Abundance & Focus!

Is your life full of scarcity & distraction?

Home Internet is very expensive in Oman, so I when I signed up for the Internet I subscribed to an Internet package with a small amount of data. I reasoned that I had access to the Internet at work so there was no need to pay for too much Internet at home. That was true and, to an extent, it served me well. But, I was constantly checking to see how many Internet gigabytes I had left, and then paying a little more money to add extra gigabytes - one gigabyte here and one gigabyte there - so that I had enough to last me to the end of the month.

 I didn’t realise at the time that I was operating from a scarcity mentality. And all just to save a few dollars!!  When I started my blog, I had to spend a lot more time on the Internet, at least at the beginning as I was learning how to do everything. I had to continually check out how to do each little thing. So, I upgraded my monthly Internet plan to make sure that I had plenty of gigabytes. This meant that I didn’t have to call up the Internet provider all the time and I could happily surf the net to find any information that I needed.

 A huge bonus was that I now had plenty of Internet gigs, so I could do a lot more things online. I started watching interesting videos. I could watch Ted talks. I listened to podcasts. Then I started signing up for free online business and mindset related Masterclass lectures to help me get ideas to improve my blog and get more clarity about how I wanted to develop my blog into a coaching business. Boy, was I learning lots and getting more and more enthusiastic about the direction I was heading in! I didn’t realise it, but by upgrading my Internet plan I was actually upgrading my life! Inadvertently, I had given myself permission for abundance and opportunity. The more I focussed my search, the more opportunities started presenting themselves.

 One of the opportunities was a Masterclass called “Playful Prosperity”.  I loved the energy of the coach, the content and the way the content was presented. As it was right up my alley and I really thought that it would be valuable for me, I signed up to do the program. And, I was right! It’s amazing and fun. I am learning so much and getting lots of ideas, as well as support. Lots of the people taking the course are already coaches and speakers, so I can learn from them. We also have weekly live coaching sessions so I get to observe a coach in action. I feel like I am being coached myself.

 The important learning about this situation for me was that, while I was scrimping and scraping with the amount of Internet data and constantly being worried about how many gigabytes I had left and how much it would cost, I was limiting myself and plagued with distraction. This limiting thinking affected everything I did on the Internet. However, when I spent a little more money, I was relaxed and calm, and could follow up anything that I wanted to. No more scarcity distracted lens!

 This made me think about other areas of my life. Is this scarcity mentality only linked to the Internet scenario or does it dominate other areas of my life? If it does affect other areas, how does it show up? Am I so easily distracted in other situations?

 An important lesson that I have learned from these Masterclass lectures is that successful entrepreneurs all have focussed intentional morning routines. Before, I used to get up early with good intentions of doing exercise but I would just spend a few minutes to check my emails first, then the news and Facebook etc, - Oh my gosh I’ve just wasted an hour – oops! Great distraction!! Too late now, time to get ready for work!

 So, I have made some changes to my mornings and my priorities. Now, I start my day with meditation, followed by writing in a gratitude journal, and then some exercise. It feels great. I have made my intention to have a successful life and business more important than distraction. I start my mornings with focussed intention of how I want the rest of my day, and the rest of my life to be.

How you start your morning is how you live your day, and how you live your day is how you live your life! 

What about you? How do you get distracted? How do you start your mornings? Do you limit yourself in some way? 

What are the benefits of shampoo?

I haven't used shampoo or conditioner for about 20 years!

Nowadays, not using shampoo is referred to as the ‘no-poo’ movement.

I use baking soda as a “shampoo” and apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or rosemary tea as a “conditioner”.

 I mix up a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with water in a bottle and pour it over my hair, massage it in, comb it through, and then rinse it out. Then I mix up a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in a bottle with water and rinse and comb it through my hair. Some people say they don’t like the smell of the vinegar, but I find that as soon as my hair dries the vinegar smell disappears. If you use rosemary tea, just make up the tea in a teapot and wait until it cools a bit and then rinse it through. Lemon juice can tend to dry out your hair a bit so it’s good to use that if your hair is oily. Mind you, it does lighten your hair a bit, so if you want your hair a little lighter, go with the lemon juice.

I must confess that I do use shampoo and conditioner on the odd occasion, like when I stay with other people or when I travel, preferably organic. I also use shampoo if I have a massage and my hair is oily from the massage. Baking soda and vinegar doesn’t get rid of the oil, but the shampoo strips it out nicely. It doesn’t matter about the type or brand of shampoo, organic or not, it still strips out the oil. What does that tell you about shampoo?

 If you have oily hair, ask yourself, “Is the shampoo making my hair oilier, so that I have to wash it every day?” The strange thing is that the more you wash your hair, the more you have to wash it. This is because shampoo strips away the oils too quickly, which encourages them to come back quickly to make up for the loss. You can train your hair to be less oily by not washing it for an extra day, and then slowly keep extending this time until you only need to wash it once or twice a week. I've only ever washed my hair once a week and my hair is always soft and shiny. People are amazed when I tell them about my hair washing habits.

 Let me tell you a little story! About twelve or thirteen years ago I was at work and a colleague and I were discussing washing our hair using baking soda and vinegar/lemon juice. Another colleague overheard our conversation and found it very interesting. She decided to try it. Some weeks later after a visit to her hairdresser she spoke to us. She told us that after listening to our conversation she had tried using baking soda and vinegar. At the beauty salon her hairdresser complimented her hair, saying that it was the healthiest he had ever seen it and that it must be because of the expensive shampoo and conditioner that he had sold her on the previous visit. She said that she just smiled at him, but didn’t say a word about the non-use of shampoo and conditioner, which was what had actually made the difference.

 What are the benefits of NOT using shampoo and conditioner?
  1. Hair is healthier:  Hair and scalp are healthier, as illustrated in the story above, and from my experience.
  2. It saves money:  Baking soda and the rinse (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary tea) are cheap, and free if you have your own lemon tree or a rosemary plant.
  3. No nasty chemicals: Many shampoos contain sulphates and other chemicals and additives, which are often said to be no good for your hair or your scalp. Don’t be fooled by shampoo that is labelled “natural”.  It may just be marketing hype making you think it’s good and doesn't contain chemicals. Check the list of ingredients on the label to see just how natural it is.
  4. No packaging. Organic shampoo and conditioner may be better for your hair and the environment than regular hair products, but they are still mostly packed in plastic bottles and those plastic bottles contain lots of chemicals. And, these bottles lay stagnant in the landfill leaching dangerous chemicals into our earth.
  5. Doesn't pollute the environment: Shampoos and conditioner go down the drain. As they go down the drain they poison our environment! 
  6. They are household ingredients. Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, rosemary and lemons have many uses in our food and around the house.

Dignity vs Freedom

What does freedom mean to you?

Last month I saw the headline “Saudi Arabia elected to UN women's rights commission”. Is this a joke? What does Saudi know about women’s rights? Everyone knows that Saudi women have the least personal freedom, by our standards anyway. They can’t drive. They can’t decide for themselves what they want to study. They need their father’s or their husband’s or their brother’s permission to do anything or go anywhere. They can’t travel alone.

But, little by little, inch-by-inch, changes are happening for women in Saudi Arabia. In December 2015 women were given the right to vote in municipal elections. This week, the Saudi King, Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, instructed government authorities that women now have the right to apply for government services, such as government education and healthcare, without approval or consent from their guardians.

 In practice, of course, this may not happen for all women. I remember an interview on TV that I saw a few weeks ago with a Saudi woman . She was being interviewed about this guardian rule. She defended the guardian system by saying that it gives Saudi women dignity, whereas Western women have no dignity.

 No dignity, I thought! Well, as Western woman I may have no dignity in her eyes, but I sure have freedom. If the opposite of dignity is freedom, then I would take freedom any day.

 What does freedom mean to me?

  •  I have the freedom to walk on the beach with my hair blowing in the wind!
  •  I have the freedom to drive anywhere I want!
  •  I have the freedom to live alone if I want to, or with others!
  •  I have the freedom to travel anywhere I want, finances permitting of course! But I can travel with friends, or family, or alone – it’s up to me!
  •  I have the freedom to choose how I travel – by bus, plane, train, boat, drive myself!
  •  I have the freedom to study whatever and wherever I want!
  •  I have the freedom to wear whatever I want, as long as it is culturally appropriate for the country I live in. For example, in Oman where I’m living, I need to have my knees and shoulders covered and not a plunging neckline.
  •  I have the freedom to choose my own work. I can choose jobs in other countries if I want. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in NZ, Australia, London, Morocco, Turkey, Korea, Malaysia and Oman.
  •  I have the freedom to choose my own friends, male and female!
  •  I have the freedom to read or write whatever I want, as long as it's not offensive!
  • I have the freedom to practice whatever religion or spiritual path I want. I can also choose not to follow anything if I want too!

Yes, I would choose freedom over dignity any day!

What about you? What freedoms do you value the most?

Ferry to Khasab

Two ferries docked at Khasab.

We had a day off on Thursday so I knew it was my chance to go from Shinas to Khasab by ferry. This is a trip that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but when I was free in winter the weather wasn’t good and the ferry was cancelled. I’ve already been to Khasab twice by car with friends, so decided that this time I didn’t need to take my car. As I didn’t pay for a car I booked “business class”.

I arrived at the ferry in plenty of time. I had been warned that you needed to get there early as sometimes they leave ahead of schedule. This time, however, we left a few minutes late. I walked through the regular area and into business class. Can you believe it? I had business class all to myself! It was wonderful, so relaxing. I read my book, looked out the window, and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Oil boats off the coast

Not far out of Shinas you can see lots of oil ships. There are so many of them. Amazing! Once you get passed all these ships you just have ocean scenery. We docked at Dibba for about half an hour to allow passengers to disembark and others to board the ferry. From this point on all the way to Khasab you have the dramatic awe-inspiring mountains as the scenery. It’s best to sit on the left-side to see these mountains. I was really surprised when I arrived in Khasab. I had thought that I would get a taxi to the hotel, but there are no taxis in Khasab – not a single one!! So, what did I do? I called the hotel to pick me up of course. All hotels have free pick ups because there are no taxis.

Me posing on the dhow

Telegraph Island

On Friday I went on the all day dhow trip. The company picked me up at the hotel and drove me to the dhow. I can highly recommend this trip. Going out into the sounds is great. We arrived at a point where dolphins hang out. We stayed there to watch the dolphins. Sometime after we had the dolphin hang-out, we were give a real treat, 4 dolphins swam along side out boat. Later on we stopped for a swim in the lovely refreshing water of the Khasab sounds. They advertise it as snorkelling but there isn’t much to see underwater to be honest. The swim was great though. We passed Telegraph Island where you can still see the telegraph lines that were erected by the British in 1864 for communication between India and Britain.  The buildings have long crumbled away. We had two swim stops and lunch on board. The trip is 6 hours altogether and a fantastic way to spend a day in Khasab.

Two of the dolphins

On Saturday morning I went to the Khasab Castle. This is fitted out with furniture. It is well worth a visit. Then it was time to catch the ferry. We left 20 minutes early – so be warned, you really do need to get there early! I had to share business class with others this time, but I was on the right, the view side! And as they were all men they sat on the other side. 

I had a short but energising trip away. I would highly recommend the ferry trip!

 I took a great video of the dolphins. Check out the video below.

Two other dhows


Birds in the sounds

In the wadi

Mosque in town