The Legacy of Yang-May Ooi – ‘Bound Feet Blues’

Today I’m privileged to share with you the wisdom and the gift of a dear friend of mine, writer and performer, Yang-May Ooi. Aged 52, she’s is taking to the West End stage for the first time her personal story. Yang-May is an award-winning TEDx speaker, bestselling author and acclaimed story performer. Take a look at her website www.StoryGuru.co.uk.

Here she speaks of her background, what brought her to this point in her life and why she’s compelled to share her story.

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How to lead a happier life

Every week I sit in front of my computer and ask myself, “what do I know I can write about?”

hOne of the things I’m beginning to really know about is being happy. That’s a huge blessing – not just because I’m happy but because I’m aware that I’m happy.

Interestingly, I seem to coming across several books researching the subject. The latest is ‘Are you fully charged?’ by Tom Rath. What brought the subject to mind was a combination of a particular chapter and something I experienced last Friday while running my regular u3a group (University of the Third Age) which has been going for about 18 months.

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Why mistakes can be a confidence-booster

There was a time when I believed that, if only I had no more problems, challenges, disappointments and setbacks, then I would be happy.

shutterstock_220820908Of course, that was never going to happen. Problems happen, setbacks happen, I make mistakes, life happens. That’s unavoidable and part of being human.

It took me a long time to figure out that the only way to learn and grow, the only way to become wiser and more resilient is through problems, disappointments and setbacks.

But there’s a lot more to it.  It is said that a person who never failed, never tried anything so, when life happens, how do you know you can handle it? You know because

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Are you successful?

hOver the years I’ve noticed that, as I change, my definition of what success means to me changes too.

When I was young it was a question of the image I presented. I spent time, effort and money to look professional, warm and approachable – expensive clothes, jackets with padded shoulders, warm colours and natural fabrics. Part of the image included spending money on things I couldn’t really afford, all in an effort to appear ‘successful’.

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How changing my story changed my life

hHere’s a question: What story are you telling yourself about yourself?

We have stories we tell ourselves about anything and everything – ourselves, other people and life in general. A personal favourite of mine is the ‘helpless’ story. This one is

– or could have been – mine:

“After 37 years, I decided I deserved better and finally left my marriage.

Of course, it was his fault. I had a list of complaints as long as my arm: everything he said or didn’t say; everything he did or didn’t do – that left me feeling resentful, frustrated, angry and hurt.

People I thought were friends walked away.  I felt abandoned. I kept talking about my feelings all the time; I just couldn’t help it. It all seemed so unfair.”

Here’s

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How to bring joy into your life – now and in the future

“‎Today is a new day, one you’ve never seen before and will never see again. Seize the wonder and uniqueness of today! Throughout this beautiful day, you have an incredible amount of opportunities to move your life into the direction you want it to go.” paraphrased from a Steve Maraboli quote, best selling author and behavioural science academic

Boredom seems to be a condition that creeps up on us without us even noticing. And then, one

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A new model for ageing

Ever since I decided to work with senior and professional people nearing retirement – who are dreading it, I started a process of my own around my own age – 67.  Although nothing in me fits any of the criteria as dictated by social norms such as appearance (I’m blessed with great genes), health and wellbeing, and the way I think and act, I was still wondering “is this it?”

Surveys into the perception

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Am I Lying to Myself? – From Confusion to Clarity

I grew up believing that telling the truth is something we tell another person. But that’s only part of the story.

In reality, the most important person we actually need to tell the truth to is – ourselves.

We lie to ourselves all the time. In my younger days my self-deceptions revolved around my self image. Every time I opened my mouth and started a sentence with “I like to think I am (honest, truthful, reliable, loving or a good friend”), that was my way of trying to look good to myself.

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How To Accept Yourself

Over time I have observed points of similarity in my clients’ life journeys. Although the content of their story differs from person to person the process tends to be similar, one of gradual discovery.

They learn that they need to learn to love themselves – or, a term I prefer, to make friends with themselves – before they can create authentic relationships with others. They learn that they need to tell the truth to themselves first before they can even know what truths they need to tell others. 

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