About Avril

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Magic of boredom - a great article from 'The Magic Onions' website


A great article from 'The Magic Onions' website:
We have it wrong.  Being bored is good for our children.  We are not being good parents by making sure our children are constantly busy.  We are, in fact doing our kids a disservice.  We are keeping something really amazing from them.   For it is after these dreaded declarations of boredom that our children tap into something magical... It is after they've travelled through the discomfort of having nothing to do, after they have flopped onto the couch in dismay and stared out of the window at the rustling leaves.  It is after this emptying of their minds that wonderful imaginings come to them.  Beautiful unique thoughts and ideas.  This is when they find their creativity... and imagination and inspiration.  It's amazing to watch.  Being bored is infinitely good for our children.

Read the full article from 'The Magic Onions' here...

The Ultimate Happiness Prescription - A recommended read!

‘The Ultimate Happiness prescription’ by the wonderful Deepak Chopra is an insightful and inspiring read and one that I highly recommend.  He talks about one of the leading theories of happiness, what causes suffering and the seven keys to enlightenment and contentment.   
H = S + C + V
Happiness = Set Point + Conditions of living + Voluntary Activities
Researchers have found that 40% of happiness depends on your ‘Set Point’ which refers to your genes and your upbringing (Nature and Nurture).  Children’s brains have neurons that mirror the brains of adults around them, so if a child is surrounded by unhappy adults, the nervous system will be programmed for unhappiness even before he has any cause for unhappiness himself.
The good news is that neither your brain nor your genes are fixed structures, they are constantly changing and evolving.  Research has shown that the brains set point can be changed through: 

Ø  Drugs (not ideal as it’s a short term with potential side effects)
Ø  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Ø  Meditation
Living conditions only account for 7% to 12% of happiness. 
Almost 50% of the happiness formula depends on Voluntary Activities which are the things we choose to do every day.   According to researchers, making other people happy proves to be a fast track to happiness and its effect is long lasting.  Turning to creative expression to make yourself happy can also generate positive results that last a lifetime. 
According to the Vedic and Buddhist traditions of ancient India, 5 main causes were linked to suffering and the unhappiness it causes:
1.       Not knowing your true identity
2.       Clinging to the idea of permanence in a world that is inherently impermanent
3.       Fear of change
4.       Identifying with the socially induced hallucination called the ego
5.       Fear of death
Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to wrestle with five causes of suffering.  They are all contained in the first:  ignorance of your own identity.  Once you experience who you really are, all suffering will come to an end. 
He then talks about the 7 keys to enlightenment
1.       Be aware of your body
2.       Find true self esteem
3.       Detoxify your life
4.       Give up being right
5.       Focus on the present
6.       See the world in yourself
7.       Live for enlightenment
To me the key messages are that some of us are lucky to come from a great nature and nurture set point but if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you cannot change it.  Living conditions are only a small contributor to happiness and what really matters is how you choose to live your life, turning to your creative expression and how important it is to not get mindlessly wrapped up in the delusion of the ego!


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Just start it!

The difference between a dream and a reality is just doing it!  I really believe this statement to be true and ideas are not always perfect but if you can accept that things will evolve as they need to along the way (learn as you go) and just commit to making decisions and executing them, then this is how I believe you can transform ideas into reality.  Determination is definitely required and I don't think you roll alone... you need other people (most people love to help - passion and enthusiasm are highly contagious, everyone wants a piece of it!) 

3 and a half years ago I had a little idea about developing some characters and stories that help kids manage tough emotions and to feel brave.  A very innovative and creative friend said that he thought this idea had legs and that I should just start writing down my ideas and talking to people about it.  So I made the decision to do that (I really believe that everything is about making decisions)

I had read that writing a book is like having a child, you birth it but then it takes a life of it's own and this idea certainly has had a life of it's own.  I have discovered that what evolves is a mixture of your own growth and growth from all of the people that you talk to about it and share ideas with.  Some help and mentor, others don't like it (heaven forbid!) but every interaction is useful in calibrating and shaping what it becomes (even if some feedback is disappointing or hurts your ego). 

What started as a book idea then turned into a TV show idea (but TV is super expensive and risky on an unproven concept), then went back to a book idea.  I managed to sign with a Literary Agent who believes in it.  The publishing journey can be long and gruelling so whilst I work on that side with my Agent, in parallel I wanted to now commit to who the characters are and start testing some organic and sustainable products in the market with the content on.  What if a child had something they loved wearing or looking at that also had a story or poem on it that an adult could read to them?   Content and stories can be anywhere now which is so creative and I love working with this idea.  Also - words are powerful!   I like to have really good words around me all the time.  I hope other people do too.

So this brings me here.  Three and a half years later, I feel like I'm shifting gear and Feel Brave is taking on a new beginning as I now start to truly execute a business plan and evolve the writing.  I hope that I can share ideas with you that give you some value and inspiration on your own brave journeys in transforming ideas into reality, becoming more conscious, living your passion every day and finding happiness and contentment.