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Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Importance of Being Positive

Like many folks in these times of economic stress, we have been watching the pennies and hoping that nothing happens to upset our fragile balance of financial equilibrium.

It can be difficult not to become anxious about money, after all, it is something we all need to live; we need to keep a roof over our heads, to eat, clothe ourselves and yes, have a few luxuries too...!

So what can you do to relieve any anxiety and attract good things?

This simple exercise takes a few moments and can be done anywhere-but before I share it with you, I need you to consider something...

Let's say you are working in a job that you are not that happy with...there are several ways it could go, from staying there and complaining how much you hate it, to leaving and looking for another job, but what goes on inside your head, how you think about it, will have a profound effect on your overall peace of mind, happiness and well-being.

What you really should NOT do, is make lots of noise about wanting out, unless you have a clear idea of where you WANT to be!

If you are thinking (and confiding in colleagues) about how much you hate your job; how much you want to leave-even though you cannot afford to-then don't be surprised if something happens that means you are suddenly out of a job!

The universe may hear your heartfelt plea; whoever, or whatever you believe in...even if you do not believe in anything...sometimes those passionate wishes are answered, and you might suddenly find yourself out on the street with no way to pay your bills!

This happened to me many years ago. Way back in 1979 I was a clerical trainee for a major company; it was my first job, and I really hated it... I kept on and on telling people how much I hated it, how it wasn't for me...but at no time did I do anything POSITIVE, to find something else!

I got made redundant. At 17, I was without a job, without money and without any prospects.

I had not given any real thought as to what I wanted from life, only what I didn't want.

After a month of sitting at home and bemoaning my lot, it occurred to me that it was up to me to do something about it...I caught a bus into town, went into every single shop to ask about vacancies and got a temporary job for 2 weeks with Woolworths to tide me over. I loved it!

The funny thing was that when I was at school, we all used to use working for Woolworths (and the Pick 'n' Mix counter in particular) as an example of what you did if you were useless!

I discovered that my career contentment depended on my having a job where I dealt with people as a part of my routine. I loved the fact that no two days were the same, that I was not tied to a desk but could move around.... After the two weeks was over, I found a permanent job in a busy city centre newsagent cum record shop and that led to a successful career in Personnel and Training Management within retail.

You would think that I would have learnt my lesson, but years later, I did it again! I was working as a Personnel and Training Manager for a major UK chain and the company decided to 'restructure'...something which is becoming ever more common.

In the morning I was told my job was being made redundant. I would have to re-apply and take a lesser role-if I was employed at all!

My husband was incredibly supportive, but also angry on my behalf. We decided that evening to go out on a motorcycle ride in an effort to make me feel better, but my thoughts were absolutely full of rage, disappointment and how I wanted to 'get back' at the company.
We all think we are indispensible, that the company will fall down if we are not there and I was thinking about how I never wanted to go back again; then they would see how necessary I was!

The universe heard me, and answered.

My wish was granted.

We had a serious accident that evening; nobody at fault, just a slippy road surface and a slow speed crash with nobody else involved... but I was badly injured and never went back to work...

What happened then is a story for another day; ultimately that accident proved to be one of the biggest blessings in my life!

However, this is my point. This is important.

If you want out of your job, for whatever reason, you also need to put in place a POSITIVE wish.

This is what I should have done, I should have visualised myself in a brilliant new job, being happy and content.

It is not enough to ask to be out of your current position, you need to be very careful to back it up with the positive request for help to find your ideal job.

I have also found that although you can end up wishing for a long list of specific requirements, actually it is better to trust the universe, and your guardian angels to do their stuff and put the opportunity in your path that is right for you, right now.

So...instead of saying something like this:

"I want a job that pays £30k a year, with 9 weeks holiday and a company car"


"I want a job that means I don't have to find childcare, don't have to work late, or at weekends and is based within walking distance"

I might say something like this:

"Please help me to find the job that is right for me; something that means I will feel happy and secure- and please help me to recognise the opportunity when it comes!"

If you have a specific ambition, then visualise yourself doing the job. Visualise yourself happy and confident, with everything running smoothly. If you have any doubts about your ability to do that job, your anxiety will come through.

If that job is something to work towards, something you need qualifications and experience for, then ask for the right opportunities to come to you so that you can reach that dream job...

I always ask for signs that I have been heard by the way; I am never disappointed! Those signs will be very relevant to you, personal and targeted; only you will recognise them. When they come, remember to thank your angels and the universe for helping you.

The current economic situation means that money is tight and jobs can be scarce. By using positive visualisation you can increase not just your chances of getting a job, but staying in it and being content.

You can use positive visualisation for anything; it costs nothing, requires no equipment, just an open and honest heart.
Positive visualisation improves your mood and optimism and lifts your spirits. Try it!

One final thing for today:

NEVER leave a job voluntarily unless you have another to go to; principles are all very well, but they don't pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

Until next time...

Michelle x

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The News in Portsmouth feature my story and bid for publishing deal

This is the full text of the article published by The News in Portsmouth on January 4th 2011.

Journalist: Sarah Foster

Life got So Much Better

Michelle Jones got the tummy tuck she wanted, but had to battle breast cancer first. She talks to Sarah Foster about her journey and what she hopes it can teach others.

It could be the plot of a Hollywood film, featuring a motorbike accident and a brave fightback from breast cancer,

But this is Michelle Jones real life and she insists she's actually got a lot to be thankful for.

As she and her husband Phil were finally getting their lives back together after redundancy and injury left them broke and struggling, Michelle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breats cancer.

'It sounds like a disaster story,' laughs Michelle. 'But it's not.'

Despite the gruelling chemotherapy and the fear that she might die, michelle says good things did come as a result of being told she had breast cancer.

Her illness has brought her family closer and it also provided the tummy tuck she'd always wanted, but couldn't afford.

In October 2004, what she longed for most was some cosmetic surgery to take away what Phil affectionately referred to as her 'baby bag'.

A month later she was about to start chemotherapy and had no idea her wish was on its way to coming true.

'I said to Phil "I'd do anything for a tummy tuck" and the universe heard me and granted my wish in a way I could never have imagined.' she explains.

The 49 year old had to have a mastectomy and a friend told her about a type of reconstructive surgery that could also involve having a tummy tuck.

surgeons used skin and tissue taken from her tummy to reconstruct her left breast-getting rid of the bulge of skin she'd always hated.

And the whole operation was done by the NHS so the family, from Waterlooville, didn't have to spend a penny.

'The surgery was absolutely fantastic,' she adds, 'I really was on cloud nine. all i wanted was a tummy tuck. Phil used to say it was the baby bag, but it used to hang in front. I went to sleep for nine hours and when I woke up I was in intensive care for three days on morphine.

I didn't realise I wouldn't wake up and be a size 12, but of course I wasn't.'

No-one would choose to have breast cancer, but michelle has used her own experience to illustrate a book she plans to write.

At the moment she's pitching her idea for 'The Answer.' in a publishing company's X-Factor-style internet competition. and if enough people view her entry and like it, she could see her book become a reality.

'we've had a series of what might look like disasters that have actually been really positive,' she says. 'I think I can really ciope with anything now. It's not an autobiography in the conventional sense. They like books that use your situation to appeal to other people about how you can help them to get over this.

'It's about using the positive in certain situations-even when you are at your lowest. It's about being careful what you wish for. The book shows you how to make your wishes-and that's to put them into a positive light.

'I would have wished i'd had a windfall so i could have paid for a tummy tuck, but I can't regret having had cancer, it's brought so many good things.'

Over the years, Michelle and Phil have had a lot of tough things to cope with.

In May 1995, Phil was riding his motorcycle on the A27 between Chichester and Bognor Regis, with Michelle on the back. The bike skidded on its side and Michelle suffered a fractured leg and severe bruising to her left leg and pelvis. She was on crutches for 18 months which meant she could no longer work.

'Our lowest point wasn't about the cancer, it was after the accident,' she adds. 'For five months we had no money, that was a really scary position. Phil was made redundant and things started to look pretty bleak. Three days later we got married. We went ahead with it because everything had been paid for. But we really didn't know how we were going to be able to keep the house. It sounds like a disaster story, but it's not.

'It's three months I would never care to repeat. We were both hoping for a miracle.

'If you wish for something hard enough, the universe will hear you. But you have to be careful what you wish for.'

Michelle thinks their request for a miracle was answered when an old friend got back in touch with Phil and offered him a job.

The accident also gave her time to become more creative and she started painting and writing. Things were starting to look up and they were finding their feet again. Phil had gone back to work and the kids, James, now 22, Matthew, 18 and 14 year old Holly-were growing up.

Michelle had decided to train as a holistic therapist and was all set to start a business from home when she found out she had cancer.

'Everybody kept saying "It's nothing",' she explains. 'There was no lump or bump. It was just a twinge in my shoulder that would come and go. You don't go to the doctor for a vague twinge. But then I went for something else and said "By the way, while I'm here".

'everyone said "It's probably nothing serious". Then we went and had the official results from pathology and this guy said "It's breast cancer, it's category three, it's aggressive, you'll probably need a mastectomy".'

Michelle started her chemotherapy in November 2004 and the treatment lasted until March.

The kids were obviously worried but Michelle says it was the thought of losing her hair that concerned her most.

'I was mainly focused on the chemotherapy. I'd always had very long hair and the thought of losing it was making me panicky. If I put myself in control of my hair loss I would feel better about it so I had it cut into a very short style and we raised about £1000 for charity.

At the first dose of chemotherapy it started coming out so I had it shaved off. If the chemotherapy had taken my hair I don't think I would have been able to cope. By me doing it, I was in charge.'

A mastectomy was planned and it was while she was looking at her options for reconstruction that the TRAM flap was mentioned.

TRAM flap stands for Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous and combines mastectomy with abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, allowing the breast to be reconstructed with the sufferer's tissues, instead of a foreign implant.

Michelle had the surgery on 26th April 2005, and although it's left her with a large scar, she says she's delighted she got her tummy tuck in the end.

'If you want something bad enough, then sometimes the universe will provide it,' she says. 'I want to share the message that you can be more happy and more content, it's not just about trying to win the lottery. it's about looking at what you've got now and being happy with that. seeing positive in everything.

'At the end of each days, you need to find something that you are proud of and feel positive about, especially now, when everybody is tight for money.

'You've got to be thankful for what you've got and try for what you want.'

She adds: 'Life is what you make it. If you think positive, life will be positive.'

The Book Proposal

Michelle Jones has used her experiences to submit a book proposal to publishing company Hay House, the world's biggest publishers of mind, body, spirit and self-help books.

From an initial group of around 170, she's one of only around 13 who have got as far as submitting their book proosal and accompanying You Tube video. The more people that watch the video, the better her chance of winning. But only one winner can be picked to have their book turned unto reality.

Michelle will find out if her book-called 'The Answer.'-has won on Friday*

*Actually Monday 10/01/12

She says "The phrase "Be careful of what you wish for" can be all too true. However, i have not just survived, but discovered that actually The Answer to your wishes can be simpler than you think.

to watch Michelle's video.

You can also find out more by visiting

Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Years Resolutions that last more than a month!

January can be a depressing month; the aftereffects of all that indulgence in December, plus generally grey and cold weather can lead us to despair-but it doesn't have to be that way!

Making New Year Resolutions is a traditional thing; but how many of those resolutions do you actually manage to keep?

I know from personal experience how hard it can be; my favourite failed resolution was one I made 20 odd years ago... I decided that I needed to lose some weight (which I did), but by January 3rd I had given up my diet and was back on the chocolate!

So why do many resolutions fail? It is really quite simple; nobody plans to fail, but we sometimes fail to plan!

If we start something, if we have a cherished dream, or an ambition, then in order to achieve, we need to plan how we are going to get there.

So this is my guide to making-and keeping, and achieving-those New Year Resolutions.

1. Make them realistic; it's no good resolving to be a brain surgeon by March!

On the other hand, you could resolve to research how to become a brain surgeon, what qualifications you require, what you already have and what your first steps would need to be.

2. The 'personal' resolutions: Losing Weight, Stopping Smoking, etc.

I did lose weight in the end; 4 1/2 stones of it...but I could not have done it alone, and for most folks, I think that is an important point. Find a local group that fits in with your personal circumstances and be prepared to have to work at it, after all where my weight was concerned, I did not put it on in two weeks, and therefore I could not expect to lose it in two weeks!

Make sure you can live with the diet you choose, and be prepared to make some sacrifices!

3. If you have a dream or ambition, remember they cannot come true unless you are prepared to actually work towards them...

If you want something badly enough, the universe will hear you, and you may find that things begin to fall into place to allow it to happen, but you still have to actually take positive action yourself.

For example...

In 2005, I desperately wanted to be a writer, but I did not have the first idea about how to actually get my meanderings into print!
In October that year, I was working at an Angel and Faery Fair in Penzance; the organisers did not realise that it clashed with a Festival of the Sea, and it was very quiet... On the second day, I plucked up the courage to talk to a lady who had a stand near mine; that was Jacky 'The Angel Lady' Newcomb, and she is now one of my closest friends...

She suggested I start by submitting articles to magazines; you might get rejected at first, but you have to keep on going and eventually someone will take one!

I bought copies of lots of MBS magazines and sent off articles, but heard nothing. Then, the following month at another event in Haslemere, I met a man who knew the editor of a new magazine looking for writers! I bought a copy, studied the articles, and wrote a couple of samples in the same style and to the same wordcount and submitted them-and Diana Jarvis, who was the editor, took one of them and published it!

I can still remember the excitement I felt at seeing my writing in print for the first time!

The point here is that whilst the universe will do what it can, it is up to us to take those opportunities and make something of them.

4. The 'I want...', holidays, homes, etc.
These are the resolutions requiring money, sometimes lots of money! You have to work out where it will come from, and it is no use relying on the lottery!

If you need more cash, it may mean getting another, better paid job, which brings another set of questions of course!

5. Back to the Brain Surgeon!

If you want or need a new career, but are not sure what sort of job you would be suited to or like, then there are lots of online resources these days, but you can always start by writing a list of all the things you are good at, and like to do...and discover which career choices would play to those strengths.

I started out as a clerical trainee, something I was completely unsuited to! After a very uncomfortable 18 months, I was made redundant and got a job in a busy town centre newsagent/record shop which I loved!

Make your New Year Resolutions count!

This year, make not stern sounding 'resolutions' but rather kind and gentle 'promises to yourself'; things that you know you can keep to, that you can discover how to reach, and above all promise that you will make the effort!

Happy New Year!