Housework? Give me strength.

Strengthsfinder housework blogI recently took the Strengthsfinder test. (I’m planning a little reinvention…. watch this space!) I don’t know if you’ve heard of Strengthsfinder but if you’re at all interested in discovering why you are the way you are and why you do the things you do, I highy recommend it. There is something comforting about seeing all your quirks and foibles so accurately drawn (how do they do that?). It is even more of a delight to see the details of your ‘you-ness’ highlighted as strengths. I’m a huge fan of the Strenghsfinder philosophy, ie working with your natural inclinations, rather than trying to force yourself into a mould that’s not an easy or happy fit.

(Which could explain why I am not, and will never be, a Domestic Goddess…)

Anyway, as part of the process, you recieve a personalised report. Maybe it’s an ego thing, or maybe it’s a quest for self-discovery, but I do love anything personalised, just for me. There is so much that is mass produced and meant for a generic audience, that to have something tailor-made, with your name and personality stamped all over it, is quite special.
This report is a joy, it is basically a songsheet of your praises – why you are so wonderful and unique and what you do so well that only you can do that way. I welled-up with happy tears of recognition as I read the explanations for my behaviour and preferences, as well as my angst. For example, one ‘strength’ is that I yearn to learn. I thrive on new challenges and discoveries. So, any untaxing or repetitive activities will drain the life-force out of me. Do you think this could possibly explain my ‘issues’ with housework….? 
However, understanding why I’m not naturally domestic is all well and good, but that may be of little help if I’m responsible for the care and maintenance of my own home and family (which I am). Although I’m hopeful that one day, I will have so successfully played to my strengths that I am compensated with a small army of domestic helpers, in the meantime the dust/dishes/dirty socks are a-gathering (as is their wont…).
Well, happily, the fabulous folk at Strengthsfinder also include in thier report; Ideas For Action. So I have it on good authority that I really ought to try very hard to schedule a) time to learn and b) time to think. Oh, the happy sigh of relief when I read those words! So, I needn’t feel guilty about sneaking off to curl up with my latest book? Or feel like a wierdo because I sometimes like to hide from everybody and just think about stuff? It’s such a pleasure that a professional personality-analyst has instructed me to do these (joyful) things for the good of my health, sanity, wellbeing and achievement – even for the greater good of family, community and the world at large. Happiness is being told that not only is it OK to be the way you are, but also that you might be quite useful/successful/appreciated in doing so. 
But how does this marry up with the disappointing reality that my housework schedule won’t go away? (more…)

Celebrate: A habit for life…not just for Christmas.

Celebrate success habit for life

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Tis the season, once again. Christmas.

Whether you celebrate the religious feast, or the culinary feast – or both (like me) – this time of year is dedicated to all things merry and bright.

It’s a time for focussing on the joyful, turning our attention to the wonderful and celebrating all that’s good.

Depending on your spiritual persuasion, the actual reasons for celebration may vary.

Perhaps you are honouring the arrival of a Saviour.

Or maybe your revelling is a bid to get through the long dark days before the welcome return of Spring.

Or perhaps you just enjoy the carolling and carousing and goodwill to all men.

Either way, the shift of our day-to-day perspective towards the fun stuff is not only a joy, it actually has beneficial effects.

Positivity, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, charity – all these things are good for our own health and happiness.

Whilst the act of celebration has powerful effects on our  psychology – it can influence our future mindset.

Celebrating causes us to become primed toward….causes for celebration!

In other words, The Good Life.

The benefits of celebration apply to increased success, too.

In success psychology, any celebration of current circumstances is good for future results.


The more you celebrate successes, the more successes you will have to celebrate.


Ask any successful person what they do after a major achievement – they may be oblivious to how it works, or they may do it intentionally, but chances are they mark it with a significant celebration.

When we celebrate a success, we are reinforcing our belief in our own abilities.

This boost to our psyche is effective and far-reaching, long after the poppers and party hats have been cleared away.


Photo credit: Ed Saxby


So, if you would like to experience more joy, better health and improved results – in your work, at home, or indeed in any endeavour) – start celebrating!

Look for any successes you may have had over the past year – the end of a year is a great time for reflection.

But this is a great habit to establish all year round.

It shifts your focus onto the good stuff, making you feel more confident and capable – feelings that naturally lead to increased success.

So, consider your past year and look for any signs of improvement, any successes, victories or triumphs, however small – then big ’em up! Big yourself up, too!

Acknowledge that you did good. Celebrate!

Now you may feel, at first glance, that the year passed with little sign of improvement.

This is unlikely. Even if all you achieved was another year’s experience of what you don’t want and don’t like, this is still useful.

You can use this as information to refine more clearly exactly what you do want.

You can use it as motivation for going after what you want to see more of in the year ahead.

Life is a forward motion.

With every passing year, we learn and grow – maybe a little, maybe a lot.

It may feel like a baby step forward followed by a stumble back, but slow progress is still progress, so celebrate that.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the more you set your mind to seek the mini triumphs, the more examples it uncovers.

On the other hand, of course, you may well have had your best year ever!

In which case, a round of applause for you! (And what’s your secret?)

But whatever sort of year you’ve had, now’s the time to celebrate the best bits.

Recap your successes, and mark them with family and  friends, food and drink, fun and laughter, even retail therapy – whatever jingles your particular bell.

This is not pointless (albeit fun) recreation. It’s a powerful anchor for bringing you more of the same.

So bring on the merry!

Danielle Raine Creativity Coach

Hi! I'm Danielle.

Danielle Raine Creativity Coachcreative coach danielle raine l

What could you create in the new year…

 if you received a short, inspiring and curiously-perfect nudge
from your muse on a daily basis?



... because happy creatives are good for the planet. 

Lessons from Mothers Day

RePost from my first blog: Make Peace with Housework

– for any creatives with a house to keep…

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Mothers Day verbena spa vouchers


This year for Mother’s Day I was presented with some spa vouchers.

Now you may think that I have extremely thoughtful children (with a generous father). And you would be right. (Though this is the first year my hints have been heavy enough. It seems, subtlety is wasted in my home.)

So, last week, I booked my treatment and pootled off to my favourite spa for an Ocean Detox Wrap (Ahhhhhhh…….) I returned a few hours later feeling pampered and lovely and totally at peace with the world. In fact, I was so blissed out that I didn’t even mind the post-breakfast kitchen carnage which was awaiting my return. Nor did I object to a spell of the obligatory laundry. Or some light tidying. Or making the tea. After all, I had been so thoroughly spoilt and looked after, it put me in the mood to do the same for my family.

Which got me thinking….

A combination of busy lives and generous hearts means many of us put our fun-things-to-do quite low down the list of priorites. Yet, when we carve out the time and space to refuel our joie-de-vivre, we have more to give. 

 When we feel happy and fulfilled, we are better placed to take care of others.
(click to tweet)

Enforcing a brief sabbatical from the daily grind can reboot our desire to love and care for our families. Which can really help in the battle against housework blues.

So the lesson I learnt is this: it is in my family’s best interest that I take care of myself.

This includes not just the important diet and exercise stuff but also the fun, joyful, just-for-the-hell-of-it stuff. (Which for me tends to be spa-based…). In other words: R&R as a selfless act. 

You are unlikely to get a better excuse reason than that to put yourself first for a change.

So what are you waiting for?



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(Let me know what you get up to and how you feel afterwards!) 




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The MPWH Top Ten Twenty-Ten Tip Top Top Tips

RePost from my first blog: Make Peace with Housework

– for any creatives with a house to keep…

• • •

Happy New Year!

I know I am fashionably late but I have spent the last few weeks busily converting this entire blog into an ebook format, for your reading pleasure. During this process, I was struck by how many useful ideas I’ve stumbled across over the last year or two. Despite the fact that I’ve relayed them to you on this blog, even I had forgotten some of them, or at least forget to implement on a regular basis.

So in the spirit of new decade reviews, (can I still get away with that?), I thought I’d offer you a quick reminder of the best of the best from the last year of MPWH.


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