The new chapter – Get Inspired London

I am not sure where to start, this is far too emotional….
First of all, I am super grateful and happy right now! I would like to say a massive thank you! To all of my friends and followers and to everybody who helped me and supported me in the last couple of years. My journey back to me has been an amazing time. I have found myself and have grown a lot. This chapter of my life has come to an end and I am ready to share the next one with you. I have said everything I was planning to say here and I hope it helped many people. If it did, I have fulfilled this dream 🙂

How did it all start?
I remember the exact morning. It was one year after the big bang. I woke up and I had this very clear picture in my head: I need to share my story so I can help and inspire others! I knew how hard it was to pull myself together, one of the hardest year ever and I knew I wasn’t alone. I was 100% sure that every single day many of us are getting into this life changing moment and even just knowing that we are not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel can make a massive difference.

I started to write my notes and just let it out. I was writing on the tube, at home, at my lunch break, on the plane, whenever I had time or inspiration. I learnt how to create a blog, learnt WordPress, search engine optimisation, did a sales course which helped with my inner game a lot. And I took many pictures and learnt Photoshop. I met Rebecca on the way who helped me extremely lot and who became my best friend and co-founder of this project and the next as well of course. Met Sarah who kindly edited most of my posts so my brutal honesty was softened just enough ;-). Met Paul C. who helped my with the technical difficulties and met Paul A. who thought me about inner game and so much more. And to be fair the list is endless. I could feel from the beginning that this journey was blessed. And this is what really helped me. I met with the most amazing people and the support and feedback I received after the launch was an amazing pay off.

One year later I had everything ready for the blog. Except one thing. I didn’t have the time to put everything up on this blog. Every morning I woke up with the same sentence in my head: I need to make this happen! The inner voice was louder than ever. It didn’t go away. So I quit my job (I had my signs, see previous post) and I wrote a letter to the Universe…. again!
Dear Universe, …..  I was super specific, I asked for a new job and I asked for a month break so I can do the blog and set up the meet-up group for single girls in London. One week after I had quit I got my new job. They wanted me to start straight away of course. And guess what happened. HR screwed up something and they couldn’t start the whole process for weeks. They also needed to do a background check and order a new laptop etc. They constantly apologised for the delay….  It still makes me shiver, just to think about it. How everything happened how it meant to be. What’s the chance of that? I had 5 weeks knowing I have a super job. That 5 week period was the busiest time ever. I worked at least 10 hours a day 🙂 starting the new job was a relief but I had everything ready. It was in May 2015.

And what happened in the last year?
The meet-up group had almost a 1000 member and we had events on every week. Social nights, wall climbing, free jumping, cinema night and many others. All for free. It was a huge success. Many of the group members have become friends and many of them are not single anymore.  The blog has many visitors from many countries and I have received many emails and messages saying thank you for sharing my story and how much it helped them. And these emails and the happy faces at the meet-up events were my payoffs. Interestingly many people asked how much money I make out of this and why I am doing this if I don’t get any money. The answer is simple, I don’t do this for the money, actually it cost me a fair amount to run the blog and the events. But it was worth it. I have learnt so much from it and I have met with the most wonderful people. And it is priceless, something money cannot buy. And seeing the girls growing and finding new friends via this group was my biggest pay off. Because I knew it was working, I knew it was worth it. I was so fortunate so many times I felt that finally I could give something back to the Universe. This last year was full of adventures and happiness. Thanks to my new job, which I love and enjoy, I could travel a lot and visit Croatia, Monaco, Lisbon, Berlin, Switzerland, Thailand and New York and I started to learn all the things I always wanted. I moved together with my wonderful friend Lucia and we had a year full of fun. I have inspired so many people and helped them to believe themselves and achieve their dreams. And all of this helped me to start the next chapter….

Get Inspired London – The new chapter
And this is where I am now. I have recorded many videos and took many pictures to make sure I can share it with you and I can inspire more people than ever. I am learning video editing and video optimisation. We closed down the single group on meet-up and opened a new one on Facebook which is now available to everybody. We are running a social event monthly and trying out new activities whenever we can.  Our goal is to share many ideas and activities and inspire as many of you as possible. Making sure no one stays at home! I have now Emily and Rebecca helping me with this super exciting project, I couldn’t make this happen without them. I am truly blessed! Long way to go but I am 100% sure it will be as blessed as this chapter. It is not a goodbye, it is only the beginning 🙂 http://www.getinspiredlondon.com See you there!

Love you all,
An

The new blog: http://www.getinspiredlondon.com
Our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GetInspiredLDN/?ref=bookmarks
The new group where you can join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1336162143067498/
Instagram: getinspiredlondon
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfYTsFyenKcTHxBJAooA5zg
Twitter: @getinspired_LDN

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How to overcome your fears…

One of my mentors has been a great advisor on fear. I have found it really useful therefore I felt the need to share it. We have fears. It is a fact. I think we can say that fear is in our lives pretty much constantly. This is a quick method he taught us (it was a training course).
First of all he asked us to name our fears, so we did. He explained that naming them is the first step. I have to say, it was a therapy on its own. Straight away you can feel a kind of relief. You don’t just have that bad feeling anymore you can’t explain. It gets a form. Sharing our fears with each other was something very intimate. And really soon we found out that we all had the same type of fears. Fear of not being successful, not being good enough, fear of rejection and mistakes. The next step is to try to find the proof or evidence. It won’t take long really. Why not? Because you won’t find anything. As a third step you have to accept that all fear is empty. We all make mistakes, we are human. This is true and real. But fear is not. Fear is generated and its blocking us. And it effects every single area in our lives. Relationship, friendship, work etc.
(see below previous post about fear of being single forever – “Fear is NOT real”)

If our inner game is not right we can’t succeed. Putting it right is not as easy though. Changing our mindset and long term beliefs is a big challenge.

However step by step and day by day everything is possible. We have all seen the wizard of Oz. The very deep scary voice of Oz, everybody is scared of it. You feel vulnerable and no protection like you have no protection. However we learn soon enough that behind this scary voice there is nothing else just this old little man. It is the same with fear. Imagine every time you think you will fail that a little old man is telling you that you will fail, not the big deep echoey sound. It does help. Immediately you are not scared anymore. You feel your power again. Since he thought me this I have unblocked my barriers. It’s all about perspective and mindset. The “I can do” attitude. I am not as scared anymore. Not scared of making mistakes. Not scared of not being perfect. Being perfect is intimidating. Being imperfect is human. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be good enough. And are we good enough? Of course we are 🙂 And on those occasions when someone cannot see this you have to remind myself that you are good enough. Or just call your friends and family and they will tell you. I do it all the time. I have my ups and downs. I do have my weak moments. When I just want to be in a dark room and not to talk to anyone and not to be seen. Hiding and digesting whatever emotion I have. However what recovery means is that these moments are getting shorter, I can recover faster and they are not frequent anymore. In fact they are more or less under control. They are always there. And you can be single or in a relationship, fear won’t let you escape. But everything is easier when you are loved, it is true. No one can deny this. When you are loved you get limitless energy source. The biggest challenge is to find other sources which give you happiness and energy. And from that point you are unbeatable!

I would like to dedicate this post to my mentor and friend Paul Atherton, who helped me to grow significantly and who is the best mentor.

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: Oops, I did it again

fear is not real

Lost in translation…

It is one of those days… The really haunting one. The day when no one “gets” you. You are out of sync. When nothing happens the way you actually planned it. And it feels like having a bubble around the head which stops normal communication.

How can so many things go wrong in one day? It does include personal life and work things at the same time, all within less than 8 hours. Of course the unavoidable  issues with the tube in the morning due to the bus strike… however that could never upset me, it is London, it happens every day… So on this specific day I was still very positive at this point. Really soon things changed…

I almost managed to make myself fired with a simple one sentence message. Wrong wording and timing. Boom! Well done! It was nothing else than very bad communication. Straight after having a completely f*** up conversation with someone I actually fancied at the beginning. Dead business by now but if I had wanted to make a bad Hollywood movie this whole story would have been a massive blockbuster. That type where everything goes wrong and the two characters just can’t make it happen. Broken phone (many complications and wrong assumption), many unexpected unlucky actions and chain reactions and every single text message just simply lost in translation. Like it got translated on the other side with the wrong dictionary. Always makes me wonder how those smart people spin the table throughout a conversation and eventually you come out of the whole story as the nasty person who can’t understand anything. Not sure how but I did it. Like an invisible hand is making sure that it cannot happen. Very strange. Almost funny but it was not at the time.

Also I had an unexpected meeting coming up at work so I couldn’t do any of the tasks I had on my agenda (obviously!). This happens all the time and it is not a problem but not on that day…
Being optimistic I still hoped the day  would turn out to be better later as I was planning to meet with a friend. When I got there I had to wait for an hour (hence the reason you can read this post now) and when she supposed to turn up she canceled our meeting. I am almost scared to go home…

And this is the time when I need to go home to my city again and meet with the people who know me and love me. To be able to get my confidence back and feel normal again. To feel that I am loved and understood. When I can switch off and be myself. Where I can talk to people without even breathing and I don’t have to explain anything or everything. I am just so exhausted at this point I can’t explain. I guess working late every day 2 weeks in a row didn’t help… Let’s recharge those batteries! A day later everything is back to normal 🙂 Thank God for that!

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: How to overcome your fears?

Asking for advice from guys

Having male friends is the best thing. I always learn something new from them and they give great advice.  Also it is quite interesting to see how they think and how they react. I wouldn’t like to establish the difference between male and female mindsets, if anyone is interested just read “Man are from Mars, Women are from Venus” from John Gray. (I still need to finish that book..)

However what I like is asking a very simple question: How can I find a boyfriend? Let me remind you that we are in London. It is a massive city with full of lonely but also crazy people. You need a very strong filter and your gut feeling needs to be spot on. It is not as simple as it sounds. It depends on the expectations as well of course, how high that “magic bar” stands. Lowering the standard can be useful but it can be a disaster as well.

I bet you would like to know the answer. I am sorry to say this but they were quite boring: pub, club, work , tennis club, apps etc. You get a very long monologue  when you ask them what a girl can do right at the beginning. Or what puts you off the most. It is an endless list so better not to even ask! Don’t ask too much, don’t talk about yourself too much, don’t talk about the ex, don’t look desperate or too needy, don’t ask about their size, don’t talk about future or kids, don’t talk about money, don’t be a strong character but be funny, easy-going, smart but not too smart, pretty, fit, sexy, interesting, diverse, successful, play on instruments, be good at many things, have many hobbies, be confident but not too confident, do sports etc. And this the minimum!

Anyway, I am going to share one of the best answer I have ever got. My new colleague N. asked his mate for advice and this is the exact email chain they had. I did’t change a letter! He is an angel by the way, so lucky to work with him.

N. sent this email to his friend:
“A girl at work was saying she wouldn’t consider dating sites/speed dating etc. as she’s looking for a serious relationship, so I told her about you and how you’ve enjoyed a fair bit of success on them and she wants to know which services you used…”

Friend’s email:
“Haha, I’m kidding about the last email!! – (the email I have never seen… but makes me wonder)
To be honest, I’ve heard it’s more off a minefield for girls since there are lots of d1cks about (literally I guess too) – however, I basically used OK Cupid which is free and has the best interface and a much better population than Plenty of Fish which I think is geared more towards hookups.

Also, if she’s interested, there are the Lovestruck’s London events (just google this and she’ll find the page) which has free gathering for single people who aren’t even members that are fun – been to a few off these and they’re usually pretty packed and at a decent enough bar.

And finally there’s Speed Dating with Original Dating but to be honest, I think the above is better and free so makes it redundant.

However, in the end, I think I’d most recommend signing up on Meetup and doing some activities that are male oriented and meeting people naturally – snow boarding, climbing, mixed hockey, book clubs etc. If she’s feeling adventurous the board game meet ups are 8:1 male to female, and you might pick up a specimen like me!”

I just simply love it 🙂

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: Lost in translation….

advice

 

Being out of practise

What is wrong with the people nowadays? It seems that all the others want from a “date” is sex and let’s see what happens. When did the trend leave me behind? I know I was out of the market for a long time but when did everything change so much? What about having a drink and meet again? And holding hands and make it more exciting? Am I boring here? I am not saying that everybody is like this but what I have seen so far the new trend is like this: you meet, you go for it straight away without getting to know each other and it does’t work and the next one is on the agenda. Or actually many of them are on at the same time.

If you do run after a guy you don’t have a chance because you are desperate and it is obvious and very sad. And when you don’t run after a guy you don’t have a chance because they won’t run after you, they got used to it that they don’t have to do anything. Girls are running after them. How do you get one then? And how could you possibly be so outstanding, that in less than an hour, he thinks you are the one without going to bed straight away? If you don’t do it you are old fashioned and when you are do it you are a slut? Nice one!

This guy seemed really nice. He was young again so I knew I shouldn’t have started to talk to him at all at the first place but due to the fact that he was good looking I made an exception. (should’t be so picky right?) I shouldn’t have. When am I going to learn that I need to listen to the inner voice and alarm? He made me believe in such a short period of time that he is nice and not like others that honestly he deserves the Oscar. Brilliant performance. I thought I know better but you can always find a better performer. I am telling you someone is training them.

When he disappeared really soon after we met despite the fact that he seemed very nice and genuine what did my young friend say? Oh come on, don’t be so naïve, they all tell you the same that they want a relationship and not just hunting. This is part of their process. I really became and old woman, no doubt. I couldn’t understand it. If you want to have fun, why don’t you just say it? I hadn’t let anyone close for a long time and the first one I did let in was a freaking player again? I should do a course now. “How to recognise these idiots?”

Once they have got what they wanted they disappear. To be fair, when someone is like this, it doesn’t matter if you let him wait for a month or for a day, the outcome is the same. And you can’t really protect yourself from these ones; they know how to play the game. I guess sooner or later I will catch up and get better. It is expected that you don’t say a word after, does’t matter how bad he made you feel. However I don’t think it is fair that I have to accept that he was a prick and played with me and let me believe that he is a nice guy. Well, when someone says, “I am a nice guy” I turn around and run away!

If I could I would beat these ones up and make sure that they learn how to respect others. Why do they think they have the right to be a dick? There are so many girls who don’t mind just a fling. If he had told me that this is what he wants, I might have said yes and at least it would have been my decision as well. In this case he just made me feel really silly because I believed him. I am old enough and I really thought I am a good judge of characters. Clearly not! So unnecessary! He didn’t break my heart, no. After 5 years your heart does break. And it is painful. Not after this, this is nothing. It is just annoying more than anything. I am a big girl, it won’t ruin my self-esteem and make me think that something is wrong with me. I just hate them, that’s all. They don’t realize that you lose a piece of trust again, you get disappointed and you lose a little bit of faith as well. Do normal guys still exist? Or is it a myth? You build back a thicker wall; you grow more stings and become a proper hedgehog. And by the time the actual nice guy turns up you cannot trust and you don’t open up. How many times do we have to learn these lessons and harden up before you find the right one?

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: Asking for advice from a guy

no need to cry baby

No need to cry baby

 

Good or nothing…

I have met some guys recently….

I wouldn’t call them “dates” but my friend is constantly  laughing at me because I am meeting with guys and I don’t even realise that they are dates. Maybe I am naïve or maybe I am right, who knows. Regardless, I have many male friends and I think it is normal. Anyway, let’s get to the point.

I have met with this nice guy and very soon he made some observations that I have found very negative. It is not important what he said and I am pretty sure he didn’t want to be mean but soon enough I put a wall up and I started to be very quiet (so not like me!). He didn’t notice it at all. Made me wonder why I took it so personally, I shouldn’t have. I know who I am, what I am worth and my confidence is ok (finally). But at the same time my gut feeling told me to run away. Why? Because I don’t need anyone around me who likes picking on me or on others actually. It is not inspiring at all. Who wants to be judged or criticised especially by someone who doesn’t even know you? No one is perfect and this is the best part. And I have thought of someone from my past. Made me realised how positive he was and why I missed him so much, he is the exact opposite. He would never say anything bad about anyone, he talks about his family and friends with so much love.  And he has the ability to make you feel special.

And all of this taught me two lessons. First of all, I started to pay attention to my own comments and making sure I don’t say anything negative and I don’t judge or criticise. Sometimes I am quite sarcastic so I do have to be careful. And the second lesson I have learnt is even better. Whenever I notice that someone is doing this I know straight away that it won’t work (guy or girl) and I cut it short. When someone has this attitude I know for sure we won’t click at all. This is something I really don’t like and it puts me off. At the end of the day who wants to be told on a daily basis that you are not good enough or you do this and this wrong instead of being surrounded with people who bring out the best of you and encourage you to do even better. BE POSITIVE! I believe in this more than anything.

There is a very thin line between being “helpful” and actually telling someone what to do or highlighting that they are doing something “wrong” (and maybe it is not wrong at all anyway). I am still learning this and no one is perfect, the key is that you recognise your weaknesses and you do your best to improve.

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: it’s all about the ring

BE POSITIVE

BE POSITIVE

I still have to sell this body

I remember the first time I said this sentence.. Since then it has become a frequently used joke!

I would like to point it out first that you may have realised by now, I am rather direct. Some would say blunt! Hence the reason I am lucky I have Sarah & Rebecca who keep my words under control 🙂

But let’s go back to the beginning! How did it start? When you work in an office it’s impossible to avoid cakes and biscuits, they are constantly on offer. As I mentioned in the previous post I am trying to reduce sugar (I wouldn’t say I have succeeded but some improvement can be seen). So  looking at the cakes and saying no is a mission for me as the temptation is within my reach. But I am strong and say no! And here is the thing; there is always one person who can’t accept your “no”, who try to force you to have just the one. Some would say it’s simply because they like you. True. But some would also say it is because they want to justify their own decision. They can’t say no so they want you to have some so they can feel less guilty about their own lack of willpower. Which is foolish, I say either eat it and enjoy it or just don’t eat it at all. Eating food and feeling guilty is just plain silly.

Anyway I should carry on with my story. So this person didn’t take my “no thank you”. So I tried again and said “no thank you, maybe later”, but this didn’t work. So third time lucky I used my magic sentence: “No I can’t sorry, I still have to sell this body” – yep, I got the look, the shock, the thinking face because they seriously consider if I mean it and then a bit of smile. No more nagging, no more comments. I am finally understood. Phew!

Since this incident, this retort has become a popular response I use. I love watching people’s reaction, it’s very entertaining. Every now and then when people actually do take me seriously I still get surprised but it’s ok, it’s my fault.

Part of it is serious! Clearly I am not selling my body for money, maybe if someone offers a good amount for my kidney… Only kidding!

To be honest when you are single sometimes it does feel like that you are on the market (fish / meat market). Just think about the good old “plenty more fish” saying….

You should be sold before you go out of date, you should keep your quality up so you are better than the competitors, and there are so many competitors!  The display is important but the taste and content mean even more… and so on…

And what could explain this better than another old classic: every joke has a grain of truth …

Next: Feeling lost and happy at the same time

(Author: An, checked by my lovely friend Rebecca)

dolce vita