Feb 25




“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

– Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love”

I return regularly to this fabulous quote from Marianne Williamson. There is something of freedom, something liberating, something that unlocks a secret hidden in plain sight.

The story of the quote is quite remarkable in itself – a rumour began that it was part of Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address, and so the relatively unknown author was suddenly propelled into the public eye. As far as anyone knows, Mandela has never used the quote… yet I for one am glad for the error, which has enabled Marianne to reach a far wider audience than she might have otherwise. And I would certainly recommend ‘A Return to Love’ if you’re searching for wisdom – it’s one of the books that has had the greatest influence on my life.

At the heart of this is the certainty that we are amazing, incredible, beautiful, wonderful human beings. The gifts we have are phenomenal: encoded within each one of us is the ability to change the world. There are things that only you can do – dances only you can dance, songs only you can sing, wisdom only you can bring, truth that only you can tell. Inside each one of us is a gift to the world – some of us have found that gift and are busy expressing it – and others have yet to find it. Yet it’s there… and pretending that we have nothing to give doesn’t serve any of us.

Even if I didn’t believe in ‘God’, I would still know that this is true – that when we choose to shrink down and hide then we are robbing the world of something beautiful, something precious, something important. As each of us stand up and step into our own glory, then something of beauty is released that makes the world a more wonderful place. And every time one of us does, every time we shake off the fear that holds us down, the humility that has no real basis in reality… then we become an example to others who say ‘if they can, then so can I’. It’s almost as if we become more solid, somehow – more true, more real – rather than seeing a shadow of who we are, when we stand up and say ‘this is who I am’ then people actually begin to see us as we really are.

And suddenly, our very presence becomes something different. Our energy changes. People react to those who declare freedom in a different way. Even without knowing their story, there is something about those who have chosen to live from the promise. They may not be able to put it into words… but they can feel it.

It’s time for each of us to know how powerful we truly are….

Feb 21

Who are you?


Believe it or not, you are God’s gift to the universe. Totally unique, absolutely gifted, incredibly talented, more powerful than you know or could ever believe. As Marianne Williamson observes, we are more afraid of our own greatness than of our own shortcomings: “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

The world doesn’t need you to be humble. The world isn’t going to get upset if you step into your own truth, your own gift, your own incredible gorgeous power. The world needs you to be YOU… to bring every talent, every gift, every ability that you were created with out to play. We are poorer without you stretching out to be the greatest possible ‘you’. We miss out when you hold your gift back.

And as we step into that gift, as we dare to become who we really are, as we shake off humility, stop shrinking back and stand up to be who we truly are – then we step into a life that truly is worth living.

Join me?

Feb 17

Remind them they’re great….


A friend and I were musing over some feedback forms from a recent event she had run, and our conversation turned to the most effective way of giving feedback to others. It’s an art… to find ways of communicating how well some one has done, how successful they have been – and yet to provide them with opportunities to improve.

Received wisdom says you should deliver what the management textbooks refer to as a feedback sandwich: tell them how well they did, what they got right, what you loved about it – then tell them one thing they could do better next time – then finish off with an overall positive comment. The theory is that leaves them with a sense of happiness while delivering something to work on gift wrapped and easily digested.

And I am not so sure that works all that well.

My friend, for example, had lots of positive feedback from her weekend event. Rave reviews, lots of ‘that was amazing’, a real genuine ‘everybody loved it’ – and yet she’ll naturally find a way to focus on the negative. Which seems a shame, somehow, because all the great stuff that should feed her self esteem is lost, simply because she has chosen to look at the negative side.

For me, there’s too much negativity in the world that we could do without. So I’d like to suggest a different way of providing feedback that you might like to think about… tell people what they got right. Tell them what you loved. Tell them what was amazing, and be very specific about it. What happens when you do that? People do more of those things – and less of the other. The ‘not so good’ stuff shrivels away, because they are busing doing more of the great stuff, more of the exciting stuff, more of what makes them incredible.

When I look at the world, I see people who have been told that they can’t achieve, people who have been told they can’t be successful.. people who are downtrodden. Like Moses I want to shout ‘set my people free’ – take off the restrictions of ‘not good enough’ and let people fly free, free to rise to their highest potential, free to be incredible, free to release their own inner awesomeness.

Who can you find to encourage today?

Jan 26

Surprise yourself

gaimanAs we start into February, many of us start to lose our New Year motivation. Maybe the diet is proving tough, or we can’t find space for nights at the gym… our search for a new career is proving fruitless.. we can’t find the way to make the changes we want…(and if your year so far is working out just fine – well, ‘Go You!!’).

Maybe, though, as we let go of all the things that we feel we should do.. ‘I should make more money’, ‘I should lose weight’, ‘I should get fit’, ‘I should get out more’… well, maybe now the real dreams start to find a voice. Now our heart begins to speak, whispering true longing into your soul.

Maybe now the real desires of your heart start to bubble up. Maybe they’re more magical than you dared believe. Maybe they’re more outrageous than you thought. Maybe they take you by surprise, or catch your breath in their scope – and their simplicity. Maybe now you can dare to believe that this can be the most amazing, most wonderful year ever.

Go You!


(I set out to create a poster for this one… but Neil Gaiman’s own banner seemed darned good to me. And since I think he’s got a bit more to say, we’ll have some more from Mr G tomorrow. Probably.)

Jan 23

Dance anyway . . .

WomanDancingOnBeachSometimes things don’t go the way we want. Sometimes we say “yes” and shortly afterwards think “what the hell happened”. Sometimes we do our best with the information we have available… and STILL everything seems to fall apart. Those are the days we have to learn to dance in the rain. When life sends you lemons, find some salt and tequila.

Somewhere there actually IS a plan – there is always something to learn, something to experience, somewhere to grow. The bad times lead us to places we would never have expected to get to, to synchronicities and serendipities that we could never have planned for.

The failure of my business led to me living in a shed (actually, quite a delightful cabin in my friend’s garden, but it’s much funnier if I call it a shed)… but it also led to me taking the time to travel the world. If I’d been successful that time round, then that would never have happened. My divorce led to me being far closer to my children than I would have been. Sometimes, when everything seems to be falling apart – it’s actually falling together. As my Huna teacher challenged us to remember:

“Everything is working out perfectly.”

Sometimes, we need to get to crisis point before we start to realise who we are – before we start to understand the true nature of reality and our place in it. The Persian poet & mystic Hafiz wryly commented:

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favour: to hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.”

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we forget what’s important… we worry about the details and forget the big picture – we forget the laughter and happiness, the exuberant joy that should accompany us throughout this whole glorious experience of being alive… until we remember that we’re here to learn to dance.


Jan 22

Say ‘Yes’

Say Yes MoreIn the book “Yes Man” by Danny Wallace, the author encounters a mysterious Asian man on the top of a late night bus. The stranger exhorts him to “Say ‘yes’ more” – so when Danny decides to answer every invitation with “Yes” he embarks on a journey that will take him in and out of wealth, love, and destiny.

It’s one of my favourite books, and even the film “Yes Man”, loosely based on the book, starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel has its moments of charm. And I’d suggest you go read it.

We live in quite a culture of fear, where we dread change, where every alteration to the status quo has to be weighed in terms of its downside. But I for one don’t want to miss out on anything life has to offer. It’s all too easy to ask ‘’”What if it goes wrong?” But what if it goes right? I don’t want to look back and wonder what would have happened if I had said “Yes”.

“Yes” to that job offer.

“Yes” to that blind date.

“Yes” to the chance to volunteer.

“Yes” to the chance to quit your job and travel the world.

Some of us have a default setting of “No”. Our first reaction is to say “No” and then maybe work out later that “Yes” was a better choice. I’m going to challenge you to change the setting. Say “Yes”.

“Yes, I’ll give you a hand.”

“Yes, I can come round and help you move home/paint the hallway/dig the garden.”

“Yes, I’d love to drop round for dinner.”

“Yes, I’d love to learn to roller skate/snowboard/skydive”

I have no idea what it might be for you. But go with the flow rather than against it. Don’t fight life – because life will magically unfold for you as you start to say “yes”… because it’s not people that you are saying “yes” to – it’s the very current of life itself, presenting itself through others.

(Word to the wise – I’m not advocating you go crazy and throw caution to the wind here… although would that really be so bad? If something in your spirit, deep down inside says “No” then that’s wisdom from a deeper place. But most of the time it’s going to be good stuff that happens to you!)

Saying “yes” puts you in a position of power – it allows you to get into the flow of life. Stand in a river and all that happens is you’ll get battered by the flow of water and the logs coming downstream. Go with the flow and who knows what might happen! “Yes” connects you to the energy of creation, the energy of life, the energy of movement and change.

Business speaker and entrepreneur Keith J. Cunningham is fond of saying:

“Most people’s lives do not work because they are operating out of FEAR instead of FAITH.”

If we start operating out of faith that everything is going to work out, then curiously… everything really does work out.

Try it.


Jan 20

Forgetting the past . . .

rear viewA couple of days ago I asked the questions:

Did I live?

Did I love?

Did I matter?

One of my wonderful friends asked the question “what if the answer is ‘no’?” Now, I happen to know that this young lady actually should be answering a huge ‘yes!’ to all three of those questions. For many of us, we underestimate the effect we have on those around us – we forget the impact that we have on others, and how a kind word and gentle encouragement can have a huge impact on those around us. I was talking about this with my dance instructor the other day – how many people have different beliefs about themselves, and massively increased confidence, simply because she has helped them to learn to dance. She does that because she loves it – and yet because she is doing something she loves, other people find their lives changed. I know this, because I am one of them!

But the real question is not about the past. It never is. We can learn from the past, for sure – our mistakes AND (please) our successes. We are all doing the best we can with the resources we have available to us – believing what we believe, having what we have, knowing what we think we know – we move through life trying to do the best possible, trying to be the best possible human beings we can be. And as my son said, aged about five – “there’s no such thing as a mistake. There’s just what has happened”.

The real question is about the future. How do we want to be? I want to look back at those questions when I get to the end of my life and be able to answer “Yes!”

Did I live well? Did I manage to enjoy the experience of life as fully and as completely as I could? Did I take the risks I need to take?” – and if I sense that right now, today, I am holding back, that I am not truly living this life as vividly as I could be – then I have the chance, right now, in this moment, to change that.

Did I love others? Did I find ways to make the lives of others around me better? Did I do the best I could for my family…my partner…my friends…my colleagues? Was I kind? Was I encouraging? Did I help people? Did I give something of myself to others?” – and if I sense i am withholding love in any way, to resolve, right now, in this moment, to love more fully tomorrow.

Did I matter? Did I set out to achieve something with my life that contributed to the world? Did I do something that mattered to someone? Did I set out to do something worthy? Did I attempt something worthy of the amazing being that I am? Did I dare to make a difference? Did I choose to do something spectacular? Did I think big?”

On this last one, I don’t care whether you changed the world or changed the life of one person. Because, if you changed the life of one person, you did change the world. In every moment that you decide to live from love you change the world. As Mother Teresa said:

“There are no great deeds. There are just small deeds done with great love”

So go easy on yourself. Recognise who you are and what you have already achieved…. and then, tomorrow, go and be even more amazing. Live even more fully. Love even more passionately. And decide to make a difference in the lives of others. Make a difference in every moment you are here.

As Liora Garcia said in the movie “Conversations With God”

“I don’t want to spend my life making a living. I want to spend my life making a life.

A life that makes a difference. A life that is built on love and compassion”

Are you with me?


Jan 10

Plan on making mistakes

KISS pandasMistakes are crucial to success. Mistakes are how we learn. But we get so hung up on ‘Oh God, I made a mistake, I feel so stupid’ that we resolve never to try again. Babies (thank heavens) don’t think that way. Try and walk. Fall. Roll around on the floor. Get up. Try and walk. Fall. Cry a bit. Realise no one is watching. Stop crying. Get up. Try and walk. Walk. At least, that’s how I did it. If you learned another way, let me know.

And I get confused about this “you can’t ‘try’ and do something – you can only do it or not do it”. Sorry to rain on Yoda’s parade, but “do, or do not, there is no ‘try’” and the equivalent hokum from a thousand personal improvement speakers and coaches has probably set this country back years. Trying, experimenting – and failing – is the only way to learn how to do anything.

When I left my comfortable and ridiculously highly paid job to follow my heart and create a business helping people, I failed. Completely. But I got back in the game and tried again. And people started to like what I produced. But – and here’s the thing – I hadn’t learned the lessons I needed to learn UNTIL I fell flat on my face.

You can learn from your mistakes.. or you can learn from other people’s mistakes. If you’re smart, you’ll learn from both. You’ll talk to people and work out what worked for them, and what didn’t. You’ll read books and learn from the great achievers – those people who shaped the world. And you’ll get out there and try some stuff and get it wrong.

My planning for 2014 includes making mistakes. And it includes looking stupid. I might as well expect it, cause it’s likely to happen! Mike Litman, author of “Conversations with Millionaires” says “You don’t have to get it right – you just have to get it going”. You just have to start, and put some energy behind it.

It seems that success goes to the person who’s prepared to make some mistakes. Incredible success seems to go to the person who’s prepared to make a LOT of mistakes. Do you know how often a plane is actually ‘on course’? Practically never. But when it gets off course, it corrects and brings it back on course.

So maybe it’s time to be proud of those moments where things don’t go to plan. Because it’s in those moments that our character is forged. Those moments bring the greatest learning. And those moments, each one of them, bring us nearer to success.


Jan 06

Define ‘normal’

normalI see a real dichotomy in our lives at the moment – a tension that each of us tries to live with every day.

On the one hand, we want to be different, unique.. we know, instinctively somehow, that deep inside us, at the heart of our being, that we have a unique, wonderful, glittering, special gift to bring to the world. Just watch a child – they’re happy just being themselves, being different, standing out, living freely from their soul.

And on the other hand, we want to fit in, to be part of the crowd, one of the boys. We want to be safe in the invisibility that being ‘just one among many’ brings to us. We begin to notice, as we grow up, that when we behave differently we run the risk of being laughed at or being shunned. If we start to show up for life with some of the fabulous uniqueness that only we can bring, then someone gets threatened and wants to cut us down to size. And so, for fear of losing the acceptance of others, we start to shrink down, play it safe, run with the gang.

And these tensions are destroying us.

So I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is – you can never be apart from everyone else. This ‘separation’ that you experience is just an illusion. We are, truly, all one. Not just united by a common humanity, but genuinely, truthfully, all unique facets of a cosmic beauty. Even those moments when you feel totally, completely lost and alone, those moments when you feel abandoned, rejected, confused, forsaken – even in those moments you are still part of the ‘one thing’ that is the universal creative power, the divine nature.

The bad news? Well, now you know that you’re not alone – there’s no excuse for you not to shine. There’s no reason for you to shrink down and play it safe. because you’ve got nothing to lose. Sure, it’s going to feel scary. Sure, it’s going to feel a little draughty when you start to step into your true amazingness. But I will promise you this: at the core of your being you are going to start feeling just a little bit more real. Just a little bit more true. You’re going to feel as if, somehow, everything makes just a little bit more sense. And that’s going to make you even more willing to be even more incredible.

“Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?”

Jimmy Johnson, US football coach

The world isn’t waiting for you to be like everyone else, you know. It’s waiting for you to be completely, totally, incredibly uniquely you. Because only then will the world work right – when each one of us, moved by love, steps into the truth of who we are.

I have a challenge for you. Just for today – and when you enjoy it today, maybe you’ll do it tomorrow as well. And it’s simply this. If you find yourself tempted to shrink down and hide. don’t. Do the other thing. Whatever the ‘other thing’ was. You’ll know what it is. It’s what no-one else is doing, or no-one else is saying. It’s the thing that feels ‘right’. It’s the thing that seems to be motivated by love. And I’ll promise you this.. you’re going to feel awesome because you did it.

Join me?


Jan 05

Programmed to be fabulous

flower amazingThe universe was designed to be fabulous. Somehow, as if by magic, the seed grows into a beautiful flower, the acorn grows into a towering tree, the embryo becomes a baby. Brilliance and beauty is programmed in – engineered from the very heart of creation. You’re no different. Even on those rough, tough, difficult days where nothing seems to be going right, and everything seems to be difficult, painful and pointless. Even on those days where you feel less than miraculous, less than amazing and you feel so stuck you don’t know what to do about it. And especially on those days when you’re convinced that you’ve made such a huge mistake and dug such a big hole for yourself that there’s no way that you can get out – and that you don’t deserve to escape either.

Yet, if you dare to look, hidden inside you is a heart so big that nothing can stop it – a connection to infinite possibility and to resources beyond imagining. Maybe you don’t believe that. that’s OK, but it doesn’t stop it being true. It only takes a moment to stop and recognise that you are infinitely powerful and unstoppable. It only takes a moment to reconnect to the true nature of the universe and recognise the incredible create force that flows through you.

Take a moment to just stop.and breathe.and be thankful. See the beauty in what’s going on around you. And listen to the still small voice inside you. Take a moment to plug back in to the Love flowing through you. And take one step up into being even more incredible.