Yellow

Earlier on this year, I attended a book launch for the book How to be Selfish. There was an after party book launch where the guests mingled and got to know each other. There was a mixture of fascinating people, from designers to an owner of a diamond business. Towards the end of the evening, I ended up sitting at a table with the renowned psychic Douglas Ballard. I did not ask directly for a reading; I’m always thought it was best to allow people to come to me with messages, instead of directly going out there.  He did one reading on another lady who was sitting at this table with me, and then he turned to me and made an announcement. It was something very positive – Something Big.

This year has been an interesting year for me, it began with an up – I was in “red”  – seemed to be on “fire”. Then I had a slight dip in fortunes, then an upward move again; including some excitement for the “love series” – keep posted for the book!  Then a downward period ensued and I had entered the Yellow phase: “a period where activity is “low” and one has retreated inwardly.” You probably wondering where I got the inspiration for this description, actually, a TV show: Homeland. I had recently become fan, yes; maybe a bit of a late-developer but that has never stopped me before, progressing.

So what happened during this yellow period and how did I come out of it? Well, after being on an up throughout the summer, climaxing with the Paralympics final. I was hit with a “bombshell”, realised that I had made a “big” error of judgement. This led to an orgy of emotions; mainly confusion, upset, shock and anger. You will notice that some of these were “negative” emotions.  For me it left me without direction; I was not able to “focus” and I felt there was a block on things coming to me. I got so into the yellow period, I had not realise how I was on pause. This included the business, my creative output and love – yes my writing.

So what changed? I woke up one day, as you do and thought that I had to take back control. This was from facing the doubter “gremlins” to the “wrongdoers”. But before getting to this step, I needed to re-focus, re-connect to my inner-self; some may describe this as the “-ing”, as one author Gabrielle Bernstein mentioned in her book Spirit Junkie

In this modern world we live in today, it is so easy to become detached from our spiritual self. Some spiritual people, this includes the healers and psychics believe that we are born with certain “sensors” and “instincts” but we lose touch of them. Maybe this can be for another discussion.

So which phase did I enter next? The green faze where I slowly plot my revenge. This meant loosely, how I was going to come back fighting – my strategy.

The purple phase will be the part where I see things through and see the “positive” results – the Something Big.

Something Big…October 2012

This month, October, is an exciting month for me with some exciting projects coming to life. I had the opportunity to attend a get together with the team behind a new and exciting brand, @30ishme. This is an e-magazine focusing on the women who are in their 30’s, successful and single, do not have children and want to enjoy life – their lifestyle. I loved this blazon, no-apologies attitude of embracing the single life. I too had been victim to Singlism, a term that refers to the stigmatising of adults who are single. Once I was asked by my handy-man why I do not have children, how they were a blessing. After a few moments, I thought: was this man pitying me for not yet being a mother?

The heart and soul of this new brand 30ish me is the lovely Canadian, Shannon Eastman. She originally started this as a creative output then later envisaged a “possibility” that she is now “realising”. It was also interesting to hear her story, her journey. From being in a marriage to divorcing, starting over yet again. I found her to be quite courageous, about facing a challenge and deciding to take control and find an opportunity.

I will now return back to possibilities. I have a daily mantra that you may have seen in my daily twitter: “Today is a BRIGHT day, full of POSSIBILITIES”. The aim of this is to wake up, not dwell on too much the previous day activities, look forward and be open to what may occur. It is amazing how you may have one conversation with a person, and this can lead you straight to an opportunity.

During the evening we were put to work, we had a speaker ask us outright: “Do you understand the difference between a goal v a possibility?”
I must admit that I have not looked at the semantics of these two words in great detail. I perceived them to be similar and that there was an overlap between the two. A goal to me was something that I can achieve that is measurable. You could also apply S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). A possibility however is something that may not have been tried, was big and could lead to a great award. Steve Jobs was used as an example, how he foresaw the possibility of launching a small device that could store a huge library of music – known as the iPod. If you read his book like I did for my book club last year, you would have come across the concept: field distorted reality. This was Steve Jobs way of convincing people that his vision, no matter how unbelievable it appeared to be was possible.

Maybe it’s a natural human thing of wanting to be in reality, but what was the matter of thinking BIG, having a dream. Talking about a dream, reference was made to that famous Dr Martin Luther King’s: I had a dream speech.

When looking at some of the greatest inventions of all time it was conceived in someone’s mind, they dreamed about it’s actualisation.: felt it, smelt it and tasted it. One of the final tasks of the night was to write a list of points of what is happening to us on a future date.

As I started this piece, I began by discussing how this was an exciting month. Part of it was with me having a vision; an idea; which to some may be “big”, but I believe it is “possible” and can feel it happening.

Keep posted to find out what is happening in my world.

That Damn Mouse

The inspiration for this blog began a few weeks back. Did you not see my video blog That Damn Mouse on the justsophiaworld YouTube channel?

Now, the story of that Damn Mouse begins. I have always had an aversion to rodents, so much so, that I found that even hamsters gave me the “jeepy creepies”. Rats, mice are vermin! They live in the sewers. Historically the Great Plague of London was caused by the spread of the disease from the rats!

Yes, I do not like mice and you wondering if this will be a rant about them for the rest of this article. Yes and no. I like to take the mouse as what I have become famous for – no, not needing to visit my therapist and talk about “delusions” – but for my allegories.

I was having an interesting week where I discovered how I had an unwelcome guest. Not pleasant, as I like to keep things tidy, even though I had the natural artistic temperament of having things scattered with ideas and concepts.  This soon got resolved after calling in the specialist.

I thought the issue had been resolved, but then (rolling drums), there was more to come, other vermin. I started to think that I must be getting tested, or someone wants to see if I can still have a laugh.  Was this a part deux of my article Starting Over, Yet Again?

I have read quite a few books, and enjoy watching thrillers. One piece of dramatic dialogue that I’ve heard is “I smell a rat”. This usually appears at a interval, where the character comes to a sudden realisaton that there is something not quite right which leads to an unpleasant  discovery. Like rodents they do not formally invite themselves in, but appear when not expected.

This is the person who you thought was nice to begin with, then you see another side of them trying to “maximize” from your work; and you are still awaiting your “royalties”. The woman you met on holiday and promised themselves to you, you sent her money and now her boyfriend is enjoying the “fruits of your labour”.

So what do you do with this mouse or mice? Place out the warfarin and hope that they find it and die. So retaliate. Or work out a way to get them out and not allow them to cause any more mental distress.

That’s the thing about allowing things to fester, they keep growing, stay in your mind and you cannot focus on anything else.  With the law of attraction it can mean that you are blocking out other possibilities since you cannot focus.

It is great to come up with a strategy in dealing with the mouse. Don’t allow more to come and let it fester. Instead deal with it, and move on.

 

Age ain’t nothing but a number

It’s been a little while since I last published a blog. Sorry guys and girls, I write about life-style issues, so need to be living life to be writing about it.

I thought, I talk about a topic that will continue to be discussed to the end of time: Age. That is one thing that is guaranteed in life is: that we will all age! Why write about this? (No, I’m not using google Ad-words to plug younger skin cream products. Not that I would mind receiving some skin freebies. I do love my skin, and you should take care of it since scientifically it’s the body’s largest organ)

Well, one reason is that it is a topic that is trending this week in the SophiaWorld radar.  Wow, it’s amazing how I coin terms spontaneously like the former.  (Last week was the week of speaking to PR. It’s all about the brand, after all. Two PR specialists talked about “trends”). Sorry for digressing a little here, so now will go back to the topic in hand: age.

I am a fan for easy-reading and do confess to being a reader of the DailyMail  newspaper(www.dailymail.co.uk). Today was the first time in a little while where I thought that I needed to have my own “shout”. This shout was on two topics, I now count three: age, woman, man’s world.  There was an article on a female celebrity Alexa Chung, who is age 28 and who was “allegedly” flirting with the ten years younger Harry Styles. The band member who seems to be the favourite for cougars, yes the word for older woman who like to date younger men. I recently did an Internet search on that term; the one that caught my eye was the urban dictionary definition: “an older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man”. How predatory does that sound? But dating and romance is a “hunting” ground.

Why is it that society likes to shout when an older woman is dating a younger guy, so much so, I saw another new term formed last week for this type of woman “Nougaur”, the reference to the younger, older woman who like their younger men.  When attempting to correct the article writer Emily Sheridan, about how she can be described as a Nougar, not Cougar; this comment was blocked.  I will have my rant with the Daily Mail moderator and sensor team later.

I went on to say that you do not hear the phrase, “dirty old man”, quite often.  So much so, when a friend of mine mentioned how back in the Philippines they chanted D.O.M, I had to ask her to explain what these initials stood for. Yes, a true story, Romelyne would back this up.

This week the DIY SOS presenter, Nick Knowles, married the  “rumoured” daughter of a family friend.  There was an age difference of 25 years. Talk about irony, the bride was also 25 years old !  In the commentary there were mixed reviews, one poster commenting on how they found older men sexy and had married one.  I don’t have anything against dating guys older than myself; and this has been from 11months to 7 years, so far.

Was this article just another example where we live in a society where there was one rule for men, and another for women?

When it comes to love, like other relationships should the focus be more on the “connection”, like the late singer Aaliyah sang:

“Age ain’t nothing but a number.

Throwing down ain’t nothing but a thang..”

The Dementor

We are all spiritual beings, manifestations. Our outlook presence is not only present, our energies are always there. You are probably asking why I am talking about energies? Is this going to be a discussion on religion, spirituality, wizardry (note the Harry Potter magical creature)? No it is going to be more focused on feelings, how it affects us – negative energies.

 

I am fan of the Harry Potter, the books and movies. One such creature that appeared in the books was the dementor. They were described as follows:

 

“….they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you”

 

I once knew a man who liked to drain all the positivity around him, and this had started once he appeared at the scene. You would be happy, having a positive outlook and he will soon turn this down to a low, miserable pitch. Emotions after all can be “contagious”. (Please read “Genie in the Bottle”).  Who are these people who bring negative energy with them?

 

Have you met the following characters? You are in a meeting during in the month of July, and one of the attendees complains about how it is looking grey and damp outside – for the summer – making the rest of the team feel miserable.  A couple are celebrating their recent engagement and your partner whispers to you, “I’ll give that no more than five years. She will get bored, fleece him for all his money then get with a new partner.” How about you feeling that you are not reaching full potential in your current job role, wanting to be challenged – go out of your comfort zone – you turn to your partner for career suggestions. They respond with the following suggestions: a customer service representative and becoming their personal assistant, as you were very well organised. This making you feel more disheartened and disillusioned than before. With the last scenario you would think that person should seriously consider “dumping” their partner. Why surround yourself with negative people like that?

 

But this is life, you will meet all sorts of characters: Mr Positive, Miss Outgoing, Miss Pessimistic, Mr Optimist, and Mr Negative – to maintain equilibrium! Is there a way to avoid the negative person? The answer is a yes and no.  You may choose simply not be around that negative person – physically. There may be instances like that man in the meeting complaining about the rain on what was meant to be a summer’s day.  Do you push him and his negativity out of the boardroom window? You could ignore them and smile, think to yourself that this is going to be a bright day, and before you know it your mood shifts and see all the possibilities and potential. Maybe you will see the rainbows. Is there anything wrong with being Pollyanna?

The Help

My friends sometimes describe me as Miss Busy, since I like to keep myself occupied with one project or another.  If I had coined a term, one of them would be, “busy is good”.  Let’s say that I can sometimes have a few projects running simultaneously with each other. This is probably due to me being a portfolio professional, as I once wrote on a bio page.

Diversification is the key to keeping up and staying in this current economic environment. This is what some of these successful companies have been doing for years. We have seen this with the Virgin brand. First came the music, then air transportation, brides.  That’s the business entity, how about the person entity?

Along with the busy life, comes the topic of time-management. How can you balance your time, not neglect one area of your life? Can you have it all? This is where the word help comes into play.

The word help can have negative connotations since some may view it as a sign of weakness. At the other end of the spectrum it can be positive.  I went to one event recently about attracting the opposite sex, and the presenter spoke to the audience about how men found it a “turn-on” the feeling of being “needed”. To others there was a sense of pride of helping others.

Help can take shape in different guises.  If you walk into any book store, or surf online book stores like Amazon, you will find many self-help titles:  “Dummy’s guide to..” ; and “How to Be Selfish (and Other Uncomfortable Advice)” to name a few.

People are always evolving and one way is to continuously learn; look at areas where we need to develop.  “Do I need to work on my confidence?” I could read a book such as “Increase Your Confidence in One Day……” by Olga Levancuka. You may be a  confident person but need that occasional “boost”, as life will get in the way from time to time – throwing a curve ball –  now and then.  For example: I am in a settled job, tomorrow I get called into the manager’s office and my lucrative contract is ended. Do I have enough savings? How long will I manage until the money runs out?

It is not wrong to ask for help. It’s amazing how people like to feel that they are helping. This could be for a variety of reasons, for spiritual fulfilment – receiving back “tenfold” for giving with a good heart.

But don’t forget about helping yourself, as this article began. Getting help when required.  But the first step is the “realisation”. Mr Helpless (will use masculine instead of the usual feminine caricature – equal opportunities!), wants help with a project getting out of hand. Why not firstly, get a second opinion since it is amazing how another viewer may see things differently, come up with a constructive suggestion.

The “talker”

The “talker”

What is the word for a person who likes to over promise, says that they will do something and fails to deliver?  The over promisor, talker, chatter, idiot or bulls£$ter?

I once knew a guy who liked to talk about what he planned to do, from becoming a business owner by the age of forty to having the dream wedding on a Bali beach.  But this had all been: “talk, talk, talk”.  He seemed not to be able to fulfil promises, and I soon begun to think of him as the story teller.  Some stories are interesting and will keep the reader captivated, so you will want to continue with the read; whilst others will become “predictable” until the reader starts to lose interest – there is a sense of I know what is going to happen next.

Why do some people make promises that they cannot keep? Is it that they start off with the best intentions of wanting to do something, then “chicken out” when the reality of the idea, concept materialises?  Or could it be the case of selling a concept to the audience, hoping that they will believe enough in your vision and vote, as in the case of the Politician.

I have met people, who once they have an idea or concept, refuse to divulge details to others; and this can be due to not wanting to “tempt” fate. I can totally understand this, not wanting to talk when in the developing, “storming” stage – as one would describe in business, or even in teaching textbooks.  And of course, be careful about someone thinking the idea is theirs and putting it into action before you.  This happens all the time and I have a friend whose business idea was taken by another – the surprise they had, that Sunday morning, where they saw their “proposed” product being sold by their now ex-friend.

Going back to the talker, Peter Jones, the successful entrepreneur summed it up when talking about business (and life); how you do not get anywhere with talking, it is about taking action. I prefer to have “done”, than “wondered”. Just talk is boring.

 

The “like” Factor

The “like” Factor

I was speaking to a career coach a few weeks ago and the subject of likeability came up. How when meeting people for the first time, we will make deductions about the other person: are they pretty, fat, friendly and likeable? Yes, we can decide within a few moments of meeting a person whether or not we are going to get along with them or not.

What makes us decide whether we are going to like a person or not? Is it like a phobia or fear, something that is inbuilt in us? A parent’s fear, prejudice; or simply a bad experience – “I once went out with a “Scorpion” man who was too strong minded, not wanting to commit”. It is a normal human behaviour to “prejudge” the cover of a book. Hence the phrase, “you should not judge a book by its cover”.

In the Caribbean there is an expression which goes, “my blood did not take to them”, this translates to “just not liking the person”. There is no specific reason why they did not take to the person – so no matter how pleasant this person may be they do not like them.

At interviews, some argue that the first three minutes count! This is due to the interviewer deciding whether or not the candidate is right for the role. So first “impressions” count, if you get off to the wrong start then it can become difficult to come back. So wearing a “blue” hair-do to a job interview may draw the conclusion that this person is “crazy”.

I would say that I am sensitive to the environment around me and this also includes a person’s aura. Normally, when meeting a person I can feel a “vibe” from them; this vibe can be good or negative. It may be that I can sense that there is negativity surrounding them, and if this is the case, then I would not like them to be in my presence for long periods of time.

How about the “underdog”, the person who seems to be the unlikely hero but somehow we are drawn to them and can relate to them, since they appear not to be “perfect”. One story in recent years that demonstrates this is the SuBo effect. Susan Boyle, a middle-aged woman from Scotland, appeared on the reality show Britain’s Got Talent. When she first appeared on the stage, Simon Cowell must have thought like the rest of the public: here comes the middle aged housewife with delusions of being a “star”. Susan opened her mouth and a “voice” came out that memorised not just the judging panel, British public, the worldwide web – YouTube had woken up to 25 million hits! This woman has “likeability” in spades.

 

Back to Black: A dedication to Amy Winehouse

Back to Black: A dedication to Amy Winehouse

Today, I was going along with my normal day-to-day business – doing errands, getting ready for one of my new students -and then came the phone call from Geri announcing:  “Amy Winehouse has died”.  I stared back at my iPhone feeling dumfounded.  Amy Winehouse is dead?  This could not be true, so I went online, straight to the daily mail website and found the bold caption confirming the news that the singer had passed.

In our lifetimes, we see many icons, stars that have that aura of magic that makes them standout – they possess the X-factor! (I do dispute the “over-use” of the former expression in modern day media, where like the word diva, it become meaningless) What made Amy Winehouse special was how she could reach into her soul, find her inner “voice” and project her emotions out through her velvet, contralto voice.  I found it quite saddening that I will not be hearing any more new songs from her, and I had been one of those people anticipating the new work since the release of her last album in 2006. I do remember that nice summer day, back in 2006 when I first discovered her music. I was in a HMV store in Birmingham city center, looking for a new album to play whilst I drive back to London.  I remember saying to my younger sister, how I had a feeling that this was a good one. This proved to be correct; I loved her album and remember plugging her album to my friends.

I have been meaning to write an article entitled “back to black” for some time now, discussing the issue of how there are “raw”, deep, “dark”, honest emotions that we find difficult to release at times. This can be from trying to write or talk about the past – discussing a broken relationship to finding our true voice- not being afraid of being “true” to ourselves. Making that announcement one day, “I do not like accounting; don’t want to be an accountant anymore.”  It can be amazing some of the conclusions that can be drawn. A life coach friend of mine once told me a story about a consultation that they had with a client, who promptly dumped their live-in boyfriend after the first session.  (I did find the swift speed of this action “hilarious”) They decided to be true to themselves, end the relationship where they were not being appreciated; how they deserved better.

It is human nature to be scared of the unknown and sometimes hide from facts. But isn’t great to explore the truth, and when it comes out the sense of relief.   It is therapeutic like the song “Back to black” by the late, great Amy Winehouse.