There are a variety of free resources available to inspire you, to support your on-going development, which are added to on a regular basis.

Register to get access to the latest Melanie's Monday Motivational Messages (MMMM's), monthly Inspire newsletters and, free webinars , and other exclusive content.

Being & Doing - End the year on a high

Being & Doing - End the year on a high

Do you find that

  • You set goals and then stumble at the first hurdle?
  • You don't know where to turn for support when you come up against obstacles?
  • You are your own worst enemy?
  • Your mood and motivation is affected by your environment, and stopping you from doing what you want to do?
  • You lose sleep worrying about how you will achieve your goals?

Next Course: Monday 18 October for 8 weeks. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place

This 8 week online course will cover the following themes:

Week 1     Being & Doing – staying in the ‘Zone of Optimal Performance’.

Week 2     The Hero’s Journey – overcoming obstacles and enhancing your Emotional Intelligence.

Week 3     Managing Your Mood, Mind And Motivation.

Week 4     Understanding Yourself Part 1: your personality, who are you?

Week 5     Developing a ‘Growth Mindset’: to assist you in continuing to change long after this course has finished.

Week 6     Your Sphere Of Influence: focussing on what you can change, and how you communicate with and influence others.

Week 7     Understanding Yourself Part 2: What drives your behaviour, how to be OK all of the time.

Week 8     Returning Home & Celebrating – Reviewing your successes, what you have learned. Exploring what next and how you can keep developing yourself further using the tools and techniques on an on-going basis?

Each week will include:  

Monday Motivational videos – with me introducing the topic of the week providing you with.

  • Worksheets, handouts, tools and techniques to help you take action during the week.

Wonderful Wednesdays – what are your gratitudes this week? How do you change your being to help you to keep doing?

Fantastic Fridays:

  • End the week on a high, whatever has happened.
  • I will share a different technique each week to help you to review and learn from your week.
  • I will encourage you to think about what is going to bring you joy, contentment, fun over the weekend. 

Plus, weekly inspiration in the form of TED talks or YouTube postings.

Plus, weekly input from back issues of:

  • Melanie’s Monday Motivational Messages.
  • Inspire coaching newsletters.

Plus, you can work through the material in your own time, so if you are busy at work or on holiday for a period of time, you can still access all the material for your lifetime.

Option, there is also an option to include in the package one, 30 minute 121 Zoom or telephone coaching session during the 8-week programme.

Your Investment: There are two packages:

Silver Being & Doing All this for £99 inc. VAT for lifetime access to all the videos, handouts, and exercises. 

Refresher course If you have attended a previous Being & Doing course and would like to go through it as a refresher, then you only have to pay £25 inc VAT. 

Gold Being & Doing All this for £199 inc. VAT for lifetime access to all the videos, handouts, exercises, plus your own 1-2-1, 30 minute Zoom coaching session during the 8 weeks to support you in embedding the learning into your life. 

Next Course: Monday 18 October for 8 weeks. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to book your place.

Register now email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk and I will send you your joining instructions. 

For a taste of my approach watch

  • Watch me Introduce the Being & Doing course:

Past clients have said about my coaching:

‘Being self-employed, I miss having colleagues to discuss scenarios, problems or even to celebrate successes, coaching with Melanie gives me this. I have learned so much from Melanie in terms of how to process information. She never judges me, but her relaxed and calm personality definitely helps me put a different perspective on issues and gives me confidence to then know how to deal with them.’ MD Marketing Consultant

‘Like many I sometimes struggled to maintain a steady level of confidence, optimism or motivation. Melanie introduced me to exercises and techniques which help maintain the habits of confidence and motivation which lead to a more productive and happier life. Melanie is very experienced, caring and conscientious and any team, business or individual will benefit from her guidance.’ FM Financial Consultant

 Next steps …

To find out more and apply for your place email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk or call Melanie Greene on 01865 377334.

 

Being & Doing Manager’s Transformation Process

Being & Doing Manager’s Transformation Process

Are you:

  • A new manager who is finding their feet in the role of managing others.
  • Or an experienced manager who has found the time since the start of the pandemic particularly difficult and are feeling overwhelmed.


This new unique way of learning and developing yourself provides regular support, input and inspiration over three months to help you learn how to:

  • Manage the pressures on yourself.
  • Manage, coach, motivate your team.

Testimonials

Listen to how Lara Pletcher used the Action Groups to help her to change:

For full detials...

See https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/for-managers-leaders/ for full details of the process or email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk for more information or call 01865 377334 to discuss your needs.

Free Webinar: Thrive Versus Survive in Life 12-1pm, 16 June 

Do you:

  • Feel that you are surviving rather than thriving in life and at work?
  • Feel overwhelmed by what is on your plate?
  • Struggle to stick to routines which will enable you to thrive in your life?
  • Want to find a way of thriving physically, mentally, and emotionally?
     

Then this practical and inspiring webinar will give you practical tips, techniques, and inspiration to help you to thrive versus survive in life.
 
Melanie Greene is delighted to be running this free webinar with Sara Southey (https://www.thesoutheyway.com/). She is a health and fitness coach who, like me, is passionate about the importance of ‘thriving rather than merely surviving in life’.
 
Sara will be approaching it from the fitness side of life, exploring how to bring about sustainable changes, giving yourself the best opportunity to thrive.
 
Melanie will explore how you can get into and stay in the ‘Zone of Optimal Performance’ by managing your brain’s threat response and the demands that you place on yourself.
 
When: this is a lunchtime workshop, 12-1pm, Wednesday 16 June
 
Book your free place: Please book your place today with Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-webinar-thrive-in-life-tickets-154669234845   

The Being & Doing Development Process - Beta Test - volunteers needed

The Being & Doing Development Process - Beta Test - volunteers needed

I am creating a new, live, online development process, tentatively called The Being & Doing Transformation Process. The main part of this Process is fortnightly Accountability & Development Groups (ADGs).
 
And I am looking for 6-8 participants in July and August to pilot the structure of the ADGs.
 
In terms of the whole of The Being & Doing Transformation Process – here is some more information about it …
 
Have you:

  • Read the personal development books?
  • Gone on the personal development training courses?
  • Had the personal coaching?
  • Listened to the podcasts?

But you still find that …

  • You frequently feel overwhelmed by everything that you have on.
  • You run out of motivation and energy as you work towards a goal.
  • You beat yourself up when things do not go to plan.
  • Your mood is at the mercy of your circumstances.
  • You work harder and harder, but your performance is not changing.
  • You avoid having those difficult conversations at work.
  • You lose patience with people around you.
  • You lose sleep worrying about work or things outside of your control.

What is stopping you from changing and developing?

  • Lack of follow through and consistency in putting the ideas into practice?
  • Lack of insight into what drives your behaviour and stops you from changing?
  • Falling at the first hurdle rather than learning from your experiences?
  • Lack of support, encouragement and inspiration to keep on going?

How is this process different?

The Being & Doing Transformation Process will support you to bring about sustainable changes in how you think, feel and behave because ...

  • You will be working from the ‘inside out’ overcoming the internal blocks to change.
  • We will use techniques from the worlds of Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, NLP, Neuroscience, Transactional Analysis, and a lot more.
  • You will set and share your goals, be held accountable by the group.
  • You will get on-going tools, techniques, support and inspiration on an on-going basis.
  • We will add new ideas and techniques to support you in developing and changing.
  • You can raise questions to be explored in the ‘accountability and development’ groups.
  • We select participants who are ready to change, willing to take action, so you will be working with others who are committed to change.

Your facilitator - Melanie Greene, Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Master NLP Practitioner

  • I joke that I was known as Moody Miserable Melanie when I was growing up and into my early 30s. I was at the mercy of my environment.
  • I practise what I preach and am living proof that you can radically transform yourself from the inside out.
  • With over 30 years’ experience as a coach, trainer and facilitator, I know what techniques work for my clients and how to support them to change.
  • I will bring that coaching, training and facilitating experience to assist the group in moving forward.
  • As a member of the British Psychological Society and the HCPC I undergo at least 40 hours of Continuous Professional Development a year and will pass on all the new ideas and learnings to the group.

Beta Test Accountability & Development Groups (ADGs)

I am looking for 6-8 participants in July and August to pilot the structure of the ADGs.
 
Each session will be tailored to the group’s needs, people will be asked to submit questions beforehand. The ADG process will involve:

  • Check in with yourself – using a variety of techniques to increase your awareness of your thoughts, beliefs, mood, etc.
  • Review last two weeks - individually and/or in pairs
  • Q&A – questions submitted beforehand
    - Input from me
    - Coaching the group and sometimes individuals.
  • Action Planning – in pairs
  • Wrap up & inspiration

My commitment to you if you take part in the Beta Test Process:

  • To provide you with coaching and training within the group sessions to assist you in achieving your goal.
  • To choose tools and techniques related to your goals and needs.
  • To answer questions via the private Facebook page on a weekly basis.
  • To keep everyone’s details and involvement in the process confidential.

Your commitment:

  • To attend at least one meeting a month – I realise it is holiday season and you might not make them all.
  • To have a real development need that you want to work on. For example, developing your ability to:
    - Have difficult conversations, deal with conflict.
    - Manage the pressures of life and become more relaxed.
    - Be more mindful, become more self-aware and aware of others.
    - Manage your mood, mind and motivation.
    - Or something else you want to achieve in that timescale, i.e. write a blog, start exercising, etc.
  • To do a short introductory post on the private Facebook page before the first session.
  • To be open to sharing your experiences with the group and in the private Facebook page.
  • To be fully engaged in the groups with your video on and email closed!
  • To respect the confidentiality of everyone in the group.
  • To take action between the meetings to achieve your goals. I use the analogy of seeing a personal trainer twice a month and not doing any exercise in between. Nothing much would change. It is the same with personal development, if you do not take action, put the tools and techniques into practice, very little will change.
  • Provide feedback at the end of the two months to help me to develop the Accountability & Development group Process further.
  • Provide a video testimonial of how the ADGs have assisted you in changing. Obviously, if it has not, then there is no requirement to do this!!

ADG Meeting Dates: All meetings will be held on zoom.

Tuesday 6 July 11.30 – 1pm
Wednesday 21 July 11.30-1pm
Tuesday 3 August 11.30 – 1pm
Thursday 19 August 11.30-1pm
Tuesday 31 August 11.30 – 1pm

To take part:

  • Email me on mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to receive the pre-process questionnaire, complete and return to me.
  • I will get back to you before 30th June to let you know if you have a place in the group.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me on mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

The free coaching audit involves the following: 

The aim of this questionnaire is to assist you in thinking through: 

  • Your strengths and unique qualities that you bring to the coaching process.
  • What you want from coaching and how you will know whether you have achieved this.
  • What might get in the way of making the most of the coaching process.

We will discuss your needs in a confidential conversation to help you to clarify what you want from coaching if you were to undertake it.

Free Webinar: Making Values Stick 27 April 12-1pm

Free Webinar: Making Values Stick 27 April 12-1pm

Do you:

  • Have values clearly stated in your business, yet individuals do not behave in a way that demonstrates those values?
  • Have clashes with others which seem to be down to a difference in values and how you see the world?
  • Want to find a way of living your values in all aspects of your life?

Companies nowadays will often state their values on their websites, on their office walls. Yet, when you listen to the people who work there, it is obvious that people are finding it difficult to live those values in how they communicate, work with others and manage their own work.

Making Values Stick

I am delighted to be running a free webinar with Val King from BFG Associates who was MD of The Roof Light Company for over 25 years until they went through an Employee Ownership (EO) process in 2020.  She now helps other businesses with EO.

Val feels passionately about you living your business's values and went through a process with The Roof Light Company to 'make the values stick'.

In the first half of the webinar, she will be sharing with you the process that can help you to make your company values stick. 

During the second part of the webinar, I will talk about how to have those difficult conversations when people's values clash.

When: this is a lunchtime workshop, 12-1pm, on Tuesday 27 April 

Book your free place: email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk  

Christmas Cracker: The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself - Self Care & Kindness

Christmas Cracker: Wellbeing online event Thursday 10 December 12.30-4.30pm online

This is going to be a series of 30 minute workshops on self care, posture, movement, meditation, Tai Chi and a lot more, click here fore more details of the other workshops. You can dip in and out to visit the workshops that apeal to you.

My 30 minute workshop is ........ The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself - Self Care & Kindness

Do you:

  • Look forward to or dread the festive season?
  • End up feeling exhausted by the festive season?
  • Find the ‘tyranny of perfectionism’ around the festive season stops you from enjoying yourself?
  • Lose sleep at night worrying about 101 things?

Melanie Greene, Occupational Psychologist (www.inspiretransformation.co.uk) will run a practical and thought-provoking 30 minute session to help you to:

  • Listen to your Inner Wisdom rather than your Inner Critic
  • Tap into your inner Fun Child and learn how to 'find the joy in the shit' (that's a psychological term!!)
  • Learn how to ask for support, what you need and want.

Thursday 10 December 1-5pm online = join us for a range of 30 minute webinars on posture, movement, meditation, Tai Chi and a lot more.

Register with Eventbrite for this free event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/christmas-wellbeing-cracker-tickets-128744222435 

Free lunchtime webinar: Thriving In 2021 - Raise Your Emotional Intelligence 12 January

Starting 2021 is not probably going to be like starting any other new year. There is still much uncertainty in the world and in our lives.

Join my free lunchtime webinar: Thriving In 2021 - Raise Your Emotional Intelligence on Tuesday 12 January 1.00-1.45pm

Research has repeatedly shown that people's Emotional Intelligence has impact on their:

  • Relationships both in and outside of work.
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively with others.
  • Resilience and ability to cope with pressure, uncertainty and setbacks.
  • Levels of contentment and satisfaction in life.

If you are looking to thrive in the months ahead, rather than merely survive, come to this webinar and explore how you can develop your emotional intelligence to help you to thrive.

Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to reserve your free place.

Tuesday 12 January 1-1.45pm

The Barriers To Comfort & Productivity In Your Workplace

The Barriers To Comfort & Productivity In Your Workplace

Melanie Greene & Alison Thomson
 
Tuesday 17 November, 1.00-2.00pm Online

Do you:

  • Recognise the discomfort of ‘tech neck’, ‘texter’s tendonitis’ or the ‘keyboard slump’?
  • Wish you could make the chair you are working from work for you not against you?
  • Want to improve your desk-based productivity?
  • Resist taking breaks for fear of how others will view you?
  • Find the ‘tyranny of perfectionism’ stops you from being wise?
  • Find yourself working harder rather than smarter?


For the first time Melanie Greene, Occupational Psychologist (www.inspiretransformation.co.uk), and Alison Thomson, Health and Safety Practitioner with expertise in Posture and Ergonomics (www.thesafetyelf.co.uk) are getting together to run a practical and thought-provoking lunchtime webinar.

This webinar will help you to:

  • Understand key posture principles that you can apply wherever you are working with your tech and gadgets.
  • Improve your comfort and productivity whatever your workspace.
  • Banish the ‘keyboard slump’!
  • Identify what drives your behaviour at a psychological level.
  • Identify what stops you from taking the action that you know will help you.
  • Identify actions to take to help you to keep physically and mentally healthy at work.

Tuesday 17 November, 1.00-2.00pm Online

To register for your free place – email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk   

Video Shorts For Lockdown 

These video shorts were created in the first couple months of lockdown in 2020.

The videos relate to living and working through the difficult times during the COVID19 pandemic - these are 4-6 minute videos which I created 2-3 times a week to help support and inspire others.

Dealing With Anxiety 23 March 2020

Getting to the point of acceptance 25 March 2020 

Review and learn from your week - what does your brain need to thrive? Friday 27 March 2020

What is your Superpower? 30 March 2020

Being Honest About How You Feel 1 April 2020

Count Our Blessings Not Our Deprivations 8 April 2020

Hope Is A Decision With Make 15 April

Giving Vs Receiving = Happiness

Recordings of my 30 minute webinars

I run a series of lunchtime webinars throughout the year, to listen to the recordings click https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-inspire-videos-and-podcasts/ 

 

I am creating a library of videos on all the topics covered here in this wAPP.

Videos related to living and working through these difficult times during the COVID19 pandemic - these are 4-6 minute videos which I am doing 2-3 times a week to help support and inspire others. Click https://inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/video-shorts-for-lockdown/ to view these video shorts.

The following videos are recordings of my lunchtime webinar series. To hear about future free webinars register with my website by clicking here 

Thriving Vs Surving In Life - Melanie Greene & Sara Southey https://www.thesoutheyway.com

Making Values Stick - Melanie Greene & Val King www.bfg-associates.co.uk 

Thriving in 2021: By Raising Your Emotional Inteligence

Overcoming The Barriers To Comfort & Productivity in Your Workplace with Alison Thomson, expert in posture and ergonomics www.thesafetyelf.co.uk and Melanie Greene

Being & Doing - how to achieve things in these challenging times

Happy Healthy Conflict - how to communicate in these challenging times

Managing Your Mind, Mood & Motivation 

Self Leadership - take charge of your own life 

Free lunchtime webinars

Creating daily routines that sustain you

Tuesday 6 October 1-1.30pm Online

Do you:

  • Have good intensions about healthy living habits, but never get started?
  • Give up when you meet challenges and obstacles?
  • Have lots of plans and to do lists, but find you do not get things done?

This webinar will help you to:

  • Understand yourself better.
  • Identify what what routines will sustain you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Understand the importance of discipline and flexibility.
  • Understand why 'less is often more'.
  • Take action to create routines to sustain you.

To register for your free place - email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk  

Register with website to receive news of our future webinars -

I run a series of free webinars throughout the year. Click here to register

To watch recordings of past webinars click https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-inspire-videos-and-podcasts/  

L&D, HR Taster Workshop

Resilience at Work

DTBA - please email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk if you are interesting in attending our next free taster workshop.
 
You & Your Organisation
 
Are the managers and staff that you support finding:

  • The challenges of these times difficult to rise to: lockdown, return to work, home working, working and managing remote teams?
  • It a struggle to be resilient in these times of change, getting anxious, stressed?
  • It hard to maintain motivation, concentration and performance?
    That some working relationships are being stretched because of these challenges?

Aims & Objectives
 
The aim of this session is to provide L&D and HR personnel the opportunity to get a taste for my approach to:

  • The topic of Resilience At Work exploring two key models:
    o   The Zone of Optimal Performance
    o   The Brain’s Threat Response
  • My approach to using Zoom to make the workshops as interactive and as interesting as possible while using online technology. 

Places are limited to 10 people so that you can have the same experience as a participant would – if there is the demand I will run this more than once.
 
What in it for you? This taster workshop will give you real tools and techniques that you can share with your colleagues.

It is based on my new online programme where I have taken my standard Resilience At Work programme, which is usually two, half-day, face to face workshops, and created an online programme of four 2.5 hour workshops usually every fortnight. This has been trialled successfully in one of my client organisations.
 
Previous participants’ comments:

  • ‘The format of the whole session, combining discussions, PowerPoint presentation, breakout group, feedbacks, is very good. Kept the whole session very dynamic. The freedom to share or not, personal experiences is important. It doesn't put any pressure on any participant. Content: the list of additional resources sent after the meeting on points discussed during the session is helpful.’
  • ‘The importance of proactive management of mood’.
  • ‘It is possible to implement small changes quite easily in my daily routine.’
  • ‘Starting the session with successes achieved by the group after the first session was stimulating. - I like the use of polls, paired and breakout groups. It makes the session very dynamic.’
  • ‘I liked the openness of the discussions with everyone. The interactive mood map was very informative.’
  • ‘Lots of opportunities for interactions. Not rushed. Good use of breakout rooms.’ 

To book your place: Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk with the information below. If there is high demand, I might run another taster session later on.
 
First Name:
Surname:
Company:
Job Title:
Email:
Phone number:
 

  • Yes, I would like to attend on Tuesday 8 September
  • I would like to attend but cannot make Tuesday 8 September
  • I cannot attend but I would like more information about your training and coaching work
     
     
     

Free lunchtime webinars

How to get a better relationship with yourself

Thursday 17 September 1-1.30pm Online

Do you find yourself:

  • Beating yourself up, rather than supporting and encouraging yourself?
  • Overwelmed when things do not go to plan or you make mistakes?
  • Losing sleep worrying about work and life?

Then this webinar takes you through:

  • The benefits of gaining a better relationship with youself.
  • Tools and techniques to use at the start, during and at the end of the day to support yourself.
  • Actions to take to get a better relationship with yourself.

To register for your free place - email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk 

Register with website to receive news of our future webinars -

I run a series of free webinars throughout the year. Click here to register

To watch recordings of past webinars click https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk/page/free-inspire-videos-and-podcasts/ 

If you are from a business or organisation and you want to discuss, in confidence, an organizational issue such as:

  • A team or departments not working effectively together
  • Managers not coaching, developing and supporting their staff
  • Managers being directive and controlling
  • Staff working in an unsustainable way with no ‘work home’ balance
  • Morale is low or stress levels are high and affecting performance
  • Absenteeism or presenteeism is high
     

Complete the Free Business Audit and send it back to Melanie.

Once you have completed the audit, we will get in contact with you to discuss your needs further.

Buy today!

Do you: 

  • lose sleep worrying about what you haven’t done?
  • find it difficult to list your achievements?
  • allow criticism to get you down?
  • feel terrible when you make a mistake?


The inner critic is the little (or sometimes big) voice in your head that says: “You’re not good enough” or “Why did you do that?” or “Nobody will want to be friends with you”. This negative voice can have a profound effect in personal relationships or professional situations.

From my own and my clients’ experiences I will show you how, step-by-step, you can transform your thoughts, feelings and behaviour by celebrating your strengths and recognising the positive.

Master your inner critic and release your inner wisdom to become more confident, successful and content in all aspects of your life. 

You can order it direct from myself plus recieve a special Inspire Transformation bookmark when you buy directly from me. Email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk to place your order.

Or you can buy it on Kindle.

Conflict in life is hard to avoid: personality clashes, different viewpoints, competing priorities. So, learning how to have those potentially difficult conversations is an invaluable life skill. 

This book is based on my own experiences, plus 30 years of training and coaching people in having difficult conversations, as well as coaching teams in conflict. 

Coming soon … publish date late Autumn 2018

eLearning courses coming soon

  • Happy Healthy Conflict: Having difficult conversations at work and in life
  • Improve Your Performance: manage your mind, mood and behaviour

Each year I recommend a variety of books in my August Inspire newsletter.

Books

Cultural Chemistry: Simple Strategies for Bridging Cultural Gaps by Patti McCarthy I met Patti while networking and we shared a stand together at the Business in Oxford exhibition. This book draws on both her experiences of living in different countries and her work in training business people in understanding and bridging cultural differences. For anyone doing business overseas, this is a must but, in many of my client organisations, staff come from all around the world, so understanding the cultural differences of the person sat next to you would be helpful as well. As I know from my own work in organisations, dealing with different personalities is hard enough without the cultural layers alongside those differences.

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David In my view, and the view of many others, Emotional Intelligence is essential to thrive and survive in today’s world. Yet, I see, time and again, emotional rigidity within managers which not only leads to more stress for themselves but for their staff as well. Susan David is a psychologist with Harvard Medical School, a coach in many top American companies, and she writes with experience and knowledge in a very accessible way. Looking at it again, I realise it is a book I want to revisit.

Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber This was a recommendation by a coaching client. The subtitle is: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions. It is based on the work and experiences of the two authors of managing or instigating change in organisations. It is cleverly told as a fable of a community of penguins who are under threat from the thinning of the iceberg that has been their home forever. With lovely pictures and a simple tale it takes you through eight steps to implementing change successfully which are summarised at the back. They say that teams and organisations have used the fable to explore their responses to crisis and change and, in very simple terms, it identifies all the different characters we see in every organisation and how they help or hinder change.

 Woman in the Wilderness by Miriam Lancewood I first read an article about Miriam’s experiences of living in the wild in Europe last year. It turned out her first experiences of wild living started in New Zealand. When they go into the wild, although they have a tent and some supplies, they often go truly off the beaten track. She hunts, while he stays by the campfire and cooks.

 I love being out in nature but I also love retiring to a dry, warm comfortable bed at night, so I found this story of her and her partner fascinating; their resourcefulness, their resilience, their trust in finding their way, finding food, finding shelter. She learned to be in nature, without any distractions (they do play chess a lot!), and learned to hunt – she had been a vegetarian but realised that she couldn't live that kind of life without eating animal protein. Oh yes, and doing all of this in walking sandals, even in winter! And, of course, it took place in my beloved New Zealand, so it took me back there as well, and re-connected me with how kind and open Kiwis are, as you will hear in the people they meet on their travels.

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson I sometimes recommend fiction rather than self development books. I stumbled on this book in a National Trust second-hand bookshop, and I’m so glad I did. It is about four siblings who are orphaned at the start of the book (not a plot spoiler as it says so on the back cover). The two older boys are determined to bring up their two younger sisters and it is told from the perspective of Kate, the eldest sister, as she reflects on her life, from the perspective of early adulthood. Not surprisingly, as a psychologist, I love books that explore how individuals come to be the people they are today. This is a lovely book, a first book for Mary Lawson, which gently unfolds the drama of these children and the community around them, which tries to support their independence. It is not full of drama, but you can guess that something happens to disrupt their best laid plans.

Online Material

Daylio I have been (up until now) a bit old school with my mood management using my journal (which I still use) and the Mood Map which I often refer to in Inspire (email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk if you would like a copy of it). However, I read about the Daylio app in an article and thought I would try it out. I usually suggest that people check in with themselves and their mood in the morning, however, this app is about reflecting on your mood at the end of the day and what kind of activities you have been undertaking. I only have the free version but you can still adjust the mood headings and add in activities. For example, I’ve added in Good Night’s Sleep, Being in Nature, Buddhist activities, Timeless Time, etc. so it is very flexible. You can then see how your mood pans out over the month and which activities are linked to good moods or not. And you can write a little about your day. I am finding it very interesting and I am now recommending it to clients.

Inspire wAPP https://www.inspiretransformation.co.uk In case you are reading this on my website, but you have not signed up for it yet, my wAPP is now up and running, so register now both to receive Inspire via the wAPP and Melanie’s Monday Motivational Messages or MMMMs which can only be received via the wAPP. You can download the app onto your phone or tablet directly from the website rather than via an App Store, if you have any problems doing this then email mg@inspiretransformation.co.uk.

TED talks https://www.ted.com Most readers of Inspire know I am a big fan of TED talks. Here are just a few that I listened to during my morning pilates sessions at home.

The art of stillness  by Pico Iyer The place that travel writer Pico Iyer would most like to go? Nowhere. In a counterintuitive and lyrical meditation, Iyer takes a look at the incredible insight that comes with taking time for stillness. In our world of constant movement and distraction, he teases out strategies we all can use to take back a few minutes out of every day, or a few days out of every season. It's the talk for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the demands of our world. https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_the_art_of_stillness?referrer=playlist-slow_down_enjoy_life 

 

What makes you special? by Mariana Atencio When journalist Mariana Atencio was seven, her father sent her from her home in Venezuela to a summer camp in Brainerd, Minnesota. Unsurprisingly, she was treated like an outsider. Over the course of many more such camps and a senior year in an American high school, she discovered that the best way to belong was to embrace the qualities that made her different. In this deeply personal talk, Atencio describes how these early lessons helped her succeed as an immigrant and as a journalist. https://www.ted.com/talks/mariana_atencio_what_makes_you_special  

How to succeed? by Arianna Huffington Get more sleep In this short talk, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night's sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture: we can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness -- and smarter decision-making. https://www.ted.com/talks/arianna_huffington_how_to_succeed_get_more_sleep

 

Prison Break by Jason Goldberg  

I found Jason Goldberg online, I don't know how, but I was researching online programmes, stumbled across him, took part in one of his free webinars, signed up for his Playful Prosperity Programme and I am hooked. I have been listening to the audio book of Prison Break while I do my pilates at home in the morning. I don't usually listen to audio books, being a visual person, but his bite-sized chapters and use of stories and metaphors mean it is very easy to listen to. Listening (and I am sure reading it will be the same) is like going through a motivational programme each morning. And I am about to start listening to it again. Jason is a very genuine guy who is a coach and speaker, and who walks the talk, is funny and inspiring and very human – unlike quite a lot of the other so called gurus I discovered online this year! http://www.thejasongoldberg.com/about/

Conversational Intelligence:  how great leaders build trust and get extraordinary results by Judith E Glaser. Although the sub-title mentions leaders, this book is for anyone, whatever your position in an organisation. By changing how you listen to others on a 121 and group basis, you can build trust, enhance your working relationships and improve your performance.

Nothings Wrong: A Man's Guide to managing his feelings by David Kundtz - I’ve mentioned many of David’s books over the years. I bought this book as many of my clients are men. I also have a brother and two nephews, as well as male friends, and I was interested to hear what he had to say about men and emotions. There is also a crisis in male mental health in this country (and clearly in the US as well) so anything that helps get men acknowledging, and perhaps even talking about, their feelings is going to be a bonus. David is a family therapist, who runs programmes for men, and he has a wealth of experience that he shares in a very practical way in the book. I believe it’s a must-read for all men (and women)!

The Lazy Guru's Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter. A lovely, short book to help us understand what happens when we suppress our feelings and how to live in a different way by changing your mind and how you approach life. I Love the 'Beditate' idea: rather than think, ‘Oh no, I’ve got to get out of bed early to meditate’. Just stay in bed and Beditate! For some, it is very easy to dismiss a book like this – cartoons, pictures, few words – but do buy it and stick with it as this is quite profound and I’ve read it many times.

 You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris – How would you react if your loved one was killed in a terrorist attack? This short, heart breaking memoir is the story of the hours and days after the Bataclan Attack in Paris, when Antoine’s wife Helene was killed leaving him alone with his 17 month old son. So inspiring and thought provoking.

 Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen – This is not a cookbook but a fascinating romp through the last 100 years of the USSR and Russia told from the perspective of a real life family and their fascination with food. This is both informative and entertaining.

 The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee – Yes, it does seem like I am a bit obsessed with reading about communist countries – after Nothing to Envy about North Korea last year and the book about USSR. But I do find these real life stories so interesting and one way to learn about what goes on in countries that are so different from ours. I found this gripping and had to stop reading it at night as it was stopping me from going to sleep!

 TED talk:

My philosophy for a happy life  by Sam Berns. This will inspire you and probably bring a tear to your eye; it is hardly surprising it has 23,847,833 views. Sam has Progeria, a condition which ages him and if the internet is correct he died a month after this TED talk, aged 17. His keys to a happy life:

1.    I’m Ok with what I can’t do coz there is so much I can do – always aiming to fulfil my dreams.

2.    Surround myself with people I want to be with: family and friends. I’m at the highest point when I am with these people each day – positive influence on each other.

3.    Keep moving forward – have something to strive or look forward to – however big or small they are – a bright future ahead.

And also….

4.    Never miss a party if you can help it!

 He also says he doesn't ignore when he is feeling bad, he acknowledges it, and does what he needs to do to move through it.