Month: August 2017

Love a good podcast? Five faves right here…

Happy Sunday lovely readers. Now I have a question – what do you do to make the most of your commute to and from work? Chat with friends (hands free of course)? Argue with talk back radio? Harmonise with the Bieb? If your a public transport queen, are you trawling Instagram? Playing solitaire? Reading? To while away my commute I loved to play Backgammon on my mobile device – until I discovered podcasts!

Grammar Girl, Good Job BRAINStuff You Should Know, Stuff to Blow Your Mind, We Have Concerns, Serial, WTF, My Dad Wrote a Porno, (Hilarious!), The Dinner Party Download. The list goes on! Head phones in, 20 minute verbal mind snacks, screen stare replaced with window view – heaven.  Podcasts can be entertaining, interesting, inspiring – and they don’t require data! Every now and then I even tap into a serious fix of working girl motivation. Nothing like them for starting the day on a positive note!

Girls, here’s a pick of the latest, greatest, best podcasts for women. Upload ‘Casts’ or similar app, down load these babies and you’ll be enjoying your commute just that little bit more.

1. Ted Talks Daily

We all love a good Ted Talk for a little inspiration and when better to listen to one than before you start the work day? The Ted Talks Daily podcast updates every weekday with the latest talks in audio. Topics for everyone, from spirituality to feminism, Ted Talks has it all. Download one for your commute and spark the best conversation topics! Listen here.

2. She Means Business

Carrie Green, author of She Means Business and founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, shares even more of her experiences on life as a female boss on her podcast, She Means Business. Just like her book, her podcast will inspire you to turn dreams into reality and give you the inspiration to achieve anything that you set your mind to. A must listen podcast for we Career Girls! Listen here.

3. She Did It Her Way

Here, Amanda Boleyn chats with a different successful female entrepreneur every week to seek their perspective on the world of successful business women. Filled with women sharing their own personal experiences and providing real insight into what it’s like for a woman starting her own business. Packed with advice, coping tools and first-hand experiences, this podcast will definitely inspire you to kick-start the day with positivity and determination. Listen here.

4. The Receipts Podcast

If you’re looking for something that will ease you into the morning, you’ll love The Receipts Podcast. Four women who are up for talking about any topic thrown at them, discussing anything from relationships to tricky situations. The perfect, light-hearted podcast. Listen here.

5. Happiness Podcast

stressful day at work? The Happiness podcast is sure to uplift you and help you regain trust in yourself to create the happiness you deserve. The perfect self-help podcast to listen to when your spirits need raising, helping you to destress and remember what is important! Listen here.

Tell me about your fave podcasts? Drop a comment below and we’ll add them to the list. Happy listening!

Chosen my flower-girl frock

Hello lovely readers, a tiny plea. Let’s just archive this endless rhetoric around Marriage Equality in the annals of history and vote YES ok? ‘Cos I’ve already picked my flower-girl frocks for my gay buddy’s weddings and I don’t wanna have to fight for a refund!

 

Finding ‘mindfulness’

Hello there lovely readers, now put that device down and listen up. Having trouble doing that? Well today’s blog is all about a whole new, rapidly growing industry focused on helping you do so. Remember the days of Eckart Toll’s ‘The Power of Now’ extolling the virtues of conscious awareness’? Familiar with Yogis and meditation gurus banging on about the virtues of meditation for stilling the mind? Same premise, new buzzword ‘mindfulness’.

Did you know that goldfish now have a greater attention span than we do? Seven seconds while those sweet little suckers have eight!. This due to our febrile attempts to accomplish bigger, greater, more – from the moment we rise, to the second we lay our weary heads upon our lavender spritzed sleep inducing pillows. Yep, time to focus on stilling the mind.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve a whole bunch of chattering monkeys banging away in my head. The same critters who reach a crescendo during post Yoga Shavasana where, instead of focusing on breathing, palm trees and shimmering water, I find myself mentally singing ‘Old MacDonald had a…haeeey macarena!!’

Seems the only time I was able to quell the monkeys was during time spent wandering around France, no deadlines (other than grabbing a baguette before the village closed for afternoon siesta), no expectations, just me, alone with those busy, busy thoughts. Until the day I looked up to take note of a street name on a wall to mark my way home and discovered a mosaic space invader. My quest to find them all (see Space Invaders) soon brought a whole new world into focus.

Before I knew it I found myself marvelling at dappled sunlight through the plane tree leaves, the delicate patterns inside the Arc de Triomphe, the Meccano struts of the Eiffel tower; the weight of massive curtain tassels in the Palace Opera.

I smiled at the pure joy on a little girl’s face as birds alighted on her seed proffered hand. Joined the infectious giggles of twin baby girls, identically attired in white leggings and camel puffer jackets, pushing boats across the pond. (With just a slight distraction as I secretly coveted their impeccably attired mother’s Louis Vuitton cross body patent purse). Tuned into the click of boules. Laughed at the disconnect as a rabble of folk with an assortment of instruments bashed out a tune only they recognised. Cried while listening to the pure notes of a choir in a back street Synagog. Ate a whole bowl of warm, freshly picked market cherries just to feel their burst of sweetness. Sensed the atmospheric feel of impending rain, revelled in the smell of ozone, wet tarmac. Nailed it lovely readers! Mindfulness.

Thing is, we can’t just pootle off on sojourns to escape the everyday busyness of life as we know it today.  We also know we can’t keep clinging to the pretty roundabout horse, losing our sense of inner harmony without consequence. Ask Arianna Huffington (author, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, now owned by AOL) who experienced first hand the detriment of trying to do too much for too long and, after recovering from collapse, now advocates for getting off that goddamned horse. So too Lisa Messenger, founder of the Collective, Camilla (of the Flowing Caftan genre) and so many more.

So what to do to regain our balance? Well darlinks, you can actually app your way to work-life balance and, being queen of apps, I thought I’d build you a little toolbox of said helpers to get you started:

Eight fabulous apps for stilling the mind:

Antisocial: On average, people touch their smart phones 2,617 times a day. This app tracks how much time you spend on your device and helps you become more mindful about your usage.

Buddhify: Eleven hours of meditations designed to squeeze a little peace into every part of your day, from the start of day until you hit the hay.

Bloom: Keep your workaholic tendencies in check by turning your most-loved picks and music into mini-movies that you can schedule to appear during your day; along with pre-made reminders – ‘time for a glass of water sport!’

Thrive Away: Arianna Huffington’s new organisation ‘Care of Thrive Global’ comes with an app that allows you to take a proper vacation from your inbox. Thrive Away let’s senders know your not at your desk and automatically deletes all new emails while you’re relaxing.

OffTime: blocs apps, filters out notifications and sets up auto-replies to stop your smartphone gatecrashing your creative concentration or special moments with loved ones.

Pocket: If you’re prone to falling down internet rabbit holes, this beauty puts articles, tweets, videos – pretty much anything – aside for viewing when you’re not on the job. Save links straight from your browser for the commute home.

Pause: Set a time, pop in those ear buds and do what you’re told by this audiovisual app aiming to bring mindfulness to your day. Big circles, slow motions, my personal fave!

Habitbull: Habits can both enhance or damage your life and this sweet little app will help you make or break a few more. It deploys an army of strategies to keep you across your habits, from generating graphs to displaying progress and encouraging you to set specific goals

Enjoy!! And if you’ve any you’d like to share, please drop a line in the comments.


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