Musings, Manifestations and the Keys to Living Life Abundantly

My thoughts, tips, tools, and discoveries in my search for a deliciously Abundant Life.


Greetings from the Goddess

If you've been wondering about the whole 'Goddess' thing ~ this will explain it!

Waiting to be Special?

I saw this Red Had lady at the Mall the other day.
She ordered her coffee, graciously left a tip and then settled at one of the tables to watch the world go by.

And she got me thinking about the whole Red Hat thing.

You've probably read the poem by Jenny Joseph ~
"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me...."

And I wondered,
why do we feel we need to wait until we're old to do something "out of the norm"?

Why do we need permission to do things that make us feel beautiful, special, unique?
Like wear a maroon shirt when the rest of the office wears white?
Eat off the 'good' china when there's no company coming?
Or wear a ball gown to go grocery shopping with your equally bedecked little girl?
(I did this once ~ it was Fun!!)

I've noticed that it's the very young and the very old that seem to be able to shed this claustophobic mantle of 'normalcy'.
Once we hit our 30s, we all become bland, ordinary, afraid of standing out.
Except when we get "permission" ~ like at Halloween or New Year.

Isn't that sad?

Why do we stifle the very spark that makes us Special?
Why mask the outside reflection of your Uniqueness?

Today, I double dare you to do something Out of the Ordinary that fills you with Bliss and makes your Being tremble with the lusciousness of authentic living.

I think we'd be a lot less worried about what people think of us,
if we realized how seldom they actually do!



This was submitted by Adrian Armstrong on (my first guest post, if you will) but definitely ...

..something to think about...

Washington, D.C., Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar; a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $200.00.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
The questions raised: In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, how many other things are we missing?

Author Unknown


Learning to Dance

Over the past few weeks, I have had a building sense of frustration - that feeling of being Almost within reach of what I want but still ... not... quite... making it.

I've had so many small indications from various sources that tell me I'm progressing, gifts and accolades and shout-outs of encouragement from people who are where I want to be, but still the feeling of being out of step persists.

I think, perhaps, it's a bit like learning to waltz.

At first you're looking at your feet, counting in your head, concentrating on not falling on your face or stepping on your partner's toes. There's a bitter sense of frustration, you have all the pieces, but they just won't mesh.

You toss it off with a laugh, a self-deprecating comment, but inside you're squirming. You see others swirling by, looking smooth and effortlessly glamorous and you long for their skill and confidence.

And still you count, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. One step at a time, tripping, pausing, righting yourself. Absolutely determined not to join the wallflowers.

But then suddenly, magically, it all comes together. Head, feet, body, partner all just click and you can flow with the music. You lift your head, smile at your partner. And really, really Dance.

That's where I am with my MLM/online biz. Still watching my feet, counting out loud, trying not to make a fool of myself.
I have been so very tempted to stop trying, stop starting over, and just sit this one out.

But I made a COMMITMENT ... to Myself.

And because of that commitment,
I will not give up.

I will not be a wallflower.

I have found the right dance floor, and the right partner.

And I will keep moving until I dance.


The War of the Shoulds

Usually the word 'SHOULD' has very negative connotations.

We hear 'should' - or versions thereof - every waking minute of our growing years ...
- "You should do better at school"
- "You should go to college"
- "You should try this drink/sport/drug"

And of course there are the implied 'shoulds'
- "Stop daydreaming"
- "Try to be nice to Aunt Agatha"
- "Why can't you be more like your brother?"

And then there are the 'should nots' which are actually 'shoulds' in disguise
- "You shouldn't do that"
- "You shouldn't say that"
- "Who do you think you are?"

Usually these are external pressures applied by well-meaning parents, teachers, friends, bosses, in an effort to protect you, improve you or simply to get you to do what they want you to.

In my search for authenticity, to find out who Jacqui Gates really is and what she stands for, I have dragged many of my own 'shoulds' out into the open; scrutinized and evaluated them; accepted a few; rejected many.

What is left are my own 'shoulds' - the ones I believe are good for me and the life I am creating. The ones that ring true with the person I am uncovering/discovering. They are the ones I know that, if I did them, they would make me healthier, wealthier and probably wiser too.

But I've also realized that, even though these 'shoulds' are in my best interests, they still create a ridge of resistance, that imperceptible stiffening of the spine at being told what to do. A childish flash of mutiny that has nothing to do with logic and belies my so-called adulthood.

- I should eat less carbs (But they taste sooo good!)
- I should exercise more (but I don't have time/don't wanna)
- I should turn off the TV to do more productive things (but I'm tired/ might miss something)
- I should get those projects done (but, but,but)
- I should write that article/create that splash page/work (too many excuses to mention)

It's my guess that you also have your own list of 'shoulds'. You know, those things the little voice in your head whispers would be the right thing to do, but you metaphorically pout and ignore.

Special Note: Be careful here that these 'shoulds' are, in fact, your own. So many of us have 'shoulds' that have become so ingrained, so programmed into us that we believe they are true and valid. But upon closer examination, many of them are revealed to be outdated, inappropriate to who you really are or who you wish to become, or quite simply an affirmation of someone else' agenda for you.

If a 'should' feels uncomfortable, if that ridge of resentment is instant and palpable, examine it thoroughly in the light of your goals and dreams.

If it fits - fine.
If it doesn't, discard it, regardless of whether doing so will cause raised eyebrows, snide comments, or outright disbelief.

To do anything else is to lessen your own authenticity; to push your dreams a little further away; to die a little each time.

But here's a thought - and (finally) the crux of this note:
What if I actually DID these 'shoulds'?
What if I took a month to silence that inner toddler and in true grown-up fashion, really DO the things I have already determined would be beneficial to me?

Hypothetically speaking, a month of doing what I 'should', could result in any or all of the following:-
- I could quite possibly shed 3 - 5 lbs
- I would be fitter
- My business would be more established and probably more profitable
- I would have more time for quality activities
- My house would be cleaner/prettier/more organized

So here is my Challenge - to Myself, and to you, if you wish to accept it.

For the next Four Weeks, I will disregard my inner brat and actually DO what I know I should.

I have a feeling this is going to be revelatory.

Care to join me?

I hate to say it, but you know you probably 'should'!


A Goddess' Guide to Creating Time

I have been as guilty of a grave misconception.

I have been constantly thinking, (and what's worse actually say out loud!) that I don"t have enough time.

Not enough time to do everything I need to do to keep my home running smoothly; my family fed; myself healthy; grow my business; plan my future; feed my mind; feed my soul; earn enough money to fund aforementioned enterprises.

And this is a LIE.

The truth is, I have exactly the same amount of time in a day as anyone else on this whole beautiful planet.
24 hours.
That's it.
No more. No less.

The same amount of time as you have, as Oprah has, as John Milton Fogg, Richard Bliss Brooke, Diane Hochman, Donald Trump, or any other great achiever you care to mention has.

The distinction, the radical difference between them and me, is how I choose to allocate that time. Somehow, without my awareness, that allocation got skewed toward the unimportant, the paltry and the immediate.

I've been jumping from project to project, without a plan or goal, always with the underlying assumption that I must rush because "I don't have enough time" to get it done.

What I have manifested is a house full of half-completed projects, a stagnant business and a mind so distracted by things-I-should-be-doing that I'm exhausted before I start.

I believe that every little half-done project, every niggly broken thing that makes me think "I really should fix that", drains a little of the attention I should be paying to things like building my business or writing. They suck my strength and distract from the now. Plus they create clutter, stagnation and that feeling of being spread so thin that nothing feels real anymore.

Despite this scattered approach, I have nonetheless managed to attract some really exciting projects and powerful people that are just waiting to lift me to the next level, and because of this, I need to take some Massive Action (as per Tony Robbins) to regroup, reorder and refocus.

So here is my plan for this coming week, and if you find that you don't have the time to get done the things that are truly important - the stuff that will actually make a difference five years from now - then join me in Creating Time.

My Focus :
To ReAllocate my Time to DeClutter and Complete Projects, thereby Creating Time to Grow My Self and my Business.
My Goal : To Create a Vacuum for Prosperity

To do this, I will :

1. Choose a room in which to spend 15 minutes just decluttering and putting things in their rightful spot. Start with the most cluttered room (my office) and work round the house from there. (I use the Fly Lady System for decluttering - works every time)

2. Do this BEFORE I turn on my pc and check email.

3. I will keep a notebook with me and jot down projects that need finishing, things that need repairing, etc, so that I can keep my focus on just getting rid of stuff.

4. If schedule and family allow - I will do this twice a day. But once a day will still be cause for congratulation.

5. I will do this daily until I can breathe freely again.

So if I'm somewhat scarce on FB and Twitter, you'll understand.
I'll be back soon.

PS : This cool "Whatever" clock is available here.



ac.count.a.bil.i.ty (uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee)

1. the state of being accountable, liable or answerable

I do believe that President Harry Truman, upon whose desk in the Oval Office this sign sat, would be absolutely horrified at just how much "the buck" gets passed in today's society. The lack of accountability is epidemic and spreads across all demographics :
  • People don't budget or save, and then expect Social Security to pay for their old age;
  • they sign for huge mortgages without due diligence, and hold the banks to blame when they lose their house;
  • kids don't do their homework or pay attention at school, and the teachers are held liable;
  • video game designers are blamed for everything from failing grades to school massacres;
  • you get my point.
So I was absolutely horrified to discover that I too have succumbed to this plague. Without my being aware of it, I have slid into a set of comfortable "reasons" for my lack of stellar success in my MLM business in particular, and abundance creation in general:
  • My sponsor is in another state;
  • I'm very busy in my other job/s;
  • I don't know many people in this state;
  • I need to be at home with my family;
  • etc, etc.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?

And slowly but surely, this "excuse-itis" has infected other endeavors :

  • I can't be on stage until I get rid of my English accent;
  • I can't lose weight because I have digestion issues;
  • My husband/children/schedule make -fill in the blank - difficult;
  • etc, etc, etc.
But once again, the Law of Attraction flexed its muscle, and no sooner had I noticed my malady, when, voila!, the remedy appeared in the form of The Action Accountability Program, facilitated by none other than the Greatest Networker, John Milton Fogg. Out of many, many applicants, I was chosen, and as if to remove absolutely all possible excuses, it's FREE!

Plus, as an added bonus, I got partnered with a Prosperity coach!!! How cool is that?

The Universe couldn't have shoved me any harder if it tried!

So here I am, ready to start; ready to hold myself accountable, and to finally, take action.

In parting, I have a challenge for you, Dear Reader. Who are you blaming for your current condition? Your parents? Your spouse? The previous government? The current government?
I'm here to tell you - this attitude does not serve you!

Accountability leads to acceptance, and only then can we move into action. And then we can finally accept the abundance that is our birthright.

I leave you with one final thought:
"I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself."
Walter Anderson

I am responsible. I am accountable to no-one but myself.
I am brimming with excitement and anticipation, and not a small amount of stage fright!
The spotlights are bright in my eyes.
Ladies aaaaand Gentlemen. Jacqui has entered the building!

Wishing you Bliss and Blessings,


The Way I See It

"The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you
you're not good enough.
On occasion, some may be correct.
But do not do their work for them.
Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal.
Don't take it personally when they say "no" -
they may not be smart enough to say "yes"."
Keith Olberman - broadcast journalist and host

This is a point very near to my heart, and quite possibly one of the keys to the length of time it's taken for me to ascend to the top of life's ladder.

I have always been very quick to "do their work for them", and this mindset has lead to a lot of "not doing". Not auditioning; not writing; not making myself heard.

Enough already! On the advice of a passage in a Louise Hay book, I took some quiet time and wrote down a list of all the things I'm good at. A little slow at first - why is this so hard? But then faster and faster, until my beautiful Cross fountain pen was fairly flying across the page!

I will keep this list in a safe place, to read through on days when "they" have got into my head - but I have a feeling, those days won't be very often.

If you, Dearest Reader, are feeling ordinary; put down or put upon; take some time to do this exercise. Any exercise is good for the body - this one is good for your heart, your soul, and your very existence.


Being Normal

I found this wonderful quote on a scrumptious blog that I like to drown in when I'm feeling .... well, ordinary!

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage."
Practical Magic

and so I look around at the vignettes of my life, and I notice:

I have a fish in a blender on my kitchen counter;

My Buddha wears a crown, and bling;

I have a landscape in my fireplace to keep out the draft;

and I have had way more than my allotted 15 minutes of fame.

And I realize that I, like so many others
who shelter under the cloak of suburban normality,
am so very, very far from ordinary.


Forever one.

There is definitely romance in the air! I wrote this as a comment on a Twitter friend's blog and it morphed into a blogpost of my own.

Malcolm and I have been together since I was 17. We married when I was 18 and he was 24, (we would have waited but the Army offered double pay and sleep-off-the-base if you were married!) and the fact that that was 27 years ago amazes me daily. How could he know from just one meeting that I would grow up to be the right woman for him? I was nothing more than a flighty teenager; theater mad and angst ridden; determined to be hugely famous doyenne of the stage with a jetset lifestyle and admirers in every port.

My how things change! I don't remember exactly when that vision changed from "me" to "us". Could've been when I held my tiny, newborn niece and decided I wanted one of these for myself. Or perhaps when I realized that the frenzied rollercoaster of theatrical life (they don't call it drama for nothing!) was all the sweeter for being able to get off the ride and retreat to the sanctuary of a peaceful home and predictable stability.

I do believe that we are ever-growing and changing, some say that you reinvent yourself every seven years, and perhaps THAT is the greatest obstacle to a long-term marriage. It is a challenge to change and grow TOGETHER; to keep pace with one another; to find and embrace your authentic self and to still like and love the person your spouse is becoming.

Someone said that it's not so much that I love this person, it's that I love the person I am when I'm with them.

Because of my husband, because of his love, understanding and dependability, I have grown into a confident, accomplished, and above all, happy woman. And for that I am grateful, every single day.


25 Random Facts about Me

This is a copy of my Facebook post - I got tagged!

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. And so it goes on ...

So here's my list:-

1. I can't believe there's anything anyone doesn't know about me since I think I talk way too much.

2. I always feel fat and plain - regardless of how I look or what other people say.

3. I truly believe that you attract what you focus on, so am working on #2 above.

4. People think I'm joking when I refer to myself as a Goddess - I'm not.

5. My husband is the Center of my Universe.

6. I love my children dearly - and I really like and admire the adults they've grown up to be.

7. I hate bad manners more than anything. Especially people who continue to talk on their cell phones while placing their order at Starbucks. Don't they realize how RUDE that is?

8. People who do not put their hands in front of their mouths when they yawn annoy me intensely. Really people, I have no desire to see your spit strands or back teeth!

9. Decorating lavishly on a very small budget is my newest skill. Creating beauty out of nothing is my passion.

10. I would love to be able to speak French.

11. I feel guilty that I have never had even a moment of homesickness for South Africa.

12. I prefer to watch sport (any sport, but especially football and basebal) rather than anything else on tv. Except basketball - I really don't like basketball.

13. And while I love tennis - I absolutely cannot stand the Williams Sisters!

14. Never, ever lie to me. I might forgive you, but I will never forget it or trust you again.

15. I dream of getting a facelift, tummy tuck and bum lift, with no pain and a 24 hour recovery period.

16. I enjoy being different, but I'm very nervous of being too 'out there'.

17. I have very little tolerance for people who repeatedly make the same stupid choices.

18. I believe life can and should be lived richly, regardless of income or circumstance.

19. I wish I could have a life of historical significance, so that people will know who I am while I'm alive, and remember me when I'm gone.

20. I deeply regret not taking my theater career to professional levels.

21. I am an applause/appreciation junkie, which is why I am happiest on stage. And also why I miss it so much.

22. I never watch any movie that involves horror, gore, sadness, children, animals, or gratuitous violence. I get too involved and carry the emotions with me for days afterwards.

23. I find people totally fascinating.

24. I am a light-weight as far as alcohol goes - a half glass of wine will have me under the table.

25. I believe that swearing (using four-letter words as verbs, adjectives, and every word in between) is a sign of mental laziness and a limited vocabulary.

(I apologize if the last item offends anyone, but there is ALWAYS a better word that could be used.)

Bonus extra - I would always rather apologize than create a confrontation.

Well, I did it. This is the fifth draft since there's a fine line between "random facts" and "too much information"! LOL


Photoshop Me!

I have so often wondered what I would look like if I had access to the grooming, pampering and airbrushing that the stars have.

Well, thanks to my friend and photographer extraordinaire Jimmy Flix - now I know.

And staring at myself, "practically perfect in every way", I am buffeted by some very mixed emotions.
  • Longing - oh how I wish I really looked like this! No wrinkles, blotches, and the racoon-type circles under the eyes are gone.
  • Envy - not easy to admit, but deep down I am just a teeny-weeny bit jealous of the women who can afford to have the kind of polishing, treatments, and yes, procedures that achieve this kind of result in the real world.
  • Resignation - now really, let's face it, I am never actually going to look this good in real life.
  • Annoyance - dammit, why not?
  • Acceptance - but it's ok. There are those who love me anyway. Wrinkles and all.
It's an interesting debate, though. Should one strive for this kind of glamorous perfection - presupposing of course that that is what your heart desires - or should one believe the mantra that "it's what's inside that matters" . Isn't that something some well meaning parent or teacher would say - in those syrupy, sympathetic tones that leave your already fragile self-esteem shattered at your feet?

Following the mindset of the Secret, if I focus on the illusion long enough, will it not become real?
What is reality anyway, if not an illusion upon which we all agree?

I saw a Twilight Zone episode in which all women, once they reached 18 years of age, were required by the State to undergo a procedure which basically turned them into supermodels. The story centred on a girl who didn't want to undergo this transformation, and her passionate battle to remain just as she was. I remember her stating that in making everyone beautiful, they were basically making everyone the same. In this Utopia there was no room for wrinkles, saggy skin, crooked noses - indeed, individuality of any kind.

And I do believe in individuality.

So while I love my airbrushed Perfect-Self in the picture, I think I can be happy just being my Best-Self, ever changing, ever improving, always unique.

Viva la Difference!


Pictures from the Old Country

They say a picture can paint a thousand words, but sometimes there are a thousand memories in there too.

A long time, very dear friend sent me a link to a blog devoted to Port Elizabeth, the harbour city known now for its illustrious son Nelson Mandela, where my gypsy family finally settled in 1970.

Browsing through the exquisite photos posted here, I was transported into the past. Here's a picture of the maternity home, previously a colonial malaria clinic, in which both my babies were born; there's one of the mini "traffic lights" where they learned their road skills so many years ago.

If you ever get the chance to visit South Africa, dearest Reader, please do not confine your trip to the majesty of Cape Town or the flashy lights of Johannesburg. There is a gem just a little further up the coast in which the true heart of the country can be heard strongly beating.


Thoughts on a Tea Tray

In the spirit of my New Year resolution to expect more of, and for myself, I set up this tea tray today for my usual afternoon cuppa.

You have to understand that usually this entails a tea bag of PG Tips (best British tea ever - strong, robust, serve with milk) tossed into a large white cup, and brewed with none of the ritual such an revered beverage deserves. How did I stray so far? Perhaps it comes from serving multitudes of melted candy bars in paper cups and calling it "coffee". But I digress ...

So back to my tea. It occurred to me while puttering around my kitchen, laying out the tray, draping the cloth just so, warming the pot and pouring just enough milk into the cup, that this tray is a pictorial representation of so many parts of Me!

Let me elaborate, dear friends. The tea pot is a Yixing dragon, a Christmas gift this year from my daughter and her new husband. He has been named Mooshoo and as befitting his lineage and history, has been formally introduced to the other seven dragons that reside in my house. One object to symbolize so many things that I love; my beautiful daughter, the man that loves her, and all things Oriental.

I must insert a caveat here. One of my more global resolutions for this year is to boycott all things Made in China. While I love the Chinese culture, art and tradition, and have yet to meet a Chinese person who has not become a friend, I cannot continue to support a regime that systematically destroys individuality and personal freedom. The recent developments in Tibet just pushed me over the edge, but this is fodder for another post entirely, so we will return for the moment to my tea tray.

Aaah, the tray. A remnant from the starter kit I purchased for the second of my Network marketing endeavours (British spelling, in honour of the tea!). An item redolent with unrealised expections, but an nonetheless undimmed faith in the industry it represents.

A side note here - I am creating another blog to explore and deal with exactly this situation. I've called it "The Burned Out Network Marketer" and it'll be geared towards all those folk who believe that MLM should work, and have tried very hard but can't understand why it doesn't work for them. Again, more on that later.

Did you notice my exquisite tea cup? It's vintage Royal Albert, made-in-England china and it's part of a set that belonged to my grandmother. I think they were for special occasions - you know, like when the Father Holything came for tea - and I don't remember ever being allowed to used them as a child. I noticed them tucked away in a cupboard in my parent's kitchen in SA when I was there last November and my mom was kind enough to let me bring them home with me. Each cup exemplifies my passion for all things vintage and beautiful, and links me to a time where quality was valued over quantity, and every day had a little soul-feeding ritual in it.

Finally, the white handmade lace cloth is one I picked up from my friend Kressa's flea market for only a dollar! Here is where my love of luxury and the finer things of life meets my frugal nature and inner Scrooge. Throw in an abhorrence of waste and an almost fanatical devotion to recycling, reusing and refurbishing, and you understand why an trip to Goodwill or a fleamarket can count as a highlight in my day. And this passion has sown the seed of yet another blog which I will call Luxe for Less, in which I will share my tips and tricks for living a finer life on as few dollars as possible while still completely avoiding Walmart! It's really the way I've created our beautiful home in the States and I've studied and learned so much over the years and I can't wait to share it all with you.

So I'll leave you with a few thoughts. Please be kind to yourself this year. Honour yourself and renew your spirit a little each day with small personal rituals. Take a moment to savour the finer things in life, whether it's the softness of a cashmere scarf; a sip of tea from a whisper-thin cup; or something a simple and precious as a slow... deep... breath.


Wake Up Call!

Picture this. The New Year begins with a horrible reality check. A couple of cold hard facts (or more accurately, cold hard numbers - see previous post) prove irrefutably that a lot of Musing and not much Manifesting had been going on throughout 2008.

Not a good start and I must admit, I was feeling small and useless, a sad shrivelled up version of my usual Abundant self. But, experience has taught me that the best balm for a miserable soul is a cup of fabulous coffee, sipped while leisurely wandering the aisles of a fabulous bookstore.

So I found myself last week in the Self Help section of Barnes and Noble, which while not quite as fabulous as my local independent bookstore, does provide one a vast array of possible remedies to whatever ails you.

I was so engrossed in the first luscious sips of said coffee, cup up to my nose, eyes closed, that I almost fell over the floor display for Larry Winget's new book.

Ok, this counts as more than just a nudge from the Universe. This is a "well-if-you-can't-take-a-hint-I'll-shove-your-face-in-it" type of move.

I stood there and looked at the title, and just smiled.

In my head I heard a small, resigned little voice say :
Hi, I'm Jacqui Gates and I have been an idiot.

What else can you call someone who knows what they should be doing to make themselves healthier and wealthier (or at least has a damn good idea!), and yet doesn't actually do it?

Or someone who whines about regaining 10lb but still buys bags of jelly beans "for the kids"? (Those kids ain't gonna see none of them jellybeans!)

Or someone who has the perfect vehicle for financial success, but doesn't spend any time on it?

Or who owns a library of self help and finance books and yet still wastes money at the mall buying stuff she could/should do without?

That person would be called an idiot - and that would be me.

If you ever catch yourself doing stuff you know will make you unhealthy, unwealthy (I just made that word up!), or is just plain unwise, then this is a great book to read. Larry is not called the Pitbull of Personal Development for nothing, believe me.

Without pulling any punches, he lays out in no uncertain terms just how we are sabotaging our own lives, and why there is no-one else to blame for our dismal situations but ourselves.

Personal accountability is somewhat out of fashion at the moment, what with government bailouts and people being "forgiven" for defaulting on home loans they couldn't afford in the first place, but in truth, we all create our own realities and I have to own up and take full responsibility for mine.

I feel like I've had an intervention! And some very exciting things have been happening since I stopped whining and started doing.

Former Idiots Unite! There's still time to create that life of Abundance! We don't have to wait for anyone's permission - in fact, we don't have to wait for anything.

The time for action is Now. Ready?


The Power of Numbers

Have you ever let a number totally and utterly ruin your day? I was blindsided this morning by two hugely powerful numbers – so powerful they actually made me physically sick.

The first number : 141.9

Not so huge really – everything is relative, right? Could be a good number if it were, say, tips for a few hours work, or the total of phone order for candles. But no. This was the number on my scale this morning. It stared malevelantly up at me, mocking my previous achievement of 133.2 and delivering a body blow (pardon the pun!) that made my head swim. An obvious, indefensible indictment of my complete lack of culinary discipline ever since I left for South Africa in November.

I tried to tell myself it didn’t matter. That I could lose it all in a week or two.But deep in my ever-expanding gut, I knew I was lying to myself - again.

I could hear Rhonda Byrne’s self-satisfied little voice on “the Secret” audiobook telling me that she now maintains her perfect weight of 116lb (coincidentally my perfect weight too) and “can eat whatever I like.”

And my gut whispers back, “That’s obviously not working for you.”

The second number : somewhere between 500 and 1000

MINUS somewhere between 500 and 1000!

The total amount of money I wasted/lost/frittered away last year on my MLM business. Yes, I sold over $2,500 in just 3 home parties – a fact not to be discounted when looking at the huge potential of this business – and had I done more of said events, things would probably have looked a great deal better. But too much “organizing” and not enough actual selling can only result in a loss and a large red figure on the balance sheet.

I just didn’t realize how big a loss it would be. It sort of crept up on me in small payments for candles I didn’t sell and a website nobody visited.

I am so disappointed in myself that my head aches and I am nauseous to the pit of my stomach.

And all the while, there’s this debate going on in my head :

· So , this is going to be … let me see … the FIFTH network marketing company that you’re going to fail at?

· Talking about it is only going to attract more of the same. You know The Secret! Stop focusing on the failure!

· Your husband doesn’t really want you to do this anyway. He doesn’t believe it’ll work.

· But there are so many women out there who are succeeding at this business, when in truth they don’t have your skills or abilities.

· So why do you keep tanking?

· Can’t you ever finish anything?

Aaah, there’s the rub!

It’s all about FINISHING – all about the follow through!

So many things given up on – the weight loss; the business; the innumerable decorating projects littered around my house.

Coincidentally – is there really such a thing as coincidences? – I read a quote by Harv Eker in which he says the reason 99% of people fail at anything is because they give up too early. Or words to that effect.

So here’s the Main, Non-Negotiable Goal and Resolution for 2009 –

Whatever I start, I will Finish! Or I will follow through until I succeed.

And as though the Universe wants to prove that there’s no coincidences – here’s the quote printed on my Starbucks coffee cup this morning –

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating –

in work, in play, in love.

The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic,

from the fear that likes to dress itself up

and parade around as rational hesitation.

To commit is to remove your head

as the barrier to your life.”

Anne Morriss – Starbucks Customer from NYC