Let me begin in the customary fashion by wishing you a Happy New Year. Despite it being a greeting that is more habitual than mindful, I do sincerely mean it.

How do I know this?

Because I simply could not dredge up even a smidgen of sincerity to motivate an alternative. Although I’m not evolved enough to sustain unconditional love for everyone, (well not yet!), I also cannot conceive of wishing anyone unhappiness. What benefit would there be in that for anyone including me?

And the third option lies in not wishing anyone at all because one could argue that a wish belongs to fairy tales, not reality, so what’s the point?

In its defence, though, taking the time to send out wishes, even electronically, does serve to rekindle connections with friends and family, and anything that lends weight to connections, even if only slightly alleviating a sense of loneliness, is a good thing.

To change customised ritual and the repetition of utterances from mindless to mindful we need to put heart behind them and bring the fullness of mind to the present moment. What are you saying and why are you saying it? Being in the here and now switches off your autopilot which otherwise takes control when your conscious mind is either in the past or the future.

And it’s not only greetings such as Happy Whatever or How are you? that could benefit from a good dose of mindfulness, but also single words, especially in the descriptive field. Adjectives and adverbs can become flavour of the era and because they are spewed out mindlessly, suffer the kind of repetition that threatens to curdle the last remnants of my word-savvy sanity.

Heard or read the word awesome lately???

Whether it’s a biscuit, a wedding, a day at work, an athlete’s performance… awesome pops out of mouths, screens, and pages.

Those who use profanities get accused of a limited vocabulary, yet old awesome sails into phrase after phrase unimpeded by aversion or criticisms, well not many, and glibly gets adopted by more and more people.

There are so many other delightful and expansive words gathering dust on the shelves of lexicons, words that burst with colour and interest, waiting to reintroduce meaningfulness and mindfulness into communication.

You don’t have to be a lover of words to realise that variation holds or re-awakens the listener’s or reader’s attention. And if you are going to speak or write, is that not what you want?

So as we wish upon a star,

let your search go wide and far,

leave the awe

at yesteryear’s door,

and shake off the dust

of your lexicon’s lust.

 

I said my sanity was curdled….

This is a quick post to let you know that our latest course is live.

You can grab a preview of it at:

www.udemy.com/course/boot-out-self-consciousness-with-confidence/?referralCode=0E7BF6AFAEC681F07ACE

If self-consciousness is standing between you and a greater experience of life, then why not enrol in the course and Boot Out Self-Consciousness with Confidence.

Udemy courses are very affordable, but in the season of giving we do have a limited number of coupons to give away – these give you free access to the whole course. If you would like to make use of this offer, go to the page to enrol and enter the following coupon code in the place assigned for it:

9EC69C72EC10E2BC5DDB

Or if you know of anyone who may appreciate this course, you can give it as a gift, either by forwarding the free coupon, or by purchasing the course as a gift.

For the latter option, this is the simple procedure to follow which I have merely copied from the Udemy site and pasted – just to prove that it really is simple!

How to Gift a Course From the Course Landing Page

You can also gift a course that you’re not enrolled in from the Course Landing Page. To do so, please follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Course Landing Page of the course you wish to gift
  2. To the right of the course title, and above Preview This Course, click Gift this Course
  3. Enter the gift recipient’s name, email address, and the date you want the gift sent. You can also enter a personal message for them if you wish
  4. Click Proceed to Checkout. If you have a coupon code, you can enter it by clicking on Redeem a Coupon at the top.

How to Redeem Your Gift

If you’ve received a Udemy course as a gift, then you can quickly enroll in the course by following these steps:

  1. In the email notification you received for your gift, click Unwrap Your Gift
  2. Next, click Activate Your Gift, and you will be enrolled in the course

Or, you can also redeem your gift by going to https://www.udemy.com/gift/redeem/, and entering the code that’s included in the gift notification you received. The code will include the word GIFT.

Please note that in order to redeem your gift, you will need to create a Udemy account, if you don’t already have one.

If you have decided to enrol, we would really appreciate your review on the completion of the course. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

Enjoy the course and let’s all put self-approval above that of others.

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you have sought refuge in a cave, your awareness by now will have been tinselled into acceptance that the holiday season is upon us. And with it comes the onslaught of obligations such as festooning the home with more tinsel, attending end-of-year events, buying presents and preparing for family gatherings.

 

It’s loosely labelled as ‘getting into the festive spirit.’

 

But it’s not for everyone.

 

Some baulk at the very notion of festive, arguing that

  • obligation robs the time of any sincerity

  • undue pressure to be merry shrouds the time in fake frivolity

  • money-making is the true driver behind the festive engine with obligations of reciprocity plunging the credit card into shame.

For the naysayers it appears that obligation is the culprit responsible for their disenchantment.

 

So let’s put it on the stand and take a closer look.

 

Obligation does carry expectations and in turn pits predictability against spontaneity. And with that at play one is at risk of morphing into a robotic merry-maker from tinselling to sending out over-rehearsed wishes to the contact list on your mobile phone, many of whom have slipped into cranial nooks of amnesia.

 

And while one can glibly say, “Well, do not bow to obligation, just don’t do it,” whatever the ‘it’ may be, at the end of the year your energy reserves may not be charged enough to withstand ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous’ relatives who don’t appreciate your not towing the festive line.

 

So what can be done for our beleaguered naysayers?

 

While I would never advocate compromising yourself in favour of obligation, I would offer originality as an option worth exploring – in fact, not only for the naysayers but for everyone who favours a move away from the stereotypical or robotic festive mode.

Loosen up, oil the imaginative cogs, de-tinsel your mind and create a time that has your signature stamp on it, something that pleases you. Or gather input from each family member and weave together an eclectic mix of fun. Make stuff; instead of an end-of-year event that ends in a blur, go on a safari or nature outing or a spa morning; think of alternatives to presents.

 

As long as you are still breathing and have a mind, you have the power of choice and that includes of attitude.

 

Choose your merry!

 

P.S. And for those who are sticking with present giving, we can help you tick a few recipients off your list, with our very affordable online courses. Meaningful Retirement  www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement  for anyone heading into the 3rd Tri-cycle of life; and MindScapes in ChildPlay  www.udemy.com/mindscapes-in-childplay  for anyone who spends time with young children (6 months to 6 years old).

Also look out for our latest course, Gain Self-Confidence by Defeating Self-Consciousness which will be out in time to slip into a Christmas stocking (aaargh did I just lapse into a tinsel phrase?!)

 

Please consider sharing this chat.

 

If you would like to receive these blog chats by email please subscribe below.

 

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Frequently asked by parents, grandparents, nannies or au pairs is the question: What can I do with a young child or grandchild that’s simple and easy, yet effective in bolstering imagination and confidence?

The busy life of parents leaves little time to think about the what and how of playing with young children, and that’s where our second online course, MindScapes in ChildPlay, can help you in providing many answers to this question, that are demonstrated by parents and their children.

Lala and floaty paper

Preview lectures have been posted on YouTube, with Lecture 7 appearing today. This one shows mothers and their children taking part in the activities exploring pine cones amidst giggles and laughter. Kyla and Cones

 

Most of the props in the course have three lectures dedicated to each one, simply because each and every one offers endless sensory explorations that generate fun-filled, open-ended activities.

Just Matthew heads in box

The golden rule of no right or wrong predominates throughout this course which in turn allows a freedom of expression in the complete absence of judgement.

We are all unique in our combination of talent and potential and MindScapes in ChildPlay encourages the confident emergence of this individuality in your child.

To access the course please click here

MindScapes in ChildPlay Logo

Our new course for parents, or anyone who looks after young children, was launched today!

 

MindScapes in ChildPlay is now live and to celebrate the event we have allocated a number of free coupons to give away. These will give direct access to the course for free. If you or someone you know has young children (preschool age) or looks after them, such as grandparents or caregivers, send an email to gill@gillmidgley.co.za  and on the basis of first come first served, we’ll have great pleasure sending them off.

 

For a preview of the course please click here

 

The course is chock-a-block full of ideas to get you into the flow of seeing the endless possibilities that surround you within your home that will fire your imagination and in turn keep your child’s inner fire of curiosity well stoked. All the activities presented in the course are merely suggestions to encourage you into the mind-opening flow of seeing and realising the multi-sensory opportunities for exploration that are always present. The course provides you with initial prompts, suggestions and pointers to elicit your child’s participation as you play alongside him or her, but never to be insisted upon or dictated. MindScapes in ChildPlay is imbued with fun-filled free play in the complete absence of stodgy parameters of right and wrong. Simple as the open-ended props or playthings may be, they carry a dimensional depth that facilitates accessing those hidden gems of unique individuality.

 

MindScapes in ChildPlay makes an ideal gift for young parents, expecting mums (not forgetting baby showers), grandparents, doting aunts and anyone who spends time with preschool children.

 

The course is soaked in fun while demonstrating a variety of activities with an array of simple things, generating divergent thinking and a strong imagination, giving your child the confidence to be who he or she was born to be.

Sprinkling our sparkle

This is the time of the year when the months seem to hang on some kind of religious or celebratory festive occasion. So I am going to join the trend by sprinkling a little sparkle on the fading Valentine flowers with the offer of a free 40 minute one-on-one Skype coaching session with me, Gill. This offer extends to the next ten enrollments in the Meaningful Retirement course as from today to the end of February 2019. Participants will only be eligible for the coaching session at the completion of the course.

Please go to https://www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement/ to sign up. Once you are enrolled and registered, send me a private message via the facility provided, with the words February Offer to ensure your coaching spot with me.

If you would like to receive more sparkles when they are sprinkled – usually monthly – please subscribe below.

 


Sunflower

Free from society’s conditioning, or the need to compare for appropriateness, this sunflower doesn’t know (nor does it care) when to put the brakes on. At 3.8m (12ft 5½ ins), it’s called sun-thriving!

Nor do we need to put the brakes on when we hit the 3rd Tri-cycle of life. In fact, we can sur-thrive by taking the brakes off and making  breakthroughs. Discover more at www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement/

 

The end of the year signals, ranging from merely a New Year’s date to perhaps, for some, children leaving the nest or the beginning of retirement.
Will life still be as meaningful after retirement?

What are you going to do next?

We’ve just launched a new online course through Udemy called Meaningful Retirement which shows you how to continue designing a life of meaning where your whole being says YES to LIVING.

new launch means discounts which can also translate as an affordable gift to yourself or someone close to you.

Click here for course

Free yourself

Through a combination of video sessions, real life examples, downloads with exercises and probing questions you will gain conceptual tools to tackle this phase of life with a renewed perspective by discovering:

  • what really makes you tick, the real you (not the you everyone else expects you to be)
  • how to free yourself from all that ties you to the past, such as regrets
  • how to gain the courage to show up in life – it’s never too late!
  • options galore of what you can do – various activities and outlets where ideas for your third tri-cycle of life may germinate and flourish

This is a journey of exploration and discovery.

If the course resonates with you, we’d really appreciate it if you would post a review, and please, feel free to invite your friends to take it as well.

https://www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement/

The story we repeatedly tell ourselves – about ourselves or our circumstances – is often one that echoes strongly within our circle of close friends. If we are like-minded we’ll no doubt share important values as well as find common ground in the ‘issues department’ where we can thrash out a good old moan.

Besides being like-minded, ‘close’ suggests trust and support and therefore our circle of friends offers a safe space in which to air nagging grievances and in the process lighten the load,or so it feels.

Feeling lighter is great but finding answers and greater clarity is a whole lot better.

I can take this up a transformative notch or two, by providing you with practical and informative tools and a ‘can do’ approach to turning around concerns and issues.

I am offering a mini workshop for you and a group of your friends in the convenience of your home. The familiar and informal setting of your home will provide a relaxed atmosphere, allowing openness to new ideas and the gentle questioning of thoughts.

Rather than slipping into a rut of dissatisfaction by going over and over the same old button-pushing issues,

let me help you turn your issues around and free you to move forward with your life.

                 COFFEE CORNER CHAT WITH A COACH 7

Of course, there is no reason why Coffee Corner Chat with a Coach cannot happen in the virtual realm too via Skype.

If you are interested, please click here so we can  have a pre-chat, and then set a date when you and a few of your friends can get together in your home (if within a reasonable distance of Fourways in Johannesburg), or around a laptop, all with coffee on hand!

Mutually suitable times can be arranged, including Saturdays and early evenings.

Workshops and all enquiries are strictly confidential.

 

mask-1431136_640

 

 

When at last

we cover not

the true identity of being,

Let’s shame us not

the layers we shed

that once composed the mask.

Bravery fuels,

but more than that,

it’s the desire to regain the Am.

For what’s the point to mask and mould

The I, I first did choose?

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