7 TOP TIPS to surviving and thriving in the dating world

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So the million dollar question; dating is about finding the right guy or gal to live happily ever after with right?

Nope. That is probably a long term aspiration but honestly, that is not the main immediate aim and nor should it be. If you drop that expectation at the Dating Door you will have so much more fun! The following tips will help you to understand how to get the most out of being single and ready to date.

It is a minefield. Before I married, twice, and divorced, twice, I had never actually gone on a date with anyone I hadn’t married. So it was very new to me. I discovered a whole new world, at the age of 40, and actually realised that with the mixture of my relentless curiosity, faith in love and men, and my fast-tracking of reinvention of the single me, actually made me quite an expert dater!  My initiation was a bambi-on-ice but I soon found my feet, and actually had an absolute ball – seriously I’ve had more fun being single in the last three years than in my whole life.

Don’t get me wrong, three years of partying, Tinder, Match.com and single holidays although totally hedonistic at times, also came with massive dollops of rejection and heartbreak too.  Dating and casual flings doesn’t stop cupid firing his bow and soulmates to present themselves in all their short-lived momentarily glory.  But however much pain you go through with kissing the perfect partner but only for the perfect moment and however much the journey can be uncomfortable from magnifying your insecurities, weeping into your pillow at night to playing with all sorts of view points of what being lonely means – it does exactly what it is meant to do.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride, being mindful of these seven basic misunderstandings in the dating game.

  1. They Are Not Your Enemy. You are all in the same boat.  Just at different stages coming out of unfulfilling relationships. Some people are ready to commit and some aren’t, there is no wrong or right. Men and women do have a very different approach to it all, but you still all want the same thing….
  1. Good Company! Being single definitely has lonely moments. So whether the company turns into ‘just sex’, ‘texting at night times but never actually meeting’ or ‘full on dating’ who knows, but that all depends on where you are both at at that time and whether you have some sort of connection.  And this is definitely the same for men, they might appear to just want sex, but actually they want your company first!
  1. The Harsh Realties. Wanting your company doesn’t mean they want to date you. Rejection is part of the path of acceptance.
  1. The Beauty of Acceptance. By losing the expectations you lose the confusion. I have met the most amazing men and not-so amazing ones too. If it hadn’t been for everyone of these funny, disastrous or magical dates I wouldn’t be where I am today. Each experience has either forced me to lift a stone I didn’t want to and/or shone a light on my brilliance, which was so hidden before.  The guys I met were part of the dating cycle and none of them were meant to be my forever man because that is the whole point of dating.  You are actually dating you. You are getting to know you. What you want and what you don’t want.
  1. Being True to Yourself. This is so important.  Don’t be lulled into the game-playing advice you can get on the internet or in books – as it really isn’t a game it’s real life. These guys or gals you are dating are real.  And you will never grow or learn about yourself if you play games with each other.  Yes, it does mean you being more vulnerable, but a flower will only bloom by opening its petals however difficult that may seem right now.
  1. Get Yourself a Dating Buddy.  This is for safety and sanity!  He or she can be single too or in a relationship and will be your go-to, your advice and support. You may have several. It is also important for safety so they know what you are up to as after all dating candidates are strangers to begin with. Dating buddies will also be the ones you end up in fits of laughter at your latest dating escapade such as how a vegetarian ends up on two dates in a week, one with a butcher and then a guy that worked in an abattoir!! (yes this did actually happen!!)
  1. Be Grateful for The Single Now. Being single is a privilege.  It is an indulgent time of just doing and being everything you ever wanted to do and be. There is definitely something magical about that and the limitless possibilities. But it is temporary. That important next guy or gal you are going to fall in love with is just around the corner, so make the most of this dating freedom by having endless fun!!!  Enjoy 😉

 

 

 

 

I’m a child in a heart beat

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When I was younger, a child, I used to listen to my pillow every night. In my pillow lived a magical lady walking up and down a path of shingle. I pondered every time I heard her; did she have a huge path in front of her cottage? where was she going? and why did she never get there?… but I always fell asleep wondering. I loved it when she visited me as I felt calm, peaceful and loved.

As an adult I discovered, almost as if I always actually knew, that of course this constant flow of movement and beat was my heart beat. Every night as I put my ear to my pillow the rhythm of my life pumping through my body would send me to sleep.

Children’s wonder is magical, it’s filled with possibilities, with comfort and with joy. They know deep down, as did I, the facts – but they seem to know so much more!! They are not confined to restrictive ways of thinking but just explore to their hearts content which gives them truths, truths as adults we struggle to understand.

Now I am an adult.
I was just listening to a voice memo I recorded recently of the the waves greeting me as I walked along the beach. I recorded it so I could listen to the sea whenever I wanted to. I felt I wanted to hear it just now, for the first time, sitting in my kitchen.

There I was, the lady walking on the stones, with the rush of waves washing in and washing out to a unique rhythm. It was unmistakable, identical and made me freeze with disbelief. I then felt relief as finally after all these years my puzzle was solved “oh of course the magical lady was me by the sea!! That’s why she never stopped”

Where do we begin and where do we end.
The world’s wonders are truly inside of us…In a moment I am united with the sea, with my child-self and with my heartbeat.

Was I a child listening to my adult self walking on the beach?

And am I an adult listening to my child-like heart beating in synchronicity with the ocean?

Oh the magic is infinite xxx

Pssst….Here’s the secret to making your dreams come true!

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Spring is finally making itself known with blossom petals covering us as my son and I walk to school and the sun is starting to warm up with promises of summer fun.  It’s my favourite time of year! :)

At this time of year we find ourselves revisiting all those new year resolutions from those chillier months not so long ago in another attempt to get fit, eat healthily, change our jobs, do things differently …all ready for the summer.

  • But what if we didn’t just seek a quick fix?
  • What if we could make these changes permanent, dramatically making our lives better and brighter?
  • What if permanent happiness was possible right now?

Visioning and vision boards are a powerful way to make changes become a reality, sometimes immediately! Used with a meditation philosophy (I use and teach a modern meditation technique called Mind Calm) you can identify what changes you really want to make in your life and what truly makes your heart sing…you’ll probably be very surprised as it never is what you think!  I call this process ‘giving your heart eyes’.

To really help you understand the principles of putting together a vision board I have been interviewed in a free Podcast for the SuperMum programme and it’s a 35minute show on how visioning really can improve your life.  I have attached it to this blog, so sit back and enjoy!  (NB The SuperMum podcast programme is being launched in a couple of months, we have just been given this early as a lovely gift from Lisa York, SuperMum founder)

And if you want to know more, please get in touch. I’m also holding two afternoon workshops in June to get you started, just click on the dates below for more information.

Saturday 18 June, Introduction to Mind Calm

Saturday 25 June, Introduction to Your Dreams Start Now!

Fancy an insightful laugh? – Then ask your child too!

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Well as promised below are the same set of questions I published recently, but with my 8 yr old son answering! It is so interesting getting into the head of child. If you are a parent or aunt/uncle I recommend you try this out with your child – just play with it. Make sure they know that you’ve done the questions also (so they feel valued rather than interrogated) and just be casual and let them take the lead with it and try not to comment or put words in their mouth as there is definitely no right or wrong with this one! It is so insightful as you lose the filters of family roles so you can see this mini human for who they really are in this big lovely world. We both had really good fun doing it!! The cat one is my favourite

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Well lots of people. So if I was climbing a mountain it would be someone special at mountain climbing, if I was doing a maths test I’d think of someone clever, If I was doing race for life I would think of someone that had cancer and if I was scared of a spider I would think of someone like Steve Backshall and what he would do.

What have you learnt about yourself as you’ve got older?

Adults have been alive longer and know more and are wiser but children have a lot of stuff we can do that adults can’t like climbing in small spaces or get a ball and we know things that adults don’t. As adults are wiser we can tell each other different things and we both become equal and help each other.

If you had to give one piece of life-changing advice what would it be?

Be open-minded and think whatever happens is because the world has something better for you. So if you want one job and you don’t get it it’s because god is thinking of something better for you even though you may love that job.

How do you make a good decision?

I’d choose the opposite of what you (his mum!) choose – then we both try different things.

If you weren’t you who would you be?

A cat. It would be great as people would look after me, I could have a lazy life, I could go outside and be adventurous, I could eat what I want, I could meeow and I’ll get more food!

Optimist or pessimist? (see things in a happy way or unhappy way)

In-between. If it’s a sunny day I would be happy and excited as we could go to the beach but if it was a rainy day I might be cross.

What is the key to a happy life?

Think positive and if you don’t want to go to school you would have to and if you think about it you would probably miss lots of fun. Always do something that you don’t want to do.

Have fun xxx

Ask yourself how you are doing

 

Derek Mills is an amazing man with a IMG_1274wonderful story of being at rock bottom in his life and turning it completely around by creating his daily standards. He really inspired me when I was privileged enough to attend one of his workshops … and most importantly is just such a lovely genuine guy!!! His book is 10 Second Philosophy is definitely one of my all-time favourites. Recently he was interviewed in Psychologies Magazine and he posted the article attached on his facebook page encouraging others to ask themselves the same questions. So I am passing this on to you. I have my answers below and I found it really poignant and healthy to do a stock check of where I am in my life. I then did it with my son which I will publish next – it’s a must read!

Please write what you find you gain from asking yourself these questions in the comments box below, I’d love to know.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My son. His innocence, mistakes, wisdom and his awe of life are so inspirational. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being a parent, and especially a single parent, is such hard work. It is so daunting and scary as you desperately want to do the right thing and their behaviour is so alien to you and so fragile and unscripted that you just don’t have any preparation for it…. it is these moments that he inspires me the most. In these moments he teaches me that love is unconditional and that both of us are allowed to make mistakes.

What have you learnt about yourself as you’ve got older?

That I’m absolutely OK just the way I am. I appreciate everything I have now rather than the opposite way I used to be which was believing I needed to be a perfect someone in the future and needed to change me. Perfection is an illusion that doesn’t exist so you are putting off living a happy life. I like my traits now and the more I like them the more I attract the people into my life that like me just as I am. And those that don’t get me (and I may not get them) seem to just not be around so much anymore or don’t stick around.

If you had to give one piece of life-changing advice what would it be?

To be aware, and connected to, your true Self in this precious moment. Our ‘being human’ defaults to spending our lives with our head spinning in stories of the past or fretting over fictional worries of the future, making us feel bad and disconnected to who we really are. Awareness of the current present moment, and realising everything is just fine, is so freeing.  By learning tools like easy meditation techniques such as Mind Calm it can really make a big difference.

How do you make a good decision?

Well now I am very led by my ‘gut instinct’. I believe that tapping into this there is a different type of wisdom/intuition that flows and by using this it is the only way we can flow in the river of life rather than battle against the tide by making decisions with our very limited left brain and logical thinking.

For me the decisions I have made through logic haven’t brought me sustainable happiness and have slowed down my personal growth. If I take a plunge and go with my gut instinct/intuition (despite it being usually a scary prospect) it is so much more rewarding – even if the lesson is a tough one. If it’s a tough lesson it is more like one wax strip removing hair than before it was more of a full and slow body wax!! My life just flows at a much quicker pace, rather than treading treacle like before, and feels exciting and just the way it should be.

If you weren’t you who would you be?

I was struggling with this one because when I think of all the inspirational greats I also think of all their life battles and couldn’t seem to find that one person….and then I sat down with my son to go through these questions. So I choose him. He has such lovely traits, a great life and has such a huge exciting blank canvass of a world of limitless possibilities to paint with such colour into whatever he wants it to be…I am so excited for him that it overwhelms me!

Optimist or pessimist?

An extreme optimist to annoying proportions! But saying that I have recently gained a massive armoury of realism in my tool belt too which is no bad thing.

What is the key to a happy life?

Ooo I like that question. In addition to what I mentioned earlier; appreciating what you have in this moment, always be present and your true Self …..it would definitely be to believe in love and that it really does conquer everything. Not just romantic love I’m talking bigger picture -if everyone was at peace with themselves and understood how to turn fear, jealousy, hatred etc into love, peace and calm (like Derek Mills)- they’d then attract those who aspired to be as happy and so would naturally gain this positive approach and so the ripple effect continues and then hey…guess what – I definitely think world peace would be on the cards!!

A Trip in Dr Who’s Tardis and I find my Web

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19 months ago I had the pleasure of meeting an idol, Robert Holden and was completely awestruck and actually made a bit of an idiot of myself – if he wasn’t such a lovely man he would have definitely called security!

Last night I met him again. This time however, even though he is super famous in my field and still so utterly marvellous, I felt completely confident and grounded enough to speak to him like a fellow human being!!

I felt so different. The awareness of how different I felt was quite stark and therefore emotional for me as I have had such a time of immense learning and growth. Now I am completely “me” …what is the main difference? Well that’s easy, I am present.

19 months ago I hadn’t learnt mindfulness or mind calm and was living in an imaginary projection of a world of hope (and fear) whilst battling with unhealed wounds of the past. Neither option let me be present as I didn’t want to admit to myself the pain I was in, in that moment.

Beautifully this angel, Robert Holden, was gently waiting in the wings until last night where he inadvertently held a mirror of my journey. Through Robert’s evening of incredible, very real, vulnerable and yet spectacular wisdom I also got beautiful clarity of a signpost to my next step.

It simply said “Vicky, it’s ok to need”. Phew, such a relief. Unbelievably so. The drive of being a single parent, self employed and romantically single is one of independence. It does serve well and has got me to a place I am proud of as I have re-built “me”. But with that independence the self-protection is naturally woven like a spiders web after a painful break up or divorce and is also just as invisible until you get that little bit of sunshine that shows your web of separateness.

We are all in this together. This thing called life is tricky, but so many loving souls want to help us along the way. So Roberts message is to ask yourself what is your wisdom of independence? Interdependence is a beautiful thing that is made of the ‘love’ stuff.

Wouldn’t that be more aspirational?

So today I’m opening up. Confidently knowing who I am I can now wipe away my web of protection (eek!) and I am ready to say to the universe “I am here”.

Love, Love, Love

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Love binds our stardust.

Love is the antidote
to pain, anguish and fear.

It’s about choosing love,
the less tangible,
but most emotive
and unconditional.

Love never disappears,
Love never leaves us,
We just forget now and then.
To Love.

But it’s always there
Gentle reminders everywhere.

A stranger, A butterfly, A book

So if you forget to love,
Simply remember to look.

It’s patiently waiting for you
to notice and remember.
And to be Love.
It’s the magic of life.

Namaste x