Happiness

Happiness

It is my belief that there is never a bad time to ask yourself ‘what does happiness mean to me and what will help me have more happy moments in my life?’ This curious question offers a chance to focus life’s lenses and then to become attracted to those things that make you smile, add more and create joy in your life. One response to the question of what does happiness mean to you, in a coaching session gave an interesting response. ‘Happiness sits on the periphery of your vision. It’s not tangible or easy to grasp and when you try to connect with it… puff it’s gone’. Whilst to me this view felt defeatist and fear fuelled, it helped me to clarify my feelings on this subject. The feisty character within me wanted to respond with…boldly choose to grab happiness by the horns, look it in eyes and demand its presence every day. I was recently inspired by the author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book Big Magic she describes ‘entering into a contract with creativity’. I decided that I wanted to strike a deal with happiness. I decided to give my full attention to discovering the mindset that I would need to adopt, the activities that I need to get involved in and the moments to cherish in order to nurture the presence of happiness. This has helped my happiness have the confidence to shine even in the face of worry, doubt, and fatigue. Since making this decision, happiness and I have began to collaborate, we co-created a plan and shook hands on it! If thinking about happiness...
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

Today is a particularly poignant day for me and my husband Rob. We celebrate a significant anniversary with a story of its own – Rob is two years cancer free today! Our story taught us the importance of adopting a solution focused mindset and of holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. We decided to share our ‘notes to self ‘ in the hope that you might gain in some way. Here goes … Pursue positive thinking Assuming that the best outcome is possible and believing in silver linings is essential. This will carry you far and help you to dig deep into your reserves on tough days. Rob decided that he had a chance to change the family cancer story into a survival story. It created a ‘can do’ way of thinking for us and fed a positive mindset. Overcoming ‘a touch of cancer’ seemed like a positive re frame of what felt like a devastating story. Keep forward planning Choose to forward plan and imagine life beyond your treatment. Ask yourself what you want from your life once treatment is complete. Assume it to be possible and plan for it. Acquiring the map for a bike challenge and beginning the research into it’s viability was a mission that I delegated to Rob. He was also tasked with finding and planning a fabulous holiday in the sun as a post treatment reward. Focus on what’s possible Rather than assuming that treatment will wipe him out, Rob decided not to jump to conclusions and listen to his body. Where possible he would resume everyday routines that boosted his sense of...
What doesnt kill you makes you stronger (Part 1)

What doesnt kill you makes you stronger (Part 1)

Each of us has a story to tell. We all have a story in us. Life events, and how we view what happens in our world, will shape the stories that we tell ourselves and others. This is a story about choosing to view life through a positive lens and holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. This is a story about my wonderful husband Rob. Here is a narrative about life’s unexpected twists and turns … of joy, bravery, second chances and adversity. It is about attending to what’s possible even when that itself is uncertain. It is also a story about cancer. Cancer has visited Robs life on several occasions in his 40 years on planet earth. Rob grew up with three strong role models; his grandfather Joe, his mother Lynne and his sister Tara. Their influence taught him three key lessons; The importance of hard graft to create your own success, respect for others, and good morals maketh the man. Rob modelling oddballs underwear as part of a Movember campaign to raise awareness about testicular cancer Because of these wonderful people, from a young age, Rob developed a strong work ethic. As a kid he could be found collecting sea coal on the beach to sell the locals. He learned his sales strategies selling perfumes to the beauty therapy department at a local college, usually for over treble their value, and always ensuring a tidy profit. He became a grafter and a salesman. Rob’s first experience with cancer began at the tender age of 20. His mother Lynne had learned that she had cancer....
Live your legacy

Live your legacy

You don’t have to be a billionaire or a genius to make a difference. People make their mark and are remembered for their contributions for all sorts of reasons. One year ago, a dear friend David Charlton died. He had lived a full and fabulous life but it was cut short prematurely . He served his country, he impacted people’s lives. David Charlton was an adventurer, a confidant, a triathlete, a doting father, a loving husband, a mischief maker and so much more. What a legacy to leave behind! His mark on this earth was purposeful and intentional. He chose to become all these things, he took time to reflect on his contributions and he lived as well as left his legacy. When discussing legacies, and best ways to make your mark, a wonderful person called Tim McNamara advised me to “CHARLIE” it. He later elaborated and shared the meaning of this acronym; Climb Higher And Reach Life’s Inner Expectations”. This brought a smile to my face and left me pondering how I might do such a thing. After some coaching and soul searching, I decided that for me, Charlie it could involve several things: Choosing to let go of the illusion of perfection Deciding on my new mantra for living life – Go forward fearlessly with the confidence to thrive Giving myself permission to trust the process and not being attached to the outcomes (otherwise known as going NATO) Realising that I need to say YES to more and then work on feeling ready for it later This led me to imagine what difference it would make, if...
Gifts that keep on giving

Gifts that keep on giving

It’s a given that people love receiving gifts. My favourite, are those gifts that keep on giving. It could be the gift of an experience that gives joy when opened and then creates memories. Perhaps an item that can be enjoyed more than once. Certain gifts when passed on, offer value to each new owner like a good book with well worn pages. Some people love giving gifts as much as they enjoy receiving them, and gifts just have that capacity to give pleasure more than once and I have numerous examples of these. Alas for now I will share only one; the adventure voucher. The adventure voucher was a gift that I gave this Christmas. Struggling with inspiration for a meaningful and inexpensive present, I stumbled upon this idea online. Put simply I delivered a certificate offering a whole year of adventure, for my partner in crime Rob to enjoy for 365 days. This involved an adventure envelope being delivered on the first day of each month for a whole year. The contents would describe the escapade that would unfold at some point over that month with no effort on the part of the recipient. So far, the adventures enjoyed have involved things like  a train trip to a new location, a month dedicated to sleeping under the stars, a beach fire, a day of fishing in the North Sea, a bike trip to Holland and a few more surprises yet to come. This gift is continuous. The added bonus, I get to participate in these adventures too. A great example of a win-win! Giving this gift has...