Book Release Blitz & #Giveaway! The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed for Becoming the Happiest You by Rob Carpenter @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #NonFiction

I haven’t taken part in book promotions for some time, but when I saw ‘The 48 Laws of Happiness’ and read the blurb, it was exactly the type of book I’ve been reading and reviewing on my #MondayBlogs posts, on personal growth and motivation, so I applied for an ARC, via RRBookTours and offered to take part in the Book Release.

It’s a brilliant book on happiness and how to understand and embrace it in your life. I’ll be reviewing it on Monday, but meanwhile, here is the launch day information, so you can find out more and check it out on amazon.

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During times like these finding ways to be happy seems like a no brainer! Check out The 48 Laws of Happiness by Dr. Rob Carpenter! Psst… There’s also a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card (International)

The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed for Becoming the Happiest You

UNLOCK THE SECRETS TO HAPPINESS

  • Do you want to discover the untold secrets of happiness in a fun and uplifting read that could change your life?
  • Have you ever been told you should choose to be happy but then not taught how to be happy?
  • Is becoming the happiest possible version of yourself something you would like to achieve right now?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have looked in the right place! In The 48 Laws of Happiness, Dr. Rob Carpenter will teach you how to be happier in every area of your life. Using practical, “how-to” approaches, easily digestible mini-chapters, cutting edge research, and inspirational stories of people from around the world, Dr. Rob will show you the secrets to happiness and what you can do to overcome the common traps preventing you from being the happiest and most confident, version of yourself.

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

About the Author

Dr. Rob Carpenter—known simply as Dr. Rob— miraculously survived a tragic accident and vowed to not only rebuild his life, but to help other people rebuild their lives too. He has become a transformational author, filmmaker, and CEO who now advises professional athletes, celebrities, business titans, and everyday people so they can become the best version of themselves.

Dr. Rob has been featured in the New York Times, Business Insider, and People Magazine, has been a former professor and filmmaker at the 2x Emmy Award Winning USC Media Institute for Social Change, and is host of The Dr. Rob show. He founded The School of Happiness and has countless resources available on his website DrRob.TV to help uplift humanity.

Dr. Rob is the first in his family to graduate from college.

Rob Carpenter

Twitter Tags: @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #NonFiction

International Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! (April 27 – 29)

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Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#WednesdayWisdom ‘If I Could Change…’ #1linewed #WWWBlogs #Tanka

If I could change the way I live my life today, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

“Change” is a song recorded by British singer Lisa Stansfield for her 1991 album, Real Love. It was written by Stansfield, Ian Devaney and Andy Morris. More about Lisa Stansfield on her blog.

Change 

If I could change
The way I live my life today
I wouldn’t change a thing
Because if I changed my world
I wouldn’t be who I am 
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Basically, those 31 syllables say it all.
Everything I have ever seen, done, experienced, learnt, and everyone I have ever seen, heard, met, loved, or not, has brought me to this moment in time, and I wouldn’t change any of it.

But just to clarify, here are another 31 syllables.

Me

This is who I am,
All that is, was, and will be
Exists in this time,
Breathe it, live it, and love it,
There is no other moment. 

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More One Liner Wednesday here on Linda Hill’s Blog, join in!

#MondayMotivation #Emotional Agility by Susan David #MondayBlogs #Resilience #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

 

This Monday I’m introducing you to Susan David, Harvard Medical School psychologist and author of #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility. I had seen her Ted Talk some time ago, but more recently I noticed her presence on YouTube and watched some of her interviews, especially one with Ed Mylett.

Her definition of Emotional Agility is a critical skillset that helps us make real changes in our lives. It is the key to thriving.

Emotional agility is heavily influenced by Victor Frankl, survivor of a Nazi death camp and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he states:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

As I understand her concept of emotional agility, it refers to embracing the bad as well as the good in life and not pretending everything is always fine.

The search of happiness need not be our only goal, because that makes us unhappy; it’s rather to build strength in our core values and embrace and overcome hardship. We should search for strength within ourselves to look inward and live intentionally by working with, as opposed to against, our own emotions. I love this quote:

Here’s Ed Mylett’s interview in which she expands on her theories.

She does not give us an easy recipe for success and the book ends with a series of recommendations I’ve summarised here.

Her advice is to take ownership of our own development, career, creative spirit, work and connections, and to accept the good with the bad with compassion, courage and curiosity.

We should embrace our evolving identity and accept that that being alive means sometimes getting hurt, failing, being stressed and making mistakes, so we should abandon ideas of perfection and enjoy the process of loving and living.

We should abandon the idea of being fearless, and instead walk directly into our fears, because courage is facing our fears instead of ignoring, or avoiding them.

She reminds us that life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility. Nothing is permanent because we will all age and eventually die and be separated from our loved ones.

Her two final pieces of advice are to, ‘Learn how to hear the heartbeat of your own Why and remember to ‘dance if you can’.

I found her suggestions valuable but theoretical. But I urge you to listen to her interviews and talks which are much more practical.

By the way, if you want to know your level of emotional agility, take her quiz here.

It’s fun and interesting. I found out among other things that I have a very good sense of what my values are and what is important to me, and that I am mostly able to bring these in a real way to my daily life.

I guess that means my introspection, reading and experience are serving me, so far, but it’s an ongoing process…

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Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation #Maxout your Life by Ed Mylatt #MondayBlogs #Health #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m introducing you to Ed Mylett, Life strategist, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, motivational speaker and author of #Maxout Your Life.

I came across his YouTube channel, because he regularly interviews other motivational speakers ranging from neuroscientists to influencers and authors, on topics such as ageing, fitness and mental health, as well as giving his own short, motivational tips on how to reach your goals by focusing, creating positive thoughts and believing in yourself.

Here’s his recent interview with Susan David, psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author  of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life.

He insists that ‘Others don’t control you. Don’t let them be your dream killers,” and encourages us to empower ourselves and hold ourselves responsible for our achievenents, which are temporary gains, and losses, which are opportunities for improvement. ‘You are not an extra in your life, you’re the main character, you write the script.’ is another of his quotes. Building self-confidence is one of his main themes.

He’s also keen to convince us that physical fitness is as important as mental focus, so there’s a lot of advice on creating positive habits related to exercise and diet, and morning and evening routines.

#Maxout Your Life Audiobook By Ed Mylett cover art

I listened to his book, #Maxout Your Life on Audible, which has the added bonus of being narrated by the author himself. It is a tiny gem of a book which presents all his advice and philosophy in a concise nutshell. It did leave me wanting more, but on the other hand, I was grateful that every word was motivational worth listening to.

Here’s one of his recent Twitter posts.

He is rather forceful at times, compared to speakers like Marisa Peer or Deepak Chopra, who have previously been featured on my blog, but now and again it’s a good idea to listen to someone who ‘shakes some sense (or good ideas) into you’!

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation ‘I am enough: Mark your mirror and change your life’ by Marisa Peer #MondayBlogs #Health #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m really excited about introducing you to inspirational Marisa Peer, nutritionist, therapist and creator of RTT (Rapid Transformation Therapy) which has helped change and improve lives. She has written books on dieting and pregnancy, but the book I’m going to tell you about today is I am enough: Mark your mirror and change your life, a complete manual of all her thoughts and proposals for a better, healthier and happier lifestyle.

I’ve been reading and listening to Marisa for a few years now, because she has a lot of useful advice and experience which she conveys in a calm and pleasant voice. The strategies she proposes are logical, clear and achievable. I already do many of the things she suggests, but hearing and reading about it also reinforces the power we all have to take control of our thoughts and actions.

I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life by [Marisa Peer]

She has a great metaphor for the struggle between the conscious and the subconscious mind, in which the subconscious mind is a wild horse and the conscious mind is its trainer, so when the horse loses control the trainer has to find ways to rein him in and work for us instead of against us. Marisa helps us find ways to do just that.

One of her most famous and useful suggestions is also the title of the book, the affirmation ‘I am enough’, because she considers that the root of all our troubles lies in the negative blocks which lead to our sense of failure, and she proposes specific ways to overcome these negative, preconcieved and damaging ideas and turn them into positive affirmations which have the power to change our lives.

how to control your thoughts

This is a tiny gem of a book which presents all her personal development theories in a clear and concise nutshell.

I first found out about Marisa was through her Tedx Talk at Kings College London, Reach beyond your limits by training your mind.

She also has a second TedxTalk How to avoid rejection and get connection. 

As always, I searched for her on YouTube to see and hear her recent talks and I found a wealth of videos on her youtube channel including topics such as self-hipnosis, meditation and tips and strategies to improve our physical and mental wellbeing, and motivation.

This is one of her latest interviews, where she explains her philosophy to achieve a happier, healthier lifestyle and offers clear and straightforward proposals to make our lives better.

Watch Marisa’s videos on Youtube

Follow Marisa’s Blog

Amazon US author page

Amazon UK author page

#MondayMotivation ‘The Five Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m sharing my experience of reading The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by [Mel Robbins]

The Five Second Rule will tell you how to enrich your life and destroy doubt in five seconds!

I first came across Mel Robins about six years ago when I saw her TED Talk, which has almost 25 million views on Ted alone, although it is also available on other platforms such as YouTube.

Mel is a brilliant speaker because she puts her point across simply and clearly and she also backs everything she says with science and research. She’s the perfect mixture of humour and wisdom. She makes everything sound simple! Just listening to her makes you want to get up and go!

However, I hadn’t read her book, The Five Second Rule, published in 2017, until very recently.

Her proposal in The Five Second Rule is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, because it isn’t. Knowing what we should do and doing it. is in fact probably the hardest thing we will have to do. I love this quote, in which she says ‘you’re never going to feel like starting to do ‘hard’ things, such as getting up early, doing exercise, etc. We will always put it off for ‘tomorrow’ or make excuses, ‘I’m too tired today’, ‘I’m too busy’, etc. We are all expert procrastinators.

YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO FEEL LIKE IT | Mel robbins, Second best quotes, Motivation

On the other hand we often search for a mentor, teacher, coach, or friend, to encourage or guide us and help us with our problems or to fulfil our desires. That’s another form of procrastination. By giving someone else the power, you let go of your own emotional strength.

Mel insists that we should take the initiative and push ourselves and she gives us a simple strategy to break the laziness or lack of initiative which prevents us from doing what we really want to do.

Our lives belong to us and the choice is ours and so is the power. Her book offers us the tool to empower us any time we feel we are losing control of our lives or our emotions. Even if we don’t feel like it, we need to get out of our lethargy, stop making ecuses and ‘Do it anyway.’

However the key isn’t knowing about it, it won’t work unless you make yourself do it.

How? Well that’s what the The 5 Second Rule is all about.

According to the blurb, the five second rule will help us, become confident, break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt, beat fear and uncertainty, stop worrying and feel happier, and share your ideas with courage.

Mel’s proposal is based on two main concepts, psychologist Julian Rotter’s the locus of control (1954), which, simply put, refers to people’s perceptions of the individual power they think they have to control their actions and what Mel refers to as the power of the push and the five-second rule, which provides the push people need to take control of the moment and act.

It’s a fabulous book and I encourage you to read it, but there are other ways to hear about Mel’s proposals, as well as her Ted Talk, she has many Audible exclusive lessons or podcasts such as her latest publication, which I’ll soon be listening to, exculusively on Audible called, take control of your life

Take Control of Your Life Audiobook By Mel Robbins cover art

This is an Audible exclusive series of sessions or podcasts in which Mel Robbins addresses topics such as anxiety, fear of change, rejection, and loneliness, imposter syndrome and feeling trapped in the wrong career, and relationship problems. There’s an accompanying PDF available after purchase.

Mel also has a strong presence on YouTube. If you want to listen to her own explanation of her life journey, the five second rule, and other ways you can improve your life, you can listen to and watch her in an interview on YouTube which was filmed two weeks ago,

Mel also has a YouTube channel which I’m subscribed to. Her channel has tons of short, vlogger type videos as well as longer videos and live streams about her life and thoughts, where she tackles personal issues such as fear, forgiveness, stress, etc. Check it out, I bet you’ll find something helpful and entertaining.

And remember, as Mel tells us:

 

 

#MondayMotivation ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ by Deepak Chopra #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m sharing my experience of reading The Seven Spiritual Laws to Success by Dr Deepak Chopra.

Dr Chopra was born in Delhi, India, in 1947, where he studied medicine. He started his medical carreer in traditional medicine in Boston, in 1970 where he later became chief of medicine at New England Memorial Hospital. However, over the years he began to see the limitations of western medicine and in the 1990s he turned to a more holistic approach to the health and wellbeing. He moved to California and set up the Chopra Center for Well Being.

I still have my copy of ‘Creating Health‘ which I bought and read in 1999, when I was a stressed, working mother of three teenagers, approaching midlife. This book, which I’ve since reread several times, helped me understand the mind-body connection, and specifically the healing power of the mind, at a time when I needed to reconnect with myself.

Creating Health is a great introduction to his philosophy of life and healing, which is relatively easy to understand, although I warn you, Dr Chopra is brief and intense in the way he communicates his thoughts, but every word is worth the intellectual and emotional effort, because every one is life changing.

 

Dr. Chopra has written over eighty books and I’d like to tell you about one of his latest publications, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. It is short book of about 120 pages which takes less than two hours to listen to as an audio book, but again, I warn you, it is so intense, his ideas are so condensed and precise that you will need to listen to each chapter several times, at least I did! And not only will you listen to each chapter more than once, you will also have to think about, digest and apply what he says to yourself, which is an ongoing and life changing process.

Readers need the time, patience and right frame of mind for such profound introspection. I’m glad I’ve read it when I had read his previous work and when I was mentally prepared to try to embrace his proposals and improve my emotional and phyical wellbeing.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by [Deepak Chopra]

Dr Chopra defines success as ‘the constant expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of useful goals’. He proposes a more spiritual approach to success and abandance, which he describes as ‘a great movement of all good things towards us’.

The seven laws he proposes which lead to harmony with the universe and the creation of success in its material, physical and emotional forms are; The Law of Potentiality, Giving and Recieivng, Karma or Cause and Effect, Least Effort, Intention and Desire, Detachment and finally the Law of Dharma.

There is no way I’m even going to try to summarise any of these, it’s something each one of us has to do personally, and I’m sure they will have different meanings and interpretations in each one of us. But what will happen to everyone who reads is that we will find a new meaning to life.

Here’s one of his meditations where you can glimpse what his philosophy is about.

Meditation is a vital part of his proposals and I’m convinced that if I were able to harness the power of meditation more efficiently my wellbeing would improve, and the that’s the reason why I have his latest book on my kindle, which was published last month, Total Meditation. I’ll tell you about it in the coming weeks.

Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life by [Deepak Chopra]

Check out Deepak Chopra’s YouTube Channel where you can listen to his teachings, philosophy and meditations.

Image by Jill Wellington on Pixabay

#MondayMotivation ‘Feel Better in Five’ by Dr Rangan Chatterjee #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

Feel Better in Five 

Dr Chatterjee, a medical doctor with sixteen years experience, wrote Feel Better in Five as a response to the ailments and complaints he observed in his patients and many other people who feel overwhelmed by the demands of their daily obligations and stressful lives.

Feel Better In 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by [Rangan Chatterjee]

We may presume it is only serious illnesses which end, shorten or damage the quality of our lives, but it’s often the recurring minor battles and niggling setbacks which occur every day that erode the quality of our lives; the neck pains after hours at the computer, the fuzzy brain due to lack of sleep, the distress caused by an argument with your neighbours or colleagues, or heartache as a result of lack of communication with our loved ones, these daily episodes can lead to insomnia, high blood pressure and depression, among other ailments.

Imagine if we could improve the way we react and cope with these daily, so-called, minor events, how much would the quality of our lives improve? Feel Better in Five offers simple solutions which can lead to immense changes in the quality of our lives.

Dr Chatterjee proposes three types of health snacks which can be carried out in five minutes for our minds, bodies and hearts, leading to increased health, well-being and greater optimism to face our days with renewed energy.

This quote is from The Stress Solution: The 4 Steps to Reset Your Body, Mind, Relationships and Purpose by R. Chatterjee image by Enrique Lopez Garre on Pixabay

A little goes a long way.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Five minutes will never be enough!’ I’ll prove to you that it is more than enough, and that you are already aware of the power of a short investment in time to improve your health. Most people spend between six and ten minutes a day taking care of their teeth, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash etc. It has become part of our daily routine since childhood. We all know that as a result of our improved dental hygiene, our dental health has vastly improved compared to previous generations.

Imagine what could happen if we spent between five and ten minutes a day on stretching exercises or meditation?

The power of less.

Less is more. This is not a gimmick, it’s a reality. Less will empower you to feel successful, create a routine and it could lead to more once you win the battle and recognise the benefits. We can all spare five minutes to improve our health and wellbeing, the difficulty, as with everything in life, is starting, that is, garnering the willpower and motivation to act. Dr Chatterjee talks about that extensively too, offering simple tips and strategies to create daily habits.

 Image by Mohamed Hassan at Pixabay

In his book, Dr Chatterjee proposes three groups of simple, 5-minute health snacks for Mind, Body and Heart which you can pick and choose according to your interests and motivation. You may even be doing some of them already. For example I was playing my favourite songs and singing and dancing throughout the day for five minutes during the recent covid confinement, and it did make me feel better.

Dr Chatterjee describes simple activities to calm our minds, such as breathing exercises, meditation techniques and morning and/or evening journaling.

He encourages us to activate our bodies with 5-minute workouts, yoga, press ups, lunges, etc. With no tools and no gym visits.

He shows us how to improve our emotional wellbeing, which he refers to as ‘heart’ by carrying out 5-minute meditations, doing things we love, daily affirmations, gratitude journals and engaging in kindness.

Why 5 minutes is enough

  • When you make something easy to do, people are more likely to do it.

If it’s too hard many won’t even try, and if they try and fail they will feel guilty and inadequate. Making time and finding the funds to go to the gym three times a week is anything but easy, yet doing 5 minutes of stretching exercises before your coffee break, not so much.

  • Everyone has 5 minutes.

We waste plenty of time surfing the internet or watching a TV programme because we couldn’t be bothered or feel too tired to get up from the sofa.

Completing your 5 minutes will motivate you to continue. You will feel successful and it may even encourage you do do five more minutes. It can be as easy as writing ten things you are grateful for or dancing to your favourite song.

  • It will keep the habit going.

Completing a short and simple habit will motivate you to carry on. If you skip a day it doesn’t matter. Remember, your teeth won’t rot if you forget to brush them for a day, but your breath will smell if you don’t brush them for a month.

I’m convinced it really is enough. Every minute we spend consciously improving our lives adds up. Five minutes lunging or skipping is five times more than zero minutes.

I listened to his audio book on Audible, which Dr Chatterjee reads himself, and it is full of positive energy, achievable goals and simple exercises and activities which are changing peoples’ lives.

Feel better in Five by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, is a brilliant book which will help you feel healthier and happier.

If you’re still not convinced, I urge you to listen to Dr Chatterjee himself here:

You can also visit his webpage

Or follow Dr Chatterjee on Twitter

 

 

 

 

#Lockdown ‘Every cloud has a Silver Lining’ #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs

I live in Spain and we’ve been on Lockdown for ten days now due to the Covid-19 virus and I haven’t written a single post, until today.

I’m not going to talk about facts and figures, prevention, medicine or science, because I’m not an expert on any of those major aspects and there’s plenty of reliable information online.

I’m going to write about my personal reflections, feelings and how my life is being affected by the lockdown. This means owning both the positive as well as the negative experiences derived from imposed isolation, because every cloud has a silver lining.

First I’m going to tell you about the clouds, or what I miss:

 

1) Hugging my children and grandchildren. 

I have four wonderful grandchildren (ages 3,5,6, and 9, and a fifth on the way!) I love playing board games, ping pong, telling stories, going to parks and fun fairs, or just chatting with them. 

My husband and my daughter walking in the countryside, near where I live.

2) My daily walks.

My husband and I have retired recently and we enjoy long (2-3 hour) daily walks. We choose different parts of the town and countryside, have a coffee or a beer on the way there or back, depending on the time. We chat, take photos, pop in to museums or exhibitions, wherever takes our fancy. No walks allowed now.

I took this picture of some of my oldest friends last year at a local flower festival ‘Flora’

3) Going out with friends.

I enjoy going out with friends. We go to the movies, to a coffee shop, window shopping, real shopping, or out for drinks and tapas. No going out with friends.

 

Last year we popped over to Bari, on a bargain Ryanair flight, just for the fun of it!

4) Impromptu outings

We love getting in the car and popping over to Malaga (an hour and a half drive) to walk along the seafront, or to meet up with friends and family, or to any other city for a day trip, weekend at home or abroad.

60th Birthday Party at home with some of my best friends!

5) Receiving guests

I love cooking and having guests, especially when the weather’s nice and we can eat in the garden. On other occasions, friends come over for tea or coffee, some home-cooked cake and a chat. 

Secondly, this is my silver lining, or what I can appreciate about this situation.

1) More time to write. 

I’ve just finished and sent the umpteenth draft of my latest novel to my editor, Alison Williams. I managed, to block out the lockout and get on with it with no one to distract me. I plan to continue with other unfinished novels and literary projects, too.

2) More time to read

My TBR pile is slightly smaller! At the moment I’m reading and enjoying When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal, on my kindle and listening to L J Ross’s Alexander Gregory Thriller, Impostor, its Book 1 in the series (I read Book 1 first by mistake!). She’s a wonderful author as I learned when I read her DCI Ryan Mysteries.

The Alexander Gregory Thrillers

3) Watching series I never have time for.

I’m not much of a TV viewer, but I was able to binge watch over a couple of days, eight episodes of The Stranger, by Harlan Coben staring Richard Armitage.

4) Phoning + texting friends and family 

I’ve spent the last few days contacting friends and family all over the world, by phone, text and email, making sure they’re all OK. I haven’t finished yet, there are still a few more to contact.

With my three best friends from London University, celebrating our 60th birthday, last July, back on our College site, now luxury residential homes.

5) A time for introversion and reflection.

I’ve never been faced with so much time for myself or so much worry about family, friends and myself. Facing one’s own vulnerability in such an unpredictable world is daunting. Facing our finite and limited time on earth and the possibility of illness, or even death in complete isolation was not how I expected to spend 2020.

Momento Mori is not welcome, but it’s a necessary reminder that my life is brief and finite and every moment is precious.

Stay safe, virtual hugs and love to you all.