Recently I came across a selection of interviews with singer-song writer, director and business woman Jada Pinkett Smith and what she said really resonated with me. I wanted to give my take on three of the points she talks about ‘how to create success’ in life. Jada Pinkett Simth has an amazing energy and the right kinda attitude to life we can all learn from. In one interview in particular she talks about ‘putting yourself first’ to her young daughter Willow. I truly hope I will be able to pass that kind of wisdom to my own children one day.

Listen and follow your gut

In today’s busy and overstimulated world we sometimes forget that the answers do come from within. We are so busy ‘doing’ what is expected of us that we forget to take the time to reflect on; why we do what we do, whether the things we do are the right ones to pursue or not and what our guidelines are on making the right choices & decision for us? How do you decide if a choice/decision is the right one for you? One thing people who have found their Flow share is their unfaltering ability to follow their gut or inner compass. When we learn to listen to our inner compass it creates confidence in the self. We trust we can make the right choices for ourselves and are not talked out of pursuing them.

Research shows that following our gut is much more accurate than thought before.
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio from the University of Southern California believes that trusting your intuition in combination with facts helps better your decision making and in return enables us to create a more happier and successful life on our terms for ourselves.

We are all powerful beings and can cultivate and harness ourselves to create amazing and previously unthinkable things. You know deep down what you really want from life, whether you consciously choose to listen to it and pursue it or not. One way or another life will make us listen, as I have discovered myself. My journey to finding my Flow hasn’t been plain sailing but it has been a most liberating and life affirming one. It also helped me with overcoming depression. At the time I only listened to my intuition but it looks like research is backing it up. ‘By setting out on the path to finding the real you, you will accomplish more than healing your depression’ write Rudolph E. Tanzi and Deepak Chopra in their book ‘Super Brain’. Mind blowing! What I found after finding my Flow(s) has been far more than I ever expected. Making those decisions based on your truth paves a path to an authentic and happy life without pretence and the embracing of the sum total of who you are.

Ask yourself these questions collated by, to break down your own thought process for dissecting gut feelings.

  • “Do I feel good around this person or choice?”
  • “Does this person or situation give me or take my energy?”
  • “Do I feel empowered or disempowered?”
  • “Am I going toward an adventure or running from fear?”
  • “Am I listening to my lessons learned from the past?”
  • “Would I make the same choice if I had a million dollars in my pocket now?”
  • “Do I feel respected and valued?”
  • Am I trying to control the situation or am I leaving room for expansion?”

Focus on you first

When you respect and take care of yourself everyone else will follow suite and respect it. When we know how to take care of ourselves and know what we want we are going to be happier and find the happiness we want from within. No one else can make us happy or satisfied with how our life is than we ourselves. Focussing on yourself first is not selfish but a necessity for any self-respecting woman or man to achieve their aspirations and feel in charge of their life.

Focusing on you first enables you to connect with yourself and know when you are off course and when you are not following your true purpose in life. I grew up seeing generations of women in my family focussing their lives on raising children. Early on I knew I would not be doing this; until I had figured things out for myself first. At that point I didn’t know I was talking about uncovering and pursuing my Flow(s). It is wonderful if someone aspires to be a mother if this is done out of choice. However the minute choice is taken out of the equation problems arise.

Historically women have not had the same choice, encouragement and opportunities to fulfil their aspirations and purpose in life. Society, convention, cultural norms have a long time kept women in traditional roles, putting extra boundaries in this search of the self and the maintenance of these boundaries. Celebrating the achievements in change and raising awareness to the issues women are still facing will be celebrated next week, to mark the 8th March International Women’s day, at my favourite spot the Southbank Centre -Women of the World (WOW) festival.

When we do focus on ourselves first we are able to better take care of others too. Knowing and working towards what we really do want and what makes us happy and fulfilled is just so vital for our wellbeing and also of everyone else around us. In doing so you take on the responsibility for your own happiness and achievements. Societies would have happier homes if everybody’s unique potentials and passions would be fostered to grow.

Ask yourself : How will you focus on yourself today? How will you connect to yourself today?


Have you ever heard someone say How they didn’t make it because of x, y or z …I bet you have. Once you know that taking care of ourselves comes first and takeing responsibility to maintain that stance lies upon us, the reasons x, y or z pretty quickly disappear.
It might feel daunting to untangle yourself from the dreams, expectations and wishes of others but once we follow our path and face our reality we are no longer able to blame others. External events or circumstances no longer sway us as we know we have the power within us to make a change.

Writer Annemarie Postma author of ‘The body is perfect’ and ‘Deeper secret says it so aptly: ‘’Many people watch reality from the side lines, hoping that something from the outside will one day save them’’. This kind of magical thinking makes sure you are in the thralls of outside influences and therefore giving away your power to make a change in your life.

Children believe others make decisions for them. Sometimes we can stay stuck in this kind of thinking/believing into adulthood. Of course our circumstances growing up play a role here. Taking responsibility thus also means working through the issues that are stopping you form moving forward. The brain is like a neural jungle. Old habits are sticky but we can learn to create new paths in our brain that are more life affirming. This takes time but it very much achievable with practise.

Accepting that you are the sole responsible for how your life turns out and how satisfied you are with yourself lies in your hands. This belief enables you to stay in charge of your life and not give away that precious power that lies within to make the change. Make that pact with yourself that you are not going to let yourself down and you will make it your business to find your way.

Ask yourself: How will you take responsibility for your own happiness and centeredness today?

Listening to yourself and respecting what the self is telling you puts you in a strong position to create a life on your terms. Finding and following your Flow(s) gives you the confidence in yourself and your abilities to believe that you can create a life on your terms. Trusting in your powers automatically lets you be in charge of your life as you have the belief inside you that you do have what it takes to make this the world you want to see.
Responsibility for the outcomes and yourself puts you in a position where your powers stay with you. You no longer expect anybody else to make you happy (..or whatever it is that you want to be, do or have). And as it happens when we are happy and self-fulfilling from the inside this is also reflected on the outside and we are able to give from a place of centred loved.

As always..Big Love,

Petra xx