Life & business learnings from a 10-day silent retreat

Learnings from a 10-day silent retreatA couple of days ago I returned from a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I’m still processing the impact it’s had on me (and I’m sure it won’t become fully clear for some time), but I know many people were curious about what a retreat like this would be like, so I wanted to share some of the experience with you here in this blog.

The practicalities

The retreat I attended was a 10-day vipassana meditation course. It was held at a centre in Herefordshire in the UK and around 150 people were part of it (both men and women).

There was a real mixture of people attending – all ages, lots of different nationalities, some of whom had meditated before and some who had no previous experience of meditation (talk about in at the deep end!).

Once the course started, the first 9 days were spent in complete silence. Yes, that’s right – complete silence.

If you needed to, you could ask questions of the teachers or course managers, but there was no talking at all with your fellow meditators (not even at mealtimes). In fact, there was no contact whatsoever – no eye contact, no smiles, no physical contact.

The idea was to have no distractions to your meditation practice, so there was no reading or writing allowed either.  And, of course, no phones or other devices.

The schedule ran from 4am in the morning until 9pm at night and included around 10 hours of meditation each day.  (To tell you the truth, I never managed 10 hours per day – I usually did around 6.5 to 7 hours).

The only form of activity apart from meditation was eating, washing or going for a walk in the grounds (within limited boundaries).

The food was vegetarian, with porridge, cereal and fruit for breakfast at 6.30am, a vegetable-based lunch at 11am (yes, 11am!) and ‘dinner’ at 5pm consisted of two pieces of fruit (and no more than two).

In spite of this, I never felt hungry.  The fact that there wasn’t any other food available meant that I didn’t really think of eating outside of mealtimes.  I also think that my blood sugar levels must have been more stable because of the lack of processed, sweet foods.

On the 10th day the silence was broken and we had the opportunity to talk to each other and share our experiences, which was both wonderful and a little overwhelming at the same time.

How I found it

To be honest, this was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I’ve attended different retreats before – including silent retreats – but none of them were as strict or intense as this one. Ten days felt like a very long time – with no distractions, no real human interaction and no comfort from outside, apart from being able to walk in nature.

I didn’t mind the silence, but I struggled with the lack of eye contact and being able to share a smile with my fellow meditators. (Although occasionally one of us would slip and instinctively smile at someone else and that felt completely thrilling!)

I also found the sitting in meditation for such lengthy periods very challenging physically. Although you normally had a short break each hour, various parts of my body felt stiff and painful during the ten days. And I had to harness some strong determination to stay settled in one posture.

Before I started I imagined that it would get easier as I moved through the ten days.  It didn’t. If anything the experience became harder as time went on.

Saying that, I found that my mind really slowed down over the course of the retreat. At times I found that I had no thoughts whatsoever in my head (which was a very unusual experience).

My body also felt surprisingly strong after ten days of sitting in meditation and I’m finding that I’m moving more slowly and mindfully as I’ve returned home. I feel more grounded and centred.

My insights

Having virtually no stimulation at all during this ten days made me realise just how much external stimulation we experience in the outside world. We are constantly bombarded with content, experiences, activity and our minds never really get a chance to settle.

I found that having very limited stimulation meant that I appreciated small things SO much more – a smile from another human being, seeing a rabbit as I was out walking, the sun breaking through the clouds after a rainy day. These things that I may not have even noticed in my day-to-day life, brought joy to my heart when I experienced them during the retreat.

I also noticed that although my mind continued to generate ideas – ideas about things I could do in my business and personally – because I didn’t have the opportunity to act on them (or even write then down), many of them fell away quickly.  I know that if I’d been on the outside world, I would have acted on some of these ideas immediately, maybe jumping from one thing to another and feeling distracted. It felt releasing to just notice the ideas and know that I had to delay taking any action.

How powerful it is to sit with discomfort rather than instinctively running away or distracting myself.  Being able to be with uncomfortable feelings – physical, mental and emotional – allowed old habits and patterns to rise to the surface to be released. This wasn’t particularly pleasant, but it was extremely beneficial.

How the thoughts we choose can create suffering. At times I found myself pining for the outside world and thinking about what Mr H, my sister or friends would be doing at that particular time.  I would imagine where they were and how they were enjoying themselves and then think about how many days I had left to go.

I realised that this thinking simply made me feel miserable. Focusing on what I didn’t have at that moment, rather than the experience I was actually having.

And of course, we don’t have to be in a retreat to do this. How often do you find yourself focusing on the lack of something you don’t have, rather than appreciating what you do have?

Being completely out of touch with the world can be deeply refreshing and restorative. During the ten ways I was on retreat LOTS happened both in the UK and the rest of the world (Brexit, the resignation of the British prime minister, various political shenanigans!).  And I was actually quite relieved to have missed it all.

As someone who likes to keep up with current affairs (I know I would have been glued to the news if I’d been outside), it was interesting to notice that I didn’t feel like I’d missed out in any way whatsoever by not being connected during all of this upheaval. In fact, I felt that I’d been very fortunate to have been sheltered from it all.

My business can survive (and thrive) when I take time out.  Mr H was shocked that I was planning to take ten full days completely out of my business and was worried about the impact it would have.  However, as I’d planned for the retreat and let people know that I’d be away, I actually had my best month ever in June 2016 (by 40%), despite only having 21 days available to me.

Because I knew that I was going to have ten days in retreat, I was much more focused for the first three weeks of June and that helped me to have my most successful month.  I also know that feeling so refreshed and centred now that I’ve completed the retreat will stand me in good stead for  the coming months.

Sometimes we’re reluctant to take time out, because we think that our businesses or personal responsibilities will suffer.  I’ve always found the complete opposite to be true. By taking the space that you need, all areas of your life have the opportunity to thrive.

So, that’s some of my initial thoughts on leaving the retreat. I’m sure that more insights will follow. If you have any particular questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

And if you want to explore and be inspired to find different ways of doing life and business, click here to come and join my free Facebook community – Unbound Living. I’d be delighted to welcome you over there!

Here’s the no.1 question you need to ask if you’re not creating a consistent income in your business right now

The number one question you need to ask if you're NOT creating a consistent income in your business right nowAre you creating the income you TRULY want in your business right now? Or does it sometimes feel like you’re on a rollercoaster when it comes to money (with more lows than highs?).

I get it.  I’ve been stuck in that cycle of feast and famine in the past and it’s NOT a happy place to be.

And I’ve found that when you’re not creating a consistent stream of income, you need to ask yourself ONE question to find out why.

Want to know what it is?

The number one question you need to ask yourself is:

‘Where am I NOT being consistent in my business right now?’

Everything in your life and your business is a mirror for you, including your income, so if you have an inconsistent income at the moment, then you are being inconsistent somewhere.

Now I know this might be pretty hard to hear.

And you might feel like slipping into defence mode. ‘Nicola, I’m working really hard at my business and you’re accusing me of being inconsistent?’

I understand.

But I’m asking you to take an honest, unwavering look at yourself and how you are in your life and business.

Because the truth is, there are no quick fixes.  (Well there aren’t any quick fixes that are truly sustainable).

So take a deep breath and reflect on any areas where are you not being consistent in your business right now. I’m pretty sure that you’re amazing at what you do – the way you serve your clients, the product you create, the content you share.

But where is there inconsistency?

Maybe it’s in your marketing, or reaching out to potential clients, or finishing projects, or your pricing, or your self-care, or your inner work – your personal development.

All of these areas have an impact on your income.  And the hard fact is that if you’re being inconsistent with any one of them, then you’re likely to experience an up-and-down income.

And yes, self-care and personal development are JUST as important as the more practical elements of your business.

I was speaking with a client the other day and she mentioned that she feels guilty for taking time for personal development – to do courses or watch videos.

And I encouraged her to carve out time each week specifically for personal development – to see this as a key part of her business, not something extra.

The only time it becomes an issue is if you’re spending ALL of your time on self development and inner work and not taking action.

There are 3 pillars in your business – action, self-care and growth and personal development and they each need to be consistently consistent.

To be completely honest, I’ve certainly been inconsistent in all of these areas at times in the past.

The key reason why I started my own business was to create more freedom and flexibility in my life.  So I’ve totally resisted consistency in the past.

I’ve told myself I like to go with the flow – at times I’ve either got wrapped up in action and neglected my self-care and inner work or gone totally the other way.

But in recent months, I’ve come to see the huge value in consistency.  And that when we create consistency in our business, it allows us to experience even more freedom and flexibility (rather than panic and uncertainty!)

Side note: When I talk about action here, I mean income-generating activities.

Speaking with potential clients, following up with enquiries, making new connections, creating compelling content that draws people to you.

Not fiddling with your website for months on end, or hiding behind your laptop. (Not that you would ever do that, eh?)

So, where are you NOT being consistent right now?

I know it takes guts to have a long, hard look at yourself and admit what you’re not doing at the moment.

But I guarantee, once you identify what you’re missing out on and start incorporating it consistently – and by consistently I mean every single day – you will see a difference in your income.

And the same question can apply to abundance or thriving.  If you’re not seeing an abundant or thriving income, where are you not being abundant or thriving in your life and business right now?

This is a real power question.

So, take some time to reflect on it.  And if you want to discover how to smash that frustrating cycle of feast and famine for good, and breakthrough to a brand new income level in your business, click here to download my free Income Breakthrough Action Plan.

A tapping routine to help you create a consistent income

A tapping routine to create a consistent incomeWhat’s your biggest challenge when it comes to making money in your business?

Recently I did a survey in my online community asking this very question and 31% of the women who answered said that their biggest money challenge was creating a consistent income.

So, if you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster with your income right now (and there are more lows than highs!), I’ve put together a special tapping routine using EFT to help you start creating a consistent, thriving income.

Here it is:

And to make sure that you have everything you need to start creating a truly consistent, abundant income right away, download my free masterclass – 7 Steps to a Consistent, Thriving Income.
Click here to get immediate access.

3 steps to move out of desperation and into abundance

3 steps to move from desperation to abundanceI’m sure we’ve all been there.  It’s coming up to the end of the month.  You’ve got bills to pay and commitments to meet, but your income is WAY below what you had hoped it would be.

At times like this, you can feel the desperation creeping in.  You start to feel panicky and anxious about your financial situation.

And, as I’m sure you know, if you’re feeling desperate it can be challenging to attract clients and new sources of income.  It can also be difficult to take the action you need to take when you’re stuck in a place of fear and anxiety.

I dislike the word ‘Desperate’, but sometimes it’s the best description of how you’re feeling.  And the first step to creating change is always to acknowledge where you are right now.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in desperation at the moment, take a deep breath and follow these three steps to move into a new place of possibility.

1) Tap yourself into a more resourceful state

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog (and if you’re not, hey! It’s great to have you here), Emotional Freedom Technique (aka EFT or tapping) is my go-to tool for creating a shift and releasing limiting emotions.

Just a few rounds of tapping will help you to feel calmer and more resourceful.

And because I’m such a helpful gal, I’ve created a short tapping routine to help you move out of desperation right away.  Just click below and tap along.

 Don’t be tempted to skip this step.  EFT will help to reduce the stress hormones that are buzzing around your body right now and then you’ll find it MUCH easier to move onto the next two steps.  I promise.

How are you feeling now?  Better?

Good. Let’s move on to Step 2.

2) Gratitude and Appreciation

I know you’ve heard this before, but gratitude really is SUCH a powerful way to shift your energy.

Now that you’ve begun to tap away any feelings of desperation, panic or anxiety, I want you to make a list of at least ten things you’re grateful for right now.  If they’re related to your business and money, great! But these ten things can be anything at all – from the sun that’s shining outside, to your beautiful home or one of your loved ones.

Notice how you feel as you choose to acknowledge what you are grateful for.  You can’t help but feel better, eh?

Once you’ve made your list of ten things, I want you to spend at least five minutes writing about how far you’ve come in your business.   Reflect on what you’ve created already – any income you’ve received, clients you’ve worked with, products or services you offer.

Even if you’re a brand new entrepreneur, acknowledge the courageous leap you’ve made in starting your own business.  Go you!

Choose to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Once you’ve tuned into an energy of gratitude and appreciation, you will have raised your vibration and can move onto Step 3…

3) Take inspired action

You will now be feeling FAR more resourceful (and if you haven’t noticed a significant shift in your energy, go back and do the tapping routine one more time).

Any feelings of anxiety and desperation will be melting away and it’s time to move into momentum.

From this new place of possibility, take some time and write down at least three actions you can take to create income right away.

  • Follow up with potential client enquiries.
  • Contact previous clients to see how they’re doing and whether they need more help.
  • Hold a flash sale.
  • Have a clear-out and sell anything you don’t need or want any more.
  • Offer a one-off Pick My Brains/Strategy/Kickstarter Session to your list or on social media.

Once you have your ideas, go to it!  Start stirring the Universal energy by taking action.  It will be much easier now that you’ve shifted yourself into a more resourceful, expansive state.

If at any time you start to feel desperation creeping in again, go back and work through the first two steps.  This is a process you can come back to, time and time again if you need to.

Notice how you feel to be in momentum and be ready for the money to start flowing to you. Kapow!

I’d love you to comment below and let me know what shifts you noticed during those three steps.

And if you want to create EVEN more abundance in your life, click here to join my free 7-Day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get going right away.

Here’s to creating the income (and impact) you TRULY desire!

How to feel better when you believe that good things can’t last

How to feel better when you believe that good things can't lastI’ve been speaking to a lot of clients recently who have an underlying belief that ‘Good things don’t last’.

Whenever things are going well in their lives or businesses, rather than enjoying the good times, they have this niggling fear that it’s all going to slip away at any moment.

I wonder if you can identify with this?

Do you find it challenging to relax and enjoy the times when things are going well for you, because you’re expecting something bad to happen?

Here are some examples of how this belief – Good things don’t last – can show up in your life:

You have a great month financially in your business, but rather than celebrating you immediately start worrying that next month won’t be so good.

You sign-up an ideal new client and fear that they’ll back out before you start working together.

You meet the perfect partner, but instead of enjoying your first few weeks together you’re on the constant look-out for what’s wrong with them (because there must be something, right?)

Not only is it draining to have this underlying fear and doubt, BUT when you’re constantly expecting bad things to happen, you’re likely to manifest the very thing that you fear.

You get more of what you focus on.

So, if you’re worrying that something is going to go wrong, it probably will.

This can lead to a rollercoaster income (with more lows than highs), unreliable clients and friction in your personal relationships.

So, how can you begin to shift this limiting belief and let go of the fear that good things can’t last?

My go-to tool is tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique).  I’ve created a short tapping routine to help you let for of any fears or doubts and expand your capacity to enjoy the good stuff (and attract more of it into your life).

How did you get on?  What kind of shifts or insights did you notice as you were tapping around?

I’d love you to comment below and let me know.

And if you want to create EVEN more abundance in your life (and maintain it!), click here to join my free 7-day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get started right away.

How to become an energetic match for your ideal clients

How to become an energetic match for your ideal clients.I’m sure you’ve often thought about the kind of clients you want to attract to your business – it’s key to get clear on your ideal clients.

But have you given much thought to what YOU’re like as a client?

This week I got told that I’m the perfect client by a coach that I’m working with at the moment.

And it’s not the first time.  (I don’t say this to brag.)  But I go out of my way to be an ideal client to anyone I choose to work with.

Why?

Because I know how important it is to be an energetic match for exactly the kind of clients you want to attract into your business.

My aim is to attract clients who are committed, engaged, willing to invest in themselves and ready to take action. I’m sure you feel the same?

And, to be honest, in the past there have been many times when I haven’t been that myself.

I’ve bought courses, started off enthusiastically and then tailed off quickly without implementing what I’ve learned.

I’ve invested in group coaching programmes and not turned up for the calls.

I’ve been a lurker in the paid Facebook groups that come as part of programmes I’ve invested in.

And I’ve told myself that I couldn’t afford to invest at a high level, whilst trying to attract high-level clients myself.

And of course, when I’ve done this, not only did I not get the results I wanted from the programmes I invested in, but I also found I was attracting clients who were as unengaged, unwilling to invest and as lacking in action-taking as I was.

This is NOT a happy place to be in your business, I can tell you.

So, a couple of years ago I made a decision to show up as exactly the kind of client I wanted to attract.

  • I took action and implemented what I had learned.
  • I became an active and supportive member of the Facebook communities I had access to.
  • I showed up for coaching calls, even when I didn’t feel like it. And actually, the times I wasn’t feeling like it were the calls that I tended to get most benefit from because they shifted me out of the funk I was in.
  • I invested in myself at a high level and got the specific help I needed.
  • I gave constructive feedback to the people I chose to work with and provided testimonials without prompting.

And in doing this, my business has been transformed.

Not only have I accessed the knowledge and support that I needed to move my business forwards, but I’ve also been able to attract far more of my ideal clients.

By being an ideal client, I also create fantastic connections with the coaches and experts I work with.  This has led to speaking opportunities, referrals, joint ventures and collaborations.

So, if you’re struggling to attract your ideal clients at the moment, if you are getting people who say they can’t afford to work with you or don’t engage in the process, then take some time to look at what kind of client YOU are?

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘You get back what you put out’ and this is exactly what I mean by making sure you are an energetic match for the kind of clients you want to attract.

Take some now to reflect on what kind of client you are (or have been in the past) and think about ways you can become an energetic match for your ideal clients from now on.

And if you want to discover how to set prices that feel good for you and attract more of your ideal clients, then click here to download my free pricing guide now.

5 Ways to Create Successful Affirmations

5 Ways to Create Successful Abundance AffirmationsAs a Money Coach, I use affirmations a lot and recommend this potent prosperity practice to my Money Mastery clients.

BUT affirmations can sometimes get a bad rep. Maybe you’ve tried to use them in the past, but they just haven’t seemed to make any difference to your financial situation?

Maybe you struggle with knowing the ‘right’ words to say?

Or maybe you can’t believe that simply saying a positive phrase is going to help you to make more money?

The reason why people sometimes struggle with affirmations is that they need to be used in a certain way (otherwise they will have little or no effect).

So, here are the 5 key principles that will ensure your affirmations can’t help but work for you.

1. Use words that excite you.

There are lots of books and content out there that suggest particular affirmations for you to use, so it’s tempting to stick with the exact wording that someone else recommends.

BUT we are all unique.  Words that are compelling and exciting to one person, may leave the next feeling flat or pressured.

When it comes to choosing the wording for your affirmations, be specific and use words that light YOU up.

Try out some different words and phrases and notice those that make you feel expansive and excited.  When you do this, your affirmations will be far more effective.

 2. Be aware of your ‘Yes, buts….’

When you say an affirmation out loud or write it down for the first time, notice if any doubts or ‘Yes, but…’ thoughts come to mind.

For example, if your affirmation is, ‘Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance’, maybe you’ll get an after-thought like,

‘Yes, but we all know it takes hard work to make money’, or

‘Yes, but who would want to pay me for what I have to offer?’, or

‘Yes, but it could never be really easy’.

When you notice these, ‘Yes, buts….’ rather than trying to push them down or ignore them, do a happy dance.

Eh? Did I just say happy dance?

Yes! Because these ‘Yes, but…’ statements are powerful clues to any limiting beliefs that may have held you back in the past.

Once you have brought them into your awareness (and you’ve done a happy dance!), write them down.  By writing them down, you’re getting them out of your head and down onto paper.

By shining a light on any ‘Yes, buts…’, you’re putting yourself in a position of power and you can begin to shift these limiting beliefs.

3. Ask a question

When you use a statement as an affirmation (for example, ‘I am making £10,000 in my business this month’), your subconscious mind can kick in with those limiting beliefs and ‘Yes, buts’ we were just talking about.

So, you need to be a bit clever with your wording.

Rather than using a simple statement, choose to word your affirmation as a question.

Whenever you ask a question of yourself, your subconscious mind can’t help but go looking for an answer.  So, you will naturally start to notice solutions, opportunities and possibilities.

For example, notice the difference between saying, ‘I am making £10,000 in my business this month’ and ‘I wonder how I am making £10,000 in my business this month?’

It feels much more expansive to ask a question than simply making a statement.  It gives a sense of momentum which carries you forward.

4. Choose to use choose

Using the words, ‘I choose…’ at the beginning of your affirmations super-charges their potency.

Again, the words ‘I choose…’ help to bypass any limiting beliefs or ‘Yes, buts…’.

For example, ‘I choose to create a consistent, growing income’ or ‘I’m choosing to attract money to me with ease and flow’.

When you say, ‘I choose…’ you immediately put yourself in a position of power.  You leave the past behind you and send a message that from this moment forwards , I am choosing to do this!

5. When you’re in a funk, keep it general

This is great tip that I’ve heard many times from Abraham Hicks.  If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about your financial situation, trying to dive in and say, ‘I am a compelling money magnet’ will probably just make you feel worse.

Trying to override heavy emotions with super-specific, positive statements tends to create resistance rather than flow.

SO, if you’re feeling in a funk, use a very general affirmation initially.  For example, ‘I wonder how this could be easy right now?’  or ‘I choose to feel more in flow with the Universe’.

Using a more general affirmation will help to change your state and then you can move on to using more specific wording.

So, that’s the 5 potent principles that will super-charge your affirmations.

And if you want to create your own, supremely effective affirmations, enter your details below to download a copy of my free Abundance Affirmation cheatsheet.

A super-simple technique for when you’re feeling stuck or blocked

A super-simple technique for when you're feeling stuckEver feel like you’re stuck in some area of your life (finances, relationships, health), but you’re not sure exactly what’s holding you back?

What is it that’s preventing you from stepping into your full potential, shining your light as brightly as you surely can and living life the way you truly desire?

The truth is, sometimes we can go round and round in circles trying to figure it out.  Maybe you journal on it, talk to a friend or read a self-help book, but the same ‘stuff’ keeps coming up time and time again.

I get it.

I’ve been there and it’s pretty darn frustrating.

Usually as we’re trying to ‘figure it out’, we’re using our conscious minds, trying to logically reason why on earth we’re feeling so stuck.

But the truth is, if you’re feeling blocked in some way, it’s likely that something is going on subconsciously – and your subconscious mind is not the most rational place.  Believe me, as a hypnotherapist, I’ve become used to the very particular ‘logic’ of the subconscious mind over the years.

The good new is there’s a simple way to bypass your conscious mind and tap into what’s really going on.  It’s a technique I use myself and share with my clients to help uncover and shift blocks of all kinds.

It involves tapping into the inner knowing of your body and it’s a super-quick route to more ease and flow.  Let me share it with you now:

1. Start to focus on the area of your life where you’re feeling stuck at the moment.  Be as specific as you can, thinking about a particular situation, issue or relationship.

2. Notice how you feel in your body as you focus on that particular issue.  What sensations are you experiencing and where?

3. Tune into whichever part of your body you feel drawn to most.  As you focus on the physical sensation you’re feeling there, ask yourself, ‘If this was an emotion, what it be?’  Notice what comes to mind.

4. Stay tuned into that particular part of your body and ask yourself, ‘If this sensation was a colour, what would it be?’  Notice what comes to mind.

5. Now you have a part of your body, a sensation, an emotion and a colour, ask yourself when you first experienced this.  For example, ‘When did I first experience this tight, blue, angry feeling in my throat?’

6. Notice what comes to mind.  It’s very likely that you’ll think of a particular memory and if one doesn’t come, just guess when you first experienced this feeling.  Hint: You cannot get this wrong, whatever comes up will be coming for a reason.  Choose to be open to whatever your subconscious presents to you.

7. Now you have a specific memory, this is GOLD.  Rather than trying to figure it out for yourself, your subconscious has given you the precise piece of the puzzle you need right now.  All you need to do is trust that this is the case.

Focus on the memory that’s come to mind.  Ask yourself, ‘What did I learn here? What did this experience make me believe about myself and the world?’

Take some time to journal on what comes up and begin to reframe it.

For example, when I was doing some personal work recently, a memory came up from when I was a little girl that had made me believe that when I express myself, I make people angry.

As I thought back to the situation that had come to mind, I could see that it wasn’t me that had made people angry, there was much more going on at the time that I simply hadn’t been aware of as a child.

The belief that expressing myself made people angry had been preventing me from being fully myself, in my personal life and business.  But as I worked with this memory, that old belief began to shift.

I would never have got to that memory, if I hadn’t tuned into it via the steps I suggested above.  It’s not a memory that had ever come to mind before.

And that’s why this technique is SO powerful.

When I work with clients, I combine this approach with hypnotherapy or EFT tapping, but you can easily use it for yourself to access information that would otherwise be out of your awareness.

Hint: Awareness is always the first step to change.

Try it out for yourself and see what new insights come to you.

Your next step. Want to discover how to create the abundant life you truly desire (and deserve!)? Click here to join my free Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get going right away.

 

 

How can I create an abundant mindset without overspending?

How can I create an abundant mindset without overspending_Recently I received this juicy question from Cat:

We hear a lot about the psychology of abundance and scarcity. But how do you establish an abundant mindset without overspending?  Although the scarcity mindset of “I can’t afford that,” is fear-based, it does stop you spending what you don’t have. 

Is there a risk that with the mindset of “I can afford it. Money flows to me. I am abundant,” a person might get themselves into debt?’

Great question!  And one I’ve done a lot of thinking about over the past few years as a money mindset mentor, so here are my three steps to create an abundant mindset without having to overspend.

1. Appreciate all the ways you’re abundant right now

Creating an abundant mindset is a question of focus.  Whether you earn £10k or £10million a year, we can all slip into a place of ‘there’s not enough’.  (Believe me, even the wealthiest people can still have a scarcity mindset).

When you focus on scarcity, you end up in resistance (i.e. fear, panic, frustration, dissatisfaction) and your point of attraction lowers.

Your aim is to move from resistance into alignment (joy, satisfaction, gratitude, hopefulness) and a sure-fire way to do this is through appreciation.

Rather than focusing on any ways you feel you don’t have enough right now, choose to turn your attention to the many ways in which you already are abundant.

As a personal example, at the moment I’m working with the affirmation, ‘I always make more than enough money to support myself in the most deliciously abundant ways’.  To make sure this affirmation is working for me, I’m constantly choosing to notice the ways I feel deliciously abundant – things like having lunch in my favourite cafe, getting a monthly massage, meeting a friend for coffee, having time to go for my daily walk, booking my upcoming ski-ing holiday.

As you can see, most of these don’t actually cost much money, but they all make me feel abundant.

Don’t forget to appreciate the things you might be taking for granted.  Each month I pay £750 straight into the joint account I share with Mr H to pay for our mortgage, bills and food.  I recently realised that I hadn’t been appreciating this money.  I just lumped it together as ‘household bills’.

So I’ve now started to consciously give thanks for the things this money allows me to experience – my beautiful home, candle-lit baths, fresh water, friendly neighbours, the food that I enjoy, a wonderful therapy room to see my clients, a space for entertaining friends and family,,,, I could go on and on! And as I do, my sense of abundance grows.

Start now: Take some time and write down all the ways you feel abundant right now.  Don’t hold back – write down everything you can think of, be specific and notice how you start to feel more expansive as you do.

2) Power up your language

As a hypnotherapist, I’m super-aware of how the words you use can affect all areas of your life.

Whenever you use the words, ‘I can’t afford it’, you’re sending a message to yourself and out into the Universe that you’re not in control.  You’re undermining your personal power.

Now, I’m not going to ask you to start saying. ‘I can afford it’ about everything when you feel you can’t.  When you use affirmations that don’t feel true for you, you slip back into a place of resistance, making them completely counter-effective.

What I encourage you to do instead is to use statements such as, ‘I’m choosing not to buy that right now’ or ‘This is not a priority for me at the moment’.  Both of these put you back in a position of power.

If there’s something you really want to buy and you truly feel you can’t afford it, then using a question can feel more expansive, for example, ‘I wonder how I could afford that?’ or ‘What are the ways I could create the money to buy ……?’  Whenever you ask a question, your subconscious mind will go looking for an answer and ideas will begin to flow to you.

‘I can’t afford it’ immediately closes you down.  ‘I wonder how I could afford it?’ opens you up.

Start now: Over the next week, ban yourself from saying ‘I can’t afford it’.  Choose to use more empowering statements or questions and notice how you feel different.

3) Be mindful of your feelings towards debt

In her question, Cat asked whether trying to create an abundant mindset could lead to overspending and getting into debt.  I think there’s generally a lot of misunderstanding about what an ‘abundant mindset’ really is.

Some abundance coaches might encourage you to ‘Just trust that the money will show up’ or say that if you hold onto money, it shows you have a scarcity mindset.

I don’t agree with that.

If you’re spending money and getting into debt to prove you’ve got an abundant mindset, telling yourself that you ‘trust there’s always enough’ when deep-down you’re feeling petrified, then I’m afraid you’re heading for down-town resistance and your chances of attracting more into your life are pretty much zilch.

I know this might sound harsh, but believe me, I’ve been there my friend and it’s NOT the way to go.

Although we use the words, ‘abundant mindset’, true abundance is all about how you FEEL.

And the truth is, many of us feel pretty mixed-up about debt. On one hand, we’re told it’s bad and on the other, we’re offered credit left, right and centre and made to feel it’s obligatory to get a huge mortgage in order to feel like a proper ‘grown-up’

Debt is not inherently bad and it’s not inherently good.  Debt just IS.

When you remove the emotion around debt, you’re free to make empowered decisions.

Now, I’m certainly not saying that it’s a great idea to get into debt so you can buy whatever you want.

BUT if something feels like a priority for you, if you feel that you’ll get a return on your investment (and that can be financially, emotionally, spiritually, energetically…) AND you know you can manage the repayments, then paying for it on credit may be an option for you.

When you’re making a choice about whether to borrow money to pay for something, notice how you feel about it.  Whatever you’re telling yourself consciously, your emotions will always let you know whether you’re closer to resistance or alignment.

Start now: Take some time to journal on your current feelings and beliefs around debt.  Do you see ‘debt’ as inherently bad?  What have your personal experiences been around debt? Have they left you feeling disempowered?  Empty all of your thoughts and feelings down onto the page.  Once you’ve done that, you’ll feel clearer moving forwards and able to make more empowered choices.

So, that’s my answer to Cat’s question- it is possible to create an abundant mindset without overspending.  You just need to make a few shifts along the way.

Your next step.  Ready to discover even more ways to create the abundant life you TRULY desire (and deserve!)? Click here to join my free 7-day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get going right away.

 

The 20 must-read books that will super-charge your wealth-creating potential in 2016

The 20 must-read books that will super-charge your wealth-creating potential in 2016Until recently I ran The Wealth Consciousness Bookclub on Facebook – an online space where women could come together and focus on a different abundance-enhancing book each month.

At the beginning of this year, I made the decision to close the group after as my attention moves to writing my own book in 2016.   (Watch out for ‘Heal Your Inner Good Girl’ when it’s published in the Summer!)

All-in-all we read 14 mind-expanding books in The Wealth Consciousness Bookclub and there are some gems that I never got around to sharing.  So, as I close this special online space, I wanted to share a list of the 20 must-read books that will give you wealth-creating super-powers this year.

This is the only reading list you’ll ever need to create a richer life.

In no particular order, here we go!

1) The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
Thought-provoking insights into the essence of prosperity. Lynne Twist demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose.

2) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo
A super-simple, effective way to banish clutter FOREVER. Clear out the old to make space for the new to flow in!

3) Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny
5 steps to letting go of self-sabotage and creating the richer life you deserve (because you really do!)

4) The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder
A compact set of simple universal laws for assuring success. This book is truly magical!

5) The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
6 habits that will transform your life before 8am. Learn how to wake up each day with energy, motivation and focus.

6) The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Conquer your hidden fears and take your life to the next level. This book is just brilliant! Read it and eliminate the barriers to success.

7) The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles
A classic guide to creating wealth through the Law of Attraction.

8) The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron
A twelve-week programme for using practical financial tools, in partnership with your creative heart and soul, to guide you to prosperity in all areas of your life. If you loved The Artist’s Way, you’ll LOVE this.

9) The Wealth Chef by Ann Wilson
A simple, step-by-step guide to creating true financial freedom.

10) Ask and it is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks
Learn how to manifest your desires so that you’re living the joyous and fulfilling life you deserve. Contains transformational processes that will help you go with the positive flow of life.

11) Money. A Love Story by Kate Northrup
Create a new, loving relationship with money. Kate presents a guide to untangling any financial woes, so you can create the life you truly want.

12) The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson
Discover the spiritual principles that will help you overcome financial stress and unleash the divine power of abundance.

13) Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Ecker
Discover the secrets of the truly wealthy, so you can master the inner game of wealth.

14) Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
A true classic! Napoleon Hill researched more than forty millionaires to find out what made them the people that they were. In this book he imparts that knowledge to you, so you can follow their lead.

15) Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas
Release your money blocks and learn how to live a first-class life with the fabulous, down-to-earth Denise Duffield-Thomas.

16) The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte
Turns the process of goal-setting on its head so you can create goals with SOUL and forge substantial life changes.

17) I Can Make You Rich by Paul McKenna
Discover proven psychological techniques to help you install a rich mindset inside yourself.

18) Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki
Learn what the rich teach their kids about money, that the poor and middle-class do not. Kiyosaki explodes money myths left, right and centre in this fascinating book.

19) Tapping Into Wealth by Margaret M Lynch
Learn how to use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help you clear the path to making more money.

20) Money. Master the Game by Tony Robbins
A 7-step blueprint to creating financial freedom. If you’re ready to take your financial knowledge further, then this book is for you.

So, there you have it – the 20 books that will give you wealth-creating super-powers!  Remember though, you need to IMPLEMENT and TAKE ACTION to see the results you desire.

Your next step. Want to discover some super-potent ways to create the deliciously abundant life you TRULY desire (and deserve!)? Click here to join my free Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge.