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Thoughts on escapism: Books I’m currently reading

A charity shop find

This week I’m currently reading The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood. Not a lot has happened so far however, the characters and narrative are promising. Stay tuned for a review once completed.

Until next time.

Thoughts on self-care: My most loved survival items

Life happens. Even if you have a job you love, a great family unit, and a well-rounded human experience. That is just it. Life brings many experiences that sometimes have us reaching for our self-care items for survival. This can be a comfort blanket, a body scrub that energises our body, a favourite beverage or a cute journal to safely pen our thoughts. With spring and Taurus season slowly developing, providing us with the perfect backdrop for a lifestyle elevation in the name of self-care. If you’re looking for something new or a different perspective, my current ride or die faves are below.

Ah, books for the love of books.

My current reads are The Liar’s Wife by Kirsten Modglin, The Wicked Aftermath by Melissa Foster and The Vow by Debbie Howells.

Speaking of body scrubs…

If you’re currently in England, you’ll know that the weather’s doing this weird thing. Hot and promising summer one minute, then teasing cold and depressing another. This has caused my skin to be dehydrated and dull. So queue Sanctuary Spa’s Body scrubs. 

And the comfort blanket…

A heated blanket gets me through all the seasons since England is cold 90% of the year. I also work from home; therefore, it’s essential for me to be comfortably warm (sometimes toasty!) to reach my optimum productivity level.

The beauty product fave…

Everyone will have their preferences here, but for me, an excellent moisturising lipstick in nude and red is highly effective in making me feel good when my shoulders are heavy. My favourite nude is Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk in medium tone and Illamasqua’s Antimatter lipstick in the colour rocket. 

Plants are the new pets…

Well, not exactly, but we look after them like they are. My current house plant investments are medium-sized parlour palms, a Jade (succulents) plant from Wilkos and a remarkable lava rock plant. 

Vibing with nature

If you haven’t seen the entirety of my website, then feel free to browse and see some fantastic photos I’ve taken of nature with my NIKON COOLPIX P1000. I adore this camera, and I’m so grateful to have received it as a gift. 

Manifesting

Finally, if you want a road out of stagnancy, try using a goal-setting journal to manifest your best life.

Until next time.

~ J

Thoughts on strength: Remember your personal power!

We are often thrust into situations and relationships that are draining. We don’t realise that most times, such relationships, professional or otherwise, have the potential to take our personal power and drain our energy. You probably think that people can only take your power if we let them; however, such energetic transactions usually happen over time. It could be that you’re around a person or in a situation for a while where things transpire that chip away at your energy. What I mean by personal power is the personal gifts and abilities that make us unique in this world. Our confidence, the way we communicate and present ourselves to the world, our level of discipline, hunger and motivation for success, etc. Our personal power is what we embody and how we tell the world that we are here to make a difference.

So when we stay in circumstances that are delinquent, they tend to break down our energy until we wake up one day and realise that we’re walking through life lacklustre, wondering how we got to this point. This could be in relationships where you voluntarily change yourself, hoping that things will get better, only to see that efforts are one-sided. It can also be in intimate relationships, the relationship you have with your job or even with friends and family members. Sometimes, we give our energy externally without realising that the receiver is bleeding us dry. Then we find ourselves in a void of stagnancy. You either gained weight and can’t track how, fallen behind on your workload or projects, and have given up on maintaining a positive body image, which pulls your self-confidence, and you’ve forgotten your worth.

Firstly, when you realise that you’re losing your personal power, it’s time to take a step back and look at your life from all angles. Identify who or what is feeding off your energy. Sometimes this can also be a mental blockage created by a past trauma that you need to revisit and heal from. Then, once you’ve realised what it is that’s draining you, find a way to constructively address it or cut it out of your life. Suppose it’s a loved one or your job which you can’t just cut out of your life. Explore ways to manage them efficiently until you can make a final sustainable decision. Then, work on identifying what’s been taken from you. Have you neglected your physical or mental health? Your spiritual alignment? Your creativity? Etc. Once you do this, find ways to pour back in what you’re missing. Make regular time for yourself and do the work to replenish your vitality. This is not work that is completed overnight. It will require consistent effort to keep you stable and rebuild your confidence. Make a point to be more aware, track your progress, and focus on your growth.

We all waver sometimes. It’s natural to lose track of ourselves as we manoeuvre bumps in the road to personal success. However, when we start to feel the need to hide inside, isolate or overcompensate in the situation, that is when we need to wake up, assess and rebuild.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on rest: How to have a good night’s sleep

If you don’t understand the struggles of having a good night’s sleep, then you’ve had the opportunity to sleep well. If you have struggled with experiencing a decent quality sleep schedule, you would know how much of an impact lack of sleep has on your body and day. I usually need at least eight hours of sleep to set myself up for a solid, productive day. When I don’t get enough sleep, my skin looks dehydrated. My mind doesn’t align with my goals. I walk around spaced out and uninterested. However, the quantity for me is never better than quality. Sometimes I find myself having slept for nine hours and still feel as though I haven’t slept at all. Or I would sleep for two hours and feel like I have enough energy to take over the world when I wake up. The subject of sleep is subjective, and only you will know how much of it you need to function at your highest potential. Points in this post are not medical advice; therefore, please consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Drink water

It’s a cliché, but drinking water is essential to our health. If you are dehydrated, you may find yourself feeling lethargic, having constant headaches, muscle cramps and dry mouth, which are more likely to disturb your effort for a good night’s sleep.

Exercise well during the day

Not only does regular exercise help you to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but it also helps you to reduce stress, improve heart health and raise your vibration.

Have a consistent sleeping schedule

It’s difficult to fall asleep at the same time every day. However, it’s not impossible. You just have to prioritise it as your goal to get into the habit of being in bed around the same time each day. Of course, this means without your phone!

Eat dinner early

Eating dinner early gives you plenty of time to digest your food, so you are not going to bed with an uncomfortably full stomach.

Try herbal teas

If you go to your local health store or even the tea section in supermarkets, you will find a variety of natural teas that will help to support sleep. Try a tea that helps you relax about an hour before you get into bed and let the herbal compounds do their thing. Always check the label for suitability and ask your physician for advice before consuming.

Soak in a relaxing bath

Try some lavender scents or simple tip a few drops of your favourite bubbles under running water to relax after a long day.

Journal before bed

Journaling is a great way to write your thoughts and feelings without feeling like you are being judged. It is important that you don’t judge yourself in this safe space. Take some time to write down whatever is troubling or making you anxious before going to bed. Journaling doesn’t always have to be about negative thoughts. You can also write about the highs of your day and your goals.

Stretch before bed

Do some light stretches, and yoga poses before bed with some breathing exercises to get your blood flowing, your energy moving and your mind clear.

Invest in a quality blanket

So far in my adult life, nothing beats a good heated blanket. If heated blankets aren’t your thing, invest in a good quality blanket or duvet to ensure a cosy night’s sleep.

Until next time.

Thoughts on attachment: It is what it is, learn to let it go

Life is a journey and not always a pleasant one. We meet people along the way, and most often, relationships are built in our childhood that shape our personalities, outlook and subconscious philosophies for the future. As we grow, so does our way of thinking, and it’s not uncommon that we find ourselves longing and reminiscing for connections from our past. Some of these relationships were placed in our path for a reason, whether we deem them good or bad. With some inner work and understanding, only you will know the reason. Sometimes, we long to reconnect with people from our past because they remind us of who we were at a certain point in time. Perhaps, you relish memories of someone from childhood because they remind you of a time when you were free to express yourself and manoeuvre life without the limitations that possibly plague us in adulthood. A job, managing finance, caring for others etc. Sometimes you may go back to connect with someone from the past even if the relationship didn’t end on good terms because you’re facing similar situations now. So your subconscious tries to re-run scenarios to gain wisdom from past lessons to deal with present circumstances.

Nonetheless, situations often occur because they need to for the development of our character and personal consciousness. And most of us are no stranger to experiencing the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that lingers in the memory bank of past mistakes. But what can we do when such thoughts arise? We can sink deep with eternal dread under the duvet or face them, allowing our subconscious to process the emotions that come with such memories then let them go.

Some thoughts and memories take time to process. However, it’s not uncommon to feel a lingering sense of embarrassment and doom as we heal. Find ways to ease the process and comfort yourself. Maybe even use techniques to divert your attention towards the positives of life, such as journaling, meditating and speaking to a counsellor without judgement. Life’s merciless, and it doesn’t get easier. We just find ways to better navigate the self and circumstances. So take your time and trust in your process. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t too far out.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on creativity: The art of storytelling ~ Your writing deserves to be read

Nobody can tell your story but you, whether it’s fiction or a memoir. It doesn’t matter if you feel that someone else has told the same story or that you don’t have enough experience to publish. We are in the age of technology. There’s a plethora of information on the internet for self-help or directories full of professionals to help and guide your publishing process. The art of storytelling is staying true to yourself and using your authentic voice. Immerse yourself in your journey and focus on your cause.

What is your story?

It’s easy to dream and say, “I want to write a story”. However, it has been proven challenging when the writer doesn’t know what story they want to write. So, the first step of storytelling is to know what you want to put out in the world. Then, have a deep understanding of why you want to tell it so that you can plan its execution.

Plan

Some people can sit and write anything without planning. However, if you are someone who needs substantial margins to stay on course, take some time to plan how you will approach the process of writing your story. Having a plan also ensures that you can start again with ease if you take a break during the process.

Think about your reader

Sometimes we think that everyone will understand what we strive to convey, and then our work ends up being lost in translation because readers can’t understand it. It’s not that we told a boring story. It’s just that we didn’t quite nail the hook. This is why it’s essential to think about your audience and how they will perceive your writing. It’s good to work with beta readers to gauge interest before committing to publishing.

Until next time.

-J

Thoughts on technology: The truth about social media

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

Social media is exhausting. It’s not my intention to start today’s post with a negative tone, and I certainly don’t want to persuade anyone to steer clear of it. However, throughout my years of observation, research and actions to support the visibility of my author brand, I am confident in stating the reality of the machine that is social media. It is exhausting. If you’re looking for ways to promote your brand or business online, you have most likely come across generic blogs that claim to have the golden formula for social media success. They draw you in with promising titles claiming their strategies will give you the upper hand with online visibility by beating the algorithms of social media platforms. The truth is, nobody really knows how the algorithms work. (Unless you work for the company). Yes, you can observe and test, but platforms can change these at any time. Therefore what may have worked yesterday may not work next week.

However, social media platforms provide a free way to help you build an audience for your brand. You can put in as much effort as you want, and it is possible to build a steady following relatively quickly depending on your niche, consistency and content quality. For me, social media has been helpful, although it’s often draining because of the consistency I chose to post. Most often, I need to detach from the world and go within for a few days and during this time, opening up apps to post content is at the bottom of my priority list. This is where I utilise social media post schedulers. However, I do like to see the engagement levels for each post. If I do this, though, I find myself bombarded with all sorts of stimulating content that drains my energy. So during my hermit modes, I choose to commit to staying entirely off social media for a few days to focus on my inner work.

This year, if you’re thinking about utilising social media to boost marketing for your brand and grow an audience, think about how much time you’re willing to invest in creating content and tracking your engagement. Make a conscious decision to be on social media purely for business but in a way that makes your account relatable. Also, remember that even if you’re online, you need to set energetic boundaries; otherwise, you’ll find yourself sinking with the distractions, which could be detrimental to your mental health.

Social media doesn’t have to be a monster, and when used correctly, you can leverage it to build your online community. Some people have significantly contributed to the elevation of humanity’s consciousness on social media by sharing knowledge, wisdom, motivation and remote support. On the other hand, some choose to deliberately churn out content that, if you lack self-awareness, will sink you deep in demise. And then, there are the people who have no conscious purpose for their social media usage. They just post, scroll and follow trends without questions. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you’re doing it for your highest and greatest good, whether to showcase your talent, boost your brand visibility, or raise awareness for a cause.

Until next time.

Thoughts on rest: The importance of taking R&R

Today’s post is on the importance of taking some time for rest and relaxation. It has become a habit of mine to schedule in some rest during the weekend yet, something always demands my attention. The laundry, new creative ideas to action, grocery shopping, or even catching up on exercising. This week though, I have vowed to create space for my R&R at all cost. Yes, J.P. Mooney is doing absolutely nothing but meditating, indulging in relaxing baths and sleeping. I wish everyone peace, balance and bliss. Don’t forget to take some time out because if you’re not good, you can’t help others. Let the universe pour into your cup.

Until next time xo

Thoughts on entrepreneurship: How to grow your side hustle in 2022

Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

Coming up with a side hustle idea is straightforward. Just do a quick search online, and you’ll find yourself with thousands of suggestions. It is also possible that no one else has manifested your side hustle idea yet, but this post, however, will not sugarcoat the process of creating a side hustle. Nor will it promise you secrets to generate millions doing what you love in a short time. Having a side hustle is hard work, but having the opportunity to create your terms, working hours and grow your income brings forth a rewarding feeling. For those of you who are already self-employed, I’m sure that you have a sense of pride when you look back at your progress from your first idea to your first successful transaction. Find ideas below on how to grow your side hustle in 2022.

It’s never too late to start or pivot

Change your mindset to elevate your hustling game this year. Perhaps you’ve tried different ideas that haven’t worked, or maybe you’re stuck with the feeling that your plan won’t work out because someone else has already done it. Perhaps you think you’re too old to start a self-employment journey. Whatever the block is, understand that it’s never too late to turn things around. Sometimes you need to take a step back and reassess the plan to change what isn’t working. Breathe.

It takes money to make money

And it sure does. It could be hundreds or thousands, but realistically you may need to invest in your business to give it longevity. Branding material, marketing strategies, buying stock and storage space, wifi, notepads and pens etc., these all cost money. See where you can cut corners but don’t go cheap just because it’s cheap. Prioritise what’s worth more significant investments and keep your receipts.

Research

Find resources on your chosen industry. Just because you read a book two years ago or have a degree in business doesn’t mean that you’re up to date with current trends and developments. Connect with like-minded people, find free podcasts and Youtube videos or read books. Can’t afford books? Go to your local library.

Use social media to your advantage

If you hate the thought of exerting energy into posting on social media, don’t fret. There is plenty of content management software to help you manage your time and create engaging posts quickly. Social media is a great way to boost your online reach for free. Even if you have less than ten likes on your post, the fact that people are seeing your content is still motivating. Be consistent and create clever content to boost your engagement.

Until next time.