Appreciate WHO you have

If you are reading this, you are awesome! You’ve taken the time to write something that I have written and you are going to take it all in and hopefully apply it (aren’t you?)

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I clearly appreciate you, and I am making the choice to tell you that. Why is that so important? Here is what I think.

When I read people giving advice on gratitude, they always talk about being grateful for what you have. This is hugely important, but it can sometimes make people forget about showing gratitude for WHO they have in their lives.

I heard this morning that Rio Ferdinand, ex Manchester United footballer, had lost his wife to Cancer. He must be absolutely devastated, and no words will fill that hole in his life for a long time. In such times of grief, it is so obvious to see how much people mean to us.

I remember when I lost my good friend Ziggy in such tragic circumstances. He was great friend to me in Liverpool for many years, and when he died , I was crushed because of what he meant to me. I was also devastated because when I looked back, although it was so obvious, I don’t think I had ever said to him how much of a friend I had considered him to be.

Each one of us is completely unique and special. No-one will ever be able to replicate who you are and the impact you have on others. All too often we forget that it is the relationships we have in life that make us truly rich.

In a consumer driven nation in a time where consumerism is promoted on a regular basis, I wonder if at times we lose touch with the human connection that really gives life true meaning. I have seen people who are so in love with their new phone that they miss the world around them.  We need to do better. I have been guilty of this myself at times, and used  to play a lot of computer games when I should have been spending that time with my wife. None of us are perfect, but we can all be more aware. I see training programs online that try and appeal to people’s dreams with visions of fancy cars and huge houses. Good things to have, no one would argue, but make sure you have your priorities in order.

Is it worth working to the bone for a family you don’t spend time with and see?

Is it worth getting to the top of the career ladder, if you kicked everyone else off on your way to the top?

I absolutely want success in my life and that does include some selfish consumerist type goals and targets (I’m a victim of my times ) but I also want to have rich and deep relationships with my friends, my family and anyone who works with me in the near future.

When I lost my father, for years I almost denied the impact he had on my life, but looking back at old photos reminded me that we spent lots of time together in my formative years, and spent countless hours when I was older talking in the car, and listening to hours of amazing music that my dad was into. There’s no wonder I am such a lover of music today.  I miss him, and I miss our relationship because I will never be able to replicate it with anyone ever again. That’s how special your connections with others are. Because we are all unique, each pairing or group is unique as well due to the collective of people in that group.

Appreciate who you have in your life and let them know you appreciate them. How will they ever know what they mean to you unless you tell them? I need to take my own advice here because there are people in my life who make my life better and I haven’t really told them that.  It won’t take much, and it doesn’t have to be over the top, but it will be meaningful to them. That, I can guarantee.

Life’s too short to take for granted the important people in our lives. Appreciation is the currency that we as people thrive on because we realise the impact we are having on people is helping them.

You could do this by sending them a message, giving them a call, going to visit them or just telling them every now again if you see them on a regular basis. Be clear about why you appreciate them. Big them up they deserve it.

Thanks for spending some of your time to read this. I appreciate your time and I am so grateful that you read this far in my post. You are helping me achieve my dream of spreading good ideas that help people reach their potential and improve their lives.

I wish you the best.

Get Help!

One thing that has become really clear to me this year is just how important other people are in our lives when it comes to anything we want to do. There have been a few things that have happened recently that powerfully demonstrated this to me. One thing that happened was my wife getting sick. She had a urine infection that got pretty serious and it was a really worrying time for us. She is much better now and we are getting back to normal. When I reflect back on that time, the number of people who helped us directly or indirectly was staggering. My mother in law was amazing in supporting us and really helped me support the children and Annemarie as best as I could. My mum did an awesome job as well and came over to help us when we needed it. My boss at work was really helpful and put my mind to rest about being away from work to focus on my family. All the doctors who saw Annemarie did their best to help her recover and get well. The list of people is so long that I was taken aback with the level of support. So it is with great gratitude that I write this post.
It also allowed me to realise even more what an awesome job my wife does in looking after the children and making sure they are getting all they need. Without Annemarie doing that, my life would be utter chaos. I would have no time to pursue work goals effectively or have quality time to do things like writing this post. She is a wonderful woman and she doesn’t understand just how vital what she does is for the children and for me.
When I look on things that have turned out well for me, almost all of them have been the result of getting some help along the way. Now, I’m not discounting my own efforts, but the help of others can accelerate the rate at which you achieve what you want. In the past I have been guilty of seeing getting help as a form of weakness on my part. I now realise that is my ego speaking and I am open and massively grateful to all the opportunities and help that I am lucky enough to receive in life. When you close yourself up to help, you are stopping yourself from growing and developing. If you can relate to the feeling of being reluctant to help, then this could be a huge breakthrough for you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be resourceful and independent. I now realise that asking, receiving and benefitting from help actually increases your level of independence, because you can solve many more of your own problems and help others to solve their problems as well. Who doesn’t want the ability to solve problems and achieve peace of mind.
When looking at getting into my ideal shape and reaching my health goals and targets (That will NOT involve endless weighing of myself) I am going to recruit a team of bad-ass trainers who’s help I can rely on. There are support groups, forums and sources of help that can make reaching any goals possible because you have surrounded yourself with others who know it’s possible and could also show you the way.
Don’t cut yourself off from the abundance of help there is out there waiting for you. Get other people involved in what you want to do and the value for all involved is immense.
I wish you the best
Shaun.
P.s If any readers would like some help from me in the form of answering questions, doing guest blogs, writing on my blog or anything that you can think of. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would love to start writing blogs in response to people’s questions and concerns rather than just my own. Let me help you get what you need.

Reflection time 23.11.2014

Gratitude.
I got the chance to spend all Saturday with my two children alone because my wife started her new job. I had so much fun and really enjoyed my time with them. It was tiring physically, but energising spiritually because they made me feel so young. We had fun, watched movies, ate good food together and Ava had a nice nap as well. Great times.
Annemarie and I got the chance to have a second date night of the month. We had a great time and ate a lot of Mexican food that was really tasty. I wanted to show gratitude to Julie A.K.A Iron fist because she is crazy strong. She is Annemarie’s mum and looks after the children when we are out and about or really busy getting something done. She has also given me many lifts to and from work when I need one.
Big up to the following virtual mentors who have contributed to my understanding this week: Robin Sharma, Eric Thomas, Zig Ziglar, The Hodgetwins, Charlotte Ord and Jon Gabriel.
Health.
I’ve been trying to abandon my ideas of being on a diet and have focused on adding in as much healthy nutrition as possible without depriving myself or having thoughts of deprivation. This has been going quite well, but I am only now realising just how broken my signalling to my body was. My eating is starting to slow down, and I hope my intuition will kick in far more with eating and I will be able to get to the point where my eating is effortless and natural rather than forced and mentally draining.
Achievements
Not mine directly, but one of my athletes qualified for the next round of the cross country championships. She performed really well and I was really proud of her and all the runners from my cross country team.
What memorable things have happened in your week?
I wish you the best
Shaun

Search for the awesome in your life: 10 reasons my wife is awesome!

Here’s one way you can make yourself feel really good really quickly. I learnt this from the book ‘Living in the Overflow’ by Michael Bernard-Beckwith. He says that learning to look for things in your life that you can be grateful for puts you in a state where you can begin to deeply appreciate all the good that you already have. It has been mentioned time and again, but trying to live in a state of gratitude really does change how you see the world.
In the spirit of gratitude, I would like to share with you ten of the many reasons that make my wife awesome. To all the lovers out there (and we all love someone) showing the special people in your life appreciation for who they are is hugely important. If we do not tell them how we fell, how will they ever know? Don’t wait for a special occasion like an anniversary to tell them how you feel. Let them know it in small ways every day. It might be complimenting them on something, or a part of their character. It may be that you decide to surprise them with a gift, or even something as simple as running them a bath, or looking after the children so they can pursue a hobby or just have some rest time. Little acts often are the best way to show appreciation.
Here are the ten reasons my wife is awesome. As I said earlier, I could write so many, but ten seems a good number.
Since the day we met, she instantly belonged in my life.
This is hard to really put into words, but we just fitted so perfectly into each others lives. The timing was right, there were no obstructions to us being together, and we had instant chemistry that has matured and developed over the years.

We laugh every day.
I can’t remember a day (and we’ve had some really challenging ones) where we have not
had a great laugh together. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we see the fun in life. When one of us is being a little too serious, we can address it and help each other get back on track.

She is super talented but humble.
Annemarie is a great artist and can draw fantastically well. She is also a fantastic maker of cakes and has produced some stunning creations. Despite all these skills and many more, she is unassuming, humble and always ready to learn and grow more.

She helped me to be a more open person
Annemarie really encouraged me to open up and share more of myself and my feelings. If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t have started this blog and would have far more insecurities than I do today.

She makes me feel awesome.
Her awesome-sauce rubs onto me making me feel awesome. Sometimes when I look at her I just feel so happy that she decided to enter a relationship with me.

She is beautiful inside and out.
Enough said.

We like different things.
We are not the same and we don’t see everything the same. This helps me to keep an open mind. We have different interests and want to pursue different things. I think this is very healthy in a relationship. Rather than being carbon copies of each other, we are two individuals who have chosen to be together.

She gave birth to my beautiful children.
I will be eternally grateful to her for carrying my two children Nathan and Ava. They are the biggest blessings in my life and will always be my greatest source of inspiration. Annemarie has contributed hugely to them being the great children that they are.

She always sees the potential in me.
When we met, I had no job, no money and no-where to live. I had just got back from travelling around Europe and didn’t even have a mobile phone. I wrote her number on a napkin and memorised it, then went back to Manchester, ‘borrowed’ my brother’s phone and got in touch.
She has encouraged me when I have wanted to try new things and always believes in me -Even when I have no faith in myself.

She simply makes me happy.
Every day we are together, she makes me happy. I’m sure she would say the same about me. We know how to have a good time and enjoy a simple life without drama. That isn’t to say we don’t have tough times. Just like everyone else, not every day is sunshine and roses. But when it’s time to ride out storms, I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side.

So there are ten reasons why my wife is awesome.
What do you have in your life to be thankful for?
We all deserve to have awesome things in our lives. Search for them today and celebrate them heartily.

Be awesome.
Shaun

Love, crazy work and accepting my body. What a week!

Reflection is so important. It allows us to spot patterns, replay important events and take stock on our life. Reflection allows us to also show gratitude for what we have as well as giving us pointers to reach the goals we want in the future. Each week I am going to quickly reflect on my week in different ways. Gratitude, achievements, health, and life.
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Gratitude.
My wife and I had our date night this Monday. Every month on the 10th, my wife has organised for us to do something together that I have no idea about. This has been to celebrate the 10th year of our relationship. In that time we have more fantastic memories than I can count. So my main area of gratitude this week to reflect on is the incredible journey my wife and I have been on so far and all the ways that she has helped me to become the person I am today. I love you Annemarie.
Achievements.
I managed to keep on top of my workload in a very intense week at school. I had an observation, a load of paperwork to get in, a book scrutiny, and on top of that, I actually had to do some teaching. Despite the work schedule, I managed to keep on top of my stress levels and had a good week. I also really wanted to keep posting on my blog and I have managed to do that as well.
Health
I’ve been trying to work on my perception of what healthy is. I have written about this quite recently.
https://sbrowne83.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/what-is-health/
Due to this, I have started re-reading the Gabriel method. This is a fantastic health book that takes a much more holistic view of being our best physically. The author Jon Gabriel revolutionised his own health and sorted out his psychology as well as his body.
My perception of my own body has always been slightly warped. I have realised that there have been not many moments in my life when I have satisfied and happy with my weight. So at the minute, fat loss is not important to me. I have to work on self acceptance of my own body at any weight. So my health goal is one I can imagine many can relate to. I want to have a healthy image of my self. I’m going to work on becoming happy with my body. This is so important because it will impact not just on me, but on my children too. If they see daddy constantly unhappy with his body and subtly putting himself down, they will think it is normal to do themselves. I want to address this not just for me but for the sake of my children.
What have been your main take home points from this week?
What are you looking forward to next week?
They are the main things floating around in my head as I prepare for another week to begin. I hope you all have an awesome week.
I wish you the best
Shaun

It’s my 50th! (Well 52nd actually)

Body Mind Heart Spirit passes 50.
Yesterday when I logged onto wordpress I had a blue badge saying I had written fifty posts. I am pleased with this milestone and want to push on to do another fifty posts far faster.
Things have changed so much for me over the length of time I have been writing this blog. It’s really interesting for me to look back on some of the past posts and reflect on my own words. Sometimes I cringe at some of the mistakes and poorer elements of the writing that jump out during the re-read, but when I can get over myself and read the content for what it is, I am pleased.
Writing a blog has helped me to become a more consistent writer. I have not produced this much content since being in university. I see it as a self appointed apprenticeship where I can make all the mistakes I need to and gradually increase my skill, speed and unique voice as a writer.
I initially started the blog as a way to celebrate the idea of leading a holistic life and this is still absolutely true. Recent events in my personal life have driven this message home even deeper. We need to pay attention to all elements of ourselves in order to lead satisfying lives.
So this short post is to say thank you to all the people who have taken an interest in any of my posts. I appreciate every view, every like and every comment because it shows that someone has invested their time into reading my ideas. I hope some of them have served you well, and I intend to deliver as much value as possible in the future.
Massive thanks once again.
I wish you the best.
Shaun

Count your blessings

I took this idea from the business and lifestyle coach Craig Ballantyne and have been doing it consistently now for about two months.

He talked about how he writes a gratitude journal. I liked the sound of the idea and wanted to see if it was a worthwhile activity for me.

In my journal, I try and include some aspect of gratitude for every day. This is a great way to end your day or start a new one. I’ve started to appreciate on a deeper level all of the people who help make my life better either directly or indirectly through their work or their art.

I also have mantras in there that I study and say over and over to myself. These statements are designed to help me to stay present and engaged with the world, and allow me to be more in charge of how I feel and my reactions to the unpredictable nature of life.

I use to set myself little targets for the day, and also to reflect on my longer term goals. In short, this book has become invaluable to me. I would encourage everyone to journal in some way or other. It allows you reflect on your days and becomes an account of your success and areas for development. It’s easy to forget some of the little lessons that life can give you if you have no awareness. Using a journal allows you raise your awareness instantly. Focussing on gratitude is a very good practice as well. It leaves me feeling blessed, grounded and wanting to do more for others.

Action point: I would invite you to list at least five things that you are grateful for that have happened today. I have managed to come up with at least five things every day without fail. See how you feel after this activity, and I’m convinced you will feel that you want to continue. It allows you to see the bigger picture and realise all the things that other people do for you in your life.

I wish you success

Shaun