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Drinking a tiny glass of beerI got an email today from a subscriber in response to my article about stuff to do at the end of the year.  I talked about New Years Resolutions.  She referred to a comment made by the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, at the cricket the other day, about drinking sensibly, as a resolution for the New Year.

This is a scary issue to write about.  It’s scary because even mentioning it or reading about it puts us face to face with our own worries and weaknesses about drinking alcohol.

Now, don’t call the cops, but it is a lovely warm sunny day here in Melbourne Australia, (I offer guiltily as my excuse), and I do have a cold alcoholic beverage in front of me right now as I type.  I’m not driving anywhere.

Without going into detail or argument about the recommended amount of alcohol doctors and scientists recommend we should limit ourselves to, depending on whether we are young, female or male etc, I offer my thoughts about ways to cut down, limit or control the amount of alcohol we consume.

Taking a blood sampleAs some of my readers know, I’d been unwell last year, and was struggling to keep on top of things because of it.  I want to share this with all my women readers in case it might help anyone with the same problem, as I’d apparently been struggling with a health problem for two years and had no idea anything was wrong, other than I was just always tired.

I went to see my doctor complaining of aching pains in my arms and legs.  She ordered a blood test which revealed that my iron was very low.  It seems I had so little iron stored in my liver that it was being leached from my bone marrow, which was causing the funny little pains. 

The gastroenterologist I was referred to said that although my diet was good, and I had taken an iron supplement for a while after the twins were born, it had been insufficient to deal with the demands on my body of two pregnancies close together and breastfeeding three babies in that short time.

Prior to seeing my doctor, I had been experiencing tiredness and lethargy for a long time, so long that I was not aware of any difference between how I was feeling with my youngest children being 2 years old and how I had felt when I was still feeding them during the night and recovering from the birth.

Shark and goldfishThere are a number of ways to make money on the internet, whether it’s selling e-Books, a membership site, a site that makes money from advertising, selling software tools, or selling your time and expertise as a consultant, developer, trainer, designer, or writer. 

The great thing about an internet business is that it is not necessary to have any physical product which requires shipping, storing or production.  We tend to deal in digital products, information products, software tools and so on.  We sell our writing, our knowledge, our research.  And a lot of internet marketers are just selling plain old rubbish – a bit like the stuff you get from those long TV commercials, stuff you never knew you needed, and that doesn’t work when you get it.

Those of us selling information products first research a market and choose a niche.  The niche might be about building birdhouses, parenting, housekeeping, or personal improvement.  Choosing a small niche with enough people searching for information about that topic, and providing them with the information they are looking for, is a great strategy for starting an internet business, as any of the gurus will tell you. 

One of the biggest niches is, of course “how to make money on the internet”.  It’s right up there with weight loss as one of the biggest and most competitive markets.  It’s also one of the sleaziest, dirtiest markets with the widest array of absolute rubbish and rip offs available for the gullible, desperate and naïve to choose from.

My adventures in internet marketing began in September 2006, looking for a way to work from home to support my family, fitting in with the many commitments of motherhood, the main one at the time being breastfeeding twins, which I did at the computer. 

Yes, I’ve been told before that my sentences are too long.  I have other things to worry about.

We were dirt poor and struggling, I had three babies and two school kids, and getting a job would have made us worse off financially as well as other problems.  So I Googled and dreamed, Googled and dreamed….

I'd seen all the work from home ads, and the fact that selling ways to work from home was a business topic in itself, what they call a niche, was not lost on me.  I was naturally suspicious, and they mostly turned out to be selling membership to a list of companies which pay you to take surveys, dodgy looking sites where you get peanuts for looking at ads, or affiliate marketing for products, which, well, don't seem to exist, are really MLM, or stuff which made no sense to me. 

I was starting to take notice of blogs, and was fascinated by them, and wondering how to make something like that work for me.  I was a fan of BellyBelly (all about pregnancy, birth & parenting) which I'd joined during my last pregnancy, and had also recently been introduced to Flylady.  Both great examples of women doing something genuinely worthwhile online.

iStock 000032730722XSmallOne of the best things we can do to help ourselves achieve what we want in our lives is to model people who have achieved those things – to find out and copy the strategies they have used to achieve what they have achieved. This is why reading biographies and listening to or watching interviews of people who inspire us is so enjoyable! This came to mind for me again as I was talking to someone close to me about a musician he greatly admires and had the opportunity to meet and talk to.

It got me thinking about creating music, and how when someone has complete mastery of an instrument, how much creative freedom and imagination that allows them. I thought about how, though I don't consider myself particularly visual, I sometimes visualise choreography when listening to music, imagining people dancing. It got me thinking about visualising notes, chords and scales as patterns, and how much fun it is to create music, and how that level of fun would increase with one's proficiency in the instrument.

And of course it got me thinking about how the same ideas used to achieve mastery of a musical instrument can apply to mastery of ourselves – of our thoughts, behaviours and strategies and therefore our emotions and quality of life.

And it got me thinking about the personal qualities of this musician which would be valuable to emulate. Hearing him speak in interviews he comes across as a very nice guy, amiable, considerate, articulate, and also very focussed on the outcome he is setting out to achieve – his creative vision for a concert, album, composition, orchestral arrangement. He's achieved great success because he set himself up to do it and decided to do it. He imagined what was possible, and also what would be required along the way to achieve it.

iStock 000000807067XSmallHappy New Year everyone!

As I write this we're in the middle of a heatwave in Melbourne and the kids are on school holidays. The Christmas/New Year period was busy as usual with family stuff, and a time to remember how fortunate we are and enjoy time with the kids.

As this is my first article for 2014, I wanted to write something inspiring, getting in touch with highest intentions, positivity and inspiration. It ended up rather too long, and evolved into four separate articles, so I'll put them out closer together than I usually do.

This article is about how we choose to think about last year, and how that will impact on our experience of the current year.

As I contemplate the year that has just ended and what has happened, and the vast list of things I want to achieve this year, I can choose how I think about it.

I can create a story that casts me as a victim, or I can create a story highlighting growth, achievement, love and happiness.

For the year that has passed, I can focus on what I didn't achieve, what I didn't enjoy, what went wrong, what was sad, what hurt me and so on, or I can focus on what I am proud of, what went well, what was joyful, what was fun, and all I have to be grateful for.

Last year, like so many people, I experienced disappointments, stresses, crappy things happening, feeling anxious and afraid, feeling rejected, feeling not good enough. People were mean to me, my kids were naughty at times, I freaked out a bit about some of my study stuff, I moved house to somewhere which is not really ideal and may have to do so again, my house got pretty messy at times, I put on weight, I had disappointing experiences, I felt lonely, my vertigo returned for a while, I felt sad at times, I felt overwhelmed sometimes, I felt the full weight of being a single mother, struggling at times, feeling judged (and actually being judged), having big plans but doubting myself, crying when my jeans wouldn't zip up and looking for new grey hairs and lines in my face.

iStock 000017090291XSmall

I recently dug myself out of yet another email backlog, and felt so much lighter, so much more energised, and experienced actual excitement and enthusiasm, and it got me thinking (stuff gets me thinking all the time) – whenever I get some annoying thing sorted out, it does me the world of good, whether it’s cleaning the oven, (yeah, it’s finally clean – but had to have the parrot sleep upstairs in my room so as not to poison him), taking a load of old clothes to the charity bin, making a phone call I’ve been putting off, or a whole day’s worth of niggly little errandy detaily things, or whatever it is I finally realise has been bugging me.

Fear

Is there an area of your life where you're feeling fed up, frustrated, or giving up? Perhaps deep down you know that there is some kind of fear holding you back.

Do your fear response mechanisms start to kick in when you even think about it?

It might be falling behind on a project (cough cough, aahhm...), an area of your home or office that's getting messy and dirty, goals related to your weight, study, or how you relate to your kids or your partner. Is it affecting your self esteem and even impacting on other areas of your life? Blegh!

It might be a small thing or it may have gone so far it's causing real problems. Perhaps it's something like:-

- Putting off exercising

- Over eating

How You Experience Your WorldThe way each of us experience the world around us is unique and different from how any other person experiences the same things. This is important because our own individual representation of reality determines our thinking and our actions. Understanding this, and understanding that we have choices about how we experience the world and what meaning we give to our experiences, is vital to making positive changes for ourselves.

Information comes to us every moment of every day, millions of bits of information, every second, taken in with our senses. It's not possible for us to have conscious awareness of all the stimulus we are receiving, so we filter most of it out, noticing only what is "relevant" to us according to our individual filtering system.

The message here, is that there is tons of stuff we are not noticing, even though the information is all going in. Have you ever been

OverwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is such a familiar strategy to me. Do you know the feeling? It's all too much, you don't know where to start, there is more to do than you can possibly get done, it's all coming at you at once, you feel stuck, paralysed, overloaded, weighed down, unable to choose between two or many more tasks, confronted with insurmountable obstacles, as if you're wading through mud. It all looks like a big mess, sounds like a bunch of noise, feels chaotic and a logical way through is not obvious.

Did you notice I just called it a strategy? It's inevitable that my coaching training will start to appear in my articles. If you tell a life coach that you're feeling overwhelmed, she is likely to ask you how choosing to run that strategy is working for you. Huh? You mean I'm choosing it? Does that imply that the answer to the question: "how do I stop feeling overwhelmed" is simply don't choose to do it?

 

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