Developing Kindness


We are all going through transitions, movements and changes in our lives, you, me and the other 7billion plus humans on this planet.  Our lives will always be thus so, as we evolved from change and its in our nature to live through it, surviving life is not enough, thriving is what most people want to experience during this adventure we are on……how did it all start and how can we learn from nature?

Where did the Big Bang come from?

‘Something’ was happening before the ‘Big Bang’ as we know it.  Let’s imagine metaphorically that the ‘something’ was similar to a woman’s experience and a man’s understanding of a ‘pregnancy’ a gestation period.

Lets call it a pre-cosmic pregnancy.

Lets continue to imagine, that this gargantuan pre-cosmic pregnancy was in process in a place called ‘nowhere’ and time as we know it didn’t exist.  How the pre-cosmic pregnancy came about is another blog for another day and it will probably take us to the same place of ‘nowhere and ‘something’ again and again! So lets entertain ourselves here.

We do know or we surmise that the still expanding (some scientists say yes it is and others no it’s not) universe as we have come to understand it was birthed from the ‘something’ in ‘nowhere’  made up of ‘stuff’ that scattering and crashed its way into ‘space’ (as we have come to know it) at a speed and a heat that we cannot imagine, or yet measure and it is still shifting, moving, expanding (maybe), transiting and changing.  It’s constant motion.

Planet Earth that we live on with its thundering iron core spinning in a  sea of liquid iron, the sky above our heads, the moon that pulls on the earth, the trees in the ground, you and I and the mouse in the field all came from that ‘something’ from ‘nowhere’ over billions of years of varying epochs and evolutions of life forms.

Remember Albert Einstein described everything, ‘the stuff’ that came from  that pre-cosmic pregnancy as MATTER.  (And he found that Matter is capable of being converted to energy by the famous formula E = mc2).  Since then scientists have broken down Matter into the tiniest of parts called ‘particles’ and so far we have gotten to what they call ‘quarks’.  (Scientists are endeavouring to find out what happened before the Big Bang in CERN in a giant laboratory between France and Switzerland.

Once we understand and accept that everything around us is Matter and is in constant motion; the planet we live on, all the life forms on it including ourselves are birthing, aging and dying in patterns just like the changing of the seasons and yet no form of life is intrinsically the same.  We are all related to that first ‘source of life’ that birthed us from ‘nowhere’ where ‘something’ extraordinary happened.  It’s as far back as we can go to understand  ‘Who am I and where did I come from’ on our cosmic ‘tree of life’.

Varying cultures around this planet have been inspired by this sense of ‘where we came from’ and have over 200,000 years created rituals, mythologies, religions and belief systems to give meaning to their lives between their first and last breath and beyond for some of them.  It’s the realm of the spirit world.  “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey,” according to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.  What is your sense of this wondrous, curious, painful, mysterious, joyous adventure called your life?

We are connected to that first natural source of what I now personally understand as a powerful supporting energy, which is immensely greater than all of us and all that is in the universe.  You and I are connected to the butterfly that flies past our noses; to the soft snow flake that falls on our heads; to the sea storms that rages on a winter’s night; to the moon’s pull on the seas that create its ebb and flow; to the love we display to your wo/man, child, parent, brother, sister, friend, colleague, dog, cat or cow; to the smile on the postman’s face.  We are all connected.  We are all matter.  Matter matters!  Matter is made of atoms and molecules and they are everywhere; inside us, around us, below us and above us in a natural energetic perpetual dance. Everything and everybody is connected and we take it all for granted.

Whatever your sense is of ‘who I am, where I come from and where I may go’; one thing we can all agree on is that we are always in constant movement, transitioning and changing consciously and unconsciously everyday physically, mentally and spiritually throughout our lives.   Accepting and managing that perpetual motion, not controlling it, is part of our learning curve on this life journey.  We can revisit the memories of our experiences to try to understand ourselves in the ‘now’ of our lives and go forward with our Possible Self each day, listening to it or not, in positive and negative ways and reacting to life with conscious awareness or not.  It’s a choice we make.

We trust that the sun will rise every morning and not ring in to say its sick to-day, we trust that trees will grow leaves in the springtime and not ‘throw a mood’ and sleep for twelve months instead, we trust that the baby in its mothers womb will nine times out of ten naturally grow its nose, fingers and toes.  We expect all of it to happen in sync like a perfectly tuned orchestra everyday. It’s all managed effortlessly and beautifully and all we have to do is turn up each morning to greet and live our possible self for that day as best we can.

We say we trust in nature’s way.  Yet, we misuse and abuse natures resources, its health and each others too.  We worry, we get angry, frustrated, anxious, sad etc in and with our lives.  We distrust ourselves and each other.  We use and abuse each others goodwill, love, kindness and good nature.  We get out of sync so easily with ourselves.  We forget to take a deep breath and try again to be our possible self.  You don’t see the sun having a war with the moon and wanting to take its place day after day.  Nature has its rhythm.  We humans have a lot to learn in living in sync with nature and our own natural rhythm.  When we are in sync we radiate an energy that is infectious, joyous and self-supporting; everything falls into place.  When have you last experienced that sensation, and do you want to experience it everyday?

Taking the time to reflect and understand your own nature, and the experiences that have shaped you into the person that you are, helps you to reset the rhythm of your life.  Who is the authentic you that you want to turn up as each day, that makes you smile no matter what is happening in your life?  Once your intention is on what you want to do, with an attitude of ‘I can do it’ and you get congruent with who you claim to be; your possible self is alive and well.  We live each day between our first and last breath, always in possibility.  Where are you on that time-line in your life and is there a desire to get in sync with who you are?

Email for information on scheduled group ‘Me Programme’ workshops in Dublin, Monaco and France.  You can also book private group or individual workshops internationally.

‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else’.  Judy Garland

‘Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.  Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.’  Ella Fitzgerald

‘Only a life lived for others is a life worth while’ Albert Einstein

‘Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves.  We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.’  Sarah Ban Breathnach

‘Sell your cleverness and be bewildered.’  Rumi



Personal New Year’s resolutions come and go every year.  We have great intentions of making meaningful changes to our lives: get fit, eat healthy food, lose weight, be more open about our lives and who we are,  pay more attention to our loved ones, develop better communication skills, develop self-love, be kinder to everyone around us, dive in the Maldives, give gratitude every day for all that is in our life, learn to cook, keep our house tidy, help our children with their homework, climb Kilimanjaro, get more sleep, enjoy work, be more joyful etc. etc. etc.

Every year there are promises we make to ourselves and those around us; scripts and notes are written.  We smile from ear to ear with the great hope and enthusiasm about how wonderful our life is going to be when the changes are implemented.

Some of us succeed in achieving and implementing the changes we plan for in January of every year. Some of us give up on ourselves by mid-February.  We are back living our habitual and mediocre lives; with all its good/bad behaviours, patterns and habits.  Why is it that some of us succeed and others don’t?  Which person are you?

All change requires a conscious decision, a practical plan, a schedule and resources to make it happen; it requires tenacity, inspiration, commitment, responsibility, discipline, self-love, support and most of all dedication on a daily basis.

When you succeed in achieving one of your January resolutions and bask in the glory of its benefits year on year, it gives you the impetus and stimulation to continue in this way for the rest of your life.  You don’t wait for January; change, renewal, awakening, creativity and awareness become an integral part of your daily life.

Life is not always ‘easy’.  Change is not always ‘easy’.  In the beginning it’s hard work to get up each day and be dedicated to being a better person for you and those around you;  to stick to a healthy eating and drinking plan, to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in every day, to stick to a financial budget that will get you to a place of less anxiety and more control over the quality of your  life, to calm your mind for 10 minutes at various times during the day, to see the good in all those around you including yourself every day, to not shout at your children, partner, colleague or staff,  to not roll down your car window and scream at the ‘stupid person’ who crossed into your lane without indicating, to manage the ‘monkey mind chatter’ that does nothing to add to the quality of your life,  to be aware of your moods and how they affect those around you, to make time for you and those you love at various times during the week, to walk the dog, to visit your family and friends, to make time to read, to watch a movie or a game on your own, with family or friends, to study, to walk  etc. etc. etc.

We are fragile, complex and unfathomable humans at times.  Understanding how I have become the person I am helps me to make the changes I want to make and know I can make.  I can then, walk a journey I have planned and chosen, rather than reacting to life on a daily basis. 

In this time of immense change everyone in all walks of life want to find their way forward with enthusiasm and inspiration that gives purpose and meaning to their lives:  in the work place, in the home, in the community, in the country and the world as we know it.  All change starts with the individual and together we can begin to find some security in our minds bodies and spirits in 2013 .

That process of reacting to life as you experience it without a compass or plan works for a few.  Most of us have arrived at a place in our lives where the rehearsal is over and we don’t want to repeat behaviours, actions, dreams, thoughts and habits than no longer serve the life we want to live.

The Possible Self programs and workshops are available to you to make a complete audit of your life through the creation of your own ‘Personal Tree of Life’ from birth to now.  You get to see the events, people and experiences that have shaped, nourished and guided your life to-date, good and bad.  You get to explore the landscape of your mind, body and spirit from the past and in the present.  Once you see your life charted in front of you, you realize that a holistic plan is the only way forward.  You cannot separate physical health from emotional well-being and visa versa.  You cannot learn to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.  Awareness and acceptance of what is happening in your life is the first step to making plans for change.

Once you have a practical plan for all areas of your life with realistic schedules,  identified resources and supports for the next few years, you become more motivated and inspired to succeed.  Day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year takes you to where and how you want to be in your life.  Change and personal growth is a continuous process;  it’s life long learning, experiencing and enjoying life in the ‘now’.  It’s your life.  You are the only one who can come to understand it and fix it, in the way that you want it to live it.  The Possible Self programs facilitates and celebrates that process with you.

The process for individuals is much the same as for business’s.  Management and workers create their ‘Companies Tree of Life’ based on its past, where they are now and where they want to take it.

The Possible Self Programs and Workshops

The next ‘one day introductory’ TPS workshops are being scheduled uniquely for individuals:

Monaco:  February 1st 2013

Monaco:  February 8th 2013

Maximum: 12 participants

Companies are booking their in-house week-long TPS workshops from January 14th 2013.

One to one weekly workshops are being scheduled from January 8th 2013 in your home or agreed venues internationally.

For further information and bookings contact



As the sun sparkles and shines on the morning bay our local fisherman is heading out to work for the day.  You could set your clock by his coming and going.  The only time he is not out there is in bad weather.  He doesn’t have to fish for a living.  I have gotten to know him and his partner as I pass their home almost every day when they are getting up.  He does it because he likes to have fresh fish for his family and friends.  He loves being out there.  He says that if there is something you like to do, you just do it; it becomes a habit in your daily routine.

We once talked about whether habit was the same as discipline and he reckons it is.  The discipline creates a routine and he thrives on routine.  He has no alarm, he gets up and does the same thing almost every morning.  His partner appreciates that kind of discipline/habit as it also structures her morning.  She gets up paints, the catch of the day arrives at noon, they cook lunch together and most days friends join them.  Their day goes into a nice slow meander; after three o clock they read, he looks after his boat, chats with his friends who also have boats, she continues to paint, they go for a walk, a swim in the summer months, meet more friends and family for an aperitif at 6.30pm, home for supper and bed by ten o clock.

Their lives were not always like this.  He was a doctor in a country practice and his partner was the local art teacher.  They always wanted to live by the sea together.  As soon as their children from separate families were finished college they moved to the coast and are very, very content with their lives eighteen years later.  They are in their late sixties now and both of them say that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you have courage, tenacity, discipline and in their case oodles of love for each other.  You can achieve anything, any time in your life if it is a burning desire or something that will put a smile on your face.  Once you smile ‘that’ kind of smile you will always want more of it.

So what does wikipedia have to say about self-discipline?  Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. Qualities associated with self-discipline include willpower, hard work, and persistence.  Self-discipline is the product of persisted willpower.  Whereas willpower is the strength and ability to carry out a certain task, self-discipline is the ability to use it routinely and even automatically (as if through reflex).  An analogy for the relationship between the two might be defined as follows: Where willpower is the muscle, self-discipline is the structured thought that controls that muscle.  In most places it is believed self-discipline is the ultimate path to success.

What do you want to achieve?
What are your goals?
What kind of shape or way of life do you want to live?
How can you make small shifts that improve the quality of your existing life?
How do you get from where you are now to that place you want to be in?

Whether it’s health of mind or body you want to achieve, to be less angry, closed or judgmental, write that book, build that website, start that business, close your business, move house, move country, separate, divorce, marry or live together, take that trip or just take time out and travel the world, make that call that will change your life or a part of it, create that photographic archive, make that career change, be more loving, kind or trustworthy, be more generous; don’t wait to be asked to help, take that course or workshop, open-up to the world and yourself etc.

You can wish and think about ‘it’ forever, it’s only when you choose to make your desires, thoughts or wishes a goal and apply action, courage and discipline will you achieve it.  It’s as simple as that or you choose to stay living a mediocre life because you are too lazy, not motivated or inspired by life or your life in general.

How did you develop the habits you have that are good for you?
Is there or was there discipline involved?

Assess the ways you are disciplined and see how you can apply it to the parts of your life that will help you to achieve your goals.  Remember life is no dress rehearsal, you are on stage everyday publicly and privately, how do they differ?

Make your day a wonderful memory!

“Discipline imposed from the outside eventually defeats when it is not matched by desire from within.”  Dawson Trotan

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

“The problem with patience and discipline is that it requires both of them to develop each of them.”  Thomas M Sterner

“Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got.” Jim Rohn

“Discipline is remembering what you want.” David Campbell

“Pity the man who inherits a million and isn’t a millionaire. Here’s what would be pitiful, if your income grew and you didn’t.” Jim Rohn

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.”  Chris Page

“When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.”
Haim G. Ginott  -That is not the self-discipline we want to cultivate in this world of ours.

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012


Hey Sun, what is going on out there, there are clouds covering you up and winds racing across your face, white horses are galloping on waves and yet you peer through when you get a chance.  You are always there even on a cloudy day.

I had a grand notion I would be sitting in the sun in the port where I live having a green tea and croissant which I do every Friday when I am here.  However, I spent my time chasing napkins, menus and other debris that was flying past, it was all very refreshing, my mind was chasing too with loads of ideas for the last blog on vulnerability and other stuff I am working on.

Vulnerabilities bring negativity into your life: sometimes you feel so exposed you almost fall apart.  We are not Humpty Dumpty’s who fall of the wall and never go back together again.  We fall of our wall and go back together again in better ways if we work through it with awareness and understanding.

Imagine a story where you speak up at work when something is going wrong.  Your colleagues select you to go to management and agreed to back you up.  Well management challenges you and you have a fight on your hands.  Your colleagues see what happens and they let you hang out to dry.  You are as vulnerable as you can be in that situation.

What can happen?

1.  You leave/resign etc.

2. You back down and get on with your job and the bad atmosphere.

3. You take your grievances to the company board of directors; your union or wherever you get yourself heard and supported and you stay working.  You finally get the results you wanted many weeks later.  Conditions for everyone improves.  Your colleagues suck-up to you. You treat them with contempt or you acknowledge their cowardice and you hold no grudge.

Imagine a story where you are in a volatile relationship.  Your partner has a raging temper and gets verbally, emotionally or physical abusive.  You have choices:

  1.  You leave and never come back.
  2. You call the police and have him/her arrested.
  3. You call a friend to come over and give you the support you need.
  4. You take the abuse and take on the roll of the victim and continue to live this way.
  5. You ask him/her to leave and you change the locks.
  6. You ask him/her to leave for 24 hours and to come back when s/he is calm to talk it through.
  7. You ask him/her to leave and not come back until s/he sees a therapist for their anger etc.
  8. Sometimes you can help another but when there is anger you need a trained therapist.  You can agree to support your partner through the process and see where it takes you.

Imagine a third story:

You fall madly in love and become extremely vulnerable to ‘love’.  It takes you on a roller coaster of chemical releases in your body and mind that keeps you on a high you love to be on.  You both are in the same place and open up to each other in ways you have never done before.  You feel safe, secure and supported in the ‘love’ you share.  And then an event happens that crushes the love.  What happens?

  1.  You are in shock.  Not only have you fallen of your horse but also you can’t seem to find him anywhere.
  2. You get angry and express it in all kinds of ways, writing streams of painful essays to yourself and emails to him, leaving telephone messages, telling your friends all about it over and over.
  3. You try to put the fire out and stop what is causing it in the first place.  The heart ache won’t stop
  4. You cry and cry and/or put on your mask to hide your pain.
  5. You get perspective by talking it through with friends or a therapist.  You begin to see the situation and events that lead up to it and you come to terms with your own feelings about it and yourself many, many weeks later and sometimes it takes years for some people to get over the betrayal.
  6. Finally you may ask to meet him or her to understand why.  You listen s/he talks, you talk and s/he listens.  Hopefully it gives you closure or room to negotiate the terms of the ‘relationship’.
  7. Or you never get closure because you do nothing about it and carry it around with you only to repeat it in later life.

All three stories are about vulnerability and where it takes you;  “I am vulnerable, it’s scary as hell but I either learn to cross over this bridge or stay on it for the rest of my life.”  Choose to work through it with awareness and use all your faculties to understand what is happening to you and you will cross over to a new place in yourself, a lighter and brighter place in yourself.  If you choose to be lost to your vulnerabilities and clam up, you will build walls around you that will some day fall in on you?

We are not condemned to suffer.  We are on a live stage all day every day.  We can choose to be a victim, a walk over, someone to be used and or abused in any way by anyone and especially yourself.  Or you can choose to be the hero/heroine of your own story.  How would it feel to be that character on lives stage?   You have developed qualities that will take you through any storm.

Hero’s and heroines are courageous, empathic, compassionate, kind, loving, and fearless, charismatic, and self-loving people.  Practice being that character in your own life and see what happens to you.

Never, ever give up on yourself.   There is more to you than you might see or feel right now if you are in a painful place.  Remember you matter to you and those around you who love and care about you.  Life is an ongoing process, to be stagnant is not good, and to be freely moving is a whole lot better.

“Knock, knock”

“Who is there?’

“The Possible Self.”

“Go away I am miserable”.

“Knock, knock,”


“I will always be here for you!”


Make it a wonderful weekend and keep on wearing your smile.

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

ImageThe sun has created another blue-skied day on the Riviera.  It’s almost as tough it is saying “I have done my part where are you, what and how are you going to celebrate this fine day in 2012?

What am I going to do today? Hmmmmmmm!

I have three new items to complete on my ‘to do’ list, and there are three older items that follow me each day for the past three weeks saying “what about us, we want ‘you’ to get us done too ‘cause we are easy to do?”  Ouch!  Maybe, if I don’t keep adding them to my today list and leave them on a page way back there in my diary, I will not feel so bad about not doing them.  That is playing games with myself.  Get a grip woman! By keeping them in my schedule I keep thinking that I will get them done?  And there is no time like the present to get them done today.  Finally!

PROCRASTINATION; Mr. P to me, and Mrs. P to you boys out there or not!  What kind of love affair are you having with your Mr. or Mrs.‘P’?  In their version of kindness they gave you a very special coat to wear called, the ‘P’ coat’ so that they would always have your attention.  When you wear this coat there is not a puff of ‘to do’s’ anywhere to be seen.  You can wallow and wander at your hearts content.  Getting this coat off your back can be a battle worse than trying to get your ‘to do’ list done.  We find all the excuses in the world to not stay focused on what we set out ‘to do’ and ‘don’t do’ for no valid reason at all.  And when you stay in that cycle of behavior and have that attitude you get very disillusioned with yourself and the self-sabotaging and self-loathing begins.

I introduced myself to Mr. P in my late forties.  Up to then I got everything done when it needed to get done.  No long lists.  I got great satisfaction using a red pen marking tasks off my ‘to do’ list everyday.  Production waits for no man or woman.  Once the red light is on and the cameras are rolling you are responsible to bring the story home.  No time for procrastination.  When you are rearing a family and running a busy business you can take on more tasks.  Ask the busiest person to do a task and it will get done as promised and on schedule.  Ask a not so busy person and they fall about the place in their Mr. or Mrs. P’s coat with the weight of the world on their shoulders and your task gets lost, mislaid, forgotten, torn up, flies away, never arrived in the first place!  Just think about the people in your life who say they are going to do this or that for you and assess what got done?  Now do the same the other way round where you said you would do something for them and did you do it?  Interesting results?  Like athletes in training the busy person is on purpose all the time.  When you are not busy or in training you get sloppy, maybe lazy, maybe not as focused as you would like to be.  What is happens to you?

If you are seriously going down the ‘rabbit hole’ of procrastination, and you know that your day or day’s are slipping away from you and you are busy doing everything else except what you plan to do, you are not practicing self-love.  If what you are planning ‘to do’ is what is keeping your life on track; money in your account for food and drink, mortgage or rent, investments, for dinner parties, sailing, diving, promises you made, singing, dancing, writing, painting, sculpting, composing, skydiving, fishing, boating, traveling, insurance, assurances, car, truck, motorbike, clothes, holidays, books, films, music, education, hairdresser, opera, manicures, barber, facials, nights out etc. -then you have responsibilities to you and/or yours to hang up Mr. or Mrs. P’s coat and ‘get doing’ before you lose the life you have.  At least you would like to know you can muster up the energy to do so.  We are not always on form, ready to take on our day.  If procrastination is with you every other day, then it’s time to talk to a therapist or psychologists.  If it’s sporadic then you can be inventive.  What other coats do you have in your imaginary closet?  If you don’t have a ‘doing’ coat then it’s time to design one that will motivate, inspire and give you the courage to be actively achieving your goals, small and big.  Actually maybe you should buy one from a second-hand theater or costume shop…watch out for one.  It will at least make you smile every time you wear it, and you know why you are wearing it.

We trade currencies all the time.  Currencies are energies in various forms; e.g. your time and grey matter for cash to live/maintain the life you are living.  In our western culture work can be experienced as servile, mercenary and there is this hard, cruel, dog eat dog attitude to work also.   When you spend any energy/currency there is an expectation in return even when people say there is not.  When you work you get paid in cash.  You fall in love and there is an expectation of love in return.  You do something for another, at the time you do it without any alter motive, but in the end you are adding to your debit side of your being, and hope when it’s time to ask another to do something for you, not necessarily the same person, that they will be willing and able.  When two people meet they begin to build credit with each other unconsciously, as time progresses there is an expectation of conscious emotional trading; I will do this for you if you do that for me, I will give you this to show you I love you, and I do expect love in return. It may not be said out loud, but it is obvious in the behavior for attention, support and love.  When one person stops trading it affects the friendship/relationship.  Everyone expects to trade various forms of emotional energies.  Are we aware of of this behavior?

We have expectations of ourselves too.  We trade with ourselves all the time; if I do this then I can to that etc.  When you are not performing and not doing what you set out to do,  you end up bankrupt; you lose credit with yourself.   When you mend the door in the bathroom because it is not closing properly after two years you get the feeling of real achievement.  When you build credit with yourself because of your achievements; big and small, you want to keep on doing the same over and over again.  It builds self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.  It can be as simple as doing mindful meditation for five minutes everyday and you experience the benefits, then you want to go from five minutes to twenty minutes over the next few weeks.  You begin to feel better and better about yourself all the time.

Listen to the chatter in your mind and consider what you learn about yourself!

The first relationship to work on if you are a procrastinator is the one you have with yourself.  So practically how do you hang up Mr. or Mrs. P’s coat.  First you decide that you don’t like wearing it.  You replace it with your new ‘doing’ coat.  Then you think of all the supports you can have to get you out of the ‘P’ place.  I suggest you make a list of all the music that gets you into an upbeat doing mood.  I have a very kind and thoughtful friend who gave me an archive of music that makes me smile, cry, laugh, jump about, dance etc.  From this archive I have compiled tracks for my moods.  If it’s rock and roll that floats your boat put it on, get up, be physical, get enthused and get the most active item done from your list.  Use headphones if you are at work.  If you are at home turn up the volume and get the task done as you sing along.  Ensure complete focus without any distractions; talking to another, no checking mail, or going on skype, no browsing the net and no calls.  Then go make yourself a vegetable juice, a cup of tea or whatever and sit back and relish ticking off each task as you do them. When you are doing a task be mindful of how you are doing it.  Wear your smile and see how it affects the energy you spend in doing the task.  Plan the next tasks and so forth and so on.  If you build up this kind of ‘personal/emotional achievement credit’ with yourself, the feeling will be what motivates you to keeping on doing the same.

It’s a day today resolve to hang up Mr. or Mrs P’s coat.

“Procrastination is the thief of time: Year after year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves The vast concerns of an eternal scene.” Edward Young

A kind reader of  website mailed me these thoughts;
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
-Mother Theresa
©Copyright The Possible Self 2012


It’s a very spring like day today on the French Riviera.  It’s getting warmer and the days are lengthening.  Birds have been chirping since 6.30am; sweet sounds which seem to be from very small birds.  Strange thing is I never see them fly about.  They are hidden in the trees above my terrace.  And a boat is heading out to sea.   They have told the harbour master where they are going and when they will return. They are focused and on purpose.

I am on purpose too when it comes to abstaining from coffee.  I made it many times over the weekend for friends and family and I had no wish to break my resolve.  My ‘monkey mind’ was babbling on about all the reasons to have one; it didn’t happen.  It must be by 60th day without coffee.   We can really do anything we put our minds to within human reason if we take the first step and follow through on our decisions because we chose to make changes that are good for us, nothing to do with anyone else.   Coffee was making me ill so goodbye coffee.  What works and does not work for you?   What choices have you made and for what reason?   Are they good choices for your health, mind and well being?

Are you focused on your ‘life plan’ today?

Which tasks will you start and which ones will you finish?

Is your ‘to do’ list getting shorter and shorter or longer and longer?

When I ask that question during a Possible Self program I generally get two answers:

  1.  What ‘life plan’?
  2. Which ‘to do’ list?

When I ask if they ever had a ‘personal life plan’ to achieve various changes and developments in their life.  The answer is “on and off and I never stick to my plans.”

When I ask how many times in a week/month/year they make a ‘to do’ list, lists that make them feel energized, full of hope, excited and enthused about the potential for their lives.   The answer is generally “a lot and it lasts for a week or so, I forget about the list and make new ones over and over. The same stuff keeps on re-appearing.”

When I ask how well they fair in their workplace past and present making plans and achieving them.  The answer generally is  “almost always”.

When I asked why that is.  The answer is,  “I get great satisfaction doing a job/project well, it’s easier doing it for others, I get paid, I get acknowledgement and I get promoted on occasion.  The motivation is different.  I have a different value in the workplace”

When I ask what stops them taking control of, and or directing their personal lives in the same way as they do for others at work.  The answer generally is down right laziness, self-doubt, lack of self-worth, fear of failure, a lack of self-motivation and that leads to procrastination.

Imagine that you have three coats you wear as you live your life;

1.  one to work which gets ‘stuff’ done

2.  one for your personal life which, doesn’t really get ‘the stuff’ done

3.  one for the life you imagine and is possible to achieve.

How does it feel to wear each one in turn and how are they different?  How do they affect your self-worth, motivation and sense of self?

Which one would you like to wear today?  Why?


We have explored fear in a previous week, and know there is fear that is necessary for our survival and safety.  And there is fear that helps us to really thrive ‘feel the fear and do it anyway kinda attitude’.  Procrastination; the place between intention and action, is the place where too many people dwell.  Stuck by in-action.  It’s the place where you don’t turn up in your own life.  It’s the place that stops you from being there for you to activate your personal plans.

All the selves are there waiting in the wings to be on purpose about your plans, but the ‘director-self’ got distracted; checking his or her email, skyping and chatting to friends, browsing the net, looking at pornography, eating and drinking too much, taking substances that dull the feeling of fear and procrastination, moving stuff form one place to another and back again, too busy making plans about plans, reading books, watching films, documentaries about people who have achieved their greatness, watching sports etc; being the spectator to everyone else’s life and not getting to know and develop their own life.  Why?  Why be a hero/heroine in the public/work life and not in the personal life?  We sabotage our own intentions and keep on doing it until it manifests itself in illness of the mind or body and our spiritual glow weakens.  Time passes and next year we are in the same place again.

BUT HEY…IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.  YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT EVERY TIME.  Your stage is always set; the lights are always on waiting for you to turn up in your own life.   So long as you have breath and can wear your smile, so long as you can laugh at yourself and your situation, so long as you choose to be in process; to feeling and knowing self-love, self-kindness and self-determination, you can stop the self-deception and self-sabotage to achieve your own personal plans.  You can have integrity and balance in your life and be the same person in both your public and private life.  Like the boat that left the port this morning you will come and go on many journeys that will create an inner confidence to live your plans.  Your plans are your intentions to enjoy and be excited about your life on planet earth, giving and receiving.

Choose to live all of your life!  It’s now or never!  The only time you have is the space between birth and death.  What age are you?  Your life is not a dress rehearsal.  Take the first step today.  ‘YOU’ are  your own project.  What is the one thing you want to achieve this week, month and or year?  Begin that process today and keep on course day by day monitoring your process.  Achieve one thing and that will give you the confidence to make other changes and or to improve what you already have.   Be brave, be courageous do it because you told yourself you would do it.  Aren’t you worth it?

Do it with a smile, it helps every time.


“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.”  Albert Einstein

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”  Napoleon Hill

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.”  William P. Purkey

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”   John Lennon

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”   Frank Zappa

“Never confuse movement with action.”  Ernest Hemingway

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

A new day dawns and a much more atmospheric stage is set,  and as you can see there is someone almost centre stage in his/her boat…..I wonder who and where they are going…beautiful light don’t you think.

The ninth day without coffee and I have no desire to even taste it, truthfully!  I think I am managing to do this because I wrote it down in a public place, (and also possibly because  the time is right).  I have tried it many times and gave up on my resolve and drank copious amounts and continued to complain to myself about drinking it.  I could of course be lying to you all out there, and be drinking coffee and not admitting it, but no, I am not.  I said I would and I am doing it.  It feels really good.  It’s not just about giving up coffee.  It’s about doing what I said I wanted to do for myself, in this case improve my own health by not drinking coffee.  There is no other way but to practice that resolve one day at a time.  As each day passes and I don’t drink coffee, I become more and more confident in making more decisions, keeping to them and reaping the benefits.  Confidence builds self-esteem, and each time you achieve something you set out to do, you build more and more self-esteem every day, every week, every year, every decade.  We can choose to or not to make changes in our lives, but it’s the everyday living out of these changes and plans that get us the results we are looking for: small shifts in our lives give us the confidence to do more and more and enjoy who we are.  If you fall over the first time, get up go again and again,  just keep on doing what you said you would do for yourself because you are worth it.  You matter to you.  What act of kindness could you do for yourself?

I have the attributes to process what I set out to do.  Read that sentence a few times and see how it resonates with you.  That is my perception and my belief, having had over fifty years of life experience on this planet.  I named some of the positive attributes in my first or second blog.  This week is about Kindness.  So let me demonstrate my inner dialogue that has been going on for over 10years about my love/hate relationship with coffee and hearing my possible self telling me “There  is a solution, stop drinking it if your body can’t tolerate it”; and I didn’t listen then… but I am listening now.

10 years ago:  6.30am at work in Dublin
Old self:  I will just get these mails out and then go and buy a large coffee for me and my colleague.  I say this to myself smiling from ear to ear with the expectation and joy of having coffee, and bringing one for her.  Having a coffee on her desk will be a great start to her day.  She loves coffee more than I do.  So that will be a nice thing to do for her.
Morning coffee break is over.

Old self in a cross teacher’s voice:  Why did I drink that coffee, my stomach aches and I have a headache.  I wish I hadn’t done it.  You stupid woman, you know better, why do you do that to yourself every day?
Possible self in a calm and loving voice:  You know you could stop buying and drinking it.
Old self doesn’t really listen…mumbles something or other about good idea, as she makes a pot of coffee for the office…6 mugs for two and it’s just 11am.
Possible self in a soft and loving voice:  Remember how you feel after coffee!
Old self hears the voice and takes the tray of coffee drinking crockery to their desks.

Lunch time
Old self smiling: Main meal is over, so I will have a large cappuccino please.
Possible self in a loving and kind voice: Remember how you feel when you drink coffee
Old self ignores the voice.

There is one more coffee making session at three o clock, 6 mugs for two people, and that was it for the day.  Old self drank close to 2 litres + of coffee per day on average in those days.

There wasn’t a hope for me to follow what the possible self was telling me.  The language I used in my mind about myself and my behaviour was in no way kind or respectful of myself.  The action and ritual I liked so much, ‘drinking coffee’, caused the self-berating and my intolerance to coffee.

There are only two choices:
1. Continue with the action and behaviour of the old self, because it was my pattern, habit and or ritual
2. Listen to the possible self, stop drinking coffee and feel better and not go through the self-berating everyday

Ten years ago, I was in media production and there was a lot to do every day, meetings, schedules etc. etc. The irony of it all was that I ate very healthy food, drank wine modestly and exercised….so why would I treat my body so?  Five years, and a lot of soul-searching, creative personal work later, I was drinking a tenth of the coffee I had been drinking.  I had changed my attitude, my pattern, and was more mindful of my actions and behaviours, I developed a very different way to be with myself.   I could see the lack of self-kindness, I could see the addiction, I could see the habit, I could see where I did not take time to take stock and see the treadmill I was on.  The choice was always there. I wouldn’t feed my plants 2 litres of coffee a day so why would I feed my body so.  I was kind to my plants but not myself!

To-day, I am achieving to not drink coffee by being kind to myself as I would to my plants and in turn to those around me.  Being kind to yourself is a daily practice just like it is to not drink coffee.  When I am angry, I can be unkind and say things that are really for my own ears only, and not the other person.  Being kind is how we are in the world every day.  As the Dalai Lama says “Kindness is Society”:  if you don’t have kindness in society you don’t have a society… and it begins with each of us, you and me!  And for me it began with not drinking coffee and practicing self-kindness each day in achieving my resolve.   Being kinder to yourself makes it easier to be kind to others… which I am most of the time.

How kind are you to you?

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