I have exciting news!

Today I’d like to share with you what I’ve been up to in the last few months.

It all started when my dear friend Lisa said, “How do you like the idea of running a workshop, ‘Learning to Love’?  I know the perfect person for you to run it with.”

Next thing I know she arranged lunch for the three of us and that’s how the wonderful Traci Ferguson and I first met.  In other words, it was a blind date!

We couldn’t believe how much we had in common!  We both experienced deeply unhappy relationships that practically destroyed our self-confidence and made us believe – temporarily – that we weren’t worth loving!  Would you believe that!?

And we both are now in a relationship that is absolutely wonderful – loving and rock solid.

Best of all, like me, Traci is passionate about sharing what she learned along the way which is why we’re so good together!

Read moreI have exciting news!

What if stress were really good for you?

I don’t know about you but I can’t tell you how many times I felt seriously stressed out last year.

And, given life’s uncertainties, I have no doubt I will feel seriously stressed out again – and again.

That means, pounding heart, nauseous feeling in my tummy, sweaty hands – the whole shebang.

I’ve always believed stress is bad for you.  And it’s not just me, everybody believes it!  In fact, stress management programmes have become a booming industry.

Read moreWhat if stress were really good for you?

Why my friend Jen matters to me

My dear friend Jen came for lunch yesterday or perhaps I should say, ‘our’ dear friend Jen came for lunch yesterday as she has become very dear to Paul too.

Like Bev and Lisa, Jen came into my life when we were both older. That was in November 2015 when I was 70 – one month before I met Paul.

We were both attending a 3-day personal development weekend. There were 150 people in the room. She was sitting in the row right behind me so we would both share our lunch breaks.

We clearly liked each other so here’s the question that intrigues us both.

Read moreWhy my friend Jen matters to me

What makes Lisa so special

Perhaps it’s that time of the year.  Or perhaps it’s because we met for lunch yesterday.  Whatever the reason, it started me thinking about my friendship with Lisa.

My very first experience of her was of her open heart, generosity and thoughtfulness.

We first met through an online breakfast group many years ago and, at one point, decided to meet and go together to a special women’s event.

We met for coffee and she handed me a wrapped gift.  Inside was one of those beautiful Paperchase notebooks so I could take notes at the event.

To this day, many years later, love, generosity and giving are Lisa’s hallmark.  This is who she is.

Read moreWhat makes Lisa so special

To celebrate my friendship with Bev

Today I feel compelled to write about my friendship with my dearest friend Bev.

The reason she’s on my mind is that today we’re meeting for lunch and spending time with her is always such a joy.

Bev and I met about 10 years ago when I was 63 or so.  The reason I mention this is because I’m always hearing people say how hard it is to make friends when you’re older but this is not at all my experience!

In fact, I met all of my friends (male and female) who have become really close since I turned 60.

Read moreTo celebrate my friendship with Bev

7 ways to thrive in a challenging world

So there we are – or, more accurately, there I am, again.

I thought life had stopping pissing on me but no.  As I said, there I am, again.

Except this time it feels different.

Last time I felt numb, in shock.  It took me a while to recover.

This time, not only am I not in shock, I’m feeling at peace.  I know that I will overcome this latest challenge – in the face of no evidence whatsoever.  Is this hope?

So why the difference?

Read more7 ways to thrive in a challenging world

Here’s what to do when life happens

I’m currently working on a new programme to develop mental fitness in university students and it occurred to me that we would all benefit from some of the tools and resources I will be offering them. There are several sub-headings that come under the general term of mental fitness some of which I’ve been talking … Read more

If you want to know the secret to staying younger longer, read on

When I was 14 years old, my Dad asked me what I wanted to do after I finished school.  I shrugged.  He said, “In that case, you will become a trilingual secretary because you’re good at languages.”  I replied, “OK, can I go out and play now?”

And that’s how I became a secretary.  I carried on as a secretary for the next 18 years.

I had many jobs along the way.  Most were OK.  What I liked best about them was the friends I made.

Fast forward 18 years and things were changing.  Not only were there social changes as well as changes in women’s expectations; there were also changes in my personal life.

My then husband, Jim, had been very unhappy in his job in Rank Xerox in Welwyn Garden City, and had applied for a very different position in their Gloucester site.

He never gave me a thought.

Read moreIf you want to know the secret to staying younger longer, read on

How to rekindle romance no matter how long you’ve been together

On 12 September 2018 I published a blog called ‘How To Really Listen And Make People Fall In Love With You’.

It was a detailed blog about the mechanics of listening.

The ability to listen well makes such a huge difference to our relationships that I feel compelled to address it again from a slightly different angle.

What triggered this train of thought was watching Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt, his wife, being interviewed.  They are relationship gurus and have been working for decades helping couples who are struggling with their relationships.

Interestingly, they articulated what I know to be true from my own experience which is that poor communication between people leads to toxic relationships by which I mean relationships where you feel unloved, unimportant, even invisible as well as angry, frustrated and resentful.

Read moreHow to rekindle romance no matter how long you’ve been together

Next time you’re facing a serious challenge, remember this

Thank you to those of you who sent me some wonderful replies to my last blog about what to do when you experience severe setbacks.

Apart from feeling comforted from reading your encouraging comments and words of support, I also noticed that the sharp edge of my hopelessness and helplessness had dissipated.

Feeling loved, heard and understood goes a long way no matter where the love, listening  and understanding comes from – our partner, our family, our friends, even strangers.

Here are other things that have helped that might help you too when faced with serious challenges and setbacks.

Read moreNext time you’re facing a serious challenge, remember this

Grow Your Confidence and Fabulous Relationships will Follow