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

How to wake up to what matters to you the most

Every week, I record one of Paul’s and mine favourite weekly television dramas.

So here we are, ready to start watching – or, at least, I am.

Paul’s looking pensive and distracted so I thought I’d wait for him to refocus.  Instead, he does something else.

He starts talking about techie stuff that I know is very close to his heart and which takes up a lot of his time, effort and attention.

My mind’s half on the programme I thought we were going to watch, and I start feeling a little impatient and put out.

Read moreHow to wake up to what matters to you the most

How this simple phrase stopped a fight before it started

Paul and I were having one of our stimulating conversations which I really enjoy when he, unexpectedly, asked me, “Do you regard yourself as a strong woman?”

Without the slightest hesitation I firmly replied, “Absolutely!”  He looked sceptical and commented, “Actually, I don’t think so.”

In years gone by I would immediately have felt defensive and challenged him, “What do you mean!  Are you suggesting I’m weak?!”

But I didn’t.  Instead I remembered another conversation with a woman friend many years ago.

Read moreHow this simple phrase stopped a fight before it started

How to really listen and make people fall in love with you

I’d been married about 20 years, feeling unloved and unimportant when I met a man at one of the workshops I liked to attend.

His name was Bob (not his real name) and we were working in the same group.  He appeared to be bowled over by me, a real novelty for me.  Nobody had ever been bowled over by me before and my marriage wasn’t exactly conducive to me thinking of myself as an attractive woman.

But that wasn’t the thing that struck me about him.  It was that he found me interesting! That was even more of a novelty for me!

Is it any wonder that I fell head over heels in love with him?  Well, I didn’t exactly fall in love with him but I did go to bed with him – not because of the sex but because I’d felt lonely and practically invisible for such a long time and here was a man who really listened to me.

Read moreHow to really listen and make people fall in love with you

Do you trust yourself? No? Then here’s what you can do

I was on the bus and unintentionally listening to two women talking.  It sounded like a fairly intimate conversation.  Obviously, I did not turn around.

One was telling the other that she’d been offered what sounded like a great job but wasn’t sure whether or not to take it because she’d had made quite a few mistakes in the past and didn’t exactly trust her judgement.

The friend was trying to reassure her.

That got me thinking about self-trust, something that took me years to develop.

For many years my track record left a lot to be desired.

I mean, would you trust somebody who went after a man just to see if she can make him fall in love with her and then married him?

Read moreDo you trust yourself? No? Then here’s what you can do

Do self-fulfilling prophecies work?

I’ve got a mystery for you:

Why is it that I keep meeting really wonderful people?  How come that most people I come across are kind, friendly, helpful and thoughtful?

That goes for strangers, fleeting relationships as well as friendships.

And here’s another one:

Read moreDo self-fulfilling prophecies work?

If you don’t like your life as it is, why not create a different future? Here’s how

You don’t know what you don’t know, do you?  I had no idea that my life could be any different.  This is what it looked like the last 6 or 7 years of my marriage:

I get up, I have breakfast, I go to work, I do my job, I go back home, I have something to eat that Jim microwaved, we watch the telly, I go to bed.

I get up, I have breakfast, I go to work, I do my job, I go back home, I have something to eat that Jim microwaved, we watch the telly, I go to bed.

Read moreIf you don’t like your life as it is, why not create a different future? Here’s how

The unexpected secret to self-sabotage – and how to stop it (Part 7)

Last week, in Part 6, I talked the importance of being good to yourself and why, according to Rick Hanson in ‘The Buddha Brain’, this is such an important way to reprogram your brain.

In this last post of the series, I want to explore what it means to assert yourself which is another way of being good to yourself.

What does it look like when you’re asserting yourself and what role does it play in reprogramming your brain?

To truly assert yourself you need to come from a place of virtue which simply means from a place where your intention is to do no harm.

When you make ‘doing no harm’ your intention (see Part 5, intentions and perseverance), it becomes a way of relating not only to others whoever they may be – partner, children, family, friends or work colleagues but doing no harm to yourself either.

Read moreThe unexpected secret to self-sabotage – and how to stop it (Part 7)

The unexpected secret to self-sabotage – and how to stop it (Part 6)

Last week, in Part 5, I talked about two things, both of which go hand in hand:

  1. Intentions
  2. Perseverance

But there is something else which is equally important.

Reprogramming your brain also involves keeping your emotional engine topped up.

This is something I mentioned many times in the past but always in the context of nourishing yourself and keeping your emotional engine topped up to enable you to continue to give with an open heart.

Read moreThe unexpected secret to self-sabotage – and how to stop it (Part 6)

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