Travel is being independent and going along with my gut instincts. It's about trusting and building a relationship with myself. Travel is about finding myself as a person.
I've sat down to write this a thousand times. At least in my head I have. For the past few months I have been struggling with, for want of a better expression, writer's block. I have been drowning in doubt and question why I am even bothering whenever I open a word document. This has happened for both creative writing and blog posts.
You have the power to make a child's life better. In September you'll start all over again. With a brand new set of kids who'll look up to you, and come looking for you when they need an ice pack or a few words of encouragement.
I love self-development; I wouldn't be a self-help author and speaker if not. But whilst you are doing the inner work about self-refection, you also have to include an outer acceptance of yourself and the world you're living in. Without being powerless about changing what doesn't work!
Yes, I have gained weight. I'm bigger and rounder and fleshier than I've ever been. But I've gained so many other things in the process too; the extra pounds of flesh and fat are just a tiny part of all the other abundances.
When I said I was going to be a journalist one day, I was told that I was foolish and that it was never going to happen. But yet it did. When I signed up to a modelling agency at 18 but didn't quite make the cut, I was told that this particular ambition was probably over. Only for me to become a cover girl in my thirties.
Abby was having chemotherapy for a brain tumour for six months until March this year, "it wasn't as successful as we had hoped," she explained to me matter-of-factly, "so I made a treatment choice while I was at Derriford Hospital and decided I wanted to enjoy my time."
Think about the values you hold and the principles you live by; those things which are so important to you that if you get wronged it strikes you to the very core. For example, one of mine is consideration. It's up there alongside being heard and being treated with respect.
If, for one moment, we'd think that those ''perfect'' people may have imperfections too, we'd be much more open to actually experiencing what they're about. As the truth is, they are far from being perfect, we all are.
So perhaps it's time we found a new word to describe volunteers. Something which captures the true spirit, energy and value of this vital role. My instinct is 'Stars'. There are millions out there; we just need to reach them.
Each person I see reminds me that they face at least one daily challenge I am spared. Each cheerful face and expression of gratitude for the job I do reminds me of the amount of grace and fortitude which can reside in the human spirit. Even those who are having an 'off' day provide me with an exercise in compassion and patience.
Am I saying I don't believe in happiness? No. I'm saying that mindfulness practice has helped me to discover a different definition of contentment, one which isn't so limited. Here are three ways we can use mindfulness to help us re-frame happiness, and find a little more of it right now.
If what you truly want in life is balance, tranquility, and peace - set about making that happen for you. Stop pointing the finger. Stop bitching about it. Stop blaming everyone else, and allow yourself to make the choice once and for all.
Using words like 'I think' and 'I believe' diminish your authority. Similarly, going up at the end of your sentences and creating a question? It makes you sound uncertain of your opinion? Be BOLD. Your audience may not agree, but they will admire your conviction.
Even the careers of our dreams can become dissatisfying. These guys have funds which allow them more choices. For them walking away knowing you have a golden egg in the bank, with the only possible downside being that you may have to sell the second weekend house in Malibu, doesn't seem the end of the world. But what can the rest of us do when we are 'just not feeling it anymore' and walking away isn't the simple option?
Sometimes when we don't feel good enough about ourselves, we can let our internal negative self-talk determine how we act and treat others. Having a successful life depends on our self-worth being powerful enough to treat ourselves as well as we hope to treat other people.