My video gift to you!

A couple of days ago my friend Claire sent me one of the best quotes I’ve seen in a long while. I was so inspired, I’ve made a video with it. Watch it whenever you need a pick-me-up. Enjoy!



When passion seeps out of every pore

We went to a tiny but wonderful festival of folk music over the weekend. Gossington Festival to be precise. Great bands, and so small we could chat to all the great artists and behave like groupies. The hit of the weekend for us though, despite all the big names there, was the drummer of a band called Roto-Trad (he turned up later playing for Seth Lakeman too). His name is Cormac Byrne: a young Irish man who clearly lives, breathes and joyously celebrates drumming.

I’m not a connoisseur of drumming by any stretch of the imagination but Cormac seemed really, really good. But perhaps that was because he was clearly enjoying himself so much. All the time he played he had a huge grin on his face that had you looking past the charismatic lead singer and fixating on that smile. It was the smile of someone utterly connected to his flow – to his purpose in life – and loving absolutely every millisecond of it. That kind of passion is infectious, inspiring and hard to ignore.

We took a little video of him here. Unfortunately it’s a bit dark but I include it here hoping you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about.

It is my wish for us all that we find, treasure and keep this kind of ecstatic communing with our purpose and passion. Surely this is the very definition of happiness?

Sasha and I being Cormac groupies

In praise of trees

Me at home in the 1970s. The lovely, enormous, oak tree was to the right of this photo.

I’ve long had a love of trees – ever since I could reach up and sit on the swing under a huge oak tree we had in our front garden. I would soar up into its branches singing, “I’m on top of the world” by the Carpenters. Ah memories!

When Guy and I moved to Canada we bought a house with a lone apple tree in the back garden which provided much-appreciated shade in the summer and a dramatic measure of the depth of the snow in the winter. We attached a little yellow bucket-seat swing later on, for the children to swing on.  When it was time to move back to England, I realised it was that apple tree that was the most difficult part of our home to say goodbye to.

Two years later we landed here in Nailsworth and now the tradition continues. At the bottom of our garden towers an enormous copper beech tree – so huge, it’s almost intimidating. But not to Julia, who has inherited my love of communing with something larger than herself through the simple pleasure of tree and swing. She is 13 now and still spends hours out there, lost in her own world, sheltered by the power and beauty of this magnificent expression of spririt.

As someone who is passionate about people allowing their full potential, beauty and gifts to shine out brightly, I love this quote from Baha’u’llah.  (19th Century Persian prophet). He said:

“Man is like unto a tree. If he be adorned with fruit, he hath been and will ever be worthy of  praise and commendation. Otherwise a fruitless tree is but fit for fire. The fruits of the human tree are exquisite, highly desired and dearly cherished. Among them are upright character,virtuous deeds and a goodly utterance.”
.There’s a lot we can learn from trees.
A collection of my favourite personal shots of trees:

I can see clearly now

Look, can you see it?

… a view from my bed! I can’t tell you happy this makes me. Our neighbour has just had an enormous pine tree chopped down and now I can sit in my bed and see a vast expanse of sky, fields (even the horses in those fields are galloping around as if they’ve heard the great news!) and lovely Nailsworth roof tops.

If ever there was a metaphor for how I’ve been feeling recently, this is it. Expansive, a clearing, new vistas. Luvving it!


Who’s your travelling companion?

I heard this great metaphor today which I thought I’d share with you. It’s about the way we treat ourselves and a great reminder to be kind.

Imagine that you are about to go on a 5 day road trip with someone who’s recently been fired from their job. You really like this friend but right now you’re dreading this journey because you know it’s going to hard for her/him not to spend the whole time going over the pain of it all. This is your holiday and although you want to be supportive you’d also hoped to have a bit of fun!

Now imagine going on the same journey with a friend who’s feeling alive, frisky, joyous! You can’t wait because you know that this friend will bring a whole new dimension to things and above all make the holiday the fun ride you’d hoped for.

So often it’s the former friend we take along on our life’s journey. We put up listening to all our internal woes and anxieties when really we want to tap into that part of ourselves that is childlike, exuberant, excited and wise.

So we need to ask ourselves, ‘Which travelling companion do we choose?’

And …. shameless plug here …. if you’re interested in being with this joyous side of you more often, why not get in touch with him/her through my program, Future Self Now!


 – With thanks to Abraham Hicks –

Celebrating our loved ones

Today I spent two wonderful hours doing homework for Julia’s class teacher. As the class are writing their autobiographies at the moment he wanted us to do a write-up of our children, complete with illustrations and anecdotes. Later he’s going to paste these mini-essays into the children’s books as a surprise for them.

“What memories do you have?” he asked us. “What do you most appreciate about your child?” “Complete this sentence…’I’ve never told you this before but…'”

A bird's eye view

This has been a ’roundtoit’ job for a few weeks now but today I put aside the time and dived in. What a gift it was! I highly recommend this exercise as a way of getting very present to your loved one. Suddenly all the other niggles you have about them fall away as you ‘pan out’ to a much wider angle and get the big picture. Wonderful.

The gift of a chuckle

Laughter – so infectious, so freeing, so healing.

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

(From a great article called Laughter is the Best Medicine at

Did you know that there are laughter clubs you can join? Here’s one in Bristol:

There’s even something called  ‘laughter yoga’:


So here’s a little gift from me and my niece Taissa – a wonderful dose of laughter to help all that healthiness flow through your body right now. Taissa is 18 months old and found Guy playing about with a piece of wood hilarious. I recorded this whilst we were in France last week. I guarantee you will be chuckling seconds from now!


Happy New Year!

Each new year we turn to our loved ones and wish them happiness for the year ahead. I wholeheartedly wish the same for you!

We had a fabulous New Year’s eve with my sister Caroline, her husband Ian and my niece Fiona at a cottage we’d all rented in North Wales. Ian and Guy set up a fire in the garden and we watched them let off fireworks into the windy Welsh night. A lot of fun.

Fireworks are fabulous aren’t they? Is it possible to be grumpy and watch fireworks at the same time? I don’t think so. Listen to the reaction of the crowd when the fireworks started in London this year. I just love those rockets coming out of Big Ben with each strike of the clock!

Fireworks bring communities together with their exuberance, colour, grandeur, excitement, abundance and celebration. I wish all of these things for you in 2012.

Let the next stage of our happiness journey together, begin!



Free Hugs!

Over the weekend I had the inspiration to walk around with this badge pinned to my coat. What a great thing it was! People just loved it and I gave out many hugs to people I would have otherwise just have exchanged the odd polite word with.

People I’d never met would say, “Ooh free hugs? I’ll definitely have one of those!”

I totally recommend this as a way to get an instant and long-lasting high. Hugs with strangers: a new one for my happiness list!



Together and Alone

Today I spent the day with fellow parents at the children’s school creating crafts to sell at our Advent Fair in November. I never fail to get uplifted by working in community. It seems a vital part of being human this coming together for mutual and wider benefit.

I’m someone who loves to be alone. I relish my own company and get a bit cranky if I don’t get me-time for a while. However, like so many things, it’s a balancing act between healthy introspection and getting out in the world to actively participate with others.

But how do we judge this? Here’s one idea…how about creating a new machine called the Resent-o-meter? This device would sound a loud klaxon and spray water in your face when resentment starts to bubble in your mind.

  • If you resent others imposing on you all the time …… time for some YOU time.
  • If you’re resent ing being alone, having watched one too many episodes of Celebrity Master Chef…. time to go and volunteer some time at the school/church/charity bring-and-buy sale!

Here’s two quotes in praise of both states:

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
Wayne Dyer

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
John Donne