Your Recipe for Success

Welcome to Mind Recipes

Mind Recipes…………..What does this name mean to you? For me,  just like in cooking, I add different ingredients to my self development journey.  Are you a person who serves up the same recipes everyday in your life, and wonder why things don’t change? Or, are you like me, and use many different Recipes for Your Mind?

Wait….what does cooking and self development have in common?  Well, I believe that there are times in life, that you will want  to taste the dish along the way. Sometimes you need to add a little bit more sugar, or a little bit more salt, depending on the outcome you are trying to achieve. There are times I scan my recipe books for that different dish, sometimes I use the tried and true recipes that were passed down to me from my Mother. It can also depend who I am cooking for – is it just for me or do I have the family to consider?

This is the basis for this site. There are many recipes from all over the world that I can try. Some are suitable for me, some are not, but I have the choice. It is exactly the same in life.

I have made many mistakes along the way, but over the past few years, I have looked at these “mistakes” as an opportunity to learn, and discover new ways of living and achieving. Some of my recipes just didn’t work out at all, but I learned from those disasters.  Other recipes were fantastic, I wanted to  experience them over and over again. The story behind the name is that I choose to believe I have an option of what I put into my life, how much I will add, will it be spicy, savory or sweet – it is my choice what to cook, and decide what flavors I will add. You also have this amazing choice. Will you keep using the same old recipes of your life or will you decide to try a new dish altogether?

…… The power of choice – what a great power to have, a power we all possess. If you are not happy with your life as it is presently, make the changes NOW. It doesn’t matter at first if you are not sure the exact steps to take. The important thing is that you begin to look at your present life, and decide you will make changes. This is what we will be discussing as we move along in your journey.

Before you tell me that I have no idea what your life is like, and I possibly could not understand what they are going through, let me agree with you right now. I DO NOT know what you are going through. The important thing is you know what you have gone through, and want to make some changes. This blog is about my thoughts on life, and the changes we can all make, to make a difference in each and every one of our lives.  It may not be the large “Ahh-Haa” moment that we hear about constantly, but recognizing where you are in this moment, and being honest with yourself, (that’s a big step) , and moving towards where you want to go. I encourage all my readers to make comments on any of my articles.

Open discussion can bring about change. Simply writing down your thoughts on a topic can bring the issues to your conscious rather than leaving those thoughts buried in your subconscious.  Those thoughts are there whether you recognize them or not. The way to tell is by looking at your results in life. I am not only talking about your financial situation, but look at your relationships (both intimate and personal) and health. If your life isn’t ideal, do you believe you deserve better?  Of course, I can hear you say. I really do want to be healthier, happier and wealthier. Who wouldn’t?  However, many of us are not aware that we do things on a daily basis that prevent us from gaining what we want.
I am not saying that life will be without issues once you make the decision to make some changes. I know in my own life, understanding what was going on around me, and more importantly what was going on inside me was an amazing discovery. For many years I had reacted to external events, and pushed against things I didn’t want. It took me a long time to realize that this pushing was in fact, attracting more of the same issues towards me. I saw it over and over again within my own life and those around me. How many people do you know that after a failed relationship, go onto a new relationship and have the same issues and problems with the new partner?  Or it may be a work problem. You leave a job because of problems, and guess what, the same things occur in the new job.

The only consistent is you. The great thing about this is that YOU can do something about it. Welcome to your journey. Please feel free to make any comments about the articles on this site,  and most importantly, enjoy your Recipe for Success.

Energy Vampires

Energy Vampires

I originally posted this a few years ago, but recent conversations have led me to re-post. Let me know what you think.

Do you feel tired and drained after being with some people? You know the ones – after spending time with them, you feel that you just need to go and lie down. They have sapped you of your energy, and your strength has diminished. They may be family, co-workers or friends. They come in all ages, and can be loud and overbearing or quiet and shy. They may even appear happy and confident, but they all have one thing in common – they are Energy Vampires.

What Is An Energy Vampire?

Energy Vampires usually aren’t even aware of the negative effect they have on people. To them, their life is in ruins, and they want as many people as possible to know about it. They often have had some tragedy in their life, but this is exacerbated by the continuous movie re-runs that play in their head. They are also expert at blaming other people for their circumstances – nothing is ever their fault, and they take no responsibility for events that happen in their life.

Their negativity about everything is endless. If something good “accidentally” comes into their lives, they are always looking for the negatives in it, or the person or circumstances that will take it away. By now, if you have Energy Vampires in your life, I am sure you have a list of people this description fits. Now, you need to know what you can do about it.

How Do I Handle Energy Vampires?

  1. Write down the list of people you thought of when you read the above paragraph. Recognize the impact they are having on your life. Keep in mind that Energy Vampires thrive on negative energy, and encourage you to be negative as well. Misery loves company.
  2. Recognize that you cannot fix their problems, and in reality, they don’t want you to. They want someone to vent at. If they truly were interested in a solution to their problems, they would work on that rather than spending time discussing the same issues over and over.
  3. Limit the time you spend with Energy Vampires. If this is impractical,  limit the scope of conversations you are willing to have with them. Set your boundaries. Practice ways of limiting your conversation time -”You are on your way to a meeting, an appointment or to pick up the children.” Don’t be available whenever they want to vent.
  4. When you feel the conversation is heading down the old path AGAIN, turn it back for them to take action. Ask questions – “You have identified your problems, now what are you going to DO about them? The automatic response will continue to be negative. Again, this is where you need to set your boundaries. Make it clear that until they take action to rectify or move towards a solution, you no longer want to talk about that subject with them. BE FIRM. They will keep going back, as this is their comfort zone, but stand your ground. They will get the message, if you don’t give in. Don’t allow yourself to engage in the same conversations that their life is unfair, everyone else gets a better go, or nobody really understands them.
  5. Be aware that there may come a time when you recognize that these Energy Vampires should no longer be in your life. This sounds harsh, but when you continuously spend time with negative people, you may very well, end up as the next Energy Vampire to others.

Being a supportive, caring person is something I always aspire to. There is a difference between a person going through a time when they need their friends and family support, and having a person they can discuss their feelings with. This person is not an Energy Vampire – they are simply a person needing support.

However, an Energy Vampire has the same issues time and time again, does nothing to rectify the problem, and engages as many people as possible into their misery. They are the people you need to be firm with. They can have a very real effect on you. Your time, resources and energy are important, and you may need to either limit your time with these people or divert the conversations away from their favorite topic – their dramas.

They will feel better after dumping all their rubbish on you, and it is important that you don’t take that load upon yourself – because energy vampires will have another story for you tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

Simple Tips to Survive and Thrive at Christmas

Simple Tips to Survive and Enjoy Christmas

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas? Is it happy times with friends and family, enjoying a break, relaxing and something to look forward to. Or is it stressful, full of family disappointments and sadness?

There are so many things to organize, presents to buy and sometimes those occasions with family can be uncomfortable and not overly pleasant, and then there are the crowds to contend with to buy presents and food. Sounding familiar?

As in everyday life, there may be things that can go a little bit astray at this time of the year. However with simple planning and decisions on your part can make all the difference to your enjoyment of this holiday period.

Here are some tips to survive and enjoy your Christmas.

  1. Remember you only have control over your behavior. Christmas is no different than any other time of the year. It is unrealistic to suddenly expect your mother to accept your partner or that your father will be happy to have all your children or that sibling rivalry will suddenly disappear just because it is Christmas if it doesn’t occur any other time of the year. Go to these gatherings with the decision that YOU will do all you can to enjoy the day. Bring your smile and laughter, and it is up to the other people gathered how they will react.
  2. Spread the Christmas spirit. Whilst shopping for all those presents, and of course the Christmas food, decide before hand that this is all part of a wonderful celebration. Wish the checkout operators a Merry Christmas; thank the assistants for their directions, and most importantly don’t leave everything until the very last minute. When you hear the “Scrooges” complaining about ‘this time of the year’ and the commercializing of Christmas, remember everything is viewed through your own perception. Christmas, like anything will be commercialized if that is what you believe it is. I choose to think of this time as a time of celebration, a time to spend with family and friends, a time of great happiness. If people you come in contact with choose to be miserable during this time, don’t allow them to suck you into their “pity party”.
  3. Set a Christmas budget.  Decide before you go shopping the amount of money you will spend on each present, and your food budget. If you simply cannot afford to buy presents, look for alternatives. Give the gift of your time, make some homemade biscuits or offer to spend a day helping out in their homes or babysit their children. Think beyond the “norm” of gift giving. Wrap your presents as soon as you get them. One less thing to do on Christmas Eve!  You may choose to buy presents for your immediate family only. Explain to your family and friends that this is what you are doing this year. If they choose to give you a gift anyway, that is their choice. You do not need to feel that you have to go out and purchase a gift for them just because they did for you.
  4. Write a list. This is one of my favorite tips. By writing down all the things needed to be done before Christmas, Christmas Eve and especially Christmas Day, when a family member or friend asks what they can do to help, you have you list ready, and they can choose what to do. Share the workload – people actually like to help.
  5. Set reasonable expectations for yourself. If you are hosting Christmas, things do not have to be perfect. Your family and friends would much prefer a happy relaxed host, than a perfect table setting. If you are stressed and barking orders or complaining about having to do it all, no-one will enjoy the perfectly cooked meal or absolutely pristine environment. Expect a mess, and the possibility of a few spilled drinks. Set up the meal in an easy to clean room, or if you are lucky enough to have Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, go outside. Feeding a large group of people in your dining room with the beautiful cream carpets may look beautiful, but will not do much for your stress levels (or the stress levels of your guests) if you are constantly worrying about food or drink being split.
  6. Play music. I love listening to Christmas Carols at this time of the year, but any type of uplifting music will work well.
  7. Look after yourself. After a large meal you tend to feel sluggish. Why not go for a walk or play a game with the children? One of my favorites is to set up the table tennis table and have some fun with all our guests. There have been many wonderful years of table tennis and boche in our back yard after the Christmas lunch has settled.
  8. If you are alone this Christmas why not volunteer to help out at a local charity or invite someone from your neighborhood to share Christmas with you if they will also be alone? Organize a special movie or book or treat that you have been looking forward to just for this day.
  9. Be tolerant of others beliefs at Christmas. This period of time means many things to many different people. Whether you celebrate through worship at a church or through meeting with friends or family, or both, understanding that your way isn’t the only way. Sharing love, laughter and joy in whichever way you choose to celebrate can only create more love, laughter and joy for everyone on the planet.

I would like to wish every a Wonderful Christmas and New Year. Sending you all heartfelt thanks for your support, and may this Christmas be all that you could wish for. I know mine will be.



BeachI am sitting on the beach, pen on the ready and blank pages in front of me.

Time for some new articles for Mind Recipes®, but the ideas were just not flowing.

The breeze is blowing in my hair and the sounds of waves in the background, I find myself getting lost in the moment, staring out to the ocean when I suddenly realized that 30 minutes had passed…..30 minutes of utter bliss where I wasn’t really thinking about anything – just taking in the sights and sounds of this beautiful day.

When I came back to earth, the ideas were flowing and I am frantically writing without even thinking. This is what was needed today – some relaxation and bliss time.

Have you experienced times when there are things to be done or decisions to be made when your head is all a muddle and your thoughts are jumping all over the place?

Whilst we can’t always arrive at the beach and have this time, spending 5-10 minutes or 30 minutes of relaxation/meditation works wonders to clear your mind of the clutter and to begin thinking clearly.

Take some time today just for you. You may not need to write an article or make a decision. You may just need to relax and revitalize yourself.

By spending a few moments a day meditating, going for a walk or spending time in your special place, be that at the beach, under a tree, in a park or a forest, the remainder of your day progresses more productively.

Don’t use “I don’t have time” as an excuse. Create the memories which will last a lifetime.

I was playing with my Grandson at the beach making sandcastles and collecting shells. What a beautiful way to spend the day.

Listening to him laugh and concentrate on building his sandcastle, it really bought home what is important in my life.

It is worth it and YOU ARE WORTH IT. Take the time TODAY.

Happiness After Loss Summit

Happiness after loss summit

When you’ve been through a major, life-changing event, it’s only normal to spend time getting over it. But when you’re OVER getting over it, and want to find happiness again, how do you do that? Well, this August, your days of wondering and struggling are over.

My friend Lois McCullough has put together an amazing online event, with 21 loss and happiness experts, who will inspire you to bring happiness and joy back into your life, and to move forward from now on, with renewed energy and a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.

I’m excited to be a guest speaker as part of The Art of Happiness after Loss Summit, http://bit.ly/1squJ9a and I can’t wait for you to join me!

The 21-day online tele-summit event begins on August 1st, and it’s FREE!

Click here to reserve your seat! http://theartofhappinessafterloss.com http://bit.ly/1squJ9a

 When you are ready to get back into a joyful life, it’s nice to know there are others out there who are ready, and eager, to support you. Lois has found 21 of the kindest, most generous experts in the world who understand what you’re going through, and are willing to help you.

 Embrace life again, and find all the joy and happiness you deserve.

 Register now for the August 1st launch! It’s free! http://theartofhappinessafterloss.com http://bit.ly/1squJ9a

Remember, today is the beginning of the rest of your life!

 I’ll see you there!

P.S. Friends help each other. If you have a friend who also wants to find happiness in their life, send them here too! http://theartofhappinessafterloss.com http://bit.ly/1squJ9a


What Creates or Destroys Happiness?

 We each have events happening in our lives which are tragic to us – sadness and pain cannot be compared with others – it isThe happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes how we feel. On a day to day basis though, it may not be those catastrophic events which have the greatest impact on our lives, but those small, seemingly insignificant thoughts and actions we take which create the way our lives turn out. What are your thoughts? Mind Recipes

Are You Living Your Future or Your Past?

Are You Living Your Future or Your Past?

It’s never worked for me before, why would it now? I’ve tried to change  my life, but it never works. It runs in the family – we are all like this. Why bother, only lucky people get the breaks? Does this sound familiar?  Do you believe that what you have done in the past is the only way to your future?

Anthony Robbins believes that “Your past does not equal your future.” and I couldn’t agree more with him!

When you make the decision to change your life, one of things you need to overcome is the belief that your future is a continuation of your past or your parents past. It comes down to what we are focusing on. If your focus remains on all your past failures (something we have all experienced), then we don’t see or feel the successes along the way. We brush them off as insignificant or not even notice them at all. (Please refer to my earlier article entitled “Where is Your Focus?)

Our lives become self-fulfilling. If you believe you are undeserving, a failure, have no luck in relationships, whatever your thoughts are, come about. You expect these results, and believe it or not, you look for these results until they are fulfilled.

On the other side, if you focus on your past successes, it can breed an outlook for continued success. Have a think now about your life and what you are focusing on. Better still, write down the most significant events that have occurred  in your life – do you consider them failures or successes?  If all your events listed are classified as failures, it’s time to break that cycle of thought! Just because you have done things a certain way in the past, does not mean it has to remain the same in the future.

As human beings, we are all capable of changing our lives. I am not saying it is an easy thing to do. However, the first step is recognizing you really do have that capability. You can change your health, you can improve your self worth, you can change your education levels – it is all possible if we choose it.

Look at who you spend your majority of time with. Are they also always looking at the negatives of life?  Do they laugh at your ideas of improving your situation, or do they seem to support you, but in reality sabotage your efforts? This is an extremely important step in changing your future.

What is it you want to change? What are some steps you can take right now to make that change? Who are the people in your life that can assist you? Are there people not yet in your life that can assist you? Are there books and materials available to guide you?  Take control of your life.

Make your future what you want it to be, not what your past has been! Every moment is an opportunity to make the changes. Will you start now, or will you wait until things get better or your luck changes? If you are waiting for these things, your past certainly will equal your future. It really is a matter of making the choices, and changing your life. Your choice – choose wisely!

“The Difference Between a Stumbling Block and a Stepping Stone is How You Use Them.” — Unknown

Stepping Stone or Stumbling Block?

We all have events and situations every day, and I believe that each one of these occurrences can be either bad or good for us. You will have the opportunity presented regularly to interpret and react to many different people and situations. What will guarantee that those opportunities are stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks?It comes down to a few choices we make with each event. Will you be an optimist or pessimist in regard to this person or situation? Will you work to make this productive or destructive? Will you do what is right or what is wrong for you? These are all choices we make that will directly affect whether we move forward or move backward.

Is there a situation you are facing right now that could go either way? Then you have a choice. Choose to be an optimist. Choose to make it productive. Choose to do what is right for you.

When you make these choices, you will find a stepping-stone to fulfillment, rather than a stumbling block to your future.