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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Birthing our new products!

So, several months in the planning and after much deliberation, we are finally releasing some new products.  We have gone through some rebranding and have reviewed our goals and intentions for The Seashack. All very exciting!

So today Gemma and I stood on a large piece of paper and birthed our new products!  What on earth is going on you might ask?

It’s simple.  Using the concept of everything being energy, we visualised draining off other people’s energies from our products, the blocks and limitations we have unconsciously placed around them being successful and called in supportive earth and universal manifestation energies, designed to help us attract the right customers for us and to receive an abundance of sales.  Not everyone will like our stuff and that's ok, we just want to spread those positive vibes and serve our tribe the best way we can.

Will it work?  We shall have to wait and see! It may look a little woo woo but using energy to create is in fact based on scientific principles so we are in good company :).

It is also fun!

Shirley x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

With Autumn comes change!

I love the fact that we have seasons. We are so lucky to experience so many types of different weather throughout the year.  It's funny how quickly Autumn creeps up on moment you're enjoying those balmy Summer evenings and the next you're clearing the garden away once the kids have gone to bed, and there's a real chill in the air.  That chill can be so refreshing after so many hot nights - especially when you have a really hot, sweaty baby!

I always think Autumn is really symbolic of change too and it feels like Mum and I have been going through such a process of change here at The Seashack. Our little business has evolved so much.  For a long time now we've been testing things out, trying different products, moving towards the direction we now want to go in.  I can't tell you how many set backs we've had along the way.  Sometimes it feels like everything is against you and you wonder if you are really supposed to be doing this?  But something is always there, niggling at you, reminding you not to give up and to keep going!

And it's a funny time of year with all the changes. It can be unsettling and uncomfortable waking up to those dark mornings. And only today I went out and there's Christmas things in your face already! I'm sure it's only just been Summer?! I've realised lately even more than usual that happiness comes from within and mindset has a lot to do with your quality of life. Do you choose to see all the niggles throughout your day or are you mostly seeking out and focusing on the better stuff?

I for one am trying my best to focus on the important things...slowing down to enjoy as many moments that I can...and just living and savouring the chaos and the calm times.

Gemma xx

Friday, 10 June 2016

A daily magical practice to enhance your life

The Magic gratitude challenge we set ourselves was such a great experience. 

It all started with me buying the book on impulse while browsing in a bookshop (my favourite places are bookshops especially if they have a cafe as well!) . I'd read The Secret and The Power (by the same author) and heard The Magic was based on gratitude exercises so thought it would be fun to try. Also although I was paying more attention to feeling more grateful for things around me I was also keen on trying something more focused and really learning more about how gratitude underpins abundance and manifesting the life of our dreams.

It wasn't always easy to make time for the 10 grateful things we needed to list each morning. I did miss the odd day but always caught up the day after and really, some exercises were worth spending more time over. Particularly the one focused on financial abundance ;) .

But what was really interesting was having to think about the reasons why I felt grateful - because that action made me feel even more grateful! It's important to feel it too, not just say the words. Feeling is everything because this fills your energy field with positive vibrations and therefore helps you to attract more things to be grateful for.

The other useful learning for me was to focus on gratitude at both ends of the day - holding my magic rock before I went to sleep meant I went to sleep feeling good and then started my day filling it with gratitude. What could be better than that?!

One of the exercises I found really powerful focused on feeling grateful for our physical body - from thanking every organ and cell to all the systems in my body that work so hard to keep us alive (life is such a miracle :) )  yet we pay so little attention to our body until there's a problem and we experience discomfort or illness. Or sometimes we're only concerned about the bits that show - what we think we look like to others,  which is so caught up with our self concept. 

Each day's practice builds upon the last and gives you another way of looking at the way we live and what we so often take for granted.

I do recommend using the book as a guided practice to explore the many ways we can find things to be grateful for.   It may unearth some hidden demons which appear for us to let go of but also taps into the powerful inner wisdom we all have access to - so stick with it!   

This is powerful. 

This stuff works.  

It will change your life for the better :). 

Shirley x

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

~~~ Riding each wave ~~~

I saw something yesterday on TV, a line from a film I think. Something along the lines of 'family holidays are supposed to be chaos'. Which happens to be very appropriate because we have just returned from a trip with the kids to sunny, humid, boiling, wet, amazing Florida!

It's really the only place we've ever wanted to bring them and we debated over whether to come with them so young or to wait. It turns out there's plenty for all ages there and as long as you're prepared to work with their ages and what they can cope with then it's a wonderful experience for everyone!

Even with all this in mind we've had a few stressful moments too. Some involving the kids......some involving getting *cough* lost...! But what I've realised is that at points we were expecting way too much - from the kids and from ourselves. No holiday is perfect no matter the age of your children or whether you are travelling with children at all. It's supposed to be an adventure and on any adventure things will go wrong at times. So many things will go right too! Like meeting your favourite Star Wars character or finding that a queue you were expecting to be 30mins is actually only 10!

And as with everything else attitude is so important. You get back what you put out there. I really believe that. Our flight home saw no sleep for me & a bit of an upset 9 month old at times who just couldn't settle. It's hard...he loves to lay down in bed! My only thought was how bad I felt for the other passengers, there was just nothing I could do to contain his noise on there. He is such a loud, happy, chatty little man who has been adored by so many people all holiday! But you know what? I was met by nothing by lovely, supportive people telling me what a great job I was doing & how the kids had all been brilliant. I can't tell you how much that empathy boosted me. It turns out that people know what it's like. I love that compassion in human nature ♡

Because we're all here, trying to do our best & that's all we can do :-)

Gemma xx

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Why practice gratitude?

For the past couple of weeks Mum and I have taken on a daily gratitude challenge from the book The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. One of the most important things to me is to try to live the most positive life I can. I figure that along the way there are going to be all sorts of challenges, some major and some minor, but if I can build up my own happy vibe, I'll have a few tools I can use to get me through the tough times. Because somehow that's what we do. Life goes on and we keep going. We are so much stronger than we think we are.

Today's task is to dream BIG! (You can follow the other tasks over on Facebook.) I love the idea that like attracts like. When you or good thoughts or there, good things come back to you. By taking time each day to feel thankful for things you have or things you've experienced, or things you don't even have yet, you're putting those good feeling thoughts out there.

There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for!

Perhaps it's the person at the Post Office processing the parcels. Or the delivery driver who brings the goods to the ship for you to buy. The gorgeous sunshine you've woken up to or the lovely refreshing sound of rain which will help the crops grow. The fresh water running from the tap or the feet that carry you all day! On the greyest of grey days there will always be a shimmer of light somewhere. And it's this light you want to hold on to and focus on.

And feeling grateful for the things we want before we receive them is just as important as saying thank you afterwards. Focusing on exactly what you want gives it that positive attention and positive thoughts attract positive things :-)

Gemma xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Magic!

So it all started when a very lovely librarian let me borrow a book even though I have a fine on my ticket and actually shouldn't be allowed! Sometimes I think these very little things can happen but make such a difference!

I had recently got myself in to a (little) rut of negative thinking. It was very subtle and I hadn't even realised I was doing it but luckily I somehow got hold of my thoughts and knew it was time to get back on track. So when this book came in to my possession it was just at the right time it seems!

For the past 9 days Mum and I have been doing the gratitude challenge. It's 28 days of morning and evening practice plus a specific task each day. I really, really wholeheartedly believe in the power of gratitude. For so many reasons. I've seen it make a difference in my life. I've kind of been including the challenge in my life in my own way (if you know me you'd expect nothing less!) & the main thing I've noticed is a shift in my thoughts. If a situation occurs or I start to feel a bit down that voice will start saying 'hang on a minute, you're doing it again...'! It's this very gradual noticing of negative thoughts that is the start of your whole outlook changing :-)

My favourite exercises so far have been about money and they've really got me thinking. I had always realised we must be grateful for what we have but I had never really considered all the things in the past; all the times and ways you might have received money. This is especially important if you're in a position where you always feel you have no money - and are stuck focusing on that. Now though, I realise there are so many ways to feel rich - were you fed? Clothed? Did you go to school? Did you have toys? Did you ever go on holiday? Did you have school books? Were you driven in a car? It's all these things that when you look at them, make you realise you were actually so fortunate - you were given these things freely. You can be so thankful for all these things coming your way.

Throughout the book the message is clear - the more time we can spend really appreciating and feeling thankful for all these things, the more wonderful things will come back to us. I find it all so inspiring and it really does spur me on to see if I can manifest anything I'd like to! I'm looking forward to the remaining 18 days & hope that I can make many of the tasks a regular thing :-)

Gemma xx

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Eat that frog!

Or perhaps not as I'm vegan!

I remember seeing this phrase somewhere in a book I once read,  It talked about when you have lots of jobs to do, instead of procrastinating about them, pick the trickiest one and do it.  Get on with it! And isn't it so satisfying getting things done?  Ohhh yes!

So I've been thinking about how my life isn't running as easily as it should.  I fully believe there is always time for everything - family/work/personal interests - it's just a matter of organising things to dedicate time to each of these.  I always know there's things I can do that can free up some of my time so it's about time I ate those frogs!

One thing I'm thinking of in particular is our mornings here.  I'm not talking about Mum here but my mornings with the 3 children...trying to meet so many needs and regularly failing to meet mine!  It wouldn't be an unfamiliar scene here to see my ironing the school uniform half an hour before we leave,..or on a  r e a l l y  unorganised day I might even be washing it in the morning!  No word of a lie unfortunately!  So I'm determined to be more prepared for the mornings.  I'm winning tonight as I've ironed 5 school tops and 2 pairs of trousers!  (Never to let things run too smoothly I can't actually find the other pairs but it's ok as I have a few days grace to locate them!)

I tend to spend many evenings working.  It's the nature of running a business around having young children.  And I like it this way - I want to dedicate all the time I can during the day to embracing Motherhood.  Or at least I like the idea of this most of the time! ;-)  BUT these evenings leave me totally unprepared and unorganised for my daytime commitments.  Which also involve running the business but are heavily family-led!

Either way I do believe there is a way to get everything running as you'd like it!  It's nothing new to realise if I allocate some of my evening to preparing for the next morning then it might actually help me a little bit!  But it's something I always put off and never prioritise.  Who knows why...but not anymore (I hope!)...taking this time the night before might give me the time I need in the morning to do things that are important to me.  Such as my gratitude practice...eating...maybe even a little sit down!

What a revelation, hey?  Let's see how it goes!  What frogs do you need to eat today?

Gemma xx

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Getting back to my roots

Some days I just want to create.   Things start to flow, ideas emerge from seemingly nowhere and magic happens.   I like days iike this :)

But they don't come to order And sometimes days or even weeks will pass when it's hard to remember what it felt like to be creatively inspired........... You too?

Yesterday I was having one of those days - the urge to paint was strong but I felt creatively blocked and lacking inspiration.   What to do?  

Desperate to do something I decided to play around with some old canvases - simply to tap into the freedom and joy of creating and,  of course, having fun! (You can see the result below :) ). 

An hour later, I felt much happier and as though I had achieved something - even if that was just reworking paintings that were gathering dust under my bed!   Back to my roots, paints and some yummy acrylic texture paste to bring old memories to life on the canvas.

The joy of creating.......simply heaven! 

Shirley x

Saturday, 12 March 2016

What's wrong with weird?!

Wow, bedtimes with your child can be amazing can't they? My biggest one might not gaze in to my eyes much anymore (or at all in fact!) but it sure is a privilege watching him grow. It's not always the best time of the day in our house, juggling the different needs of 3 children under 6yrs old! Bedtime can be crazy...very loud...and just like you're banging your head against a brick wall! I'm sure you've been there too!

But he uses it as a time to open up and talk. Which I love! Tonight he's read his whole school book, virtually with no help. When he started school in September 2014 he was only 4 years & 6 weeks & couldn't read at all. Wow, he has come a long way! I loved the chats & the raspberry-blowing silliness & the eventual drifting off. What a great way to start my Saturday evening. So very grateful.

Today when we were out he had taken his trilby-type hat. He went to get out the car and said "No, I can't wear this, people will think it's weird!". He's not even 6 yet! To be honest he's never been the type to worry what others think. So I confidently said, "Erm... what's wrong with weird? It's good to be different, right? And what would it matter what anyone thinks? It's up to you but it looks really good."

He smiled and said "Ok then"! And he wore that hat around the store, well at least until he got bored and it was dumped in the buggy!

This stuff is important to me - to raise kids that have our backing to do anything or be anything they want to do in life. I hope he can find the confidence to not be scared to be creative or to stand out.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Learning to live with imperfections

Life is such a crazy, imperfect ride! And so it should be! I notice more and more how 'in the moment' our kids live. They're present and they don't care much if there's dust or the floor hasn't been swept. Their priorities are focused exactly on what they love doing. As adults we've more responsibilities and I guess it's not quite as black and white as they make it! After all, I need to somehow fit in caring for them, myself & home jobs too. I love that they are so present and carefree though. It inspires me!

Living less perfectly is something I try to embrace. But I'll be honest, it doesn't come naturally to me! I love things tidy...a place for everything and everything in its place - but we also have children who are whirlwinds! I love all the images I see on social media... you know, the perfectly styled homes, not a toy in sight. But although these photos are beautifully inspiring, how authentic are they? Surely everyone's home gets like mine, where you just cannot keep on top of it? (I'm not even going to ask, I know they must!)

I have spent so much time trying to keep our home tidy because I just can't bear the mess! I fully believe that life is too short for tidying and I want to embrace this, BUT I also can't deny who I am and that I like to live in a kind of organised chaos, at least! And because I'm a work-at-home-Mum, I'm here a LOT. I live and breathe the goings on in our home.

One of the things I'm working on is lightening up about the whole mess thing. I don't want to spend our time here stressing, but at the same time I needed to put some things in place to make everything a bit easier. Some of the things that have helped are:

Having less. It's as simple as that. Chuck/recycle/rehome! I'm probably the opposite of a hoarder. Which can be a good and bad thing!

Investing in storage solutions. At least then the 'mess' that you can't do the above with has somewhere to go! 'A place for everything and everything in its place' :-)

Trying not to dump things. I read a good tip somewhere once about putting things away straight away rather than creating endless piles. It's really hard when you have a messy, creative mind! I'm working on it ;-)

I think the best tip is to remember you can't do everything at once. This is my downfall! Make clearing up achievable. And don't miss out on other, lovely things in life, just to achieve something that looks 'perfect'.

Find beauty in the perfectly imperfect things, all around you!

Gemma xx

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A balancing act!

Family Vs work Vs me-time Vs house-stuff!  I'm certain I'm not the only person playing this scenario round in their head?!  I find it pretty hard to actually get everything clear enough to be able to get productive!  I know Mum struggles too because she has so many interests - and another business! I truly believe there is a way for everyone to find balance in their lives.  It's about getting focused and setting your priorities.  And most importantly, not forgetting yourself somewhere in there!  Which oh so often happens, doesn't it?

Work vs kids vs the laundry!
Don't forget YOU! 

I play out a lot in my head 'I'll do this for me WHEN I've done X' or 'I'll definitely do X tomorrow'. Does it happen?  Hmm......not often!  In fact it's not that I'm not meaning to but I actually forget! That's how low a priority I am, when I'm remembering I have to put washing on over spending some time to read a chapter in a book and enjoy myself!  

But yesterday for the first time in forever, I switched my phone off and I sat downstairs while the kids played and I read a chapter or 2 of my book!  I've read it before but I like to keep hold of my spiritual/self-help books to re-open when I'm needing some inspiration or in fact a kick up the bum!

'The Secret: the power' by Rhonda Byrne
I felt so alive after I'd read just a little bit & excited for so many of the plans in my head!  You'd be surprised how quickly you can change your mood :-)  

Focus on what you CAN do

We can spend all too long feeling down about all the things we can't do or aren't achieving.  But what about small changes we can make to boost us and provide a little more balance?  For me, I often feel I'm not scheduling enough time to enjoy the kids while they're so little.  It's the single most important thing to me - keeping that connection with them.  And I know it's not all about doing 'special' things together and arranging activities.  I'm sure we've all been there with the Pinterest FAIL!  (I think my favourite one was the jelly in the straws that is supposed to come out like worms but actually got completely stuck!) But just spending time together - even 10 minutes playing dinosaurs and spending time in their world makes all the difference.  We did this today and I had such a lovely time noticing little things that I never usually slow down enough to notice.

Our 3 at 5.5yrs, 5.5 months & 3yrs
In the next few weeks there's going to be a lot of decision-making for Mum and I as we look at how our business is evolving.  I'm hoping it'll all fit nicely with family life, Mum's other business and of course time for both of us!

Gemma xx

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Feeling the way

Instinct. That buzzy feeling when you know you've got it right? Yay for instinct! I'm getting better at reading it as I get older. And I have to watch myself as the minute I start over thinking it my brain goes crazy and my instinct tunes out.

It's nothing crazy...everyone has it. It might be that excitement you feel...or that buzz where your brain is shouting 'Yes!'. But our rational brain likes to look at pros and cons and then you start factoring in other external factors and often look at what other people are doing. Sometimes you just need to go within and feel what it is you actually want. What feels right for you. Not for everybody else.

Today I was reminded of this buzz and of how different we all are; different expectations, different criteria. It's a good thing. It's great there is something for everybody out there. But the main thing is sticking to what feels right for you - making that decision and not worrying if other people are doing this differently. Stay true to you ♡