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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Up Close and Personal with Patricia


Hi guys

Today I thought I would share a little bit about me and why I'm here. 

I'm a mum with four grown up children. All of whom I'm very proud of. Three sons and a daughter. I now have a grandson who is my treasure, never knew you could love someone like this. 

My eldest son Joel is a leisure manager for a local school and a drama enthusiast in his spare time. He's also an ardent football fan. (It's all about the arsenal). 

My daughter Danielle who follows him in age raises money for charity, teaches young people drama and is also a make-up expert. 

Next comes Jacob, a bit of a maverick, works in loss prevention, has given us our first grandchild and has decided to take on the world and do whatever it takes for his son. He also does catwalk modelling and gets loads of free designer gear. Nice work if you can get it! 

Then my youngest James, working his first job in retail, and making his mark in the world in his own way. I think he has a career in stand up comedy, or acting as he's very good at improvisation. He's also very good with young kids and trains them in sports. 

I've been married for 30 years to my college sweetheart and  every time someone asks me how long I've been married they are always totally blown away when I reply 30 years. "No one is married for 30 years Patricia" is what they tell me. "Were you a child bride"? (Of course I love this one.......)

I could write a book on marriage. Several. In fact I probably will. To be honest I'm pretty passionate about marriage and family. 

The older I get (I've recently entered my 5th decade, but that's another post) the more and more I see that practically everything goes back to our childhood, our upbringing, our family and our home life. It affects the way we do things, how we treat others, the goals and expectations we have of life, and other people and most importantly ourselves. 

I really believe if we have healthy, caring, strong and principled homes we bring this into local communities and into society at large. It then affects each new generation.

Both my husband and I pastored for ten years which was an incredible part of our journey as a couple and a real education about ourselves, people in general and life. So much goes on behind the closed doors of many a respectable home. I tell you this, all families have issues. It's not just you. It's not just me. But I loved spending time with people, opening my heart to them sharing my struggles and in turn hearing about theirs. People love to help and it was a real heartwarming place within which to serve others. 

I then trained as a life coach which actually allowed me to take what I was doing with families and people in the church to a wider group of people, many of them unchurched. But again, all families have issues. I found the same human conditions prevailed. It was a new period of learning for me. In fact I believe I was at my most happiest. I remember at times leaving my coaching Practice at the end of the day and feeling totally alive and attuned to my surroundings, other people and being very animated and excited about life in general.  I remember sharing this feeling with a colleague who replied " Patricia, if you're feeling this happy you are in the top 10% ie people who have found their true calling and purpose in life."  I think they were right. My feeling of happiness went deep down in the cells of my body. I could feel it. 

I then took my coaching to the radio. So a new group of people, a new audience that's worldwide. But guess, what the issues are all the same. We all want loving relationships. We all want our families to be happy and successful. We all want to be financially astute and financially free. We all want our children to do well. We all want good health. No matter who we are or where we live. 

So now I'm blogging and sharing on topics that are close to my heart. Hopefully another platform I can make new friends and connect with new people. It's exciting to see your blog being read in faraway places such as Venezuela, the Caribbean, Thailand, Guinea, Japan, Russia and places nearer home, Ireland, Italy, France, as well of course USA.

You will find that women's issues come up most of the time. I will speak on relationships, family matters, personal development, health matters and business/money issues. After all life is a business, it's all about the money; if you don't have good health you don't have anything and to be successful in life we have to keep growing. 

I hope you will visit my blog regularly (My plan is to write at least weekly) please have a read, say your thoughts, follow me. I promise to visit and follow you too.   It's a global conversation. 

I would especially love to connect with you if you are a woman over 35 who wants to challenge herself to get as much out of life as possible. If you're discovering your purpose, maybe have a few areas in your life that need attention and you're looking for support and encouragement along the way, I'm your girl. 

Til next time,

Patricia 



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What's Love Got To Do With It?



More than just a line in a catchy song but a question I ask when I hear about domestic violence.

What exactly comprises domestic violence?

Domestic violence (closely related to domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence and intimate partner violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic context, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Intimate partner violence is domestic violence against a spouse or other intimate partner.

So it would appear that often the person closest to us such as our partner is the perpetrator of such behaviour. It's very hard to feel loved in this kind of environment.


On this week's Real Love Show we had with us Motivational Speaker, Awarded Broadcaster and National Ambassador of Domestic Violence UK, Jenni Steele.

Jenni experienced domestic violence  as a teenager and shared with our audience her journey into self-confidence and personal  accomplishment.

Jenni's abuser was her first love. Someone she felt emotionally close to and who she thought loved her. 

Jenni says "after being punched up so bad that I was left unconscious, I was saved by a neighbour. I never went back."

Something Jenni shared which I found so useful was that sometimes people judged without realising they were doing so. Like so many women, including some who have been on my show previously, Jenni told no one what was happening to her.  One of these reasons was judgement from friends.

I asked her "Jenni, how can this be, if it were me and my friend was being abused I would feel angry on her behalf and want to immediately confront the person in question, such would be my indignation".  But Jenni explained people often come back with the reply "that could never happen to me", "if that was me, I would do this" and this type of response makes the individual feel they are to blame. That they are in some way culpable, that they were allowing it to take place.

I thought to myself, what a very good point. That's exactly what is happening. It doesn't help, strengthen, bolster or encourage the victim at all. In fact it makes them less likely to open up and tell someone what is happening.

So can I use this post to simply encourage anyone that hears another individual's story to suspend the judgement. To simply listen. With compassion and help them any way they can. If it is to go along with them to the police. If it is to hold their hand while they reach out to organisations such as Women's Aid or Jenni's charity Domestic Violence UK, then let that suffice.

And let it be known, it is NEVER the victim's fault. They are not to blame. There is never an excuse.

President Obama said the following just after the Ray Rice incident where the footballer knocked his wife out cold during an argument,

"Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors."

“Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football – and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

We all do indeed!

Listen to Jenni here on the Real Love Show


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach and Relationship Coach
Talk Show Host
Sound Women 200 List
Top 100 Most Influential Black People in Digital/Social Media
Christian Women in Media International Network Leader
BEFFTA Best Radio Personality



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Bout With Depression


Well, it really seems as though this disorder knows no bounds and it does not discriminate when it comes to choosing it's victims.

People in the public eye are becoming more open about their experiences and journey through depression. I choose to use the word journey as thankfully it does not have to be a destination. 



In the wake of the recent news of actor Robin Williams taking his own life whilst in a depression and Fifi Geldolf, daughter of rock star and humanitarian Bob Geldof, opening up about her twenty years of depression, about which she had told no one, I wanted to use this blog to share my thoughts on this subject. For many reasons its something people don't like to talk about. It seems to carry a stigma that can lock its victims into a silent world.

I recall some years ago when I was very listless and lack-luster about life with very low energy and little enthusiasm for most things. I remember thinking that I must be low in some vitamin requirement and that I just needed some "tonic" from the doctor and all would be well.

At the time I had 4 young children between 1 yr and 9 yrs of age. My parents were living in the Caribbean having recently retired there. It felt strange having them so far away when I was used to seeing them on a weekly basis. My mother's health wasn't so good and she had in fact had 2 heart attacks since going to live abroad. My concern for her was never far from my thoughts.

My children were great, no problems there and my husband was supportive and totally engaged with his young family.

Of course life was demanding with such a young and robust family and like most mothers and wives I put their needs first, after that there was my husband and then next there was the house. Me......, well I tended to find time rather than make time.

Anyhow on visiting my doctor to obtain the required elixir, he quietly listened to me describe my symptoms after which he proceeded to explain to me that I didn't have a vitamin deficiency, but I was in fact depressed.

I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. Depressed. That wasn't a word that I associated with myself . And no thank you, I did not need the prescription he kindly wrote out for me. No way!

I decided I didn't want to be depressed and I wasn't going to be anymore. I wasn't going to take the ante-depressants he recommended at all. I got home and sat myself down. I confronted the diagnosis and thought well if I am depressed what is it that I am depressed about? Two things came to mind after some contemplation.

I was desperately worried about my mum. I didn't want her to die. She couldn't die. She was my mum. She was the centre of our family. Life would never be the same again. I remember being told that the third heart attack is always fatal and that sentence had lodged itself in my mind and spirit. I was so far away. What on earth could I do? My father was elderly also and what would happen if she became ill again and there was no one around. Would an ambulance get there in time? Would anyone be there to even call the ambulance? That plus a myriad of thoughts filled my mind daily. I felt so powerless. So far away. So helpless.

I didn't like the feeling of helplessness. That got to me more than anything. I always believe something can be done. I do not like playing the role of victim. I recognised I needed to change my perspective.

I realized I was also discouraged within myself as I had had no time to do any form of exercise as I normally did for several months and I was feeling the effects of that. I knew I had to change things. Instead of trying to find time to exercise I had to make time; make myself a priority and create the time. I needed to recognise that I mattered too. That I was "somebody" too. And life would still go on if I wasn't always at the beck and call of my family, the world would still keep turning. Things needed to change. I needed to change. Both my thoughts and my behaviour.

So I decided to take a proactive role when it came to my parents and to my mother in particular. We had a family meeting with my siblings and we came up with a care arrangement that satisfied everyone, including my mother who guarded her independence quite fiercely.

Then I joined the local gym and got myself there by hook or by crook 3 days per week, no mean feat with my family still needing my time and attention.

Two very simple steps but with outstanding results for me. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Slowly but surely, in a matter of days and weeks I felt better. I even looked better. I didn't carry a pertually pensive look on my face and I wasnt so absorbed in my thoughts as before. In fact, I began making plans for a holiday break, thought about changing my hair colour, all simple things but things that meant I was feeling positive, again. I also felt back in control. After all, I had done all in my ability to address the situation regarding my parents and I now had that essential "peace of mind" about my mum and my dad. Things were coming together. Life was moving onwards and upwards again. Seemingly miraculously the depression was gone. I hadn't even noticed it leave. It was a day by day thing. I just realized one day that I was actually feeling hopeful and excited about everything and was experiencing joy in my daily life and as I went about things generally.

I recognise and accept that I did not have severe or clinical depression. I understand my depression was mild to moderate and would be classed as situational depression.

I talk about this because someone reading may relate. You may not have gone to the doctor as I did and may not even realise you have depression. I didn't realise and would never have thought of myself as being depressed at the time.

One other thing I could have done was just talk. I am quite a private person and if I don't have something positive to say I would rather keep things to myself. This can work in a lot of other areas of life but in this area it didn't help.

It is good to talk. It's also good to write. To journal. To express through poetry. To write a diary. To get your thoughts out. A good friend at these times is invaluable. If you like a group approach speaking in a forum where it is confidential is also great. Sharing in your church women's groups or men's group can be good too. It can be particularly hard to open up about depression if you are a church member as you are supposed to be full of the joy of the Lord and aren't you rather letting the side down if you are full of sorrow and unexplained sadness instead?

Depression can be isolating at the very time you need companionship. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. The old cliche A Trouble Shared Is A Trouble Halved is true.

What does the song say, "Lean on me, when you're not strong, I'll be a friend, I'll help you carry on, For it wont be long til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on." 



If you are a person of faith and your faith is tested you can lean on someone. Two are better than one because when one falls down one can help the other up, says the book of Proverbs. Life is fluid. It doesn't stay static. Christians can be subject to sadness, anxiety or depression and its important that instead of denying it we address it and get the help we need. If you don't feel strong enough to do it by yourself, get help. Do what Fifi Geldof did and open up. Lighten the load. Help someone else by sharing your story. Talk to someone who is patient and has time. You can even comment on this blog post. You can email me (askpatricia@me.com). You will find, you are not alone going through this but many others can and will relate.

On this week's Real Love Show regular team member, Janet McNish was with me in her capacity as professional therapist and I know she can provide you with further help you should require. Find her at www.JanetMcNish.com

Saturday, 16 August 2014

So, What Do You Think of Interracial Dating?


http://askpatricia2000.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/love-across-the-cultures/


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Body Confidence: How to Like What You See in The Mirror


 
From childhood we are sold on an ideal image of beauty, one few of us ever see reflected when we look in the mirror.  
 
This article will show you how you can look in the mirror and despite the ideal, see only a beautiful you.
 
When you look in the mirror, what’s the first thing you notice, and how does it make you feel?  
 
If you’re like most people, the first thing that catches your eye is probably your least favorite asset.  If so, don’t worry you’re not alone.  Here’s why.
 
Can you guess how much money is spent in just one year by advertisers to sell us on the concept of the “ideal” image of beauty?  
 
Well, I can’t either but I do know this—it’s a lot of money, certainly somewhere in the billions of dollars!  
 
So, technically, you can consider yourself brainwashed.  
 
From your earliest childhood days—whether you played with Action Man or Barbie—you’ve been receiving constant, consistent images telling you what beauty is supposed to look like.  
 
Never mind that these images are for the most part, anatomically impossible!
 
And, would you really want to look like David Beckham anyway?  Or Jessica Simpson?  Honestly?  
 
I’m guessing probably not.  
 
So, here’s how you can build your confidence with the body God gave you:
 
1. Look in the mirror
2. This time, really look at yourself.  
 
Reflect on the compliments you have received.  
 
Do people tell you how great your hair is?  
 
How beautiful your eyes are?  
 
That you have a nice smile?  Try to see what they see.

3. Stand far enough away from the mirror so that you can take it all in.  What do you see?  Find at least three positive things.

4. Now, get up close.  
 
Really close.  
 
Look at your eyes—the irises.  
 
What colour are they?  
 
Are they all one colour or are there flecks of various colours?  
 
How would you describe them using positive analogies or adjectives?

5. Now, smile.  What does your smile convey?  Warmth?  Happiness?

6. Find at least three characteristics you like best about yourself, and then accentuate them as you dress to go out.
 
• If you love your eyes, make sure your hair doesn’t cover them up
 
• Love your lips?  Make sure to keep them soft and moisturized
 
• Your hair?  Get a flattering cut and condition it regularly to keep it shiny and healthy
 
In short, amplify what you like, and don’t worry about the parts you don’t.  
 
Here are some ways to do just that:
• Go shopping and bring a good friend.  Ask them to help you pick out colours and clothes they think flatter you.  Don’t worry if your first reaction is “that’s not me!”  

Experiment!

• Feel better about whatever it is you don’t like about yourself by picturing the absolute worst-case scenario.  Exaggerate whatever it is you’re hung up on and blow it up in you mind until it’s comical.  Then look in the mirror—not so bad anymore is it?
 
Accept yourself for who you are, how you look, and focus on what really matters—the things about you that can’t be seen—your heart, mind and soul!
 
• What do you want people to praise you for?  Is it really how you look?  Probably not.  You probably want people to think you’re funny, smart, nice, or generous—something along those lines right?

• Make a list of your positive personal qualities and characteristics.  Then ask yourself, what’s more important?  Get involved in activities that build on your personal characteristics—volunteer, join a club, take a class to sharpen a talent.  These will help you emphasize and focus more on the more important qualities that get you through life successfully and with more fun.
 
 
Live life, love fully and laugh often!

Patricia Benjamin
Life & Relationship Coach
Sound Women 200 List
Top 100 List Most Influential Black People in Digital/Social Media
Christian Women in Media International Network Leader
BEFFTA Best Radio Personality
Twitter: Ask_Patricia & AskPatricia2000
iTunes: Real Love Show & The Ask Patricia Show


 


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Love Me Love My Body

Paying attention to our health is central to enjoying a happy and successful life.  Our inner and outer health work together and are entirely co-dependant, you cannot have one without the other.  The universal Law of Cause and Effect dictates if we have a healthy mindset it is impossible for this not to bereflected outwardly.  What we must first do is to Take Responsibility for our physical health, how we feel about ourselves and the way we look.  This is our choiceThe way we look, apart from our genetics, is largely down to us and no one else.  If we are petite and slender we can love every inch, if we are large and curvy we can love every inch.  If we want to lose or gain weight we can make it happen.  We do not need to look in the mirror and hate what we see.  Help is available if we need to make adjustments  to our nutrition, help is also at hand if we need to add a customized exercise plan to our daily routine and generally be more active.

 

Beyond pure aestheticsour physical health plays a key role in how we live and run our lives.  It affects whether we have the energy to invest in our families, our relationships, spend fun time with friends, our careers.  Having good health means we will be around to enjoy the fruits of our labour.  It means our family can enjoy having us around for a long time.  Your partner will have your beauty and love in his life for as long as possible and you will enjoy having a body that gives you what you demand of it.  Clearly, neglecting our bodies is not an option!

 

Our emotional health is part of our health profile and is very often affected by high levels of stress.  Stress can show in our bodies in a myriad of ways: headaches, feelings of sluggishness, poor sleep patterns, weight gain, constant anxiety, high blood pressure and the like.   We are all stressed from time to time, and in fact some stress can be good if channelled correctly, e.g. working to meet a dealine.

 

How we handle stress will affect our emotional well being.  The most important thing to do is to identify the source or reason for the anxiety and face it.  Once we have faced up to it we can take steps to deal with it.  Do not allow it to fester and build, get outside help if necessary, forget about being super mom or superwoman.  The truth is she was an urban myth andnever really existed, everyone needs help and no woman is an island.

 

In today’s highly pressured, fast paced and instant society, taking time for self is not an indulgence or luxury but an absolute must.  Time spent on you is never time wasted or time that could have been better spent.  We are all on some level, whether consciously or subconsciously seeking peace.  This time will help you achieve it.  Schedule ‘me-time’ as part of your daily and monthly routine.  Choose activities that relax you, inspire you, nurture you, affirm you and which blow away the cobwebs.  Here are some favourites, add your own:-

 

Enjoy laughter (a cheerful heart is like good medicine)
Have a Girls Night In/Out
Book a massage
Run a perfumed bubble bath, use your best body oils and pamper your skin
Play music that makes you feel good
Dance like no-one is watching
Run or walk daily
Enjoy good sex with the one you love
Admire the beauty of a magnificent sunset
Keep a journal
Celebrate your achievements, don’t wait for someone else to validate you
Get a makeover
Smile deeply
Pray and give thanks
Have some Belgian chocolate (sometimes it’s nice to be naughty!)

 

Well, it goes without saying that with our physical and emotional health being on the up and up, it is a no-brainer to recognize that you are going to be feeling pretty good about your fine self!  So your body image will as a matter of course be positive.

 

You will appreciate your body and what it can do and how good it can look.  Your beauty will start from within, from your core and your state of mind.  Forget about what the media says about how you should look and ignore the unrealistic and impossible to achieve images the magazines present.  Many of the models which grace their covers are not healthy and mayhave developed eating disorders in order to stay competitive inthe industry.   Moreover, in many cases the pictures have been airbrushed to death and even the models do not look quite that good!

 

Your positive body image comes from knowing how fantastic you really are and knowing you are doing all in your power to look and stay healthy.

 

So walk with your shoulders back, your head up and sport a beautiful smile, which is the prettiest thing you can wear!

 

Have a strong, purposeful and confident stride as you step out onto the Catwalk of Your Life

 

Patricia Benjamin

Life Coach

Love and Relationship Coach

Sound Women 200 List

Top 100 Most Influential Black People 

In Digita/Social Media

Christian Women in Media International Network Leader

BEFFTA Best Radio Personality

Twitter: Ask_ Patricia

iTunes: Real Love Show



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Are You Tired of Pretending?


If you read all the books on dating and attraction you would be forgiven for thinking all it took to get someone interested is flipping a switch - like magic, instant attraction.

Some say all you need to do is obey "the rules", or "think like a man" or learn "the code".

But one problem, Are you being the Real You? If you have to come up with this new construct of yourself are you being fair to your prospect, never mind yourself?

Will these artificial tactics give you what you really want? Someone who loves you for who you are? Someone who will appreciate the uniqueness of you? Flaws, imperfections and all!

Maybe it's time to concentrate on finding out what you like. What you enjoy. What your passions are. And pursue this to the maximum. It's very possible that during that process and along that journey you will meet the person who is exactly right for you.

The great thing is that you will be living your truth, living your purpose and loving your life. Very powerful attraction factors.

It's time to be real if you're looking for a love that's real too.

Join me every Monday on award winning Ruach Radio for The Real Love Show (www.ruachradio.com - on Tunein App)

between 4-6pmUK/10-12pmCST/8-10amPST

the SHOW is about all things love and relationships.

Speaking with amazing guests, such as; Dr Gary Chapman, author of New York Times Best Seller 5 Love Languages,  Oprah Winfrey's Ambassador of Hope Marala Scott, Professional Matchmaker "Real Life Hitch" Paul Carrick Brunson, gospel superstar Fred Hammond, and so much more....

The Real Love Show, the best in relationship radio.


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host
BEFFTA Best Radio Personality award
Sound Women 200
Top 100 Most Influential Black People in Digital/Social Media
Christian Women in Media Network Leader
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_Patricia
iTunes: Real Love Show

Monday, 7 July 2014

You Are Loved - Don't Let Shame Hold You Captive

I spoke to my guest, Caroline, on the Real Love Show. She shared her story of enduring years of violent domestic abuse.  She went through a virtual hell, a nightmare!

Beaten, battered, broken and bruised; having to go and live at several Women's Refuges, once even while pregnant. 

Enduring the physical pain was one thing. But the emotional and mental pain was another level. Even worse the fact that she told no one. No family. No friends. No colleagues. 

She tells me she learned to sit in the dark in complete silence. Quietly. Still. Not moving. Not making a sound. Hoping desperately that whoever was knocking at her door would eventually go away believing she was out. For she couldn't possibly let them see her like this. Swollen eyes. Scarred. Puffed cheeks. No make up could hide these fresh wounds.  

Finally she tells someone. Finally her family learn the truth. Once she has overcome her sense of shame, she gradually realizes that her family love her. That they aren't going to judge her. That they will gather her into their arms and gather her back to life and love. 

Isn't it awful that not only does the situation imprison but the mindset that it produces imprisons so securely!

She was always loved. But she could not reach out and avail herself of that love. 

I want to use this blog post to say to anyone who feels imprisoned, overcome or bound by similar circumstances that you are loved. You are worthy. You are somebody. You are better than this. No one has the right to hold you down. 

Pick up the phone and call a trusted friend. Call a family member you instinctively know will understand. Go online and seek out organisations such as Women's Aid, etc. 

Contact me at AskPatricia@me.com. 

You will be believed. You will receive support. You are not alone. 


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relalationship Coach
Facebook : Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_ Patricia
ITunes: Real Love Show

Thursday, 3 July 2014

3 Important Lessons I've Learnt so Far this Year.

Three Important Truths I have Learnt so far this year. 
 

(1) When God updates your identity you have to let go off those who are clinging to the emotional familiarities of the old you. 

Life is about revelation and progression. The more we learn, grow and develop the more we expand and are able to do. Understanding that life is a journey, that I am on the way to my destination it means that I have to be prepared to move from my previous comfort zones. Comfort zones can be people. People you associated with before. I have to be willing to let go of who I was. 

(2) Don't allow any and everybody to speak over my life. This is a big one. It's important to recognise that not everyone has the right to speak into your life or destiny. Not everyone understands you. God will bring into your life those who do. They will be those who have trodden the same path before. You will recognise them the same way I did. There will be a resonance. A connection. An understanding and you'll just know you are birds of the same feather. Keep these people close. Read their books, follow their blogs, listen to their podcasts, go to their seminars, have lunch with them. Essentially, learn from them by any and all means possible. 

(3) When dealing with others, Until you solve their problems and address their needs you are not relevant. Meet someone's need and you have an audience. Give the people what they need AND want. Find out how they want it, then go ahead. Be a problem solver. 



Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_ Patricia
ITunes: Real Love Show



Wednesday, 2 July 2014

No Matter What, Whatever it takes.....


Don't you dare give up on who you are. Don't ever give up on your dream. Don't ever give in no matter what! 

The caged bird doesn't wait until it's out of the cage to sing. Despite the bars, despite the confinement, it sings. It lifts it's voice and sings it's song. Do you have a voice? Do you have a song?

It's not over yet. While you are alive and drawing breath your dream lives. 

Life so far may have been cruel. You may have been let down my friends. You may have experienced disappointments. You may have experienced hurt, disloyalty and betrayal. But it's not over. 

Do people laugh when you share your deepest desires? Do they tell you it can't happen. No way. Do they tell you it's the impossible dream?

Well, if it's in your heart and soul, it's possible. Your deepest desires and dreams have been put there by God and with Him all things are possible. The fact that you can dream it, means you can achieve it. 

Remember your dream will be the making of you.  So it will cost you. It will take something from you. It will teach you. It will train you. It will build you. It will make you. The accomplishment and fulfilment of your dream is the final part of the process of bringing you to a place of maturity, wisdom and understanding. 

Whilst going through your process do not compare yourself with others. Their tests and trials may not be apparent. But they are there nonetheless. If they seem to be going faster or quicker than you, remember the race is not given to the swift but to him that endures. 

In order not to give up on your dream you must not give up on yourself. You can make it. You will make it. You have come this far, and there is no turning back. 

Find it in you to be violent. There are times to violently oppose the status quo. If it is in opposition to what you are trying to do then you must use your best endeavours to bring change. 

Remember, your dream will not come to you. You must go out to meet it. Out of your comfort zone. Out beyond what's familiar to you. Out to that place where the magic happens and the miracles appear. Go out to meet your dream. 

Use your personal resourcefulness fully. Be wise. Be cunning. Be opportunist. Be smart. Be proactive. Be willing. Be ready. Be prepared. Resist the negativity. Resist the faintheartedness. Resist the passivity. Resist the poverty mentality. Resist the victim mindset. Resist the fatalist mindset. Become creative. Become a change maker. Become the game changer. Make your own rules. Live your own life. You decide. You choose. 

"And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith". 1 John 5.4

"The violent take it by force" Matthew 11.12

"If you believe in yourself, know what you want, you can make it happen." Mariah Carey


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
AskPatricia@Me.com
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_Patricia
iTunes: Real Love Show



Thursday, 5 June 2014

Your Confidence Evaluator



So far, I've published several blog posts about confidence, motivation and how to declutter your life. Here is a super way to assess your progress. Let's take the Confidence Test. Be sure to let me know how you did. 

The Confidence Evaluator is an assessment to evaluate your current levels of confidence and self esteem.

Take the test, see what your scores are and then map out a plan of action to increase your scores over the next 2 months.
Rank your current levels of confidence in each area of your life. (If the sentence is true give yourself 1 point,  If not, then 0 points.)


Self Worth

O I love my life and I am very happy
O I am a worthwhile person
O I love being me
O I don’t feel like a failure
O I am as good as other people if not better
O I can laugh at myself
O I am a positive person
O I don’t worry what others think of me
O I look in the mirror and like what I see
O I am good company to be around

Self Worth score out of 10 –


Go for it!

O I am not afraid of failure
O I don’t beat myself up if I make mistakes
O I don’t doubt my own ability
O I know what I want in life and am moving towards it
O I am in control of my life
O I know my strengths and weaknesses
O If things don’t go my way I never give up
O I’ve succeeded in the past and I will succeed tomorrow
O My philosophy is “You only live once”
O I am always thinking of ways to be more successful

Go for it! score out of 10 -


Communicating with others

O I am a confident communicator
O I don’t mind speaking in front of groups
O I am not afraid to say “NO” to others
O I don’t get nervous when meeting strangers
O I can keep a conversation going
O I am not afraid to complain if I get bad services
O I am not frightened to speak up at meetings
O I have no problem asking for what I want on the telephone
O I have good interpersonal skills
O I am interested in what others have to say

Communicating with others score out of 10 


Having pleasure and fun!

O I don’t get nervous when I tell a joke
O I enjoy having fun and relaxing
O I take pleasure in my achievements
O I never think that when I experience
pleasure it is undeserved
O I don’t have to work hard at having fun
O When I succeed I never respond by feeling defensive or anxious
O If others don’t like me having fun, that’s tough!
O I make people laugh
O I regularly have fun
O I smile a lot

Having pleasure and fun score out of 10 -


Confidence at work

O I am in control of my career
O I don’t doubt my ability to do a/the job
O I don’t have a problem with talking to people higher up the organisation than me
O I don’t have difficulty in saying “No”
O If I lost my job today I am confident that I would get one very soon
O I don’t mind speaking in front of others
O I like to do presentations
O I should be in a much higher position at work
O I know my weaknesses and I have got a plan in place to improve them
O Criticism rarely fazes me

Confidence at work score out of 10 –


Looking after yourself

O I take in exercise at least 3 times a week
O I lead a healthy lifestyle in terms of the food I eat and I do not abuse my body with excess alcohol
O I am happy with my appearance
O I regularly visit the Dentist, Optician and the Doctors for check ups
O I manage my stress levels by relaxing each and every day
O I have at least 3 holidays/breaks per year
O There are no outstanding issues or problems that have not been resolved or working towards being resolved.
O I do not chase my tail in terms of not having enough time
O I regularly treat myself each week to something I enjoy – clothes, cd’s, massage, nails, hair, skin etc
O I regularly assess how I am looking after myself and put a plan in place to improve

Looking after yourself score out of 10 –


Growth & Development

O I am constantly learning and growing
O I try out new things and activities all of the time
O I make plans to improve myself constantly
O I know what my goals are and I am eagerly and effectively making them a reality
O I enjoy variety
O I develop the people around me so that they are more successful in their lives
O I have all of the tools, aids, contacts and resources to make me a success
O I have a mentor who continually pushes me to achieve more
O I make events happen rather than wait for them to happen to me
O I regularly attend seminars, training courses and conferences to improve

Growth & Development score out of 10 –


Unfinished Business!

O I am in control of my own life and my own destiny
O I could die right this moment with no regrets
O I am doing what I want, when I want
O I am really optimistic about the future
O There is nothing I am dreading or avoiding at this moment in time
O I have a plan in place to succeed in all that I do
O I am implementing my plan
O I have the energy and drive to succeed
O I am not afraid of making mistakes or failing at things
O I am now ready to give it all that it takes to succeed

Unfinished Business score out of 10 –



Your overall scores:

Area
Score


Self worth
Going for it!
Communication
Pleasure & fun
Work confidence
Looking after.
Growth
Unfinished Business

TOTAL

Put your overall scores in the table above and highlight the areas of your confidence that need the most work.

Jot down below the top 5 activities that you are going to start on immediately. What jumped out at you from completing the assessment?

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

So, what was your score?
Use the chart below to see what confidence league you are in!


Points - 70-80
League - Premier League

Points - 60-69
League - Division 1

Points - 40-59
League - Division 2

Points - 00-39
League - Division 3

Premier League
You should be writing material not taking tests! You win the championship every single year.

Division 1
Huge potential to jump into the big league. Need to polish your skills in a couple of areas to get promotion.

Division 2
Playing to a good standard but are underachieving. You have spouts of confidence and then doubts creep in. You need more consistency overall.

Division 3
The only way is up. Sack the current manager and recruit a new one with a proven track record. Make a fresh start from this moment onwards and nothing will stop you.

TAKE ACTION NOW!
You owe it to yourself to have as much happiness in your life as you can, do something about it today.

If you would like to take up life coaching with me send me an email today and we can talk. 

Email to patricia@patriciabenjamin.com


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love and Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: @IamAskPatricia
iTunes: Real Love Show


Thursday, 29 May 2014

In Honour of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, Famed Poet and Author, Dead at 86

In honour of Angelou's death, let's celebrate her life and remember her inspiration and wisdom. 

We are told King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. Wisdom's price is far above rubies. The book of Proverbs tells us that wisdom builds her house, that wisdom is the principal thing and we are encouraged that in all our getting, seeking and aspiring to get and to seek after wisdom. 

Maya Angelou who left us this Wednesday, having fulfilled her life's work, and may we all do the same, shared her wisdom with us all. 

Using the art of communication she made an indelible impact on the world. A philanthropist, humanitarian, educator,  author, playwright, teacher, civil rights activist, speaker, actress and filmmaker —she was a woman who used every means and method to get her story and message across.

In a world overflowing with information, Maya Angelou always drew us in with her masterful story-telling. Now we all know why the caged bird sings.

I remember going to see her perform here in London in 2007 and being so uplifted by her speech, her aura, her spirit and her compassion. Compassion for humanity. She was not only a great and inspiring poet but her generosity of heart really came forth. There are many gifted people whose abilities have promoted them but whose characters do not have the power to move you. To move you to be bigger. To be better. To love more. To give more. Maya did all that. 

Like Maya, I share a love of reading and as a small child I was never happier than when I was locked away in a different world from everyone else, created by the author.  I also loved to write as a child. In fact my mother recently told me that in one of my early school reports my teacher wrote that "Patricia shows all the signs of being a writer." I've since learned that our abilities and talents are signs of our callings, vocation and life purpose.  We often demonstrate these abilities in childhood when all we know to be is ourselves. 

Listening to Maya reading her poetry that night, as well as reading her books for myself and learning of her life story, I am encouraged to be me. And only me. Never a poor imitation of someone else. My gifts are mine to use. 

The wonderful thing is this, the more we use our gifts, the better we get, and we actually receive more besides. It's like our Creator sees we have faithfully used the gift He entrusted to us and gifts us with even more. Maya says it in her way "You can't use up creativity. The more you use the more you have."

As amazing as Maya Angelou's legacy is we should know that she had no particular advantage over any of us. In fact, during her 86 years she had to rise above sexual abuse, poverty and prostitution to become the person we knew. Yet, she came here for the same reason we all did, to make a lasting impact, to make a mark, to affect other people's lives for the better, to be an instrument of compassion and peace and to use every means available and every personal gift, talent and resource to do so. 

We can all be encouraged that despite the challenges, difficulties and obstacles life throws in our path, we can rise. 

So never mind the nay-sayers, the well-intentioned, the fault-finders or the dream-stealers, go out and take hold of life with both hands. Anything else isn't playing full out. 

Through it all, still we rise. 

Thank you Maya Angelou. I'm encouraged. 


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_Patricia
iTunes: Real Love Show
Email: AskPatricia@me.com


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Be More Confident

Here's How to be More Confident.

Stop These Behaviours

1. Binning the positives

Do you tend to overlook the compliments people give you?
 
Do you refuse to accept and ignore if someone says “That was a great job, well done” or “You look fantastic today”?
 
How do you usually reply to praise?
 
“Oh, it was nothing, it was easy” or “I don't look great really, you’re just saying that.”
 
Do you realize that you’ve just discounted the fact that you worked really hard to get that job done or that you take time over your appearance to get it right?
 
Let’s set this record straight. A simple “Thank you” with a smile is the perfect response.
 
Think it over. Is it that much of an effort?
 
You would give credit to someone who does a great job. Make sure you accept the credit when you do a great job or when you receive a compliment.
 
2. And they all lived happily ever after

Perfection is an illusion.
 
Oh yes it is. No point arguing here.
 
So if you are a person who has to have everything perfect in your life, it’s going to be pretty tough, buddy! You are setting yourself up for disappointments.
 
Do you have thoughts like:
 
 “That shouldn't happen to me.”
 “I can't believe that has happened.”
 “That's unfair.”
 
Stop looking for that perfect world. Everyone has things happen to him or her, good and bad. You are not a special case and no one is exempt.
 
Instead accept that bad times fall on all and ask yourself “What could I do to improve this situation now?”
 
3. Blaming other people and events

Do you blame others and don’t accept responsibility for outcomes that are different from your expectations?
 
Do you say:
 
 “If only my parents had been more ambitious I'd have had more success by now.”
 “If only I didn't have to impress all of the time.”
 “He make's me feel so bad.”
 “She had a hold over me which means I can't do anything.”
 
While this attitude is awful, it will also make you feel like a ‘victim’. Forever you will move ahead with a sense of helplessness; that you are capable of nothing.
 
It isn’t your fault. Is it?
 
YES, IT IS!
 
Agreed, the event has had an effect on you but at the end of the day only you have the responsibility to let it affect you.
 
So, how do you turn these thoughts around?
 
Well, for starters, focus on the reality.
 
If you feel something is unfair or unjust, accept that it is.
 
Then accept that the impact it has on you is your responsibility.
 
Don't make excuses; it is your responsibility!
 
4.  It's all or nothing!

There’s more than just black and white. There are several colors in between, right? Like blue, green, red, yellow, pink, brown, purple, mauve…phew!
 
Then why are most aspects of life just black or white? Are you one of those who think “It’s all or nothing”?
 
Is there no grey area in between?!
 “I am either a success or a failure.”
 “If I get first place, I am a winner. If I get second place, I am a loser”, irrespective if there are 20,000 runners!
 “If I don't get things 100% perfect I am a flop.”
 “If I don't get an A Grade in Math, I am a failure.”
 
Well, in life there are rarely successes and failures. In fact, success is a journey, not a destination.
 
Success and failure are not meant to be measured on a 100 or 0 scale. At the end of the day if you don’t perform to your highest standards, it certainly doesn’t mean you scored a zero!
 
Your “It’s all or nothing” thought is only setting you up for failures.
 
How many times do you perform with absolute perfection?
 
Less than 10% of the time!
 
So, does that mean you are a failure 90% of the time?
Now you know that’s utter nonsense.
 
Why do you always have to be perfect?


Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_Patricia
iTunes: Real Love Show
 


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

21 Ways to Ensure 2014 is Your Best Year Yet!



1. Take your health seriously. That might mean walking more. Eating less fat and sugar. It might mean drinking more water. It might mean cutting back on alcohol. It might mean learning to relax, taking time out for self to de-stress. Without this one being in place the rest are not assured. Your health and well being must be valued. Love you! 

2. Clear your space. Clear your environment. Clear your workspace. Clear your home. Create a sense of flow, freedom and ease in your surroundings. Do what it takes to get that done. If necessary hire a cleaner, hire a gardener, hire an interior designer. Let life work for you. Set things up so you win.   

3. Start saying no confidently. No is a great word. That word makes sure you do not over commit. It ensures you don't play a victim's role in life. It gives you power and control. It's your life. You choose. You decide. 

4. Don't be afraid to say yes. Yes to your dreams. Yes to your ideas. Yes to your talents. If you don't decide to do you, then who will? It really is now or never. Your life isn't a practice run. This is it!

5. Now you've said yes to yourself you're going to need a brand new image. Yes, image, everyone needs one and very often we need several over time. Life isn't just the survival of the fittest but the survival of the re-invented. The best global brands keep it fresh, new and current even when it's basically the same product but with a few new bells and whistles. Think Game Change. 

6. Do you need to change up your associations. The people you fraternise with. The people you work with on projects. Perhaps you need a new energy. A new creative mix. Keep it moving......

7. Break the worry habit. Take your thought life in hand. No more letting your imagination run riot with every possible terrible thing that could happen. Take control by dealing with those things you've procrastinated over, do what's in your power and then let it go. 

8. Get a money plan in place. If you have debt speak to a debt adviser, if you regularly over spend ask yourself why you do this. What hole are you trying to fill? If there is a vacuum in your life overspending on luxuries or indulgences will not address the problem. 

9. Still unclear on your life purpose? Are you feeling stuck despite earning well, despite having a high status job, if so, it's time to dig. The truest way to find your purpose is to find what you were made for. To find that thing you do so naturally and easily that you think "anyone could do it".  What do people constantly praise or admire you for? What gift, talent, ability did your primary school teachers note about you? What do you do that gives you pleasure like nothing else. Find this and you've found your vocation. You were created with purpose and designed to accomplish that purpose. Whatever it is, don't be afraid of it. Walk into it. Walk into the light. Your light. Let it shine. Don't hide it under a bush. Don't apologise for your greatness. Be bold in what you do. It's the only way to be. 

10. Finally decide to forgive everyone. Everyone who disappointed you.  Who let you down. Who hurt you. Who rejected you. Don't be a victim of their behaviour. Take control by forgiving them. Release them from your heart. Release yourself from the pain. Let it go and live your life. Free. Work with a coach or counsellor or other professional if necessary. 

11. Respect your feelings.  Anger has its place. Don't say it's okay when it isn't. If someone disrespects you or is rude to you then you don't have to laugh it off. You can call them on it.  You don't need to be rude but you can state firmly that their behaviour is unacceptable and you deserve better. Turning the other cheek does not mean being a doormat. You were not created so people could walk all over you. 

12. Remember that classic song "don't go changing to try and please me.........I love you just the way you are." Well, Its time for you to stop trying to change the ones you love. Would you like it if they kept trying to change you? Exactly. 

13. Laugh more. Laughter is medicine for the soul. It lifts sadness, gives you energy and makes life enjoyable. So no more gentle, restrained or polite laughter please. Go Hard. Rolled up, on the floor, doubled over, side splitting, belly aching LAUGHTER. 

14. Practice counting your blessings at the end of each day or even at the end of each week. You will find yourself surprised at just how blessed you really are.  Name them one by one. Perhaps start a journal. 

15. Get real with your spirituality. If you've lived your life up till now unconcerned with the deeper things of life; now is a good time to think about such things. Why wait until your death bed to recognise you are more than flesh and blood and that the real you is a spirit being. We are spirit beings having a human experience. Getting connected to your creator is the most life affirming and actualising thing you can do. Number 7 on Maslow's hierarchy of human need is self-actualisation: to find self-fulfilment and realise one's potential. Number 8 is self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfilment and realise their potential. To go beyond self satisfaction and to make your contribution to the world. That contribution is why your creator designed you. 

16. What would you do if you didn't have fear?  When you've answered that, ask yourself if what you fear is actually real? So will you feel the fear and do it anyway?

17. Is there an individual real or imaginary, such as a tv or book character, that you do not like? Ask yourself why you don't like them. Do you think you have any similarities? If so, what have you just learned about yourself. 

18. Forgive yourself. It's okay to make mistakes. Did you know that no one is perfect. No one gets everything right all of the time. You are okay. 

19. It's time to fall in love with love. Time to fall in love with life. Decide to have a glorious love affair with the one you love. Make it extra fun and don't tell them. Just let your actions speak for you. Romance him/her. Compliment them every time you meet. Tell her she is the prettiest girl in the world. Send her a love letter. Tell him he's your hero. Buy her Belgian chocolate. Buy his favourite beers and put them on ice. Let him watch the game with his friends! Take her dancing and hold her close. Go on picnics, day trips, watch the sunset together. Get some more ideas flowing and nice up your love life. 

20. Challenge yourself to learn something new. A new language. A new skill. Take an evening course. Learn to salsa. Learn how to bake. Learn how to draw. Learn how to write poetry. Learn an instrument. Whatever takes your fancy, give it a go. 

21. Create a travel plan. Nothing expands the mind like travelling: meeting new people, observing other cultures, experiencing different approaches to life, start now. Make sure you keep a travel journal or diary in which to record your adventures. Life can be an adventure. In fact, life is what you make it. 



Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Love & Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host
iTunes: Real Love Show
Facebook: Ask Patricia
Twitter: Ask_Patricia
Email: AskPatricia@me.com