Dream with your eyes open

07 28 2011

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
– Larry Elder –

Do you dream with your eyes open?  Dream of a different life – maybe a different home, new job, altered image?  What is it for you?  I’ll put my hands up and say I’m a dreamer.  But I’d like to believe that I do a little bit more…. I hope I do something to make my dreams happen.

I’ve said before that vision boards are one of the many ways that I try to dream a little (and sometimes BIG) dream, but there comes a point where dreaming has to turn to action.  Today I thought I’d share a few top tips to taking action:

Get a clear line of vision:
What is it you really want?  Is it a new home?  If so, describe it.  Close your eyes and imagine the front door, walk in and soak in everything you see – make it come alive in your mind.  Dream BIG.  Once you have a clear and vivid picture, make note of it in whatever way suits you (words, pictures, sound).

Break down:
How far away from your dream are you?  If you can imagine time passing as a movie, see yourself in your gorgeous new home and press rewind.  What do you see as the home before?  And the one before that?  Get clear on the steps that will get you there …. without a lottery win, that is.

Speak up:
How many times have you made a commitment to yourself and done absolutely zilch about it?  (Hmm, new year’s resolutions spring to mind!)  You need to make yourself accountable.  Seek out a friend or family member that you can share your wild imaginings with.  Often making a commitment verbally to someone we love and respect can be just the conscience prick we need to get off our bottoms and start making things happen.

Now, over to you ….

Photo: One

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Look to the future

07 27 2011
It’s payday tomorrow and so I’ll be indulging in my guilty pleasure – buying a stash of magazines that I’m unlikely to read. Well, not cover-to-cover at least.  And before the Eco Warriors out there have me in front of the firing squad in defence of the trees that were sacrificed to create the sweet-smelling, glossy loveliness, let me assure you that they don’t go to waste.  No no, I’ll rip them to pieces.  
For years now, my friend Jane and I have created mood-boards to mark the new year and all we want to achieve in it.  It’s cool now to look back over the years and see how these goals have evolved … and frustrating to see the ones still making an appearance.  (Will I ever get my finances in check?!)  So I was intrigued to read Andrea Baxter’s post on Design Sponge today about how she’s used a vision board to clarify her business goals, even favouring it as a tool to a traditional business plan.  While I’ve enjoyed creating these over the years as a fun way of altering and charting my course, it’s encouraging to see someone so successful reap professional rewards from the exercise…. and it gives me an excuse to do more!
In the spirit of putting my goals ‘out there’, I thought I’d share with you all my latest creation….
Do you have a vision board you’d like to share?
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A moment of calm

06 29 2011
Over the past week I’ve been setting my alarm clock an extra 30 minutes early to meditate – it has long been on my list of intentions but, sadly, the thing I’ve never made the time for.  More fool me!

It has made a huge difference for a number of reasons but today I’ll share just one.  I realise I was so used to getting up in a rush, running through my plan for the day while ironing with one hand and making my morning cuppa with the other (you get the picture) and setting a manic tone for the day that I was missing everything. When I’ve heard the phrase “don’t be so focused on the destination that you miss the journey” I’d always thought it a bit twee – but I’m about to eat my words. 

As well as starting the day in a much calmer frame of mind, the biggest difference this new little ritual has made is that it seems to have opened my eyes to what’s going on around me a little more.  To appreciate all the little things that make me smile.

So, today, I encourage you to take 30-seconds, a minute, (heck 5 minutes if you have it!) to STOP, take a breather and enjoy a moment of calm.

Photo: this-is-glamorous

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05 11 2011
Isn’t it funny how sometimes you see exactly the right thing, at exactly the time you need to see it most. The picture above is the inside of a card given to me by my parents for passing my first ‘swimming endeavour’.  And, believe me, it was quite a journey to get there!  I was petrified of swimming – there were tears at bedtime the night before, sudden tummy aches and nausea on swimming lesson day and if, by force, I’d made it to the poolside I would spend the entire swimming lesson clung to the edge in terror.  At some point I must have let go and faced my fear because here I am, the one in the middle wearing a fearful expression, completing my long-awaited endeavour.  (The lady with the baby on her knee is mum, in a very fetching tracksuit, cheering me on!)
Although this card is 25 years old, it surfaced over the weekend and the inscription is so relevant to me at the moment.  Dad’s unique handwriting reads:
“Dear Emma. Please keep this and remember at any time in your life when you ‘think’ that you can’t, look at this and ‘know’ that you did.  And can.”
Photo: Courtesy of Pappa B!
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A little romance ....

07 05 2010
How much can change in a week! Completely out of the blue my lovely boyf became my fiance last Saturday. Knowing food is the way to my heart, he popped the question at French favourite, Kendells Bistro. 

The beauty of Kendells is in how stepping foot inside this restaurant makes you feel.  With a personal welcome, the backdrop of fairy lights and flickering candlelight, retro French posters adorning the walls and with romantic French music lulling diners, you could be in a chic little restaurant in the back streets of Paris.  And I’ve not even got started on the food!

Even the simplest things are done beautifully at Kendells.  Fresh hunks of baguette and butter are plentiful on the table whilst you peruse the chalkboard and once you’ve made your choice, attentive staff surprise you with amuse bouche – the greedy in me always wants more!!  I devoured Salade de Chevre* and (post-question popping) picked at Seabass fillet and green vegetables, whilst we supped on Chablis.  Nerves not withstanding, no dessert this time in place of some French fizz*.

Aside from the many wedding thoughts whirling around my head, the whole experience has me a little caught up with a romantic French notion.  Me and my new fiance hopping on a moped and nipping through the streets to find some secluded spot to enjoy fresh bread, smelly cheese and a bottle of Malbec and really let it sink in ….. I’m getting married!
*Debit: Way too much bread and way too much celebratory fizz
Eiffel Tower photo: via Starstore
Moped couple photo: Sergey Ivanov via Flickr

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