How much should you invest in yourself?

Anyone who has experienced a tragic or sudden loss will tell you we each have a finite time in this incarnation. Life can change in an instant. We do not know when we will take our last breath or where we will be when life as we know it changes forever.

This should be your greatest incentive to make wise choices on how you spend/invest your time and your money.

I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi who said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

I encourage you to live your greatest life, to live the best version of you each and every day.

Your Time: Every minute you have is an opportunity to choose happiness and to grow. You get the opportunity to choose how you want to live your life – the experiences you will have and the attitude you will take to your experiences. You can spend it watching TV and flicking through facebook each night after a day at work OR you can invest it in nourishing and developing your mind, body and soul.

Your Money: Every dollar you spend is an investment in the future you want – your personal future (and the future of the planet). Whether that is spent on toys, food, living, travel, entertainment, personal or professional development, it is a choice. 

So… if your question is “how much should I invest in myself?” – the answer is “100% of your time and money is invested in the life you want to live. All the time. Every time”.

It doesn’t mean you can’t/don’t have “downtime”, but it is important when having that time to be fully present. Downtime is also an opportunity to nourish your soul – that too is an investment in you. When you are 100% relaxed and enjoying your downtime you then have more energy to do everything else. Sadly, a lot of people worry about work while they are on holidays and dream of holidays while they are at work. Be present!

It doesn’t mean you won’t/don’t do things you don’t necessarily enjoy, like the dishes or attending work meetings with challenging colleagues, but you can choose whether to be mindful in the task, to learn from (or during) the task or to be pissed off – the time will pass anyway! I don’t know about you, but I want to eat my next meal off clean plates with clean cutlery! My partner chooses to listen to podcasts while driving and cooking dinner. Multi-task your learning with the every-day tasks.

I am often intrigued when people only want/expect others (often their employer) to pay for their development – as if they get nothing in return from the education/growth and the employer is the only one to benefit. The person who is most responsible for your development is you. Invest in you!

I will let you in on a secret about me. I record every dollar I spend. And I can tell you in percentages how much I invest in my professional development, personal development, health, travel, entertainment and living.

If you want to become conscious of where you are investing your money start a spreadsheet and at the end of each month go through your bank statements. It could reveal some interesting truths…

If you want to become more conscious of where you are investing your time complete a timesheet over the course of a week. The results could be frightening… I used to work for a PR company which charged by the 6 minute blocks. Being aware of your time in those environments is critical.

Final words…

  • Be conscious!
  • Invest in you!
  • Be the very best version of you!
  • Have fun!

Love and light,
Dalice

Every Dollar You Spend is a Vote Cast For the World You Want

The Biggest Loser – how to unlock your inner potential!

This week nymag.com published the article “The 4 Issues Scientists Have With The Biggest Loser”.

I have never been a fan of the show (or any “reality” TV show for that matter) and was interested in reading the article to hear a scientific perspective.

Although I don’t agree with the show and the messages it presents (especially to young minds), I do want to say I commend anyone for putting themselves into the position of going on The Biggest Loser. It certainly shows courage and a strong desire to make a BIG change in your life. 

The nymag.com article raised issues such as health implications, attitudes to exercise, attitudes towards others and that the show only brushes over a key element in losing weight – the food you eat!

As a coach with a special interest in health and wellness I see another big thing missing from the show and the journey to sustainable and true wellness – the importance of aligning values and overcoming limiting beliefs. 

All health related issues, especially those relating to weight, are linked to deep-rooted beliefs and values we have about ourselves and our life. They cannot be “exercised out of you”, overcome by “pushing yourself harder” or “being tougher”.

Our values are what is important to us and what motivates us. They are our priorities.

Our beliefs are the convictions we trust to be true.

Our core beliefs and values define our personality and personality traits.

But, as is often the case, your values and beliefs can work against you and be secretly sabotaging your goals. Your values also operate in a hierarchy which, if left in the unconscious, can make achieving goals and maintaining results very difficult. To make lasting changes, those things hidden from you need to come into your awareness. The unseen must become seen.

Therefore, by focusing predominantly on the physical, the core issues which have created the presenting problem/s, are not being addressed. It’s like putting a bandaid over a prickle stuck in your side – you may not be able to see it, but it will cause issues for you in the future if you don’t remove it at the core. 

If you are on a journey to health and wellness and looking to overcome limitations I recommend turning off the “reality” weight loss TV shows and reaching out to a life-coach now. Investing in the gym, a personal trainer and good quality food is great and has its role to play, but investing in your core self is the key to unlocking your potential and achieving your dreams.

Love and light,
Dalice

p.s. You can read the full nymag.com article here: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/01/4-issues-scientists-have-with-the-biggest-loser.html?mid=wired#

iceberg - beliefs values

Choosing happiness in 2016

Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy?

Last month I shared my 2015 Christmas reading list which included New York Times Best Seller “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer. This book was recommended to me by my spiritual mentor.

Rather than jump in and read it all in one day, I chose to read this book over a couple weeks – 1 chapter every day or every two days. The chapters are short but I find the lessons so profound I want to contemplate the messages and let them sink-in.

With each chapter I am pondering:

  • What do these lessons really mean?
  • How can I apply this to my life on a daily basis?

One message which particularly resonates with me is “choosing happiness”.

Simple message? Yes

Difficult to apply? YES

In his book Singer talks about the path of unconditional happiness – choosing happiness above all.

It is about being happy when events don’t fall in your favour, choosing to be happy when “sad/bad” things happen in your life and choosing to be happy when friends, family, colleagues etc. don’t behave in the way you think they should. You most likely cannot control these things/events, but you can control and choose your state of being.

Singer says that in a world full of choices there is only one choice we really need to make each day, and that is whether we want to be happy.

Singer asks this question of the reader:

“Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy?”

Choosing to be happy is a moment by moment decision and requires a great deal of awareness. So much of our lives are lived in auto-pilot, therefore, to make the choice to be happy you first need to be conscious of your thoughts, conscious of your feelings and conscious of your behaviour.

Secondly, choosing to be happy in all moments requires spirit and persistence. It is recognising and appreciating the gift of being alive in this moment and choosing love and gratitude.

I haven’t set my resolutions for 2016 BUT my intention is to:

  • Become more conscious
  • Be more aware of my thoughts, feelings and behaviours in the moment
  • Choose happiness

I highly recommend the book and hope you too will join me in choosing happiness in 2016 (and beyond).

Love and light,
Dalice

Christmas Reading List

People are often surprised when I tell them “I don’t really like shopping” BUT I really should qualify what I mean by “shopping” because I don’t particularly like food, shoe or clothes shopping…

BUT… I LOVE BOOK SHOPPING.

I am guilty of having some books in my book shelf I haven’t yet had a chance to read before I go out and buy another/different book. It’s almost as bad as going to the supermarket when you are hungry!

This year I have read (and some have re-read) a couple books which I can’t recommend enough. If you are looking for books to add to your Christmas reading here are my suggestions to get you started:

  1. You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter by Dr Joe Dispenza
  2. Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr Joe Dispenza
  3. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferris
  4. The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie
  5. By Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist (1st) (3/26/93) by Paulo Coelho

On my list this year are books which have come recommended from a couple different sources. I have already purchased them from the book shop and I can’t wait to get into:

  1. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer
  2. The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael Singer
  3. A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson
  4. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
  5. DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible by Rick Strassman
  6. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading.

Love & Light,
Dalice

Today I had a sh*t meditation!

I realised this morning that it’s important we talk about the sh*t meditation experiences – what to do when it’s not comfortable or easy.

This morning I woke early to do a meditation at sunrise. It was a guided meditation – one of my favourites which I was really looking forward to. The previous time I did that particular mediation I had such a great experience, and felt complete joy and gratitude for life, feelings I was hoping to recapture.

Today, as soon as I switched on the meditation I immediately started to feel uncomfortable and very aware of my physical body. My arms were uncomfortable, I was thirsty and I was convinced mosquitoes were biting me. I couldn’t be still. I was moving my body a lot and feeling very unsettled – I was ready to go back, get some water and put lavender on to protect me from the mosquitoes. I really didn’t know how I was going to ‘endure’ these feelings for 75 minutes!

My mind was having its own conversation (around and around and around) about whether to continue or to go back to the room. I fought this battle with my mind for 45 minutes, and finally, slowly but surely, I started to overcome my body. My mind chatter reduced and I let the meditation guide me.

It would have been so easy at the time to stop, but I was rewarded for persisting. While it wasn’t my ‘best’ meditation I felt greater strength in my commitment to myself and my ability to overcome unwanted and uncomfortable feelings in my body. I also had a sense of joy and gratitude for life.

I decided to share this experience with you because whether it’s during a mediation or taking steps towards achieving your dreams, it may not always feel comfortable or easy. It’s great when it flows and is easy, but having strength and commitment to continue and persist when it seems ‘easier’ to stop and go back, is when you take the biggest steps in achieving your success.

Be persistent on the achievement of your dreams and you will be rewarded.

Love and light,
Dalice

From Mexico with Dr Joe Dispenza 2015

Together with my partner I have just had one of the greatest experiences – along with 500 fellow international students – I participated in a 4.5 day workshop/retreat with Dr Joe Dispenza (http://www.drjoedispenza.com) in Cabo San Lucas Mexico.

Dr Joe has written some fantastic books (which I highly recommend) including: “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” and “You Are the Placebo” and has many great free talks online – take 11 minutes and 50 seconds of your day to watch this: http://youtu.be/6lbnrRqBjgE.

In June this year we attended a two-day Progressive Workshop with Dr Joe in Melbourne Australia and loved the content and quality of delivery so much we decided a 4-day Advanced Workshop was an experience we wanted to have – we chose Mexico.

Throughout the 4.5 days in Mexico we meditated 3 times a day, learnt about quantum physics and connected with like-minded souls committed to creating their best life. During one meditation we experienced Time Dilation which resulted in a 4-hour meditation feeling like a 2-hour meditation.

Before the workshop we both chose to participate in their research and were both selected to be involved in the brain mapping research managed through Thought Genius (http://thoughtgenius.com/brain-health/). Brain mapping included wearing an EEG (Electroencephalography) cap which measured our brainwave activity during a 10 minute meditation pre-retreat and 4 minute meditation post-retreat.

The safe procedure helps in learning how healthy our brains were pre and post retreat – and the differences shown in the brain after meditating three times each day for 4 days. It brings science into the equation to show the benefits of meditation on the brain. I can’t wait to see the report when it is ready.

In addition, during the retreat we both chose to participate in HeartMath research which was managed through the Institute of HeathMath (https://www.heartmath.org). The HeartMath research involved wearing a heart rate monitor for 24 hours – so no showering or swimming during that time. There is an image below of how it is attached to the body.

From the Institute of HeartMath website: “Clinical studies and other research have established that heart rate variably can be an effective measure for health assessments’, “HRV assessment can validate the effect of various interventions on autonomic function, including pharmacological, conventional or complementary interventions”. I am looking forward to seeing this report also including how our heart rate changed throughout the 24 hours during sleep and meditation.

I have been meditating on-and-off for several years with my first real experience at a silent retreat in India in 2004. Over the past 3 years I have meditated on a much more regular basis and feel the benefits on a personal level (I also know how I feel when I haven’t meditated for a while).

When I meditate regularly I function at a higher level personally and professionally, make better decisions and am calmer and happier. I am confident the reports will back-up what I already know about meditation – to live healithier and happier lives, we should all be doing it every day.

To start seeing and feeling the benefits of meditation you can choose any of the following:

Firstly though, turn off all electronic equipment and remove all distractions including asking family members or house mates not to interrupt.

> Close your eyes and sit in absolute silence for 10 minutes. If possible do not move any muscle in your body. Repeat each day. You can also increase the time by 5 minutes each week as you become more comfortable and confident meditating.

> Download meditation music e.g. The sounds of the beach, forest birds or instrumental sounds, set your timer and sit in silence for 10 to 30 minutes each day. Repeat daily.

> Download a guided meditation from an online store – e.g. Dr Joe has some 40 minute to 1hr guided meditations which I use, however, I do recommend reading his book first, especially if you are new to meditation.

Meditating first thing in the morning when you wake up or just before you go to bed has the greatest benefits, however, if you need clarity during the day then that is the perfect time to spend 10 minutes connecting with your heart and mind.

Love and light (from Mexico),
Dalice

P.s. Below are a couple photos from our Mexico workshop including wearing our EEG caps and the beach sunrise following our morning walking meditation (which was an absolute highlight from the workshop).

Integrity in Leadership Decisions

Are we (you and me) powerful?

In March I published the blog: Wisdom. Consciousness. Leadership

At the time I wrote: “I am often confused by the choices made in our community from the individual level right through to Government and Big Business. Individuals might become aware and conscious about one social issue but completely ignore another.”

This Friday (April 24, 2015) marks 2 years since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh when more than 1,100 people died and another 2,500+ people were injured.

Two years later, I wonder:

  • What have the Board of Directors of these organisations who produce clothing in developing countries learned?
  • What action has been taken to transition the industry and businesses towards a position of integrity?
  • Are leaders in our society – people like you and me – making powerful choices when it comes to our purchasing?

A couple weeks ago I started writing a piece titled “The beggar and the dress maker” with the focus to be on the choices we make regarding gifting to charity for aid (which I support) and purchasing items we want for a fair price (which I also support). I often wonder whether we want to simply give charity and continue to purchase items at “bargain” prices which results in paying wages which are sub-standard and don’t allow the workers to support themselves or their families.

Always buying a “bargain” is a vicious cycle which keeps the powerful, powerful.

I didn’t get a chance to finish it before being asked questions about the potential impact on workers should a “sweat shop” factory close its doors and these employees (mostly women) be unemployed.

Q: “Would this then result in increased prostitution? Would their lives be worse?”

I think these questions are worth talking about openly because these are good questions to ask and I’m sure if one person is asking, many people are thinking it.

According to Amnesty International, there are almost 36 million slaves in the world today, many of whom produce the clothes we buy and wear.

As a society do we as leaders believe we are powerful enough to make a positive difference to the lives of others living as slaves, especially when the magnitude of the numbers can be so overwhelming?

As leaders with wisdom and consciousness, and as leaders who wish to make decisions from a place of integrity, I think the answer must be a POWERFUL YES!

One of my favourite movies, released in 2007, is Amazing Grace based on the true story of William Wilberforce.

If you wonder about the power of one I highly recommend this movie. It is fantastic!

I believe as individuals we can make a difference in the corrupt clothing industry by choosing to support companies that pay fair wages to their staff and everyone in the supply chain.

Reported by The Age last week (on the just released Ethical Fashion Guide): “According to the report, the production cost of a T-shirt in Bangladesh would increase from about 50c to 80c if workers were paid a living wage. The minimum wage in Bangladesh is currently US$68 ($88) a month.” 

Producing clothing is a basic fee for service. Imagine if, living in Australia or any “Developed country”, you went to work for 14 hours every day for a month and at the end of the month you had 19% of the income you needed to simply live… not thrive, but merely survive.

To lead with integrity we need to be a voice. We need to take action.

Would you:

  • Pay an extra dollar for your t-shirt if you knew it went straight to the garment maker?
  • Sign the Oxfam Heart Breakers petition which pressures Australian clothing companies to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord.

If you are concerned about the potential of increased prostitution, be conscious that the brands who are not complying will not change overnight. All change is a transition. Women and girls will not suddenly be driven into the streets. But… if we begin now and create a better tomorrow through our better decisions the positive change will be rippled – like a pebble thrown into a pond.

In NLP we are taught to accept the “model of the world” of all our clients and people we work with. We are also taught to believe to our very core that everyone is capable of excellence. If we hold that space and see their excellence, they too will believe in their excellence.

If we, as leaders, become apathetic to the issues we do become powerless, but if we choose to come from a place of power and make our decisions with integrity and believe excellence can be achieved, the way to a better future has already begun.

Love and light,
Dalice

p.s Learn & Grow

Ethical Fashion Guide (released in April 2015): http://www.baptistworldaid.org.au/assets/Be-Fair-Section/Ethical-Fashion-Guide.pdf

ABC news: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-17/australian-fashion-industry-still-not-protecting-global-workers/6399698

World Fair Trade Organization: Facebook group

Oxfam Heart Breakers: https://www.oxfam.org.au/heartbreakers/

pps. At this time I didn’t talk about buying Organic cotton because that is a whole separate discussion point. I do encourage doing your own research – if you don’t want to do your own research into deadly GMOs and the very “dirty” cotton industry, then I strongly encourage buying organic cotton over non-organic as much as possible.