How to be happy even if you're English

what is happiness and how to get it

Leave a comment

Sunday morning reflections; the world in your coffee cup


Fear less, hope more;

Eat less, chew more;

Talk less, say more:

Love more, and all good things will be yours


This, apparently, is a Swedish proverb. The gentleness and directness of it appealed to me.


Notice the smallness in your actions. Feel the beauty in the mundane. Open yourself to the positive and invite it in. Recognise what is truly good.

Happy Sunday everyone.  Enjoy your cuppa 🙂

Leave a comment

The law of attraction – does it work? Part 3


This is where I was –

1) In a dark, lost and scary space emotionally

2) With an advanced awareness of the power of the focussed mind.

It led me to the Law of Attraction.

If you don’t know about this, it’s basically the premise of an abundant universe and the innate ability we all possess to tap into it; namely to focus on our desires and follow our hearts and achieve our goals. Akin to the power of prayer.

Probably the most well-known publication is Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’, and I spent a summer ingesting the content of it. All very familiar.

The idea of the Law of Attraction is that it can be applied to any aspect of your life, and there’s no higher power affiliated; just you and the universe. What’s good about it is that it dispenses with the ‘I don’t deserve it’ or ‘it’ll never happen to me’ attitudes that create barriers to progression and achievement and which, frankly, a lot of us commonly hold. Including me. It offers a vehicle for more expansive thinking and an opportunity to challenge your expectations and perceived placement in the world around you. What’s difficult about it is that it commands a leap of faith, and that comes with a risk.

I put it to the test.

Guidance on Law of Attraction principles suggests that you identify your goal, visualise it (this is a deep visualisation process which necessitates FEELING the realisation of your goal – a practice that cements the aim in your mind and body so that it becomes ‘real’) and make an internalised assumption that it will happen; a kind of ‘abracadabra’ approach (which translated from Arabic, essentially means ‘make it happen’).

Essentially, my experience of focussed application (see part 2) made me well practiced and I could see that there were wider and larger possibilities than the small goals I’d set myself. Reading The Secret, I knew I was on a well-trodden path and the guidance given could cement my learning. Already something of a pro, I’d set myself a tangible target to test the theory.

The website for ‘the Secret’ offers a print-out cheque book that you can fill in with your wish-figure. I’m not comfortable with the materialistic applications but as an experiment (and partly to challenge my too-English approach to assumed wealth) I plumped for £100,000. It’s a sum well beyond my experience, so a clear indicator should it leap into my account, but also one which I’d be comfortable with should it arise. (There’s greed and then there’s Greed). I gave it a year to materialise, but fully expected it to be sooner. I’m often surprised at how quickly opportunities arise when goals are clearly set.

746d737b8f7849b9eb2b4bb5b26e1c2cWell, I can confidently report that it didn’t.

You might not be surprised, but I was. I’d had such consistent results throughout my life that I believed it would come. Not in a ‘it will, it will’ persistent kind of way but in a gentle, pervasive knowing. Like an accepted truth. I’d done everything by the book, as it were. Using all my previously gained knowledge and awareness, and that gleaned from the Secret. But no £100k. Hmm.

The thing is, though, that I didn’t really need it. I’d been feeling so much more affluent since the experiment began, and in the knowledge (albeit misguided) that the money was coming I’d set myself little goals; tick lists of purchases that needed addressing to make my family’s life more comfortable. I’d bought a reconditioned mac, a new fridge from the charity shop, a condenser dryer (hooray!) step by step, purchase by purchase. Nothing frivolous, just helpful. Things to aid our time and quality of life.

And in the meantime I’d stopped feeling the need for ‘feel good’ purchases. I wasn’t trawling charity shops and supermarkets any more looking for a little ‘something’ as a trophy. And my habit for lifestyle magazines was quenched. Altogether, I felt less pinched, less hard-done-by. Happier.

I heard via a friend a story recently whereby a couple she knew purchased a house on the strength of their belief, based on the Law of Attraction principles, that their ship would come in. It didn’t, with all manner of devastating consequences.

Where am I going with this?

I’d say this; that the Law of Attraction is a practical truth, inasmuch as this – if you apply focussed attention to your goals and your actions, carefully examining your motives and behaviour, you will move forward. If you notice what happens around you, and learn to see opportunities, you will benefit immediately. Recognise inauthentic action (namely greed) within your daily life address it. Your needs will become less and your blessings will multiply. If you can identify your real needs against your periphery ones attend to them and leave the others.  They will dwindle accordingly and you will find space and peace. Then you will find yourself abundant, and you will feel blessed and grateful. Then all you need to do is learn to apply your gratitude.

Watch your internal motives and external actions. Listen to yourself and look to others. If you see good practice from others absorb it and apply where you can. But don’t let the desire to believe overtake your awareness. Be soft and gentle with yourself. You’re a puppy in this, and if you crash it will hurt.

Leave a comment

The law of attraction – does it work? part 2

Odds are that once you’re open to a new perspective there’s a pull to test it out.
As a small budget holder with a ‘tread lightly’ philosophy I played a game which eventually dictated all my consumer activities. I used applied focussing to my purchases, big time. This is how I did it:
I would set myself a random purchase goal (bizarrely, even if it was something I didn’t need, purely to test the principle). A red light bulb, for example. Or a fluted salmon pink lampshade. To begin with I would peruse the shops in my locality, noticing where lightbulbs were stocked, checking the retailers, prices, quality and variants. Familiarising myself with the subject. It sounds alarmingly obsessive and materialistic, but was actually a profound exercise in focussing. Because of my budget restrictions I couldn’t just purchase the first one I found. It had to be THE one. At the best price. The one I had envisioned, no cheating.


I became finely tuned until I developed a kind of intuition. Instead of a list of ‘things I need to get’ there was just the one. And it had my full attention. I learned to work on the assumption that it was there, waiting for me; a game of cat-and-mouse. I had to find where my prize had hidden itself. And I always found it (purchase wasn’t essential, only the discovery).
As an artist I’m trained to notice. I’d use this training to try poundstores, independent retailers, high street stores, charity shops and flea markets. My awareness of my environment grew. You could ask me where to buy a random article and I could respond with several likely candidates and a price range, just through peripheral consumer vision. It was an odd talent with a curious merit, taking me into realms of perceived value, consumer snobbery, navigation and expansive thinking. It was no minor activity.
As the game progressed I limited myself to charity shops. It became a game of ‘which one is it in?’. A pretty silver teapot, a Hornsea sugarbowl, or single electric blanket. I’d focus, visualise, go through the charity shops I knew in my head (there are a lot in my town) and make a selection; nominations of 3 or 4. And I’d visit them in turn for a week or fortnight.
You’ll think I’m bonkers (and I thought so too, at times), but it never failed. Random items in random stores at random times, but it never failed. The prize was always there, and at a knock-down price.

A dental receptionist once looked me in the eye and said ‘there’s always help’ when I balked at the price of treatment, handing me a form for subsidy. This stayed with me. The charity shop game was a protracted exercise in finding help. And it worked every time, even with my ridiculous budget.


Focussing on my desires made the unlikely possible, noticing expanded my knowledge and resources, and application made it happen. Every time. If you haven’t already, try it.


Leave a comment

The law of attraction – does it work? part 1


I’ll share a story with you.

One rainy November afternoon I was walking along a high pavement, head down against the wind, back from work to my flat. I’m optimistic by nature, but this day I was troubled. Money was tighter than my comfort zone. Way tighter. And although I’m normally resourceful, this time there was no cash in my wallet and no food in the cupboard. It wasn’t looking good, and for the first time in my adult life I had to look outside myself for help. So I did. I reached to a place inside me I’d never visited before, and I asked for help. With all my heart.

I was approaching a descent of steps leading to a busy junction. As I took the first step down the noise from the road increased. It was semi-dark and the headlamps were illuminating the raindrops. I looked across and below to see how the traffic lights were placed. I saw the bustle and wind and rain, and something above, gracefully caught in the wind, dancing across the road towards me. It looped and dived, landing directly at my feet. It was a ten pound note.

I have no idea where it came from, although I looked. It was mine, and I was extremely thankful. It was the strangest, most beautiful gift. And a transformative moment in my life.

We all look for ways to make things better. Especially if they come with creedance. And especially when things aren’t going so well. Sometimes we need a lifeline.

Human beings are fabulous creatures, and when times get tough the bridges of hope, faith and determination become luminous and poignant. How do we know what works and what doesn’t, and what lies between? Where do the miracles lie? With our God, our Science, our Will or our Faith? Or is it in the interface?