“So, What Do you Do?”

I’ve been to a few networking events in the past and I’ve always cringed as the inevitable question, “what do you do?” is asked. I don’t avoid the question because I don’t want to tell people how I make a living. More so because the phrase is too often used as a way to define and dissect an entire person’s being in a matter of minutes.

Most of the time, what is really being asked is “How can you help me?” And this is not how we should be relating to our fellow humans here. We should be genuinely interested in people just to know more about how they think and therefore how we think ourselves!

Whilst I’m always interested in hearing about someone’s dreams and what they love doing, I never ask what their job is unless they want to offer that information. I’m more interested in what they do when they’re not in their job- where they spend their time, what they like to read, films they like…this is the person I want to know.

Organic connections are so much more solid and real. Obviously if you attend a Networking event and really do get on with someone, that’s fantastic and I’m sure many great friendships and working relationships have begun from these types of groups.

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One great way to make real connections is to get involved in your community. This could be volunteering for a local charity, joining a befriending service or simply getting to know your neighbours. Once you connect with your surrounding world, you feel more grounded and part of something. You truly never know who you may meet and by good fortune they may be able to enhance your other goals in life, and in return you may help theirs.

This is the way to gain true meaning in our acquaintances, not through artificial means. Just because successful business people achieved money and recognition this way through cliquey clubs, doesn’t mean that should be the model to aspire to. We need to change that system and start making friends just to make friends, and if our intentions are good then I’m sure the rest will follow.

Choose a community project that is close to your heart. Don’t go with what is a popular trend or fashionable. This happens when the media picks up on certain causes and illnesses and suddenly they become popular, which is great for raising awareness but can mean that smaller projects are left unrecognised.

To recap, here are a few ways to become more connected with others.

  1. Join a local group for fun. Choose what your most drawn to, this will often be something you enjoyed in your childhood. Find a local choir, netball team or reading club.
  2. Get to know your neighbours. City living doesn’t create a community feel unless we get to know the people who live alongside us, at least to say hello to in passing. If you live somewhere with a communal space, why not have a Barbecue in the summer or organise a street clean up if needed with tea and cake after.
  3. Get involved. Give your time to a charity rather than writing a cheque and forgetting about it afterwards.
  4. Call your friends and family more often. Better still, go to see them in person more frequently. We are more disbursed these days, but making the effort to visit someone will brighten up both your lives.

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Don’t just network, connect, make genuine soul connections.

Best Wishes,

Bexi

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Spring Clean Yourself!

My first blog post here was to tell you my thoughts on the New Year and how we are all too harsh on ourselves at a time when the natural world is being slow and nurturing. Now the evenings are brightening and the temperature rising, this is a far better time to begin all those goals that most discarded after a week or two in January.  I’ve made a some big changes and I feel great for it, a fresh start in line with the season change!

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Here are a few ways we can take inspiration from nature to align ourselves with the change of season and create goals in a more natural way than the New Year…

 

  • Get outside! You knew this would be one of my top tips as I’m a huge advocate of spending time in nature and being outside. Being out in nature is proven to boost mood, endorphin levels and lower heart rate and blood pressure. This will make you more productive to achieve your goals but is so worth doing just to see the beauty of the world. See more health benefits here and get out there today!
  • Get your body going! If you don’t already, start shaking and waking your body up after the slower months of Winter. Start yoga, walking, dancing, swimming…whatever feels the best avenue for you. Just as the animals in hibernation are stirring from their nests, we too can break away from the slowness of winter and start to warm up for a more energetic time. Know that you don’t need  to join an expensive gym to get active though, all the suggestions above can be done at home or out in nature.
  • Create! Spring is a time of rebirth and new life and so a truer time for a new start than January. This is the best time to start new projects, dream up new plans, and flow with the energy of nature to guide you on your way! This is the time to create new works. My new creation for this time is to expand my music project into a full charity. I’m so glad I waited until now, instead of starting on the 1st January. I feel far more motivated and ready to do this now than two months ago. More info on the charity is here
  • Have a clearout! All the fallen leaves of winter are being recycled back into the earth ready to feed the growth of Spring and Summer and you can do the same in your home. Sort out old clothing that no longer suits and take it to a charity shop so someone else can find joy from it, cut up old towels to use as cleaning cloths,  start making more natural cleaning products by using things you already have (vinegar, bicarb, lemon, the peel from eaten oranges…) Wellnessmama Blog is great for tips on natural cleaning!
  • Connect with others! Spring is typically the main mating season in the natural world and whilst I’m not suggesting that you copy that precisely (unless you want to!!), it is a great time to reconnect with friends and family who you may have seen less of during the cold months and difficulty travelling due to storms and snow! Join community projects- garden and clean up work will be starting now and loads of sports activities will be getting going if that’s where your interests lie. Animal centres will be inundated now due to that mating season and will need foster homes, help with fundraising- anything you are most drawn to. Helping others will always benefit you as well and is the foundation for a beautiful world so get yourself involved!

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I hope you have a beautiful Springtime and that these tips helped on the way! I’m so excited for the changes I’m making and I know this was the right time to do them. Don’t take my word for it though, listen to your own instinct and follow the path that’s right for you. That may mean that January is a good time to get things started or that you may prefer to hold back until Summer when you feel fully rested. Whatever time you choose though, keep that Spring energy in mind, it is the time for revival so take that feeling and dance with it!

Best Wishes,

Bexi

Have Some Imagination…!

Thank you for joining me over here again! Today’s chapter is about “shoulds” and the way our imagination is shaped as we grow up.

Our lives are directed with so many “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” today. We should eat this, we should stay in work longer, we should get to the gym three times a week.  We are taught from a very young age that we can’t live our lives the way we desire when this is not the case! Even if others feel it ought to be this way, if it doesn’t sit right and you have to push too much in order to achieve that “should” goal, then it may not be the best way for you to be.

Children have such beautiful imaginations and our society limits them by the time they reach adulthood. We have television that fills in all the gaps in stories so we never have to think for ourselves, and free time is constantly filled with doing instead of being and allowing imaginations to wander freely. School curriculum often leaves no time for questioning or deviating from the script of lessons. Convergent thinking (only one correct answer) is encouraged whilst divergent thinking (open expression) is valued less when this is the path that is vital to our progression.

When I was younger, the stories I used to love reading were those that told of magic, myths and adventures and I was so lucky to have been encouraged in this by my family. I reached Secondary School though and a teacher told me I shouldn’t be reading such books and should be studying more serious works. I looked up to her so I agreed and gave up my beloved stories as being babyish. I know now that this was a mistake! Surely it was a joy that I loved reading?! I was drawn to those books for a reason. They weren’t winning any awards for best writing, but they fired my imagination and gave me a place to escape to when school was hard. After that, I stopped reading for the pure love of it. I carried on reading of course, continued on all the way through to two English degrees but I never truly enjoyed it, save for a few novels. It has only been the last couple of years since I joined my local library that my true love for reading has returned. I now read books that jump out at me, not just the ones in the ‘Classics’ section.

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If you have children in your life- your own or nieces, nephews, little brothers and sisters, a friend’s child…help them to keep their imaginations strong. If they tell you a fantastical story, let them run wild with it, don’t say it doesn’t sound realistic. If you’re a teacher, remember you’re in the most important job in the world- you’re in charge of guiding our future. Do you want a future filled with creative possibilities or a dull, grey robotic one? We can all help our children and feed their imaginations and in doing so we will open our own. Time spent with a fresh mind, will re-fresh your own.

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If we’re drawn to something- a book, a band, a place, a way of living- it’s because something within it calls out to our soul. We mustn’t ignore that feeling or we risk losing our inner fire and will be forever stuck in a world of “shoulds” and “have tos”.   Whatever your age, use your inventiveness and creativity! Paint, write, sing, read books where you can transport yourself to new, exciting places in your mind. This creates a better world for us all, because we are only limited by the range of our own imagination so we must expand it to be able to build a beautiful life! Have a wonderful, imaginative week all!

Best Wishes,

Bexi