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Personal Development

9 Lessons I’ll Teach My Children Before They Finish School



 “In school, you’re taught a lesson and given a test. In Life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson” – Tom Bodett

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During several positive transformations over the past 3 years, I have learned so many lessons. Prior to my period of rapid personal growth it was widely accepted by my friends and family that I had enough of a challenge looking after myself, let alone a baby one day. I was an immature, drinking, gambling womanizer. I was stuck in what I would call a ‘destructive life cycle’.

After nearly losing the ability to walk twice in 1 year through car and soccer accidents, I finally took charge of my life. I built on my Masters Degree in Psychology and I read over 300 self-development books in 3 years. I have been fortunate enough to transform myself to the extent where I now use my passion to help others. The distance I have traveled was summed up when my girlfriend looked at me and said “Jermaine, you’re going to be an amazing Dad”. I thought; “Wow, am I really?”

I got to thinking about all of the powerful things that I have learned over the last couple of years and I have come up with a list of the 9 lessons I will be proud to teach my children by the time they finish school and enter the world & the marketplace.

1.) Focus On Your Priorities

It is important that you work out what your priorities are in your life and take action on them every single day if possible. Don’t juggle things around and keep making ‘To-Do-Lists’, just start doing things.

2.) A Problem Can Be A Fun Challenge 

Even though a problem can bring you some stress, you will often find that it will end up being a challenge that if successfully dealt with it will bring you closer to your goal. Making this small mental adjustment of looking at problems as stepping stones to the ultimate goal will give you a massive advantage in every pursuit.

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3.) Happiness Comes From Within

If you find yourself tying your happiness to things that are taking place in the outside world you are going to be disappointed. However, decide to base your happiness on things that you can control, such as your thoughts and what you are grateful for at any given moment and you will find yourself happy a lot more often.

4.) Do What Is Hard And Life Will Be Easy

High achievers often find themselves doing many difficult and boring things along the way. Things like sticking to routines, considering a situation in great detail or practicing their craft for 10 hours a day. These are all things that may seem boring and difficult at the time but they are necessary for you to get the life you want.

5.) Improvement Requires Repetition

When I was first turning my life around I realised that just reading about these tools and strategies was going to do very little. I had to get up and do the things that my mentors and role models were suggesting. Then I had to do them again! Whatever change that I was trying to make I had to consciously repeat the desired thought process and behaviours until they were ingrained in my psyche and became part of who I am.

6.) Learn By Doing

If you wait until ‘the time is right’ you will be waiting forever. The longer that you find yourself in that ‘preparation stage’ the more reasons you will find to not actually start. Make mistakes, and then readjust. Develop the skills that you need as you need them and you will get better, faster.

7.) Let The Opinions Of Others Stay With Them

Move through life exactly as you want to. If someone tries to tell you that your goal of starting a multi-million dollar business from nothing is crazy; let them think that and realize that it doesn’t matter what they think. The important thing is what YOU think.  When I told the doctor I was going to cure myself of asthma and he said it wasn’t possible I just said ‘thank you for your opinion’ and cured myself anyway.

8.) Make Your Money Work For You

The successful people that I have met and studied all invested their money in something. Usually they start out by investing money in themselves and then they invest their money into things that will make them a passive income in the future.

9.) Your Health Is A Gift

Once you have set your sights on great achievement and making a difference in this world it becomes apparent that this is going to take a lot of energy and there is no real time for ‘Sick Days’. Fuel and maintain your body to the extent where you feel energised every day. Give yourself 90% life giving, energy producing, healthy foods and allow the remaining 10% to be ‘treats’. It is vital that you don’t get this the wrong way around. If you lose your health, there isn’t much left.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and when I have children I will be mentoring them and teaching them many lessons to the best of my ability as each year passes. However, these are the 9 lessons that came to mind when I was thinking about some crucial thoughts that I’d love to pass on to them before they leave school.


What lessons would you like to teach your children or what have you taught them already? Share with us below!


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Personal Development

The Barriers We Build Against Love



In Brief

  • The Facts:

    As children we needed to be loved. We were entirely dependent on the adults around us, so the way they acted towards us - and each other - has had a big impact on how we show up to love as adults.

  • Reflect On:

    What are some of the barriers you put up that stop you from feeling your own love? At what age were these barriers to love created and why?

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

Many people are still looking for their ‘other half’, venturing out on more and more dates, casting the net wider until they find someone to complete them. And when it doesn’t work out just as they planned, they jump back onto their smartphones, ‘unfriend’ the offending partner and swipe themselves another one.

And yet many of us also know that, deep down, another human being is never going to be able to make us whole and that the fairy tale of meeting our Prince/ss Charming is just that – a fairy tale. We understand that true love comes from within and when we love ourselves – fully – only then can we truly love another.

This is great, in theory, because for many of us, self-love stuff is still very much an intellectual concept that we strive to reach in the same way that some people strive to meet someone new when their last relationship hits a wall. Striving for self-love is not the essence of self-love. Discovering the barriers to love may well be what we need.

Barriers to love

Rumi is rumoured to have said that our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. It’s likely that he knew a thing or two about life and love. Self-love can be tricky – sure, we get it, intellectually. We know it’s necessary to “love ourselves” but aside from eating healthier, daily exercise and spending more time doing the things we love, it can be hard to get over that ultimate hurdle.

So what is it that gets in the way? What are these barriers that Rumi speaks of and why are they there at all?

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We all have them. They’re made up of the internal voices that tell us that we “don’t deserve to be loved and happy”. Or that there’s something intrinsically ‘wrong’ with us. That we are somehow ‘broken’ and if anyone actually found out the truth about us they would surely leave us.

These barriers to love are constantly running in the background; a low hum that unconsciously speaks to everything we do, every action (and inaction) we take. Unlike the self-loving ‘apps’ that we consciously choose (weekly yoga sessions, salad and connecting with friends), these barriers form a part of our internal ‘operating system’ and are generally in shadow for us.

What you realize is, we don’t need to go out and love ourselves, we already do, we simply need to take down the barriers blocking that.

We Are Not Born With These Barriers

Not one of us came into this world with pre-erected barriers to love; it’s learned behaviour. We learned them from the adults around us at the time. We might have learned that ‘love’ was scary and shouty, or that if you love someone it should be dramatic. We might have learned that ‘love’ was silent, sulky and certainly not communicated through affection.

What was happening around you as a child has likely informed your decisions about the type of partner you choose as an adult. Repeating patterns are not always pleasant, but they’re certainly familiar.

In addition to how we saw the world and what we learned about love when we were children, we were also extremely vulnerable. Something as subtle as having overly critical or emotionally unavailable parents can have a big impact on who and how you are as an adult. Through little eyes, the world can look like a dangerous place and it’s likely that you employed protection strategies that may have stopped you from getting hurt, emotionally or physically.

Creating a tough outer shell or a sentinel-like vigilance may have been necessary when you were 3 feet tall, but how is that working for you now? How are the protective behavioural patterns you employed as a child serving you in your life as an adult?

In my own life, I have sometimes struggled to connect fully; to really let my partner in. My experience as a child taught me that loving relationships were not easy and they wouldn’t last. So as an adult, it felt safer to never let anyone come too close, in case the same thing happened again.

All the self-loving actions in the world couldn’t compete with my unconscious internal message that love was unsafe and ultimately destined to end.

Whilst it may sound quite depressing; on the contrary, I have found it to be massively empowering. As I now know this about myself, I can make a decision when I feel myself withdrawing, I can choose to come closer and to see this as a pattern that was created many years ago in order to protect me – it’s not who I am. Because of this, I am now so much closer to my current partner.

Discovering your personal barriers to love

It’s taken me many years to discover my own barriers to love and I’m still uncovering more and more layers of the onion each day. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to discovering what’s getting in the way of you and the love you deserve, but there are proven tools and techniques that can help. My most recent ‘ah-ha’ moment came whilst taking part in an online workshop known as the Groundwork.

Collective Evolution readers get 25% off the standard price and you will get to learn more about some of the tools and techniques I used at (use the coupon code: collective to get your 25% discount).

When you discover your unique barriers to love, know that you created them a long time ago with your own best interests and safety at heart. Dissolve them with the love they were created with; acknowledging and thanking the little one, that still lives inside you, for being there and for doing the best they could when things got tough.

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Are You A ‘Self-Help’ Junkie Dying For REAL CHANGE?!



In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The coaching industry is for the most part, unregulated. Anyone can decide they want to be a coach without having the skills, experience, self-awareness and depth of understanding of the complexities of the human condition, which are essential.

  • Reflect On:

    If you are considering or already working with a coach it is important firstly, that you are crystal clear on the primary role and responsibility you possess over your wellbeing.  And secondly, that you do due diligence on any coach you hire.

As someone who’s been working closely with clients for the past 16 years in a personal growth capacity and who, in that time has been working on myself and my own growth as well, my life has changed more than I could ever have imagined was possible.  I have been through many growth experiences that have seen me move countries twice, become a wife and a mother and now, I enjoy a beautiful existence in a small countryside town where I run my boutique-style business on Mallorca, off the coast of Spain.

My experience on both sides of the coaching and personal development industry however is what I want to highlight because it uniquely qualifies me to point out more than a few things.  I want to speak to, in my experience, the many folks who have been blindsided and gotten caught up in searching for their next ‘fix’, be it through coaches or coaching programs ‘designed’ to address your most dire life/relationship/money/health problems and needs.

As they refer to it in the industry, your ‘pain’.

The thing is, I have come to believe that many of the promises made by some of the players in the self-improvement industry, are built (most times unconsciously) upon inherent untruths and assumptions about who YOU, the consumer ARE.

I don’t only believe this for you.  I know it to be true because I, along with many of my colleagues and clients have been burned too.

I have have had to find another way.  I have had to find my own way.

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There are a significant number of coaches and coaching programs out there that simply FAIL to adequately acknowledge your inner resources, wisdom, resilience and strength, what you deserve, have the potential to create AND to bring these to the fore.

If your Facebook experience is anything like mine, these are the tentacles that reach out, flailing at you, trying to grab your attention every time you scroll down your feed.

It is both my observation and personal experience that as much as the industry is filled with practitioners who are conscious, in integrity and awake, it is also full of practitioners who, driven by their own fear, lack an overwhelming desire for a profitable bottom line, are unaware of the covert ‘personal development’ business building techniques they have been taught to bring unsuspecting, often vulnerable clients in.

Without calling any names, you can think here of some of the high-visiblity players in the industry.  Consider the fanfare and energy around their launches, the tone of their copy, the well-oiled funnels, landing pages and up-selling strategies they use to bring large numbers of clients in.  We are confronted by this kind of marketing everyday.  It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their students/clients feel, by the end of these programs, that the promises made had been fulfilled.  It is a number that we will never know, but what I do know is this…

Those who find themselves disappointed in their results and by extension, their coaches and themselves, THESE are the clients that tend to make the rounds because they feel forlorn, hopeless and lost.  These are the ‘personal development junkies’ who are searching for their next FIX.

If this is YOU, I invite you to stop whatever it is you’ve been desperately throwing your energy, attention, hopes and dreams at and take this truth in:

No matter what shiny new modality, course, coach, coaching program or product promises to change your life, here is what 9 times out of 10, they won’t say…or if they do, they have no idea how to hold the space needed for it to root itself into your muscle memory and bones…

More than anything, it takes confidence and self-belief as well as deep connection and communication with YOURSELF to create what you most desire and need.

In other words, if you haven’t been actively acknowledging this truth, theres a good chance that you’ve been unwittingly been buying into the untruth for the solution to all your problems, your ability to call in your needs and heart’s desires lies outside of yourself, in someone else’s hands.

What can you do to change this subversive belief?

You can DECIDE once and for all that you are no longer going to let yourself be distracted by the plethora of ‘mindset’ modalities and teachers clamouring for your attention out there.  That is not to say that there isn’t value in investing in mentorship and support, but the point here is this:

In your life, YOU call the shots.  

The answers to your problems all lie within you and can only be unearthed firstly by cultivating a solid relationship with yourself so that YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

YOU get to take full ownership for your growth and decide, based on your wisdom, what support you most need.  

You too can and are meant to find YOUR OWN WAY.

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Your Vagina Is More Beautiful Than You Think



This featured image was the selection of the filmmakers themselves.

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Filmmaker Layla Martin was inspired to capture the gap that can sometimes exist between how a woman sees her body, and the way her lover views it.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you deal with self-consciousness if it arises in your life? Can we all relate to feelings of self-consciousness and self-judgement?

It was 11 years ago and I was in a big documentary phase. I had watched hundreds of documentaries in a single year as I had come to realize the world around me was not quite what it seemed, and I was thirsty for knowledge.

After hours of UFO/ET docs, docs exploring the true history of our world and governments, and even health docs, I one day landed upon a documentary called ‘The Perfect Vagina.’ Quite honestly, my initial thought was, “what the heck is this?!” So I read the description: “Lisa Rogers investigates vaginal cosmetic surgery and why more and more women consider this surgical procedure.”

Wait, cosmetic surgery for what? I was 20 years old at the time and had not heard of people doing cosmetic surgery on their vagina. So I decided to watch the film.

The further I got into the film, the more I learned how many women, like men can be about their own bits, can be quite self-conscious about the look of their vagina. Sure, I was no stranger to the fact that everyone is slightly self-conscious about their parts, but how deep things can sometimes go, and the specifics that were focused on were all a bit of a surprise.

To make the story short, the documentary chronicles the journey of one woman who decides to have her labia minora ‘trimmed down.’ As you might imagine, it was an incredibly painful process following the procedure, and the subject was not all that jazzed about her choice in the end.

Where do these ideas about how our parts look come from? What stories do we tell ourselves about why we need to change them? How often do people actually make fun of our parts? These were all things I thought about. Sure, you see it in pop culture, men or women talking about specific positive details they want in the bits of their partners, but I never really saw this all that much in ‘real life.’

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As I entered into more relationships in my life, I began to really realize that each of us may view our own private part in a very specific manner, while our partner often sees it in a very different and unique way. What we’re self-conscious about, they don’t see or actually love. And ultimately, connection, not our bits, were the core of what produced the greatest experiences involving those bits. (This is super family friendly as you notice lol)

This is partly why I was so interested to see the result of a video I came across just this morning, even though it had been out for some time. The video was done by Layla Martin as she was inspired to capture the difference that can sometimes exist between how a woman sees her body and the way her lover/partner views it.

Women were invited into a photography studio to have their vaginas photographed, they then viewed their own vaginas up close, and then watched in secret as their partner was shown the picture.

How did each react? Check out the video below, but be sure to read the important reflections I wrote below the video as well.

*Note: The feature image used for this piece was originally used and chosen by the filmmakers themselves.

We All Experience Hardship

To say that our world is experiencing polarity at the moment is an understatement. Things are VERY extreme right now. Whether it’s specific activist groups or political groups, everyone wants to be the biggest victim and pretend no one else can possibly know how they feel- and therefore should have no opinion.

This shows us how unwilling we are to face ourselves and how much we struggle with practicing true empathy.

Men, women, children – of any ethnicity or social class, experience feelings of doubt, fear, self-consciousness, worry, guilt, etc. You name it, in some way, others experience it. While it can be juicy to want to figure out who suffers the most, who the biggest victim is, this doesn’t really lead us anywhere productive as looking at things in this manner is from an extreme place, creating more extremity on the other side.

I bring this up in the context of this video simply because I know from direct experience of living in society on this planet, regardless of what extreme activists might suggest, that both men and women deal with self-consciousness issues about their private parts (and many other things) and it comes from many places. But ultimately, only WE, individually, can move beyond it. I mention this, because this understanding applies to all things we go through as humans, and it’s only within true empathy that we will be able to assist one another past our challenges.

In doing the work that we do here at CE, we are very careful to avoid creating divides or encouraging groups of people to feel victimized, simply because we know where that leads. Instead, we cut the BS and get to the core of why we suffer as humans and what we can do about it. We challenge us all, from all aspects of life, to view the challenges we face not through the light of looking at how others ruin things for us or make us feel sad, but instead how we can be solid within ourselves. As this is the only way we have true power individually and collectively.

A quick reflection I thought was worth sharing as we all can relate to what it feels like to struggle with aspects of self-consciousness and self-judgement.

We Need Your Support...

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!



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