Finding wisdom in my circle

Finding wisdom in my circle

Lenny Letter’s horoscope for Taurus for February:

(April 20 to May 20)

The term homo sapiens is Latin for ‘wise man’, but what does wisdom mean to you? This month, consider the wisest people you have known. Look for their commonalities. Was it curiosity, kindness, patience, and/or something else that allowed them to convey what they knew to you in a way that you could hear it? Prioritize this quality.

This is not your typical horoscope. I love it!

The above list is good. But that’s the stuff I feel like I know already.

~ Curiosity – an inquisitive and open mind, to always be learning.
~ Kindness – if you can’t be kind to other people, you really can’t expect it in return.
~ Patience – so many of the juicy things in life take time to find, to achieve, to understand and appreciate.

I’ve looked to my circle of family and friends, and mentors over the years, to see the qualities I think makes them wise. So to the people I love, I hope you see yourselves below, because you’re all there in one way or another. These are in no particular order.

~*~ Be present. It’s important to be comfortable with yourself and the present moment. We don’t need to fill every minute with conversation, entertainment or distraction. Sometimes just breathing is the most important thing you can do.

~*~ Be generous. With your time, your skills, your heart. Just because.

~*~ Know your worth. People can only make you feel inferior if you let them.

~*~ Seek your purpose – You may not know the whole of it right now, but I think working towards figuring it out is important.

~*~ Take life lightly. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Dance with your whole silly and wonderful self. Try new things. Smile. Laugh. A lot.

~*~ Minimalism. Let go of clutter: physically and mentally. You don’t have to hold onto things you no longer need.

~*~ Appreciate quality and keep your eyes open for a bargain. Investing for the long term is more rewarding than short term satisfaction.

~*~ Work hard. Nothing comes from Nothing. The only way to change your life and achieve your goals is to put the hours and the effort in.

What would you add to this list?

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Today is a study day for me. I’ve left the work in the office to return to tomorrow and am spending the day half at home and half in the library instead (air conditioning!).


Today’s intention is to focus.

There are two textbooks and so many notes I have to get through and then test myself with questions. I need to focus my time and efforts wisely.

I may still be ‘young’ by many measures. But study does feel harder the more time passes. Part of it is the exams getting harder. Part of it is finding the motivation. Part of it is just having plain too much stuff dancing around in my head: memories, ideas, plans – I think, you get more of them the longer you walk the earth, it’s certainly true for memories.

The motivation for doing things changes. As a kid, I did it because I was told to. As a teen, more likely I was told not to, or that I couldn’t. In my early twenties, I loved the challenge and wanted to prove myself.

But now? What motivation will make me focus now?

Nobody is telling me I can or can’t do something.

The challenge and desire to prove myself, they are still there, but they burn out more easily. In many ways I have proven myself again and again and I wish I didn’t have to keep on proving. That desire isn’t enough to drive me anymore.

So how do I focus now?

Moment by moment. Letting go of the past. Visualising and dreaming the future. Then turning my eye to the present and what I can do in this moment to get me a little closer to that future.

How do you focus/ find motivation?


Three gratitudes for today:
1. For the lovely message that my husband wrote in my Valentine’s Day card.
2. For my little sister’s generosity in sharing her love and experiences – she recommended my new cushiony yoga mat and my practice feels amazing for the extra support.
3. For my girlfriends – our deep & meaningfuls, holding each other accountable for making choices that align with our health and well-being, and the many laughs. Waffles and pancakes all round! xx

Posted by jhamby in Mantra, 0 comments

I accept Myself as I am.

I accept Life as it is.

I accept.


Acceptance is hard. I like escapism and daydreaming. It’s entertaining. It’s light. Sometimes it’s easier to distract myself, than it is to accept reality. The distractions of social media, TV, films, stories, are only ever a heartbeat away.

Sometimes acceptance is doing nothing and just letting the emotions be felt. Experienced. Acknowledged.

Sometimes acceptance is admitting a task is hard and pushing through with it because I know the outcome is so very worth it.

Sometimes acceptance is understanding the power of the present. Who I am, today, and where my life is at, today. In this moment. Now.

Every imperfection. Every flaw. As well as every light and beautiful part of it. All of it. I have so much to be grateful for 🙂


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The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Call it a Mantra, an Affirmation, an Intention – whatever word you have for it. It’s powerful.

I’m writing today about the single word (or cluster of words) that inspire me to be my best self each day. It might be a phrase that inspires mindfulness or confidence. It might help me to trust myself more, to step back and get out of my own way. It might help me work on something I know I’m struggling with, for example, being kind or assertive, or acting with self discipline.

I’m not much of a one for ‘positive thinking’. I don’t think that just by thinking positive things I can change everything around me. Suddenly, I’ll be rich. Suddenly, I’ll be the boss. Suddenly, everything will make sense and my purpose will be 100% clear instead of this fuzzy outline I play with everyday.

I like to believe I’m more of a realist than that.

But, I do think I can manifest positive energy and experiences by maintaining a healthy attitude and surrounding myself with people who are supportive and encouraging.

I’ve tried affirmation practice previously, after reading Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. Great book. But, it didn’t stick. Instead – it’s the Yoga With Adriene January challenges and feedback from career mentors that has really helped me recognise the power of words – of mantras, affirmations, setting intentions. Even if it’s just a word: Breath. Open. Allow. Trust. Balance. Release.

Words are powerful.

String them together, feel around them, the ideas, the emotions that they bring to the surface and that power is magnified. Speak them with intent. Relate them to your daily life – even the simple tasks, like washing the dishes.

‘I wash the dishes as an act of love to my family. A clean kitchen is important for preparing healthy food and keeping the air clean.’

Just ask my husband – I need a mantra for washing the dishes. It’s a task I find a chore, and often try to sneakily wait for him to do. Except, when I’m actually doing it, the motion of scrubbing, the act of cleaning, when I’m in the groove of it – it does feel good. I feel like I’m doing something useful, productive and important. That small act of self discipline, generosity and love … I really need to wash the dishes more often – especially when he’s done all the cooking!

Words can change how you feel.
Words can be the difference between a good day and a not so good day.
Words can change the whole world.

Without words…

I’m trying something new on the blog: sharing my mantras. Some days it will just be a word. Some days it will be a pep talk. I’m interested to see which themes repeat, which are easy to take on, and which do I struggle with or make me cry. What resonates – with me? With you?

This is very personal. It doesn’t matter how many quotes on instagram I read, or inspirational books, or podcasts or whatever. Writing my own is my way of feeling through it all. If these don’t resonate with you – maybe try writing your own too?


Posted by jhamby in Blogging, Mantra, 0 comments

I am self-reliant.

External stimuli are neutral until I choose to react to them.

As I see the world, hear it, taste it, touch it, smell it – these are only observations.

Pause, breathe, and then respond.

How I react is my choice.

Thoughts and feelings come and go. Sometimes they change direction like the wind. Other times they sink their teeth in and refuse to let go. Sometimes I jump out of bed with excitement. Other times it is an effort to wiggle my fingers and toes and my lungs feel weighed down with concrete.

I accept my thoughts and feelings as they are. They come from within me. I need to have them or feel them. But beyond that, nothing. I get to choose which thoughts and feelings I continue to entertain and explore after their initial inception.

I am self-reliant.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Bring on 2018!

New year, new look, new commitment.

I hope you like the new design of the website and my social media pages. I love having a fresh start in January. It’s not about resolutions that I won’t keep. It’s about checking in with what I want from this one precious life I’ve been given.

Do you set intentions in the New Year? I do.

I’m still nutting mine out, figuring out what is feasible and getting specific with them.

Here is where I’m at:

  1. Restarting my studies. I used to take professional exams to further my career in mathematics, but then life took off and it was too exciting, I lacked the motivation. Now I’m turning my head to them again. This means an exam every six months, for the next 18 months. They aren’t easy and they will take up a lot of time. But the payoffs for my career and my future are huge.
  2. Yoga with Adriene – every January she does a bootcamp of daily yoga videos. They are free and inspiring. The theme of this year’s journey is “TRUE”. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve also been building up my gym attendance to several times a week and am hoping to keep that going through the new year.
  3. Renewing my commitment to my blog and my novel. I’m going to have to see how the studies pan out, alongside the full time work, before I can nut out the details of how this commitment will look. But with a fresh new design – and yet another year over of knowing that I can’t live without writing – I have to somehow make this a priority. Write in the gaps of life. Schedule it in.

Hope you have a wonderful 2018!

Jesi x


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I want to fight like a girl

I want to fight like a girl

Like Celaena Sardothien in Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series. 

Like Alanna or Keladry of Tamora Pierce’s many novels set in Tortall. 

Like in Girls of the Wild’s, the Korean manhwa webtoon series written by Hun and illustrated by Zhena (Kim Hye-jin). 

Like Sailor-moon. Like Mulan. Like Boudicca. Like Diana of the Hunt. Like Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Black Widow, Captain Marvel and all the other comic book warrior women.  

Like Emily Blunt’s character Rita in Edge of Tomorrow. Check out this awesome blog about her workout. 

I get this amazing sense of energy, freedom and strength after seeing films or reading about these women. Or even when seeing fighters or dancers on stage!

I want to fight like a girl. I want to train like a girl. I want to be strong, fit and persistent, like a girl. 

Do you get your workout motivation from characters and actors too? 

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You hate me, don’t you?

You hate me, don’t you?

No, I hate myself.

This was a real life exchange between two women (one may have been me, you can guess which) drenched in sweat, throwing their bodies into mountain climbers in an intense Tabata session, after a weight session that was also no joke.

Tabata is 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, and it burns. It was all body weight and the mountain climbers were only the first of four different exercises. The others were squat jumps, plank jacks and finally, burpees.

The first 40 minutes of the class had been spent alternating deadlifts with planks, clean and presses with wall sits, and sumo deadlifts with flute bridges. The instructors were fantastic at coming around and fixing technique. They were also tough. If something looked too easy, they gave you a weight to hold or suggested an adjustment.

So, yes – at around the 43 minute mark, barely halfway into mountain climbers, where the look on my face was deadly and my grunts were inhuman, my friend started to feel a little guilty, and I was insanely jealous of the instructor’s ripped body.

How the hell did they get so strong? Did they do this every day? Could they put themselves through this with their own force of will without an instructor badgering them on?

My God.

In short, I loved it. I ached for several days afterwards, but not in a bad way.

It was worth it. I love the high I get from trying something new. From pushing my body to some new level.

I didn’t used to. But 2017 is the year for changing my attitude to exercise. I’m not doing it to ‘lose weight’ or even to ‘get fit’. That doesn’t work for me as motivation. If that happens as a side effect, fan-bloody-tastic!

This year, my goals are more specific.

I am exercising regularly to maintain my mental health. If I don’t get outside for a run regularly, or stretch out my spine and fix my alignment, my mind goes on a bender.

I’m exercising because I want to be balanced and flexible. I like feeling stretchy. I like to create space in my body. All these feelings translate outside of the workout. I feel more balanced and resilient in life. I feel like I have the space inside of me to deal with anything.

I’m exercising so that I sleep better and eat better. To grow stronger. To build healthy and sustainable habits. I dream of a future where I am a mother, and I want to be able to pick up my children, play with them and chase after them, teach them how to acknowledge and feel emotion without being overcome by it.

So yes, in the middle of an intense workout, my dear friend thought that I hated her, when really I was hating myself. But it didn’t last. Because by the end of that class, I loved myself and I loved her. I loved what our bodies accomplished. I loved that we committed the time to ourselves and pushed through all the mental shit and uncertainty to be our best selves.

What motivates you to exercise? How do you make it work for you? 

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Be Proactive

Be Proactive

I knew which habit I sucked at most rather early into reading Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Did you notice the silence lately? That was a distinct lack of proactivity.

I did the quiz thingy after. It’s official. But who needs a quiz when you just know.

Putting first things first, prioritising, also not a strong point. Of course, it would help if I had a strong handle on what the first things are. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I want is more sleep, even if I’ve had hours. When I get to work, the first thing I want is to sip tea and check emails – even though I know that’s not productive.

Beginning with the end in mind is my third worst of the habits. Is that part of being a daydreamer? There are so many possible ends, how do I pick just one?

Private victories. My weaknesses.

I can keep at a proactive bent for a while. It’s easier if there is some external motivation: team to play sport with, people to run with, fellow NaPoWriMo bloggers to keep me on track. But without that external motivating force? Relying only my internals?

This is why I eat eggs on toast when it’s just me, but will roast a chicken or two when I have guests over.

So this is my new personal motto: be proactive.

I want to build that internal muscle. Interdependency is great – but I’ve got to bring my own self to the table first otherwise it’s just dependency.

Even now, when I’m coughing a lung up after a holiday to Dallas gave me allergies to bring back to chilly London, I’m trying to be proactive on the small things like washing dishes, and clothes, and bullet journalling daily and some of the big things – like this blog 🙂

Start small, fire up.

What habits do you want to build? How do you work on being proactive?

Posted by jhamby in Blogging, Reading, 0 comments