Wind – Nature’s Cleanser


Well… another typically British weekend. A washout. Mother Nature clearing out our autumnal cobwebs, ready for the winter ahead. I am captivated by the power of wind. It feels so human against my body, being touched by the full force of the natural world. Enough to physically take your breath away. A battle in the wind is like a full cardio workout at the gym! It leaves you feeling invigorated then sleepy. For young children, wind gives them permission to be as wild as a banshee. Being in a gale is like facing all your demons at once, headlong into what has been thrown at you. It challenges you to meet it face on and fight. If you don’t, you cannot progress, you have to turn back. At times, wind has been my analogy for life.

Wind also picks up all that is not strong and controls it, moves it to where it feels it needs to be. Those discarded pieces of paper, those dropped cans, those lost dreams. It plays with your senses, it can waft beautiful scents on a crisp spring day, it can channel the sizzling smell of cooking – just like the old Bisto adverts. It can also give kindness on a warm summer’s day, blowing a cooling breeze to counteract the fierceness of the sun’s rays. Wind, like us can be anything. It has its own personality.

Living by the sea I am lucky enough to witness the awesome power of the wind as it works in partnership with the moon. The tides that crash and cascade walls of water onto the shingle, the tides that ebb and flow with the gentleness of a stroke of an animal. Wind the destroyer. Wind the prompter. Wind the facilitator. Harness the power.

Wind of change – Change your mindset – Change your life

“If you can surrender to the wind, you can ride it.” Toni Morrison


Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY


Turn the meh! into yeh!


I Reluctantly Practised the Science of Happiness for a Week – And It Works

by Rita Rajan

The above article on caught my eye the other week as it signified the general malaise that exists for embracing what is seen as happy-clappy or airy-fairy.  We all want to be happy – right? Life would be better if we had that spring in our step and a smile on our faces? In the real world, we are unable to sustain the true smile, it comes in those real moments, when the the whole of your being ‘feels’ that happiness inside. The dead smile is far more paramount. Little effort is required to etch a falsehood upon the lips, but it means nothing and those who receive one, know this too.. so why do we do it?  

Quite simply as a nation we are not happy. Life’s not carefree. We have bills to pay, mortgages that sit like millstones around the neck, Christmas to pay for, a better job is needed and so on, and so on…. For millions of people the daily reality of life is a struggle. A struggle that can slide seamlessly into depression. How do we cope with the battle that the external world forces upon us every waking minute?  There is a way. It isn’t rocket science. It takes us back to our natural state, back to when we were first introduced to the planet.  

Who smiles the most? Babies aren’t depressed. They haven’t been layered with the brutalities of modern life. Their world is basic. It is happy. They are happy from within. Their subconscious mind doesn’t tell them they aren’t good enough, that they won’t succeed. They have no fears… they explore and develop and smile. The baby’s smile creates a wave of happiness that makes the recipients smile; it is infectious. Yet, a large proportion of us adults spend most of our day without a heartfelt smile.

So, if we can’t manage a true smile from within easily, what can we do about it? Rita’s words are very true. We find it hard to take positives from events. It takes a change of mindset. It isn’t naturally forthcoming to many. Half full or half empty? Taking time-out to think about what has been good in your day helps you focus on the positives in life. For some, keeping a journal works as it makes good stuff stare back at you. Just appreciating the small stuff can help you feel happier within.

When was the last time you actually took stock of your walk to work, the drive to the school etc.  When you really look, you see the uncomplicated…the other day I watched the birds in my tree…the togetherness as they flitted about as a couple; it was enchanting to sneak a peek into their world.. a world I usually ignore as I fuss and huff about making breakfast. Life is all too fast. Take time to calm it down. Take a moment to reflect on what is around you that is great. Take a breath in nature. For a minute just be… forget about the angst inside your head… and smile!


Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

Enlightened or Dark?

Beautiful sky and blue ocean

When I tell people that my journey is one of new-found happiness, they will often give me that look….the one that says, ‘um…ok!’. I then maybe labelled as someone at home on the whackiness scale. Yes, perhaps that is right, but for those of us who do have a leaning towards the more esoteric side to life, it doesn’t

mean that we plug ourselves into the electric sockets and converse with aliens.  Society is very quick to judge and often not too keen to embrace something that threatens its own very narrow view of how things are and have always been in this modern world of ours.

Yet, if we take it back to our ancestors, those without the trappings of the age, those who lived simply amongst nature, rising with the sun, eating what was local and carbon-neutral, they were perfect examples of living in happiness, mindfulness.

Charles A Francis lists 12 qualities of an enlightened person.  If you read the explanations, the headings no longer seem daunting. Life has definitely delivered its sucker punch to me over the past two years, but I am happy to report, I can see myself amongst most of the list, with a two notable exceptions to work on rather a lot! But, who is perfect? If you are perfect, then there is nothing left to learn. How empty would life be then? I strongly believe that those who want to evolve can, and the adage of ‘lifelong learning’ plays a huge part in that. The benefits of change are immense – at any age.

We have all been saddened by the atrocities that have occurred in the recent past. But, from the darkest of hours has come the mindfulness, the hope, the happiness, the togetherness. People have begun to think and do things for others, to see life in a different way. It would be wonderful to hope that this continues forever.  We all know that most of us will resume our closeted, busy, insular worlds as soon as the collective memory fades. That is a fact. There is a chance however, that maybe some will not…a few will embrace the change and not return to old, entrenched behaviours.  Spiritual is not dangerous, spiritual is not about seeing ghosts, it is about being in the now and having the qualities listed in the article. It isn’t a holy grail.

Where can you change patterns and behaviours in your life?

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

Depression and the Workplace

The graphic below highlights the huge impact to business of the importance of staff well-being.

This never ceases to amaze me. Gone are the days when depression was not spoken about; someone was feeling a bit unwell….in the modern age, one important difference is the wealth of information about types of depression, the diagnosis of the illness and ways to combat it. What is not moving as fast is the awareness of how ignoring the health of your employees will have a detrimental cost to business.   Slowly, the larger companies are putting in place budgets to allow employees to receive well-being training. The penny has literally stopped dropping – it seems a no-brainer; happy staff, productive business.  But what about the masses?

Having a background in education, I have witnessed firsthand the increasing pressure put upon teachers from government to raise standards, get higher up the league tables, add value, fill out more inane forms, adopt ever-changing curriculums within ridiculous timescales. No wonder some crack, feel depressed, no wonder there is an exodus of high quality teachers who have left the profession early. Where is the support?

No one has a perfect life, we all have major issues that often collide with us head on when we are least expecting it. There is no doubt that the old adage. ‘don’t bring your troubles to work’ no longer works. In this world, our troubles are everywhere. We cannot escape them usually due to the constant connection of the mobile phone and social media era. For the few, work is their escape, a safe haven, yet without a balanced mind, surely even their work cannot be as productive as someone at peace?

We spend years of our lives at work. If you are not happy with your actual job, you look for one that will, For many, fulfilment in their job is like the holy grail. What happens when you are unhappy with YOU? How can you escape that? The you who once took everything in your stride is now living with an inherent disability, a dis-ease that won’t magically disappear in a day, month or year. Without addressing the maintaining cause, pretending all is well will simply not work. You cannot put a sticking plaster over depression – where do you stick it?There is much in the news about the need for mindfulness, happiness…my dad’s era would just laugh and think it was all new-fangled mumbo jumbo, but those of us living in this more open environment know that there is a far-reaching necessity to allow others to help us deal with the darkness inside of us.

We will all have different ways of coping, some seek the medical drugs, some are more aware of alternative ways to contribute to a more positive way of thinking. Whatever works, works.

As a business, of whatever size, I would urge those in charge to cater for the individual as a whole, not just as a work machine.  If you care for the whole person, that person feels supported, feels a connection to the company, will show loyalty and will work to the best of their ability, hopefully with happiness.

We need to wake up. Money is being frittered away. Look after your workforce and they will work for you. Simple eh?


Dream Big, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY

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