The importance of Positive Affirmations

An affirmation is a sentence that you constantly repeat to yourself. You affirm with your inner voice everyday whether you realise it or not.

But why are they so important?

The constant repetition of these statements affect the way you see and process your experiences, your expectations, the choices you make and so in effect they shape your reality.

Positive affirmations are vital for a healthy relationship with yourself. If you constantly  declare negative statements you create self-limiting beliefs which hold you back, where positive affirmations inspire, motivate and power your world.

In fact they are so crucial to your life because they alter your state of mind, and this will attract things and situations of the same vibrations. You want to be lucky, think lucky! Your luck will come when you allow it to become your frame of mind.

Some examples of affirmations are;

I am healthy.

Life is wonderful and fun!

I am happy.

Life is good.

I am lucky.

I am wealthy.

As you can see these are very positive affirmations, they are some of the sentences that you should be affirming to yourself everyday to the point that they are a solid part of your belief system. As soon as they are embedded in to your subconscious, not only your outlook on life will change but you will start to experience a healthier, happier and more positive life.

Speak to yourself kindly, decide what you want from life and affirm, affirm, affirm! Surround yourself with positive messages and see the difference in your life after a month!

Here I have created a short video for you on affirmations for well being, feel free to bookmark it and watch it everyday until the affirmations become a solid part of who you are and what you stand for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3rvhXkqdl0

I’m going to create more affirmation videos for other areas of your life so keep checking in!

It’s time to start creating the life you deserve!

 

Please note that I have a new updated site. I have included positive affirmation videos and a drop down menu only for affirmations. As always, I will link in some relevant posts to evolveandexpress.com

You may also be interested in…

Affirmations for General Well-Being

Affirmations for Confidence 

Program your own Subliminal Messages.

The best motivational Quotes

“You are a living magnet. What you
attract into your life is in harmony
with your dominant thoughts.”
– Brian Tracy

What is Meditation?

From Guru’s in India to academic discussions and scientist’s research, there is often contradicting ideas about what meditation is and what it isn’t… I believe just like everything, meditation is what you make it and what you believe it to be…

In my opinion, the process of meditation is to clear your mind completely and not engage with your thoughts.

Not engaging with your mind’s activity doesn’t mean you won’t have thoughts, feelings or sensations but it does mean, to not give your attention to them and become involved in their nature. This is what meditation means when it talks about ‘being aware’ of thoughts. They’re natural and they’re there, but you don’t need to follow them.

Some people think that you might receive divine insights or magical moments through meditation and although this can be true, I think a lot of the magic is the benefits that become apparent after regular practise. Having said that I have experienced some extraordinary moments which I’ll share in a future blog.

There are many different types of mediation, a fair few definitions state that it is to contemplate or to think deeply and carefully about something, which in effect is the opposite to how many understand it today. I believe if it works for you to go deep in thought to reach a better understanding of something, then so be it, but if you are looking to clear your mind, relax, and sit in peaceful silence then the concept is to be without thought.

I particularly love the analogy about meditation being the ‘other side of the telephone’. As we are constantly sending out messages into the Universe by thinking, asking for help, ideas, praying, and focusing, we are the talkers. The next, vital step is to listen. Listen for the response.

Just like a friend you might have that talks at you on the phone without any real interaction, they may miss out on vital information or advice from you, as their constant talking means you can’t get a word in edgeways. Meditation is the listening part. By silencing your brain chatter you can receive your own guidance and inspiration. When you are silent you leave yourself in an open state to understand more clearly.

The cool thing about meditation is that it can be practised by anyone regardless if you’re religious, spiritual, an atheist or you just don’t know what to believe. It’s an art of the mind, and can be attained by everyone who desires to learn.

Whether it’s something you want to try to improve your health, help you sleep or affirm your connection to the universe, it comes very highly recommend by a number of sources, and it can’t be all that bad…

I have now moved evolveandexpress. It’s had a facelift! So please check out my related articles on my new site, with more and updated ideas which can’t be found here!

 

read more about the

Best reasons to meditate. 

Why not Try Dance Meditation? 

Painting Manifestations! 

For more related articles, follow my blog by pressing the link.

Why Meditate? 6 Reasons to practise.

Have you ever heard of mediation being ‘bad’ for you? Let’s assume like the majority of people, you haven’t. Let’s assume that you have only ever heard positive reviews and people raving about it, but really, does it make that much of a difference?

I say.. Yes!

Incorporating daily meditation truly benefited my life and could be a wonderful advantage in yours.

Here are some of the top reasons why I rate meditation so much…

The Realisation ‘I am not my thoughts’.

What an intense moment when you find you are able to stop the flow of your thoughts, if only for a second and you make that realisation, I am not my thoughts. Thoughts are a natural part of me, but they are separate from who I am.

I can control these thoughts.

By learning to turn on the ‘off’ button, you realise that you can stop the thoughts that do not serve you, by noticing them, accepting them for what they are (thoughts) and change them into a more positive attitude. ”As man thinkith… so he shall be”.  It gets easier and easier as you get better.

You build up your ‘thinkless’ muscle.

As time goes on, you start to notice you can go longer periods of time in silence, just like a muscle that you build up at the gym, you can build up your spiritual muscle too! It feels good to notice your own progress.

Quality time.

Personal private time is wonderful. If you dedicate your life to something, your work, your family or whatever the case may be, separating a little time in the day for you is valuable quality alone time. An all too important aspect in living a well balanced life.

It’s not a contest.

Often in ashrams or in spiritual houses where you go to meditate, you’re encouraged not to discuss your personal mediations with your peers. This is so there is no spiritual hierarchy. If someone has reached places that you haven’t or visa versa it creates competition and I love that meditation is about your own personal progress and you can get better at your own pace under no pressure.

A calmer and more tranquil outlook on everything.

Yep, that’s right, after spending time building up this valuable skill, you notice a calmer attitude, an increased confidence in making decisions and generally a way more relaxed attitude. Priceless if you ask me!

There are many, many reasons to meditate, these are just a few of my best motives from an extensive list… From increased health, improving concentration, anxiety, lowering blood pressure to increasing your spiritual connection and receiving divine ideas meditation is a valuable part to your day… Try it out, see what you think…

 

I’ve moved house! A new and improved Evolve and Express is now located at a new address.. Check out related Articles

 

You may enjoy reading;

What is Meditation?

The Power of Positive Affirmations

 Why not Try Dance Meditation? 

101 Great Suggestions for your bucket list!

Why not make your own Manifestations?

Have you focused on the things you want in your life recently? 

Or have you thought more often about the lack?

If the answer is the latter this could be an interesting little project for you…Why not create a personal artistic piece on what you really want to achieve in the next month/year and so on? ..

Painting goals, manifestations, inspiring art

 

By putting up images and pictures of your goals you are changing your focus to meet that of your aspirations. Our behaviour is largely influenced by our subconscious mind, so to begin programming it yourself, create your own positive suggestions with your own visual messages.

 

First of all, decide on the aspects you would like to improve on in your life. If it doesn’t seem like an easy task and being that it’s a broad subject, you could find it useful to separate it into these sections;

Health

Relationships

Family

Community and giving back

Learning and development

Financial

Material

Spiritual

Each of these you should have at least one goal. Write them out.

For example, let’s say you want a ‘healthier relationship’ with your partner. What does that mean for you? It could be spending more quality time together (not TV time) maybe it would include going out on dates, or taking long walks together?

Create an image in your head of what that these goals look like for you. Perhaps the walks in the park with your partner or you want to design romance in your life with hearts, flowers and colours.

So now you have a great idea of what your goals look like visually, start to sketch/draw/paint them onto your chosen canvass in any way you want, creating a main focus if there is one area you particularly want to influence.

If the idea of putting pen to paper to sketch out these images scares the living daylights out of you fret not, you can always take and find photographs, add words and phrases or find other images on the net.

If you can draw but have no inspiration on how your idea would appear visually, type your goal into google images and maybe you’ll get an idea from that. Then make it your own. As long as you associate it with your goal it doesn’t matter!

Here are some painting’s I’ve done on this topic.

Everything Manifested

A Painting that Manifests

As soon as you’ve finished your final creation, make copies/take pictures and put it up everywhere in sight; bedroom, the background of your phone, facebook, wherever you can so you see it and enjoy it everyday!

Important: 

When you paint or design, think about your attitude whilst you’re creating. Like I spoke about in my article Expression through Artwork put yourself in the right environment.

Believe and have faith your artwork will manifest.

Take action on your new goals.

Be totally grateful for all your new manifestations!

Enjoy!

If you’ve made paintings or art in this way I would love to see it! Please do send me a link, or pass it to me through comments.

Please not I’ve moved now! and new and improved Evolve and Express is now located at a different location! Check out some suggested reading:

Programming your own subliminal messages

Evolution as Art

Creation of new manifestations…

Ever thought about making your own Manifestations? A long time ago (way before the book the secret had entered my world) I started making drawings, words and designs on the things I wanted to focus on in my life. This is partly because I love creating positive things but mainly it was to do with my increasing obsession with behaviourism leading me onto the important subject of subliminal messages.

I started to look at all the exterior things in my life and what type of messages they were sending me, which evolved in itself to creating art on things I wanted more of..

So here’s a very strange-looking painting I made a few years back.
May I just mention that art doesn’t have to be pretty, or sensible or exact. There are no rules. So although my painting is slightly odd (to say the least) there are heaps of meanings and goals in there which made it my daily viewing pleasure for many months.

To to understand the painting, I’ll just point out where I was at when I created it.

manifesting dreams, vision boards, inspiring paintings, how to manifest Financially, I was a mess, I’d been living in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, with a full-time job as an English Teacher earning $500 a month and paying $200 for my rent. I was only just making ends meet. I had previously ditched my career as a dolphin trainer and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was a dangerous city and I felt a bit out of my depth.

A few months prior I’d had a big accident on a rented scooter and had spent several months without work and limping around Panama, and I craved a better relationship with my spiritual self.

So I painted.

And later I realised everything I painted came true…

One of the main themes is of travel and seeing the world, after painting this I moved to Italy, started to learn another language (near the eye at the bottom are the lips with the communication lines) and then worked on a cruise ship. For the first time ever I painted manifesting money, as for years I’d lived a very ‘poor’ financial way. I then made more money than I ever had that following year on ships. Other themes were music, sea, sunsets, tropical locations, and new positive perceptions on the world. All of which became reality..

I wanted to dance again in a group and perform, in unison and on the stage, I found myself doing exactly that in shows on board the ship and in Italy. I wanted to surf, I then got the job teaching flowriding. I also wanted exercise and I became a fitness instructor!

The main theme is about reconnecting to my spiritual side which became a very predominant aspect in my life especially when I took my first trip to India, and I began to learn so much more about this beautiful way of life.

There were also some material sections in there, for example a Mac computer, something I really didn’t think I would be able to afford (but later bought) and making videos which I learned to do and started producing and editing.

All in all this particular painting was very much about exploring and learning. Now I want to focus a little more on giving back and paying things forward because I have been so very lucky with these manifestations!

 

Please note I’ve moved house! A new, improved and updated Evolve and Express is now located at evolveandexpress.com

If you enjoyed this article maybe you’ll be interested in…

Paintings of more manifestations

Express yourself through Artwork

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Creating your own subliminal messages

Animation – An Adventure Job Abroad.

If you fancy having an adventure job in a foreign country in a beautiful location, have you heard of working in animation?

I’ve worked in this industry several times, and know many people in this field (although every country and agency is a bit different)

So now it’s time to tell the honest and sometimes brutal facts for everything you need to know about the lives on an animator.

But what is it?

Animation is the general term used to describe the staff who interact with the guests in a hotel or resort. They try to ‘animate’ the guests into to enjoyment.  I taught fitness classes.  Some my friends worked in kids club, other’s played volleyball..

The best thing about the job…  You can secure a job, food and accommodation before you even arrive. Although there’s quite a lot more to it than that…

Different Styles of Jobs

Fitness, Sports, Dancers and Kids Club are the type of entertainers you’re likely to find.. I worked as a fitness animator, so I did all the stretching and aqua gym classes,…

There are also ‘chief’ entertainers (the supervisors) in charge of the smooth (or not-so-smooth) running of the team. In many places I’ve seen ‘all-round entertainers’ which is to say they rotate all their duties whether they are good at them or not.

What kind of people work in Animation?

Most animators are 18-26, although I also know a lot older, wonderful animators. I think this is because of the living conditions and money which we’ll go into in a bit. Animators are usually bright, bubbly, confident people, they are comfortable being in the spotlight and speaking to everyone, usually they speak English and at least one other language. Although not necessarily if it’s a British hotel for example, but the chances of being hired are way better if you have a few languages under your belt.

What are the normal duties of an Animator?

The role of an animator is pretty vast, it depends on what you apply for, but expect to be searching/harassing guests to join in your tournaments, making public-relations around the pool, doing quizzes and bingo, dressing up in costumes, animating over the microphone, taking volleyball tournaments or face-painting the living daylights out of the children.

Rehearsals for shows are usually and annoyingly in the middle of the day, and for the night duties you will be performing in shows, making contests for the guests, dancing a ‘mini disco‘ for all the children to songs like ‘YMCA’ and also backstage work, like being the DJ or encouraging the guests to applaud.

What are the normal working hours.

The day is broken up into morning (3 hours) afternoon (3 more hours) and evening (4 hours or so) Average. Plus rehearsals in the middle of the day. Plus if you eat with the guests you’re kinda still working too.

If you’re lucky you might get 2 days off a week, in Spain I took one day off and in Italy I had one day – time off but had to be in 7 nights a week for evening entertainment. So no complete day off.

What CONS of the job.

Hmm… Let’s lay it on…You don’t have of control over your life, like when you rest and eat- and while we are on the subject, you may hate the hotel food. It might be really bad quality, it happened to me. You could be bunking up with colleagues in a tiny apartment (with no balcony) living out each others pockets. You could be sharing a room tinier than a crew cabin, sleeping on the top bunk with no space for your wardrobe, but that’s OK you can change in the bathroom. What? One bathroom with 6 of you? And you all work at the same time? So yeah I think it’s pretty fair to say personal time and space is limited.

The pay can be rubbish.

Bosses tend to be young previous animators, so you may find yourself being led by an inexperienced rookie (or not being led at all) You’re free time will be determined by somebody else, don’t count on it you may be doing a last-minute rehearsal. Oh yes, and a very big con for some…..

Pretending‘ to sing over a cheesy pop track in an evening performance. In front of real people. For their evening entertainment. CRINGE.

Depending on where you are it might be pretty hard to find other friends outside the hotel, which I strongly recommend.

I never minded at all, but some of my colleagues hated working under the sun all day long. In the last company I worked for, ACTTIV, don’t even let you wear sunglasses, which in my opinion is terrible for the long-term protection of your eyesight. They also give you second-hand uniform, and not a lot of it either. It’s ok you can just do your laundry 3 times a week.

Somedays you are just knackered but you have to give 100% under any conditions.. especially if you find yourself with a power hungry boss that loves to crack the whip.

But worst of all, when you meet amazing guests and friends and make really good friendships, they leave…

But if that doesn’t scare you….

The PROS of the job.

Working in a new exciting location, meeting some really cool people, if you have a great team you’ll have a blast! Time off you do get could be spent on the beach. If you love being around people, and talking and entertaining, you will love your job!

You haven’t got to worry about your rent or your bills, and your food is taken care of. There is often a party vibe around hotels so lots of time to have fun!

Usually people are the happiest on their holidays so you get to share in the happiness! You will meet so many people, this is what I love the most, getting paid to ‘chat’ to people, learn about their lives and share stories. New people every week!

It will teach you so many skills you didn’t know you had, like thinking on the spot when disasters and a last-minute changes happen which you have to manoeuvre. You’ll be on your feet a lot and possibly doing lot of dancing, so it’s a great job to keep fit. Actually in Italy I was probably at my all time fittest with all the exercise!

You can work your way up the ladder, as the more contracts you do as an animator, the more chance you have to become ‘chief’. A supervisor would teach you a whole new angle and look great on a CV.

I’m sure there are a lot more, depending on the person and how you look at it.

What’s the pay like?

You are often ranked by how many seasons you’ve done. But this always depends on the country and of course, the agency. I know people who have worked in animation in Egypt for €300 a month. In Italy I was on €500 although most first timers were €300-€400 and in Spain I negotiated for €840 before tax. That’s the top end of the scale without being a chief. From what I’ve heard a chief rarely makes more than €1000 a month.

How to get a job

Where your passport is from will be a factor in working abroad in Animation. First of all, research all the countries that you can move to without too much hassle visa wise, is it easier for your citizenship to enter Egypt? North America? The Caribbean? Asia? Europeans will be able to move to other European countries swiftly and easily, so you have many places to look.

Agencies are the best way to find the work quickly, you can get a detailed job description and they will help you with visa and residency issues and advice, bank accounts, transportation to the resort and answer any questions you have about the job. It’s as simple as googling the country, animation and jobs or agencies.

I worked for Enjoyland in Italy

and ACTTIV in Spain. Please do not take this as a personal reference in any shape or form. It’s not.

Please make sure you read my personal account in Italy before you consider applying.

TIP. Agencies will give you an idea of how much you get paid (don’t be afraid to ask) I have never settled for the first offer they’ve given me. I negotiate armed with my skills and qualities until I believe I am getting the maximum pay for my band.

So, something to consider!

Good Luck!

Related Articles;

A season of animation in Italy

How to get a job on a cruise ship

How to travel as cheaply as possible

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So what is Spiritual Ecology anyway?

Spiritual Ecology is working in unison with nature and the spiritual realms in relation to farming, respecting all and working collectively in harmony.. When I arrived in India in 2010, I had never even heard of the term and oh how my mind was opened…

It promotes a deep respect for the earth and our heritage by producing organically with the smallest environmental footprint possible, it’s also about being conscious of the spiritual realms that interact in nature, through blessings of the land, and daily ceremonies it invites the spiritual world to help with the growth and protection of the area.

I came across this new exciting concept during some wwoofing (volunteering) time at an organic farm in Rural India, This farm is no ordinary farm, not only is it run by two incredible people that have dedicated their lives and all their funds to create an organic, eco-friendly farm, Saha Asititva is located in a spiritual vortex where I can honestly say I have never ever felt or been anywhere like it.

The farm is located next to the pilgrimage destination of Ganeshpuri, a tiny village full of fascinating and mystical temples with an uncommercial and authentic off-the-beaten-track vibe…

I was blown away by the whole philosophy of the two founders of the farm, Kalyani, British, married to Daniel of the USA. These guys are unbelievably inspiring, living as pure and simple as possible, they lead their lives 100% by their principles and ideologies. They do what they believe in and they believe in what they do.

That’s why the farm is so successful, and that’s why the term spiritual ecology is so intriguing …

The energy of this farm is overwhelming, Agni Hotra (a daily spiritual ceremony) is performed on the farm by the volunteers or staff who live there full-time, it’s a chanting ritual performed exactly at sunrise and sunset to ask for protection and blessings for the land. These sacred prayers are offered whilst burning ghee, cow excrement and rice.

When I started to learn more about spiritual ecology and ‘spiritual beings’ in nature, I couldn’t help put picture fairies and pixies, quite like the imagination of a child, but the more time I spent there, the more I felt the ever presence of magical vibrations. Unfortunately I didn’t see cutely dressed elves and gnomes, but the evidence I started to see and feel was really impressive...

During my time there I was pretty snap happy with my camera, the setting on this garden-like farm is stunning. After reviewing the photos with Kalyani, we began to see many beautiful lights and orbs in many of the pictures.

This is when I began to read even more into Spiritual ecology and learn from Kalyani’s insightful teachings.

We started getting more excited as time went on when more of these mystical lights appeared in the photos. One evening me and Kalyani stood in front of a tree, calling out for the spiritual beings to come into our photo and it was here a multi-coloured transparent circle with ‘wings’ outshone all the other orbs in the black darkness of the fields as we took a few snaps.

With all these wonderful photos of the farm, I began to make a video on this spiritual ecology at Saha Astitva, where you can see some of the photos.

Buying barren land and literally starting a farm from scratch, Saha Asitiva aims to peacefully demonstrate the benefits of organic farming by working in harmony alongside Mother Nature and create jobs for local tribesmen. This is a link to their page, going there to volunteer was one of the best things I have ever done. I even broke my rule to never return to the same place went back a year later.

http://thankindia.org/

 

 

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Evolution as Art


Evolution‘ This is a creation I made it after reflecting on my life over the last few years. I wanted to express how I felt my life had been going, and this became the result.

 

 

The theme of my painting is Evolving through the Episodic Nature of Life.

In every episode of our lives or in every new environment we find ourselves in, we evolve, we adapt, we change and we adopt new behaviours. I want to show the complete contrast of the subject in each of these backdrops of life.

The bright neon green circles are cells representing a human life form in unconnected phases. Each of these cells have adapted to their environment to create a unique overall design. None of these stages are ‘better’ than any other, they are all perfect in their own right.

I wanted my idea to convey that human life form can be made and reshaped: and so I made the cells the secondary colour “green”. The shades of green can be seen changing within the cell pattern. Around each set of cells there is a gold outline, this is our spiritual self encasing our physical bodies. The stages are divided by large harsh red lines; I wanted the bold primary colours to represent the unmovable stages we have in life.

The background of each section is a varied gradient of black and grey, I wanted them to be subtle, distinctive and different to one another, as the cells transform and adapt to the surrounding environments.

The blue part which connects all the cells through the environments, stages, and backgrounds is that of the lifeline. The DNA is the part which reminds us that even as we change, develop, evolve and adapt, the cells are all linked to the essence of life.

It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to express ourselves, if you enjoyed reading this article you can check out more artwork I’ve made and related articles.

A Manifested Painting

Expression through Art

Painting about Manifestations

An Animator in Italy…

To be clear, and Animator is an entertainer usually seasonal, in hotels and resorts worldwide. I always preferred being called entertainer but have had to resort to wearing a t-shirt labelled ‘I am animator‘ classic Foreign English jokes aside, I had an amazing summer in my Italian Animation episode.

When I flew to Venice with my €50 euro budget in 2009 with no Italian language, I had no idea what was in store for me. I’d gone there to ‘find work‘ and learn some of the lingo too. My Italian friend, Riccardo, who I’d met in Honduras had said I could live with him for a bit, after a random phone call from me wondering what he was up to that summer. He was going to move to Lignano Sabbiadoro ‘Cool, I’ll go too’ I thought…

The next thing I know, I’m in Italy, jobless, skint and no idea how to speak the language. Oops. I move in to Riccardo’s place -there were quite a few of us there, maybe 6. But people were coming and going all the time I never really knew… I had to start adjusting to the lifestyle. These guys were ‘highly animated’ and at the beginning I didn’t understand a word of what was going on, there was a lot of raised voices though, needless to say I did understand the gist of the daily arguments between Riccardo and his fiery girlfriend Clarissa.

So as money was pretty tight I had to roam the streets straight away and ask for jobs. Not only is this soul destroying anyway, but try asking for a job in Italy– in English or Spanish! Lignano was perfect place for me to learn Italian- there were no British people there whatsoever, it’s a tourist location catering for Italians, Germans and Austrians, so my English and Spanish language skills were seemingly not useful in the slightest. I was getting blown out everywhere.

So after walking around for about a week, asking in ice cream parlours, pizzerias, whatever I could, a friend I’d made accompanied me to some hotels to ask in those too.

After 10 days and now borrowing money from Riccardo – Jackpot! One hotel said I can come back later in the afternoon as they were looking for someone in the Animation team.

Enzo, my supervisor to-be, spoke Spanish too. Perfect, I could finally communicate with someone other than Riccardo (who also spoke Spanish) Enzo told me all too briskly it was a hard job, not everyone can do it, if I’m lucky enough to get the work I’ll have to prove myself, he needed a fitness animator, in charge of aqua gym and stretching/yoga among many other duties we’ll go into later. Ah the joys of working for Italians…

Obviously I told him I was perfect for the job and I would come in the next day for my trial…

Animation is hard. Especially when you first start. Especially if you have no idea of what to expect. Especially if you don’t understand what’s going on, and definitely when you have to dance in front of a room full of children to dances you don’t know…

Deary me, I struggled, but I got through my trial and got the job. I focused on what I would be getting out of this, I’d be learning to teach aqua aerobics and stretching, dancing in the evenings (we worked 7 evenings a week) so I could keep fit, and in my spare time at work, ‘public relations’ making sure the guests were happy by chatting to them. So I got to practise Italian all day (as part of my job) and I got free food and accommodation! Right from the word go my classes had to be in Italian, and communicating across a busy pool with loud music in a new language definitely leads to some laughs… With that in mind I struggled through those first few weeks and moved out of the crazy house into another crazier one. Seven of us in a three bedroom place. Obviously the boss got the largest room to himself. He did need his space after all… 🙂

It took a while for my body to adjust with all the exercise but not as long as it took to adjust to the Italian way of working. The bosses were demanding and at times completely unreasonable. Hours were so long and we lived like sardines in our house nearby and a lot of our spare time was taken up with rehearsals for our dancing shows. I negotiated my pay as a first time animator I managed to get it up from  €300  a month to  €500. It turned out even with this terrible wage I was getting more than some of the others on my team (who I didn’t mention that to) Ouch. But more importantly, I knew this experience was going to help me get my contract on the cruise ship I wanted so much and I’ll be able to negotiate a fair chunk of the language by the end of the summer. Working in animation is notorious for taking advantage of young people’s desires for working away experiences.

Animation includes dancing in shows in the evenings, dressing up like a clown and dancing 7 nights a week for the children plus more activities. Tournaments, dancing in the water, volleyball, speaking on the microphone across the pool, rehearsing in the middle of the day under the sun were some of the usual delights. Our work budgets were next to nothing, our boss was stingy with uniforms and equipment for our jobs, most of what I did was a blag, especially when I was in mini-club for a day, I basically had to ‘amuse the kids for a good few hours.’ Children really help to teach you a language. They don’t mind explaining and I never felt stupid asking the kids to explain to me what things meant. Bonus…

We were in a team of about 20 animators over two resorts, I didn’t hang out much with work pals after work because I got the coolest bike ever, Andrea, and made great friends with Maria the lifeguard from my pool, who later got fired because we spoke too much. Also Riccardo and some of my old housemates meant that I had a social activity every night after I finished work at 11pm, resulting in very, very little sleep, as I was up at 8:30am but heaps of fun!

Maria got her next lifeguard job on the beach, always handy for us to check out all the lovely Italian men, and take advantage of all the ‘free’ activities, such as paddle boats, wind surfing and the canoes. Until that all fatal moment towards the end of the summer, when I damaged my rotatory cuff trying to make a 360° turn in the speeding canoe. Maria’s idea.

After 4 days of not being able to raise my arm or work properly under the severe annoyance of my boss, I went for X-rays at the hospital. From there I was put into a sling and although I didn’t mention to my boss that it was an accident in fact self-inflicted, he wanted to sack me anyway. I was useless to him. He didn’t mind telling me that either. Haha! Being the end of the summer I couldn’t care less, I was loving my job but it was coming to the end of the summer, so I packed my bags that night and me and Maria drove the 2 hour drive to her family’s house, where her parents would soon discover I was going to be staying for the next month…

Another blessing staying with Maria and her family while my arm got better and a great rest after the long, hard days working in animation. They live in the most traditional beautiful Italian house in a tiny village surrounded by vineyards and fields. We ate amazing food and by now I was able to grasp a fair amount of the language to observe this cool Italian family.

We always found things to do, Maria ‘borrowed’ the keys from the local priest to climb the bell tower and cover the lights with shiny coloured paper, and there were secret lakes and long bike rides, hiking the mountains through Italy to Austria, wine tasting, grape stealing and Maria’s family’s 60th wedding anniversary party, where I got to watch male opera singing live- it made my eyes water, there was an amazing medieval festival in the next village for a whole weekend of fun and I also took a trip to Bologna and Venezia.

By the end of the Summer I finally got my interview I wanted for the Cruise Ships back in the UK so after an extra-ordinary episode in Bella Italia I flew back to England.. I was really sad to leave Italy but had enjoyed a wonderful summer there. Love Italy.

 

 

I’ve moved house! Evolve and Express is now located at a different domain. Check it out!

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A Painting that Manifests…

Painting goals and dreams is not only a good idea because you start to focus more on what you do want and less on what you don’t, but you also put your creative energy into a project to hang up and remind you of your inspiration and positive messages.

I created this painting to focus a bit more on the spiritual side of me. I had no idea what I wanted ‘to do’ forever per-say, but I did have a brainstorm of the things I wanted more of in my life. I drew the symbol of the dancing figure in the middle to represent expression through the medium of dance and movement. The auras around the outside are for spirituality and connection, followed by music and drum beats. I wanted to be more by the sea, other messages such as the aeroplane in the top right are for travel and being in nature represented by the birds on the right and waterfalls. There is a collection of people in the left hand side, which stood for meeting wonderful spiritually like-minded friends…

Continue reading

Program Your Own Subliminal Messages.

I was always fascinated with the concept of subliminal messages, more so as I got older and started watching programs like Derren Brown and reading more books on hypnotherapy and NLP. As I dove more deeply into the world of behaviourism I came up with one huge conclusion…

The hidden and sometimes obvious messages we see everyday have a profound effect on our behaviour. We all know that supermarkets are designed to sell by placing certain products at eye level or having sweeties and yummy chocolates at the checkout, and adverts on TV are designed to influence our buying patterns, but can we use this knowledge to our advantage?

I say… Yes! Absolutely! Subliminal messages are suggestions or ideas that target your subconscious mind, which means you could take on huge influences and integrate it into your behaviour without even being consciously aware of it. From buying products to singing along to that catchphrase you didn’t realise you knew, we know this method works so how to we use this system to our advantage?

Let’s talk about your own ‘messages’ you have to yourself…

What’s the background picture of your computer or your phone? Something you are repeatedly looking at.. Because in effect, this is a subliminal message, something you unconsciously look at everyday.  It’s your personal advertising space. Does it link in with what you want at the moment? For example mine is usually one of my paintings of whatever goal I have in mind at the time, or strong images of somewhere I’m planning to go, or something that inspires me. After a while you never even notice these images, therefore they go straight through into your subconscious.

Take a look around your home / room / office. What are the pictures or paintings you have up? Do you leave yourself inspiring messages? Do you live only in the past? Start to put up little pieces of great influence or some of your best work and energy. Decorating your own space is part of your self expression and influences you on a subconscious level on how you feel about yourself.

What music do you listen to the most? It can say a lot about you and what you relate to at this moment. If you are looking to change your behaviour you can also influence it from the outside. Do you ever sing along to a TV advert or remember all the words to music you listened to when you were a kid? Listening to music allows repetitive messages to integrate into your subconscious mind, be aware of what they are, also particularly useful on learning a language.

The more we absorb repetitive messages, the stronger they influence us! Check out my article on how do do it with affirmations.

Books. I realised a few years back that I was feeling pretty grotty after reading some pretty heavy-going crime and violence books. I had been reading them for years from a great author but I noticed a dark mood forming over me after I put the book down. So I just stopped for a while. It’s not to say never ever read scary or intense books, by all means they are great escapism, but if that’s the only thing you read and you’re looking to brighten up your life with positive, happy messages, consider reading inspiring material for a month or more and notice the difference.

Goals. You can also give yourself clear, out-in-the-open messages, make a mission statement or visual goals. Why not paint them in your artwork? Take a look at some of my goal paintings. Program your own messages, take control of your life and decide what you surrounded yourself with. Put them in a place you can see everyday, whether you realise it or not. I know friends who write personal messages in post-its on their mirrors, whatever suits you!

Sending yourself hidden, positive messages has a wonderful effect on your own feelings. Feelings have a great effect on emotions and behaviour. Create your messages to suit your life! Perfect!

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The Best Ways to Learn a Language…

‘I’m just not a language person,’

‘Languages don’t come easily to me…’

‘I’m rubbish at learning languages’…

are the type of opinions I had after ‘studying’ French for several years at school. Quite honestly I was never interested back then and I never made an effort.

Some people actually have a great and have a natural flare at learning languages, I naturally, wasn’t one of them. Now, I speak Spanish and Continue reading

Top 10 Reasons for Writing a Dairy…

Keeping and writing a diary is one of the most important things in my life. It’s quite the statement I know, but I am the biggest fan of writing a diary.. A diary can be your very best and loyal friend.

I’ve been writing a diary since my early teens…Naturally the teenage years by far the most cringing ones to re-read. I did have some gaps over the years and the styles of the dairies have evolved from furry notebook covers to day-to-day journals until I opted for blank large beautiful pages ready to write all types of goodness. How is it your diary can be your best friend?

Self expression.

One of my favourite reasons for writing a diary is the ability to express what I’m feeling and thinking and by writing it down I’m channeling that energy into something just for me! Actually my diary is filled with bus tickets, sketches, poems or articles I’ve read, quotes and interesting pieces of conversations. I mix these with colours, and designs, and of course the way I write. For example, I may write in Spanish or English, and my handwriting always changes. I turn the pages and write in different directions or in capitals. I like to explore different ways and write in the way it feels good for me at that time. Nowadays I only buy diaries with blank pages so I have the freedom to create whatever I want on that page. Express yourself through your diary.

Time for you.

Giving yourself time to write in your diary is literally setting aside time just for you, be it every week, every day or whatever. Quality alone time. I love to be on my own, writing down my thoughts and be able to come away from whatever environment I find myself in. If your travelling or you live with other people, your dairy writing time can be a real treasured time of the day. Wicked.

Writing is Therapeutic.

Writing out your ideas / inspirations / troubles and all your daily stuff is therapy. An awesome one. It gives you a freedom to express yourself and allows the words to flow out. You can think things over and reflect. It for sure contributes to a sense of well-being, sometimes I begin writing in a terrible mood and by the time I’ve finished I’m feeling on top of the world. Write down your versions of events!

Re-reading and memories…

I cannot tell you how much I love, love, love re-reading my diary. When I turn up in a new place or start a new part of my life, I like to write what I want to achieve or my first impressions and re-reading these is so much fun. It’s also a really cool reference to look back at what you were doing at that time and you can see how much you’ve evolved! Memories you forgot you had appear in personal detailed form… Also you can look back in pure embarrassment of the things you’ve done, which makes for great entertainment. One reason why my diary is a private one.

Goal Setting. 

Writing down dreams and ambitions is a beginning to step to achieving them. Sometimes we have goals and forget all about them, only to return later and find we’ve completed them. A while back I found myself reading a dairy of 2009. I’d written one of the things I’d love to try in the world was tango dancing. Completely unaware it was a thought that had occurred to me beforehand, I turned up in Argentina three years later and dedicated some time for learning to dance tango. This has happened to me a lot, from riding horses to travelling certain countries… It’s also great to re-read for a reference, to write this blog I need to go back through all my dairies to trigger the memories I forgot I had..

A present just for you.

Your dairy is just for you. It’s not something you have to share and it’s simply having an activity and dedication that is 100% yours.. Whether your writing about something you’ve seen on TV that’s inspired you, or day-to-day stuff. It’s yours 100% your own creation of your life. 🙂

Get to know yourself better.

You get to spend time writing about what you have done, how you’ve reacted, what inspires you, what are you passionate about, the more you write, the more you see patterns and have more quality ‘you time’. Get to know yourself more…

Creativity

As mentioned above you can express yourself 100% and you can get really creative with your content. I sometimes write in the 3rd person form, or I’ve even tried writing in Shakespearean language. You can create poems if you feel inspired, simply, there are no rules!

Improving on those writing skills.

Just with any skill, the more you do it, the better you get. So writing either daily or weekly helps you maintain and improve your writing skills! And that’s just a bonus!

A little something for your grandchildren to read.

I would have loved to have read my grandparents dairy. What life was like for them, in this ever-changing world and just the normal stuff they did day to day. I’m sure grand-kids would love to read about ‘life before the mobile phone.’ It already seems like a lifetime ago…

It’s never too late to start!

 

I’ve moved house! Check out new posts in my new home!

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Top Pointers for Cheap Travel…

I often get asked if I am rich to have had travelled so many Countries. Erm, no. Not at all. For me, travelling and backpacking is about stretching out those pennies….

Get your head around the currency of the Country. 

For a start, you have to think about everything in relation to the local currency. We all know that we may have to fall prey to the mandatory skin tax of being a foreigner, but never too much and as little as possible. Figure out how much wages are for locals, what do they spend a day? Sometimes it takes a good few days to get your head round the prices of things. Personally I take trips to supermarkets to get my first idea, and you get to see the type of different cuisine stocked. Check out how much things are everywhere that has fixed prices. Continue reading