A Working Mum’s Firewalking Experience

Need to do something for yourself?

Fears holding you back from living your dreams?

Want to learn how to live in the now?

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‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always gotten’

 A good friend of mine rang to say, “Did you know it is International Firewalking Day on the 6th April? I want to utilise my skills and learning by leading people through another firewalk, are you interested?  It’s in Bali and it’s going to be a ‘Millionaire’s Experience’” (My friend knows to push the right buttons when inviting me to anything, she knows I love exclusivity). As most working Mums would admit, if they were honest, the opportunity to have a whole weekend away in Bali without her demanding children and family life would be amazing; to have no responsibility except for herself, no decisions to make except what to order on the menu, the peace, the quiet... And I thought to myself, I only have to walk across hot coals to get a ‘legitimate’ weekend pass? My goodness it’s got to be worth it, right?? “Yes!”, I shouted.

 In the few weeks leading up to the weekend away, I put firewalking out of my mind as my normal busy work/family life continued. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Life is not a package tour, it’s an adventure” and if you always know what is going to happen, where is the fun? As a fun junkie I totally agree, it’s like reading the last chapter of a book first or watching the end of a movie before the beginning; where is the juice and excitement in that? 

  ‘Knowing your deepest intention can be your guiding force to the creation of a better life’ Oprah Winfrey

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later, whilst I was sat on the plane, that I finally started to think about what my intention was for doing a firewalk. We know it’s not the firewalk that is the point, it’s the metaphor it represents: facing your fear and doing it anyway. It wasn’t my first time as I had walked over fire multiple times whilst training with Anthony Robbins. It was, however, it had been 14 years since then and in that time, I have lived in 2 different countries and have two children, so my life is definitely in a different chapter. I was really curious about how I would react this time. I allowed myself to enjoy the quietness of the airplane. Well, compared to my 7 and 8-year-old, it is quiet! And went within to listen to my gut about my intention and as I centred myself, I realised I wasn’t really doing it for me, I was doing it to be a role model to my children. To inspire them to face any fears and not let it stop them doing anything they want to put their mind to. To demonstrate that at any age you can keep on learning, stretching and growing yourself. And those of you who are parents know children do as we do not as we say.

 ‘The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind’ Rumi

My friend Helen Skinner (Inner Fire) had been trained by Tolly Burkan (the person who has bought firewalking to the masses since 1977) so I knew I was in an expert’s hands. Tolly talks about the 3 P’s of firewalking: Physics, Physiology, Psychology. Physics describes how heat is transferred. Physiology describes how the body responds to heat. Psychology describes how people overcome the innate resistance to walking on glowing coals… because without taking that first step, there can be no firewalking. Historically, when I have firewalked at Anthony Robbins events, he stirs up the firewalkers with high energy exercises and invites you to start chanting loudly ‘cool moss’, ‘cool moss’ whilst travelling across the burning coals. This helps with both physiology and psychology as you are making mental images of walking on wet grass and the body reacts to that picture. Dr Andrew Weil, the renowned Harvard trained physician, has investigated firewalking for years. He comments “There is no way I can be convinced that the mental state is not the key variable in firewalking.”

On the night of the exclusive event, we were joined by 8 very experienced Indonesian firewalkers, who had taken an average of 150 walks each, but they were intrigued about what would be a Western approach to an age-old cultural norm in Indonesia. As I was starting to really question what the hell was I doing, my internal dialogue was going into overdrive, ‘I don’t need to do it I’ve nothing to prove’, ‘I might just watch the others and use it as a research opportunity ’, ‘is this just my ego telling me to do this?’. This fear heightened particularly when they lit the coals and the flames were expanding high into the night sky. The seasoned firewalkers were so calm, relaxed and at peace with what they were going to do. Maybe that is what happens when you had so much practice, it becomes just like a walk in the park. Helen took us through a thorough preparation exercise and made us ensure that we would be ready internally to make the external action when it was our turn. She told us about ‘putting on our CAP’ of Courage, Acceptance, Peace. And only when we were in that state of Peace were we to walk across the 51 degree burning coals. A very different approach from what I had been used to but equally empowering. I decided I wanted to watch the veterans first and it was inspirational. They walked up to the firewalk in their continued, almost serene state and just strolled across the coals. You could see the smoke rising and it was so quiet you could only hear the coals burning and a small clap of applause as each person completed the walk. When it came to my turn, I decided to change my previously learnt (more natural approach) and move forward in a more purposeful and inner energy directed state. I stood at the start of the firewalk and went deep within myself and discovered that I wanted to walk in peace and love. I put on my ‘CAP’ and strode across the coals easily and effortlessly. At the end, me being me, I had to do a little power jump of celebration to go along with my round of applause. It was such a liberating feeling; I was on a real high of achievement and yet felt so centred and whole at my core.

 ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress’ PT Barnum

In the process of being an ‘eternal student’ and on reflection, I think the real driver behind my firewalk was to push myself even further past my comfort zone. Along with this I have two very proud children of their Firewalking Mum. As my business and life take on even more meaning, and I practice more and more living in the now I can see how firewalking is extremely relevant. You can only be in the now or you will burn yourself. I await with both excitement and certainty that the best is yet to come. For now, I look for ways to continue pushing my boundaries and teaching my children to be fierce in life.

If you have a spark of an idea or want help releasing any fears or you need support setting and achieving intentions for your life, connect with mary@butterflymango.com and I promise I’ll ignite your fire, coal free!

 You can watch my firewalk on my Youtube channel here! 

5 Guilt-Free Tips for Business Trips for Mums

Loving your job but hating the guilt you feel of not being at home?
Feeling exhausted every time you arrive back home?
Want to stay connected with your kids while you travel? 

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I will always love you forever, I won’t always like your behaviour,

and for as long as you are living you will always be my baby.  

 1.      Stay connected with your kids

I remember when I travelled for the first time as a mum for 2 weeks. My children were only 2 and 3 years old and I was going to be in a different time zone meaning I would not be around to speak to them before their bedtime. I was so concerned that they would miss me that I thought about how I could stay in contact with them. So, I videoed myself reading their favourite story books at that time, The Hungry Caterpillar and Giraffes Can’t Dance. I actually quite enjoyed the experience and they responded really well to it. As it was recorded, they could watch it when they wanted, and it created special and positive memories for all of us. That was when they were younger, now that they are 7 and 8 years old, I put ‘love notes’ in their school bags or in their lunch boxes reminding them how much I love them, what I admire about them and how many more sleeps left until my return. Everyone likes being reminded of their positive attributes, even teenagers, although don’t expect any positive feedback in return! Evidence suggests that the more teenagers say they don’t care about or won’t allow actual physical hugs, the more they need. So, it could be a great way to tell them how much you admire and care for them, ‘hugs’ of a different kind.

 Oprah Winfrey says “It’s not being selfish its being ‘full of self” 

2.      Nurture and Nourish Yourself

I know it’s another hotel room, another city and time zone but how do you take care of your needs whilst still delivering your business objectives?

I prepare myself a ‘mum goodie travel bag’ which I keep topped up with my favourite Jo Malone travel candle and lavender bath oil (to aid sleep) plus nutritious snacks like walnuts and almonds to tide me over in between meetings or from a gnawing upside-down tummy clock from jet-lag or when I can’t find food that I enjoy. Invite the rest of your family to buy birthday gifts to add to your goodie bag as it will be even more nourishing knowing your daughter or husband chose items for you to make sure you are taken care of. Purchase a favourite pair of PJ’s that you love and only use them when travelling so you look forward to wearing them. Treat yourself to a silk pillowcase; not only does it have beauty benefits, it feels luxurious. Buy a book, download a movie, app or something new for your trip so you always have something new to read, learn or view making your time away more valued added for you. One of my special treats when I travel is that I take my ‘Dream’ book with me so I can update any dream that has come true, refine or add to my list of dreams and use it as a review, manifesting time too. Great for the plane as you can’t be interrupted and its such fun to think about what else you want to do with your life whilst travelling on ‘work’ time.

 “Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be” - anon

 3.      Give Yourself Permission

Just because you are away from your family doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your trip. In fact, it’s a good time to give yourself what you need so when you return home you have the energy to deal with whatever awaits you…

Find out in advance if the hotel offers a massage, book it and allow yourself to be pampered.

If you have been with the clients all day, is there really added value in joining them for dinner every night too? Carve out, if possible, one night when you treat yourself to room service and a movie, zone out and give yourself some head-space and an early night so you can be even more productive the next day. It takes courage to say no but you are your best asset and the more you take care of yourself the more you have to offer your business and family.

Decide to learn something new about the place you are visiting, eat new food, visit a gallery or listen to different music. Use your travel as an education opportunity, even if you visit the same places, there is always something new to discover.

 “Exercising is like telling your body ‘you’re gonna hate me for this
but you will thank me later’”

 4.      Exercise

It’s too easy to use the excuse of not being able to exercise whilst away on business trips but it really does make a real difference to how we feel and how productive we can be. There is scientific evidence to confirm that a minimum of 20 minutes of daily exercise can build your immune system, stop depression and will allow you to get better sleep too. ‘You'll be healthier and live longer. Studies have found that even daily low-intensity exercise can be incredibly beneficial in your overall health, lowering your risk of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases’. Make sure you always pack your trainers/swimsuit/travel yoga mat and download an app that allows you to exercise where ever you are. Even if it’s a walk around the block or using a skipping rope in your room. If you habitually get stuck in back to back meetings, I suggest you schedule in your exercise time in advance, and as a minimum take the stairs rather than the elevator.  

“What you appreciate, appreciates” - Lynne Twist 

5.      Gratitude

Simply journaling for five minutes a day about what we are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over 10% (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). It turns out that noticing what we already have can make us feel more positive about our lives, which makes a simple sort of sense.

Take your Gratitude Journal with you on every trip and every night before you go to sleep write down at least 5 things you are grateful for or if you are just too tired to write say them out loud to remind yourself you are at least thankful to have survived another day!

 “In the end I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.” - Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard 

You may still feel guilt when travelling away from your children but be kind to yourself. You are doing what you are doing for a better future for your children. Just implement as many of the points above to help alleviate any negative feelings about travel and create some positive memories.

If you need some support please get in touch with me by emailing mary@butterflymango.com.

How Not to Grow a Unicorn

Do you think your career growth is stunted?

Are you having to shape yourself to fit into the environment you are in?

Do you know that you have not reached your true potential?

My 7-year-old son is absolutely enthralled by unicorns and of course whatever you focus on you will find. He can find unicorns everywhere, unicorn towels, unicorn lamps, unicorn phone chargers (really!) to state just a few. One day he spied a ‘hatch and grow your own unicorn’. It’s a purple egg shape approximately 10 centimetres and the instructions tell you to immerse the egg in a bowl of water. You watch it over a period of 72 hours (a long time for a 7-year-old with patience issues!) and the unicorn will hatch and grow. It tells you to move the hatched unicorn into a bigger bowl of water to continue to allow it to expand. My son had to change the bowl 3 times and once it had grown to 30 centimetres, he became bored and lost interest. In a busy household the unicorn was forgotten about but a week later I noticed it, abandoned in a bowl in the bathroom. In that time the poor unicorn (yes, I now have a love of unicorns) had tried to grow but as his bowl was now too small for him, he had started to contort and shape his body to fit his limited environment. He had ended up all twisted and quite sad looking.

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‘Your playing small does not serve the world’

Marianne Williamson

 

Energy flows where attention goes

It really struck a chord with me, as I asked myself the questions: how often do we as humans bend and contort ourselves to fit in with our environment? Maybe when our career was first ‘hatched’ the ‘bowl’ was big enough for us to grow and develop and maybe some of us were brave enough to find bigger bowls to grow in? But it begs the question, who ensures that we allow ourselves to find the space to grow to our fullest potential? Will we live our careers ‘abandoned’ as our ‘carers’ get bored with our perceived lack of progress? 

You will either step forward into growth or you will step backwards into safety.

Abraham Maslow

Do you need a new bowl to immerse yourself in? Is it time to stretch and grow to your true potential? Would you like to discover how your mind works and therefore improve your learning power and unlock your true potential? Contact mary@butterflymango.com

I promise you I will be unicorntastic!

 

 

 


FREE Butler Service Available

Not achieving all the results that you want?

Can’t understand why others seem to be so ‘lucky’ and not you?

 Frustrated with the amount of negativity in your life?

Follow these 3 critical communication techniques for getting more of what you do want and less of what you don’t want….

 Imagine that Tinkerbell or the Wish Genie has unexpectedly landed in your office or home and that you have suddenly been granted the wish of having a Personal Butler, a free servant to follow all your orders. The only caveat is that the instructions you provide have got to be direct and clear with no ambiguities. I wonder what would you expect from them? What duties would you like them to do for you? How would you direct them to build your business and improve results in all areas of your life?

Image credit: www.afr.com

Image credit: www.afr.com

Well the fantastic news is that everyone has a Personal Butler, who is customised and bespoke for your unique self. He (she/gender neutral) waits for your orders on a daily basis and unfortunately most people are unconsciously giving him the incorrect orders for improving their lives.

 “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung

Our ‘Butler’ resides in our unconscious mind; an iceberg is a useful metaphor to understand the unconscious mind, its relationship to the conscious mind and how the two parts of our mind can better work together. As an iceberg floats in the water, the huge mass of it remains below the surface. Only a small percentage of the whole iceberg is visible above the surface. In this way, the iceberg is like the mind. The conscious mind is what we notice above the surface while the unconscious mind, the largest and most powerful part, remains unseen below the surface. The unconscious mind holds all awareness that is not presently in the conscious mind. All memories, feelings and thoughts that are out of conscious awareness are by definition 'unconscious.'

To understand how your ‘Butler’ needs to be communicated with/to effectively, to get the results that you want, you need to know the following –

1.     Butlers are unable to process negatives

2.     Butlers do not have a sense of humour, they do not understand banter, sarcasm or self-depreciation

3.     Butlers will focus on whatever you ask them to focus on, good or bad, positive or negative, they will find it for you

 “Your life is a printout of your thoughts” Dr Bruce Lipton

 1.Unable to Process Negatives

The unconscious mind is unable to process negatives. For example, if I say to you ‘don’t think of a pink elephant’ automatically your mind must create a picture of a pink elephant first before cancelling in your mind with the don’t.  Picture sitting by a swimming pool, full of splashing children having fun and playing swim tag and you can hear all the parents shouting out to their kids as they play around the pool ‘Don’t run’ rather than saying ‘Walk slowly’.

It’s so easy for us to talk about what we don’t want - I don’t want to be unhappy, I don’t want that type of client, I don’t want to eat too much….

Start talking about what you do want - I want to be happy, I want a specific type of client, I want to eat the right amount of food for my nutritious needs

2.No Sense of Humour

The unconscious mind does not understand banter, self-deprecation or sarcasm. The dictionary definition of self -deprecation is ‘the act of belittling, undervaluing or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest.’ So, when someone gives you a compliment and you reply, ‘Oh this old thing’ or ‘Really I thought I looked really fat in this’. Or when we downplay our successes ‘Oh I’m really not good at finances’ or ’I bet I will really mess the presentation up’ we are underrating ourselves.

Why would you want to tell your Butler to do that? What would you have to gain? One thing is for certain it stunts growth and allows us to play small.

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our Darkness that most frightens us.” - Marianne Williamson

3. Whatever You Focus On You Will Find

Imagine waking up in the morning and instructing your Butler, ‘Today is going to be a bad day, the traffic is going to be a nightmare, I have no time to do all that I need to do’. You have just engaged the ultimate service of your Butler as he utilises the RAS (Reticular Activating System is an impressive-sounding name for a fairly small piece of the brain that starts close to the top of the spinal column and extends upwards around two inches). Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you. Focus on the bad things and you will invite negativity into your life. Focus on the good things and they will come to you, because your brain is seeking them out.

Remember that every instruction that you give to your Butler, he is going to metaphorically reply –

‘Ok’ M’am/ Sir - I heard that, it is registered. And because I always want you to be right, I will do my very best to deliver your request’ so make sure your requests are moving you forward towards the place you call success.

 “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear” - Tony Robbins

I’m curious what name have you given to your Butler? And if you would like to learn how to use them more effectively please reach out and contact mary@butterflymango.com.

 P.S. My Butler is called Michael which, by the way, is not my husband!

5 Tips to Manage the Office Negative Toxic Vampires

Fed up with any positivity being sucked out of you in the workplace?

 Are you stuck in the office with the Negative Vibe Tribe?

Finding it difficult to maintain your positive mindset?

Learn some strategies to help you manage the situation more effectively……

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Imagine it’s a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, and you get into your office early to get ahead of the game. The first person you bump into is Mr Negative (not gender specific!). There is a cloud around his head and he is ready to find fault with everything and anything. You can immediately feel your good mood and uplifted feelings begin to seep away. What can you do to protect yourself?

If you do have the power to move your desk to a more energetic and positive part of the office, then that is the first and most simple solution. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the choice of where we sit in an office environment but knowing as we can spend a minimum of 35 hours utilising that space, maybe we should?

Anthony Robbins says ‘We live in a box culture as we wake up in a box, we communicate with a box, we get to work in a box, we work in a box, we use a box to work on, we eat a box lunch, go home in a box, open a cylinder and go to bed in a box.’

And if you have to stay in the same space, consider taking some or all of these actions to keep you toxic free.

However, before you read on:

- Butterflymango Health Warning -

If you take some of these progressive steps towards controlling your environment and your state of mind, please be prepared as you might find that you attract even more positive people into your workplace and life… you have been warned!

1. Surround yourself with Positive Visuals

Create a vision board of how you would like your ideal life to be and use it as your screensaver.

Paste positive affirmations around your space, on your coffee cup placemat and on your screens.

And/or print out some of your favourite inspiring quotes. Place a plant or small vase of flowers on your desk and allow the energy of nature to create a more relaxing environment. Put up a sign that says –

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  ‘Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions’

- Albert Einstein

 

2. Tune In to Tune Out

If you are allowed to wear headphones, plug into some positive podcasts, there are so many free resources available now. And/or listen to some uplifting music and if there is piped music in the office, inquire about how it can be changed to more positive vibes like Baroque music. Baroque music can create a state of inner peace by making you feel relaxed. Some individuals refer to it as an authentic music for the soul. Baroque music is very appropriate when it comes to boosting brain activity. Bach was one of the greatest composers who left a great legacy in baroque music development. Some researchers found out that this music can assist you to gain focus and increase concentration while processing large amounts of information and content. This rhythm can help to stabilise your emotional, physical and mental well-being.

 

‘Music gives a soul to The Universe, wings to the mind,

 flight to the imagination and life to everything’

- Plato

 

3. Personal Virus Protector (PVP)

When I was growing up there was a TV advert for a morning porridge which apparently set you up for the day and allowed you to ward off any inclement weather. The story was set in a Northern grey town in the UK, where the little boy who hadn’t had his porridge had to battle the elements on a cold, wet and windy day and when he eventually arrived at school he was looking rather worse for wear and feeling sad. Whereas the other boy who had been given the advertised porridge was given a special ‘Readybrek Glow’ which allowed him to arrive at school warm and happy and not be affected at all by the weather. You too can have your very own Virus Protector which will allow all negativity to bounce off you.  Just imagine a protective buffer around your body, choose the colour glow you want, the texture and add any sounds or mantras to it. I’ll let you into a secret, my PVP is pink, with a sponge like waterproof texture, it has a positive electric charge which glows and zaps away any negativity. My mantra is “It’s all happening perfectly”.

 

‘Negativity is like a virus, it’s contagious and it can happen to anyone at any time.’

- Mary Barrett

 

4. Sniff It Out

Our senses are how we interact with the world. One of the most ignored senses is our sense of smell. Smell can evoke happy memories, elevate our mood, and improve our thoughts. Since our world is so devoid of smells, it makes sense to make a conscious effort to use scents to our advantage. Aromatherapy is a powerful tool to improve your thoughts. Since every smell is a personal experience, experiment with essential oils to determine which are your favorite scents for improving your mood. Essential oils are like tiny bottles of positivity, their scent can burn through negativity like rays of sunlight. I personally like lemon or rosemary oils for cutting through negative emotions. In addition, I daily use a blended oil called Joy on my pulse points and even if the effect is a placebo it always makes me smile - I urge you to give it a go.

‘The olfactory system, anatomically, is right in the middle of the part of the brain that's very important for memory. There are strong neural connections between the two.’

- Donald Wilson

5. Smile and Laugh

Humour is a very powerful tool to ward off negativity and it is scientifically proven too.

Laughter boosts the immune system as it decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. So when the Negative Toxic Vampires try to bring you as low as them aim to find something funny about the situation, laugh out loud and as we know laughter is contagious so they just might start laughing too!

 

‘There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.’

- Charles Dickens

 

Remember everyone is fighting their own battle so be kind, and if all else fails give Mr Negative a hug, the shock could help him change his state of mind… go on I dare you!

If you would like to learn more about how I help individuals, teams and organisations create a more positive and productive environment contact me at mary@butterflymango.com