Make 2019 Your Year to Sparkle & Shine by Tuning into Self-Care, Self-Compassion and Self-Love

“The greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of self-love.”

– Janet Groom

Time to Sparkle & Shine

New Year, New Me!

OK, it starts the same way every year, but this year I am determined to bring in the changes I long for. Enough — feeling sorry for myself. Enough — not caring about myself. Enough — making lame excuses.

This is the year I am digging deep to flick the switch in my head and make the changes happen.

I know what I need to do. It’s not rocket science, I need to WANT to make the changes from deep within — in fact, my Soul yearns for it. It wants to be free from the shackles of the emotional baggage I drag around. It desires to be lighter to shine brighter and revel in the waves of joy life brings my way. It wishes to fly and soar, as free as a bird. And I am the only one who can make it happen.

So, this New Year is not starting with resolutions which invariably fall flat at the first hurdle, but with powerful clear INTENTIONS being set, with my head and heart aligned with a deep sense of conviction –now this is the time!


I prefer now to set INTENTIONS, previously it was goals.

Intentions make me feel better. They are like strong wishes made by my Soul, with my head and heart onboard. Goals feel heavy and burdensome, whereas Intentions feel lighter, like butterflies surrounded with love and light, and this means they are easier for me to be drawn to — they appeal, which is a vital part of the process.

So now, I take time to tune into my desires for the year ahead and write down my intentions. I believe that writing them down helps to make them more real, like seeds being planted in the spring. These seeds are then watered with an unwavering desire to nurture them and bring them to life.

Inspired Action

Thinking about your INTENTIONS on their own is not sufficient to turn them into reality (oh, I wish it was!). It is important to consider each Intention and consider ways in which you can play your part to assist them to fruition. Let’s call this INSPIRED ACTION. That’s right you need to do something to aid the process. We need to look at ways we can do our part to help the intention develop and grow.

For example, last year I set the intention to write and publish my debut novel, an idea that sat with me some 15 years, but it only happened when I set a firm intention and did the work to turn it into a reality. On 27 November 2018, my first book ‘The Naked Knitting Club’ was released into the world.

Sitting thinking about it was not going to make it happen — I needed to take inspired action to shift it from a dream to a reality, and so it is with any intention.

Plans, Milestones and Goals

OK, I said that I don’t like goals, however they do serve a purpose as part of the inspired action. As a Transformational Coach, and former Project Manager, I know the value in planning for success when undertaking any project; along with the benefit of breaking it down into small steps.

So, once the Intention is locked in firmly in my heart, I sit down and assess what action needs to be taken, and then break it down to smaller, more easily achieved steps. I’m afraid there is no magic wand here, it is all down to doing the work and putting in the right energy to get those wonderful results.

I start with working out what is my desired end result, and then plan out the steps (milestones/goals) to get there. A ‘start at the end and work backwards’ approach, works for me. It’s like planning a journey — you normally know where you want to go, and then you work out your preferred route to get there.

Ownership and Choices

When you set any intention, you must ensure that it is what YOU truly want. You must feel a strong desire towards it. If you are doing it because you SHOULD then it will feel heavy, like a burden weighing you down, and this will not work. CHOOSE to make changes and set intentions that FEEL right to you, because you want to achieve them.
I guess I would describe it as your heart hugging the desire with a passion that does not want to let it go — your heart becomes entwined with the desire, held in a tight lover’s embrace.

Follow Your Heart

The only one who knows what is right for you, is YOU!

Over the years, I have learnt how important it is to tune into your heart and find out what is the right thing for you. YOU are the one responsible in this life for making the right decisions and choices for your own well-being. My HEART is my internal GPS system, and I tune in to it by placing my hand on my heart (heart chakra) and asking for guidance on what is the right thing for me.

If you are not used to doing this, start doing this and make the space to listen. After all, the person who knows you the best and what is the best for you — is YOU!

Self-Care, Self-Compassion & Self-Love

Stepping into your personal empowerment, knowing what is right for you and making choices to support your grow and development, comes from SELF-LOVE.

Unfortunately, many of us lose touch with this important aspect as we are conditioned by our modern society to bend to suit the wishes of those around us. We become so out-of-touch with who we really are that we become numb to what is right for us.

To get back in tune with ourselves, we need to grow our LOVE for ourselves, and this is done through self-care and self-compassion. Learning to be kind to ourselves. Learning to put ourselves to the top of the list and do what is needed to nurture ourselves back to a place where we feel ourselves again.

SELF-LOVE is the key to our personal success and happiness in life. By re-focussing on ourselves and boosting our own energy, health, happiness and well-being; we are then able to serve those whom we care about in a healthier way.

Write, Read, Believe, Achieve

I WRITE out my INTENTIONS to set them and allow my head and heart to get onboard and align with passion and drive.

I READ my INTENTIONS regularly (daily is ideal) to keep my focus fixed on them.

I BELIEVE in my desire and unwavering truth that they are in my highest good, and that I am being supported by the Universe to succeed.

I know in my heart I can ACHIEVE the results I want, and celebrate each milestone on the journey to my heart’s desire.

Sparkle & Shine

Following my heartfelt INTENTIONS, I find that my heart opens more and more. I feel lighter and brighter, my mood and general well-being improves. I feel I RADIATE and GLOW — my inner light is shining brighter and brighter. I feel much better in myself and I am able to deal with the challenges of life easier, without spiralling down into a dark depressive state.

LIFE is for living, for loving, for enjoying — set INTENTIONS now that make your Soul sing!

Go on and make 2019 the year you 
set Intentions 
to grow your SELF-LOVE, 
tune into your Heart and 
allow yourself to

I invite you to check out the first episode in the SELF-CARE, SELF-COMPASSION and SELF-LOVE series of interviews coming up this year on ‘The WRITE Word Show’ — a little inspiration guiding us all to tune into the benefits of SELF-LOVE and supporting us to SPARKLE & SHINE!

Top Ten Must Reads – 2018

, ,

My favourite books of 2018 to add to your 2019 Reading List

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.”

– Neil Gaiman

Books, Books, Books

As a writer, I am also an avid reader, although I must admit that in past commuting was my precious time to bury my head in a book and be transported to another world, or to be experiencing a different life through the eyes of someone else… it was pure magic! Now I have to make time to read, which has meant being open to reading e-books and listening to audio books, but my first love will always be a physical book in my hand.

So, here are my top book recommendations from my 2018 reading list, and it was really hard to narrow it down to my top ten!

1.  Rising Strong (by Brené Brown)

Want to know what makes for a ‘wholehearted’ life and how to weather the storms of life – then this is the book for you. Brené Brown is a researcher, who uses her data to find out the secrets to why some people fair better with life in general than others. It is about failing, getting right back up and going on. It certainly made me review my own life and how I can learn ways to shift negative patterns and adopt ways to begin living a ‘wholehearted’ and happier life.

I also listened to an audio book (Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice) to accompany the book, which also reinforced her insights and learnings as share by the author at as live event.

2.  Recovery – Freedom from our Additions
     (by Russell Brand)

I listened to the audio book version, and I must say it was, at time hard to listen to Russell Brand drone on. However, that said, there were lots of insightful points. I don’t consider myself an addict, but there were definitely points that resonated with me. The AA 12 Step Program is also very valid to anyone who wishes to transform their lives and start to live a life of purpose. Check it out, and see what comes up for you.

3.  On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft  (by (Stephen King)

As a writer/author, this is a definite MUST READ… and so I dutiful read it. Yes, it is packed with lots of well-written anecdotal stories about Stephen King’s lengthy writing career, along with pointers on his writing style and tips.  Does it help you become a ‘bestselling’ author like Mr King? That I can’t say, but it will get you thinking about your own writing, and how you can improve it.

4.  Conversations with Me (by Caroline Palmy)

A beautifully written memoir of Caroline’s personal story to overcome the trauma and impact of divorce. I love the way it is structured with a series of questions she poses and then answers. It is open and honest, and offers the gift of ‘hope’ to anyone who is going through the same experience. Caroline proves you can get through it, and find yourself, and happiness, again.

5.  The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris (Jenny Colgan)

What’s not to love about this easy to read ‘Chick Lit’ book? It is set in Paris, a city I adore, and it has lots of chocolate in it, as well as romance. I admire her writing style and the story flowed well. Definitely a ‘feel good’ read, snuggled up on the sofa, with a cuppa and a box of chocolates at hand – perfect!

6.  Stop ‘Should-ing’ and Start Wanting (by Judith Quin)

Taking back control of your life, becoming ’empowered’ starts with your self-talk. In her debut book, Judith shares with us her story of removing the word ‘should’ from her vocabulary, and why we need to reconnect with what is right for us by ‘wanting’. Easy to read, with lots of great little exercises to do along the way too. Follow her advice and before long you will be living a life you WANT to live.

7.  This Book is Not for You (by Carole Boudreau)

A self-help book with a difference – it was written by the author for herself as a blueprint to FEEL GOOD, but she has kindly shared her learnings and practices with us. I liked Carole’s forthright style – she tells it as it is. Definitely crammed with tips for us all on how to tune in to feeling good again.

8.  Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life 
     (by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)

I have listened to the audio book three times now, because I love his voice… it is so calm, reassuring and makes me feel good. In the book he shares his understand and learnings from researching Tao Te Ching and how we can adopt it into our lives. I must admit it is quite long, with some 81 verses. However, if you are on a spiritual journey, then I would definitely recommend it.

9.  How to Fall in Love (by Cecelia Ahern)

Not the best book from Ms Ahern, but it was an enjoyable read, and she is on the list because she is one of my favourite authors. I love her writing style and enjoy the references to life back in Ireland (this one is set in Dublin). Her sense of humour matches my own, and this book does not disappoint on that score. It is a corny ‘chick lit’ romance, and that was just want I needed when I read it.

10.  The Naked Knitting Club (by Janet Groom)

OK, I’m biased on this one – but why not, as it’s my list!
This is my debut novel, a ‘chick lit’. The story follows the life of Cate Taylor from when she makes a New Year’s resolution, which sets her on a path of transformation and stepping outside of her comfort zone. She ends up joining a ‘naked knitting club’ and her life starts to change. There is some knitting, but mostly is about relationships, friendships and life, with a little romance sprinkled into the mix.

Let me know what your top book recommendations, as I am now planning my reading list for 2019! Happy Reading 🙂

The WRITE Word Show

Listen/watch the show episode here >