The Planning Process

I have spent a lot of time over the last few months coming up with systems to help me with my teaching. When I say ‘systems’, I mean anything that can help me be prepared for the day, help me save time, or both. One such system I’ve been working on is a planning process that I can look at and use as a checklist for each lesson that I plan. The process I’ve created is (in my mind at least) chronological, but there is obviously crossover between sections, and there will also likely be times when you want to add bits to earlier sections as you think of new ideas for the lesson you’re planning. So here it is, my planning process:

Zen-Style Organisation

A few months ago, I moved from the bright lights of London back to the…dimmer lights of Lancashire! I spent a total of around three full days organising my bedroom/study: taking out anything that isn’t helpful or important, and organising what is.
The result of this was that a) I felt calmer and clearer and b) I knew (and still know) where everything (that’s important) is! Both of these points feed each other. As we all know, anything that can save us as teachers a few hours, minutes or even seconds can only be a good thing. Knowing where all my pens are (separated into different types – I really went to town on this!), where my journal is, where my hole punch is, sounds simple – and maybe it is – but it’s quite a new and exciting discovery for me!
So now I know that everything is organised and easily accessible, precious minutes and seconds can be saved, and stress levels driven down. All I needed to do is keep everything organised once I started the job… An upcoming post will tell you about that!

Be True! Be You!

Would you like to connect more deeply to your true self and be more ‘you’? I believe this is what everyone wants, deep down.

I believe in continually discovering and expressing who I really am and I love empowering other people to do the same, so I’ve taken almost three decades of life experiences, meditation, self-development books, audio programmes and videos, and condensed them into 16 of the most important things that I’ve learned – and have helped me – along the way… Here’s the result:

Be True! Be You! Simple strategies the empower you to connect to the real you and live from a place of total authenticity.

In this book you will learn: how to connect to your true self; why everything is OK; how to meditate and breathe; the ‘1% rule’; how to deal with negative thoughts; how to be kind to yourself; how to get what you want; and more!

Lights, camera, take action!

This is the first post of the re-launch of my blog and I’m excited to be back! I’ve been thinking for a while about the importance of this first post and I wanted to make it something that will captivate and inspire beyond belief. So here it is!

…Whilst struggling to think of the ‘perfect’ post, I learned an important lesson:

‘to begin, begin’ (from the aptly named William Wordsworth).

I learned that the first step is the most important – without it, nothing can happen. NOTHING! It sounds simple, but often the most profound things in life are. Over-thinking things usually isn’t productive!

So this post is my ‘first step’, my beginning, my way of setting the ball rolling. I don’t know precisely which direction the blog will head off in, but I know that I’ve now taken the step that makes all other steps possible. Knowing you’ve set yourself off on an amazing journey is extremely satisfying!

What’s your first step going to be today?

David x

Authenticity: being the best, most natural version of you!

‘Give the world the gift of my true, authentic self’; I’m not sure exactly what my life purpose is, but this is pretty close to it.

‘Just be yourself’ is one of the most common pieces of advice given to people. It’s easy to say; it’s easy to just say this to someone so that you don’t have to say anything else. In reality though, as hard as it can be to take this advice (I’ve been there – it’s annoying!), deep down it’s really good advice. I think ‘being yourself’ is one of those things that I think everyone strives for, just like we strive for food, fun, love, etc. So what does it mean?

To me, it means that you are positively selfish (more on that later) and you are true to the part of you that is deeper than social conditioning, deeper than fear, deeper than your daily to-do list. It’s tapping into your true nature – the part of you that has been longing to come out ever since you were born. You’ve probably seen glimpses of it in your life – maybe you’re lucky and you’ve seen more than a few glimpses! It’s the part of you that flows effortlessly, the part that doesn’t have to ‘try hard’ to impress other people, the part that laughs at self-doubt and fear and pushes through them. It feels so comfortable – like you’ve got nowhere to go (in a healthy, positive way, not in a ‘got no direction’ way!) because you’re already there; you’re already this true person right now, it’s just there are probably a few (well, maybe a lot!) of layers of negativity you have to work through in order to be able to let your true self shine. Well, I thought they had to be worked through. For most of my life I’ve always seen ‘problems’ – things to be fixed. And to an extent there are problems (if you feel you have a deep psychological problem, for example, then obviously the right help should be sought) that require solutions, but I think for the most part, focusing on the positive aspects of things (and ‘bypassing’ the negative) can be extremely beneficial.

But think of it this way: think of your true self as a light, and all the social conditioning, the excuses, the fear, the anger, the suppressed emotions, the self-doubt, the insecurity (etc, etc, etc!)  as darkness. If you want to be able to see, you don’t need to do anything with the darkness. The only way to transform darkness into light is by, you guessed it, turning on a light! What I mean by this is that your light, your true self, shines through everything else, and transforms the darkness into light.

Earlier I mentioned being ‘positively selfish’; I’ll explain what I mean. You’ve probably heard before that you have to help yourself before you can help anyone else – that’s why you’re always told to ‘put your own life jacket on first’ because you’re no good to anyone if you haven’t got one on yourself. It’s the same principle in life – you’re only of use to the world, only going to be truly happy (and help others be truly happy), if you look after number one first. That obviously doesn’t mean you should never do anything kind for anyone else! It just means that you need to look after yourself first. This might mean different things to different people, but the following list gives you a few examples of what it means to me:

  • Being able to say ‘no’ to people – I value my time, so I choose what to do with it; if someone offers/asks me to do something and I have my own thing going on, it’s OK to say ‘no’, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ just to please the other person. It’s something for you to consider, not something for you to bow down to.
  • Breathing slowly and deeply in order to feel centered.
  • Meditation – taking time each day to just ‘be’, rather than to ‘do’. We are human beings – not human doings – after all!
  • Being outdoors and in nature – they’re very grounding, calming and centring (for the post on grounding see http://fittoflourish.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/grounding).
  • Doing courage – this is an important one. It takes a lot of courage to be yourself – particularly when it goes against what everyone else seems to be doing. Take the plunge – you owe it to yourself and the world! I think I’ll have to talk more about fear and courage soon…

I hope that will give you some motivation, inspiration and courage to be yourself today!

David x