How to be your own best friend

Hello gorgeous,

Today, I would like to encourage you to act as your best friend would and to be your own best friend. Who, better than yourself, know how to cheer you up and how to treat you well? I know, when you are feeling down, it doesn’t seem that way at all, and you feel you don’t know anymore what could help you and get you out of your funk. But I believe if you make being that person a habit, you will be less inclined to end up in a funk in the first place, and quicker to get out as well…

Let me give you a few examples to get you started:

  • Add fun things (and sometimes a little bit crazy) in your agenda. This does not have to cost a lot of money or time. How about a test lesson for a new sport, sports coaches often offer them for free, and it will cost you one hour of your time to discover something that might become your new passion…
  • Take a friend out for lunch. Imagine 1 to 2 hours of pure catching up with them and laughing at life together, including planning new fun things together… and how about taking yourself out for lunch? With a good book if you don’t like sitting around on your own or without if you would like to connect with others!
  • Have compassion and understanding for yourself. You would do it for others, so why not apply it to yourself, instead of always being so demanding with yourself? We are always so prompt to judge ourselves harshly, but we, as everybody else, do the best we can in our circumstances. We deserve compassion. We deserve empathy and understanding of our situation. If that seems difficult to you, simply try looking at you with the eyes of somebody else for once.
  • Use affirmations and compliments on yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror as if you were somebody else. How would you compliment this person, what would you see in him/her? Maybe that you are proud of them, that you love them, that they are a magnificent being, that they are so brave, so kind… Well, say that to yourself, use the “I” person, say it a few times, and do it regularly to make it a habit!

So tell me, how do you treat yourself as your best friend would? Let me know!

A best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Can we really change?

Hello gorgeous,

Some weeks ago, I watched a (long) video starring Tony Robbins in an interview and one of the things he said really stayed with me, and that’s what I want to talk about now. This same topic (“can one really change”) once caused a big disagreement with a friend of mine. I think Tony Robbins would have managed to get us to agree ;-). In case you don’t know who this big tall guy is, have a look at https://www.tonyrobbins.com.

My view was that people could change and hers was that they could not. Well, what Tony says is that it is easy to change if you decide to change a pattern instead of thinking of changing as a human being. I think he is right. Although we do change during those years (who here hasn’t heard something along the lines of: “you are not the same than the person I met/married…” or could have said that to her/his spouse?…), we don’t see change as being easy, and we often give up before we try…

It is true that change requires work and patience. If it were easy, we (and humanity) would be a lot further in our personal development… But so does mastering a sport or a skill, and still we do that (when we are motivated…). We learn how to walk, even though it means falling and getting up countless times before we finally manage, we learn how to cycle, first with the small wheels, then without, we learn to play an instrument (in my case, even with a helluva lot of work, I don’t think I will ever be a good drummer, but who cares! ;-))…

When we are busy changing, we step into our Learning zone, out of our Comfort zone, which can be painful. But only until we complete the change process and it becomes part of our comfort zone. But we never gain anything by staying all the time in our comfort zone…

I think what matters is why we are doing it, what motivates us to change. Is it pain or pleasure? I believe that pain avoidance is a bigger motivator than pleasure seeking. But what I am sure of is that we need to have a big Why in order to go through the change process and keep going until the new habit is installed and becomes our new routine…

And it helps as well to see some results quickly to keep going…Research says (My reference here is Robin Sharma and Mindvalley) that it takes 66 days to get a new habit installed. 66 days is pretty long if you need to wait all that time to see some results of your efforts. But some can also be visible pretty quickly. When I started a gratitude journal for instance, it made me feel good every time I was writing, and so feeling good became more constant in my life, but luckily it didn’t take 66 days to see that and feel that way! Or if you intend to start the Miracle Morning routine (read Hal Elrod’s book or my blog post here), you should also notice rather quickly that you are feeling better, sharper, more focused etc. after only a few short weeks. So think about that when you want to make a change. How long is it going to take for you to see some improvement of your situation?

One thing that helped me, when I was busy installing a new habit, was to install a new routine for it (and what put me off was changing my regular routine, like travelling etc…) that fitted it. So for instance, to write on the gratitude journal before going to bed, having my journal always on my bed side made it easy to do it every time (while being in a different place made me interrupt it). What works for me too is external triggers, like reminders on my phone or post-it notes on my screen or on the fridge, until they become transparent and we don’t see them, notice them anymore, which means it’s time to change them to a different place/sound etc.!

So… what (next) change are you considering? Let me know!

Change is hard at first

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Who are you?

Hello gorgeous,

I am going to follow a training this week and I am busy preparing my trip. Like every time, I started thinking about meeting new people and having to introduce myself. For me, as an introvert, it is always a difficult task to go through. And yet, I have practiced a lot in the past years and thrown myself into a lot of networking opportunities, so that it would become easier… So it did, a bit, but the very shy teenager that I was always comes back and I need to force myself every time again.

Moreover, I noticed we always tend to define ourselves by the things that we do, the job we have, not by who we are, independently from the current job we might have – or not have. So I thought it would be a nice exercise to try and define ourselves with sentences using the verb TO BE instead of action verbs.

So my first ideas about me were: I am a crochet and DIY addict ;-), I am French, I am 50, I am a slasher / multi-passionate, I am a wife and a mother of 2, I am a personal development freak, I am warm, friendly, kind, driven, curious, I am a lifelong learner, I am bad at difficult conversations, I am good at helping people, I am sometimes not focused enough to finish all I want to finish… And there it becomes difficult to continue using the TO BE verb and not switch to another one to finish my description…

Do you want to give it a try and see how far you can go? Keep asking yourself the question: “Who am I?” until you come up with enough traits.

And then, looking at that description, I want to take some time to reflect and ask myself if I am happy with how I describe myself. Does it feel like me? Does it feel honest, true? Does it represent all of me? I guess not yet ;-). What did I forget? Am I happy with being all of that or do I want to change some aspects of myself?

That brings me to an exercise I did some time ago: to do a Be / Do / Have list. It’s a simple list you can do on a piece of A4 paper (or on Excel ;-)), where you do 3 columns, and start filling them with what you want to be, do or have. It works best if you give it a deadline, and review it regularly. Even better is to get yourself an accountability partner to review this list with, so that you can’t really make up excuses for what you didn’t manage…

I trust I have given you enough self-reflection for the week ;-). Let me know how that goes!

You can only make a difference

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Why wait?

Hello gorgeous,

Have you done your bucket list yet? (If not I encourage you to stop right here and do it, and I share a template for you in this email – but feel free to use any piece of paper you’d like, or your bullet journal for that!) You know, listing all those things that you want to do / see one day before you die? Ok, now you have it? Does it look exciting? Any parachute jumps or big trekking trip? New languages to learn, skills to develop, places to see?…

Well, it’s not enough to have a nice looking list full of nice things, the next step is actually to go and plan and do those things. Because if you don’t, then they were just dreams you never thought you would realize one day, but it just seemed nice at the time of writing… I would like to suggest making 2018 the year when you cross most of those items off your list (don’t worry about finishing the list, if you do, I am sure you will get more dreams to fulfill!)? Because, why wait? For more money? More free time? More energy? Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not going to come to you if you don’t work for it and make some tough choices sometimes. And good health is not a given, it’s also something you need to work hard to maintain, by taking good care of yourself… Sorry to shake you off a bit, but “Life is what you make it”, so make yours one to remember!

About a week ago, I did one of those items on my bucket list. I had always dreamed of trying pole dancing but had never actually done anything about it, apart from taking the flyer from the pole dance school the closest to us. But it suddenly hit me, what was I waiting for, if I wasn’t going to plan it, it would never happen, so let’s go and do it! So I gave a phone call, found a girlfriend to come with me, and off we were, turning around the pole ;-). And we had a blast! (And yes, we are going back! And yes, I remembered I had abs, but well hidden deep inside)

So yes, this one was simple to make happen, but I am sure you have some of those on your list too… Maybe it’s a new sport, maybe it’s a new language, maybe it’s a country you want to visit, take this first step, make an appointment, find a language school (on or offline), get information on the country you want to see, etc… But be a go-getter, go get your dreams today!

I hope this made you think a bit about your bucket list 😉 Please share your actions with me!

 © Madeleine Royere Spiritual Coach

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

5 ways to be stimulate your creativity

Hello gorgeous,

Creativity is very important to me. I love creating, be it writing a blog post or crocheting a new amigurumi, or inventing a new game when preparing a lesson, or preparing a new challenge… Creativity is something that I dearly cherish and nourish. And sometimes when I feel it’s (momentarily) gone, I feel depressed and am impatient to feel it again!

You might not have that same relationship with creativity, however I believe being creative can help anyone of us in our daily life. It helps finding solutions to problems or challenges we face, it makes us grow as we do something differently than we used to, it makes us proud of ourselves for having come up with a different solution.

How can we stimulate creativity? I found 5 ways that work for me and hope they can help you too!

  • Keep creating and practicing your craft. If it’s writing you are after, you probably already know about the morning pages and are probably doing them already. When I stopped writing for my blog, because of a serious lack of time, I thought that the source had dried and that I would not feel inspired again to restart and keep it going again. But here I am, a few weeks down the road, and still feeling inspired, simply because I went back into the habit of writing every week… As with crocheting, practicing simply makes me more of an expert, the more I do, the more I can try out things by myself and invent new patterns, instead of following somebody else’s pattern…
  • Don’t censor yourself. Like during a brainstorm, you first need to express everything – even what you would consider stupid – before you can start ordering ideas and keep the best ones. Like no dream can be too big, no idea can be too crazy, there is always something good to take from it, and isn’t it how the best inventions were created?
  • Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. If you feel you can’t come up with a solution to a problem for instance, but you know somebody who always has ideas, ask yourself: what would this person do?
  • Get some headspace. Creativity needs space to express itself. If you are too busy to stop for a moment, to relax, to read, maybe to meditate, then you don’t have space for creativity. So make space in your agenda and in your head, park issues and to-do lists for a while, you’ll get back to them after, and let your brain wander and create…
  • Ask for help. Of I might lose some of you here… but for the ones who believe we are guided, ask your guides and angels for help on a specific issue / question. I would like to refer you to a TED talk I have seen ages ago, from Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love”. She suggest we have a genius instead of being a genius… Watch it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius/transcript?language=en

I hope to have given you some clues! Please share yours with me!

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

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

Upcoming 5-day challenge: Feel excited about life!

Click here to register for this new challenge (starting mid-Feb)

Challenge 5 days feel excited about life

My top 20 Self-Care practices

Hello gorgeous,

A few days ago, I picked my word for 2018 and I encourage you to do the same, so that you have this one guide when it comes to making choices during the year, as in: does it serve me and my objective? Mine is Balance, as I want to pay special attention and care to my health this year, and I want to balance work, family life, learning, enjoying and time for myself. Life is always a balancing act anyway, but this year that’s my objective. So what’s your word?

It then got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions, and was there anything I wanted to commit to. I am not a big fan of committing to a long list of things that I think I should be doing, to then forget about then, or even worse, remembering I am not doing them (and feeling guilty about it)… So instead I decided to make a list of 20 Self-Care practices that I could use whenever I wanted. So here’s my top 20, I hope this can inspire you to do your own list (I also give you a blank one to use here after) and keep it close so you can actually use it often!

top 20 self care

top 20 self care-blank

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

Every cloud has a silver lining…

Hello gorgeous,

My recent 2 surgeries got me thinking a lot (= far too much). When I heard, back in September, that I had to have a surgery to get rid of a carcinoma on my face, I realized I had been lucky enough to spend the first 50 years of my life surgery free and without any major disease. The first surgery was performed, and 2 weeks later I got the news that I had to go back for a 2nd one, as the plastic surgeon hadn’t removed everything (in spite of taking the necessary margins). I was devastated. It had taken me so long to accept and be happy with the way I looked, and now I was going to have to do that all again…

It also made me wonder if I would have had the courage to fight it, had it been a different form of cancer. And I was in search of meaning. What had I done (or not done) to bring about something like this to myself? Biological decoding gave me “abandon” but I still could not make enough sense of it. Yes, I felt abandoned, but was that it and what could I do about it now?

The next clue came from a Reiki Master (and Channel) who told me it was about self-acceptance. Now that stayed with me and resonated much more. So I decided to do a “Self-Love Manifesto” for myself, as an exercise of reconciliation with myself. As much as I hope to look more like I used to (instead of the way I look now, with a 5 cm red scar and a swollen part on the inner side of my left eye – although I wouldn’t compare myself to a Picasso portrait anymore as I did right after the surgery), I also know this will take (a lot of) time and I will never be the exact same again.

So I can choose to love myself anyway (and that’s what my husband said, God bless him) or I can choose to complain and mourn the old me. I can give myself time to come to terms with this whole story and go on with my life. The choice is up to me and today I choose Love. What do you choose today?

I give you my manifesto as an example and a blank one for you to do yours, should you wish to.

Mado' self-love manifesto

self-love manifesto

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine

My gratitude list for 2017

Hello gorgeous,

At this time of year, it is a tradition to look back and feel grateful for all that the year has brought, as well as look forward and think about (and visualize, and make a vision board) what are our objectives for 2018.

I would like to share today what I am grateful for in 2017 (in no particular order!):

  • Having had to make some (tough) choices wrt work
  • More work-life balance as a result
  • New job opportunities
  • New relationships forming and developing
  • New lovely clients
  • A happy and healthy family
  • A big party for my 50th birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary
  • Kids doing well at school and growing into beautiful and kind humans
  • A lot of learning, on intuition, money, drumming and kinesiology
  • The same beautiful house in the same beautiful and sunny region
  • A lot of crocheting (am particularly proud of my big cactus) and DIY-ing
  • Having earned more money this year than last year
  • Managing a bit of sport this year (yoga and cross-fit)
  • Tackling my health issues…and getting rid of my carcinoma after 2 surgeries
  • And probably forgetting (again) a lot of things on this list J

If you managed to start (and continue with) the gratitude jar last year, this time of year would be a perfect moment to review it!

And if not, maybe you could start now J: use a big jar, decorate it so that you feel great just by looking at it, and use small pieces of colored paper to write the things you are grateful for, and make it a habit to do that (remember, it takes as much as 66 days to get a new habit installed, so keep going!). You could do it in the evenings before going to bed (like if you were to write them all in your gratitude journal instead), or do it together as a family on Sunday evenings to look back at the week…

I want to end this post by wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a blissful, joyful, healthy and wealthy 2018.

Joy & Happiness are born of Gratitude

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

Much love, Madeleine