THE iKiFit BLOG

Join iKiFit founder, Kim Macrae for snippets about education, life choices and self empowerment that encourage us to be the best version of ourselves - Every Single Day! (Click below to hear iKi Crews Every Single Day excerpt. Full version for sale on iTunes).

Life Coach and working mum Amy shares her experiences of how iKi helps her meet the challenges of juggling children, partner and career, while striving to be a happy, healthy strong role model. And staying sane!.

Every-Single-Day-60sec Every-Single-Day-60sec (936 KB)


BUY THE 'EVERY SINGLE DAY' SINGLE HERE

Believing is seeing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 Visualise

There’s an old saying. “I’ll believe that when I see it”

But there is mounting evidence that suggests the opposite is more correct – that we see it when we believe it”

I remember being amazed in a class where the teacher asked us to look carefully, from our seats, at the window, and note the position of the fly screen gauze. The question was then asked: “Is the fly screen on the inside or the outside of the glass?”

I was one of the 95% who said it was on the outside. I’d looked carefully and that’s what I (thought) I saw, because I’d never seen a fly screen on the inside before. I ‘saw’ what I expected to see.

We’ve been learning a lot lately about the neuroplasticity of our brains, which means we can “change” our brains and our minds, in much the same way as we can change our bodies’ - fitness, skills, weight, shape, etc.

But never forget that the changes can go either way: - Eat too much of the wrong food, smoke and do no exercise and our bodies will soon be a sad sight to ourselves and everyone around us, just as a bad attitude and lazy mental habits result in a weak mind and a less than lovely personality.

If you read last weeks’ column, you’ll remember we talked about ‘ideals’. How they can be useful as guidelines, or benchmarks. But, here’s a thing: When we consciously “visualise” we can be caught out by expectations or ‘experience’.

When we looked at the window, most of us saw what we thought we ‘should’ see. We didn’t see what was really there.

The same thing can happen when we try to “visualise’ our own perfect self or situation. We see what we THINK we should want, are trained to want or are expected to want – by our families, our teachers and friends as well as our community. So, when we consciously visualise, what we see may not be what WE want. Or believe is right.

The answer is to ask your subconscious. It’s easy to ask - but we have to learn to hear the answer.

Firstly, get into a calm place where you feel comfortable. You know the deal – your own “special place”

And here’s another thing. It doesn’t have to be the traditional waterfall or beach at sunset with movie clouds and butterflies. Hold your breath for a revelation: - some people say they feel most relaxed on the toilet. The point is, your special place is somewhere away from distractions. Away with your own thoughts.

So, get somewhere you can relax, then ask yourself what YOU want and let your subconscious come up with the answer.

And listen. Your gut knows. You might want to be on the inside rather than outside. Or vice versa.
Meanwhile, mold that brain and body with good food, good activities, good thoughts, butterflies and yes, toilets.

It’s all part of life.

Have a great week.

 


The Best Ideal is Fairness.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

IDEALISE

If you’ve just tuned in to ‘An iKi Kind of Life’ - here is a brief explanation.

Each week we release a thought inspired by one of the words or phrases in the iKi Crew song, “Every Single Day” Each word or phrase represents an idea, an activity or choice.

“Every Single Day” summarises a core belief at iKi: that key to living productive and rewarding lives is choosing – and practising - behaviours that lead to positive, fair outcomes for ourselves, our families and our communities. Every single day.

You can listen to a sample above – or find it on iTunes.

This weeks’ thoughts are around the word ‘Idealise’ which means to represent something in an ideal form or character or to measure something as perfect or excellent.

Most of us think in terms of ideals at least some of the time. We might think about the ‘perfect’ job, the dream relationship, an excellent holiday, the best body and much more. We strive to be as good as we can be, to be honest, a great parent, loyal friend, hard worker. We resolve to look after ourselves and our family. But try as we might, there are times we find ourselves falling short of our ideals.

We’re all human, we all have flaws and few things in life are as simple or as easy as we may like. So an important consideration when dealing with ideals is to remember that while they can be great guides they are rarely attainable.

Remember also that there is good and bad in everything. Elements like arsenic, cyanide and selenium are deadly in even small amounts, - but micro amounts are essential to all life. Ideals can be excellent guides to help us visualise where to aim, what to strive for and to provide a benchmark for comparison, so long as we remember reality, moderation and consequences.

Think of “Ideals” like a cup of coffee or your favourite beverage. Taken at the right time and in the right quantity it can be SO good – the signal for a relaxing break, full of antioxidants and energy. But taken in excess, can cause all kinds of problems, like insomnia, nervousness, irritability, stomach cramps, heart palpitations. The list goes on.

The same principle can be applied to "ideal' values. For example, honesty is the best policy, though there are occasional ‘right times’ for a white lie. “Does my butt look big in this” anyone?

More serious can be  political, economic or religious ideology. Capitalism is a theory that insists ‘the market’ is the best way to encourage individual effort. On the one hand it has lifted billions of people out of poverty and helped build an amazing world, where dreams can come true. But taken to the extremes we see all around us, it exploits and damages the environment, communities, families and individuals. Its' “winner take all philosophy” is leaving many behind, just as the overuse of resources for profit is damaging our future.

And sadly, the news is full of examples of political and religious idealists inflicting horrific punishments, torture and mass murder on those who don’t measure up.

So, let’s aspire to ideals that allow for difference, share the benefits of progress and profit, and preserve the future for our children and grandchildren.

This year lets prioritise one ideal – fairness.

Have a great week.

 

 


Let's build resiliance!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

 

Welcome to work-year 2019

Australia day has come and gone. Again.

I always feel a little sad after the Australia Day weekend, as it has become the unofficial end of the summer holidays. The weather is still unquestionably summer, but school is back and we’re all into full work mode.

Aside from the question of the date, the Australia Day celebrations have some great elements, particularly the Awards recognising outstanding achievements of everyday Australians.

This years’ nominees and winners are mostly involved with the mental and physical well being of our youth. Young Australian of the Year Danzal Baker is a great role model, getting his message of self – respect, respect for others and of doing our best across with his humility, his cool dance moves and his motivating rap.

Joint Australian of the Year winners Doctors Richard Harris and Craig Challen, of Thai cave rescue fame, also have powerful messages to share;

Dr Harris says “I want kids to find their inner explorer by taking a few risks and challenging themselves. getting a few grazed knees and stubbed toes, making them more robust and confident” He reminded parents to avoid ‘helicoptering’ and give children some space to fail and learn.

Dr Challen expanded on this theme by saying “Australia is a place that presents us with so many opportunities and it’s up to us all to step up and give it a go.” He went on to remind us how very lucky we are to live in this country. We have challenges to overcome and issues to resolve but it’s important that we remind ourselves of the very many ways in which we are the envy of the world.

Winners of the Local Hero award, Kate and Tic Everett, who established the charity Dolly’s Dream as a result of their daughter, Dolly’s suicide, say “Many Australians recognise that we have a bullying culture in our workplaces and communities, and we are “up for a change”

C’mon Aussie, as we move back into work mode, let’s consider the things we admire in ourselves as Aussies.Our sporty, “outdoorsiness”, our willingness to have a go, to give a fair go to any one who is trying. Let’s remind ourselves of how good we have it – and to make an effort be kind to those who are struggling - for whatever reason.

And first and foremost to end our tolerance for bullying. 

It's not rocket science. When we treat everybody consistently and fairly, when we hold everybody, including ourselves accountable for the consequences of their actions, we all benefit.

Smile and say G’day. Have a great year.

 


Stop the Hate

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stop the hate

Who remembers "Gullivers’ Travels" the novel in which the hero is shipwrecked on an island populated by two tribes who battle to the death over which end they open their boiled eggs? 
It satirizes the way we humans are capable of hating each other over the most trivial details. 

It's probably fair to say that most of  us can sometimes be unfair in our judgement of others - I know I can be - so  I'm going to share a quote I refer to regularly, to help me keep a healthy perspective. 

It’s from a blog called the 12 Step Buddhist and goes like this; -

“Learning to discipline the mind by letting go of thoughts of attack creates a space for peace to flow into our lives.

‘Attack’ thoughts towards others are also an attack on ourselves, as it comes from a state of fear and blocks the love we all want - and need.

What we see in others is really a projection of how we see ourselves. When we examine, judge or criticise others we are, in effect attacking ourselves.

It’s impossible to judge others without it having an effect on ourselves...so it’s better to make our judgement loving and positive.”

According to this way of looking at things, when we criticise others, we are really attacking our perception of ourselves and when we believe in those angry and negative thoughts it makes it difficult to feel good about ourselves. A false image of self has come to take the place of who and what we are. 
When we think or speak poorly about others we are in effect thinking and speaking poorly about ourselves.
The quote closes by suggesting that when we find ourselves struggling with “attack” thoughts, to consciously choose to see love instead.
Stated another way, be nice to others and ourselves. A win-win! Stop the hate and make it great.

Have a loving week.

 

 


Happy New Year. Make it great!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Make it great 

Please take a moment to consider this question:- Are we safer now than at any other time in history? Or not?

Studies show that more than 70% of people will answer “No” to this question. Which is understandable given the trouble, strife and disaster presented every day in the media.
Yet for most of us, it’s absolutely true. As a species, we have never enjoyed better health, higher standards of living or more diverse opportunities. One simple statistic – longer life spans, proves the point.
 

So why do we feel so worried?
We are designed to focus on the negative. When we evolved in the jungles and on the savannahs, it was important that we took serious notice of the grass that moved a little differently, or the leaves that rustled when others didn’t. It may have been a tiger, python or neighbour planning to have us for lunch. Or it may have been potential lunch for us. Either way it was important we took notice of things that were different, or negative. It was a matter of survival.
To illustrate the point in a different way, consider this quote from Margaret Attwoods’ novel, ‘Blind Assassin’ - “Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement”.

To achieve anything, we have to ‘have a go’ - and having a go involves risk and failure. Achieving ongoing ‘success’ involves learning the skill of ‘Failing forward’ which means learning from our mistakes and moving on - applying the lessons learned along the way.
So here is the summary. We are built to focus on the negative. That’s a survival trait. To achieve we have to strive and when we strive, we will sometimes fail. This can add up to defeat if we don’t cultivate the habit of remembering that ‘failure’ is one of the most important ingredients of a ‘successful’ life. The key skill is to find the “good” in the mistakes – the ‘silver lining in the cloud’ and consciously focusing on it. The silver lining - rather than the cloud.

American neuro-biologist Dr Rick Hanson author of Hardwiring Happiness says “taking in the good” each day trains the brain to turn transient positive moments into something more long lasting and gradually attunes and sensitises the brain to positive experiences. To help, he offers this formula:

H.E.A.L

H - Have a positive experience and notice it , whether it is a physical pleasure, feeling or sense of determination.
E - Enrich it. Consciously stay with the positive experience for 5 to 10 seconds and let it fill your mind.
A - Absorb it. Let the experience sink in so it soothes you. Nourish it. Savour it. Enjoy it. Celebrate the satisfaction.

L - Link positive and negative material. Be aware of a negative experience while feeling the positive one. If a dark thought hijacks your attention, focus on the positive and try to let go of the negative. Or laugh at it.
Or, in the words of Monty Python. “when you’re chewing on life's’ gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle, and this’ll help things turn out for the best”

This year will be like those that have come before:-  wonderful, as well as not so nice things will happen. It’s possible some truly awful things will happen as well, because that’s a part of life. But we can decide how we respond to whatever comes our way, the good, the bad and the ordinary. There will be silver linings to be found if we choose to look for them. It’s up to us.

Have a happy, healthy strong new year!

 

 


Alliteration, an awesome activity.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Alliterate

This weeks’ word is Alliterate, which means to rhyme. Rhyme and its’ close cousin rhythm can help us celebrate success, face our fears, soothe our sorrows. Or just make us feel better, brainier or braver.

Melody, rhythm and rhyme is in our souls, our hearts and our heads. It helps whether the weather is woeful or when we are hurt. Or happy.

Sometimes the simplest, silliest sounds soothe our scarred souls better than the smoothest, sugary sauces or the rarest, rich rewards.

Most creatures, great and small, are musical and probably poetic. Yes, we can dispute the virtues of some: - a cicadas’ song may seem loud and lousy, like the latest pop or death metal track - but it’s music to the ears of those it’s intended for. Girl Cicadas.

Research shows that swearing spectacularly helps us feel better when we‘ve been hurt, whether we’ve hit our hand with a hammer or are suffering some sort of seriously sad situation. Surely there are similar studies somewhere that show the productive power of punning to provide a positive perspective to bothersome boredom or hearty health and happiness.

But seriously, the point is, we can make wonderful whoopie with words. Sometimes be silly with sentences. It costs nothing and makes us think.

So, this week alter your attitude with alliteration. Whip up wise words with wit. Write a response with riotous repartee.

Go on, have a rhyming, riffing, rapping week.

 


Be responsible. Close the gate

Monday, November 26, 2018

 Close the gate

Those who live in the country know how important it is to leave gates as you find them. If they are already open, they are usually meant to be left that way. If closed...

A gate carelessly attended to can have disastrous results.

I grew up on a farm and before I discovered motorbikes had a horse who had spent the first 14 years of life – before we bought her - in a circus. We never found out exactly what she did in the Circus, but besides having the ability to untie just about any knot you presented her with, that horse - Melba was her name - was a demon at opening gates.

So much so, we had to put locks on every gate that was meant to hold her. Serious locks impervious to any creature without ten fingers and a key.

One night I left her in a cattle yard but neglected to attach the dog clip we used to “Melba proof” the gate! Bad mistake. The next morning, we found she had opened three gates – two of which most humans had difficulty with – to get into a shed full of tons of grain. But the real gob-smacker was that she had gone a hundred yards out of her way to open yet another gate to the bull paddock, so they could share in the midnight feast.

The lucky thing was that while the animal gang- three prize Jersey bulls and a crazy horse - had partied hard, (the mess was unbelievable) they were obviously so excited about their midnight adventure that they did more frolicking than gorging. They could have killed themselves.

So the phrase ‘close the gate’ is about taking responsibility.

I often feel confronted with the necessity of teaching ourselves - and those in our care - to do things we’d prefer not bother with. Those things we’d rather have someone else do if we had our way. Those mundane things that bore, frustrate or challenge us - but which are essential components of a healthy, productive life. You know those things -  like doing our paperwork, making challenging phone calls, brushing our teeth, eating our veggies. Taking responsibility.

Those things we might dislike doing but know we really should – and feel great when they are done.

Like taking the time to tidy up after ourselves. To leave it as good as, or better than we found it.

This week "close the gate and keep it great".

Have a responsible week.
And reflect on how satisfying it feels to be a part of the solution.

 

 

 


Tell it Straight

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tell it straight

Sometimes we just need to get it off our chest. Vent. Have a whinge. It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.If we don’t tell people what’s upsetting or annoying us, they won’t know and can’t be expected to help.

Here’s an interesting thing. Researchers (yes, them again) say that those people who have a good whinge are more productive workers—as long as they actively work towards DOING something about the problem.

So, stop beating around the bush. Tell people how you feel – but don’t just complain first and think later. If you don’t like the way things are being done, think it through and find a solution. Then speak up.

Think about who you should talk to and don’t go nagging behind somebody’s back – tell them straight and they will often appreciate your honesty.

Be strategic: maybe take time out to make a difference by getting involved. It might be writing a letter to your local paper, donning a pair of gloves and hat on Clean Up Australia Day or turning up at meetings of your sporting club. Maybe you should go along to that Local Council, political party or interest group meeting and have your say?

Whatever you choose, make the choice to channel your energy in a positive way instead of sitting back and complaining about the way other people are doing things.

If you see a problem, tell those who need to know, - and remember, it helps to have a real, workable solution.

Have a straight- shooting -at- the-solution- week

 


Don't wait, invigorate!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Invigorate.

 Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease, much lower levels of stress and improved memory, cognitive function and mood.

But wait – dammit! We have no tradition of siestas in Australia, so what are we to do? Taking a snooze at your desk might get you fired. Maybe go home for lunch and have a kip while you’re there? Or what about suggesting to your boss and colleagues in a wonderfully invigorated way that getting forty winks at work might be the next big productivity supercharger? Just because we don’t currently do it doesn’t mean…..

Hmmmm, OK, fair enough, that might take decades to achieve, so what to do meanwhile?

There are LOTS of simple, effective, no (or low) cost ways to invigorate- and most are also great for your health, your productivity AND for those around you.

Take a brisk walk, wander outside and smell the roses, streeeetch! It’s about ‘time out time’, mindfulness, positive attitude, working on and not in, your business. The list goes on.

Add something fresh and colourful to your meal, say something nice to your fellow workers, smile and laugh, eat an apple (crunchy is so invigorating) work on a win-win solution to a disagreement you’ve had with someone you value, do something thoughtful for your spouse or children. Put on music you love and shimmy, sing or smooch – or all three. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t wait, invigorate and have an energised week.

 


Stop the Hate? Desegregate!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

 

Desegregate

Humans are VERY similar at the genetic level. We share 99.9% of our DNA with every other person on the planet. When we mix with others we soon come to see how similar we are, whereas when we remain separate - when we segregate - we can find ourselves focusing on the surface differences.

When we interact with others in an open-minded way we notice two things:

Firstly, that in matters of desires, fears, dreams and life goals we are pretty much the same, and

Secondly, that those superficial differences can be wonderful, empowering, exciting – think exotic flavours, sounds, fashions, ideas, that can spice up our lives.

When we mix with others, coming to understand ‘them’ can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves. At the same time, we can be enriched by fresh ways to enjoy food, music, leisure. Life.

So why do so many people want to segregate themselves from ‘others’?

We are designed to be wary of difference – it’s a sort of evolutionary defence. In times past, strangers often WERE dangerous. Now we live in a connected, multi ethnic, multi-cultural, multi everything world in which, remember, 99.9% of the inhabitants are just like us. They want to be treated nicely and with respect. Just like us.

Sadly, we are heading down a path of increasing tribal nationalism. To continue to function as a healthy democracy we need to listen to each other in the spirit that we all care about our country, our communities, our families and neighbors.  

Remember the old saying

“Treat others the way you want to be treated”

“Treat each other nice today – you will earn respect that way”

Desegregate for a safer, fairer, funner world.

Vive la difference.