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Her Light

She loved nothing more than lighting a candle.

Once her day of cleaning and tidying up after her two toddlers was done, she would light a candle. Sometimes scented to go with the scent of the fresh clean house or sometimes just a regular candle. Sometimes it was for no reason at all, she loved her candles.

Then as abruptly as he would enter the house, he would violently quench the candle. It was what he did, first job; before acknowledging any of the people in the house, before dropping his bag, before checking to see what she cooked for dinner. As soon as the front door was slammed shut, the candle was next.

She didn’t know why she would get so upset.

It was just a candle.

He just blew it out.

He constantly gave out to her for lighting candles and she could never understand why it bothered him so much. He made her feel like a traitor for doing something she wasn’t supposed to do.

Why did she feel so empty, so raw, so scalded when he just blew out a candle…a silly candle?

Why did she continually light the candle when she knew he would give out to her and get into a violent rage?

Why did she feel so worthless after the quenching?

Why did such a small act hurt her in a way words couldn’t describe?

Why did something so small and seemingly meaningless on the outside not translate to a cut, a wound, a scar, something to show how hurt she was?

Did her bleeding thoughts and haemorrhaging emotions not deserve a physical translation to explain to others what she was going through?

The simple truth was that she loved the feeling the candle gave her even if it was short-lived. She loved the light, the beauty and uniqueness of each flicker so different to the one before. She loved the presence it brought to the house. She loved the peace and stillness that such a strong element of fire could hold. She loved the space it consumed making an empty space real and alive with a little light. She just loved it and felt so happy.

It took many years to explain to the outside world what a candle meant to her and to find the words to express herself. Today she wears beautiful scars with stories and learnings and risings. Today she lights candles all the time. Sometimes they quench of their own accord, but you should see her serious back up supply!

Her light is her essence, her being, her truth, her beauty.

Belinda @ B’inspire : 00353 87 9584430 : belinda@belindamurphy.com

Wellbeing in the Workplace

‘Wellbeing’ has become so topical and on-trend that it bothers me. I am always so wary of new bandwagons and fashionable trends which are always short term and without much substance. There are so many tick-the-box type wellbeing events and programmes in organisations that it is no wonder the real meaning of Wellbeing is getting lost. Recently I was delivering on-site wellbeing therapies as part of a wellbeing event and someone said to me; ‘This is all lovely but I really just want Christmas Day off to spend with my family’. Have organisations just taken a surface layer approach to Wellbeing with maximum visibility of something happening on the outside that looks good rather than making a real impact on what matters to its people?

I conduct and deliver Wellbeing Audits in organisations with a more holistic approach in order to gauge the real impact of Wellbeing. Wellbeing cannot just be yoga classes and bowls of fruit in isolation. The audits I conduct embrace all these elements; physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, leadership impact, communication and performance. Strange? When you look at what matters to people in the organisation and how each element effects the other; its not strange at all. In fact, it has got to be a holistic approach in order to make a difference. That is what I am about and not a tick-the-box type provider or speaker.

The World Health Organisation has now classified ‘burnout’ as an actual medical condition. Time to wake up and start looking after our employees! If employers continue to ignore the importance of Wellbeing and the impact on the whole organisation, they will loose good people to illness, stress, burnout, apathy. Guess what? People make organisations. People make businesses. People buy people.

I practice what I preach.

I walk the talk.

I have so much experience in the corporate and health worlds and helping people from the inside out.

I have personal examples that I share so people can connect and open up.

When I am honest, people start to be honest with themselves.

I connect and engage people by being me and embracing my human-ness.

If you wish to have a chat about how this type of Wellbeing would work in your organisation, please contact me: belinda@belindamurphy.com or 00353 87 9584430. Happy to talk!

Re-Routing : Holistic Coaching

Did you ever have a dream that was so real you needed to share it as a message to others?

Last night I dreamt I was driving my own car in my local familiar city, familiar streets, familiar routes. I noticed in the front passenger was my best friend of old and we were happy talking while I was driving in familiar territory. Then I stopped to pick up three unknown hitch-hikers that I felt sorry for and offered to drive them to their destination which was out of my way.

I started to struggle with routes in this familiar city and became more and more agitated at myself for not knowing my way. I kept checking in with the three free-loaders in the back seat to make sure they were ok and didn’t want them to suspect that I was struggling. My best friend kept talking and didn’t notice I was lost. I didn’t have a handsfree car kit, which would have made life easier, so when I put in a familiar town near my destination on google maps, I couldn’t read it and drive. Hands free would have meant I could see and drive but it frustrated me more when google maps didn’t speak the directions but only visually gave them.

I was getting more stressed so I asked my best friend to help me but she was busy talking so much at me, she wasn’t listening to my pleas for help. I didn’t want the three back passengers to notice that anything was wrong and wanted them to think that I knew where I was going, after all I was the driver!

Then we approached a vertical hill with an incline so steep we all had to get out of the car and push it uphill (remember, this is a dream). We all thought this normal and proceeded to walk and push the car up the hill. We came across flood water on the road and I had to turn around and all the while going deeper and deeper into unknown territory. Nothing looked familiar anymore.

Then I looked around and we were in a strange housing estate. I stopped the car to reset and reroute the google maps sat nav but there was no signal. I could see from the initial map outline that the road I wanted to get on was just outside the housing estate but I couldn’t get out of the housing estate. The Wi-Fi connection was so bad I had to put down the device and look around. Back to basics. I thought there might be exit signs like in a car park, but this was a housing estate so no such signs existed. The noise from my best friend was becoming unbearable and the obligation and responsibility towards the back-seat passengers was stifling me. I got out of the car to ask for directions from the residents but there was nobody home in any of the houses.

I couldn’t breathe. I woke up!  

Who are your back-seat passengers you take around with you, go out of your way for, take on all their issues and become more and more stressed because of it?

Who is that ‘best friend’ who is good when times are good but when you are struggling doesn’t even notice or know you need help?

Having a great Wi-Fi connection to source solves so many problems when we are lost. Do you have a connection to source, whatever or whoever you believe that source to be, who guides you when you are lost?

Then when you loose that connection for whatever reason, distractions, stresses, noises…how do you get back on track?

My suggestion…you WAKE UP!

Waking up looks different for so many people. I can help you wake up. I can help shake you awake which isn’t pleasant or I can gently tug you until you wake. Either way, it’s what I do in Holistic Coaching. My approach is so customise and so individual because each and every one of us is so different with different background, stories, behaviours etc.

If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you.

Belinda Murphy, B’inspire, www.belindamurphy.com, www.binspire.ie, belinda@belindamurphy.com, 00353 87 9584430

Happy Cows Produce More Milk!

Happy cows produce more milk!

This is not philosophy, this is fact.

I am also a farmer’s daughter and very much in touch with my rural roots so I can stand over this fact with plenty experiential evidence.

This statement is also my core belief, business philosophy and my passion.

When people are treated with respect and are given the space, support and tools to balance their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, then they thrive.

When we start treating people with humanity, compassion and kindness, then they thrive.

This is something that cannot be packaged as ‘Wellbeing in the workplace’ or ‘Corporate Wellness’ or whatever current term is in vogue. This is something that must be evident in each and every interaction in the workplace at all levels of engagement if people are to be happy.

Because here is the shocker…happy employees are more productive!

Yes, the statistics are prolific; happy employees are less likely to be absent or sick, have higher morale and ultimately are more productive and contribute positively to the bottom line.

How?

Here is a little story, true story…

In one of my previous roles, I managed employees, seven of which at one point in time were not paid for their work directly. These people were on various government programmes and employment incentives and were paid via their social welfare. In theory, all they had to do was turn up at the work location each day, tick a box. They had very little say in where they received work placement, very little input into the role they wanted to work in but were just physically present to make up numbers on someone’s spreadsheet. I am picking out one of these people for illustration purposes but in truth they all went through amazing transformation.

When I first met John, he would come to work with blood shot eyes, odour of stale beer and smoke, long dirty overcoat, work boots heavy with muck, age approx. 60 but looked much older and in the bracket of ‘long-term unemployed’. He would check in, disappear walking around the building for the day, smoking, check out. I was told that he could fix anything. So, I started to talk to him, plain and simple. He was shy and didn’t engage with much eye contact. I began by giving him some tasks and quickly learned he was indeed able to fix anything, in fact everything I asked him to do, he excelled. Reminded me so much like my Dad. I did what I always do which was I gave gratitude and praise and soon his glance would turn to my eyes. I soon saw that the blood shot eyes were being replaced with glistening blue eyes. Then I started talking to John about his life as I genuinely wanted to know about him. He trained as a soldier hence his knowledge about fixing everything. He lost a twin brother in a war which intrigued me. He had a wife and family and grandchildren. He loved to dance and loved music especially Gareth Brooks! Not holding his music taste against him, he began to shine. Then one day, almost like a mother looking at her toddler who became a teenager over-night, John was sliding in his dancing shoes around the workplace with smart trousers, jumper and shirt. The stale smoke and beer body odour was replaced by a spicy scent of cologne. His appearance on the outside was transformational but to me it was more obvious from the inside out. His sparkling youthful blue eyes would dance when we spoke, the music of Gareth Brooks filled the canteen now that he had the confidence to change the music just to see my reaction. He completed every single last task I asked and so much more with purpose and pride and he accepted all the gratitude I gave him graciously and humbly.

John had become the butterfly I know and believe is inside each and every single human being.

John was not paid by the organisation for his work.

He had no Employee Assistance Programme.

He had no health insurance.

He attended no yoga classes.

He attended no wellness events.

He attended no talks on mental health.

What he did have was someone who cared, who made time to connect with him on a human level, who believed there was a very special human under the dirty coat just waiting to burst out. John gave over-and-about as did all the other unpaid employees. One of which not only volunteered to put out the bins on Christmas Day but insisted on doing it so that they would be ready for collection the day afterwards. These examples are just a few, I have so many more. Each one of these seven people gave time and time again, much more that I could ever have imagined because they were treated with respect, treated fairly, treated with humanity and kindness.

I am so passionate about passing on this message. I am so passionate about making workplaces a happier environment because I have been in toxic environments, at all levels with all types of negative interactions and I want this to change.

Utopia, maybe?

But I’m going to do my best to support the cows to be as happy as they can be!

If you are interested to support and lead your workplace and employees become happier; I’d love to help:

Belinda Murphy, Human Engagement in the Workplace,

www.belindamurphy.com           belinda@belindamurphy.com

I represent Me

I signed up for an event recently and I was asked ‘Who do you represent?’

After a little pause and a wry smile, I happily said ‘I represent me’.

Self-employment has many cliché ups and downs. I embarked on this route some four years ago with a reasonably good idea of what it took to get set up, legal side, tax side, financial side, marketing side and of course product/ service side. I had spent the previous eight years giving advise to people wishing to set up their own business so I had a certain knowledge to start with. I also had the passion and conviction in my business which is a pre-requisite for any sole trader. I had found what I truly loved and wanted to share with the world in exchange for money.

What I didn’t know what the doubts and self-doubts that creep in every so often. The self-questioning of ‘are you sure you know what you are at?’ to ‘get a job and stable income’. The scale of doubt varies depending on the mindset swings therefore I find it so helpful to keep myself balanced, grounded and confide in a good coach.  I am beyond blessed that my life partner is actually an excellent executive coach so I have a serious perk when I need it. However, on a daily basis I have to give myself my own pep talks. Remind myself why I am doing this and why I am doing this solo.

Each time I attend an event, I speak at a conference, I coach a client…each time I go to the school gates, the shops, interact with people…I represent me. I am my own walking talking marketing machine, in good times and bad. How I hold myself and how I am is who I am selling to the world.

I hid behind other organisations, industries in the past when employed. It was easy to say my role was X with company Y.

Now it’s different.

I am Belinda Murphy.

I work for myself.

I walk my talk.

I represent me.

Sending this special blog post to all self-employed people today…chin up. The fact you get to represent yourself in the world is awesome. The fact you have the courage to stand out from the crowd and be recognised in your own right is awesome. The fact you get out of bed every morning without monthly income certainty on a gut feeling that ‘today is the day’, is awesome. The fact you stand up and are counted each and every day in your own shoes is awesome.

Well done guys, lets keep representing ourselves, walking our talk and standing tall!

Belinda Murphy, Wellness Consultant and Professional Speaker

www.belindamurphy.com, 00353 87 9584430

Health is Wealth

Talk the Talk or Walk the Walk?

‘Your health is your wealth’ is a common phrase used by most of us to state the obvious however how many of us actually pay any heed to what this actually means. For most, it is lip service, at most. While we will insist being healthy is everything to us; our actions in reality can completely go against this assumption.

In the Western world, we generally look for quick fix solutions to our problems including health in which case an illness can be quickly mended by a prescription of medicine following a visit to a doctor. In more serious cases, we visit a consultant or a more experienced professional to look for a remedy to our ailment and once again we gladly and without question hand over our cash for the solution. We have become reactive to our health and only think about our health when we have a problem that needs a solution and will at any cost pay for it. In my opinion, this is handing over power of our own health care to strangers with a short term view on a cure to an illness without questioning their motives or costs. We live lives that involve convenience consumption of toxic foods, work in environments that cause so much stress, know we are missing out on something but have no clue what this ‘something’ is and don’t spend any time or investment in searching for the answer because we are too busy keeping up with the rat race that have become our ‘norm’. Then we get sick and want a quick solution so we can get back to the wheel of turning work to money to work without much regard for relationships, human interactions or life fulfilling purposes.

If we look at the Eastern philosophy to health and what it means, there is much more focus on being proactive with our own health, looking at prevention of illnesses and maintenance of good health rather than waiting for some illness to knock us down and then look for a solution. The approach is one of a more long term view and embodies a holistic approach to health being composed of a balanced lifestyle, fresh wholesome food, good nutrition for the body, mental wellbeing and emotional wellbeing. The approach focuses on the positive aspects of health and wellbeing and encourages people to invest in their health and lifestyle on an on-going daily basis and to truly value their health as an aspect of their abundance. The result is that people are in general healthier and happier and live longer.

So when I talk to people who pay lip service regarding ‘your health is your wealth’ but yet see the cost of on-going maintenance of their health and wellbeing as expensive, I question our understanding of ‘wealth’ and ‘health’. Is our meaning of wealth solely based on financial? If we are healthy, then we need less doctors therefore we are more financially well off! Whereas, if we look at health from an abundance perspective; an abundance and wealth of happiness, of peace of mind, of emotional freedom, of balance in living; then this leads us to a very different understanding of ‘health’ and ‘wealth’.

B’inspire is about encouraging ongoing maintenance of wellbeing in all aspects; nutritional, emotional and mental wellbeing. We have packages to cater for your needs based on an audit of your current life situation. It is all about how you view your health. What does being healthy mean to you? What value do you put on your health? More importantly, what investment are you willing to put into your health?

B’inspire offers mindfulness programmes for mental wellbeing, energy healing and workshops for emotional wellbeing and holistic life coaching to review of current life situation and put action in place to make changes towards abundance in true wealth and health.

To explore more, contact Belinda Murphy, Belinda@belindamurphy.com

Reboot your System – Mindfulness

I delivery many talks, workshops and classes on Mindfulness and I always start by asking what the participants’ view of Mindfulness is and invariably it varies. Mindfulness has become a buzzword as of late in the education system, corporate environment and the every day. I believe there is a perception that Mindfulness is a person sitting in solitude in a room, in a yoga-like position with eyes closed, relaxation music playing and lots of candles and incense burning. I would like to dispel this myth. Mindfulness is many things and looks different to each and every one of us because we are all so different with such different life experiences.

When we are truly aware of the here and now without worrying about the past or future; that is mindfulness. When we can quieten the noise in our mind and focus on the present; that is mindfulness. When we reach a state of calm and inner peace; that is mindfulness. Do you know that scientific evidence has proven that we have between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day? Even if you are on the low side, this is pretty crazy! Imagine the noise in our heads, the voices telling us to do this and that, the never-ending lists, the self deprecating thoughts. I wonder what the split of thoughts are between negative and positive in your head on a daily basis. We really only access such a small percentage of our mind in our conscious state. Scientists vary their calculations, but roughly 7% of our mind is actually used by us. Our subconscious runs so many programmes in the background that our conscious mind doesn’t need to be activated. Take for example driving a car on a route you are so familiar with. How many times have you asked yourself where on the route you actually are because you switched off and went on auto pilot? Who was driving the car? Imagine the responsibility we place on our subconscious giving it autonomy to drive a powerful vehicle on a certain route, changing directions frequently, passing other drivers in equally powerful vehicles with many people peppered along the route. And yet, we cannot recall part or most of our familiar journeys. The subconscious is so powerful.

I like to compare Mindfulness to rebooting a computer system. When the computer is acting up, it may be freezing on you or not saving data then all the technical IT experts and the like will always advise to turn it off and then turn it on again. This is just the same with our body system. When things are getting too much, it is so important to reboot. The system may have some programmes which it needs to install in the background before it can be turned on again and we must allow time for this. This is no different to our body systems. We need to take time-out to reprogramme our own system with good data and the updated programmes. Once the system is turned off, let it rest for a little while before turning back on. Sometimes, we all know, it may ask if you would like to start up in ‘Safe Mode’ if it is feeling a little delicate and we can choose this or chose to go back to the regular viewing system on our computer. We have to constantly look after our own wellbeing and recharge and reboot so often. Once the system is turned on again, invariably it is back in good working order. Mindfulness is like a reboot for our own systems. It is maintenance to prevent long term damage and the more it is practiced, the easier it becomes and the easier it is for us to access the programmes we need to for the wellbeing of our system.

Mindfulness looks like many different things to many people; for some it’s cycling, running, chopping wood, meditating, baking, cooking, painting, writing. It is when we are so focused on the present moment that we are in total flow. Meditation is only one format however it is the most commonly used by many in the Eastern cultures to help us focus on our breath and be very present and aware. I have run many classes in so many venues and the actual surroundings don’t matter; from board room meeting rooms, to the foot of mountains to sandy beaches to physical gyms.

Achieving Mindfulness helps us to gain a grounded perspective of life, make conscious choices and decisions, gain clarity, maintain a positive mindset and help us to grow from stressors. Many corporate environments are beginning to see the massive benefits of daily mindfulness classes available to all its people.  So if you are interested to learn more about Rebooting your System through Mindfulness with talks, workshop or classes, please contact

Belinda Murphy

00353 87 9584430 belinda@belindamurphy.com www.belindamurphy.com

Mindful Leadership

The fast pace of change in management, people and organisations leave opportunities and gaps for improvement. Managers take on many roles but one that is most beneficial to the organisation is that of a Leader, a good Leader. Are Leaders born or is it a learned skill? Our contention is that we can harness the natural emotional intelligence of managers and experience to combine with learned skills and mindfulness to make good leaders over time. We believe the space for people to develop and evolve to their natural Leadership style is something that can be mindfully achieved.

We have developed a programme which helps to develop self-leadership, communication and people skills of leaders in a mindful manner which harnesses the emotional intelligence skillset to increase employee engagement and organisation productivity. Mindful Leadership has proven to inspire people in the workplace and tap into their creativity thereby increasing an organisations overall innovation levels. This programme will assist to create leaders who adapt to change, are more resilient to workplace challenges and are more clear in their vision and strategy for the organisation.

We cover topics like:

·        Mindfulness as a tool in Leadership and People Development

·        Communicate to be understood and engage

·        Talent Development of people to fill their potential gap and contribute to the organisation

·        Team Work for the overall benefit of the organisation

·        Emotional Intelligence and the modern, mindful leader

We believe in Leaders who step up and ultimately inspire others and want to encourage more potential leaders to do this. We encourage Innovation and Creativity by creating a space for people to contribute in a non- judgemental manner, self-lead and performance manage to achieve results. We help people to adapt to change in the workplace both internal and external by creating more resilience in leaders who incorporate mindfulness tools. We understand the importance of increased Employee Engagement and Productivity of the organisation by having happy people doing their work well.

If this appeals to you…then contact us to explore how Mindful Leadership would benefit your organisation.

Contact

Belinda Murphy 087 9584430 belinda@belindamurphy.com

or Brian Downes 086 0244888 brian@brian-downes.com

How do you do yours?

The buzz words ‘Mindfulness’ and ‘Meditation’ have become interchangeable in every day parlance and for me they are not the same thing. For me Meditation is just one means to become more Mindful. According to the Collins Dictionary ‘Mindfulness’ is ‘the practice of giving complete and non-judgmental attention to one’s present experience, used as a stress-reduction technique” and “a way of training your mind to concentrate on the present, in order to feel calm and improve your mental state”. For me Mindfulness is a state of being; it is a calmness, a peacefulness that occurs when I am present in this very moment. Meditation is just one tool to achieve a state of Mindfulness. There are so many more…For some people its running, cycling, climbing mountains, yoga, baking, cooking, chopping wood, walking in a forest, staring at the waves in the sea, watching children sleep, knitting, writing, singing, playing or listening to music…the list is endless. It is different for everyone.

Some people tell me they never experienced Mindfulness and to you I say; have you ever had a feeling where you felt everything and nothing at the same time? A state of knowing you have lots of thoughts and worries but for some brief moments you didn’t attach emotions to them and felt peace? A state of pure joy and bliss? Just happy? We all have experienced Mindfulness in some shape or guise, the trick is to build it into our everyday practice so we feel this feeling as often as possible because the benefits are enormous. On the physical side; Mindfulness has been proven to lower blood pressure, restore balance to digestive system, relax nervous system, relieve muscle tension, reduce headaches/ migraines, relieve insomnia, release fears and reduce anxiety. On the mental and emotional sides; Mindfulness helps people become more positive and focused, improve clarity, improve mental and emotional wellbeing, happier with work and life. Who doesn’t want this?

So my question for you is; What does it for you? How do you do you Mindfulness?

By sharing this, we help others see opportunities for Mindfulness where they didn’t see before. Let’s all help one another out!

Belinda Murphy, Wellbeing Consultant

00353 87 9584430, belinda@belindamurphy.com

Mental Health – taboo or trendy conversation topic?

We hear so much about mental health these days that I wonder do we ever relate the information to ourselves? Are we too busy sympathising with another persons’ mental health story, too busy collecting sponsorship for a mental health charity, too busy talking about another person’s mental health problem, that we don’t look at ourselves? In a world filled with ease of access to news, information, photos, contacts; when do we take time to access our mind? Are we afraid to open the box for fear of what we may unravel therefore better leave best alone and be seen to be a good person on the outside?

For me, mental health is as important as physical health, emotional health, financial health or spiritual health. For me it’s about taking care of my mind and what goes on inside it whether I am aware of the thoughts or not. It’s about me taking time out to give my mind a break from the hustle bustle of trying to make sense of everything. For me, mental health, like all health pillars mentioned above, is all about maintenance and not waiting until it is broken before fixing it. I believe in holistic health care and I believe in looking after myself body, mind and soul; in no particular order and the order varies on the day of the week very randomly.

I listen to my gut and it tells me what to do. Today for example; it is screaming at me to go for a long walk regardless of weather with baby in buggy and breathe in the fresh air to boost up my mind care. On the outside, it may look like I do it for physical health but today it’s for my mind. We all have our favourites and what works for me may not work for you. For some people looking after their mind may involve cycling, writing, painting, chopping wood, running on the beach, playing with the dog, music, driving with windows open, meditation, yoga, dancing… It is different for everyone and the trick is to find what it is your love and note that when you are doing it, you completely switch off. A shopping spree to Penny’s doesn’t qualify as mind care activity…as much as it really works on my short-term happiness…it has to be something that works long term, doesn’t cost much and can be accessed when needs be.

Mental health is very real and is an on-going process. Mental care activity is preventive ‘medicine’ for our mind and the more we practice this, the more we can reach balance in our being. Speaking about mental health is wonderful but acting on our own mental health care is even more wonderful. Taking responsibility for our mental health and putting a better version of ourselves back into the world after mental health care activity is even more stunning.

Find what you love to do: switch off: enjoy: please repeat!

Belinda Murphy is the founder of B’inspire and mommy to three earth angels. Belinda works with organisations to deliver Corporate Wellness Programmes and specialises in group mindfulness, on-site complementary therapies and talks/ workshops on positive mental health in the workplace. B’inspire also delivers and leads Corporate Wellness retreats for team building and leadership skills.

belinda@belindamurphy.com 00353 87 9584430 www.belindamurphy.com