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I had a brainstorm. I’ve changed URL as well!

Technological Brainstorm

You might be wondering what this new website address is all about! I had a brainstorm, and below I’m sharing what I wrote about it over at http://nikolahoward.com/blog/brainstorm/


I had a business mentoring session with Ross MacKenzie last week. It turned into a massive brainstorm of new ideas. And it is no understatement to say that it was a transformative two hours.

What did I learn?

I’d been keeping my “day-job in IT” to one side whilst I worked on mindset and nutrition change. This has been giving me an incongruency, as I’m as passionate about women in STEM as I am about mindset and nutrition change!

Because I was so in the middle of it, I didn’t connect my own dots. My mentor immediately pointed out that as well as people that need help with the technical side of setting up a new online business, there are young women that need inspiration to get into STEM. Women already in STEM that need mindset help, nutrition change and leadership guidance. Dieters that love gadgets and technology that help them with their journeys.

He showed me that there was actually a very natural overlap between all my passions.

What happens now then?

So, I’m shifting the content of http://nikolahoward.com  into being technology focused. The content will also cross over between my other passions. The brainstorm demands nothing less!

I’ve moved the mindset focused content over to this new website: http:/mindsetmaven.co.uk.

I’m happy that I’ve made these shifts, even though it’s work, they feel right. I’m definitely feeling far more congruent and focused. I don’t have to suppress or hide what is a large part of my knowledge and experience anymore, which fills me with joy.

I’m looking forward to the next steps in my journey and working with you!

“Breakthrough Success Summit” – February 25th and 26th

Ed JC Smith

My mentor Ed JC Smith, who is an expert on psychology, business, relationships and health and is currently is working on his PhD in Human Potential is running another Breakthrough Success Summit this weekend (February 25th and 26th), so I thought that I’d write a blog about it today!

I know that you are here, reading this, because in some way, you want to improve yourself. I totally appreciate that attending live events may not by your thing, however, the path to change is action.

The event investment is £97 but Ed’s given me 2 free tickets again, so I thought you might like one.
I know when I attended, it expanded my mind no end and changed my life.

If you would like one of the free tickets I have, click the button to fill in the form and we can start connecting those dots!

Yes, I want to come to Breakthrough!

“Breakthrough Success Summit” – January 21st and 22nd

Ed JC Smith

As you know, recently I qualified as a coach and NLP practitioner on a course run by my now friend and mentor Ed JC Smith, who is an expert on psychology, business, relationships and health and is currently is working on his PhD in Human Potential.

He runs a 2 day event – the Breakthrough Success Summit – for which tickets are £97. The next one is January 21st and 22nd, so I thought that I’d write a blog about it today.

I know that you are here, reading this, because in some way, you want to improve yourself. I totally appreciate that attending live events may not by your thing, however, the path to change is action.

Ed’s kindly given me free tickets and I thought you might like one. I know when I attended, it expanded my mind no end and changed my life.

If you would like one of the free tickets I have, click the button to fill in the form  and we can start connecting those dots!
Yes, I want to come to Breakthrough!

The world needs love

Love, one pipecleaner heart at a time

The concept that “Belief in something doesn’t make that true” throws itself into sharp contrast for me this week. I held the belief that America would not elect a Klan-backed, lying, misogynistic, sex-offending bigot as president.

Civilisation very much feels like it’s turning itself inside out right now. I could take the focus that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, mutter to myself about it all being wrong and simply let it wash over me, but instead I choose to see this as the world having a healing crisis, where symptoms, such as bigotry, hatred, ignorance and even war get worse before healing ultimately happens. Taking this focus and meaning to the events means that I can take action. It means that I, and all the other people in the world that espouse love, equality and kindness are the cure.

I do not doubt that the vast majority of Americans are kind, they are known world over for their hospitality and generosity, so I’ve been reading frantically about why America might choose to elect Donald Trump, seeking understanding beyond the “news bubble” that I live in (mostly populated by “WTF?” type posts, but no real reasons) and come to understand that change and growth is something that deeply strikes against the belief system of the people that voted for Trump, and that the slogan “Make America Great Again” to them means harking back to a time where their known status (religion, skin colour, jobs, homes, family structures) in the world was certain. It means retaining a Status Quo that about half of the world is moving away from, dragging the other half (in some cases very) unwillingly behind it. And also, as the movement is due to various ideas working in opposing directions, it’s no wonder the world is so confused right now!

However, if you are here, you probably shared my now disproven belief, and are quite possibly feeling defeated. Right now, you might not have the strength for yet another fight, and that’s OK. Self Care is important. Do the self care that you need to get you ready to give the world the love it needs. Retreat, eat good food, watch Netflix, go for walks in the local park, love the people and pets around you and just be for a bit. The world will be here when you are ready to pick up again.

However, if you stay in your cave too long, this can be as detrimental as working from no resources, so, if you do find yourself feeling overwhelmed, as you know, I love using EFT as a pattern interrupter. I’ve used it successfully with clients to help them get to the roots of their issues as well as to enable their progress when they are stuck.

So when Brad Yates’ newsletter dropped this video into my inbox I felt that I needed to share his words and the accompanying video with you:
“I actually shot this video a few weeks ago – it wasn’t about the election, but about this feeling that many of us experience from time to time.  But it takes on a new timeliness now, as a lot of people are feeling this these days… totally understandable.  A large group of folks were going to feel this whichever way the election went.  Honor your feelings, and when you are ready to stand up, brush yourself off and get going again, I hope you will find this helpful.  We need you… :)”

NB: As I said before, if you have never viewed Brad’s Channel before, before you start tapping away, you must watch these two videos first – as Brad is very clear that you know what you are doing, and that you take full responsibility for your own well being.

There are of course other pattern interrupters and ways to enable progress, but this one is one of my favourite as it is so simple, and once you know how, you can do it autonomously either “free-form” or via one of the many many scripts on Youtube (in fact, some of the best results are when the words simply “fall out of your brain” rather than with scripts) and it gets fast results.

So, tell me how you are going to spread a little (or a lot of!) love to the world. Start small, create ripples! Leave me a comment below and then we can start working to connect your dots!

Catch you next time!

Image used LOVE by Lorie Shaull
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Follow Little Heart Man’s adventures: https://www.facebook.com/littleheartman

Exciting news, I’m getting my certifications!

I’ve some exciting news – I’m about to complete my qualification as an ABNLP-standard Certified Life Coach and NLP practitioner.  I’m also currently working through obtaining various CMA (Complementary Medical Association), IANLPC (International Association of NLP & Coaching) and IAHT (International Alliance of Holistic Therapists) diplomas: Nutrition, Eating Psychology, Mindfulness, Meditation, Reiki and EFT.

As you know, I’m all about delivering huge value to everyone I work with, and adding this value to myself is going to help everyone I work with massively, as I can structure the information I have and the assistance I can give for best effect.

As always, I will be writing ‘blog posts and books, as well as creating accessibly priced digital resources, however, as at 09:00, 7th November 2016, the cost of my in-person sessions is going to increase:

My new in-person pricing structure will be as follows:
Ongoing Coaching/Mentoring per session –  Initial consult – Free. £67 per on-going session
The Clarity and Progress Session – £87
VIP day – £997

If you’ve been thinking about taking that next step with me, you can act now and lock in a set of sessions at the current pricing level: Simply visit the link above and invest in yourself now at current rates – there are discounts on bulk session booking for On-Going Sessions.

The future is exciting. Thank you for being a member of my tribe and I look forward to continuing to work with you, in whatever way is accessible to you, so that we can all start working on connecting those dots.

Catch you next time!

Denise DT – Mindset Reset webinar – Wednesday 19 October 11pm BST

I spoke last week about Denise offering the first live round of Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp in three years, and so I was excited to receive the below e-mail about two live webinars that she is doing as part of this round of bootcamp.

I’ve signed up already, as I know that calls with Denise are always fun and action packed. She always offers excellent tips and tricks in her free content, and I expect this call to be no different.

“I have been hearing from entrepreneurs all over the world how crappy 2016 has been and how unsure they feel about the future of their businesses. Marketing techniques aren’t working, sales are down, industries are changing and as women we are more affected by this and most emotionally open to feel the instability.

So, I will be doing TWO LIVE webinars during this launch to share my block clearing tools. The first live webinar will be a collective clearing and MINDSET RESET so we can all let it go and get energetically ready for a new 2017.

This will be lots of live energy clearing and block busting and I would love you to be part of it. It’s going to be such a powerful call, I can’t wait.”

Click to sign up: FREE LIVE WEBINAR – MINDSET REST
Mindset Reset and Collective Clearing. Time to let it go and start again for an awesome 2017.
Wednesday 19 October 11pm BST

P.S. As you know, I am proud affiliate of Denise’s work. If you purchase a Lucky Bee product or course I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

How I transformed my money mindset

If you’ve been following my ‘blogs, you will know that one of the deep-dive pieces of work I’ve been doing in the last year or so is specifically around my money-mindset. Society messages such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “a day’s work for a day’s pay”  and society’s general “lack mentality” – “there’s never enough to go around” had me solidly blocked. I spent a great deal of my twenties spending money I didn’t have and then living way below my potential because all of my disposable (and some of my essential) income was being used to service debt.

I definitely had self-sabotage going on in my past and women especially are taught to “make do” with lower levels of resources, for themselves more than anything else. Some women even feel like they are “cheating” if money starts to flow “too easily”. And because life is always flowing on, you might not even be aware that you’re blocked and sabotaging yourself, you might think that this is just the way it is and that’s pretty much that.

It wasn’t really until my late thirties that I got a proper handle on what was going on with my money and the fact that I seemingly spent it like water and never had enough of it. No savings, massive overdraft, 4 credit cards with high interest and maxed out balances… Due to other mindset work I was doing, I started to also see that some of my money issues were based around resistance. About the need to stay the same and “safe” – when in reality, I very much wasn’t.

But, whilst I finally knew what resistance was, and learned to recognise it in my life, in terms of money, I didn’t really know how to deal with it at all. I found that I my life so far had not at all prepared me for the to work to remove the blocks and sabotages that I’d been gifted by a bad money mindset education.

I found Denise Duffield-Thomas and her amazing money mindset course, Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp in early 2014, via my marketing mentor, Marie Forleo, and I don’t regret signing up at all. Me and my knickers are much happier and wealthier as a result of Denise’s work in the world.

The Money Bootcamp is a six week course and vibrant community of over 3,000 women that identifies and helps you release your money blocks. Denise’s popular course has been helping people since 2012 to upgrade their mindset.

So, why have I been talking about Denise non-stop and sharing the Bootcamp link with you now? Because Denise is running a live version of the course for the first time in three years. That means live group Q&A calls, quizzes, checklists and the momentum of 3,000 women working together.

I’ll state for the record right now that I still haven’t completed the bootcamp work, but the parts I have done have shifted so much for me already – as there really are crucial mindset shifts that need to happen so you can gracefully receive abundance in your life. It also helps in all areas in life where a change needs to be made, as the principles are easily molded towards other goals and targets where you know you feel resistance.

 

The Investment for the course and all the add-ons that come with is usually USD $1997, but for the next 15 days, until 27th October 2016, the course is only $1497 – a $500 saving for so much more value!

I really highly recommend Denise’s course as one of the best money mindset resources out there. She is known for being very down to earth, honest, practical and humorous with how she spreads her message to the world. With this live round, it really is a brilliant time to join her Bootcamp, and I for one am very excited to be working through the exercises with Denise leading them! I know it’s going to be simply amazing. I’m very much looking forward to the leaps that I know are coming.

This course has helped women generate millions of dollars and changed lives all over the world. Are you going to join us? Take action, go sign up for Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp, come back and leave me a comment below, and we can start working on connecting those dots.

Catch you next time!

 

P.S. As you know, I am proud affiliate of Denise’s work. If you purchase a Lucky Bee product or course I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Forgiveness – a powerful tool for mindset shift

forgive yourself

As I’m sure you can guess from what I’ve keep banging on about ( 🙂 ), a huge part of Self-Change is re-framing our Mindset and the decluttering process is not just about clearing physical space, it’s about mental decluttering also.

“Don’t let it rent your head” is something my Mum said to me a long time ago, and what’s happened to us in our past can very literally “hold us back” in that past and that story. When I spoke about simply observing feelings in the letting it go meditation, the emotions we feel are often driven by our stories, and the top tactic for dealing with the ones that linger is forgiveness.

Mental de-cluttering can be very difficult – Lifting the memories and beliefs that shaped our current thoughts into the light of objectivity, feeling them and then asking “Does holding onto this experience serve me and my higher good?” can be very hard indeed, as our amygdala is usually telling us (very loudly) that holding on to the memory and all that entails is the “safe” thing to do.

However, as Anaïs Nin said: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Mental de-cluttering is something that we do again and again – yes, there are big pieces of the past that come up when we think about this the first time we do it, but mental decluttering and forgiveness is like an onion – it has layers. There is always more to de-clutter, always more to forgive, and we always feel better for working through the (very easy) process. After all, hanging on to the more toxic memories that drive our lives through pain, resentment or anger is like “eating poison and harming ourselves, yet expecting the other person to die.”

In the same way as when we physically de-clutter our stuff (and I recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo – an excellent physical de-cluttering system ) we de-clutter memories and experiences by topic, with a focus on “Love”, “Money”, “Work”, “Siblings”,”Parents” or any other life topic that we feel is “renting our head” –  naturally there is always cross-over, but don’t let that stall you. If you don’t think a memory would fit in where you want to do the work right now, then leave it for later.

The actual process is easy – Allow yourself some time, pick your topic, grab pen and paper  (because writing activates both sides of the brain) and start writing out emotional memories on the chosen topic. Include anything that still has an emotional charge – anger, resentment, embarrassment, shame, etc and write a short paragraph on each memory as it comes up. Keep going until you can’t think of anything else, aiming for between 20-100 memories.

Don’t get stuck or over think it, you may end up with pages and pages, or just a few lines. The memories that are “missed” this time aren’t yet ready to be forgiven. Just like cleaning out the wardrobe usually takes more than one go, emotionally charged memories that are driving current behaviours often hide behind each other.

Once you have the list formed, and you are ready to start forgiving (It’s perfectly fine to write the list and then leave it to one side for a short while if you need to do so) read the first memory, then take a breath and say out loud “I forgive you, I’m sorry, thank you, I love you.” and then physically cross the memory out with your pen. Repeat the mantra for each item on the list, crossing them off until you reach then end. You can then discard the list in whatever way you see fit; rip it up, shred it, burn it or just chuck it in the recycling.

Why these words? Because they release you from carrying the emotions –  it’s not at all about the cause of the memory, be that a person, organisation or circumstance. And whilst remaining engaged in the exercise, you don’t even have to mean the words that you are saying all that much. Remember, the Limbic brain doesn’t have “words” it has “feels”

Energetically, “I forgive you” is acknowledging the memory and the emotion, “I’m Sorry” covers forgiving ourselves for carrying the emotion for so long and clears any residual entanglements around the event (It’s not about “apologising to the other person”, there is no condoning of past grievances or victim blaming here), “Thank you” is about appreciating the lesson it taught you, even if that lesson was hard to carry or had negative consequences at the time, and “I love you” seals the deal, wrapping up the experience and energies with love and releasing them.

You may well feel some resistance to doing this (I know I have in the past) because letting it go is very, very scary. However, know that doing forgiveness work on the past will change your future life, so leave me a comment about what you are forgiving, and we can start working on connecting those dots!

Catch you next time!

Image used, FORGIVE YOURSELF by miguel
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Get stuff done – make your bed

Make your Bed

One of the little things that I ask of people that I coach and mentor is a very simple and mundane thing – I ask them to make their bed every day. It only takes  a minute to pull the duvet up, straighten the pillows and make sure it all looks good.

It really seems so silly, that such a small thing would have such a big impact, but it really does. Making this task automatic means that you achieve the first task of the day before you even leave your room, and by doing it, it sets the mind up to “do more” with the day. It also gives you a little lift when you see it later, especially if you come home after a crappy day.

This excerpt from the Austin 2014 Commencement Address, University of Texas by Admiral William H. McRaven has been animated and is doing the rounds on the internet lately, is all about this, and really sums it up perfectly:

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack (—rack— The Navy term for your bed.)

It was a simple task–mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs – but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

If you want to watch the full speech, it’s on YouTube (And you should, it contains excellent life advice for us all, not just a bunch of going-to-be Navy SEALS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70
And the full transcript: http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2014/05/mcraven-to-grads-to-change-the-world-start-by-making-your-bed/

Leave me a comment about how you are going to make making your bed an automatic practice, and then we can start working on connecting those dots!

Catch you next time!

Image used, Our new handmade bed! by Miss Yasmina
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Choosing the best nutrition

Warm confit ocean trout, autumn vegetable a la grecque, horseradish mayonnaise

Following on from the thoughts in my previous post “Crap in = Crap out“, I wanted to write a little more on what I feel is the best nutrition, and, even if you don’t agree with me 100%, some guidelines how to choose foods that are good for the body generally.

So, what do I view as good nutrition?

I base my food choices around Optimal, Sub-optimal and Non-optimal. I personally ban nothing, I just chose to avoid things that I know are non-optimal. After all when something is “banned” or “bad” then, by that nice twist of human psychology, we generally want it all the more.

Broadly speaking, the foods I eat are:

Optimal (eat freely and with gusto!):
Plentiful amounts of meat, fish, fowl, green veg (brassica), eggs, cheese, cream, butter, olive oil, herbs, spices.

Sub-optimal (Eat with care, enjoy the tastes):
Moderate amounts of all other non root tuberous vegetables (peas & corn are not vegetables, they are beans & grains respectively), veg from the onion & garlic family, seeds, nuts (peanuts & cashews are beans), berry fruits (inc tomatoes.)

Little bits of non potato roots (swede, turnip, sweet potato, carrots etc), 70% dark chocolate, cocoa powder, red wine. Beans are a borderline case, extra care advised.

Non-Optimal (really not good for the body, enjoyed without guilt once in a blue moon, if at all):
Sugar, all grains (rice, bread, pasta, cake, biscuits, crackers)  & white potatoes.

I talk more about how to start eating a low-carb way in this article on my low-carb website.

However, even if you don’t agree with me on the above, there are still a few factors that I’m sure that we can agree on.

  1. Choose and prepare actual food.
    This is really a cornerstone of self-care. And usually, knocking up a nutritionally valid meal takes just as long as one that is devoid of nutrient value. Why stint yourself? It takes me 15-20 mins to prep and cook most of the meals I eat, and I know exactly what went into every mouthful I then take.If you are choosing “ready-meals” (let’s face it, everyone does once in a while!) a good thing to bear in mind is the ingredient list – Does it have ingredients in it that you wouldn’t cook with/couldn’t find as a home cook?
    Check that label, 6  ingredients or less is a good start. If there are more, ensure that these ingredients that are not chemical “Fillers” “Flavours” or “Enhancers”
  2. Never choose “diet” products – They are usually sugar and chemical laden monstrosities!
    Look at the ingredients for two well known brands of “Diet shake” (low-fat then low-carb)

    Slimfast Vanilla Shake 325Ml
    From www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=261592549
    Ingredients: Skimmed Milk (78%), Water, Sugar, Milk Proteins, Corn Oil, Stabilisers (Cellulose, Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carrageenan), Thickener (Acacia Gum), Emulsifier (Mono-and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids), Flavourings (contain Lactose), Vitamins and Minerals1, Antioxidants (Sodium Ascorbate, Alpha-Tocopherol), Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium), 1 Vitamins and Minerals: Magnesium Oxide, Vitamin C, Zinc Oxide, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Vitamin E, Niacin, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Copper Gluconate, Manganese Sulphate, Vitamin A (contains Soybean), Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Vitamin D, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Riboflavin

    Atkins Ready To Drink Vanilla Shake 330Ml
    From http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=282485593
    Ingredients: Water, Dairy Protein Blend (Milk Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate), Sunflower Oil, Stabilisers (Cellulose, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan, Potassium Phosphate), Acidity Regulator (Potassium Citrate), Flavourings, Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame-K), Salt, Colour (Riboflavin)

    I am sure you will agree with me, neither of these are at all real food… Consuming these types of product do no honour to your body at all. Remember, Crap in=Crap out!

  3. Make time to eat, and eat mindfully and conscientiously.
    Eating food is something that most of us tend to “fit in” to a busy life – we grab a quick sandwich between meetings, or mindlessly grab “something” to eat whilst doing other things. We also graze on “snacks” as we work or watch telly… And again, none of this values your body.

    Eating mindlessly means that you are not paying attention to the signals your body will send you about being satisfied. Grazing especially, where you are constantly chewing and “topping up” your stomach, and hence suppressing natural signals, is not at all how we evolved to eat.

    Myself, I always ensure that I take my lunch break and take my time over eating. I’m slightly less mindful than I might be, in that I read my book whilst I eat. However, taking that break from my day re-energises my brain for a good afternoon of productivity!

    When I cook my dinner, I enjoy eating it. Again, I’m generally watching something as I eat, but I’m also taking my time and enjoying my food, and not just stuffing it into my face as fast as I can.Thinking about what I’m eating also allows me to listen to my stomach – if I’ve cooked too much, I’ll know it. I will then stop (no fake imperative to “clean the plate” for me!) and (generally) fridge what I’ve left over, for consumption later or more often the next day.

So, my challenge for this week: At work next week, when you eat lunch, do nothing but eat lunch. For the period that your food lasts; no books, no chatter and definitely no work! Enjoy the food, and indulge in the sensations it gives. Revel in how it tastes, it’s smell, how it feels in your mouth. After you finish eating, read a book for the rest of your lunch hour, or if your lunch room is more social, chat with colleagues about anything but your day-job – do not dash back to your work. Take time to breathe and digest.

Commit to doing this at least once next week and leave me a comment below about how this experiment works for you, and especially how it feels, even if those feelings are negative. Because negatives are as valid as positives for self-learning, as all “feels” are generated by the Limbic brain in the now. Then, we can start working on connecting those dots!

Catch you next week!

Image used, Warm confit ocean trout – Bistro Vue by Alpha
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)