Are you able to receive?

Hello gorgeous,

How many of us find “giving” easy and “receiving” (as in really receiving…) more difficult, maybe awkward even? How many can’t receive a compliment without neglecting it? You know, the usual: Oh hun you look so nice in that dress! Oh that old thing?… Or: that dish is really delicious! Oh it’s nothing really, so simple to make…

If you fall into that category, do you realize that you rob others of the joy they can feel when giving? If you can’t really receive, then their gift is not accepted as it should have been, and they are left with a weird feeling of unfinished business, of not being really understood maybe, and you spoiled their experience. Would you want your giving experience to be spoiled like that?…

So, for those of us who plaid guilty, what I am suggesting is going to require some effort from you… But it means doing it for you and doing it for them as well, so you will do a good deed by accepting gifts, compliments in a proper way 😉

Let’s imagine you receive a compliment about your outfit or a meal you prepared for friends.

Let’s take it one step at a time, practice step 1 enough times until you are ready for step 2!

Step 1: thank you hun. (that’s it, nothing else can come out of your mouth for at least 30s). And smile while looking at them in the eyes.

So, when you are ready to go further in receiving, how about the following:

Step 2: thank you hun, I really find it flattering indeed/ I am proud of myself indeed (you get my point). And smile too! This doesn’t fall into bragging, don’t worry, you are simply owning it properly and agreeing with the person.

If you need some practice, let me suggest you do “The compliment game” with a friend, or with your partner if you have one and he or she is willing ;-). I was introduced to it some years ago when I was learning Heart Intelligence Coaching, and I found it hard at the beginning too! But I have since used it in Circles and it is always a good one J. So here it goes:

You face the other person, standing or sitting, it doesn’t matter. You look at him/her in the eyes, you can also hold hands, and you give him/her a compliment. It must be something real, it must be true of course, you must feel what you say. It could be anything like: you have wonderful blue eyes, or I love your curly hair, or you always make me feel good, or you are so tolerant, so something you like about this person. The other person has to say “thank you” (like in Step 1). And then he or she goes on to give you a compliment etc. Let me tell you, after a few rounds, you both really feel good!

Let me know how it went!

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

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Celebrate yourself <3

Hello gorgeous,

I am reaching the end of the first quarter, and number 80 of my MMMs, and it felt like a good time to celebrate. Plus, it’s spring, although we don’t get to realize it yet, so new and renewed energies are bubbling, all the more reasons to party!

Where last week was all about gratitude, this week is about pride, being proud of who you are. While some of us can really go overboard on that ;-), most of us don’t do it enough! And it’s those that I want to encourage today to sit still and do a small exercise. I would like you to take small pieces of colored paper, to write one phrase on each, and then put them together in a jar or in a box. Each phrase should start with “I am…” or at least “I + action verb”!

  • Your character traits: we all have a good mixture of deemed good and bad traits; let’s focus on the ones we personally like here! Here’s a few I like in myself:
    • I am creative
    • I am resilient
    • I am kind
  • Your accomplishments: don’t diminish what you did, don’t think for a second it was all-normal or easy, let yourself measure again the bigness of what you have accomplished so far. Let me give you a few examples:
    • I am a writer: I am currently writing my 80th MMMs and am intending to continue for as long as I can
    • I successfully delivered and raised (still busy!) 2 beautiful human beings into this world
    • I speak 3 languages (I can hear myself say: oh it’s nothing, some speak 9 languages…but I tell this little voice to shut up so that I can enjoy being proud of myself)
  • Your dreams not yet come true: we still have time, we never know how much time, but we still want to do a lot (do you have that bucket list within close reach?), don’t we? I certainly do! Here’s a few I am intending to achieve before leaving:
    • I am going paragliding this year
    • I work constantly on becoming a better version of myself
    • I intend to build or buy or renovate another house

I hope my examples will help you write yours and get you into a feel great mood, let me know! Declaring them to someone else also helps, so I am here to listen to yours! 🙂

The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Finish what you start!

Hello gorgeous,

When I was in the corporate world, I once did a personality test called the Belbin Team Roles test. It divides personalities into 9 roles, one of which is a Completer Finisher. Of course, we all have not just one but a few key roles we normally use. The test suggests that, in order to set up an efficient team, one should make sure all roles are represented. Needless to say, one of the roles that I have difficulties taking is this one. I love the energy of creating and starting up something, but much less the energy needed to complete a task… My mother sees me that way too, as somebody who likes to start but who never finishes… And I don’t dare to count the number of online courses I indeed started but haven’t finished yet…

The only problem with that is, the people who succeed are the ones who complete their tasks, not the ones who give up just before the finishing line… And I want to be successful, of course…

So what do I do about that? The answer is: find strategies and motivation to complete my tasks! This is what I came up with and would like to share with you today 🙂

  • Get an accountability partner: it could be a colleague, a friend, or a group on Facebook, what really matters is that you express to somebody else what you plan to do, because once you do that, you commit to yourself to finish it, and you probably prefer to finish it than to have to apologize and find excuses for not finishing ;-).
  • Keep an Accomplishment Journal or list: what a great list to maintain! You can call it: “I am proud of myself for…“ or “My accomplishments” or whatever you like, but it’s a wonderful list for building your self-confidence and advancing in life. It’s also a great list to look at when you are feeling a bit depressed for whatever reason, because it reminds you of how great a person you are and how much you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.
  • Treat / Reward yourself: sometimes the feeling you get when finishing a task is already worth the while, but sometimes more is required. The bigger the task, the bigger the reward of course ;-)! No need to spend tons of money for that, it could be as simple as taking the time to rest outside with a book, take a nap, call a friend, whatever you feel like but never do because you always have so much left to do…

What are your strategies to keep going and finishing your tasks? I’d love to know!

Creative success means balancing your love of starting things with a habit of finishing them.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

5 key tips to be more assertive

Hello gorgeous,

I have noticed, many many times, women who had a hard time trying to assert themselves and who finally ended their current relationship as the last possible option… Well, luckily, this is not necessary; you can also be assertive and stay in your current relationship ;-). I want you to know that there are clues, tips that can help you get there more easily, and here are some:

  1. People can’t read your mind. As much as I would like that to be true myself, more often than not, it is not! Telepaths are the exception, not the norm. People sometimes even have a hard time reading their own mind and not getting overwhelmed… ;-). What this implies, though, is that if you want something, you have to ask for it. Be it time, attention, a massage, kindness, respect…
  1. You can’t read their mind. Even though you would like it as much, forget it! So you have to trust that they will ask, if they need or want something from you, and believe that if they don’t ask, it just means they are happy with the way things are. (The alternative here is that they are not assertive enough themselves ;-), in which case they should read this too!)
  1. Lead by example. If you want your partner to respect your time and for instance your need for me-time, show him (or her) that you respect yourself by taking that time. If you want more kindness, be kind. If you want attention, give it. If you want time to share, suggest it. Don’t wait for the other to initiate something but do it yourself, and do it with kindness.
  1. Go for a smooth transition. In many cases, smooth is better than a big bang. Smooth gives time to people to get used to the changes you are bringing.
  1. Anchor yourself first. If you expect a difficult conversation, if you are chickening out when it comes to talking about money for instance, my last tip is that you prepare yourself by taking a power pose for 2’ upfront (I talked about this in my first day video of my 7-day feel good instantly e-course, watch it here)

We haven’t even touched on the topic of beliefs here. But I just want to address one. You might be afraid that people (your friends, your partner) are not going to like you or love you anymore if you change the way things are by showing more assertiveness. Well, you could be wrong, they might appreciate more you standing up for yourself and thinking, finally… And if it came to that, people not liking you being more assertive, well, to me that means those people are not your friends for the right reasons… If they love you for you, then they only want to see you happy and fulfilled…

Copy of Donner l'exemple n'est pas le principal moyen d'influencer les autres, c'est le seul moyen

I wish you a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Why doubting is good for you….

Hello gorgeous,

I don’t think I ever met anybody crossing life without doubting, be it themselves or the others. And that feels pretty normal to me. Although it can be pretty annoying sometimes too 😉

Suppose you doubt your career path, maybe your next move. Well, you will not know if it was the right move or not until you do it, because we don’t learn from other people’s experiences as much as we learn from our own experience. And what is bad for one can be exactly right for another. And what is right at a certain point in time can not be right anymore after a while, because we keep changing.

What is the worst that can happen in that case? That you start a new career, a new job, only to realize you are not happy there. So what? It means changing again, but with more knowledge, knowledge about what does not fit you. For years, I wanted to move to an HR department, because I thought that was my thing. Well, that was only until I realized that it did not mean helping people or caring for them… But at least I tried, and I learnt…

Suppose you doubt your relationship or your partner. I think it’s quite healthy for a relationship to periodically “review” it together, to make sure you are still on the same path and looking in the same direction. Well it’s definitely healthier than waking up after all these years only, to realize you are now on 2 completely separate paths, isn’t it? As it gives you the opportunity to adjust where needed, instead of letting it fall apart. When it comes to doubting your partner, it’s a complete other story. Because I believe we all have antennas that get triggered sometimes – usually for a reason. Which means it’s high time to look at it together….

But how about doubting yourself, your capacities, your orientation, your decisions etc. I would answer here that it’s about maintaining a healthy balance. It’s ok to doubt, as long as it does not prevent you from acting. Of course I can doubt about my financial success as an entrepreneur, I can doubt my abilities sometimes, but I am still moving forward with everything I want to do and accomplish. Because I choose to trust that things will turn out for the best (I know, sometimes, we can’t see it that way immediately, only after a while ;-)) and to trust my ability to always be able to find a solution and to manage whatever happens.

And as much as I love exchanging ideas and masterminding with my peers, I am the only one who needs to do the work and I am the only one who can decide what is good for me. I can always ask for advice, but I will take my own decision.

“Doubt everything. Find your own light.” ― Gautama Buddha-2

I also don’t think it’s healthy to never doubt anything. To me, being too sure is as unhealthy as always doubting everything… As Voltaire once said, “Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”

Have a wonderful week!

Much love, Madeleine

Setting goals (or not)?

Hello gorgeous,

At this time of the year, I keep receiving emails about goal setting. Videos, methods, webinars… I’d love to do, watch, try them all! And at the same time I feel pretty rebellious. Following up on my post from last week, I am thinking… I don’t want to set goals! I tried the “dream board” exercise, I tried to make the video instead, and I tend to like them…for a while, until I forget about them and just go on living my life! That’s why my Be Do Have list is above my computer, otherwise I would have forgotten all about it either! But I am going to review how far I am in this one this week, as it’s half time (3 of the 6 months have passed already!)

Actually, the only thing I want now – instead of setting goals – is to feel inspired and to be able to act on it! I am taking the risk of sounding even more chaotic and disorganized (more than I am of course!), but I want to trust that, deep down, I am following my own path and that I am led to taking inspired action, whenever the idea arises.

So, this year, I am going to do it differently:

  • No goal setting for me at the beginning of the year (I am only going to keep up with my Be Do Have list)
  • Which means no need to review them later 😉
  • I will still look at and reflect back on the following:
    • What am I grateful for
    • What have I learnt
    • What am I keeping for 2016
    • What am I letting go of that does not serve me

So how about you? What are your 2016 goals? (Just joking ;-))

No seriously, I’d love to know if you love setting goals and following up on them!

Or will you follow my rebellion?

I wish you a wonderful week and specially to spend quality time with your loved ones for Xmas!

HAPPY

I don’t have a plan!

Hello gorgeous,

Reflecting on those lasts months and what happened in my (professional) life, I was thinking about the fact that I am probably not fit for making plans and following them.

If I look back at my career, I always stayed open and grabbed the opportunities when they appeared instead of having a career plan. I did not have that definite plan that I then made happen. The only time I was sure of what I wanted was when I joined Unilever and I wanted to go to the HR department. That was actually the most difficult thing to make happen (whereas going abroad was a piece of cake J), and then I even realized that was not exactly what I wanted…

Whereas I feel that, when I follow my bliss, things happen. Maybe it looks completely disorganized, maybe it feels weird to others, but it definitely feels good to me to be driven by what brings me joy, even if it means going against what most people would advise.

Back in Jan 2015, I certainly wouldn’t have thought that I would be running women circles by the end of this year. And yet, this is what happened. The need for a community of women around me, the need to share, to feel supported as well as to support others, the need to be with like-minded women, all of that contributed to me joining a one-month training on that exact topic, a training that suddenly appeared to me, from a post on Facebook, and I fell in love with the ideas and the lady and the training and now I can’t wait to run more of those… The funniest thing of all is that, while I was cleaning my inbox today, I came across an email that my good friend Candi had forwarded to me, with the link to this same lady, back in Jan 2015 😉 Life has strange ways sometimes…

So what do I make of all of that?

That, maybe, plans aren’t for everybody. At least, that plans are there so that they can be changed, as we humans are in constant evolution, it only feels logical that it is so for the plans that we make.

That it is important to stay open to new and wonderful opportunities that can come your way and that you maybe wouldn’t have even considered if you were fixed on a specific plan, a specific route to your final destination.

That life (aka the Universe) has strange ways to bring us what we need and what’s good for us, and that we should simply have trust and faith that it will all be ok J

 

DiemSo how about you? Are you a big fan of plans? Do you manage to stick to them or do they keep changing as well? Can you recognize a good opportunity and do you seize it? Do you trust you will get what you need? I would love to know!

I wish you a wonderful week!

Start before you are ready!

Hello gorgeous,

This topic just came to me on this bright morning 😉 After having talked about trust issues, it feels completely appropriate! So what do I mean by that? I mean: do not wait for the stars to align, do what you feel called to do, do what makes your heart sing at this very minute. And then the stars will align in response to your movement!

Let me give you a few examples:

  • Say you want to move house, but you feel you need to sell yours first before you can even consider buying another one. If you stay in this energy of waiting, you might not allow yourself to feel the joy of a new place to live, the excitement of a new place to decorate. Whereas if you allow yourself to start visiting other places, you first start refining your wants and your priorities, such as what’s more important to you, how big the house is, how many bedrooms, garden or no garden, a lot of work or no work at all etc. Yes, you might fall in love with a house, and not be able to make an offer because you have yet to get an offer on your own house. But you might as well experience synchronicity and find the house of your dreams on the day you receive that offer (I promise, that happens too!!!).

If this beautiful synchronicity does not happen to you, there might of course be other factors, but at least you will be in a positive energy, looking at a brighter future, and getting excited about changes ahead. And that’s what is important, to be happy in the now, instead of needing external conditions to feel the happiness inside.

  • Say you want to start a new business or launch a new product in your current one. Take for instance my women circles. If I had waited until feeling ready, I would probably have never done it ;-). To start publishing it, I only waited to be sure I had dates and a place to do it. And then I started, and I knew the rest would come. I felt aligned. I felt the trust that it would all be ok. That I would get the inspiration to put the program altogether, beautiful women to join, whatever help I needed to make it happen beautifully. Or the 10-day Self-Love challenge I just ran on Facebook. I just had this idea and I felt called to do it. So I did and started inviting people to it, and more people joined. When I started I only had a list of 10 topics. I started recording the videos 2 days upfront, and then one per day. I love every second of it, I loved doing it, the interaction and the feedback with/from the participants. And I am doing it again pretty soon (just need to fix the date!). It wasn’t difficult, it wasn’t cumbersome, and there was so much joy in doing it! Whereas preparing my first 7-day e-course had taken me months… Can you feel the difference?

start before you are ready

So I am sure I could come up with more examples, but I want to ask you: what are you putting for later? What are you not doing that would bring you joy? What activity could you start to check if you would like it (belly dancing, pole dancing, piano lesson, whatever! ;-)) Just do what you feel called to, at this minute, and watch how beautifully the rest will unfold!

I wish you a wonderful week!

Having trust issues?

Hello gorgeous,

I hit another block this week, and it feels like I haven’t properly learned my lesson so it’s coming back at me… Last week I was talking about feeling overwhelmed and needing a break, but this time it’s about giving the Universe some space ;-). Let me explain…

When I realized that I was blocking my emotions, and decided to dig deeper into the issue (with some help!), I came across the fact that I was doing too much and pushing too hard to make things happen. It felt like forcing onto things, and a bit of a struggle as well.

And then I saw that by doing that, I wasn’t giving enough space (to the Universe, or to however you want to call it) to let things happen for me. I didn’t trust those things to happen without me (I sound pretty much like a “control freak” now, don’t I?). I thought, once again, that I had to do it all on my own. But I don’t!!!

We actually very seldom do things completely on our own, for when there’s human interaction, there’s always a choice, and different ways things can go. So why am I always working like crazy to make it happen? Well, one reason is that I am pretty active, and it’s a lot easier for me to be in the Doing rather than in the Being. I actually do very little “just being” cause it feels boring ;-). And because I feel guilty when I am not doing anything. Do you recognize that feeling too?

After that realization, I was able to slow down a bit (and then things started happening for me during that day!). I decided to take some time off my business, which I barely ever do – even though it just means doing something else instead (crocheting for that matter) and to relax this weekend instead. I also decided on a mantra I wanted to use for a while to help me with my trust issues: “I happily give space to the Universe to make things happen for me”. Another “action” I agreed to do daily was a 5’ break doing nothing (only 5’!!!).

eagles-en

Do you find yourself in that situation? Doing, doing, doing all the time? And not seeing the rewards yet? Maybe it means it’s time to slow down and let things happen for you too then? You don’t have to do the exact same steps that I took, but if any of those are bringing up resistance (like not doing anything for 5’…) then they are probably the best ones for you to take. Resistance is simply our mind finding excuses for not doing what would help us 😉

I would love to know if you have a similar issue ;-).

I wish you a wonderful week!