Give It Up!


As 2015 draws to a close, I found myself performing a yearly stocktake.  As last year was my annus horribilis, with the death of my father, I wanted to see how far I had come on my road to recovery.   Being lucky enough to have a strong core of friends who have kept an eye, and have often commented on my strength and ability to process my grief in a healthy way, I felt that the tide had turned. WIth all anniversary milestones met, the focus was truly back on me. NO excuses.

Profound change was made in my own life over the past year. I knew once my head and heart was settled, time was right to unleash the creativity within and mix it with the teaching, training and holistic backgrounds I have to formulate something worthwhile to help others.

In order to do just that, the last remnants of baggage clearing needed to occur. To commit to assisting others to find their happiness, mine needed to be genuine and heartfelt.

On a perusal of Twitter, I read the above article by Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya on the 10 things you should give up to boost happiness.  I am in agreement with her list and could check back in my own life and mentally tick off each and every one. Number 10 was the hardest. How do we really give up the past? It surely is the past that shapes who we are and what we value in life? It took a long time to reconcile my past. To view things differently, to take from it what I needed to learn and to think what life lesson I had been taught each time, rather than whinge and moan and ‘why me’?

Lianne states, “Happiness is not a goal, it is a state of being.” My happiness has taught me to view life with more compassion, to strive to achieve all that I can in my pursuit of business, to take risks and know that the pathways will always lead somewhere that I am supposed to be.

It is liberating. It is how we should be. It was hard to get there.

My advice to you? Read the article, see which of the 10 things you can tick off, and which you need to work on. Find a way. Changing your mind-set can change your life. If you want to that is… Bring on 2016

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY


A Light-Hearted Reflection on My Christmas Past




Christmas – way back when…

My thoughts on the Christmas of my childhood, the 70s and early 80s.

What do I recall when I muse back to my younger days? Being the baby of the family I reflect on the adult conspiracy with amusement; sister 1 and 2 being 10 and 7 years older respectively, they didn’t let on and kept the magic.

Here we go:

The Hamper – oh yes, heaven. The gigantic box of long awaited goodies arrived. I adored opening the box. It was a ritual to place everything onto the kitchen table and gaze in awe at all the luxurious items we could not usually afford. To be fair, the sweets and biscuits were my main recollection; I am sure there were other things inside too, but bother that. Oh yes, the prunes and figs in some boxlike contraption (as if I was ever going near them!) I used to play ‘shops’ with the hamper stock, calculator as a till – hey, kids these days don’t know they are born with the advent of ‘self service’ tills. What I would’ve given for barcodes and beeping!

The Milkman’s Delivery – ooooo fizzypoptastic! Cherryade, Limeade and the best drink in the whole world….Cream Soda. I used to sniff that concoction like an addict!

The Sideboard – I was allowed to design the sideboard. All glasses were washed and set out alongside the booze stash ( important in our house). The biggest boxes at the back and the scabby nuts and said prunes and figs somewhere that I didn’t care!

WOW! An array of heart disease and cholesterol and I wasn’t allowed to touch any of it…

The Telly – The official purchase of the Radio and TV Times truly marked excitement. What was going to be on? Mark it in the book. No video to worry about – parental decision final. Oh, and guess who had to turn the bloomin’ telly over each time? Hm! How did they cope when I’d gone to bed – some pointing stick device I assume.

The Presents Part 1 – ALL OVER THE FLOOR – glistening and tempting me for days! I hadn’t quite worked out that if Father Christmas was due to come, then why were there presents there already?

The Morning – Awake just after midnight..damn. Awake just after 3, result! Stocking totally mullered. Thumb twiddling, hair twiddling…. Sleep!

Downstairs to see the remnants of the pie and reindeer grub. Dad had convinced me that FC was not partial to milk and preferred a tipple. Funnily enough that was always gone from the glass! WHY WONT THEY GET UP? Dad made us endure Perry Como’s Christmas Album ( family ritual )…. Cooked breakfast… I WANT PRESENTS!! … everyone ready… YES FFS Since 3am!

The Presents Part 2 – One for you, one for you..etc….a frenzy of paper tearing and oooing. I recall thinking I was glad that I wasn’t a grown up or my sisters as perfume and socks looked really mindnumbingly boring. Anyone want to play my new games? No…No.. No… oh great! Wasn’t a problem the year I received Bullseye darts game, I spent hours playing darts in the kitchen like Billy No Mates.

Pre Lunch – Open house for parental friends. Booze flows… the men all troop off to the pub. Sprout peeling begins….deep joy! Oh how lucky I am to be a domesticated woman.

Lunch – Bloody good fun! Set fire to a pudding? You what!! YUK! Hoard all the cracker toys. Hat welded to Dad’s sweaty pate.

Afternoon – The Queen and the obligatory film. Anyone want to play my games with me? No…No.. No.. grrrr! Snoring… then tea time.. cold meat and TRIFLE (not together) and free attack of the sideboard of goodies….

Christmas eh. 14 years of fun and laughter. Didn’t matter that we weren’t loaded. I never had the ‘in’ things my friends had but it was special with all the family over the 2 days of indulgence and Brighton and Hove Albion. All changed after the parental split. But hey, life moves on; memories stay.

Enjoy your day – from the young girl hiding inside the 43 year old body.

Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY


Well-being in the Workplace


So… you are a boss of a business, your productivity is fine, but could be better. You know you are competitive within your market. Life is good, but something is missing… what?

You take a walk around. For once you actually view your employees as individuals, then as a whole. What is the vibe? What is missing? Is it happiness? Does happiness in the workplace even matter?

It matters! For a race of people who spend more than 38 hours a week at their workplace, wanting to be there, or at least not hating every moment is paramount. For a business to be known as one that looks after the employees is surely a win win situation. Job vacancies easily filled, staff turnover probably not that prolific, staff with a smile on their faces.

A happy workforce is a productive workforce. It means people are appreciated and want to work for you. It means loyalty. It means less staff absenteeism through everyday ailments, less time signed off for stress. Happy? As a business, you should be.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, or whether you can offer a multitude of well-being activities in-house, just being aware and mindful of how your employees are feeling and thinking about their work environment and acting on it will set you apart from the rest.  Creating opportunities to develop the individual, help them cope in everyday life, focus on embracing changes that may occur does not have to be something created out of thin air.

There is help out there. Staff well-being – underrated and undervalued. Be proactive and to be productive!


Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY


Health and Happiness


We all know that being happy creates that sense of warmth inside ourselves, a warmth that may last a lifetime, or a fleeting moment.  We have also grown up with the saying that, ‘laughter is the best medicine’  but what does that really mean?  

If we smile and laugh, will that make us immune from disease? Of course not, there are far more interactions at play which impact on our health – our susceptibility, our choices, our environments, our family miasmic history…. but what difference does happiness actually make?

I know many grumpy, miserable people who have outlived those who were blessed to be on the planet to brighten many lives with their presence, as I am sure you do too. 

There are however,  many examples of how positivity has lengthened the lives of those who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.

A recent book I have had the pleasure to read, The Cancer Whisperer by the wonderfully inspiring Sophie Sabbage filled me with happiness. To see someone who had received the devastating news of stage 4 terminal cancer. Yet, through her amazing mantra of ‘I have cancer, cancer does not have me’ and her battle to own the cancer and have control over choices, treatment and ultimately her body, Sophie is living proof that health can be improved when you do not take the route of doom and gloom.

The one thing we know is that we will all meet our maker. Some of us embrace it, many fear it, but what we do not know is when our final curtain will fall. So, why not do all we can to facilitate creating inner happiness along the way.

It is known that being happy:

  • lowers your blood pressure
  • strengthens your immune system
  • combats stress
  • mitigates pain

We also know that even when we have coughs and colds, getting on with life as normal, rather than wallowing in self-pity seems to make the symptoms less problematic.

As with everything else that appears in your material world, taking control of your happiness enables you to face life with a positive attitude. Happiness can lengthen lives. Happiness can improve your health. Happiness can combat the negative. Happiness has to come from within.

Researcher Robert Holden discovered for The Happiness Project that, “there is no true health without happiness.”

My health is not perfect, I have acquired bad habits at a young age, I have daily battles to face, but what I do know is…..I am happier now than ever before and whatever life throws at me, I will face with a smile, inner calm and humour! Try it…


Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY