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Carrying on from yesterday’s post about aligning your attitude with your dreams, I’d like to give you some practical steps on how you might achieve this.

There are as many ways of beginning this journey in search of your dreams, as there are “self-help” gurus out there offering to help you on your journey. On that I’ll discuss in more detail but for now I just say: always listen to your intuition, trust your heart- your-gut- your own inner voice: no one knows your truth better than you.

Now I’ll just share with you the simple method I use, which does get results if repeated regularly- it takes 30 days to create a new habit after all. I thank and credit Andy Shaw of “Creating a Bug-Free Mind,” and Janet Attwood [The Passion Test] and Marci Shimoff [your Year of Miracles] for the essence of this system, because they taught it to me:

1/ Get very clear in your own mind what it is you want: [INTENTION]

What are the 3 specific intentions that you want to appear? What time frame are you aiming for, 6 months or a year? Get yourself an inspiring journal and write your intentions down. There is something decidedly effective about expressing your thoughts on paper.

2/ Live your dream inside of your head; make it a reality for you. Or if you’re more of a visual sort then create a VISION BOARD – remember to think big. [ATTENTION]

This really is the fun part of the whole process. It involves using your imagination to really feel, create and experience your dreams come true. Create a mini-video where you’re the star, and the producer too and feel how amazing your life is. Notice who you are with, the sights, sounds, wonderful smells and so on. Each morning when you first awaken or last thing at night before you go to sleep [depending on your preferred bio-realm] RUN your video with a grin on your face and within, and then say your intentions silently, or out loud – as you prefer. For example:

*I am fully loved and supported, and;

*I give and receive love and compassion in abundance.

*I am magnetizing financial freedom and plentitude and have more than enough so I can contribute to assist others.

*I am connecting with and expressing my passions with vibrance, vitality and infinite vision.

The focusing on the present, ‘I am…’ anchors your intention in the NOW, and no matter what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, that’s what counts. Then aim to notice what synchronicities show up during the day – how you are moving forwards, where things are becoming less stuck and how are you moving into alignment with your aims? Jot down your observations in your journal along with the date and your feelings/thoughts at the time.

It’s not just enough to dream it, to experience it inside our minds, we also have to actually do some work and move forward in order to bring our reality into the world. Again, it is important not to look in too much detail at the HOW will I achieve my goal.

Generally, its about avoiding extremes- those who simply nurture positive fantasies of the future sunny uplands, sitting on their butt, without taking action tend to flounder. Whereas those with some defined goals for the future tend to fare well, especially when coupled with a measure of pragmatic realism and resilience.

3/ Relax, breathe and believe that it’s already here: [NO TENSION]

Just focus on one thing that will bring you closer to where you want to be. Rhonda Byrne has a very good quote that describes this perfectly. “You can only EVER take one step at a time, so that’s all you actually need to do – take the next step.”

Above all give it time and be ready to receive. Release resistance and the urge to try control outcomes, just be open and trusting.


The beauty of following this system is; you don’t know exactly how you will succeed, but the Universe does, and it will lead you gently down the right path to success. 

I really hope this simple system of making your dreams into a reality gives you some inspiration to try it in your own lives. Remember; “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you are right!” GIVE IT A GO AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!       

Before I finish today, I’d just like to give you some quick and simple tips on ways to change your attitude from the negative to the positive:

1/ At some point each day, ideally as part of your morning routine/ritual spend 5 minutes listing in your head all things you can be and indeed aim to be grateful for. As with your intentions, jot them down in your journal later on.

2/ Read, listen to and watch less news. In fact, why not do what I did and have a total media ban for a month. You’ll be amazed at how much the negative news has been subtly impacting on your attitude and thoughts.

3/ When you are walking somewhere, smile at people, for absolutely no reason other than you want to share your good mood and attitude.

4/ We live in a world of duality – for every negative circumstance, there is ALWAYS a positive opportunity. Look for the positive in everything and just don’t focus on the negative.

5/ Pay absolutely no mind to anything anyone says about you or does to you. Their opinions cannot hurt you – only your reaction can. Just turn away and be happy and proud of who you really are.

6/ Get into the habit of performing small “random acts of kindness” every single day. They make the recipients day and they also make you feel absolutely awesome. It can be something as simple as standing for a lady or an elderly person on the train or the bus; holding a door open for somebody; or giving a few pesos to an elderly or disabled beggar. It doesn’t matter really because once it becomes an ingrained habit for you, the benefits will surely be seen in your attitude, your thoughts and your actions.

7/ Don’t listen to or spread gossip. Gossip really only hurts one person – YOU! You never know the full story of anyone’s life, so don’t judge them and certainly don’t start or pass on rumors or gossip about them. There is only one person in this world you can control and that is you.

There are many other little tips, but that’s a good start, and I’m sure you can come up with many more. In fact, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, with your ideas and tips. I’m always excited to get new ideas.  

 

 

 

 

You may wish to check out the previous blogs on this and similar topics. The last four blogs are listed below: 

Attitude Upgrade Part 1

Karma It’s Gonna Get Ya! 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Three-Day-Eventing – A Horse’s Pentathlon – What’s That All About, Then? 

Do take a look at my debut novel: Spirit of Prophecy. You will find many of the topics that I cover in these blogs intricately woven into a wonderful “whodunit” mystery tale. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

 

Spirit of Prophecy - Audio Book

  Following on from the post about Gratitude:

‘Each one of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.’

                                                Albert Schweitzer

 

 

Today, we will look at the role that attitude plays in both improving your own life and the lives of those that you surround yourself with; your loved ones, your friends, your work colleagues and everyone else that you interact with on a daily basis.

Your thoughts and actions are like ripples on a pond, spreading out, influencing and affecting everyone around you. Most important though your attitude affects YOU. It affects how you feel, how you think and how you act. If you want to succeed at anything you need to ensure your attitude is spot on. Henry Ford said it best, when he said; “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, then either way you are right!” If you truly want to achieve something, especially something beyond your normal comfort zone, if you think you can do it; you’re well on the way to success, but if you start off the whole process with a list of reasons why you can’t achieve your goal – then guess what? You won’t! ATTITUDE IS PARAMOUNT!

The key to success is belief coupled with resilience. If life throws you off track – which it will on occasions- then you can develop the mind-set that says; Ok, so now I get back up, dust myself off, see what the lesson is for me in this, and then I course correct.’ Most of us desperately want to believe in ourselves, but we allow that incessant little critter inside our head (our ego) to convince us that we are just simply not good enough to do it. You know what I’m talking about – you come up with an idea, something you really want to try, and pretty soon that little voice inside your head gives you 101 reasons why you can’t do it – you’re too old, you’re not smart enough, you don’t have enough resources, you don’t know enough about it…and so on and so on, ad infinitum. What your ego is trying to do is protect you from the pain of failure, retain the status quo, and keep you as it sees it, in the familiar ‘safety zone’ of the known.

The status quo is simple, it’s comfortable, it’s easy, so your ego tries its very best to keep you in check at every opportunity and remind you of your perceived shortcomings in order to ‘protect you.’ What we need to understand is that our ego is NOT us – it is not the real you, it is merely a construct or collection of pre-programmed ideas, concepts and belief patterns that were drilled into us from our very earliest days, and often these have negative connotations and are limiting. You may remember your parents, your teachers or your friends saying things like; “Oh rich people are just lucky, or even worse, all rich people must be crooks; you need to find a stable career, something to support your family; leaders are born, not made – some of us are just meant to be followers; only the really smart people can succeed in life; or perhaps the worst of all, you just have to accept your lot in life, there’s nothing you can do about it” As we grow up if we accept these things as being gospel then we limit our opportunities and life accordingly. Sometimes just singing to the same old tune keeps you stuck and contracted instead of being open to change and resonating with awesome new possibilities.

 You have infinite power inside you to change anything in your life and in your circumstances – life does not have to happen to you; you can make life happen for you, and it all begins with your attitude.

I love this quote from Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Hero”; “It isn’t necessary to have big dreams, but if you don’t have big dreams; big dreams can’t come true.” One of the first things that happens when we begin to get “ground down” by life is that we lose the inspiration and ability to dream. Without dreams we are just mere shells of the amazing, awesome human beings that we were meant to be. Dreams, aspirations, visions and goals and expressing our gifts are what make us unique in this world.

Everyone can benefit from big, wild, seemingly impossible dreams – it’s what gives us a sense of purpose, of fulfillment, and of wonder. If you reach for the stars, even if you don’t always make it, you’ll surely come closer to heaven. We need to remind ourselves that this is OUR life; not our parent’s life, not our bosses’ life, not our children’s life, not even our spouses’ life – but it is OUR life and its up to us to work toward making our dreams come true, for our own sake and for the planet.

The main key to achieving your dreams, is to actually start out on the road to achieving them –THE WHAT OR THE WHERE, not in trying to figure out in great detail how to get there. Whether you believe it is The Law of Attraction, the Power of the Universe, Karma, or just plain good luck doesn’t actually matter; the reality is that when you are following your dreams and approaching life with the right attitude; the people, the circumstances and the opportunities WILL appear in your life and will show you the way.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow and catch Part 2 of this enthralling article on how to upgrade your attitude. I’ll have some amazingly practical steps to impart to you on just how you can make your attitude align with your dreams. You won’t want to miss that.

You may want to check out our previous blogs. Listed below: 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Three-Day-Eventing: A Horse’s Pentathlon? What’s That All About, Then? 

Money and Your Wallet – A Love Story More Tragic Than Twilight

Wealth Mentor/Best Selling Author – Jill Hughes

In the meantime why not take a look at my debut novel: Spirit of Prophecy. You will find many of the topics that I cover in these blogs intricately woven into a wonderful “whodunit” mystery tale. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

Spirit of Prophecy - Audio Book

Generally, the idea of karma is associated with reincarnation, the soul derives from a higher dimension but choses to [re-] incarnate on Earth – here on the physical realm of the 3rd dimension. We reincarnate many, many times and on each occasion, we have a soul blueprint which will include lessons to be learned, contracts to be upheld, karma to be balanced or received, gifts to be expressed, and ‘purpose,’ to be discovered and lived. I was open to metaphysical ideas and found them fascinating from quite an early age, in my teens I read Tarot cards and read lots of books about magic and New Age Spirituality. On a personal level I had a profound experience in my early twenties where I become convinced that my Junior show jumper who had been put to sleep owing to a twisted gut, had returned in the guise of my new horse a 16.2 hand palomino called Hooray Henry. Their ways, behavior patterns were uncannily similar, so many synchronicities and ultimately it was an over-riding gut instinct or intuition which had me swayed, as these things can be felt, intuited and believed, but can be difficult to materially prove with hard scientific or otherwise “evidence’’. I’m hoping this will change and that science and spirituality will forge a closer bond going forward.  

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.’’

                                                                    Nikola Tesla

The concept and idea of Karma is one that is rooted in the very history of mankind, right back to the first time we took steps out from the jungle and began to organize ourselves into self-governing communities. Broadly speaking, Karma, certainly as defined by most people today is the concept that; our actions today have an effect on the results we will receive tomorrow. It is the spiritual principle best defined by “cause and effect”. In other words, our intent and our actions (cause) influences the future of what we will receive (effect). If we have good intent, and perform good deeds then that contributes to our “good karma” and we can expect to receive future happiness from it. Conversely, our bad intent or our bad deeds will contribute to us receiving “bad karma” or future negative outcomes.

Karma, is a critical underlying thread that underpins much of the action that takes place in my novel, Spirit of Prophecy and I thought it might be a good time to explore and expand on what karma can mean to us today, in our everyday lives.

Originating in the ancient Indian, Vedic civilization, the philosophy of Karma has been intrinsically woven into the fabric of almost all religions and philosophies over the history of man. Karma is often associated with the idea of being “reborn”. This is particularly apparent in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. In these religions Karma is seen to affect not only your current lives, but also the nature and quality of your future lives, when you are reborn, after death. 

Over the years, karma has also come to be a concept accepted and understood by the mono-theistic religions, such as Christianity and Judaism. Although not specifically spoken of as Karma, there is an acceptance among many biblical scholars that sin and the effects of that sin i.e. the final judgement are very much in line with the concept and teachings of karma. Similarly, in Judaism, the concept of “measure for measure” applies. In matters of ethics, this means, how one’s actions effect the world, will eventually come back to that person, in ways he or she may not necessarily expect.  

In recent years, the concept of Karma has been thrust very much into the mainstream of philosophical thought, with the emergence of new-age thought and more specifically the 2006 publication of the movie and book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. The principal concept that this new-age spirituality promotes is that, “thoughts are things, and what we think determines very much what our reality will be.” Karma plays a crucial role in new-age thought. The Theosophist I.K. Taimni wrote; “Karma is nothing but the Law of Cause and Effect, operating in the realm of human life and bringing about adjustment between an individual, and other individuals who he/she has effected by his thoughts, emotions and actions.” In simple, laymen’s terms, “what goes around – comes around”. I don’t entirely agree with this definition as the assertion that: “Karma ís nothing but the Law of Cause and Effect,’ is flawed in my experience, it is that to a certain extent, and is certainly based on Newton’s law – for every action there is a reaction, and yet it is so much more. I’ll elaborate more on this in my subsequent post. Meanwhile, remember that karma shows up whether you consciously recognize it as such or not, some children are more likely to recall past lives, but generally even as we evolve and become more spiritually attuned we tend only to remember vague snatches, save perhaps in a good Past Life Regression therapy session – more on that later. Meanwhile look at events in your life as learning possibilities, giving you the opportunity of course correcting. Ultimately you are the master of your own destiny. Accept where you are right now, and what is occurring [everything was agreed up-front, so no point resisting or fighting back – if you do it will just boomerang further down the track, on this circuit or the next and even add some new karma to be worked through as well, perhaps?] and ask yourself, ‘Okay, what’s going on here? What did I do to cause this, now or previously?’ Accept, genuinely without bitterness and resentment that at some level you deserve this. Accept your responsibility and instead of retaliating, forgive the other person and yourself, and send loving compassion instead.

The Secret, The Law of Attraction, Quantum Physics, Manifesting, Gratitude, and other concepts of these new-age philosophers are all areas I plan to expand on in future articles. For now, though, I hope I’ve awakened your interest in this fascinating and constantly evolving area of philosophical discussion and I hope you will take a quick look at my novel, Spirit of Prophecy, where many of these concepts are intricately woven into the storyline, in such a fascinating way. You can find it here, on my website. http://http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

Here is my opportunity to earn some instant karma by recommending the latest book from my fellow author and dear friend, Ken Fry. Shakyamuni’s Pearl is an exciting, thriller set in modern day Japan, with roots in the ancient system of the Samurai Warriors. This is an absolute “pearler” of a novel and one I can not recommend highly enough. You can find a copy of Shakyamuni’s Pearl, here on Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2CbmZkM

Or conversely, here on Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2FnJkio

17th Century, Japan
The Legend…

Ama divers, Makoto and Kaho, discover a gigantic pearl deep in the coastal waters of Japan, resembling the head of Buddha, Shakyamuni. At that time, all finds are the property of their Daimyo, Lord Hatakeyema. Their secret is discovered, and before they can bring the pearl to the surface, they are attacked. Rather than face certain death by beheading, the couple commits suicide by drowning — taking the pearl with them.

Since then, it has never seen the light of day…

The Present…

Maxine D’Argy Steele and Hugo Leyton, renowned researchers, are offered a lucrative deal by an American-Japanese pearl and diamond dealer. Locate the legendary pearl and recover it. They form a team to help them in their quest — a renowned freediver and oceanographer, and an ama diver, Mizuki, who has motives of her own.

But the problem with legendary treasures is that people will kill to own it.

Two rival factions, the Yakuza, a criminal organisation led by Kazuma, and The Flaming Flag Society led by Yamura, are aware of the expedition, and they will use all their resources to possess the pearl.

With danger from above and from below, Maxine and Leyton dodge bullets and threats as they try to resurrect Shakyamuni’s Pearl from its watery tomb.

 

You may wish to check out our previous blogs, which are listed below:

An Attitude of Gratitude

Three Day Eventing: A Horse’s Pentathlon? What’s That All About, Then?

Money and Your Wallet – A Love Story More Tragic Than Twilight

Wealth Mentor/Best Selling Author – Jill Hughes   

Many of us are searching for an abundant and purpose-filled life and over the next few months, I hope to introduce you to many of the tenets that can help you to achieve that happiness and a purpose in being. Today, I want to focus on something that is important to our well-being as human beings – maintaining an “attitude of gratitude”.

Why is gratitude so important to us? Motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols tells us; “gratitude is the rich soil in which our future grows.” Just a cliché, you may say. I say, why reject any cliché out of hand? There is a reason why clichés gain ascendancy in our consciousness and that is because at their core, they hold a vital kernel of truth. What I think Lisa is trying to say to us is; the way we think, speak and act, today, directly impacts on where we will be tomorrow. If living in the present is the key to a successful and happy life (and it is) then gratitude is a highly desirable component of that process.     

Most of us, if you’re like me, probably think we are grateful most of the time, but if you sit down and carefully analyse your thoughts and behaviours, you will quickly realize just how easy it is to slip into feeling ungrateful. Most of us spend way more time complaining, whining, doubting and criticizing, than we ever do feeling grateful, satisfied or even accepting of our situation. Thirteenth Century German Philosopher, Meister Eckhart gave us a little gem that sums up the importance of gratitude, perfectly. “If the only prayer you ever utter in your entire life; is ‘Thank you’, then that will suffice.”

I know that some of you will throw your hands up in the air and exclaim; “what have I got to be thankful for? My life sucks!” My answer would be; perhaps that’s because of the negative thoughts, words, and attitudes that you have embraced in the past, but remember you don’t live there anymore. Okay, granted it is not initially easy to override the negative – its human, and proven that over 90% of our thoughts are negative, so expect some serious weeding will be required to plant and nurture the seeds that will blossom into flowers. Leave the old Habit-House. Move onwards and upwards.

Check out the effects of Human Thoughts, Words and Music on Water, on Youtube, bearing in mind that our bodies are comprised of around 70% water. Dr Masaru Emoto, conducted experiments on the cellular structure of water. It was claimed that negative scolding of pure water in petri dishes produced ugly ice crystals after freezing, whereas the praised and blessed water from the same source produced beautiful crystals. His claims have been de-bunked as “water woo,’’ psudo-science and so on. But given that very few universities are open to researching psychic phenomena [yet] and there seems to be a deep and persistent hostility against anything outside the boundaries of current convention, and the assumption that everything in the Universe operates in a mechanical way, I’m very much keeping an open mind on the Water-Woo: let’s face it people can get upset when their deeply held beliefs are put in a state of conflict as this threatens the edifice on which their lives are underpinned.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”

                                                                                Arthur C. Clark

Instead I’m pondering on pilgrimages and people travelling to Lourdes, also the experiments of Dr William A. Tiller, who while at the top of his field chose to explore whether consciousness could affect matter, Gary Schwartz and The Intention Experiments, Dean Radin, Chief Scientist  at Institute of Noetic Science and the  Double Slit Experiment so far his results aren’t widely published as they appear to contradict the dogma-of-our days in so far as the mind over matter tests has been successfully repeated several times. Then there is the Global Coherence Project using random number generators, where the patterns change when major global highly eventful and emotional events occur, such as 9/11, or the death of Princess Diana.

Our beloved dog Faro had to be put to sleep the week before Christmas as he had cancer of the spleen, lungs and an enlarged heart. It was heart wrenching and I miss him every day but I am so grateful to have been able to end his pain and suffering, for him to have a quiet and peaceful transition, that it didn’t happen whilst he was at the boarding kennels over the festive holiday period and that above all,  the three adult children were in town and able to spend precious time with him and say their goodbyes. 

Change the way you think today and that includes being grateful for where you are and what you have – right now. Then think about a bright future filled with love and compassion. No matter how bad your life’s circumstances may seem, there is ALWAYS something you can be grateful for; for the new day, the opportunity to walk, to talk, to breathe, indeed, just the opportunity to exist. We take for granted so many of the wonderful experiences and things that we as human beings are blessed to enjoy and be grateful for, every single day – open your senses, enjoy the world around you and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. When the bad stuff hits, and that’s a part of life after all, feel the feelings, grieve the loss but don’t get stuck there, instead, as soon as you can, look for something to be grateful for. There is always something, even if it is as simple as the sun shining, or the sweet scent of a flower – actively seek out things to be grateful for. You’ll be glad you did.

Some practical steps in adopting an “attitude of gratitude”:

  1. Say “thank you”, every time the opportunity arises and mean it.
  2. Start saying “thank you”, every time you sit down to eat or drink.
  3. Start every day with an attitude of thankfulness – give thanks to the Universe for the new day and for all the blessings in your life.
  4. Make a “gratitude list” – writing things down, has real power, so jot down the things you feel grateful for.
  5. Stop complaining – don’t vocalise your annoyance or frustration.
  6. Don’t gossip – gossiping only hurts one person – the gossiper.  
  7. Ingrain the attitude of gratitude into your subconscious. How do you do this? Make it a habit. And, how do we create habits – by repetition. Regularly and meaningfully practice the art of gratitude and in a short time it will become as normal to you, as walking, getting dressed in the morning, or driving. You won’t even have to think about it, anymore, it will just come naturally.    

The Six Pillars of Life:

  1. Life is SUPPOSED to be wonderful!
  2. Attitude is EVERYTHING!
  3. LOVE is the ultimate power in the Universe!
  4. Live in the PRESENT!
  5. Happiness is a CHOICE!
  6. Maintain an attitude of GRATITUDE!

I will be expanding on all of these other five pillars, in articles in the future, but in the meantime, please feel free to take a peek at my exciting new book, Spirit of Prophecy, which has many of these ideas running through it, as well as being a fun and exciting “whodunit” along with a touch of spiritualism, a pinch of witchcraft, a tad of new-age thought, some lovely horses and there’s even an alien or two making a timely appearance. It’s an absolute corker and you can find it here: http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

You may also wish to visit some of our previous blogs – listed below: 

Three-Day-Eventing: A Horse’s Pentathlon? What’s That All About, Then?

Money and Your Wallet – A Love Story More Tragic Then Twilight 

Money Mentor/Best Selling Author – Jill Hughes 

Top Indie & Self Publishing Tips Part 2 

 

My debut novel, Spirit of Prophecy features a mixture of the paranormal, wicca, science fiction wrapped up in a good old-fashioned murder/mystery, Spirit of Prophecy is centred around the rarefied world of three-day-eventing. I want to take some time today to explain a little about how the Three-Day-Event works and why it is so popular within the equine community and with the general public, at large.

In the equestrian world, the three-day event is seen, by many, to be the pinnacle of equine supremacy. Why would be this be so? Simply put, the three-day event tests all of the innate skills of the horse and of horsemanship by combining three equine events into a challenging series of obstacles that tests not only speed, endurance and courage, but also accuracy and temperament. It perfectly encapsulates all that makes horses and horse competitions so enthralling to both the equine community and the general public.

Three-day eventing and the horses and riders that participate in it forms the central platform of my debut novel, Spirit of Prophecy, with one of the principal characters Juliet Jermaine being the current Olympic champion in the Three-Day Event and her horses the focus of much of the action that takes place in the story. For this reason, I’d just like to explain how the three-day event works and give readers some insight into why it is such an esteemed event within the equine community.

Although eventing is extremely popular all over the world these days, it is and always was a quintessentially British sport. Like so many other sports Britain has introduced to the world, the students have, to a large extent, become the masters. The sport still has plenty of British champions, but the powerhouses of three-day eventing are now to be found in the colonies; New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, and parts of South America. It is truly a world-wide phenomenon and incredibly popular, as both a televised and live spectator sport.
As hinted in the title of this piece, the three-day event is comparable to the human pentathlon or decathlon, in that it tests all aspects of a horse and rider’s skills, ultimately looking for, if you like, “the best equine athlete in the world.” Although some events are held over one or two days, in general terms, the event is performed over a three day time frame. It consists of three very different and challenging disciplines; dressage, cross-country, and show-jumping.

The dressage could perhaps best be put in terms of human endeavour. In many ways it is similar to a ballet performance, but one that requires the horses to undertake a series of predetermined moves, within a specified, enclosed arena. This is the only subjective part of the three-day event and a judge or team of judges awards demerit points for horses and riders that do not perform exactly to the laid-out requirements. Judges will be looking for balance, rhythm, suppleness and most importantly perhaps, cooperation and affinity between horse and rider. The basic idea of dressage is to show that a horse is not only capable of strength, power and endurance, but also can perform in a graceful, relaxed and precise manner. Demerit points awarded in this discipline are then carried over to the cross-country and show-jumping phases of the three-day event. The key to winning, for horse and rider is to score the lowest number of points.

The cross-country is the most physical of the three events and truly tests horse’s and rider’s, speed, stamina, courage and endurance. Cross-country courses vary all over the world and are unique to the designers, but they all have one thing in common; they aim to offer the rider an opportunity to take risks or to play it safe. There is often more than one way of completing an obstacle in the various challenges set. Many cross-country courses are set in exceptionally beautiful countryside, which encourages spectators to flock to the event for a “family day out”. Two of the most prestigious and beautiful such sites in Britain are the annual events held at Badminton and Burleigh, both of which are considered “must wins” for a three-day eventer to say they are at the pinnacle of their sport. As with the dressage, cross-country is about trying to score zero points (that is, make no mistakes to incur demerits). The usual demerit points in the cross-country phase are, 20 points for a horse refusing a jump or running out of the obstacle area, without jumping the obstacle. In addition to this, the cross-country is a timed event and demerit points are added to the horse’s total if they fail to complete the course, in under the specified time, commonly, this is 0.4 of a penalty point per second over the optimum time.

The show-jumping phase of the event is usually held the following day from the cross-country and before any horse is allowed to compete in this phase, they must pass a thorough veterinary inspection to ensure they have not been damaged in any way by the gruelling cross-country phase. Like all show-jumping events, faults are awarded for fences knocked down (4 faults), 1st refusal/disobedience (4 faults), 2nd refusal/disobedience or fall of horse/rider (Elimination), and time performance (1 penalty for every second over the optimum time).
Finally, after completion of the three stamina-sucking events a horse and rider, with the least number of demerit points over the course of the event, can be declared the winner and proud owner of the title; “the best equine athlete of the event”. One reason why this event is so popular as a sporting contest is that it is still one of the few sports where women and men compete alongside each other as equals. Many of the top eventers in the world are female.

Do, please, take a look at my exciting novel, Spirit of Prophecy, set in the exciting world of three-day-eventing. You can find out much more about it, here, on my website. http://bit.ly/2LeRJ84

Please, also consider following me on my social networks, listed below. I absolutely love interacting with readers and fellow authors.

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Quill On Old Book - Self Publishing Tips by Jill Hughes

Marketing – let the real work begin?

Oh dear, to continue the equine theme – this is one of those cart and horse, which comes first things isn’t it? And just when you’ve dedicated months/years to finishing your book you’re expected to switch from flat racing and pace to plot arcs and hurdles – whoa! So, the finish is just the beginning? Yes, it’s a two-circuit track, like the Grand National. Really there’s a school of thought which says that it’s advisable to start building your Author Platform before you write your book – or at any rate at least begin thinking about it. So, where do you start?

Try running a Google search on Amazon top 100 bestsellers, pick some authors that resonate with you and check out their websites and blogs. This way you can glean lots of ideas and see what works and what doesn’t. Then you can start thinking about developing [having it developed?] your website and starting a blog. A good place to start with your website would be an author website e.g. Jill Hughes Author, where you can add your books as and when they’re released. The observant amongst you will have noticed, no doubt, that I did not follow my own advice – my own website has a wider focus and includes Wealth Mentoring, amongst other things, my books are on the Books By JJ Hughes page.

Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complicated or time consuming you enter the realms of Social Media marketing, at which point I switch from being a hot-blooded thoroughbred to a cold-blooded cart horse. When it comes to Social Media marketing I proceed not at a brisk trot but a staid old plod before grinding to a halt. But I have an idea – yes, you’ve guessed – out source it. Now you are no doubt beginning to realise how the self-publishing budget stacks up, and up. I guess you’re wondering, is it really worth it? In pure financial terms, perhaps not, most writers don’t hit the big bucks – but an increasing number of Indie and self-published have and many more are on track. So, if you’re still reading this you’ve decided to hang on in there. Great.

Calling all aspiring/improving self-help authors

First I’d like to look at the self-help market which is a great place to start and as some of you will be aware I write both fiction and self-help books. Personal development and self-help is a big and booming business, just check out this section in your local book store or on line. Do you have some expertise, are you a specialist? Don’t undervalue your own expertise, and wouldn’t you love to get the book that’s bubbling up inside you out into the world? How about all the benefits that would start to flow your way if your book hit the best seller slot? Your credibility would take off and open the door not just to royalties but more income from clients, speaking engagements, consultancy, workshops, events and on-line programs?

Interested in learning how to write and publish and market a best-selling self-help book? Great, as that’s Geoff ‘s area of expertise and success – he got ‘Inspired by the Passion test’ to the No 1 best seller position on Amazon, and as luck would have it he’s offering some amazing free online training. To find out more Click Here.

Do check out our other blogs, with similar material:

Top Indie & Self-Publishing Tips (Part 1) 

7 Tips To Pursue Your Passion

That’s all for now as I’m signing off, leaving you with plenty to be thinking about I trust. More about Marketing in the next blog.

In love and light.

Jill Hughes Wealth Coach Signature

Girl Writing in Notebook - Self Publishing Tips by Jill Hughes

Do you have a deep aspiration for expression?

Many of us do apparently, and indeed my own self-publishing journey began with the bright idea of entering an Amazon story telling competition on Kindle Direct with a publishing deadline in May 2017. This effectively gave the writer’s block a good kick up the butt and because of the short time frame [relatively speaking after five years of impressive procrastination] I set about finding an experienced professional Editor who worked on the novel in sections – bearing in mind that the MS wasn’t yet finished! Before long I twigged that I’d have to allow a further two weeks post editing to have the MS formatted and ready to upload, then there was the cover design – luckily my Editor recommended someone based in Los Angeles who did a great job with quick turnaround. So far so good – then I found a reasonably priced formatter who promised quick completion, terrific. Along the way I had to research many different types of formatting – mind boggling, my formatter uses E-Mobi…yawn. Somehow, [techie-illiterate-nitwit-me] I managed to follow his instructions and downloaded Kindle Reader [or something] onto my PC [Mamma-Mia, am I pleased or what?] so I can get a preview. I read through the novel, and find some errors – argh, so back we go round the circle with the clock ticking trying to correct them. The E-Mobi file goes back and forth, and meanwhile the bill goes up. Then somewhere amongst my searches I stumble – literally like Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole – across the vexing issue of copyright and intellectual property rights – have my characters recited lyrics? You bet – the hero recites an entire b-poem. Not advisable this, so tick-tock, time and the file is flying. Then I have a light bulb moment and carefully check the competition terms and conditions – no news is good news as they say, as it transpired that I was also required to make the novel available in print-on-demand format as well. At which point, panic well and truly set in. Enter research about Lulu.com vs CreateSpace and so on, and the White Rabbit is checking his pocket watch. What’s a girl to do?

Give up – tempting, with another file conversion required it seems highly unlikely now that I’ll meet the submission deadline. Still determined, I start sourcing CreateSpace formatters, only to find on re-reading the entry small print that finalists would be chosen not on originality as I’d believed but on Amazon sales, reviews and borrows – so this massively disadvantaged debut novels and newbie authors like me and mine. To get shortlisted you needed previous novels already published plus a marketing campaign that was already up and running, an audience and heaps of readers and followers. The race horse equivalent of falling at the Canal Turn and failing to finish. So, I decided to pull together my take on beneficial short cuts and pitfalls to avoid and help you to complete the course with considerably less stress and over load. Here goes:-

  1. EDITING – can be expensive but it’s essential. After your friends/family/expert readers have run through your MS and you’ve digested the feedback and made corrections, it’s time to find 2-3 editors who are experienced in your field/genre/niche. Phone or email them to talk about your book and discuss their schedules and fees. Ask for a free sample edit of a few pages, then select the best fit and have fun. Here’s to a long and productive relationship.
  2. PULLING A PRO-TEAM TOGETHER – realistically unless you’re a die-hard DIY techie sort you’re going to need to replicate the production team and back up that a traditional publisher would provide, namely a) an editor, b) a professional cover designer, c) book formatter[s], d) marketing/PR consultant[s]. Da-da! Now take a sharp intake of breath as you are going to need a budget ranging from $/£2,500 to $/£15,000 for this little lot. Poor quality finish, bad formatting, typo’s, errors and omissions will cost you dear by generating bad reviews – and bad reviews will hang around out there in cyber space like a bad smell wafting in. Don’t let that happen to you!

If you’d like my personal referrals including an incredible value, great quality one-stop-shop to save you time, effort and money sign up here:

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More to follow….soon…..

Do make sure you check out: Top Indie & Self-Publishing Tips (Part 2) 

In love and light.