How to shovel yourself out of the shit!

August 16  |  Adversity, Mindfulness, motivation, overcoming adversity, Self-Help, self-reinvention, self-transformation, single women  |   Cynthia









We all feel down in the mouth at times. It’s part of being human. However, we needn’t stay there for long. Here are some simple tips to help dig yourself out of the vortex.

Prioritise your physical well-being

Practise physical self-love – stop punishing your body – treat yourself to nourishing and healthy foods. A car won’t run properly and reach its destination without the right fuel. Cut down on booze and pills. Pamper yourself. Don’t get into the debating society on this. You deserve it. Find a form of manageable and above all enjoyable exercise in which you can indulge regularly.

Take charge of your emotional state

Claim courage and take responsibility. Accept that we’re not responsible for the tragedies which happen to us but we are responsible for how we react to them and the messes we make of our lives. Identify which areas you play the victim in. Break these areas into bite-size chunks which you can then tackle. Pump yourself right out of that victim mentality. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Care enough about yourself to learn to lighten up. Look for the humorous side in your situation – it really is there, even if you have to emotionally contort yourself to find it. Do so because it’ll be worth it and be measured by the enormous sense of relief you’ll feel.
Stop the name and blame game – take responsibility where you need to and discard the rest. These habits completely destroy your inner power, because they prove that you’re still expecting solutions and changes from others. You’ve no power over anyone else but yourself.

When you’re wallowing in an orgy of self-pity, stop enjoying it. Force yourself out of that tangled up, childish, emotional nappy. What do nappies contain? So why stay there drowning in it? Take positive daily action to help yourself, no matter how seemingly insignificant or minute. This can be as simple as calling an encouraging friend, when all you want to do is sit and stare into space. Small actions like this will propel you out of the navel-gazing, analysis/paralysis syndrome and you’ll soon begin to feel immeasurably better.
Don’t indulge in negative talk. What you focus on expands and what doesn’t get taught, gets caught. Don’t touch it with a bargepole. Read inspiring literature. Keep a gratitude list, not a hit list. Write down five things every night which you’re grateful for, then review your list in the morning. The blessings are always there, even in the worst situation.

Take responsibility for your feelings and reactions.

You’re in charge of your life – no one else. Don’t be immobilised by or afraid of failure. Most seemingly successful people have made it after disastrous failures. Simply pick yourself up, dust yourself down and move on with belief and determination.
Don’t be a victim to others’ expectations. Be yourself at all times. Stop being a people-pleaser and a chameleon. There’s never any need to seek anyone else’s approval but your own and in this area practice does make perfect. Keep your own counsel and have the courage of your own convictions. If you have erred, don’t beat yourself up. Use that energy to forgive yourself.

Stick with the winners and not the whiners

Stick with the winners. Stay resolutely away from people with victim mentalities. Find someone you trust to help you to make a realistic appraisal of your situation. Treat yourself to a mental clear out. Find a support network with positive peer role models. There are thousands of resources out there for every area and every stage of our lives. When you’ve found your role model, be brave enough to ask for help and copy what they do as best you can. What’s the downside?

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Be the boss of your own life!

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May 1  |  motivation, Self-Help, self-transformation  |   Cynthia

boss lady


Last week, I was able to tick off another big dream from an ever growing list, of dreams come true.  On 24 April, I signed a contract with my publisher, for my self-help book, “From Dinner Date to Soulmate – Cynthia Spillman’s Guide to Mature Dating.”

From Dinner Date to Soulmate – Cynthia Spillman’s Guide to Mature Dating

Good things seem to be happening to me in round numbers. I went to Cambridge University when I was 30, this year I’ll be 20 years off the booze, In July, it’s my 10th wedding anniversary. It took me 20 years to find the right publisher for this book. Even my car registration is A20 CYS!  And on a much more sober note, these wonderful things, go some way to eradicating the memories of the bad things that happened in my life – my son died on 20 November, and this year it’ll be 30 years since his death.

Now, I neither know, nor particularly care, what a numerologist would make of all the above.  However, what I’m certain of, is that you make your luck happen. Lady Luck doesn’t just pitch up, knock at your door and give you the key to success and happiness.

Making your dreams come true involves a four-letter word – WORK.  For some of us, it may take years to override our faulty inner tapes. We may have to get professional help to greatly modify, if not totally eradicate the self-harming, damaging story we feed ourselves about our perceived limitations. As one who has done an enormous amount of work on myself these 30 years, in order to not only survive, but ultimately to be happy and contented – I don’t believe that you can ever fully scrub those tapes. They’ve been there way too long and are almost a part of your DNA. BUT – you CAN choose to rewrite your script.

Taking my book as a personal example. I adored my late father, but I joke that he’d have preferred me to say that I wanted to be a hooker when I grew up, rather than a writer, because at least with the former I’d have made a living.  Creativity was deemed to be another four-letter word – SHIT!  Actually, I’ve only just recently realised at 58, how creative I am.  And that it’s perfectly acceptable to be that and it’s not a mortal sin!  My dad has been dead for 5 years now and, despite, the above, I like to believe he’d have been incredibly proud of my literary achievements.

It’s absolutely never too late to achieve your dreams!  Yes – change is excruciatingly uncomfortable, but the pain of actually putting in the effort – rather than just thinking about it and sitting on the self-pity pot – ultimately brings you untold inner riches.

So get off your BUTTS (buts) today, and start to make it happen – one tiny step at a time!

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions – and New Year’s resolutions!

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January 26  |  motivation, New Years Resolutions, Self-Help, self-transformation  |   Cynthia



We’re now almost at the end of January –  which I and many find to be a cruel, cold month, in more ways than one. The silly season is over, you’ve invariably eaten too much, spent excessively and have had to endure the company of people you’d rather not see for another 50 years – never mind going through the whole obligatory repeat pantomime, again in 11 months!

Which leads me to our New Year’s resolutions – those odious decisions we usually make under our own self-imposed pressure,  during the Christmas excess – only for them to evaporate into the ether by the end of January. It’s as if we kid ourselves that if we make these then, we’re somehow atoning for “crimes” about to be committed.

So – how are you doing with yours?  Mine are twofold. Finish the first draft of my book, before our next trip to Nice on 22 March. The second – to lose the blubb which has been dragging me down in body, spirit and soul, for 15 years. The last time I saw my toes, was in the spring of 2002, after I met Peter.  Go figure – if you’ll pardon an awful pun.

Needless to say, given that it took me 15 years to accrue the flab, I’m certainly not going to shift it overnight – much as I’d like to wake up one morning and find my former sylph-like persona grinning self-satisfiedly back at me in the bedroom floor length mirror.  Despair not. One day at a time, I still remain committed to developing a healthy lifestyle. I’ve gone back to yoga and am swimming regularly. My injured dog Lola’s poorly leg is now very much on the mend, so more walkies are in order.  And to the delight of my longsuffering husband – I’m about to dust the cobwebs off the very expensive bike he bought me God-knows how many years ago – and which is sitting in still virginal condition, in the front garden.

For me – I’ve had a light bulb moment of late, and have realised that frustrated creativity leads to a very unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle – one in which I’ll crave sugar and carbs until the cows come home – and will bien sur act on that craving in a self-destructive way.

As for finishing my book by 22 March – actually I think this is really going to happen!  My literary agent is working like a demon and putting it out there to publishers.  I’m feeling super motivated and more convinced than ever that this is gonna rock!

Despondency beware!  Here are my tips for not busting your own, precious New Year’s resolutions:

  • Set realistic goals – if you don’t, you’ll give up the ghost and feel even worse than if you’d not resolved to change aspects of your life this year.
  • Enlist the support of others.  Make yourself accountable – but don’t be harsh on yourself. Remember – you’re human!
  • Put self-care at the top of the New Year’s list – remember you’re worth it!
  • Write down a maximum of 3 resolutions and review them regularly, with an open mind – but don’t use this as a cop out.
  • Chart your previous successes in your journal. These will inspire you to keep going when you feel like quitting.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others – comparisons are odious!

Remember – there’s no such thing as failure – just different ways of looking at things.  There’s always another opportunity to try again. Progress – not perfection – is the watch word here.

Happy New Year!


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