Thursday, 21 April 2011

Food for thought from a selection of Business Mums' Blogs

I have really enjoyed being the host for this month’s Business Mums’ Blog Carnival. What an amazingly creative and entrepreneurial group of Mums we have out there. Something to celebrate as we prepare to spend time with family and friends over the next 10 days with Easter and the Royal Wedding.

What was really incredible was how consistently the posts fitted into a theme when none had been declared. There were a whole clutch of posts that were full of practical tips. Ipshita from Minor Edition submitted a post about the five mistakes to avoid when running a small business. Erica Douglas and Antonia Chitty who are the faces behind ACEINSPIRE give valuable advice in their post on how to grow your business. In essence it seems to be about setting stretch targets based on what you need to live on and the little extras that would make life great. Joanne Dewberry, Dorset’s Business Mum of the Year, shares helpful insights on how to promote guest blogs. This month Candice, who is in the top 100 wedding bloggers, has a guest blog on how to choose a wedding photographer, advice I could have done with 9 years ago! Apparently it comes down to the following four ps - personality, prices, products, portfolio.

We have a couple of entries that focus on what happens as your brand becomes established.  KidsTravel2  are grateful for all their loyal customers and as a thank you they have now started a reward scheme.  Our very own Helen Lindop shares her excitement around businessplusbaby going international and how Mumpreneurs in different countries often face the same issues.

This leads onto the next theme which focuses on the interplay between the personal and business.  Becky Goddard-Hill in her post shared the top five blogs/ blogging platforms that got her through a tough spell and it was great to see a coach in the mix. Emma Burford recounts the fun that she had at Mumpreneur Idol.  I found Erica's personal account about how far she has come in a year very inspiring. It will appeal to all those wanting to find a way to work from home and bring up their children because it shows it is possible to make good money in a relatively short period of time. Is Carol’s success down to the law of attraction or due to the fact that she is living her life on purpose?

The last three posts are all about what else you need to be successful in business.  Cari Parker shares the joys of re-engaging with her playful child in her post, a key ingredient for success in business. Libby Hill, who is a speech therapist, invites us to watch twins talking to each other in their own language.  It is a delightful vlog.  And in a similar vein, my post reflects on the importance of creativity and educating the imagination from an early age and raises concerns about what is actually happening in the education system.

Enjoy these posts and do leave comments here or tweet me or any of the other contributors all of whom have given us plenty of food for thought.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday's musing: how to get in touch with your inner voice?

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 1 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Tina M Games whose book Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery (and its accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards) is celebrating its 1st birthday on Amazon on Tuesday May 3, 2011.

Author Tina M Games is certified creativity and life purpose coach. She calls herself the "Moonlight Muse" for women who want to tap into the "full moon within" and claim their authentic self, both personally and professionally. Through her signature coaching programs, based on the phases of the moon, Tina gently guides women from darkness to light as they create an authentic vision filled with purpose, passion and creative expression.

Today, I'd like to share with you a recent interview I had with Tina when I got to ask her some questions on started to journal, advice on journaling discipline and from working to being a coach then writer. I hope you enjoy it.

Tina M Games: Thank you, Kate, for your interest in my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery and its accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards. I believe that mothers are a significant part of the "ripple effect" - that will transform the world into a more loving, more nurturing place. Imagine for a moment a "pebble thrown into a pond." It creates a ripple that goes on and on and on.

When a mother is living life with complete authenticity, she's subconsciously giving permission for her kids to do the same. She's truly at her best - creating powerful change for her family, her community, and for the world at large. It's all part of "the ripple."

It's my belief that "a happy mother makes the best mother" - and our kids really do want to see their moms happy!

Kate Griffiths: Tina, what is your advice about starting this process for Mums/ Moms whose schedules are such that they have no time for themselves and therefore no concept of an "inner voice?"

Tina M Games: As a busy Mom myself, I know the value of time. But I also know the value of prioritizing. As I mentioned earlier, moms are at the beginning of the "ripple effect." Each and every one of us has the power to create great change in the world. And this change has the most impact when we begin with ourselves - looking in the mirror and honoring the person who is staring back. This is WHO will create great change in your life. So why not honor yourself with the gift of time?

A journal writing practice can begin with only five or ten minutes a day. One of the techniques that I use with my clients is called a "five minute writing sprint." I invite my clients to close their eyes for a few seconds and ponder a question or a quote. What immediately comes to mind when they think about this question or quote? I then ask them to open their eyes and begin to write for five full minutes. No censoring, no corrections in spelling - just writing, whatever comes to mind. Then I ask them to go back and read it, paying close attention for little nuggets of wisdom, often hidden in rambling thoughts.

In my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery, I offer a series of journal writing prompts (called Moonlight Musings) that follow a self-exploration process. Each of these prompts are designed to take anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how connected a mom might be with a particular question.

I've also designed an accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards. Each card offers a prompt that guides moms on an inner journey to discover more about herself and how to honor her gifts in our external world.

Kate Griffiths: As a coach I notice that many of my clients like the idea of journaling but don't have the discipline to keep it up. I am sure this can be even harder for those who are mothers so what do you suggest for them?

Tina M Games: I can't stress enough how important self-care is to a mother. It makes her a happier, healthier person - all the way around.

As mothers, it's very natural to put our kids above ourselves. And while this may be necessary some of the time, it's not necessary all the time. As the airlines so smartly proclaim, "Always put the air mask on yourself before assisting a child or another adult passenger." In other words, "Take care of yourself, so that you can assist in the caretaking of someone else."

If we can take 30-45 minutes to have a pedicure, we can journal write. I do it all the time. The ladies at my local nail salon know that I will come in with my journal - and I will sit and write while getting a pedicure. They honor my time and they give me the space to "be" with my thoughts while taking care of my desire to have a nice pedicure. And I feel so much better afterwards, having taken that time for myself.

If we could all get in the habit of scheduling time for self-care (which includes journal writing) - with the same priority that we give everyone else in our lives, we can create an even stronger ripple effect. Not only are we honoring ourselves, we are modelling a great habit for our children.

Kate Griffiths: How long did it take to move from knowing that you wanted to work to becoming a coach and then a writer? What were some of the key steps along the way?

Tina M Games: Shortly after the birth of my first child, and after making some fairly significant life changes at the same time, I fell into depression - a place that felt so foreign to me, a place where I felt like I had fallen into a black hole with no way out. It was during this time, a period that spanned over two years that I had disconnected from everything that made me happy. Because my son suffered from chronic illnesses related to serious colds and severe ear infections, I made a very difficult choice to give up a successful career in order to care for my son full-time. I hadn't realized until this experience how much of my identity was tied into my career. I really enjoyed working. And without that opportunity in my life, I felt very lost and very unhappy.

It was during this time that I fell back on a great passion of mine - journal writing. And as a mom of a baby who did not have a normal sleep schedule, I found myself exhausted and emotional much of the time. So night after night, after I'd get my son settled and after my husband went to bed, I'd grab my journal and retreat to my favorite chair - beside a big bay window where I caught a glimpse of the moon. It was the moon that taught me the meaning of transition. I'd watch this beautiful lunar goddess, night after night, move in and out of her various phases. And before long, I began to connect her phases with my own emotional tides.

I noticed that the moon always began in darkness and gradually, she'd move into full light - and cycle back around again. And I noticed the contrast between dark and light - the darkness of the night sky against the beautiful full moon light. I started connecting to this - as if I was being divinely guided through my own transitions of dark and light. I began to notice the ebbs and flows of my emotions. There were good days and bad days.

And then one day, two years later, I had an ah-ha. After several conversations with my own mother and other mothers whom I had encountered along the way, I began to wonder, "Are there other moms out there who may be having a similar experience?"

I decided to create two focus groups of mothers where we could have honest discussions about motherhood, careers, and life purpose - and how they all fit together. These dialogues eventually led to a series of articles and then to the creation of my coaching practice - where I could work with moms on a deeper level.

This is when I decided to write my book. I wanted mothers to realize that every human transition begins in darkness and gradually moves into light, where we get a glimpse of what is possible. And then we retreat, to ponder the many ways we can manifest these possibilities into reality. This requires deep work, where we step into our own truth and into our own power - and where we can emerge in the most authentic way possible. This is what I call the Blue Moon phase - when we finally realize that we are here on this Earth to be WHO we are, to put our personal thumbprint on the world in the most truthful, most authentic, most unique way possible. Each one of us are individuals being divinely guided on our own purposeful path.

And looking back on my motherhood journey over the past 12 years, I can now say that everything I experienced along the way has factored into my bigger life purpose. Each experience, as painful as some were, led me to the point of where I am now.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Tina M Games and that you’ll check out her book and card deck Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self-Discovery this month at

Here's why:


When you visit the page at the link above and request a "launch reminder", you will automatically receive a FREE pass to Tina's 3-day "I’m a Mom… But Who Am I Really? Telesummit" with 11 creative writing moms and grandmothers speaking on how to use intuition, journaling and creativity to explore life purpose. You can listen to the telesummit online in the comfort of your own home, and even ask questions during the broadcast.

This telesummit is a completely free "no purchase necessary" gift from Tina, to celebrate the 1st birthday of her book.


When you buy Tina's book or the card deck during its birthday celebration on Tuesday May 3, 2011, you can ALSO receive a complete library of beautiful personal development gifts from authors, speakers, coaches and other enlightened professionals from around the globe.

To claim your 3-Day Pass and read about the free gifts, go to:

Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Tina tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Glenn M Smith who will be interviewing Tina on her love and understanding of the moon, intuition, revealing your inner truth and support systems. To visit that "stop" on the tour, go to 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tuesday's thought: the new superfood

Photo provided by Glutnix
If you know me well then you will know that one of my passions is food and that it is part of my focus on wholeness.  Recently there has been a bit of a revolution going on in our household following the results of the OH's well man's medical test in which it turned out that his cholesterol was higher than it should be.  This has led to an increase in the consumption of brown pasta, brown and wild rice and recently we sourced brown self raising flour.

This last acquisition was particularly important because weekend breakfasts feature pancakes on a regular basis.  We make the drop scone variety and the girls cannot get enough of them.  They are also a good vehicle for ensuring the consumption of fruit generally bananas and blueberries which are a well known super food.  Recently however we were delighted to find out that another staple of our breakfasts both with pancakes and porridge is claimed to be the new super food.  Yes maple syrup.  In a study just reported at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers analyzed the various compounds in maple syrup. They found 54 antioxidants, including five new ones.  And they found polyphenols that appear to interfere with the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, which leads the m to think that this might be a good sweetener for diabetics.

Some are less convinced by these findings because the same kind of polyphenols are found in fruit and veg.  However we use it in moderation and I have to say that I am delighted that its natural properties have been recognised and I am sure that this has something to do with the fact that there is very little processing involved in the production of maple syrup.  No need to feel guilty about your children eating maple syrup any more.  Enjoy and spread the word especially with Easter round the corner.