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January 7th, 2011

Happy New Year, my gorgeous readers, and may 2011 bring you much loveliness, laughter, inspiration, and whatever you desire! (I feel a bit like a fairy godmother saying all this, I'm not sure why.)

As far as I'm concerned the new year doesn't really start till 3rd February, not because I'm being all Chinese and whatnot and waiting for the Year of the Rabbit to start, but mostly because I'm being a hippie and waiting for the solar and lunar energies to enter into their next phase then. (You can tell I've been soaking up the info from the 2011 Moon Diary huh?). Anyway, if at the moment it's all feeling like a new beginning, excellent, great, good for you, and make the most of it! But if it's not really, you get another fresh start in about a month. (Win.)

You may remember that in the last newsletter I'd mentioned that (like the Queen), I'm having an official birthday in January, yes? Well I've picked a date that pleases me, it's on Sunday 23rd in the afternoon, and there will be some kind of film viewing somewhere nice in Cardiff - so if you're local to this fair city (or indeed are not but fancy visiting), click "reply" to this email so I can send you details. Consider yourself invited.

In this month's newsletter, you will find the usual combination of articles, tips, resources and inspiration. So without further ado... onwards and upwards! (To infinity and beyond.)

You can find this newsletter, along with past issues, online here. Happy reading!

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Article: In which I pick a word for the year.

Last year in February I set an intent for the rest of the year, and my word was congruence. It does feel like that is what happened... Alignment. Integrity. Transparency. Authenticity. Walking the talk. That's what this past year has been like for me. And so for 2011 I have picked another word, and that word is powerful. I am divesting it of its connotations of ego-driven posturing control-freakery, and owning it as a natural progression from "congruence". I hereby declare being powerful is about shining while walking the talk. That's what I want for 2011.

What will your word be?
(You may pick more than one.)

Danielle LaPorte picked three in this blog post from a past year. This year, she calls them aspiration pebbles. Incidentally, Tanya Geisler makes a very good point in this post about her 3 words: "They will help inform every decision I make because every action moves me towards or away from these three words."

That's pretty important. Inspiration, aspiration, but also a yardstick.
Is what I'm doing in tune with my word(s)?

I'd love to know what word you picked for 2011. Hit "reply" and let me know?

~~~
On a related but slightly different note - I know I have mentioned Lori Koop before; she produces beautiful inspirational pottery and also blogs one word every Sunday. For those of you who like pondering words... it's here at http://moveupword.com/.

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Disheveled by Doctor Swan on Flickr

How to be organised: Sometimes, just don't.

I usually share tips, tools and techniques that help get the mental clutter out of your brain and into systems so that you can free up your head space to do what you're brilliant at (instead of worrying about forgetting some of that stuff.)

However, this month I thought I'd just say:

* Yes, being organised is a discipline.
I wasn't born like this. (No, really.) I like finding out how things work and how they can be improved so I have spent my whole life teaching myself tricks, solutions and systems that save me time and hassle in the long run. In the beginning, they might be a pain, but eventually, they pay off, i.e. life is simpler, easier, more chilled.

* Being (more) organised is possible...
...whatever your starting point. It's certainly not about comparing yourself to the most organised person on the planet (erm... however that might be measured), and considering that you're falling short of the mark. It's about your relative journey. Have you integrated ONE thing into your life which makes it that little bit easier, less stressful, more serene? Maybe now you always find your keys which saves running up and down the stairs looking in all the places you may have left them. CONGRATULATIONS: you're now more organised than you were.

* Every small victory is an important victory.
Maybe not randomly abandoning your keys round the house (or insert any other example relevant to you) is the only thing you've got your head round so far. How much time and stress has this alone saved you? (Seriously, think about it.) Exactly. Very well done. Celebrate.

* But you know what? You're perfect just as you are.
There is a lot to be said in praise of discipline, tidiness and organisation, just as there is for early starts, good sleeping and eating habits, and so on. (Because all this gives you the best chance at putting your greatness out into the world!).

But equally, you are who you are, how you are. YOU DO NOT NEED FIXING. Maybe it's okay to do the running around locating your keys, and what you need is to plan that time in before you leave so you're not late. Maybe it's okay to be late.

The thing is: it's your call.

You do not have to conform to someone else's system because it may not work for you. You only need to find what's right for you, and disregard the rest. Learning to work with your foibles is much more powerful than fixing them sometimes... and it's the only real way if you want to be true to who you are! (So give yourself a break.)

I offer the tips and tricks that I've worked out for myself, in the hope that some of them may be useful to some of you at some point... but if they're not? It's no biggie.
.

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Article: Edit, add, give thanks.

In other words: take stock.

It's kinda flavour of the day, it being the end of 2010, the start of 2011, and everything. But it's also useful to have a little check-in once in a while. If you're hell bent on transforming your life, you can even do this weekly. But otherwise monthly or quarterly is very respectable. It's interesting to do this as a conversation with someone else - as you bounce ideas around you get new insights and lightbulb moments that may elude you if you go round and round inside your head...

1. EDIT!
What can you let go of? It may be an object, a thought, a habit, an activity.
Remember, letting go creates space for new possibilities. Space is very important.

I know I go on and on about Danielle LaPorte (well, she is a bit - a lot - of a personal heroine of mine) but go read her superb post about letting the space be there (a.k.a. the divine law of the ugly chair). Do it.

Okay, so sometimes maybe letting go completely isn't totally realistic. Sometimes, things have to be there / happen a certain way (at least for now, while they're not ripe enough for change). So how can you transform that? How can you find the joy?

(This is why this is "edit" and not "delete".)

2. ADD.
What can you draw into your life? It may be an object, a thought, a habit, an activity.
(Haha - seeing a pattern yet?)

And when I say draw into your life... the pun wasn't intentional but you can very much draw and doodle the life you want into existence. It's about drawing (yu-huh!) on the creative side of your brain. Check out The Log Of Abundance in the shameless plugs for my stuff and all will be revealed.

3. GIVE THANKS...
What can you make a point of appreciating more fully? Notice. Honour. Say it. Do it.
Have that favourite drawing finally framed and displayed. Thank your mum (for whatever). Send a thank you note. Buy (or bake?) someone a cookie because they make a difference in your life.

And every so often... repeat!

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desire

Photo by worak on Flickr

Something to ponder

No explanation or comments. Don't want to spoil it. Just a thought for you, if you feel so inclined.

"Desire is an affirmation that something's missing. Anticipation is an expression of joy for something that is but has not yet arrived." (Annie Stith)

(Quote shared by the wonderful Bridget Pilloud.)

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claireraikes

People who rock my world: Claire Raikes

Every month I tell you about someone who's changed my world view, who inspires me, who I learn from, who makes my life bigger. Someone who's online, so that you, too, can avail yourself of their wisdom, humour and inspiration.

I would like to introduce you to Claire Raikes this month.

Claire does sort of what I do – the authentic, heart-centered, entrepreneurship thing, I mean – but comes at it from a totally different angle: her bag is marketing, branding, social media and web presence. She's got a whole bunch of amazing and useful products up on her website, ranging from constructive criticism of an existing blog, to marketing and brand development, blog creation,... and lots, lots more. Everything to rock the interwebs, baby!

This is what she does. But also, and most importantly, Claire's got a sensible, cut-the-crap, compassionate approach to life and business. I am fortunate to count her among my closest friends, and she's also a great sounding board and business butt-kicker. Plus, she’s got the best ideas – and the networks to implement them. If you don’t know her already, you should start now.

Here is where you can find Claire and get your own dose of social media and authentic branding goodness:
Website and blog: http://www.claireraikes.com/
On twitter: @ClaireRaikes.
On facebook: Claire Raikes with work hat on!.

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mappiness

Tools and resources

Sometimes lightly rebellious, unconventional (but in a nice way) resources for you! Or just because people are beautiful, generous and inspiring.

Mappiness, the happiness mapping app

I totally love this idea. It's an app for an iPhone and I don't have one... but if you do, check it out! It's ACE. Basically, after you register, mappiness beeps you once (or more) a day to ask how you're feeling, and to check a few basic parameters: who you're with, where you are, what you're doing (and if you're outdoors, you can even upload a photo). It's part of a research project at the London School of Economics. Yay for happiness science!

Here's the link to the mappiness website.

Video: David Allen at the DO Lectures

David Allen is the author of the best-seller organisation system called Getting Things Done (GTD). I'm vaguely familiar with it, because my brain works in a similar way and a lot of his techniques work well for me - but, you know, like I was saying above, GTD may or may not work for you.

It's so very organised that before I watched his talk I thought David Allen would be offputting and cold. But not so at all! He doesn't talk about the GTD system in massive technical detail, but about the topline concepts and his own story, and he is warm, and funny, and very heart-centered. It's about 10 minutes long.

Here's the link to watch David Allen at the DO Lectures.

Relentlessly cheerful art: James Hance

Through the magic randomness of Twitter I came across artist James Hance, and just before Christmas I finally ordered a set of prints that I had had my eye on for a while (The Flower of The Force I, II and III)... Due to the snow and the disruptions it caused in the postal service, I haven't received them yet, and I am sitting on my hands! I've been wanting to share this discovery for ages because his art is - well - relentlessly cheerful isn't it? Check out Wookie The Chew...

Here's the link to James Hance's website and artwork.

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logofabundance

Shameless plug for my stuff

There have been new things appearing on my site over the past month! Be warned - I am going to go on about these because I'm ever so chuffed with them. I've already had great feedback on them and am very happy that I'm interacting more directly (via voice rather than writing) with more people. I am delighted to announce... (Drumroll please!)...

The Log Of Abundance!

You know I mentioned the Log Of Abundance earlier? Well, this is what it is about. It's part creative boost, part visualisation, great to do while you’re having a break to engage in some play while attracting abundance… inner and outer! (Nothing to do with pieces of wood. More of a ‘daily log’ kinda log.) The log of abundance eplaybook is available to buy for £8, and the launch offer is still live... (If you’re one of the first 8 people to buy the Log of Abundance, I’m going to send you a drawing. An original drawing just for you, of whatever feels right in that moment, by my fair hands!)

Find The Log Of Abundance here.

The holding hands calls!

One 40-minute group call a week for a whole month, to keep the momentum going with anything you need (and want) to be doing daily (or weekly) but generally fail to stick to, until you’ve built it into a sustainable habit. For example: having breakfast, a daily yoga practice, meditation/visualisation, taking breaks, doing the log of abundance, drinking more water… A delightful way to be held accountable regularly, with much fun and no fingers being waggled at you! The Holding Hands Calls are £32 for the whole month of weekly calls, and the next series is starting on Feb 7th and running until February 28th (because this month I’ll be moving house).

Find more details and sign up for a reminder for the February calls, over here.

The ra-rah calls!

It’s kinda in the name. I go “ra-rah”, you go do it (whatever “it” is), we all go “yay!”. You get to do THE THING that’s been lurking at the back of your mind and that’s been sapping your energy while you’ve been procrastinating it. Get rid of it, NOW! You get a pep talk, and then everyone goes off and does their thing, and then everyone comes back to celebrate being lighter for it. Simples. The Ra-Rah Calls are £10 per call, they happen on a Monday at 11am, and the next ones are on
* Monday 10th January,
* Monday 24th January,
* Monday 7th February.

For more info and to book onto a Ra-Rah Call click here.

The big thaw calls!

Three hours – THREE HOURS! – of me, there at the end of the phone line for you, as well as a group of other lovely people also tackling their own big frozen iceberg all at the same time. Now if that’s not going to help you get unstuck on the mammoth task, I don’t know what will. Suitable for your website revamp, setting up your accounting system, the workbook you’ve been meaning to write, putting together a new workshop, filing the admin and paperwork that’s been piling up, and anything else of that ilk… It’s not a coaching session, it’s morale-boosting emotional support (with tips, advice and solutions on demand), on Monday afternoons (2-5pm). A Big Thaw Call costs £30 and the next ones are on:
* Monday 10th January 2011
* Monday 21st February 2011.

More about the Big Thaw Calls right by here.

Everything else!

My usual stuff is still all there: the Life Challenge Map, the business wizardry coaching packages... and there should be some new bits appearing anytime soon. Watch this space!

Till next month, my friends... Have a good one!

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Quick links

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About the author

Noreen is a business creative consultant, delivering support, advice and solutions to authentic soulpreneurs so they can take their business and their life to the next level. Magic. Alignment. Love. FLOW.

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