The Art of Inspiration - Introduction


I wrote a book, The Art of Starting Again: A Powerful Guide to Goal Setting and Visualisation. This Book is my gift to others who feel the need for change in their lives. I devised this self-help technique in the depths of my own despair. I was rock bottom, in an on-off abusive relationship with no money, piles of debt, confused, already had been married twice, four children and overweight. I was a single parent with no family around me, living on the other side of the world from everyone who knew me well. The relationship had left me isolated and vulnerable with few resources to call upon. I’d formed unhealthy habits as a way of coping in the situation and I was feeling very low. So low that if I sank any further I felt like a hole was going to swallow me up. So much about my life had to change.

I thought about my life and all the parts of it that I could imagine and found eight - eight areas of my life that all needed addressing. I thought about who I wanted to be in five years time. I drew what I wanted to look like. This was at least seven years ago and I still haven’t achieved all of those goals completely, some have changed a little, but I am still on track and that is okay. I have achieved many other goals in that time. I’ve written and published books, released music, sang again after losing confidence, ran music events, learned many new skills, gained a Masters Degree and started my own company, best of all I found out who I am and made it back home.

This approach is about survival, focus and progress. Self-actualisation is still an ever-changing act of development. If we reach for the stars and fall short, we have still progressed. If we never strive, there is no growth. Things don’t change if things don’t change. If you do not visualise a positive future, things are never likely to be in your control. Managing and remaining in the present and, letting go of the past, is paramount in accessing a positive future.

Being adaptable and reviewing the goals every so often has helped me. Life always throws elements in that you can’t control or you may find you accept a curve ball, which alters the trajectory of your path. The most important thing is to retain or aim for gimbal lock and focus by regular reviews on how you are feeling. I have never set a review timescale for my goal setting, however, I do notice that when I am feeling down, I review my current location on my pathway and invariably find I have strayed. 

This approach is driven by your feelings. However, prevention is better than cure, so if you are the type of person who is driven by time and order, then setting a date for reviewing your goals, is always a plus. You are more likely to get where you want to be faster, if you revisit at regular intervals, though I would recommend no more than every three months for a full review. Daily, weekly and monthly targets need to be looked at according to their title. 

There are many time management and planning apps or programs for your phone and computer out there. I will not be looking at those in this book, as I want to keep focus on inspiring and motivating simple, powerful change with minimal barriers to doing so. I find that learning to use a new app can be a barrier for me.

It is often best to turn off all technology and be still to feel what you want to do. To be undisturbed and even get out into nature, visit your favourite thinking place or just lock all the doors and unplug the phone. Just you, pen and paper. This is self-care; so try to find a space where you will not be interrupted. Perhaps toddler’s naptime, or when everyone else is asleep or out. Make the time.

One of the major forms of stress is being out of control of your life. You are the master of your own destiny and this life is not a dress rehearsal. Owning your direction, even if all feels hopeless and it is impossible right now, you can plan for that to change and bide your time. Be secure in the knowledge that whatever you are going through will pass, the sun will set on this day and the sun will rise on a new day tomorrow – bringing new opportunities and fresh light.

This is my way of coping in the face of adversity… taking a day to heal your life and give yourself hope every now and again, is the most valuable gift you can give yourself.

I bravely used the word ‘powerful’ in the title. The power lies in the simplicity of the method. All you need is a pen and a few pieces of A4 paper - no printer, no photocopies. These days I quite often find myself doing this on the notes app on my phone at bedtime. Whatever you can lay your hands on, and whatever works for you is the way forward.

I am, and always will be, a work in progress. We never stop learning and growing in this life.

To bring this first self-help book to life, I am writing this blog. This is my way of handling the plan suggested, on an initial basis, taking one step at a time, visualising change and focusing on health and wellbeing as I make my transformation. 

It is a lot of work to do on myself, while working on a business. With health and wellbeing being at the core of all other areas of life, I am still helping those areas. We are complicated beings and within these eight areas, one hand washes the other.

I hope you will join me, inspire me or inspired in your own journey. Just remember any positive change is a step in the right direction and you will be further along than you were before.