A couple of friends recommended watching First Dates, a television series that films real first dates in a London restaurant. I’ve since watched the entire first season and it’s totally addictive.
As I binge on this hilarious reality TV show, I laugh a lot. But I also shed a few tears.
Today, I decide to spend the whole day chilling out at home. I have a lie-in, I meditate, I eat breakfast.
I reply to a few text messages. I attempt to get cheap car insurance. I have lunch. I read emails. I watch Whip It for the second time.
The last few days have been strange. I went on a date that ended horribly. A man from my hometown was assaulted and later died. I visited a woman I know in hospital who was badly injured in an accident. And a client of mine passed away. She was a really lovely 36-year-old woman who is leaving behind a loving family, including three small girls.
What I’ve realised over these past few days is how much I’ve changed, how different my reactions are, and how grateful I am.
I’m going to share with you a brief but worthwhile exercise from Prof Steve Peters’ book The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme for Confidence, Success and Happiness.
Imagine you are 100 years old and on your death-bed with one minute left to live. Your great-great-grandchild asks, ‘Before you die, tell me what I should do with my life.’
Last night, I read Marianne Power’s most recent post on the six basic human needs. Yes, it may seem like I’ve become obsessed with this woman and maybe I have. But not in a lesbian way. In an admiring, respecting, fellow-blogger-and-self-help-enthusiast way.
Anyway, I found Marianne’s post really interesting. Marianne is regurgitating self-improvement guru Tony Robbins’ work and I, in turn, am regurgitating Marianne’s work. But we’re all putting our own spin, experience and insights into it.
Yesterday, I texted a few of my like-minded friends to share my most recent awareness. The importance of other people.
Relationships (with a partner, friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances) accelerate our growth and teach us more about ourselves than all the spiritual retreats, self-help books, and hours of meditation and counselling ever could.
I enter my friend’s bedroom in search of a particular book. I know what the book looks like and it isn’t here. My friend comes in and finds it instantly.
It has been lying, face down, on her bedside locker. I had been looking for the green front cover that was so familiar to me so I hadn’t recognised its white back cover.
I get angry and irritable. I criticise myself and others. I complain. I get depressed and cynical. I lose hope. I cry. I have unkind thoughts. Fear blocks me. I envy others their good fortune. I gossip. I need. I desire. I try to control. I resist what is.
I love. I share. I feel empathy and compassion. I give. I help. I donate. I listen and understand. I open my heart. I feel joy. I appreciate beauty. I am affectionate. I meditate. I laugh. I am present.
Yesterday evening, I watched a documentary called Happy. This film explores what makes people happy. It was a welcome reminder of what happiness really is and all the ways we can work on and maintain happiness in our lives.
Interestingly, our genetic makeup determines 50 per cent of our happiness. Some of us are just born happier! Circumstance (where we live, our job, life events) only contributes 10 per cent towards our happiness. So we have a whole 40 per cent to work with. We have the power to boost our own happiness. It’s a personal choice. And one well worth making.
Last weekend, sitting in front of a roaring fire and feasting on cheese and red wine, I asked my friend: “What fills you with passion?”
“What do you mean exactly,” he wondered.