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
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 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
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.

Big love,

Petra xx