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The 8 Festive Holiday Horrors and How to Overcome them!

The tempo is increasing, are you starting to feel the strain from all the ‘holiday’ stressors and pressures piling up on you? 

What are the 8 Holiday Horrors?

Holiday Horrors

Holiday Horrors

  1.           What it COSTS (especially THIS year!)
  2.           How much FOOD is about!
  3.           Dealing with all these RELATIONS / friends etc. (or NOT!)
  4.           How much TIME it all takes!
  5.           All the DRINKS available!
  6.           Your APPEARANCE for the holidays
  7.           All the TEMPTATION all the time!
  8.           All the ‘SHOULDs’ and ‘AUGHTs’
    and because it can be SO horrible, we’ve added another…

How to have Holiday Happiness?
1.            STOP – yes, just STOP and think for a minute. Look at the BIG picture, what REALLY matters? And turn stuff OFF!
2.            Say ‘NO!’ – But ever so nicely! Take CONTROL, act not RE-Act
3.            ‘Just cos’ is no reason – Question – why do I do this? Is it what I really want to?
4.            PUSH BACK – against all the commercial/historic pressures.
Every day just lean into time and take a bit for yourself
5.            Remember YOUR ATTITUDE is the only thing you can change.
Check that your attitude is helping you, not hindering. YOU are in control
6.            Start to REWIRE YOUR BRAIN – just 8 minutes a day with Mind Chi.
Learn the simple 8 step/minute routine of Mind Chi
7.            BREATHE – if you feel stressed, breathe several deep full breaths, grab your reins of control
8.            Concentrate on your GRATITUDE attitude – brings peace & energy.
Take a minute to think of all the good things in your life
and because we have so many more ways to thrive, we’ve added another…
9.            You have immense power, so keep it and use it! It is your POWER –
don’t give it away to the media and others.

Why not be Stress-free & full of Glee with Mind Chi?

1. The COST Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi way to overcome it

What it COSTS – especially THIS year!
The pressure from the media to spend, spend, spent is relentless. Shops give ‘free’ credit (as long as you spend a certain amount and until Jan/Feb 2012 when a high interest rate starts up).
There is the expectation from your friends, family and co-workers for gifts.
There is extra food and entertaining, and then what are you going to wear? On and on the costs go.
And your money is probably tighter than ever and has to go further than ever, all jobs feel precarious.
Do NOT let yourself be swept away with the buying frenzy.
It is even easier to over-spend on-line, where just a click here and there and then you are enticed to just add this and that – all painlessly placed on your credit card or PayPal and delivered to your door – no problem. That is until you look at your bank balance.
You can probably add some more COST horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Holiday Happiness – STOP!

STOP!  Yes! Just STOP right there, right now and THINK before you rush headlong into the frenzy of DOING.  A little time to take the reins of control NOW will give you MONTHS of happiness later.
Well worthwhile.

Look at your FINANCIAL BIG PICTURE – that will mean a REAL look at your bank balance. How much is in there? How long must it last? How much is already on your credit card(s)? When are you receiving your next pay cheque? Therefore, how much is the MAXIMUM you can spend?
IF you find you have some pennies to spare (or have saved for this occasion **well done!) then MAKE A LIST of the MOST important people to buy for and the maximum to be spent on their gifts.
THINK and RESEARCH options and best prices for those gifts.This year everyone will understand if you say, ‘Might we agree to skip the gift giving this year?’
A gift for the person’s birthday – their special day – is more appropriate that the commercial holiday hype.
A gift of some time or (don’t shudder) something you made gets you both off a hook neither of you can afford.
Now, we are not spoil-sports and you may ENJOY the holiday shopping frenzy, if so decide how much you can spend (this is on frivolous things, not the selected gifts) and take JUST that amount in CASH.
Put the cash somewhere very carefully where it can’t be snatched. Off you go to the shops and have yourself some fun!
STOP when the cash is gone. Forbid yourself to use your card (don’t even take it with you!)
And RESIST ‘If you take out a XXXX card, you’ll get 10% off all you have just bought’. Do NOT take any new credit cards.

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of the COST of the Holiday:
1.            STOP!  Think before you DO another thing.
2.            Look at your FINANCIAL BIG PICTURE, how much can you actually afford to spend now?
3.            Always make a LIST of the important gifts to buy. Keep to your list.
4.            RESEARCH the options to find the best source for those gifts.
5.            Suggest that you SKIP giving gifts this year – bet they’ll love you for it.
6.            Only partake of the holiday shopping frenzy (if you do like it) with CASH you can afford.
7.            Never take out a new CREDIT CARD offered by a shop.
8.            Consider a NON-MONITARY gift (time with the person next year; make or do something for them; swap skills – a massage for a meal, etc.)

2. The FOOD Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it

How much FOOD is about!
Today we address the issue of how much FOOD is ever present during the holidays.
Meals with family, meals with friends, office parties, friends’ parties, coffee and bun while shopping, fast food on the run and on and on it goes – ‘suddenly’ your jeans feel really tight!
All the well-meaning (or couldn’t be bothered) gifts of yet another box of chocolates or some other something usually with many calories, fats and preservatives sitting looking at you and each time you pass, it is so easy to just grab one (or two!)
All the lovingly made meals ‘Oh I’ve been cooking that for you all day – you MUST have a second helping!’ For many, to refuse the food they made for you is to refuse their ‘love’ and it is a personal affront.
Or you are doing the cooking and so there is a taste here and a double check there and you are actually FULL as you sit to eat and still manage to pour food into you until you are STUFFED!
Further because you are so busy, your exercise schedule (you DO have one?) gets messed up and as we all know, 500 extra calories a day (one hot chocolate from a well-known coffee shop) means an extra LARGER size is needed in a month – disaster!
You can probably add some more FOOD horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Holiday Happiness – POWER

You have POWER! Repeat (even sing!) ‘I have the POWER!’ OK, so now what are you going to do with it? You may wish to plan ahead, how about using October & November to work DOWN a size, so if eating during the holidays is what you like, you could put some extra weight on without it being a problem.
PLAN your eating, if you know you have a dinner or party in the evening, eat lightly during the day and schedule a walk to balance out.
If the food isn’t in your home, it is MUCH easier NOT to eat it! So DON’T BUY it! (All the junk foods and nibbles.)


Before you eat ANYTHING:
1. Do the Mind Chi Breath (step 1 – breathe in – hold – out and stay empty, each for 3 seconds)
– just to make yourself eat MINDFULLY. ‘I am here, about to eat this…..hmmmm’
2. Check your Mind Chi BEAT (step 5 – Body, Emotions, Actions & Thoughts) and when you become aware of your BODY ask ‘How hungry am I?’ – starving? Peckish? Satisfied or stuffed? And then eat accordingly.
3. Become aware of your Emotional state. Are you eating because you feel stressed? Or lonely? Or afraid? Or anxious? Food will only ADD to the problem, not HELP it.So do your BEAT before you put one morsel into your mouth.


Some other helpful hints:
Always take a SMALL PLATE – you can always go back if you really want / need to.
Eating out? Order a starter, or two instead of the main meal.
And cut the portions in half and push half away. After you have completed half do your B-BEAT to see if you want/need the other half. Think: ‘If I see it and then eat it, soon I will be wearing it!” Just IMAGINE yourself with this extra burger stuck on your shoulder! Not a pretty sight!
Everywhere you look are advertisements and promotions to eat here and have this. Do not give your POWER to the media, hold onto it and make YOUR decisions about when and how much you will eat.
You do have the POWER – so KEEP it and USE it.

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of FOOD are:

1. Repeatedly sing the ‘I have the POWER!’ song to remind yourself!
2. Use your power to plan AHEAD and slim down BEFORE the holidays
3. BALANCE your eating – having a big dinner, eat less lunch and breakfast
4. DON’T BUY it and have it in your home – then you can’t eat it.
5. Do your Mind Chi B-BEAT every time BEFORE you eat ANYTHING
6. Use a SMALLER plate or eat just a starter
7. Eat only half of your portion, then check in to your B-BEAT
8. Remember how GOOD you feel (and look) when you are at your ‘fighting weight’

3. The RELATIONS Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it

Dealing with all these RELATIONS / friends etc. (or NOT!)
One of the aspects of the Festive Holiday Horrors that can really make us cringe has to deal with the RELATIONS. To broaden this we will also include: ‘RELATIONS with…..  Office / neighbourhood / religious group and others’. You may be in a situation where you really do not ‘like’ your relatives (you will not be alone) yet over the holidays there are the forced get togethers. You may feel ‘obliged’ to either be the host or the attendee at numerous potentially onerous gatherings.This can add enormous strain on you (and them too!), the reaction to this is that you may eat and drink too much; just to help you get through it. There are the ‘tug-of-wars’ – ‘You ate with them LAST year, now it’s our turn!’ The question is how to divide yourself between the in-laws and the out-laws. The ones that you are ‘obliged’ to see may be your least favourite.

Then there is the other side of the coin, those of you who do NOT have RELATIONS of any sort, either by choice or circumstance. Now people are asking, ‘What are you doing over the holidays?’ And you may have a painful ache that you are alone. Then you are afraid that they will feel sorry for you and think that they need to invite you. Very difficult!
You can probably add some more RELATIONS Festive Holiday Horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness – SAY ‘NO!’ (Nicely!)

Take some time to reflect on what YOU really want.  Sometimes of you remove the feeling that you MUST do this or that and think fresh about the person / action, you can decide that you actually, on balance, DO want to do it. Now it is on YOUR terms and it feels much better. You are taking positive action, rather than just robotically re-acting. This may sound a bit morbid, but it provided a very valuable lesson to me; a friend’s father died and the friend was filled with remorse because he had always been ‘Too busy’ to have a coffee or chat with him and now he could not. Consider, if your person were to die soon, would you feel that you had done all for / with them that YOU wish? If the answer is ‘Yes!’ then you have more freedom; if the answer is ‘No!’ then you may choose to make seeing them more important than something else.

Also there is often such a backlog of things all at once. Do your best to group / manage and space them. Group several parties or visits together, this way you get dressed up once and can work out a route to see them. It also means you cannot stay TOO long as you are expected at the next one. PLEASE have a designated NON-drinker with you, so you may drive safely. Manage and space the gatherings by showing an example of having a ‘New Year in June’ party! Or an ‘After-holidays – bring your leftovers party!’ so you are not adding to the backlog. Then look at all you have been invited to and prioritise them (using your criteria: e.g. most fun; best food; great dancing; interesting party; want to see their house; love the people; super venue etc.!!) Then look at how they are spaced on your calendar. Decide how many you can afford (time-wise; calorie-wise; drinks-wise; sanity-wise) and select the most important for you. Fit the others in as you feel is best, then speedily send your regrets to the others, so they know how to plan.

Have a conversation with the relatives / friends that are expecting time with you, if you are really stretched, in any way (time, money or emotions) be honest and ask for their help. How can they assist you to manage the pressure? Can you invite them / visit them a week / month later? Have an extendo-holiday and celebrate with them on that special occasion.

Whenever, for your own sanity and happiness you feel you need to say ‘No!’ please do it as nicely and considerately as you are able. Asking for assistance and offering to make it easy for them to also regain some Festive Holiday Happiness may be a blessing for you both. In all cases you’ll find your stress is decreased, because you have grabbed the reins of control of YOU, your time and your life.

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of RELATIONS are:

  1. Stop and think about what YOU really want.
  2. Do what you want and on your terms (action not re-action)
  3. Reflect whether you have fulfilled your ‘duty’ should they die.
  4. Group, manage and space the various parties & gatherings.
  5. Explain your stress to your relations/friends and ask for their help.
  6. Plan for extendo-celebrations so you can spread the enjoyment.
  7. Say ‘No!’ – as nicely as you can and with consideration
  8. Take control of YOUR time and YOUR life.  EnJOY!!

4. The Festive Holiday Horror of TIME and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it.

How much TIME it all takes!
Hit the road running and don’t stop until you collapse! If there is one universal (right along with how much it all COSTS) it is how much TIME is needed on TOP of an already overwhelming, jam-packed schedule. No wonder you feel beat!
Your heart sinks and you get that whizzy feeling in your stomach every time you contemplate the impossible list of things that HAVE to be done – not to even think about what you might LIKE to do!
If you normally do not have enough time, then you will certainly NOT have enough now. Still you push yourself harder and harder, get up earlier; dash through the day; squeezing activities in every second that you can; skiving off work a bit; doing your personal things on work time (when you think no-one is watching) staying up later; skipping meals and grabbing some ‘fast food’; falling into bed absolutely exhausted. ‘And I am supposed to be HAPPY??!!’
Everyone is expecting this and that from you and worse you have accepted their rules and are killing yourself to try to make it all happen. Watch the faces of the people in the shops or as they drive their cars, do they look happy? And how do you look?

You need to find TIME to find gifts; wrap gifts; pack and post gifts; (return gifts!) buy food; cook food; arrange parties and family gatherings; attend parties and family gatherings; maybe travel;
buy decorations; put up your decorations; buy cards (if you still do this!) post cards; open and read cards from others; buy your holiday outfit; see friends; listen to friend’s woes and ALL of your ‘usual’ jobs as well! You need help!

Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness – PUSH BACK!

It is TIME (ha ha!) to grab back your reins of control. There are 24 hours in a day, we all have the same and what is CRUCIAL is to make the best use of them. What does that mean? Well, some of those new Mind Chi skills that we have mentioned need to be employed here too.

Begin by just STOPPING! Oh breathe deep and full breaths for a minute.
Think about those closest and most important to you and jot a few things that you may wish to do for or with them. Think of your ‘usual’ to do list and CROSS SOME OF THOSE ITEMS OFF – the key point is that YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL!  So for each festive thing that you add, remove a usual thing (most things won’t matter if they are left for a few days).  You need the big picture – what / who is most important and ditch (or delay) the rest.
Use your POWER to PUSH BACK. Every day, (in future start before Thanksgiving) and carve a little ‘DISCRECIONARY TIME’ – moments that YOU get to choose what you do (even if it is NOTHING!)
Use your POWER to say ‘NO!’ (As nicely as you are able). You will be amazed at how something that you were going to burst a blood vessel over and if you ask ‘Might I do this later?’ ‘Do you really need this now?’ ‘Could I leave this out?’ you may find it just literally melts away before you. Oh triumph!
Question all those things you think you ‘should’ and ‘aught’ to do (more information on this in Horror 8) such as sending festive cards, if you are using it to be in touch, then begin a phone rota or send an email. STOP the silliness of giving cards to people you see – just say, ‘Thank you, and I am wishing you (with a hug if appropriate) a Happy (fill in the festivity)’.
Question all the gift giving (especially in these economic times). You might want to give a gift for the person’s birthday and only a token over the general festivities. Or better still; give a gift of your TIME or FOOD to some one less fortunate.
Set a new ritual, it doesn’t have to be what it always was. In fact with the changing family structure it seldom is. So create a new way to celebrate.
Be ‘in the flow’ – there are days when you can have a directive goal, but not specifics, and just flow through, taking plenty of breaks and achieve a wonderful amount, but feel RELAXED.

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of TIME are:

  1. PUSH BACK by setting yourself time limits –‘I will only take one hour in these shops’.
  2. PUSH BACK by giving yourself a reward when finished (as procrastination is a real TIME waster) – ‘A cup of tea when I complete this task’.
  3. PUSH BACK by grouping friends / activities for ONE meeting or journey (rather than several).
  4. PUSH BACK by re-assessing what you really NEED or WANT to do. Question if what was, is still appropriate.
  5. PUSH BACK by STOPPING and creating the big picture of what matters, ask yourself ‘What will we remember?’
  6. PUSH BACK by not doing some of your ‘usual’ tasks, something must go!
  7. PUSH BACK by saying ‘NO!’ (Nicely) and questioning your ‘shoulds’ and ‘aughts’.
  8. PUSH BACK by creating new rituals and crafting ‘flow’ days for you to enjoy.

5. All the DRINKS Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome them.

All the DRINKS Festive Holiday Horror

Everywhere you go in the holiday time, people are plying you with drinks. The festivities are synonymous with DRINKS, ‘Come on, have a drink’ rings out as much as the Salvation Army bell. ‘No!’ you say, ‘Awww go on, just a small one!’ ‘Everyone else is – don’t spoil the party!’ So feeling the pressure and not wanting to be thought of as a spoilsport, you acquiesce and have ‘a small one’.
There is an interesting phenomenon about your brain, once you initially lower a thresh-hold, the pathway to repeat the behaviour is ‘oiled’ and so before you know it, you are repeating the behaviour. Are you able to have just ONE chocolate???!!! How about ‘I’ll just have A bite?’ And ‘just a small sip’, all mean that it is the top of the slippery slope down to repeating the behaviour. It happens without your even giving it a thought and that is the problem.
And it is not only all those friendly offices, neighbours, relatives, religious groups, sports groups, ANY group or friends, it is also YOURSELF!!!
To be sure you can be ‘hospitable’ should anyone drop by, you went out and filled up your booze cupboard, so-and-so drinks vodka, and he likes gin, better get a couple of bottles they are low, oh and scotch for her, now red wine and white, beer for the TV games and BBQs and better get some bubbly as well.
While alcohol is sitting in your house, it is so easy to have ‘just one extra’ drink of an evening and when you are so tired from all you have done, a drink will cheer you up and get you going… except it doesn’t, does it?
You can probably add some more DRINKS Horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Happiness –  BREATHE – grab your reins of control

Think –  who has the POWER to decide?
YOU do and this is a time when you particularly need to pull on your own power to be able to take only the DRINKS that you do want and when you want them. And how to do that? Use the power assist of the BREATH.
Taking a slow BREATH before you respond to any request will enable you to check in to your body and emotions and then make an appropriate decision for you at that moment.
A considered BREATH is a short cut through all the automatic functions to allow YOU to regain control of YOU! It pulls you back into yourself, so you do not respond automatically. It allows you to ACT rather than RE-ACT. The BREATH encourages you to be RESPONSIBLE (the ability to respond correctly for you).
Before you start any day in the Festive season, consider what drink opportunities there may be and how YOU choose to handle them. PLAN ahead so you may leave the car at the office and take a taxi home. Carpool with a non-drinker and offer to pay for a drink for the car! Or decide whose turn it is to be the driver that day.
Start SLOWLY and build up, if that is what you wish. Or if you are staying in one place for the evening, then START with a glass of wine and then taper off (as long as you have the POWER to do this!) Remember to do your reins grabbing BREATH before you take any drink.
Maybe arrive with a container of a non-alcoholic drink, so you can say ‘Thanks, I am OK for a bit!’ Your hosts do not usually notice what you drink after they have got you started, so have a quick look to see if there are some fruit juices or cranberry juice (looks like red wine and everyone leaves you alone!) If there aren’t any of these options, SIP your drink slowly; drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Perform your BREATH before you fill up  your glass.
In your own home, do NOT buy all the alcohols, it is OK to say, ‘We can offer you beer, red wine or cranberry juice?’ Always offer a non-alcoholic option with equal enthusiasm.
You do NOT have to be as a bar and provide every drink there is. Hide your DRINKS in a cupboard so they do not act as a constant reminder; make them a little difficult to get to!
Make a punch, this can be light on the alcohol and served in little cups, so people can have several and are still able to drive safely. Do not pressure your guests to have more to DRINK.
Be a responsible host. If a guest has somehow still managed to drink too much, either have a non-drinking friend drive them home, or call a taxi. DO NOT LET THEM DRIVE HOME.

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Holiday Happiness to overcome all the DRINKS Horrors are:

  1. Use your deep, full BREATH to let you check in with what drink you might actually want.
  2. Use your POWER to act and be responsible, you are no-one’s puppet.
  3. Beware the ‘Just one small one’ as your brain makes it hard for you to stop.
  4. Team with a non-drinker or take turns. Do NOT drink and drive.
  5. Plan ahead your DRINKING for the day – consider how you will organise it.
  6. Sip your DRINK slowly and have a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage.
  7. Conservatively buy DRINKS for your own home, hide them so they do not temp you.
  8. Make a punch, do not push DRINKS and never let a drunk friend drive home.

6. Your APPEARANCE Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it.          

Your APPEARANCE for the holidays
Are those jeans a bit too tight? Is that SO last year? You just can’t be seen in the same outfit as you wore last year, or even the party last week? And besides, it seems to have shrunk since last year anyway!
This entails a mad rush to the shops, your heart sinks, it is so crowded, no parking and people are acting like animals, pushing and shoving – wait that is actually rude to animals! What about on line? Yes, they can do next day delivery. Great – just in time for the party tonight, except it just doesn’t look as good on you as it did on that lovely model. Now what?! Because you are rushing, you do not shop well. The shop attendants are rushed and so cannot really help you and your brain is actually planning the food and a gift for Aunt Sally. There is often even more going on. That is that you are actually just not pleased with your appearance. You have noticed some lines, you are becoming ‘podgy’ and even a few grey hairs are starting to show themselves. You are just not happy in your own skin.
You can probably add more APPEARANCE Festive Holiday Horrors as well, so what to do about it?

Remember YOUR ATTITUDE – the only thing you can change

Might we suggest that it is not your clothes that need changing, but your attitude?
It is very unlikely that anyone will remember what you wore last year or even the party last night!
So maybe have ‘an outfit’ one that symbolises the holiday or celebration for you, and it is what you wear ‘Simples’ as they say!
Or, as all the fashion experts would suggest. Purchase ONE mix n’ match set of tops and bottoms that you can wear as dress up or down, then a few clothes go a long way.
Another thought is to wear your regular clothes, but ‘decorate’ yourself! How about a hat or something hanging round your neck, some sort of a scarf or tie, maybe a broach or button?
These are all inexpensive and easy ways to say ‘I am in the celebration mood!’

However, the most important of all is your attitude, when people look at you, what do they see?
Usually the first thing people notice is your energy – how straight are you standing?
How do you move? What is your general facial expression?
Then they may look at some details – are you smiling? How are your eyes? Do you look ‘cared for’?
All these factors scream much louder than the actual outfit.
Do a bit of people watching next time you are waiting for something/one. What do you notice?

How to make your attitude APPEARANCE be the best it can be?
1.            Make sure that you are having enough sleep for you (varies from 4 – 8 hours) you can check this by discovering if you wake up feeling rested and ready to start your day.
2.            Eat a balanced and varied diet – all the foods that you know are ‘good’ for you – in moderate and considered meals.
3.            If you do drink alcohol, make sure it is in moderation. Balance your alcohol intake with plenty of water and juices. Resist sodas as much as possible.
4.            Look ‘cared for’ by making sure your clothes are clean and tidy. This is much more important than having the latest hot fashion label.
5.            Look ‘cared for’ in yourself as well – is your hair clean and brushed? Are your teeth clean and breath fresh?  Does your face look as though you looked at it and gave it some attention this morning? Are your hands and nails clean and manicured? And what about your feet?
6.            How are your standing and walking? Are you straight and tall? Are your shoulders back? Do you walk and move with purpose and ease?
7.            Have you a twinkle in your eyes and a smile on your lips? These are the two most flattering things you can do to make your appearance be its very best. And they are free!
8.            All of the above are easy if your attitude is one of optimism and a positive outlook on the world, suddenly you will find you have an appearance, that if you catch you reflection in repose, is one you think ‘That looks a nice person!’ And it is – it is YOU!

7. The TEMPTATIONS Festive Holiday Horrors and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it.

What are the TEMPTATIONS that come after you?
The seventh of the Festive Holiday Horrors are all the TEMPTATIONS that abound with the Festivities and even worse, continue for the better part of a month, before life returns to ‘normal’. There are the ones you know you absolutely do not have a chance to resist? There are the automatic ones, where you respond to a stimulus without thinking if that is what you CHOOSE to do (such as answer the phone). Then there are the TEMPTATIONS that sneak up on you, you have been lured in before you know it. Or even worse, the ones that look on the surface as though they may be OK and it is not until you are well into it that you realise, a TEMPTATION has caught you again.
But wait! Isn’t it NICE to give into a few TEMPTATIONS? After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about, a little indulgence is GOOD for you – and – YES it is!
Do you have some other TEMPTATIONS to add? And what to do about all of them?

The Mind Chi Happiness – GRATITUDE

You may wonder how GRATITUDE might assist your overcoming all those TEMPTATIONS.   Consider why do you give in to them? What makes them TEMPTATIONS for you? What is the need that the TEMPTATION fills (at least temporarily)?What answers do you have to the above questions? Might it be that you are feeling a lack of something? Maybe love, recognition, peace, fulfillment, confidence, contentment or joy?
Once you become aware that TEMPTATION is masking a real feeling, then you can have a fresh look at it. Once you identify the underlying cause you can look at what you can do about that and even if that may take some fixing, you have at least pulled the real cause and the TEMPTATION apart. That awareness alone, gives you much strength to resist.
And how can you use GRATITUDE as the antidote to the TEMPTATION? As you look back at the underlying cause of your TEMPTATION and see there is a lack of something, taking just one minute to consider ALL the things for which you could be grateful, will start to compensate in many ways. Remembering all the good things in your life has been shown to increase your resistance to infection, make you more resilient to the strain of life’s stresses, and help you to see what IS working in your life and therefor how much you do have to appreciate. Suddenly all the underlying lacks that make those TEMPTATIONS so very irresistible, seem to diminish. Try it, you have nothing to lose and very much to gain.To be extra sure it is good to plan ahead. Where have you suffered the pitfalls of TEMPTATIONS before? If it was that you did really suffer in previous years, then considering a plan NOW to help you will reap dividends:
Might you just graciously send your regrets to the invitation?
Might you go with a friend or partner who you know will keep you in check. It is important to have an agreement that at the agreed cut off point, you do NOT argue, remember they are doing you a favour, and so shift your behaviour at once.
Might you wear a particular piece, say on your wrist, so you can see it easily, and it reminds you to go easy?

On the potentially automatic response TEMPTATIONS, when the stimulus occurs, even if your hand has already reached out, you have a nanosecond of intercept control. TAKE IT! Remember, because it rings you do NOT have to answer, you answer because you want to and it is convenient and someone with whom you want to speak. Holding the reins of control is one of the most powerful strain relievers of all life’s stresses.

Then you can use some TEMPTATIONS (with a tinge of moderation) as special rewards when you have done some things that were a bit difficult to do. Select them carefully and be sure that you will not suffer as a result. Put a safety net in place and off you go to have a well-earned reward and a bit of good TEMPTATION. En JOY!

To summarise the 8 Mind Chi Happinesses to Overcome the TEMPTATIONS

  1. Look for the underlying causes of why you are TEMPTED.
  2. Having isolated the cause let this awareness deplete TEMPTATION power.
  3. Use the power of GRATITUDE to appreciate all you DO have.
  4. Plan ahead to curtail danger TEMPTATION places and put strategies in place.
  5. Agree with a buddy to remind you when you have reached a pre-agreed limit.
  6. STICK to that agreement and STOP the behaviour at once.
  7. Use the nanosecond response gap to ACT rather than react, e.g. phones.
  8. Allow yourself some special TEMPTATIONS as a special reward for yourself.

8. The ‘SHOULDs’ and ‘OUGHTs’ of the Festive Holiday Horrors and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome them.

All the ‘SHOULDs’ and ‘OUGHTs’ of the Festive Holiday Horrors
Do you find yourself often saying ‘I should to this and that’ or ‘I ought to see so and so’? I know you know the old expression ‘Don’t ‘SHOULD’ on yourself!’ but still you do it. And why do you do it?
You grew up with lots of tapes playing from your parents, school, religion and society, they are deeply embedded and often you act on them without any awareness, except for the vague disconcerting feeling that it may not be quite right and certainly does not bring you any happiness. These taped messages which are constantly playing are the source of many of the SHOULDs and OUGHTs.

On top of that you may seek approval and acceptance, it is very easy for you to think ‘I SHOULD attend that office party, else they will think I don’t like them’ or ‘I OUGHT to visit Auntie Rene as she is all alone and I know she’ll tell my Mother if I don’t go’.  You want to ‘fit in’ and it is often at a great cost to yourself and brings additional festive strain.Reciprocating is another big SHOULD or OUGHT. ‘They invited us over to dinner, now we OUGHT to invite them back’ or ‘John sent me a card so I SHOULD send one back to him!’
Do you have some more SHOULDs AND OUGHTs? And what can you do about them?

The Mind Chi Happiness – QUESTION

The big new skill you will need is to bring to your awareness when one of those SHOULDS and OUGHTS creeps into your mind and at that very moment STOP and QUESTION before you automatically respond. This is a new skill and you will need to use the nanosecond interrupt that you have in your brain to grab control. You may wish to use several of the Mind Chi Happinesses used with the previous Horrors: STOP! BREATHE; SAY ‘NO!’ and use your POWER all can assist you here.
Just becoming aware that it IS a SHOULD or OUGHT is a big step in the right direction. You may well miss a few and be in auto-respond mode and then catch yourself. STOP right then and say, ’Oh, I am so sorry, I was on automatic, would you let me think about this and get back to you?’

If you are responding from the fear of lack of approval or acceptance, then one QUESTION you might ask yourself is ‘What is the WORST that can happen?’ After you have thought that one through then YOU decide; ‘Can I live with that?’ (Remember that it is usually not nearly as bad as you expected.)
After you have thought the possible consequences through YOU now decide on your action plan. The big difference is that now YOU are taking control the POWER is in your hands. If you feel that what you receive in the approval or acceptance (you do not have a guarantee about that anyway) is worth it, then it is your CHOICE to do the action. Interestingly the ‘same’ action feels completely different if you think someone else is making you, versus if YOU feel it is your choice.

If reciprocation is the reason that someone does something, with the specific thought and expectation that they will receive the same or better back, then they are doing it for the wrong reasons (and I expect you were not thrilled by the thought that you OUGHT to invite them back – and WOW – freedom, you SHOULDN’T!!!) First they will probably be a bit surprised and may hint at when will you be available and then they won’t invite you again and you are BOTH free of the obligation.
In all cases, if after your QUESTIONING a SHOULD or OUGHT you decide ‘Not this time’ then to communicate with understanding and empathy that you wish to take a different direction is very important. Either you will find that it was no problem at all (in most cases) or someone will say that it is important to them. In that rare case then you need to come up with a compromise with which you can both be happy.

 To summarise the 8 Mind Chi Happinesses to overcome the SHOULDs and OUGHTs:

  1. Become aware of all your historic tapes and QUESTION their relevance to you today.
  2. After you are aware, then QUESTION what you actually do what to do.
  3. Use your nanosecond of over-ride control to consciously select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
  4. Use STOP! BREATHE; SAY ‘NO!’ and your POWER to assist you to have CONTROL
  5. QUESTION if you really will receive the acceptance or approval if you acquiesce.
  6. Ask yourself; ‘What is the worst that can happen’ then select your action.
  7. Only reciprocate IF you want to, an explanation to the person is polite though!
  8. Explain with courtesy your change in behaviour, it will probably be freeing to the other as well. And in all cases enjoy!

9. The EVERYTHING Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it

Expecting to be EVERYTHING to everyone
This is actually Holiday Horror # 9 – an extra one – but we feel it is so important and can impact ALL the other 8 – so we have put it here!
I saw that someone called this Generation E! This especially afflicts the slightly older woman. You were probably brought up to ‘serve’ everyone and to put yourself LAST.

My Mum had it to the extreme of really ONLY doing what OTHERS wanted, so ‘Would YOU like a cup of tea?’ was her way of saying ‘I’d love a cup of tea!’ At some deeply subtle level you feel expected to ‘do’ everything for everyone. You think (sorry, KNOW) you are indispensable – well who else will do it?! And certainly do it ‘right’? This is actually a dis-service to all those you love and especially to yourself.
You can probably add some more EVERYTHING horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Holiday Happiness – REWIRE YOUR BRAIN!

At a deep level you need to REWIRE YOUR BRAIN and no, this is not painful! In fact it is probably the most liberating, energising, fast and simple thing you have ever done. It takes just 8 minutes a day to perform the Mind Chi Basic routine, it requires no special equipment and you can do it anywhere (well, not while driving!) You can find the 8 steps FREE when you follow this link:  for the quick introduction, or this link{ where it says ‘Mind Chi Chapter 4’ for the full chapter from the Mind Chi book that explains the Mind Chi Basic process.

You do a DIS-SERVICE to those you love by doing everything for them. How? Well you are saying ‘YOU are not capable of doing this, so I must.’ You are making them your master and you their SLAVE – not a fulfilling role for either of you! You can BLAME them that you are tired, unwell, unable – all their fault. You give away your POWER to them and let them be in CONTROL of you.
And what are you doing to YOURSELF? Also a DIS-SERVICE! You are wearing yourself out so you are no good to anyone and STRAINING yourself with all the extra stress you put on yourself. Because you have now TRAINED everyone to expect you to do everything, you will need to have a discussion with them so you may both change your BEHAVIOURS and EXPECTATIONS. So REWIRE YOUR BRAIN, take the reins of control into your hands. Allow those you love to grow and be recognised as competent and you be the you that you have always wanted to be! En-JOY!!!

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of ‘Expecting to be EVERYTHING to everyone’ during the Holiday (and the rest of the time!):

1.            Start to REWIRE YOUR BRAIN – 8 minutes a day with Mind Chi.
2.            Follow the links above – download and SAVE – then DO for 28 days in a row.
3.            Know that you are (in the nicest way) DISPENSIBLE!
4.            Gently TRANSITION so THEY may be responsible
5.            If necessary TEACH them! Let them take ownership.
6.            Become MASTER of yourself, NOT everyone’s slave.
7.            Discuss and agree about everyone’s BEHAVIOURS and EXPECTATIONS.
8.            ‘BLAME’ yourself for creating a life you ENJOY!

Want MORE information?
Here is the start of providing you with the coping strategies to be able to manage the strain of stress and to build your resilience, energy for life and joy.

At this point you have a variety of choices:
1.            I would appreciate your comments about this E-Let – (good and constructive).
2.            If you have further questions or issues you would like addressed, please tell me.
3.            Would you be interested in Resilient E-Lets on: relationships; communications; self-concept;
purpose; time; body; energy; foods; weight; other?
4.            There follows a variety of free (and priced) options to assist you to put this into your life on a
regular   basis. Only then can you really build your Resilient Woman status.

FREE stuff:

1.            A PDF of Chapter 4 of ‘Mind Chi – rewire your brain in 8 minutes a day – 50 strategies for success
in business and life’. Chapter 4 provides more detail on each of the steps explained in this E-Let.
2.            A map of the Mind Chi Basic 8 steps to print and remind you as you do them.
3.            A daily Mind Chi Insight to encourage and inspire you

Mind Chi Programs:
Resilient Woman 40-day E-challenge Package:
For only £/$ 2.00 a day, you may have a complete 40-day program to guide you through developing your Resilient Woman self. This package includes: pre and post questionnaires to measure your Resilient Woman success; Your step by step audio instructions; Your 28-day Tracker; Your 8-step map; The Mind Chi Chapter 4; Your daily Mind Chi Insight and Email encouragement and assistance.
Resilient Woman 40-day Excel Package:
For only £/$4.00 a day, you may have all of the above PLUS: The Resilient Sucker Energy Scale; A 1to1 Mind Chi Mentoring session, by Skype or email (or person, if geographically possible); The Resilient Woman Time tips and 10-day check-in email opportunity for questions and assistance.
Resilient Woman 40-day Deluxe Package:
For only £/$8.00 a day, you may receive all of the above benefits of the two packages above PLUS:
A bespoke recording to direct your Resilient Woman Program to directly assist the areas you identify as the most needing assistance; A copy of the ‘How to be a MORE Resilient Woman’ e-let, Two 1 to 1 Mind Chi Mentor sessions and frequent email check-in opportunities for questions, encouragement and assistance.

You may also experience Mind Chi as:
Mind Chi 40 day challenge – E program
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Mind Chi 1to1 Mentoring
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If you require any further information, please contact: Vanda@MindChi.com or visit www.MindChi.com

Change Maker – you!

Joy@Work #8

– Change Maker you!

By Vanda North


For the better part of a year I have been sharing ways to increase your joy at work, I do hope that you are experiencing an increase in your joy quotient. As I look back over the topics that have been covered, there is a central theme of managing change, supported by how the small things can make a big positive difference. So, for this final chapter, I will continue with the change focus as it is so very important.

Making a choice to develop the skills and qualities to become a ‘Change Maker’ can set you ahead for work and life in general. Do you feel that you are a Change Maker? I know that you are already one and what follows will allow you to appreciate yourself and thrive in any situation. There is a full profile you may take called The Change Maker Profile, available here: (https://www.thechangemakergroup.com/thechangemakerprofile which will provide you with an in-depth assessment, what follows here is an introduction. There are five roles to change making and they are:

   Game Changer           Strategist               PlayMaker           Implementer               Polisher

Game Changer

– who composes the original music, new arrangements and new ideas

The Strategist

– who conceives and controls the whole show, concerts to contracts

The PlayMaker

–  who coordinates who is in the orchestra and conducts the music

The Implementer

– who causes the actual instruments to be played to make the music!

The Polisher

– who completes and refines all the details for a quality performance.

Which are you? You may be a combination of two of three, but there will be one role that will attract you most. The important point here is that ALL of them are crucial for change to happen. No one role will make change happen: it is like an un-round wheel, very bumpy and inefficient.

There are three aspects to developing your Change Maker roles, they are:

  • Conviction
  • Confidence and
  • Commitment


This is your belief, certainty, faith, position, passion, sentiment or persuasion.
It is a strong feeling that you are able to achieve or attain a specific goal.
You can see it in your mind’s eye – you can almost smell and taste it.
It is the filter through which you see all your life, the opportunities, the focus, your raison d’etre. Your convictions will shape what you do, how you do it and why those around you respond as they do.

Have you thought about those things that you are convinced about?
It may well be that, rather like the relationship of the fish and water, it is so all about you that you haven’t given them much conscious attention.

A friend, partner or relation may be a help here. Ask them to note when you have particularly strong views about something. What gets you shouting to the TV?! What groups / hobbies / avocations really get you stirred up?

Conviction is a robust energy, it can make you feel ‘alive’ and if you are consciously aware of it and work / play with your convictions, you are unstoppable.


Next is your confidence or self-esteem level, how would you rate yourself?
I am not talking about a braggadocios, bombarding personality (which like bullying is often trying to cover a very low self-concept) but that quiet, strong, self-assured feeling of, ‘I can’,
‘I am able’ or at least, ‘I will find a way’.

How to develop that? There are two main ways, best to do both at once! One is from the outside in – how do you look? Being neat, looking ‘cared for’, shoes clean, hair trim, all show that you have taken some trouble over your appearance. How do you move, walk and hold yourself? All these can help you to feel more confident on the inside.

The other is from the inside out – and that is more incremental. In the Mind Chi Basic 8-minute routine (www.MindChi.com) step number 4 is to take one minute to go over all your successes, big and small from the past 24 hours. Done every day you build up your success bank, you become more aware and realise all those things you can do and even do well!


As David Lloyd George says ‘You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps’!
Don’t make the decision to commit lightly, mull it for a while and then one day it will feel right, and you will commit. When you do it is often almost a relief – you have decided – you know where you want to end up. Even if you feel a bit scared, that too is a good motivator. However, if you really think ‘Oh nooooo!’ then return to the mull stage.

When you have committed, then tell people, they will ask you how you are progressing and even more, may make connections, introductions and share ideas to help you achieve your goal. People generally admire and respect a commitment. A great quote, sometimes accredited to Goethe, about commitment is: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

 Bespoke resilience strategies for the five Change Maker roles:

Blending the 8-steps of the Mind Chi Basic routine with the five roles of the Change Maker you will see below examples of things that often happen in the work place can either be a resilience booster or sucker. What is your environment like? What can you do to make sure that you have more resilience boosters in your day than suckers? How can you support your team members, how can they support you?

One of the great tenants of Joy@Work, is that frequently a small action will make a very positive outcome for yourself and for those around you. Very worthwhile I hope you feel. I wish you much Joy@Work, home and in life.

Vanda North, The Resilient Warrior

Call ADOCTA – I’m changing!

New Year, new hope, new dreams, new expectations, new possibilities, maybe THIS year….

What if I said I can provide you with a formula which can guarantee your success, would you be interested?

But before I do, let’s look at change. Change sometimes happens fast, usually circumstances around you have caused things to look very different – suddenly. You might win the lottery, or be involved in an accident and unexpectedly everything is changed. More likely it is the slow, slow, quick, quick, slow way. Sometimes you really do not notice it happening, except when you look back over a year and suddenly see the difference. Sometimes it speeds up and you are more aware of the pressures.

Sometimes you are the initiator of change, but probably you are mostly the recipient of change being done to you. All these factors make a difference as to how you feel about the change that is occurring.  The important point is that regardless, you still do have control, control over you and how you respond, and that can make it feel very different.

At this time of year, one activity I always do is to do a review of the past year – what happened?!
It is only a year on, yet it can be amazing how surprising it can be. This is a great time for a map as you can see the whole year on one page and it brings it all together. You can group the information in any way that is most meaningful to you: maybe chronologically; or work, family, self, goals; or seasons of the year, any headings that work well for you. Here is an example of my review of 2017:      

If you are wondering what PLURK is, it is a word we made up in my office years ago, because we all enjoyed our work so much it felt like play, but we wanted it to have more gravitas, so we combined work with play and got ‘plurk’! As I have done these maps for many years now, it can be wonderful to look back over the years like an all-time-at-once glance!

I also compare what I have achieved with my original goals map and mark it up to show where I am pleased and where I fell short. Then consider if it is important to focus more on that for the coming year, or has it dropped off in importance. Here is my 2017 marked up! 

Having looked backwards, the next is to plan forwards, and here is what will be important for me in 2018:

Which all builds up to how do you achieve what you want to? How do you change in those areas that are meaningful and often very difficult? And here is the prescription: ADOCTA – an acronym standing for Actions; Do; Observe; Consider; Tweak and Actions, all in the direction of your overall goal.        

How does this look in action?

  1. What is your goal?
    Please state your goal as the desired outcome, for example ‘I choose to attain and maintain my perfect weight of xxxx’ rather than ‘I don’t want to be fat’.
    Another important point is that it must be measurable – what by when, e.g. 114lbs by June 17th, 2018. Further, select the powerful action verb, such as ‘I choose…’. If you use ‘I wish…’, or ‘I will…’ you are not claiming the action as yours, now.
  2. Your first Action

You know your goal and yourself, so what is an action that you need to take?
Look at your current reality, where are you now? Decide on one small, or large step and how you will prepare to make it happen.

  1. Now to Do it!
    Your first step, take it! Do it!
  2. You need to Observe
    What actually happened? You walked into the office and they had a large box of wonderful sweets, which you had decided you would NOT eat… is that what happened?
    Replay the mental video, what did you think? What did you do? Was it as you intended?
  3. Next is to Consider those actions

If you were able to stay away from the chocolates, look at what you did that enabled you to do that. If you weren’t, do not be tough on yourself, just look at where you need to shore up the banks to help it be easier for you next time. Every time assess, did this take you closer to your desired goal? If the answer is yes! Then continue in that direction, if no! Then what do you need to amend?

  1. The Tweak step
    Which leads to the next step, the Tweak. These steps are all small and interlaced, this makes them easier for you to do as you now think about how might you Tweak your actions for the next day. Do make this as much fun as you can, maybe your co-workers could start honking if they see you standing by the chocolate box, or they could hide them from you, or you can have carrot sticks at the ready as a substitute!
  2. And ready for Action again

You are ready to take the next action and move towards your ultimate goal. This is called an ‘iterative loop’, meaning that you keep repeating these steps until you get to the Consider step, and you feel that you have Completed your goal and can now CELEBRATE!!  Sometimes your life may have changed, and you may Consider that you need to amend or change your goal. However, if the goal is still valid and desired by you, then keep repeating this ADOCTA prescription and you are guaranteed success!

There you are!! The recipe for guaranteed success, the way you may be sure that you can make the changes that you want or need to make. The good part is that when you have this formula it is so easy to keep focused, it stops you from negatively judging yourself and allows you to almost dispassionately observe the next step to take. Remember, the journey of 100 miles starts with a single step. Good fortunes and please let me know if your successes.

The Resilient Woman Warrior

Vanda North

DK Capture Photography in Poole Bournemouth