If you missed our 10 Day Gratitude and Purpose Challenge which I ran in August 2019 on my stories @storyandco for 10 days, no need to worry, I have all the information here for you. I have saved all the videos for you which you can do at your own pace. I would love to know how you go with it, so much sure you comment below. I will be doing regular challenges, so make sure you are following us on @storyandco for all your updates. I hope this helps you on your journey to finding out your WHY and igniting inner peace.
If you would like to go deeper check out my course: The Gratitude and Purpose Lab
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions”
Day 1: FOR EVERY NEGATIVE THOUGHT REPLACE WITH A POSITIVE
I used to complain A LOT about every little thing that was happening to me and all around me. I was so busy pointing out all the things that were going wrong in my life that I couldn’t see the many things that were going right. I was really good at pointing the many things I didn’t like that I forgot about the things I did like.
It is a natural reaction to complain, it is our bodies and mind’s way to survive and to quickly off-load pain or stress (as they say a problem shared is a problem halved). But it can manifest and not be productive. I’m not saying don’t feel, or share concerned but I am saying for every negative reaction or thought you MUST replace it with a thought of gratitude.
When a negative thought or complaint enters into your mind I want you to do 2 things
- THE LAWYER: for a complaint, you need to show the other side/perspective (e.g. The kids won’t stop screaming, the kids are screaming because their brains aren’t as developed as mine as an adult so they don’t know how else to communicate or express emotion. OR A business deal I was hoping to get didn’t go ahead – this leaves the door open for another opportunity and possibly this deal would have brought me more heartache.
- THE RAINBOW: for every complaint, you need to counteract it with gratitude. (e.g. I didn’t get everything I need to get done today – today I woke up, I’m breathing OR the house is a mess – I have a house, people are living on the streets or their house got burnt down)
“Gratitude is the key to happiness. When gratitude is practiced regularly and from the heart, it leads to a richer, fuller and more complete life… It is impossible to bring more abundance into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you already have. Why? Because the thoughts and feelings you emit as you feel ungrateful are negative emotions and they will attract more of those feelings and events into your life.”
Day 2: PRACTISE FORGIVENESS
I went on a journey of forgiveness about 12 months ago. And it honestly changed my life. I always thought, people had to like me in order for everything to be ok. I blamed myself rather than standing back and asking myself what can I learn from this. This was a HUGE challenge for a perfectionist and a people pleaser. Everyone is on their own journey and accepting that we are all imperfect was the first step for me. Whilst there is a lot of pain and suffering that should definitely not happened in the first place, and there is right and wrong, the only thing you can CONTROL is YOUR REACTION and how YOU MOVE FORWARD. You don’t need to speak to the person (I have had to forgive people who I don’t see anymore from over 25 years ago or even from people who have passed away), you can still forgive them. But I never knew HOW and moving forward, I knew there was going to be pain in my future (because people are imperfect), I needed to find something, I could do when pain struck, so the forgiveness and healing could start quicker and not control me. Pain is darkness, give light back to someone.
Forgiveness is such a powerful thing, for it can heal our hearts, making room for love to enter, allowing us to go back to our real and authentic self.
These can be used for past and future pain that requires forgiveness
- ACKNOWLEDGE the feelings you feel and accept them as your truth
- LOCATE where the physical pain is in your body
- RELEASE that pain by visualising exiting your body and replacing it with LIGHT
- SHARE the light, visualise the person who has created you pain walking along a path and imagine a beautiful beam of light shine upon them
- BLESSING, whilst you are seeing this person with light, send them positivity and a blessing
- FORGIVE, as you see the blessing onto that person, walk up to them as tell them you forgive them and only want happiness and light for them
“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.”
Day 3: Treat yourself like your best friend
Growing up I always had the assumption, that the more friends I had, was a reflection of me. Such a closed way of thinking, how can other people determine who I am? Whilst some people are blessed with a huge amount of friends or even a partner, if you aren’t that is ok too. When you placed your importance on ‘other’ whether that is people or events than you are setting yourself up for failure because the only person you can ever control is you. The moment I accepted that and treated myself as my own best friend, I felt free (which will be the most valuable and important friend you will ever have)
I started this self-love journey years ago, I was in my early 20s and I went to the movies by myself. I often can do many things by myself, I travelled the world by myself on multiple occasions. Sitting in silence with yourself and allowing yourself to be who you really truly want to be without judging yourself is my goal for you today.
Find 10 minutes every day in which you treat yourself as your own best friend.
- 5 minutes – be silent with yourself. Just listen. One of the best qualities in a friend is one that listens.
- 5 minutes – make one promise to yourself every single day. This can be something physical (a face mask, a shower which you aren’t rushing but are mindful, reading a book, a massage, exercise) or something mental (when a crisis arises, you will accept the situation and not take it out on yourself, for every negative thought you will replace with a positive one, you will look in the mirror and tell yourself out loud 3 things you love about you).
“You surrender to a lot of things which are not worthy of you. I wish you would surrender to your radiance … your integrity … your beautiful human grace.”
Day 4: Random act of kindness
When I started Story and Co, I never did it to make money. It was simply to ignite passion and share my mum’s legacy and our story. But why did I want to share our story and my pain from losing mum so much? Because my goal is to really show others that they can have hardships, loss, heartache, setbacks but they can really come out of it bigger and better with a grateful heart. I didn’t want people to feel like their life was over or they could never dream again or move forward. So Story and Co was and are still my way of giving back and every day offering a random act of kindness to you all. This was elevated to an extra level when I said, every single day I need to inspire and motivate, inner peace was ignited.
What if, on this day, you practice giving without expecting anything in return. What if on this day you allow yourself to feel the wonderful joy that comes from doing a good for someone without expecting anything in return. Giving is receiving, it really is, and the more we give to others, the more that we will receive ourselves.
I want your random act of kindness to be something you can incorporate into your every day and not just be done today. I want this to be a habit. What could it be? Here are some tips of what you could do (can be as big or as small as you like).
*Pray for someone
*A call/text telling someone how grateful you are for them (put a new name in your calendar for the month).
*If you are an influencer or business, what “free” information can you provide your followers/customers, rather than just selling
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
Day 5: AWARENESS
3 months after my mum died, I remember thinking to myself, if I passed away the same time as my mum did (she died at 63), that was another 33 years. I would have lived a life longer on Earth without her than with her. That ripped my heart into two. But then I thought, she did the exact same (as her mother died the same age). Then it got me thinking, Mum is in Heaven now meeting her mother again, and telling her all about my brother and I and my Grandmother will be saying how proud of the beautiful life she created, no matter what was thrown at her, she dealt with it, with grace and humility. I wanted my mum reunion with my mum to be the same. So this day I made a commitment to myself and my mother, that I would live every day without fear, without anxiety, with gratitude and without fear. I was going to live it fully.
On this day I want you to use your imagination, to see how your life would look like if you continue living your life the way you are living right now. When you will be on your death bed ready to leave this world, looking back at your life would you be happy with what you see, would you have any regrets? Make a promise to yourself today to live a life that you truly will be proud of.
- Identify 3 fears in your life (e.g. anxiety, not making others happy, not succeeding)
- Identify 3 dreams (e.g. dream home, holiday in Europe, not letting others control me, goal weight, children etc).
- Imagine your life 12 months from now if you are still holding onto those fears
- Visualise your life 12 months from now if you were living your dreams (dream big!)
- Do this next action plan
The first step to achieving it that I can start right now –
What resources do I need –
Who can help me –
“Remembering that you are going to die one day is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. Follow your heart.”
Day 6: MOVE
I have an interesting relationship with exercise. But the biggest reflection over the years is, I either became obsessive with it (running 2 hours a day, 7 days a week, plus gym daily) or nothing at all. I never could find that balance. Or I would go hard for 3 months and then stop. It wasn’t until I had emergency stomach surgery 4 days after having Hunter (I had to kiss my newborn baby and husband goodbye and under-go life-threatening surgery), after the surgery I had to be on fluids for 6 weeks, Adam had to latch Hunter for me as I still wanted to breastfeed, I had a huge pipe coming out of my stomach. I was awake when they had to remove the pipe which was 2 metres long. At that moment, I couldn’t move and I apologise to myself and my body for being so obsessive over movement. At that moment, I said I would never obsess over it and be gentle with my body. Click here to read the blog.
After this, I decided I needed to find an exercise that I could do daily and was easy to maintain with my capabilities and my lifestyle and I want to enjoy it. Walking and pilates work for me and since then exercise has never been a chore but something I am grateful for as it makes my body strong. I don’t need to tell you how important exercise and movement is for your health, and overall wellbeing but it does contribute to you accessing inner peace and your purpose as it is a pillar of mental wellness.
Whatever your ‘move’ situation is (this might be non-existence or might be at the place you absolutely love working out), I want you to
- Imagine if you couldn’t move (how would that make you feel, what would your life look like?)
- State what you love about exercise and movement (makes me feel strong, clears my mind, a role model for my kids, fit in my clothes nicely, feel confident, less anxiety)
- Choose an activity that you enjoy that you can do every single day and SHARE it with others (and if you already do, please share your exercise/move with others to inspire them and who inspires you, there are so many great fitness influencers out there) – you might find this is actually a part of your why
“Take time to just move. Your body longs to feel alive”Anonymous
Day 7: Be a witness
Not sure many of you may know, but when I was teaching, I went on two pilgrimages. One was the Footsteps of Saint Paul and the other one was throughout the Holy Land. These pilgrimages taught me life long lessons and reconnected me to my faith in more ways than I thought. Whilst you may not be religious or spiritual there are some beautiful lessons from what I am about to share. I travelled with a majority of teachers that were a lot older than me and what I learnt from these ladies and gentlemen, was how to be a witness. They had deep faith but they didn’t throw it down my throat, they were people that were genuinely loving and kind and practised what they preached. They were a witness and this is how I strive to teach my children.
Being a witness is letting your actions speak and to match your words.
- Identify 3 of your values
- For each value, how have you today lived them in action not just thought?
- How can you tomorrow, ensure, you are doing those values in actions?
- What are 3 words to describe you?
- How are you using those words in action?
“Actions prove who someone is, words prove who they want to be”
Day 8: BOUNDARIES
For years I never ever had boundaries. I always did what pleased others, till it got too much and I couldn’t handle it anymore. This is a big one from stopping you from not achieving your purpose and to halter you from not achieving. This is also a sign of trauma and not dealing with pass pain because you try to avoid pain as you have already experienced it. A big lesson I have learnt, if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, then they no longer need to be in your life, but if they have to be, you protect you and ensure your boundaries aren’t changed.
Boundaries include an action and remember they can be confusing, terrifying and make you feel guilty at first. But the first step is your intuition.
Follow these steps to work out boundaries.
- Identify the issue you are having with someone?
- What is your gut saying about the situation?
- Remove judgement and recognise perspective (we are all on our own journey and have our own perspective on a situation)
- If you were giving advice to a friend in the above situation, what would you suggest they do?
- What are your values and how is this conflicting them?
- Action: What can you put in place to protect you
“I allow myself to set healthy boundaries. To say no to what does not align with my values, to say to what does. Boundaries assist me to remain healthy, honest, and living a life that is true to me”
Day 9: DISCOMFORT AND ADVERSITY
I have learnt it is truly through discomfort and adversity we learn and grow. During the shit storm, you can’t see that rainbow and often start ‘stacking’ – which makes you go down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts. I read this book years ago called ‘the good life’ by Hugh Mackay and it was a night bulb moment. I read this book when I was in the thick of my Lyme Disease but at this stage, we still didn’t know what it was, I was getting diagnosis after diagnosis, being incorrectly medicated, I desperately wanted a life-long partner and I just felt like my life was going from bad to worst. I read Hugh’s book and he says, there was this married couple, they had 3 children, they had a relatively easy life, all kids were healthy, so were they, no loss in their lives, from the outside in, a pretty blessed life. Their children moved out and they decided they didn’t know how to be together, they looked at each other and said is this it? Is this life? This couple had never experienced hardship, so they couldn’t appreciate the good, because they didn’t know the difference.
If we sit and be totally be present with a situation, feel what it wants us to feel, then recognise something….knows there is nothing outside of themselves that can be controlled. When we try and control, we are running on a survival state, and we aren’t living as we are trying to control everything unconsciously. We need to feel these hardships, accept them for what they are, LEARN from them and then recognise two things, what I can control and what I can’t control.
What you can’t control:
How someone perceives me, the behaviour of anyone else in this world, and the issues within the belief system of others.
What you can control:
How I respond to a situation, my habits, my patterns, and behaviour, the questioning of my own stories and the way I speak/treat others.
Save this for when discomfort hits and/or do this activity over a time when discomfort arose and see what you can learn from it.
- Name the situation/hardship – the storm? (eg. loss)
- Stay in the present and recognise the pain (eg. sadness, fear, confusion)
- What can’t I control?
- What can I control?
- What can I learn from this situation? What is my rainbow to this storm?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.”
Day 10: LIFELONG LEARNING
This is probably a difficult one for me to teach because to be honest, I have always wanted to learn and better myself. I don’t just mean academically. I have always been curious about the world, always wanted to travel and always loved studying. But I suppose the one that has really ignited the passion within is my love doing do better always.
This is the difference between someone with a fixed mindset and growth mindset. With so many knowledge at our fingertips, we can truly learn 24 hours a day and most of it is free. But learning from situations, mistakes, challenges, habits, can truely ignite inner peace.
- What do I want to learn
- How can I fit this new learning into my current routine
- What resources do I need
- Who is already succeeding in this area
- Who can help me achieve this
- What will be my first step
“Once you stop learning, you start dying”
If you would like to enrol in my Gratitude and Purpose Course you can find out more here.
Follow along @storyandco for more challenges.