The Journey

YOU Matter - A Five Day Expose` Of Your Significance - Part 3

Welcome to Day Three of this 5 day expose` of why I think YOU Matter!

Click the links below to check out Days One and Two if you missed them. The videos alone are well worth it in my opinion!

YOU Matter - Part 1
YOU Matter - Part 2

Let's get to it...

Are You Making Joy A Priority?

You treat you friends and family well because you love them and want the best for them. They matter, and so you prioritize and attend to them.

However, as YOU also matter, I'd like to ask 'How often are you prioritizing yourself? How often are you paying yourself attention? Doing for yourself the things that bring you joy, just as you do things for others?'

As someone who matters, (and as you're the only person who has absolute and direct control over YOU), it makes perfect sense to prioritize yourself first and foremost. Treating yourself with reverence, respect and compassion means you're better equipped to live your best life, and by association help others live theirs.

It's a win/win all 'round.

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”
Diane Von Furstenberg

I'm a big believer in the 'life truth' that taking action before you feel like doing something leads to great results anyway! Starting to de-clutter or beginning a work project you've been procrastinating about is always the hardest part. If you wait until you 'feel' like it..... you'll never begin.

There is never a right moment. There can always be an excuse.

BUT, if you take a leap of faith, and trust that once you start it will all be okay, it's amazing what can happen.

I think treating yourself as though YOU matter (when you don't feel like you do), sits very well with this concept.

Loving yourself more, doing for yourself more, nurturing yourself more, being gentle and compassionate with yourself..... begin, and you will start to feel like 'more'.

Basically, if you don't already think YOU matter, act as though you DO matter, and you'll start to feel as if you do! 

>>There's a lovely activity further down the page to help you with this. It has a downloadable sheet to go with it. If you carry it out, you'll be well on your way to loving yourself more! <<

Ways To Act As If You Matter (Because YOU Do):

For me, one of the best ways to serve up self-respect and self-love, is to make sure I get enough time to nurture who I really am. Time devoted to tending my inner flame and spirit. I'm not talking religion here (although for you, that may fit beautifully), I'm talking about those moments that bring you joy. The ones where time flies by and you get lost in the flow of what you're doing.

I'm also talking about taking time to pamper, nurture, and plain old take good care of yourself...

When was the last time you gave yourself the luxury of doing something special just for you?

Simply because you wanted to?

Because you love it?

And, did you do it with no guilt? Without feeling selfish and terrible for treating yourself with so much importance?

If there's one thing I've learned over time, it's that taking care of myself as if I'm a seriously important person is paramount to experiencing life to the fullest, as well as connecting with others in the most fulfilling way.

I don't mean turning into a narcissistic egomaniac who's unaware of others' feelings and lacking in compassion for anyone else... that wouldn't encourage any type of meaningful relationships. I believe kindness, empathy, and general decency are the touchstones of any life well-lived.

But, after nearly 52 years on this amazing planet, and many tutorials by the 'Universe' in the form of life lessons, I've come to realize that self-care, self-nurturing, and self-love, allow me to sculpt and maintain the best version of myself.

And, creating and growing the 'best' version of myself not only has benefits for me, but for everyone in my life. If I show up for others fully present, feeling centered and at ease, happy in my own skin; then I'm giving them more than I'm capable of if I'm run-down, tired, and worn out from trying to do too much.

Taking time-out for myself reaps so many rewards.

So, what is it you love to do that you haven't done lately?

What can you do that will nurture your soul, soothe your worries, inspire your mind, open your heart, and just make you feel darn good?'

I'm talking about really simple things.....

  • Taking time out to sit at the beach, watch the waves roll in, and wriggle your toes in the sand.
  • Spending half an hour sitting in the sun with a favourite magazine and a cup of tea.
  • Snuggling in bed for an extra hour with a good book and nowhere else to be.
  • Buying a bunch of beautiful flowers to bloom in your home.
  • Taking yourself off to the cinema to catch a fabulous movie.
  • Indulging in a long, hot bath with your favourite bubbles and a candle.
  • Spending time writing in your journal or creating something.
  • Getting a manicure, a pedicure or a massage.
  • Giving yourself a facial, including a face scrub, a mask, and a moisturizing treatment.
  • Cooking your favourite meal or baking your favourite cake and savouring the taste.
  • Sitting quietly with your pet and giving it a cuddle or a pat.
  • Walking through a beautiful park or amongst some wonderful trees.

Time spent doing simple things you love can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul; and give you the opportunity to replenish your inner well or 'life-force'.

The next time you're running around doing things for everyone else, stop for a moment, and plan to do something for yourself.

You deserve it - totally - and so do your 'significant others'.

YOU matter.

Putting yourself first when it comes to self-care and nourishment leads to a win-win situation for everyone. YOU get to feel happier and healthier, and your nearest and dearest get the best YOU possible.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s a necessity.”
Mandy Hale

The Big List Of Little Loves:

Anyone else here love making lists? I'm a list maker - big time. I love making lists about all sorts of things. It helps get my mind sorted, and feel more in control. Sometimes I finish a list and cross everything off, and sometimes I only get a few things crossed off.

But, there's nothing more satisfying than putting a line through something on a list I've been meaning to do for a long time.

(I'll let you in on a secret.... Sometimes I put things on the list I've already done just so I can cross them off and give myself a mental high five!)

Today we're going to be making a really important list.

This list is going to form the basis of an ongoing activity that's going to help you squeeze more moments of joy into your life.

I think it may be one of the most important lists you ever make.

Before you start, you're going to need a sheet of paper (pretty paper would be wonderful), some pens or textas, a pair of scissors to cut the paper up, and a pretty storage box or envelope.

You may even need more than one sheet of paper if you think of lots to write. In fact, I'm going to ask you to think of 100 things (if you can), so I'm hoping you need many sheets of paper!

You can also use this downloadable list template to make it easy!

Let's go:

I want you to think of as many things as you can that are only little, but are things you LOVE, ADORE, REVEL in doing.

Simple little things that give you pleasure.

For example:
♥ having a coffee with friends
♥ sitting under a tree in summer reading a favourite book
♥ having fresh flowers in your room
♥ smelling and eating freshly baked scones
♥ drinking a glass of ice cold milk
♥ going for a leisurely stroll
♥ reading the newspaper
♥ completing a crossword
♥ stretching luxuriously
♥ day dreaming on the sofa
♥ taking a mid afternoon nap
♥ flicking through a favourite magazine
♥ sketching or drawing
♥ building a sandcastle
♥ finding shells on the beach
♥ looking for feathers
♥ playing cards with someone
♥ feeling a summer breeze against your face
♥ watching a butterfly
♥ going on a lazy drive and visiting shops you love
♥ patting your dog or cat
♥ going to the movies
♥ drawing or painting whatever comes to mind
♥ playing a board game with your family
♥ getting into a warm bed in the middle of winter (I love my electric blanket)
♥ listening to the crickets chirp on a fine night
♥ playing in the sand at the beach
♥ rolling down a hill
♥ swinging on an old tyre attached to a rope
♥ seeing spring blossom start to come out
♥ digging around in the garden
♥ eating chocolate
♥ running your fingers through a tin filled with buttons
♥ changing the cushions around (that's me all over)
♥ dancing - anywhere
♥ making a 'spider' (lemonade and icecream - yum)
♥ listening to your favourite music
♥ tickling your children
♥ riding your bike on a beautiful day
♥ swimming on a warm day
♥ karaoke..... whatever tickles your fancy and is something you LOVE (or used to love).

These should be small things that don't cost much (if anything) to do or experience. They can be things you can do at home (or in the garden), and things you do outside your home. They can be things you used to do when you were little or a teenager, but don't do anymore (but you know you loved them back then).

It doesn't matter if they're crazy things (like getting dressed up in a weird costume and having a party with your grown up kids), or things that others wouldn't find 'soothing' (like playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of fellow enthusiasts)... this is about YOU, and the things YOU love.

Now, I want you to write them one by one on your paper. Leave a space between each one and write them fairly big, because you're going to cut them out.

The orderly among you might like to rule your page up first (or you can use this pre-ruled and downloadable page), and then write your suggestions in the boxes. It'd be great if you could come up with at least 30, but 3 times that much (and more) would be great!

You might write a heap, then come back later and write some more. And, then later on again some more etc.

I'm really serious about this. Get down as many as you can. Stretch and challenge yourself.

This list is what I call your 'Big List Of Little Loves'. It's a list of all those things we love to do, but many of us don't find time for. Things perhaps we used to do, but just haven't for years. Things we maybe did in a past part of our lives, but don't seem to squeeze in enough now that we're super busy and all grown up doing super busy and all grown up things.

Once you've written them all down, I want you to cut them up, and put all of them in your pretty storage box or a nice coloured envelope. (Or you can leave them all on your downloadable sheet and choose from there if that's easier)

Now, the fun part!

At least twice a week, (but daily would be even better), I want you to pull a slip of paper out of your box or envelope (or choose one from your sheet), and then make a space in your day to do it. If it's not possible that day, I want you to write a time in your diary, or scrawl on your calendar, and commit to making it happen as soon as possible.

I truly want to emphasize this.... commit to doing it by putting it in your calendar if you don't have time right at the moment.

Make an appointment with yourself - and keep it!

In fact, I give you permission to use your 'little love slips' multiple times a day if you so desire. Take a lucky dip and do whatever comes out! Keep a journal about what you do and how you feel about these things. Share some ideas with your friends and get them to do it. Paste your little love slips into your journal when you've completed each 'mission'.

The idea is to have fun!

When you've completed your activity, you can tick it off (if it's on your sheet), or maybe glue your cut out words in your journal or on a 'I Deserve This Because I Matter' inspiration board!

Most of these things don't take a huge amount of time. They can be dropped into your morning, lunch hour, coffee break, or evening. If you prioritise your own joy, you will make a space to carry out your latest prompt!

Let me know how you go. It would be wonderful to hear what you get up to.

Today's Take Aways:

  • Prioritize your own joy to create a WIN/WIN for everyone!
  • The more stress and overwhelm in your life, the more you need to make space for YOU time.
  • Fitting more joy into your day may only take a moment, but can have lasting effects.
  • Try to treat yourself to simple pleasures on a regular basis....little, often!
  • Having FUN is important, and you need to make room for it.
  • Taking time for yourself is nothing to feel guilty about.
  • Print your 'Big List of Little Loves' freebie and commit to using it (or your own lovely slips of paper)!

I'll see you soon for Day 4 - a pivotal point in this exploration.

Linda. xox

PS. I've added this post to Open Slather over at One Mother Hen!

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


Once Upon A Time, There Was A Little Girl Who...

This post is taken from my old website. It's message is so important to me I've re-posted it here for good measure!

It's taken me a long time to get to where I am today, and to feel comfortable with who I am.

On with the story....

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who... Circle of Daydreams.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who turned into a grown up girl, who liked to please everyone.

If someone invited her somewhere, she went.

If someone needed a lift, no matter how far out of her way..... she offered.

If someone needed a loan, she gave it.

Because.... it's good to be nice, right?

It makes you a good person if you help others, or do what they want, no matter how you feel about it, doesn't it?

Self sacrifice has to be good.

Surely it means you can feel worthwhile because you're always the one others rely on, and who can be relied upon to be there when others won't?

Once upon a time, there was also a little girl, who turned into a grown up girl, who often felt exhausted and used.

She felt guilty if she didn't turn herself inside-out to help others. But, resentful when others took advantage.

She wondered why people didn't offer to help her as often as she helped them. Why they always turned to her to off-load..... but didn't seem to pay much attention on the rare occasions she revealed she needed support, and someone to listen.

And why, oh why, did all this doing of good and wonderful things end up seeming like an obligation more often than it should?

Of course, as you've already guessed, that girl was me.

I used to be a 'people pleaser' out of what I now consider the false belief that 'people won't like you if you don't do what they want'. And, 'if you're invited somewhere but you don't go.... people will never invite you again'.

Etc. etc.

To the detriment of my physical, and sometimes mental health, I did whatever I 'thought' it should take to make sure others had no reason to dislike me.

I thought being nice and being compliant went together glove in hand. That one couldn't exist without the other.

Fast forward from my early 20s to my late 30s (about 12 years ago), and I started to realise there were plenty of other people around who didn't run themselves ragged like I did. People who none-the-less had plenty of friends and were almost universally liked.

And, I started to ask why?

Why did I have to put in all this spurious effort to be liked when they didn't?

What made them so different to me? Were they better? Smarter? More lovable?

Of course, the answer was, they weren't any of those things. It was all in my head! I think much of it stemmed from my very first boyfriend. I fell dangerously in love with him. I thought I had to jump through numerous hoops to keep him happy (at the expense of my own emotional stability), or risk being dumped by the school 'spunk'. And boy, did he like hoops. And control. And obedience. My complete naivety with regards to the opposite sex, and my secluded country upbringing, left me a bit open to this sort of manipulation.

After many trials and tribulations, plus much reflection, I now firmly believe that caring for myself MUST come first.

I don't have to accept every invite, help every person, and give more than anyone else to be liked or valued as a friend by others.

What a relief!

Of course I still love to help and be there for my friends. BUT, I also say 'no' when I need to protect my own health and mental well-being.

If I'm tired or feeling unwell, I no longer feel bad about refusing an invitation or letting others help instead of me.

I also no longer feel bad about missing things simply because I plain old just don't freaking want to go. For no other reason than I'd have a crappy time, or it's not my thing.

If I really don't want to go, I say no.

Everyone wins this way. I get the relaxing evening with my partner, nap time, or quiet creative space I've been craving. My friends don't get the version of me that's pretending to be pleased to be somewhere.

They don't deserve that version.

They deserve the me who's not feeling resentful, or just a teensy bit annoyed because I'd rather be somewhere else as that's what my body/mind/soul needs at that time.

Of course, sometimes once you get yourself up and out, you end up having a ripper of a time, and the company of good friends is a real boon. But, for those times when I just can't see that happening, I now give myself a break and just say 'no'.

I trust my gut, and take time when I need it.

Of course, sometimes saying no is hard.

But, what I've learned is, you actually don't need a reason most times.

Simply saying 'I won't be able to make it,' has always been accepted as reason enough in my experience.

No need to blather on with long-winded explanations. Once people hear the 'I won't be able to make it' statement, they're usually starting to move on in their mind.

However, I get that we often feel like we need a real reason when we're delivering a 'no'. Something to provide us with a bonafide excuse so we don't hurt anyone's feelings.

I now have the perfect reason nearly every time.

It's basically the same one, and it's almost fail-proof.

It's always true, it's generally received with grace, and it gives you a valid excuse.

It's only one line, and it's easy to deliver....

... "I have an appointment/engagement already booked at that time (or the equivalent)."

Or a simple, "Sorry, I can't make it, I'm already booked up then!"

The appointment is usually with a good book, my cat, the couch, creating something.... but they don't need to know that!

No-one's ever asked what the appointment is for!

Or who my prior engagement/booking might be with.

The most a couple have asked is if I'm okay (they think it might be a doctors appointment). I always say 'I'm sure I will be fine'. And I am.... once I get to my book/couch/cat!

You'd be amazed at how effective this is.

Linda. xox

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


23 Important Things I Wish I'd Fully Understood Before I Was 23...

23 Important Things I Wish I'd Fully Understood Before I Was 23

1. Some people will like me, some people will love me. Some people won't do either. What's most important is I love, and like myself. To that end, I need to be the best person I can be - for me.

2. Truly listening is a skill that rewards me in spades.

3. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. Life can be heart wrenching and unfair for no good reason. Some things just are. It's not what happens, it's how I react to it.

4. Saying 'no' should not be a precursor to guilt. 'No' can be a sentence in itself, and doesn't require detailed explanations all the time. People pleasing is not a great career option.

5. Shame can suffocate your essence and snuff out your spark. Putting effort into sharing your shame and dealing with it will help lift the burden. Being proactive and calling out your shame is scary, but worth it.

Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change. Brene Brown. Circle of Daydreams.

6. The direction I take is mine to choose. Ideas and tips from others are great, but ultimately I steer my own ship. Any decisions I make are mine, and the consequences that flow from them are mine. Playing the victim only gives away my power. Negativity thwarts pathways for growth.

7. Everyone sees the world through their own filter. If I disagree with them, I remind myself there may be solid reasons why they think like they do. We all come at life from our own perspectives, and the only person who's lived my life is me (and they theirs).

8. I need time alone to recharge and renew myself. This is okay. Others don't need to understand this, or even accept it. It is what it is, and my mindset and health are much better when I include it.

9. Being weird, dorky, or a little off the beaten track is also okay. Besides, the beaten path is well mined... stepping away means I sometimes find a diamond in the rough!

10. Sleep is one of my best friends, and my whole life is better when I treat it as such.

11. Treating my body like a temple means everything else in life improves. But it's okay to treat my body like a fun-house now and then too!

12. Laughter really is the best medicine (along with animals, dancing, singing, art, friends, family, nature, and time).

13. Talking to myself isn't an indicator of madness, it helps me process my feelings and get a handle on things. After all, I think I'm reasonably intelligent, so I'm a good person to have a chat with! Rehearsing future conversations in the shower is also fruitful!

14. Feelings will not kill you. They can also come in cycles. Stuffing them down or bottling them up builds resentment and stunts progress. Best to feel them, let them flow through me, and know life will happen despite them.

15. Keeping my surroundings uncluttered and my cupboards with room to spare feels luxurious and free. My mind is clearer, I feel better, and I'm calmer when I pay attention to the way I create my home and work space. My home is a haven, and a sanctuary for my soul. Putting effort into keeping it that way is therapeutic and brings me joy.

16. Boundaries are a vital part of protecting my inner core and well-being. Respecting myself enough to call out the disrespect of others and walk away from it honours who I am. Being alone is infinitely better than being with someone who treats me poorly.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Brene Brown. Circle of Daydreams.

17. Letting go when I can't change things, and having the courage to change the things I can, is one of the best pathways to satisfaction and contentment.

You can only lose what you cling to. Buddha. Circle of Daydreams.

18. My intuition and gut feelings are superb indicators of what's real.

19. I should never make a life changing decision while I'm in an extreme mindset or mood. For example: Furious, devastated, ravenous, sleep deprived, shocked, or surprised. This almost always ends with poorly judged outcomes. Although, sometimes I'm in luck and things work out anyway!

20. Invisible threads are the strongest ties. Sometimes there are things driving me I'm not wholly aware of. And sometimes, there are habits or relationships I continue on auto pilot. Breaking detrimental attachments, particularly those I'm not wholly aware of, is something that requires great effort, and sometimes third party support. (I love a good counseling session).

Today, love yourself enough to say goodbye to those things that don't know how to love you back. Alessandra Sagredo. Circle of Daydreams.

21. If I'm trying to play perfectly, then I'm not 'playing' I'm performing. (Unless I'm on stage - that's a playground for me!) If I'm trying to play without leaving any room for mistakes, tangents, or creative muck ups.... then I'm putting on a 'performance' rather than letting loose. Perfectionism can cripple joy.

22. The only person I can control is myself. The only person who can truly make me happy, is me. I am in charge of my own life, and it's not my right to control others. Trying to fix or rescue someone else from their own self destruction is also a form of control. We are all our own entities. Help and advice is nice, as long as it is freely given, and the giver is okay with it being rejected (me included)!

23. I am enough.

23 is almost half of 51, and I'd like to think I learned these things evenly across my time, one every couple of years. But, no.... there seems to have been a snowball effect as I got closer to 40, and then things really started to gather speed and cement themselves as I got to 50.

I'm never going to be perfect, and I'm still going to make many a mistake. The things I've learned may be forgotten and have to be re-learned via a new lesson! But, as long as I approach life with an attitude of gratitude and a willingness to learn, I trust myself to be the best 'me' I can be.

I wonder what lessons I'll be able to look back on in another 10 years or so?!

What about you?

What are the most important things you've learned over time?

(I've added this post to Open Slather on Alicia's wonderful blog!)

Linda. xox

You can download the quotes used in this post right here (no strings).

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


Hold That Thought!

In between the mad rush of the new school year, and all the other curiosities I get myself tied up in.... I've decided to start this new site.

It might be a while before I blog.... because I'd really like to create some art first! I've been longing to get into painting and mixed media, and it's become way too fierce to ignore.

On the other hand, I'm so excited about this new simplified space, I may be back sooner than I think with some creative quotes and gifts.

Linda. xox

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.