleep.  This is around 8 hours of non-inertupted sleep and waking before your alarm.  While this is common knowledge, sleep has lost favour.  There's Facebook and Instagram scrolling, Netflix, more condensed living, working later hours and weekends, eating later and even more scrolling, that all get in the way of a quality night's sleep.  Once upon a time it was only the neighbour's dog who woke us up, now it's our friend-from-high-school's-amazing-Italian-holiday that you're totally jealous of you've been lurking.

Soak it Up:

Get at least an hour by yourself and have a hot bath.  Get out your bath salts, candles, essential oils and a quality book.  No techs allowed.  Take the full hour to really switch off and relax.  Besides, who doesn't feel better after a good bath!

Get Active:

Get those endorphins pumping and sweat the stress away.  Stress hormones wreak havoc on our nervous system and majorly contribute to us feeling worn down.  Ever feel more exhausted from a day's work than you do an intense work out?  This is why.  While exercise puts physical stress on the body at the time, it's coupled with 'feel good' hormones that help the body clear out the stress, as well as pump much needed oxygen to your organs.  You want to get out and burn up all of that excess adrenaline.  Not only will you feel better after, you'll sleep better too!

Ground Yourself:

When I first heard about "earthing" I thought it was a bit of BS, then I really thought about it and I realised my bare feet had not even touched the earth in over a year. A YEAR! Apartment living certainly makes getting out and into nature harder, but the more reason to do so.  We all grew up playing in the backyard bare foot (remember stepping on bindies in summer, ouch!).  Take a walk in the park or on the beach, and if you're lucky enough to still have a backyard, collect the washing bare foot.  Feel those relaxing negative ions and get a bonus foot massage while you're at it!

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Probably my favourite tool in the box and one of the most misunderstood and under utilised skills there is!  If I could package and sell in a pill "total relaxation, calmness, greater clarity, more energy, understanding, compassion and acceptance with no side-effects and completely natural", I'd be seriously loaded.  Loaded.  Everyone would lap that up!  But it's free people and you can try it right now!  It's literally as easy as googling "guided relaxation meditation" into YouTube.

Find my Monday Meditation series here.

Because we're not taught meditation as children, we resist it as adults.  It seems weird, out-there and unnecessary.  People also tend to think that they don't have time to meditate.  In the words of Gabby Bernstein, "so you've got time to feel like shit instead then?".  10 minutes a day is all you need to totally turn your stress around!  Also, meditation doesn't have to be spiritual at all, think of it as a simple mind reset.

Digital Detox:

This is a big one!  We spend so much time on our (fully charged) devices, and probably one of the main reasons why we're so drained, that we find it so hard to put them aside.  But once you start to break the click and scroll habit, it becomes so much easier.  Sleep with your phone on flight mode.  Get an old school radio alarm clock and have no phones in your bedroom (remember waking up to breakfast radio..).  Turn the TV off an hour before bed.  Have an email cut off time (I suggest from the time you start dinner) and don't use your laptop in bed.  All of these things can assist in breaking the technology dependancy and the mindless scroll.

Take Regular Breaks/Holidays/Long Weekend:

If you need a day off, take it.  Plan an annual leave day and take a long weekend.  Get away, or stay in.  Sleep in.  It's what your annual leave is there for!  Take a holiday.  Got no-one to travel with?  Do a tour or retreat.  The simple act of getting on a plane and feeling far away from your 'problems' can do amazing things for your nervous system (I should know, I just did this.  Hello spontaneous trip to New York).  Don't really run from your problems, but do take a break when you need it.  Airfares have never been so cheap ;-).

Pamper Yourself:

Don't be afraid to spend a little cash on treating yourself.  Get a monthly massage, pedicure, floatation tank session, facial, lovely dinner, hot springs visit.. whatever brings you relaxation.  While I don't recommend spending all your monies on #treatyoself, I do suggest that you put yourself first and enjoy your money, especially if it's assisting your healing.  I personally get regular massages.  I need them, I carry stress in my shoulders and I spend 8 hours a day on a computer, so I don't feel guilty about spending the cash as I see it as a necessity.  So find what really assists your recovery and budget it in.

I hope these tips help bring some calm and zen back into your life.  If you've got other recharge tips or tricks, comment them below, i'd love to hear (and try) them!

xSx

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook here

Recipe: Raw Choc Almond Bites

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I'll be honest, using chocolate molds with clean/raw chocolate just isn't working out for me.  The chocolate breaks, gets stuck in the mould and it's messy.  So, to avoid the failed-chocolate-mould mess, I made these chocolate bites, or blobs.. which ever name you prefer.  They're not real pretty, but they sure did taste great.  I did actually make more, however my Dad got to them before I had a chance to photograph them! Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • Raw Cacao
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Almond Shaves
  • Desiccated Coconut

Method

My standard chocolate mix method (you can find a detailed description here)

Mix it all together, blob on baking paper and freezer set.

This one is extra great for the kids as its just a handful of ingredients, a bowl, spoon and baking paper.

Turns Out, You Actually Are Creative

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Creativity is traditionally something that we equate to the arts, however I believe that we are all creatives.  We all have something within us that we wish to express.  Creativity after all, is simply CREATION.   Creativity is anything where we can express ourselves, our thoughts and ideas in whatever physical manifestation that they take form. I truely believe that without creativity, without ideas and creation and most importantly, without expression, we suffer.   We suffer in our health from being stifled and unexpressed, our relationships suffer from a feeling of unfulfilment and we could even be missing out on great financial opportunities.  We ignore those expressive skills that we received so much joy from as children.  We used to tell and write stories, we played imaginary, we invented games, we drew all afternoon long (ok, Mum I admit it.. it was me who drew the horse on the wardrobe door and not dolly.. but you have to admit, it was pretty good for a 3yr old.  It did look like a horse, right?) and we made 'music' (most neighbours probably wish we didn't bang those pots and pans so loudly).  The world was this magical place where anything could happen.  Now the world is this place where we work hard to pay bills and maybe take 2 weeks off in winter to travel somewhere warm.  Pretty miserable, right?!

Self-expression is a birth right.  We are all individual and we all deserve to let our thoughts and ideas out and into the world.  If writing is your thing, start that blog.  If you enjoy drawing, buy a sketch book.  Let your ideas flow out on that paper.  Not only will you be expressing your ideas and feelings, you'll also feel a sense of accomplishment for creating something.  Sitting back and listening to that music you created on your laptop or watching that video you learned to edit through iMovie, will bring you so much pride and satisfaction.   Give yourself permission to allow an hour for yourself to create, you just never know what it might evolve into.

xSx

Recipe: Raw Glow Bars

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These are soooooo good!  I needed something to cut my serious chocolate habit.  My office has a chocolate biscuit genie somewhere, because our never ending Tim Tam supply is in full force!  Come 2pm all I can think about it my next chocolate hit.  Chocolate is my drug, it's ridiculous.  So I knew I had to make something super delicious to cut this hardcore habit.  And I did!  3 days in and I am only 1 Monte Carlo down #winning. My Raw Glow Bar recipe is:

Ingredients

Large handful of Medjool Dates (soaked for a couple of hours)

1 handful of Almond shaves

1 handful of crumbled bran

Chia seeds

Raw cacao (to taste)

1 handful of Buckwheat

1 handful of crushed cashews

Method

Soak your dates for an hour or 2.

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Blitz your dates (removing the seed).

Get your hands dirty!  Using your hands, mix and combine thoroughly.   Gradually add dry ingredients until your mix is even consistency.  You don't want it too dry or wet.

Set in a container in the fridge or freezer.  Then use a pizza cutter to cut into your bars.

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MONDAY MEDITATION | The Most Important Words You Could Say to Yourself

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Have you ever really considered the thoughts you have towards yourself?  How do you really feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? Let's all make a shift.  Instead of having critical thoughts when looking at ourselves, let's start to see our great qualities.  Let's feel appreciation for who we are and embrace our quirks.  I can guarantee that others are looking at what they love about you, rather than the flaws that you see.  You're individual and amazing.

xSx

https://youtu.be/6SyYFh0xDUg

MONDAY MEDITATION | Want To Get Out of The Right Side of Bed? Use This.

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This week's Monday Meditation is a quick and easy mindful practice to start the day off on the right foot!  When your alarm goes off, what are your first thoughts?  "I don't want to get out of bed", "urgh, already!?", "the weather is crap today".. the list could go on!  Instead of starting the day with negative thoughts, kick start with positive!  Shift your awareness to the things that are going right in your life, the things that always work out and the things that you may have stopped paying attention to.  By turning your awareness to the things that are going right, you're shifting your mindset into an appreciate one while also activating your awareness to look for other things that are going well. All you've got to do to start the day off right, is think of three things that are going well and that you are appreciate for. Three!  It's that simple.  The key is to feel into the things you've listed and then get on with your day.  I can guarantee that if you use this every day, you will start to turn, not only your morning routine, but your whole day, around.

xSx

https://youtu.be/Z4d4-VJ-Pho

How to Stay Positive in Negative Times

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These days we seem to be living amongst information overload.  We have negative news updates now creeping into our social media feeds, terrorism fears, constant internal comparisons to instagram accounts with stacks of followers, we're seeing the current gun violence in the US, we have financial fears.. the list goes on.  We cannot deny the times that we find ourselves living in, but we can take control of how we, as individuals and as a community, respond to them. The truth is, shit happens and its going to happen.  Once upon a time we all knew this, but our current world plasters perfection everywhere and its as if we've lost sight of the real world (this absolutely does not condone violence or hatred of any kind, and it never will.  Those kind of acts must be dealt with effectively.)  Life will always be an ebb and flow, just like the seasons, circumstances will always come and go.  Once we learn to let go and allow nature to take it's course (allow the negative circumstance to naturally subside), we are reminded that everything is only ever temporary and there is always a lesson to be learned, and a greater outcome awaiting us.

With all of that in mind, here are my tips for 'weathering the negative storms' and keeping a positive mind:

  1. Have compassion.  Compassion or those communities effected, compassion for your co-workers, compassion for your neighbour driving you nuts, compassion for the driver who just cut you off on the road.  We must expand our awareness to the fact that, in one way or another, we're all struggling.  That neighbour who is driving you nuts; may be about to lose a parent, that driver who just cut you off; may have just lost their job and may not know how they will pay their rent this month.  No one is rude, angry or hurtful to another when they are genuinely happy in their own life.  Once we understand this, it makes it a lot easier to deal with negative/unhappy people.
  2. Only concern yourself with what you can control.  This one can be a hard idea to grasp, but once we do, it's very freeing.  It doesn't change the circumstance, but it changes your reaction to it.  It's not about sitting back helplessly, it's simply the act of letting outside circumstances be managed by those who have the power to make the change.  Stress and worry wreak havoc on our nervous system, so when we stress that our train is delayed and we are now late for work, we're asking for a morning of chaos; unnecessary anxiety, stress & worry.  Stressing while sitting on the train wont make it go any faster and you cant get out and push it!  So this is where you accept that you're going to be late, let those who need to know, know and enjoy the extra 20 mins you get out of the office!  Relax, your co-workers wont even be thinking anything of it anyway, they're busy reading their emails or trawling news.com.au.
  3. Appreciation for everything.  Even when times are tough, there is always something to be grateful for.  Be thankful for the person who held the train door for you, be grateful for the lovely meal you ate, appreciate your income every month, thankful for the roof over your head, grateful for your loving partner or family.  As much as there are endless negative things we could think about, there are endless positive things.  The more you turn your attention to the good things in your life, the more they will show up.  It is law!
  4. Acceptance of the circumstances.  Accept that crappy things happen, accept that you will move through it and accept that the sun will break and you will find yourself on the other side, wiser, stronger, smarter and with a fresh outlook.

All it takes is one small positive action towards another to have a positive ripple effect.  You may be the reason that person smiled this morning, they may then hold the door for another, that person may then buy their co-worker a coffee.  All of these small action pay it forward for more optimism and positivity throughout us all.

How can you pay it forward today?

xSx

Recipe: Guilt Free Brownie Slice

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This slice has got to be my favourite that I have made.  It was actually meant to be a cashew cookie dough slice, but the cashew centre just wasn't working for me so I cut it and made this delicious slice instead.  A friend from work's reaction was the best "omg yum, it doesn't even taste healthy", a good one to trick your kids into eating :) All you need:

Base

1/2 cup rolled oats

10 medjool dates (soaked for an hour)

5 dried figs (soaked for an hour)

1/4 cup chia seeds (soaked for 15 minutes)

1/2 - 3/4 of cup shredded/desiccated coconut

1/4 cup of raw cacao powder

1/4 cup of almond meal

1 cup of cashews (soaked for an hour - 2 hours)

Vanilla Extract to taste (I use 2 Tbspns)

Chocolate Top

2 heaps Tbspns of coconut oil

2 Tbspns of rice malt syrup

1/3 cup of raw cacao powder

ground goji berries and coconut dusted on top

Method

Prepare your cashews, figs, dates and chia seeds for pre-soaking.

Chop and blitz your dates and figs.  Be sure that you have carefully removed all seeds.

Blitz your cashews and rolled oats, then add to your mixture dried fruit mixture.  Drain your chai seeds and add to the mix, also add your coconut and almond meals.

Once thoroughly combined, gradually add your raw cacao powder and vanilla extract.  These ingredients are added to taste, the sweeter you want them, the more you add.

Melt your coconut oil in a heatproof bowl and gradually add your raw cacao powder, stirring constantly.  Once combined, add your rice malt syrup and stir until smooth.

Pour your choc mix evenly over your brownie base and refrigerate to set.

Once your slice has set, you can decorate with ground nuts, seeds, berries, coconut.. anything you like :)

xSx

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Fallen Off The Bike? You can still ride it.

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"Just because you've fallen off the bike, doesn't mean you've forgotten how to ride it"  I can't remember whether it was my friend, Mel or I who come up with that little tidbit, but as soon as I heard it, I knew I had to write about just that. We all make new commitments to ourselves, and probably daily.  "I am going sugar free", "I am going to do 3 gym classes a week", "I will start getting more sleep" etc.  But how frequently are we giving up all too easily as soon as we slide a little?  We think that as soon as we waiver a little bit, that we have totally failed, so we may as well give up now.  We've become all or nothing.  Truth is, we're going to fall off the wagon every day, after all, it's how we learn.  The real skill is how we bounce back from our setbacks.  This is the gig.  It's really about a commitment to re-trying, time and time again and not beating ourselves up when we do slide.  Eating that one tim-tam doesn't mean that you've completely reverted back to your sugary days.  You probably used eat 3 a day, and now you're down to 1.  That's great (literally taken that one straight from my life..).

After committing to commitment, you will find that it will get easier and easier and you'll shorten the recovery time, each time.  You'll start to bounce back quicker and quicker.  You'll even start to enjoy the process as you'll know what to expect and you'll quickly learn that you can do it.  By appreciating the progress that you are making and realise that you are achieving far more than you realise.

It's not about being perfect, for we will never ever be perfect.  It's about our commitment to being better, doing more (or sometimes even less), to eating better, to sleeping longer, to being more active, to meditating regularly, to saying "I love you" or "I forgive you" to someone (and yourself!), ultimately it's about feeling better more often.

Let yourself off the hook and commit to doing better tomorrow, and the next day.

xSx

Why Saying NO is Really Saying YES

20140716-221903-80343284.jpg We are a culture of people pleasers. We feel guilty saying no, we feel obligated to do what is asked and when it is asked.

We stay back at work when we had dinner plans, we go to that bar when we really just wanted to go to the movies, or we help a friend move when we really wanted to go to our kid's football game.

When we say no to others, we are really saying yes to ourselves. We are saying yes to time spent writing that blog, or going to the gym, or more time at home spent with your kids.

When we say no, we are honouring ourselves. When we honour ourselves, we set a positive example for others to totally respect themselves too. We show the people around us that it is ok to politely say no to something that doesn't serve our highest good. It isn't out of arrogance that we say no to others, it's out of a delicate respect that we hold for ourselves.

But why is it that we feel it necessary to say yes to everything that is asked? Basically, we are scared of what the asker, and other people, might think of us. We are afraid that they might think that we are a bad person, or that we don't care about them, or simple that we are rude. In other words- we feel obligated. But we are none of those things when we say no to things that do not serve us. Are you a bad person when you say no when your friend is telling you to have one more drink? No, of course not, you are just looking out for yourself more than you are looking out for their interest in you.

We also cannot control how other people react. There will be times that someone might take you saying no personally, but know that their reaction is out of your control and it is simply a reflection of their own internal state. There will also be times when those same people are supportive and encouraging of your polite decline.

Saying yes to yourself and utilising your time doing positive and productive things, will help us become more fulfilled people, and who gets to reap the rewards of being around happy and fulfilled people?.. the very people you respectfully said no to!

Now, this isn't an excuse to start being rude, anything but, and you may also require some tact when saying no at times, but know that you value your own needs more at times, and it's up to you to put yourself first.

Take note- no one will respect us more than we respect ourselves. So set the standard for the level of respect you wish to receive and show others that its perfectly ok for them to do the same.

Leave a comment below about a time when you have felt obligated to say yes when really you wanted to say no.

Remember, every smile is contagious, so go spread the good stuff.

Knowing When to Let Go and Why No-one is Doing It

IMG_8699 As humans, we have a hard time letting go. We have been taught that if something didn't work out how we had expected then we have somehow failed or that we have been rejected. We assume that we were the problem or that we did something wrong. We then live in the "what ifs" and we continue to live in a state of "if only".

What we really need to be taught is that you were not being rejected you were being re-directed, and it's a wonderful thing. Society, as a whole, has controlling tendencies, we feel like we can control the outcome of every situation and that it must go our way and if it doesn't then we were hard done by. Doesn't that sound like a restricted life to live? Once we learn to truly let go of our expectations and trust that there is a greater plan for us, then we can start to live a more relaxed life.

To have faith in the unknown can take a bit of guts at first, but it is totally worth it. It can sound a little foreign initially to sit there are say "I know that [insert situation] didn't work out because something better is on the way" but it's true. Life doesn't have to be a struggle. We can choose to acknowledge that something/someone wasn't right for us, let it go and get back to enjoying the beauty of life, or you can sit and question "why?". There is so much happiness in staying calm and knowing that we are deserving of perfect outcomes for us at that time. Sometimes a situation simply provides a life lesson to be learnt. A lesson that will provide the knowledge we need to take forth with us on our life journey. Sometimes the hard decisions have to be made for us. We form emotional attachments to expected outcomes and we have a hard time seeing it play out in any other form.

When you find yourself stuck in the letting go process, try some of these exercise:

1: Sit calmly in a quiet room. Say to yourself (silently or aloud) "I have learnt everything that I needed to learn from this situation/person/event and its time to let it go. I release you and I have faith that something better is on its way.".

2: Talk it out with a trusted friend, but change the objective of the conversation. Talk with them with the aim to release rather than complain. Hear their advice and speak of the journey you will take to move forward.

3: Meditate! If you are new to meditation don't be scared off. All it takes is 5 minutes a day of silently monitoring your breathe to calm your mind and start to see your situation in a more peaceful way.

4: Write a release letter. Write down everything that you would say to a person that has hurt you, write down how you feel, write down how you expected something to go. Release it all, and finish the letter with a plan to move forward, knowing that something better is on its way.

Remember, you are always growing, always evolving and you are going to outgrow things. It is inevitable. You will outgrow people, jobs, homes, cars etc. Be wiling to let things go and embrace the new. This is where the excitement is, new stories, new experiences, new encounters. Be open to new opportunities as you don't yet know what you can discover. But if we stay in our limited thinking with thoughts like "this should have happened" or "if only I did this differently" you will miss all of the new and wonderful experiences you are yet to have had yet. You may be walking down a different path to the one you had expected, but have faith that it is leading to a greater destination.

P.S. Remember every smile is contagious, so go spread the good stuff!